GOLD TRIED IN THE FIRE: BOOK TWO

GOLD TRIED IN THE FIRE BOOK TWO

 

                                                    Copyright Š 2008Trumpet Ministries, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.  

Here are a few reflections after a long pilgrimage as a Christian. Hopefully they will help the young reader grow in wisdom and discernment. It is good to seek the wisdom and understanding that come from the Holy Spirit. God always is glad to reward us with wisdom and provides us generously with that which we ask for.

                                                           

                                                            Foreword

 

Jewels of brilliant color and luster are formed by a process of time, pressure and heat. Precious metals such as gold and silver are made under similar circumstances.

 

Symbolic of virtue and character, these natural elements reflect the manner in which believers are transformed into obedient disciples, and over time into witnesses of the resurrection life of Jesus Christ.

The making of a saint is no small matter. As we respond correctly to the daily pressures of life, Christ is formed in us. If we choose to pick up our cross, lay down our life and follow the Master’s will, He transforms us into His image.

 

 When we resist, forcing our own will and way, misinterpreting things meant for our good, we corrupt God’s purposes.

Edward J. Reiter November 2002 Escondido, California                                    

                                                                    GOLD TRIED IN THE FIRE: BOOK TWO We are in and with the Lord Jesus Christ and He is in and with us. Thus there is both an internal and an external Kingdom of God. The external will proceed from those in whom the internal has been perfected. That the great Christ, the Creator and Lord of all, is so much superior to us, is a breathtaking marvel. But an even greater wonderment is that He, being God, is so much like us! The Christian life is far from being merely an acknowledgment of the finished work of Christ. Rather, it is an intensely active involvement in the Divinely ordained and administered process of redemption. God commands that the hearts of the children be turned to their fathers, not to their peer group. The child whose heart is turned to his peer group will adopt the values and standards of the group. He then may turn against his father. The world might come to understand the saint who withdraws from the entertainments and material supports of the world. The world might come to understand the saint who seeks victory over the lusts and passions of the flesh and soul. But the world will never understand God’s requirement that the saint abandon the right to direct his own life in order that he may do the perfect will of God. There are the gutter sins of drugs, alcohol, and profanity. Then there are the more elevated bondages of demoniac romanticism. But the most horrible bondage of all is stubborn self-will. Seeking God fervently and practicing religious acts in order to get what we want from God may be idolatry. It is better to seek to know God’s will and then politely to let our requests be made known.—A. Thompson It is not wise to keep attempting to force a door open. Why not look around. There may be another door that is open just a crack. He who speaks in prophecy builds up, stirs up, and cheers up. There is that which entices that grows less desirable each day. There is that which entices that grows more wonderful each day. “They will never attack at night!” This kind of thinking loses battles. So it is that lack of diligence brings defeat in the Christian life. The nation that does not remain instantly prepared for war will pay for its foolishness with bitter, bitter currency. The same is true of the Christian. Religion tends to destroy character and common sense. Jesus is not religious nor is He part of any religious organization. Religion and politics often prompt people to torture and murder other people. They clothe their actions with high-sounding reasons. The Lord Jesus is in none of this wickedness. All bonfires eventually become cold ashes. Why do you yield to your passions and destroy yourself and those who trust you? When life becomes too smooth the believers become too smooth. Suffering is required if we are to rule with God. The catching up to meet the Lord in the air is not an act of redemption, it is merely the first step of our new life after we have attained the resurrection from among the dead. Never underestimate the potential for evil of the self-willed religionist, for he believes he is doing God’s will and will break all moral codes in order to achieve his ends. The person of integrity will suffer any pain rather than betray a trust. The person lacking integrity will betray any trust rather than suffer pain. The person lacking integrity can never make a success of the Christian discipleship. Beware of marriages “made in Heaven.” Relationships are as grass that perishes unless they first have been brought down to death and then raised again in Christ. Throughout the centuries the Jews and the Christians have borne a false witness of God, because they both have made participation in their religious activities and beliefs more important than righteous behavior. The conquerors are not those who have eyes to read but who have ears to hear. As awesomely important as the written Word is, the sons of God are led by the Spirit of God. Are you hearing the Spirit of God? The world is looking for righteous behavior. It could not care less about your religious beliefs. If all you see in Jesus is a fire escape your heart is wrong. If you continue to sin and rebel against God you will end up in the fire—belief or no belief! When the Lord directs someone to push one of your buttons, and your idol begins to scream and complain, just say to the Lord, “Thanks—I needed that!” If instead you curse the tool God uses you will grow bitter instead of profiting from your pain. Some claim to have a “passion for souls.” I take them at their word. Speaking for myself, I have a genuine passion for doing the Lord’s will. Thank God for this gift. If we are to bring God’s people out of bondage we must have God’s wisdom and a pure heart. God’s snake of wisdom must swallow up all the other snakes and Moses’ heart and hand must be free of leprosy. Our goal is to live completely in the power of Christ’s resurrection and to press into joyful willingness to choose the will of Christ at every point of decision in our daily life, which is the death of the cross. Libertarian democracy is the opposite and mortal enemy of the Kingdom of God, for it promotes the will of the human being over the will of God. To insist we have all of salvation “by faith” (which is not faith at all but mental acceptance), and then continue in the world as usual while we are waiting for the wedding ceremony to take place in Heaven, is the error of contemporary Christianity. The original Gospel of the Kingdom is being preached today. It is different from the current message in that the saints, instead of dying and going to Heaven, are being prepared to return with the Lord Jesus and establish God’s Kingdom on the earth. Jesus is not a Western businessman. He is an oriental monarch with the power of life and death. Whoever does not fear and serve Him is lacking good sense. Kiss the Son lest He be angry! Why are you resisting God? Do you enjoy being miserable? The way of the transgressor is hard! Any Bible verse is only ink on paper until through faith we bring it into our personality and behavior. To believe there is a God and He has said such things is a worthy beginning. But salvation occurs when the Word is activated in us. “Thy words were found, and I did eat them.” When we are abiding in Christ, every day that we live we are better able to bring Christ to others. “He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit.” A bright red cardinal came and perched on a bush outside a certain man’s window. The man was struck with its beauty and threw some bread crumbs around the bush. This he did each day, and the cardinal came and rewarded him with a song and the sight of its red and black colors and its jolly red crest. The man thought to himself, “I would like to possess this beautiful bird where I can see and hear it whenever I want. So he set a snare for the cardinal and captured it. He then put it in a cage in his front room. Within a few days he was paying little attention to it except to feed it. The cardinal flew around wildly inside the cage and finally injured itself and died. So it is in many marriages. The desire to possess and control is not the same as the liberating love of the Lamb for His Bride. As soon as the issue of who controls whom arises in a marriage, love dies and both man and wife remain in prison, the one possessing and controlling what is dead and the other waiting to be freed by death. Predestination is not inevitability. If we do not use the talents we have been given, whether ten, or five, or one, what we have been given will be removed from us and given to another, and we shall be thrown into the outer darkness. The bank of Heaven is waiting for you to make a withdrawal. Why are you standing around as a pauper in your rags when the King has invited you to His palace? God is not waiting for more spiritual babies clothed in the diapers of imputed righteousness. He is looking for a people strong in righteous behavior, set in battle array, who are prepared for the age of moral horrors we are entering. True love is not a hunger for possession or control; neither is it attraction. True love is an unchanging desire for union at the deepest level of personality, resulting in a shared commitment to face pain and joy together. To understand whether something is truly significant, examine it in the light of eternity. The world of men is dust and all their doings are dust. The flesh profits nothing. The wise person does not attach too much significance to dust. “The Lord God before whom I stand.” How wonderful to stand before God, as did Elijah and Elisha! The rod of iron, the hardness of a will fixed in God, is created only by carrying our cross of denial. To be saved is to be reconciled to God in our behavior. To be saved is to be delivered from relationships, circumstances, and things that hinder our rest in God’s will. To be saved is to be freed from all that is of Satan and brought into eternal union with all that is of God. A false assurance is no assurance at all. It is like turning back the hands of your clock so you can sleep longer in the morning. The assurance that comes from the belief our behavior will not affect our salvation, and from the hope we will be “raptured” out of trouble, is no assurance at all. We are forced into the spiritual realm by the death of our body because of the sin of Adam. Removal from the earth through physical death is a an enemy, a defeat. Once we regain immortality in the body we are free to live on the earth, in Heaven, or wherever else we desire to remain. God did not create the marvelous physical body so that it could be destroyed by sickness and death. He created it to be the permanent home of Himself, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the saint. And so it shall be at the coming of the Lord, if we have overcome through Christ the death that has warred against us. No one ever will be given the authority to eat of immortality until he or she overcomes. To overcome does not mean to “accept Christ.” Accepting Christ gives the authority and power to begin to overcome. To overcome is to emerge in victory over the forces of sin and death that war against us. To sin is to die. To put sin to death is to move toward immortality. No sinful person, believer in Christ or not, will ever enter past the cherubim and the flaming sword and eat from the tree of life. The tree still is guarded, waiting for those who, through Jesus Christ, press past all opposition and enter rest in the center of God’s perfect will. Religion is the head of man on the Body of Christ. Living together apart from a wedding ceremony is fornication, and fornicators will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But don’t go through a wedding ceremony unless you are very certain you want to marry the other person. The central issue of the Kingdom of God is stern obedience to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. The person who walks in disobedience to God keeps on throwing away the greater that he may obtain the lesser. Untroubled union between people is possible only as both have died and been risen in Christ. Only then does each bring to the other righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Everything the Lord does is right beyond all rightness and marvelous beyond all marvels. The main purpose of the present world seems to be that of testing people, especially those destined for places of authority in the Kingdom, so God will know how to place people in the true world to come. He wants to know what is in our heart—whether or not we will keep His commandments. As a Christian, you are to be pressing toward perfect rest in the very Center of God’s Person; toward perfect conformity to the image of Christ in spirit, soul, and body; toward being filled with the Spirit of God without measure; toward total victory over the enemy; toward the possession of the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth; toward God being your Father; toward all the Divine Glory set forth in the last two chapters of the Book of Revelation; toward being a coheir with Christ; toward everything of worth in the creation of God; toward everything that will bring you righteousness, peace, and joy. Such is your Canaan, your land of promise, the goal of your salvation. If we will faithfully remain in the prison where the Lord permits Satan to place us, we will be issued the crown of life. If we are to govern the works of God’s hands, all disobedience must be burned out of us. Remaining in the place where we are denied what we desire fervently, or where we are required to continue in a situation we detest, destroys our self-willed refusal to wait on the Lord continually. There are eight behaviors over which the Lake of Fire retains authority. Each one of these behaviors proceeds from our self-will, self-focus, self-love. Once we have been delivered from self-will and are living in perfect obedience to God, these destructive behaviors can be removed from us. Then we can walk on the Lake of Fire and it no longer can harm us. Whoever puts all of his hopes and dreams in the present world is not making an intelligent choice. The difference between the Pharisees and Jesus was that the Pharisees acted according to their own mind and Jesus acted according to what He heard from the Father. This really is the difference between religion and the Divine salvation. In our day, when someone recites the four steps of salvation, we say that he or she has entered the Kingdom of God and is now waiting to spend eternity in Heaven. This is comparable to maintaining that when someone has been enrolled in kindergarten he has graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Ph.D. in nuclear physics. There is much, much more to entering the Kingdom of God than “accepting Christ as our personal Savior,” unless we mean by this accepting Christ as our personal Savior at every moment of every day and night in all that we think, say, and do. The self-righteous person seeks to perfect his personality. The truly righteous individual seeks to know the Lord. Anyone with a heart for God, like Jesus or King David, can always read God's intention. But the hard hearted religious individual will succeed in straining out gnats and swallowing camels. Genuine love is a concern for how we affect the feelings and welfare of another person, not a concern for how that person affects our feelings or welfare. Given the tremendous demonic oppression in America, the believers will not turn away from their sins with enough determination until they are persuaded they are killing their own spiritual life. Just because someone is religious does not mean he or she is spiritual. An ounce of resisting the devil is worth ten thousand gallons of rebuking the devil. You resist the devil and let Jesus do the rebuking. We can choose to yield to Adam or we can choose to pray. If we choose to pray Christ feeds us with His body and blood until the flames of Adam are totally quenched and God's peace once again reigns over our personality. The number five, in the Scriptures, symbolizes the beginning of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom begins with the sounding of the trumpets, is developed during the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, and is brought to completion in the fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles. So often we wish to bring people to Christ. This is a good thing. It also is desirable to bring Christ to people. This we can do only as we are transformed in our inward nature. We always rise up refreshed after hearing from the Lord, but sometimes we do not spend enough time listening for His will. My personal opinion is that physical death is one of the least significant events of our lifetime. It does not change what we are or affect our relationship to Jesus Christ. It is a good idea to ask the Lord for a report card. Cease from your deadening labors, sit down with the Lord, and ask Him what is going on—how He feels toward you. To have your good works performed with a pure heart described as evil deeds done with a wicked heart may be the ultimate perversity. It is a suffering of Christ and the saint can expect to experience this. There is a bitter price to pay for laziness and foolishness. To be educated in the arts and sciences of civilization is not good of itself. It depends on what has been learned. To be able to read and write is not good of itself. It depends on what is read and what is written. The highest good is to fear God and keep His commandments. Education is Antichrist’s substitute for the Spirit of wisdom and knowledge. Money is Antichrist’s substitute for God’s power. To repent is to turn from not keeping Christ’s commandments and to begin to keep Christ’s commandments. God first removes us from Satan. Then He removes Satan from us. Only God is able to enter the human personality, into the caverns of darkness and deceitfulness, and pierce the monster of self-will repeatedly, smashing its head many times until it stops its thrashing, until all life has departed from it and it is dead. It is impossible to love anyone successfully until Christ is preeminent in our heart. Each member of God’s elect has two possible destinies. In the Day of the Lord he will be given that part of the Kingdom, that eternal role that God has prepared for him or her. Or, he will be given the result of his own unwillingness to submit to God’s will for him. We make this choice every day of our life. Eternal life includes the fullness of the Presence of God, boundless love, eternal health and strength, radiant energy and vitality, incorruptible virtue, endless joy, impenetrable peace, unsearchable wisdom, perfect knowledge, abiding hope, undiminished assurance, Divinely inspired purpose, insurmountable courage, complete self-control, freedom from dread, gloom, and fear, and a sense of being “home.” How is it that we can speak in the tongues of the Spirit at one moment, and then speak in the tongues of slander and gossip at the next moment? How can the same fountain bring forth both sweet and bitter water? Our goal is to live in the fullness of the Spirit of God. Life on earth is mostly a time of sowing. Make sure you are sowing what you want to reap in the ages to come. A lack of diligent obedience indicates a lack of true faith. The Father in Heaven is pure and perfect in truth and righteousness. He is as a great Light who does not cast a shadow by turning. He always is there, the same, unchangeable, perfect, dependable. How wonderful to become an integral part of the great Rock! The person with integrity will never accept happiness at the expense of another person; he will never cause someone to suffer in order that he himself may have joy or peace. A prayer: God grant that at every place, at all times, every thought I think, every word I speak, every action I take, and every aspect of my appearance, is filled with Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen. Grace is free but discipleship is costly; however, never as costly as refusing to be a disciple! Any system of biblical interpretation that teaches we can love Christ apart from keeping His commandments is most assuredly not of God. Since the Body of Christ is one organism in the sight of God, it is only as righteous as the member who is least righteous; it is only as holy as the member who is least holy; it is only as obedient to the Father as the member who is least obedient to the Father. Therefore each member must be brought to iron righteousness, fiery holiness, to stern obedience to God—to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. To use Abraham as an illustration that we are saved by naked belief is to ignore other statements God made concerning Abraham. Certainly we can use Abraham’s naked belief and the resulting righteousness to illustrate that it is possible to be declared righteous apart from obedience to the Law of Moses. But to then proceed to declare that now God requires only naked belief in the facts and promises concerning Jesus Christ, and as a result we no longer must walk in strict obedience to God in order to remain in right standing with Him, is to depart completely from all God intends to accomplish under the new covenant. We can never earn salvation, but we absolutely must respond diligently to the demands of salvation if we expect to be accepted by the Lord. God’s purpose in putting us on the earth is to test us. The test comes when there is something we wish to do intensely, and yet we believe it is not the right thing to do for some reason. If we do what we wish, even though we feel it may be the wrong thing to do, we have failed the test. We have acted without integrity and God will not accept that. Those who are righteous but not righteous enough will fall before the thoroughly wicked. There are millions of Moslems who fear God and seek to do His will. They would have received the Lamb of God a long time ago if it were not for the sinful behavior of the Christians of the Western nations. The Moslems need to see Jesus! The Gospel of Heaven, the gospel that has been prevalent throughout the Church era, is being replaced by the original gospel, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is Christ in us. There will not be a “rapture” that has as its purpose the removal of the saints from the conflict of the ages. This concept is at enmity with the biblical truth of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth. The emphasis of the twentieth century was on the baptism with the Holy Spirit. The emphasis of the twenty-first century will be on the maturing of Christ in the Church. We say, “If you would be a Christian, admit you are a sinner and ask Christ to forgive your sins.” Christ says, “If you would be a Christian, deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me.” It seems to me that the Lord is drawing closer to us. Jesus promised, in the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John, that He would come to His saints and not to the world. I understand the day will come when every eye shall see Him; but maybe the Lord’s statement in John is speaking of His coming to the disciples before He appears to the world. If your highest priority is immediate pleasure you never can make a success of the Christian discipleship. You must deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus. If Christ has called you to be a disciple and you attempt to settle for merely being “saved,” you will be judged as a lazy, wicked, disobedient servant. We do not achieve victory over sin in order to enter salvation. Rather, salvation works in us and gives us victory over sin. Physical death came because man sinned. Physical death will not be removed until sin has been removed from man, not just the guilt of sin, but the very presence of sin. Dying and going to Heaven does not insure we will not sin against God. Only the formation of Christ, the Wall, in our personality guarantees we never again will be guilty of sin and rebellion against the Father. The end of that which does not bear fruit is the fire. Revelation, Chapter 11 tells about our bearing witness in the last days. Revelation, Chapter 12 tells about what is happening in us while we are bearing witness. A clear conscience before God and man is a treasure of incalculable value. In the Day of Judgment it will surround the possessor with the fullness of love, wild, unrestrained delight, and an ocean of peace. We buy such a treasure by refusing to grasp our own pleasure at the expense of other people. Faith is our enduring trust and belief in the goodness, power, and faithfulness of God. Under the new covenant, faith expresses itself in a daily interaction with the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, and in stern obedience to God, the result being a new righteous creation in the image of Christ. We can choose to dream of the past, or of the future. Considering the pit from which we are being dug, and the glory toward which the righteous are moving, it is more realistic to forget the things that are past and to dream of the future. Truth is a Person. Facts concerning the molecular properties, location in space, time and date of something are not truth but information. Truth reveals the meaning, the significance of a thing, relationship, or situation. Only Jesus Christ is Truth. Whenever an individual, Christian or not, if he is not disobeying God’s will as he or she understands it, asks God for help, the Father hears this cry. He opens His hand and satisfies the desire of every living thing. Recently children in a Christian school were taught that if a baby or even a miscarried fetus dies before being baptized it goes to Hell. What an unmitigated abomination such teaching is. And there were children in the class whose mothers had miscarried! Eternal life is found only in the Lord Jesus, not in such teaching. True religion is found only in individuals and in their interactions with the Lord and with other individuals. Everyone has some kind of pain. Those who accept the pain grow strong in their inner nature. Those who do not accept the pain, like the alcoholic who will not stop drinking, do not grow. They may be powerful on the inside but there is not enough steel on the inside. It’s called carrying your cross. Those who do not carry their cross are not worthy of Christ. Religion tends to work with groups of people. God tends to work with individuals, teaching them how to relate to Himself and to other people. Religious forms and ceremonies do not benefit us unless God is working with us as an individual. Some believers are careless with the things of Christ. It is certain they will reap sparingly. What you have done to others will be done to you. In Christ, nothing is too good to be true. It is as destructive to refuse to believe God is giving you something good as it is destructive to believe God will never permit you to suffer. The adamic nature is filled with lies and deceit. The Life of Christ which has been born in us is truth, honesty, faithfulness, lasting forever. It replaces worthlessness with value and significance. When you are under pressure and are praying for release, you may find that God first may give you victory in your pressured situation, and then remove the particular pressure. If we are going to build up the Body of Christ we will have to fill up in our flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions. If we are suffering for this reason, let us rejoice. Sometimes it appears as though the governments in the world are filled with faithless liars. Only the Kingdom of God has a Ruler who is Faithful and True. Any religion that does not ultimately produce righteous behavior (not religious behavior but righteous behavior) is worthless to God and to man. The problem with religious institutions is that they tend to forget their nobler objectives while they seek to perpetuate themselves and their traditions. We cannot be resurrected to eternal life on the outside until we first have been resurrected to eternal life on the inside. Righteousness is nothing more and nothing less than obedience to God at any given moment. We always are righteous for the moment. The future provides additional challenges to the individual who seeks to please God. It has been said that we should put legs on our prayers. This means we should pray and then go forth to do what we can to answer our prayers. Putting legs on a prayer is something like putting shoes on an eagle. Only God can show us when to wait and when to go forth. Love for God without obedience to God is an impossibility. “If you love me, keep my commandments.” He has been deceived who maintains, “God has saved me by grace, therefore I do not have to keep His commandments.” He shall come to a hard end. Human beings are animated intelligent dust. Accepting Christ as an embracing of theological truth makes forgiven, informed dust. We are not changed and brought into the Kingdom of God until we actually receive the eternal Life that Christ Is. There is an uncrossable gulf between the most highly developed animal and the least developed man, in that the least developed man has a sense of God. There is an uncrossable gulf between the most highly developed man and the least member of the Kingdom of God, because the least member of the Kingdom of God is, through Christ, a partaker of the Divine Nature. The Lord commanded us to make disciples, not converts. Converts are made to a religion. Disciples are followers of Jesus Christ and they keep His commandments. Converts to the Christian religion are characterized by their emphasis on doctrine, liturgy, the number of people in attendance, and their new parking lot. Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ are characterized by their emphasis on the Person, will, and commandments of Jesus. Faith is a glimpse of the future as well as of what is invisible. The Christian salvation is not a change in God’s requirements, it is a change in man so he can meet God’s requirements. Grace does not abolish the eternal moral Law of God. Grace establishes the Law of God and emphasizes its implications. If you do not wish to be rejected by people, do not tell them about your “coat of many colors.” If the enemy is stronger and wiser than God, than we who are trusting in Jesus are facing defeat and destruction. If every word of the Bible is not true, then we who are walking by faith in Jesus are heading toward catastrophe. Otherwise, we are more than conquerors through the Lord Jesus Christ. When God is bringing you into a new place, don't look back to the old. If you resist change, remember Lot's wife. God writes His law in our mind so we will understand it and in our heart so we will delight to do it. I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. (Psalms 40:8) God's path leads through the sea, His way through the mighty waters. Those who live in a sea of impossibilities understand what this Psalm means. Everything God does is perfectly sensible and perfectly righteous, even though it does not always appear so to our rebellious minds. People of integrity do not make their decisions on the basis of what is pleasant but according to what is right. Be true to God, to other people, and to yourself. Then you will stand tall in the time of judgment. All things of the creation throughout all history, past, present, and future, are working together for good for each one who loves God, who is called according to His purpose in Christ Jesus. Those who stress only that which is positive are seeking their own glory. Those who stress only that which is negative are ill. The Bible is both positive and negative. Keep your eyes on the Lord Jesus or you will sink. Being afraid of what people can do to you will prove to be a snare. Live in the wisdom and power of Christ and you have no need to fear people. Men may master the Scriptures but Christ masters men. We cannot reign <MI>with Christ until Christ reigns <MI>in us. Invite Jesus into every area of your life. He will accept the invitation. People wonder why God permits wars and other disasters to plague the inhabitants of the earth. God does not cause the evil, the problem is sin. God is waiting for the final wickedness, which is that of individuals becoming their own gods, little satans. This drama is being played out for the benefit of the heavenly spectators. Man in the complete image of God and in untroubled union with God, brought into this state by daily transformation, is the true goal of salvation—the goal that accomplishes Kingdom purposes. We are forgiven so we may be transformed. Jesus Christ alone is Truth. Scientific “facts” are merely descriptions of what Truth has created. Satan’s invitation to joy is like a cannibal’s invitation to lunch. Yesterday’s righteousness does not make up for today’s wickedness We have to build with one hand and fight with the other. Christ holds the keys of death and Hell. This means that the Lord Jesus Christ possesses full authority and power over all forms of sickness and death and all forms of torment. There are several destinations available to the believers: the new Jerusalem; Hell; the Lake of Fire; the outer darkness. If we will be diligent in developing godly character, our destination will be the new Jerusalem; for people ultimately will be placed where they belong. Adam and Eve began their lives in Paradise. They were driven from Paradise because they sinned against God. People always will be driven from Paradise when they continue to sin, whether or not they profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The cherubim and the flaming sword still guard the way to the tree of life. Righteousness and innocence are different qualities. Adam and Eve were innocent but not righteous. Righteousness is a positive force developed in us as we overcome evil through Jesus Christ. The great mistake of the religions of the world, including Christianity, is that participation in the beliefs and activities of the religion makes one acceptable to God. True faith in the Lord Jesus Christ produces upright behavior, a merciful personality, and the desire to walk humbly with God. This kind of individual is righteous in God’s sight. The Muslim murders the innocent in the name of Allah. The Christian evangelist robs widows in the name of Christ in order to build his personal kingdom. Neither is justified on the basis of his profession of faith in the tenets of his religion. It takes faith to cope with evil. It requires just as much faith to receive good at God’s hand. It is important that you come to know Christ. It is equally if not more important that Christ come to know you. “Depart from Me. I never knew you!” To make forgiveness the only aspect of the Divine salvation is to think of the salad as being the main course. If God and Christ were not faithful it would be well we never had been born. Each new disaster that occurs in the world should motivate us to be ever more diligent in seeking Christ and doing His will. The Christian teacher who presents only what is positive is seeking his own glory. The Christian teacher who presents only what is negative is emotionally ill. People amass money so they do not have to depend on God. The reason there are apparently conflicting statements in the New Testament, such as those regarding faith without works, and works of righteousness, is that the Holy Spirit uses different emphases at different times according to our needs. The Word is the sword of the Spirit, not the sword of the Christian, and cannot be accurately wielded by the human mind. We may ask God, “What am I doing wrong?” God may ask us, “What are you doing right?” The main part of the Christian discipleship is the working out of the lawlessness that dwells in us. Life actually comprises a series of decisions and a series of desires and fulfillments. To live in and by the Spirit is to be guided by Christ in all decisions and all fulfillments. This is the rest of God. If we obey God we will be rewarded with release from the chains of sin. Then we will receive eternal life as a reward for being released from the chains of sin. However, if we disobey God we will punished by having a strong delusion put on us and we will not be delivered from sin. Then we will be punished for our sinful behavior. There is a forgiving grace and then there is a transforming grace. Both are essential to our redemption. True saints of God are not just forgiven, they are new creations. God will not bring forth a new heaven and a new earth until He has brought forth new creations to put on the new earth. “Behold! I make all things new!” Satan has little to fear from "Christians" who are not obeying God diligently and sternly. There can never be a peaceful doing of God’s will on the earth until first the heavens have been shaken and all rebellion removed. There is the living Lord Jesus Christ and then there is the Bible. The purpose of the Bible is to bring us to Christ. Here is the great weakness of religion. Religion seeks to enumerate a list of things we can do and cannot do, and terms us righteous if we follow the list. But the true salvation that is in the Lord Jesus Christ, while always being guided by the commandments of the New Testament, looks to the risen Lord for continual direction as to what to do and what not to do. Our righteousness comes from obedience to Him, not from any set of actions. The whole old world died on the cross. The whole new world was raised with Christ. All who are saved are to become part of His resurrection. Our deliverance from sin is not so we may be able to make Heaven our home but so we will be able to make the earth our home. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Tree. Righteous behavior is the fruit borne by that Tree. He who insists on his own liberty and happiness harms and deprives others. Neither religious law nor civil law should be allowed to take precedence over conscience and common sense. But they often do! The constant emphasis on grace destroys our determination to overcome the sinful nature. What if the Father were like Satan? We need to think about this and be thankful. God has given us a soul. Our soul has the ability to choose to do what is right and profitable. When we become unable to choose to do what we know is right and profitable, being driven by lusts and fears we no longer can control, then we have lost possession of our soul. Our spirit is that part of our personality that touches God. Our soul makes our choices. Our body is the temple of God and of us dwelling together. Christianity, being influenced by Gnosticism, has denied the role of the body in the Kingdom of God. Man is not fully in God’s image until his body has been raised from the dead. Jesus Christ has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. John 3:16 means that in the Day of Resurrection we will receive immortality in our body. How utterly marvelous to leave this earth and be able to say to God, "I have finished the work you gave me to do. Here it is, all wrapped up as a package, tied with a bow." How incredibly wonderful to know beyond doubt that God's will is identical with our will and He is pleased with us. How unbelievably glorious upon entering the spirit realm to realize we finally are home, that we did not fail in the test. We may have stumbled many times, but we got up again, like a soldier, and pressed forward, trusting in God to forgive and help us. God loves this attitude. If you are filled with God, the people around often will stop their swearing. If you are filled with a spirit of proselytizing, the people around you may start swearing. There is a difference. It is not true that the blood of Christ covers us so God cannot see our sin. It is true, rather, that the blood of Christ serves as a compensating righteousness, making up the difference between what God expects of us and what now is true of us. Compensating righteousness is applied only to those who are following the Holy Spirit each day. Every act of redemption begins with Divine intervention and becomes effective through human response. God acts and then we must obey. The concept of the redemption of the mortal body is key to our transition from Heaven thinking to Kingdom thinking. Faith is moment by moment interaction with the living God. The purpose of the commandments, both Old Testament and New, is to bring us to this interaction. The Kingdom of God is the government. Paradise is the country. There are three signs of God’s will: what we are doing is not contrary to the Scripture; we have a deeply settled joy and peace; the circumstances are in agreement. When one of these three is not in evidence we need to go to the Lord to find out why. Denominations and churches seek large numbers of people. Why? Isn't it a fact that sometimes more can be accomplished in the Kingdom with a smaller group? It is true that God will accept the repentant sinner unconditionally. But it is not at all true that God continues to love and bless us when we disobey Him. With Christ we are rich beyond imagination. Without Christ we are paupers although we possess all the material wealth of the world. We can return to the dust, or we can press on to the fullness of life. The choice is ours. The biggest problem we have as people is trying to make our decisions without God. If Eve had asked God's opinion she would have saved us 6,000 years of trouble. Christ is the Question: What will you do with Jesus? That thing you desire so fervently—will it really bring you lasting joy? You had better ask God about it! Cry out to God with all your might. Who knows what wonders He will show you! We are to press forward until we know the will of Christ at all times. This is the highest form of righteousness. To walk with the living Jesus, to be guided by him in every detail of life, is the highest form of law and righteousness. Any religious routine added to such guidance brings confusion and is loss for Christ. This does not mean we are not to diligently, conscientiously fulfill our obligations, whether civil or religious. Christ will not lead us to a higher life if we are not faithful where we are. The scepter of the Lord Jesus Christ is the scepter of righteousness. This means the Lord Jesus will govern righteously and enforce righteous behavior. Righteous conduct is not emphasized nearly enough in Christian preaching and teaching. In its place we have a legally ascribed righteousness that cannot possibly serve the purposes of God. Never let your religion come between you and Jesus. Paul’s emphasis on faith moves us from Moses to Christ without condemnation, but it is not a manual for overcoming sin. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. When we attempt to make Him a theological ticket or passport, instead of the Way, we lose both the Truth and the Life. Let Christ into your heart. He will dine on your obedience and worship. You will dine on His body and blood. God accepts the vilest of sinners unconditionally. But all of God’s promises to the believer are conditional. Our will, under the supervision of God’s will, provides direction and resolve for all we are and do. Let Christ modify your basic drives. Why should you be denied the full benefit of the rest of God? Ask God to make you decisive. A double-minded person receives nothing from the Lord. As soon as you clearly define a sinful behavior and utterly denounce and renounce it, you are well on your way to total deliverance from that behavior. The righteous live by faith in God rather than by their own arrogance and self-will. There are many who count themselves as “Jews,” who have honey in their mouths but in whose hearts there is a drawn sword. They are religious Christians and would be indignant if anyone claimed otherwise. The "salt" Jesus wants in us is compounded from integrity, sincerity, humility, kindliness, good humor, patience, a ready understanding of people and their problems, concern for the needs of others rather than for one's self, generosity of heart, and a genuine love for God. Who among us will obey God to the uttermost, and keep a cheerful attitude meanwhile? The Day of the Lord, the endless age when Christ alone is exalted, is being created now in the personalities of the warlike remnant. It is obvious that worldly, lustful, self-serving believers are not fit to ride behind Christ in the Battle of Armageddon and then govern the nations of saved people with the rod of iron. This is your one opportunity in eternity. Make the most of it! We may believe in Christ and preach Christ; but we are not righteous in God's sight if we do not turn away from unrighteous behavior. Grace does not cover persistent unrighteous behavior. The result of unscriptural teaching and preaching in America is moral decadence. To be an overcomer, a victorious Christian, is not a goal we reach. Rather the overcomer is someone who each day overcomes through God’s grace the sin and problems set before him. Adam and Eve had neither a sinful nature, nor a written law as far as we know. By this we understand that the sinful nature is not a necessary part of man. It has been added to us because of Adam's disobedience and it can be removed from us through Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit actually possesses the authority and the power to kill the acts of the sinful nature. If we live in the Spirit of God rather than in the desires of our sinful nature, God counts that we have fulfilled the Law of Moses perfectly. Christ can remove our sinful nature and our sicknesses with a word. But the creation of the victorious personality requires obedience, pressure, and time. The issue is not golden streets or the fires of Hell. The issue is change into the moral image of Christ and fellowship with God. It is not the purpose of grace to blind God to our actions. There are three great elements of the Christian salvation. First there is the atonement. Second, the new righteous creation. Third, obedience to the Father. This is all there is to the Christian salvation, as far as I know. You are going to have a difficult time if you do not ask God to help you. The Bible says we ought not to depend on our own understanding but to acknowledge God in all our ways. Then God will give us a straight path to walk in. It seems to me that this is one of the important lessons we learn as we are following the Lord Jesus. A further work of grace is required if there is to be a glorious Church without spot or wrinkle. Don’t you agree? The path to spiritual maturity is that of training ourselves by constant use to distinguish between good and evil. God is so powerful and abundant in resources that He always is glad for us to call on Him for help with the least matter, every minute of every day and night. Holiness is addictive. The closer we draw to God the more we desire to draw even closer. By ascending into Heaven, Jesus showed us that once our flesh and bones have been raised we can, at our will, be in Heaven or on the earth. The sons of God obey the Scriptures and are led by the Spirit of God. The religious crowd study the Scriptures and are led by their self-will. There are amateur Christians who talk about Christ and lead their casual church lives. Then there are professional Christians, so to speak, who are struggling upward in the night as they seek Christ; seek Christ; seek Christ. It takes all the determination we possess if we are to keep up with the Holy Spirit as He prepares us to be joined to Christ. Egypt is a type of our spiritual bondage in the kingdom of Satan, in the world. The journey through the Wilderness of Sinai is a type of our struggle to learn the ways of the Lord and to overcome our love of the world and our love of sin and self-will. Canaan is a type of life lived in the center of God’s will in the fullness of eternal life. The blood of the Lamb is our power base. The word of our testimony is our activity. Loving not our life to the death is our protection. The final witness of the coming of the Kingdom is represented by the two lampstands of Revelation, Chapter Eleven. The forming of Christ in the believers is represented by the male Son of Revelation, Chapter Twelve. The same group of people participate in the end-time witness and in the inner formation of Christ. The purpose of the gifts of the Spirit is to produce the fruit of the Spirit. It requires both the power of the Spirit and the moral purity of Christ if the Divine witness is to be borne. Supernatural healing is a sign that points the way toward righteous behavior. When we make the sign the destination, the Presence and power of the Holy Spirit soon are withdrawn. The greatest joy or the greatest sorrow anyone can experience is to see, after he dies, the results of his life on the earth. The nation or individual that persists in immorality will soon be destroyed. Wicked people and babies have one thing in common: they seek their own welfare regardless of the harm to other people. We are approaching the most powerful witness of all time—Christ working with His Body now empowered by a double portion of God’s Spirit. He has kept the best wine until now. If we are not diligent in taking care of the minor details, the minor details may become major issues! The Lord Jesus knew there would be wicked people who would be active in Christian work. This is why He warned those who prophesied in His name, drove out demons, and worked many miracles, that He did not know evildoers and would drive them from His Presence. One of the great needs we have in Christian work is for a sense of God’s timing. The true Christian is to be similar to a Nazirite in dedication to God. There come periods of unique opportunity in the Kingdom of God. In the present hour the fullness of the inheritance is available. Who will take advantage of the Divine offering? The doctrine of eternal security proceeds from an arrogant, rebellious spirit. Each one of us can choose to live his or her life with or without Jesus; with or without eternal Life. Who are the brothers of Christ? Those who choose to do God's will. "You are of your father, the devil," the Lord Jesus said to religious Jews. Were these men examples of the tares mentioned in the Book of Matthew? We belong to God before we belong to Christ! Christ makes us perfectly human. Sin makes us less than human. Religion can also, if we are not careful. The true saint grows more human each day, able to understand, think like, and get along with the most ordinary people. The highest state of being available to man is to flow with the Life of God. This means Christ must deliver us from all other motivations and urges. The wicked are certain that evil will prevail; that they are wiser than God. They are the greatest fools of all! I think the chariots of fire always surrounded Elisha; they did not appear for the special occasion. God gave His angels charge over Elisha, and gives His angels charge over all who are abiding in Christ. We need to have our eyes opened! To worry too much about pleasing people is a snare. If you have a vision, and it is righteous, then look to the Lord and pursue your goal. It is a great mistake to suppose people of other cultures are not as intelligent as ourselves. God is not impressed with greatness but with faithfulness. An individual who thinks only of his or her own desires is an animal. He does not belong in the Kingdom of God and is close to destruction. Those of high rank in the Kingdom love God absolutely and obey God absolutely. When it is necessary, they deny themselves for the sake of the Lord, and for other people. Each person is tested according to his or her appointed place in the Kingdom of God. There are those who give, and then there are those who take. If you want to represent the Lord Jesus Christ, don’t seek great things for yourself. If we would derive the most benefit from the present life we must develop and maintain: the unyielding premise that God is absolutely faithful, absolutely truthful, and absolutely all-powerful; unyielding determination to do God’s perfect will in every circumstance; unyielding compassion toward all of God’s creatures. God does not give us gifts because we are perfect but to make us perfect. The supernatural is entirely natural. It is part of the bigger picture.. Accept the large with grace, but always be thankful for the small blessings of God. The Kingdom of God always will have much the same form as we see today. The difference is, behind the form will be Divine Life instead of blood and the adamic nature. Today, in America at least, one has to force his way into the Kingdom. There are a multitude of distractions that seek to hinder our entrance. There is richer fruit to be had, and greater discernment, when one overcomes his natural likes and dislikes of people. There are those who desire a high rank in the Kingdom but who make certain it will cost them little or nothing. They will make way before the army of those who have left all for Jesus. We are not to seek spiritual principles. We are to lay hold on the Lord our God. Religion can be organized and incorporated. Its product can be marketed and exported. But the Kingdom of God is a Seed that is sown in the heart. The true Christian is the believer who takes up His cross and follows the Lord Jesus every day. The remainder may be fine people but they merely are churchgoers. God wants moral transformation. This is the witness God wants borne in the last days—the image of Christ. A wise man gambles only when necessary. A reckless man takes needless chances and soon shall be destroyed. The mark of a mature Christian is his willingness to wait for the Lord's time. The immature Christian cannot bear to have his intense desires remain unfulfilled. We may look for formulas for spiritual success. God looks for a loving relationship with us. Since God has full power to reward and to punish, the wise person seeks to do God's perfect will at all times. Here is a wise prayer: O God, cause my will to correspond perfectly with Your will. Speaking in tongues is the entrance into the rest of God. I have come to believe there is an experience after Pentecost in which Jesus Christ will make Himself known to those who are keeping His Word. Are you troubled and confused concerning an issue? Don't try to think it through, pray it through. Jesus and one person constitute a majority. The reason there is a paucity of gifts and ministries operating in the Christian churches is that we find it easier to plan our own way and employ our own abilities and talents rather than to live in close interaction with the Spirit of God. Spiritual sight comes only as we obey God totally. When you don't clutch things you get farther with God. Nothing in this world happens by chance. God knows the sparrow, and God knows and cares for you. Apart from moral transformation there is no salvation. When we are in Christ, the earth and the rest of nature are our slaves; not gods to be worshiped! To hold back part of the price of the land is to invite spiritual death. Those who wish to keep the church at a human level, enjoying the social activities, have a Jezebel spirit. They always will go for the throat of the prophet. Don’t express your doubts about God’s Word publicly. You might be trampled to death when God moves. To the extent that we care for God and other people—to that extent we are a mature person. Faith is our assessment of God's Character. Faithfulness is our unshakeable determination to be true to those who trust us. A person who blames someone else for his problems is a baby. He has a lot of growing to do. The difference between physical and spiritual blindness is that you don't know when you are spiritually blind. We are at the end of the age. God is ready to remove all sin from His creation, beginning with His Church. If we would understand the reason for and the operation of moral deliverance, it must become clear to us that there is a difference between the forgiveness of our sins and deliverance from the actions of our sinful behavior. Beware of delicious feelings when you are struggling against temptation. Steadfastly resist sin through Jesus Christ. He teaches my hands to war. Being taught warfighting can be distressing. Endure hardness as a soldier of Christ. Let the Holy Spirit do the work. There is the written Word, and then there is the Lord Jesus Christ. The new covenant is Christ formed in our mind and heart. The goal toward which we are to be pressing is that of being filled with God and Christ at all times. The signs and wonders that the Lord performs are not the destination. They are signposts saying “This is the way.” The fight of faith is like any other fight. The last man on his feet wins. Given that God has all power, when we fret and complain about conditions in the world we are rebelling against God. Doesn't God know what He is doing? Religion tends to be subjective and consists mainly of words. God is solidly objective and is characterized by power and action. The Words of Jesus Christ are more than utterances, or symbols on paper. They are Spirit, and they are Life. Until the predestined difference between the world and the elect is grasped firmly and clearly it is not possible to comprehend the Kingdom of God. God is making real sons, real brothers of the Lord Jesus Christ. I think we have the idea we will be some kind of human imitation of that to which we never can aspire. Actual guilt is God's disapproval of behavior that is contrary to His judgment of what is good. Our sense of guilt is our awareness or belief that our behavior is contrary to God's judgment of what is good. Sin is behavior that is contrary to God's judgment of what is good or contrary to our sense of what is good. We shall experience joy or pain according to God's evaluation of our behavior. Part of our experience of joy or pain depends on God's decision to enforce or suspend the Kingdom law of sowing and reaping. When we seek to use spiritual principles to gain physical health or spiritual freedom, are we striving to please God and have fellowship with Him? Or are we attempting to benefit ourselves? Is God concerned primarily with the imperfections of our personality or with our sins? Sometimes Christians just have to fly by instrument, by what they believe is right regardless of how they feel. You have to push past resistance in order to enter the Kingdom of God. If you are not going to serve Christ faithfully, then make friends with the people of the world so there will be someone to receive you when you die. Heaven is Heaven because of heavenly people. Environment alone won't do it. When you are serving the Lord He makes your mistakes work for good. What if when you die you are placed with people like yourself? Maybe you want to think about changing! Are you sure you want to go to Heaven? What if the things you enjoy are not practiced there? Grace replaces the Law of Moses, not righteous behavior. Romantic love tends to be idolatrous. Why should we worship a human being when God alone is worthy of worship? Everyone is commanded to be perfect, and we can be perfect each day with God's help. But it takes a while before we have been perfected. We are to be patient with one another just as God is patient with us. Through Christ we can gain victory each day until finally the war is won. Only in Jesus are we finally at home. Only in Jesus do we find the complete fulfillment of our destiny. We spend our life trying, but we never can be at home or find complete fulfillment in relationships, things, or circumstances. Just think! God planned today from the beginning of the world. Yet we still make our own decisions. Truly, all His works reveal His astonishing glory. The world will cry "peace and safety.' But it will not be safe to walk the streets—even at noon. Such is the case when self-centered man (antichrist) is in the ascendancy. The more of Christ we have the more we influence other people for good. We are becoming life-giving spirits. Isn’t it about time you asked the Lord to help you with your problems? Worrying will not solve your problems, but praying will. Do you have any idea of why you are alive, of what God wants you to do? Christ is ready to remove the bondages of sin from His people. If you truly want to be delivered from your sinful nature, He will work with you until you have been set free. The choice is yours. The Lord Jesus Christ has absolute authority and absolute power. Think of what it means to be His enemy! Think of what it means to be His friend! The believer who chooses to overcome through Christ all the forces that seek to prevent his doing the will of God shall inherit all things that God makes new. This is a promise so fabulous as to be beyond description. Faith is obedience to God's Word, trust in the power of God’s unchanging promises and warnings, trust in His goodness and His faithfulness, and reliance on His ability to express his goodness, faithfulness, and wrath toward each one of us. When we look at the Glory of the Lord we are transformed. Can you imagine what we will be like when we have been with Jesus for a thousand years? Jesus is not a metaphysical principle but a living Person having tremendous authority and power. The fruit to which the New Testament often refers is the moral image of Christ as revealed in godly behavior: first in ourselves, and then in those who receive and follow us. The concept that God is one Person in three forms is unscriptural. The concept that there are three equal Gods is unscriptural. The truth is, The Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is obedient to His Father. From the time the Logos came forth from the Father He has done nothing and said nothing apart from the Father. From the time that Christ has been born in us He wants us to do nothing and say nothing apart from Him. God has given various abilities to people, such as musical and artistic gifts. But if the gifted ones are wicked they will not inherit the products of their efforts. However, the victorious saints shall inherit everything. It is well that we celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas. It is well that we celebrate the atoning death of Christ in the Communion service. But Christ’s sufferings are in vain for us as an individual until we turn away from the world and walk with Him continually. The Father invited the Word to ask for the nations as His inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession. The Word became the Lord Jesus Christ and suffered much in order to receive us as His inheritance and the earth as His possession. But we do not become His inheritance until we submit to the program that brings us into His image and into union with Him. If we do not submit to His will, He suffered in vain for us. It has been given to women to bring forth sons of God. This is one of the greatest privileges a human being can have. This is why Satan presses so hard for abortion and homosexual relationships. Religion is a matter of information and persuasion. The Kingdom of God is a matter of planting a Seed and of being transformed by beholding the Glory of the Lord. The local church is not a social club. It is a golden lampstand, the prophet of God among men. Satan hates Jesus Christ and the saints because God has given Jesus these people as His inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession. Satan regards people as his own inheritance and the earth as his own possession. What absolute monarch invites other people to be his brothers and fellow heirs and rulers? Jesus does! To become one with the Lord Jesus is to become one with the Father. All that Jesus possesses He gives to the Father. Hell is to be feared. Perhaps an even greater concern is what kind of character we will have in the ages to come. The local church is not a social club. It is a golden lampstand, the prophet of God among men. The sinful nature resides in our flesh. The Holy Spirit helps us put to death the acts of the sinful nature. Then the evil tendencies lie dormant in our flesh, but the life has been removed from them. When the Lord returns He will transform our mortal body. There will be no sinful nature in our transformed body. This is the promised redemption. The contest is between our fleshly, sinful nature, and the Holy Spirit of God. If our soul, our character, chooses to obey our sinful nature, our soul will be changed into the image of sin and rebellion. If our soul chooses to obey the Spirit of God, our soul will be changed into a life-giving Spirit. To follow the Spirit of God is to acquire eternal life and every other good and perfect thing. To follow the desires and appetites of the sinful nature is suicidal and results in all that is corrupt and agonizing. The Word became flesh. We are the flesh being made the Word. The Word is the testimony of God’s Person, will, way, and eternal purpose in Christ. To speak in a figure, the Ark of the Covenant is being brought to Zion. This means the Glory of God is returning to His Church. We must be careful not to attempt to add our own reasoning to that which God is doing, but just be very prayerful and very obedient. It often is true that a false sense of God's approval rests on the Christian people. They are as Uzzah, who was certain he was approved of God—until God struck him dead! All people, including Christians, who are in a position to share their wealth with those in need, and choose to live only for their own joy and comfort, will find their place in Hell with others of the same nature. All people who live in continual interaction with the Lord Jesus are one already, regardless of doctrine. All that is needed to perfect their oneness in the Father and the Son is the Glory that will be sent from Heaven in the last days. The woman who is fully clothed reveals her uniqueness in her choice of apparel. Her personality is enhanced. As the woman chooses to wear less and less clothing, as in today's American culture, her uniqueness and personality fade and she appears merely as one member of the worldwide herd of human females. God is a unique Person and has a will, a way, and an eternal purpose in Jesus Christ. It is the responsibility of every creature to do God's will as diligently as possible. But if the service is not rendered in God's way, there is no lasting reward for the servant. Joab, King David's army commander, is an example of this. That a mature adult male, with the nearly incredible complexity of his reproductive system, could evolve from protozoa, does not appear to be a reasonable hypothesis. Even if such took place, in order to reproduce himself, the male must have available to him a mature adult female, having an equally complex reproductive system radically different in several respects from the male. That male and female reproductive systems could evolve from protozoa at the same time is quite beyond reasonable probability, no matter how long a period of time is allowed. It has been stated that if there were enough explosions in a print shop, given enough type, there finally would appear the text of the Encyclopedia Britannica. This is fanciful rather than realistic thinking. Such a composition never, never would take place. I do not know enough about probability mathematics to be able to state the equation that would confirm what I have stated; but an intelligent appraisal suggests there is a boundary between that which is realistic and that which is fanciful. The probability would reach zero and stop there. Thus it is true that to speculate a mature adult male and a mature adult female could evolve from protozoa at the same time, making it possible for them to reproduce their kind, is fanciful. It could not occur in all of geologic time. There is an entry level of salvation, and then there is the transformation of character that is the Kingdom of God. That which is unworthy of the Kingdom is thrown into the fire. That which is worthy of the Kingdom, such as human kindness, is brought down to death and then raised in Christ. Nothing remains of the adamic creation. All is made new in Christ. Think of life on earth as one long testing of your character. Whether you achieve little or much by this world's standards is of little consequence, for there is "nothing new under the sun." What indeed is of incomprehensible importance is the character you will bring into the eternal ages. God loves Christ. Christ loves me. I love others, as God directs. In this manner we all dwell in joy in God's perfect will and Kingdom. We never are to grasp tightly what God has given us, or attempt to force things and circumstances in order to protect our gift and insure its survival and operation. To do so leads us away from God and into idolatry. God always makes a way for and protects the gifts He has given. The young man or woman to whom God has spoken ought always to respect the advice of the elders. Yet care must be taken to make sure we always are hearing from the Lord, because the elders can discourage us from doing the Lord's will if they themselves are not in daily interaction with Christ. As long as the leaders of government are sinful, self-seeking people, we will have wars and worldwide suffering. The only solution to the problems of the world is the return of the Lord Jesus Christ accompanied by rulers who have been morally transformed by the Spirit of God. Religion consists of a dead set of beliefs and rules. The Lord Jesus is alive. Religions are created by man. The Lord Jesus came from God. The problem with religion is it doesn’t dance with Jesus. Religion is like a domineering, self-centered woman who can never be pleased. Her name is Babylon the Great. Jesus is always dancing along, skipping off to something wonderful. “Come dance with Me,” Jesus calls. Religion glares furiously at the happy couple. Love always is in the present. It is the highest form of joy. To be eternal, love’s source must be God. There is an uncrossable gulf between physical attraction and love, although they may coincide. Love is the highest form of joy. To be filled with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with the Fullness of God, is to be a fountain of living water; a tree of life. How happy is the individual thus endowed, who is able to bring eternal life to others. The more I read the Bible the more I can see how much God is in control of all things. He hardens whom He will. He blesses whom He will. Even wicked rulers are promoted by God’s decision, as God uses them to provide the environment that will bring forth the brothers of Jesus Christ and the unblemished Bride of the Lamb. If we have been called from the foundation of the world to be a brother of the Lord Jesus Christ, a member of His Body, then our entire life on earth is one of training. The task of the Head and Body of Christ is to bring justice to the saved peoples of the earth; to bring the Presence, rule, love, and wisdom of God to them. Obviously we must be prepared in advance in order to carry out our responsibility successfully. God created man to govern God's creation. Before this is possible, man must be subject to God through Christ. God loves variety. There are all kinds of creatures in the physical and spirit realms, a wealth of personalities. There are all kinds of people with their own ways of doing things, gathered together in families. There are some on Mount Zion who follow the Lamb. God knows them as He knows Abraham and Moses. You too can be a friend of God if this is what you truly desire. The things and circumstances of the present world are expendable; they are not to be grasped or worshiped. All the things and circumstances we experience are for the purpose of seeing how we will behave when we are given the riches of the eternal world that is to come. Make no mistake, we are determining our eternal destiny today. The world will never be a safe or decent place in which to live until all the rulers are themselves ruled by the Lord Jesus Christ. The coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth represents a change of rulership. Until the Kingdom comes, abortion will continue. Graft will continue. Rape will continue. Wars will continue. Lying, stealing, cheating will continue. Homosexual behavior and, animalism will continue. Every kind of gross perversion and corruption of nature will continue. Innocent people will be murdered. Animals will be slaughtered for sport. The Gospel of the Kingdom of God is the good news that righteous government shall come to the earth. The rulers are being prepared now. Where do the righteous and the wicked come from? It is easy to say each person can choose whether to be righteous or wicked. No doubt this largely is true. We can choose to do good or evil. But one must admit that there is a sovereignty of God that operates concerning the wicked and the righteous, if we are to believe the Scriptures. When you die you cannot bring anything with you into the spirit realm except what you have become as a person. There only is grace for the day. We cannot live in victory in the future or the past, only right now. Our greatest gifts carry the greatest potential for disaster. When God gives a gift, our sinful nature may worship the gift rather than God. God does not like to be forced to speak. Pray and commit your way to the Lord. Then take a small step in the direction you think you should go, and watch to see if God is blessing. God cannot steer you, ordinarily, until you make and decision and begin to move. Our adamic nature cannot imitate Christ successfully. The newness of life we are seeking results from the Life of Christ continually being expressed in us. Grace and imputed righteousness replace the Law of Moses, not godly behavior. Here is a truly destructive misunderstanding. Under grace, sin is still sin and will be judged accordingly. Learn to take the day as it comes. Do the best you can with the Lord's help. Trying to force perfection can be a destructive bondage. The promise to the victorious saint is that he will rule the nations with a rod of iron. This is because he is a coheir with the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom it has been given to smash the nations with a rod of iron. Such smashing is necessary because of the rebellion in the hearts of people. The carnal man has to have his own way. The spiritual man yields. He is a lamb Are we slowed down enough to hear the gentle whisper, the still, small voice? If you want to be anointed with joy, love righteousness and hate wickedness. Do you want the devil to flee in disarray? Resist the temptation to sin. The Lord Jesus Christ did not come to bring us to Heaven to live forever, but to reconcile us to God and make us a better person right where we are. The Father’s House is the Lord Jesus Christ. We are living stones in that House. It is God’s will that each member of the Body of Christ be filled with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The indomitable will to conquer; inexhaustible willingness to bear burdens; loving relationships and righteous behavior; and the unceasing renewal of strength through unceasing prayer—this is the image of Christ. These four attributes, which come from God, yield clear understanding of the past, the present, and the future. Current theology, although well intentioned, makes the Lord Jesus Christ the competitor of God, rather than the Offspring, Prophet, Priest, King, Servant, and eternal House of God. God never frets over evil, and neither must we. God retains all authority and power, so why should the evil works in the earth rob Him of His peace? Have peace and trust in the all-powerful, all-wise God. The Ten Commandments are a reflection of the eternal moral law of God. Under grace we no longer are obligated to observe the Ten Commandments, but we are obligated to observe the eternal moral law of God. The difference between the two covenants is not that now we are free to sin. The difference is in how we go about keeping the law of God. The natural man forces his way in the world. The spiritual man is like his Lord. He permits himself to be defrauded. He is a peacemaker. Sometimes just before the Lord speaks there is shaking, a commotion. The mature Christian has learned not to be moved until he or she hears the quiet voice of the Lord. The Father has anointed the Lord Jesus with the oil of joy, because the Lord Jesus loves righteousness and hates wickedness. We also will be anointed with the oil of joy when we love righteousness and hate wickedness. Christians have been taught that as long as they are in the world they can be compelled to sin. This is a lie. It never is God’s will for a Christian to walk in known sin. God always makes a way of escape for us if we will pray earnestly and permit Him to guide us into perfect deliverance. To focus on ministry or on the needs or desires of people is to weaken or slay our spiritual life. The love of pleasure is one of the greatest enemies of the victorious Christian life. Discipline requires that we deny ourselves and follow Christ each day. This means when we have to choose between pleasure and doing what is right, we do what is right even though it causes us grief. What feels so good and so right is not always of God. There are two kinds of life, adamic life and eternal Divine Life. Christ came to rescue us from adamic life and to fill us with more abundant Divine Life. Thus the Christian discipleship becomes a struggle as we seek to overthrow our adamic life and live in the new Divine Life. We are in doctrinal confusion today. We don’t know what God’s goal is for us, and we don’t know how He is getting us there. We are not systematically working toward clearly defined objectives. When there are ten camels to be watered, wait until the tenth camel has been satisfied. It may be that tenth camel that reveals God’s will. The Apostle Paul taught us that if any person is in Christ Jesus, there is a new creation. The expression "the new creation" refers to a transformation infinitely greater than merely making a profession of belief in Jesus Christ. Sometimes the truth is right in front of us and we can’t see it. In other instances, what appears to be the truth is not true at all. We may have to dig for many years before we can determine what actually is true. When Paul states he wants to have the righteousness that comes through faith in Christ, he is not saying he desires to sin and yet be able to rest in the hope that God will save him because of his belief in Christ. What Paul means is explained by the third chapter of the Book of Philippians. To live in a world that is in the midst of spiritual conflict, and not know the Lord Jesus, leaves one without understanding, guidance, or strength. The Ten Commandments deal with the symptoms of the sinful nature. The new covenant is superior in that it deals with the sinful nature itself by killing it through the power of the Holy Spirit. Because we are being trained as soldiers, there are times when our discipleship is difficult. If we are unwilling to endure hardness as good soldiers we will not be qualified to return with the Lord Jesus and install the Kingdom of God on the earth. There will be no church building in the new Jerusalem. The new Jerusalem itself is the Church. Since those who compose the holy city will see the face of God, there is no need to enclose God in a building. God and the Lamb are the Temple of it. The little sins we are practicing now have far-reaching effects if we don’t cease doing them. It is one matter to make a great show of spirituality now. It is another matter to do so throughout a lifetime of patient, cross-carrying obedience. There is only one legitimate will in the universe—that of the Father. God is bringing the entire creation into subjection to Jesus Christ. When this has been fully accomplished, Christ being subject to the Father’s will, all creatures in the heavens and on the earth will be obedient to God. This marks the end of Satan’s rebellion against God. The Lord Jesus Christ has purchased with His blood, from all nations, men for God. They compose the Kingdom of God, the royal priesthood, and they will govern the people of the earth. Release from the bondages of sin comes as we obey Christ’s commandments and strive to please Him with our behavior. All such effort must be conducted through the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "Have salt in yourselves." What is the salt that God must find if a sacrifice is to be acceptable to Himself? That salt is God’s own holy, righteous Substance. God must find Himself in all that belongs to Him, just as a mother dog sniffs her litter to make certain each one is hers. It seems sometimes that most Christian activity is composed of inert ingredients. The salt of God’s Person is not present. The adamic race is temporary. God never intended it to be permanent. When the Lord Jesus cried out on the cross "It is finished" I believe he was referring to the entire adamic race. Salvation is the transition from the adamic race to the new creation. To the faithful God shows Himself faithful. To the blameless God shows Himself blameless. To those who attempt to outwit Him God shows Himself superior in cunning. If we desire to have mercy shown to us we best had be merciful to others! God speaks to us through the Bible. Sometimes God’s speaks to us personally in one manner or another. Of this we can be certain: the Words that God speaks are mighty rocks. They can absolutely be depended on. They are utterly reliable. We can base our life on them with no fear we will be shaken from our position. We know the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is the inspired Word of God. However, the Bible must be applied by the Spirit. If we take the words of the Bible and try to apply them according to our own will, we develop a religious spirit and bring ourselves and others into bondage. We should not spend our time trying to correct the faults we find in our fellow Christians. All we succeed in doing is venting our own irritations and making them angry. We try to perform an operation without providing an anesthetic. Those who stress only that which is positive are seeking their own glory. Those who stress only that which is negative are ill. The Bible is both positive and negative. Jesus told us that the closing days of the Church Age would be characterized by deception. Deception occurs when something is not what it appears to be. We must learn to take nothing for granted but to pray about everything. We hardly can be too careful! It often is true today that appearances are deceiving. We see a fine looking man or woman and are impressed, only to find out later that he or she is a thief, or child molester, or an unfaithful husband or wife. Perhaps in the world to come the outside will reveal the inside. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven. Show mercy, and mercy shall be shown to you. People shall deal with you in the same manner you have dealt with others. The Christian Church throughout its history has placed much emphasis on the work of the ministry. I wouldn’t be surprised if we learn some day that God is more interested in the maturing of His ministers, His witnesses, than He is in the work they accomplish. The Book of Acts frequently refers to the idea of repentance. Repentance and receiving forgiveness through the blood atonement were part of one whole, in the message of the Apostles. It would have been unthinkable to not follow the acceptance of forgiveness with a change of behavior. There are some who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These are specially close to Christ. Why? Because they are obeying His will rather than their own. Godly sorrow has to do with the sins of the past. Repentance has to do with turning away from the sins of the future. Serve Christ with all your might. If you don’t, you will be ruled by someone who did. To be abiding in Christ is to be poised. All of us are driven by various fears and desires. When these are expressing themselves through us we may have lost our poise. When the Lord Jesus appears we shall appear with Him. “We” includes all the righteous dead from the time of Abel. A great host of people will invade the earth at that time. It may be true that the entrance of Christ into the personalities of the believers has been reserved for the last days. Some believers are careless with the things of Christ. It is certain they will reap sparingly. Religion tends to work with groups of people. God tends to work with individuals, teaching them how to relate to Himself and to other people. Religious forms and ceremonies do not benefit us unless God is working with us as an individual. It is as destructive to refuse to believe God is giving you something good as it is destructive to believe God will never permit you to suffer. Man in the complete image of God and in untroubled union with God, brought into this state by daily transformation, is the true goal of salvation—the goal that accomplishes Kingdom purposes. We are forgiven so we may be transformed. In Christ, nothing is too good to be true. People wonder why God permits wars and other disasters to plague the inhabitants of the earth. God does not cause the evil, the problem is sin. God is waiting for the final wickedness, which is that of individuals becoming their own gods, little satans. This drama is being played out for the benefit of the heavenly spectators. When the Lord Jesus appears we shall appear with Him. “We” includes all the righteous dead from the time of Abel. A great host of people will invade the earth at that time. It may be true that the entrance of Christ into the personalities of the believers has been reserved for the last days. Some believers are careless with the things of Christ. It is certain they will reap sparingly. Religion tends to work with groups of people. God tends to work with individuals, teaching them how to relate to Himself and to other people. Religious forms and ceremonies do not benefit us unless God is working with us as an individual. It is as destructive to refuse to believe God is giving you something good as it is destructive to believe God will never permit you to suffer. Man in the complete image of God and in untroubled union with God, brought into this state by daily transformation, is the true goal of salvation—the goal that accomplishes Kingdom purposes. We are forgiven so we may be transformed. In Christ, nothing is too good to be true. People wonder why God permits wars and other disasters to plague the inhabitants of the earth. God does not cause the evil, the problem is sin. God is waiting for the final wickedness, which is that of individuals becoming their own gods, little satans. This drama is being played out for the benefit of the heavenly spectators. If there is no possibility of receiving Christ and growing in Christ after we die, then several passages of the Scriptures present difficulties of interpretation. Also, God will not have a satisfactory Kingdom if Christians cease to grow spiritually when they enter the next life. One of the hardest tendencies to overcome is that of grasping what we want. The Lord would not have us grasp a relationship, a job, any material object. The Bible promises those who delight themselves in the Lord that He will give them the desires of their heart. This He certainly shall do, but He doesn’t want us to hold tightly to anything except our trust in Him. I believe God is looking to observe how we behave, to see if we are worthy of being a part of the new world of righteousness He is preparing. One type of person who does not belong in God’s new world is the individual who obtains pleasure at the expense of someone else. The highest calling of the saint is to be the dwelling place of God, an inseparable part of God. Little by little we become willing to forsake our first personality that we might live by the Life of God. Mammon is an Aramaic term for riches. Of all the gods of the Greeks and Romans, mammon is the only god singled out by the Lord Jesus as being the competitor of the true God. “You cannot serve both God and mammon.” What is it like to live with Jesus in the center of God’s Person and will? What is involved in living forever? Why would anyone want to live forever? Would we grow, and if so, in what manner? It would not be desirable to have a world in which people lived forever but were not growing in righteousness. How can it be that some reap Christ thirtyfold, some sixtyfold, and some a hundredfold? How will this be manifest in the present world? In the spirit world after we die? In the new heaven and earth reign of the Lord? God can surpass your prayers if you prayers please Him. Do you remember how God gave Solomon more than He asked for? Many of us spend a good part of our life collecting material things. Actually, all that matters is our personal growth in Christ and our relationships. Eve was created as a suitable support for Adam. It is interesting also that Eve was created from Adam. Why was this? It is not recorded in the Book of Genesis that the female of any animal was created from the male! Several passages of the New Testament are being applied as though salvation were a one-time event. “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life.” It is true, rather, that we have eternal life only as long as we keep on hearing His Word and keep on believing God. The purpose of imputed righteousness is not to call wicked people righteous, as we preach today. The purpose of imputed, ascribed righteousness by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is to free us from the guilt imposed by the Law of Moses so we can be free to follow the Holy Spirit into actual righteousness of behavior. Perhaps we don’t think enough about the rewards promised to those who overcome sin. We should! The Holy Spirit has placed them in the New Testament to encourage us to seek the Lord with our whole heart. If you have been called to be a deliverer you probably will pass through experiences similar to those of Joseph. Remember one thing: though you may languish in God’s prison, do not become a prisoner in your heart. Your vision finally will come true. The idea of giving up their own life in favor of being united with God’s life proves difficult for some believers. The choice we are required to make as an individual is whether to retain our right to be independent, or to let go of that right and become one with God through Jesus Christ. The human body plays a far greater role in our redemption than ordinarily is presented. We have made the goal of salvation eternal residence in Heaven. The Apostle Paul stated the goal of salvation as the redemption of his body. These goals are significantly different. I do believe we are not preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom as a testimony. The gospel we are preaching is manmade. It is the gospel of make a profession of belief in Jesus Christ so you will go to Heaven. Did John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus, and the early Apostles preach the gospel of making a profession of belief in Christ so we will make our eternal residence in Heaven when we die? The Apostle Paul does not refer to believers as Christians but as saints. While “Christians” is a Bible expression, it is apt to apply to members of a religion and not necessarily to cross-carrying disciples. The term “saint” means “holy one” and better describes a member of God’s elect. When a loved one dies we are filled with grief. This is because even as Christians we imagine they are gone forever, or have suffered some horrible fate. They are not gone forever. They are with Jesus, and we ought to be looking forward to seeing them again, not grieving as though they have gone somewhere never to return. The reason God divided the languages at the Tower of Babel is that God does not want man to prosper by himself. When man can succeed apart from the Lord he is a destructive influence upon himself and those around him. Each person has two appearances. One appearance is in the physical realm. The other appearance is in the spirit realm. The appearance in the spirit realm is the real person. The highest calling and goal any human being can have is to be filled with the fullness of God for eternity. But this means we have to let go of our right to be ourselves in every area of existence. When this realization sets in, we have to decide whether we wish to reserve part of ourselves for our own use, or whether we want to turn over our entire personality to the Lord. Seven times in the Book of Revelation the Lord Jesus said: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” I believe this admonition applies today as never before. The Spirit of God is speaking to the Christian churches today. Do we have ears to hear what He is saying? I don’t know for certain what happens to us after we die. Do you? But I wonder if perhaps life continues, including Christian service, except for those activities that are confined to the physical body. There is a difference between conviction and condemnation. The Holy Spirit does not condemn us if we are serving the Lord faithfully; but He certainly convicts us of sin when we are behaving in an ungodly manner. The ministries and gifts of the Spirit serve until perfection comes. The ministries and gifts are as temporary scaffolding which serve to bring us to the perfection of the love of Christ, which is eternal. In the very beginning Satan raised doubts about God’s Character. The implication was that God desired to withhold good from Eve by forbidding her to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. “Good cannot be trusted to bring you joy,” Satan was inferring. When the Lord spoke to the seven churches of Asia He often said, “I know your works.” Isn’t this surprising? The common teaching today is that God does not know our works because we are saved “by grace.” If your highest priority is immediate pleasure you never can make a success of the Christian discipleship. You must deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus. If Christ has called you to be a disciple and you attempt to settle for merely being “saved,” you will be judged as a lazy, wicked, disobedient servant. The Book of Revelation tells of people who will seek death and not be able to find it. This indeed will be a terrifying situation. You know, we pay a great deal of attention to this body of ours. When you think about it, our body is only a house for our actual person. We need to get control over our body. If we are successful in resisting its animal demands, we will get a much better house some day. The Bible speaks of the dragon that is in the sea. The dragon, of course, is Satan. The “sea” refers to the great mass of mankind that is driven by every wind. In many instances today Christian people are attempting to use the atoning blood of Christ as an excuse for their sinning. God did not give us the blood of the cross to serve as an alternative to keeping His commandments. It is commonly believed, even among people of the world, that Jesus Christ came to bring us to Heaven. Christ did not come to bring us to Heaven; He came to deliver us from the presence and power of the devil. One can dissect the Bible until every word has been analyzed, including the definite and indefinite articles, and every preposition and conjunction, in every conceivable manner, and yet never understand what God is declaring. In order to know what is being said, particularly in the prophetic declarations, one must hear from the Writer. This is done through prayer. There are many commandments in both the Old and New Testaments. The commandments set forth in the New Testament are to be kept, and the Holy Spirit helps us keep them. There also is the issue of God’s revealed will. There are at least two realities with which we deal. The most familiar is our physical life in the world. The other reality, the essential reality, is in the heavens and in God’s Word. The physical reality is perishing with the using. The essential reality is eternal. When Jesus Christ appears to the world, those whose life He has become shall appear with Him. But why? We shall appear with the Lord at His coming because it is our responsibility to work together with Him in the task of installing the Kingdom of God on the earth. When Saul of Tarsus was apprehended by the Lord, the Lord asked him why he was kicking against the prodding of the Spirit (or perhaps of his conscience). How often do we push past the checks of the Spirit because we are not listening carefully each moment for the guidance of the Spirit! The Apostle Paul spoke of delivering a man over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh. This verse certainly puts a dent in the current emphasis on salvation by faith alone. I suppose it is the adamic nature that seeks a uniform solution to the problems of life. However it is apparent, and scriptural, that God’s way of working with one person may not be the same in the case of another individual. If we could only see reality we would observe that each saint who comes to maturity is as a vast palace in which the Father and the Son can take great pleasure. I think we have too limited an understanding of Heaven and Hell. There are several areas of punishment mentioned in the New Testament, some of them addressed to the Lord’s servants. Get the inward nature straightened out and God will take care of the outward. Romans, Chapter Four, verses four and five, has been misinterpreted. The result has been the moral decline of the United States of America. This may lead to the end of the leadership role of our country. The Lord Jesus told us that if someone knew His will, and committed acts worthy of punishment, he or she would be beaten with many blows. Some of this beating takes place in the present world, and perhaps some in the next. People can sit in a Christian church for fifty years and never grow spiritually. Why is this? It is because cross-carrying obedience to Christ, the mechanism that produces spiritual growth, is not operating. The Law of Moses tells us what to do and what not to do. Since we have a sinful nature, the Law serves only to condemn us; for the sinful nature drives us to disobey God’s commandments. The only solution to this distressing problem is to destroy the sinful nature. The Lord Jesus prayed that we would be one in Him in the Father and one with each other. It is not possible for two people to be one in the Divine Oneness until both are in God’s rest. All saints are to be one in the Father and the Son, thus forming the House of the Lord. Through His perfect observance of the Law of Moses, Christ has earned eternal life. Instead He died as though He had broken the Law of Moses. In Christ’s bank account is an amount of eternal life He earned but did not spend. Therefore, according to God’s laws of equity, Christ has the right to spend the eternal life He earned on anyone who meets His conditions. When we have a problem we have many reasons why we do not pray, ranging from “God is keeping me humble” to “as long as we are in the world we will have tribulation,” or “it is something I have inherited.” Why are we accepting unpleasantness when the Lord said He would answer our requests that we might be filled with joy? Is the Lord Your Shepherd? Are you following Him every day? We Americans pride ourselves on our independence of thought. We like to think we are “in control.” Is this what a sheep is like? To be abiding in Christ at the right hand of the Father in Heaven is to be dwelling in the secret place of the Most High. To live there at all times is to never die; for our position will not change at death, in the spirit world after death, or when we are raised from the dead. We now are alive forever in Christ at the right hand of God. Perhaps some of us might like to visit the past, while there may be others who would be terrified at the thought. I think the reason for the popularity of the farcical hypothesis of evolution is that people do not enjoy the idea of a God who will bring up the past and pass judgment on it. But I think the Bible is clear enough—we shall in the future face our past. The Lord told us, in the parable of the sower, that the Life of God can be choked by the worries of life in the world and by the deceitfulness of riches until no fruit is borne. The Apostle Paul states that some people are objects of God’s wrath while others are objects of God’s mercy. This seems unfair to us, but we know that God always is fair; always is righteous. We simply do not see things as God does. It appears that God does not judge wickedness as we do. The fact that the first category of people in the Lake of Fire are the cowardly is surprising. Gossip and slander, common Christian activities, are listed along with depravity and God-hating, and judged to be worthy of death. In the Book of Acts, people spoke in tongues when they first were filled with the Spirit of God. It appears that today people are saved and have God’s Spirit years before they even hear about tongues. Perhaps it is more of a case of releasing tongues in them than it is of them receiving the Spirit. I think we do pretty well at telling people Jesus died for their sins. Perhaps not so well at telling them they must be baptized in water. And not well at all, as I see it, at making disciples and teaching them to obey Christ’s commandments. I believe we should start doing this. There are at least four major aspects of our inheritance, our land of promise. The most important aspect is that of being the eternal dwelling place of the fullness of God. The nations and the farthest reaches of the earth for our possession is another aspect. A body like that of the Lord Jesus is a third. Living totally in the Holy Spirit of God is a fourth aspect of our inheritance. Every denomination has a Statement of Faith. Not every denomination has a statement of behaviors. A statement of behaviors may be more important than a Statement of Faith, if we inform people how godly behavior is gained. God put us here on the earth in animal bodies that are inhabited by a sinful nature. Then God permits Satan to place us in painful situations to see if we will do what we know to be right no matter how we feel, or if we will take the path of pleasure. God wants to know what kind of character we have before He appoints us a place in His Kingdom. When the world sees integrity it recognizes it and usually honors it. The world may not respond with integrity, however. A man cannot bear witness of Christ if he does not have integrity. Think what the world would be like if there were no Satan, no rebellious angels, no demons. Think what the world would be like if in addition to the absence of evil spirits the whole earth was filled with the Glory of the Lord. Imagine what it would be like to have the whole earth filled with the Spirit of God? Try to picture what the world would be like if no sin of any kind was practiced. Would you like to live here? Christ was tested in the area of obedience to God. He learned obedience while living here through the things He suffered. Christ had no sinful nature; yet He still had to learn and be made perfect in obedience. This tells us there is a force apart from the sinful nature that has to be dealt with. As far as I can tell, the Ten Commandments cover every kind of sin. Writing them on our heart and mind, in their eternal form, is an operation. All operations are painful. The flesh must be made the Word. There is no evidence that the Holy Spirit dwelled in Adam and Eve. We know that Christ did not dwell in them nor did they have a sinful nature. They had been created in the image of God and charged with multiplying and with exercising dominion over nature. Would they have sinned if Satan had not entered the garden? Would they ever have known the difference between good and evil had they not eaten of that tree? If you were to sit down and make a list of everything you wanted, even what you wanted in Heaven, what would be on that list? If while you made your list you have been honest and not constrained by some sort of duty, you may find your list to be very revealing. Ask God what He thinks of your list, and to change the items that will not bring you eternal joy. The only inheritance worth having, relatively speaking, is people. In the second Psalm the Father invited the Word, Christ, to ask for the nations as His inheritance and the farthest reaches of the earth for His possession. We are coheirs with Christ! The Lord Jesus invited us to pray that we might receive the Holy Spirit. I am afraid we who belong to the Pentecostal movement believe that once we speak in tongues we have all of the Holy Spirit God wants to give us. I do not believe this is the case. We Americans tend on the whole to be people of action. This may be a carryover from the pioneer days. Many of us do not believe that just because something has been said clearly or elegantly anything has been accomplished. This may be somewhat different from other more philosophical cultures. Nevertheless, the Bible insists that words are important in themselves. God declared several times in the Old Testament that His righteousness would be revealed. In my opinion, we have not understood all that God means by that, and our misunderstanding prevents us from entering the Kingdom of God. We are apt to think of imputed righteousness when God means actual righteousness of behavior. I like to compare being saved to learning to play the piano. Someone can give you the gift of a piano, but he can’t give you the ability to play. You have to learn to play the piano. So it is with salvation. God gives you salvation. Now you have to learn to play it. Today we are facing two major changes in the plan of redemption. Just as the leadership of the Israelites changed from Moses to Joshua, the Lord Jesus Christ is changing from the role of Shepherd to the role of Commander in Chief. And just as the daily environment and challenges of the Israelites changed from the wilderness wandering to the war against the Canaanites, so are our environment and challenges changing from the traditional Christian journey through the world, with Heaven as our hope, to the prospect of war against all the forces of darkness that would hinder us from entering the fullness of our inheritance. The traditional goal of salvation has been to go to Heaven to live forever. This is not scriptural. The Holy Spirit now is outlining to us some of the scriptural aspects of our land of promise. Why don’t you pray and see what He has for you. We often see personality traits in other people that irritate us. What we may not realize is that these are areas of spiritual darkness in them, such as arrogance, or lust, or covetousness. It is our responsibility to pray that God will replace the darkness with the light of Jesus Christ. When we do not pray, but become irritated, it is because there is spiritual darkness in us. The devil loves to accuse the actions of the devil as being of the devil. Such is the frantic confusion of the world of demons. The Declaration of Independence, written in 1776 by Thomas Jefferson, declares that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” This statement is one of the cornerstones of democracy, as practiced in the United States of America. While the Declaration represents a noteworthy, admirable advancement in the theory of government, we Christians must remember that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are not our primary values. Christian people are not always clear as to what role their own efforts plays in their salvation. Some feel that no effort is necessary; they are saved by faith alone. Others believe that we have a part to play. The new covenant is Christ formed in us, but there are things we must do if this inner transformation is to take place. We don’t know very much about the rebellion of the angels. We do know, however, that the Lake of Fire has been prepared for the devil and his angels. Can you imagine how terrible it would be to be thrown into an area where you would be surrounded for eternity by the devil and his angels. Because grace, defined as “forgiveness,” has been overemphasized, numerous Christians do not view righteous behavior as an essential aspect of our salvation. Therefore numerous Christians do not behave righteously. And since righteous behavior is the testimony, the Christian message is not nearly as powerful as it should be. It is written concerning Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and Aaron that when they died they were gathered to their people. This could mean merely that they joined the ranks of the dead. But I am under the impression that when people die they are placed with others who are like themselves. We begin our Christian experience playing volleyball with God, so to speak. We do this, and God does that. We give of our money, God gives money back to us. We fast and pray, God answers our prayers. If we wish, we can grow past this stage until God and we are on the same side of the net. If God forgives all of our sins when we receive Christ, what is the purpose of chastening? How important is chastening in the plan of salvation? Is chastening a judgment of our personality? There is much in the Old Testament as well as in the new that indicates there shall be a firstfruits of the Church. Gideon’s army is an Old Testament portrayal of the firstfruits. So are the overcomers of the second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation. In fact, it appears the overcomers of Revelation are the true Church of the present hour. To become aware of evil, and then not to react in an evil manner by fretting or becoming irritated or angry but to turn to the Lord instead, is a mark of maturity. There is a difference between accepting Christ and accepting doctrine. To accept the Christian doctrine is to be converted to the Christian religion. To accept Christ is to become acquainted with a living Person with whom we can have daily fellowship. The Prophet Isaiah speaks of “the day of vengeance of our God.” The terrified demons asked Jesus of Nazareth, “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” The Lord Jesus, after reading from the sixty-first chapter of the Book of Isaiah, rolled up the scroll just before reading “the day of vengeance of our God.” I submit that Day has arrived. Man has been created spirit, soul, and body. Two of these three parts are invisible to us in the present hour, and one is visible. Perhaps we can think of the spirit and soul as the inward man, and the body as the outward man. The visible outward man is the house in which the invisible inward man lives. A few years ago the “faith” message was popular. It seems to have died down somewhat. When it was at its height, I asked the Lord if He was going to empower this doctrine. I think the Lord told me that it would die down, and then be revived at a later time. The Apostle Paul places considerable emphasis on the renewing of our mind in Christ. He associates the change in our mind with our new inward nature. We need to understand this because of the extraordinary increase of the electronic communication devices that seek to influence our thinking. The original Good News was that the Kingdom of God, the doing of God’s will in the earth, is at hand. This is what John the Baptist, Jesus of Nazareth, and the Apostles preached. What has happened to the original Gospel? You say you have been born again? Where is the Baby? When God is going to use someone to perform an outstanding work, God often brings that individual through many years of barrenness. Then the work of God can be seen as the miracle that it is, rather than as the natural ability of the person. We have to put every relationship, every thing, every circumstance, yes, and our life also, on the altar of God. This means we are not to clutch anything but to leave all in God’s faithful hands. Whatever we insist on clinging to we will lose. All must be made new in Christ. “The fear of man brings a snare,” the Bible proclaims, “but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Whenever we act out of fear we make mistakes. The very thing we fear happens to us. There is only one world where people live. Most of the people live in the invisible part of the world. A much smaller group lives in the visible part of the world where we can see them. Perhaps as the return of the Lord draws near we will become more conscious of the part of the world that is invisible in the present hour. The Bible tells us that when the Lord returns, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. Perhaps our assumption is that everyone who terms himself or herself a Christian shall return with Him and be raised. I would like to question this assumption. The Pentecostal experience and activities can be delicious, but after Pentecost comes death to our ambitions. As soon as any one of us is willing to bow before God and say, “Not my will but Yours be done,” the trumpets of God begin to sound. True faith always and inescapably results in obedience. It is impossible to have genuine faith in God and not obey God. The Lord Jesus declared that John the Baptist was the equal of any human being. This would include Moses and the Prophets. Yet, Jesus maintained, the least member of the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than John. What an extraordinary statement! Is the least Christian greater than Moses and the Prophets, or is there a deeper meaning here? The willingness of one person to obey the Lord implicitly can change the history of the world. The Christian literature in America is filled with books that tell us how to be a Christian without really trying. To the individual with whom God is dealing, the modern techniques for church growth are as so much chaff. It is as though they have put the Ark of God in a new car and are driving it around town in an advertising campaign. I suppose the idea that the spirit Heaven is our eternal home, and the object of our salvation, is one of the most deeply rooted of all Christian beliefs. Yet there is no Bible passage that supports this view. Until we return to the Scriptures and find out what our goal actually is, we will understand neither the plan of salvation nor the Kingdom of God. When thinking about what God can or will do, it is best to judge by what the Scriptures say instead of to judge by our own experience. Keep on asking. God will keep on answering. Our physical death is of little significance in our existence. Our crucifixion with Christ is of enormous significance in our existence. In all of eternity, and in all of the spiritual and physical universe, the will of God is the most important matter. To know God’s will and to do it—there is nothing else as worthwhile as this. There are three forces that motivate man: his need to survive and be secure; the appetites and lusts of his body and soul; and his desire to achieve something of significance. Sitting on top of these three forces is his will. Until his will becomes one with the will of God, man is a potential destroyer of God’s universe. Is it true that the Lord Jesus is standing at the door of the personality of each Christian? Are some welcoming Him and dining on His body and blood? Is this what it means that one is taken and the other left, in that some do not open to Him? Is it true that this is the meaning of where the slain Lamb is, there the eagles will gather? Nothing else is as important today as developing people who are willing to obey Jesus Christ completely and perfectly in every circumstance. Satan often can be found in a multitude; God in an individual. The emphasis today of Bible teaching appears to be what we can get from God. There indeed is an abundance of passages in the Bible that offer help to us so we can make our way through life. Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. There is manna that enables us to make our way through the wilderness, especially in the Book of Psalms. But the present burden of the Holy Spirit seems to be that we learn to obey God promptly and thoroughly. There is belief that is mental information and acknowledgment. We have been taught that the earth is round and one of several planets. We acknowledge that this is true. We believe this is factual, but it ordinarily does not make any demands on our behavior. Then there is belief that makes demands on our behavior, such as the belief that a dam in our neighborhood is about to break. We have learned that such is the case, we acknowledge that the information is true, and this belief requires action on our part. There is a widespread understanding among Christian people that we are saved by faith alone. This doctrine suggests that as long as we have the correct information about Christ, acknowledging that it is true and factual, we will go to Heaven when we die. Our salvation is a result of our belief system, it is maintained. Does the New Testament teach that our salvation is a result of our acknowledging the truth about Jesus Christ? Is our acknowledgment that which saves us? Or does belief in Jesus Christ demand action on our part and it is the action that saves us? Is it our belief that the dam will break that saves us, or is it fleeing from the area that the water will flood that saves us? I believe this is an important question, because adherence to the concept that our acknowledgment of the truth is sufficient to make us righteous in God’s sight has prevented the transformation of behavior that is the testimony to the world that God is righteous and has sent Jesus Christ to save us by making us righteous in behavior Was Abraham’s life characterized primarily by belief alone or by obedience to God? On what basis was Abraham the friend of God? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. (James 2:22,23) There is no greater yearning in the human soul than to know God and be pleasing to God. Life is full of toys that we play with. Sometimes we become obsessed with this relationship or that thing or circumstance. But when our little game has been played and we face the reality of physical death, we then will realize that it is only God that matters, and how we treated those whom God entrusted to us. Consider the parable of the prodigal son. The son came to himself and realized that he had harmed himself by leaving his father’s house. He left the slops and returned home. This is the fundamental story of mankind. But now what? The boy was out of the slops, but were the slops out of the boy? Until the slope are out of the boy, the father’s house is not going to be a pleasant place to be. There will be partying, drunkenness, reveling, fighting, immorality, and every other painful, harmful, unpleasant scene one can imagine. It often is true that the “slops” are not removed from us just because we have “accepted Christ.” (I enclose accepted Christ in quotation marks because this expression is not found in any of my translations of the Bible.) It may take many years before the love of God is governing our inward nature. To believe in Jesus does not mean to accept the theological facts concerning Jesus, such as His Divinity, virgin birth, or bodily resurrection. There is no salvation in mere acknowledgment of the truth. The belief in Jesus that saves us is our love for Him, our keeping His commandments, and our interaction with Him each day. The Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan both occupy the same earth, the same physical bodies. The difference is, the coming of the Kingdom of God drives out Satan and occupies his former dwelling places. The kingdom of the world becomes the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ. By overemphasizing mere belief about Jesus instead of the good fight of faith, current traditions have dismantled God’s intention. Christian character is built as we struggle against the evil in the world, just as muscles are built by pushing against resistance. By stressing that Jesus has done it all, and our part is just to believe, we have successfully set aside God’s purpose in allowing us be surrounded with evil. The reason God permits the wickedness in the world to continue is that His future rulers might develop a militant righteousness that will prevail against temptation. Such character could not be formed in Paradise where no fight is necessary. Now we have found a way around the struggle—just believe. No overcoming is necessary. In due time God will remove our morally flabby character to Heaven where we can recline on a couch in our mansion. Faith is defined as holding fast to the hope that God is a rewarder of those who continue to seek Him earnestly and diligently until the promise is fulfilled. Righteousness has to do with power. Melchizedek is the king of righteousness. Jesus Christ is a priest after the order of the king of righteousness, possessing the power of an indestructible life. The scepter of Christ’s Kingdom is a scepter of righteousness, the rod of iron. This tells us that righteousness is obtained and maintained by power. It is time now to enter our land of promise. Our land of promise is, first of all, our own personality. The Holy Spirit will lead us each day against some enemy in our land. The Holy Spirit, after defining the enemy, will show us how to overcome the behavior. The war has begun. The authority and power are here. Let us begin to take the land. God does not command us to do something His grace will not make possible. Our conversion to belief in Christ must be accompanied by a conversion in how we behave. If it does not, we have believed in vain. Or—what may be more true—we never have truly believed. All the trouble in the world and in the Christian churches is caused by people pursuing their own will instead of God’s will. Religion makes proselytes. Divine Glory creates the Kingdom in people. When we deny our fervent desires for Christ’s sake and the Gospel’s, we lay up treasures in Heaven. We shall receive back everything of true value many times over. The Lord Jesus came to forgive people and transform them. The forgiveness apart from the transformation is useless, for the person will only sin again. Being forgiven through the blood atonement, and being baptized with the Holy Spirit, are the tools we need to press into the program of salvation. The program of salvation consists of a daily putting to death our first personality and the emergence of a new Christ-filled personality. The father of the prodigal is not going to permit his son to return home and then make everyone else miserable! Neither is God going to permit unrepentant believers to enter His righteous kingdom and destroy it. To disobey God is unthinkable. Whoever chooses to disobey God loves confusion and pain. There are no degrees of justification. We either are justified in God’s sight or we are not. But there certainly are degrees of sanctification. God justifies us when we place our faith in Jesus Christ. But then we have to follow the Holy Spirit in the work of sanctification, that is, the work of cleansing us from all that is unclean. The question is: Once we have been justified, is it possible to lose our status in God’s sight? Once we have pleased God by faith, is it possible to displease God by our actions? The answer, according to the Scriptures, is yes. The only people who are eternally secure are those who are serving the Lord. That which is born in us has neither beginning of days nor end of life. If you would have love, joy, and peace, place everything in God’s hands. We know so little, and God knows everything, it really is best to just trust His wisdom and goodness. All that matters is the new creation. There is a place for evangelism, miracles, music, gifts of the Spirit, other religious experiences and activities. But in the end, all that matters is bringing forth in the individual the new creation of righteous behavior. All of the universe has been planned to this end. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, including angels and people. “Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; hear, O earth, the words of My mouth.” Rather than merely tell angels and people what is profitable and what is not, God is permitting them to watch the results of their words and actions as they are played out in the earth. Sometimes we observe the results now. Perhaps after we die we will be able to see the continuing results more clearly. The tree of life bears twelve manner of fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, courage, obedience to God, and the knowledge of the Lord. No person will ever experience true and lasting love, joy, and peace until he is in the center of God’s will for his life. The grace of God in Christ is intended to make us more righteous, not less righteous, than the Law of Moses. Not by ascribed righteousness but by actual righteousness of behavior. I am afraid that today we are emphasizing building churches when we ought to be building people. Hopefully God will cause this emphasis to change appropriately in the near future. The world would have us believe that it is the aggressive, the cunning, the ones who are willing to run over other people, who succeed. But the Bible says the meek, the gentle will inherit the earth. Their strength is in the Lord, whom they trust implicitly for their welfare. Our goal should be to please God. If we please God, we will please people. But if we attempt to please people, we will end up pleasing neither God nor people. Christians are born at the right hand of God. Christians are formed in the wilderness of tribulation. We are given Christ at the beginning. Then we have to gain Christ. Have you ever tried to imagine John the Baptist, or the Apostle Paul, jumping up and down in preparation for the “rapture”? Kind of ridiculous! The great lie of current Christian teaching is that we can be saved and have fellowship with the Father and the Son, and yet behave wickedly because we have made a profession of belief in an orthodox Statement of Faith concerning Jesus Christ. It is in the period between the vision and the fulfillment of the vision that the saints are made. Let patience have its perfect work in you. If we truly believe in Christ our behavior will change. How wonderful to pray through to contentment right now! We can imagine the future as we will. But we must never clutch what we imagine, because we do not really know what will bring us joy. We must press forward in faith that God is bringing us to perfect joy. Anything else is idolatrous and disastrous. There is the state of holiness, and then there is the practice of holiness. God called out Israel from the nations to be holy to Himself. Yet, in many instances they were not holy in practice. The Tabernacle of the Congregation was holy, but the Tabernacle did not practice holiness. God calls us to Himself to be a holy people. This places us in the state of holiness. Then the Holy Spirit guides us into actual holiness of behavior. God is holy. If we are to be in His image we must practice spiritually clean behavior in our thinking, our speech and our actions. The program of delivering us from spiritual filth is termed “sanctification.” God Himself is our Law. He exercises His will through the Holy Spirit. God cannot give the world the good things of which He is capable and desirous, because once the pain of people is lifted they turn immediately to sin. When a Christian leader uses his gifts of life and light to call attention to himself, his life becomes death and his light becomes darkness. The Gospel of the Kingdom is the best there is, and it keeps getting better! Don’t confuse Jesus and religion. Religion is scaffolding. Jesus is the Kingdom of God. Foolish talk is sin. Are the angels making clear sense of what you are saying? If you are an unfaithful person, use money to make friends with unrighteous people. Then, when the riches of this world are no more, the unrighteous will welcome you into the eternal dwellings. If at any point, you refuse to do the will of God you come under condemnation. Do God’s will at every moment. If you fall, get up and press on. God expects your best. Redemption begins when Christ first comes to you, and ends when you stand full and complete in all the will of God. When I ask the Lord what I should be doing, and He says “resting,” and I feel relief, then I know I am not ready to renew my workload. I believe that “salt,” as used in the Scriptures, often speaks of single-minded devotion to God. Religion may blind us to the truth. The Pharisees sneered in the presence of the One who gave the Law of Moses. Righteousness is a matter of relationships. It is a good idea to keep praising the Lord about everything. There are many little things that go right each day. Each one of these is an opportunity to praise the Lord. And in those times when it seems everything is going wrong, it is well if we pray for deliverance, and then ask the Lord to show us something to praise Him for. The greatest honor of all is to be the friend of God. If we are to be the friend of God we must practice righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God. Faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation. But faith in Christ is never a substitute for actual righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God. The greatest gift of all is to be able to delight in righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God. It is one matter to be married to religion. It is another matter to be married to the Lamb. It is not that the world spirit merely includes lying; the world spirit itself is one huge lie. The Ten Commandments do not include “You shall not lie,” because to commit any of the prohibited acts is itself a lie. The world spirit is of antichrist and is the opposite of the Ten Commandments. Someone asked me: “Why has God given us a brain if He does not expect us to use our brain to plan our life?” I answered: “God has given us a brain so we can understand His eternal moral law as well as His will for us personally; and a heart so we will delight in His law and His will.” Someone said it is better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven. Perhaps this is why people today are pursuing liberty rather than righteousness. Have we not made belief in Christ a substitute for righteous behavior? Have we not made the Word of God of no effect by our traditions? Can we deny that by doing so we have destroyed the Christian testimony? To believe in Christ is to acknowledge the theological facts concerning Him. To have faith in Christ is to depend on Him utterly for every aspect of life. We are living in the Kingdom of God when we have true faith in Christ. The righteous live by faith. Every true Christian is a Jew of the Seed of Abraham It is the burning desire itself that has the potential for triumph or destruction. It is the desire, not the object of the desire, that is the adversary. Reality often reveals our hopes to be ashes; but the hopes that come from the Lord are fulfilled under the clear light of reality. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” The reason it is such a great honor to be the friend of God is that God is so utterly righteous. All that God has made is good and useful, wise, created in love, filled with good fruit. Our problem is not with the things of the creation but with desiring something that is not God’s will for us. Sin is a shortcut to the fulfillment of our desires. It does not please the Lord when we seek to use God to get money, or to use faith to get money. The practitioners of demon religions do this. God wants us to seek the wisdom and power to behave righteously, holily, and obediently to God; and above all to seek the Presence of God Himself. The purpose of the Christian religion is to change us from unrighteous to righteous behavior. When it does not do this, the Christian religion is destructive and the enemy of Jesus Christ. God may have winked at the ignorance of the past, but now He is requiring that we keep the commandments of Christ and His Apostles. The main thing is to practice righteousness. This message appears to be missing from the Gospel of our day. Yet it is the righteous behavior that comes from Jesus Christ through us that is the witness of God’s Person and will to the nations of the earth. For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. (Isaiah 61:11—NIV) The Lord Jesus Christ came from Heaven to show us how to behave in a manner pleasing to God. He is going to come again so that through us He can fill the whole earth with the Presence and will of God Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3—NIV) At the Last Supper, Jesus said He would not eat the Passover again “until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” “I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” After this Christ spoke of the Passover bread as His body, and the cup as the new covenant in His blood. There is an inner kingdom and an outer kingdom. Perhaps Christ was referring to His return when He sits at the great banqueting table and drinks wine with His saints in the outer kingdom of God. However, thinking in terms of His promise in the Book of Revelation, that if we would open the door He would come in and eat with us and we with Him, I wonder if He might also have been referring to the inner kingdom in our heart where we learn to live by eating the flesh of Christ and drinking His blood. Those who act like Hell will go to Hell when they die. Those who act like Heaven will go to Heaven when they die. The worst lie ever told is that we can act like Hell and inherit Heaven by accepting Christ. The fruit of this doctrine is multitudes of Christians who reveal in themselves the nature of Satan. The purpose of accepting Christ is to forgive us and then change our behavior from that which is of Hell to that which is of Heaven. You can tell a Christian’s destination by the way he behaves. Because God in His mercy grants some sinner on his deathbed the gift of repentance and forgives his sin does not change the fact that the Hellish belong in Hell and the Heavenly belong in Heaven. Prayer certainly includes asking God’s help in matters that concern us. But the primary purpose of prayer is to get us in harmony with God, so we are thinking, speaking, and doing what God is thinking, speaking, and doing. Whoever is making the pursuit of money the goal of his life has the mark of Antichrist on his head and hand. There is an uncrossable chasm between attempting to figure out what Christ wants, what help the Kingdom needs, and abiding in Christ. The first is the work of religion, and we are able to preserve our own will. The second, in which we reflect the thinking, speaking, and acting of Christ, is the marriage of the Lamb. In this case, God’s will becomes our will. The Kingdom of God and His righteousness exists when the thinking, speaking, and acting of the Father are reflected in the Lord Jesus Christ, and then through Jesus Christ are reflected in us. Never interpret God’s patience to mean He is willing to accept sinful behavior. True salvation occurs as we take up our cross of self-denial and follow Christ every moment of every day and night. This is how we show our love for Jesus, not by repeated statements that He is our Lord and Savior. Jesus wants to be our close friend, not a distant God concerning whom we make theological pronouncements. When we think of aging, of growing older, we ordinarily are considering the decomposition of the body because of original sin. This is not true aging. True aging has to do with our knowledge of the Lord. It occurs as we are made aware of our sinful nature and exchange it for the Personality of Jesus Christ. There are people who are elderly in terms of the body but are children in terms of actual growth. The expression “The Ancient of Days” does not indicate God has a wrinkled, weakened body. It means He has grown in wisdom and understanding. He is as “young” and powerful as ever. I think in the new world to come we can appear as young as we wish, but never older than we actually are. Fools get paid in bitter currency. Therefore we should seek wisdom. The words of James (if we consider his writing to be inspired text) are sufficient to reveal that those who insist on “faith alone” are deluded. Not only are they deluded, they are contributing to the moral decline of the Christian churches. For it is certain that in a demon-oppressed culture, such as that of the United States, England, Germany, and other Western nations, teaching that maintains righteous, holy behavior is desirable but not essential to our salvation will leave the believers vulnerable to the fiery passions of their demon-provoked sinful nature. The eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews, the “faith chapter,” is a record of obedience to the revealed will of God. This chapter uses people of pre-Christian times to illustrate the saying of Habakkuk, “The righteous will live by his faith.” The fact that members of the pre-Christian elect are employed to show that the righteous live by faith proves that pleasing God by faith is not a unique feature of the new covenant. God's will is His determination to do what He knows to be right. Our will is our determination to do what we believe to be right, or what we believe to be wrong, or what we are not certain or have no opinion as to its rightness of wrongness. The person who desires love, joy, and peace will pray concerning every issue of life: "Not my will but Yours be done." If you always are there when the Lord calls, the Lord always will be there when you call. God has given us a powerful sexual urge that in its primary or sublimated forms dominates most of life. To those who use this gift only in the will of God will be given the true riches. They will rule with Christ throughout the ages to come. Pure, wholesome beauty is to be enjoyed, but never, never worshiped. All God asks of any man is that he acknowledge his sin and foolishness, and ask God to help him improve. It isn’t the things the Apostles did, their missionary methods, that we are to imitate. Ours is a new day. Rather it is their godly life, their patience in tribulation, and their obedience to the revealed will of God. If you wait and hope for people to come to their senses and do the right thing, you may become disappointed and frustrated. Look to the Lord Jesus instead and He will give you wisdom how to proceed. The Lord Jesus told us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. But in order to gain this easy yoke and this light burden we have to take His yoke upon us and learn from Him. This is where the problem lies. We kick and jump around at the sight of the yoke, and we don’t want to learn from Him. Ordinarily scrolls are to be read. God’s scrolls are to be eaten. Sometimes believers have only a head knowledge of God. The Word of God does not profit us until it reaches into our inward nature and reveals the holy demands of the Lord. To trust God totally is to be in total peace. I believe we need a greater vision of the power and authority of God. At the same time we need to diminish the emphasis we currently are placing on the power of Satan and the Antichrist. It is God’s will that His saints think, speak, and act in the Spirit of God at all times. We ought always to pray to this end. Speaking in tongues is intended to be an entrance into this rest. Man has a body, soul, spirit, and a will. His will is responsible to God for what it does with his body, soul, and spirit. The only One whose opinion matters is God. It may have been true in time past that God wanted to put His people in kind of a holding pattern until He was ready to release them from the chains of sin. I cannot say for certain because I was not alive then. All I know is that today the Holy Spirit is ready to release us from the bondages of sin, so the old teaching no longer is marching along with the Lord. Holiness is what God Himself is. Righteousness is what God does. Righteousness is God’s response to each and every situation. Holiness will always act in a righteous manner. Sin is disobedience to God One human being who is walking with the Lord Jesus is worth more than all the religious instruction in the world, as far as benefiting God and man is concerned. There is a payback time for everyone, depending on how he or she has treated the Lord Jesus. Some will receive incomprehensible riches, for they have given everything to Jesus. Some will receive indifference, just as they have treated the Lord. Some will receive fiery torment, for they have been wicked. Faith is trust in the faithfulness of God, and includes both the fear of God and love for God. Faith always leads to obedience to God. Apart from obedience to God there is no genuine faith. It is impossible to have faith in God and not obey God; but it is possible to have no faith in God and obey God, although this is not satisfactory from God’s point of view who desires that His children love Him. I asked the Lord what kind of faith are Christians referring to when they say they are saved by faith apart from works. The answer came quickly and in one word: "indulgence." They believe God is indulgent, or lenient, toward His children. After reciting how every disobedience of the word spoken by angels received its just punishment, the Book of Hebrews asks: "How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?" We see therefore that the contemporary understanding of "faith" as indulgence on God's part is unscriptural. Because we conceive of grace as an alternative to growth in the image of Christ we are overemphasizing God's mercy, viewing Him as indulgent. This attitude has removed the fear of the Lord from the Christian people in America. It is typically American to try to make God one of us. We will serve Him, perhaps, but on our own terms. The newer translations appear to favor reverence over fear, or terror. This is because reverence keeps us in the saddle. Our self-will "chooses" to obey God. Reverence and fear are not the same emotion. The fear of the Lord is delightful, wholesome, much to be desired and sought. To not have the fear of the Lord is to be lacking in wisdom. Our unwillingness to fear the Lord is a sure sign of our essentially rebellious nature. To fear the Lord is to realize fully that the consequences of not accepting His will in place of our own are dreadful beyond our ability to cope. The Lord Jesus warned us to fear God, because God has the power to cast us into Hell. Therefore the fear of the Lord is based on reality. "The angel of the Lord camps around those who fear Him and delivers them." "Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name?" "Knowing the terror of the Lord we persuade men." The right kind of fear brings us closer to God; it does not drive us away from God. It is our typical American arrogance and rebellious attitude that hinders us from having a proper fear of the Lord. Fear mixed with the right kind of love and understanding of God's mercy always leads to joyous obedience. God loves us when we tremble in His Presence. When we do not, He holds us afar off. God redeems us in His love and in His pity. But we would rather rule in the cardboard shacks of Hell than serve in the courts of Heaven, as someone said. Man is in rebellion against His Creator. Mankind yet shall shake its fist at God. Alcohol is a substitute for the Holy Spirit. Life is difficult enough. Without the Lord it is impossible. In human thinking, the important aspect of Passover was the release of the Hebrew tribes from Egyptian slavery and their start toward the land of their inheritance. In God's thinking it was not the release from Egypt but the lamb that was of primary significance; for the lamb speaks of Christ who is to come. Only Christ can bring true, eternal release to the Jews and Gentiles. The Apostle Paul did not preach Divine grace as an alternative to righteous behavior but as an alternative to the Law of Moses. When God sees we are determined to do what is right, He guides and strengthens us. The purpose of the blood shed on the cross of Calvary is to forgive our sin and then cleanse our behavior; not to hide from God what we are doing! It is God's will that man not dwell alone in his body. The body of man is made to be the house, the booth, the tabernacle of God. The "just shall live by faith" has nothing to do with belief in doctrine or a Statement of Faith. It has to do with obeying God and with surmounting life’s problems, doubts, and dreads by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ. "The just shall live by faith" means the righteous live in terms of a vision of God and of the future. Christ did not come primarily to forgive us. He came to deliver us from the bondages of sin, to break the chains of Satan in our life. "O God, cause me to reflect perfectly and completely, at all times, your thinking, speaking, and acting. Make me the incarnation of your will." Remove from me all that is not of you, and fill me with all that is of you. In Jesus' name." God is creating us in His image that we may be His eternal dwelling place. All that really matters in this present life is how you respond to your many trials, because you are being groomed for your true life, which will be in the next world. Everything you have thought, said, and done, you will meet in the Day of Resurrection. It is best to get all questionable behavior taken care of now, by confessing your sins to the Lord as the Holy Spirit prompts you, and turning away from them diligently. If you are wise you will thank the Lord for your daily lessons, because He then will be encouraged to work with you further. Eternal life is another name for the Holy Spirit. An "impossible" situation is an opportunity for God to reveal His glory. Sometimes we have to choose between comfort and honor. We injure the personalities of adults when we seek to control them; but love releases the potential of people. Present-day Christianity often is too superficial and giddy to serve as a sculptor of saints. God will never cover a sinful, immature inner nature with a body of incorruptible resurrection life. Before the outer resurrection occurs there must be an inner transformation. We must attain to the resurrection experienced by the members of the governing priesthood. A boil is permitted to come to a head, and then it is lanced and the poison is discharged and dealt with. There was a rebellion in Heaven. God is permitting the wicked spirits to fully develop their evil desires and ways. In the fullness of time God will lance the boil. Then the poison will be discharged and dealt with. All wickedness shall finally be imprisoned in the Lake of Fire. Now the creation will be free from rebellion, ready to begin an eternity of righteousness, peace, and joy. It is not true that the more grievously I sin the more God’s grace is glorified in forgiving me. The truth is, the more grievously I sin the more pain Christ suffered in order to forgive me. The Protestant reaction against the Catholic works designed to buy salvation, has been an unscriptural, destructive view of grace. The Protestant concept is that the grace of forgiveness is God’s supreme work. The idea is that the new covenant primarily is one of forgiveness rather than what it is in actuality, the bringing forth of a new creation of righteous behavior. Thus God’s intention under the new covenant has been successfully thwarted; the true work of Divine grace aborted. Can you imagine one of the gods of the other religions saying we are to be conformed to the image of His Son that we might be His brother? Yet this is exactly what God is saying to us. Do not be troubled about the other religions. The day will come when every one of these gods will bow the knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and there is none other. He is the only one whom God has appointed Lord of all. Until the rod of iron is created in our personality we cannot govern with Christ. Iron righteousness is mined from the hills of resistance to sin and stern obedience to God. Sometimes the Lord has to strike us down, as it were, because we are married to our ministry and not to Him. Our ministry, our work for the Lord, is important. But it is more important that we have a close relationship with Him. The guilt of sin is our legal state before God. Guilt is not a thing. Sin itself, however, is a thing, a compulsion, an action. The Lamb of God came to take away not just the guilt of the sin but sin itself. Unbelief and disobedience are virtually synonymous. The same may be said of faith and obedience. It is one matter to be married to our ministry. It is quite another matter to be married to the Lamb. Can we walk with princes and still hear and obey the voice of Christ? The Bible primarily is not a record of man seeking God but of God seeking man. It appears that in most instances the outstanding people were those who obeyed God's intervention; not so much believers who demonstrated an aggressive pursuit of God. We think of Abraham, Moses, Gideon, the Prophets of Israel, the Apostle Paul. These are examples of God taking the initiative. "You have not chosen me; I have chosen you." Is it time today for God to take the lead? There are contemporary plans and strategies for church growth and the spread of the Gospel. A close look at some of these may reveal that while they appear to benefit man, they do not benefit God. It is not true that if man is benefitted God automatically is benefitted. However it is true that if God is benefitted, man automatically is benefitted. Like the human body, the Messiah is composed of many members. While the believer may be the valued member of the Christian religion, and of a local church, his or her eternal significance is that of being a member of the Body of the Messiah, an integral part of the Anointed Deliverer who is to come and bring justice to the nations. God's grace is shown to us Jews and Gentiles whom He has called: first, by releasing us from the authority of the Law of Moses; second, by calling us out from the ranks of mankind that we might receive Jesus Christ and become heirs of the Kingdom of God. Many, perhaps most, of the people who profess to be Christians and are members of Christian churches, do not change morally. In some instances they are as malicious, unforgiving, dishonest, and immoral as is true of the people of the world. Consider, for example, the hatred between the Catholics and Protestants in Ireland. Why do believers not change? It is because they do not perceive their baptism in water as being an entrance into the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Do you wish to be delivered from a sinful bondage? Pronounce your sinful behavior to the Lord. Denounce your bondage as an evil, filthy thing. Renounce the sin, declaring forcefully you want no more to do with it. Pronounce, denounce, renounce, and then draw near to the Lord for continued fellowship. Can we earn true salvation by striving to perform righteous works? Absolutely not. Does true salvation always result in a new creation of righteous behavior? Absolutely and eternally yes. The blasphemy of the members of the synagogue of Satan is their teaching that people can live in sin and rebellion and still have fellowship with God through grace. "Daddy, Daddy, we missed our turnoff back there.” “Don't worry, Honey, just sit back and enjoy the ride and the beautiful weather. Perfect for our trip!" "You shall not surely die" was the beginning of the insane howling debauchery known as world history. "You shall not surely die" is being preached today in the great majority of Christian churches to “believers” who are not serving the Lord. When we by have faith been sprinkled with the blood of atonement we are eligible to receive the Holy Spirit. The blood comes on the oil. Now we have the authority and power to enter the rest of God, to life lived in the fullness of the Presence of God through Jesus Christ. The rest of God is the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles. The current teaching of grace states that God is willing to forgive us and remove our sinful nature with a minimal effort on our part. Our only task is to say we "accept Christ." If this is true, why did the Apostle Paul say if we continue to obey our sinful nature we will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Why did Paul beat down the desires of his flesh so as not to be disqualified? We are like divers in the depths of the sea. Our air supply is the Holy Spirit. The more of the Spirit we have, the better able we are to withstand the pressures of sin and death that always are on us; that seek to invade and crush us. We do not receive Christ so we may be able to do bad things and then receive good things after we die. We receive Christ so we may be forgiven and then begin to do good things. It is certain that we will receive good for the good we have done and bad for the bad we have done. God cannot be mocked. It is not that we pay a price to become a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is true rather that we have to let go of that which is destructive in order to receive the blessing. People always will be able to sin—even in the new world of righteousness. This is why God is creating a kingdom, a system of government. This is why there is a massive wall around the new Jerusalem. The operation of Divine grace commences when God calls us out from the world, without reference to our goodness or badness, and then proceeds to transform us into a new creation of righteous behavior, holy personality, and stern obedience to God. The current definition of grace, which is God’s willingness to bring us to Paradise apart from any significant change in our personality, is a fiction produced by the mind of religious man. It is true that we are saved by faith. But genuine faith in Christ brings us to Him, and then He commands us, through His Apostles, to live righteously. This is the trap into which believers fall when they are told they are saved by faith alone. They say they have faith in Christ, but then they do not obey His commands written in the New Testament. Therefore they are disobedient; and there are no disobedient people in the Kingdom of God, because the Kingdom of God is the doing of God's will in the earth. When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, God forgives our sins for eternity so that our conscience remains perfect and undefiled. Now He is making us holy by writing His eternal moral law in our mind and heart. Once this process begins we are never to sin deliberately. How are we to refrain from sinning while God's law is being written in our personality? We refrain from sinning by praying and living by the Spirit. When we live by the Spirit we do not gratify the desires of our sinful nature. To be conscious in the spirit world after we die physically is not eternal life. There are multitudes of God’s creatures in the spirit world, righteous and wicked alike, who are conscious. Of course, none of the wicked have eternal life; but they are conscious in the spirit world. Where we are located, whether on the earth or in Heaven, has nothing to do with eternal life. Eternal life is the Life of God. The Substance of the Lord Jesus Christ is of the Holy Spirit. The body and blood of Christ are our eternal life because they were formed from the Holy Spirit. Today our inner nature, not our body and blood but our inner nature, is being formed from the Holy Spirit if we are living by the Spirit. In the Day of Resurrection it will be true also of our body, that it is formed from the Holy Spirit, provided we have chosen to live by the Spirit at the present time. John on the island of Patmos saw the great figure of Jesus Christ, the High Priest of God. I think it is likely that Christ looked like this while He was ministering on the earth, but John’s eyes were not opened at that time to see Him as He always is. Predestination is not inevitability. Every aspect of redemption is an opportunity. According to the New Testament, the Apostles did not use the expression "accept Christ." Rather, the Apostles warned people of the coming resurrection and judgment, and exhorted people to turn from their wicked ways so that Christ would accept them. Paul spoke to Felix about righteousness, self-control, and the Day of Judgment. Paul did not say "accept Christ and you can forget about righteousness, self-control, and the Day of Judgment." But that is what we preach today! We are false prophets and teachers! We find in the Book of Ezra that when the people were confessing their sin of marrying non-Jewish wives, they did so during the rainy season. So it is today. We are entering into the time of the harvest rain, and the Lord Jesus is convicting us of our sinful behavior. However, we are to rejoice as the moral law of God is brought to us, for the joy of the Lord will give us the strength to endure this period of judgment. Should I rest in Jesus and wait for Him to live the Christian life in me, or should I obey the numerous commandments in the Gospels and the Epistles, praying always to God to help me overcome the love of the world, the love of sin, and the love of my self-will? Must I overcome or did Jesus do all the overcoming for me? Inside the Ark of the Covenant were the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s Rod that budded, and the memorial pot of Manna. God is creating in us His eternal moral law, a willingness to abide in our own calling, and a simple trust that looks to God every moment of the day and night. The Holy Spirit is not romantic in soulish terms. The love that God puts in us for Him and for one another is far above adamic romance. It is more substantial, more lasting, more intense. The moral change that occurs as we follow Christ is far more profound than the outward trappings of religion. It is not merely a case of don’t do this or don’t do that. All such prohibitions often are necessary at the beginning of our discipleship. Rather it is a profound restructuring of our entire personality from the ways of the flesh to the ways of God. We are put on the earth to be tested. God has enough resources to give every person all he or she wants without having to work. The test is to see if we will take what we want apart from God’s will. Pray to know God’s will in all matters. Being outside of God’s will brings pain. The reproductive urge warps judgment and seduces us into entanglements that result in our perfecting, if we have integrity. Gaining eternal life is the converting of our life force from what is rebellious, lustful, and perishing to that which is obedient, holy, and eternal. The problem with the world is self-seeking government. The best government possible is a just, compassionate, incorruptible king with absolute authority. That is what the Kingdom of God is, with Jesus Christ as the King, compassionate, righteous, incorruptible, with absolute authority and power to enforce righteousness. This is the only government that can bring justice, peace, and righteousness to all its citizens. Transforming grace must be added to pardoning grace. Here is the great Christian error—the belief that "accepting Christ" does away with the warnings of the New Testament. If Jesus asked you to do something, would you say to Him "I don't have to obey you because I am saved by faith alone"? The New Testament contains a list of His requests. Today the Christian people are telling the Lord Jesus that they do not have to keep His commandments because they are saved by faith. Poor Jesus! No one loves Him! We have been saved through the blood atonement; we have received God's Spirit; now we must learn stern obedience to the Father. This is the Kingdom of God and the issue facing the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s eye is on the sparrow. This means He is able and willing to direct the smallest detail of the life of everyone who asks Him for direction. The power of Jesus Christ creates holy, righteous people. Membership in a religion, including the Christian religion, often does not do this. Those who wait on the Lord for every detail of life are the wisest of mortals. We are eternally secure as long as we are abiding in Christ. Hi Lord! Just checking in. Do you pray this every hour? As for the "four steps of salvation," they are worthless unless they bring us into a living relationship with the Lord Jesus. The profession of belief in Christ is worthless to the purposes of God unless it is accompanied by a transformed moral character. One is the repeating of a religious formula. The other is a lifelong experience of taking up our cross and subjecting ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Anyone who teaches that a religious belief is of relative importance in the eyes of God when weighed against the development of a pure and holy character is inviting delusion on himself and his hearers. We have a clearer picture of reality when we realize there is only one world. Part of the one world is visible to us, while the larger and more substantial part is invisible. Heaven and the world of spirits, and of deceased people, is not far above us. It is all around us. We have come to Mount Zion. "Lord, open our eyes!" We have a clearer picture of reality when we realize there is only one world. Part of the one world is visible to us, while the larger and more substantial part is invisible. Heaven and the world of spirits, and of deceased people, is not far above us. It is all around us. We have come to Mount Zion. "Lord, open our eyes!" Because of the rebellion of the angels, God formulated in His mind a tremendous plan. He would create a new race and make the angels servants to it. He would make the people he created a living revelation of His eternal moral law, and they would judge the angels and put an end to rebellion. This is why it so utterly important that we bear the fruit of Christ’s moral Nature. To be in the rest of God is to think, speak, and act as God thinks, speaks, and acts. The fullness of God’s grace is required along with our most diligent application if we are to enter God’s rest. Don't blame the pastor or evangelist because you have not understood God's will for your life. God will not accept your blaming others. It is up to you to make sure you are on the right path. God is not pleased when we blame anyone for our spiritual condition. Do Christians worship the one true God? Yes, we do. There is none other. This fact alone does not make us holy; it is what we do about our belief that brings the reward. You have all eternity in which to grow in Christ. But if you would please God you must take full advantage of every flying moment. Cease your endless reasons! The demons love to reason. God speaks truth in a few words. We Christians have a tendency to think of our religion as a culture separate from the world and somewhat hostile to the world. The truth is, God intervenes in the affairs of all people to a far greater extent than we have any idea. "The earth is the Lord and all its resources, the world and all who live therein." It is not helpful to dwell on the past. It is better to press forward in Christ with our eyes fixed on the future glory. I wonder sometimes if the doctrine of the Trinity does not detract from the simplicity of the concept that the Lord Jesus Christ is God's Son. Perhaps this idea, that there are three equal Gods abiding in Unity, makes Christ less approachable to those who rejoice at the thought of being His brothers. Then too, I notice that Jesus appears to favor the name "Son of man" over "Son of God." I think He likes to be among us I am not aware of a passage in the New Testament that states when we die we will be joined together with our loved ones in Heaven. Rather, the Word is that after people die they are judged. But there is a day coming when we will be joined with our deceased loved ones, and that is at the coming of the Lord. This reunion shall take place on the earth. But in order for this to be true, we and they must be "in Christ." This means we and they are abiding in Christ, not just that we have made a profession of belief in Christ. Be sensitive to what God is seeking to do in your life. We now are entering the third day of redemption, the period when sin is to be removed from us. We also are entering the sixth day, the great day of creation when God is making man in His image. Listen carefully to the Lord. He wants to form you into His image. According to the Old Testament, when we die we are "gathered to our people." The question is, who are our people? The Lord Jesus taught us that our people are those who do the will of God. We human beings are mammals. We are intelligent animals possessing a spirit that can communicate with God. The Lord Jesus Christ is infinitely more than an intelligent animal. As soon as we receive Christ into our personality we start on our way toward becoming infinitely more than a mammal—toward becoming a child of God. In the Scriptures, silver symbolizes redemption, that is, the freeing of us from the possession of Satan. Gold symbolizes Divinity. The Divine Life, the gold that is placed in us when we receive Jesus Christ must be refined by suffering. It is very important to be content with one's place. Sin originated when Satan was not content with his own place. Some of the angels abandoned their own home and now are kept in darkness. The Apostle Paul told us he was content in the situations in which he found himself. Godliness with contentment is great gain. Talk to the Lord continually in a normal way, out loud or silently. There are times for more forceful, structured prayer. But it is pleasant to just converse with the Lord in a natural way, as you would to any friend. If you want a curse on your life, then don't go out to do battle in the time of the Lord's war. Remember Meroz! As we press forward in the rewards to the overcomer we can see the difference between the Divine pardon of the sinner, and the spiritual development of the saint. Is there any greater error in Christianity than the teaching that the Divine redemption is the everlasting pardon for our sins, but that as long as we live on the earth we must continue to sin? The saint will be clothed in the Day of Christ by that which he has practiced in this life. Here is the perfect justice of God. The saint will be clothed in the Day of Christ by that which he has practiced in this life. Here is the perfect justice of God. Our house will descend from Heaven and clothe our flesh-and-bone body that has been raised from the dead. We will be clothed with the white raiment that is the result and expression of walking with Christ in white during our life on the earth. God is not impressed with our intelligence, talents, creativity, or accomplishments. What is highly esteemed of God is our obedience, faithfulness, and worship, in that order. I have seen believers who understood the doctrine of the Kingdom of God; of what is next after the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Pentecost. They desired to press forward to the fullness of the experience typified by the feast of Tabernacles. In every instance, as far as I know, those who failed in their quest did so because they did not enter the necessary death to their own will. They read the scroll but did not eat it. When people prayed toward the Temple of Solomon, God heard them and answered prayer. God desires to make us His Temple, His covenant with the peoples of the earth, His Presence and Person among people. We yet shall represent God to the saved peoples of the earth, and represent them to God. This is our role as members of the royal priesthood. Grace is everything God gives us that we do not earn by keeping the commandments of the Law of Moses, which is its primary meaning in the Epistles of Paul, or by any other religious striving. Today it is taught that through grace God will bring us to Heaven even though we have not obeyed Christ's commandments. The desire to live righteously, and the ability to live righteously, are given to us through Divine grace. Therefore to say that we go to Heaven by grace and not by keeping Christ's commandments is a misunderstanding of grace, of the goal and the process of the Christian salvation. Our very calling as saints is an act of Divine grace toward us, just as was true of the Divine calling out of Abraham. Having a holy, righteous personality and behavior does not earn us salvation. Rather, a holy, righteous behavior is the effect, the fruit of Christ being formed in our personality. Apart from our change into holy, righteous personality and behavior there is no salvation. It is the change itself, the deliverance from Satan and the forming of Christ in us, that is salvation. The goal of salvation is not residence in Heaven. The goal of salvation, of redemption, is change. It is the removal of our sinful nature and the forming of Christ in us. The removal of our sinful nature and the forming of Christ in us enable us to have fellowship with the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit. This is the ultimate attainment. "Search me, O God, test me, see if there is any wicked way in me." Lead me in the way everlasting, in the way of eternal life. The way of eternal life is a way of living, not merely or even primarily a guarantee that we will live forever apart from moral transformation. I believe King David would agree with this. Do you want control of your life, or do you want Christ to control your life? If you want Christ to control your life, then tell Him so continually throughout the day and night. Christ is a Gentleman and He will not force Himself upon you. The churches on earth are composed of forgiven sinners. The Kingdom of God consists of new creatures. We must be a lamb, and we must be a lion, if we are to be in the image of Christ. But the "little boy" of our personality must lead us or else we can never enter the Kingdom of God. Our life here is a vapor, as James says, a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. The real, substantial world is invisible to us at this time. Hopefully we will be able to see reality some day. Current Evangelical theology has fallen into the condition that it has because of deductive reasoning. A few "key verses" removed from their contexts have been employed as axioms . From these a "plan of salvation" has been constructed that falls far short of the Divine program of redemption. Biblical truth is arrived at by inductive reasoning. As the Holy Spirit emphasizes passages of the Scriptures, Old Testament and New, the temple of Divine truth arises, understanding upon understanding, precept upon precept, each unveiling placed as a brick into the structure by the Spirit. We will not say, "The Kingdom is here or the Kingdom is there." The Kingdom of God, of Heaven, is Christ in us. The goal of the Christian redemption is not to bring us to another place, there to live forever in idleness. The goal of the Christian redemption is to transform us into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ so God in Christ can dwell in us. When God in Christ is reigning in us in untroubled splendor, then we will bring Heaven wherever we go. Jesus is not coming to hurry us off to the spirit realm. He is coming to rule the nations of the earth. One of the greatest mistakes that can be made by a believer in Christ is to view his salvation as a ticket to Heaven, and then just wait for the day he dies so he can "retire" in Heaven. To neglect the daily lessons of the Holy Spirit, to shun the life of cross-carrying obedience to the Lord Jesus in the hope we will be saved by "grace," is to miss the process of redemption. When we die we will be dealt with according to our folly. The spiritual Heaven, the Paradise above, is not our eternal home. It is a place of waiting until the next great act of redemption takes place—the return of Christ to the earth and the redemption of the bodies of the victorious saints. God shall open the political doors for us and He shall confirm the Word with signs following, just as soon as we are prepared to preach Christ and not ourselves. We may ask, "Who is this King of Glory who is appearing now to the Christian people? We have not known this Person." The answer comes, "He is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Armies." We have to keep on stirring up the gifts that are in us. It is easy to settle back or to become so involved in the things of the world that there is little time left to spend waiting on God. There is no greater joy than to seek the will of God for our life. As we do, God gives us enough faith to accomplish that for which we have been called. As we move ahead our eyes are lifted up to behold a horizon of glory that exceeds all we could ever ask or think. The greatest blessing that can come on any human being is the heartfelt, earnest desire to perform the will of God. The Kingdom of God is the doing of God’s will. Redemption works toward this end—that the will of God may be done in earth as it is in Heaven. There come times in the history of the Kingdom of God when God is ready for a major step forward. In order to be prepared for God’s move we must sanctify ourselves. We must set ourselves apart as holy to God’s Person, purpose, and ways. If we prepare ourselves we will be ready for the worldwide harvesting of souls that is at hand. If we do not prepare ourselves we will fall into the snares of the devil, because tribulation and temptation are at hand. Pilate asked, "What is truth?" God Himself is Truth. Because the Lord Jesus Christ is the exact Representation of God, Christ Himself is Truth. Christ is the Word, the Expression of God. That Word is Truth. Christ Himself is Truth because He portrays in His words and actions what God thinks; what God says; what God does. Truth always has been, is now, and eternally shall be. Truth is unchanging. Truth can be expressed in words. But truth actually is the Person and actions of Jesus Christ. What God is and what God reveals in His Person and actions always bring us to righteousness, love, peace, and joy. Truth always brings us to righteousness, love, peace, and joy. Truth is infinitely more than what is true. Air is made up in part of oxygen. This is true but it is not truth. This fact does not lead us to righteousness, love, joy, and peace. Satan is the universal lie. Satan is the opposite of truth. What Satan is and does and expresses in word always leads to unrighteousness, hatred, misery, torment, unrest. Satan and all who are of Satan are temporary. Jesus Christ and all who are of Christ are eternal. As Christ is formed in us, we become the truth, the covenant of God with mankind. O God, make us truth! Since actual works of righteousness necessitate a denial of man’s pleasures, actual righteousness is regarded by the "Laodicean" (man-centered) believers as the "works" against which Paul warned us. The Laodiceans distort the Scriptures to their own destruction. There is no greater error in Christian thinking than the concept that the purpose of the Christian salvation is to excuse the wicked so they are not sent where the wicked belong. The compulsions of our sinful nature, the wicked tendencies with which we were born, might be referred to as alien sin. We did not choose them and do not want them. But when we refuse to cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He seeks to give us victory over the alien sin in us, then we are guilty of original sin. We have chosen to align ourselves with Satan. The people who insist, "as long as we are in this world we have to sin," and inform us that "nobody is perfect," either are afraid God can't help them or else they want to leave a little room for sin in their life. They are ignorant of the promises of Christ and His Apostles. According to Isaiah, God plans to make man more precious than gold. Revelation tells us that on the new earth there will be no more sea. My understanding of these two passages is that after God has judged the world, He will change mankind from being a sea of people, that can be moved as a unit, into highly esteemed individuals. Today in the large cities of the world, crime and the abasement of people are out of control. This is because of the folly of gathering large numbers of people into cities. The world of the future will consist of valued individuals, not of mobs who can be swayed by those who seek to control them. You can't judge the worth of a church by the number of people who attend. To judge a church you must go to one of the services. If you are walking with the Lord you can tell whether the church is alive, deceived, asleep, or dead. If we choose our own way now, we may be satisfied and content. But later we will be in misery. If we follow Christ now, denying ourselves, taking up our cross and following Jesus, we may be miserable now. But later we will rejoice. Those how mourn now shall be comforted in the time to come. The Kingdom of God is not a place, it is a group of people who, through the Lord Jesus Christ, govern the works of God's hands. The United States government is not a place. It is not Washington D.C. Rather it is the people who govern from that place. The eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews is clear that faith follows, not precedes, the expression of God’s will. Faith is not a matter of deciding what we want and then commanding God to give it to us. O Lord, I choose to not think about the works of Satan and His demons. I will fix my mind on the wonders of Heaven. The Kingdom of God comprises the best of Heaven and the best of the earth. The truly significant events in this world take place with and in individuals, not with nations. It is not unusual for workers in an establishment to attempt to push the boss, the chief executive officer, up and out of sight if possible so the workers can develop their own plans and programs. I think the Christian churches through the centuries have done this with the Lord Jesus Christ. What we Christians must come to understand is that the Lord God is interested in righteousness and obedience. We do not accept Christ in order to avoid punishment for our behavior but in order to gain the opportunity to repent and begin to do the things that are pleasing to God. The Law of Moses deals with the behavior of people, telling them what they can do and cannot do. The new covenant deals with the sinful nature itself, commanding our adamic personality to submit to crucifixion that the Holy Spirit may destroy our sinful nature, form Christ in us, and guide us in righteous behavior. The more clearly the true Christian realizes his kingdom is not of this world, the more effectively he is able to serve mankind. Do not permit yourself to be driven by fear, or dread, or trying to please someone, or a desire to achieve something or be someone of importance, or by the lusts and passions of your personality, or pessimism, or unbelief, or an attraction to the deliciousness of that which is mystical, or a habit, or a need to be perfect, or enthusiasm, or a clutching of a relationship or situation, or a discipline that you have laid on yourself. Abide in Christ in every detail of life and flow with His Presence. This is the goal. This is the rest of God. Nothing else is fruitful or necessary. If we are not careful, we get into the habit of following spiritual principles instead of seeking the Lord Jesus. Satan will work on those areas that are our greatest strength, our appointed destiny. God has placed great joy ahead of us because He plans on giving us the desires of our heart. But first God has to make certain we will obey Him if we never receive what we desire so strongly. To walk with the living Jesus, to be guided by him in every detail of life, is the highest form of law and righteousness. The one who gains pleasure at the expense of another person's misery will not be blessed by the Lord. It appears that today the American people are divided into the sheep and the goats; into those who fear God and those who do not. There is a difference between mentoring believers and making disciples. The person who serves as a mentor for Christian believers helps those individuals overcome the problems of daily living. The person who makes disciples serves as a master under the great Master. He orients people to the Lord's discipleship program, showing them how to keep counting themselves crucified with Christ and how to press forward into Christ's resurrection life. Eventually they too will become masters and disciple other people. We are to go into all the world and make disciples. This program is similar to that of the printing, carpentry, and other trades. He who is perfect shall be as his master. Living by the Spirit of God is an art. It requires daily practice, faith, and courage. In our Father’s house there are many rooms. If this were not to be the case, Christ would have told us. He has gone to the cross, then to Heaven, and now back to us in the Spirit that we may be with Him where He is—in the heart of God. The massive error today is to view imputed righteousness as a new way in which God relates to man. The bypass has become the main highway. It is we who must prepare the way of the Lord today. We do this by seeking God's help as we bring down the high places in our life; bring up the depressed areas; smooth out the rough spots and straighten out that which is crooked. When you have been praying and doing God’s will diligently, and the obvious does not take place, you can be quite sure that something wonderful is on the way. In the accounts in the Bible, some marvelous births occurred in barren women. The seven thunders of power do not speak until our self-will has been put down. We don’t see the Lord high and lifted up until the year King Uzzah dies. Ahimaaz may outrun the Cushite but it is the Cushite who delivers the message. The mountains of Bashan lift themselves up in vain. God dwells only in Zion. This is the resting place God has chosen. To not give up Isaac when he is called for prevents the most extraordinary inheritance. Don’t throw that which is holy to the dogs. Keep the treasures the Lord gives you. Hide them in your heart until you know what you are to do with them. Saints are not formed in a milk bath but in the fire. Be patient and pray. Stay with it, unless God clearly shows you otherwise. God will give you victory right where you are if you don’t run away. To enter the road that leads to eternal life is to pass through the small gate. The small gate is that of counting ourselves crucified with Christ and raised with Christ. Unlike the physical world, light and darkness are distinct, separate forces in the spirit world. The program of redemption exercises one specific technique to remove wickedness from us and another specific technique to implant righteousness in us. In our satanic wisdom we have altered a covenant that was meant to free us from the Law of Moses so we could follow the Holy Spirit without being guilty, until it now means that no matter how we behave we are guiltless before God and can have fellowship with Him and with demons at the same time. We pray for more of the Holy Spirit that we might have more of the Spirit to give to other people. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Expression of God. We are being made an integral part of that Expression. To be in the image of God is to think as God is thinking; to speak as God is speaking; to act as God is acting. To be in the likeness of God is to have an outer appearance like that of God. The Church is the government of the Kingdom of God, the government of the world to come. Everyone who is governed by the Church is a part of the Kingdom of God, just as everyone who is governed by the government of the United States is a part of America. The government of the Kingdom is being developed now. The citizens of the Kingdom will come later. The government of the Kingdom of God is God in Christ in the saints ruling the works of God’s hands. Whoever is praying to be in the fullness of the image of Jesus Christ is asking to be the perfect expression and representation of the Father. If this were not possible, the Bible would not tell us we have been predestined to be in the image of Christ, and to be His brothers. If such were not our goal, it would not be recorded in the Scriptures. Satan had that goal of being in God’s image, but he was seeking power and prestige rather than the moral image of his Creator. Satan’s motive was to compete against God rather than a loving desire to emulate and glorify His Creator. First we are made sorrowful, then we are made fruitful. It is the barren who bear the fruit of God. First we mourn, then we are comforted. First we weep, and then we rejoice. Weeping endures for a night but joy comes in the morning. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes it is a tree of life. God wounds and then heals. This is the Divine order. The river of God always is full of water. It is not possible to exhaust the supply of eternal life. What is the Word of God? Is it not Truth? We have been called to be truth, in the image of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Jesus Christ we are being made the way to God for all people. Through Jesus Christ we are being made the truth that will enable all people to distinguish between what is true and beneficial and what is false and destructive. Through Jesus Christ we are being made the Life of God from which all people may drink and receive eternal righteousness, love, joy, and peace. People do not need as many things as they think they do. Whoever has righteousness, love, joy, and peace has everything of true value. They come only from Jesus Christ, from nowhere else. I have observed that all spiritual truth can be seen in the everyday occurrences and relationships that take place around us. The big surprise when we die may be that things will be more like what we have been accustomed to rather than different and novel. Death is the great common denominator. In death we see the weakness and folly of the adamic creation. All flesh is grass; it profits nothing. It is the spirit of God who gives life. The rest of God is that state of being in which our will and God’s will are the same. It is worth every pain, every denial, every frustration, to attain to that rest. The greatest disaster that can befall any human being is to have a will contrary to the will of God. The greatest blessing any human being can have is to have a will that is in harmony with the will of God. Perhaps the greatest misunderstanding in current Christian thinking is that once we "accept Christ" we possess ninety percent of the Divine salvation. The truth is, making a profession of belief in the Lord Jesus Christ is but the merest beginning of a lifelong effort to enter the rest of God, into that state of being in which our will and God's will are in perfect agreement. In fact, sometimes "accepting Christ" is not even the beginning, because we have not truly come to Christ; rather we have subscribed to a set of doctrinal positions. Maybe it is not so much a question of our accepting Christ but of Christ accepting us. "Depart from me, I never knew you." “O Lord, I dwell with you at the right hand of God. While I serve you in this valley of the shadow of death, open my eyes that I may enjoy the real world, the spirit realm, the world of righteousness, love, joy, and peace.” If we give God our best, God will give us His best. The individual who is willing to do God’s complete and perfect will makes things possible that ordinarily would not be possible. It seems God always is looking for someone to build up the wall and stand in the gap before Him on behalf of the land so he would not have to destroy it. Sometimes He finds no one. Let’s you and I resolve that as long as we are alive on the earth, it cannot be said that God could not find someone who will build up the wall and stand in the gap before Him. The Christian life is conducted as we diligently seek the Lord’s will at every moment, and then obey Him sternly and promptly. There is no other true Christian discipleship. The Lord Jesus told us that when a spirit comes out of a person it goes through arid places. It seeks to return to the body from which is was expelled. This suggests to us that spirits have “fleshly” cravings when they no longer are in a human body. If such is the case, when a person dies who still is bound with lust or other unclean appetites, the fact that he has died and left his body does not mean he no longer is bound by these lusts. His desires are still present but he cannot fulfill them. We do not have to struggle frantically to be released from a bondage of one sort or another, such as cigarettes, or eating too much, or alcohol, or profanity, or any other problem. Remember that the Lord Jesus Christ spoke the universe into existence. He has more power than enough power and wisdom to deliver each one of us. The approach to deliverance, therefore, is to is to confess to the Lord our need, and pray for strength and wisdom to be delivered from whatever is troubling us. In addition we should use any other resources we have, such as the prayers of the elders of our church or the members of a support group. Then we are to live the life of a Christian disciple, praying, reading our Bible, and gathering with fervent believers as we have opportunity. We are to remind the Lord each day of our need, whether for physical or moral deliverance, and listen to Christ carefully as He provides the wisdom and power to set us free. The Word of deliverance may come to us in the moment we pray, or after a season of waiting. But it shall come. The written Word of God cannot be broken. “You shall ask what you will and it shall be done to you.” A Christian is a disciple. A disciple is someone who denies himself, takes up his cross, and follows the Lord. This is no great exercise in asceticism. It means merely that we remain patiently in our circumstances, no matter how painful, denying ourselves the right to break out of our prison if it means going against God’s moral laws, whether written or His will expressed to us personally. “Lord Jesus, I thank you for carrying me this day. I do not have to worry or fret because underneath are the everlasting arms.” God’s intentions toward us are good. This was the question raised in the beginning. Is God seeking our good? God knows the details of our life. God is bringing us to joy. God has the power and the wisdom to bring us to complete and perfect joy. Faith insists this is true. When we are working for the Lord and obeying Him diligently we lack no good thing. The Lord takes care of His employees. God is faithful to a degree we cannot comprehend. We should pray always that God will make us just as faithful; having the same integrity; being in His image in our character. There are at least three attitudes one can take toward the numerous commandments written in the New Testament. First, the commandments can be ignored safely. Second, they can be regarded as showing us how impossible it is to please God so we then will see our need to be saved by grace. Third, we can realize God means for us to keep them and that we indeed can keep them by asking the Lord continually to give us the necessary strength and wisdom to do so. Only the third attitude is acceptable. For true Christians there are no eternal good byes. There may be temporary separations, such as in death, but true Christians are united for eternity. The question is not whether you and I are going to be a slave, the question is whose slave we are going to be—Satan’s or Christ’s? With the faithful God shows Himself faithful. With the pure God shows Himself pure. God deals with us according to our righteousness. God can make a way through the darkest of nights. We were put in this world so we would have an opportunity to choose what kind of person we want to be and to be with after we die. The purpose of coming to Christ and receiving Him is so we can be made in the image of God in our character. If we make a profession of belief in Christ, but our character does not change into the image of God, then when we die we will be placed where the kind of person is that we have chosen to be and to be with. Accepting Christ enables us to be transformed in character. Accepting Christ is not a religious device that enables us to maintain a wicked, self-seeking, lying, perverse character; and then, when we die, go to live among the righteous in the Paradise of God. I think the American people are worshiping freedom instead of God. If Christ delivered you all at once you would be a house swept and decorated and worse demons would enter you. Just as Israel entered the land of promise a city at a time, so must you enter your own land of promise one city at a time. Quit hanging on to your sins, your pride, your self-will. It is all death. It is all interfering with your progress toward the Glory of God. The Bride must become without spot, wrinkle, or any other blemish. Let the fine needlework continue. Be as cheerful as you can. Look to Jesus alone. If we continue to live in the flesh, counting on “grace” to “bring us to Heaven,” we are going to be cruelly disappointed when we see how we have injured our resurrection. We have destroyed our greatest hope—that of being like Jesus when He appears. When Paul spoke of attaining to the resurrection that is out from among the dead he was speaking of attaining to the fullness of inward resurrection life. It is only as we attain to inward resurrection life that we are eligible for the redemption of our physical body. If you are called to a high rank in the Kingdom you are going to endure the process of death and life, death and life, death and life, over and over again as Christ's Glory is formed in you. Repentance and forgiveness remove the man from the cesspool. Deliverance removes the cesspool from the man. By inventing a gospel of forgiveness that brings us to Heaven we have managed to avoid a radical change in our personality—a radical change that is necessary if we are to be able to hold Paradise once we gain it. Life on earth is a minefield. If the Lord is not guiding our steps we may blow up ourselves. If we will diligently cooperate with the Spirit of God as He forms the Light of Christ in us, the Spirit will bring people whom He has chosen to the Light He has developed in us. The efforts of righteous people to do good in the world accomplish much of value. Their works come up before God as a memorial, as did the alms of Cornelius. Because the problems of the world are caused by spiritual forces, and because there are incorrigibly wicked people, the solution to the distress of the world can come only with the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and His holy ones to drive spiritual darkness from the earth. The world is a nursery for the little gods that have been born from God. Each of the little gods must become an integral part of God, always doing God’s perfect will as His Life is expressed through them. Otherwise they become devils in the universe and must be destroyed for the good of all. Who knows what Christ-glorifying universes the holy ones might create in the unimaginable eons to come. It is the business of a man of God to describe the invisible forces that cause the things of the world to be as they are. Too much emphasis on the incidents and forces we can see can result in impotent fretting. The Bible shows us how to cope successfully with the things that take place in the world by instructing us concerning the underlying spiritual realities. The weapons of our warfare are not those of flesh and blood but they are mighty through God and are able to tear down strongholds. God could force any person at any time to do His will. But God’s desire is to find people who love Him enough to persevere through the often painful operations that result finally in their will being identical with God’s will. Those who attain to this blessed state of oneness in God’s will are wealthy beyond all others. They shall rule the works of God’s hands for eternity. There are those whom God has called to be flaming bushes. They always are on fire with the Glory of God; yet they are not consumed. At one time their heart was leprous with sin. Then God spoke and their heart was free from the uncleanness of sin, being made pure with the holiness of God Their wisdom, their “snake,” as it were, when confronted with the wisdom of the world, overcomes it. Our reward is great in the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is not a place, it is a realm of authority. In the Kingdom of God we have Divine acceptance, fellowship with the Son of God, spiritual authority, access to the Father, power to overcome evil and harm, resurrection life, love, peace, and glory. If God wants to use you He will make it known. It does not matter whether or not you consider yourself worthy or unworthy; prepared or unprepared. All that matters is God’s will. If you are obedient you will be blessed. If you are disobedient you will come into a dry place indeed. Some have commented on the price one must pay to serve Christ with a perfect heart. What about the price we pay when we do not serve Christ with a perfect heart? The victorious saint chooses death to his own will every time his will and God’s will are in conflict. The man or woman who “cannot stand what I am doing for one more day” may be required to put up with these grievous conditions for several more years. We must remain in the Lord’s prison until we “die.” This is death to our first personality. This is the manner in which Christ overcomes rebellion in us. The Gospel of the Kingdom of God is that Christ and His saints are coming to the earth to put down all rebellion against the Father, to enforce with a rod of iron God’s will in the earth as it is done in Heaven. This is the meaning of Christianity. When we cast out devils by the finger of God, the Kingdom has come. God’s purposes in Christ are not accomplished when men are brought to Heaven but when Christ-filled men conquer Satan so Michael and his angels can remove Satan from the heavens. This is Mahanaim—two armies, the army of saints and the army of angels. It is "the dance of a double camp" (Rotherham). The hammer of God beats blow after blow until it strikes hard and clean on the anvil of our soul. It is in such a furnace of affliction, denial, and thirst that we come to know God. There is no other way. The adamic nature in us screams like a pig being slaughtered! But there is no other way. The old covenant provided for the forgiveness of sin on a repeating basis. The new covenant is directed toward the forming of a new individual who does not sin. The jasper wall does not stand shining and clear in our day. The mixture of the world and the churches presents little danger to the kingdom of Satan. When men and women of God arise to build the wall and gates of Jerusalem we can expect an uproar in both the religious and the secular sectors. Our God is the Consuming Fire. He calls us and then seeks to “slay” us. God is not merely a philosopher or a kindly teacher who guides us into a happy life. God is a fiercely possessive Spirit who makes a covenant with us by blood, by the sword of His Word, by fire. We are eternally secure as long as we are abiding in Christ. The only thing we can take with us after we die is our character. Therefore we are wise if we do not ruin our eternal future by making money the centerpiece of our existence. To deny ourselves and patiently bear our cross after the Lord Jesus is a life of discipline. Such a life brings true eternal freedom. All else is chaos, misery, and destruction. The worship of the freedom to behave as we choose, in the United States of America, rather than the worship of God and His righteousness, is changing our country into a nation of homosexuals and the practitioners of abortion. This will lead to intense, prolonged national suffering as we are baptized with Divine fire. God will not permit His world, His earth, to be corrupted morally One of the primary characteristics of the religious spirit, the spirit that crucified Christ and to this day warps the desires of God, is an absence of the sense of God's timing. One of the primary characteristics of the religious spirit, the spirit that crucified Christ and to this day warps our efforts to do God's will, is an absence of the sense of God's timing. The local church is to be the pillar and foundation of the truth. For this reason, we must never water down what the Bible says for the purpose of swelling our ranks with people. The emphasis always must be on bearing a true witness of God, His Person, His way, and His eternal purpose in Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has all authority and power in Heaven, on the earth, and in the dark prisons under the earth’s surface. You do not have to solve your own problems or deliver yourself from the bondages of sin. Christ can and will solve your problems and deliver you, but you have to keep on asking throughout every situation. “Lord Jesus, I pray that you will remove from me totally all torment, all fear, all dread, and fill me completely with the prospect of eternal righteousness, eternal love, eternal joy, and eternal peace.” The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. The Kingdom is real peace and real joy, not peace and joy that merely have been imputed to us. The Kingdom is real righteousness of behavior, not righteousness that merely has been imputed to us. It may be true that the most powerful force contributing to the present spiritual and moral weakness of the Christian churches is the desire to attract large numbers of people to our membership rolls and the consequent modifying of the services to accommodate the desires and understanding of unsaved people. Our motive may be “to minister to a lost and dying world.” We are focusing on the needs of people rather than on the need that God has for consecrated saints. The result of this humanistic endeavor is that the Presence of the Holy Spirit is minimal if present at all. Therefore neither God’s needs nor the needs of mankind is served. As a Christian, always be ready to bestow forgiveness and to receive forgiveness. “Lord I will cheerfully carry a burden of prayer for as long as necessary. But I will not accept fear or dread for one second. Help me to distinguish between a God-given burden and the oppression of the enemy.” We Christians place far too much emphasis on religion and not nearly enough on what kind of person we are. It is the purpose of religion to make us better people, not more fervent, more accurate religionists. I have come to the conclusion that the difference between religion and true salvation is that religion is a relationship with an organization of people and true salvation is a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Just because God has kept you in prison, don't become a prisoner in your heart. Remember Joseph who one day was in prison and the next day second only to Pharaoh of Egypt. The purpose of sexual intercourse is to affirm our devotion to another person. The purpose of eating and drinking is to maintain our health and energy so we may continue to serve God. The purpose of speaking is to give to or receive from another person something of value. Whenever sexual intercourse, eating and drinking, or speaking is practiced apart from its proper purpose because it "feels good," we are living in the fleshly, sinful nature—and there is a price to pay! Apparently the spirit world has many components, many areas of activity and industry. One of the most significant of these may be an area devoted to education. This is necessary if we all are to come to the stature of the fullness of Christ; if we all are to come to know the Lord, from the least to the greatest. Sometimes Christians will cling to an adamic trait, such as a violent temper or a romantic spirit, in the belief that they may have need at times for such behavior. This is similar to the practice of the Israelites of making subdued peoples work as servants to draw water and chop firewood, instead of putting them to death as the Lord commanded. Over a period of time, as the Lord warned, the Israelites were destroyed from within by being seduced into worshiping the idols of Canaan. The Bible is the rule book. The Holy Spirit guides us in the application of the rule book. The victorious saint is as a sea of glass mixed with fire. He is transparent because the Divine fire has judged every aspect of his personality. He always is exalting God and singing the song of Moses and of the Lamb, deriving his maturity from both covenants. One of the main purposes of life on the earth is that God may be able to see what we will do when we are brought into various situations. He wants to determine this before He entrusts us with true love, joy, and peace, and the authority and power of the Kingdom. I have a watch that gets its time signal from an atomic clock located in Colorado. It is as accurate as the atomic clock, which is extremely accurate. Thus my watch is more accurate than a watch that operates from its own mechanism. So it is true that a Christian who has died to self and is operating from the Life of Jesus Christ will eventually reveal more righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God than is true of the most disciplined believer who is living a religious life in his own strength. He is on the way to becoming the expression of the thinking, speaking, and acting of God. We are not saved to the uttermost until we have been delivered completely from the thinking, speaking, and acting of Satan. There is no place in God’s army for retired soldiers. God is not religious. Religion works with groups. God works with individuals. Disciples and victorious saints are made one at a time. When God wants the wicked to prevail, they shall prevail. God uses the wicked to perfect the righteous. Jesus told us to pray, "Lead us not into temptation." Does God lead us into temptation? No, He assuredly does not. But there are snares all around us; and if we pray faithfully, God will help us avoid falling into them. If we ask the Lord to do so, God will remove dread, terror, and worry from us. Only the true burden of the Lord will remain. Pray about everything that concerns you. Take absolutely nothing for granted! God always is speaking. There is a continual flow of words from His mouth. Some of them are directed to us as individuals. We are to live so as to hear and respond to every one of those words. The personal cross of the believer is the mainspring of the Christian discipleship. The secret of carrying our cross successfully is to not concentrate on it. When we focus on what we cannot have at this time, or what we do have and don’t want, we soon become discouraged. We must ask the Lord to set joy before us, ignore our cross, and follow the Lord where He is leading us. The current interpretation of the Apostle Paul’s doctrine of salvation by grace through faith has warped God’s intention under the new covenant until it no longer is recognizable. God’s intention under the new covenant is to make people in His image. This intention has been altered into a free ticket to Heaven unrelated to change into His image. We fulfill the Sabbath commandment when we seek the Presence and will of Jesus Christ every moment of every day. This is the rest of God. All other works of redemption act to achieve this end. “O You who inhabit eternity, transfigure our dust with your Divine Presence and Person.” We may get tired of praying, but the Lord Jesus never gets tired of hearing us pray. It appears that most Christian people do not realize they can be set free from the power of sin if they will look to the Lord Jesus. Christ has something to say to the angel of the Christian churches of our day: “Because you are teaching that My people do not have to keep My commandments, I will come and fight against you with the sword of My mouth.” Any fool can start a fight but a person of character brings peace. Any fool can blow up a building but it takes skilled, industrious people to construct a building. Any fool can injure someone but it requires years of training before a person can heal an injury. When there is too much emphasis on the rights of the individual, an orderly society is impossible. Internal conquest must precede external conquest. We must gain victory over the sinful impulses in our own personality before we will be eligible and competent to ride behind Christ in the Day of the Lord. When there is a task to be performed, the Holy Spirit will use whoever is available. This is an entirely separate matter from being someone whom the Lord knows. It is best to go through judgment now, as the Lord leads, and get it over with. Then the good part will come later. The homosexual spirit tells an individual, “This is what you are. You are homosexual.” But this is a lie. In the beginning, God created man male and female, each in his established role. He called their name Adam in the day they were created. They together are the image of God. Together they bring forth after their kind, and have dominion. This is not possible for two people of the same gender. Therefore God never created a homosexual person. If people were created homosexual, then homosexual behavior would not be condemned as sin in both the Old and New Testaments. Is God fighting with Himself? Through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ an individual with homosexual desires can be set free. Many problems are best handled in prayer. Oftentimes we disquiet ourselves, attempting to work things out; when all that is necessary is to go to God in prayer and wait on Him. God then will move people, things, circumstances, and us also, in order to solve the problem perfectly. Sometimes God shows us a need, and it is best to pray and let God bring the answer rather than trying to do it ourselves. Satan comes and looks to see what is in us that is of himself. If there is nothing on the inside, Satan cannot tempt us on the outside. The problem is, we have, even as Christians, spirits dwelling in us that affect our desires. Our will either chooses to go along with our desires, or else seeks deliverance and resists them. In the Day of our Judgment, we will be judged on the basis of what our will chose to do about our ungodly desires. If we persist in seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, the time will arrive when Satan comes and finds nothing in us. There are numerous voices that speak to us audibly, and also in our thoughts. We need to pray always that we may know what voice is speaking to us. No one, no matter how godly, is above being deceived. Something that is partially true often is totally false. If you want to know something or how to solve a problem, in any area of the arts and sciences, ask Jesus. In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The Lord Jesus Christ is a Person, not a belief system. All salvation and life are in Him. It is continual fellowship with Him, eating His flesh and drinking His blood, that transform us. It is this transformation that itself is salvation. Believing in correct theology and doctrine is important only if such belief leads us into continual interaction with the Lord Jesus Christ. The knowledge and belief themselves have no saving power. Only the immediate possession of Christ brings eternal life and salvation. Just think! Just think! People have been tortured and murdered over the issue of correct theology. Yet there is no salvation in correct theology. The devils know that Christ is Lord and someday will confess the same, if they haven’t already. But they will not be saved as a result of their belief and confession. The thief on the cross professed faith in Christ. His reward, the result of his faith in Christ, was to be with Jesus. It is being with Jesus that saves us. The Apostle Paul was striving to know and gain Christ, not just to be in Paradise. In Paradise we hear unspeakable words; but all salvation and eternal life are in Christ Himself. When we hear the voice of Christ we are raised from the dead. But it is the unwrapping of the graveclothes that is deliverance and salvation. It does us no good to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of men if we then do not obey and follow Him continually. There are those who seek keep on sinning but in their heart they want to serve Christ. God may afflict them or even take their life in order to keep them from destruction. There is no salvation in Paradise as such. Salvation is in Christ. He is the Tree of Life. If we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead we shall be saved. This is not a ticket to Heaven, it is the entrance to a lifelong discipleship in which we must turn aside from the world and carry our cross as Jesus leads us every step of the way. Sometimes God does not make sense until after the fact. Don’t worry about what Satan, evil spirits, and wicked people can do. They all will conspire, without realizing it, to do God’s will—like making a blood atonement that takes away the sin of the world. They will do the same for you if you follow the Lord Jesus closely. Ask the Lord and He will set a table for you; but it may be in the presence of your enemies. As far as I know, the offerings made by Cain and Abel were not sin offerings. The problem with Cain’s offering probably was that it was not presented in faith. The lack of faith in Cain is revealed in his response to the Lord’s rebuke. Cain should have asked the Lord what he could do to please God; but Cain was not teachable! Can you imagine the Apostles of the Lamb jumping up and down next to their pews in anticipation of a rapture? It seems to me the idea behind the “seeker friendly,” or “seeker sensitive” church, is to turn one’s attention from what God wants to what people want. It seems that in the mercantile aspect of our culture the issue is not whether an action is right or wrong but whether it made a profit. If such is the case, how can we deny the charge made by Eastern nations that the United States is decadent? Grace is Divine assistance, not an alternative to righteous behavior. We do not seek to acquire the likeness of God in our life, or fruitfulness, or dominion, so we may become spiritually proficient or a powerful person. We seek to acquire union with God through the Lord Jesus Christ so the Divine image, fruitfulness, and dominion, which are the true goals of every person, may be given to us lawfully and enable us to please the Father. We do not wrestle ineffectually with sin or self-will. We declare we have died with Christ and have risen with Him. Then we look to God for grace each day to act according to our declaration. This is what it means to "overcome." Do you even believe that God is bringing you to joy? This was the question that Satan raised with Eve. Faith in God means we believe God sees us, He cares, He is bringing us to joy, and He has the power to do this. You have to hang on to this faith through every trial, every suffering, every frustration or else you will fall by the wayside. God does not want us to look for formulas that will "work." This is to put the head of man on the Body of Christ. God desires people who will walk each day as little children, holding His hand, looking up to Him in complete trust; not metaphysicians who know how to "believe" something into existence or how to "speak the creative word." In the process of moral deliverance, the Lord brings us to one city at a time, so to speak. We firmly denounce and renounce the behavior as the Holy Spirit reveals to us the particular darkness. We denounce it as evil. We thoroughly renounce it, turning away from it with the determination God gives us. We then stand on our forgiveness, according to God’s promise. We embrace our fellowship with God and press forward. We deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Christ. We firmly resist Satan as he seeks to reintroduce the specific behavior into our personality. We occupy one city at a time. If we try to move forward before gaining victory over the designated behavior, our progress ceases. We cannot move ahead into a new area of deliverance while the prior area has not been dealt with thoroughly. Such moral deliverance, step by step, constitutes our advance toward the resurrection unto life and glory. If we do not submit each detail of our thinking, speaking, and acting, to Jesus Christ, how can we expect to live, move, and have our being in the power of Christ’s resurrection? If you are diligently doing what Christ has commanded you to do, who has the power or authority to move you? Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. I have served Christ all my adult life. I have made many mistakes, but then have repented and pressed forward when the errors were made known to me. Christ has never let me down. God’s firstfruits are free from “marriage” to all persons, things, and circumstances. They are virgins in this spiritual sense. It appears to me that there are not many true Christians in the world; not many who deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Christ. Why be envious concerning the people of the world or upset by their behavior? They only are exhibiting the spiritual death in which they are bound. Why are you worrying about tomorrow? When tomorrow comes there will be new grace, and solutions that perhaps you never have thought of. Don’t focus on what the Devil is doing. Focus on the Lord Jesus Christ. He sits as King of the flood of your life. You will yet sing and dance in the heights of Zion when the lawlessness surrounding you is creating desolation. Be encouraged in the Lord! Think only about what is pure, peaceable, and lovely. Refuse to pay attention to Satan as he bangs on his pots and pans seeking your attention. Ignore the evil unless the Lord directs you to do something about it. We are not to fret ourselves concerning the evil. To do so only destroys our confidence and trust in Christ. Look at Jesus and walk on the water. Look at the waves and sink. There was a time when the Arameans had laid siege to Samaria. The siege continued until the people inside the walls of the city were starving. During a certain night the Lord caused the Aramean army to panic and flee. One thing led to another until the inhabitants of Samaria found out that the enemy had gone, and then were able to go and gather as much food as they needed. It is this way today. The Christian churches have been shut up in captivity to the bondages of sin. The Holy Spirit is telling us that if we will confess our sins and turn to Christ we can be delivered from our chains. The enemy has fled in disarray. Ours is a new day, and the Kingdom of God is at hand. The Jews are looking for Messiah to appear. Wait until they find out that a multitude of Jews and Gentiles are going to appear with Him to govern and bless the peoples of the earth! The prayer of relinquishment is not a prayer of resignation. We learn by experience how to let go and place everything in the hands of the Lord, and yet keep on presenting our requests to God, along with our thanksgiving. If God is with you, who can be against you? The end of the study of theology is knowledge. The end of the process of salvation is a change of personality and behavior. The knowledge of theology without a transformation produced by salvation leads only to pride. Better to have one small change of personality and behavior into the image of God than a mastery of orthodox theology. A master of theology is termed a theologian. A morally transformed believer is referred to as a saint. There are problems God can solve so easily, if we will pray. We are foolish when we worry and attempt to bumble through to some solution of our own making. The wise person learns to live for the moment. He realizes that all there is, is now. At the same time he recognizes that one day he or she will be withered with age, no longer attractive, no longer able to ignore his body or do as he likes. He prepares for death, knowing he can bring with him only his character. People remain spiritually dead until God draws them to Jesus Christ, the Tree of Life. They are, as the Scripture says, like grass and flowers which today make a fine show but tomorrow wilt and die. We turn into dust. The person who is living by the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ never dies. When his physical frame weakens and dies his soul marches triumphantly into the Presence of the Lamb, there to be greeted by God, the saints, and the elect angels. Life begins when we pass into the spirit world. What we experience on the earth is the prelude to actual life. Sometimes we wish we had known, when we were younger, what we know now. We could have avoided so many mistakes. Well, that is what God has planned for us. We make our mistakes in the present world. Then we begin again in the next world, having wisdom that we gained during our pilgrimage on the earth. It seems we can receive nothing of value until we have gained it under difficult circumstances. What we are given so freely we often lose. We do not appreciate it. This is the story of the prodigal son, of Samson, of mankind itself. “Jesus, You have set me as a witness in an awkward, difficult place. I ask for grace that in this situation I may be not only a survivor but more than a conqueror. I pray this in Your name. Amen.” We were born in rebellion, in spiritual darkness. Then the Light of Christ entered us. From this point forward the Spirit of God endeavors to separate the light from the darkness, the precious from the vile, the wheat from the tares in our personality. If when you awaken in the morning you ask God in Jesus’ name to choreograph every step of the day, He will do so. The Character of God and the consequences of obeying Him; and the character of Satan and the consequences of obeying him; are being revealed clearly to angels and humans by means of the history of the world. If everyone, including the Christians, would do God’s will, this world would be a paradise. The emphasis of the true Sabbath is not on our not working. It is on not working according to our own desires. God rested on the seventh day. Now we are to enter that rest by ceasing from our own works and looking to God for every detail of life. Our goal as Christians is not to go to a place such as Heaven. Our goal is a state of being: to be in the image of Christ, and to be living in untroubled rest in the center of God’s Person and will. When we speak of paradise, referring to the place, where all tears have been wiped away, where there is no more death or pain, where the leopard will lie down with the goat and a little child will lead them, we are referring to the earth, not to the spirit world. We have an extensive mythology concerning Heaven; but God is revealing to us that our destiny will be found in the earth—in the present earth when the Lord returns, and then in the new earth after the present earth has been discarded. The righteous always are with God. The wicked always are with Satan. The great error of Christian thinking is the idea that being a member of the Christian religion qualifies the wicked to walk with God. The purpose of our coming to Christ is not so we can remain wicked and at the same time have fellowship with God. The purpose of receiving Christ is that we may change from wickedness to righteousness and thus be qualified to have fellowship with God. We can obtain righteousness in the sight of God by professing faith in Jesus Christ. But that ascribed righteousness soon is withdrawn if we then do not cooperate with the Holy Spirit in the work of moral transformation. God never, never will have fellowship with wickedness; but He is willing to assist the individual who desires to change his behavior from wickedness to righteousness. To believe that the wicked can continue to dwell with God on the basis of a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, without seeking to be changed in character, is to be fatally deceived. We ought to know better than this! There are numerous Christian people who are proficient in religious service and who minister to the people of the world. But there is no most holy place in them. They know all the ways and furnishings of the house of God, but they do not know the God of the house of God. It is required of all Christians that we purify ourselves by reading the Word and praying. As we study the Word and pray we begin to be aware of what is spiritually clean and what is not. When we discover we are practicing uncleanness we are to confess the unclean behavior as sin and denounce and renounce it as evil. As we do this the power of Christ cleanses us from all that is unclean in God's sight. Without holiness no person ever will see the Lord. Only the pure in heart see God. We are going to reap what we are sowing whether or not we are a Christian. If we yield to our sinful nature, not purifying ourselves by the power of Christ, we will be raised in the Day of the Lord with a body of corruption, a body that shows in itself what we have practiced while living on the earth. Flee, flee, flee from any teacher of "grace" who tells you that you can practice sin and reap eternal life and joy. He is a false teacher. He is leading you to agony of body and soul. The Lord Jesus advised us to build our house on the rock. According to the Lord, we do this by obeying His teaching. The Kingdom of God is forcibly entered and violent people take it by force. This means we gain the Kingdom by an unrelenting pursuit of Christ, overcoming every enemy, every hindrance, as we press forward in faith, in prayer, in righteousness, in holiness, in patience, in stern obedience to God. Every place where we set our foot treads is our possession when we faithfully and patiently are following the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord of Hosts is our Commander in Chief. The time has come for Him to gain His inheritance, to put all of His enemies under His feet. He has purposed to do this through those who follow Him faithfully. When we reveal Christ completely in every aspect of our personality, then God the Father is seen. The invisible God becomes evident. Only Jesus Christ is the true Revelation of the Almighty God. When Christ lives in us the Almighty God is seen clearly for who He is, in our thoughts, our words, and our behavior. Mankind, and the angels as well, are all waiting to behold the heretofore invisible God. When we are willing to set aside our own life that Christ may live in us, the desire of the world and of the angels to behold God is fulfilled gloriously and completely. People, including God’s elect, are deeply rebellious by nature. It is the role of the Holy Spirit and the ministries and gifts He has given to work patiently with people until they are reconciled fully to God. Israel, God’s elect, always must struggle with God until their natural strength is weakened. They must pass from knowing Bethel, the house of God, to knowing El Bethel, the God of the house of God. Such knowledge entails fires that consume what is adamic and yield what is of God. We are defined by our memories. God controls our memories. Our eternal reward includes joyous, healing memories, or tormenting, destructive, memories. We need to lose our adamic inertia, being able always to move here and there as the Spirit chooses; and yet be established on the Rock Christ Jesus. To behave righteously, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God—there is nothing greater than this in God’s sight. The current concept of Christian thinking, that grace somehow changes this pattern such that God is pleased with our professing faith in Christ and there no longer is need for behaving righteously, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God, is a monumental and destructive error. The best prayers come from the burden of the Spirit in us, when God says “Ask Me.” Speaking in tongues is one way in which we learn to pray according to the burden of the Lord. Speaking in tongues is an action assisted by the Spirit of God. It is God’s way of bringing us into His rest. God will send angels today to assist and guide those who are serving Christ diligently. Indeed we are entering perilous times, morally and physically. It appears the demons of physical lust and perversion are increasing in America and also in the rest of the world. The pressures on us to engage in lustful, filthy moral practices may increase until only the most determined believers will be able to resist them. It is well that we seek God until we are filled with the Life of Christ. If we do not do this we will not be able to keep from yielding to the demons of lust. It may be true that upon his or her death, the wicked individual adds to the army of demons that surround us. Perhaps this is why the demonic forces are increasing rapidly. God according to His own decisions and through the Holy Spirit sends angels to assist those who are doing God’s will diligently. We see this in the incident in the Garden of Gethsemane in which an angel was sent to assist Christ. Because our need for spiritual help will increase in the coming days, God will send angels to assist those who are serving Him. However, we never are to seek to invoke, guide, worship, or otherwise attempt to communicate with angels. They are the Lord’s servants, not ours. It never has been true under any covenant that a person can take a certain action and from that point forward regardless of his or her behavior dwell with God in God’s righteous Kingdom. It is not true now and shall not be true for eternity. God does not strike us down in a moment when we sin. He is patient with us and gently works to bring about righteous behavior in us. But the person who remains defiant, who will not yield to God’s Spirit as He seeks to change our behavior, will be cut off from God’s Presence. The Bible teaches that there are righteous people and there are wicked people. The Bible teaches also that an individual can change from wickedness to righteousness, or righteousness to wickedness. The reason God can speak of the wheat and the tares is that He knows in advance the decisions we will make. However the choice is ours at every point. When the Bible speaks of election it is referring to God’s Church, His family, not to the saved individuals of the nations of the earth. This does not mean, however, that once we have been elected we can never choose to defy God and thus be cut off. Then too, there are ranks within the elect; for many are called but few are chosen. Divine election is a powerful force that operates in the affairs of mankind. However, nothing is inevitable. It always is possible to surprise God by our determination to serve Him and have Him multiply our talents. It also is possible for His elect to disappoint God and lose their appointed inheritance. Nothing is inevitable. If it were determined in advance that some people were to be saved into God’s Kingdom, and other individuals were to be cut off, people no longer would be people. They would be puppets. If such were the case the essential nature of mankind would be different from what it is. The very concepts of love and hate involve choice. Otherwise love and hate, obedience and disobedience, would be mechanical acts not satisfying to God or to us. The world is filled with people who will lie, steal, usurp, push others aside that they may be preeminent or have luxuries that others cannot afford. Their seeming gains are temporary. There is coming a new, eternal earth and the meek shall inherit it." The sons and daughters of the King must be arrayed in royal robes. Are you ready to have your old clothes removed from you by the King’s servants that you may be arrayed in iron righteousness, fiery holiness, and stern obedience to the Father? How glorious you will appear when your transformation has been completed! Religious fervor proceeds from the ambitions and lusts of man. It is not of the Spirit of God. The goal of every person of sound mind is love, joy, and peace. Our idols tell us that they will bring us to love, joy, and peace. They all are liars. Only Jesus Christ can bring us to love, joy, and peace, because only He is the Way to the Father. Every time we obey the Lord, doing what He says, we are fed with His body and blood. In this manner the Kingdom of God is formed in us. In this manner we are married to the Lamb. God's answer to the rebellion of the angels is to take the dust of the ground and from this form His eternal throne. Grace and mercy have little to do with the law of sowing and reaping. If we do not use our talents we shall be thrown into the outer darkness, and grace will not save us in that hour. Total deliverance depends on our being diligent and faithful in confessing the sinful actions of our personality as the Holy Spirit makes us aware of them. The sons of God are those who are led by the Spirit to put to death the actions of their sinful nature. The blood of the Lamb protects, pardons, purges, and nourishes the believer, guiding him in the way of righteousness. Continually feeding on the atoning blood keeps us in the Presence of God without condemnation of any kind. This is the Way of the Lamb, and through it we are able to overcome the accuser. The word of our testimony overcomes the accuser. The word of our testimony is the Truth that Christ is, and overcomes the lie that the accuser is. By loving not our life to the death we enable God to change us from an adamic soul to a life-giving spirit. The Divine Life being formed in us overcomes the sin, rebellion, and death that Satan is. This is the Life that Christ is. When we are willing to give up our own life, the Life of Christ is separated from the darkness of our personality and our environment. In that Life is Light, and the darkness cannot overcome it. No matter how dark a room is, the tiniest light of a penlight or a candle will prevail against it. True optimism does not prevent us from perceiving reality. Rather, it rejoices in the sure hope that God is bringing us to complete, untroubled joy in Christ. We endure our prisons but we never are to adopt a prisoner mentality. We understand that we are a king in the making, like Joseph. One day with and through Christ we will govern all the works of God’s hands. It is necessary that we strive against sin. It is not acceptable for us to strive against or attempt to supplant or overcome another person and not be content in the role and situation in which God has placed us. The original sin was discontent with the role and situation in which God had placed a cherub. Those of other religions must see integrity in Christian people and feel the Presence of God that is in them. before they will receive Christ. It is vain for us to rail about how correct our doctrine is if people do not see integrity in us or feel the Presence of God. God desires to remove from us all that is not of Himself and to clothe us with all that is of Himself. We are His offspring and God wants us to be like Himself in every way. I think we have to walk with Christ a fairly long time before Christ knows us. When Christ knows us He blesses and helps us and also punishes us for all our iniquities. If we confess our sins and turn away from them God may heal us physically. There is a danger that this procedure will become a technique for gaining physical healing rather than a means of bringing us into fellowship with the Father and the Son. We must be careful when we go for years suffering one perversity after another that we do not become pessimistic about the future. We must keep in mind that God is bringing us to total joy. One day in prison. The next day on the throne. Keeping in mind the story of Gideon, we must remember that after winning a great victory we may be tempted to enter idolatry. Satan watches us carefully when we are successful to see if we may have grown careless. The reason so many American couples live together without being married is that they want pleasure without responsibility. Homosexual behavior cannot possibly lead to love, joy, and peace, because it is condemned by the Scriptures. The New Testament as well as the Old condemn homosexual behavior as being worthy of death. To abort a fetus is to murder a human being. God will judge this practice as such. It is not a light matter. To find our joy and security in money is to have the mark of Antichrist on our right hand or on our forehead. Those who treat others violently shall themselves be treated with violence. Those who live by the sword shall perish by the sword. Jesus said to the thief on the cross, “This day you shall be with me in Paradise.” This incident often is used to prove that God saves us by an unconditional grace, unrelated to our living a victorious life in Christ. But Jesus’ parables were not about Paradise but about the Kingdom of God. The Lord did not say, “Today you shall be with me in the Kingdom of God.” The Kingdom of God is the creating of Christ in us resulting in a transformed personality. It is not a place one can go to. Our goal as a Christian is to enter the Kingdom of God. In order to enter the Kingdom of God we have to cooperate with the Spirit of God every moment of every day and night; and we do so through much tribulation. If our goal as a Christian were to go to Heaven when we die, our discipleship would be altogether different from what it is. Actually our goal is to inherit the Kingdom of God. This requires that we endure hardness and follow the Lord through much tribulation. Those who are teaching that the purpose of being saved is to obtain eternal residence in the spirit Heaven, and we quality for entrance merely by professing belief in Christ, know neither the Scriptures nor the Lord. The current teaching of salvation often results in a passive belief in Christ as we wait to die and go to Heaven. But rugged discipleship requires that we change from our fallen adamic nature to the shining robes of the Divine salvation. The robes of salvation with which the true disciples of Christ are being clothed include forgiveness of sins; freedom from all condemnation; destruction of the old, sinful nature; the creation of a new Christ-nature; the fullness of the indwelling of the Father and the Son; and a body that is suitable as a habitation for God and His saint. As I have grown older in the Lord I notice that when I am facing an unpleasant day and pray about it, the day proves to be more pleasant than usual. A prayer upon awakening: “O Lord, what marvels of Your loving kindness await me today?” As David said, “I shall walk within my house with a perfect heart.” I will see the King in His beauty and view the land that stretches afar. Given the aborting of children, the increase in sexual lust, the violence against people, the worship of money, trusting money for security and survival—given these things, our country will not last much longer because of the wrath of God on all who practice such behavior. The Babylon of the Bible is man-driven religion. Laodicea is the Church, the Lampstand of God, when it is filled with its own ways. Antichrist is expressed when we worship ourselves, use money as our power and education as our wisdom. The False Prophet consists of Christian people who seek to use the power of the Lamb but who refuse to take up their personal cross and follow the Lamb in self-denial. According to the Book of Lamentations, Israel was sent into captivity “because of the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests.” So it is today God’s people are in the chains of sin because of the leaders who are teaching that Divine grace is an alternative to righteous behavior, and that the believers will be caught up to Heaven in their carnal state in order to escape Antichrist and the Great Tribulation. The hope of the Church and of the world as well is not that the Church will be carried to Heaven but that the Kingdom of God will come to the earth. Can you imagine the joy, the splendor, the love and peace that will fill the earth when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to earth with His saints and holy angels? The Lord Jesus Christ shall return to the earth as a righteous King. His return will be a horrible agony for the wicked of the world and the hypocrites of the churches, but an incredibly joyous event for His victorious saints and the meek, righteous people of the earth. It is the Church that is the government of the Kingdom that is being formed now. The salvation for the world will come when the Church has been made one in Christ in God. Are Jesus and the Father the same Person? No, this is not scriptural. But the Father and the Son exist in perfect, complete unity. Each member of the Body of Christ has been called to be an integral part of the Divine Unity. Realizing the spiritual and sometimes physical impoverishment of so many millions of people in the world, we would be of all people most despicable if we did not devote our life to sharing what has been given to us so freely. How perfectly wonderful to live in the same house with God. If we dwell contentedly with God in our house at this time, when the Lord come He will give us a new house so we all can dwell together in love—the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and we ourselves. If we are cooperating with the Holy Spirit each day, the Spirit already is living in us for eternity. The Spirit is preparing the way for two other Guests to live in our house with us—the Father and the Son. We are to repent and believe the Good News. The Good News is that the Kingdom of God is coming to the earth. “Your Kingdom come. Your will be done in the earth as it is in Heaven.” The teaching that the Good News, the Gospel, is that the Church will be carried off to Heaven is misleading and has a weakening effect on Christian discipleship. The explosion of knowledge on the Internet appears to be one of the significant aspects of the twenty-first century. If only we had a corresponding explosion of wisdom! But wisdom accompanies the fear of the Lord, and the fear of the Lord is unacceptable to us at this time. Today the Christian Church is encountering a paradigm shift from Heaven-thinking to Kingdom-thinking. Because our goal has changed from entering Heaven to entering and inheriting the Kingdom of God, we must needs be conformed to the Kingdom laws governing righteous behavior, holiness of personality, and stern obedience to God. To be entirely acceptable to God we must be righteous in behavior, holy in personality, and sternly obedient to God. Jesus Christ Himself is the only Way to God. Jesus Christ Himself is the only Truth of God. Jesus Christ Himself is the only Life of God. A cheerful optimism is pleasing to God. It is a manifestation of faith in God’s goodness. The coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth is a marvelous hope. The Old Testament in particular has descriptions of the wonderful Glory of God filling the earth; safety for the children; justice for the oppressed of the nations. Why then do we insist on talking about going to Heaven? Why do we perversely ignore the Gospel of the Kingdom of God coming to the earth? The Kingdom of God is beginning to be preached. The current concept seems to be that if we try to do good, then this is the promised Kingdom. The truth is, doing good is the result of the Kingdom being formed in us through the several operations of redemption. The Kingdom of God cannot be brought into being by our fallen nature. There are two great dimensions of the coming of the Kingdom of God. One is the forming of Christ in us, and the coming of the Father and the Son to dwell in that which has been formed in us. The second dimension is the coming of Christ from Heaven with His saints and holy angels to enforce on the peoples of the earth the doing of God’s will. What perversity is it that maintains Heaven is the eternal home of the saints when there is no scriptural basis whatever for such a belief? Our home is the earth. Heaven is coming back to the earth, we might say, as was true in the beginning. What perversity is it that maintains Christ is coming to take His Church to Heaven, when there is no passage of Scripture that supports such a belief? What perversity is it that maintains Christ will rapture His saints from the earth to Heaven in order to deliver them from Antichrist and the Great Tribulation, when such deliverance has no support in the Scriptures? What perversity is it that maintains grace is an alternative to righteous behavior, when the Scripture declares if we continue in our sinful nature as a Christian we will die spiritually and not inherit the Kingdom of God? What perversity is it that maintains once we have received Christ we never can be removed from Christ? Christ said if we do not bear fruit we will be cut from the Vine. What perversity is it that maintains we can have fellowship with God while we are continuing to sin? The Scripture states we must come out from among sinful people and not touch what is unclean if we desire that God receive us. The sinful nature which is within us keeps us from obeying the laws of the Kingdom of God, which are found in the Sermon on the Mount. It is only as the sinful nature is destroyed and replaced with the Nature of Christ that we have any hope of practicing righteousness, of having a holy personality, of obeying God in every aspect of our life. We will fail to meet God’s standard of behavior and personality until our sinful nature has been replaced with the Nature of Christ. Our sinful nature is replaced with the Nature of Christ a little bit at a time, as we pray, meditate in the Scriptures, and obey the Holy Spirit each moment of each day and night. As the work of redemption proceeds in us we are amazed to discover how much ungodliness there is in our personality. But by this time we perceive how able the Lord is to destroy our sinful nature. This knowledge give us confidence that what Christ has begun so splendidly in us will be carried through to perfection. We Christians look forward to going to Heaven when we die. God wants us to look forward to the return of Jesus Christ with His Kingdom. This is the true blessed hope of the Church. If the people of the nations would enter the Kingdom prepared for them, they not only must not hurt Christ’s brothers, they must assist Christ’s brothers when they are sick, or in prison, or have some other need. If they do not assist Christ’s brothers when they have need they will we sent into eternal fire. If we are following Christ closely there is no pain we experience that is not necessary for our change into His image. We may go through a season of travail while Christ, who has been with us, is now ready to appear in us. We are not to cease serving the Lord during this dark period. If we continually look to Christ, the time will arrive when we realize that He and the Father are making Their home in us. Christian believers are like sacks of seed in a barn. When God is ready to select one of the seeds to know Him and to bear fruit, He plants that seed in the ground. Now it is separate from the other seeds and begins the journey that at first is dark and lonely, and then emerges into the light as a son of God; as a member of the Kingdom of God. To die in Christ each day and to have Christ raise us each day is the essence of the Christian salvation. “Salvation” appears to emphasize being spared from destruction in the Day of Wrath. The idea of “redemption” is that of releasing us from the person of Satan and bringing us into the Person and works of God. We are “saved” so we may be “redeemed” into God’s image. Christ always is with us. Now He is appearing in our personality. We see Him in us after a period of darkness. The travail to bring forth Christ, the Ruler, in us, can be intense. But afterward we do not remember the pain because Christ has been born in us. The male Son of the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation is Christ who is born in us. It is given to us to govern all the works of God’s hands. We can exercise this authority only as long as Christ is formed in us and is directing us. There may be demons who are active in the dens of filthy behavior. But Satan himself stands before the Church in order to devour Christ before He is brought forth in the saint; before He can be caught up to God and to His Throne. There are many good, righteous, honorable people in the world. God knows every one. In His time He will fill them with Christ. If flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, and we do not make the transition from flesh-and-blood life into the eternal Life of God now, in what condition will we be in the Day of Resurrection? All other enemies must be destroyed before we will be entrusted with an immortal body. The Christian religion is different from all others, as far as I know, in that the master of the religion changes his disciples into the personality and behavior He desires by being formed in them and dwelling in them. I suppose the main problem with religion is that it is unnatural. The Son of God upon being born was laid in a feeding trough for a cradle. How easily and naturally God can walk among people and talk with them. But they hide behind their special religious garments, activities, and systems of thought. It is not the righteous behavior of people of integrity that is “filthy rags,” it is the smugness, arrogance, and hypocrisy of many Christian people. They exert every effort to make a proselyte, informing the hapless individual that if he tries to live righteously God views his efforts as filthy rags. Those who teach that a person will be sent to Hell because he or she has never heard the Gospel do not know God or Christ. Such teachers are ready to assign a baby to the Lake of Fire because the little one has never “accepted Christ.” They are not bearing a true witness of God. I think that in some instances, religion destroys the natural integrity and common sense of ordinary people. The Lord Jesus Christ is a very humble, ordinary Person. He enjoys being among ordinary people with no religious mannerisms. In modern corporate life they speak of booting someone upstairs, meaning the individual no longer is effectively performing valuable service. So they place him in a higher but useless administrative post so he no longer will be a hindrance to the company. We have done this with the Lord Jesus Christ viewing Him as equal to the Father. We have made Him incomprehensible and no longer available to us as an elder brother, except in some meaningless, religious sense. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Firstborn of God. Now God is giving birth to a number of sons, of brothers of Jesus. We will never be as highly ranked as the Lord Jesus; nevertheless we are true sons of God the same as He, in this respect. The Lord Jesus wants us to be His true friends, His true brothers. We have the same Father. When we make Christ one aspect of an incomprehensible God we are not able to relate to Him in the natural, ordinary manner of brother to brother. He remains a stylized religious icon. Did the Lord Jesus pray that we would be one with Him and with each other as He is one with the Father? If so, we can say in truth that God is enlarging Himself. When the Lord Jesus Christ said, “I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God,” was He really saying that the Father is His God? Is He really saying we are His brothers in a genuine, familiar sense? In our theology we have made the Lord Jesus Christ the same Person as the Father, or equal to the Father. Our intention is to exalt Christ. But by so doing we have made several passages of the Scriptures meaningless and our elder Brother unapproachable. It appears to me that the purpose of religion, including the Christian religion, is to bring people to God. But in actuality, all religions, including Christianity, because they are artificial, being put together by the human mind, have a tendency to separate us from the normal fellowship with Him that God desires. If Jesus Christ in His Glory were to walk into one of our Sunday-morning services, would we keep on with the service? Would we fall on our faces in terror? Or would we gather around Him as happy friends and children of the Father? Christ would have us fear Him as one should reverence the Divinely appointed King; but love Him and have fellowship with Him as our Divinely appointed Friend and Brother. The Father through Jesus Christ created man. It pleases the Father when a person becomes a friend and brother of Christ and embraces Him in the intense union prefigured in human marriage. The Father wants Jesus to have friends, brothers, and an eternal counterpart and helper suitable for Him and in whom He is enlarged. God is making us a helper suitable for Christ. Because of this, total demands are made on us in the process of changing us into Christ’s moral image and finally His likeness. When we are in the throes of the travail necessary to bring forth Christ in us, it is helpful to remember that God is in control of all aspects of our life. What He is forming in us indeed shall be brought forth into the clear light of day. He shall not fail to do this! If every pastor and evangelist in America proclaimed unceasingly that no person can be a Christian unless he denies himself, takes up his cross, and follows Jesus, how many professing Christians would be left in America do you suppose? Are we preaching discipleship in America or are we preaching going to Heaven? Is there a difference between being saved and being a disciple? Is there a difference between being a Christian and being a disciple? To be saved from wrath we must believe and be baptized. To be a disciple means we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus at all times. How are these two aspects of redemption related? The desire to be a disciple of the Lord means we have been called to govern with Christ and to be raised when He next appears. To fulfill our calling as a disciple we absolutely must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Christ at all times. The desire to be a disciple of the Lord means we have been called to govern with Christ and to be raised when He next appears. To fulfill our calling as a disciple we absolutely must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Christ at all times. If, after having received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you do not begin to bear the fruit of righteous behavior, you will not enter the Kingdom of God. You may be trusting in “grace” to keep you righteous; but you have misunderstood the proper role of grace in the plan of redemption. Are you allowing your body to be a playground for demons, or are you maintaining your body as the temple of God? The choice is yours; but God will help you if you ask Him. The demons are walking through dry places. They continually are seeking a body through which they can express themselves. Are you going to permit them to use yours? We are surrounded at all times by spirits of mental, moral, and physical illness. It is only as God gives us mental, moral, and physical vitality that we are able to overcome these spirits. This is how we attain to mental, moral, and physical health. When an inroad has been made in our personality, God has the power and shall remove the mental, moral, or physical illness if we ask Him in Jesus’ name; but we must be patient and keep on asking until He answers. The illness will remain removed unless we weaken in some area. Whoever does not follow Christ with all his strength is unwise. Only in Jesus Christ can be found the path of life, the way that leads to total love, total joy, total peace—to all that is desirable and will fulfill the individual’s unique inheritance Salvation is always from the Lord. He does whatever pleases in the heavens and upon the earth. There is coming a fearful Day of Judgment of the works of men, angels, and demons. The angels and demons realize this, and perhaps some of the people who have died also are aware of the terror of the Day of Christ. But the Christians of today have been taught they are exempt from any inconvenience and that the Day of Judgment will be for them a day of high revelry. They are dreadfully, woefully mistaken. Salvation comes from God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Religion is man-made. Babylon is the name the Bible gives to the spirit of religion, including the Christian religion. Living in the world of today is like being a deep-sea diver. If we do not keep in contact with Jesus through prayer, it is not long before moral temptation or mental, emotional, or physical sickness crowd into our personality. There is a body of sinful desires dwelling in each one of us. This body of sinful desires can be removed from us. If we ask God to remove the sinful desires from us, and keep on praying every day, He will do so with our cooperation, one step at a time. We only can have fellowship with God to the extent we are willing to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in removing the sinful nature from us. Anyone who teaches differently from this is unscriptural and is leading people to destruction. The removing of the weeds from the Kingdom of God has begun. Let us rejoice! The promised Day of Redemption is here. “Lord Jesus come and remove all rebellion from me that I may be quiet and peaceful, abiding in Your love.” The United States has set personal liberty as a value greater than righteous behavior. This is a formula for disaster. It certainly shall bring God’s judgment upon us as a nation. When the Bible says God is our righteousness it means He is leading us in paths of righteous behavior for His name’s sake. Imputed righteousness is for Jews so they can turn away from the Law of Moses. It is not an amnesty for Gentiles so they can live as they please. It seems to me that people in America do not understand what it means to be a Christian. Americans love pleasure. When believers are brought to a crisis in which they have to deny themselves and take up their cross of delayed gratification, they often fail the test. Why don’t we ask God in Jesus’ name for all of our needs and desires, so that our joy may be full? Can we pray to the Father in Jesus’ name? Yes! Can we pray directly to the Lord Jesus? Yes! Can we pray to the Holy Spirit? No! There is no scriptural basis I know of for praying to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is not to be directly invoked, prayed to, or worshiped. But we do baptize into His name, and He is to be obeyed. A believer in Christ is not necessarily a Christian. A Christian is a disciple. A disciple is someone who denies himself, takes up his cross, and follows Jesus. A believer in Christ who thinks only of himself must be cared for by others. In the next world he will be ruled by more mature people. He never shall govern with Christ. To love someone does not mean merely that the individual makes you feel good. To truly love someone is a gift from God. If you truly love someone you would give your life for that person. When the Lord does a special work in a saint, as He did with Job, He sets aside the benefits that ordinarily would accompany a righteous life. Job was treated as though he were wicked. But after his ordeal he knew the Lord, and wealth and a new family were given to him. The believers in Christ who choose to live according to their sinful nature, rather than to pray and gain victory over the deeds of their sinful nature, are forsaking their own mercy. They shall go from corruption to corruption. Who knows what their end will be? At the time of the reformation, the theologians decided that man is hopelessly corrupt. While he should try to do good, his efforts are hopeless. He must be saved by forgiveness alone. This position is a formula for disaster. The truth is, Christ will enable everyone who calls on Him to overcome the lusts of his flesh and spirit. We are unscriptural, unrighteous, and ignorant of God’s way when we claim that a person who never has heard the Gospel will be thrown into the Lake of Fire because he did not accept Christ. What blindness! What hardness of heart is produced by the religious spirit! Many practitioners of the Christian religion are still preaching grace-rapture-Heaven. Those who are hearing from the Spirit of God are preaching the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. The wonderful, joyous, peaceful world we think of as Heaven as being in the spirit world above us, is actually the Kingdom of God. It will be on the earth and it will be the spiritual clothed with the physical, as it is today. The wonderful new world or righteousness will be brought into being and maintained by people who are learning righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God today. As it says in the Book of Revelation, those who through Jesus Christ overcome the world, sin, Satan, and their own sinful nature, shall inherit all that God is making new. Their inheritance includes a world more splendid than can be imagined in the present hour. The victorious saints shall receive the love of the people of the new world. The love of people is the greatest inheritance of all. It appears there will be a big difference in the Kingdom of God between those merely have been saved from wrath, and those who have endured many years of cross-carrying obedience. It will be a difference in strength of righteousness. The one will rule. The other shall be ruled. And all shall be in love, joy, and peace. We need, through the Lord Jesus Christ, to regain our self-control so that we do not say or do things we know to be improper. Our problem in America as Christians is that we are complacent. We do not love righteousness passionately or hate lawlessness passionately. We are lukewarm. We shall be vomited from the Lord’s mouth, even though we profess faith in Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ loves righteousness passionately and hates lawlessness passionately. All of His brothers must learn to love righteousness and hate lawlessness. Those who are complacent about righteousness and lawlessness shall never rule in the Kingdom of God. There is no way that a human being can come to know the Lord other than through death and rebirth. Job is our example in this. It pleased God in His infinite wisdom when He first created man to not reveal His intention to dwell in man, to make man His eternal house. Yet, man being fashioned as a room in the house of God is a central part of God’s purpose in creating man. Flesh and blood cannot enter the Kingdom of God. It is only as our soul dies and is raised in Christ as a new creation that we can be part of the Kingdom of God. When a human being chooses to set aside his own life and embraces the Life of Christ, there is a mutual benefit. God benefits in that He has a new expression of Himself. The person benefits in that he or she becomes an eternal witness of God. As the Lord Jesus said, “The flesh profits nothing.” The flesh serves only as a receptacle for true life, true love, true joy, true peace—all of which are found in eternal form in the Person of Christ. God will save anyone who comes to Him through Christ. But this salvation often includes a drawn out period of suffering, which the believer must work out with fear and trembling. When we pass into the spirit world we will leave our body, with its “endearing young charms,” behind. What we actually are in personality will be seen clearly. This is good news for those who have lived a righteous life. This is bad news for those who have indulged the lusts and passions of their sinful nature. The leper said, “Lord, You can make me clean, if You are willing.” The Lord said, “I am willing. Be clean!” It is not a lack of faith when we pray for healing or anything else, and say, “Your will be done.” Every prayer we pray should include the condition: “Your will be done.” I started to ask the Lord what this new year of 2006 holds for us. Then I withdrew the prayer. I think change is coming and there is grace for only one step at a time. The longer I live and think about how the Lord deals with me and with others, the more clearly I realize that what is of true importance is the new world of righteousness that is ahead. Our life at that time, our roles in the Kingdom, are determined by the way we conduct ourselves today. It is a mistake to overemphasize the present life and forget we are being prepared for eternal existence in God’s new world of righteousness. My body is old. My spiritual nature is in its infant stage, just becoming aware of the new world of righteousness on the horizon. With righteousness comes love, joy, and peace. These are the greatest gifts we can have, barring the Person of God Himself. There are things I desire. The greatest desire of all is that God’s will be done in my life. I refuse to have any idols. In the beginning the Lord separated the light from the darkness, the precious from the worthless, so to speak. When the light comes to maturity, God will separate the remains of the darkness from the light until the complete Person, way, will, and eternal purpose of God in Christ are revealed. If when we pray in Jesus’ name we sense that God has heard us, there no longer is need to worry. Our petition has been granted. The Lord Himself is becoming my wisdom, my strength, my health, my desires. It is not just that He gives me these things, He Himself is them. This is the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles. I have observed that in numerous instances professing to be a Christian does not change the behavior of people. Now we have come in God’s timetable to the work of redemption that actually will change believers into God’s image. This work of redemption is the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish Day of Atonement, which comes after Pentecost. There are personality characteristics and behaviors which are not against the law of God. They are not sin, in that sense. But neither are they of the image of God. Fickleness, for example. All of these have to be replaced with Christ’s character if we are to be in God’s image and bear a true witness of Him. Ever since Bible school, in 1948, I have been thinking about, teaching, and preaching the spiritual fulfillments of the last three feasts of the Lord. These are, war against evil spirits; reconciliation to God in all areas of our personality; and making us the eternal house of God. God’s way of saving us is to crucify us. Flesh and blood cannot possibly enter the Kingdom of God. Christ had faith on our behalf before we had our own faith for salvation. We are saved by the faith of Christ. In like manner, there come times when we are to have faith on behalf of another person until he has enough faith to stand on his own. In these days God is giving us a wonderful opportunity to gain a splendid inheritance. We need to make very sure we do not permit any other pursuit—money, in particular—to distract us from the single-minded pursuit of that which God is offering. Blaming others for our lack of peace and joy is an evidence of immaturity. If we live in Christ, we will have peace and joy in every situation. If you stop to think about it, it is of supreme importance for an individual to consider what will happen to him after he dies. Which do we love, freedom or righteousness? These are not the same thing. Would we cry, "Give me righteousness or give me death”? The greatest adventure any person ever will have is that individual’s relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. He does not have to travel to another place to have this wonderful relationship take place within him. Scientists examine God creation from the farthest galaxies of stars to the nucleus of the atom. But an examination of far greatest importance takes place when God brings the person on a journey into that individual’s personality. The Scripture does not promise us love, joy, and peace in Heaven, in the spirit world. Love, joy, and peace are the result of having Christ formed in the human personality. We may think we have wisdom and knowledge. The truth is, we know nothing at all until Christ Himself becomes our knowledge, our wisdom, our understanding, our strength, our peace. During our discipleship, we encounter many difficulties, many complexities. If we remain faithful, patiently pressing through all these, we emerge into a simple, clear relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. There are many peculiar doctrines that become mixed in with the Gospel. An example of this sort of thing is that the Christian should find out what tribe of Israel he belongs to. There are several other such distractions. It is best to avoid all these for they are not found in the New Testament. We can have a simple relationship with Christ as we press forward in Him. Because Jesus said, “I and My Father are One,” theologians have reasoned in their natural mind that somehow Christ and the Father are the same Person. As we become one with Christ we understand clearly that our life has become an eternal part of His Life. Nevertheless, we are not the same person as Jesus Christ. Now we understand by experience, and not by reasoning, the Nature of the Godhead. The higher we climb up Mount Zion, the more it is true that passages of the Scriptures that once appeared contradictory are now revealed as essential aspects of the same truth. There are passages of the Scriptures that appear to be contradictory, it is tempting to seize one aspect of truth and ignore the other. Predestination and the exercise of our choice are one such seeming contradiction. Evangelical theology is off course in several areas because of the practice of choosing one aspect of truth and ignoring the other. It is not enough that we be fashioned into the perfect image of Christ in thought, word, and deed. We also must be brought into untroubled rest in the Person and will of God. We humans have a tendency to resist the ordeals through which the Lord brings us. We must watch our spirit constantly that we do not rebel, but as cheerfully as we can, embrace every dealing of Christ with our personality. Abraham is our example. When we offer our life as a sacrifice we have to beat off the birds, the demons that smell blood. Then a terror of great darkness descends on us. This is the Lord! After we die and pass into the spirit world we still will have to obey Christ and make righteous choices. Remember, sin began in the spirit world with those who rebelled against the Father’s will. All that takes place in the physical world is the Father’s response to the rebellion of the angels. Part of His response includes the creating of brothers for His Firstborn; a wife for the Lamb; also, many people who shall reveal in themselves throughout all the creation God’s eternal moral law. It is characteristic of people to desire to go to another place where there is love, joy, and peace. The truth is, however, that love, joy, and peace must proceed from within the person as Christ is formed in him. Moving him from one place to another, such as from earth to Heaven, does not in any manner change the hatred, misery, and unrest that come from his untransformed nature. A beautiful young girl presents her body, the works of her hands, and her personality. At first glance, she may appear to be desirable. But whether or not she truly is desirable, will be brought forth after a while. A handsome young man presents his body, the works of his hands, and his personality. At first glance, he may appear to be desirable. But whether or not he truly is desirable, will be brought forth after a while. God placed a powerful sexual urge in human beings. First, to bring people into the world. Second, to demonstrate the individual’s self-control; his willingness to do God’s will in the midst of powerful temptations. God is looking for rulers for His new world of righteousness. We shall judge angels, the Bible says. But we cannot judge angels while we are bound with sin and are not sternly obedient to God in every aspect of our personality and behavior. Christian people are hoping to rule the world with the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a vain hope unless the believer is willing to undergo the ordeals, the frustrations, the denials, that are required for the creation of the ruling personality. When the throne of God has been created in us, it will be the source of an endless supply of eternal life with which to bless mankind. The river of God eternally is full of water. Christ is not willing to be Lord of only a part of our life. He will be King of kings to us, or we will suffer because of our rebellious nature and idolatry. God gives people, the wicked and the righteous alike, gifts of music, art, invention, industrial design, and other abilities and accomplishments. Why then don’t we worship God who gives these abilities rather than viewing the people in wonderment at what has come forth through them. All gifts, abilities, and accomplishments of the human race belong to those who obey God, even though the individual who was given the ability and the accomplishment was wicked. When the Lord gives us a gift it may benefit many people. But we ourselves may not profit from our own gift unless we faithfully do God’s will in the earth. Love, joy, peace, and righteousness of personality of behavior are all related. One cannot have enduring love, joy, or peace if he is unrighteous in personality and behavior. Because Christ, who Himself is the Resurrection, is being formed in me, I never shall die. I shall walk from this life into the next, serving the Lord as I have for sixty-one years. The same can be true of you if you will make the effort. We need to be patient with people while Christ works with them. Sometimes we are very surprised to see how Christ can change those whom we have viewed as hopeless. Sometimes it is best when we find a Judas in our midst to let God deal with him. Give him enough rope, and he will hang himself. This is how Christ worked with the wicked person. Beware of a desire for money. Wealth is deceitful. Judas was deceived by it, and Jesus said it were best that Judas never had been born. What a terrible fate! I have met intelligent people who do not make a success of the victorious Christian life. What virtue do the overcomers have in common? I would say it is a faith that is given by the Lord to whomever He will. Therefore the saints do not have reason to boast about their zeal for the Lord. There are some believers who, it appears, are immovable rocks. There are others who are like chameleons. They change into the likeness of whatever background they are placed in. But God has a place in His Kingdom for the weak believer if the individual will call upon Him. More than one Christ-rejecting, defiant atheist has finally come to the Lord. I think God delights in this sort of thing. It teaches us to not make final judgments about people. Refusing to stand up for Christ when the need arises is sufficient to bar an individual from the Presence of God. People have all sorts of admirable personality traits, varying from individual to individual, such as friendliness, truthfulness, patience, courage, and honesty of character. But no trait is part of the Kingdom of God in its adamic form. It must be reborn in Christ. Our love for Christ must be greater than our love for any other person, except for God Himself. If it is not, and we are following Christ, God will work with us until Christ is first in our heart. No doubt the things God does with people and with the material creation is a continual surprise to the angels and other heavenly creature. But God is just getting started! The Spirit of Babylon is the spirit of all religions. It is not faithful in all of God’s house. “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves.” This is the spirit of religion, including the Christian religion. If you see wicked behavior, and look at the individual who is practicing it, and do not see Satan working through the person, you will lose the battle. It is difficult for the Lord Jesus to find someone who will rest in His will. There are any number of people who are rushing about, seeking to build the Kingdom of God according to their own plans and ambitions. If an individual actually has been born again in Christ, his personality is being transformed. He is learning to love righteousness and hate wickedness. Christ is not going to command his warrior angels to establish His Kingdom on the earth while we are filled with our own religious ambition. When you think your sin is too great for God or people to forgive, think of David and Bathsheba and how totally God forgave and restored him in the sight of God and of people. Our life takes on significance and fruitfulness only to the extent that Christ, the one Seed of Abraham, is formed in us. Sin and confusion are closely related. Righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God drive away confusion. What is confusion, if it is not lack of a clear of God’s will for us? The world spirit is one mammoth lie. Only the Lord Jesus Christ, who Himself is Truth, can overcome the lie that the world is. Obedience to God is better than sacrifice to God. It is in our day that the tail of the fiery dragon is pulling down a third of the host of saints. They are at the right hand of God. They are being pulled down by pornography, money, personal ambition. Will you be able to stand before the Lord? Will I? The wheat and the tares are coming to maturity. Let us cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He removes every tare from our personality. Don’t be complacent about your position in Christ. Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. “Let him who thinks he stands be careful lest he fall!” Self-centeredness may be the worst of all prisons and the most destructive of all personality traits. The wise person will pray to be delivered entirely from self-centeredness. The answer to his prayer will be death that he may live. The humanistic, “liberal,” spirit, that which elevates human welfare, and, “love,” above the Bible and common sense, may represent itself as Christian, or merciful and kindly; but it originates in Hell. There is no attitude more destructive than this! I think the current warping of Christ’s teaching of love and forgiveness to mean that the criminal justice system should not punish too severely the perpetrators of heinous crimes, is coming from Satan. He may be attempting to enlist mankind on his side so God will forgive him and not throw him into the Lake of Fire. We should forget about the unbelievable agony Satan has caused the creation, just as we should forget about the horrors the criminal has brought to others. To receive spiritual power apart from the sufferings of the cross is to invite the worst possible forms of deception and spiritual bondage . As we walk with the Lord Jesus we learn to not assume anything. The Lord keeps surprising us if we remain open to Him and not take anything for granted. We are to pray about everything. Then we will not lose sight of Him and his directions as we otherwise would. We do well when we look to the Lord Jesus for everything we think, say, and do. We grow in this kind of following of the Lord as we keep endeavoring to practice it. There are numerous commandments to be found in the New Testament writings. However, the new covenant is not a covenant of the letter but of the Holy Spirit. We have to look to Jesus at every moment if we are to properly interpret and respond to the written Word. The written form of the new covenant is to be studied and lived as the Lord directs us. As we follow Christ, the written word becomes the living Word in us, the Day Star, and we do God’s will by nature. What is the Word of God? The Word of God was made flesh. His name is Jesus. As Christ is formed in us, we too become the living Word, the flesh made the Word. The most powerful force in the universe is the Word of God. It creates all things. Christ Himself is that Word, and in Him we are becoming that Word. Jesus Christ Himself is the Way, the Truth, the Resurrection, and eternal Life. It is not just that He shows us the way or tells us the truth. He Himself is the Truth. He Himself is the Way in us. We do not attain to such union with Christ in a moment. It is a program that takes place as we patiently carry our cross behind the Master. It is God’s desire that we become His will, His covenant with man. We are to reveal in ourselves God’s thinking; God’s speaking; and God’s acting. Thus we become part of the living Word; part of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are learning to live by the body and blood of the Lamb of God. These are given to us each time we choose to turn away from our corrupt nature and obey what the Apostles have written, and what we perceive God is requiring of us. If we do not remain available to the Lord and employ all He has given us as He directs, what we possess shall be given to another; and we shall enter ever further into spiritual darkness. “Help me, Lord, to be totally obedient to you at every moment. I do not trust my own ability or willingness or strength to be obedient.” Some insist that the commandments found in the New Testament were given so we would have to keep looking to the Lord for the grace of forgiveness. This is not true. The commandments were given so we would keep looking to the Lord for the willingness and strength to obey them, thus being formed into God’s image. In the beginning, God declared that man is to be in His image in character, and in His likeness in appearance. All we experience is for the purpose of making us in God’s image and likeness. God’s path for us is clear and simple. It is Christ Himself. However, numerous obstacles and complexities appear as we strive to follow Christ completely and perfectly. The problems and complexities are designed to remove the sin from us, and eventually from our environment. The are some religions that require their adherents to eat the flesh of dead people, or drink their own urine. No weird practices such as these, which go against common sense, are of Jesus Christ. His way is reasonable and sensible and produces wholeness and soundness in body, soul, and spirit. We need not be ashamed to do what Christ requires of us. His way is found, sometimes deeply hidden, in the conscience of all people. His way is not one of weird religious practices or beliefs. To love and serve God through Christ is not a weird religious practice, it is the sensible, constructive way of living. Some of the tenets of our salvation may not make sense to the unbelievers, but rightly acted upon they produce sensible, wholesome behavior. Why don’t you ask Christ to help you in all matters? Do you wish to keep on making mistake after destructive mistake? The Ten Commandments reflect the eternal moral law of God. The eternal moral law of God always is in force, except that under the new covenant it is expanded to include our whole being at all times. We keep it by means of the fullness of the Divine Person and Presence of God given us through the Holy Spirit and the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. It appears that in many cases, the redemption we have today in Christianity is silver-plated with a very thin layer of silver. True redemption is sterling silver, solid through and through. 888What makes life on earth meaningful is that God is making man in His own image; and in the resurrection, after His likeness. There is no scriptural support whatever, in either the Old Testament or the New Testament, for the concept that Christ will return and carry His Church to Heaven. At the Lord’s return He will gather His victorious saints to Himself so they may descend with Him as His army, His Body, who then shall work with Him in the establishing of the Kingdom of God upon the earth. There may have been no more destructive doctrine to enter Christian thinking than that of the “pre-tribulation rapture” of the believers in Christ. This unscriptural teaching has caused numerous Christian people to neglect to prepare themselves for the time of trouble. Satan and his followers are bound with a curse. God has condemned them to eat dust, to crave the flesh of human beings. This is why so many people—even believers in Christ—are bound with the fiery passions of lust. It is not true that there is a Jewish church and a Gentile church. There is only the one olive tree, the one elect of God. Would we Gentiles be part of a Gentile church of which Peter, James, John, and Paul are not a part? The concept of a Gentile Church is unscriptural and impractical. It would be a difficult task to determine who is pure Jewish and who is pure Gentile. Are people who have some Jewish blood and some Gentile blood part of the Jewish church or the Gentile church? As far as the Kingdom of God is concerned, once we are born again we are a new creation which is neither Jewish nor Gentile. Thus there is no “Jewish” church or “Gentile” church. This concept is not scriptural. If you wish to know if Christ is alive, go directly to Him. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you, and then do what He says. God will forgive our sins if we ask Him to. However, premeditated, willful sins are not forgiven but bring us into the danger of Divine condemnation whether or not we profess belief in Christ. The “right” of the individual to say what he pleases, whether in the name of democracy or the freedom of the press, will result in blasphemy. The Muslims object to blasphemy and the Christians should also. Given the sinful nature of man, the only permanent solution is the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to govern the world. There is an important difference between love and desire. We can desire someone but not love him or her at all. Desire can be a very self-centered emotion. Desire seeks to please itself. True love is sacrificial. Our desires must be controlled by the Lord, working in us to will and to do what pleases him. If they are not, we are in bondage to people, circumstances, or things. There are things Jesus said to us in the Bible, and still is saying to us. They may come to us as bad news. actually they are good news—the Gospel to us. God wants us to possess all things but to be in bondage to nothing. He wants us to be kings. God desires that we rule with Christ and not be in bondage. Peace is the absence of unrest, fear, anxiety, dread, worry. Joy is the fulfillment of desire. Love is concern for the well being of another person. Sexual lust and perversions are nothing more than inflamed desires. They have nothing at all to do with love We are to be in untroubled union with all who are doing God’s will from the heart. But we are not to be in bondage to anyone except Christ. Patience works a perfect work in us and shall be rewarded. Sin is a shortcut to the fulfillment of our desires. Therefore sin and impatience are related. “The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.” (NASB) God is not making all things work together for good in order that we may be delivered from trouble and inconvenience. God is making all things work together for good so He may have more sons like the Lord Jesus Christ. To argue about Christian doctrine is useless and destructive. When two people have Christ coming to maturity in them they are in the unity of the faith. The theology in their brain will pass away when they are in the Presence of Christ. The idea of “accepting” Christ as a ticket to Heaven is not a biblical concept. If we place our faith in the living Christ and interact with Him each day, He forgives our sins and we grow in eternal life. Eternal life is produced by and produces righteous, holy behavior. Righteous, holy behavior deliver us from Hell and bring us into God’s Kingdom. If you give yourself wholly to the Lord at all times, seeking His will in every matter of the day and night, you will reap Christ a hundredfold. If you sort of drift, and just pray when you are in trouble, you will reach a minimum level in Christ, or lose Christ altogether, because you did not respond properly to the call on your life. “Many are called but few are chosen.” God does the calling. The way you respond to His call determines if you will be counted among the chosen. People desire to go to a place where there is love, joy, and peace. But love, joy, and peace are not found in a place. They are the fruit of living continually in the Spirit of God. When Christ leads His sheep to us, we are to feed them. We cannot have fullness of joy or pleasures forevermore until God gives us His desires for us, and then fulfills those desires. If we wait patiently with Christ, God will bring all of our enemies under our feet. Our optimism is based solidly on the eternal assurances in God’s Word. A pessimistic attitude reveals a lack of faith in God. An attitude of self-pity shows that we do not have our eyes fixed on Christ. If we are to be one with the Lord Jesus Christ we must be changed into God’s image, as Christ directs. If we are not willing to be changed into God’s image, we cannot be in union with Christ. Salvation is change from what we are into the image and likeness of God. If we are not diligent in serving Christ with what we have been given, then that which we have been given will be removed from us and given to another. We will enter spiritual darkness. This begins to happen while we are living in the present world. Many voices are speaking to us today. In order to know which voice is of Christ, we have to present our body a living sacrifice. There is no rest to be found in the person who is striving to succeed in the world, who places a high value on the things of the present world system. American parents often drive themselves to distraction in order to insure that their children will be able to engage in every aspect of the culture. There is no rest in this. The best gift we can give our children is not the material wealth of the American culture but the knowledge of how to live in daily interaction with the Lord Jesus. “Follow me as I follow Christ,” Paul exhorted. Until we can say this to others, we cannot make disciples from every nation. We cannot fulfill the Great Commission. Miracles wrought in Christ’s name, apart from a transformed, obedient, cross-carrying personality on the part of the worker, is the False Prophet. Health workers who do not take into account that some infirmities are caused by unclean spirits are rowing with one oar. Any native in the bush can point out to them the activities of spirits. Each member of the royal priesthood is responsible for specific people, to enable them to live successfully in the Presence of Christ. He or she can fulfill this responsibility only as God through Christ provides the love, wisdom, and strength. Their responsibility may endure throughout eternity. Why do you want to go to Heaven? Is it just to escape Hell? Are you sure you want to be where there is no sin—not even your favorite sin? Do you wish to be among holy, righteous people right now and live as they live, not being permitted to sin? Perhaps you should give some thought to this. “Salt,” as used in the Bible, speaks of the gracious Presence of God through Jesus Christ. All we think, say, and do must be sprinkled with the Lord’s “salt.” The heart of all religious systems is the desire to systematize, control, and grasp the theology and work of the system. The true salvation that is in the Lord Jesus Christ is not a system; God is in control; and we are not to grasp anything, but exclaim continually: “Not my will but Yours be done.” The Apostle Paul spoke of his desire for the redemption of his body. Truly, to have a body like that of the Lord Jesus, endlessly powerful, filled with righteous inclinations, totally at rest in the Person of God, is an inconceivably glorious, wonderful hope! We have to contend for this! We need to pray that we will have ears to hear, because the Lord Jesus is speaking to us all the time. Listen and be obedient, and you will hear what He is saying to you. Eating, working, playing, reproducing, and sleeping. If this is all you do, and do not have the Life of Jesus Christ being formed in you, you might as well be a horse. If you would be healthy, pray that God will bring your appetite into line with your hunger. God will help you do this if you ask Him and use what determination you have. If you do not have enough food, ask God for what you need. God is ready to give you what you need and what you desire. However, you have to ask Him to fulfill your desires, and then wait patiently for the answer. When God speaks, the rooster crows. In the beginning God said, “Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.” God did not say, “Let him be obedient to me.” The one is the Divine decree. The other is our choice. The purpose of the Passover blood protection is not to cover sin. The purpose of the Passover blood is to protect the Christian and his family from judgment when God judges the sin of the world. The blood of the atonement, on the other hand, forgives our sin while we are obeying God: not covers our sin, but forgives our sin. We are in the sixth day of creation, so to speak. This is the period when God is making man in His image. As we cooperate with the Holy Spirit, He shows us everything in our personality that is not of God’s image. We are to ask Jesus to help us renounce this trait so it no longer is part of us. We do well when we do not move according to a sudden feeling or a voice we think we have heard, especially if we are passionately desirous of something. When we wait, matters will be clarified and we will be thankful we were not hasty. If you are living hand in hand with the Lord Jesus at all times, you have nothing truly bad to worry about, and a great deal to rejoice about! Our worship and praise will not be accepted if we are behaving unrighteously. We are do what is right, as Christ helps us, and then return to the Lord with holy hands. We believers are like Lazarus. The voice of Christ has called us forth from spiritual death. But we are bound with graveclothes. The people around us rip them off, one bandage at a time. When we repent and are baptized, the Passover blood covers and protects us in the Day of Wrath. While we remain under the covering, the Holy Spirit begins to uncover the sin that is in our personality. We then are required to confess our sins and turn away from them. People are as sealed scrolls written inside and on the back. Some of our sin is concealed in us and some is revealed in our behavior. Only Jesus Christ, the Lion of Judah, is worthy to break the seals and look into the book. The initial meaning of the expression “to be saved” is to be spared during the Day of Wrath. The full meaning of “to be saved” is to be removed from all that is of Satan and brought into all that is of God. I want to be the slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. The most destructive bondage of all is to be the servant of my own will. When we do not love the truth, God sends a powerful delusion upon us. This is why we always must pray: “Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver me from the evil one. Satan tempted Jesus with rulership over the kingdoms of the world. This shows us that what is desirable is the earth and its nations, rather than Heaven. In fact, when the final trumpet blows, the kingdom of the world indeed will become the Kingdom of God and Christ. Christian discipleship is the only road to God. Christ is the Way of this road. Christ is the Truth of this road that leads to the Father. 888It seems life consists mostly of details. God will help us take care of each one if we keep on asking Him to. While listening for the Lord’s voice we have to be careful as to what messages we receive. To avoid deception we must pray carefully about what coming to us, meanwhile denying ourselves and carrying our cross as we follow Christ. God is in Christ who is in us who are in Christ who is in God—all dwelling together in perfect rest. This is the new Jerusalem, the governing city of the Kingdom of God. God is not found at the beach or in the mountains, or in any other of nature’s settings. God is found in the assembly of the believers, though one may find bitter, unforgiving, malicious people there. It is given to some to march along the highway of holiness, removing the stones as they go. There are a multitude of others who will follow them to the splendor and majesty of God’s Presence. There may be difficulties as our personality is being shaped into God’s image. However, the inheritance of those who obey Christ is the fullness of love, joy, and peace. Do not misinterpret the fact that the world is filled with moral and physical chaos of every sort. The Lord Jesus Christ sits as King of the flood. He is in total control of every situation from the smallest to the greatest. Since the earth is spherical, for Christians in America and Christians in China to be caught up to the Lord would mean going up in opposite directions. The “upwardness” of Heaven is only for our perception. Actually Heaven is not “up.” Heaven is all around us. We “have” come to Mount Zion. At the coming of the Lord, God’s witnesses, His saints, will appear to be caught up to Heaven. Actually they will pass into the spirit world to be with the Lord as He prepares to appear with them on the earth. “Up” in America and “up” in China are opposite directions. The worth of any Christian church is not measured by the number of people who attend, but by its obedience to Christ. Perhaps it is helpful for a Christian preacher to be kind and loving. However, more often than not, he is an adversarial relationship with his listeners. I do not want to live my own life. I want to live God’s life. Righteous behavior is the fruit of salvation. The “pretribulation rapture” doctrine, while it is unscriptural, is merely mischief compared to the mammoth error of making belief in Christ an alternative to righteous behavior. The New Testament sets forth seven goals that we are to pursue: to be changed into God’s image; to rest in God’s Presence and will; to attain to the resurrection from the dead; to grow into the stature of the fullness of Christ; to be crucified and live with Christ; to hold forth the Word of life; and to make disciples who keep Christ’s commandments. Divine revelation and the traditions of men are like oil and water. They never can blend. People are not innately good. This is why democratic government, although formed with the best of intentions, eventually results in chaos. We are wise when we face our fears and then ask God to remove all fear from us. The nation that legalizes sin will not endure. It soon will be taken over by a more disciplined culture. Wisdom and knowledge are important. Understanding is greater yet. Above all are mercy and compassion. When the human mind applies the Scriptures, they no longer are the sword of the Spirit. The Scriptures were given by holy men who were moved and guided by the Holy Spirit as they wrote. But the sword of the Spirit must be wielded by the Spirit, or it brings death. However, the commandments of the New Testament are to be obeyed, as the Spirit helps us. We must put off the old man and put on the new man. These are the two basic actions required by the new covenant. The Spirit of God always brings us to the cross, where Christ was crucified. We also are crucified that we may die and live with Him. Pray always to Jesus that this may be so in your life. Everything God has created is clean. The problem arises when we are influenced by unclean spirits. Then the very thoughts of our heart and words of our mouth become unclean. The only way we can be protected from the influence of unclean spirits is by patiently carrying our cross as Jesus directs us. All that God is making new in Christ is the inheritance of those who are obedient to God in every matter. No person in his right mind disobeys God Almighty. The very thought of disobedience to the Father is an utter abomination that no true saint will allow to enter his or her thinking. God knows so much more than we do, and is seeking our good, that it is sheer folly to disobey Christ. The result of disobedience always is pain and remorse. “Try my very thoughts, O Lord, to determine if they are of the Spirit of God or of the sinful flesh.” That which is of the Spirit of God is eternal love, joy, and peace. That which is of the flesh is hatred, misery, and unrest. The two are alien one to the other. We will live for eternity by the continual provision of God’s Word. Meanwhile the manna of the gifts and ministries of the Spirit of God will continue to build us up in Christ until the old corn of the Divine Nature has been established firmly and eternally in us. What delight, what love, joy, and peace, are ours when we press through to the perfect will of God for our life. With Christ’s help we refuse to obey our fleshly passions with their hatred, misery, unrest, impatience, harshness, evil behavior, unbelief, arrogance, and lack of self-control. Enduring inconvenience now may avoid a huge problem in the future. I easily become confused. When I look to Christ He gives me wisdom and understanding. It is time now for the members of the Body of Christ to confess their sins and turn away from them by the power of Christ. While we are confessing and renouncing those behaviors the Holy Spirit points out to us, we remain protected by the Passover blood of the cross. If we are faithful in confessing and renouncing our sins, the Holy Spirit will grant us inner purity. At the return of Christ, our body will be made immortal by being clothed with the heavenly house that has been prepared as we have confessed and turned away from our sins. When all has been said and done, there are only two kinds of people in the world: the truly righteous and the truly wicked. You can find both kinds in Christendom. One kind is destined for the Kingdom. The other is destined for the fire. The perfect power of the seven thunders, mentioned in the Book of Revelation, will not be released until Christ has driven from His saints, His witnesses, all worldliness; all the lusts of the flesh; and all self-will. No believer will be accepted as a member of the Body of Christ, of the Bride of the Lamb, until he or she has been changed from a living soul to a life-giving spirit. The Lord Jesus Christ cannot be joined to that which is unlike Himself. No greater honor can be given to a human being than to be a slave of the Lord Jesus Christ and be permitted to do His will in the earth. The modern doctrine that an individual need only to profess belief in Christ, and after that is not required to obey Christ, frustrates the plan of God to produce righteous people; to make man in His image. "In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33). Since we know God said this, how many true Christians are there? Satan enters us, just as he entered Judas, when we do not keep our heart right before the Lord. He knows the number of hairs on our head. He knows the sparrow that falls. He is the God of details. As for the overemphasis on grace and the concept that the judgment of Christians was completed on the cross, the truth is our sins were forgiven on the cross, but our salvation consists of a baptism with fire that burns away our worldliness, our sinful lusts, and—most importantly of all—our self-will and self-centeredness. “I haven’t found the way. I don’t know the truth. And I am dead spiritually. Lord Jesus, give me Yourself that I might walk in the way; know the truth; and live in God’s Presence.” When men achieve money and preeminence by usurping the place of another, they gain nothing of lasting worth. In the next world they will be revealed for the knaves that they are. Shame and everlasting contempt will be their portion. When most of the members of a Christian church are not being changed morally over a period of time, a change that can be seen, then the assembling is existing merely for its own pleasure. It is accomplishing nothing in the Kingdom. It is salt that has lost its saltiness. It should be abandoned. Sometimes there is a strong call of Christ on one member of a family and not on the others. If this family is to endure, the members must recognize the spiritual division and work around it as lovingly and peacefully as possible. By a strong call I am not referring to the zealous religious worker who abandons his or her domestic responsibilities. It is important that the pastor and elders of every assembling of believers follow Christ in the adding of members, and pray much that Christ will build the church, meanwhile, doing what He commands. Otherwise people whom the Spirit did not bring in will remain unchanged. People possessed with various lusts will remain untransformed until they leave, or die. When a believer remains unchanged throughout his Christian experience he has not entered the Kingdom of God. It happens frequently that a believer who has a strong adamic impulse is deceived into believing he is being led by the Lord. The purpose of the coming of the Kingdom of God to us is to change us from the image of Satan to the image of God. When such moral change is not taking place we are not entering the Kingdom. To judge the worth of an assembling by the number of people in attendance is to judge a book by its cover. It is true that the Lord Jesus helps us in every area of life, when we ask for His assistance. But know this: when God is ready to claim you for His own, He will remove all that you trust in. You will be stripped bare, for God will have no other gods in your life. His name is Jealous, and He wants you for His own. Religious beliefs and practices that do not change the worshiper morally and substantially so that he or she is brought each day into the image of God, are worse than nothing. They attract unclean spirits who always rebel against the Lord Jesus Christ. God visits the individual who is doing His will with blessings of every kind. God visits the person is rebelling against Him with trouble and pain of every kind. Do not be deceived with the current teaching of unconditional love. All of God’s promise are based on our response. Satan may cast you into prison. Satan hindered the Apostle Paul. All of these actions of Satan are permitted by Christ to accomplish His will and our good. Do not be drawn into a wrestling match with Satan. Fix your eyes on Christ and go about your business peacefully and joyfully. Christ is my righteousness, not by identification but by transformation. I believe we should give some thought to the fact that the spirit Heaven is not at a distant place but is in another dimension. We have come (past tense) to Mount Zion. Our born-again spiritual nature is now at the right hand of God in Christ. Apparently distance does not mean the same in the spirit world as it does on the earth. To be properly understood, Divine grace must be thought of as an alternative to the Law of Moses, in addition to denoting the blessing of God. “The Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” We Gentiles have made “grace” an alternative to righteous behavior, to a moral change in our personality. Thus we have destroyed God’s intention under the new covenant. There is a balance that is to be sought, between striving, and true rest in the Lord. We are to trust Christ and rest in His faithfulness each day as we press toward perfect rest in His Person and will. The right kind of striving, striving to find God’s will and to do it completely and accurately, is necessary if we are to attain to perfect rest, for there is much resistance. The incident concerning the rebellion of Korah, and the manner in which God answered the question of whom He had chosen, who is to be regarded as holy, shows us that spiritual ambition has no place in the Kingdom of God. We are to remain and be content in our own calling. Only those who have overcome, through Christ, the spiritual darkness that has resisted them, will be qualified to receive immortality and rule with Christ when He appears,. The majority of believers will not be given back their bodies until they have met the Lord’s conditions for them as individuals. Victorious saints, those who attain to the first resurrection, will, through Christ, clothe themselves in the radiant garments of righteous behavior. The majority of God’s elect will be dressed by the victorious remnant. We ought not to eat and drink what we crave. We should be looking to the Lord for our daily diet. There are some Christians who are too worthy to be permitted to languish in a personality deficiency. They must be prayed for resolutely, although our natural tendency may be to be repulsed by the darkness in them that we feel. Not everyone who calls Jesus “Lord” will enter the Kingdom of God, only those who do what He teaches and commands. We are not saved by a grace that is lacking in obedience. We are not to pay too much attention to the antics of Satan in the world. We should pray and do what we can to help, but we must not fret about the evil God uses to accomplish His own purposes in His elect. Because of the resistance of sin, righteous behavior always requires spiritual power. It is Divine Life, the Life of Christ, that is the power that enables us to choose to live righteously at every moment. As we live righteously we receive more Divine eternal life. Thus the cycle continues upward for eternity. I am not overly concerned about what happens in this life. I am making my plans for eternity. The world is like a game of musical chairs. One day God suddenly will stop the music. When He does, you want to make sure you have a chair. If we are in the pursuit of eternal life, we are in the pursuit of Christ. Christ Himself is eternal Life. Eternal Life is a person! The sincerest form of worship is obedience to God. The notion that God sees us through Christ is unscriptural and destructive. If such were the case, there never would be a need for repentance. Did you stumble? Confess your sin, make restitution if God so leads, and press forward. If you were perfect you would not need a redeemer. So you fell. Are you going to wallow in self-pity, or are you going to confess your sin, make restitution as God leads, and press on in Christ? Did you turn away from Christ and now wish to come back? Read your Bible, pray every day, and go to church as often as you can. It may take years before you once again feel the joy of salvation; but this is better than resigning yourself to eternal separation from God! When we claim that Christ and the Father are one Person in two forms we leave the Scripture. We make Christ’s prayer in Gethsemane a farce, and other passages incomprehensible. When we claim that Christ and the Father are one Person in two forms we make the concepts of the Body of Christ and the Wife of the Lamb religious terms rather than the genuine, approachable reality they are. When the Lord Jesus is revealed from Heaven in blazing fire with His powerful angels, He will punish those who do not know God. This will happen on the day He comes to be glorified in His holy people (II Thessalonians 1:6-10) There is no affliction spiritual or physical that the Lord Jesus cannot heal. The faith, prosperity, speaking into existence, name it and claim it, imaging doctrines are institutionalized presumption. Nowhere in the Bible did any of the heroes of faith "step out in faith," as we use the term today. Rather they stepped out in obedience to the perceived will of God. To be in "Heaven" is to be with Jesus wherever He is. All that we associate with Heaven was on the earth at one time, in Eden. Heaven shall be on the earth again when the Lord Jesus returns. How rare is the individual who desires to be what God wants him to be and to do what the Lord wants him to do. There is a difference in kind between busy church activities and the solid works of the Kingdom of God. God always gives us enough faith to do what He wants us to do. To push beyond this is to engage in presumption. The Lord Jesus in the wilderness was tested in the three ways that is true of all the sons of God: a willingness to use our spiritual gifts and power to satisfy our physical needs; a willingness to worship Satan by engaging in the lusts of the world; and a willingness to be presumptuous by endeavoring to realize the promises of the Scripture before we hear from God. Before we become aggressive in prayer we first need to perceive what it is God actually desires. Many motives are buried in the heart of a man. It is when he speaks and acts that the buried things become visible and are judged. Many of us believe in our heart we are a good person, but our behavior reveals the truth. The eternal walk of faith is that of stern obedience to God, not a battering of the spirit world as we endeavor to accomplish our own desires. If we would "speak the creative word," then let us say what God is saying, not just what we imagine, desire, or have read in the Scriptures. There is a rest for the day that leads to the perfect, eternal rest in Christ. There is a perfect walk for the day as we are being perfected in Christ. It is necessary to be a citizen of two worlds, the physical world and the spirit world, if we are to survive throughout the moral and physical horrors of the coming age. If, as is preached currently, "accepting Christ" is a ticket that admits us to Heaven, why did the Apostle Paul exhort Timothy to persevere in his life and doctrine in order to save himself and his hearers? In order to understand what is written in the Bible we have to have the same spirit as the writers, and be holy in personality and behavior, as were the writers. The more righteous, holy, and obedient to God we are, the further and more clearly we can see in the Kingdom of God. A faith that does not obey God is dead. It is not faith at all but a system of belief. To say we are saved by the merits of Jesus Christ, and then not do what Christ and His Apostles have commanded, is a religious delusion. We show our faith in Christ by obeying His commandments. We are not transformed into the image of God in character and behavior in order to go to Heaven but in order to have fellowship with God. No individual who knowingly continues to practice sin has fellowship with God, knows God, or is known of God. If we say we love Jesus Christ, and do not do what He has commanded, we deceive ourselves. The truth is not in us. Christ's servant is blind to the world that he may see God; deaf to the world, that he may hear God; dumb to the world, that he may speak God's words as an oracle. Man's quest is for joy of some sort. The greatest joy of all is the joy that Christ lives in, and into which we can enter if we have been a good an faithful servant of His. When we become old we may have little strength and ability of our own. But if we serve Christ faithfully, He will share with us His strength and abilities. It absolutely is necessary that we forgive those who have harmed us. But it is neither wise nor desirable to allow ourselves to be burned again by the same people. God chooses whom He will forgive. God never shall forgive Satan, now or when Satan is in the Lake of Fire. To do so would be to expose the creation again to the same agony. The Holy Spirit is calling today to God's people to repent, as He reveals their sins. If all they hear preached is grace, rapture, Heaven, they are not going to be able to hear the Spirit or to cooperate with Him as He endeavors to prepare the Bride of the Lamb. We press into the rest of God by learning to watch the Lord carefully, and to wait for Him every moment of every day and night. We do not rush about seeking to carry out our own plans, no matter how righteous or worthy they may appear to be. The will of God is not found primarily in religious or church activities but in the daily knocking about in the problems of life. As we are now, so shall we be after death; except that the righteous shall experience unimaginable joy and the wicked shall experience unimaginable pain. God is fully as much a consuming Fire as He is boundless Love. Whoever does not realize this is in a state of delusion concerning the result of rebelling against God's will. By "saving" individuals God means making them better people. Today our idea of "saving" people is that of making them members of our religion and admitting them to Heaven. What we have today is a caricature, a travesty of God' plans and hopes. If you want the 11 o’clock news, don’t go to the television. Go to the Lord at that time and you will hear the truth. If we would be spared from destruction in the Day of Wrath, we must receive Jesus Christ as our Lord when He is presented to us. In addition, we must walk with God, as did Enoch and the patriarchs, if we would gain eternal life. Conversion to Christ is not only, or even primarily, a matter of the mind. Conversion is the change from living our own life to living in Christ in every aspect of our personality and behavior. Religious conversion consists of changing one set of beliefs about life to another set of beliefs about life. True conversion to Christ is a change from living according to our own will and desires to living in Christ at all times in everything we think, say, and do. Not all of those who profess belief in Christ abide in Christ. To abide in Christ is to be conscious of His Presence and will in all we think, say, and do, at all times and in all circumstances. We have entered the rest of God when Christ is our strength, health, wisdom, motivation, joy, our life, our resurrection. It may be true that the greatest enemy of the Christian is his own mind. In order to abide in Christ we must have our head cut off, so to speak, and the mind of Christ installed in place of our own mind. God did not give us a mind so we could plan our own way, our own life. God gave us a mind that we might be able to learn how to walk humbly with God. The Divine covenants all have one goal—that we might practice righteous behavior, love mercy and kindness, and walk humbly with God. Enoch, Noah, Job were saved by their faith in God. We too shall be saved if through Christ we learn to walk humbly with God, as did Enoch, Noah, and Job. Religious teachers have made salvation a matter of believing about the things of Christ. True salvation is Christ Himself as He becomes our Life. Eternal life is not merely endless existence. The demons have endless existence. Eternal life is life lived in the Presence and will of Christ. Belief in the existence of the Lord Jesus Christ does not save us. If it did, Satan would be saved. Why should we seek the wisdom of Christ? Why not rush about in our pursuits until we have destroyed ourselves and possibly those around us? The American people seem to be divided between the liberals and the conservatives, or between those who are members of the Christian religion and those who are not. The significant division is between those who live in Christ and those who do not. Christ divided mankind between the wheat and the tares, the righteous and the wicked. We church members divide mankind between those who are members of the Christian religion and those who are not. God is not interested as much in what we believe but in what kind of person we are, how we behave. Christ did not come to earth to start another religion but to make better people. The human personality, having been created in the image of God, is a vast area populated with numerous desires, motives, and sometimes personalities, and has the potential of being filled with all the fullness of God. The first chapter of Ezekiel portrays the glorified outer form of the saint when he has been created in the image of Christ. The Temple portrays the inner personality of the perfected saint. Let us not limit the Holy One of Israel. God has set out to create His saints in the express image of Jesus Christ—great mountains of glory and of infinite capabilities. Do we stagger through unbelief at the Word, which declares we have been destined to be born the brothers of Jesus Christ and created in His image? Let this truth cause us to rejoice when we are brought low. We Gentiles can be counted among the princes of Judah; but we must humbly be willing to suffer many things at the hands of our Creator. Run with all your might toward the goal of Christ's image. Every obstacle, every enemy before shall be swept aside as you plunge forward. Any thought, word, or deed in our personality that is not in the express image of Jesus Christ is our sworn enemy. Being cured is an acceptable synonym of being saved. It does not appear that many American wives perceive their role to be that of helping their husband fulfill his Divine calling. Therefore they are open to deception. Why did Eve desire to be wise? We Christians do many foolish, hurtful things while we are coming to know the Lord. If we are not being changed into Christ's image, we are not being saved. To be saved is to be changed from Satan's image into Christ's image, and to be filled with the fullness of God. Before God can find rest in a human personality, Christ must be formed in that individual. To fear God and keep His commandments is the whole duty of man. But you would not think so, after hearing modern preaching. I have been young and now am old. I perceive that the righteous are never forsaken. They and their seed are blessed. It is an observable fact that promotion comes from the Lord. He often places wicked people in positions of authority. To fret about the wickedness in the world is to deny that God knows what He is doing. It is well if we exert a righteous, peaceful influence on those around us. However, we always must keep in mind that our kingdom is not of this world. Whoever does not keep before him that all of his deeds will be judged after his death is unwise and ignorant of the truth. It is not unusual for a church member to die, who has been a believer most of his life, and yet demonstrate jealousy, anger, and bitterness instead of the Nature of Christ. There has been little growth in eternal life. The adamic nature remains intact. Why do we Christians believe that when we die we shall be changed for the better? There is no scriptural basis for this widely held idea. Why do we Christians believe that when we die we shall change from being lukewarm in our love for Christ into a fervent disciple of the Lord? There is no scriptural basis for this idea. We Christians suppose that the act of dying will change what we are. The truth is, it will reveal what we are and have done. It is appointed to man once to die and after this to be judged. Believing in Jesus Christ makes us eligible for the work of redemption. However, the belief itself is not the redemption. It is a transformed personality that is redemption. If we remain close to the Lord Jesus Christ and completely obedient to Him, we will be more like him after a million years have passed. No man understands what is in his own heart. God knows the heart of every individual. Eve did not desire wisdom so she could be a more suitable helper for her husband but for her own aggrandizement. Jesus Christ is the truth. Satan is the father of lies. Those who tell the truth are of God. Those who tell lies are of Satan. People lie when they are seeking their own will rather than God's will. We may be telling many lies as we pursue our own path. One thing is certain: we will tell the truth when we stand before Christ. No lie can survive in His Presence. It is impossible to be self-centered and self-directed, and then always tell the truth. Life on earth will not permit this. The adamic nature has been wounded in the heel. It cannot stand uprightly. This is why we must be born again, and Christ must come to maturity in us, if we are to stand in the Presence of God. When you stand before God your very thoughts shall be revealed. How then shall you tell your lies in such a Presence? Your lie you thought you had concealed so carefully shall be shouted from the housetops. Make no mistake about this. There is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed. There are Christian leaders who lie in order to "serve God." But they shall never eat at Christ's table unless they repent of their lies. There are self-seeking Christians whom Christ loves and desires to bring into His Kingdom—sometimes because of the prayers of more fervent disciples. But they shall pass through intense fires designed to save them. Man looks on the outward appearance. God looks on the heart. Many marriages would not take place if people had that ability. Suffering purifies our spirit if we don't let it harden our heart. Sometimes it is taught that if a person never hears the Gospel he will be assigned to the Lake of Fire. This is not scriptural, it goes against man's innate sense of justice, and defies common sense. It reveals that the teacher does not understand the Divine salvation. It is not true that we are saved merely by believing in the name of Jesus Christ. It is true, rather, that believing in the name of Jesus Christ should cause us to obey Him at all times so he can save us from sin. It is difficult to see how the present evangelical teaching that claims Christ did it all with no effort on our part could be a more deadly, more destructive formula. A while back being a Christian meant that someone believed in Jesus and lived a godly life. What has happened to that simple faith? Paradise can exist only where God's will is performed completely by everyone. Christ is not coming to take His saints to Heaven but to enforce God's will on the earth—and we shall be with Him! Doing God's will perfectly at all times is the key to Paradise. Doing God's will perfectly at all times is the key to the fullness of love, joy, and peace. Doing God's will perfectly at all times in every circumstance is the rest of God. Doing God's will perfectly at all times is the key to the fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. To be saved is to have the desire, the strength, and wisdom to do God's will perfectly and completely at all times. To do God's will perfectly in every circumstance is the key to the fullness of the inheritance to which we as an individual have been predestined. To fear God and to do his will at all times is the whole duty of man. Christian people often do not do God's will during much of their life, nor do they even know what it is. They have been told they cannot do it and must be saved by grace. Rather, they attempt to follow the directions of their religious institution. I was told, when first converted to Christ, that the world was waiting for the person who would do God's will perfectly. Such talk is nonsense. I am resolved, by God's help, to perform His will perfectly and to influence others to do the same. Anything else is unthinkable. I truly believe that if we give God all we are and have, God will give us all He is and has. When we say to God, "All I am and have is Yours," then God says to us, "All I am and have is yours." At one point God looked for a man to stand in the gap before Him that He not destroy the land. He found none. Let this never be the case as long as you and I are living on the earth. To do God's will at all times is the highest goal any human being can set before him. If we want to obey God perfectly, all we need do is ask the Father in Jesus' name to make it so in our life. It is a satanic liar who claims it is impossible for us to do God's will completely while living on the earth. It is a satanic liar who insists we have to sin while we are alive upon the earth. Any individual can gain victory over each and every sin by continually looking to Jesus for help and guidance. If you wish to live forever in love, joy, and peace, and do God's perfect will from your heart at all times and in every circumstance without exception, then ask God in Jesus' name to make this true in your life. Performing religious duty, no matter how well intentioned, is not a substitute for doing God's will. As was true of the Pharisees, religious duties can lead us to murder God's Christ. One of the most powerful of the forces that turn aside religious people from dwelling in the center of God's will, is personal ambition. Personal ambition, as is true of the lusts of the flesh and spirit, can deceive well intentioned religious people and lead them away from God's will for their life. The nature of spiritual deception is such that we are not aware we have been deceived. Only a willingness to remain in our personal prison, to carry our personal cross, can prevent our being deceived. Today will be a wonderful, productive day, if Jesus is with me; a miserable and unproductive day if He is not. The hour will come when the Lord Jesus lifts the cross from our shoulder. At that time we will say, "I don't mind bearing my cross for one more day if it will please you." When we first take up our personal cross and follow Jesus, the cross we are given to bear is not pleasant. As time goes on the cross becomes less unpleasant until we hardly notice it. If we succeed in breaking out of the prison in which we have been placed, we lose part of our eternal inheritance. To not seek the will of Christ each day and perform it is to be monumentally foolish and shortsighted. Our life on earth is a probationary period. Will we conform to the terms of our probation, or will we flee from that which would have been of eternal benefit to us? If we walk with Christ each day we will bear much fruit—an inheritance that will bring eternal joy to us. If we influence one person such that he chooses to live his life in the Presence of Christ, our whole time on earth has been worthwhile. Why do we teach that "accepting Christ" is an instantly obtained ticket to Heaven, when our whole life is to be lived in His Presence? There are multitudes who make a profession of belief in Christ, but it appears there are few who find the path of life and walk in it. How can making a profession of belief in Christ be an instantly obtained ticket to salvation when the Lord said, "He who endures to the end shall be saved"? When we first receive Christ, the peace and joy He will bring to us may be preceded by years of trouble and pain. But the peace and joy surely shall come if we do not turn back into the world. No person who sets out to seek the Kingdom of God, and then turns back, is fit for the Kingdom. Harsh words, but it is God who spoke them! I have heard it said that God will come to us and fill us with His love, and thus remove all imperfections from us. But Jesus said, "He who overcomes and keeps My commands shall inherit the nations." There is a false Christian teaching that speaks only comforting, affirming, inspiring words. The true prophet stands alone and warns people of God's expectations concerning us. When Christ comes to us and blesses us we feel joyous in the Presence of God. But then His tangible Presence withdraws for a season, and we are faced with numerous pressures and perplexities. We need to be careful when everyone is speaking well of us. It may be that we are not bearing a true witness of God to our generation. There are only a few, it seems, who take up their cross and follow Christ with a perfect heart. But the testimony of these few conquerors will shake the heavens and the earth. There is a multitude of those who believe in Christ and mill about in the Courtyard. There is a smaller number who minister to Christ in the Holy Place. There is an even smaller number who choose to dwell in the fire of God's Person in the Holy of Holies. Beware of accepting a little sin in your life. It soon will grow into a many-headed monster. Are you one of those who follow Christ at a distance? You may lose sight of Him when He turns the next corner. There are some to whom it is given to minister to thousands. There are others of us who are to be content with ministering faithfully to one or two people. God wounds before He heals. When the prophets are subject to the elders, there is no vision of God in the city. The Christian teachers of today sometimes speak of releasing the power that is in us. This is incorrect and misleading. The power of the revival now at hand will come from Heaven. The first thing to say upon getting up in the morning is: "Let God arise. Let His enemies be scattered before Him. You yourself are to become the Ark of the Testimony. Let righteous behavior go before you as you enter your land of promise. Christ goes before us and helps us when we endeavor to put off the old earthly nature and clothe ourselves with the new Nature of Christ. We are to be new creations, created in Christ to do the good works God has ordained that we perform. Where there is no righteous behavior there is no Kingdom of God. Where there is no righteous behavior, the peace and joy of the Kingdom are not available. We must pray continually for Christ's strength, because righteous behavior requires strength. The nations of the earth are waiting to see righteousness and praise spring up in the Lord's elect. The believers of today are not being taught that it is necessary to pray for the strength to live righteously. They are being deceived by the enemy. Let Christ-wrought righteous behavior follow you as heat and light follow the rising of the sun. In many instances the pastors of today are not exhorting the people to live righteously. They are afraid of offending them. The preachers of today seem to be exhorting people to accept Christ that they may escape Hell and go to Heaven. But how they live after that is not part of their salvation. The preachers of today are emphasizing that we should believe in Christ. They are not telling us that we must obey Christ at all times if we are to enter the Kingdom of God. "Why am I required to keep Christ's commands, if I am saved by forgiveness alone. This does not make sense!" Today's version of the Great Commission is: "Go into all the world and tell people they are not required to do what Christ commanded because they are saved by grace." When we read in Exodus of the special attention given to Aaron and the other priests we understand why each member of the royal priesthood must live a holy life. "Arise, O Lord, and all Your enemies shall be consumed with the fire of Your Face, the fire of holy righteousness. The enemy cannot stand in Your Presence." "The enemy breathed out great threats, O Lord. But He could not prevail against the righteousness You have created in Your sons; the righteousness which is Your own Person." "O Lord, You Yourself have become our righteousness, because Your Character has been formed in us." "The enemy has mocked us, as Ishmael mocked Isaac. But we shall prevail, and the children of the flesh shall have no inheritance with us." "We have been confused and our fondest hopes denied. But in the end, we shall stand in Your Presence as the oaks of righteousness Your hands have formed." The sun has been hot and the day weary; but at the end there is eternal refreshing in the city of righteousness. "There have been many attractions, many enticements, to draw us into the life of the flesh. But Your Presence has enabled us to flee from these that we might gain eternal love, joy, and peace." If we would enter the Kingdom of God we must be born again. The eternal moral law of God must take the place of the earthly nature in our mind and heart. The writing of the eternal moral law in our heart and mind produces a new creation of righteous behavior. This is the Kingdom of God. In the last days, all that causes sin and all who refuse to be delivered from sin shall be removed from the Kingdom. Then the righteous shall shine as the sun. We now have entered the period of the purification of the Kingdom. When God has finished working there shall be no sin of any kind whatever in the Kingdom. Satan and all who follow him hope to escape the flames. They shall not! The Word of the Lord stands firm forever. There are many attractions in our day. The righteous resist them. The foolish rush into them and are destroyed. There are many weak people whom God loves dearly. But His sons shall be filled with wisdom and strength and inherit all things. Religion blinds the eyes, but God's elect eventually find their way into His Presence. We do not gain the fullness of eternal life by our initial acceptance of Christ but through a long, sometimes painful, struggle against numerous adversaries. The righteous lie down to sleep in peace and safety. The angel of the Lord watches over them. In the days to come we shall be pressured to be ashamed of Christ. Those who succumb will have eternity to regret their folly. We may pass through a night of suffering and denial, but joy will come in the morning if we do not quit. The foolish demand their fun now. The righteous are wise and wait for God's time for them to rejoice. I have made many mistakes during my lifetime. I am wiser now and desire to walk into the Presence of Christ at the conclusion of my time on the earth. As was true of Moses' hand, when our heart is leprous, our hand is leprous. When our heart is pure, our hand is pure. I suppose most people in the world know what righteous behavior is. It is the Christians who are confused because of their misunderstanding of how Divine grace operates.. Christians say they are not perfect, just forgiven. What they mean is, they have joined a religion but never have been converted. Peter's desire to be the boss reveals he never had been converted. Therefore he was unable to strengthen his brothers. I will not shame my King by being afraid of what Satan can do to me. "O Lord, I hope I am not so foolish as to believe I can save myself by my own hand. You alone are my Strength and my Joy." The Lord alone is my Strength, my Joy, and my Song. It is not that He gives me these, He Himself is them. I no longer will play volleyball with the Lord. Rather, I will remain on the same side of the net with Him. I have an atomic watch. It is more accurate than the finest timepiece that does not receive a signal from a master clock. I am more righteous than any self-made man, because Christ is living in me. You would think the symmetry of the universe would show people the Glory of God. But they are blind. The believers in evolution cannot perceive what is in front of their face. There is a Day of Judgment coming. Everyone shall be examined. All the philosophic reasoning in the world cannot alter this simple fact. If I were to be granted one desire in my entire lifetime, it would be that I would be pleasing to Christ. By permitting the entertainment industry and the media to say and do what they desire, we are bringing down America to destruction. If you feed a person with poison he will become ill. It absolutely is imperative that we do God's will to the finest detail. In addition, we are invited to become the complete witness of His thinking, His speaking, and His doing. I don't believe we know what we are talking about when we say no one can do God's will perfectly. God's will is to be done perfectly by every creature in Heaven and upon the earth at all times, under all circumstances. There are five aspects of serving the Lord, and they are interrelated. One is to be obedient to all God requires of us. The second is to be a witness of God in our thoughts, our words, and our actions. The third is to be faithful and diligent in the use of our gifts and ministries. The fourth is to keep ourselves morally pure. The fifth is to behave in an upright, honorable manner with all people. Upright, honorable behavior is required of all people. The level of holiness to which he is called varies with the individual. The wise person will pray that he may have a fervent desire to live in the center of God's holy Person and Fire. Holiness is addictive. The more you attain to, the more you will crave. Of the many blessings God has given me, the one I value most is a fervent desire to do God's perfect will in every circumstance. The gifts of the Spirit are like tide-pool life. Although they seem to have life on their own, if they are not touched repeatedly by the tide, the Holy Spirit, eventually they will dry up and die. It does not appear that Jesus will return to earth now, tomorrow, or ten years from now. The believers, for the most part, are not nearly mature enough to return with Him and install the Kingdom of God upon the earth. The period we are in now probably is that which has been set forth in Matthew, Thirteen where the messengers of God are removing that which is sinful, and those who refuse to repent, from the Kingdom of God. We know Christ is not coming in the near future because the great rebellion against authority is only just now beginning. The desire for democratic government is not a desire for righteous behavior. Rather, it is a desire for us to be able to do as we please. It is suited to self-will rather than to iron obedience to the Father. The government of America is dedicated to the pursuit of personal liberty and happiness. The government that God desires is dedicated to crucifixion with Christ and new resurrection life in Him. The best form of government is a kingdom in which the King has absolute authority, is righteous, and receives his guidance from God. Such is the Kingdom of God, and Jesus Christ is the King. The Kingdom of God, the doing of God's will, shall come to the earth with the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you desire to live in a world where there is no sin of any kind—not even your own personal sin? You are ready for the Lord Jesus and His saints to return. Would you be happy in a world where there only a little bit of sin? If so, you are not ready for Christ to return. The Bible says that God shall make an end to sin. It appears not many Christians would be happy living in a sin-free world. How will God insure that we never shall sin again throughout eternity? By forming Christ in us and placing rulers over us who will not permit us to sin. God desires that all self-will, all disobedience to God, be removed from His Kingdom. Are you personally pleased with this goal, or are you still part of the problem? America is being brought down to destruction because we worship the right to do as we please, the freedom to do and say whatever occurs to us. In America the good of the community is sacrificed so that the "rights" of the individual may be maintained. There are forces in America that desire to remove the knowledge of Christ from the country. First there shall be revival, and then the evil will be permitted to triumph for a season. America then shall lost much of its strength The revival in America that will precede severe Divine judgment shall consist of removing worldliness, lust, foolishness, and self-seeking from God's people. Do you want to be able to stand and help others during the fierce judgment that is coming to America? Then consecrate yourself wholly to Jesus Christ without delay. Paradise does not belong in the spirit realm but on the earth. Paradise shall be returned to earth as soon as God creates rulers who will govern in righteousness. People are an alimentary canal on two legs. Some are more intelligent than others. All shall perish who do not have the Life of Christ in them. The priests and elders resisted Christ, but the prophet, John, did not. When the elders govern the prophets, spiritual death shall follow. A person speaking by the Spirit of Christ will emphasize repentance, not a rapture out of suffering. People and plants are born, mature, wither, and die. Only Jesus Christ is constant. If you desire to survive, become part of Him. The Spirit of Christ is calling the Christians of America to repentance. We absolutely must put away our worldliness, our sinful lusts, and our self-seeking. The wicked, including Satan, always do God's will. Such is not their intention, but this is the way it always works out. Have faith in God and don't fret yourself concerning evil! The one topic Satan does not want Christian ministers to preach is righteous behavior. When we preach righteous behavior through Jesus Christ, Satan's kingdom is destroyed. Despite what is commonly taught, the New Testament is not about how much God loves us but about sin and spiritual death, and what to do about it. When people's hearts are pure they understand one another readily. But where there is spiritual uncleanness, misperceptions arise. When we have God, that is all we need. There always is grace for every circumstance. The Lord does many things in my life that I do not understand. But they always turn out well. If by "the just shall live by faith" you mean we go to Heaven by our belief in Christ, you have left the Scripture and God's plan of redemption. To act without considering the consequences is stupid. To touch something before the time is to turn loveliness and grace into ashes. The flesh profits nothing. This is a true statement and embraces much of our lifetime on the earth. The remission of sin through the blood of the cross removes guilt from us. The power of the Holy Spirit delivers us from the compulsion to sin. The forming of Christ in us brings forth a new creation of righteous behavior. All people whether or not they are Christians, shall be judged when they die. There are Christians who choose to lay down their life and live in Christ's resurrection life. Their judgment begins in this world as they are led to confess and renounce their sins. Where the tree falls, there it lies, the Bible says. Thus it is true that we enter the spirit world in the same condition that was true of us when our body died. Death does not change us. Until all of our desires come from God, we are in bondage. Until we can say, "not my will be done, but God's will," in every decision we make, we are in spiritual bondage and in rebellion against God. Occasionally, as we are following Christ, it is necessary that our most fervent desires remain unfulfilled. However, there is no other path to eternal life. To turn away from our sinful desires can be difficult. To turn away from our desires that are not sinful, as we are following Christ, is more difficult yet. If we choose to deny ourselves in the Lord, He shall give us the desires of our heart. But it may not happen right away. Consider carefully what we lose when we do not obey Christ in every aspect of life. If you would know God, obey God. The nation that is seeking to destroy itself will turn against the nation of Israel. The Jews are God's chosen people, but not all Israel is Israel. We must be married to Christ if we are to participate in the new covenant. It is made only with Israel. To abort an embryo without a godly reason is sin, and shall be judged as such in the last day. Many are turning away from the Bible, in America. They are hastening to their own destruction. Walking with the Lord Jesus Christ is not a religious action, it merely is life as God intends life to be lived. Your desires may change over a period of time. lf you would find lasting joy, do not grasp anything. We behave wisely when we pray diligently that our desires be granted, and yet not remain bound by them. Do you know what you really want. No, you don't! Wait for God to give you what you truly desire. When I awake in the morning I choose to diligently seek to know what Christ's will is for that day. Serve the Lord with joy. Why make your life needlessly difficult? The way of the transgressor is hard! When the Apostle says, "when that which is perfect has come the gifts and ministries no longer will be needed," he means the gifts and ministries have brought us to maturity in Christ. What is so difficult about doing God's perfect will? It is a lie that says we cannot do God's will! Why don't you stop planning your own life and ask Christ what He wants you to do? The only thing that matters in this world or in any other world is to obey Christ in every detail of what we are and what we do. Don't hold anything too tightly lest it be an idol and cause you to disobey Christ. We are drawn to Christ by the Father in order that we may learn to do the will of Christ at every moment. Personal ambition brings confusion. But the way of the Lord is clear and simple. It appears people have to wait until after Christmas in order to serve the Lord. This is one example of the difference between religion and walking with the Lord Jesus. It may be true that atheists never have pictured the destiny they have chosen for themselves—at death passing into oblivion. Not sleep. Nothingness! They simply never will be again. If we follow Christ closely, we begin as a child and end up as a child; but much, much wiser and stronger in righteous behavior. Abraham is the first Christian. The promise of the Holy Spirit is through Him. Christ is His Seed as well as His Lord. The Jewish and the Christian religions are often in conflict. But the members of the Body of Christ are one, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. There is one new Man! What a malicious and destructive identification religion is, in that it divides the one Body of Christ—that seamless robe! The is no such thing as a Jewish or Gentile Church. There is only the one Body of Christ. If you are troubled by evolutionary speculations, and wish to know if there is a God and if Jesus Christ is His Son, then ask Them Do not grasp pleasure at someone else’s expense. God is not pleased with this. The desire to acquire and store up money is a chief source of evil in the world. They follow the Lamb wherever goes. This is the highest form of Christian discipleship. God ahead and play games with God if you must. But you will find out that God always wins. The physical body we have now is but the faintest shadow of what it shall be if we follow the Lord Jesus Christ to the fullness of redemption. The reason we are experiencing demonic acts of weird violence and sexual perversions is a reflection of the fact that our government is not enforcing moral behavior. There are many super-educated people in the Western nations who do not believe in the existence of demons or angels. Nevertheless they continually are directly affected by these creatures and will see them when they die. When reading the Book of Lamentations I began to wonder if we could insert the words “the United States” in place of “Zion.” Our main sin may be that of abortion. People who give no thought to preparing for their death are like those who do want to spend money on insurance. “Nothing bad will ever happen to me.” The Lord has promised He will give us the desires of our heart if we delight ourselves in Him. The Lord loves and rejoices in people who love and rejoice in practicing righteous behavior. Holiness is addictive. The more you get the more you want. It becomes a passionate desire to be in the center of God’s holy, fiery Being. When we see animals pray to God, then we may hypothesize the man evolved from animals. When an atheist suffers pain he uses God’s name in vain. Even though he professes not to believe in God, he nevertheless is moved by unclean spirits. The fundamental concept of science is violated when a person observes the order of nature and then claims there is no intelligence behind the design. Religion can be removed successfully from the state. But the concept of God cannot be removed from the agencies of government and a stable, unified society retained. No society ever has or ever shall endure when its citizens yield to the lusts of their flesh. God establishes government for the purpose of controlling the moral behavior of people. When a government does not do that it shall be replaced by one that will. Every strong nation is brought down to destruction when its citizens practice unrighteous and immoral behavior. A nation or person that chooses to pursue pleasure will soon be overcome by a more disciplined people. Satan knows that Christ said many who are last shall be first. So, like King Herod, Satan is attempting to prevent the birth of the rulers. He is doing it with homosexual practices and abortion. People who love and pursue pleasure have a weakness in their personality that prevents them from attaining to God’s best. They are not effective, dependable people. God loves last-minute entrances; or so it seems when you are falling toward the concrete. But He always arrives in time! There is no doubt that the exercise of patience is an important feature of the Kingdom of God. The people who believe and teach that we are saved by a sovereign grace independent of our behavior, do not love Jesus. They do not keep His commandments. Our goal is twofold: to be conformed to the image of Christ, and to be one in Christ in the Father. I received Christ as my Savior. Now what? Now you are supposed to pray continually and follow the Spirit of God in all that you do. This is the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. God is so great as to be incomprehensible. The basic premise of most people who act wickedly is that there is no God; of if there is, He certainly will not hold them to account, and is not to be feared. The teaching of a sovereign grace that operates independently of our behavior is an invitation to a sinful life. People choose to believe the foolish doctrine of evolution because they desire to drive the idea of God from their minds. If we make a profession of faith in Christ, and then do not carefully seek to follow God’s Spirit each day, we bring ourselves under condemnation. If we emphasize Romans 8:1, and then ignore verses 2, 3, and 4, we bring ourselves into a state of delusion concerning the necessity for righteous behavior. I am one of the many who can testify to the utter faithfulness of God—and this over a period of more than sixty years. Sometimes in life the choice is between Christ, or a woman or man. The individual who chooses the woman or the man over Christ will have a long, long time to regret his or her choice. There are many times in life when we must act courageously. If we do not, at the necessary time, we will attain to our desired goals. When the Bible says the righteous shall live by faith, it does not mean the righteous believe in Christ rather than keeping His commandments. The righteous shall live by faith means the righteous individual looks to Christ continually throughout his life for wisdom and strength, instead of to his own resources. The invitation to surrender our own life in order that Christ may become our life, is so unspeakably marvelous, it is a wonder that everyone does not take advantage of this opportunity. But I suppose God has to draw the individual. True love is very concerned with the welfare of the other person. Sexual “love” is very concerned with its own satisfaction. Thus true love and sexual love are different in kind. We must learn to surrender our life so we may live by the Life of the Lord Jesus. We are to become His extension and His helper. There is only one life worth living. That is the life that is part of the Lord Jesus Christ. All else is meaningless foolishness, a waste of time and effort. The various religious groups say, “Profess our doctrines, or you will come under condemnation.” God says, “Just be a decent person, and receive Christ when He is presented to you.” The Lord is a Castle with mighty towers and turrets. The righteous find safety there; but the wicked never shall enter! It is a good thing to want to please God perfectly. It is a good thing to want to dwell in the Holy Fire that Is the God of Israel. God will give us an intense desire for both of these states of being, if we ask Him in Jesus’ name. God is on the move. The staves are in the Ark of the Covenant. What a joy it is to move forward with God, to follow the Lamb wherever He goes! The relationship between the Father and the Son is comprehensible to the person who is keeping Christ’s commands. The difficulty in understanding arises when we attempt to put the relationship into words. Are you having trouble getting victory over a particular sin? Confess it clearly and specifically, and denounce it firmly. If this does not work, do the same thing in the presence of other saints. First comes the transformation of our character by interaction with Christ. Then the Father and the Son will enter the transformed character. Finally the whole will be clothed with the body from Heaven. Growing old and weak has to do only with the body. The inner nature becomes increasingly strong and mature as we live in the Presence of Christ. In the Kingdom of God, humility is regarded as a great virtue. If we would please God, and grow in Christ, we must not yield to our passions. We absolutely must allow clear, righteous thinking to direct our actions. The person who continues to allow his passions to dictate his actions, rather than clear, righteous judgment, will soon be destroyed. Evolution is a weak hypothesis when it strives to account for the physical makeup of man, but ignores life, love, and the instinct to pray that most people but no animal has. The Christian churches are not members of the local community or of the world community. They are the lampstands of God, bearing witness of the Lord Jesus Christ, being anointed by the Spirit of God. We are wise when we ask God to remove from us every desire that does not bring us love, joy, and peace. Our body is the house of the Spirit of God. Our task is to continually keep it for the Spirit to use. If your body is the Temple of God, why aren’t you taking better care of it, as though it were your own to abuse as you will? To be attracted toward something that will not bring us love, joy, and peace, is a bondage. Because mankind is attempting to live in the world without God, the result is madness and chaos. God knows everything. Christ knows everything. When we live by Christ’s life we know everything although we know nothing. When instead we attempt to save our life we find ourselves without purpose in the universe, until we are spoken for by someone in a position of authority. Only a dutiful person recognizes the conflict between duty and freedom. Those without integrity know of no such problem. It is not difficult to please God, unless we are called to a high rank in the Kingdom. Even then, His commandments are not grievous. Let this be your supreme maxim: “I will follow the Lamb wherever He goes, regardless of my personal desires or the consequences to myself.” This is the day in America to build our ark, and to pitch it within and without with the blood of the Lamb. The storm is coming and we are going to need a place of safety. We then will be able to run into our ark and be safe. Leave everything that you may find rest in the lions’ dens and the mountain haunts of the leopards. Follow the Lamb wherever He goes. God’s valiant heroes play an important role in His Kingdom. So do His more delicate flowers, as we look at their beauty and smell their fragrance. This is why the “doors” are enclosed with panels of cedar. All boys and girls are adorable when they begin life. But so often the love of money, physical lust, personal ambition, and violence, so prevalent in our country, overtake him or her. God knows the history of each individual and deals with him or her accordingly. God determines the appearance and abilities of each person throughout eternity, according to God’s plan for his or her life. We must learn that we can get along without any relationship, thing, or circumstance, as long as our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is firm. Religious beliefs often divide people. But Christ coming to maturity in us has the potential of bringing us into the oneness that exists in the Godhead. We cannot rule with Christ as long as we are self-contained. The first man must be broken down. God’s rulers are made in two stages. We must be perfect each day while we are being perfected. This means merely that we are doing all we know to do. God has a design for our life today that is not the same as yesterday or tomorrow. God will implement that plan if we will do the simple tasks set before us. You cannot be perfect for yesterday or tomorrow. But you can be perfect today if you keep looking to Jesus for direction and strength. The goal of the Kingdom of God is not to get people into Heaven, it is to get the life and ways of Heaven into people. The deferral of desires, the bearing of the weight of problems, the period of time during which the mind seeks understanding of what is taking place, result in the development of perfect dependence and trust. The Bride must be righteous, holy, sternly obedient to God, and must rest in the Lord in dependence and trust. It is not that we arrive at union among ourselves and through this attain union with Christ and the Father. Rather, we arrive at union with Christ and the Father and through this union with God we attain union with one another. Any part of our personality and behavior that is not of the Lord Jesus Christ is loss for God, loss for mankind, and loss for us. One day we will be walking on the shining paths of the spirit world, thinking back to the decisions we made while confined in an animal body seeking to serve the Lord faithfully in the midst of the demons. Will we be able at that time to remember and rejoice that in our hour of testing we were faithful to God and to those for whom we were responsible? No greater torment can assail us than the memory that we failed God and people during our brief appearance on the stage of the world. It is certain that in the future, when we are in the spirit world, the people whom we encountered while living in the present hour, in the physical world, we will encounter then—perhaps many times. Will we experience abject shame because of how we treated them, or will our heart sing with gladness because we were of help to them as they struggled under the burdens of life. If the Scripture teaches (and it does) that our mortal bodies will be redeemed, then the mortal body is destined to become eternal. Having once been raised from the dead it can die no more. Eating from the Tree of Life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God will finally bring eternal life to our death-doomed body. The burden of the Spirit is not that we be removed to Heaven, to the spiritual paradise, but that the spiritual paradise be restored to the earth. The prayer is not that the Father should bring us to His eternal home in the heavens but that His Kingdom, the performing of His will, should be brought down to the earth. The Kingdom comes from above, from Heaven. The Kingdom is of Heaven, that is, of the Presence and Glory of God. When the Kingdom of God comes to the earth, the earth will be filled with God’s glory. All we associate with Heaven will then be found in the earth, not in the sky above us. Fiery holiness of personality, living in the center of God’s fire at all times, is addictive. The more the believer is filled with the fire of holiness the more he desires. Safety and the other things we desire are not found in Heaven, as such. Heaven is where the problems began. Safety, joy, peace, the iron rule of righteousness, are found only in the Lord Jesus Christ and in those who are an integral part of him. Apart from Christ there is uncertainty and chaos. Christ will move throughout the creation of God bringing all things under subjection to Himself. This will be accomplished by the power of the Father. Those who overcome sin through Christ will work alongside of Him to accomplish this goal. The Kingdom of God is the fullness of the power of God filling Christ, and through Christ the saints, that they may enforce God’s righteous ways throughout the creation; bringing also the fullness of holiness and the fullness of obedience to God. Unlimited power and wisdom will bring about the Kingdom of God, the doing of God’s will, in the earth and everywhere else in the universe. When all things have been brought into subjection to Christ, then Christ will be in subjection to the Father. There is a difference between loving someone and worshiping someone. The fire of Christ is necessary if love is to be purified from idolatry and lust. There is no safety or security in Heaven, in the United States armed forces, in money, or in the computer. The only safety and security there is, is found in the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone is our Rock, our mighty Fortress. In the future, everything we know and trust in shall be shaken. Only those who are dwelling in Christ will be safe and secure. When the world is in flames, those who are abiding Christ will be singing and dancing in the heights of Zion. We are living in the valley of the shadow of death. Satan is everywhere. If we are to survive spiritually we must choose every moment of every day and night to dwell in Christ. It is with our will that we choose to dwell in Christ at all times and in every circumstance. Therefore our will must be kept strong and sharp, for by it we serve God. We choose to serve God. There are believers in Christ who do not always choose to be joyous in Christ. They are bound with stubbornness, peevishness, self-pity, pessimism, defeat. When we find such an attitude of negativism and despair in ourselves, we must call mightily and continually to Christ that we may be saved from this destructive, negative state. Do not take anything for granted. Call on Christ for help with every detail of life. The river of God is full of water. Do not assume God is going to help you. Keep on asking. Keep on asking. Blow the trumpet when you go into battle so God will remember you. I don’t think most people have rejected Christ. I think they have rejected the Christians. The administrative-type religious leader goes to his computer and demographic graphs in order to obtain success. The spiritual religious leader goes to Christ to obtain success. If we attempt to use both methods we may find that one or the other must prevail. One day the Throne of God will come down from Heaven above us and be established on the earth so that the nations of the saved can enjoy the Presence and blessing of God in Christ in His saints forever, ages without end. This is even more wonderful. Today is a momentous hour in the Kingdom of God. The day of our visitation is here. There are, of course, duties we must perform if we are to fulfill our responsibilities in the world, such as taking care of our family. But ordinarily there is time and strength left over to seek the Lord, and we cannot dissipate these on entertainment, or hobbies, or other activities that are not essential, if we are to lay hold on that for which the Lord has grasped us. Ours is a dangerous hour, and also a wonderful period. Passages of Scripture that have not been understood are now being emphasized. Thrones are waiting for those who care enough to seek Christ diligently and earnestly. Many who are last in time shall be first in the Kingdom of God. Between justification and glorification, our assigned states from the foundation of the world (I am speaking of God’s elect), is a period of time during which we may fall away altogether; or lose part of our inheritance; or attain exceedingly great glory in the Kingdom. There are no guarantees, only callings and opportunities. Christ always will remain faithful and keep that which has been entrusted to Him. But whether we reap one hundred, or sixty, or thirtyfold depends on how vigorously we pursue eternal life each day of our discipleship. The reason some people in our world are poor and hungry is that those of us who have an abundance may have an opportunity to share what we have with the less fortunate. In this manner we prepare ourselves for our future life in the spirit world of love, light, and rejoicing. But those who are selfish have a fearful destiny awaiting them. God laughs at the foolish antics of those who rebel against Him. The problem occurs when God stops laughing. When we make the gathering of numbers of people our goal we will compromise what God is saying to the churches. We are not to attempt to please people. Our task is to listen to the Spirit of God and obey Him. God has put us in an animal body to see what we will do, to find out if we can be trusted when the true riches are given to us. The Bible commands us to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. This is referring primarily to righteous behavior on our part. Imputed or ascribed righteousness is a means of helping us acquire genuine righteousness of behavior. If imputed righteousness becomes an alternative to righteous behavior, we have missed God’s intention. Whoever holds back part of the price of the land will die spiritually. Our lusts cause us either to destroy ourselves or to develop godly character, much as irritation under an oyster’s shell causes it to produce a pearl. Why should we become fools in the sight of the angels? John the Baptist, the Apostles, and the Lord Jesus did not preach that Paradise is at hand but that the Kingdom of God is at hand. The Kingdom of God is a government! It is the rule of God. Without the Kingdom of God we cannot maintain Paradise should we receive it again. We want Paradise. God wants His rules kept. All of the gifts and ministries given to the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit are for the purpose of forming Christ, the Kingdom of God, the Rule of God, in us. The more of Christ we have the more of the Kingdom of God we have. We place much emphasis today on getting people into Heaven! According to the New Testament, God places a greater emphasis on getting Heaven into people! Until God brings us to the stature of the fullness of Christ, which is to say, to the full development of the internal kingdom, there will be no external kingdom through which the peoples of the earth can be blessed. Divine grace, as it currently is perceived, is a substitute for moral growth. The Apostle Paul taught grace as the Divine alternative to the Law of Moses, not as the Divine alternative to moral transformation, to the new creation of righteous behavior. I think we have fallen into error by not placing sufficient emphasis on sanctification. Our preaching often seems to be occupied primarily with justification. Godliness is esteemed more highly by the Lord than are great achievements that we might make. This is true also of contentment. Obedience, integrity, faithfulness, diligence, courage are honored by the Lord and are gifts from Him. Achievement and success also are gifts from Him. Whoever would boast, let him or her boast in the Lord. If you want to see matters as they truly are, ask the Lord to put His fire on them. Christ sees with eyes of fire. Satan does not have the power to truly harm someone who is trusting in the Lord Jesus. All of the pain and frustrations he brings serve only to perfect the servant of the Lord. Satan was the instrument that crucified Christ. In so doing Satan redeemed mankind The Lord Jesus Christ shall return at the head of two armies. An army of angels, and an army of judges. The angels are the warriors. They do the fighting. The saints are judges. They make decisions concerning the installation of the Kingdom of God on the earth. The warrior angels enforce their decisions. The commandment to the world is to believe in Christ and be baptized in order to be saved from wrath. The commandment to the elect is to count everything else as garbage that they may win Christ. The Christian organizations are devoting almost all of their resources to saving souls from the wrath of God while neglecting to emphasize the need for the elect to grow to the stature of the fullness of Christ. It appears to me that if they are to obtain peace and security in the foreseeable future, the nations of the world have two choices. They must meet the demands of the terrorists. In this case the terrorists will govern the nations’ decisions. Or the nations must turn away from their sins and ask Christ for His help. If the nations do this, Christ will silence the terrorists. The sheep of the nations are delivered from wrath and brought into the Kingdom on the basis of having assisted the Lord’s brothers in their hour of need. The brothers themselves are destined to be changed into the image of Christ. In order to grasp that for which they have been grasped they must count all else as garbage that they may gain Christ. Each person has a unique salvation that must be worked out, depending on that individual’s place in the Kingdom of God. Some women will be saved through childbearing if they continue in faith. Those at the right hand of Christ will drink the cup of suffering. Others called to a lower rank need only follow Christ in the routines of their lives. But all must receive Christ, when He is presented to them, and endure to the end, to be saved. If we do not have a rod of iron created in us by resisting sin, we are neither eligible nor competent to return with Jesus Christ and govern the saved nations of the earth. It is a fact that if we love God with all heart our and our neighbor as ourselves, we have fulfilled the eternal moral law of God. But in order to love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves, we have to transformed by the power of Christ. In order to be transformed by the power of Christ, we have to seek Christ and obey Him diligently each day and night of our lives. The desire to obey God diligently and continually is a gift. It must be given from above. The wise person will pray continually for this supreme gift. It is true that the terrorists may succeed in detonating atomic weapons in our country, killing millions of Americans. But nothing will occur outside the will of Christ. Those who serve Him diligently will be secure in His Presence. They will save themselves and their loved ones. Give to Jesus what you have and He will multiply it. It will feed many people. Christ Himself has become my security, my health, my strength, my courage, my song. It is not that He gives me these things, He Himself is them. This the fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles. It is a good idea to pray frequently that Christ will keep us from being deceived; that we will hear and see only that which is coming from God’s Throne. It is a good idea to call upon the Lord immediately upon awakening, keeping one’s mind focused on Christ. Be thanking the Lord continually for every detail of life, for every answered prayer, for every blessing. Be not entangled with the world and its confusion and chaos. It is on a collision course with Divine judgment. The thinking and plans of unbelievers will never make sense to the godly. Our task is to refuse to fret about the evil and to do what good we can as Christ enables. It’s fun to keep looking to Jesus day and night. You never know what wonderful thing He is going to say or do. I used to wonder why so many Christians could be believers for many years and yet not grow spiritually. They still are living in their adamic nature. Now I know the answer. They are not disciples, only church members. They have not denied themselves, taken up their cross, and followed Jesus. There is a difference between religious life and resurrection life. Jesus Christ Himself is Resurrection Life. Religious life is the murderer of Christ. The entrance to resurrection life is through crucifixion with Christ. The entrance to religious life is through the brain of man, often augmented by Satan. People enjoy dabbling in spiritual mysteries. God enjoys righteous behavior. The Bible is not primarily about Heaven and Hell, although these are mentioned. The main subject of the Bible is righteous behavior and sinful behavior, about spiritual life and spiritual death. We experience these while yet alive on the earth. The people of the world know what righteous behavior is. They should be seeing it in people who profess to be Christians. They often do not. Why not? Because the believers are being taught that God has given us grace so we can continue to sin and go to Heaven anyway. People do not become life-giving spirits by taking the four steps of salvation and then living their own life. We have to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Christ diligently day and night. We become fountains of eternal life only as we are willing to accept the crucifixion of our first personality. There is no other way. Grace is supposed to be a means of producing people who behave righteously. Instead it has become a substitute for righteous behavior. As a result, the light shining forth from the Christian churches to the world largely is darkness. God is displeased at the extent to which unrighteousness has increased in His churches and in the world. Just as our present body has a life of its own, with sinful tendencies in it, desiring to pursue an inflamed animal insistence, so the body with which we will be clothed in the Day of the Lord will have a life of its own. However the new body will be filled with desires that come from the Lord and are holy, righteous, and obedient to God. We will receive this new life-filled body only on the condition that we have undergone the required moral change. The new wine in us will be put into new bottles. Growth in Christ means growth in understanding and growth in our soul. The word is written in the mind and in the heart. There are some things only God can tell people. If we try to tell them we cause pain and confusion. We are transformed in two ways: in our mind as it is renewed in Christ, and in our heart by the body and blood of Christ. I have placed all my treasures in Heaven; but it has required many deaths to put them there! Salvation is deliverance from the bondages of sin. If you are not being delivered from the bondages of sin, you are not being saved. Therefore work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. How many millions of professing Christians do you suppose there are in the United States who live unrighteous lives but who suppose, because of what they have been taught, that God does not see their behavior and is ready to carry them to Heaven to avoid suffering? It is because of the teaching of lawless grace that our nation is going to experience calamity. God’s powerful angels cannot exercise the sentence of judgment against the wicked until the saints are qualified to pass judgment. The saints qualify by trusting in the blood of the Lamb; by bearing in themselves a true testimony of God; and by loving not their life to the point of death. Lord, I pray that I may see every person and every circumstance with eyes of fire. I want to see as you see, think as you think, speak as you speak, act as you act. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen. The protection against deception is the personal cross of the believer. Until we deny ourselves, lay down our life, take up our cross, and follow the Lord Jesus at all times, we are vulnerable to deception. To worship anyone or anything other than God and Jesus Christ His Son, is to be in deadly bondage, in the chains of futility and corruption. If Adam and Eve had not sinned, and they had gone on to populate the world, it is doubtful that mankind ever would see its need of God. Certainly, there would have been no opportunity for us to have learned to live by the body and blood of Christ; and thus to be married to the Lamb. Satan loves religion, but the preaching of righteousness is an abomination to him. Christ prefers that we preach about righteousness and the doing of God’s will in the earth. Satan prefers that we preach about the rapture and going to live forever in Heaven. To become a member of the Kingdom of God we have to be born again. This means Christ has to be born in us. There has to be a new creation in which the old things have passed away and all has become new; and all is of God. God’s master plan is found in the Bible. The working out of that plan is conducted by the Holy Spirit. When people attempt to work out the plan they create babylon—confusion. The sons of God are not led by the Bible but by the Spirit. The word of our testimony is more than what we say. It includes what we are; what we think; what we do! If what we are, what we think, and what we do are not of God, then what we say is not a true testimony of God, His Person, His will, and His ways in Christ. The better world for which we hope is not a place in the spirit realm, called heaven. It is Christ who is being formed in the saints. They will appear with Him at His coming. This is the Kingdom of God that will establish justice and peace on the earth. If we view salvation as a transformation of what we are, beginning with our inward nature and extending finally to our body, then we will begin today to fight the good fight of faith. We will each day throw off through Christ the chains of corruption that bind our inward nature as we press toward the day when the Spirit of God by which we now live will extend to our physical body. The city that has foundations, for which Abraham is seeking, is the new Jerusalem. Its foundations, being twelve in number, are foundations of the wall against sin. This wall is formed in us as Christ is formed in us. Three things define the new Jerusalem; God and the Lamb; the saints; and the wall against sin that has been formed in the saints. The true Christian discipleship is one of overcoming worldliness, the lusts of our flesh, and our self will as we press toward the first resurrection from the dead, the resurrection to eternal life. In Chapter Six of Romans, Paul declares that if we as a Christian choose to live an unrighteous life we will die spiritually, but if we choose to be the slave of God and righteousness we will enter eternal life. The true Christian discipleship is one of overcoming worldliness, the lusts of our flesh, and our self will as we press toward the first resurrection from the dead, the resurrection to eternal life. God intends to accomplish two things through human marriage: a new person is brought into the world; and the self-seeking of husband and wife is diminished. Satan and those in whom he lives are bound with self-seeking. This fire will burn hotter and hotter until only ashes remain. It is necessary that we be reconciled to God legally through the blood of Jesus Christ. But the Kingdom of God exists in the righteous behavior that is produced by Christ being formed in us. You don’t have to pull your brother’s stone out of the wall in order to put in your own.—Audrey Thompson Of all the Christian activities that have taken place and are taking place in the world, it may be true that less than one percent are of eternal value. The remainder are inert ingredients. When a chicken gives an egg it is an act of dedication. When a hog gives ham it is an act of consecration. The Lord demands both consecration and dedication. The Lord wants both ham and eggs.—anon The expression of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 2:20 reflects consecration far in excess of what is being taught today. I wonder why that is? Are we really preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ? What Paul is saying is certainly more like a hog giving ham than a chicken giving eggs! Do we actually believe that God’s Kingdom will come to the earth? I do not think so. All we talk about is going to Heaven and living there forever. So why are we praying Your Kingdom come, Your will be done in the earth? It is God's intention that man live on the earth, that man be free from sin, that the earth be breathtakingly beautiful and marvelous, that there no longer be sorrow, pain, or death. This is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. It is not the good news that if we believe in Jesus we will go to Heaven when we die. It is the good news that we will be raised from the dead and live once again on the earth. The Christian salvation is pointed toward the restoration of what was lost in Eden. It is not a plan to change everything and place man in the spirit realm. God is not making all new things. He is making all things new—all the things to which we are accustomed. Every aspect of redemption presents a choice. We can accept or reject it. Our faith in God is involved here. It does not matter whether we are on earth or in the spirit world. We always are and always shall be able to reject that which God places before us. It is a frightening thought but true. There can be no part of Christ that is not totally responsive to the Head, to the Lord Jesus. We must learn stern, uncompromising obedience to the Head, and we must learn it today. The saints must cease from their own ways and works and live on the altar of God. This means that every plan, every desire, every thought, every action is directed toward the Lord Jesus for His approval. We who are called to be members of the Body of Christ are not to accept the values of the world. We are to be transformed as our mind in renewed in Christ. Renewing our mind in Christ means daily prayer, daily reading of the Bible, and bringing every decision to Christ throughout the day. If a denomination turns out hundreds of thousands of members, but very few of them are coming to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ, then we might remind the executives of the denomination that while they are to be congratulated on their marketing abilities, they are not achieving the stated goals of the enterprise. It is not enough to persuade a person to confess Christ as his savior, and then never direct him into cross-carrying obedience; never lead him in the presenting of his body a living sacrifice; never work with him as the Spirit of God brings him through challenging circumstances. Sometimes it is said that if we will keep growing, growing, growing in numbers the discipling will take care of itself. This does not work out in practice. A brief examination of today’s Christian churches will suggest nurseries filled with babies—babies whose growth has been aborted because they have been fed grace-grace-grace-rapture-rapture-rapture-Heaven-Heaven-Heaven. The most significant aspect of our life is our relationship to God. Everything else is secondary in importance. No person can come to God except through Jesus Christ. God has made Christ our King and our Life; and has given all things into His hands. If we are to be related to God satisfactorily we must keep coming to Him through Jesus Christ. There is no other way, no other truth, no other life. God keeps close tabs on everyone—even on little birds. The wall against sin has been broken down because of the teaching of grace as a substitute for righteous behavior. There do not seem to be many Christians who understand that if our experience with Jesus Christ does not change our behavior we are not being saved. The world looks to see moral light in us, but all it perceives is talk about our particular brand of religion. Is God your copilot or your pilot? Anything we clutch is an idol. It prevents our flowing with the desires of God. The United States has taken the position that government is to be kept separate from religion. Does this mean government is to be kept separate from God? If so, our position is foolish and destructive of our welfare. I do not want to be an animal any longer. I choose to be a son of God. Let us take a further step into the Kingdom of God each day. The longer I live the more I realize everything we have is a gift from God, including our desire to serve God and do His will. Why should we be honored for our faithfulness to God when the very desire to be faithful is a gift from God. To not think carefully about the consequences of our actions is stupid. The doctrine of evolution is incredible. It is more like religious cant than it is science. To consider the world around us and then claim there is no God suggests we may have an ulterior motive. It may be true that we are unwilling to face the fact that one day we will have to give an account for our behavior. God loves all people who strive to live righteously. But the only tree of life is the Lord Jesus Christ. When the Israelites sinned, God raised up enemies who warred against them. So it is today. God is raising up enemies who are warring against the nations that at one time professed faith in Jesus Christ. However, when our ways are pleasing to the Lord He makes even our enemies to live at peace with us. Humanism (the happiness of people is the supreme good), Gnosticism (salvation removes us from the material world so we may live forever in the spirit realm), antinomianism (Christians are under no law) and dispensationalism (Gentiles are saved by Divine forgiveness apart from moral transformation) are "four horsemen" of error that prevent Christians from perceiving what the Scripture actually teaches. It is the transformation, the new creation, the new life, that constitutes salvation, redemption, the Kingdom of God. The profession of belief in Christ is worthless to the purposes of God unless it is accompanied by a transformed moral character. We must behave in manner worthy of the Kingdom of God if we are to be part of that kingdom. We must truly accept Christ in the sense that an apprentice places himself under the discipline of a master. Religious statements can never save us. Only God through Jesus Christ can save us. It is entirely possible to "accept Christ" and yet not really accept Christ. We say that if we "accept Christ" in the religious sense we are saved and will go to Heaven when we die. This is not the Christian salvation. The Christian salvation consists of a daily interaction with the living Jesus. As we interact with Jesus each day we are saved from the world, from Satan, from the lusts and passions of our flesh, and from our self-will. Why are the Christian preachers of today seeking to curry favor with their listeners, when the preachers have the only Word of Life? It is a "seller’s market." Can it be that we are attempting to build the Kingdom of God by our own devices? If there were no God, and life came about through random chemical processes, most people in the world, including the members of primitive societies, would be atheists. But our instincts as well as our common sense tell us that we and our environment reveal unmistakably that Someone planned all this! The Lord Jesus Christ is returning to the earth in order to govern the nations with righteousness, not to take His Church to Heaven. What good would that do? Jesus told us that we could neither see nor enter the Kingdom of God without being born again. Jesus never told us that we could neither see nor enter Heaven without being born again. The Apostles did not preach about going to Heaven. They did preach about the Kingdom of God, about the importance of inheriting the Kingdom of God. They did not preach about the importance of going to Heaven. Entering the Kingdom of God begins the moment we are born again. It is not a ticket to anywhere. It is the bringing forth of a new creation within our personality. We do not wait to die for it to begin. It is being pressed on us now, especially as we are approaching the end of the Church Age. The moment Christ is born in us, the Substance of Deity is born in us, the Spirit is ready to lead us from the adamic life to the life of a son of God. Every moment of our time is packed with opportunities to change from a mere human to a child of God. We are being transformed if we are participating in the new covenant. It is the transformation that is salvation. There is no fornication, no lying, no slander, no rage, no witchcraft, no drunkenness, no strife, no backbiting, no malice, in the Kingdom of God. The part of our personality that is doing these things is not of the Kingdom of God. The mere fact of being in Heaven will not of itself make any change in us. There is no scriptural basis for the concept that being in Heaven will change us from wickedness to righteousness. After all, sin began in Heaven around the Throne of God. Because of the pressures of wickedness that are on us continually, righteous behavior is a matter of strength. The stronger we are in the Lord the better able we are to keep His commandments. At His coming we will possess iron strength so we may be able to enforce justice and righteousness in the earth. That iron strength is being developed in us now as through Christ we overcome sin. The Great Commission is not to save souls or build churches. The Great Commission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ so they learn to behave righteously, to keep the eternal laws of the Kingdom of God. Because we have changed the Great Commission, the Christians in America to a great extent do not demonstrate integrity in their behavior. The Lord always is specific and practical in what He does, although He may not reveal His plan until it is necessary. The Great Commission has not been accomplished until people live in righteousness, holiness, and stern obedience to the Father. Faith that does not result in righteous behavior is not what the Bible means by faith. Faith that does not result in our denying ourselves, taking up our cross, and following Jesus carefully each day is not what the Bible means by faith. We are saved from the works and presence of Satan so we may have fellowship with God. Fellowship with God is the supreme goal of our salvation. Because the living God behaves in unfathomable ways—ways that are not approved of or understood by the educated people of our time—we should not be rushing around trying to build the Kingdom of God when we do not know what we are doing. Every person who has lived on the earth and then died is somewhere in the spirit world, waiting for the Day of Resurrection. When that day arrives, every person will be judged fairly. God died on the cross for the sins of men. So who is able to accuse God of unrighteousness? When we meet and admire a person more godly than ourselves, we become a better person. We who handle the Word of God need not worry, if we are being diligent, that the will of God shall be communicated. God watches to see that His Word is fulfilled. We do well when we acknowledge that someone is more worthy or more accomplished than ourselves. We become more humble, more poor in spirit. This leads the way into the Kingdom of God. It indeed is true that man is a corrupt creature, unable to save himself. It is true also that through Jesus Christ man can save himself and become worthy of the Kingdom of God. God preserves the loved ones of those who fear and serve Him. Otherwise the joy of His faithful ones would not be complete. I awoke this morning filled with words of wisdom. I then recorded all that God had shown me. Wisdom flows quietly like an untroubled stream. We do well when we embrace the gentle, steady waters of Shiloah. We do not gain eternal life by acknowledging that Jesus Christ is the Son of God; that He died for our sins; that He rose from the dead. The demons understand this to be true, and they have no eternal life. Rather, we gain eternal life by eating Christ and drinking His blood. This means we enter an intense personal relationship with the living Lord Jesus—dying to our sinful nature continually; always increasing in His resurrection life. "As dying, and, behold, we live. The practices of the Christian religion are not the way to the Father. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the Way. If we would walk with the Lord Jesus we must turn away from our sins and self-will. The New Testament stresses repentance as well as belief in Christ. To believe but not turn from our sins is to sit in Egypt saying we are in the land of promise. How can it be that the demons know all the facts about Christ’s death and resurrection and yet do not have eternal life? It is because knowledge of what is true does not bring life. It is continual interaction with the living Jesus that brings eternal life to us. Our goal is fellowship with God. Jesus Christ is the Way to the Father. If believing in Christ has not caused us to practice righteous behavior, then we have not truly believed in Christ. We have just acknowledged the facts of theology. Do you with to know God and His Son Jesus Christ? Then turn away from sinful behavior. The Christian religion emphasizes belief in Jesus Christ and eternal residence in Heaven. The New Testament stresses righteous behavior and doing God’s will in the earth, as the result of having Christ formed in us. The whole Bible is the inspired Word of God. Therefore, let us not add to it or subtract from it, but rather meditate in it and do what it says. The New Testament is not just to be believed, it is to be obeyed in its every commandment. Do we believe what the Apostles have written in the New Testament? Then let us obey what they have commanded. Have they written in vain? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Good. So do the demons. But they do not have eternal life because they do not love Christ and walk with Him continually. God is in control of all things. When we fret and worry we are showing that we do not believe in God’s wisdom and love. Let us avoid negative thinking and speaking, and pray and think positively about our circumstances. By choosing to do this we overcome Satan. We do not know what the future holds, but we do know who holds the future.—anon "Father, we do not understand you, but we trust You."—Basilea Schlink If you will serve the Lord with all diligence He will find a place in His Kingdom for your loved ones. He has promised to give His servants fullness of joy. In order to give you fullness of joy He has to take care of those who are close to your heart. The foolish, ignorant people who say there is not God should be thankful that He is righteous and compassionate. What if God were like Satan: cruel, vindictive, perverse, treacherous, self-centered? If there is no God, righteous behavior still would be of benefit. Righteousness carries its own reward. Because there is a God, the wicked face a frightful future. If there is no God it still is of benefit to us to live a godly, disciplined life. But if there is a God, our faithful service to Him will bring us unimaginable love, joy and peace in the future. There are those who gamble there is no God and take their chances with what they will experience after they die. Then there are those live their entire lives in preparation for what they will face in the next world. We have not because we ask not. Why, then, do we not keep on asking God to help us and give us the desires of our heart? If we keep on asking, Christ will keep on giving us what we need and desire. Have you noticed that when Christ multiplied the loaves and fishes He produced more than enough? So it is that when Christ blesses us He does so abundantly. In fact, there is something left over for those around us. Remember the ninety-first Psalm. We will need it and other Divine promises in the days of moral and physical horror that lie ahead of us in America. Have you ever noticed that God often presents us with an easy situation and we make it difficult? How many people are not satisfied with where God has placed them and the role which they have been assigned? This was Satan’s original problem! Choose to believe God. Choose to be faithful to God. Choose to think positively. Choose to believe that all things are working for your good. Choose to be joyful. Choose to be courageous. We save ourselves by our choices. Choosing is something we can do. If we can’t, we need to ask God for the power to choose to have faith in the promises of the Bible. We overcome by the word of our testimony, by what we choose to think, speak, and do. "God send fire on us until our flesh agrees to do your will"! If you abort your baby without good and sufficient reason, such as rape or medical necessity, you will be charged with murder before the Judgment Seat of Christ. If you have murdered a baby, throw yourself on the mercy of Christ before it is too late. He wants to have intercourse with you but will not accept the responsibility of marriage and a family? He is a bum. Flee from him. Are you so without intelligence that you welcome pain and confusion into your life? Antichrist rises from the sea of mankind. He is man seeking to govern himself, to be his own god. The False Prophet rises from the soul of man. He is the Christian believer seeking the power of Christ apart from the prison of deferred hope. In the last days the False Prophet will support Antichrist. There is no such thing as a Gentile Church. It doesn't exist. There is no such thing as a dispensation of grace or a state of grace unaffected by our behavior. It doesn't exist. Both of these man-made concepts are destructive of the one Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, droughts, various medical and social disorders, are the hand of God knocking on the door of sinful America. We have international neighbors who are searching for ways to destroy us. Will the American people open the door and invite the Lord Jesus in before the country lies in ruins? And do not boast how wonderful the economy is. It will be the next to fall unless adequate help is given to the poverty-stricken and despairing of the urban ghettoes. I wonder if the black people of America understand the potential power they possess, not primarily the political power but the spiritual power—power in prayer and righteous behavior. If the black preachers would rise up and preach righteousness in Jesus' name instead of lawless grace and the "pre-tribulation rapture," revival and the renewing of our country would be at hand. If they wait for the white brothers it may be too late. Remember Sammy Morris! One good thing about getting older is you have to make every move count. You do not have the energy to take a lot of false steps. What a clear light the Bible throws on the commentaries! Christ died so you may live. Now you have to die so Christ may live—in you. Greater love has no man. Any spiritual formula that we attempt to apply apart from prayer and dependence on the Lord Jesus Christ is of the False Prophet. The way of deception is warm, inviting, beautiful, presenting all sorts of fleeces to assure you that you are doing the Lord's will. But it leads to the house of death. The way of the cross is bleak, forbidding, ugly, sometimes tearing at the soul. But it leads through gates of splendor. When you were a young Christian you were amazed to find so much sin in other Christians. Now that you are mature you are amazed to find so much sin in yourself. If it is true that we will be with the Lord Jesus during the thousand-year Kingdom Age when He rules as King from Jerusalem; and if it is true that we will be part of the new Jerusalem when it comes to rest on the new earth; why are we teaching that Heaven is our eternal home? If you are not being delivered from the love of the world, from the lusts of your flesh, and from self-will, you are not being saved. To be saved is to be moved from Satan to God, not to live forever in Heaven. When God blesses you with a miracle, gather up the fragments. Someone will need them. Don’t waste God’s Glory! "Lord Jesus, be in everything I think, say, and do. Leave no part of my life untouched by You. Choreograph every movement. Cut them in steel, second by second." We are saved that we may do God’s will, not only in Heaven but primarily on this present earth; on the earth during the thousand-year Kingdom age; and on the new earth when it descends from the new heaven. By teaching the need for holiness we do not mean to create self-tortured, introspective Christians. The constant searching out of motives and deeds can be maintained by the Spirit of God while the Christian is conducting a poised, joyful, fruitful life. Spiritual experience and maturity are required if we are to remain victorious as the Holy Spirit brings sin to our consciousness. We are saved by calling on the name of the Lord, apart from righteous conduct on our part. We are justified by our faith in the redeeming blood of Christ. But we enter the Kingdom of God as the Holy Spirit enables us to live in a righteous and holy manner. Holy! Holy! Holy is the Lord! This is what the Tabernacle proclaims in its every dimension. Everyone and everything associated with the Tabernacle had to be holy. So it is today. No liar, no lustful person, no fearful, no murderer, no idolater, has any part in the inheritance of the Bride of the Lamb. There is no way attain to the peace and fellowship with God we desire until we suffer. God wounds us that He may bind us up. If we truly are serving the Lord we may be mourning now but we shall rejoice later. Woe to those who are insisting on rejoicing now! Suffering sent from the Lord, received in the right way, is redemptive. It frees us from the cloying bands of the sinful nature. It is better to be poor and have the Lord than to be rich without Christ. If we wish to live in peace we continually must invite the Prince of Peace into every area of our life. The history of the world is a great drama being played out in the sight of the host of the heavens and of mankind. Life on earth is not easy. It tests us to the core. However, we have all eternity to reflect on the integrity or lack of it we have revealed. Salvation comes from God in Heaven. But if it is not received by people with integrity it does not function as it should. The Seed of Christ must fall into an honest and good heart if it is to bear permanent fruit. People, particularly young people, tinkering with their sexual drive, need to understand that in the future the results of their play will demand integrity of character. If they do not demonstrate integrity of character, the results of their lack of discipline will be misery and corruption. “Eat now and pay later.” The stupid individual does not understand this principle and hastens on his way to destruction. The current concept that eternal residence in Heaven is the goal of salvation may be attributed to at least two sources: Gnosticism, and the writings of Augustine. Gnosticism teaches that matter is evil and spirit is good. Augustine pointed out the utter depravity of the human race but perhaps did not lay enough emphasis on the power of Christ to change people into His image. The solution, then, would be to transfer people to the spirit world. The current lawless-grace and pretribulation-rapture teachings may be corollaries of this concept. I do not teach that we are saved by works, but that the fruit of godly behavior is the only valid proof that we are being saved. The purpose of God's grace in Christ is not to bring us into Paradise the way we are, it is to change what we are so we can maintain Paradise once it is regained. We will not just be presented before the Judgment Seat, we will be revealed. The Day of the Lord will not result in a transformation of our personality and moral behavior but a revealing of them for everyone to see. What the Christian people must come to understand is that their present conduct is directly affecting the house, or robe, that will clothe their resurrected flesh and bones. For a Christian, evil cannot be overcome with more evil. Evil can be overcome only with Divine good. To be known of Christ requires that we live righteously. To know Christ requires that we pursue Him diligently, counting all other attractions as garbage. We can be immersed in religious activities and yet not know the Lord. We can be totally familiar with the house of God and yet know little or nothing of the God of the house of God. How disappointing to spend one’s life grinding at the mill of church duties and then discover at death that we neither know nor are known of Christ. All of history past and present has occurred for the purpose of creating brothers of Jesus Christ in His image. Employing strategies to attract people to our church is one matter. Making disciples and teaching them to keep Christ’s commandments is a different pursuit. The first creates Babylon. The second creates the Kingdom of God. By grasping and clutching what you desire you disfigure your personality. This disfigurement will be revealed when you pass into the spirit world. Variety may be the spice of life; but rolling stones gather no moss, and tumbleweeds do not bear much fruit. If we are to make disciples, our life must match our words. Some teach about Christ, while others teach what Christ taught. These are the ones who bring up other people in Christ’s image. When we do everything that is in our power to do, then God takes over. This does not mean we strive to push our limits, it merely means we look to Him continually in unrelenting faithfulness in every aspect of life. Every Divine covenant from the time of Adam has had precisely the same goal—that people be in the image of God, that is, that they act justly and love mercy. Also, that they walk humbly with God. The new covenant contains more grace to accomplish God’s goal in us. Contemporary thinking is that the new covenant is better than the old, not because it enables people to keep the righteous laws of God but because it no longer demands righteous behavior of us and receives us without the "wedding garment." The Kingdom of God has been turned into a "come as you are" party. There is only one new covenant. It is the writing of the eternal moral law of God in our mind and heart by the Lord. Woe unto us! We have created another new covenant, the "four steps of salvation." Because we have turned aside from the only true new covenant, the light of good works has been extinguished and the world languishes in moral darkness. It appears to me that the emphasis in the Old Testament is on righteous behavior. The emphasis in the New Testament is on the atonement made by the Lord Jesus and on the work of the Holy Spirit in enabling us to put away the sinful nature. What we are hearing today is that Christ came so we can believe in Him and not be required to behave righteously. Something is terribly wrong here! Some accomplish great things in the church world but God's heart is with the faithful. I am older than I used to be but I still am learning of God and His ways. Are you? Do not cling too hard to your friend. You and he may have different destinies in God. Remember David and Jonathan. Always post a guard, even at a party or on vacation. If you do not you may say or do some foolish thing that will set you back for several years. He who slanders and gossips is a coworker with Satan. Your friend is upright and will point out the right way to you. Those who speak soft words of flattery to you are seeking their own gain. Look carefully into the face of the righteous and you will see integrity and faithfulness cut in steel. Look carefully into the face of the wicked and you will see his artful conniving. Tribulation and wrath are different aspects of God's working and serve different purposes. The great tribulation will cause many to wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb, but God has not appointed the righteous to wrath. Christ has promised to keep us and shall keep us, but not if we do not do what the New Testament commands. There is much we are to do! Put feet on your prayer and it will shuffle about awkwardly. Wait on the Lord and your prayer will soar into the heavens. There is a time to wait and a time to act. He who exhorts builds up his brother. He who gossips tears down the assembly. The end of our striving to serve Christ is the forming of Christ in us. Christ in us is the mystery of the Gospel. The result of bringing forth Christ within the human being is a new personality, a unique expression of God. This new creation is the Kingdom of God. The Law of Moses is well able to show us our sin but it is not accompanied by the power to deliver us from sin. This is how the Law of Moses differs from the new covenant. The solution to our struggle is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. This is the law of the new covenant and it sets us free from the law of sin and death. It does so by ascribing righteousness to us so we are free from condemnation and then changes us so we are able to keep God's righteous laws. Anyone with a heart for God, like Jesus or King David, can always read God's intention. But the hardhearted religious individual will succeed in straining out gnats and swallowing camels. To be "in Christ Jesus," and thus free from condemnation, means we are living every minute of every day in the Presence of the Lord, looking to Him for every aspect of life. We live in Christ just as one would live in a house. As we live in Him, seeking always to know Him better, to gain Him, to bring every detail of life to Him, every decision, then and only then are we without condemnation. How we react to the suffering that comes upon us determines whether we become bitter and vengeful or whether we take our place with Christ on the throne that governs all the works of God's hands. God always chastens severely and thoroughly every son He receives. We enter the Kingdom of God through much tribulation. The Lord chastens us because He loves us and does not want us to be under condemnation when He judges the world. The sufferings the Lord sends on us for our perfecting often take one or two forms: either we are denied something we want desperately, or else we are required to continue in a situation which we detest. These are the two kinds of prisons the Lord confines us in. We must never take matters into our own hands and attempt to escape from the prison we are in. We always are to give thanks to God, and we always are to pray that God will gives us the desires of our heart. We must set joy before us, or we will never be able to bear our cross for any length of time. It is God's love that is withholding from you the desires of your heart.. But it is only for a season. If you will permit the Lord to train you in righteousness and holiness, the hour will come when you will experience endless joy at God's right hand. To the beginning Christian, the idea of praying continually may seem an impossibility. As we mature in the Lord we find there are so many problems that praying continually is the only way in which we can endure the day. What you are and what you do, how you behave, are of supreme importance. What you believe is important only as it enables your change from the image of Satan to the image of God. The terrible error of religion is that it places more importance on what you believe than it does on what you are and how you behave. The difference between the old covenant and the new covenant is the born-again experience. It is the born-again experience that is the Kingdom of God, that enables us to see and enter the Kingdom of God. It is by means of the born-again experience that we are able to keep the law of the Kingdom of God, which are found in the Sermon on the Mount. There is only one truth in the world. The Truth is Jesus Christ. There is only one lie in the world. The lie is everything that is not of Jesus Christ. He Himself is the Way, the Truth, the Life, and the Resurrection from the dead. Are you willing to let go of everything that all may be replaced by Christ? Are you willing to become an entirely new creation; to be born again? It is fitting that we are thankful for every detail of life; and also let the Lord know of our needs and desires. It gives the Lord pleasure to hear our gratitude for His many blessings. Suffering either purifies our spirit or else us makes us bitter and vindictive. Whether the result of our suffering is bitterness or vindictiveness depends on how we respond. Often we develop or discover a pattern or system by which we can always approach the same problem or event successfully. In many instances it is more practical to ask the Lord for wisdom concerning how to address each problem or situation. What is effective on one occasion may not be as successful for that individual or another person at another time. We must overcome. What does this mean? It means there will be challenge after challenge to our claim to the throne of the universe. If possible, our crown will be taken from us. We have to gain the victory over each challenge to prove we are able to rule with Christ in any and every situation. When we have the moral character and behavior of Christ, and are resting in God's Person and will, we then are ready to perform the role in the Kingdom of God for which we have been predestined. We are ready to be raised from the dead when the Lord appears, to be caught up to meet Him in the air, and to descend with Him and help establish the Kingdom of God on the earth. Shall we return to the Lord Jesus, lay our lives at His feet, and wait until we are hearing from Him? Are we willing to become nothing, to remain in the prison in which we are placed, to hang on the cross? Are we willing to humble ourselves, not counting our sonship a thing to be grasped? God finished everything from the beginning and our days were ordained of Him at that time. We must grasp this deeply and strive to find out what we are supposed to be and do. God wants to entrust awesome gifts to us in these days, and we should be praying for rain in the time of latter rain. But most importantly God is seeking servants who will not move according to human reasoning but will be led by the Spirit of God in all they do. Satan has been so successful in blinding the believers and their leaders to what the New Testament states clearly that they absolutely reject the fact that an individual can make a profession of Christ and then fall away from God. They are incorrect in this, as the future will reveal. This is the work of the deceiver. The despised remnant will hold firmly in mind that God is as severe as He is good. They will utterly reject the idea that people will never suffer. God has called us to faithfully bear witness of His Person, will, way, and eternal purpose in Christ, so those who choose to do so may turn from their wicked ways and enter righteousness and eternal life. We are not completely reconciled to God in a moment, except in a legal sense through the blood of the cross. The actual reconciliation to God of our entire personality takes place every day of our Christian pilgrimage. Just before the Lord returns from Heaven, or at the time of His appearing and as an integral part of His appearing, at the end of the period of earth’s greatest tribulation, the anointed Christian testimony having been silenced by Antichrist and a number of saints having been purified by afflictions, God and Christ will enter the remnant in unprecedented glory. How shall we who are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord appear with Him in glory since we are living on the earth at the time of His appearing? Perhaps the power of His coming will be revealed in the saints on the earth as well as in the saints who will return from above. Since life is so filled with danger, why do not more people call on the Lord for help? I cannot understand this, when God is so able and so willing to protect and guide us. It is true that the gifts and callings of God are without repentance. But if we do not use our gifts appropriately to build up the Kingdom of God, they will be taken from us and given to another who have been more diligent, as in the parable of the talents. God the Father gives the power. The Lord Jesus Christ administrates the gifts by the wisdom the Father gives Him. The Father authorizes and empowers the Holy Spirit to assign gifts and ministries. The spiritual enablements that are given to us determine our role in the Body of Christ at this time. The purpose of the spiritual gifts we receive is to transform us and those who hear us into the image of God, and into complete, untroubled rest in the Father’s Person and will. The final result is fellowship with God, and that we might be His eternal dwelling place, His throne, His Presence throughout His creation. As we can be motivated and enabled by unclean spirits, in like manner we can be motivated and enabled by holy, righteous spirits as they are given to us to build the Kingdom of God. Let us serve God diligently and pray that we may receive gifts of righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God. There are natural gifts that often are inherited and are part of our adamic personality. The ability to compose and perform music is one such natural ability. The Holy Spirit also can give us abilities, and sometimes these transform our natural abilities and take them beyond their normal dimensions. The transformation of a natural gift by being permeated with a gift from the Holy Spirit may not be the same sort of endowment as an anointing on a natural gift that makes the natural gift effective in the building of the Kingdom. For example, natural wisdom and the Spirit of wisdom from God are two different endowments, although the latter may transform and expand the former. A Christian who has a natural gift of teaching may find that the Holy Spirit has greatly enabled and expanded the natural gift of teaching if the teacher has been faithful to use his gift to build the Kingdom of God. It is possible for God to give us an ability that is not related to our natural, inherited abilities. However, this may not be as common as the transformation and enlargement of a natural gift we possess already. And so with all our traits and abilities. A trained doctor or nurse may be helped and anointed during the use of his or her normal ability. Or the medical practitioner may be given a supernatural gift of healing. Or a supernatural gift of healing may be given to a person who has no training in the healing arts. We ought to pray for supernatural abilities so we can do God’s will and build the Body of Christ. Sometimes such abilities are given to us to accomplish God’s purposes, or because we have been diligent in what we already have been given, or because we have asked the Lord for a specific ability. After we die and pass into the spirit world and are able to see Christ and the saints, we still will have to have faith in God. Satan was one of the two guardian cherubim that overshadowed the Mercy Seat in Heaven. But he rebelled and was discontent with his state because of his lack of faith in the Father. God is able to remove bad spirits from us and give us a righteous, holy, and obedient spirit that serves the Lord with joy. How often have you asked God to make you righteous, holy, and obedient to Him? This should be our continual plea. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Perfect obedience brings a perfect reward. It would be better to inherit one person than ten thousand heavens; and we shall be inheriting nations if we give everything to the Lord Jesus. People are larger than we think. Paul told us we can be filled with all the fullness of God. In the demon-possessed man living in the region of the Gerasenes there dwelled a legion of unclean personalities. This legion of unclean spirits entered 2,000 pigs. The body and blood of the Lamb are manna that is hidden to all except those who are living a life of victory in Christ. Each time we are willing to do God’s will although it means death to our adamic desires, we are given of the body and blood of Christ in our inner nature. In this manner our resurrection from the dead is formed. The victories you are gaining now in Christ shall be given back to you in the Day of Resurrection as a glorious palace of eternal love, joy, and peace. The vision of the future has to do with our soon-coming King, not a soon-going church. How can we say that if we believe in Christ we do not have to keep His commandments, that "faith" in Christ is a substitute for obedience to God? Is this sensible? Have we not been grossly deceived? God never, never, never changes His goal for His creatures. God’s goal for His creatures always has been, is now, and forever shall be, that they practice righteousness, love mercy, and walk humbly with God as they keep His righteous commandments. Is the new covenant only the eternal forgiveness of the sins of God’s people, or is it primarily a device for creating the laws of God in the personality of the believer? God expects us to be lawful. To be lawful is to keep the commandments of the Lord Jesus and His Apostles, and of the Old Testament where applicable. The only true Christian is the one who meditates in the Word of God each day and seeks God’s help in doing what the Word teaches. To claim we are saved even though we are still sinning is to claim we are healed when we are still sick. The Lord God does all the fighting when we come out of Egypt. But we have to fight, as helped by the Lord, in order to enter our land of promise. The grace of God does not change what we reap, it changes what we sow. The grace of God did not appear to only forgive the drunkard, it appeared to make him sober. It is the change from drunkenness to sobriety that is salvation. The Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world. His name is Jesus because He saves His people from their sins, not in their sins. When our belief in Jesus does not change us from a lawless person to a lawful person we are not being saved. Christ will guide and help us, but He will not do the job for us. We have to take a step of obedience and go the Lord’s way before we receive the necessary strength and wisdom. The Lord Jesus will help us overcome. We cannot overcome by ourselves. He will not do it for us by Himself. It is the sword of the Lord and of Gideon. God always is examining us to see how we will respond when His will for us is unpleasant. God is not completely pleased with us until we are completely willing to do His will no matter what it costs us. The individual who is selfish and self-seeking is not worthy or able to be a living stone in the eternal Temple of God. The term "millennium" is misused to mean a time of joyous tranquility. Actually the thousand-year Kingdom age will be a peace enforced by the crushing rule of the rod of iron. Likewise the term "Heaven" has come to mean a delightful environment. "Heaven" (the heaven, heavens) may prove to be a busy, challenging place of instruction, more, in essence, like life on the earth, than we imagine. If it is not, how could the whole Body of Christ come to perfection together? Mere entrance into the spirit realm, even into the paradisiac spirit realm, accomplishes no change in the individual. Entrance into the spirit realm is not what the Gospel means by "salvation" nor does it result in salvation. We Christians, as will all people, shall be judged according to what we have done in our body. Why do we cry shame when a minister of the Gospel commits adultery? Our doctrine states that God sees us only through Christ. However, our conscience and common sense know something is amiss. Dispensationalism may prove to be one of the most destructive models of interpretation ever to influence Christian thinking. Dispensationalism has produced lawlessness in the Christian churches. The purpose of the Lord’s return is not to carry off the light of the world to Heaven, it is to rule the nations with a rod of iron until they are willing to obey God’s commandments. The Scriptures do not present a dispensation of grace. The Scriptures present an old covenant and a new covenant. Both covenants are directed toward God’s Israel. Both covenants require righteous behavior although they produce righteous behavior by different means. The custodians of religion are hungry for success. The people are hungry for God. While Christ is being formed in us we may walk a lonely road. But when God’s palace has been completed in us, the Father and the Son will come with the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Then all the creation will behold the marriage of the Lamb. When truth has been formed in you, you can discern between the truth and the lie. Truth recognizes truth. They are kindred spirits and have fellowship. I do not have to rush about frantically to do the Lord’s will. My deadline is eternity. Pray always that you not be led into temptation. Never, never, never let down your guard. The officer who gives in to the complaints of his men and does not post a guard on a rainy, cold night, no matter how far from the battle, may have his scalp affixed to the belt of a more diligent warrior by the next morning. God is a God of restoration. He restores everything of value to us once we fully accept His way. It is easy to read Romans, Chapter Three through Five, and conclude that we are saved by faith no matter how we behave. Our problem is that of confusing faith with belief. Belief is an acknowledgment that something is true. Faith is belief plus our grasp on God’s Character such that we obey fully all that Christ and His Apostles commanded. Belief alone cannot bring forth the new creation of righteous behavior. We came into the world naked and will leave the same way. All we will take with us is our character and our attitude toward God. Faith is our attitude toward God. If making a profession of faith in Christ were a ticket to Heaven, it would make no sense to exhort us to work out our salvation. Working out our salvation is a full-time, twenty-four hour a day, seven days a week, effort. We are changing from an adamic soul to a life-giving spirit. We do not work for our salvation; we work out our salvation. We are saved with difficulty, because our adamic nature resists being put to death. It hates being replaced with eternal life. Food for the belly and the belly for food. But God shall destroy both--Paul. We are not saved by religious duties but by stern obedience to Christ at all times. This is what Paul meant when he said we are saved by faith and not by works. To claim we are saved but still a sinner is to state we have been healed but still are sick. The Christian life is one of strict discipline. The undisciplined Christian will change or perish. Music is a language, like English or Hebrew. Pageantry is visible music. Complete salvation requires complete cooperation from us. You say you have been saved by grace through your faith. Fine! This means you have begun your transformation from the image of Satan to the image of God. How can we say we are saved by faith alone when we have been predestined to be changed into the image of Christ? Does such change not require a continuing, intense process? How can we say we are saved by faith alone when Christ stated that if we do not bear the fruit of godliness we shall be removed from the vine? A saving faith is a transforming faith. It is the transformation that itself is the salvation. We are not saved by religious duties but by stern obedience to Christ at all times. This is what Paul meant when he said we are saved by faith and not by works. If salvation is a ticket to Heaven instead of a process, how is it the Bible says we are supposed to work it out with fear and trembling? Keep your self spiritually poised. Don’t become passionate about anything except doing the Father’s will. If you do permit yourself to be passionate about something or someone other than the Lord, when you pray God will answer you according to your idols rather than with truth. People who do not live in continual interaction with the Lord Jesus are forsaking their own mercy. I once was young and now am old. The Lord Jesus is more real to me than ever before. When I first came to Christ I vowed that I would confess whether or not the way of Christ is that of truth. Now, after 61 years of serving Christ, I proclaim that the way of Christ is the way of truth. I have to have this! I have to have that! No you don’t! There are only two things you absolutely must have. One is Christ. The other is patience. But you can give thanks for all the blessings you do have, and then tell God what it is you desire. There is a difference between lust and love. Love is concerned for the welfare of the other person, and is willing to suffer that the loved one may profit. Christ loved us and suffered that we might live. In many instances people have an undisciplined desire for pleasure. Thus they are apt to experience lust rather than sacrificial love and are unable to discern the difference. Does God ever lead us into temptation? Yes, He does. If we choose to worship and serve created things rather than the Creator, God will give us over to shameful lusts. He will send us a powerful delusion. He will answer us according to our idols. We always are to pray that God will not lead us into temptation. To be in the image of God we must lose our adamic inertia and be ready to move when the Lord moves. This is necessary if we are to be in the image of Christ. The Lord wishes to draw us each day closer toward the place where He dwells eternally. However, our Adamic nature is as wood and cannot stand the Divine Fire. But the gold of the Divine Nature that is being formed in us becomes increasingly pure as it enters the Fire who is God. All the ministries of the Body of Christ are for the purpose of bringing the house of God to maturity. It is one matter to bring people to Christ. It is another matter to bring Christ to people. This requires that we are crucified with Christ so that His Life is dwelling in us. Speaking of retirement, I do not wish to die before I die. It is difficult to think of the Apostles of Christ retiring, and they are our example. There is a time and place to preach the grace of forgiveness. There is a time and place to preach the grace of Divine wisdom and power to behave righteously. If only the grace of forgiveness is preached, the fruit of the preaching indeed shall be withered and rotten. Religion is a business, and there are some who are skilled in its activities. Salvation is Divine life and revelation that are experienced in their fullness only by those of the utmost integrity and dedication. The Lord is our righteousness. But how do we relate to this righteousness? Is it merely by saying we are part of it or identify with it? Or is it by interacting with it until we ourselves become righteous in behavior. May we be as faithful to Christ as Christ is to the Father. Man-driven religion (Babylon) is the ancient enemy of Christ. The purpose of the catching-up of the believers is not to escape trouble. We have to be resurrected, or transformed, before we are caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Once we are resurrected or transformed we cannot be injured by the Antichrist or the Great Tribulation. The purpose of the catching up is to gather together His saints with the Lord so they can descend with Him and install the Kingdom of God on the earth. The fourth chapter of First Thessalonians is not about removing the Church to Heaven, but about comforting the saints with the thought they will see their loved ones once again on the earth. Paul says nothing about seeing their loved ones in Heaven when they die. This concept is not found in the New Testament, as far as I know. The confusion caused by the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine is that the believers are not preparing themselves to stand in the period of moral and physical horrors that is approaching rapidly. It truly is a destructive doctrine. There are various prisons, pains, pressures, and horrors, including physical death, in this present world. But in terms of torment, these are not to be compared with the prisons, pains, pressures, horrors, and deaths in the spirit world toward which we all are moving. There are some spiritual leaders who are administrators and even statesmen, having a role of visible significance in the world. They often are quite popular. Then there are other spiritual leaders who are prophets. They seldom or never are popular and may not be viewed as unusually significant. To retire is to die before one dies. There is an inner Kingdom of God. It is being created in us now. The Kingdom of God is God in Christ in the saints ruling the works of God’s hands. When the Lord returns with His saints to govern the world, the outer kingdom will be revealed. The outer kingdom is the manifestation of the inner kingdom. It shall have been developed previously. If you go through life looking to have your spiritual problems solved when you die, trusting that when you get to Heaven you will serve God in earnest, you will discover to your dismay that you are in the same condition in the spirit world that was true of you at the point of death. The Kingdom of God is not a place, such as Heaven. The Kingdom of God is a state of being in which Christ governs you from within your personality at all times. It is as true now for you as it will be when Christ returns to rule the nations with the rod of iron. The rod of iron, which is the way the Kingdom of God is governed, is being created in you now provided you are seeking Christ’s help so you can overcome sin each moment of each day. One of the current errors is that we have the authority to command angels to do our bidding. Only God assigns the angels. Even Christ said He would pray that the Father would send angels to help Him. There is no scriptural support for the idea of commanding the Holy Spirit, or praying to the Holy Spirit, or singing to the Holy Spirit, or worshiping the Holy Spirit. All actions of worship and prayer are to be directed to Christ, or to the Father in Christ’s name, not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has one mission, and that is to glorify Christ. We must be careful of our "therefores." The current Evangelical errors have been arrived at by deducing truth from certain verses, rather than by accumulating truth by continually meditating in the Old and New Testaments, the entire Scripture. We must learn to distinguish between the messenger and the message. The Scriptures eternally are true. But those who present them are imperfect and sometimes living sinful lives. The army of the Lord is being instructed today. Are you in the place where you can hear the voice of the Commander in Chief? Your lifetime and mine is one of struggling with God. This is the meaning of the term "Israel." It no doubt will be true that every saved person on the new earth will have a portion of God within him. However, the members of the governing city, the new Jerusalem, may be the only people who will be able to see God and the Lamb. The remainder of the population of the new world will see God only in the saints. There may be coming an increase of the incarnation of God: God in Christ in the saints revealed to the members of saved mankind, and to the angels as well. It is then that the world will believe that God has sent Christ and loves the saints as He loves Christ. The victorious saints will sit on the highest throne with the Lord Jesus Christ. How this great company of people can sit on one throne; how this rulership will be viewed by the members of the saved nations; remains to be seen. If you have been raised with Christ and are seated in Him at the right hand God, then this is your position for eternity. No matter where your soul and body are located, either now, after your death, or after you have been raised from the dead, your life still will be abiding in Christ at the right hand of the Father. Only a willingness to rebel against God can remove you from this position, just as Satan, a guardian cherub, was removed from his position alongside the Throne. The promises of protection during the day of calamity have been made to those who are resting in the shadow of the Almighty. This means they are abiding in Christ. Also, that they have ceased from their own works and are resting in the center of God’s will for them. Such as these will save themselves and their loved ones during the period of moral and physical horrors that are approaching. There has been a Jewish holocaust and there shall be a Gentile holocaust. Tribulation and anguish come upon the Jew first, and then upon the Gentile. To be righteous means to be pleasing to God. Therefore righteousness must include the practice of fair, honorable behavior toward people and spiritual cleanliness toward God. Divine grace may be defined as "God through Christ forgiving, blessing, and enabling us to be pleasing to God, that is, fair and honorable in our relationships with people and spiritually clean toward God." The world does not operate according to good luck or bad luck. The world operates according to the intervention of God. He knows the sparrow that falls to the ground. Christian believers and their leaders often lack integrity of character. Therefore they cannot really come to know the Lord Jesus, who always requires absolute faithfulness and truth of His followers. Christ endured many sufferings so He could understand our temptations and trials. We go through many sufferings and temptations that we in turn might be worthy of the Kingdom of God and a suitable counterpart for Him. We must share His sufferings and fill up that which is lacking of Christ’s affliction. If we are willing to share His sufferings we will enter His joy one day. The wicked are liars and utterly perverse. It is impossible to understand their logic or behavior. So the righteous are not to fret themselves over the conduct of the wicked or to try to understand them, because the things they do and the reasons they give do not make sense. The individual who truly is righteous, deals justly with people, is free from unclean spirits, and has a passionate desire to do the Father’s will perfectly. This is true of the Lord Jesus. This shall be true of us when we have been changed into Christ’s image. God knows history in advance. Yet He lets people make their own decisions. God knows how history will develop because He knows in advance what we are going to do, even though we are free to make our decisions. He plans accordingly. Sometimes we ourselves know how people are going to respond. It is just this simple. God keeps encouraging us to make choices that will bring us to the fullness of our inheritance as a child of God. God is disappointed when we make a choice that will result in a loss of inheritance, although He realizes in advance this is what we are going to do. We Christians often are subjective and not clearly aware of how we appear or the consequences of our actions. This is why we easily are deceived. God is tremendously objective and practical. The same is true of Satan. The Gospel of the Kingdom that we preach is no more profound or difficult to understand than are the Evangelical errors. The reason people have trouble grasping the simplicity of the Gospel of the Kingdom is that they have been taught error. For example, when they read the expression "the Kingdom of God," or the "Kingdom of Heaven," their perception informs them that what they are reading is "Heaven." Depth of understanding of the Scripture is not produced through a lifetime of scholarly research. It comes to us from the Spirit of revelation as we fervently seek God’s will for our life. The first aspect of the Kingdom of God is that of seeking to do God’s will in the earth at the present time. The second aspect is the coming of Christ with His saints and holy angels to install the Kingdom on the earth with violence. Too much emphasis on the first tends to lose sight of the apocalyptic coming of Christ and may result in efforts to do good that are commendable but lacking the power of Divine intervention. Too much emphasis on the second may result in a minimizing of the need to press forward in Christ today. The United States is promoting democracy throughout the world. What we ought to be promoting is integrity. A nation whose leaders do not have integrity would be better off having no government at all. America is seeking to spread democracy throughout the world. America should be seeking to spread integrity. Any form of government is satisfactory if the leaders and the people have integrity. No form of government is satisfactory if the leaders and the people do not have integrity. Integrity is faithfulness and truth. There are many programs, activities, and novelties that continue to arise in Christianity, and perhaps in other religions. Have you noticed that in no instance is righteous, godly behavior emphasized? Yet the Lord Jesus taught us that it is our good works that will cause people to glorify God When we are living in Christ, there always is wisdom and strength for what must be done. There are three criteria by which the Kingdom worth of a church can be measured. First is the extent of the Presence of God when one enters the assembling. Second, how scriptural is the word being preached. Three, the godliness of the people who have attended for a period of time. The number of people in the assembling is not a reliable index of the Kingdom worth of a church, and may in fact be quite misleading. It is worthy of note that in the Lord’s prayer we are to petition the Father directly. Of course, we either say or assume that we are praying in Jesus’ name. Nonetheless, Christ came to bring us to the Father and our relationship to the Father is to be emphasized in the present hour. Don’t worry too much about money. Be thankful if you have enough to eat, clothes to wear, and a roof over your head. When you die you cannot take your money with you; but your character will go with you. So it is your character that is important. Don’t ever forget your dreams. Life has a way of beating the romance, the wonder, out of us. There is a paradise where all the heart of man can imagine is present. One day it will return to the earth. Have the hope of Joseph. You will be in prison one day; on the throne the next. If God will forgive and restore the wicked when they repent, how much more will God bless those who serve Him faithfully. They always are with Him. God shall return Paradise to the earth. But first, He must change people so they can maintain Paradise once they receive it. God is my Father. The Lord Jesus Christ is my Brother. The Holy Spirit is my Life. In order to be holy our spirit must be joined to the Holy Spirit of God. When we seek to avenge ourselves, we are attempting to steal what belongs to the Lord. "Vengeance is mine. I will repay," says the Lord. If we would enjoy the fellowship of the Holy Spirit we must choose to live quietly and peacefully. The Spirit is quiet and peaceful. May we always deal with Christ, not with spiritual principles! We cannot possibly judge righteous judgment until we are not seeking our own will but the Lord’s will. If we are a faithful servant of Christ, we do not receive any pain, worry, trouble, or pressure that is not necessary to keep us living safely in the Lord’s Person and will. The Lord Jesus Christ has all power in Heaven and upon the earth. He is much, much greater than any other god. He is kind and willing for all to come to Him for help and salvation. Therefore His disciples ought to be kind and gentle toward those of other religions. If we Christians would be like our Heavenly Father we must be kind and gentle toward other people as they search for truth and righteousness. We are to reveal the Nature of God by how we behave and what we say. Above all other traits, we Christians must reveal integrity in our lives. It is vain for us to attempt to lead people to Jesus Christ when it is obvious we ourselves are not faithful and true. "Dear Jesus, I pray that today You will give me love, joy, and peace greater than I ever have had. Dispel all dread from me. You alone are my Fortress and Deliverer." Let it never be true that people are turned away from God when they see how we behave. It is important that we give thanks to God continually throughout the day. There are so many opportunities to give thanks to God for our health, for some issue that was resolved, for a clear mind, for friends—so many, many opportunities to thank God for His love and care. I think the inexpressible words Paul heard in Paradise were that he would be the one Christ would use to write the understanding of the transition from the Mosaic covenant to the new covenant. Adam and Eve became conscious of sin, of nakedness, when they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They then withdrew from God’s Presence. Paul said, "The Law came, sin sprang to life, and I died." Apparently the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is the eternal moral law of God. Withdrawing from the Presence and Life of God is spiritual death, and eventual physical death. Adam and Eve were disobedient to God. This is sin. So God drove them from His Presence. This also is spiritual death. Death from their awareness of their nakedness. Death from God’s withdrawal because of their disobedience. God has made an atonement for the guilt of sin, through the Lord Jesus Christ. He can forgive our disobedience because of Christ’s obedience. God has returned to man. Man can have the assurance his sins are forgiven and return to God. Thus eternal Life, the Life of God, is obtained. The disaster of Eden is overturned by the goodness of God. By the power of His Spirit, and the birth of Christ within the individual, the compulsion to sin and to disobey God can be destroyed. Then the person is refreshed continually with the hidden manna, the body and blood of Jesus Christ, which always are being renewed with the Life of God Himself. Whoever feeds on the flesh of Christ and drinks His blood lives by the Life of Christ, just as Christ lives by the Life of the Father. Each time we resist the desires of our sinful nature we are fed with the hidden manna, which consists of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, These actually are resurrection life. This shall be demonstrated at the coming of the Lord. When the slain Lamb appears in the heaven above us, those who live His body and blood will be gathered to Him. Adam and Eve withdrew from God when they realized they were naked. God removed His Presence from them because of their disobedience. For these two reasons they died spiritually on the day they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, just as God had warned. The Lord Jesus Christ is perfect. His followers seldom are. If you are to persevere to the end, thus gaining salvation, you must get your eyes off from people and fasten them always on Christ. God is more interested in faithfulness and truth than He is any form of religion or government. Our goal is God, to know Him. Anything less than the full apprehension of God and the Lamb will not bring us lasting joy and peace. Our highest goal is have full fellowship with God and the Lamb. To pursue any lesser goal is to invite confusion and trouble of every description. People pursue, power, money, and sexual indulgence. The desire for power, money, and sexual indulgence is the very worst form of slavery, leading to torment and destruction There is a meadow that stretches as the eye can see. There is quietness and peace here. But the fullness of quietness and peace is found only in God and the Lamb. I have discovered that God has always known every detail of my journey. He has saved me from grief and destruction one numerous occasions. But I have had to do my part by following Him and turning away from wrong when I became aware of it. Once we are at home with God and the Lamb, all things are ours. Complete and lasting love, joy and peace are found only in God and the Lamb. Total obedience to God results in a total inheritance from the Lord. A believer who is totally obedient to Christ makes possible that which otherwise would be impossible. If you give everything you are and have to God, God will give everything He is and has to you. There are believers who lose part or all of their inheritance because they do not follow Christ diligently. Eternal life is not just a gift that God keeps on handing to us. Eternal life is the result of righteous, holy personality and behavior. To grow in Christ, in eternal life, means to grow in the willingness and strength to reject evil and the willingness and strength to embrace righteousness. During the coming age of moral and physical horrors the temptation will be to fret about evil. Fretting destroys our relationship with God. We always are to be thinking about that which is pure and lovely; to be rejoicing in the Lord at all times. Diligence is required if we are to inherit the Kingdom of God. The lazy, careless believer possibly may be saved; but he or she certainly shall never rule with Christ. Many are lying to God’s people today. Perhaps they do not mean to do so. Nevertheless, their doctrine leads to loss of inheritance. Each believer is responsible to pray and read the Bible for himself or herself. Salvation is the Presence of God in Jesus Christ that enables us to move from the person of Satan to the Person of God. Christ is always present to help us and will see us through. But we must keep His commandments or else the process is brought to a halt. It is of great importance that Christians understand we are to be pressing into the Kingdom of God today, not just waiting to die and go to Heaven by grace. How many believers, including pastors and evangelists, are losing their inheritance by indulging in improper sexual behavior while they are waiting to go to Heaven by grace? People who are engaging in immoral behavior, while trusting in Divine grace to save them, are, as Jude says, turning the grace of God into immorality. The aborting of the unborn is an abomination to God, because it is murder of the innocent. Sexual indulgence ought to be an abomination to people because it enslaves them in the worship of their glands—not to mention worship of the demons. The person enslaved by sexual lust, even if it is clothed in high-minded romantic dreams, makes a fool of himself or herself, losing all perspective concerning what is reasonable and righteous. "Love is blind but the neighbors ain’t." When people are driven by their reproductive glands they satisfy the need of demons for expression, and make fools of themselves in the sight of Heaven. Satan readily captures sincere Christian believers by their lust for sexual indulgence, or their desire for amassing more money than they actually need. Man has been created to rule the works of God’s hands. That inner desire to rule must be given back to God. Otherwise it results in fraudulent or violent behavior, causing the individual to lie, steal, or seek to supplant the position of other people. This is why the conduct of many political leaders is so corrupt and destructive. The lust for sexual indulgence is becoming so strong in America, along with the lust for amassing money, that believers will be overcome and thus lose part or all of their inheritance. The Lord Jesus Christ has enough power and authority to deliver us from the strongest pull of sexual indulgence. Complete deliverance can be gained if we will struggle patiently in prayer. The prayers of other Christians will help. We are not to condemn ourselves but watch for the Lord to answer prayer; meanwhile avoiding temptation as much as possible. The lust for homosexual behavior is a fierce, violent demon. But the Lord Jesus Christ is more powerful and can break the hold on us of this unclean spirit. But we must pray diligently and avoid temptation until complete deliverance is gained. Homosexuals and terrorists have this in common: they are ready to murder anyone who frustrates the indulgence of their lusts. The Bible records incidents of the murderous rage of homosexuals. When the Lord is our Shepherd we see this world for what it is: the valley of the shadow of death. Because of the ready availability of food, many believers in America eat too much. They disable the temple of God and die before their appointed time. God will assist us if we ask Him to help us control our appetite—particularly for sweets. The fool looks about him and beholds the beauty and order of nature. He declares "There is no God!" He congratulates himself on his wisdom. He sits down to eat and drink, and then gets up to play. I have based my life on the truth of the Bible by following its ordinances I have lived the best life possible for me. If the Bible proves to be the Word of God, I will go home to an eternal abundance of love, joy, and peace. But what about the individual who chooses to not believe the Bible is the Word of God? What kind of life and destiny will he have if the Bible proves to be the Word of God? All the trees of Eden were good for food. The two most important trees were placed in the middle of the garden, the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We must eat of the Tree of Life first or the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil will bring death to us. "Father, I pray in Jesus’ name that you right now will change my desires until they are precisely the same as your desires for me. I want nothing except Your perfect will." From my point of view, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is the eternal moral law of God: that is, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Growth in Christ means growth in the willingness and strength to embrace what is good and reject that which is evil. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was not evil; all the trees of Eden were good for food. The problem was in eating of it before eating of the Tree of Life, Jesus Christ Himself. Paul said the Law brought death to him. So it does—until we are beginning to have Christ formed in us. The more of Christ we have, the more knowledge of our sinful state we have. But now we are able to judge it as evil and reject it, meanwhile pressing on victoriously in Christ. Adam and Eve died when they realized they were naked. Had they waited until God clothed them, and then had eaten of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they would have realized that prior to their being clothed they were in a shameful state but now were conformed to the demands of the moral law of God. The same is true of us today as we grow in the knowledge of Christ. The believers who make it through to the fullness of the inheritance are those who don’t quit. In order to have perfect, complete love, joy, and peace, God must be in control both of our memory and our desires. Believers who speak of being saved in spite of their continuing to sin mean that because they "believe" in Christ they will live forever in Paradise in Heaven. They do not realize our goal is not to reside eternally in Heaven but to inherit the Kingdom of God. If such careless "Christians" are indeed permitted to escape the wrath of God they will lose most or all of their inheritance in the Kingdom of God, entering eternity in an impoverished state. If I am hearing from the Lord correctly (11/9/2005), a terrible war is ahead of us and multitudes of people will be swept into the spirit world to await the return to the earth of Christ and His brothers. This is because God’s way on the earth is being corrupted; His purposes for people are not being accomplished because of the demons. It is only as we assign our entire personality to the cross that the body of sin in us can be destroyed. It is written that Samson slew more Philistines by his death than by his life. So it is true today that God is ready to tear down all that Satan has constructed. But such victory can come only through those who love not their lives to the death." No believer will be able to withstand the pressure of the Antichrist world spirit until he or she chooses to die in the Lord. If God were to forgive everyone on the earth and bring them all to Heaven, chaos once again would enter Paradise. It is only by dying with Christ that we bear eternal fruit. The Gospel of the Kingdom is not spread solely by communicating information but as someone is willing to die in the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ has all authority in Heaven and upon the earth. I don’t know of any passage of Scripture that states Christ inherits Heaven. But the Father directed Him to pray that He might inherit the nations and the farthest parts of the earth. We are coheirs with Him. Did Christ ever accuse anyone of "works" because he or she was trying to keep His commandments? The greatest lie ever told is that God does not want us to try to live righteously, because by making this effort we are refusing His grace. This enormous misunderstanding has resulted in the destruction of the moral strength of the Christian Church and consequently the moral behavior of the nations that the Christian Church influences. Begin saved by grace does not mean we do not have to keep the commandments of Christ and His Apostles. In fact, it is the change from keeping the commandments of Satan to keeping the commandments of Christ that itself is salvation. As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God and they are regarded by the Lord as having the righteousness of Him who kept the Law of Moses perfectly. Prayer is a delight. We rob ourselves when we become too busy to pray. We know that the highest goal of redemption is to live in love. "Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him." But we do not attain to such love merely by talking about it. We have to move through all the stages of redemption that destroy our sinful nature and create Christ in us. The notion that an organism as complex as a human being could evolve from a protozoan is so unreasonable as to suggest a bias or agenda of some sort. To be famous among people is of little significance. To be known and approved of God is of supreme value. God is as much the question as He is the answer. "What will you do with Jesus?" If we are not careful our denominational affiliation can cause us to lose our sense of the oneness of the Body of Christ. Denominations can put a wall between the members of the Lord’s flock. We always must be careful to not grasp what God has given us. If we find we are frantically fighting against some circumstance we need to make sure all we are and possess are in the hands of God. Otherwise our idol will open the door to every sort of fear and torment. The concept that we are saved by faith alone, meaning we can have fellowship with Christ apart from obeying His commandments, apparently came out of the theological ferment of the sixteenth century. Could there possibly be a more destructive teaching? It appears that people today are willing to receive Christ as Savior but not as Lord. They believe He saves them by grace apart from obeying His commandments. This is a profound misunderstanding of God’s plan of salvation. Christ will not have fellowship with those who refuse His lordship. Christ will gladly receive those who hold incorrect doctrine. But He will not receive those who will not obey His commandments even though their doctrine is perfect. Those who have professed faith in Christ but do not keep His commandments must learn to do so at some point, or they will be removed from the Kingdom. God will have no one in His Kingdom who will not obey Christ totally. We cannot have fellowship with God by grace unless we are willing to obey Christ’s commandments and those of His Apostles. The just shall live by faith means the righteous live by obeying God. There is no such thing as faith in Christ that does not mean obeying the commandments of Christ and His Apostles. The contemporary teaching of faith alone denies the lordship of Christ because it claims we do not have to keep His commandments in order to have fellowship with Him. Too many believers in America refuse to make Jesus their Lord. They maintain they do not have to obey His commands because they are saved by grace. Is this not a terrible delusion. Various aspects of redemption, such as the forgiveness of our sins, being born again, being filled with the Spirit, being healed and delivered spiritually and physically, can be presented as God’s blessing that releases us to a more successful existence, or as God’s way of enabling us to please God and meets His needs and desires. Which way is found in the Bible? I do not see in the Bible that God’s redeeming power is something that enables the believer to enjoy a more successful life. In fact, the way of redemption is that of the patient endurance of tribulation and possibly martyrdom. Do we seek Christ with all our might in order to benefit us, or so we will please God? If we don’t follow the Lord Jesus in cross-carrying obedience, but attempt to use Him in order to have a better life, we still are a rebel at heart. In the last days all who do not love and obey Christ shall be removed from the Kingdom of God, including those who have attempted to use the name of Jesus as a covering for their rebellious behavior. This includes Christians who have boasted they will go to Heaven by professing faith in Christ apart from an accompanying change in their behavior. We are not saved so we may pursue a happier life. We are saved so we may please God and be used by Him to accomplish His purposes. In the closing days of the Church Age the self-denial necessary if we are to follow Christ will be so painful the self-seeking believers of our day will turn away from Christ. In order for us to attain to our full inheritance there are certain actions God must take and certain actions we must take. To depend on God to do everything for us or to look to ourselves to do it all will guarantee failure. The Christian experience is being presented in our day as a way to gain a better life in the present world. The burning sun of tribulation that is approaching will reveal that God’s salvation is not a plan to give us a more prosperous, enjoyable life. When faced with a difficult decision, pray for God to open doors and close doors. Do not be afraid to take a small step according to your desires, but carefully watch to see if there are little signs of God’s Presence with you. Waiting for God to direct us can result in passivity and indecision. We must keep pressing forward in Christ each day unless we feel assured after prayer that God wants us to do nothing but wait. Sometimes we are to take up our staff and move forward. Sometimes we are to stand still and see the Glory of the Lord. Difficult decisions are not solved by reasoning but by prayer. The demons love to reason. So do insincere people. Neither enjoy asking the Lord for wisdom and guidance. We do not accept Christ so we may have a better life in the present world. In fact, becoming a Christian may mean much suffering or even martyrdom in the days ahead. If we are to serve Christ successfully and endure the prisons in which we are placed, we must put all our treasures in Heaven. If you have an insatiable desire for righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God, you indeed are blessed. You shall receive that which you have desired. We have presented salvation as a way of pleasing man rather than as a way of pleasing God. I have read that in the days of the Romans it was customary for the elders to go out and meet a Roman dignitary as he was approaching their village, and then return with him. In like manner the resurrected and transformed saints will be caught up from the earth and meet the Lord in the clouds so they may return with Him as He prepares to install His Kingdom on the earth. It may be true that the parable of the ten virgins is beginning to take place. Those who are ready are entering the intense union with Christ that is termed "the marriage of the Lamb." Perhaps this event will be more apparent in the coming days. Because the American governmental agencies will not enforce righteous behavior, being bemused with "the rights of people," the Lord Jesus Himself is going to judge the people—those who profess belief in Christ as well as those who do not. The results shall be catastrophic. Christ is not our servant, we are Christ’s servant. Paul had to emphasize repeatedly that we are justified by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ apart from works, meaning the works of the Law of Moses. This is because until we are released from the observance of religious laws we are not free mentally to follow the Holy Spirit in bringing forth the fruit of righteous, holy, obedient behavior. Any sort of religious guidelines, whether the Law of Moses or another set of rules, will hinder our walk with Christ. Such rules may serve at first. But eventually they will prevent the fullness of our ability to look to Christ for every thought, word, and action of the day and night, a practice necessary if we are to be conformed to Christ’s image and dwell in the fullness of God’s Person and will. We have interpreted Paul’s repeated emphasis that we are found righteous by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ apart from the works of the Law of Moses to mean that by believing in Christ a change in our moral behavior may be "nice" but it is not absolutely necessary for our salvation. However Paul states also that if we continue in the deeds of our sinful nature we shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. We are considered righteous when we turn from the Law of Moses and place our faith in Jesus Christ. Then we are to continue in righteousness and inherit the Kingdom of God by putting off our old sinful nature and putting on the new Nature of Christ. Paul strove in chapters three through five of the Book of Romans to set people free from the Law of Moses so they could look only to Christ to bring forth the fruit of godly behavior. He did not, as is believed today, strive to set people free so they could continue to obey their sinful nature and still be counted righteous in the sight of God. We urge "let Jesus into your heart" upon sinners that they may be turned to Christ. It never is wise to place an unscriptural emphasis in the forefront of our activities. The admonition in the Book of Revelation to open our heart to Jesus is not addressed to sinners but to believers who are attempting to conduct their discipleship in their own strength and wisdom. It may be true that God is ready to renew His way on the earth because of the rapidly increasing sin. If this is the case we can expect millions of people to be taken into the spirit world. The truly wicked will be sent into Hell. The remainder apparently will be held until the Lord Jesus returns and judges the dead. Christ always is looking for someone who will obey His commands. Then will sinners be converted and many will be led into righteous behavior. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life. The righteous win souls to God by exhibiting the good works that proceed from the Nature of Christ who is being formed in us. The righteous are wise to gather souls in this manner, because their reward is great beyond comprehension. The expression "there is no one righteous, not even one" does not mean there never has been a righteous person in the world. The Scriptures reveal there have been righteous people. Rather the idea is that the sinful nature of our fallen race cannot possibly please God without the enabling power of Divine grace. If being saved by grace through faith means we are to do nothing but believe the facts about Jesus Christ until we die and go to Heaven, at what point do we attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ? At what point are we conformed to the likeness of Christ that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers? According to the Scriptures we are saved by grace through faith in order that we might do good works. If we are to be brought to Heaven by believing the facts about Jesus Christ, precisely what does it mean to grow in Christ? There is a difference between a Statement of Faith, and having faith in Christ. The Statement of Faith of a denomination is a collection of facts about the Christian religion. There is no saving virtue in it. True faith in Jesus Christ is a daily interaction with Christ such that we are learning to live in utter reliance on His wisdom and strength. The righteous shall live by faith means the righteous live by continual reliance on the wisdom and strength of Christ rather than by reliance on their own wisdom and strength. We are not saved by believing the facts about Christ but by living in and with the resurrected Christ and He in us. Being saved is not primarily a matter of going to Heaven when we die. To be saved means we will be spared in the Day of Wrath, and finally delivered from the person and works of Satan and brought into untroubled rest in the Person and works of God. The Lord wants banners and triumphant music in his churches celebrating His coming to us in the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish Blowing of Trumpets. He is coming to His saints to drive out the enemy from them and to discipline them so they may be ready to appear with Him as an army at His coming to the world. The diseases of the world are to have no place among God’s people who are keeping His commandments. Let us confess our sins and turn away from them. Then we are to remind God of His promise that we have been healed by the wounds of Christ. If we are living by the body and blood of the Lamb, then we shall be raised by the body and blood of the Lamb at His appearing and His Kingdom. There is a coming of Christ to His saints that is taking place now. We are wise if we take full advantage of His inner coming. The Lord Jesus Christ has come to bring us to a greater knowledge of our Father. This is the rest of God, the true goal of our existence. Our desire must become to know God, and to be known by Him and have fellowship with Him. Sometimes God’s desires and purposes are hidden so deep they are not available to the prophetic realm. They can be realized only by patient, cross-carrying obedience. If we would laugh and play in the meadows of God we must let go of that which concerns us; in particular we must leave our loved ones in God’s hands. He will return them to us in His time. The Lord would have us joyous and animated, not bowed down with worry and dread or with a desire to harm those who have harmed us. We are to leave with God people who have harmed us. The Lord will not judge them until we cease judging them. We cannot walk with God and at the same time hope that harm will come to people who have offended us. If we see a talented youngster, we should not overemphasize the importance of his or her gift. It is easy to overdo this sort of encouragement. The most important thing in life is our service to Christ, not the development of a talent. If we offer ourselves and our talents to Christ, He will employ our talents as He sees fit. This is part of making Jesus "Lord." There are not just four steps of salvation, there are several million steps of salvation as the Lord Jesus challenges us to put off the old nature and put on the new. We must take the steps of salvation every day and night of our life in the present world, and perhaps on into the next world. We are not born again on just one occasion. We are born again every time a part of our first personality is replaced with the Substance and Life of the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith without works is dead because lives in obedience to God. The answer to the world’s problems is not democracy. Moral chaos can and often does exist in a democracy. The only answer to the world’s problems is a righteous, wise, strong leader who loves and obeys God. Jesus Christ is such a Leader. It is better to fear Christ and keep His commandment than to say we love Christ and not keep His commandments. We show our love for Christ by obeying His commands and those of His Apostles. He who says he loves Christ but does not obey His commands is deceived. We cannot be saved by grace apart from obeying Christ commands, neither in this world nor in the world to come. Grace teaches us to obey Christ’s commands and enables us to do so. The greatest lie ever to enter the mind of man is that we can love Christ and have fellowship with Him, and yet not obey His commands and those of His Apostles Satan has deceived Christian people by convincing them that Christ saves them without requiring that they obey His commands. The incident of the thief on the cross often is used to show that Christ will save us even though we do not obey His commands. We can be certain Christ took the thief to be with Him in Paradise. But the thief must obey Christ if he is to remain in Paradise. The feeling Christians have that Christ is receiving and approving of them even though they are not patiently denying themselves and carrying their cross after Him is a delusion. God is preparing to punish America severely because of the lack of diligence in keeping His commands. We will survive the coming days of horror and stand before the Son of Man if we patiently and carefully follow Him in cross-carrying obedience. Many believers are being tested today. God has permitted Satan to put them in some sort of prison of circumstances. Those who faithfully remain in the unpleasantness where they have been placed, looking to Jesus at all times, will be brought forth into the fullness of freedom and joy. There is no place of safety and of enduring love, joy, and peace in all of the earth and all of Heaven, except in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not the wise or the strong who make a success of the Christian discipleship, but those who do not give up and quit. There are more who are for the righteous than there are those who are against them. When we are serving the Lord faithfully, those who help us are blessed and those who hinder us come under Divine judgment. It is from the multitude of Christian believers—one here and one there—that Christ selects His rulers. The one important thing in life is to come to know Jesus Christ. Everything else is extra. God permits evil to flourish in the world for a season so He might determine who among men will reject evil and choose righteousness. The work of redemption begins after we have been forgiven through the blood atonement. The work of redemption is the destruction of our sinful nature and the creation of the Life of Christ within us. Innocence cannot survive under demonic pressure. Innocence soon turns into that which is diabolical, until the innocence is replaced with the Life of Christ. Consider Adam and Eve. Sometime a husband is a prison in which his wife is confined, or a wife is a prison in which her husband is confined. If the prisoner does not flee but serves the Lord patiently, the bondage of self-will shall be broken and the believer will inherit the Kingdom. There are occasions, not often, when separation or a divorce is in order, being the Lord’s will. Salvation can mean merely being spared from destruction in the Day of Wrath; or salvation can progress into the operation of redemption in which the believer is delivered from the person and works of Satan. When we clutch a relationship, circumstance, or thing, we lose our spiritual sight. Also God is unable to grant our desires without harming us. The operation of redemption restores the four aspects of our inheritance that we lost in the Garden of Eden: fellowship with God; eternal life; self-control, and Paradise. The current teaching of grace tells us it is impossible to stop sinning. Yet the commandments in the New Testament concerning sin tell us to just stop sinning. Secondly the current teaching of grace tells us it is not necessary to stop sinning. What a woeful doctrine is being preached today! God told Cain that was crouching at the door and desired to have him, and that he must master it. So it is that when we make up our mind to stop sinning, Christ will help us do so. Paul did not say my sin is crucified with Christ; He said, "I am crucified with Christ." Therefore, as the sin is being removed from me, I myself must be crucified until there is an entirely new creation. "Behold, I make all things new." Our life consists of memory, consciousness, and desire. Every aspect of these three must be of Christ, or we and Christ are suffering loss. A person and his body are two separate entities. When the body dies, the person passes into the spirit world. Therefore it is of supreme importance that our life on earth consist of more than our body. Otherwise when we die there is not much of us left to enter the spirit world. I rather suspect, but I am not certain, that the unclean spirits that dwell in our flesh formerly were people who had given themselves over to Satan. When they died there was nothing left but a raging spirit of lust, murder, violence, or covetousness, seeking to once again inhabit a human body. Many sins we practice we can simply cease doing; but we may need to pray for the will and desire to stop doing them. Some of our sins come from resident unclean spirits. we must be delivered from them by the power of Christ. For God to create the physical body from dust capable of reproducing itself is a fantastic miracle. For God to create a victorious saint is so much more of a fantastic marvel there is no comparison of quality of accomplishment between the two creations. In the Kingdom of God some people will love God more than others do. There is no problem with this provided that all keep His commands. The Kingdom of God will be a far more interesting environment than was true for Adam and Eve in the Garden, because of the multitude of righteous people there will be to enjoy. It is the love affair between bodies that the inner man must control, or find himself in miserable servitude. The Lord loves and enjoys all kinds of people provided they keep His commands. "Forget circumcision and the rest of the Law of Moses," Paul exclaimed vehemently. Cleave to Jesus Christ and He will bring forth the fruit of righteous, holy behavior that results in eternal life. We go from self-control, to eternal life, to fellowship with God, to residence in Paradise. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. What are you hoping for? What are the things not seen that you desire? Precisely what reward do you hope to gain? What are you pressing toward? Is your goal found in the Scriptures? Any relationship we have that is not part of Jesus Christ is bound to bring disappointment. Sin is an alien force. It is not inherent in our personality. Therefore sin can be removed from us completely. The removal of sin is the redemption we are hoping for. The more our obedience to Christ approaches perfection the more the righteousness and holiness of our personality approaches perfection. The result is the fullness of eternal life. Eternal life is a kind of life, like biologic life. We can possess as much eternal life as we are willing to pursue. It is the body and blood of Christ that themselves are our resurrection. If that resurrection has been formed in us we will be caught up to Christ when He appears. We will not be caught up to Christ when He appears because our doctrine is correct but because we have been living by His Life, His body and blood that have been formed in us. Whenever we overcome the compulsion to sin, we are fed with His body and blood, the hidden manna, in the spirit world. God finally will remove our sinful nature from if we have been diligent in confessing and resisting our sinful impulses. The more we do this the happier we shall be. If God has put it in your heart to be among those who are of high rank in His Kingdom, you can attain to this position if you are diligent in following Christ. But if you are called to be of high rank in His Kingdom, and are not diligent ain attaining to it, you will be punished as a wicked, lazy servant. The interval of time between your desire and its fulfillment is where the saints are made. The Kingdom comes only through patience. The believer who refuses to yield his sinful desires but puts his hopes beyond the grave, places his treasures in Heaven, will change from an animal to a king with God. There is nothing of eternal worth apart from Christ. It is God’s will that Christ fill everything. It is hard for new Christians to follow the way of righteousness. But it becomes easier after a while for us to deny ourselves and carry our cross behind the Lord Jesus. "Sin" can be a verb. "Go and sin no more." There are two kinds of sin that are nouns. One kind refers to an action that breaks one of God’s laws. Adultery is a sin. The other kind of sin is a thing, a personality that either dwells in our flesh or else finds a door in our personality through which it can move us to act. "Sin crouches at the door," God told Cain. What if I continue to lie, commit adultery, and steal, and at the same time say I have faith in Jesus Christ to save me? Does the fact that I say my faith in Jesus Christ save me make it as though I am not really sinning; make me righteous in God’s sight; as sometimes is taught today? Will I have fellowship with God while continuing to sin? Does this even make sense? What would the Apostle Paul say about this? Would the Apostle Paul say it does not matter if I keep on sinning because I am saved by my faith in Christ? Is this belief scriptural, or even sensible? It simply is not true, as often is suggested, that the human body and spirit are an endless source of sin, and total deliverance is impossible. The truth is, sin is an alien force that corrupts our behavior. Sin comprises a finite collection of unclean desires. The Lord Jesus Christ is well able to deliver those who call on Him from every sinful compulsion that is part of their life. Should the American pastors of today be emphasizing that Christ saves us by faith while we are continuing to sin. Or should the American pastors be preaching that the Christian life is one of holy, righteous behavior? What would be the effect on the Christian testimony in America if all of the pastors were preaching the necessity for righteous, holy behavior? The New Testament tells the non-Christian he must repent, place his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and be baptized in water, if he is to saved. The New Testament tells the believer he must put off his sinful nature and put on the new nature of Christ if he is to inherit the Kingdom of God. Is it possible to have faith in Jesus Christ and not obey His commands and those of His Apostles? The Lord Jesus told us we must forgive those who have sinned against us. What if we do not obey Him in this matter, but say we have faith in Him? Will God forgive us anyway? Does the New Testament actually teach that we can on sinning and yet enter the Kingdom of God by saying we have faith in Christ? The Kingdom of God is the rule of God. The current concept is that we can sin all we want to and then be received of God and have fellowship with Him, because we profess faith in Christ. No need is seen for righteous behavior. The blessed hope of the Church is not just that the Lord will return, but that the Lord will remove sin from His Kingdom at the end of the age: not just the guilt of sin, but the sin itself. We cannot have perfect love, joy, and peace until we have been delivered from the sinful desires that dwell in us. All overcoming of sin is done by the Lord Jesus. Only He has the wisdom and power to overcome the ancient adversary. However, we absolutely must respond to what He shows us to do or no victories shall take place. All of our desire and ability to overcome Satan comes from the Lord Jesus. I am not certain why the Lord chooses some individuals to receive from Him the desire to be a victorious saint. But that desire plus the wisdom and strength necessary for living a victorious life indeed do come from Jesus. We always can pray for righteous desires! All of the aspects of redemption are always in the form of an opportunity to cooperate with the Spirit. To will and to do the will of God is a gift given to us by the Lord Jesus. But we must respond to His leading or God’s will shall not be done. God chooses who are to come to Jesus to receive eternal life. When they come, Jesus never rejects them. They are His inheritance. ‘Sirs, we wish to see Jesus,’ said the men from Greece. The world is not waiting to see me or you but Christ. Christ is God’s gift to the world. May Christ be magnified in you and me! Jesus alone is the Way of God, the Truth of God, and the Life of God. No one comes to the Father except through Christ. If we would please and serve God, we must obey His Son. ‘This is My beloved Son with whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him!’ In obedience to the Father, Christ came to earth and became one of us. Now He can see the value of the Father’s plan for Him. So it is with us. If we will obey God even though we do not understand what He is doing with us, we eventually will realize the value of His plan for us. We overcome Satan by maintaining stoutly that God is good and is leading us to joy, even when it appears He has abandoned us and left our life in ruins. If we would come to know Christ we must follow and obey Him at all times, no matter what is the cost to us. We must learn to live in the now. All there is, is now. When we try to live in the future, we notice we have no grace to overcome the problems we envision. If we will pray concerning our present problems, we will have sufficient wisdom and strength to solve them and obtain peace and joy. The needed grace to solve future problems shall be given when we come to them. Are we prevailing in prayer right now? This is the important thing. If we are prevailing in prayer at this time, the future will take care of itself. I suppose most of us after a while learn that if we will do what God says, even though we do not understand it at the time, things work out better. Christ will be in the details of your life when you ask Him to. The net is let down and brings in the good and the bad. In the last days the bad will be thrown away. Therefore we misdirect Gospel work when we turn it into a business whose goal is to get as many people as possible into our church. Only what is wrought in the Holy Spirit will endure. A flighty, fickle, personality is not in the image of God. "I am the Lord. I do not change!" Ordinarily we do not view fickleness, flightiness, indecision, changeableness, capriciousness, as sin. However any trait not found in God is to be removed from us. It is not holy! God is determined that we be in His image in every aspect of our personality. He will make it so, if we are willing and obedient to His Spirit. We can reap Christ a hundredfold if we will diligently follow the Spirit at all times. If people have an argumentative spirit, they always will be able to find an issue to quarrel about. If people have a peace-loving spirit they will avoid potential quarrels. The peacemakers, those who seek to resolve conflicts, will be called the children of God. God loves your loved ones more than you do. Just keep praying and trusting. All that the Lord Jesus requires of us is to finish the tasks He has assigned to us. Will you be able to stand before the Lord and say, "I have finished the work you gave me to do"? If not, why not? There is a song that says, "I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold." Actually, if you have Jesus, you will have all the silver and gold you need. If you want to know whether or not there is a God, do His will to the best of your knowledge and He will prove Himself to you. America seems to be doing its best to drive God from the land. What a bitter harvest shall be reaped as a result! There is an inheritance that has been set aside for you. Make sure you follow Christ and attain to it. If you do not, you shall experience throughout eternity the lack of what could have been true for you. For those who put their faith in Him, God has removed the guilt of their sin for eternity that they might have a perfect conscience. Now the Day of Redemption has begun. God is ready to remove the sinful nature, a step at a time, for all who will cooperate with the Spirit of God while He performs this work. Matthew, Chapter Thirteen informs us the time is to come when God removes from His Kingdom "everything that causes sin and those who do evil." God is ready now to perform this work. When Jesus read from the scroll of Isaiah He did not quote "the Day of Vengeance of our God." The time had not come. It is here now. God is ready to remove His enemies from His Church. We must cooperate with the Spirit in this judgment and removal of unclean spirits. Both Peter and Paul in their epistles refer to the Day of Redemption, the restoring of a sin-free nature to mankind. The work of redemption is beginning now with those who are following the Lord Jesus closely. The work of redeeming the original sin-free nature of man is not accomplished in a moment. Step by step, city by city we might say, the Lord of Hosts is leading us into our land of promise. A hundred years ago the Spirit of God began to restore the gifts of the Spirit to the Christian people. Now the final three feasts of the Lord are to be fulfilled spiritually. This grace includes the destruction of our sinful nature and the filling of us with the Fullness of God. When the Spirit of God speaks to you about a sinful practice of deed or word, be diligent to confess the specific sin to the Lord. Fervently denounce and renounce the behavior, calling on the Lord Jesus for deliverance from the desire so you may turn away from it completely. It is time now, as Paul exhorted us, to put to death through the Holy Spirit the deeds of our sinful nature. It is God’s will that His elect be totally free for eternity from the guilt of sin and the desires of the sinful nature. It is God’s will that His elect be filled with the Fullness of God and abide in the center of God’s will for eternity. It is God’s will also that His elect diligently obtain and maintain for eternity each of these four graces. Man is to be made in the image of God. There is no sin nature in God. Therefore if we are to be made in the image of God the sin nature must be removed completely. The Lord Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, is able to remove the sin nature from us. The Lord Jesus has restored to His people speaking in tongues. Those who believe have pressed forward in faith and now are speaking in tongues. Now the Lord is ready to destroy our sinful nature. Christ was revealed in order to destroy the works of the devil. If we press forward in faith our sinful nature shall be destroyed completely, one step at a time. The Lord has begun to shake His elect. The shaking shall increase in severity until all that is not of God has been removed from His Kingdom. When the shaking comes to you, hold steady in faith. Put your trust in Christ who has all power in Heaven and upon the earth. We used to believe that after salvation came the baptism, and after the baptism came Heaven. This is not true. After the baptism with the Holy Spirit comes the destruction of our sinful nature. Finally, the filling of us with all the Fullness of God. Nowhere in the Bible are we told that we go to Heaven by being born again. Rather, we enter the Kingdom of God by being born again, because being born again means all the things, circumstances, and relationships of our personality have been brought down to death in Christ, and only that which is of the Kingdom has been resurrected. It appears to me that Christians will be persecuted severely in the future. The reason is, they have not done good works in the sight of men to lead them to God. Instead they have stressed their religious philosophies that offend people, such as the "rapture" in which the Christians fly away and leave everyone else to suffer unspeakable torment. Christians have been called to demonstrate compassion, kindness, fairness, and mercy in the sight of people. This will cause the them to glorify God. Such is the fruit of the righteous as they win souls by their behavior. When you lose your integrity and live a lie, you are diminished as a person. You cannot grow into the image of God until you return to truth. A desire to proselytize people to our religion can prevent us from seeing their actual needs and effectively ministering to them. God is well able to remove the sin nature from us altogether until we are like the original Adam, having a pure nature. The difference now, because of our experience in Christ, is that we will be able to resist unclean spirits when they lie to us. Also, we will have a spirit of obedience that Adam did not have so we will not rebel against God’s commandments. There are some problems we cannot reason through. They have to be prayed through an inch at a time. The whole idea of redemption is to make man in God’s image. We have changed the concept of redemption to mean the plan is to prevent man from experiencing torment and to bring him to a better world. To bring man to a better world when he is not in God’s image would not be profitable. He would bring punishment on himself wherever he is placed. If you are wondering about one of your behaviors, whether or not it is pleasing to God, ask yourself, or the Lord, if you wish, if that behavior is found in Him, in His Personality. If it isn’t, then ask Him to remove it from you so you may be more in His image. Man was created on the earth. The earth is his rightful home now and for eternity on the new earth. All that remains is for man to be made in God’s image and likeness. When this has been accomplished, Paradise will be returned to the earth. The only way we can have lasting peace is to be filled with Christ. The adamic nature is always one of agitation, frustration, confusion, and every other form of misery. Do you enjoy being miserable? Then marry someone who is living according to the passions and bondages of his or her sinful nature. And so much more as that individual grows older, unless, he or she begins to live in Christ. Sin is a path to that which is harmful for you, or a shortcut to that which will be your eternal possession if you wait for God’s time. Multitudes of today’s Christian believers are not entering the Kingdom of God, neither can they see it. They have not actually been born again. They still are living in their old adamic nature. Joel, Chapter Two, verse 3 states: "Before them the land is like the garden of Eden." This tells us that before the Lord returns with His army, Antichrist will have established a world in which there indeed is peace and safety. When we choose to delight ourselves in the Lord, He rewards us by putting His desires concerning His Kingdom in us. How marvelous it is to be governed by the Lord’s desires in us. There really is nothing more glorious, more peaceful, than this. As we pray and respond to the desires Christ places in us, the eternal work of the Kingdom of God is accomplished. We are beset round about with many desires. However, all that really matters is what Christ wants; what is to His advantage. Nothing else is of eternal worth. "Lord Jesus, hear my prayer today, which is to follow your desires as you establish your eternal Kingdom." God opens His hand and satisfies the desire of every living thing. The wise person will pray that God will give him desires that will bring him to love, joy, and peace. The ultimate desire of every healthy individual is love, joy, and peace. Everything else is environment. The only inherently desirable objective is God Himself—the full possession of Him. Things, circumstances, and relationships have genuine value only as God has given us the desire for them, and are subject to change. All other desires are idols and bondage. Perhaps we will learn this at some point. There are some people who abort their unborn babies for no good reason but for their personal convenience. There are others who labor lovingly with handicapped or ill babies, giving all their lives and attention to preserving their life. God knows the difference between the two sets of people, and He has perfect memory. "Cast your burden on the Lord and He shall sustain you." "God will keep in perfect peace the person who trusts Him." "In all your ways acknowledge Christ, and He will direct your paths." There is no safety anywhere except in Christ. Is the resurrected Christ living in you? To be born again is to live by Christ’s life. Our home does not consist of a location but of relationships. We are wise when we choose carefully the kind of people we want to be with, for they shall be our companions for eternity. To be with the wrong kind of people forever would be hell, though the environment were a paradise. To be at home among righteous, God-fearing people is to be in heaven; and the environment soon shall be heavenly. The wicked have sharp claws and always bring misery upon us, even while they are declaring themselves our friends and helpers. The person who chooses the wicked as his companions will soon be in torment. Hell is not far away. God is our Oasis, even when we are in the driest of deserts. Do you enjoy the company of wicked people? Good! You will be with them for eternity. When we set a place or thing or a relationship other than God as our highest goal, we do err greatly. We are one who loves misery. We do not enjoy the company of righteous people unless we ourselves are righteous. Paradise soon shall follow. We do not enjoy the company of wicked people unless we ourselves are wicked. Torment soon shall follow. If you hate the company of righteous, God-fearing people, you hate God. This shall be revealed in time. If you love the company of righteous, God-fearing people, you love God. You soon shall be in a better place. Are you being made in God’s image in your personality and behavior? If not, what are you waiting for? Pray! Who are the lost? Is the pastor who watches pornography on the Internet lost? Is the believer who will not forgive another person lost? Is the Christian husband who verbally abuses his wife lost? If not, why not? What does it really mean to be saved? We do not know what the future holds. But if our idols have been removed from us, we can look to the Lord to give us the desires of our heart. The Lord Jesus has become our righteousness; not just because we believe in Him or are associated with Him, but because He has been born in us and is governing our behavior. When we look to Christ and keep His commands, we are abiding in Him. When we are abiding in Him, whatever we ask in His name will be given to us. If we will delight ourselves in the Lord, He shall give us the desires of our heart. We never are to fret ourselves because of the actions of wicked people. They all shall fly away in God’s time like dust in the wind. Wicked people appear to be weighty and powerful. The truth is, they have neither real weight nor lasting power. To turn away from Christ is unthinkable. It is to draw back into the quicksand of sin and death. What torment lies therein! Wars and rumors of wars are not the signs of the end of the age. The true sign of the end of the age is the increase of sin and rebellion against God. The flesh profits nothing. Do not focus you life on that which is of no profit. Ask Christ to give you the true riches. The current teaching of grace reminds us of the companies of today that sell diplomas. One can buy a Ph.D. in computer science and hang it on his wall. He has a doctorate in computer science but he hasn’t been trained to work in this field. So it is true that we think we become a king in the Kingdom of God by grace, but we are not able to fulfill this role. If the God of the Bible is God, then those who support abortion and homosexual activity are heading for destruction—and possibly worse. If the God of the Bible is not God, then those who are protesting abortion and homosexual behavior are misguided. However I see no real danger accruing to people who are mistaken while upholding Bible morality. If scientists could create one living protozoan, a giant step would have been taken toward proving the theory of evolution. "O God, remove all idols from me. Cleanse me from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. Close all doors in my personality through which Satan can enter. Make me perfect in Your sight in spirit, soul, and body, in Jesus’ name. Amen." The glorious new day promised in the Christmas carols when God’s righteousness and peace shall fill the earth has not happened during the Christian era. It is waiting for the time when God removes the presence of sin from His people. That time has arrived and we are to cooperate with the Holy Spirit by confessing and renouncing our sins, as the Spirit of God guides and empowers us. God is raising us up in the midst of a battlefield. How else could He produce warriors, kings, and judges? The most important decision we make in this life is where we want to be when we die. The spirit world is real and it lasts forever. If we will receive Christ and walk with Him we are assured that when we die we will continue to live in love, joy, and peace. Otherwise we may find ourselves among people we would rather not be with. Whoever does not prepare himself for life in the spirit world is foolish, knowing it is certain he will die someday. Whoever does not prepare himself for what he shall face in the Day of Resurrection is a very foolish, shortsighted, person; knowing that the Day of his Resurrection is certain to come. Why do people live their life on earth as though it is the only life they ever will have? Don’t they understand that after death they will be placed among the people and the environment for which they have prepared themselves? One of the greatest lies presented during the course of world history is that if we profess belief in Christ we will not reap what we are sowing as a Christian. When we are serving Jesus Christ diligently each moment of each day, the sins we commit ignorantly are forgiven. However, this is not deliverance. Deliverance occurs when the guilt, power, and presence of sin are removed from us. Treat people with kindness and they will treat you with kindness. An exception to this may occur when God is working to bring you into His image. It has been God’s plan all along that man be made in His inner image and outer likeness. The only way that God’s plan can be accomplished is by having the Lord Jesus created in us and dwelling in the new man that has been created in us. Love, joy, and peace are our eternal inheritance in Christ, though for a season we may be learning obedience through the things we are suffering. Love, joy, and peace are the fruit, the result, of living in the Spirit of God. The person, whether he is black, white, or of some other race, has to earn respect and affection by his or her behavior. Only an ignorant, inexperienced individual prejudges people according to their race or religion. It appears that the media tend to stereotype people, separating them into "right" and "left," or conservatives and liberals. Then the media incite one stereotyped group against another. Perhaps the media do this so it will have something exciting and interesting to report. Too many individuals do not fit into the casually applied stereotypes to make a stereotype a fair, valid predictor of an individual’s personality or behavior. A person may be Asian, black, a Muslim, white, or a Christian. This does not tell us whether the individual has integrity, is honorable, or kindly, or treacherous, or self-seeking. The media and politicians are too much given to stereotyping. They appear to operate on the assumption that a person cannot think in liberal terms on one occasion, and have conservative values in another circumstance. Why are we so prone to judge and criticize the actions of someone? We must admit we often have been inaccurate in our assumptions. Hatred of "the enemy" is due sometimes to the fact we do not know the person. This is why war, although unavoidable at times, is such a misdirected activity. In America today it seems that the political rulers govern in the fear of people rather than in the fear of God. Consequently they have lost the will to govern with diligence when such rulership is necessary if the evil dwelling in people is not to run out of control. You do not want all of your prayers to be answered; only those that are God’s will concerning you. Be wise concerning this! As we are being born again each day, it is Christ, who Himself is the Kingdom of God, the Rule of God, who is being born in us. The person is foolish who does not ask God to give him God’s desires for his or her life. Our desires may be the strongest of the forces that operate in our life, and they lead us to love, joy, and peace, or to misery, corruption, and spiritual death. The biblical model is that the man choose a wife who can help him accomplish the work God has given him to do. The woman is to choose a man whom she respects enough to be willing to give her life so her husband can serve the Lord successfully. Eve acted independently and brought the world under the Divine curse. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Beginning of the creation of God, the First-born of all creation. All things were made through Him and for Him by the Father. Whoever would please the Father must hear the words of Jesus Christ and obey them. Christ bore our sorrows and afflictions in Himself. As we come to maturity in Christ, the Lord allows us to share some of those afflictions and sufferings on behalf of people whom He has chosen. In this way we are able to share His inheritance, which is people. It is better to inherit one person that God chooses for us than ten thousand heavens. No heaven nor number of heavens can fully and permanently satisfy any individual. But one person whom God has chosen for us can fully and permanently bring us love, joy, and peace. Why would we want to inherit a large house, a mansion, and a backyard filled with diamonds? The only inheritance of eternal value is God and people. When we have been made in God’s image, and He has given us people to inherit, the environment will take care of itself. One of the worse torments that will be assigned to those who rebel against God will be to have no people as their inheritance, and to be placed with individuals like themselves for eternity. No paradisiac surrounding can ever bring us love, joy, and peace, which are the highest values to be obtained by an individual; unless there are people present whom we love. God will not give us people to inherit until we have been created in His image; for until we are in God’s image, our personality and behavior will not be pleasing to God or of lasting benefit to others. Pray that you may be found worthy to be a coheir with Jesus Christ, that is, to inherit people and the farthest reaches of the earth. I have learned over 61 years as a Christian that the supremely desirable inheritance is God Himself, and after that, other people. To love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and other people as ourselves, are the greatest gifts God can give us. Behold the individual whose goal in life is to possess things and circumstances rather than to gain the affection of God and people. His end is not desirable. People enjoy being honored on their birthday. So it is that Christ enjoys our honoring Him every day; for if we are diligently following Him, He is being born in us each day. Everything that God gives us He must teach us to manage wisely, or the gift becomes an idol, a bondage, and brings misery to God, to us and to others, instead of love, joy, and peace. Life always is dynamic. We are pressing into Christ or we are pressing into Satan. Christ wants us either hot or cold. The America we have known is fading away. From the beginning it was a mixture of the Kingdom of God and democracy, Jonathan Edwards and Tom Paine, the iron mixed with clay. What is on the horizon is vastly more wonderful, and it is eternal. Sometimes we miss what Christ has for us because we are offended by the messenger He uses. The coming forth of the eternal life of Christ in us is possible only as we are willing to experience the "death" of the flesh and soul. The strength of Israel comes from Leah, from that which is unattractive to us. Rachel, the beautiful flesh, must dies on the way to Bethlehem, the House of Bread, of fruitfulness and life. But the deliverer of Israel and of the world will come from Rachel through Joseph. If it is our desire to make disciples, we should not be emphasizing how many people attend our church but how many people are growing in Christ. Christ came from Heaven. But He did not come to tell us about Heaven or to bring us there. He came, and is coming again, to make the earth a better place. Christ always is born in a stable, in the lowliest of circumstances. So it is when Christ is born in us. It is not a spectacular, dramatic event the world can understand. We do not accept Christ so we can go to Heaven but so we can escape slavery to sin and thus enter eternal life. Beware of worrying about what might happen in the future. To do so may cause needless grief and pain. Once we have been born again, there are two lives living in us. One or the other must prevail. Either Adam lives, or Christ lives. One must die. We have to enter our land of promise, our inheritance, by war. Wars are dangerous and painful. Our inheritance is the full possession of God through Christ and the full possession of people. The enemy cares nothing about God, but is determined to possess the people. I wonder sometimes if the theology that exalts Christ to the same level as the Father is not a grievous error, designed to prevent us from coming to the Father through Christ. Christ is not the way to Himself. He is the Way to the Father, whom He portrays faithfully. We are being invited today to know the Father. We cannot know "the son of my right hand" until we know "the son of my sorrows." Adam must die. Rachel must die on the way to Bethlehem if Benjamin is to live. Fullness of joy came come only through relationships with God and people. Pleasures forevermore will come through circumstances and environment. Rachel died on the way to Bethlehem, on the way to "the House of Bread." If we are to become bread for God and bread for people, we must die to our adamic nature. Rachel never lived to see her son, Joseph, exalted to rulership in Egypt; nor was she present when Joseph became the savior of Egypt, and of the other nations that were experiencing famine. So it is that flesh and blood cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Our natural man will not live to see the glory that is to be revealed in the sons of God. There is no distinction between an animal and its body. The body and the person of a human being are two different creations. You can be attracted to or repulsed by the body of a human being. You can learn to love the person after shared experiences. Every human being has a spirit that can pray to God. No animal has a spirit that can pray to God, or a sense of God. We conclude, therefore, there is no evolutionary progression from an animal to a human being. They are different in kind. The basic idea of scientific inquiry is that knowledge is derived from data, not from philosophy. Since no animal at any time has been known to pray to God, and human beings from earliest recorded time, have prayed to God, we conclude that human beings and animals are different in kind. God gave us a body to see what we would do with it. If we please the Lord with our behavior, He will give us a better body. If we don't, if we do wrong things in our body, we shall be punished in our body. Sometimes we have to be denied, or deny ourselves, of our burning desires in order that more peaceful, fruitful, permanent desires can be established in their place. The person is wise who follows God in this. When we make decisions that hurt in order to please the Lord, we find later that we were freeing ourselves so we could be brought to fuller, more restful joy. When we act wisely we benefit ourselves and Christ is pleased. Christ is pleased when we do things that truly increase our joy, although at first some self-denial may be necessary. There may be counterparts in the spirit world of the various afflictions and prisons we experience in the present world. The belief that once we die there are no more problems is not based in Scripture. Christ would be the answer there as well as here. We bless God, other people, and ourselves, and live forever, when we obey God sternly and completely. In the world to come, the saints will govern with an iron hand, assisted by angels of irresistible power. This is why the coming rulers must be transformed into the image of the personality of the Lord Jesus Christ, and absolutely obedient to God. Many rulers of the world have sought to achieve total power by torturing and murdering people. Christ and His saints will be given total power over mankind; but first they will be given the heart of a servant. The problems of the world arise largely from the political leaders. This is why those who will govern the world under Christ will pass through much suffering in order to destroy self-seeking from their personality. God is forming people He has chosen to be leaders so they will bring perfect love, joy, and peace to those whom they govern. They first must be transformed in personality until they meet God's standard. God has put into the hearts of His chosen kings to desire to govern. First they must be tempted by Satan to take a shortcut to power, just as Christ was tempted in the wilderness. It always has been God's intention that mankind live in Paradise on the earth. But such an environment is not possible until God has created a priesthood who will govern according to God's will. We must endure patiently many prisons, much denial of our most intense desires, before we will be given the crown of righteousness and life. Those whom God has chosen to sit on the highest thrones of the universe must first be content to live in humble circumstances, to serve Christ meekly with a cheerful heart. The heart of man is deeply rebellious against God. This is why the nations must be governed and smashed to pieces with the rod of iron, with the governing power that today is being created in the personalities of the obedient saints. God loves with a terrible love the people He has created. Those who have been chosen to rule mankind must be filled with that same terrible love for those whom they govern. Before Christ could be given total authority over Heaven and earth, He had to be brought lower than any man. So it is true with us. The higher we are to be brought the lower we must be brought before we are trusted with the authority that is our destiny. The doctrine of the Trinity confuses our understanding of the Lord Jesus Christ, and makes Him unapproachable—unapproachable regarding the desire that God that we be His brothers. Fundamentalism is strong when it reminds us that the Scriptures are holy and eternally unchanging. Fundamentalism is weak when it teaches us to substitute a profession of belief in the text for a living experience with God. In the present hour we are kept by God's power as we look to Christ in faith. But there is coming a salvation in which the very presence of sin shall be removed from us. There is coming a day of redemption, a time when the Lord Jesus, who has been seated at the right hand of the Father, will arise and His enemies shall be made His footstool. Then we shall be free from the presence of sin. More than that, because we are free from sin we shall be filled with the Spirit of God without measure. We have not been completely saved until our spirit, soul, and body are totally free from the guilt, power, presence, and effects of sin, and our spirit, soul, and body are totally filled with the Spirit of God. In addition to this complete salvation, the Father and the Son will be resident in our personality for the eternity of eternities. It appears to me the premier god of America is money. The premier god of England is freedom to do as one pleases. The premier god of France is physical lust. By worshiping these gods the people hope to obtain survival, security, pleasure, and achievement. But in actuality they end up as a shrub in the desert." We can pursue life, liberty, and happiness; or we can pursue the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. These two goals are not only not the same, they often are directly opposed. The prophets that hear from God say things that are not always gratifying to people. This has been true throughout history. It is true today. The prophets of God do not speak with the idea in mind of pleasing people. This is why they often are persecuted. When God calls a person or a thing holy, then that person or thing is holy. When God refers to a behavior as being righteous, then that behavior is righteous. However, obedience is an absolute. Either we are obeying God or we are not obeying God. The world is being filled increasingly with moral filth. But out of this cesspool will arise one who is more beautiful than all—the eternal counterpart of the Word of God. There are more who are with us than those who are against us. We really shouldn’t try to tell the Lord how to do His job! The Christian discipleship is a struggle over always choosing to do what is right whether it leads to pleasure or pain, as opposed to always choosing pleasure even when it leads to unrighteous behavior. No individual who always chooses the way of pleasure can ever be a disciple of the Lord Jesus. Religion is man seeking God and trying to get God to do what man wants. Salvation is God seeking man and enabling man to do God’s will. To abide in Christ continually, walking with Him each day, you have to be a believer and a forgiver. It is only right and proper that we give everything back to our Creator. All He asks we are to give Him. All He directs us to do, we are to do promptly and cheerfully. Any other response on our part is absolutely unacceptable. Every physical body is a package with a person inside. Before you marry someone or get close to someone, find out about the person in that package. There are three primary reasons why Satan has no claim on our body, soul, or spirit. First, the blood of the cross has removed Satan’s legal hold over us. Second, with all of our strength we have totally denounced and renounced Satan and all his works that we may be filled with the Lord Jesus Christ, His person and works. Third, we have counted ourselves crucified with Christ and are seeking to live in God’s will. By far, most of the benefits of our redemption are not just ascribed to us. Rather, they are developed in us when we act in cooperation with the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit as He imparts to us the things of Christ. The sixth chapter of Romans reveals that the gift of salvation is the gift of an opportunity to gain everlasting life. It is not an undemanding gift. Romans 6:23 is testifying that if we Christians choose to yield our bodies as instruments of unrighteousness to sin we will reap the wages of sin. The believer who, after having received Christ, continues to serve unrighteousness, will die spiritually. Both Paul and Peter warned that the doctrine of imputation can be interpreted incorrectly. Paul’s doctrine of ascribed righteousness can be distorted to mean that the Christian salvation is an undemanding gift and requires no action on our part in order to gain the values contained in it. The Apostle James found it necessary to warn the Lord’s flock that true faith in Christ is expressed in action. Salvation always is an opportunity, an access, an authority, an invitation to drink of Christ’s Virtue. We must ask and continue asking. We must seek and continue seeking. We must knock and continue knocking. When we receive the Lord Jesus Christ, placing our faith and trust in Him for salvation, righteousness is ascribed to us by the Lord. Also, the door to eternal life and glory is opened to us. How much eternal life and glory we gain depends on the faith and diligence we apply to seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. The fruit of the Spirit is not ascribed to us, it must be grown with patience. The rewards of the second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation, which are elements of the first resurrection from the dead, are not legally ascribed to us. Rather, they are given to us on the basis of overcoming the love of the world, the love of sin, and the love of self. The gift of salvation cannot be earned. But in order to profit from it, to really “receive” it, we must give our whole life to gaining it. To serve God as a king and priest is the awesome eternal destiny to which each of the elect has been called. But in order to attain our predetermined destiny we are required to overcome the hurdles placed before us. The body is remarkably shortsighted. It cares little for consequences. It lives for the moment. Therefore it is ready to eat and drink itself to death, to smoke cigarettes, to take drugs, to drive while drunk, to indulge in immorality, without regard for the consequences of such actions. It does no good to put people into Paradise until they have been prepared to maintain it. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Do not fear physical death. It is the beginning of life for you, if you have learned your lessons in the present world. Wisdom advises us how to act in order to achieve success. Knowledge is an awareness of facts, past present, and future. Understanding is a combination of wisdom and knowledge mixed with compassion. It is likely that the angels can have wisdom and knowledge, but not understanding. Understanding makes our personality and behavior pleasing to God. It is the salt that must be included with each sacrifice. Understanding includes an appreciation of the complexity, the difficulties, of existence, a sympathetic attitude toward the weaknesses of people, and a sense of humor. Understanding is a large part of the image of God. The desire to usurp the place of someone else is the devil’s own brew. If we succeed in doing so our end will be bitter indeed. We had best pray fervently that Christ will deliver us from this unclean desire lest we go to the same reward as Satan. Faith creates a positive attitude, even in the midst of adversity. Pessimism has no place in the Kingdom of God. We all were born children of wrath. We all were tares. Then God according to His own will and purposes called out some to have eternal life. Then they have both wheat and tares in them. God does not like mixtures, so He proceeds to remove the tares from His Kingdom. Grace and mercy will not interfere, in the Day of Resurrection, with the inviolable Kingdom law of sowing and reaping. You and I are going to reap precisely what we have sown. God is our Father and He loves us dearly. But a disobedient, rebellious son will be chastised very severely, and may lose altogether his place in the Kingdom of God. Let no one deceive you—it is just this serious. We have lost the fear of God in America, and the wise among us will pray until God restores His fear to them. All Kingdom work of eternal significance is done only by the Holy Spirit of God. In our day, in which the hosts of demons are swarming to the attack, we can no longer play our church games. We must hear from God. We must place our body on the altar of God as a living sacrifice. We must cry out "not my will but Yours be done" concerning every issue, every decision, of every day and night of our life. Persecution and tribulation are about to come upon the Christian churches. From now until the Lord appears His Churches will experience every possible form of chastening and testing. The purpose of the suffering that is coming is to purify and unify the one Church, the Wife of the Lamb, the Body of Christ, the new Jerusalem. Because people have become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, escaping the tribulation is often the focal point of concern. However, it is not tribulation we are to be concerned about, it is sin and lawlessness! The Divine judgment on the world, sin, and self-rule—on these three dimensions of spiritual darkness that are part of our personality—is the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish Day of Atonement. God is ready to give us, through Christ, the desire and the ability to overcome the world, sin, and our own self-rule and self-centeredness. Our task is to confess our sins as they are revealed to us, and then to patiently obey the Lord as He judges the darkness in us and drives it out of our personality. This is the personal, spiritual fulfillment of the Levitical Day of Atonement. If we would follow the thinking of the Apostle Paul we must learn to regard the Christian fight of faith as being for the purpose of laying hold on eternal life in the body. “We died to sin” has to do with our basic orientation to salvation, which is that our adamic nature has been crucified with Christ and our inward nature has been born of God, has been raised from the dead with Christ, and has ascended to the right hand of God with Christ. Therefore for us to continue in sin is to deny the position we have taken by faith. The only correct response to the Gospel is to assign our whole first personality to the cross with Christ. The purpose of assigning our first personality to the cross with Christ is that we may, by the power of God’s Spirit, live a new life. The new life is one of righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God. If we really believe that we have been crucified with Christ, and have been resurrected with Him and ascended to the right hand of God in and with Him, this fact will be revealed in our behavior. We will be united with Christ in His resurrection, in an inward “firstfruits” sense now, and then fully at His return. But our union with Christ in His resurrection must be attained to, as Paul emphasized. It does not just happen because we at some point have taken “the four steps of salvation.” If we do not follow the Holy Spirit in putting to death the deeds of our body, then we can forget about being raised into immortality when the Lord returns. It will not take place. We have not overcome sin and therefore we will not be given to eat from the tree of life. There is no doubt that the grace of forgiveness has been greatly overemphasized in our country. The grace of the ability to purify ourselves and to keep the commandments of Christ and His Apostles has been neglected, I believe. Our goal is not to go to Heaven to live forever. Our goal is to learn to live in the Spirit that is from Heaven, from God, so when the Lord Jesus returns to earth we may return with Him in the fullness of the glory and power of Heaven. Whatever God tells you to do in this world, do it to the best of your ability or face painful consequences. Whatever else you accomplish in life is of relatively little importance. The main issue is what kind of person you have become as you prepare to enter the spirit world, for this shall determine where you are placed. Redemption never is a static adherence to doctrine but a dynamic interaction with the living Christ. Paul said the crown of righteousness was laid up for him. By a crown of righteousness Paul did not mean he could continue in sin but be regarded as righteous, as is taught today. Rather, he meant he would rule with Christ by the power that God gives him so he can behave righteously and enforce righteousness. Here is the great Christian error—the belief that "accepting Christ" does away with the warnings of the New Testament. In between the feast of Pentecost and the feast of Tabernacles, as outlined in the Old Testament, is the Day of Atonement, or Day of Reconciliation. The spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement requires that we cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He removes worldliness, the lusts of our flesh, and our self-will. The time to seek God is now! The age of moral horrors is on the horizon. The tares of wickedness are coming to maturity. Many of us will not be able to stand under the dark pressures that are ahead unless we are able to obtain more of Christ, more of God than we have known. The reason we have been placed on the earth in an animal body is that God might be able to build character in us—the kind of character that is necessary if we are to function effectively in the role assigned to us in the Kingdom of God. The new covenant performs its work in our mind and heart only as we keep the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes we know the weaknesses of people without realizing their strengths. Faith is neither magic nor presumption. Rather, it is a steadfast grasp on the faithfulness of God’s character. When love turns to hate in a moment, it means we never truly loved the person. Perhaps we were attracted by their outward appearance, or being near them made us feel good. The nature of the Kingdom of God, its very essence, is disciplined obedience to the Spirit of God. It is an internal government. But to arrive at his state of obedience we first must be willing to seek God’s help in keeping the hundreds of commandments found in the New Testament. Perhaps the fundamental misunderstanding of today’s teaching is that we can arrive at the inner government of the Kingdom apart from first being obedient to the commandments given by Jesus Christ and His Apostles. The disciple must pass through numerous difficulties and dangers during the course of his pilgrimage. He must be willing to walk on the water with only the faithfulness of Christ keeping him from disaster. Help me to trust, to walk on the water, to live one day at a time. To abide in Christ requires that we look to Him for every decision we make throughout the day and night. The grace given under the new covenant is incomparably greater than the grace of any other time. The requirements placed on the participants are vastly more demanding. The rewards and opportunities for glory truly are staggering. The punishments for not meeting the requirements are as severe or more severe than those suffered under the prior dealings of God. We have been saved through the blood atonement; we have received God's Spirit; now we must learn stern obedience to the Father. This is the Kingdom of God and the issue facing the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. The purpose of government is to enforce God's rules of morality. The government that refuses to enforce God's rules of morality, regardless of the reason for its refusal, will not remain in control. God restrains His wrath because of the Virtue of Calvary. But God has not changed. The Lord Jesus and His Apostle warned us again and again that if we continued to live according to our fleshly lusts we would suffer at His coming. The Lord Jesus is not a feeble “do-gooder” who cannot exercise wrath when it is called for. He is more loving than any other person. He is more capable of wrath than any other person. This last fact has been concealed from the current generation of American churchgoers. While we do not suffer to make an atonement for sins we certainly do suffer as Christians. Christ paid a terrible price for our redemption. All those who would be victorious saints must understand they too will suffer, they will share Christ’s sufferings. We are required to love not our lives to the death. The saints of all ages have more in common than they have differences. This is why the Spirit of God, in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, uses Old Testament personalities, beginning with the second son of Adam, to teach Christians the meaning of the just shall live by faith. We have made the Word of God of no effect by our traditions. Christ has become the justifier of an unholy, unrighteous, disobedient, self-centered, pleasure-loving, spiritually careless, worldly church." Grace is not a new method for achieving sainthood. New-covenant grace is not a method of making saints by using Christ’s righteousness instead of ours. It is not true that we can substitute a belief in Christ for the obedience of Abraham, the meekness of Moses, the consecration of Daniel, the holiness of Elijah. Grace is not a device for calling sinners saints. If it is, God has defeated Himself. Often the impression is given that the Christians, the disciples of Christ, the brothers of Christ can continue in indecision, lukewarmness, refusal to do God’s will, self-centeredness, foolishness, prayerlessness, and still be approved of God, still be brothers of the Lord. Their behavior does not matter because Christ’s righteousness is imputed (ascribed) to them. Much more has been given to us than was given to the saints of the old covenant. Much more is required of us than was required of the saints of the old covenant. There is a common faith that exists among all the saints of God no matter under what covenant they learn to walk with God. All of them were and are declared to be righteous because of their trust in the Lord, their hope of a better world wherein dwells righteousness, and their continual seeking of the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, of a city that has foundations. The emphasis of the new covenant is not on God forgiving our sins, although the forgiveness of sins is an important part of new-covenant grace. The emphasis of the new covenant is on the forming and abiding of Christ in us so the Life of the Son of God becomes our life. It is God working in us both to create the desire and to fulfill the desire of His good pleasure in us. Crucifixion and resurrection are the fundamental nature of the new covenant. They are grace, under the new covenant. This is how God writes His laws in our minds and in our hearts. The new covenant contains grace of such Divine Virtue, of such power and breadth, that righteous conduct is made possible. The purpose of freeing us from the requirements of the Law of Moses is to bring us into total, complete union with Christ in order that we may bring forth unto God the fruit of righteous behavior It is impossible to receive the fullness of the grace of the new covenant, or to enter the opportunities and rewards of the new covenant, until we make up our mind to give all we are to Christ. Until we are determined to die in Christ and to live in Christ we cannot participate fully in the new covenant. Burning passions lead to deception. It's not Christ for you unless it is Christ in you.--Randy Magel Are you willing to give up “everything' to inherit “all things”?--Randy Magel There are two great heads of redemption. The first consists of the sovereign plans and works of God. The second consists of the human response to God’s sovereign plans and works. When we ignore the necessity for the human response, or ignore the fact that salvation always is directed by the Lord, we exclude ourselves from the Divine salvation. There are two major eras. The first extended from the creation of the spirit and physical worlds to Calvary. The second began with the resurrection of Jesus Christ and extends to eternity, ages without end. Our first birth was into the first era. Our second birth, in Christ, is into the second era. The purpose of the grace of God in Christ is to convert sinners from lawlessness to godly behavior.                                                                 ***** As I awakened this morning, the thought came to me that the adamic race is but the merest beginning of what God has in mind for His Kingdom. We human beings are little more than intelligent dust. Our actual value is as a host on which can be grafted the eternal Divine Nature. This is why we must be born again if we are to enter the Kingdom. If I am correct, it will be during the thousand-year Kingdom Age (Millennium) that our actual change into true man, the transcendent humanity that God has envisioned from the beginning, will take place. In order to be joined in eternal union with Him who is very God and very Man, we ourselves must become of the true Divine Nature and true humanity, and filled with the fullness of God. In God's economy like must marry like. Perhaps the spirit realm, that we term Heaven, is in a great measure a school. For those who are diligent with what they have been granted in the present life, the opportunity will be given to gain the knowledge of the Lord and transformation into His image. Jesus Christ is the perfect representation of the Father, in that He thinks, speaks, and acts as the Father thinks, speaks, and acts. This also is our destiny, having been predestined to be the younger brothers of our Lord. We can begin to experience this transformation today if we will press forward in Christ.