Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 54

Henrik J.

A Kiviniemi

Abundant Blessings of the Spiritual Reg eneration

Collection of writings concerning the basics of the Christian faith in the light of the Scriptures

Collection of writings concerning the basics of the Christian faith in the light of the Scriptures

Abundant Blessings of the Spiritual Regeneration

Second, extended version 2011

Henrik J.A Kiviniemi 2010

Memorial verse:

Because of His mercy, God saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour Titus 3:5-6

All rights reserved in accordance with international copyright laws No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, 2

electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without permission in writing from the publisher/author: armotalous@gmail.com Most of the Scripture quotations are from the King James Version, unless otherwise stated. Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Front cover design by Marko Lind

Index:
0.1 Foreword 0.2 Preface to the second, extended edition 1. Why we need God and why we need regeneration? 2. How I found God 3. What does it mean to be born again? 4. What does it mean to be holy? 5. The infilling of the Holy Spirit: Empowering after regeneration 6. Power of the Holy Spirit in believer 7. Transforming the hearts by the power of the Spirit 8. Healing our inner wounds through the fruits of the regeneration 9. What are the benefits of the water baptism? 10. 11. 12. 13. How to become an intimate friend with Jesus Basis of Christian moral values Growing in the Christian integrity and identity What is the Kingdom of God?

Appendix: - My Christological Creed - My worship psalm


3

- Sinners Prayer - Anti-drug exhortation - About the author and contact information

0.1Foreword

Ihavegonethroughmanypainfulandwonderfuleventsinlife,whichhavetakenmeto thispointwhereIfeelreadytorepresentandtestifysomeofthegloriesoftheLiving God.EversinceIwassaved,IsubmittedmyselftotheserviceoftheLord.IsaidtoHim: LordJesus,ifyouwanttosaveme andhealme,IwillserveYouinanywayYouseefit. Andthenontheopportunitieshaveappeared. ThanksbetheGodforthefactthatIhavelearnedtheprofoundtruthinthewordsofthe Lord: ThewaterthatIwillgivehimwillbecomeinhimaspringofwaterwellinguptoeternallife." (John4:14bESV). IfeelthatthethankfulheartofathankfulandsavedsinnerissomethingGodloves.He likesustohearusofferingthankstoHimwithourlips(Hos.14:2).Thisisnotmerely prayinginsecretornotonlyworshippingandpraisingincongregationwhichbothare good,butalsotodoitinsuchmannerbywhichmayreachtheunsavedpeople. Thusitseemedvalidtowriteaboutthegoodnessandmercythathadcometomefrom God.ThisbookletisnotanautobiographythoughIwillpresentsomepersonal experiencesinageneralmanner.Evenso,Ihave writteninordertopresentthespiritualblessingsIhavereceivedfromtheLivingand TrueGod,inthelightoftheScriptureandsounddoctrine. 4

Itismysincerebeliefthatbygivingyourselfentirelyintothehandsofthemerciful SaviourJesusyoumayhaveabundantandexcitinglife.ThisworkofmineIhave intendedtobeusednotonlyasawitnessingtoolfor unbelievers,butratherasandexhortationtosincereseekerswhohavenotyetfound theirpeaceintheLord'sSpirit,andalsotomybornagainbrothersandsisters,whomay feelthecloudsofdepressionandapathyenteringintotheirspirituallife.Hopefullythis humblepresentationmay serveatleastsomeoneintheirjourneytowardstheNewJerusalem.

Mysoulwillbesatisfiedaswithfatandrichfood,andmymouthwillpraiseyouwith joyfullips Psalm63:5ESV

HenrikJ.AKiviniemi, Finland,22thApril2010

0.2Prefacetothesecond,extendededition

Havingreceivedsomeencouragingreceptionfrompeoplewhoreadthislittlebookof mine,andhavinginmeantimegrowninmyownunderstanding,Idecidedtoeditand extendthisworkslightlytobemorepreciseandthusmorehelpful.Myvisionisthatthis bookletwillbealifelongprojectandassuch,abletogrowevenasIgrowasaperson andadiscipleofJesus. IwanttounderlineespeciallytheutmostneedfortheconstantinfillingoftheHoly Spirit,whichisonlypossibleifwehavealivingrelationshipwithourLordJesus.Living relationshipwithJesus,inmyunderstanding,isanothertermforsavingfaith.Itis written,withoutfaithitisimpossibletopleaseGod(Hebrews11:6).IfwiththisworkI canbeacoworkerofGodinbringingatleastsomeoneintothesavingfaithinJesus,my workisnotvain.Fromthishopeoriginatestheneedtoupgradethisbookletandtryto makeitavailabletomany,particularlytothemissionfield. Ihavechangedtheorderofsomeofthearticlesandaddedchapters1,5and10.Ialso removedashortchapternamedRelationshipbetweenconversionandregenerationas 5

basicallyunnecessaryrepetitionofthingsalreadysaid.Someminorchangeshavebeen donealsotootherchapters. Muchmorecouldhavebeendone,andIamopentosuggestionsandcritic,andalso welcomecowriterstojoinmeinfutureedition,ortranslationtootherlanguages(their namesmentioneduponrequest). InthetimeIamwritingthis,Iamalreadyworkingonathirdeditionofthisbook,which includeschaptersaboutGodselectionandthetrustworthinessoftheBible.Emailmeto enquireabouttheavailabilityoftheneweditions,aswellaspossibleversionsinother languages. (Finnishversion,whichcurrentlydiffersslightlyfromthissecond,englishedition,is availablecurrently). I,theauthor,canbecontactedthroughemail:armotalous@gmail.com

27thofMay2011, inFinland, HenrikJ.AKiviniemi,B.D.

1.WhyweneedGodand whyweneedregeneration?

Bydefinition,Godisasupernaturalbeing.Thatmeanssomethingthatsurprasseshuman understanding.Eventhoughatheismseemsatriumphingworldviewinsomeacademic circles,thefactremainsmostpeopleintheworldbelievethereissomethinggreaterthan us.Scientistsclaimtheyhaveevenfoundagenethatmakeusreligious! WhateverthefinaltruthaboutGodgene,humanhistoryandexperienceshows,that thereisagreatdesiretofindananswertothebigquestionsofexistence,purposeoflife, whathappensafterwedieandsoon. Forme,theauthor,itseemsreasonabletocomeuptoconclusion,thateverythingwesee inthenatureanduniversemusthaveanIntelligentDesigner.Ihopetofindtimetowrite 6

aboutthereasonswhyIfindJudeoChristianworldviewtobebothlogicalandtrue explanationforourexistence. ThereisagiganticamountofapologeticalChristianliteratureavailabletothose,who wanttocheckthefactsaboutissueslikereliabilityoftheBible,existenceofGodandthe MessiahshipofJesusofNazareth. (Iplantowriteanotherbookonthesesubjectssometimeinthefuture.Thoseinterested tolearnmoreabouttheseissues,IinvitetoenrolltoafreeStudyCourseonBible,or otherwisecorrespondewithme,theauthor:armotalous@gmail.com). NowthatwestarttosearchtheScripturestostudythetopicsofthisbook,please checkeverythingfromyourownBible,asthenobleBereansdid(seeActs17:1011). Rememberthateverything(includingthisbook),mustbeweightedonthebasisofthe WordofGod.(IfyoudonothaveyourownBible,pleasecontactus armotalous@gmail.com,sowecandoourbesttohelpyoutogetone!) ThemostcompellingevidenceforexistenceofGodandthatJesusofNazarethisHisSon, alivetoday,isthefactthatJesussavespeopleeventoday.Manyhavebeensavedfrom literalperil,evenmorehavebeensavedspiritually.Ihaveexperiencedbothsidesof Godssavingpower,ofwhichIwillgivetestimonyinbelow. NowIwanttodiscuss,whyweneedtobesavedatfirstplace.Firstofall,fewdisagree thatthereis,andhasalwaysbeen,agreatamountofmiseryinhumanlifeonthisearth. ThisisalsowhysomepeoplerefusetobelieveinGod.Becauseofthephysical, emotional,psychologicalandspiritualcorruptionmankindhasfalleninto,whichwecan verifytoourselvesbywatchingthenews,weneedtobesaved.Indeedweneeda Saviour. Biblicalstorytellsus,thatGodistheCreatorbehindeverything.Hecreatedallthings andallofitwasgood(seeGenesis1:31).Thiswastheoriginalsituation. Thentherecamesin.SinmeanseverythingthatisagainstandcontrarytoGods purposes.Whatmakessinpossible,isthefactGodgavetoHisintelligent,selfconscious creaturesafreewilltochoosewhethertheywishtoobeyHimornot.Thisdoesntmean Godpushesanyonetosin(seeJames1:1314).GodlovesHiscreaturesandwantsthemto serveHimoutoflove. FirstpersonthatchoosetoservehimselfratherthanGodwasanangelicbeing(non corporealspiritcreature)commonlycalledLucifer(seeIsaiah14:12KJV).Hebecameto befullofprideandwantedtohaveforhimselftheworshipandadmirationthatis reservedsolelyfortheGod(seeEzekiel28:1217).Laterthisrebelliousangelbecame knownasSatan,thatisanAccuserinHebrew. 7

BecauseofthisrebellionofLucifer,sinandsufferingenteredintotheuniverse.Bibletells usthatthisrenegadeangelincitedotherangelstojoinhisrebellion.Thesebeingsbecame thenceforthtobeknownasdemons. Modernscienceacceptsthefactthatallmenandwomenalivetodayaredescendedon onemaleandonefemale.Biblical,JudeoChristiantraditionis,thatthisfirstcouplewere knownasAdamandEve(seeGenesis1:27;2:78).OriginallyGodcreatedthemtolivein perfectconditionsonearth.Theyweremeanttoliveinabeautifulgardenknownas Eden(seeGenesis1:28;2:8,15). ButSatanwasenviousforGodbecauseoftheworshipthesenewcreatures,human beingsgavetoGod.HewantedhumanbeingstoworshipandservehimratherthanGod (seeMatthew4:810,Psalm106:3638,1.Corinthians10:20).Itcouldbe,thathewasalso bitterbecauseofhispride,forhisappointmenttobeaserventofAdamandEveinthe gardenhewasoriginallyinchargefor(seeEzekiel28:13,Hebrews1:14). Whicheverthefinalreasonsforhisrebellion,Satandisguisedhimselfasaserpent(see Genesis3:1,Revelation20:2)andseducedEve,andAdamthroughhertobreaktheonly commandmentGodhadgiventhefirsthumancouple,thattheyshouldnoteatfroma certaintreeinthecenterofthegardenofEden(seeGenesis3:115). BreakingthelawofGodbroughtsinintotheworldandthusdeathandsuffering.Bible tellsusofthis: Wherefore,asbyonemansinenteredintotheworld,anddeathbysin;andsodeathpassedupon allmen,forthatallhavesinnedRomans5:12. Godcouldhavedestroyedtheoriginalrebelsfirsthand,andmanypeoplehave wonderedthroughouttheageswhyHedidnt.Therearenoeasyorfinalanswerstothis questionsinthisworld,buttherearesomethingsworthytoconsider. First,tohaveafreedomofchoise,freedomofwillisafirstandforemostqualityonemust havetobeanintelligentbeingthatisconsciousofitsexistence.Godcreatedhuman beingsinHisimage(seeGenesis1:2627).TobesomethinglikeGodmeanstobeableto makepersonaldecisionsandbecreative.Tobeabletoloveoutoftheirfreewill, intellingentbeingsmusthaveanabilitytochoosenottoloveGod. Soitis,thatGodcreatedangelsandmentohaveanabilitytochoosewhetherornotto loveandobeyHim(seeDeuteronomy30:19,Joshua24:15,Proverbs1:29,Isaiah7:15). Unfortunately,aswehaveseensomechosetofollowtheirownwaysinsteadofGods.

Now,besidesthatSatanseducedourforeparentsandamultitudeoftheheavenlyhostto rebelagainstGod,healsoclaimedthatpeoplewouldserveGodonlytohavepersonal benefitfromHim,andnotoutoflove.InthecaseofJob,hetrulyshewhischaracterasan accuserofbrethren(seeRev.12:10,Job1:911).HesaidthatJob,awealthymanserved GodonlybecauseoftheblessingsandprotectionGodgavetohim,butthathewould forfeithisfaithifonlyGodwouldwithdrewHisprotection. InthecaseofJobSatanwasprovenwrong.Evenmoresowasheprovenwronginthelife ofJesustheMessiah,whoneversinnedagainsttheGod(see2.Corinthians5:21, Philippians2:8). Now,becauseofthesinthatenteredintotheworldofmen,allpeopleareunderthe curseofsin(seeRomans5:12,17,Genesis3:1619).GodwarnedAdamofthedire consequensesofdisobedience: AndtheLORDGodcommandedtheman,saying,Ofeverytreeofthegardenthoumayestfreely eat:Butofthetreeoftheknowledgeofgoodandevil,thoushaltnoteatofit:forinthedaythat thoueatestthereofthoushaltsurelydie. Genesis2:1617. Bibleunderlinestheseriousnessofsinelsewhereandsaysthatsinbringspenaltyof death: Thesoulthatsinneth,itshalldie!Ezekiel18:20. thewagesofsinisdeathRomans6:23. IhavefoundtheretobethreeattributesinthedeathsentenceGodgavetoAdamand Evefortheirdisobedience.Firstisthephysicaldeath:AdamandEvewouldnothave neededtodielesttheyhadsinned,becauseGodhadcreatedalsotheTreeofLifewhereof theycouldhavehadeatenifonlydidtheydbeprovenobedient(seeGenesis3:22). Secondisthespiritualdeath:theSpiritofGodfledfromthesinnersandleftthem spirituallyblindanddead(seeEphesians2:1,2.Corinthians1:910;5:14).Thirdly,thereis alsoasinisterwarningofanescatological,seconddeaththatisreservedforthosewho persistintheirrebellionagainstGod,andwhichisexecutedintheLastJudgement(see Hebrews10:27,2.Peter2:9;3:7,Revelation20:6,1314). Inthisbookweshallconcentrateinthespiritualdeaththatisuponmankind.Weshall summarizethatbecausemankindissubjectedtospiritualdeath,whichwasnotits originalstatebeforetheFall,thereisaneedforspiritualrevival,aregeneration. ItisimpliedintheBible,thatSatanalsowantspeopletobelievethatGodisatyrant,who willnotdeliverthemfromthecurseGodinflicteduponthem(seeJob4:1718).Thereare manyfacesofthislie:onesayswehavetoearnourownfreedom,othermaintainsthere

isnoneedfordeliverance,whilesomesayGodsimplywillnotinterfereinourlives.This isalieandincontrararytothepromiseGodmadetoourforeparents: Iwillputenmitybetweenthee[theSerpent]andthewoman,andbetweenthyseedandherseed; itshallbruisethyhead,andthoushaltbruisehisheel.Genesis3:15 [NotethatitwaswomansseedandthuslytheMessiahJesuswasbornofawoman withoutphysicalfather,seeMatthew1:23]. LaterGodpromisedtoAbrahamthatthisbruiseroftheSerpentsheadwouldbecomeof hisseed: Inthyseedshallallthenationsoftheearthbeblessed;becausethouhastobeyedmyvoice. Genesis22:18. HowdidAbrahamobeyGod?Becausehedidnotdenyhisson,butwasreadytosacrifice himbecauseofGodscommandment(readGenesis22:1116).Heshewextraordianary faithinthepowerofGod.Itissaid: ByfaithAbraham,whenhewastried,offeredupIsaac:andhethathadreceivedthepromises offereduphisonlybegottenson,Ofwhomitwassaid,ThatinIsaacshallthyseedbecalled: AccountingthatGodwasabletoraisehimup,evenfromthedead;fromwhencealsohereceived himinafigure.Hebrews11:1719. ThiswasatypologyofGodtheFatherandMessiahJesus.GoddidnotdenyHisOnly begottenSontobesacrificedforthesinsoftheworld,andtheSonwillinglyobeyed. ForGodsolovedtheworld,thathegavehisonlybegottenSon,thatwhosoeverbelievethinhim shouldnotperish,buthaveeverlastinglife.John3:16. Iamthegoodshepherd:thegoodshepherdgivethhislifeforthesheep.Thereforedothmy Fatherloveme,becauseIlaydownmylife,thatImighttakeitagain.Nomantakethitfromme, butIlayitdownofmyself.Ihavepowertolayitdown,andIhavepowertotakeitagain.This commandmenthaveIreceivedofmyFather.John10:11,1718. AbrahamshewfaithinGodansweringtoIsaacsquestionwherethesacrificeis:Myson, Godwillprovidehimselfalambforaburntoffering(Gen.22:8).WhenJohntheBaptistsaw Jesushesaid:BeholdtheLambofGod,whichtakethawaythesinoftheworld.John1:29. SoitwasGodsplantoraiseupaseedfromamongthemankind,whichwouldbeamong Hischosenpeople,thatcametobeIsrael.Jesusistheultimaterepresentatorandgoalof thatseed.Biblesays:

10

NowtoAbrahamandhisseedwerethepromisesmade.Hesaithnot,Andtoseeds,asofmany; butasofone,Andtothyseed,whichisChrist.Galatians3:16. Whythenisitso,thatthepromisedMessiahhadtodie? BibletellsusthatsinofAdambroughtdeathuponus: Forifbyoneman'soffencedeathreignedbyone;muchmoretheywhichreceiveabundanceof graceandofthegiftofrighteousnessshallreigninlifebyone,JesusChrist. Romans5:17 ThroughAdamweinheritspiritualdeath.Ourinnermostbeing,ourspiritifyouallow,is inthestateofdeath,andasweshallseeinlaterchapters,GodsSpiritcanregenerateit. ButthereisyetmoretobedealtwithaswediscussthedeathofChrist. SatanhadclaimedthatnoonewouldsucceedkeepingGodslaws.GodhadgivenHis lawtothesonsofIsraelasatestimonyofHiswill(seethepeakofHislaw,theDecalogue inExodus20:119,seealsoRomans3:20).BoththeNewTestamentandRabbinicJudaism maintain,thatbreakingonecommandmentofthelawistantamounttobreakingthe wholelaw: Forwhosoevershallkeepthewholelaw,andyetoffendinonepoint,heisguiltyofall. James2:10 NowJesuskeptthewholelawanddiedinsinlessstate: Forhe[God]hathmadehim[Jesus]tobesinforus,whoknewnosin;thatwemightbemade therighteousnessofGodinhim.2.Corinthians5:20 Andbeingfoundinfashionasaman,he[Jesus]humbledhimself,andbecameobedientunto death,eventhedeathofthecross.Philippians2:8. BecauseJesuskeptthelawofGod,Hewasproventoberighteous.Hisobedience proofedSatansclaimstobewithoutcredence. Thedivinedeathsentencewhichbelongstous,wascarriedbyJesusonourbehalf.To makemoreclearwhatJesusdidforusandwhy,considerthis:TherewasacaseinNazi Germany,thattherewasaCatholicPriestinconcentrationcamp.NowaJewishmanwas chosentobekilled,butthepriestvolunteeredtobekilledinsteadofhimandthuslywas killed. InthisthepriestimitatedJesus'sacrificiallove.Jesusdiedforus,sothatwewouldnot havetobespirituallydeadanymore,andthatwewouldescapetheterriblefiery perditionandliveforeverinHisgloryintheNewHeavensandtheNewEarthaswe shouldhavelivedlesttheFallhadhappened. 11

BibletellsusabouttheworkChristdidforusintheCalvary: GodwasinChrist,reconcilingtheworlduntohimself,notimputingtheirtrespassesuntothem 2.Corinthians5:19. EventherighteousnessofGodwhichisbyfaithofJesusChristuntoallanduponallthemthat believe:forthereisnodifference:Forallhavesinned,andcomeshortofthegloryofGod;Being justifiedfreelybyhisgracethroughtheredemptionthatisinChristJesus:WhomGodhathset forthtobeapropitiationthroughfaithinhisblood,todeclarehisrighteousnessfortheremission ofsinsthatarepast,throughtheforbearanceofGodRomans3:2225. InHislawHegavetochildrenofIsrael,Godhadordainedthattheinnocentanimals wouldhavetobesacrificedinsteadofthesinsofpeople.BecauseHehadordainedand toldinEden,thatthosewhosinshalldie,thenitislogicaltounderstandthatbloodhas tobeshedtohaveanyhopefortheremissionfromsin.Weread: Andalmostallthingsarebythelawpurgedwithblood;andwithoutsheddingofbloodisno remission.Hebrews9:22. Itbecameobviousthatnoonecouldkeepthewholelaw,becauseofourinherentsin.But thelawisgood!ThisistomakeusunderstandthatwesimplycantsatisfyGodsjustice byourowndeeds.So,inaway,thelawbecameacursethatshewourfaults.Thisis howJesusbecamealsosolutionforthis. Christhathredeemedusfromthecurseofthelaw,beingmadeacurseforus:foritiswritten, CursediseveryonethathangethonatreeGalatians3:13 ForChrististheend[fulfillment]ofthelawforrighteousnesstoeveryonethatbelieveth.For Mosesdescribeththerighteousnesswhichisofthelaw,Thatthemanwhichdoeththosethings shalllivebythem.Romans10:45. ThereisyetanotheraspectoftheworkofChristinCalvary.BylayingupHislife,He paidransomforus.Biblesays: ForthereisoneGod,andonemediatorbetweenGodandmen,themanChristJesus;Whogave himselfaransomforall,tobetestifiedinduetime.1.Timothy2:56. Ransommeansacorrespondingprice.Adamisourforefather.Hesoldusintobondage ofsin(seeRomans5:12,17).AdamwascreatedintheimageofGodandiscalledasonof God(seeLuke3:38).NowJesuswasanunique,OnlybegottenSonofGodevenprior Hisincarnation.ButHebecameaman,wasbornfullyhuman,justwithoutsin,like

12

AdamwasinEdenpriortohisfall.Adamfell,Jesusdidnot,thoughHewastemptedin everywayliketheBibletestifies: Forwehavenotanhighpriestwhichcannotbetouchedwiththefeelingofourinfirmities;but [Jesus]wasinallpointstemptedlikeasweare,yetwithoutsin.Hebrews4:15. HowdidJesuspaythisransom,thewagesofsin?Bydyingforus.Thiswasprophesied hundredsofyearbeforeHewasborn: Surelyhehathborneourgriefs,andcarriedoursorrows:yetwedidesteemhimstricken,smitten ofGod,andafflicted.Buthewaswoundedforourtransgressions,hewasbruisedforour iniquities:thechastisementofourpeacewasuponhim;andwithhisstripeswearehealed.Yet itpleasedtheLORDtobruisehim;hehathputhimtogrief:whenthoushaltmakehissoulan offeringforsin,heshallseehisseed,heshallprolonghisdays,andthepleasureoftheLORDshall prosperinhishand.Isaiah53:45,10. Mankindneededanewlegalfather(inGodsjusiticesystem)insteadofAdamwhofell. ItwasprophesiedthattheMessiahwouldbethisnewfatherofmankind(seeIsaiah9:6; 53:10).Thedivinerevelation(Bible)givesusmoreinsightonthis: ForasinAdamalldie,evensoinChristshallallbemadealive.Andsoitiswritten,Thefirst manAdamwasmadealivingsoul;thelastAdamwasmadeaquickeningspirit. 1.Corinthians15:22,45 BecauseJesusdiedandisrisenfromthegrave,wearenowabletobecomeadoptedto Hisfamily,thefamilyofIsraelanditsroyalDavidicline,butevenuntothefamilyof God(seeGalatians4:5,Ephesians1:5,1.Peter2:9,Revelation5:10)! Bibletellsushowgentiles(thosewhoarenotofIsraelbythephysicaldescendence)are reconsiledtoIsraelthroughtheMessiah: ButnowinChristJesusyewhosometimeswerefaroffaremadenighbythebloodofChrist.For heisourpeace,whohathmadebothone,andhathbrokendownthemiddlewallofpartition betweenus;Havingabolishedinhisfleshtheenmity,eventhelawofcommandmentscontainedin ordinances;fortomakeinhimselfoftwainonenewman,somakingpeace.Andthathemight reconcilebothuntoGodinonebodybythecross,havingslaintheenmitythereby.Ephesians 2:1316. ThuslywehaveallthespiritualrightsofIsrael.IntheKingdomofthenextAgewewill alsoinherittheearthandbekingsandpriestsinitbecauseweparticipateinthefamilyof DavidthroughJesus,towhosefamilywaspromisedperpetualkingship.

13

PhysicalIsraelisalsoreconciledtotheirMessiahthroughHissacrificialdeath,and eschatologicallyweanticipatetheremovaloftheveilfromtheireyessotheywillreceive JesusastheirMessiah.(LetitbesaidasasidenoticethatthereisonlyoneNewCovenant betweenGodandmen,andthatJewsandnonJewsalikeareacceptedinitonlythrough faithinJesusChrist). ResurrectionandascencionofJesusmadetheHolySpiritavailableforall.Thusafterthe firstMessianicPentecostcountlessmultitudeofpeoplehavebeenregeneratedasNew CreaturesthroughtheministryofHolySpirit. TosummarizethemessageIhavemeanttodeliverinthischapter,letusyetbrieflymake shortnarrative: Godsplanforsalvationisawholisticplan.Godallowedrebellion,becauseHeisLove anddoesnotwanttoforceanyonetoserveHim.HehasgivenSatanandmankindtime towanderintheirownpaths. GodhadaplanforthesalvationofmankindthroughthepromisedDeliverer,Messiah. First,GodsavedNoahandhisfamilyandgavethemoutlinesofHiswillinthesocalled Noachide(orRainbow)Covenant.ThenGodchoseAbrahamandhissonIsaac,andhis sonJacobtobeavesselsandtypesforthepromisedseed.LaterGodchoseDavidas kingofIsrael. OftherootofDavidcameJesus,whowastheSonofManandtheSonofGod,bothin oneperson.Jesuspaidthewagesofsininthecrossandwasrisenfromgraveonthethird day. ThroughthefaithinJesuswecanbeabsolvedfromoursinsandbereconsiledtoGod andadoptedtoHisfamily.Infuture,JesuswillcomebacktothisearthwithHissaints establishingHisKingdomandregeneratingthisplanetintooriginal,Edeniccondition. AdoptionintothefamilyofGodopensthedivinetreasuryofspiritualblessingsevenin thislifeandeverlastinglyintheworldtocome.Itistheonlysolutionfortheproblemof spiritualdeath,(andindeedtoallofourproblems). InthenextchapterIwillgivedetailshowI,theauthorbecameadoptedintoGods family. Thereisyetquestionsleft.MostareansweredintheHolyBible.Somewillbeanswered, (withtheBible),inthechaptersbelow,allareansweredintheAgetocome. ItismysinceredesirethatsomewouldbetouchedbytheHolySpiritthroughmy ministryandthisbook.

14

~
2.HowIfoundGod?

ThoughIwillnotgointomylife,pastandpresentinfulldetailatthistime,Ifeelthat thisbookwouldindeednotbe soprofoundwithoutanytestimonyinmypart.Soletusseewhathappenedtomeand whatIwentthroughtofindGod. Whenwritingthis,Iam27yearsyoung(in2010).Ihaveknownthebiblicalstoriessince mychildhoodinsomewhatreligioushome.Myparentstriedtheirbesttoraisemeasa moralperson.IevenmadeaknowingdecisiontofollowJesusattheageof12,after readingtheNewTestamenttheGideonsgaveusatschool. Evenso,Ifoundtheworldaveryhostileandunjustplacetoliveevenatayoungage. LikeMoseswhokilledtheEgyptian,Ichosethewrongmethodstofightthenumerous faultsandinjusticesoftheworld.SoIrebelledagainst therulesandlawsandeventuallyfoundmyselfbeingapartoftheproblemofthe world'sallevilmyself. ThiswasnotbecauseIwouldnotbelieveinGodorthatHewantsmentoleadamoral life.ItwasbecauseIlackedthetrueknowledgeofHimandthatIdidnotknowhowto trulyletHimtoliveinmyheart. Ihadslowlytransformedfromaniceandgoodintendedboyintoaviolentandhateful person.Icommittedmanysortsofcrimes,mostlyinvolvingphysicalviolence,gunsand drugs.Iwenttoprisonafewtimes.IrememberthatalwayswhenIwaseitherinjailorin prison,IsoughtGodandreadHisWord.BoydidIreadit,yesIreadtheWord Verythoroughlyandwiththehelpofmanytranslationandothertoolsduringmy imprisonment. Despitethat,IdidnottrulyknowtheLordandcouldnotsubmitmyselffullytoHim. ThusIfailedtoreceivetheNewSpiritfromHim,buthadtowentthroughmanyhorrible eventsinmylife. ButGodinHisOmnisciencesawmyheart'sdesireandhungertoknowHim.HesentHis angelsmanytimestosavemefromcertaindeath. Oneparticulareventthatmademethinkaboutlifeandit'smeaningwasafterIplayed theRussianRoulettepointedtherevolverwithonecartridgeinsideitatmyownhead aboutfifteentimes.Lasttimethecartridgewasthere,butthebulletjustdidn'tfire! 15

Maythereasonbewhatever,tomeitwasandstillisaclearsingofGod'smercyand benevolencetome.Thiswascertainlynotthefirstorlastcasesomethinglikethat happenedtome,butIsavetherestforperhapstoanotheroccasion. SoIwanderedtheworldwreakinghavocinmyownlifeandthatofothers.ThenI reachedapointwhenIwasutterlyexhaustedphysicallyandemotionally.IfeltIwas comingintoendofmylife.Iwaslivinginaworldofconstantpresenceofthedeath.I knewIhadnotusedthegiftoflifeasitwasmeantandIfeltsorryforit.Ididbelieve alreadyinGodandinJesus,andknewthatBiblewastheWordofGod,butforsome reasonIhadnothadthepowertogiveupthesin.ThereforeIwasverydisappointedin myselfandinreligion.SoIjustgaveupandprayedonenightatmyownchamber somethinglikethis: LordJesus,ifyouwanttosavemeandgivemepowertolivelifeasGodhasmeantmentoliveit, IwanttobelieveYoucan.I'mgivingupeverythingtoYouandifYoushowmemercy,Iwill serveYouonYourconditionstherestofmylife. ThenextmorningIwokeupIfoundmyconscienceclearascrystalandwhiteassnow.I feltlikeIhadrecoveredfromalifelongspiritualdeath. ThatwasthebeginningofmylifeasaNewCreature.Hallelujah!

~
3.Whatdoesitmeantobebornagain?

ThisisoneoftheveryfirstissuesIfacedasaNewCreature.Thefunnythingwas,thatat firstIwassomuchinfluencedbyHighChurchtheology(thatis,Christianitythatwas transformedintoastatereligion)thatIfailedtounderstandIwasinfactregeneratedby theSpirit.EventhoughthishadhappeneddefactoIdidnotunderstanditbeforecertain brotherhintedmetolookatatJohnchapter3. SoIdidandsoonIwrotethisarticle. KEYVERSE: "Jesusansweredandsaiduntohim,Verily,verily,Isayuntothee,Exceptamanbebornagain, hecannotseethekingdomofGod."John3:3 HereJesuswasspeakingtothephariseenamedNicodemus.ThesewordsoftheLord Jesusarequiteclear.HowevertheinterpretationoftheissueinScripturesisvaried.As

16

thetrueseekerseekstherealtruth,insteadofpickingdoctrinethere,abandoningonehere justonthebasisoshisorherpersonalamusement,oneof thehonestheartoughttoseektheGod'struth. TheissueofChristianrebirthshouldnotbetakenlightly,aswereadtheLord'swords. TobebornagainmeanstobeassuredtheentranceandinheritanceoftheKingdomof God.Itiswritten: "Foryehavenotreceivedthespiritofbondageagaintofear;butyehavereceivedtheSpiritof adoption,wherebywecry,Abba,Father.TheSpirititselfbearethwitnesswithourspirit,thatwe arethechildrenofGod:Andifchildren,thenheirs;heirsofGod,andjointheirswithChrist;ifso bethatwesufferwithhim,thatwemaybealsoglorifiedtogether."Romans8:1517. ThusweareassuredbytheLivingSpiritofGod,whodwellsinus,thatwearethe childrenofGod,whenwehavebeensaved,wehavetakenJesusChristasourSaviorand givenourwholelifetotallytoGod.Itisalso,asweread,thetestimonyoftheScripture. Howthen,isonebornagain?Somesaythatithappenswhenthepriestsprinkles(or pours)waterthreetimestotheforeheadofbabychild(doctrineofbaptismalregeneration). Butthatcustomtendstogivesuggestionthatitisuptoparentsandprieststoassureone ofspiritualrebirth.Itmayevenbringpeopletofalsesenseofbeingunderthemercyof God.Lordsaid: "Evensoeverygoodtreebringethforthgoodfruit;butacorrupttreebringethforthevilfruit. Whereforebytheirfruitsyeshallknowthem.Noteveryonethatsaithuntome,Lord,Lord,shall enterintothekingdomofheaven;buthethatdoeththewillofmyFatherwhichisinheaven." Matthew7:17,2021 So,ifthesprinklingofbabiesbringstheassuranceofsalvation,thenmostofthepeople eventodayinChristianworldoughttobeargoodfruit.Isitso?Whatdoweseeinnews? Prisonsandbrothelsarefullofpeoplewhohavebeenbaptizedasachild.Doestheir behaviortestify theyhavebeenBornAgainfromabove?Surelynot.Trueandgenuinerebirthincludes thingsandbringsthefruitwhichiswrittenbyPaul: "Ibeseechyoutherefore,brethren,bythemerciesofGod,thatyepresentyourbodiesaliving sacrifice,holy,acceptableuntoGod,whichisyourreasonableservice.Andbenotconformedto thisworld:butbeyetransformedbytherenewingofyourmind,thatyemayprovewhatisthat good,andacceptable,andperfect,willofGod."Romans12:12.

17

Howthendoweachievethis?Isthissalvationbyworks? TherealandfactualeventofRebirthtakesplace,whenonetrulytakesJesusforhisorher personalsavior.Thisincludes,asIwrotebefore,thatwegivethefullnessofourselvesto theLORD.AcceptingtheatoningworkofChristasasubstituteLambforoursinsmakes us righteousbeforetheeyesofGodtheFather.ThuswealsoreceivetheHolySpirit,when wetakeJesus. Rebirthis"fromabove",itisthemiraculousworkofGodandnotofman.Wecannot choosetobebornagain,butoughttoexpectit,ifwegiveourselvestoHim.Godmakes usNewMen.PaulundertheinspirationoftheHolySpirit,madeitveryclearthatitis notsomethingwecanachievethroughrituals. "ForinChristJesusneithercircumcisionavailethanything,nor uncircumcision,butanewcreature."Galatians6:15 LetusnowconsiderwhatelseJesussaidtoNicodemus: Jesusanswered,Verily,verily,Isayuntothee,ExceptamanbebornofwaterandoftheSpirit, hecannotenterintothekingdomofGod.Thatwhichisbornofthefleshisflesh;andthatwhichis bornoftheSpiritisspirit."John3:56 Now,thosewhooveremphasizethesacramentalaspectofthebaptismmaysaythathere Jesusclearlyinstitutesthesacramentofbaptism,bywhichtherebirthoccurs.Thecontext andthewholeoftheBibledoesnotallowthiskindofinterpretation.Jesusalsosaid,as writtendownbythesameapostleJohn: "Jesusansweredandsaiduntoher,IfthouknewestthegiftofGod,andwhoitisthatsaithtothee, Givemetodrink;thouwouldesthaveaskedofhim,andhewouldhavegiventheelivingwater." John4:10 JesuswasspeakingtoaSamaritanwoman,whowasdidnotyetbelieveinHim.Thushe usedthesymbolismofwaterasthatofthetruthaboutsalvationtroughHim.Jesusis givingustheLivingWater,thefaithwhichbringstheSpiritofGodalsotous.Thusit seemsnormativeinthelightoftheScripturesthatonetakestheChristianwaterbaptism afterheorshehasbeenBornAgain.Assuch,thebaptismservesasanoutwardsingof thefactoneis alreadysaved,andgivesassuranceofthat,aswetestifyoursalvationbytheoutwardact ofbaptismtoourselves,thechurch,theworldandtotheinvisiblepowers. Now,tosummarizetheworkoftheLord,whogivesthesalvationtousasafreegift, whichwecantakeorabandonletusread:

18

"Butasmanyasreceivedhim,tothemgavehepowertobecomethesonsofGod,eventothemthat believeonhisname:Whichwereborn,notofblood,norofthewilloftheflesh,norofthewillof man,butofGod."John1:12,13. BythewillofGod,wearebornagainandcancallGodAbba,ourFather.Inperfectlove there'snofear,likeJohnwrotelateron.WeareNewCreaturesinChrist.ThusweareHis jointheirswaitingtoreceivefromHimallwhichHehas.Thisincludesanewbodyatthe DayofHisComing(Romans8:11,1.Corinthians15:1454,1.Thessalonians4:1317.). ThisisbeautifulandjoyfulhopeoftheChristians.

~
4.Whatdoesitmeantobeholy?

AstheLord'select,theChurch,ortheEcclesia(calledoutones)issetapartfromthe worldandsin.Theveryword"kadosh"inHebrew,whichistranslatedholy,means"set apart".Jesushimselfsaid:"Beyethereforeperfect,evenasyourFatherwhichisinheavenis perfect."(Mat.5:48). Ofcoursewecannotbecomesinlessandthusperfectineverysenseoftheword.Thatis whywehavetoexaminewhataretheprerequisitesofbecomingholyintheeyesofGod. Thissubjectisverycloselylinkedtothewholeofsalvation.Firststeptoholinessisto becomerighteous.ThisisrecordedintheScripture: "ForIamnotashamedofthegospelofChrist:foritisthepowerofGoduntosalvationtoevery onethatbelieveth" Romans1:16a ThusGodsavesusthroughourfaithinJesusChrist.Heseesusholy,becauseJesuswas holyandsinless. "Andbeingfoundinhumanform,hehumbledhimselfbybecomingobedienttothepointofdeath, evendeathonacross. Philippians2:8ESV "Neitheristheresalvationinanyother:forthereisnoneothername[thanthatofJesus]under heavengivenamongmen,wherebywemustbesaved." Acts4:12 19

HowcanweachievethispositionintheeyesofGod?Howcanwetake Jesus?Bibletellsus: ButputontheLordJesusChrist,andmakenoprovisionfortheflesh,togratifyitsdesires." Romans13:14ESV ItisclearthatwemustclotheourselveswithLordJesus.ThisisnotmerelycallingHim LordandclaimingnamelyHisLordship.WereadthisinHiswords: "Whoeverhasmycommandmentsandkeepsthem,heitiswholovesme.Andhewholovesme willbelovedbymyFather,andIwilllovehimandmanifestmyselftohim"John14:21ESV ItisnotaboutourfleshlystrengththatwecanobeyGod's commandments,butthroughthepoweroftheHolySpirit.Wereceivethispower,when weareBornAgain.Evenso,wehavetochooseobeying,insteadofrebellion.Butthe powerbywhichthisisachievedisgivenbyGod. "Thereforeputawayallfilthinessandrampantwickednessandreceivewithmeekness theimplantedword,whichisabletosaveyoursouls."James1:21ESV ForGodhathnotcalledusuntouncleanness,butuntoholiness.Hethereforethatdespiseth, despisethnotman,butGod,whohathalsogivenuntoushisholySpirit." 1.Thessalonians4:78 ItisatestimonyoftheHolySpiritinus,thatthecommandmentsofGodarenotburden forus.AsNewCreatures,wedesiretodoGod'swillwillingly,outoflove.Thisissaid alsointheScripture: "forIfindmydelightinyourcommandments,whichIlove.Iwillliftupmyhandstowardyour commandments,whichIlove,andIwillmeditateonyourstatutes."Psalm119:4748ESV Itisanoutwardsignoftestimonyaboutusbeingsaved,whenwedelightintheLORD's statutesandkeepthem.JesussaidthattheybecometousaLawofLove.Thustheworld knowsweareLord's,whentheyseeweareholy,setapartfromtheworld.Nolonger doesthefleshruleoverus! Forwhilewewerelivingintheflesh,oursinfulpassions,arousedbythelaw,wereatworkin ourmemberstobearfruitfordeath.Butnowwearereleasedfromthelaw,havingdiedtothat whichhelduscaptive,sothatweserveinthenewwayoftheSpiritandnotintheoldwayofthe writtencode. Romans7:56ESV

20

"AnewcommandmentIgivetoyou,thatyouloveoneanother:justasIhavelovedyou,youalso aretoloveoneanother.Bythisallpeoplewillknowthatyouaremydisciples,ifyouhavelovefor oneanother."John13:3435ESV

~
5.InfillingoftheHolySpirit:Empoweringafterregeneration Nowthatwehaveconcludedwhatistobebornagain,(i.etoberegenerated)inthe chapterabove,wewillconsideranotherworkthattheHolySpiritiswillingtodoinour hearts.IhaveachievedunderstandingfromtheScriptures,backedupbyexperiences, thattheinfilling,alsocalledbaptismoftheHolySpiritisaworkdistinctofthe regeneration.BaptismintheSpiritisameansofGodtoempowerabeliever,subsequentto hisorhersalvation,totheworkofGod. Topresentthisissueinashort,easilycomprehensibleandbiblicalmanner,wewillthus commendbyconsideringthetwelvedisciples.Theywereallsaved,bornagainbelieversin Jesus.ButbeforetheirinitialbaptismintheSpirittheylackedtheempoweringtowork efficientlyfortheLord. Peter,forexample,waseagertofollowJesus,butwhentherealthingcame,deniedHim (seeMatthew26:6975). Shortlybeforethis,JesushadpromisedtosendadivineComfortertothedisciples(see John14:16,26)andthatHewouldnotcomebeforeJesusHimselfwouldgoaway(John 16:7). JustpriortoHisascencion,JesusinstructedHisdisciplesconcerningthecomingofthe promisedpower/Comforter: And,behold,IsendthepromiseofmyFatheruponyou:buttarryyeinthecityofJerusalem, untilyebeenduedwithpowerfromonhighLuke24:49 And,beingassembledtogetherwiththem,commandedthemthattheyshouldnotdepartfrom Jerusalem,butwaitforthepromiseoftheFather,which,saithhe,yehaveheardofme.ForJohn trulybaptizedwithwater;butyeshallbebaptizedwiththeHolyGhostnotmanydayshence. Butyeshallreceivepower,afterthattheHolyGhostiscomeuponyou:andyeshallbewitnesses untomebothinJerusalem,andinallJudaea,andinSamaria,anduntotheuttermostpartofthe earth.Acts1:45,8

21

WeseethegreatinPetersprofessionoffaithpriorandafterhisinfillingoftheSpirit.Let usconsiderhisweaknessintheHighPriestspalace: NowPetersatwithoutinthepalace:andadamselcameuntohim,saying,Thoualsowastwith JesusofGalilee. Buthedeniedbeforethemall,saying,Iknownotwhatthousayest.Andwhenhewasgoneout intotheporch,anothermaidsawhim,andsaiduntothemthatwerethere,Thisfellowwasalso withJesusofNazareth.Andagainhedeniedwithanoath,Idonotknowtheman.Andaftera whilecameuntohimtheythatstoodby,andsaidtoPeter,Surelythoualsoartoneofthem;for thyspeechbewrayeththee.Thenbeganhetocurseandtoswear,saying,Iknownottheman.And immediatelythecockcrew.AndPeterrememberedthewordofJesus,whichsaiduntohim,Before thecockcrow,thoushaltdenymethrice.Andhewentout,andweptbitterly.Matthew26:69 75. JesushadpredictedtheweaknessofHisdisciples(Mat.26:31).TheLordknewHis disciplesdidnotyethavethepowertoboldlystandforHim.ThatiswhyHeinstructed themjustpriortoHisascencion:Hecommandedthemthattheyshouldnotdepartfrom Jerusalem,butwaitforthepromiseoftheFather(Acts1:4). HehadtoldaboutthePromiseoftheFatheralreadymanytimes.Maybeatthispointthe disciplesstartedtoanticipatetheSpiritactively.Jesushadsaid: Ifyethen,beingevil,knowhowtogivegoodgiftsuntoyourchildren:howmuchmoreshallyour heavenlyFathergivetheHolySpirittothemthataskhim?Luke11:13. TheLordJesusknewthattheSpiritwouldnotbepoureduponthebelieverstilHewas onthisearth.ManytimesdidHespeakofthefutureoutpouring,sothatthedisciples couldanticipateit: Hethatbelievethonme,asthescripturehathsaid,outofhisbellyshallflowriversofliving water.(ButthisspakeheoftheSpirit,whichtheythatbelieveonhimshouldreceive:fortheHoly Ghostwasnotyetgiven;becausethatJesuswasnotyetglorified.)John7:3839. NowthatHewasabouttoascendtotheheavensofGod,Hetoldthediscipleswaitjust foralittlewhile.Thenthepromisewouldbefullfilled,anddiscipleswouldbefilledin theveryessenceandpresenceofGodYHWH. OfthiseventwereadfromthebookofActs: AndwhenthedayofPentecostwasfullycome,theywereallwithoneaccordinoneplace.And suddenlytherecameasoundfromheavenasofarushingmightywind,anditfilledallthehouse wheretheyweresitting.

22

Andthereappeareduntothemcloventongueslikeasoffire,anditsatuponeachofthem.And theywereallfilledwiththeHolyGhost,andbegantospeakwithothertongues,astheSpiritgave themutterance.Acts2:14. LetusnowconsiderthechangeandimpacttheHolySpiritmadeonPeter.Notverylong agohehaddeniedhisMaster.ThoughhewaswillingtofollowhisLordevenuntodeath, hedidnthavethedivineempoweringtoactuallyachievethat.Nowthathehadreceived theinfilling,letusseethepowerthatabidedinhimashestartedhisapostolicministry: ButPeter,standingupwiththeeleven,lifteduphisvoice,andsaiduntothem,Yemenof Judaea,andallyethatdwellatJerusalem,bethisknownuntoyou,andhearkentomywords:For thesearenotdrunken,asyesuppose,seeingitisbutthethirdhouroftheday.Butthisisthat whichwasspokenbytheprophetJoel;Anditshallcometopassinthelastdays,saithGod,Iwill pouroutofmySpirituponallflesh:andyoursonsandyourdaughtersshallprophesy,andyour youngmenshallseevisions,andyouroldmenshalldreamdreams:Andonmyservantsandon myhandmaidensIwillpouroutinthosedaysofmySpirit;andtheyshallprophesy: ThisJesushathGodraisedup,whereofweallarewitnesses.Thereforebeingbytherighthandof Godexalted,andhavingreceivedoftheFatherthepromiseoftheHolyGhost,hehathshedforth this,whichyenowseeandhear. ThereforeletallthehouseofIsraelknowassuredly,thatGodhathmadethesameJesus,whomye havecrucified,bothLordandChrist. Nowwhentheyheardthis,theywereprickedintheirheart,andsaiduntoPeterandtotherestof theapostles,Menandbrethren,whatshallwedo? ThenPetersaiduntothem,Repent,andbebaptizedeveryoneofyouinthenameofJesusChrist fortheremissionofsins,andyeshallreceivethegiftoftheHolyGhost.Forthepromiseisunto you,andtoyourchildren,andtoallthatareafaroff,evenasmanyastheLORDourGodshall call. Andwithmanyotherwordsdidhetestifyandexhort,saying,Saveyourselvesfromthis untowardgeneration.Thentheythatgladlyreceivedhiswordwerebaptized:andthesameday therewereaddeduntothemaboutthreethousandsouls. Acts2:1418,3233,3641 NowtherewasthedivinepowerinthewordsofPeter!Peoplewereprickedintheir heartandthreethousandpeoplewerebaptizedandaddedtothecommunityof believers.Whatadifference!Whatapower! Letusallprayforthissamepower,sothatmanywouldbesavedeventhroughour ministry!GodisstillusingHispeopleinthewayHeusedtheapostles.Wejusthaveto diligentlyaskHimtoinfillusandempowerustoHisministry. Lateron,thispowercontinuedinPetersministryandothersreceivedtheSpiritsame wayhehadreceived:

23

AndasIbegantospeak,theHolyGhostfellonthem,asonusatthebeginning.Then rememberedIthewordoftheLord,howthathesaid,Johnindeedbaptizedwithwater;butyeshall bebaptizedwiththeHolyGhost.Acts10:1516. LetusyetbrieflyseewhatapostlePaulwrote,divinelyinspired,abouttheinfillingofthe Spirit: ForbyoneSpiritareweallbaptizedintoonebody,whetherwebeJewsorGentiles,whetherwe bebondorfree;andhavebeenallmadetodrinkintooneSpirit.1.Cor.12:13 Andbenotdrunkwithwine,whereinisexcess;butbefilledwiththeSpirit;Speakingto yourselvesinpsalmsandhymnsandspiritualsongs,singingandmakingmelodyinyourheartto theLord;GivingthanksalwaysforallthingsuntoGodandtheFatherinthenameofourLord JesusChrist;SubmittingyourselvesonetoanotherinthefearofGodEph.5:1821 ThewholebookofActsisactuallyawonderful(andtrue)recordoftheworkoftheHoly SpiritinthebuildingoftheearlyChurchofGod,throughtheapostles(emissaries, ambassadors)ofJesus.Fromitwereadabouttheboldnessinwhichthebelievers testifiedoftheirrisenLordJesus,defyingdeathandimprisonment.Letusconsider Stephenforexample: Andthesayingpleasedthewholemultitude:andtheychoseStephen,amanfulloffaithandof theHolyGhostAndStephen,fulloffaithandpower,didgreatwondersandmiraclesamong thepeople.Thentherearosecertainofthesynagogue,whichiscalledthesynagogueofthe Libertines,andCyrenians,andAlexandrians,andofthemofCiliciaandofAsia,disputingwith Stephen.Andtheywerenotabletoresistthewisdomandthespiritbywhichhespake.Buthe, beingfulloftheHolyGhost,lookedupstedfastlyintoheaven,andsawthegloryofGod,andJesus standingontherighthandofGod,Andsaid,Behold,Iseetheheavensopened,andtheSonof manstandingontherighthandofGod.AndtheystonedStephen,callinguponGod,and saying,LordJesus,receivemyspirit.Andhekneeleddown,andcriedwithaloudvoice,Lord,lay notthissintotheircharge.Andwhenhehadsaidthis,hefellasleep.Acts6:5a,810,5556, 5960 StephenbecamethefirstmartyroftheChristianChurch.HewassofulloftheHoly Spirit,thatevenduringhisbrutalandunjustexecutionheintercededforhismurderers: Lord,laynotthissintotheircharge.. NotallofuswillhavetopaytheultimatepriceoffollowingJesus.Someofusmay.With thePowerfromonHighwecanfightthegoodfight. ThussaiththeLORDuntoyou,Benotafraidnordismayedbyreasonofthisgreatmultitude;for thebattleisnotyours,butGod's.2.Chron.20:15. 24

Finally,mybrethren,bestrongintheLord,andinthepowerofhismight.Putonthewhole armourofGod,thatyemaybeabletostandagainstthewilesofthedevil.Forwewrestlenot againstfleshandblood,butagainstprincipalities,againstpowers,againsttherulersofthe darknessofthisworld,againstspiritualwickednessinhighplaces.Andtakethehelmetof salvation,andtheswordoftheSpirit,whichisthewordofGod:Prayingalwayswithallprayer andsupplicationintheSpirit,andwatchingthereuntowithallperseveranceandsupplicationfor allsaints;Andforme,thatutterancemaybegivenuntome,thatImayopenmymouthboldly,to makeknownthemysteryofthegospel.Eph.6:1012,1719. ThegiftoftheSpiritisreservedforallofus,allthathavebeenregeneratedbythepower ofGod.ThereismuchmorethatcouldbesaidabouttheinfillingoftheSpirit.Iwill summarizesomeissuesthatusuallyconfusebelieverswhentheyconsiderthissubject: TheinfillingoftheSpiritissubsequentanddistinctphenomenonfromtheregeneration. Sometimestheinfillingmaytakeplaceimmediatelyaftertheregeneration,butnever beforeit.(SeeActs10:4447;19:46). TheinfillingoftheSpiritisimportantaspectoftheChristianlife,butitdoesnotaddany extramerittothesalvationthatisalreadyachievedbythesovereinggraceofGod.Wereceive theSpiritofGodinourregeneration,thoughwemaynotbeyetinfilliedwithHim.We willneedtheconstantinfilling,sothatwemaybespirituallyawaketoanticipatethe returnoftheLord(seeMatthew25:112),buttheinfillinginitselfdoesnotadd anythingtooursalvation,whichissolelyinvestedonusthroughfaithinthe substitutionarydeathofJesus. OnlythisunderstandingofthesubsequentinfillingwillmakethebookofActsmakesenseto us.Withourunderstandingonthesubjectofregeneration,combinedwiththe understandingofthesubsequentinfillingintheSpirit,wewillfindtheBiblea consistentbook,especiallyconsideringitssoteriology(thatis,thethingsconserning salvation)andpneumatology(thatis,thethingsconserningtheHolySpirit).

NowthatwehavepeekedinthesubjectoftheinfillingintheSpirit,letusstartpraying God,sothatHewouldsendHisComforteronus.TheSpiritwillempowerustofollow Jesus,serveandworshipGod,liveafullandmeaningfullife,thuslettingustoreapthe fullnessoftheabundanceoftheblessingsoftheregeneration!HolySpiritisavailableforus 24/7.LetusdesireHim.LetuspleaHimforus.LetusliveinHim. Forinhimwelive,andmove,andhaveourbeing. Acts17:18a

25

~
6.PoweroftheHolySpiritinbeliever

AsChristianswehave247instantaccesstothemostlarge powersourceoftheUniverse.Aswewerebornagainandaswearedailyrenewedand infilledbytheSpirit,wehavetheAlmightyGodlivinginsideusthroughHisHolySpirit (seeJohn14:16).ThatmakesusvesselsofthemostnobleBeingintheUniverseand beyond!ThatgivesussweetassuranceandinneraffirmationofEternalLifewhichwe alreadyhavestartedtolive. Unlikeearthlyandhumanlypowersources,thecommunionwiththeSpiritdoesnot slowandwillnotceasebyanyreasonasideifwepersonallyquitthecontractwithHim.I haveprayedmanytimes,OhLord,makemeabettervesseltocarryYouSpirit.Make meabletoshineYourLight.ThatHedoes,butwehaveafreewilltoletornotletGod changeandtransformusdailymoreandmoreintoHisimage. TheSpiritworksthroughtheWord.HeremindsusoftheWordofGodandneverdoes HetellusanythingwithisnotinaccordancewiththeBible.ButintheWordwehavelife, becausethewrittenWordisallabouttheEverlivingWordtheSon!Hereliesthesecretof thetrueauthorityofthebeliever.NotthatwemovetheSpirit,butthattheSpiritreminds usoftheWordsofGodtheFatherandoftheSon.OfthistheLordJesussaid: ButtheComforter,whichistheHolyGhost,whomtheFatherwillsendinmyname,heshall teachyouallthings,andbringallthingstoyourremembrance,whatsoeverIhavesaiduntoyou. (John14:26). ThisiscloselylinkedtowhatJesustoldinthesamespeech: Ifyeshallaskanythinginmyname,Iwilldoit.(John14:14).Ifweliveinaccordancewith theSpirit,wewillnotaskGodtosatisfyourselfishdesires,buttoglorifyHimselfinus andthroughus.Jesuscontinued:Ifyeloveme,keepmycommandments.(John14:15).Also Hesaidinanotheroccasion: Thereforetakenothought,saying,Whatshallweeat?or,Whatshallwedrink?or,Wherewithal shallwebeclothed? (ForafterallthesethingsdotheGentilesseek:)foryourheavenlyFatherknoweththatyehave needofallthesethings. ButseekyefirstthekingdomofGod,andhisrighteousness;andallthesethingsshallbeadded untoyou.Mat.6:3133 26

Herewehavethetruthabouttheearthlysuccess.Weindeedarepromisedtobe suppliedallweneed,butsurelyabornagainchildofGoddoesnotneedallthematerial luxuriesthatthisworldseeks.Ratherwemustdirectourheart'sdeepestdesiretowards theaimsoftheKingdom. Whenwecametofaithandgrowinit,thepersonoftheHolySpiritbecomesfamiliarto us.OurrelationshipwithHimbecomesintimateandprofound.IndeedIdidnot understandthattheSpiritisaperson.IevendidnotunderstandthatIhadaseparate partinmybeing,thatismyspirit.OnlywhentheSpiritofGodcameuponmeandbegan liveinsideme,didIcomeawareoftheseawesometruthsfully.Surelyapersonwhodoes notknowpersonallyGod,cannotappreciateortrulycomprehendHisperson.Evenso, wechildrenofGodhaveaneternitytolearnaboutourGod.Thatisthetruepowerof Himthathassavedus!

~
7. TransformingtheheartsbythepoweroftheSpirit Cradleoflifecametoearthinhumanvesture.HetookuponHimselfthegenomeof human.ApparentlyHehadtochangethegeneticformulaofmantodothis.Thusthe Divinemergedwiththecorporeal,beginningthesalvatoryworkofIncarnation.Whata wonderfulmysteryitisthatisrevealedtousintheBible!Andknowingandbelievingthat JesusdiedasasacrificialLambforoursinsandthenwasresurrectedandascendedto heaven,nowisliving eternallyandwewithHim! AfterHisascensionHesentHisSpirittoustoleadustoalltruth.Weread:Thusitis written,"Thefirstman Adambecamealivingbeing";thelastAdambecamealifegiving spirit.(1.Co.15:45). Now,ifyoubelievethisandhavebeenregenerated,youcaneasilyimagineyourselfasa God'svessel.YouarethevesseloftheHolySpiritandthereforealsoamessengerofGod: YouareinvestedwithapowerandwilltoproclaimtheGoodNews!Isn'titthegreatest privilegeimaginabletobeavesselofGodandseethemostpowerfulforceintheuniverse toquickenthespirituallydeadpeople?Isn'titthemostprofoundlongingonecanhave, tobeaninstrumentoftheRegeneratingSpiritandseetheCradleofLifeto establishHimselfinfellowmenandwomen?

27

Itismysincerebeliefthateverypersonwhoisbornagainreceivesthewillandpowerto passonthelifegivingknowledgeoftheGospel. Willyouletotherstoknowaboutthegraceyouhavereceived?Willyoucarrythetorch ofEternalLightinthisworldofdarkness? Lordsaidthatacityfoundonahillcannotremainhidden.SoitiswithpeopleofGod. Oursalvationwillbecomemanifest!Ifweonlyfollowthecallingwereceived,wewill dailyseemiracles,smallandgreatinourlivesandinthelivesofthoseweencounter. ThenandonlythenwewillseethetruepowerofGodwhichmovesmountains! Becomingdoersofthewordandnotonlyhearersshallwepartakeintheradicalprocess whichtheSpiritismakingintransformingthe heartsofallwhoarewillingtoreceiveGod'ssalvationinJesusChrist,freelybecauseof Hisgrace. WemustdailyrenewourcovenantwithGodandJesus.Thatisthesecretofsuccessin ourspirituallifeandit'sdevelopment.Thisisthesecretlongingintheheartsofevery livinghumanbeing.

~
8. HealingourinnerwoundsthroughthefruitsofSpiritualregeneration UsuallysomeofourinnerwoundsarehealedwhentheSpiritofGodregeneratesus, (thatis,whenwearesaved).Sotheparanoia,hatred,jealousyandotherissuesmaybe healedcompletelyorpartiallywhenourpersonalcosmologyandourprioritieshave transformedfromselfcenteredtoChristcentered. Iamnotnowsayingthatthisisarulethatalwaysfollows, butratheritissomethingIhaveseenbothinmyownlifeandthelivesofmanyothers. (AtthesametimeweshouldnottrytoputGodsworkintopatterns.Somepeopleare healedcompletely,somepartially,someinstantly,somegradually,whilesomemaynot findthemselveshealedinthisAge.Stillallofthesemaybejustasspiritualastheother). Beforetheregenerationhadhappened,weactuallyknewonlyourbodyandoursoul (psykhe),butdidn'ttrulyknowourspirit.OurspiritiswhatinteractswithGodandthirsts God'spresence.Thatiswhywedidn'tknowourselvestrulybeforewecametoknowthe Lord.Soitiswritten"Forinhimwelive,andmove,andhaveourbeing"(Acts17:28a). Asourinnermostself,ourspiritisregenerated,itstartsradiatingtoourpsycheandeven ourbodies.Thuswemaybeinstantlyorslowlyhealed,orboth.Thiscuressomeofour trauma.Alsothisaffectstothetimelyconsequencesofromanticandsexualtraumaand

28

otherdamageinthisarea.Thishelpsustogrowspirituallyandbevesselstocarrythe HolySpirittoothers. ThisallisstartedinourRegenerationbytheSpirit.Thisisevensoacontinual,ongoing processalsothattakesplacedaily,aswedailytakeourcrossandfollowJesus.Evenso, ourspiritualregenerationwasaonetimeeventthatweconfirmdailyinourlives.Thisis purecuretoourwounds,ourbadhabitsandfleshlydesiresthattrytoruleusinsteadof Christ. Manytimessecularlifemanagementandselfhelpguidescenteronourproblems.Jesus showsusthatwhateverourproblemis,HeistheSolution,theFinalSolutionofGod. ThatiswhythetrueChristianitycentersalwaysontheperson,workandteachingsof JesusChristandsoitisasolutioncentered"lifephilosophy"(Actuallybeingratheran UltimateManualtosuccessfromtheCreatorofeverything). OurnewbirthtonewcreaturesinChristisbothaonetime phenomenonandalsoanongoingprocesswhichwemustconfirmdaily,asweleadthe ChristianlifeintheguidanceoftheHolySpirit.Aswesowalkinthegloriouslightofthe gloriousMajesty,wemayownthecomfortingwords: "ForIknowtheplansIhaveforyou,declarestheLORD,plansforwelfareandnotforevil,togive youafutureandahope." Jeremiah29:11ESV.

~
9.Whatarethebenefitsofthewaterbaptism? Aswehaveseeninthechapter"Whatdoesitmeantobebornagain?",spiritualregeneration doesnotcomeatthemomentofbaptism.Rather,ithappenswhenweacknowledgeand accepttheLordshipofJesusChrist,andpersonallysubmittothewillofGod(1.Peter4:2). FaithbringsregenerationbytheHolySpiritandalso causestheHolySpirittoindwellus. "OfhisownwillHebegotuswiththewordoftruth,thatweshouldbeakindoffirstfruitsofhis creations."James1:18ESV "ThattheblessingofAbrahammightcomeontheGentilesthroughJesusChrist;thatwemight receivethepromiseoftheSpiritthroughfaith."Galatians3:14ESV

29

Ihaven'tfoundanythingintheBible,thatallowstheinterpretationthatweare regeneratedthroughthesacramentofbaptisminitself.Itistruethatimmediatelyafter theLordJesuswasbaptized,theHolySpiritdescendeduponHimintheformofadove (Matthew3:16).ItseemsclearthatithadtobeasignoftheFather'sfavortothosewho sawit,sincesurelyourLordasbothGodandmanhadtohavetheSpiritinHimeven beforebaptism.WereadintheGospelaccordingtoLukethathewasconceivedbythe HolySpirit(Luke1:3135). Alsoitisbelievedbymanysacramental/liturgicalchurchesandothers,thatinfant baptismbringssalvationfromtheOriginalSin.TheHolyScripturessayhowever,that thebloodofChristgivessalvationfromsin,originalandpersonal(Revelation1:5),not thebaptism. "Butifwewalkinthelight,asheisinthelight,wehavefellowshiponewithanother,andthe bloodofJesusChristhisSoncleansesusfromallsin."1John1:7ESV BaptismmeanstoaskapureconsciencefromGod(1Peter3:21),thatisit's"sacramental" dimension.Buttheactualbaptismisoutwardsignofthesalvationwhichisalready achievedthroughtheHolySpiritasagiftfromGodwhichcomestousbyfaith (Ephesians2:8). Accordinglythen,baptismisanactofobediencetoGod.Asapersonbecomesachildof God,heorshewillhavethedesiretokeepGod'scommandmentsoutofloveand appreciation(John14:15). Itiswritten: "ForthisistheloveofGod,thatwekeephiscommandments:andhiscommandmentsarenot grievous."1John5:3ESV ItisaclearcommandmentoftheLordJesus,thatwebaptizebelievers: "Goyoutherefore,andteachallnations,baptizingtheminthenameoftheFather,andof theSon,andoftheHolySpirit:teachingthemtoobserveallthingswhatsoeverIhave commandedyou:and,lo,Iamwithyoualways,evenuntotheendoftheworld.Amen." Matthew28:1920ESV SoitseemsobviousthatthepersonwhotakesJesusashisorherpersonalsavior,ought tohaveanappreciativeandobedientheart,bythepoweroftheHolySpirit.Thusone willseektodotheLord'swill. AswereadintheScriptures,baptismisonesuchcommandmentdirectlyfromtheLord. Eventhoughbaptismitselfdoesnotbringthesalvation,itisneverthelesstaughtbythe 30

Lordthatweshouldbebaptizedandsotheactualactofbaptismisasignandtestimony ofoursalvation,bothtoourselvesandtotheworldandeventothepowersofdarkness (Mark16:16)! ItispromisedthatdoingGod'swillbringsalsoHisblessing(Revelation22:14).Andto thebornagainsonordaughterofGod,itis naturaltowanttopleaseourheavenlyFather.Obedienceitselfisthe mostvaluableblessing.

Tosummarizesomeofthefundamentalbenefitsofbaptism,theyare: PureconsciencewhichGodgivesus(throughthefaithinJesus,whichincludeskeeping hiscommandments,baptismbeingoneofthem)(1.Peter3:21) JoywhichisgivenbytheHolySpiritforfollowingGod's commandments(Romans15:13) Knowledgethatwearesavedwhichthusbecomesmoreaffirmed,sinceitiswrittenso (Mark16:16) Letusthenbrieflyexaminesomeofthe"symbolism"inbaptism.Simultaneouslyitraises thequestionoftheformofthebaptismisitbysprinklingorpouringorratherby immersion. ItiswrittenintheScripturesaboutthemeaningofbaptism: "Thereforeweareburiedwithhimbybaptismintodeath:thatlikeasChristwasraisedupfrom thedeadbythegloryoftheFather,evensowealsoshouldwalkinnewnessoflife." Romans6:4RSV "Buriedwithhiminbaptism,whereinalsoyearerisenwithhimthroughthefaithofthe operationofGod,whohasraisedhimfromthedead."Colossians2:12ESV ItisclearfromtheaboveScriptures,thatthissymbolismcanbeproperlyachievedonly byimmersioninwatersymbolizingouroldselfburiedinChrist'sdeathandraising fromthewatersymbolizingregenerationinthenewlifeinChristandpromiseofthe resurrectiontoimmortality.Also,itisinterestingtonote,thatallthebaptismsoftheNew Testamentweredoneinthewater,(notonlywiththewater). "AndJohnalsowasbaptizinginAenonneartoSalim,becausetherewasmuchwaterthere:and theycame,andwerebaptized."John3:23ESV (Note:whybaptizethere,ifonlyamugfullofwaterwouldbesufficient?)

31

"AndJesus,whenhewasbaptized,wentupstraightwayoutofthewater..."Matthew3:16a ESV(Note:Jesuscameoutofthewater,itwasnopouringorsprinkling) "Andastheywentontheirway,theycameuntoacertainwater:andtheeunuchsaid,See,hereis water;whatdothhindermetobebaptized?Andwhentheywerecomeupoutofthewater,the SpiritoftheLordcaughtawayPhilip..."Acts8:36,39aESV(Note:theycametothespotof naturalwater,apondperhaps.Theycameoutofthewater) TherearealsoampleevidencesthattheoriginalGreekwordusedintheNewTestament forbaptism,thatis"baptizoo",means"todipin","toimmerse".Itiseasytofindmore informationabouttheexegesisandlinguisticevidence,ifyoudonotfindthissufficient evidence. Shouldwethenbaptizeinfantchildren?Scripturesaysaboutbaptism: "ButwhentheybelievedPhilippreachingthethingsconcerningthekingdomofGod,andthe nameofJesusChrist,theywerebaptized,bothmenandwomen."Acts8:12ESV(Note:the peopleheardandobviouslyunderstoodtheGospeloftheKingdom,andthentheywere baptized.LittlechildrendonotyetunderstandtheGospel). "Hethatbelievesandisbaptizedshallbesaved;buthethatbelievesnotshallbedamned."Mark 16:16ESV(Note:thisScriptureshowsusthatfaithhastoprecedethebaptism.Alsowe seethatbaptismgivesustheassuranceofsalvation) "Thentheythatgladlyreceivedhiswordwerebaptized:andthesamedaytherewereaddedunto themaboutthreethousandsouls."Acts2:41ESV(Note:Isaninfantchildgladlyreceiving theword?) InfantsaresavedbythebloodofJesus.ThebloodofJesusissufficienttosavetheworld fromthepunishmentduetotheOriginalSin(Revelation1:5).Also,littlechildrenhave notyetcommittedanypersonalsinswhichneedtobereconciledwithGod. "Andtheybroughtyoungchildrentohim,thatheshouldtouchthem:andhisdisciplesrebuked thosethatbroughtthem.ButwhenJesussawit,hewasmuchdispleased,andsaiduntothem, Sufferthelittlechildrentocomeuntome,andforbidthemnot:forofsuchisthekingdomofGod." Mark10:1314ESV Moreso,asChristianswecanhaveevengreaterassurancethatourlittlechildrenare savedthroughourfaith,sinceitwritten: "Fortheunbelievinghusbandissanctifiedbythewife,andtheunbelievingwifeissanctifiedby thehusband:elsewereyourchildrenunclean;butnowaretheyholy." 1Corinthians7:14ESV 32

DearbrotherorsisterinChrist.Ifyouhavebeen"baptized"asachild,pleaseconsider theScripturesgivenaboveandsearchyourBible aboutthetopic.ReadtheActsoftheApostleswithapureheartandthensayyoudonot needtobeimmersed,haveaBiblicalbaptism. Yes,youarerightthinkingthatthesalvationdoesnotcomefromworks;notbyouractof baptismorthatweshould"play"Godby"saving"childrenbybaptism. TheauthorhashadmanyspiritualbenefitsandJoyoftheSpiritafterhavingBiblical baptismbyimmersion,afterfirstbecomingachildofGod,adoptedtothehouseholdof God,familyofkingsandpriestsofourGod.ExaminethisissuefromyourBibleandask theLordthatHemayenlightenyourpath.Ifyoubecomeawareofthetruejoywhich comesfromobedience,youwillbegladtogetbaptized! (Ifyouwishtobebaptizedyoumaycontactme,theauthor,andIcanbaptizeyou,orI canhelpyoutofindachurchand/orministerwhowillbaptizeyoubiblically). Contact:armotalous@gmail.com

10.HowtobecomeanintimatefriendwithJesus

Greaterlovehathnomanthanthis,thatamanlaydownhislifeforhisfriends.Yearemy friends,ifyedowhatsoeverIcommandyou. HenceforthIcallyounotservants;fortheservantknowethnotwhathislorddoeth:butIhave calledyoufriends;forallthingsthatIhaveheardofmyFatherIhavemadeknownuntoyou. Yehavenotchosenme,butIhavechosenyou,andordainedyou,thatyeshouldgoandbring forthfruit,andthatyourfruitshouldremain:thatwhatsoeveryeshallaskoftheFatherinmy name,hemaygiveityou. ThesethingsIcommandyou,thatyeloveoneanother. John15:1317 Whenweareregenerated,indeedwhenwebecomebornagain,weareadoptedtothe familyofGod(seeEphesians1:5,Romans8:15).Jesusisourbrother(seeHebrews2:11). MuchofthegrowingintheChristianfaithandinrelationshipwithourSaviouris actuallytoachieveadeeperunderstandingofthesefacts. OurfatherAbrahamwasalsocalledafriendofGod.Weread: 33

Andthescripturewasfulfilledwhichsaith,AbrahambelievedGod,anditwasimputeduntohim forrighteousness:andhewascalledtheFriendofGod.James2:23 Herewefindthebasisoftherelationship:WemustbelieveinGod.Thisisinaccordance withanotherScripture: Butwithoutfaithitisimpossibletopleasehim:forhethatcomethtoGodmustbelievethatheis, andthatheisarewarderofthemthatdiligentlyseekhim.Hebrews11:6 WemustalsobelieveGod,believewhatHesays.EverythingJesussays,iswhatGodsays (John5:30;7:16;15:15),thatiswhyJesusspeakswithauthority,andcallsusHisfriends ifwedowhatsoeverHecommandsus(John15:14). Thisisrationalwayeveninearthlyrelationships:Ifwelovesomeone,welltryto pleasehim/her.OfcoursewedontearnJesuslovebyobeyingHiscommandments.On thecontrary,theloveHeinvestsinusthroughtheHolySpirit,compellsustoloveHim back(seeJohn14:23,2.Corinthians5:14). BestwaytopracticetheloveofGod,andthusgrowinourdailyrelationshipwithJesus istoloveourbrothersandsistersoffaith.ThisisexactlywhatJesusHimselftold: Thisismycommandment,Thatyeloveoneanother,asIhavelovedyou.John15:12 LateronapostleJohn,underinspirationoftheSpirit,expandsthisthought: Hethatsaithheisinthelight,andhatethhisbrother,isindarknessevenuntilnow.Hethat lovethhisbrotherabidethinthelight,andthereisnoneoccasionofstumblinginhim. 1.John2:910 Ifamansay,IloveGod,andhatethhisbrother,heisaliar:forhethatlovethnothisbrother whomhehathseen,howcanheloveGodwhomhehathnotseen? 1.John4:20 Bylivingwiththisstandardoflove,weareimitatorsofChrist.Thepeopleyouare aroundwithwillshapeyoutotheirlikeness.Likewise,keepingcompanywithJesusand theHolySpiritwillkeepusnearGodandshapeusintotheirlikeness.Scripturessay: Ironsharpenethiron;soamansharpeneththecountenanceofhisfriend.Proverbs27:17 Hethatwalkethwithwisemenshallbewise:butacompanionoffoolsshallbedestroyed. Proverbs13:20 Whoisthewisest?IsntitJesus?Biblesays: 34

WorthyistheLambthatwasslaintoreceivepower,andriches,andwisdom,andstrength,and honour,andglory,andblessing.Revelation12:15 Andalso: NowuntotheKingeternal,immortal,invisible,theonlywiseGod,behonourandgloryforever andever1.Timothy1:17 Towalkwithdivinewisdom,thusgrowingtoappreciatemoredeeplyourpersonal relationshipwithJesus,istoseekthecompanyofotherswhoprofesstheirfaithinHim. Bibletellsus: Notforsakingtheassemblingofourselvestogether,asthemannerofsomeis;butexhortingone another:andsomuchthemore,asyeseethedayapproaching.Hebrews10:25 LetthewordofChristdwellinyourichlyinallwisdom;teachingandadmonishingoneanother inpsalmsandhymnsandspiritualsongs,singingwithgraceinyourheartstotheLord.And whatsoeveryedoinwordordeed,doallinthenameoftheLordJesus,givingthankstoGodand theFatherbyhim.Colossians3:1617 IntheBiblical,Christianassemblywewillsharpeneachotherspiritually.Inthe practicaldailylife,especiallyinecclesiallifeourfaithandsubmissiontoJesusaretested inpractice. ThisalsoiswhyJesusgavetheofficeofelders(presbyters)toHischurch.Bysubmitting totheauthorityoftheeldersofalocal,biblicalchurch(beitwhateverdenominationor non),wearefollowingtheordinanceofJesus.Theelders/pastorsaregivenusas examplesofChristianwalk.Bibletellsusofthem: Andhe[Jesus]gavesome,apostles;andsome,prophets;andsome,evangelists;andsome, pastorsandteachers;Fortheperfectingofthesaints,fortheworkoftheministry,fortheedifying ofthebodyofChristEphesians4:1112 Obeythemthathavetheruleoveryou,andsubmityourselves:fortheywatchforyoursouls,as theythatmustgiveaccount,thattheymaydoitwithjoy,andnotwithgrief:forthatis unprofitableforyou.Hebrews13:17. Likewise,yeyounger,submityourselvesuntotheelder.Yea,allofyoubesubjectonetoanother, andbeclothedwithhumility:forGodresisteththeproud,andgivethgracetothehumble. 1.Peter5:5

35

AndGodhathsetsomeinthechurch,firstapostles,secondarilyprophets,thirdlyteachers,after thatmiracles,thengiftsofhealings,helps,governments,diversitiesoftongues.1.Corinthians 12:28

HowwetreatotherpeopleishowwetreatJesus.Thisisverypracticalandprofound teachingofJesus.Followingthisteachingisthebestwaytogrowinourrelationshipwith Him.Jesussaid: ForIwasanhungred,andyegavememeat:Iwasthirsty,andyegavemedrink:Iwasa stranger,andyetookmein:Naked,andyeclothedme:Iwassick,andyevisitedme:Iwasin prison,andyecameuntome. Thenshalltherighteousanswerhim,saying,Lord,whensawwetheeanhungred,andfedthee? orthirsty,andgavetheedrink? Whensawwetheeastranger,andtooktheein?ornaked,andclothedthee? Orwhensawwetheesick,orinprison,andcameuntothee? AndtheKingshallanswerandsayuntothem,VerilyIsayuntoyou,Inasmuchasyehavedoneit untooneoftheleastofthesemybrethren,yehavedoneituntome.Matthew25:3540 Biblecontinues: PurereligionandundefiledbeforeGodandtheFatheristhis,Tovisitthefatherlessandwidows intheiraffliction,andtokeephimselfunspottedfromtheworld.James1:27 Ifabrotherorsisterbenaked,anddestituteofdailyfood, Andoneofyousayuntothem,Departinpeace,beyewarmedandfilled;notwithstandingyegive themnotthosethingswhichareneedfultothebody;whatdothitprofit?James2:1516 Formeithasbeenpracticallyhelpfultogrowinmyfaithto(almostliterally)imagine Jesuswalking,sittingandeatingwithme.IfIbelieveinHim,IknowHeseeseverythingI do.WhyshouldIbehaveinwaydifferent,thanifIwouldseeHimdailywithme,with myeyes? Itgoesalmostwithoutsaying,thatprayingandreadingtheHolyScripturesisvitaltoa healtyandvividrelationshipwithGodandHisSon.Bibletestifiesofthis: Sobeliefcomethofhearing,andhearingbythewordofChrist. Romans10:17,AmericanStandardVersion Forthiscausewealso,sincethedayweheardit,donotceasetoprayforyou,andtodesirethat yemightbefilledwiththeknowledgeofhiswillinallwisdomandspiritualunderstanding;That yemightwalkworthyoftheLorduntoallpleasing,beingfruitfulineverygoodwork,and increasingintheknowledgeofGodColossians1:910 36

Jesus,inHisRevelationappealstous: Behold,Istandatthedoor,andknock:ifanymanhearmyvoice,andopenthedoor,Iwillcome intohim,andwillsupwithhim,andhewithme.Revelation3:20 TherearealsosomehelpfultoolsBiblesuppliesuswith,whichveryeffecientlyhelpusto growinourrelationshipwithJesus.Letusreadthese: Takemyyokeuponyou,andlearnofme;forIammeekandlowlyinheart:andyeshallfindrest untoyoursouls. Matthew11:29 Jesussaiduntohim,ThoushaltlovetheLordthyGodwithallthyheart,andwithallthysoul, andwithallthymind.Thisisthefirstandgreatcommandment.Andthesecondislikeuntoit, Thoushaltlovethyneighbourasthyself.Onthesetwocommandmentshangallthelawandthe prophets.Matthew22:3740 Thereforeallthingswhatsoeveryewouldthatmenshoulddotoyou,doyeevensotothem:for thisisthelawandtheprophets.Matthew6:12 Tosummarizethethingssaid,Iwilllistsomehelpfulstepsoneshouldtakein ordertogrowinonesrelationshipwithJesus: Makeitanactive,dailyhabittopray ReadtheWordofGod,Bible,everyday MeditateontheworkofChrist,learntoappreciatewhatHedidforyou TrytoimagineJesus,inperson,withyoudailyasyoudoyourthings TrytoseeJesusineverypersonyouknowandencounterandtreatthemaccordingly!

Finally,remember,itisallaboutGodsgrace!WecannotforceourselvestoloveJesus.We justcanbegforHismercyandsubmitourselvesfully,whollytoHim. Jesusistheonetruesacrament! WefulfillHisordinanceseagerly,becauseoftheloveandtheSpiritwithinusthatintices ittenderly.WedonotserveourMasterwithcontemptorwithfeelingofbeingforced, butoutofourownfreewill.

37

WewanttofollowalltheordinancesofChrist,includingwaterbaptismandcommunion, andcertainlynotforgettingHiscommandmenttogoandpreachtheGospeltoall! Wealsowanttobeknownforthelovewehaveforeachother(John13:35)andforallof ourfellowhumanbeings.ThereforewefollowtheCommandementofLove(Mat.22:3740) andtheGoldenRule(Mat.6:12). "ForifIdothisthingwillingly,Ihaveareward1.Corinthians9:17a RemembertheloveJesushadforPeter,thoughPeterhadfailedHim: Sowhentheyhaddined,JesussaithtoSimonPeter,Simon,sonofJonas,lovestthoumemore thanthese?Hesaithuntohim,Yea,Lord;thouknowestthatIlovethee.Hesaithuntohim,Feed mylambs.Hesaithtohimagainthesecondtime,Simon,sonofJonas,lovestthoume?Hesaith untohim,Yea,Lord;thouknowestthatIlovethee.Hesaithuntohim,Feedmysheep.Hesaith untohimthethirdtime,Simon,sonofJonas,lovestthoume?Peterwasgrievedbecausehesaid untohimthethirdtime,Lovestthoume?Andhesaiduntohim,Lord,thouknowestallthings; thouknowestthatIlovethee.Jesussaithuntohim,Feedmysheep.John21:1517 InsamewayJesusislovingustodayandcallingustobeHiscoworkers,distributing Hissurewordtoourfellowpeople!

~
11.BasisofChristianmoralvalues AllmoralvaluesarefundamentallyderivedfromthecommandmentsofGod.All scientifical,theologicalandphilosophictheoriswillalwayshavesomeeffecttothe moralsandethicsofmankind. Let'stakethedarwinismforexample.Itassertswearefundamentallynottheimageof God,butratheranimalsevolvedfromslime,apelikecreaturesetc.Thisbringswithita moralconclusions;Ifwe'reanimals,weoughttoactandbehavelikeones!Sexualmoral, familyvalues,society'scareabouttheweak...Nomatterwhatpeoplesay,theirideas actuallywilleffecthowtheymaketheirdecisions!ThatisnolesstruewithusChristians. Ifweencounterpeople,astheywouldbeJesus,weourselvesgiveJesustothem.Thisis connectedtothefactthatweshoulddoeverythingaswe'ddoittotheLord.Thisshapes ourmoralandmakesusmoreChristlike.Also,byservingothersinthismannergives

38

somethingoutofourinnermostself,ourspiritandthuswegivefromourselvesthemost true. Hereisthebeutyoftheregeneratedheartandmindofatruedisciple.Wemustlearnto putourownabitions,comfortanddesirestohaltatatimeandlearntotakecareofother people.Wemustnotonlyservethosewelike,butalsothosethatwenaturallywould dislike.Lordsaidaboutthis: Andifyesaluteyourbrethrenonly,whatdoyemorethanothers?Donoteventhepublicansso? Beyethereforeperfect,evenasyourFatherwhichisinheavenisperfectMt.5:4748 Ifweputourfaithinthethoughts,valuesandidealsofhumanbeingsinanyform,beit political,philosophicalorreligiousideal,wehavenotonsolidground.Trendsand fashionschange.Whatwaswrongyesterdaymaybeconsideredrightfultoday.Butthat isnotthecasewithChristians!Ourmoralvaluesarenotourownideaswhatwefeelright orwrong.WehavediedtoourownfleshlydesiresandlookuptotheperfectOneand desiretolistenthevoiceoftheGoodShepherdtoinstructus. WemustconsidertheBibleasaliteralWordofGodbecause: AllScriptureisbreathedoutbyGodandprofitableforteaching,forreproof,forcorrection,and fortraininginrighteousness2.Timothy3:16ESV Askyourself,ifyourfaithdoesnotfounditselfintheBible,wherethen?Rememberthat allfalsereligiousandphilosophicalassertionsarebasedontheOriginalLie: Andtheserpentsaiduntothewoman,Yeshallnotsurelydie:ForGoddothknowthatintheday yeeatthereof,thenyoureyesshallbeopened,andyeshallbeasgods,knowinggoodandevil. Genesis3:45 Believingthislieinit'svariousmodernformsmayatfirst seemproper.Itmaybepoliticallycorrecteven.Buteventuallyitwillleadto destruction. Allmanmadepathstowhateverworldlyglory,willattheendbethehighwayto destruction. What'sitgoingtobe?Willyouchoosethenarrowway,whichmaysometimesseem boringorunbearableintheeyesoftheflesh? Orwillyoutakethebroadwaytopleaseyourselfontheexpenseofthehappinessof others,willofGodandeventuallyyourdamnationfromHisHolyPresence?Youcan't haveboth!Thereforeitisofutmostandofeternalimportancethatwefoundourfaithin thesurefoundationofLivingGod;HisWord.

39

Thegrasswithers,theflowerfades,butthewordofourGodwill standforever.Isaiah40:8ESV

~
12.GrowingintheChristianintegrityandidentity

ThereistrulymajesticandpowerfulsymbolismintheWordofGodconcerningHis people.GodseesHischildrenassomethingspecialandvaluesHisChurch(thecalled outones)aboveeverythingHecreated.ThatiswhyHebecameamanandgaveHislife forus(John3:16;10:11). Now,whatdoesitreallymeantobeaChristian?ToreallybeatrueChristian,meansthat wehavetakenJesusChristourLordandSavior. TheLordshipofJesusmustbefullandprofound,coveringourwholelife.Thefullnessof JesusbeingourMasterandKingistheonlywayHewillsaveusfromoursins. SowehavetakenJesusasourLord.ThatmakesusHisdisciples.Thediscipleshipof JesusgivesusamembershipinHisspiritualbody,theChurch. BeforeweknewJesus,wedidnotknowourowntrueself,ourspirit.God'sSpirit,thatthe wholenessofGodandJesus,awakenedourspiritandmadeitbornagain.Thatgaveusa newandtrueidentity. Also,wemustremainGod'schildrenandnotemancipateourselvesfromthistruefamily ofours. "AsyehavethereforereceivedChristJesustheLord,sowalkyeinhimColossians2:6 IfweneglectourspirituallifeandabandontheHighCalling,theLordwillfindus waterlesswellsandunfruitfultrees,servantswhohaveburiedtheirtalent. Becausewehangontheonlyanchorofourfaith,LordJesus,Godwilldeliverusfrom fallingawayfromHisgrace.Aswedailytakeupourcrossanddietoourselfishdesires, wewillbythepoweroftheRegeneratingSpiritbringforththegoodfruitoftheSpirit (seeMatthew12:33). "ButthefruitoftheSpiritislove,joy,peace,longsuffering,gentleness,goodness,faith Galatians5:22.

40

ThecompoundunityoftheChristianChurch,orthetruecalledoutonesliesinthatwe shareandformtheTrueBodyofChrist,andtheTempleoftheLivingGod.LiketheFather, theWordandtheSpiritformacompoundunity,soareweformedasonebody,through thepowerofGod(seeJohn17:11,22). WehaveLivingGoddwellinginourbodyandspiritHeistheSpiritofGod,alsocalled "theHolyGhost"and"Defender".Itisthesecretofourintegrityandourprivilageto serveGodwhofirstlovedus(see1.John4:19). WearecalledtothediscipleshipofJesus,wearesentto preachtheGospel,wearecalledtogiveourveryalltoJesus.Wearemadebrothersof theLordJesus(Mark3:35)andchildrenofGod. Asitiswrittenofus:"Forbothhethatsanctifiethandtheywhoaresanctifiedareallofone:for whichcauseheisnotashamedtocall thembrethrenHebrews2:11. Thusweneedtobecomeaholynation,aspiritualnationofGod.Wehavetoleadalifeof holiness,whichwecanachieveonlybytheSpiritofGod. "Accordingashehathchosenusinhimbeforethefoundationoftheworld,thatweshouldbeholy andwithoutblamebeforehiminlove:Havingpredestinatedusuntotheadoptionofchildrenby JesusChristtohimself,accordingtothegoodpleasureofhiswill"Ephesians1:45 "What?knowyenotthatyourbodyisthetempleoftheHolyGhostwhichisinyou,whichye haveofGod,andyearenotyourown?"1.Corinthians6:19 "AndwhatagreementhaththetempleofGodwithidols?foryearethetempleofthelivingGod; asGodhathsaid,Iwilldwellinthem,andwalkinthem;andIwillbetheirGod,andtheyshallbe mypeople."2.Corinthians6:16 TheChurchofGodisHoly,sooneclaimingamembershipinthattruespiritualBody mustbringforthfruitsoftheSpirit.Althoughwecannotbegoodoreventodogood(ina longrun)byourownstrength,weneedtochoosetoobeyGod'swillinourlives. AswecanseefromtheScripture,andastheSpiritinsideustestifies,wearetrulyblessed bythepreciousbloodofJesusChrist.WehavetakenHisrighteousnessuponus(Romans 3:14). ThusHehasadoptedustothehouseholdoftheLivingGod.Thuswemay,withoutfear refertoGodasourFather(Abba)(Gal.4:6).ThuswealsomaycalluponGodbyHisHoly Name(haShem),whichisYHWH(probablyspelledYahweh),andwhichincludesinthe nameofourLordJesus(Yehoshua,YahwehisSalvation).Letusnowseefewversesfrom theScriptures,fromtheEpistletoRomansaboutthis:

41

"Foryehavenotreceivedthespiritofbondageagaintofear;butyehavereceivedtheSpiritof adoption,wherebywecry,Abba,Father."Romans8:15 WeenterintoanintimatespiritualrelationshipwithGod.Itiskindofasymbiosisoftwo lifeformsexistinginus.Oneisourself,andtheotheristheTrueGodwhoabidesinus throughHisHolySpirit.Itisnotameretheory,butYHWHGodgivesusavivid testimonyofthis,throughHisWordandthroughHisSpirit,asPaulcontinuesinhis epistletoRomans: "TheSpirititselfbearethwitnesswithourspirit,thatwearethechildrenofGod:" Romans8:16 WithusbeenadoptedtotheHouseholdofGod,itbringsaboutallthebirthrightsofthe sonanddaughteroftheKingofKings.AswebecomethechildrenofGodtheFatherby reconciliationthroughtheBloodofChrist,webecomebrothers(andsisters)ofGod's OnlyBegottenSon.ThistrueChristianidentityofour,isthatwebelongtoGod'sRoyal House.WearethejointheirsofChristandshallrulewithHimusbecominglikeHimin everyunimaginableway(seePhilippians3:21,1.John3:2,Revelation5:911). "Andifchildren,thenheirs;heirsofGod,andjointheirswithChrist;ifsobethatwesufferwith him,thatwemaybealsoglorifiedtogether."Romans8:17 "Butyeareachosengeneration,aroyalpriesthood,anholynation,apeculiarpeople;thatye shouldshewforththepraisesofhimwhohathcalledyououtofdarknessintohismarvellous light"1.Peter2:9 Withgreatprivilegecomesgreatresponsibility.Jesussaidthatnoteveryonewhosaysto him'Lord,Lord'shallinherittheKingdomofHeaven.TheKingdomisreservedforthe truechildren.TheremaybepeoplewhopretendtobelongtoGod'scongregationof saints.TothemtheLordsays:"Getawayfromme,Ineverknewyou."(Mat.7:21). BeforewetookJesusourLord,God'scommandmentsseemedhardforus.Nowtheyare ourjoyandourtruefoodandfuel.AstheLordsaid:"manshallnotlivebybreadalone,but byeverywordofGod(Luke4:4b). TheSpiritofadoptionhastransformedourspiritintomoreobedientandglad,more thankfulandloving.ThereliesthetruebeautyandintegrityofChristians,thatwelove GodourFatherandeachother. WehaverighttoownallGod'spromisesasHischildren.Accepting

42

thisfactinallhumilityfitforobedientchildren,wewilldespiteoutofourspiritallthe integritythatwerightfullypossess.Thesecretofourtrueidentityliesinthefactthatwe areawholenewsortofcreation, madebyGod,whoelectedthisbodyofpeoplebeforetheages(seeEphesians1:45).Of thisitiswritten: "ThereforeifanymanbeinChrist,heisanewcreature:oldthingsarepassedaway;behold,all thingsarebecomenew. 1.Corinthians5:17. AlmightyGodhaspowerandwilltomakeasevenbastionsandstrongholdsofHis Word.WhenwereceivefromHimourdailyspiritualbreadandcarryourcrossesinHis footsteps,Hewillmakeusworthyvesselstocarrythelightofthetruth. WehaveasourLordthetruthfulandfaithfulGodtheWord,Heevenhasthewilltogive useverythingHehas.ButwehavetobecomeservantsofHimandofeachother.Lord willteachusallthehumilityHemanifestedwhenHewalkedthisEarth. Onlybyselfdenialandlackofegocentricmotivationwillwetrulyrealizethewonderful hopeandfreedomwhichwemayhaveinChrist. AswedenyourselvesandfollowJesushumblyandtruly,thefruitoftheSpiritwill proceed.AstheWordproceedsfromtheFather,sodothegoodworksoffaithandpraise ofgratitudecomeforthfromus. Verilyisthemiracleofregenerationandtrueconversionthebasisandreasonforour worshipandpraise.Asheirs,wemaycometothepresenceofGodwithduereverence andjoy.Couldtherebeanybetteridentityandbasisforthepurposeofintegrallife,than havingtheLivingGodlivinginourheartandspeakingtous?Thatiswhathappened whenwewereregeneratedandwhenwedailycarryour crosses! Allthisgloryandwondercametous,becauseofGod'sgrace.Ourpartwastochooseto acceptthisgiftandbringourlives,ourhopes,fears,sins...everythinginus,tothe mercifulGod,whoismerciful(especially)throughHisSon.Wedidasitiswritten: "Letusthereforecomeboldlyuntothethroneofgracethatwemayobtainmercy,andfindgrace tohelpintimeofneed. Hebrews4:16. LetallofuswhoareinChrist,alwaystrustourGod,whoisourFatherandour RedeemerandSanctifier.Maywewalkalwaysfromlighttolight!

43

"ThegraceoftheLordJesusChrist,andtheloveofGod,andthe communionoftheHolyGhost,bewithyouall." 2.Corinthians13:14

~
13.WhatistheKingdomofGod?

ItisveryrefreshingtobeguidedbytheSpiritintruthinall matters.SoisitalsowiththeGospeloftheKingdom.Somemaywonderwhatdoesithasto dowiththeRegeneration,butIamconvincedithastodomuch.Jesussaidthatifweare bornagain,wemaythenandonlythenenterthiskingdom(seeJohn3:3). So,whenwewereregenerated,wewereadoptedintothefamilyofGodandthatmeans alsowehavetheEarthasourinheritance. ThisisthesecretoftheKingdom.JesuspromisedtoHistwelveapostles: AndJesussaiduntothem,VerilyIsayuntoyou,Thatyewhichhavefollowedme,inthe regenerationwhentheSonofmanshallsitinthethroneofhisglory,yealsoshallsitupontwelve thrones,judgingthetwelvetribesofIsrael.Matthew19:28 TheKingdom(MalkuthinHebrew)wassomethingJesus preachedaboutalot.Manypeoplewantustobelievethatthechurch,pastand/or presentisthekingdom.Orthatitisonlyastateofmind.Butletusseewhatthe Scriptureshastosayaboutthesubject. YoumayrememberthegoldenstatueinthebookofDanielthattheNebuchadnezzar sawinadream.Thedifferentpartsofthestatuewerethedifferentkingdomssome alreadythereatDaniel'stimeandrecognizedbyhimbytheinspirationoftheSpirit.The lastworldpowerisbeingestablishedbyGodandisdescribedasfollows: "AndinthedaysofthesekingsshalltheGodofheavensetupa kingdom,whichshallneverbedestroyed:andthekingdomshallnotbelefttootherpeople,butit shallbreakinpiecesandconsumeallthesekingdoms,anditshallstandforever." Daniel2:44.

44

ThisdoesnotconvinceallthattheKingdomwillbeliteral.Buthowthenareweto understandthesewordsoftheLord:Blessedarethemeek:fortheyshallinherittheearth. (Mat.5:5)? Somesaythatthisappliesonlytoourearthlylives. ButifweseekthePsalmJesuswasreferringtowefoundthesewords:Therighteousshall inherittheland,anddwellthereinforever.(Psalm37:29). Somesaythattheworld(orthemankind)willbeutterlydestroyedandthattheChurch isinheavenduringtheMilleniumortheeternity. ButletusseewhatGodpromisedafterHedestroyedtheantedeluvianworldexcept Noahandhisfamily. ...Iwillnotagaincursethegroundanymoreforman'ssake;fortheimaginationofman'sheart isevilfromhisyouth;neitherwillIagainsmiteanymoreeverythingliving,asIhavedone. Genesis8:21 IfwelettheLordopenoureyes,wemayunderstandtheblessedhopewehaveina renewed,regeneratedplanet,ruledbyKingJesus!ForHimitwasclearissueandthatis whyHesaid: VerilyIsayuntoyou,Iwilldrinknomoreofthefruitofthevine,untilthatdaythatIdrinkit newinthekingdomofGod. Mark14:25 Whenwillthishappen?Lordsaid: Whentheythereforewerecometogether,theyaskedofhim,saying,Lord,wiltthouatthistime restoreagainthekingdomtoIsrael?Andhesaiduntothem,Itisnotforyoutoknowthetimesor theseasons,whichtheFatherhathputinhisownpower.Butyeshallreceivepower,afterthatthe HolyGhostiscomeuponyou:andyeshallbewitnessesuntomebothinJerusalem,andinall Judaea,andinSamaria,anduntotheuttermostpartoftheearth.Acts1:68 SoitwasnotGod'sintentiontobuildtheKingdomatthefirstcoming,butatthesecond. JesusspokeaboutthisalsoinotheroccasionswhichyoucanseeforexampleinMatthew chapter24. Well,howcanwebesurethattheKingdomisliteralandreallyonEarthratherthanin heaven?HaveyoueverconsideredwherewouldAdamandEvehavelivedlesttheyhad sinned? GodmadethemtoliveonEarthandthatiswhyitiswritten:

45

Theheaven,eventheheavens,aretheLORD'S:buttheearthhathhegiventothechildrenof men.Psalm115:16 ForthussaiththeLORDthatcreatedtheheavens;Godhimselfthatformedtheearthandmade it;hehathestablishedit,hecreateditnotinvain,heformedittobeinhabited:IamtheLORD; andthereisnoneelse.Isaiah45:18 AswehaveseeninthechapterGrowingintheChristian integrityandidentitywewillbecoheirsofChrist.Let'sseebrieflyaScripturefrom Revelationaboutthis: Andtheysunganewsong,saying,Thouartworthytotakethe book,andtoopenthesealsthereof:forthouwastslain,andhast redeemedustoGodbythybloodoutofeverykindred,andtongue,andpeople,andnation;And hastmadeusuntoourGodkingsandpriests:andweshallreignontheearth.Rev.5:910 WemayunderstandmoreofthisifwelookwhatPaulwroteaboutthis,thatthedead willbewiththeLordtrulyonlyaftertheresurrectionofthebody: ButIwouldnothaveyoutobeignorant,brethren,concerningthemwhichareasleep,thatye sorrownot,evenasotherswhichhavenohope.ForifwebelievethatJesusdiedandroseagain, evensothemalsowhichsleepinJesuswillGodbringwithhim. ForthiswesayuntoyoubythewordoftheLord,thatwewhicharealiveandremainuntothe comingoftheLordshallnotpreventthemwhichareasleep.FortheLordhimselfshalldescend fromheavenwithashout,withthevoiceofthearchangel,andwiththetrumpofGod:andthe deadinChristshallrisefirst:Thenwewhicharealiveandremainshallbecaughtuptogether withthemintheclouds,tomeettheLordintheair:andso shallweeverbewiththeLord.1.Thesalonians4:1317 So,intheresurrectionofthebody,webecomeChristlikealsophysically.Wegetsimilar bodiesJesushadafterHerosefromthegrave. Behold,Ishewyouamystery;Weshallnotallsleep,butweshallallbechanged,Inamoment, inthetwinklingofaneye,atthelasttrump:forthetrumpetshallsound,andthedeadshallbe raisedincorruptible,andweshallbechanged.Forthiscorruptiblemustputonincorruption,and thismortalmustputonimmortality.Sowhenthiscorruptibleshallhaveputonincorruption, andthismortalshallhaveputonimmortality,thenshallbebroughttopassthesayingthatis written,Deathisswallowedupinvictory.1.Corinthians15:5154 ButhowamIsurethattheLordwillbeliterallyonEarth? BecauseofthefollowingScriptures:

46

ForIwillgatherallnationsagainstJerusalemtobattle;andthecityshallbetaken,andthe housesrifled,andthewomenravished;andhalfofthecityshallgoforthintocaptivity,andthe residueofthepeopleshallnotbecutofffromthecity. ThenshalltheLORDgoforth,andfightagainstthosenations,aswhenhefoughtinthedayof battle.AndhisfeetshallstandinthatdayuponthemountofOlives,whichisbeforeJerusalemon theeast...Zechariah15:14 (NotethatthetextclearlyspeaksaboutliteralattackagainstIsrael,soitcannotbe symbolicinthiscontext). AndIheardagreatvoiceoutofheavensaying,Behold,the tabernacleofGodiswithmen,andhewilldwellwiththem,andtheyshallbehispeople,andGod himselfshallbewiththem,andbetheirGod.AndGodshallwipeawayalltearsfromtheireyes; andthereshallbenomoredeath,neithersorrow,norcrying,neithershalltherebeanymorepain: fortheformerthingsarepassedaway. Andhethatsatuponthethronesaid,Behold,Imakeallthingsnew.Andhesaiduntome,Write: forthesewordsaretrueandfaithful.Andhesaiduntome,Itisdone.IamAlphaandOmega,the beginningandtheend.Iwillgiveuntohimthatisathirstofthefountainofthewateroflife freely.Hethatovercomethshallinheritallthings;andIwillbehisGod,andheshallbemyson. Revelation21:37 Ohhowamazingandgraciouswondersandgloriesarewaitingforus!ThatistheGospel oftheKingdomwe'resupposedtopreachtoallnations!Thatisthewonderfulgrand finaletoalltheagoniesandfearsoftheworld.ThatisthefinalRegenerationofthe Universeandit'sinhabitantsgiventousbygraciousandTrueLordJesus! SixthousandyearsofsinwillendinaMilleniaofsabbathrestfortheEarthandtothose faithfulamonghumanity. TherewouldbemuchmoretowriteabouttheKingdom.ThisIwillsavetoanother occasionandtrustthatthisshort presentationmayincitereadertostudythesubjectmorefromhisorherBible. Onethingis,thatasweareRegenerated,wealreadyarecitizensandheirsofthe Kingdom,butnotreigningroyalpriestsinoffice. However,astheSpiritofGodwaspresentintheCreation,Heisnowinourheartsand thuswehaveshareinthecreativepower,themostdynamicpowerintheUniverse!And thisisjustthebeginningforwewillgetallthepromisesofGodliterallyinthe(Millenial) Kingdomandafterit!

47

~~~

Appendix.

MyChristologicalCreed Tosomeitmayseemstrangetoaddthistheologicalpresentationhere,buttomeitwas animportantpartoftheworkoftheSpirit.Likeitwaspromised,theSpiritguidedmeto seewhoandwhatJesusisandhowHeisrelatedtotheFatherthingswhichwerenot alwayscleartomebeforeIwasbornagain.AftermyregenerationIfeltan innerurgetoputmynewlyenlightenedunderstandingintowordswhichnowfollow. Thisisalsogivenhereforthediscernmentofthosewhomightquestionthedetailofmy faithinChrist(myChristology),andhopefullyforthebenefitofthebrethren. IbelieveinOneGod(YHWHEchadElohim),theFather(ABBA),originofallthings, fromwhomtheWord(Logos)hasHisorigin, fromthedaysofoldfrometernity. FromeverlastingisHeanutteranceoftheFather(Gn.1:1,Jn.1:1),LightfromLight,God fromGod. Ofthesamesubstance,asbornnotcreated(Ps.2:7), becauseitiswritten"TroughHimallthingswerecreated"(Col.1:16). AndIbelieveintheHolySpirit,whoisthepersonoftheLoveofGod. HeemanatesfromtheFatherandthroughtheSon. Heisnotcreated,beingtheSpiritofGod, HeisnotseparatefromtheFather. SoastheFatheristheOriginoftheSonandoftheSpirit, Heis,atiswritten"theheadofChrist"(1.Co.11:3), ButastheSonisbornandtheSpiritisradiatingfromtheFather,theyarenotcreated beings,butsharethesubstanceoftheGodheadandarethustrulyGod. Asitiswritten,"GodisSpirit"(Jn.4:23)and"WordwasGod"(Jn.1:1)andthat"Forinhim dwellethallthefulnessoftheGodheadbodily"(Col.2:9), theyarealltheLORDGod(YHWHELOHIM)

48

itisalsowrittenoftheWord,that"HeistheAngelofHisPresense"(Ex.3:2,Is.63:9)and "AngelinwhomMy NameIs"(Ex.23:21). Evenso,itiswrittenthat"Beingmadesomuchbetterthantheangels,ashehathby inheritanceobtainedamoreexcellentnamethanthey"(Heb.1:4). Asthespiritofmanistheman,sotheSpiritofGodistrulyGod,Alsothusisthesonof manaman,soisSonofGodtheGod Asitiswritten,"InthebeginningwasWordandWordwasGod"(Jn.1:1)and "Thou,Lord,didstfoundtheearthinthebeginning,andtheheavensaretheworkofthy hands;Butthouartthesame,andthyyearswillneverend."(Hb.1:1013). FatherisAncientofDays(ATIKYOMIN)(Dn.7:9), SonistheFirstbornGodandWord(MonogenesTheos,Logos)andtheSpiritisthe Comforter(RuachHaKodesh,Paracletos). Allofthemareworthytoreceivetheduehonorandworshipofmen,astheyareallthe LORD(YHWH),evenastheFatheristheheadandoriginoftheGodhead(Elohim).

~
MyWorshipPsalm VerysoonafterIwasbornagain,IstartedtointernalurgetopraiseGod.Thiswas somethingtotallynewtome.IfounditnaturaltoprayconstantlyandworshipGod everywayIcould.IreceivedthepurifiedlipsfromtheLordbywhichHemademeable toofferthanks toHim.NextIofferaPsalmlikepoemIwroteverysoonIwasbornagain.Iwroteit originallyinmynativeFinnish,sothetranslationmaylacksomeoftheartisticvalues(if thereareany)oftheoriginalbutneverthelesscarrytheJoyoftheSpiritIreceived. MysoultrulyrejoicesofYourgoodness,ohLord. Yousavedmefromthetrapsofdeath, anddeliveredmetothefullnessoffreedom. ThatiswhyYourlawsandstatuteshavebecomeverydeartome. TodayYouaremyKing. IwanttobuildyourKingdom, andtopraiseyournameinthetownsquare. IdesiretowalkinthehallsofyourHouse, andtorestinit'scolonnades. Youcutinhalftheseparatingcurtain, ThusIcancomeinjoyandgladnesstotheHolyofHoliest. 49

VerilyhaveYougivenmemydailybreath, ForYougaveYourselfasagifttome,OhBreadofLife. OhLivingGod,myspiritthirststheLivingWater. GiveusthelifegivingSpringRainofyourSpirit. LettheharvestofYourblessingsbloomlushinourmidst. Givestrengthtomyspirit, thatIcouldendurethebrightnessofYourgreatness, andyourEverlastingPresence. MakememoreabidingvesseltoYourholycause. Yourlovewellsinmyheartasaspring, Letitgrowtoagreatwaterfall! EventhoughIamasinstaineddust, Youboremeanew. AndYougavemepowertobecomeyourchildandheirofyourpromises. Lethumilityincreaseinme. Endowmeinspiritualwarfare, soIcanfightthegoodfightoffaith. Onlydidyounotclearobstaclesinmyway, butabundantlygavemeonlybest. YouadoptedmetoyourRoyalPriesthood,ohHighPriest, andmademehousekeeperofyourWord. TomanyIhavebecomeanobjectofamazement, butYouaremystronghold. ThatiswhyIwanttoofferYouthanksgiving, praiseyourHolyName,andworshipYouohLivingGod, AdonaiYahwehElohim, HallelujahKadosh,Kadosh,Kadosh. Amen.

50

SinnersPrayer

Ifyouwant,afterreadingthisbook(orotherwise),giveyourlifetoGodthroughHis onlybegottenSonJesus,andacceptJesusasyourpersonalSaviour,youcandothusby sayingthefollowingprayerwithearnestheart.

DearGod, IknowIneedYouinmylife, Ihavesinnedagainstyouwithactions,wordsandthoughts, ButnowIwanttoappealtothepreciousbloodofYourSonJesus Fortheremissionofmysins,allofthem. IwanttotakeYourSonJesusfromthismomentonwardtobemypersonalSaviour. PleaseLordJesus,acceptmeasyourdiscipleandgivemepowertobecomeachildof God.TeachmetowalkinYourfootsteps. ThankYouthatYoulovemeGod,andthatYoushowmeYourloveevenmore. InJesusname, Amen.

(ContactustoreceivefreeChristianliterature,spiritualguidance,helptoreceiveaBible, abaptismorjoinourfreeBibleStudyCourse:armotalous@gmail.com)

~
Antidrugexhortation

TakeJesus,notdrugs!Friend,todayJesuswantstofreeyoufromthecaptivityofsin.He wantstotakeyoufromspiritualEgyptanddeliveryoutothelandofmilkandhoney! JesuswillfillyouwithHislove.Thatloveexceedsallearthlydesiresandfleshly pleasures.

51

DrugsandabusiveuseofalcoholareSatan'scounterfeitforthetruejoyandfulfillment youwillreceivebytakingJesusasyourLordandSaviortoday. FindusonFacebookGroupname:TakeJesus,notdrugs!Oremailus: armotalous@gmail.com

Abouttheauthorandcontactinformation

I,theauthorHenrikJ.AKiviniemiamborn1983andliveinFinland.Iammarried. Fromthebeginningofthisyear(2011)IholdaBachelorofDivinitydecreefrom MaranathaTheologicalSeminaryandamcontinuingmystudiesthereandalsoin university. IamalsoadirectorofMaranathaTheologicalSeminaryEurope,afreeBibleseminary.I amcurrentlyactiveinmylocalBiblebelievingchurch,amwritinganddoingresearch andleadingaBiblestudygroup.Ihaveadesiretogotomissionaryworkinthefuture, lesttheLordcomesbeforeitispossible. IworkforGodinterdenominationally..IamcalledbyGodtodoHisworkwhichever wayIcan.Iacceptdonationsforadvancementoftheprintingandtranslationofthis book.Volunteercontributionscanbesendtomybankaccount(FI9780002612547645)or byanothermediawhichyoucaninquirebyemail. Iamavailableforchurches,schoolsandotherorganizationstogivespeeches,testimonies andsermons,assistinministry,assistinmissionetc. Also,ifyouwishmorematerial,wishtoenquireneweditionsofthisbook,bebaptized, havepastoraldiscussion,havemoreinfoaboutourBibleschoolorofotherissue,donot hesitatetoemailme:armotalous@gmail.com

Iwillsharemyphonenumberuponrequest.

Forextracopies(printedversion)ofthisbook,pleasesendpostmailtoaddressabove, ortoanotheraddressyoureceivefromemailinquiry. 52

Pleaseadd6percopy,and4shippingandhandling(total10percopyor90for 10copies,s/hincluded)cashorinternationalmoneyorder. (Electronicversion(pdf)isdistributedwithoutcost,butvolunteercontributionsandgifts areappreciated!)

MayyoubeblessedinthenameofJesus!

BrotherHenrikJ.AKiviniemi

Have you ever wondered what is the purpose of life?


If there is a God, why we need Him? What is the role of Jesus in all this? What is this being born-again so many professing Christians always talk about? Can even criminals, alcoholics, drug-addicts, prisoners and other people on the margins of society find grace and even rehabilitate to society? This book tries to help you to find answers for these questions in a loving way. The author believes that everyone and everything (including society and this planet) needs a regeneration that is only available from the Heavenly Power that designed everything. If you are a Christian and have experienced the spiritual regeneration, you still find a lot of insight within the pages of this book, as it covers many topics about further growth in the faith and build a more profound relationship with Jesus through the constant infilling of the Spirit.

53

It also encourages every believer to consider increasing their efforts to be a faithful witnesses of Jesus and reach out to those who yet do not know Jesus personally. This book contains a series of Bible-studies, testimonies and exhortations from a young Christian writer and witness who has own experience about rising up from difficult conditions, and who has read his Bible and is currently continuing his formal Biblical Studies. What other people say about this book: From violence to victory in JESUS; for self and society: by experiencing the miracle power of GODs Love through deliveranca and knowledge from the HOLY BIBLE. Henrik is blessed to share this knowledge, which is joyfully presented to The searching heart, troubled mind and sad spirit. More than just receiving a blessing from reading Henriks book: Apply the WONDERFUL-POWERFUL-TRUTH of GODs word. After 57 years of walking with Jesus, I feel like 23 at age 73. I know how to Find the deeper joys in life: and Henriks book has been one of them. -David Olsen

54