"O Lord, you are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; you maintain my destiny. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good inheritance. I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my reins also instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope. For you will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will you allow your holy one to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." (Psalm 16:5-11).
Where Is The Better Thing?
In January of 2002, the Lord spoke a word into my heart, which I immediately began sharing in a New Years Conference in Florida. I am now experiencing the manifestation and power of being obedient to this revelation from the Father. In this article I will share this word, and the testimony resulting from it, with you.
Some of you know that throughout my last seventeen years I have been going through some continuous physical battles, as have many of the saints. These difficulties range from malaria, diabetes and gangrene to the most current problems of renal and Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). Some might say, "This comes with living in these flesh bodies." However, in the book of the Law we read, "The Lord will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you." (Ex. 15:26; Deut. 7:15). This was the promise of God to Israel when he brought them out of Egyptian captivity and gave them the covenant of the law.
A truism, or self-evident truth, set forth by Solomon says, "Where there is no revelation, the people stumble all over themselves, perish, or are made naked." (Prov. 29:18). I certainly felt that as though I fit into the category, since the book of Hebrews declares God provided some better things for us than those who lived under the law before Jesus. (Heb. 7:19, 22, 8:6, 9:23, 11:40-12:5). These better things were provided through the mediator of a better covenant, better hope, better promises and even a better sacrifice. It is this knowledge that raised my initial questions concerning my health issues. Where is the manifestation of the better that this new covenant affords?
A Fresh Revelation
I began to cry out to the Father for understanding. "Why I was not experiencing the better provision of the new covenant?" I don't know that I really expected an answer, but to my surprise an answer came from the sixteenth Psalm of David. This is where David said, "I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my reins also instructs me in the night seasons." (Psa. 16:7). The word "reins," used in this verse, comes from the Hebrew word "kilyah," which literally means "kidneys." In the Hebrew language the kidneys are figurative speech for the mind or heart, as the interior self. Further study revealed the heart and kidneys mentioned together in the Scripture a number of times. (Psa. 26:2, 73:21; Jer. 11:20, 17:10, 20:12).
It was certainly a night season in my life, as my heart had been damaged by Congestive Heart Failure, and now the doctors were telling me my kidneys were only functioning at eighteen percent. They went on to say, "The worst case scenario would be that you may remain at this low percentage of function, because we cannot put you on dialysis until you drop to ten percent." The weakness I was experiencing in my body made dialysis actually sound pretty good. Although, it would mean a complete life change and an end to the ministry, as I have known it for the past forty years. However, I was more than willing to accept any medical help that could make me feel better.
The Lord then opened my understanding to a fresh revelation. It came to me from this thought: "My reins also instruct me in the night seasons." (Psa. 16:7). David was telling us that his "kidneys instruct" him. The word instruct comes from Hebrew word "yasar," which means to chastise, literally with blows, or figuratively with words; hence to instruct.
Could this be what the Lord was doing in my life? Was he instructing me? The word chastise drew my attention back to the book of Hebrews, where we are told God provided something better for us. Moreover, the saints who had received a good report of the faith under the law could not be made complete apart from us. (Heb. 11:40). Consequently, being encircled by such a great cloud of witnesses we should lay aside the burden and the missing of the mark that prevents us from putting on the completed work. We are then encouraged to run, enduring the conflict that is set before us, by looking into Jesus the Inaugurator and Perfecter of the faith. The writer goes onto ask, "Have you forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to a son? 'My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives.'" (Prov. 3:11; Heb. 11:40-12:6). The word chastening comes from the Greek word "paideia," which means tutorage, that is, education or training. This is training through a rigor of discipline, such as one might experience in military training or boot camp. It was this understanding that caused me to recognize the renal failure, as a chastising of the Lord through which I was being educated or trained. I also understood if I could grasp the message the kidneys were conveying they would no longer need to instruct me. With this understanding came the thought, "What is going on in my body reflects a need that is in the corporate son." (2Co. 1:3-7; 2Co. 4:7-12; Phil. 3:10).
The Function Of The Kidneys
There are two basic functions of the kidneys that came to my mind at the moment of this revelation. The first being, the kidneys are a filtration system for the blood. The Scriptures teach, "The life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul." (Lev. 17:11).
In laymen's terms, the kidneys are made up of a series of wavy flexible screens, or curtains. The blood flows through these curtains and they filter the toxins or pollutants out of the blood. However, if these curtains become stiff and harden they plug up and no longer are capable of filtering out the poisonous toxins that can harm and even bring an end to life. This is called renal failure. Since, the Scriptures teach, "the life is in the blood," it is necessary to keep our spiritual filtration system healthy and flexible, in order to prevent the blood of Christ, which is our spiritual life free of pollutants. (Lev. 17:11, 14; Deut. 12:23; John 6:53-54; 2 Cor. 7:1). This spiritual filtration system is called discernment and it is very important to the health of the body of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:14-16; Heb. 5:14).
The kidneys of the body of Christ can become stiff-necked and dogmatic, by majoring in doctrinal minors, which results in spiritual renal failure. There is a need in the body of Christ for discernment to filter out all profane and vain babbling that has polluted the vision of Christ and drawn away from the true value and experience of the accomplished work of Calvary. Many times the pollutants have been introduced into the body of Christ through false apostles, prophets, teachers and brethren, whose teachings produce a continual learning, but never generates a manifestation, or experience of the truth. The apostle Peter warned the church saying, "There used to be false prophets among God’s people, just as you have some false teachers among you. They privately teach superfluity, or damnable heresies, that will cause people to be lost. They will even refuse to accept the Master, Jesus, who bought their freedom. So they will bring quick ruin on themselves." (2 Pet. 2:1). We are told to avoid such, but too often the body has taken a complacent stand and refuses to judge or discern anything. Rather, it accepts everything and everyone that calls itself by the name of Christ. (2Co. 11:13; 2Ti. 2:19; 2Pe. 2:1). There are so many teachings that only serve to puff up and increase to more irreverence. These teachings often produce a form of religious piety, but deny its power. Moreover, they eat as a cancer, destroying the faith of some. (Rom. 1:18; 1Co. 8:1; Col. 2:8, 18; 1Ti. 6:20; 2Ti. 2:16). It is time for us to learn how to compare the spiritual with the spiritual. The psychological mind receives not the Spirit of God. Moreover, spiritual reality is foolishness to the natural reasoning, because it is spiritually discerned. Now, he who is spiritual discerns all, yet he himself is discerned by none. This is because the natural mind has not known the mind of the Lord, and cannot instruct him who learns to use it. Remember. We have the mind of Christ. (1Co. 2:13-16, 11:28-34, 12:10; 1Jo. 4:1-3).
Another Function Of The Kidneys
There is a definite sign of kidney failure among those who embrace sonship, reconciliation and "deeper truth." The purpose and call for his sons is clear. We are told the creation eagerly waits for the unveiling of the sons of God. This is because the creation also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of becoming the offspring of God. (Rom. 8:18-25).
The second function of the kidneys is something I found in eastern medical journals. In the East it is believed the kidneys are where all life originates. Therefore, if a man experiences renal failure he can no longer able to reproduce life or offspring. Today a definite lack in the reproduction of the life of Christ can be seen among God's sons. Remember. "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the former creation has passed away; behold, all has become new. Now all is of God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and he committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For he made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him." (2 Cor. 5:17-21). It is here that we learn we are representatives of Christ Jesus, and our ministry is to invite humanity to conciliate with God.
Now, we must also remember. A revelation without a manifestation is mere information. The lack of the reproduction of the life of Christ being manifested among those who hold the clearest message of God's love and benevolence for creation is a definite sign of spiritual renal failure. One only has to travel among those who claim to have a "deeper revelation" to witness the lack in the procreation of Christ life. This clearly spells the end of a generation and move of the Father, if the kidneys of the body are not healed.
It is from this revelation that I understood my personal physical healing will come, as I share the true gospel. Moreover, a spiritual healing will take place within the body of Christ. Then, we will all rejoice in the conclusion of the matter, because the healing of the kidneys of the body of Christ will result in the manifestation of everything God made being set free from ruin to have the freedom and glory that belong to God’s children. (Rom. 8:21).
Returning To Simplicity
Now, I ask you to put up with a little plainness of thought from me, as I believe you will. Remember. Your soul, or psychological makeup; intellect, desires, determinations and emotions are espoused, as a virgin in marriage to one man--Christ. Yet, I am concerned that as the serpent deceived Eve by its tricks, so your souls may somehow be lured away from the simplicity that is in Christ.
This can happen when someone comes to you telling about another Jesus than you first learned and you are willing to put up with it. It also happens when you receive a spirit or attitude that is different from the spirit of holiness you received when you first walked with Christ and you are willing to put up with that also. Or someone tells you a gospel that is different from the Good News you already accepted and you are willing to put up with that too. (2 Co. 11:1-4). Let us look into Jesus, the beginning and end of the faith and see the simplicity of the good news. It is through this gospel that the Father is reviving my life and healing my kidneys.
What Is The Gospel?
"Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I announced to you, which also you received, and wherein you stand; through which also you are being saved, if you keep in memory what I proclaimed to you, unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures." (1Co. 15:1-8).
The gospel proclaimed by the apostle Paul was not something he had received through human tradition. He neither received it , nor was taught it by man, but it came to him through a revelation of Christ Jesus. (Gal. 1:11-12). He based his gospel on the clear evidence that Jesus died for our sins according to the scriptures, he was buried, and he rose again the third day according to scriptures. (Rom. 2:15, 16:25; 2Tim. 2:8). He tells us that the resurrection of Jesus was witnessed by all the apostles, as well as by more than five hundred brethren at one time. Paul goes on to tell us that as "one born out of due time" he also witnessed the resurrection of Jesus. By this he did not mean that he was the thirteenth apostle and came late to this knowledge, but he was declaring that he was premature, or he was as one born ahead of time into this revelation.
Paul broke open his revelation of the gospel and presented it in six specific points, which release humanity from condemnation and death to reign with Christ in life and life more abundantly. (John 10:10-11; Rom. 5:10; 1 Jo. 5:12). These six points can be looked at like a stairway that leads to the throne in the kingdom of God. Each step is made up of two basic parts; a riser and a tread. Thus to reach the throne one must first rise up by faith in their understanding (that is, step up) and then they must walk out this understanding. That is to tread upon the new elevation in their understanding. Simply put, revelation knowledge without a practical application is merely information that produces no manifestation.
The First Point Of The Gospel
The first point in Paul's teaching declares we were crucified with Jesus Christ. (Gal. 2:20). In speaking of what death he would die Jesus said, " I, when I be LIFTED UP FROM THE EARTH, will DRAW ALL HUMANITY along with me." He was indicating that he would be lifted up from the earth and crucified on the cross of Calvary. (John 12:32-33). Moreover, he was telling us that in this act he would not merely become a substitutionary sacrifice, for "whosoever" would accept what he did, but he would draw all upon to the cross with him. The word "draw" comes from the Greek word "helkuoô," which means to drag. Thus, not by invitation, but forcibly all were dragged upon the cross of Calvary. The entire human race was crucified, because Jesus was sacrificed, as the whole human race on the cross of Calvary.
Jesus Went to the Cross "For/As Us"
A few years ago I came to understand the force or power of the thought contained in the words "for us," as it is expressed in statements concerning Jesus' accomplishments in the work of the cross. This revelation came when the bank we were doing business with made an error causing our checks to begin bouncing all over the country. At the time our daughter, Jana, was taking care of the books and paying the bills "for us" in our absence. After receiving notice from the bank that we were over drawn, she immediately called to tell me about the problem, because I was the primary signature on the account. When I called the bank they responded like they did not know who I was and told me they would have to speak with Jana, since she was the one they recognized as having the legal signature on the account. Jana had been signing all the checks and dealing with all of our accounts so long that she was not just doing it "for us," but "as us." Thus, it took our daughter acting, not just for us, but as us to straighten out the problem. She did well, and the bank straightened out their error with apologies to me and all of our business accounts that had been effected.
Thus, when Jesus was crucified for all, he was crucified not only for, but as all. He did not ask anyone to choose or accept this crucifixion, but he just simply did it for/as all humanity. Just as we were not asked if we wanted to accept the transgress of Adam. The first Adam transgressed in the garden and as the "federal head" of all creation what he did effected all. Therefore, through one man, Adam, sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed upon all, for all have sinned. (Rom. 5:12). It was in this manner that the creation was made subject to vanity or disappointment and misery, not willingly, but by reason of God who subjected the same in expectation of the unveiling of the corporate son. (Rom. 8:19-25). In the same manner our old humanity, Adam, was crucified with Jesus Christ. Moreover, through crucifixion of Jesus the body of sin was rendered ineffective and unsuccessful. Thus, we are no longer slaves of sin, but we have been freed from sins dominion. Moreover, we are crucified to the world and the world is crucified to us. (Rom. 6:6-7, 8:20-21; Gal. 6:14). Just as all humanity became subjected unwillingly to condemnation through Adam's transgression, they were also subjected unwillingly to the free gift of the justification of life through Jesus Christ. (John 12:32-33; Rom. 5:17-21, 8:120, 11:32; 2Co. 5:14).
The Second Point Of The Gospel
Point two of Paul's gospel teaches us, when Jesus died we died with him. (2Co. 5:14; Col. 2:20). Again, this is not based upon humanity's acceptance of the death of Jesus, but upon his righteous act at Calvary. There is little or no argument with the thought that Adam's transgression resulted in condemnation and death coming upon all humanity. (Rom. 5:12). Likewise, through the righteous act of Jesus Christ the free gift of justification of life came upon all humanity. In short, Jesus paid the full redemptive price for sin when he died on the cross. He declared with his dying breath, "It is paid in full." (John 19:30; Col. 1:14; Tit. 2:14).
The writer of the Book of Hebrews tells us "Jesus appeared once at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." (Heb 9:26-28). These words, "put away," come from the Greek word "athetēsis," which means the cancellation or disannulling of power of sin. That is, he cancelled sin by the sacrifice of himself. The scriptures record that everyone must die once and be judged, so Christ was offered as a sacrifice one time to take away the sins of many people. (Heb. 9:27-28). Now, the Greek word translated "judged" is "krisis" and we get our English word crisis from it. The American Heritage Dictionary defines a crisis as "A crucial or decisive point or situation; a turning point. An emotionally stressful event or a traumatic change in a person's life." In short there is a decisive separation that takes place in one's identification with the sin and death at Calvary.
Thus, Jesus was once offered to lift up and bear away the sins of the whole world. (John 1:29; Rom. 5:18-21; 1Jo 2:2). It for this reason that we are constrained by the love of Christ; because we have concluded, that since one died for/as all, then all died. (2Co. 5:14). This death brings all humanity from the state of being dead in sin, to becoming dead to sin. (Rom. 6:2; Eph. 2:1, 5; 1Pe. 2:24).
Now, to them that look for him, he appears the second time, as the high priest of the faith, coming out from the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement, without sin bringing good news of salvation. (Heb 9:26-28). Thus through the righteous act of Jesus, once and for/as all, we died to sin for all-time. We also died to the elementary principles or carnal and dogmatic commandments of the mosaic religious order. (Rom. 7:4). This religious order of law showed wisdom in will worship, humility, and neglecting the body, when it was used by the religious minded to teach, "touch not, taste not, and handle not," to its adherents. However, it was of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. It actually focused on and magnified humanities incapability to live a holy and righteous life through human efforts. (Rom. 5:20, 7:5-7; 7:12-13; 1Co. 15:56; Gal. 2:16, 21; 1Ti. 1:8-11).
The Third Point Of The Gospel
The third point of the gospel that we must rise upon and walk out teaches us that we were buried with him in baptism. This baptism is likened to the covenant of circumcision. However, it is a circumcision made without hands in the putting off of the body of sins, or the remains of the former Adam that was crucified and died. (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:11-12). Thus, this baptism is not accomplished by human effort, nor is it a religious work. Moreover, it is not a reference to water baptism, but to the work accomplished by the Holy Spirit of promise.
The promise of the Holy Spirit first came through the prophet Joel. He told us that in the last days God would "pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh." (Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:16-21). Then, before his death Jesus promised to pray that the Father would give another to comfort and help us. This Comforter would be the Spirit of Truth and he would abide with us through the ages. He further promised, "I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you." (John 14:16-20). The world cannot receive him, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but we know him; for he dwells with us and lives in us. After the resurrection Jesus breathed on his disciples, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit." Then he went on to tell them, "You will receive power, after the Holy Spirit is come upon you." (Lu. 11:13; John 20:22; Acts 1:8, 2:1-4). It is this sealing that authenticates, empowers and places the life of the believer beyond the condemnation of the former estate of the Adamic identification until the redemption of the purchased possession. (1Co. 12:12-13).
This experience takes place after we hear the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation. (Rom. 10:17). That is, after hearing and believing we were crucified and died with Jesus on Calvaries tree. Yes, by believing, that is, adhering to and trusting in the accomplishment of Jesus Christ, we become sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. This experience is the mark of genuineness and privacy that God places on the life of the believer. (Eph. 1:13-14). It is also this experience of being buried with Christ in baptism that makes us a part of the corporate expression of the living Christ. Paul tell us that through one Spirit we are all baptized into one body and made to drink into one Spirit. (1Co. 12:12-14, 27). Paul's teaching only focuses on one baptism and that was not water baptism. He actually said, "Christ did not commission me to baptize, but to preach the gospel." (1Co. 1:17; Eph. 4:5).
In the experience of burial we see the putting off of the old dead Adam and the putting on of the new Christ life. (2Co. 5:16-18; Eph. 5:12-17; Col. 4:10). It is much like the burial of Jesus. In all outward appearance Jesus was dead, but he was very much alive during the three days and nights he spent sealed within the tomb. (1Pe. 3:18-22). In Matthew's gospel we find an interesting testimony having to do with the death and burial of Jesus. Matthew records, "When Jesus had cried again with a loud voice, he yielded up the spirit and, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose. It is the next verse that make this testimony most interesting. It says, "And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared to many." (Matt. 27:50-53; John 19:30). In this passage we see when Jesus died the life force that was released into the creation was a parallel to our experience of death and burial with him. At the very moment of his death a way through the veil, which prevented humanity from entering into the presence of the Father, was torn apart from top to bottom. (2Co. 3:14; Heb. 10:19-22). The earthy Adamic dominion of sin was shaken, which signifies removal of what is shaken. (Heb. 12:26-29). The hard stony religious hearts of humanity were broken up. (Zech. 7:12). Finally, we see that at the same instance graves were opened and many of the saints awakened from the dead. However, it would be three days and nights before the testimony of his life would become evident. It is in this experience that the believer now lives filled with the life of the Spirit, yet not being fully released from the tomb of the old humanity. However, known to all who have experienced being buried with Christ is the life of God's Spirit working in and through them. (2Co. 5:17). For we have been crucified, we have died and are buried with Christ Jesus. When these three points have become our experiential walk, and not merely information and talk, it becomes time to rise upon the next three points of the gospel and complete the journey to the throne.
The Fourth Point Of The Gospel
When God revealed the Unlimited Lamb to my understanding and I saw the all inclusiveness of the love of Christ, it constrained me. This is because the conclusion of the matter shows us that Jesus died for/as all, thus all died at Calvary. However, while knowledge of the crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus does not say that all have experienced "salvation," it does present "God as the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe." (1Ti. 4:9-11). This statement can be trusted and deserves complete acceptance. Our confidence is in the living God, because all comes from him through Christ. It is God who made peace between us and himself, and gave us the ministry of telling everyone about the peace we can have with him. This message of peace we are told to command and teach, "God was in Christ, making peace between the world and himself and he does not hold the world guilty of its sins." (2Co. 5:18-19).
The fourth point of Paul's gospel declares we are enlivened together with Christ. (Rom. 6:8; Eph. 2:1, 5; Col. 2:13). Christ died for/as all, so they which live should not live to themselves, but to him who died for/as them, and rose again. (2 Cor. 5:14-15). This does not say that all have already been made alive. However, we are told that just as in Adam all died, so also in Christ will all be made alive. This promise of life is to everyone and will be experienced according to the rank or classification in which God has placed each one. (1Co. 15:22-24). This confirms that God wants all humanity to be saved, and to come to the full recognition of the truth. (1Ti. 2:4; 4:9-11). It is carnal arrogance to believe that the human will can cancel out God's desire. (Psa. 33:10-11; Eph. 1:11-12).
Remember. God is the creator of a multifaceted creation. He did not create merely one kind of fish, one kind of tree or even one kind of man. It is the diversity in his creation that reveals his invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature. (Rom. 1:20). The truth of the diversity in God's plan can even be seen in the human family. When a man marries a woman we are told the two become one. This does not mean the man disappears into the woman or the woman into the man. They will remain male and female, with different functions that are necessary to produce the whole. Yet, as they are joined and produce offspring the revelation of their oneness comes to light, because what was two individuals becomes manifest in one new life. The children are a perfect combination of the two individuals into one new individual. I use these examples to say that God is brining forth a variety of living ones in his new creation. He will bring forth his sons that are in the image of the first born son, Jesus Christ. (Rom. 8:29). Then he raises up a bride for his corporate son. (Isa. 62:5). Next, there will be children and even servants in the kingdom. Isaiah said, "There will be no end to the increase of God's government." (Isa. 9:7).
The enlivening of all who died in Adam is guaranteed by God through the accomplishment of Christ Jesus. However, there is an order in which it becomes evident within the creation. The first order to be made alive are called Christ the first-fruit. This began with Jesus the Head Christ and continues until his body, which is also called Christ has been completely made alive. (1Co. 15:23). These first-fruit sons are called Christ and are the seed of Abraham, the heirs of the promises. (Gal. 3:16-29; 1Co. 12:12-14, 27; Eph 1:22-23). They are also called the "ekklesia," or those "called out to assemble under the headship of Christ Jesus". These take on the same characteristics of the Head and are classified as sons of God. (Rom. 8:23, 29-30; Rev. 14:1-5). The whole creation waits on tip toe with their necks outstretched looking for this first-fruit Christ to come out from behind the veil of the religious flesh and tradition that hidden them for so long. The groan of creation can be heard as they wait for this unveiling of sons, who will appear, as the high priest on the day of Atonement to announce the sacrifice was acceptable and sins have been canceled. (Rom. 8:19-23; Gal. 3:16-29; Heb. 9:26-28; 2Th 1:10). The glory that is to be revealed through this first-fruit company of sons will liberate all creation. You see, the creation was made subject to disappointment and misery. They were not subjected willingly to such an empty existence, but God subjected the same in the expectation of sons making this appearance to the creation. For then the creation itself will also be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty and glory of the offspring of God. Yes, we perceive the whole creation groaning and travailing in pain together until now, and not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the placement of a son, even the full redemption of our body. (Rom. 8:17-24).
The second category to be enlivened are those who belong to Christ in his presence. (1Co. 15:24). This speaks of a bride church, or those who continue to serve the Lord through their works and the keeping of laws. Through the prophet Isaiah the Lord said, "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burns." (Isa. 62:1). Here we see the promise of God to Zion, which speaks of the corporate son or Christ. We also see God's promise to Jerusalem, which represents the bride of Christ. This prophetic promise goes on to tell us that the Gentiles, or a new generation, will see the righteousness of the Christ and bride. This will cause God's salvation to shine bright as a lamp. Moreover, all kings or rulers will see the glory of the church, for it will be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord will name. These will also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of their God. The bride church will no longer be termed "Forsaken." Her inheritance will no longer be termed "Desolate." Instead the church will be called "My Delight," and her inheritance will be marriage, because the Lord delights in her. "As a young man marries a virgin, so will your sons marry you. As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so will your God rejoice over you." (Isa. 62:1-5).
After this comes the "end" or conclusion of the matter. (1Co. 15:24). This is speaking of the final order to be made alive in Christ Jesus. The Lord assured this when he said, "Verily, verily, I say to you, he that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has age quality life, and will not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." (John 5:24). That is, believing on the One who sent Jesus will enable one to pass from the death and condemnation of the first human creation into life and justification of the second humanity. (John 5:24). This final or end order includes all remaining creation. When all have been made alive from the Adamic death God manifestly becomes all in all. Notice, that God becomes all in all, not just all in some or some in all. (1Co. 15:22-28). In this is brought to pass the promise of the Jesus, "I am come that you might have life and that you might have more abundantly." (John 10:10).
It is of utmost importance for a believer to recognize he is no longer dead in sins and trespasses, but alive to God. Comprehending the old humanity, Adam, was crucified with Christ and the body of sin rendered ineffective, enables us to not serve sin. This is because we have died in Christ and are freed from sin. Now since we died with Christ, we also believe that we have been enlivened together with him. That is, death has no more dominion over him, because in that he died, he died to sin once for all time: but in that he lives, he lives to God. Likewise we take into account we also are dead to sin, but alive to God through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 6:6-11).
The Fifth Point Of The Gospel.
Next is point five and it follows the recognition of our having been enlivened together with Christ. Again, we need to rise up on the faith of Christ's accomplishment and tread or walk this revelation out before all creation. Not only have we been enlivened together with Christ, but we are raised together with Christ. (Eph. 2:6; Col. 3:1). Coming fully into this understanding will end the double minded religious confessions that declare, "I am a sinner, saved by grace. Pray for me that I hold out to the end." Let no one lead you astray; he who practices righteousness is righteous, even as Christ Jesus is righteous, but he who practices sin is of the devil. Jesus, the Son of God has been manifested, so he might undo the works of the devil. Whoever has been begotten or born of God does not practice sin, because God's seed abides in him, and he cannot sin. In this is manifest the offspring of God and the offspring of the devil. Whoever does not practice righteousness and love his brother is not of God. (1Jo. 3:7-10).
Now our participation in the life of Christ is absolutely necessary. Since we have been enlivened and raised together with Christ we are told to seek those things which are above where Christ sits in the right hand of God. (Col. 3:1-4). That is, we have died to all that is of the earth, earthy and are now enlivened and raised together in Christ. Now we are to lift our thinking and fix it on that which is above the earthen realm. It is true that we were of the world, but we have been chosen out of the world and are no longer a part of it. (John 15:19; 17:14-16). This is because we died and were enlivened together in Christ Jesus and our life is now hidden with Christ in God. It is out from our being raised in Christ that we begin to practice our true identity. This is done by practicing responsibility. I want to put a new focus on the word "responsibility." So often we see responsibility as duty, obligation, or burden that we must perform. However, a good friend once shared with me that responsibility is simply our "respond-ability" or "ability to respond to God." This is accomplished when we set our thinking on godly matters and learn to keep our thinking clear of sin consciousness and condemnation. (Rom. 8:1-2). Isaiah said the Lord will protect, with perfect peace, those whose minds cannot be changed. In recognizing that we have been raised with him we learn to always trust the Lord, because he is our everlasting rock. (Isa. 26:3-4). The mind that is fully confident in what the Lord has done is a stable mind, for God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. (1Ti. 1:7).
We can place our confidence in this very thing, he who began this good work in us will perform the work and perfect it. (Phil. 1:6). It is God who made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing. (Eph. 2:10). It is time to realize that even though we live in the world, we are not a part of the world. Even our warfare is not with conventional weapons of the world. Our weaponry is different from that used by the world, for our weapons have power through God who can destroy the enemy's strong places. We are capable of destroying people's arguments and every proud thing that raises itself against the knowledge of God. Moreover, we are able to capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ. (2Co. 10:3-6).
The Sixth Point Of The Gospel
We have finally arrived at point six of Paul's gospel. This point leads us to the throne where God makes us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:6; Col. 3:1). Now, if we fall short in fully comprehending and walking out any of the previous five points of the gospel we will also lose out on the experience of God's true purpose for our life in Christ. However, by participating in this gospel experience we appear with Christ in glory every time he appears. (Col. 3:1-4). This is where Paul's revelation concerning the revealed Christ comes to pass, which says, "He will come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day." (2Th. 1:10).
There is a special need to understand this sixth point of the gospel. The goal of a Christian is not to escape the earth in all of its perplexity by physical death or flying to a far off planet called Heaven. It is as Paul taught, "The grace of God that brings salvation appears to all humanity." Then it educates us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, by learning to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present age. Moreover, we are to look for that blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus, who gave himself for/as us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a specially purchased people, zealous of good works. Paul tells us that these things we are to speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Letting no one despise us. (Tit. 2:11-15).
One comes to this seating by rising upon the accomplishment of Christ Jesus by faith and then walking it out until he is fixed in its reality. The throne is not accessible by works, but by grace that works by faith. It is not of ourselves, but it is the gift of God, lest we would begin to boast in our accomplishments. (Eph. 2:5, 8-10; 2Ti. 1:9). The believer is now seated in heavenly places in Christ. Some would say, "that is heavenly places, and not Heaven." However, in the book of Ephesians we find that God raised up Christ Jesus from the dead and sat him at his own right hand in heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. (Eph 1:21-23). Thus we see that the Head Christ, Jesus, is seated on the right hand side of God in heavenly places. So wherever God is seated, Christ Jesus is seated and we are seated with them.
The book of Hebrews tells us, as the high priest after the order of Melchesedic, Jesus offered one perpetual sacrifice for sins, then he sat down on the right hand side of God to wait until all his enemies become his footstool. (Psa. 110:04; Heb. 5:6, 10:11-13). In Paul's writing to the Ephesians we learn that when God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he set him at his right hand in the heavenlies, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come. Moreover, he put all under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that fills all in all. (Eph. 1:20-23). To some this would appear to be a contradiction, until we read in the book of Hebrews that all is presently under the feet of Jesus, but there is a body that must walk out this victory within the earth realm. (Heb. 2:5-9). The prophet Isaiah agreed with this when he said, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace; that brings good tidings of good, that publishes salvation; that saith to Zion, 'Your God reigns!" (Isa. 52:7). Now, when Paul quotes this scripture he says, "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Rom. 10:15). As we can see the singular becomes a corporate expression. Again, the prophet Obadiah agreed when he said, "Saviors will come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom will be the Lord's." (Obad. 1:21). This is the plan of the Father, to manifest that all enemies are under the feet of Christ Jesus through a corporate rule of Christ. This reign of Christ will continue until God becomes all in all. (1Co. 15:24-28;).
I told you in the beginning that my kidneys had instructed me in my night season. It was from that instruction I learned of the need to encourage the body of Christ to filter out all superfluous, profane and vain babbling, so that the ability to reproduce the life of Christ would once again spring up in our midst. Well, I am convinced that this simple message is what we must return to, until all that is within us and through us is Christ Jesus crucified, died, buried, enlivened, raised and seated.
In my own body the result of stirring the church's awareness with this message has resulted in an increase of my kidney function. On my last visit with the doctor, he came into the examination room to read my chart. His said, "Stacy, I must begin with this, this never happens, but your kidneys that were functioning at eighteen percent, are now functioning at thirty-three percent." He went on to say, "I don't know what the gospel is that you preach, but I want to say, keep preaching it!" PTL! We do need a one hundred percent recovery. And this healing is slowly coming, as it becomes manifest in the body of Christ, with the birthing of a new generation into the kingdom of God and of his Christ.
Therefore, "I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my
flesh also will rest in hope. For you will not leave
my soul in Sheol, nor will you allow your holy one to
see corruption. You will show me the path of life; in
your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand
are pleasures forevermore." (Psa 16:8-11).
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