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Baptism

A lifetime vow with the hope of salvation

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The lifetime vow of baptism

The lifetime vow of baptism

An exposition of the truth concerning salvation

Abstract Baptism by full immersion in water is essential for salvation. It is a once only event upon an intelligent confession of faith in God, His promises and His son Jesus Christ, and immersion in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Thereafter begins a lifetime of motivation of conscience by the Holy Spirit in proving the sincerity of that vow by obedience to Gods word including renewal of the baptismal vow each 1st day by eating and drinking the bread and wine of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The vow of baptism is non-negotiable and lasts until the termination of life. A decision after resurrection will be taken by Jesus at the final Judgement Seat as to whether that vow was proven to have been sincere. Sincerity will be rewarded with eternal life on earth and insincerity will earn a return to the grave.

This book is written in the first person plural to emphasise the personal nature of the common faith that baptism is a lifetime vow between the baptised and God.

Based solely on Bible teaching www.truetestament.org

The lifetime vow of baptism

Chapter 1

Baptism by water Baptism is a solemn vow unto God which cannot be annulled or ignored (Ecclesiastes 5 v 1-7) and is the beginning of the transformation of our character, the beginning of the complete change of our soul, the first act of repentance of our heart and mind, which transformation, complete change and repentance is beyond the power of any effort of our own, or any of our neighbours, but is essential for salvation. Baptism was first practiced by John Baptist before the ministration of Jesus Christ (Luke 3 v 1-3)tt (Matthew 3 v 1-6) (Mark 1 v 2-8) (John 1 v 23-26), and means literally to wash by fully wetting. It originates from the Greek (baptizo), which is taken from the root (bapto), to overwhelm, to wholly cover with a fluid. If we remain immersed in water it would result in our death and baptism by total immersion is therefore chosen by God as a symbolic death. God had shown the principles of baptism, its significance in Christ and its necessity for salvation long before Jesus time, principles that have never changed since the sin of Adam and Eve and the imposition by God of the curse of the enmity in man (Genesis 3 v 16). The record of these principles have been preserved in the Bible to help all who come to Christ to understand the simple fundamentals of the will of God, to understand His covenant of salvation with mankind before we are baptised, so that our rebirth into Christ by baptism will indeed be lively, substantial and will lead to sustained growth in character unto salvation by forgiveness of sins when Jesus Christ returned to the earth. Circumcision was the law for all who were born into the hope of salvation, which was given primarily to the Children of Israel from Abraham to Christ (Genesis 17 v 9-14). After the death and resurrection of Jesus, when the hope of salvation was given to the Gentiles, baptism replaced circumcision as revealed by the apostle Paul (Romans 2), (3) & (4). The principles of the necessity for baptism and the transformation of the character are taught in three significant events in the history of the children of Israel and are the subject of the following chapters. ********************* Chapter 2 The Covenant of God The will of God contained in the covenant of God is that mortal men and women will live for ever as immortals, on earth, after the sentence of death has been experienced. They will be saved by resurrection from mortality and an eternal grave. This act will be done entirely in the mercy and grace of God, and God has given us, and to all other men and women, an opportunity to have this hope of salvation. It is not the will of God that any should die for ever, but that all should come to repentance and be saved

The lifetime vow of baptism (II Peter 3 v 9), nor does God have pleasure in the death of any of His creatures (Ezekiel 18 v 32). God has shown that for us to have this hope we must be baptised into the death of His son Jesus Christ (Romans 6 v 3-12), who, as a mortal man was killed but is now immortal after, firstly, his physical resurrection from the grave (Matthew 28 v 2-7), and then, by resurrection from mortality to immortality (John 20 v 17); (I Corinthians 15 v 23, & v 50-55). To confirm His love and mercy, God has given us a record of His will by inspiring holy men of old to write the books of the Holy Bible (II Peter 1 v 21). God has preserved those same books in the Holy Bible to help us to understand the conditions of His covenant of salvation in Jesus Christ, for none of us can hope for eternal life on this earth but by comprehending the central message of the covenant - teaching of salvation by the blood of Jesus Christ (John 14 v 6). Salvation is by faith, entirely in the mercy of God (Ephesians 2 v 8), and is based upon the covenant of hope set out in the Bible, so that our response to the mercy of God can be first by belief, and then by works which demonstrate our belief as faith, and not by works alone with a profession of faith (James 2 v 26). The word of God is preserved so that we can understand a measure of His will before we do any religious act and so that we can live by faith, rather than obeying a set of rules and laws collated by our fellows, or by blindly following our neighbour, like sheep, and then claiming to understand and practice Gods will. Faith comes first by hearing the word of God (Romans 10 v 17), and only then can our works confirm our belief as faith (James 3 v 17-26). We are required to enter into that covenant by binding ourselves to the hope of the covenant of God, in obedient response to the requirements of His covenant, with a solemn vow - which is the vow of baptism - and is our first act of faith. This is followed by a lifetime of renewal of that vow, of increasing our faith and of sanctifying our habits continuously. ********************* Chapter 3 The first principles of truth taught in the Exodus from Egypt 1) That we believe in one God, who is eternal and has a purpose with this earth which He created, which purpose is an eternal inheritance on earth for a people chosen, separated and sanctified by Him. To execute that purpose God, rules over all the nations. (Exodus 3, Exodus 34 v 5-7, Isaiah 57 v 15, & 45 v 18-19), (God overthrew Pharaoh and impoverished Egypt to publish this fact and is witnessed in the record of the history of Tuthmoses II, Hatsepshut his surviving wife and Tuthmoses III in whose rightful place Hatsepshut ruled after the Exodus) 2) That God has, entirely in His mercy, provided a redeemer and saviour in Jesus Christ because as sinful beings we are justly sentenced to an eternal grave and therefore we recognise our need for a saviour (Job 19 v 25-27), (John 6 v 53-54) (God taught Israel by the Passover lamb and the leadership and mediation of Moses) 3) That we acknowledgment that we are servants to sin by birth (Romans 12 v 19); (Ephesians 2 v 1-3). (A fact of life in Egypt for the Children of Israel)

The lifetime vow of baptism 4) That we possess by natural birth the enmity which is against God, against Jesus and against the law of God (Genesis 3 v 15); (Romans 7 v 7) (This was publicly witnessed by the cantankerous spirit of Pharaoh who represented his people, and in Israel who distrusted Moses) 5) That the wage of our sins is death, and as a result of our nature, in the absence of a saviour, we justly face the prospect of death without hope of resurrection (Genesis 3 v 14 & 19), (Psalm 90 v 8-10); (Romans 6 v 23). (This was the lot of Israel but for the mercy of God) 6) That we need to be reborn in character by associating with the death of Jesus in passing through the waters of baptism for the forgiveness of our already committed sins (Romans 6 v 3-4). (Illustrated by the passage through the Red Sea) 7) That our baptism by water is a singular vow unto God to submit to His laws as fulfilled in Christ (Romans 6 v 16 & 20-23). (Shown by the enthusiastic response of Israel immediately after deliverance from the armies of Egypt at the Red Sea to keep all the commands of God) 8) That baptism begins a lifetime of probation in the continual keeping of that vow which means a lifetime of progressive sanctification by the Holy Spirit, during which progress God will forgive our sins (I Corinthians 6 v 20); (Hebrews 4 v 15-16). (The journey of Israel through the wilderness for 40 years illustrated the need for preparation by trial and patience) 9) That we will be raised from the dead when Jesus returns to the earth when we will be judged as either faithful to full sanctification and eternal life, or unfaithful to be returned to the grave for ever (Matthew 25 v 1-46); (Daniel 12 v 1-3); (John 5 v 2829); (I Peter 4 v 17). (The crossing of Jordan to the Promised Land showed that many entered the land of Promise, but many more did not) 10) That there will be a kingdom of God on earth in the fullness of Gods purpose which will be inherited for ever by Jesus Christ and his companion who will be the sanctified faithful (Genesis 13 v 14-17); (Ezekiel 21 v 26-27); (Revelation 1 v 6); (Revelation 5 v 9-10) (Shown by the conquest of Canaan by Joshua) These first principles of truth are found in the teachings of the Exodus of Israel from Egypt and are expanded in the following: God, the LORD God, is the God of Israel; He is the Creator and Sustainer of heaven and earth the source of all life (Psalm 36 v 9; Genesis 8 v 22; Revelation 4 v 11). God had a purpose in creating the earth, which was to inhabit it with a righteous people (Isaiah 45 v 18), and following the sin of Adam, God has been calling a people to whom He will give everlasting life after they have proven their faith in Him (Genesis 13 v 15; Daniel 7 v 9-10 & 18). After the days of Abraham and Isaac, Israel were the original custodians of this hope, the hope of the promises that were given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 13 v 14-17; Genesis 22 v 16-18; Genesis 26 v 3-5; Genesis 28 v 13-15).

The lifetime vow of baptism The Almighty God overrules the power, and the rise and fall, of the nations (Daniel 4 v 17) and does so according to His purpose of calling and sanctifying a people to be inheritors of His earth ( Deuteronomy 32 v 8). God caused Israel to sojourn in Egypt (Genesis 15 v 13-14) beginning with Jacob to whom the Egyptians were friendly (Genesis 47 v 6) and ending with Moses to whom the Egyptians were hostile (Exodus 1 v 8-11) and this 430 year sojourn is used to teach all generations who follow, what the gospel of the way of salvation given by God is, which gospel is the good news message of release from a hopeless captivity to sin and is the same gospel message received by us as was given in the beginning. Pharaoh and the rulers of Egypt put the children of Israel to a cruel bondage, which God has used as a scriptural symbol of the natural bondage of all men and women to the enmity which moves us to oppose God by sin and, like Israel under the Egyptians, there is no hope of release from that bondage apart from the merciful call of God and even after that call there is every possibility that we can easily return to servitude (Exodus 1 v 13-14, Exodus 6 v 5, Numbers 11 v 4-5, Hebrews 11 v 24-28). When we recognise our natural bondage to sin and pray unto God for release, we will have the eyes of our understanding opened by God to be delivered from bondage to sin by baptism into Christ. As God raised up Moses to lead His people to the Promised Land from their literal bondage (Exodus 3 v 7-10), so in like manner, God raised up Jesus as a shepherd to lead a people by faith, from the cruel bondage of the enmity unto sin to the hope of eternal life on this earth (Isaiah 61 v 1-3, Micah 6 v 8-9, Luke 1 v 30-35). Jesus Christ is the Son of God who was conceived by the Holy Spirit in a mortal woman and who bore him as a mortal babe (Matthew 1 v 20-25; Luke 1 v 27-35; Galatians 4 v 4-6). Jesus grew to maturity with the same temptations as any other man (Matthew 4 v 111; Hebrews 2 v 16-18; Hebrews 4 v 15) and died without sin as his blood was shed on the cross, as a sacrifice for the atonement of sins of others (Romans 5 v 6-7). He was buried and rose the third day as a mortal, and during the same day was elevated to life everlasting (Matthew 27 & 28; Mark 15 & 16; (Luke 23 & 24; John 19 & 20). The bondage of the Israelites was very real them, and they cried out because of their suffering. In like manner, the realisation of our bondage to the enmity, our personal servitude to human nature, our weaknesses to sin and to do wickedly, our acknowledgement that we are in a hopeless bondage to the service of sin must be equally real for us if we desire to experience the hope of salvation from death, (Romans 6 v 23), (Romans 7 v 22-25). In our seeking for the one and true baptism unto salvation (Ephesians 4 v 5) we must seek unto God for deliverance in a sincere and persistent manner. Only by the sacrifice of a Passover lamb, separated from the flock, and its shed blood could Israel gain deliverance from Egypt (Exodus 12 v 3-10 & v 42-43) and only by association with Jesus blood can we have deliverance from our personal servitude to sin. The fulfilment of the teaching of the Passover lamb was the mortal man, Christ Jesus, who by righteous obedience to God became separate from his people in character and willingly shed his blood in death (Isaiah 53 v 6-7), (John 1 v 35-36). By the blood of Jesus alone, which was shed in his death after a lifetime of service to God, is there release from our continued natural servitude to sin by the forgiveness of

The lifetime vow of baptism our sins, and by this means alone can we progress to a reformed sanctified character beginning by true baptism. The Children of Israel were led to the Red Sea and God caused them to be immersed in the waters by dividing the sea and covering them with the cloud of His protection. To the army of Egypt (which in the figure represents the mind of the flesh, the enmity, and who attempted to prevent Israels deliverance), the Red Sea became a watery grave (Exodus 14). Israels 'immersion' between the water of the Red Sea with the overshadowing cloud was the figure God established for the physical act of rebirth to a new character by passing through the waters of baptism when Jesus Christ should come (John 3 v 3-7). It is an act of faith to demonstrate that we are convinced that the first principles of truth are believed in, and, by immersion in water, we declare a belief for the need to kill our old man of the flesh (Romans 6 v 6) as the enmity and human nature in each one of us (characterised in the madness of the Egyptians) but was overcome and slain in victory by Jesus Christ in his life and death (Romans 6). God enlightened the eyes of the understanding of Israel to his will and purpose when God gave them the Holy Covenant of His law by Moses at Mount Sinai, as a prefigurement of the gift of understanding and the opening of our eyes to His purpose by Jesus Christ when we are baptised by water and subsequently by the Holy Spirit. Following the baptism of Israel by Moses, they entered into that Holy Covenant of their Creator, in that they vowed that all that the Lord hath said we will do (Exodus 24 v 7) when the words of Gods law had been read to them by Moses. Then began a 40-year journey to the Promised Land during which all except two died (Deuteronomy 8 v 2-3). In like manner, our baptism is a vow to enter into that Holy Covenant of God by submitting to all the laws of God in Christ, and the beginning of a lifetime probationary journey of faith led by the Holy Spirit (as Israel were by the Angel), to prove what is in our heart, until the end of our life (Romans 12 v 2), (Galatians 6 v 3-4), (1 Peter 2 v 2-5). ********************* Chapter 4 The first principles of truth, the firm foundation of faith This sequence of events set down the first principles of truth and forms a firm foundation for our intelligent baptism, an act of faith, which is to transform us from an acknowledging believer to a faithful believer (I Timothy 6 v 19); James 2 v 17-20), (Hebrews 11 v 1) , and associates us with the death of Jesus Christ. In that death, Jesus concluded his lifetimes work of cutting off the lustful mind of the flesh by the continual killing with the commands of God, (Matthew 4 v 1-11), (Hebrews 4 v 15), (Mark 8 v 34-35), (John 17 v 4), (Psalm 40 v 6-8). Further figures of the principles of truth in the River Jordan Before the children of Israel could enter the Promised Land in Canaan they had to cross the River Jordan which was in flood at that time making it impossible to do so,

The lifetime vow of baptism but to conclude miracle of their journey and to teach us, God temporally stopped the flow of the river so that the whole host could cross safely into their inheritance previously promised to Abraham and confirmed to Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 17 v 1822) after which it returned to its normal flow. The way Israel crossed the river is a figure to us of the fulfilment of the covenant of God with mankind in Jesus Christ. The Ark of the Covenant always led the people in all their journeys when it was removed from the Tabernacle and carried on the shoulders of the appointed priests (Numbers 10 v 33-36) . The Ark and the Mercy Seat signified Jesus Christ and set the pattern for us in that Jesus went before us in the probationary journey of faith setting us an example that we all must follow to prove our faith (Mark 8 v 34-38) . At the time of crossing the Jordan, there was to be a specified distance between the Ark and the people of 2000 cubits, and as the feet of the priests touched the waters (which were in flood at that time), the waters stopped flowing from upstream very far from the city of Adam (Joshua 3) . The figure for us is, that Jesus entered into the blessed state of everlasting life from God as a result of his victory over the enmity (which human nature) by stopping its debasing work, which enmity is typified by the serpentine course of the river ending in the Dead Sea, and by this means he made a way possible for all the children of God to follow him some 2000 units of time after him. The river Jordan, from its origin in the heights of Mount Hermon to its end in the Dead Sea, is a divinely chosen figure of the ever downward flow of human life from its elevated creation in the image and likeness of God, to an eternal grave due our sins (Genesis 3 v 19) . In accord with this figure, John the Baptist was inspired by God to baptise with the baptism of repentance in the river Jordan (Luke 2 v 2-3). God chose the use of Jordan to illustrate the requirements of His purpose in calling more and more people to the hope of salvation in the new testament of the blood of Christ, and to show His purpose in calling out people who were not of the commonwealth of Israel, but who are equally destined by nature to an eternal grave to share the same hope of salvation from the dead by resurrection and afterwards to receive everlasting life. God chose Jordan to teach what His requirements are for an intelligent understanding of the principle of baptism is in any man or women, so that they can embrace the hope of salvation by faith and not by ritual. The figure of the flow of the river Jordan contains essential knowledge required by all who desire to be baptised to this day. Baptism in the river Jordan was a figure set by God at that time to teach us what our faith should be when we are baptised in any water. The origin of Jordan is from the water springs at the foot of Mount Hermon fed by the snow melt from its peak which has perpetual snow, and it was in this mountain that Jesus was transfigured in before His disciples (Matthew 17 v 1-9) prefiguring his future immortal state, and that David saw as a type of the eternal state (Psalm 132) . Adam and Eve were made perfect and in the image of the eternal God, but were neither mortal nor immortal and could be said to be established and righteous like snow-capped Mount Hermon, but due to their sin began a descent towards the grave of the Dead Sea. As sons and daughters of Adam and Eve we are part of that same flow of humanity. The springs from the snows of Mount Hermon join together to form a brook and as they progress downwards are joined by other tributaries to form a river which descends to the Sea of Galilee where Jesus did much of his teaching, and where the fishermen (his disciples) made their living from which he called them (Matthew 4 v 18-19) . After this fruitful and at times tempestuous sea, Jordan

The lifetime vow of baptism descends in a serpentine manner towards the Dead Sea, the river bed travelling 3 times its direct distance due to its crookedness and finally empties into the Dead Sea from whence it does not emerge, but is lost for ever. More figures of flow of the waters of Jordan God has set this river is a figure of the flow of humanity, beginning from the perfect Divine creation (figured in Mount Hermon) of a man and woman with no blemish of body or mind (Genesis 1 v 31) , through to the introduction of the serpents lies and the subsequent influence of the enmity as tributaries (Genesis 3 v 1-6), Genesis 6 v 5), Genesis 11 v 1-9, etc), to form a fruitful sea of humanity. This sea of mankind to which we belong has always been turbulent beneath a placid surface and at times it is tempestuous (Luke 8 v 22-25); (Matthew 14 v 22-33); (Isaiah 57 v 20-21) , but out of this continuum of human beings, God is calling a few people (as a fisherman catches fish) to be separated and prepared for His use (Mark 1 v 17) , and Gods way of calling the Gentiles is by baptism in those same figurative waters of humanity with the realisation that we will in time justly descend towards an eternal grave. By nature, and without the mercy of God (Exodus 33 v 19), (Romans 9 v 15-20) , none of us have any right to this opportunity of salvation. As the serpent (the enmity, human nature, etc.) is active in us all, we have already begun our hopeless descent from the fruitful and figurative Galilee towards the Dead Sea even though we may be young and in good health, we are therefore freely 'swimming' in the waters of the sea of this world with the choice to do with our lives what we will except to stop the descent to corruption (Ecclesiastes 12 v 1). Jesus Christ was of this same flow of hopelessness God has shown that out of this flow of natural hopelessness He was to raise up a saviour, a mortal man beset by the same frailties as any other (Deuteronomy 18 v 15 & 18,) (John 1 v 9-14) , who by means of voluntary premature death would provide a way of escape for others from an eternal grave and so give us a hope of eternal forgiveness of our sins. By this one, and in association with him, we can embrace the hope of Gods covenant of the promise of everlasting life on this earth (I Corinthians 15 v 51-55); (Revelation 1 v 5-6) . The figure of Jesus victory in the stopping of the flow of Jordan The victory of Jesus over the enmity that made the way of salvation possible was illustrated by God when He led the Children of Israel out of the wilderness into the Promised Land then known as Canaan. This was after the lifetime journey of the children of Israel in the wilderness, which is a figure of our probation begun at baptism. As the feet of the priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant touched the waters of Jordan, God temporarily stopped the flow of Jordan to Dead Sea (Joshua 3) while Israel crossed to the Promised Land, which is a figure of the future kingdom of God on earth. The ark was a figure of Jesus Christ and he led the way unto salvation by 2000 cubits, the approximate time in years that the saints will follow Jesus into the inheritance promised to Abraham (Joshua 3 v 4) . The figure God chose to represent the hope of deliverance from descent of the race of humanity to an eternal grave is understood in that the cutting off of the flow of the river was far from the then-named city of Adam (Joshua 3 v 16) meaning that there would be a time (a long time from

The lifetime vow of baptism the creation, 4000 years for Jesus and 4000+2000 years for the saints) when a chosen people separated from the rule of the enmity (in figurative Egypt) would experience a transition to the kingdom of God by stopping the natural flow of decay to an eternal grave for them would stop, but would then continue in unbelievers. ********************* Chapter 5 Baptism by water by faith in Jesus For baptism to be meaningful it must be total immersion in water, which if continued, would result in death. Baptism is therefore the symbol of the both final death of the enmity in the nature of Jesus Christ that tempted him (and which causes all of us to sin) and his physical death. Participating in act of baptism is our acknowledgement that our nature (natural impulses - human nature) must also die by obedience to God through Jesus Christ. Jesus was born of the lineage of David and Adam and was therefore mortal in nature and fully able to follow the sins of his progenitors (Hebrews 2 v 16-18), (Matthew 1 v 1-16), (Luke 3 v 23, 31 & 38) . He did not follow them in transgression, but committed no sin in his life (nor during his death on the cross), so not only did his physical body die on the cross but the enmity which was in him also in fulfilment of the curse on the serpent (Genesis 3 v 16) . It was in the waters of the river Jordan that Jesus was baptised at approximately 30 years of age (Mark 1 v 9) , to teach the way of salvation of the purpose of God by baptism in the New Testament of the blood of Christ (Hebrews 9 v 15-20) . The sacrifice of Christ, circumcision and baptism linked by faith in his blood Forgiveness of our sins, the washing away of the uncleanness of our transgressions, the providing of a covering for the shame of our spiritual nakedness can only be by the blood of Jesus Christ, And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (Hebrews 9 v 22) ; (John 6 v 53-56) ; (Romans 5 v 9). The death of Jesus Christ, to provide forgiveness of our sins, was not to be an ordinary death such a many men have experienced. It was required by God that not one of the bones of his body should be broken (John 19 v 36), that in his victory over the enmity he should be made a curse because of us (Galatians 3 v 13), (John 3 v 14-17) and that his blood should be shed in his death as a covering for our sins (Genesis 3 v 21) ; (Hebrews 11 v 4); (Leviticus 7 v 10-14); (Exodus 12 v 7-14) ; et al). If we do not believe or have faith (works which confirm belief) in the significance and power of the teaching of the blood of Christ we can have no hope of eternal life, because the only sacrifices that were acceptable to God for the atonement of sins were the ones that required the shedding of blood (Genesis 4 v 4); (Leviticus chapters 1-9) . Furthermore, there could have been no exodus from Egypt for the children of Israel without the shedding of blood of a lamb and its public display (Exodus 12 v 7), neither could there have been circumcision without the shedding of blood (Genesis 17 v 11) , and to fulfil all these figures it was required of Jesus that he willingly offer himself to God by submitting to the will of the Jews and the Romans in their choice of the cruellest of deaths which necessitated the shedding of blood (John 19 v 10-11) . In his death Jesus blood was shed by the nails in his hands and feet and

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The lifetime vow of baptism by the spear that pierced his side, fulfilling in reality the final outpouring of his life as a libation to the honour of God and for our salvation (John 19 v 34-37); (Zechariah 12 v 10) & (Zechariah 13 v 6). Therefore our baptism into his death (Romans 6 v 4) and our subsequent continual baptism by the Holy Spirit as a result of our faithful drinking of wine in the renewal of our vow, cannot be valid without belief in the power of the covering of the blood of Jesus. Baptism by water and continual baptism by the Holy Spirit are acts which confirm our belief and are therefore acts of faith, without which we cannot be justified (Romans 5 v 1 & 9). ********************* Chapter 6 Circumcision From the days of Abraham until the time of Christ, circumcision was the figure God chose to symbolise the work of preparation for salvation (Colossians 2 v 11-12). As baptism is inseparably linked with the shed blood of Jesus, so likewise it was never possible to be circumcised without the painful shedding of blood - which was the prefigurement of baptism in that the flesh was cut off and died. As circumcision of the body could achieve nothing unto sanctification of the heart, so likewise baptism in water alone cannot sanctify us to salvation. For circumcision to have been meaningful unto salvation it was necessary that the heart also be circumcised, which can only be done on a continuous basis by denial of temptation. It is written But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. (Romans 2 v 29). Therefore baptism by water once is the beginning of a continual baptism in circumcising the heart by cutting off the lusts of the enmity by personal effort in allowing the Holy Spirit to work by pricking our conscience. Circumcision was given to Abraham and his offspring as a token, to be a constant reminder of the promises of the covenant made by God with the people that He has called to embrace the hope of everlasting life on this earth after resurrection from the dead (Genesis 17 v 9-12); (Romans 2 v 29). It was given as a sign of the righteousness Abraham had displayed before his circumcision, and was to be a token to remind all others that only by following the example of the faith and righteousness of Abraham could the hope of their salvation to be continued (Romans 4 v 11) . The belief of Abraham in the covenant of God was demonstrated as faith by his readiness to shed blood in the offering of animals in sacrifice to God (Genesis 15 v 3-21) where the lamp that passed between the pieces has the same sense as the meaning of the word covenant. As Israel were to follow the faith (of the circumcision) of Abraham their forefather, so we are to follow after the sacrifice of Christ - who fulfilled the figure of circumcision (Matthew 5 v 17) . God - through the works of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ - has similarly given us the act of baptism as a token of our unity with faith and righteousness of Jesus Christ and to have association with his shed blood, by the cutting off and death of our old man in the waters of baptism as way of preparation for a lifetime of voluntary circumcision of the heart by the Holy Spirit (a continual

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The lifetime vow of baptism spiritual circumcisional baptism of the heart as was also seen in Abraham's life). These righteous actions by faith (baptism and subsequent voluntary continual denial of temptation) are necessary in order for us to embrace - and hold on to - the same Divine promise of the eternal life that Jesus has now received (Mark 16 v 16) for we cannot have our own righteousness, only the righteousness of Jesus. As circumcision was a token of Abrahams faith and righteousness, so baptism is the token of our belief in the faith, righteousness and death of one man, Jesus Christ, who as a mortal man was called out of the downward flowing river of our human race to be our redeemer. We become bound to his example by our baptismal vow of faith when we are physically baptised in water as a figure of our voluntary unity with him in his death, a death in which Jesus demonstrated the necessity of the completeness of the cutting off the rebellion of human nature in himself (Matthew 3 v 13-15) . After the example of Abraham's circumcision, the baptism of Jesus at the age of 30 was the token of the fulfilment of the cutting off that he had accomplished up to that time, of all his thoughts of self indulgence, and a token of covenant of God in him (Luke 2 v 49) . Jesus was therefore the fulfilment of the circumcision of the faith and righteousness of Abraham, in that Jesus cut off all fleshly temptations of his natural mind every day, where each temptation being mentally amputated, died, and where all his daily temptations were bruised in the head and died, and so he became the perfect Jew - circumcised in body and circumcised in heart. In this way, he confirmed the teaching of John the Baptist and established the principle of baptism for us, a token of the perfect completion of his vow unto God by victory over the enmity (Psalm 40 v 6-11); (John 17 v 4); (Romans 2 v 29) . ********************* Chapter 7 The need for continual baptism, the baptism of Jesus Christ Jesus began his ministry after being baptised in water to fulfil all righteousness, (Matthew 3 v 15). During the three and a half years of his ministry following his baptism by water, Jesus said, But I have a baptism to be baptised with; how am I straightened till it be accomplished (Luke 12 v 50). The vow that Jesus had vowed unto God was made at the earliest age of his understanding and was confirmed in his baptism His vow was to do all that God had commanded to be done to complete His covenant, and was prophetically summarised in the words of the Psalm I delight to do thy will O my God, Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. (Psalm 40 v 6-9). Jesus continually paid the price of that vow by killing the effects of the enmity (temptation) as they arose in his thoughts, and confirmed this work by his own immersion in water by baptism about the age of thirty years, even though he had not sinned. Baptism in water was the token of the full price that he believed needed to be paid to fulfil the covenant and Jesus signified his intention to pay yet more in order to fully perform that vow without transgression. Thus baptism in water was established as the token of repentance from sin unto salvation for all others (Psalm 61 v 5-8) & (Psalm 116 v 12-18).

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The lifetime vow of baptism The fulfilment of his vow of obedience - confirmed in baptism by water and referred to in his words I have a baptism to be baptised with - would not be complete until his life was ended, that is, until he had fulfilled all scripture in death, because the enmity is active in all of us until we die, where it and all consciousness ceases to exist (Ecclesiastes 9 v 6). Therefore the payment of his vow (tokened by baptism in water) was a continual payment, a continual spiritual baptism of his character, a continual immersion of his natural spirit in the Holy Spirit, which meant a continual killing of temptation by the fire of the Holy Spirit, a mortifying of the temptations of the mind of his flesh, and was prefigured in the continual burning of the lamb of the burnt offering under the Law (Exodus 29 v 38-42), (Numbers 28 v 2-8). His complete victory over the enmity, his conquest of the natural temptation of his self-preservation, was when his blood was shed in his death on the cross (Luke 23 v 46) . Jesus entered this final cruel process of physical death, by first passing through the agony of a continuing mental and spiritual baptism to kill the enmity as was encapsulated in his words in the final hours of his life on the Mount of Olives, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine be done. (Luke 22 v 39-44). The cup to be drunk was the price required by God in order to provide a covering for the sins of others by the full payment of his vow throughout his whole life, and finally, by the physical loss of his life by the shedding of his blood in death. This shed blood was the final and real token of the sacrifice of his whole life, a life spent as a willing service poured out as a libation to God, a lifetime of the spiritual baptism of the Holy Spirit by self denial of the will of human nature within him, which nature is otherwise referred to in the scriptures as the spirit of Egypt, the spirit of the world, the serpent, the devil, the enmity placed by God because of sin, the serpents poison of lust and Satan (John 12 v 31-33) and is always opposed to God and His word. ********************* Chapter 8 The body and blood of Jesus Christ Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to the will of God and died according to the will of God. The will of God was that Jesus (the son of God and son of man) should make a way possible for all those whom God calls to be His children to have a hope of everlasting life by resurrection from the dead and subsequent forgiveness of their sins (the call of God has gone into all the world and those who God calls are those who respond to His word to obey it, irrespective of social standing or education; (Acts 10 v 34). Before he died, Jesus instituted the feast of remembrance for his disciples, an institution that is as essential today as it was then, and Jesus gave them the tokens of bread and wine as symbols of His body and blood respectively. (Matthew 26 v 26-29), (Mark 14 v 22-25), (Luke 22 v 16-20). As unleavened bread is made of finely ground and sifted corn flour with no leaven (nothing added from the old dough that ferments and causes the dough to rise which symbolises the effects of the enmity, the old man Adam), so the fulfilment and embodiment of the corn seed of the word of God was seen in the mortal body of Jesus both in bodily form and in spiritual obedience, and was prepared (finely ground) by

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The lifetime vow of baptism crushing, bruising and sifting experiences of his life in submission to the word of God. In this way he destroyed the enemy within him because the 'old-man' of the flesh was never allowed to rise up (or leaven) (Isaiah 53); (Psalm 22); (John 1 v 14). By his victory over the enmity within him he became the firstfruit of the new creation of God, the firstborn of a new generation of righteous people and was symbolised in the law of God as the sheaf of the firstfruit offered at the beginning of the Feast of Weeks, (Leviticus 23 v 10). It is only by associating in faith with his bodily sacrifice that we can have a hope of reducing the effect of the enemy (the enmity within us) of the will of God and retain the hope of being united to him forever. As wine is the richness and essence of the pressed and filtered fruit of the vine from which all superfluous growth has been pruned away in order to bring forth the best fruit, so the life, the character, the soul of Jesus was full of the richness of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5 v 22-24). The fruits of the Holy Spirit were produced by continual cutting away (circumcising) of the superfluous growth of any and every indulgent thought, which in turn led him through crushing and bruising physical experiences and fine filtering of mental trails due to obedience to the word of God as revealed in the spirit of the Psalms. It is only by his shed blood that we can have faith that our sins are forgiven and that there is a covering for the shame of our sinfulness. Bread and wine The use of bread and wine as tokens of a saviour of a family and a redeemer of those who recognise that they are otherwise in bondage to the enemy of God, were first recorded in the scripture when God confirmed His promise of salvation to Abraham 2000 years before Christ. Abrahams nephew Lot had been taken captive by the people from whom he and Abraham had separated themselves when Abraham left Ur of the Chaldeas upon the command of God (Genesis 12 v 1-5) and Lot and his family were being physically taken back as captives to the place of their roots. This was figurative of the captivity to the enmity that we are all naturally in bondage with, because Lot had separated himself along with Abraham from the rulership of the world of Ur, but had partly returned to the life of that world of the enmity when he turned aside to live in Sodom (Genesis 13 v 10-11) - which is the same as what we do when we stray away from the commands of Christ. As Jesus Christ fought and overcame the enmity within him and died for us so that we can be rescued from the clutches of the enmity (the enemy of God), so Abraham by faith risked his life as he set off in pursuit of the enemy of his family, engaged them in battle, overcame them and rescued Lot and his family (Genesis 14). Upon his triumphant return he was met by the angel of God who had with him bread and wine as tokens of a greater victor (Christ) over a greater enemy (the enmity) who by his victory over that enmity would heal the breach between God and man and redeem a family who were otherwise lost to the world and so allow God (the angels) and men (as the angels) to meet and eat together in celebration of their uniting victor (Matthew 22 v 30); (Hebrews 7 v 1-4); (Matthew 26 v 29). The same tokens of bread and wine were used in the law of God to symbolise the sacrifice of the body and life of Jesus Christ as an atonement for the sins of Israel where no animal or bird which was offered in sacrifice to God could be accepted unless it was offered with bread and wine (Numbers 15 v 1-16). The burnt offering, the sin offering, the trespass offering, the continual offering, the peace offering, the

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The lifetime vow of baptism thanksgiving offering, offerings of the day of atonement, etc., as detailed in the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy all signify the completed work of Christ in the death of his mortal body, but only when they were offered unto God accompanied by an offering of bread and wine. This knowledge enlightens our understanding of the bread and wine by binding our belief with strong links of a continuous chain of instructive figures linking Abraham (the father of our faith; (Romans 4 v 16-18), the law, the death of Christ, the foundation of the Christian faith, and our weekly remembrance, in order to increase and confirm our faith, that our faith is one and the same faith as Abraham (and all other faithful before and after him) that these tokens are the fulfilment of the covenant of God in the sacrifice of Jesus. The bread Under the law of God, the bread of the sacrifices were to be eaten by the High Priest and his sons in the house of God to symbolise the union of Christ (The High Priest, (Psalm 110) and his family (a multitudinous companion - bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, (Ephesians 5 v 28-33) whereas the wine was to be poured as a libation unto the Lord in the Holy Place of the tabernacle to symbolise the shedding of the blood of Jesus (Numbers 18 v 8-10), (Numbers 28 v 7); (Hebrews 9 v 22). This law served as a Divine prefigurement of the binding association between Jesus and his family of friends by his blood, and of the fellowship between the future eternal High Priest of Gods choice (Jesus Christ) and his faithful brethren and sisters, his friends, the saints (I John 1 v 1-3). Jesus fulfilled the whole law of God according as he said, Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. (Matthew 5 v 17), and from the law Jesus understood the entire mystery of God hidden in His word, the creation and the purpose of God with that creation. If we are to follow Jesus we also must have our faith based upon the spiritual teaching of that law even though it is no longer to be kept as a system of our government. It is only from the teachings of the law that we can understand the full significance of the bread which we eat each first day as being the spiritual activity (by faith) of the body of Jesus within our body, leading us on to sanctification in hope and faith of an everlasting union with him. Unleavened bread was used in all aspects of the law with one exception (Leviticus 23 v 17). In all other details of the law, unleavened bread was used, as in the shewbread (Leviticus 24 v 5-9), as in association with all animal sacrifices and as in the unleavened bread of the law of the Passover, where it was not only forbidden to be eaten but it was not permitted in their houses (Exodus 12 v 15-19). In all these uses, leaven is a symbol of the effects of the enmity within our body, in that leaven is an active bacteria from an old dough which is kneaded into new dough and ferments when exposed to warmth and fills the whole loaf causing it to rise - just as the enmity fills us with pride. Jesus kept the law perfectly, so therefore he kept the law of the Passover scrupulously and when he gave bread to the disciples at the inauguration of the sacraments on the eve of the Passover he gave them unleavened bread, and if that was the whole law fulfilled in Christ we aught to have unleavened bread at our remembrance. However there was a law which commanded the use of leavened bread as the bread of the first fruits which was to be an offering to accompany animal sacrifices made

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The lifetime vow of baptism by fire (Leviticus 23 v 17-21) but was not to be burnt with them (as portions of all other bread offerings were, (Leviticus 2 v 12). This was because all those other offerings were burnt as a sweet savour to God (that is, with no sin) and only the sacrifice of Jesus was a sweet savour (without sin), whereas we are as an unpleasant savour (sinful) to God needing to be 'savoured' (sins forgiven) by Jesus and as a result cannot repeat the sacrificial work of Jesus. This figure must be first understood before we appreciate the meaning of our eating of leavened bread in the sacraments. The teachings of the law of the feasts (Deuteronomy 16 v 16) are the foundation of our faith in the real and practical activity of the token of the bread of Christ within us by faith when we renew our vow of baptism each week by eating a small portion of it. There were three major feasts in the law, the Passover, the feast of Weeks (culminating in Pentecost), and the feast of Tabernacles (immediately following the day of Atonement). The Passover signified the coming out of Egypt (either literally for Israel or figuratively for all others) where the lamb and the unleavened bread were tokens exclusive to Jesus. The feast of Weeks commenced with the harvest of the firstripe corn (barley) and usually coincided with the Passover being held in the equivalent of our month of March. The offering of the firstripe sheaf to mark the commencement of the Feast of Weeks was uniquely called the sheaf of the firstfruits (Leviticus 23 v 9-14) and as with the unleavened bread - its meaning was exclusive to Jesus. The sheaf of the first fruits was taken from the harvest of the first-ripe corn that was to be tithed to the Lord God who bestowed it to the Levites (Deuteronomy 18 v 1-4). From the time of the offering of the sheaf of the firstfruits, Israel were to count 7 Sabbaths plus 1 day making 50 days (Pentecost) and to conclude this feast of Weeks they were to prepare the new meat offering of leavened bread and were to call it the bread of the firstfruits (Leviticus 23 v 17 & 20). As being the bread - of the firstfruits, the bread must have been leavened with the dough of the corn from the firstfruits - the firstripe sheaf of the first fruits of the harvest 50 days earlier - and that exclusively represented Jesus Christ. Therefore the leaven used here is not representing the power of the enmity but the power of the firstfruit who is Christ. As the power of the enmity normally fills us with pride in its countless manifestations, so counter to that, the power of the spirit of Christ must fill us with the love of God to sanctification. This is the purpose of the covenant of God according to the figure of the cycle of feasts, because following the Passover (baptism from captivity to sin), the feast of Weeks was in turn followed by the feast of Tabernacles which represented the kingdom of God on earth which feast was preceded by the day of Atonement when the sins of all the congregation were taken away by the scapegoat (Christ; (Leviticus 16 v 10) representing the day when the mortal faithful will be made immortal and will then to live for ever in the kingdom of God on earth. Jesus gave the disciples unleavened bread (bread of the Passover) when he inaugurated the sacrament to represent his body unsullied by sin, but the apostles were assembled on the day of Pentecost (the day after the Sabbath, our Sunday, (Acts 2 v 13) when they were imbued with the Holy Spirit and at which time they would be eating leavened bread, thus setting the teaching for us to remember Jesus on the first day by eating bread in faith that the leaven of the bread represents the leaven - of the first fruits - Jesus Christ, which as leaven, must work in us by faith to fill us with the works of Jesus so that we can be transformed.

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The lifetime vow of baptism

It is only with these scriptural teachings that we can understand the parable of Jesus concerning the leaven of kingdom of heaven, Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. (Matthew 13 v 33). If the leaven is the kingdom of heaven (demonstrated by Jesus Christ in his life) is ingested in us (the new bread dough) by faith as we eat of the bread of the sacrament, then we are confirming our vow that we are under the kingship of Christ and will be filled with his character which was the will of God in a mortal man. The wine Wine is the fermented juice of the grape, the grape is the fruit of the vine and the vine is grown and cultivated entirely for the fruit that it bears as there is no use for the wood except for burning. God has used the vine as a symbol to represent the people that He has given the enlightened privilege of the blessing of understanding His covenant. The figure was used by God to witness against Israel who went astray from the commands of God who instead of producing sweet grapes of the spiritual fruit of obedience, produced bitter grapes of rebellion and idolatry as Isaiah witnessed for God, And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. (Isaiah 5 v 1-2). Let us not think that these words applied only to Israel because they do not. The spirit of these words also applied to Adam and Eve who produced the bitter fruit of disobedience and whose bodies were fit only for a return to dust and the same applies to us when we fail to eat and drink worthily of the bread and the wine. The vine is a rampant grower in the same way that our natural spirit is rampant in the ways of the flesh unless it is thoroughly pruned and cut back by continual baptism of the Holy Spirit. The growth of the vine must be severely restricted so much that best fruit comes from a small, low-stature tree that is of no consequence among the trees of the forest, and thus fulfils the figure used by Isaiah to describe Jesus Christ, For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53 v 2-3). The wild bitter grapes of the rampant vine are the fruit of the enmity when it is unchecked within us and the juice (which also ferments) is the poison of the serpent which often masquerades as the juice of the sweet grape, as Moses spake of the rebellion of the enemies of God, For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter: Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps. (Deuteronomy 32 v 3233). Furthermore, the intoxicating effects of the fermented wine of these bitter grapes is described by the apostle, Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also

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The lifetime vow of baptism told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.(Galatians 5 v 19-21). Jesus was of the same stock of the wild vine of mortal man but he was to be the fulfilment of the Nazarite vow from his birth (Numbers 6); (Matthew 2 v 23) and in fulfilment of that law, Jesus (although of the stock of sinful man) never exhibited the wildness of the enmity, not of one grape seed or one tentacle of the plant, not of one kernel or husk of the fruit according to the figure of the law of the Nazarite, All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk. (Numbers 6 v 4). By fulfilling the teaching of the law of the Nazarite, Jesus eschewed the old vine of sinfulness and thus became the new vine of righteousness with no superfluous growth of the mind of the enmity (John 15 v 15). The fruit of that new vine of the life and body of Jesus Christ was sweet and of the quality that God was seeking as recorded by the apostle, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5 v 22-23). But for his friends to share the hope of forgiveness of their sins (only by the blood of Christ) the grape of the new vine was not enough, there needed to be juice to make the wine to signify his life blood, and so the grape was pressed until the juice ran out like tears of suffering at the hand of the enemies of God typified by his agony as he was betrayed by his former friend (Psalm 55 v 12-13), (Isaiah 53) and was to be killed by his brethren who he came to save, And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22 v 44) until finally his blood was literally shed as tears-drops of blood on the cross. (Psalm 6 v 6); (Psalm 39 v 12); (Psalm 42 v 3); (Psalm 56 v 8). From the suffering of Jesus Christ comes the hope of the forgiveness of our sins by drinking - with understanding - of the token of the flood of teardrops of the blood of Jesus Christ which were shed as a libation for the honour and justification of God and for our salvation, and it is by faith in the tears of the life of a despised and rejected man that we renew our vow of baptism each first day after the command of Jesus, For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matthew 26 v 28). Bread, wine and us The bread and the wine of the sacraments are not mere tokens of a Christian ritual, but are an energetic means of increasing the power of sanctification by the Holy Spirit within us, for it is by faithfully eating and drinking of these tokens that an increase of the Holy Spirit is given to open our eyes yet further after the pattern set in the meaning of the day of Pentecost (Acts 1 v 1-3(, (Psalm 23 v 5). To emphasise the power of these tokens the scriptures teach, For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. (I Corinthians 11 v 29). We are to be aware and conscious at all times of the frailty of our flesh (which defencelessness we acknowledged when we demonstrated in our urgent need to be baptised by water), we are to continue to acknowledge that we sin daily against God our all-seeing Father (by inner feelings of shame within our heart), we are to be urgent

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The lifetime vow of baptism to renew our tarnished vow by re-associating our body with the body of Christ (I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. (John 6 v 51), we are be earnest to rewash ourselves in the blood of Christ by faith (He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. (John 6 v 56) and we will frankly admit that the words of Jesus are true, The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.; (Mark 14 v 38). Only then will we feel the irresistible urge to demonstrate our sincerity as a regular necessity in renewing our singular vow of baptism in water, by physically eating and drinking of the tokens of the body and blood of Jesus Christ each week in obedience and willing service to the command of our Lord. This will show our faith that our vow to follow Jesus is still real to us, and that we will make renewed efforts to follow his lifes example and experiences by obedience to his commands in our life, These things I command you, that ye love one another. (John 15 v 17). The apostles showed us that eating and drinking of these tokens, that the renewal of our vow is to be performed weekly on the first day of the week (Acts 20 v 7) - the day that Jesus rose to a new life - after whose example we have 'risen to a new life' by baptism in hope (Romans 6). It is a faithful act of our belief as the continuance of our singular vow of baptism, and demonstrates our faith that after the firstfruits (Christ) have been gathered in and presented to God, there will be a fullness of an ingathering, prefigured in the new meat offering (the bread of the first fruits) of the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) which was on the first day of the week, our Sunday (Leviticus 23 v 1017); (Numbers 28 v 26); (Acts 2 v 1-3). ********************* Chapter 9 Sunday, the first day of the week The first day of the week is the day that Jesus rose from the grave as a mortal man and on that same first day he rose again but this time from mortality to immortality to begin a new life of eternity. Paul uses this change of the first day as an allegory for the change of our new life in Christ which we live after our rebirth by baptism in water, Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (Romans 6 v 3-13). Partaking of bread and wine is the renewal of our vow of baptism by water where we vowed to discontinue carnal service to ourselves, and to begin a willing obedient service to God for the rest of our lives and that we will overcome our temptations to sin by keeping the commands of God in Christ - the spirit of the law and prophets in Christ. In the eating and drinking of the body and blood of Jesus (symbolised in the bread and wine on the first day of the week), we demonstrate our faith in the hope of salvation revealed in the fulfilment of the teaching of the new meat offering of the Feast of Weeks which was to be celebrated on the day after the Sabbath, being the first day of the week. On this day, seven weeks after the first-ripe sheaf of the firstfruits was

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The lifetime vow of baptism presented to God teaching of the lifetime offering that Jesus Christ made to God (Leviticus 23 v 10-11), (I Corinthians 15 v 23), two leavened loaves - bread of the firstfruits - were to be offered to God and were to be eaten by the priests to signify a communion between a firstborn elder brother and his spiritual siblings (Leviticus 23 v 20). The significance of the offering of 'leavened' bread (which elsewhere teaches of wickedness but here cannot be because it was a law of God) is understood by the teaching of the New Testament (then future) in Christ. The leaven of the bread of the firstfruits would be taken from the dough of the firstripe corn harvest offered 50 days earlier to make the two new loaves. This taught of the need for a transformation of character in the 'new' loaves by filling them with the activity of the dough of the 'firstfruits' (Christ), which allegory Paul spoke of in respect of the final fulfilment of the purpose of God; But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming (I Corinthians 15 v 23). Baptism is the beginning of the preparation for this change. Jesus took the figure of this new meat offering forward to the gospel of the New Testament (which makes the Old Testament alive to become 'one' gospel) in his teaching of the leaven of the kingdom of God, which a woman (wisdom) took and hid in three measures of meal until the whole was leavened (or transformed) (Matthew 13 v 33). So it is with our eating of the bread of the body of Jesus Christ. He was the unleavened bread with no successful leaven of the old man, the devil, (which we cannot repeat). We take a portion of the body of his character by faith and digest it within our character, so that his soul transforms our soul which in the fullness of time (if allowed to fully work) we will become part of the new meat offering of the full ingathered harvest of the saints in preparation for the fulfilment of the day of atonement where forgiveness of our sins will be for ever. The remembrance of this hope of salvation under the law of God was to be on the first day after the Sabbath (which is equivalent to our Sunday), and after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ it was that same day that the Apostles were instructed by Jesus to gather together to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. It was the day that they would have obediently kept - the day of Pentecost - by eating unleavened bread and celebrating the hope of the teaching of the new meat offering but with the understanding that the 'leaven' was the power of Christ - the first fruits - working in them to fill them with his character and it was the same day (the first day) that they subsequently faithfully remembered the body and blood of Jesus Christ (Acts 1 v 5); (Acts 20 v 7). Association with the baptism of Christ In return to our vow by baptism to obey God for life, God caused us to be reborn as new creatures and He forgave all our previous sins, blotting them out and adopting us as His children under the authority of His first-born son, Jesus Christ (Romans 8 v 11); (Galatians 4 v 4-7); (Ephesians 1 v 4-5). The outworking of our vow is through our continual renewal on the first day of the week throughout our life by the partaking of the tokens of bread and wine and is the fulfilling of our following the example of Jesus who had a baptism to be baptised with; But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished (Luke 12 v 50). If we follow

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The lifetime vow of baptism Jesus with sincerity, we ought also to be straitened until it is accomplished after the manner and example of Jesus Christ, therefore we should be urgent and disciplined until we fulfil our lifetime vow as he did. Jesus asked James and John Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? And be baptised with the baptism that I am baptised with? (Luke 10 v 38-39) to which they answered that they could and the record shows that they did, and so we are to follow them in the renewal of our vow of baptism that we, like them, tarnish daily by sin (I Corinthians 11 v 1); (Romans 7 v 24). A lifetime of our faithful and sincere eating and drinking of the body and blood of Jesus Christ in fulfilment of our vow was prefigured in the experiences of the wilderness journey of the Children of Israel from Egypt to the promised land, where God provided them with manna and quails to eat to keep them alive (Exodus 16 v 1315) . Jesus said that he was the bread from heaven and that he was the fulfilment of its teaching; I am that bread of life (John 6 v 31-48). As their journey through the wilderness (led by the ark of the covenant, Jesus Christ) was a continual experience of difficulties and trials, so likewise is our spiritual journey by faith to be as we follow Jesus through the spiritual wilderness of our natural life filled with pitfalls and temptations of our own nature, in which journey we are to remember and practice our continual vow of association with the experiences and sacrifice of Christ until the end of our life. Jesus instituted the feast of remembrance by bread and wine so that we believers could associate with the experiences and sacrifice of his life in a spiritual wilderness as God provided bread and flesh (where blood had to be shed) to the Children of Israel in the wilderness. Renewal of the vow of baptism by bread and wine Eating and drinking of the bread and wine by faith on a continual weekly basis after an intelligent baptism, not only means sharing the experiences and sacrifice of Jesus Christ every day of the week by our manner of life, but is also to share in the reality of the hope of everlasting life to be enjoyed equally by Abraham, Moses and all the faithful believers from Abel. Eating and drinking by faith of the body and blood of Jesus is an act of faith enabling us to be in fellowship with God, with Jesus Christ and with the whole family of God (even though now sleeping in death) through the blood of Jesus Christ. The outworking of our vow of baptism and the weekly outworking of the renewal of that vow by eating and drinking of bread and wine, is the process by which our character is reformed, and reformation of our naturally unclean soul is essential to salvation as the Psalmist wrote The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake (Psalms 23 v 3), (Jeremiah 10 v 23-24), (Romans 7 v 18), (Jeremiah 17 v 9-10), (Matthew 15 v 18-20). The tokens of the bread and wine associate us with two inseparable parts of the purpose of God. They link us with the life and death of Jesus Christ, including both to the joy and happiness of his faith and to the mental suffering (and sometimes physical) of his struggle against the enmity, and equally they link us with the hope of the state of eternal life which Jesus now enjoys. The first link to his struggles,

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The lifetime vow of baptism wrestlings and victory over his own will is essential before we can begin to hope for the second link to be real, for then we will have come voluntarily under the law of the will of God in our character which is the same state and law of eternal life. Eating and drinking each first day is an act of faith (a belief followed with works which confirm the belief), and is the renewing of our vow made at baptism (1 Corinthians 11 v 2629), (1 Corinthians 15 v 31), (11 Corinthians 4 v 7-11) , together with the renewing of our faith in the reality of the hope of everlasting life by resurrection from the dead and then resurrection from mortality to immortality (Matthew 26 v 29), (Mark 14 v 25), (Luke 22 v 18). Jesus told His disciples that they would sit at my table in the kingdom (Luke 22 v 30) , and John later rejoiced in the prospect of an invitation to the marriage supper (Revelation 19 v 9) . The tokens of the bread and wine confirm to us a continuous thread of hope that God has given to man that weaves its way from the earliest days through to the present time, to confirm to us that by means of a mortal man God would make a way of salvation from an eternal grave by resurrection of mortal men and women first from the grave and then from mortality to immortality to lead us onwards until the Kingdom of God comes. Bread and wine, the thread of hope These symbols of the thread of hope have existed since the beginning and were shown to Abraham by the angel Melchisedek (Genesis 14 v 18) to assure Abraham of how his hope of salvation would be made possible. Abraham and Lot had separated from the land of their natural birth but when the journey became difficult Lot chose to return to the same type of society resident in Sodom which was invaded by hostile enemies and he and his family were taken captive. Lot thus becomes a figure of the natural decline that all of us are susceptible to and guilty of with respect to our complete cleansing by baptism into Jesus Christ, and Abraham who remained in the way of faith he was called to prefigured Christ who never left the path of righteousness God chose for him (Genesis 13 v 1-13). As Jesus remained without sin but still loved us who are sinners and made a way possible that we may be redeemed from the everlasting captivity of the grave, so Abraham redeemed his friend and relative Lot from captivity by pursuing and defeating the 5 hostile kings from the north in war (Genesis 14) . The five kings of the north country (from where Abraham and Lot had both separated) represent the enmity within us, the flesh, human nature, the lion of the devil and Satan which is always seeking out the unwary believer to devour who is represented by Lot (1 Peter 5 v 18). Abraham (as a faithful shepherd and protector of his family) set off in pursuit of this formidable enemy to save the members of his family, with the compassionate spirit that he also was in captivity to an even more formidable enemy (his own nature) from which he hoped that God would provide a saviour to redeem him and was shown by Melchisadek that God would raise up a redeemer to save him from that similar captivity to sin, from whence he was separating himself by faith. Abraham realised that as his victory over the mighty enemy was sufficient to save Lot, so also would the victory of his redeemer (Jesus Christ) over an even more implacable enemy, his own nature, the devil, be perfectly complete. So upon returning victorious from battle, Melchisedek the king of Salem met with Abraham, and this Melchisedek brought bread and wine for them the eat and drink. Paul tells us that this Melchisedek was immortal, he was an angel sent by God to reassure Abraham of his hope that God would raise up a mortal redeemer and was symbolised in the humble frailty and

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The lifetime vow of baptism simplicity of bread and wine (Hebrews 7 v 1-6) and at the same time Abraham was encouraged in his faith that he, a mortal man who ate and drank with an immortal angel, would in due time have his nature changed to be able to sit to eat and drink with immortal angels as Jesus later promised (Mark 12 v 24-25) . By this example (and by the example of the elders of Israel; (Exodus 24 v 9-11) , the continuous thread of the tokens of bread and wine form a single hope of the gospel of salvation, which is still valid and alive today. The symbols of bread and wine were introduced by God through one of His immortal messengers to show the substance of Gods covenant of hope for mankind of partaking anew in an eternal existence, by means of the trials and death of a mortal man, Jesus Christ, who would become the Priest of the Most High God for ever, after the order of Melchisedek (Psalm 110) & (Psalm 132). The bread and the wine are the tokens of the vow of our association with the life and death of Jesus Christ, and by the physical outworking of that vow, we are to be reformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ by submission to the will of God as shown in the bible. The bread signifies our spiritual sacrifices in association with the sacrifice of Jesus, the transformation of our character by the power of the leaven of the life of Christ (Matthew 13 v 33); (Luke 13 v 21) and the future hope of becoming at one with the body of the saints with Jesus as the head of the body. The wine signifies the life blood of Jesus by which we are washed from our acknowledged sins and has the effect (after his example) of producing in our avowed life the spiritual fruits of the Holy Spirit by denial of the lusts of the flesh, and at the same time to renew the faith of our hope that immortal life (which Jesus now enjoys) will be given to all who abide faithfully in the spiritual sacrifices of Christ. ********************* Chapter 10 Baptism by the Holy Spirit Complete immersion in water, followed by repeatedly eating bread and drinking wine, can never alone reform our character, because it is one of the strengths of the enmity within our nature to enable us to form habits which translate the requirements of the word of God into an empty show of piety and self-satisfying good works and to convince us that we are right (Isaiah 28 v 13); (Colossians 2 v 18); (Luke 18 v 11), (Jeremiah 17 v 9). Our own act of baptism and of partaking of the tokens of bread and wine are to be works of faith in the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us (faith is heartfelt belief, proven and demonstrated by works) for - as the body without the spirit is dead, so is faith without works (James 2 v 26) and Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11 v 1) where substance and evidence are our works and things hoped for and things not seen are the power of the Holy Spirit. Baptism by water is the rebirth of our character (John 3 v 5); (1 Peter 2 v 1-2). As any baby born without the natural spirit of breath is dead and any grown body that ceases to breathe is also dead, so in like manner any new birth by baptism into Christ is also dead if it is not born by the Holy Spirit, and any baptised body that ceases to

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The lifetime vow of baptism spiritually 'inhale' the Holy Spirit regularly - and allow it to do its work in the life - is also dead. The natural new born body (which is a creation by Gods power) is an allegory for the newly baptised spirit creature, where the reformation of the character begins, and after the allegory of the new born babe, our newly reformed soul is to grow to maturity during our lifetime according to our vow to God that we will be reformed (Galatians 3 v 26-29), (11 Corinthians 5 v 17), (Galatians 6 v 15), (Romans 6 v 6), (1 Corinthians 6 v 19-20), (1 Peter 2 v 1-3), (Ephesians 4 v 13-16). John Baptist said concerning the baptism which he performed that he baptised with water unto repentance, but that one was to come who would baptise with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3 v 11), (Mark 1 v 8), (Luke 3 v 16). This one was Jesus Christ of whom it is recorded that he did not physically baptise anybody (John 4 v 12). Baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire which John Baptist referred to, is a spiritual baptism of the heart and mind, a spiritual baptism of the soul, a spiritual baptism of the character, an immersion of the mind and heart (not in the fluid of water as the body) but in the 'fluid' of the Holy Spirit for which the physical vow of the act of baptism in water is an essential beginning which Jesus later confirmed (John 3 v 3-8). In like manner, we renew the vow of our baptism by water by eating and drinking bread and wine, a continual and essential physical act of faith to remind us that there is also a spiritual baptism to be done by continual immersion in the Holy Spirit given to us in small measures sufficient for our needs, which will transform our soul by physical payment of our vow of obedience and submission to the word of God and will be seen in our life-style through our character. ********************* Chapter 11 The Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and was in Jesus by which he was able to say I and my Father are one. (John 10 v 30), and was witnessed by John Baptist And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. (John 1 v 32), and was reiterated by Jesus For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (John 6 v 38). God is a Spirit and He is One (John 4 v 24), (1 Corinthians 8 v 6). God created the earth, the heavens and all things in them by His Spirit, and it is by this same spirit that all things natural continue to this day, as for example, our birth and continued breathing, the seasons, the solar system and all things we experience every day (Genesis 1 v 1-2), (Acts 17 v 25-28). When the spirit of God is used for the special work of calling out a people to salvation by the reformation of their characters, by the restoring of their souls according to Gods purpose (Romans 8 v 28-30) it is referred to as the Holy Spirit (the English Bible translation is Ghost, and in this text, Gods spirit is designated by a capital S for Gods special work, or lower case s for the work of sustaining creation, but it is the same spirit). The Holy Spirit symbolised by fire

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The lifetime vow of baptism The work of God by His Holy Spirit is opposed to all wickedness and God gives it in measure firstly to those who turn to God in sincerity so that they, by it, can overcome and destroy the working of the human mind, the enmity, the devil, and Satan, and finally, it will be seen in the whole world when God removed all wickedness from the earth. The token that God chose from His creation to represent the work of this Spirit was the natural phenomena of fire, and was confirmed by its use in the consumption by burning of all sacrifices which God ordained for a believer to express their faith in Him from the time of Abel and onwards (Genesis 4 v 3-4); (Genesis 8 v 20). The effect of the work of God through His Holy Spirit is understood by the declaration of the words of God inspired by the Holy Spirit concerning God, for our God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4 v 24), (Hebrews 12 v 29). Jesus Christ was the fulfilment of all the sacrifices by fire that were offered previous to his time and it is clear that Jesus was not physically burnt with literal fire, but in the fulfilment of the figure of the Holy Spirit and fire, the work of the Holy Spirit in him consumed (as fire destroys) all his natural thoughts and desires which were contrary to Gods word by inspired obedience to that word (Matthew 4 v 4, v 7 & v10). Inspired obedience (as distinct to blind or ritualistic obedience), comes from the enlightenment of the eyes of understanding by Gods gift of His Holy Spirit, which God gives as a result of His knowledge of the state of heart and mind of the believer (Proverbs 5 v 21); (Proverbs 15 v 3); (Proverbs 16 v 2); (Proverbs 21 v 2), and it is this state of mind (seen in our character) that separates faithful believers from unfaithful hypocrites. According to the state of the mind of Jesus Christ (which always had God at its forefront), God imparted His gift of the Holy Spirit to Jesus in measure, little by little from birth to manhood and baptism, sufficient for the character of God to develop within him during this time (Luke 2 v 40). The physical embodiment of that Spirit - in the form of a dove which settled upon him after his baptism by water - was the confirmation from God that the Holy Spirit had worked its work in Him perfectly up to that point (Matthew 3 v 16-17), (Mark 1 v 10-11), (Luke 3 v 21-22), (John 1 v 32), and prepared him to complete the final part of his work. The state of mind and spirit of Jesus was that his mind was perpetually filled with thoughts of God and his own spirit was obedient and subservient to the Spirit of God, making it humble and lowly from his earliest conscious moments right up to his death and was foretold by the Prophets (Isaiah 57 v 15), (Isaiah 66 v 1-2), (Micah 6 v 8-9), (Isaiah 53) and often in the Psalms). The working of the Holy Spirit led Jesus to death upon the cross, and was confirmed by Jesus words that all scripture should be fulfilled (John 19 v 24, 28, 36-37). Just before the Holy Spirit performed its essential work for the salvation of sinners by his victory over the enmity (his own nature) in death, Jesus was moved to promise his disciples that they would receive this same power after his death and resurrection from the grave and elevation to eternal life, But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14 v 15-17 & 26), (John 15 v 26), (John 16 v 7 & 13). The gift of the Holy Spirit God is a spirit and the Holy Spirit is the spirit of God, so the fullness of the Holy Spirit (which God will give to man) is eternal life, which we cannot earn because it is

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The lifetime vow of baptism a gift from God and is the promise of His covenant (Romans 6 v 23). We however, are flesh and blood with a natural spirit beset by the enmity which we have inherited from Adam and this natural spirit and the Holy Spirit cannot coexist within us without one or the other becoming dominant (I Corinthians 15 v 50); (Romans 8 v 12-17). The only way that the Holy Spirit can become dominant over our own spirit is by our sanctification, and that is a slow lifelong process of preparation, after which only those in whom the Holy Spirit has been the ruling spirit, who become sanctified, will receive the fullness of the gift of everlasting life. Our preparation to receive the fullness of that gift is by the Holy Spirit but only in sufficient measures to perform the necessary work that God requires to be done in order to receive His mercy (John 14 v 26). As the fullness of the Holy Spirit will be a gift, so also is the measure of the Holy Spirit a gift that is loaned for safekeeping and for the sanctifying work to be done, and as such it remains in the ownership of God (1 Corinthians 6 v 19-20) which can be removed by Him at any time if we rebel or refusal to obey Gods direction through His word (Hebrews 10 v 26-31). It is a gift, which is continually given to us by God as part of His covenant if we intelligently respond to His call by entering into the bond of His covenant by the vow of baptism, and continue to grow in that vow. The Holy Spirit is given as a small measure, and compared to our natural spirit it as small as a grain of mustard seed (Matthew 13 v 31-32) and is given to us at baptism to begin the work of baptism by the Holy Spirit. Its work is to help us to kill our thoughts of temptation which are contrary to Gods will - as they arise in our hearts and minds by moving us to obey Gods word. In this way we are prompted to react against our own spirit and enter into obedient action by the Holy Spirit through the enlightenment that the Holy Spirit gives us from the word of God to help us to choose voluntarily between good and evil, between right and wrong, between clean and unclean and between what is godly and what is ungodly (Romans 2 v 15). If we progress and allow its work to purge us of uncleanness (from the domination of our natural spirit), God (through Jesus Christ who is our mediator and advocate (1 Timothy 2 v 5); (I John 2 v 1) will increase the measure we have, little by little, throughout our life as we faithfully renew their vow by eating and drinking of the bread and wine (provided their significance is having its intended effect) which then becomes a voluntary sanctification by the Holy Spirit. God gives His Spirit to us to use in the slow but constant change of our character (referred to in the bible as our soul - which dies with our body) and it is a reformation which is brought about by obeying His commands as our understanding of Gods will slowly become more and more enlightened, and the effect of the Holy Spirit is seen in our manner of the life by living according to an inspired and enlightened conscience (Romans 2 v 13-15), (Ephesians 1 v 17,18), (Hebrews 6 v 4-6), (Hebrews 10 v 32), (Galatians 5 v 22-25). As it is the most precious gift that can be given to us, there will be a time of reckoning as to what we have done with it as described by Jesus in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25 v 14-30), (Luke 19 v 12-27). ********************* Chapter 12

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The lifetime vow of baptism The gift of the Holy Spirit and the bread and wine The gift of the Holy Spirit is linked with a faithful eating and drinking of the bread and wine as is taught in the Psalms. The Psalm of the shepherd (Psalm 23) primarily refers to the work of Jesus Christ as the lamb of God under the Great Shepherd, God, and refers to the enlightening of the eyes of Jesus understanding through drinking the unadulterated water of Gods word with eating and ruminating upon the food of the word of God (v1 & 2). It refers to the restoring of Jesus soul to its original created condition of no sin which is done by the continual baptism of the Holy Spirit which lights up the way of righteousness as a life without any uncleanness of the flesh (v3), it refers to the trying of his faith in naturally hopeless situations (v4) and to (v5) the continual provision of a table (the bread) and a cup (the wine) interspersed with an anointing by oil or unction of the Holy Spirit (1 John 2 v 20). This Psalm was fulfilled in Christ who now dwells in the house of God for ever (v6). For those of us who are baptised into Christ and have put on Christ in the continual baptism of the Holy Spirit, Jesus becomes our shepherd (John 10 v 11, 14-16) and we follow him through the same process, with similar experiences and the same gift of the Holy Spirit - albeit of a lesser measure. This Psalm refers to Jesus Christ particularly, but we who are baptised, are baptised into Christs death and have put on Christ (Galatians 3 v 27-29). We are therefore prefigured in the anointing of the High Priest under the law (to which Psalm 23 v 5 refers) and of his sons (Leviticus 8) to sanctify them for their work. This law of the tabernacle is a type for the greater fulfilment of the anointing of Jesus (the High Priest) where the anointing oil ran down from his head to the hem of his garment (Psalm 132) and signifies the gift of the Holy Spirit which fully sanctified Jesus and which will be poured upon others who are covered by the garment of his life (have put on Christ) and who follow his example by sanctification through the work of faith inspired by faith in the significance of the bread and wine. God gives us the Holy Spirit to perform the greatest miracle that can be done, which is the transformation of our character from uncleanness to sanctification, from evil to good, from carnal to spiritual and from service of our self to service of God. God does not give us the Holy Spirit to perform physical miracles upon others or to attract the attention and following of our fellows, which was shown by the faith of David the king of Israel who performed no miracles to impress his fellows, or to do good deeds, but he knew that because God had seen that he had a humble and broken spirit, God had given him the Holy Spirit to increase his humility and to continually remove his self importance (Psalm 51 v 10,11 & 17). Continual purifying of the heart The work of the gift of the Holy Spirit in the purifying of our soul is likened to as the process of refining gold; The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts (Proverbs 17 v 3). Pure gold is the divine symbol for tried faith where there has been removal of all the impurities of the flesh which originate in the heart (doubts, rebellion, stubbornness, self importance, etc) and was used in the Sanctuary of the tabernacle to illustrate the virtue of faith, and most particularly in the Most Holy place where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. On the ark was the Mercy Seat (made of solid pure gold and both together signified the perfect work of Jesus

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The lifetime vow of baptism Christ; (Exodus 25 v 10-22). Two cherubim were beaten out of the same piece of gold that the mercy seat was made and were so formed that they always looked toward the Mercy Seat, which symbolise the future saints who are being purified in heart and mind, reformed into a humble soul and reshaped into a righteous character - out of the same pure virtues of the soul that Jesus had - purified of all sin by the action of the 'fire' of the Holy Spirit. ********************* Chapter 13 The figure of purifying gold Gold is extracted from the earth and washed of obvious waste matter, just as a newly baptised person is called out from fellowship with the ways of the world which are attractive to the wiles of the enmity within us, and vows to separate from all gross and unclean personal and communal habits (11 Corinthians 6 v 17-18). After the obvious waste matter of stones, rock and soil have been removed from gold, it is then sifted to remove the fine but loose unwanted elements of fine grains of sand and dust by finer and finer sieves, which represents a long and continual experience by a finer and finer separation from the habits that are natural to us and our fellows, which we must do if we are to grow towards the fullness of the character of Christ by the slow purification of our character. In due course, many common elements are removed and the sifted gold appears to be the dominant element but it will be known by the gold refiner, that contained within the grains of gold are impurities that will retard its ability to be sufficiently soft and malleable to be shaped correctly and hence to realise its true value. These impurities can only be removed by raising the temperature of the gold to its melting point, when the impurities separate from the gold like oil separates from water, and solidify as a brittle flake as the gold cools and is then easily removed when the gold is cold. One heating process does not remove all the impurities, and so the gold must be repeatedly heated in the furnace to obtain the purest of gold. After this figure we can understand that even after the baptised person has grown for many years to have a good knowledge and understanding of what is required and had a good record of obedience to the will of God by separation from the obvious impurities of the flesh, there still remain latent impurities within our character, which are often not seen by us and other mortal eyes, but are seen by God who gives further measures of the Holy Spirit to purge out these impurities so we can be prepared for the final shaping process to be part of the cherubim, who will be collectively formed after the example of the virtuous life of Christ (Psalm 12 v 12-14); (Revelation 19 v 79). As our enlightenment by the Holy Spirit increases little by little by knowledge and experience, our identification and awareness of our own sinful and stubborn nature increases (it does not decrease) and we begin to realise the full extent of the love of God for us, His patience with us and His mercy by which we live (Psalm 90). As impurities in gold can only be purged by the fire of a furnace, so likewise, the impurities in our soul can only be purged by the spiritual fire of the Holy Spirit (Job 23 v 10-16), (1 Peter 4 v 12-13), (1 Peter 1 v 6-7). Purging gold of its natural impurities is a continual process of smelting by exposing it into the furnace again and again. After each smelting process, the gold is weighed (or assayed) against the

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The lifetime vow of baptism standard 24-carat (pure) gold sample (Job 31 v 6). The standard God has chosen to compare our progress with is the character of His Son Jesus Christ whose perfection was prefigured in the miracle of the transformation (Matthew 17 v 1-5) and each first day of the week, when we eat and drink of bread and wine, we weigh (or assay) ourselves in faith against the perfect example of Jesus Christ typified in those tokens with the knowledge that God is also weighing our spirit to see how we are responding to the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing us closer to the standard of His Beloved Son (1 Corinthians 11 v 23-29), 11 Corinthians 13 v 5). Our faith is that God is weighing the sincerity our heart and spirit against that of His Son, and if we are genuine in our frail efforts to purge ourselves of our impurities of character He will direct a further measure of His Spirit in order for us to purge our character yet further by trying us to remove our weaknesses (Proverbs 16 v 2), (Jeremiah 17 v 9-10), (Hebrews 12 v 511). ********************* Chapter 14 The Holy Spirit will purify our faith and our soul The trying of our faith first comes from within us, by an individual resistance to satisfy our temptations and by a willing and cheerful obedience to the enlightened knowledge of Gods word that has been given to us, but increasingly, trials will also come from without our person from those who become offended by our righteous example (John 15 v 18-25), (1 John 3 v 12-13). The effect of fire on gold is to soften it as the impurities are removed, so likewise, the effect the fire of the Spirit is to humble us firstly in the privacy of our hearts and minds and secondly to humble us publicly, to see if we will deny God, or admit His power and truly rely upon Him with trust to keep us in the way unto salvation and away from temptation and evil. For the Holy Spirit to work in us, our only concern should be to be counted as in-fellowship with the body of Christ (who was hated and despised for his righteousness) and to be finally weighed in the balances of truth to be judged as worthy to be forgiven of our sins by Jesus at his judgement seat, rather than to be counted as 'worthy in public' among our fellows and peers The Holy Spirit is not given to us to perform outward miracles as it was in the Apostles days. A greater measure of the Spirit was given then as a particular work of God to illustrate the power of the Holy Spirit in the healing of physical sicknesses of the body as an allegory for its power to heal our spiritual sickness which are due to the effects of the enmity and this has been the work of the Holy Spirit (as shown by Jesus in His miracles) since Abel died. In those early days, there was no Bible record for the lowly and simple person to read to gain a balanced understanding, so the miracles were needed to illustrate what we now know the Scriptures to teach. Now, however, the bible record is available for us all to read, there are reference books to assist in bible study, and there is a greater knowledge of all things of creation to confirm the truth of the Bible and the reality of an All-Seeing, Omniscient Creator and Sustainer of the earth (John 17 v 17); (Revelation 19 v 6). Unless baptism by water and all subsequent renewals of that vow by partaking of bread and wine are inspired by the Holy Spirit, they are but vain and empty

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The lifetime vow of baptism formalities that may make us feel satisfied but will by no means count towards our salvation. Inspiration by the Holy Spirit can only exist within us and increase where there is the continued humbling of state of our mind as seen in Jesus and all the prophets, to such an extent that we are able to suffer wrong even when we are innocent (1 Peter 2 v 19-25), (Psalm 69 v 4); (Psalm 119 v 86). This is the example Jesus set us, tat if necessary, we suffer wrongfully and never to seek our own revenge or escape but to trust in God. To deny the Spirits work to humble us, by accommodating the will of our flesh to save our reputation, our social status or any other such convenience is to quench the fire of its work (1 Thessalonians 5 v 19). ********************* Chapter 15 The natural impurities of our character - the serpents lie The source of all godlessness, selfishness and fleshly impurities in our minds is from the serpents reasoning in the beginning. The serpent beguiled Eve with subtle and deceptive reasoning (Genesis 3 v 1-5). The effect of its reasoning was to belittle the command of God and make it to be trivial and unimportant. The surviving original translation of the Hebrew text of the bible into the English was by William Tyndale in 1535, and he translated not only the words but the sense and liveliness of the meaning of the original Hebrew text, and wrote that the sense of the serpents reply in answer to Eves spoken belief of Gods sentence of death if she did disobey Gods command was not only a lie, but was also contemptuously dismissive of the authority of God. Tyndale translated the serpents dismissive reply as Tush, ye shall not die (where those who copied his work dropped the dismissive tush). By this subtle use of triviality, the authority of Gods word was minimised and the judgement of God to those who break His command the sentence was trivialised, it was a friendly, accommodating and soft approach to what was a solemn requirement (Psalm 55 v 21); (Proverbs 5 v 3), and this remains the most common cause of our failure to repent and reform our character as laid down in the bible. The same deception by trivialising is illustrated in the parable of Jesus concerning the unjust steward who wrote down, who reduced and belittled the importance of the debts owed to his master, The steward said to his masters' servant How much owest thou unto my lord?, the servants honest reply was, An hundred measures of oil, the serpent mind in the unjust steward was take thy bill and sit down quickly and write fifty (Luke 16 v 1-12). Our wilful ability to misuse the authority of Gods word placed in us by our Master, Jesus Christ is our greatest and most dangerous weakness, for our heart is deceitful to ourselves and desperately wicked in Gods sight (Jeremiah 17 v 9 & 10). In addition to his scorn of Gods command and the untruth he spoke, the serpent then compounded his arrogance by elevating his perceived position to that of speaking with authority on Gods behalf, for he said, God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as the gods, knowing good and evil giving the impression that God had secretly informed him. None of us is qualified to speak for God or to speak on the behalf of God, but this deceptive

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The lifetime vow of baptism subtlety transferred to our nature by the enmity remains our chief source of misrepresenting the word of God and His judgement on us (11 Thessalonians 2 v 3-4). These deceiving impurities inherited from Adam and Eve, which often masquerade as pious protestations of godliness and holiness to our fellows and as self-imposed convictions of righteousness in our hearts, are common to all of us (no man or women is exempt), and they are, as rooted in the enmity, to be purged and removed from our hearts and minds by allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us as fire purges impurities from gold, and God has provided the Holy Spirit specifically for that end (John 14 v 26). ********************* Chapter 16 The antidote to the seven things that God hates None of us can overcome these personal faults by our own will power or by our own mental strength (Jeremiah 10 v 23); (Proverbs 20 v 24). We can deprive ourselves of all manner of consumer goods, from all types of entertainments, all manner of physical and educational activities and sports, we can avoid all dependence on services provided by the world at large by living entirely separate life in isolation from society and yet still be guilty of committing the seven things that God hates. We can read the bible every day and study all the Hebrew and Greek words, we can read endless books written by others of bible matters and still fail to control our naturally evil nature. We can study world events, identify latter day prophecy, and still be guilty of allowing these faults to breed. We can do all manner of charitable works by donating money, goods and personal time and activities, and we can give our lives as spiritual or physical martyrs and yet still remain and die as an unreformed sinner (I Corinthians 9 v 27); (I Corinthians 13 v 1-3). We can memorise scripture so that we can recite it whenever we will, we can preach, lecture and interpret scripture to others, but we will never be able to overcome the enmity deeply seated within us but by allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to purge our hearts and minds, by enlightening the eyes of our understanding of Gods word, so we find that the word does not praise us for our piety and good works, but that His word tells us (in no uncertain manner) that we are all sinners in Gods eyes and have no more right to Gods mercy by resurrection from the grave than any of our fellows and that by His grace we live and will be saved, and that God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy and not on whom we think is worthy (Exodus 33 v 19); (Ephesians 2 v 5). Even if we believe in the word of God for 40, 50, 60, 70 years or no matter how many years and practice our belief, we will not be able to overcome the subtleties of the enmity within us until we experience the heartfelt personal humiliation (in respect to God and our neighbours) that the fiery action of the Holy Spirit will bring to our realisation when we begin to understand the simplicity of the full significance of the enlightened word of God, for salvation is for simple, uncomplicated and humble minds who learn patience, not the patience of a husbandman who waits for his harvest

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The lifetime vow of baptism as a matter of time, but a cheerful submission in bearing under the load of personal resistance to the tempting effects of the enmity within us, like bearing the burden of the balanced yoke that Jesus spoke of where the hope of the promises of the covenant of God is on one side and the laws of God are on the other (James 5 v 7-11); (Matthew 11 v 29-30). We can only reduce the load of the effect of the enmity when we put the enlightened understanding of why we submit to the trial of our faith into practice as obedient subjects by keeping the law of Christ, to love God and our neighbour (Matthew 22 v 38-39). It is natural for us to consider that these impurities of character belong to other people, to those of our fellows and less experienced neighbours, and we can accurately compare them to many bad examples in the bible to support our misguided opinions and use them against them, and yet fail to realise, that in Gods eyes, we are no better than they are, for said Jesus of those who accused the adulteress He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her (John 8 v 7). If we follow the scribes and Pharisees, we will be blinded to the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit that will tell us that all sin is sin, however small, and every sin is punishable by eternal death in accordance with Gods curse (except for the mercy of God) therefore sin cannot be classified into good sins and bad sins, for said Paul, Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? (John 2 v 21), and For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6 v 23). If we do quote examples of failure form the bible as being repeated in our neighbours without first acknowledging our own failures, it will give us a subtly warm feeling of smug self righteousness by deceitfully covering over our own failings and so make us to seem to seem more righteous than we are. If we are to have any hope of overcoming the effects of the enmity within us, we will allow the Holy Spirit to direct us to condemn ourselves first and then to take biblical examples as warning indicators (to ourselves) of what we will become if we do not reform from our heart and to remember that it is by the grace of God that we may be saved. Let us not be deceived, if we allow but the smallest trace of the seven things God hates to be active in our minds it will germinate in our hearts and is wickedness, for James said that those who break one minor law are as guilty as if they of broke the whole law, For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2 v 10). The enmity is the source of the corrupting seeds of the flesh, the sac of poison of falsehood, the seat of the virus which breeds the seven things God hates and is resident in our minds from where it breeds and spreads them to others where they germinate and grow into actions of sin, and is the cause of the faade of hypocrisy of which none of us can claim innocence from this evil. ********************* Chapter 18 The Enmity, the origin of the seven things God hates

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The lifetime vow of baptism This is the enemy of God that Jesus Christ continually overcame within himself throughout his life and finally slew in death upon the cross as his blood was shed. We must clearly identify this enemy within ourselves if we are to have hope of resurrection from the dead to a resurrection to eternal life. Left to ourselves we are the natural enemy of God and need to make peace with Him through Jesus Christ (Luke 14 v 31-33). The enmity is by nature the king of our emotions, but the work of the Holy Spirit is to make God the king and ruler of our life. Bible usage of the phrase "The Enmity" Genesis 3 v 15 (Authorised version) To the serpent God said, And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. The literal meaning of the Hebrew word enmity is envy, hatred, to be a physical or spiritual enemy. Romans 8 v 7 (Authorised version) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God. The literal meaning of the Greek word carnal is animal flesh stripped of all cover, naked human nature motivated by the enmity. Ephesians 2 v 14-16 (Authorised version) For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (between us); Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, (even) the law of commandments (contained) in ordinances, for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body, having slain the enmity thereby. The literal meaning of the Greek word enmity is hatred and hostility. James 4 v 4 (Authorised version) Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. The enmity is human nature in all its many disguises - seen in individuals as men and women and collectively in 'groups' - who all, as natural enemies of God, are estranged by birth from His son Jesus Christ, and therefore are spiritual enemies of the friends of Jesus Christ (who are the saints yet to be) in that they obey and serve a different king (the 'flesh' and God respectively). The enmity was the name that God gave to the power of reasoning held within the serpent that the serpent used to oppose the law of God, and it is the same power of reasoning (the enmity) that was taken away from the serpent and placed in mankind by God as His curse upon Adam and Eve because of their sin - to whom God had given His law. They had developed a 'taste' from the serpent for reasoning (or questioning the law of God) as opposed to obedience required by God, so God satisfied or satiated Adam and Eve's 'appetite' by giving them the fullness of the power of the reasoning that had been the serpents'. The power of reasoning (the enmity) came directly from the serpent, and the same enmity has been at work, and still is at work today, as human nature in every one of the descendants of Adam and Eve - without exception.

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God cursed the serpent Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field, upon thy belly shalt thou go, . And I will put enmity between thee and the woman.. (Genesis 3 v 14-15). At the time of that curse the reasoning power was removed from the body of the serpent to leave an animal creature devoid of reason, and God took the serpents reasoning power and placed it in man. That which is put cannot have been there before and so therefore enmity could not be Gods law as Ephesians 2 v 15-16 has been literally misinterpreted, because the Gods law was present before the curse or else there could have been no sin (Romans 5 v 13) sin is not imputed when there is no law; and again, (Romans 7 v 7) I had not known sin, but by the law. Those who claim this interpretation of Ephesians, that the law was the enmity, bolster their argument by laying accent on the word it in Authorised Version of Genesis 3 v 15 which they refer to as the it being the enmity. If this is so (that the law slew the enmity), then that will deny the full agony of the victory that Jesus had over His nature, for that would be to claim that it (the law) had the victory and not He, the seed of the woman. In any military victory it is the soldier who gets the honour not his weapon. The divine record states that Jesus had the victory by skilfully using the perfect law of God as a sharp two-edged sword. No matter how perfect a weapon is, unless it is put to use by a skilled hand it is of little more value than an imperfect sword or a wooden stick. The weapon of the law was perfect, but all who had handled it before Christ (and since) were not fully skilled and were not fully expert in its use. Where all others failed to use the sword of the law at all times, Jesus Christ alone succeeded in skilfully and expertly slaying all temptations as they arose from his own human nature, which nature was the Adversary known literally as Satan and the devil. Therefore Jesus completed His victory over His own nature (the enmity in him) simultaneously as the seed of the serpent (the envy of human nature) bruised Jesus in the heel on the cross when they killed him. Therefore, the seed of the woman is the it in Gen 3 v 15, which is Jesus Christ. Furthermore, to argue that Gods law is the enmity, is to create contradictions in any mind that is unsure of the faith, for how can the enmity simultaneously be 1) Gods law (Ephesians 2 v 15), 2) the carnal mind (Romans 8 v 7) and 3) friendship with the world (James 4 v 4)? The Enmity in operation within each one of us is The Devil (John 8 v 44), it is Human nature, it is the Serpent (Revelation 12 v 9), the Adversary (I Peter 5 v 8), Satan (Mark 8 v 33), the World (I John 2 v 15-17), the Dragon of the Revelation (Revelation 12 v 9), Leviathan of Job (Job 41), Gog (Ezekiel 38 & 39), the strange woman (Proverbs 2 v 16), Jezebel and all who follow and entertain her (Revelation 2 v 20). Independent translations of these passages of scripture remove any doubt as to the truth that the enmity is not the law of God or any other independent agent or third party. Literal translations Genesis 3 v 15 [Interlinear Bible, Baker Book House, 1982]

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The lifetime vow of baptism And enmity I will set between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed, He ( )will bruise (to) you the head, and you shall bruise (of) him the heel. Romans 8 v 7 [Interlinear Bible, Baker Book House, 1982] Therefore the mind of the flesh (is) enmity against God Ephesians 2 v 15,16 [Interlinear Bible, Baker Book House, 1982] He for is the peace of us, the (One) making both one, and the middle wall of partition having broken, the enmity in the flesh of Him, the law of the commandments in decrees, having abolished, that the two He create in Himself into one new man, making peace, and might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross slaying the enmity in Himself, Ephesians 2 v 15,16 [Interlinear Greek English Testament, Bagster, 1966 For he is the peace of us, the (one) having made both one and the middle wall of partition having broken, the enmity, in the flesh of him the law of the commandments in decrees having abolished, in order that the two he might create in himself into one new man making peace, and might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, killing the enmity in himself; Ephesians 2 v 15,16; William Tyndale, 1526. for he is our peace, whych hath made off both wone, and hath broken doune the wall in the myddes, that was a stoppe bitwene us, and hath also put awaye thorowe his flesh, the cause of hatred (thatt is to saye, the lawe of commandments contayned in the law written) for to make of twayne wone newe man in hymsilfe, so makynge peace: and to reconcile bothe unto god in one body throwe his cross, ans slewe hattred therby; Note here that Tyndale found that it is the law of God that is the cause of the hatred (not the hatred itself because it is Gods law that ignites the enmity in us) that was put awaye (for where there is no law there is no active enmity and therefore no sin; (Romans 7 v 7), and that hattred is the enmity which Jesus did not put awaye but slewe. ARV (King James, Authorised Version) The Authorised Version came directly from Tyndales version and it can be seen how the emphasis (but not the true sense) has been changed from that of the original Greek, which had a statement immediately followed by a condensed statement to describe it, for example: He for is the peace of us, (the (One) making both one), and the middle wall of partition having broken, (the enmity in the flesh of Him), the law of the commandments in decrees, (having abolished), that the two He create in Himself into one new man, (making peace), and might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross slaying the enmity in Himself, The middle wall of partition refers to the barrier God placed outside the Garden of Eden, by the Cherubims with the flaming swords (Genesis 3 v 24), and which was figured of the Vail of the Sanctuary upon which were embroidered cherubim (or

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The lifetime vow of baptism angels) and was placed between the Holy place and the Most Holy place in the Tabernacle, or Temple of God (Exodus 26 v 31-33). This veil was rent in twain upon the death and victory of Jesus Christ (Matthew 27 v 50-51), which in Gods eyes and according to His purpose qualified him to enter the Most Holy Place (which symbolised the state of eternal life) as an immortal high priest, and was prefigured in the law of the tabernacle in that no man, except the high priest on the day of atonement, was permitted to pass the vail on pain of death (Leviticus 16 v 2 & 34). The symbol of the veil stood as a reminder of the anger of God against mankind following Adam and Eves sin in the Garden of Eden and the defiling curse of the enmity within man when God drove them out of the Garden of Eden and placed Cherubim with a flaming sword to keep the way to the tree of life (the figure of eternal life). Because of mans disobedient nature (now formalised in the enmity as human nature) it was no longer a matter of an isolated temptation to sin (via the woman) but an inherent will in all of us to transgress. The cherubims at that time were a physical reminder of this change in man (i.e. the enmity placed in him) and the cherubim of the vail were used to remind man of his status of wilful sinfulness, and to bar the way to the eternal state later symbolised as the Most Holy Place. The cherubim (immortal angels) or the flaming sword (Gods law and judgement in His word) were not the enmity, but they were placed there as a result of the enmity in man, for God cannot be tempted (James 1 v 13). Gods purpose was, that one man should come who would gain the victory over the enmity in his own nature by passing through the sword of the word of God, necessitating the death of the enmity and its effects within him. This was accomplished by Jesus when he died on the cross when the curse of Genesis 3 v 15 was finally and unrepeatably fulfilled. It will never be known why the King James translators (who were national church leaders and university educated divines) altered the original translations of Tyndale but one thing is sure that 1) the Holy Bible is a book which was inspired by the Holy Spirit in its entirety (II Timothy 3 v 16), that 2) it has been preserved and translated into over 2000 languages by the same power of God, and that 3) it is in the power of God to conceal a matter how He will without our knowing why and 4) it is the honour of kings to search the matter out (Proverbs 25 v 2) where kings refers to those who, as kings, administer the law of God and its judgment to themselves within their own life, it does not solely apply to kings who rule over others (Matthew 13 v 10-15). ********************* Chapter 19 Envy, the bitter fruit of the enmity The enmity is always active in every one of us even though the keeping of the letter of the law of God is now superseded by the law of liberty in Christ (Romans 8 v 2-3); (Romans 7 v 4) because there is one God, who does not change (Malachi 3 v 6);

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The lifetime vow of baptism (James 1 v 25); (James 2 v 12) and it was God who placed the enmity within us. The enmity is responsible for the multitude of religious dogmas, for the endless man-made religious traditions and for the host of pious ceremonial rituals that are practiced in individuals and in groups of individuals (Matthew 25 v 5); (Matthew 7 v 21-23). The work set by God for us to do as a result of His curse upon us, is to identify and overcome the effects of the enmity within ourselves as they arise. Our work is not to look for the effect of the enmity in our fellows, but if it does become uncontrolled in them, our first work is to consider our own lack of control over the enmity, and then to reason with them to reform (Luke 6 v 40-42) but if they continue in to allow it to rule their works then to avoid them, because like leprosy, the effect of the enmity is highly contagious (Matthew 18 v 15-20); (I Corinthians 5 v 11). Let us be warned, the enmity within us is so subtle that it can begin to work when we are confronted by a simple and practical example of the outworking of the word of God in one of our neighbours and we are mildly irritated. If this minor frustration is left unchecked by not terminating it with the word of God, let us not deceive ourselves, it will cause us to begin to fill with feelings of envy against them and we will justify our envy by our own conviction of self righteousness, and if our envy is left unchecked it will lead us to hatred without us realising the process, for there is no dividing line between our first minor irritation, envy and full scale bitter hatred and the whole process is abhorred by God. To be irritated by a righteous example is no different to a mortal hatred of them in Gods sight. Solomon was inspired to write, Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit (Ecclesiastes 4 v 4). The same effect was seen when Cain hated Abel (Genesis 4 v 5-8); (I John 3 v 12), when Esau hated Jacob (Genesis 27 v 41), when the 11 brothers of Joseph hated him (Genesis 37 v 4), when the three friends hated Job (Job 32 v 1), when Ahab hated Naboth (I Kings 21 v 1-14), when Judas and the Jews hated Jesus (Mark 15 v 10-14) many more. And why are we capable of envy of a righteous example? for no other reason than that the serpent envied the privileged position of Adam and Eve before their sin, and the enmity is the poison of the serpent. ********************* Chapter 20 Hypocrisy, the faade of the enmity Hypocrisy is the cloke under which the enmity hides its work from our conscience and attempts to hide it from our fellows, but let us remember, we cannot hide it from God. We become a hypocrite when we behave as an actor or actress who are trained to play a role that is not themselves, so likewise we can play the role of a righteous character without being so in reality. Hypocrisy is to display an outward show of being a pious Christian, but to secretly indulge in unchristian behaviour and thoughts. It is to consider in our thoughts that we

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The lifetime vow of baptism are more righteous than our neighbour for the simple but subtle reason that they appear to be so more wicked than us. It is to deceive ourselves in our thoughts, in our words and our mannerisms that we have more right to the mercy of God than other people. We can become a hypocrite in all aspects of our natural life by deceiving ourselves and our neighbours, but in spiritual matters the warm feeling of self righteousness, comfortably intensified by our despising of our neighbours, is the most subtle and frequent form (Luke 18 v 11-12). Play-acting in the name of religion is the effect of the enmity working to stimulate the seeds of the seven things that God hates (James 1 v 26-27). Pious role-playing is the hypocritical effect of the enmity working unchecked within our minds that slowly creates a craving for our vanity to be satisfied by expecting honour from our neighbour and enjoying respect from others - it is like a persistent itch the cries out to be scratched. The hypocritical effect of the enmity propagates feelings of self righteousness caused simply by despising our neighbours as inferior in some way, it results in preaching Gods word to others but not being an example of it, it causes partiality in judgement where we favour one fellow above another for personal reasons (I Timothy 5 v 21); (James 3 v 17). The enmity is the source of introducing and developing laws, doctrines and instructions that are not taught in the word of God (Matthew 15 v 7-9). The enmity is the power that motives the wearing of religious robes and uniforms in Christs name, it is the root of the love of positions of authority in the congregation which results in a hierarchical church, it is the breeding ground of the love of being greeted reverentially by fellows, of being held in high esteem in the eyes of the congregation (Luke 11 v 43); (Matthew 23 v 1-8). The enmity is the source of the deception that we can be untouchable by the rebuke from the word of God, immune to righteous disapproval and to become unresponsive to scriptural criticism arising from our own conscience and the rebuke of our fellows. Hypocritical self-assured vanities (Colossians 2 v 18), hypocritical rules and regulations (Acts 15 v 28-29), hypocritical commandments, rituals and traditions (Mark 7 v 7) resist the work of the consuming fire of the Holy Spirit by quenching its innocent zest and zeal, and by deceiving us into a sense of righteous well-being. The emotions of our heart, motivated by the enmity, are able to deceive us into convincing thoughts of our own innocence (Jeremiah 10 v 23); (Jeremiah 17 v 9) - but we can never deceive God. We can be guilty of all these religious shams without ever realising it and it is the work of the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to understand the truth of the state of our heart, our mind and our actions and to give us the strength to overcome the enmity (Revelation 2 v 7). Hypocrisy in judgement, the rafter of the enmity in our eyes Like balance scales for weights, the judgment of God has two equal parts, justification or condemnation on the one side and the word of God, His laws and commandments on the other side. The standard of the word of God, His laws and commandments when weighed themselves - are perfectly balanced without any bias and it is that standard that God uses to weigh us in his balance of judgement. God has given us a spiritual balance scales - our conscience - in order to judge ourselves as he judges us, For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their

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The lifetime vow of baptism thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another (Romans 2 v 14-15). It is our work to weigh ourselves in those balances every day in everything we think and do, but the enmity, like the serpent from whence it came who watched Adam and Eve, is always ready to watch and judge our neighbours and tamper with the weights of judgement and the evenness of the balance (Job 31 v 6). Paul wrote, For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world (I Corinthians 11 v 31-32), which interpreted means If we would judge ourselves (now, by our conscience), we should not be judged (condemned at the end), but when we are judged (now by ourselves with the word of God), we are chastened of the Lord (by obeying the word of God). Because we do not always judge ourselves correctly by the word of God, we must face the perfect judgement of Christ when he returns to the earth (Hebrews 9 v 27); (I Peter 4 v 17). If we could judge ourselves perfectly (which only Jesus did), then there would be no need to be judged at that time, for there would be no case against us. Jesus showed us how the enmity works against God and interferes with our powers of judgment and reasoning given us by Him. God has given us this power to enable us to separate between right and wrong, between good and evil and between the clean and unclean, from what is to the honour and glory of God and what is to the honour of man. Jesus said with what judgement ye judge ye shall be judged, and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again, and why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brothers eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye (Matthew 7 v 1-5). The mote is a splinter (a very small fragment of wood), and a beam is a rafter (a large piece of wood as used to build a house) and so the enmity enlarges the faults in our fellow which has the effect of reducing the faults in our self - and that is hypocrisy. It is however the desire of all faithful believers that they should be continually judged by the standard of Gods word in their conscience (John 3 v 21) and so will avoid judging a neighbour by the duplicitous standard of envy (Job 31 v 6); (I Corinthians 11 v 31). It is easier than we realise to use our own standards in judgement which are derived from the enmity and while lack of experience is an obvious cause of misjudgement it is by no means exclusive to the novice, because those with years of experience and knowledge of the bible can breed a sense of superior confidence in us, of knowingall-there-is-to-know, and of feeling that we have seen it all before and there is nothing-more-to-learn as Solomon found, Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished (Ecclesiastes 4 v 13). If we watch and narrowly observe faults in others and enquire deep into their sins we will enlarge the severity of their sin till it grows in size beyond the sincerity of their repentance and will direct us to bias our judgement and fail to forgive them according to the balanced law of God, and as a result we will take away the power of judgement of mercy which is given to us and replace it with the power of the cruelty of the serpent.

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The lifetime vow of baptism If we observe faults in others without first acknowledging the magnitude of our own faults we will become the judge and not the judged. If we scrutinise the sins of our neighbours and at the same time neglect to judge ourselves, we will fail to realise that our faults are also sins against God and are known to Him, and so we will in effect begin to diminish our own faults and that has the same effect as denying our sins (I John 1 v 8). If we fail to acknowledge that all our sins, together with our fellows, earn the sentence of death without respect of persons (Romans 2 v 11) then we deny the power of the curse of God. If we forget that our neighbour and ourselves are equally dependent in entirely on the mercy of God for forgiveness of our sins, then we interfere with the balance of the power of judgement unto mercy and unto condemnation. If we forget that we are to be individually judged by Jesus at the last day with the same judgement that we have applied to others, then we shall loose our balance of right and wrong and forgive when we should condemn and condemn when we should forgive, whereas the standard of judgement that is set in the word of God is perfectly balanced and just as James said For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment (James 2 v 13), where better is it to err on the side of safety than on hypocrisy. If we fail in judgement, then the enmity will have generated the worst of the seeds of evil that it can generate, it will have generated seeds of envy, and the seeds of envy produce fruits of hatred and our hatred will be directed against our neighbour by our judgement. Jesus exposed the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees who presented the woman to him who was taken in adultery, let him that is without sin cast the first stone (John 8 v 1-11). They were not interested in the sins of the woman, but were driven by envy of Jesus. If the faults in others are apparent and are offensive according to the word of God and persisted in without repentance, we must avoid all unnecessary contact with them but - at the same time - we must recognise that God views us in a similar manner and that only in His grace are we forgiven, or we will give the enmity within us the opportunity to deceive us by assuring us of feelings of self righteous confidence (Romans 2 v 21-22); (Galatians 6 v 1-5). These things are the working of the curse of God on the serpent, I said God will put enmity between thee (the serpent) and the woman (the faithful), between your seed (the seed of the serpent) and her seed (the seed of the woman), it (he, Jesus) shall bruise thy head, and thou (the seed of the serpent) shalt bruise his (Jesus) heel (Genesis 3 v 15). This curse resulted in the implantation human nature within man an ability for evil that affects no other creature, and is the devil, the serpent, the adversary, the dragon and Satan, which is in every man and women. Hypocrisy of self-righteousness The self-righteous will be the first to claim that if they are servants of the enmity then their neighbours are worse, and this will be our first warning if we do so. The result of this deceit by the enmity was the cause of the merciless and crude adherence to the tenets of the law of Moses which seen in the elders of Israel and showed itself as the hypocrisy of self-righteousness while paying homage to the details of the law as Jesus said of them, Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law,

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The lifetime vow of baptism judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone (Matthew 23 v 23). As a result they judged Jesus by their own traditions, found fault in him and condemned him, and thus unwittingly brought about the fulfilment of the work of the enmity (bruising of the seed of the women in the heel). They despised him, they rejected him and sought to catch him in his words, they falsely accused him, spread evil reports about him and mocked him, they spat upon him, they smote him and they killed him (Isaiah 53); (Isaiah 50 v 5-6). Job suffered in a similar way, he was despised by his friends as weak and faulty while not acknowledging their own faults but used their experience and knowledge as weapons against him. They rejected Job as though he was self-righteous, they scorned him because they considered him a hypocrite, but the friends were merely claiming their own self-righteousness. Abel died for the same reasons (I John 3 v 12), and Joseph was sold into Egypt because his brethren did not believe that God was aware of their hatred of him and their lies to their father. David was hunted by Saul because of Sauls hatred and jealousy of David and he believed (as a hypocrite does) that he had the power to take life and so to control the succession of the kingdom. In like manner also, the prophets and the apostles suffered at the hands of hypocrites who hated them for no other reason than they believed God by the faith of their characters, as Jesus foretold they would, If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you (John 15 v 18), where the world is the effect of the enmity in both hypocritical believers or in rank unbelievers. The evil and subtle deception of hypocrisy, of wicked neighbours feigning righteousness, of spiritually unclean fellows feigning holiness, of secretly and publicly despising our fellows, of openly looking for faults in them, of scrutinising the uncleanness we find in them until we enlarge their sinfulness, and of seeking to remove them physically and spiritually from our company, without first enlarging our own uncleanness is nothing else but the fruits of the enmity at work, and God gives the Holy Spirit specifically for us to overcome this enmity before it germinates its poisonous seeds, plants and fruit. Jesus illustrated the deceptive power of the enmity in his parable of the outwardly devout and religious Pharisee who went to pray at the same time as the publican. The Pharisee had convinced himself that he was a holy character filled with works of righteousness, and his conviction caused him to speak to God in prayer as a man would to his superior, rather than a beggar would humbly beseech a benefactor in prayer, so he made the statement God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I possess (Luke 18 v 9-14). Self righteousness by despising our neighbour is no different to congratulating ourselves for our own holiness and is hypocrisy, for it convinces us to think that we are righteous characters when compared to them, when in fact we are (in Gods eyes) no better than our neighbour. Hypocrisy is to play a theatrical part like an actor, a part which does not match our own fictitious spirit, a part to which we have no right to belong, a part that in fact depends entirely on forgiveness of sins in the mercy of God, for, God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, whether it us or our neighbour. To despise others in

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The lifetime vow of baptism their spiritual frailty is hypocrisy and causes us to stand in the same spiritual position as did the elders of Israel who despised Jesus. All men are made in the image of God and all have equal opportunity to repent of their evil deeds (Ezekiel 18). So also to consider our own works as good works, to count our works as though they were hours of labour for wages is hypocrisy, for we can do no works that are good without the Spirit of God and the Holy Spirit will, on the contrary, cause us to condemn ourselves for not doing enough (Matthew 19 v 17-22). For us to pray to God without first admitting our failures and denying ourselves is hypocrisy, because this is the only way we can remain as beggars in His sight and maintain the correct distance between God and ourselves, because God is so high above us, we are as nothing in His sight (Isaiah 40 v 15); (Isaiah 55 v 8-9). The beginnings of hypocrisy The slide into hypocrisy is slow and deceptive, and begins when we fail to fully acknowledge (in the forefront of the thoughts of our minds) the full meaning and the power of the name of God. It begins when we forget the power of the meaning of the name of God and our religion becomes hypocritical and as a result we fail to remember that the name of God means to be merciful, gracious, long suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, to keep mercy for thousands, to forgive iniquity, transgression and sin, and will by no means clear the guilty (Exodus 34 v 6-7). These are the virtues of God by which our very existence depends as Jesus said of God, for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil (Luke 6 v 35). When we begin to forget that these virtues of God are those by which He keeps all life in being, we will begin to assume a role of self-sufficiency in life and our forgetfulness will - at the same time - lead us to forget that it is also by those virtues that we are allowed to understand His word. In like manner we will begin to assume a role of selfsufficiency in spiritual matters while still claiming a belief in our dependence on the mercy of God to survive. William Tyndale originally translated the English King James version text of Exodus 34 v 7 and will by no means clear the guilty, as for no man is innocent before thee (it was altered later, after his death) - for no man is innocent before thee gives a better understanding of our true position of grace in the mercy of God, because it is by the grace of God alone that we live. Casual reading of the King James version can be interpreted that God will never forgive us, because none of us can ever be not-guilty of sin, or, we can be deceived into hypocrisy by categorising sins as serious and not serious and where and will by no means clear the guilty refers to serious, but this is contrary to Gods teaching elsewhere in the scriptures which says that all sin is serious (Ezekiel 18), (I John 1 v 8-10), (Romans 6 v 23). and will by no means clear the guilty refers to those who do not admit their guilt and repent, and who despise their repentant neighbours who have sinned and shun their company. Hypocrisy sets in when the enmity begins to deceive us when we forget that it is God who chooses to whom He will grant mercy and grace (whatsoever our sins are), and that the giving of His mercy is dependant entirely on our capacity to repent from our hearts at whatever cost to the pride of ourselves, as the conversion of Paul showed. Paul was a nationally known blasphemer and murderer of Christians, yet God saw that he was also able to become a nationally known practicing and preaching Christian

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The lifetime vow of baptism who was able to bear all the shame, ignominy and suffering that it would bring. Therefore God does not refer to any man or woman to make His choice (however righteous they consider themselves to be), nor does God rely on any man or woman to choose one neighbour above another on His behalf as Peter said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10 v 34), nor does God choose the popular professors of belief, for says God, I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and will shew mercy on whom I will show mercy (Exodus 33 v 19) and those are those who have humble dispositions like innocent children as Jesus said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes (Matthew 11 v 25). When we forget that efforts of our own human endeavour and our practicing of pious rituals will not achieve righteousness by changing our character, then we become hypocrites, we become as stage actors in the theatre of the world where we alone are convinced that we have God-given powers (which we have not been given) and so forget that the reformation of our character can only be by the power of the work of the Holy Spirit within us to restore us to righteousness. Therefore Paul wrote, it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy (Romans 9 v 15-18). Hypocrisy will overcome us even if we deprive ourselves of all types of consumer goods and of all socially beneficial services by physical separation from other participating inhabitants of the global and local community, for it will serve to convince us that we are pure, but the deprivations will be of no value to us while there are the impurities of the enmity working unimpeded by the Holy Spirit within our heart and mind. Let us not forget that these impurities are resident in us whether we are entirely destitute of goods or are full of honestly gained personal wealth, for the enmity within us is the result of the curse of God and our response to the effects of that enmity is our responsibility irrespective of social position. We may even do great charitable works to our fellows, we may travel the globe to preach the word of God, we may devote the whole of our time to meditation and thought, but we will still carry the enmity within us and its effects will always be active until we die, and so our good works and pious deeds will satisfy us that we are in fact holy and so our thoughts will become an adversary to the words of Paul that we are as nothing (I Corinthians 13 v 1-3). Hypocrisy, the flaw in our character The effect of the enmity, working as impurities in the soul, is identified by the character as Jesus said, Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 7:1523). The enmity affects all men and women whether god-fearing or not, but when it is found at work in people claiming to be religious, then it is of the most grievous form (James 1 v 26-27). Hypocrisy in every day life is conceit and vanity, but hypocrisy in the name of religion is gross pride. The effect of the enmity working unchecked in religion is to

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The lifetime vow of baptism enjoy respect and deference from neighbours, it is the high look of self righteousness by despising our fellows, it is preaching the word of God by word of mouth but not preaching by example. Religious hypocrisy is to introduce laws, doctrines and instructions that are not taught in the doctrine of Gods word, it is to wearing religious robes and uniforms, it is to love positions of authority in the church, congregation or assembly, it is to be greeted reverentially by fellows and to be held in high esteem by our contemporaries, it is to be untouchable and unresponsive to scriptural criticism from equals and inferiors (Matthew 23 v 1-12). These vanities, rituals and traditions resist the work of the consuming fire of the Holy Spirit by quenching the burning zest and innocent zeal to humble us before God, and deceives us into a sense of righteous well-being. The enmity is a smouldering fire burning contrary to the lively fire of the Holy Spirit. Both burn, but both have opposites in fuel, the one consumes obedience to God by smouldering rebellion and the other consumes our natural lust by quick and lively obedience. The enmity is smouldering within our nature from birth and is always ready to burst into flames in one or more of the seven things God hates, it is every ready to ignite into a smoky cloke of hypocrisy as a suffocating cover of self approval, it is ever ready to deceive us with a smoking hot zeal of hatred and envy in the name of religion, it is every ready to suffocate the fire of the Holy Spirit by the intense heat of personal convenience of our natural inclinations by accumulating the nauseating self combustive rubbish of vain religion. The character in which the enmity is working unchecked is the soul that despises its neighbour, it is the person who considers themselves to be more righteous and more favoured than others, it is the mind that considers that non-believers are inferior, that there are sinners that are worse than them, that consider that their works will justify them and not their faith, and it is the character (the soul) that is the hell that Jesus referred to where the fire is not quenched and the worm dieth not (Mark 9 v 42-48); (Matthew 5 v 21-22). ********************* Chapter 21 Jesus warfare with the enmity As a man of the race of human beings, Jesus was subject to bodily decay and death due to the curse of God on Adam and Eve (Genesis 3 v 16-19). Jesus Christ as a son of Adam (Luke 3 v 23 & 38) was subject to the same tempting prompts of the enmity that we are (Hebrews 2 v 16-18); (Luke 22 v 28); (Hebrews 4 v 15), including those of the seven things that God hates. Jesus temptations with the Gift of God The temptations of Jesus were more intense than ours due to the fact that he had a greater measure of the gift of the Holy Spirit than we have which gave him the power to perform miracles, in order to demonstrate the power of the mercy of God contained in His purpose with mankind.

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The lifetime vow of baptism With the reality of this power placed by God within him, Jesus was tempted both mentally and physically by the enmity to use the Holy Spirit to his own advantage, and examples of his resistance to the tempting effects of the enmity and to his overcoming of the attractions prompted by the enmity are given in the gospel records (Matthew 4 v 1-11); (Mark 1 v 12-13); (Luke 4 v 1-13). Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness where he was with the wild beasts, and angels ministered unto him (Mark 1 v 12-13), and was separated from contact with his neighbours in a similar way that the children of Israel were separated and lived for 40 years in the wilderness. Jesus learned that whereas the naturally wild beasts of the earth would not hurt him, the wild beast of human nature - the ferocious lion of the enmity - was capable of destroying his character. Jesus temptations with bread As a mortal man Jesus had no natural power to perform miracles as he said The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. (John 5 v 19), and again I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me (John 5 v 30). The Holy Spirit that Jesus was given was the power of God and was that power within Jesus that performed the miracles. Because of this, Jesus had the power by the Holy Spirit to make stones into bread, and the enmity used his hunger to urge him to consider using that power to satisfy his creature desires, just as the serpent deceived Adam and Eve to satisfy their animal appetite. Adam and Eve used the serpents reasoning to indulge their lust, but Jesus overcame the same temptation of the enmity in his mind by his new obedient inner-man, enlivened the Holy Spirit, to overcome the rebellious old man of the flesh (Romans 6 v 6); (Ephesians 4 v 20-24); (Colossians 3 v 8-10) and affirmed that the gift of God could never be used in this way, but only according to the will of God who gave it. Jesus believed that if he kept all the words of God his material needs would be provided by God as is attested in the scripture (Joshua 1 v 69), and that God would give him health and keep him alive with or without food, until his work was done in death, when God would raise him back to life (Psalm 16 v 10). Jesus proved his belief in God by his recalling the law of God from his memory, and causing it to act upon his conscience to confirm his faith, by killing the thoughts prompted by the enmity with the weapon of those laws of God, Man shall not live by bread alone, but be every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4 v 4). Thus Jesus used the words of God to allow the Holy Spirit to kill his thoughts as a trained and disciplined soldier is taught to use a sword to kill an arch-enemy. In this way Jesus continued to bruise the serpent in the head by the flaming sword of the Holy Spirit in fulfilment of the curse of God placed on the serpent in the beginning (Genesis 3 v 15). Jesus had entered the wilderness to be tried by God after God had given him the power and authority of the Holy Spirit to perform miracles. God, by the same power of the Holy Spirit had previously performed a miracle in the Children of Israel when He led them through the wilderness to humble them, to prove them and to test their faith (Deuteronomy 8 v 1-6). It was not in their power to help themselves (as Jesus

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The lifetime vow of baptism could) but it was in their power to rebel against the work of the Holy Spirit by animal craving. During their journey they learned that God did provide what was necessary for what He deemed was good for their needs (Deuteronomy 8 v 4); (Proverbs 30 v 89), but despite this, they (like Adam and Eve were and we are) were not satisfied with the miracle of their deliverance from Egypt and the provision of the bread of life in the manna, but desired more and tempted God to provide flesh (Numbers 11 v 4-6); (Exodus 16 v 3-12). Jesus was similarly tried when he endured an intense fast of 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness, and he knew that unless he perfectly finished his work to become the saviour of Israel there would be no salvation for himself or any man or woman. These natural cravings of Israel were the same carnal temptations that beset Jesus (and that affect us), but to tempt God is not limited to carnal desires alone, but equally we are able to tempt God by abuse and misuse of the word of God opened to us by the Holy Spirit. The faith of Jesus was that he was the bread of life and that the bread of life incorporated both his mortal body and the spirit body of the new man of the Holy Spirit that filled his mortal body and was seen as his character and soul. After the figure of material bread, the bread of life would come ultimately from the seed of the word of God that was sown in the finely broken tilth of the soil of his humbled heart. This would germinate and spring up to reproduce fruit one hundred fold that was identical to the original seed of the word of God, and by threshing, winnowing, crushing by affliction it was to be converted into finely sifted flour from which would come the bread which symbolised his body. Jesus would not use the power of the Holy Spirit to turn a stone into bread and so to quickly trivialise the whole process of the creation of the food of life, so he killed the thought with the law of God. Jesus knew that the stones of the wilderness represented the hardness of the enmity within our minds, and that anything of the enmity cannot ever be transformed into the bread of life - however difficult the circumstances were - the process of making the bread of life was to be slow and methodical. The stones of the enmity must be cast out of his mind and the seed of Gods word must enter his softened heart to replace them. Jesus was not only resisting the instant satisfying of his hunger, he was not even going to contemplate the shorting of his preparation unto the bread of life of salvation. Jesus temptation with the protection of God God promised Jesus that he would be protected from any evil that would slow down or prevent his work of salvation, He shall give His angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone (Psalm 91 v 11). Jesus faithfully believed God, and his conviction of this promise of God was so real that the enmity in his thoughts prompted him to consider circumstances where it could proved, The devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple and saith unto him if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down (Matthew 4 v 5-6). Jesus faith (which was the foundation of new man of the Holy Spirit, (Hebrews 11 v 1) was greater than his natural old man of the enmity and like a disciplined soldier,

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The lifetime vow of baptism he killed the thought of human nature in his mind with the word of God, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. In this way Jesus continued to bruise the serpent in the head according to the curse of God that warned the serpent in the beginning (Genesis 3 v 15). Like a strong man who was stronger than his enemy, he spoiled the riches of the enmity (Matthew 12 v 29). Jesus was tempted to presume that he had both physical protection from God and spiritual protection to save him from sin. Jesus was promised protection from any evil that would have impeded his work, but he did not have to physically climb to such a height as the pinnacle of the temple to be tempted with presumptuous thoughts. The enmity tempted Jesus to assure himself that he was so holy that he was spiritually saved, Satan tempted Jesus by reasoning that he could not fall from grace unto sin, because if he fell from the high divine state of holiness by baser temptations, the angels would uphold him from actually committing sin. Jesus knew that he was the chosen one of God, the Son of God; therefore he was tempted that even if he did fall to uncleanness and fail in the high standard of his Fathers work, God would save him anyway. Any of these thoughts would have been to tempt God, because Jesus knew he was mortal and was as subject to sin under Gods curse as we are, and he knew that God will not lead His children into temptation (Matthew 6 v 13) and that God will not tempt any of us, because Jesus knew that we are tempted when we are drawn away from obedience to His word with our own lust (James 1 v 13-15). The physical temple in Jerusalem was the House of God but it stood as a figure and a type of the spiritual house that God is still preparing, a house of people where every member will, one day, be holy, of which house Jesus was being sanctified as the chief corner stone (II Samuel 7 v 12-16). During his life, Jesus kept himself from sin and as a result was without any moral blemish, but he never considered himself to be saved, he never believed that even if he fell from his high moral standards that God would save him if he were so foolish as to fall, and therefore all thoughts that presumed that he was saved were killed with the weapon of the word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus temptations with his natural rights Jesus had the power to take the rulership of the world (Matthew 26 v 53). The promise of God has been from the beginning that the Son of God (later revealed as Jesus Christ) would be the king of the Jews and of all the earth (Psalm 2 v 1-12); (II Samuel 7 v 12-16); (Ezekiel 21 v 25-27). This was widely known at his birth (Matthew 2 v 1-2), and Jesus grew up with the knowledge that he was both the first-born Son of God and a first-born son of the lineage of King David which gave him the rightful ascension to the throne (Matthew 1 v 1-17), (Ezekiel 22 v 27), but despite this Jesus allowed himself to become the most despised person ever (Isaiah 53). When Jesus was given the fullness of the Holy Spirit, he had the power to take the rightful kingship he was promised, which prompted the enmity to lead his thoughts to

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The lifetime vow of baptism be tempted to claim his natural heritage. However, Jesus faith was stronger than the promptings of the enmity in his nature, and he believed that God ruleth in the kingdoms of men and giveth it to whosoever He will (Daniel 4 v 17, 25 & 32). He believed that God is not man that He should change (Numbers 23 v 19). He believed that Gods thoughts were higher than his and that he must be patient (Isaiah 55 v 8-9). He believed that before he could ascend to his rightful inheritance he would have to fulfil the work God had set him to do, which was to kill the enmity (the king of sin) within himself. To do that he believed that he must fulfil all the figures of the offerings, from the firstborn lamb of the faith of Abel (Genesis 4 v 3-5), to the continual burnt offering, the sin, trespass, thanksgiving, peace offering, the Passover lamb and all other such sacrifices (Isaiah 53 v 7); (John 17 v 4); (Colossians 2 v 1415) which taught the principle of the shedding of blood in sacrifice for atonement of sin. Jesus knew that he must first conquer and rule the kingdom of temptation within himself before could be fit to rule the kingdom of God. Jesus knowledge and faith in Gods promises were perfect, but he was still tempted to use the power of the Holy Spirit given him to gain the throne that was his rightful place, to satisfy carnal lust to assert and claim that which was his right (Ezekiel 21 v 27). His thoughts took him to a high mountain where he could see all the kingdoms of the earth and tempted him to bow down and worship himself by exploiting the power he had been given and satisfy his enmity prompted ambitions, but Jesus killed the thought with the words of God Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve (Matthew 4 v 10). In this way, Jesus continued to bruise the serpent in the head according to the curse of God that warned the serpent in the beginning (Genesis 3 v 15). Only when all scripture had been fulfilled (John 19 v 36-37), and only when he had finally and completely killed the enmity within himself in death (John 19 v 33); (Ephesians 2 v 13-16) could Jesus receive the mercy of God in resurrection to life (Luke 24 v 5-6) and then in resurrection to everlasting life (John 20 v 17). In so doing, he would make possible the hope of resurrection of all faithful men and women (John 10 v 16); (John 17 v 20-21). To assure us of the truth of His belief, he showed himself to his believers after his change to immortality and then he ascended to heaven (Luke 24 v 51) where he now waits at Gods right hand (Psalm 110) till the time shall come when he will be sent back to the earth (Acts 1 v 11); (Acts 3 v 16-21). He will then ascend the throne of Israel as ruler over all the earth (Isaiah 11 v 1-11); (Zechariah 9 v 9); (Matthew 21 v 1-11). ********************* Chapter 22 The need to follow Jesus in the wilderness The 40 day and night temptation of Jesus in the wilderness was representative of his whole life because as a mortal man Jesus was tempted by the devil until his death even as we are. The number forty is one of the divine choices to represent completeness and in this case represents a lifetime probation, as was taught in the 40 year wilderness journey of the children of Israel (Deuteronomy 29 v 5), and Moses was in the mount Sinai 40 days and nights receiving the law of God which

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The lifetime vow of baptism encompassed all that Jesus was to fulfil in his mortal state (Deuteronomy 9 v 9). The wilderness is uncultivated land and is a figure of our natural sinful mortal state that is barren of any cultivated fruits of righteousness. Turning stone into bread, animal satisfaction We will not be given the same power of the Holy Spirit in our mortal life as was given to Jesus, but we have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit to undergo a miracle similar to that done to Israel in their wilderness journey, in that we are being reformed from our natural state of sinful bondage to the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. This is a journey by faith from our natural state of captivity due to satisfying the lusts of the enmity, through a wilderness of human frailty, to the promised land of eternal life. We also are tempted to misuse the power that the Holy Spirit gives us to interpret the word of God (which is given to us for the sole purpose of sanctifying us by the affliction of our soul which was prefigured by the fast of Jesus) to satisfy our animal appetite by taking titillating benefits to ourselves. These can be in delighting in praise received from our neighbours and expecting honour for our knowledge, in assuming control as being superior over others, by basking in the warmth of vain reputations, in payments of money for works we have done which were motivated by the Holy Spirit, by compensation in goods for services we have rendered in the name of Jesus, by recompense in gifts for our personal sacrifices due to our labours in the name of God, by receiving beneficial personal service because of our reputation as a believer, or by any other subtle human benefit (Luke 17 v 10). Turning stone into bread, spiritual deception It is the purpose of God to create one body of many individual members whose head is Jesus Christ (Colossians 1 v 18) & (2 v 19). We are therefore to become sanctified to be part of the body of Jesus Christ prefigured in the bread of the sacrament and the bread of the new meat offering (John 6 v 51) (Leviticus 23 v 16-18). We can never transfer any part of our stony heart to become part of the bread of the body of Jesus Christ, because the hard stones of the enmity can never be made into the soft and tender character of Christ but must be removed from our heart (Ezekiel 11 v 19) & (Ezekiel 36 v 26); (Mark 4 v 16-17). As these are being removed, the hard packed earth of our heart will have to be ploughed and harrowed until it becomes a soft heart by obedience to the word of God by the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (Jeremiah 4 v 3); (Isaiah 58); (Hosea 10 v 12); (Matthew 13 v 18-23). As Jesus resisted the temptation to make instant bread, so there is no shortened route to sanctification; it is a long process following the example of the preparation of bread. Our heart the ground is to be ploughed and harrowed into humility by the plough blade of the Holy Spirit inspired word of God, the seed of Gods word is to be sown in it by reading and hearing (Romans 10 v 17), the water of the Holy Spirit has to be applied to it (John 7 v 38), the food of the word of God has to be made by the water of the Holy Spirit and the light of the word of God, the weeds of our natural desires are to be removed, the fruits of righteousness in our manner of life are to be seen, the trials of our faith are to thresh out our pride, the wind of the Spirit of God is to winnow away our vanity, the grinding of tribulation is to break down our self-

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The lifetime vow of baptism worth in Gods eyes, we are to be sifted by temptation to filter out lingering craving of our flesh and we are to be kneaded to compact us by faith and love to the congregation of the faithful most of whom are resting in the grave (Hebrews 11 v 3940 & 11 v 1-5). The faith of Jesus is to be our faith; we cannot accept any temptation to use any other word or commandment other than Gods word and commandments to follow Jesus. For we have the power to interpret scripture and to construe it to suit our convenience, but there can only be one interpretation (II Peter 1 v 20), therefore we have the power to turn a stony dead and lifeless idea of our own vanity and affection into a form of worship, which masquerades as a worship of God (II Timothy 3 v 1-6). That is to tempt God with our ideas, our speech, our judgement and our actions. Each time we are tempted to wander from the true meaning of the word of God and to follow a more convenient and quicker way of belief to gain the warm feeling of instant or confirmed salvation, each time we are tempted to find an interpretation of Gods word which is counter to the strict discipline of the life of Christ, or we are tempted to ease the restrictions of the restraints caused by obedience to Gods word by ideas that are not substantiated entirely by Gods word concerning the hope of salvation, we must follow Jesus example and kill the temptation man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. It is tempting to relax into a way that says any bread is better than no bread which is the same as any interpretation is better than no interpretation, but where is our faith and patience in God for Him to guide and keep us from evil? We are to continually search our hearts and research Gods word, we are to always wait upon God for enlightenment and patiently work with the knowledge we have, we can trust only in God to provide for what is good to Him as did Jesus. We are never to turn our own inanimate ideas of stone-cold humanity into a psuedo faith (I Timothy 6 v 20-21), so we must constantly test our own spirit to see whether it is the Spirit of God and of Christ or our own spirit deceiving us (I John 4 v 1-3). Falling from a pinnacle, physical protection of God We have not been given such a direct promise of physical protection as was given to Jesus, but all Gods children who are called to sanctification, all those that respond to Gods mercy and repent by continual baptism by the Spirit have been promised that the angel of the Lord encampeth around those that fear Him (Psalm 34 v 7). The presence of an angel is to be a real and convicted belief in our daily lives, not so much for the purpose of keeping us physically from injury or sickness (for time and chance happeneth to all (Ecclesiastes 9 v 11), but to make us always careful of what we do and say, because it is for us to remember that all our actions are in the presence of the angel that is with us but who is not visible to us (Exodus 23 v 20-21), for we are capable of vainly climbing to the highest peek of the holiness of Gods house in our own estimation by elevating ourselves above our neighbours, and we are capable of assuming that because our neighbours are so bad that we will surely be saved. If we remember the presence of the angel at all times we will never consider ourselves to be automatically saved by that angel if we fall through sin, for if we are foolish

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The lifetime vow of baptism enough to lift ourselves up to a pinnacle of holiness above our true position of natural uncleanness, we will fall and our fall will be as great as it would have been from the pinnacle of the Temple to the floor of the Kidron valley against which it stood. Our work is to follow Jesus and use the gift of the Holy Spirit as he did by allowing it to convert our souls so it will be seen in a practical way in our daily lives (James 2 v 26). Contrary to presuming on the guidance and protection of God in our actions, in our judgements and in our life to keep us from injury and sin, we will concentrate on making sure that we do not lift ourselves up in our own estimation. We will not begin to think that we are more holy than our neighbour, nor will we speak foolishly on behalf of God, nor will we judge unrighteously by misapplying the judgement of the word of God nor will we act presumptuously by assuming we are what we are not. Any of these will prevent the progress of the work of the Holy Spirit. It is to be our faith that the angel of God that is with us will be instructed by God to guide us in our way. We cannot be inactive and expect our life to be overruled by the angel of God, because we have the word of God to guide us and show us what we ought to do and it is our responsibility to work with that knowledge and get on with our life. However, if we faithfully follow the advice of His word, we will be brought into circumstances that will be not necessarily be of our choice, and if we cautiously remain in these circumstances and continue with patience to keep Gods word, it will be for our long-term benefit. We will not realise the significance of the situation we were in until after we have been guided through it, but when we look back we will realise that we could not have done what we did by our own effort. Our daily instruction and guidance, the directions and advise we need to keep us from falling, all the help we will ever need is in Gods Holy Word if we search for it, and the Holy Spirit will open our eyes to see it as it is necessary in Gods eyes. Falling from a pinnacle, spiritual deception When we lift ourselves up in our own estimation above our true position in the eyes of God to a pinnacle of self-appointed holiness by despising our neighbours, we will be blind, careless and presumptuous. However piously we may claim to be acting in the interests of the holiness of Gods house, we will be tempting the Lord if we climb higher than our true position in His eyes by looking down at the sins and uncleannesses of our neighbours who repent, as if they were on a lower level, because the angels are always present (who said Jesus always behold the face of my Father (Matthew 18 v 10) and they will be witnesses against us. If we resist the temptation to despise our neighbour, if we refuse to lift ourselves up to higher levels of righteous importance, if we continue to be as a humble servant equally dependant on the mercy of God as our fellows (as Jesus did), then those angels who ministered to Jesus after he overcame the enmity, will likewise minister to us because we will faithful witnesses of our lowliness (Matthew 4 v 11). God is patient and long suffering, if we fall from grace in the frailty of our flesh and repent, God will instruct His angel to lift us up again (Exodus 34 v 6-7); (Luke 22 v

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The lifetime vow of baptism 31-32). Let us never presume on the patience of God because He will not be waiting forever for us to reform and be sanctified (James 5 v 7); (Acts 17 v 30-31). Let us also remember that to whom much is given (the gift of the measure of the Holy Spirit) from the same, much is expected (obedience to God by love, to love our neighbour and to deny our temptations, (Luke 12 v 48). It is our own responsibility to respond to the call of God to be sanctified by raising our moral standards from a sinful natural state to higher divine morals and character, but it is tempting to deceive ourselves into climbing higher than we should, to the pinnacle of Gods house, and to think of ourselves more highly than we aught, and Jesus who was holy in character was tempted in like manner (Romans 12 v 3). Let us never lift ourselves up to any Pinnacle of Gods Holy Temple of faithful believers the household of Christ), but let us remain firmly where we belong, in the long path that leads up to that temple in His mercy (Psalm 24 v 3-5). It is the purpose of God to create a congregation of people in whom He will dwell (of whom Jesus is the chief cornerstone) and is prefigured by the Tabernacle and the temple of Solomon (Revelation 21 v 3); (John 17 v 22-24); (I Peter 2 v 4-8). Sanctification is a process of the Holy Spirit that cleanses our character from being naturally unclean to become holy (morally clean). The final ascent to full sanctification is beyond our power and is by invitation only (Revelation 4 v 1-2) but progress toward that grace is necessary. We cannot lift ourselves in our own imagination higher than we are, nor can we expect divine protection from evil and temptation if we wilfully stray from the word of God (Psalm 131) and fail to fear God, for said Job, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding (Job 28 v 28). Ruling as kings over our own selves Jesus was born to be King of the Jews and after his victory over the enmity in his death where he finally confirmed the establishment of the rule of God in his soul he was fitted and prepared to establish the rule of God in all the earth as the universal king when the Kingdom of God comes. We have been given no such promise of world rulership, but we have been promised ruleship over parts of the earth under the government of Jesus Christ (Revelation 20 v 6); (Matthew 25 v 14-30). However, if we begin to deceive ourselves and assume that our future rulership is secure because others are so wicked, we will begin to satisfy our own vanity and assume a lofty rulership over our neighbours we will be worshiping ourselves (Revelation 2 v 15), and if we allow others to make us rulers over them we will still be worshipping ourselves in our vanity (John 6 v 15) for we are not called to be rulers of our fellows but to be servants to each other as Jesus said, But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister (Matthew 20 v 26) where a minister is a servant and a servant is always below those who are served. The truth of God shows that the enmity is the natural king of our soul and we are called to kill this king of temptation, this ruler of evil thoughts and to worship God as our King and Jesus whom God has appointed.

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The lifetime vow of baptism To worship God means that we willingly subject ourselves to His will in the same manner that law abiding citizens subject themselves to a monarch, president or government (Proverbs 16 v 4 & 19 v 12). It means that we voluntarily allow the dominion of Gods law through Christ in our whole life by fear of God in reverence and awe (Job 28 v 28); (Proverbs 15 v 33). Servitude by worship means that we live a new life by reforming our character with the laws of the kingdom of God seen in Christ, by refusing the carnal laws of the kingdom of sin. This therefore means that we are to live within all the civil laws of the kingdoms of mankind (which ever country we are in) and submit to all its judgements without defence if we infringe them. If we cannot keep the civil laws of the government under whom we live (who are placed there by God for our good, Romans 13) and endure the judgements they inflict on us for violation, we will never keep the divine law and government of Christ whom we cannot see, nor will we endure the tribulation that obedience to God brings. By remembering and doing these things we will consider our neighbour to be as an equal subject. We will understand that we are both equally dependant on the mercy of God, we will realise that that we are both under the law of God and therefore under the same judgements of God. Only if we maintain this faith and practice will we be prepared for rulership in the kingdom of God to come, because we have no right to rulership in the promise of God. God will elevate to rulership only those who despise themselves in their own eyes (I Samuel 2 v 1-10). It is our faith that in the purpose of God, Jesus Christ will rule over all nations of the earth (Psalm 2). It is also the purpose of God that Jesus will be assisted by his companion of many people, themselves to be rulers over the nations as kings and priests under him (Matthew 25 v 19-23); (Revelation 20 v 6). If we are to be selected by God we will have ruled over our own spirit with the word of God, we will have renounced the rulership of the enmity in our own minds and we will have submitted to the rulership of God and Christ throughout our life. We will never over-rule our neighbours (Revelation 2 v 6 & 15) because we will realise that God is their ruler through Jesus Christ, and He does not need our help. If judgement in matters of sin in our neighbour is necessary to maintain the standards of Gods house then we are to judge ourselves first and only when we realise how sinful we are in Gods eyes can we begin to consider the case of our fellow. We will always be conscious that we as individuals are under the laws and the judgements of God as equals with our fellows and when repentance is shown then we are bound by the love of our neighbour and by law of Christ to forgive them as Jesus said, And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him (Luke 17 v 4), and James said, For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment (James 2 v 13). Let us not deceive ourselves, no man or woman has any special claim or natural rights to the hope of salvation, but all of us are sentenced to an eternal grave due to the curse of God upon us apart from His mercy over which we have no influence. ********************* Chapter 23 Hell, our character where the enmity thrives

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The lifetime vow of baptism The Holy Bible is not an open book that can be read as any other story book for the reason that it was not written or compiled as any other book (II Timothy 3 v 16); (II Peter 1 v 21), it is many books compiled as one book. The compilation of the many books within the bible was not done for profit, education or entertainment as other books are, but was created by God for our salvation. Consequently, it is a book in which the meaning of many scripture is often not what it first appears to be, but the true meaning has to be searched for by comparing scripture with scripture (I Corinthians 2 v 13); (Acts 17 v 11). The proverb of Solomon summarises this enigma It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter (Proverbs 25 v 2) where kings are those in who rule and judge themselves by the law of God, as Jesus said, Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me (John 5 v 39). This principle of the need to search the scriptures was placed there by the choice of God in both the Hebrew of the Old Testament and the Greek of the New Testament. When both were translated directly into English in the 16th century the translations were limited by the compatibility of the English syntax, and as a consequence of which William Tyndale effectively founded our modern English language (Daniel, David; 1994; William Tyndale, an Autobiography; Yale University Press. Moynahan, Brian; 2002; If God Spare My Life; Little, Brown). Despite this, there were words which had no direct translation that could be comprehended by the plough-boy Tyndale was so moved to enlighten, so he had to use some words as substitutes that were as close as possible to the original meaning and sense. Thus he was moved by God to compound the mystery of His word and so make the Proverb of Solomon (Proverbs 25 v 2) even more real. There are no errors or contradictions in the Holy Bible, the only error or contradiction that may be encountered is our understanding of them. Since that time many English words have also been altered from the essence of their meaning due to their misuse and as a result of the physical migration of the user, thus making it even more necessary to search and research continually and with an open and innocent heart, receive enlightenment of the Holy Spirit from the Holy Bible. However, the enmity within us interprets this necessary divine mystery as a convenient complication and constantly resists the intended meaning of humbling our soul and its message of repentance from servitude of the enmity, with the result that we lapse into the state of hell within our soul (II Thessalonians 2 v 11-12). As a result of the difficult translation of Hebrew and Greek words, the English word hell is used in the New Testament for two entirely different original Greek words that were used in the original text. The two Greek words are , Hades (Matthew 11 v 23); (Matthew 16 v 18); (Acts 2 v 27), and Gehenna (Matthew 5 v 22 & 29-30); (Mark 9 v 43-47); (Luke 12 v 5). Hades, the grave for our body Hades means an abyss or the deep as in the depth of the sea ( (Luke 8 v 31) and was used in Roman Hebrew times as a grave, a tomb, a hole in the ground or a sepulchre, in the sense that those who enter and remain in the 'depth' are dead. The grave, Hades, is where we all go to upon our death witnessed by the cemeteries of the world, and is in accordance with the curse of God on man, in the sweat of thy face

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The lifetime vow of baptism thou shalt eat bread, till thou return to the ground; for out of it wast thou taken and unto dust thou shalt return (Genesis 3 v 19). Apart from the mercy of God we will remain in the grave (Hades or hell) for ever, as have all those before us (except Jesus) who entered the grave (Hades) but whom God raised from the dead, the grave, hell or Hades (Psalm 16 v 10); (Mark 16 v 6). Hades, hell or the grave is where we our body must go after our consciousness has ended in death (Ecclesiastes 9 v 5-6), and there is no immortal soul to fly away, for that was the reasoning that the serpent subtly offered to Eve, then shall your eyes be opened and ye shall be as the gods (angels who are immortal), knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3 v 5). Hades is the grave and it is a final and complete end to our entire existence as Solomon wrote, For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun ( (Ecclesiastes 9 v 6). Gehenna, the hell of our character The meaning of the other hell is entirely different and when we understand the sense of that other hell (Gehenna) the heresy of the doctrine of the place of eternal fiery torment after death is exposed, as being part of the same lie that the serpent taught we it reasoned that there is an immortal soul in mankind which goes to paradise in heaven. There is no choice or option of going to heaven or to fiery hell (Gehenna) after death; we all go to hell (Hades) the grave, and nowhere else as Solomon said, All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again (Ecclesiastes 3 v 19-20). However, there was an actual place where the fire never went out, a hell where the worm never died, it was called Gehenna by the Jews, and it was Jesus who first used this every day Hebrew household name Gehenna to describe the effects of the enmity working unchecked in any person or soul (Matthew 5 v 22 & 29); (Mark 9 v 43-47); (Luke 12 v 5). The meaning of Gehenna (later translated as hell) was familiar to the Hebrews of Jesus day for it was a well-known geographical fact; it was a place physically next to and part of the city of Jerusalem. Gehenna was a place that every body knew, it was a part of their heritage of heretical history, it was a central part of their daily municipal arrangements, and nobody would have been ignorant of its nauseating associations and Jesus used this association to illustrate to the Jews of his day the abominable effects of enmity, the devil, Satan, 'the world' and human nature in the sight of God. For the early English translators the name of this place posed a problem, because a reader who was not familiar with Jewish history could not have understood the meaning of a literal translation of Gehenna. As it was such a spiritually and physically disgusting place Tyndale could only translate it as the place of the dead, i.e. the English word hell. Hell, the place Gehenna Gehenna is a Greek word and comes directly from the Hebrew .This word is made from two Hebrew root words, a valley and the name Hinnom and was first

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The lifetime vow of baptism recorded in Joshua 18 v 16. It is a valley which formed the south western boundary of biblical Jerusalem running from the western side of the upper city then sweeping south and east to the southern most tip of the City of David, where it joins the Kidron valley. It is also known as Tophet after a place within the valley where idolatrous Israel beat drums to drown the cries and shreaks of innocent human victims of child sacrifices offered to strange gods (II Kings 23 v 10). Hell, the history of Gehenna Until the reign of Solomon it was a valley of vineyards, olive groves and of suburban Jerusalem life. As a result of the influence of his many foreign wives, Solomon began to use the valley as a centre for the worship of strange gods which Israel were forbidden to bow down to (I Kings 11 v 1-8). Here is a quotation from a Hebrew scholar of the 18th century: This valley of Hinnom lay near Jerusalem, and had been the place of those abominable sacrifices in which the idolatrous Jews burnt their children alive to Molech, Baal or the Sun. A particular spot in this valley was called Tophet and the valley itself the valley of Tophet from the Hebrew word a drum or tabor; because the idolaters used to beat drums or tabors in order to drown the cries and shrieks of the innocent victims during those horrid rites (II Chronicles 28 v 3); (Jeremiah 7 v 31-32); (Jeremiah 19 v 5-6); (Jeremiah 32 v 35). From this valleys having been the scene of those infernal sacrifices, and probably too from its continuing after the time of Josiahs reformation (II Kings 23 v 10) a place of abominable filthiness and pollution the Jews in our Saviours time used the compound word for hell, the place of the damned (John Parkhurst Greek English Lexicon, 1769). Hell, the rubbish tip of Gehenna Adding to these abominable associations, the valley was also a place of the communal grave of paupers and criminals, together with the municipal rubbish tip. It was the drain of humanity from the whole city, where compacted rubbish (which ignites spontaneously) smouldered and burned uncontrollably while ever more rubbish was laid upon it. It was the place of flies and worms attracted to the rotting carcases and decaying vegetable matter in perpetuity. (Hastings; Dictionary of the Bible, 1934, v2, p344; W Smith; Dictionary of the Bible, 1863, v1, p661). This was the well known place which Jesus used to illustrate the spiritual state of a living soul in which the enmity is working against the word of God as a spontaneously ignited destroying flame of blasphemy, as a putrid gnawing worm of the rottenness of idolatry, as a smouldering hatred of injured human pride and as the suffocating smoke of the blanket of hypocrisy. This is the place Gehenna that was translated into the English as hell because no other English word could describe it. It is the place that resides in our heart and mind by nature before we repent, it is not a place to where the dead go or any place for after-life, it is where our natural character is in the eyes of God as a result of His judgement upon us because of our toleration of the effects of the enmity. Hell (Gehenna) is our heart where we worship ourselves, it is our mind where we pay homage to our own ideas, it is our natural spirit where we protect our comfort at the

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The lifetime vow of baptism expense of obedience and it is our own esteem that panders to our perceived selfimportance. It is the place where the childlike character of our new birth into Christ is sacrificed on the altar of our indulgences and is offered up to satisfy our personal weaknesses. Hell (Gehenna) is the place where the drum-beats of lies and deception drown the quiet voice of the word of God, it is the rubbish tip of false doctrine, idolatrous creed and adulterous temptation, it is the place where the works of our old carnal man are, the place where the our dead man of the flesh thrives, it is the place where the worms of subtle reasoning eat away at the sensitivity of our conscience. Hell (Gehenna), the Valley of the son of Hinnom, is the symbol Jesus chose to show the outworking of the enmity which is seen in the seven things that God hates and in all other characteristics of human nature which thrive in our hearts and minds which are contrary to the purity of the truth of the word of God. Baptism is the act of faith that washes away previous uncleanness and gives us a new beginning as a babe of the new man Christ Jesus, it is the beginning of a new life, from babe to maturity, by ascending a long path of faith, a wilderness journey always going onward by sanctification toward the standards set in the Tabernacle of Witness and the Temple of God built on Mount Moriah which standards were perfected in body and character of Jesus Christ (Genesis 22 v 1-18); (I Chronicles 21 v 18-30 & 22 v 1); (II Chronicles 3 v 1); (Hebrews 12 v 22-24). The new and living way from Hell It is when we respond to the temptation of the enmity (as did Adam and Eve) that sin causes our character to descend into the state of hell, and having lapsed into the shackles of this sinful condition we cannot release ourselves by our own efforts however hard we may try. It is God who has set the gulf between the depths of hell (Gehenna) and heights of sanctification (Luke 16 v 26) and if our death occurs before our character is lifted out of hell (Gehenna) by sanctification through the Holy Spirit, we will be in the same hopeless state of the rich man in Jesus parable (Luke 16 v 20-31). Nevertheless, God has established a hope, for all men and women irrespective of education, social background or disability, where there is the prospect of repentance unto sanctification from hell (Gehenna) in a living intelligent soul by change of our character to become a sanctified member of the eternal house of God, through Jesus Christ. We begin our passage along this new and living way (Hebrews 10 v 20); (John 14 v 6) by baptism in water into the death of Jesus Christ (Romans 6 v 3-6) and progress along it as a result of continual baptism of our character by mental immersion in the spiritual waters of the Holy Spirit by obedience and self condemnation until the end of our life (Luke 3 v 16); (Mark 8 v 34-38) and is likened to a pathway that did ascend from the depths of the valley of the son of Hinnom (Gehenna) to the House of God on mount Sion (Psalm 24 v 3-5). ********************* Chapter 24

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The lifetime vow of baptism Continual Baptism, the footsteps of the path from hell to the house of God The hell that Jesus used as a simile for our captivity to sin (Matthew 5 v 22 & 29;) (Mark 9 v 43-47); (Luke 12 v 5) was at the lowest part of the city of Jerusalem, and the house of God (designed by king David, built by Solomon and later by Herod) is the temple which is on the highest point of the city, the rock of the Mount of God, mount Moriah, the Temple Mount, and Mount Zion (Genesis 22 v 2); (I Chronicles 21 v 21-30) & (I Chronicles 22 v 1); (II Chronicles 3 v 1). Baptism by water and then continually by the 'water' of the Holy Spirit is the work of God by His Spirit within us to transform our character from its natural low position under the dominion of the enmity, to a soul that is under the rulership of God and Jesus by which rulership it becomes prepared and ready to be permitted to enter the eternal house of God and remain there for ever as it is written, Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation (Psalm 24 v 3-5). And again; LORD who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent he that doeth these things shall never be moved (Psalm 15 v 1-5). And again: Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready (Revelation 19 v 7). The mercy of God is to be found only in this singular way of life (Ephesians 4 v 4-6), and before the process of sanctification can begin in us, all previous sins must be forgiven, and that forgiveness is granted by God when we are baptised in water by faith. Thereafter God, through the intercessions of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4 v 14-15), will continue to forgive our freshly committed transgressions provided we sincerely acknowledge them and repent in the same earnest way as was shown by King David; Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow..Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within meCast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me (Psalm 51 v 4,10 & 11) There is no other way that we can make this ascent in character, this reformation of our soul, this complete change of our spirit towards sanctification first made possible by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who said, I am the way, the truth and the life

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The lifetime vow of baptism (John 14 v 6). Once we are baptised into Christ and have put on Christ, we can still easily slip back down the hill of reform and back into the state of hell of which Jesus spoke, to a character dominated by the enmity, to a soul consumed by the worms of heresy and to our old spirit whose deceptive lies drown the quite call of Gods word (Hebrews 6 v 4-6). The path of life, our warfare against the enmity Our ascent along the path of life by reformation of our soul is the proving ground of our faith, in the same way that the wilderness journey of the children of Israel from Egypt to the promised land was the proving ground of their faith in God, the place where they were required to overcome the enmity within themselves by obedience to Gods law by faith. The enmity is always present within us and it shows itself primarily in our own minds and hearts by subtle reasoning and temptations to cross over the boundary line of the will of God seen in Jesus Christ (often hypocritically - in the name of God and Christ) and as a result we are our own biggest enemy and the most difficult adversary for us to overcome. While we are battling with our own nature which continually tries to drag our character back into the fetters of the hell of sinfulness and while we are making some progress in faith by the forgiveness of our sins, the enmity in our neighbours is also called upon by God to test us further, and the higher we ascend in the path to sanctification of house of God the more intense the trials become - firstly from our own nature and additionally from the enmity in others. It is a path which of Jesus was the author and finisher (Hebrews 12 v 1-3) which he made complete by his faith and which has been trodden by all those who will one day make up the bride and companion of Christ, the path that all have followed by faith as was prefigured by Israel in the wilderness when the Ark of the Covenant led the congregation in their journey to the promised land (Numbers 10 v 33-36). It is the path that the Shepherd of our salvation trod and that all his sheep have followed (Song of Solomon 1 v 7-8) ********************* Chapter 25 Persecution by the enmity Jesus suffered persecution because he killed the enmity within himself by bruising it in the head with the weapon of the word of God, he was hated because he fought against the enmity with the sword of the Holy Spirit as it rose against his love of the word of God, while in response the enmity fought back with skilful subterfuge against the will of God which will was set in his mind. The victory of Jesus over the enmity made him the captain and leader for us to follow (Hebrews 2 v 9-10) in a warfare intensified by spiritual suffering (and sometimes physical) which is brought about by our rejection of the prompting of the enmity within ourselves or from our fellows. The triumph of Jesus over his own nature (the devil) was all the more glorious because he vanquished his own nature, and showed that conquest by exhibiting a

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The lifetime vow of baptism righteous character during the persecution that he suffered as the enmity in his neighbours intensified their efforts, for this was the will of God. As a result Jesus was despised and rejected of men, He was oppressed and afflicted (Isaiah 53). He was reviled and suffered (I Peter 2 v 21-25). He was mocked, spitefully entreated and spitted on (Luke 18 v 32). He was envied and suffered false accusations (Matthew 27 v 18); (Mark 14 v 55-59). We will never suffer the intensity of persecution that Jesus endured, but if our characters are to be reformed after his example, then we must suffer persecution in some form at some time, according to the writings of the apostle All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (II Timothy 3 v 12), and the saying of Jesus The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you (John 15 v 20). Persecution is not something we seek by antagonising our neighbours, because we have a responsibility to live peaceably with all our fellow citizens (Romans 12 v 18) which will result in us not to offending our neighbour (Galatians 6 v 10), but persecution will come simply because we keep the word of God and refuse to modify its meaning in our lives to conform to popular opinion. This is the persecution which is hard to endure because it will be caused mostly by those whom we trusted as friends in the faith of Gods word (Psalm 55 v 12-15); (Psalm 41 v 9); (Psalm 69 v 89). ********************* Chapter 26 The enmity, hypocrisy and hell at work Let us not deceive ourselves, the overriding facade of the enmity working unchecked in us is hypocrisy that gives us a warm insulated feeling of righteous superiority over our fellow, it generates a smug mood of comfort that we are saved, that our neighbour is a greater sinner than ourselves and therefore less holy than ourselves, and we more holy than them. Hypocrisy, left to work unchecked, is the slippery slope that goes steeper and steeper and deeper and deeper into the practical reality of hell (Gehenna) (Revelation 2 v 24). Short-sightedness and blindness will shade our eyes from the beginnings of hypocrisy in us as we cease to have doubts about our own godliness, and spiritual myopia will hypocritically distort our vision to the perspectives of Divine viewpoints with regard to the sins of all men and women, and we will begin to condemn others when in fact we are called on by God to condemn ourselves. Therefore, we will be without excuse if we fail to condemn ourselves first - before we condemn our neighbour - because we have many examples recorded in the Holy Bible of divinely confirmed hypocrites and records of those who suffered the cold shivering blast of the admission of their nakedness in the sight of God. One of these was Job who endured and resisted the same temptations of the enmity in himself to cloth himself with the warm satisfaction of self-righteousness at the same time as he suffered the chilling effects of the enmity from his friends who revelled in their perceived superiority over him. It is recorded of Job that he was perfect and upright and one that feared God and eschewed evil (Job

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The lifetime vow of baptism 1 v 1) and as a mortal man he is representative of all other faithful men and women and was a prefigurement of Jesus Christ and of the sufferings he endured. The enmity in Job and in his friends Job was described by the Holy Spirit as a righteous man, but as a mortal man he was subject to the wiles and subtleties of the enmity, the devil, which he kept in control and subdued (Job 1 v 1), (I Peter 5 v 8-9); (Job 40 v 3-6). His friends were also mortal men with the enmity within them, but they allowed Satan, their own nature the devil, to geminate its seeds of envy which grew beyond all reason in the warmth of their insulated cocoons of self righteousness without them even realising it. They became blind to their own failures and lost the perspective of their own dependence on the mercy of God as equals with Job, but with hindsight they later regretted their envy and hatred of Job after God rebuked them (Job 1 v 6-12) & (Job 2 v 1-7); (Job 42 v 79). They were the instrument of persecution that God used to prepare Job for a place in His house, for a lot in His kingdom still to come, by purifying his faith from the natural uncleanness of our normal response to the effects of the enmity, like gold is purified of its impurities, and God used the hypocritical friends to test Jobs patience as a measure of the purity of his faith (James 5 v 10-11). Subtle and cruel emotional maltreatment by high-handed opinions and hypocritical judgements continued against Job by his friends in addition to the physical suffering they induced against him as God tested his control of the enmity within him and of his reaction to the effects of the enmity from his friends towards him. Job patiently endured all the physical and mental suffering through which he was required to pass and became an example of faithful obedience to God which was summarised in his own words God gave and God took away, Blessed be the name of the Lord, and, shall we not receive of the Lord good and evil? (Job 1 v 21); (Job 2 v 10), and again at the end of his suffering caused by his friends, wherefore, I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes (Job 42 v 6). ********************* Chapter 27 The fire of hell and the fire of the Holy Spirit The zealous obedience of Job to his enlightenment of the will of God by the Holy Spirit was the burning fire within him, which ignited the hell-fire (Gehenna) of hatred from his friends (Jeremiah 20 v 7-10), who were not enlightened to the will of God by the example of his humility and encouraged to follow his good example, but chose instead to elevate themselves above him by seeing Job as being weak and imagining him as evil (Job 4 v 7); (Job 8 v 4-6); (Job 11 v 4-6). The latent heat of their hatred (which was previously concealed under their cloke friendship for Job) tested Jobs obedience to his enlightenment of the will of God, and as the intense heat of the words of their envy entered his ears, they clashed with the thoughts of the fire of his knowledge by the Holy Spirit and fought against them

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The lifetime vow of baptism attempting to quench their sanctifying work by false accusations, mockery and hypocritical pontifications. At the same time Job resisted his own cancerous reasoning of the enmity which always calls for the denial of the existence of a merciful and compassionate God, and despite the overwhelming opposition of his friends - who claimed to speak on Gods behalf - Job maintained his faith that God is just, He is righteous, merciful, and faithful and He will never forsake those that trust in Him (Job 19 v 25-27). As the heat of the trial continued with conflicting arguments and subtle reasoning (Job 15 v 6-10), by false accusation (Job 22 v 6-9) and devastating innuendoes (Job 20 v 429) Jobs faith in God was purified by the purging of his natural reactions of the enmity (the flesh), reactions of self pity, of anger, of hatred and malice. The effect of the hatred of his friends upon Job was the opposite of what they had intended, because whereas they intended to break the spirit of Job by causing him to deny God, the faith of in God Job became stronger by denying the power of his natural spirit, as a result of which, the inherent traits of the effects of this spirit (his old man, the enmity) became weaker and weaker, as his heart increased in tenderness, became softer and more compliant to the will of God, in the same way that gold responds to the intense heat of the refiners fire as it is purified from uncleanness. ********************* Chapter 28 Gold of faith purified by the fire through submission So untarnished from the effects of the enmity did Jobs faith in God become, so tender to the grace of God did his heart grow, so strong did his character become in resisting the enmity, and so responsive did his own spirit to the Holy Spirit develop, that despite all the devious hatred his friends directed at him without justification, when they later confessed their errors, Job forgave them and prayed to God that He would forgive them (Job 42 v 9). Job demonstrated by his faith that in forgiving his friends he believed in a Redeemer who would be of the same nature as himself, who by his love for God would die to gain forgiveness of the sins of his wayward friends, he believed that this fellow mortal (who would be perfect in character without sin where he recognised that he was imperfect and in sin) would pay the price of his life for the blotting out his own (Jobs) sins (and of other men and women) who all deserve the curse of God to return to dust for ever. It was this one whom Job believed in and whose love he demonstrated by his actions that was Jesus Christ who was perfect in his victory over the enmity, who went through the same purging as Job but who was entirely without fault in the law of God. He is the one who has instructed us to, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that despitefully use you and persecute you (Matthew 5 v 44-48). As Job learned to obey God in the time of trial, so Jesus learned obedience by the things that he suffered (Hebrews 5 v 7-9).

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The lifetime vow of baptism Job understood that the persecution he was enduring from his friends was permitted by God, who he believed was like the refiner of precious metal who was using the furnace of trial to purify him from the effects of the enmity as gold is purified from its natural impurities (Job 23 v 10-17). Paul went through the same process and who candidly identified the enmity working within him and patiently endured its opposition to his resolute obedience to the will of God (Romans 7 v 2225); (II Corinthians 12 v 7-9). Jesus never committed any sin, but as a mortal man who bore the uncleanness of the curse of God in the enmity within him by inheritance through birth from his mother, he patiently endured the heat of the furnace of trial to soften his heart by killing every thought which was contrary to God and was so pure in Gods eyes that he became the fulfilment of the spiritual equivalent of the finest 24 carat gold which God had decreed should be used as a prefigurement of him in the construction of the tabernacle in making the Mercy Seat, in overlaying the Ark of the Covenant, the incense altar, the table of shewbread, and to create the seven branched candlestick (Exodus 25), (Exodus 26), (Exodus 28, etc). Job feared God with respect, reverence and awe not only of His power to give and take life but of His mercy and compassion, it was not a fear of terror of an angry and uncompromising God (Job 28 v 28). God showed through Job that it was necessary for any who fear God to be proved, first by Job humbling himself privately in his spirit and thoughts before God, by secondly by humiliating him openly before his three friends (who temporarily were his spiritual enemies) and then by public humiliation before Elihu (who was his mortal enemy). His private humiliation was when he suffered the personal grief of the loss of all his possessions, his children and his health. His open humiliation began when he welcomed his three friends who came to visit him. When they had exhausted their store of venom against him, his public humiliation commenced with Elihu who despised Job even more than the three friends. Immediately Elihu had finished his evil report and delivered his vective against Job, God asked Job, who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? (Job 38 v 2). It is easy for us to read this question as applying to the empty and vain opinions of Elihu who felt free to speak on the behalf of God, but Jobs heart and spirit had been so softened by the fiery trial of humiliation overruled by the Holy Spirit to remove all malice and self pity (like pure gold is softened by the removal of its impurities due to the fire of the furnace) that Job took this rebuke of God to himself, and did not apply it to the others as is easy for us to think. Job was not a hypocrite (as the effect of an unchecked active enmity in him would be naturally) for Job answered the LORD after that He had examined him, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought is with holden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? Therefore I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew notI have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes (Job 42 v 2-6). In true humility, in sincere fear like the compliance of pure gold to the will of the goldsmith, Job took the rebuke of the LORD to himself without any thought of justifying himself by putting blame on others.

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The lifetime vow of baptism Jobs response was lower himself in his own sight to a state of worthlessness and to repent in dust and ashes. Dust signified his admission of his mortality and justification of the curse of God upon himself (Genesis 3 v 19) and in so doing reaffirmed his belief that he lived by the grace of God, and ashes signified his acknowledgement that the effect of the burning of the Holy Spirit in his natural character was to destroy his natural actions to react to the heat of hatred inspired by the enmity in his friends by denying God, and to endure affliction until the Holy Spirit had done its work, which resulted in the reduction of his old man to ashes, so that the new man of the Holy Spirit (in his Redeemer Christ Jesus) could grow and prosper by faith (II Corinthians 5 v 17). ********************* Chapter 29 The enmity in Jesus and the Jews The experience of Job with his friends was a figure of the suffering that Jesus was to endure in order for him to complete his victory over the enmity (James 5 v 10-11). The death of the enmity within Jesus as a finality could only be done when his mortal body died in accordance with the curse of God on the serpent (Genesis 3 v 15) which taught that that finality consummated a life of continual killing of all the effects of the enmity as they arose. This victory was the work God by the Holy Spirit so that a redeemer would be provided to pay the price of redemption (buying back from an eternal grave) to God all those who wittingly and unwittingly sell themselves into the bondage of sin at some time as they submit to the wiles of the devil, but who repent with a sincerity acceptable to God. Despite this glorious hope Jesus was oppressed and afflicted by those he came to save, for (as with Job) his example of obedience and submission to the will of God was a source of irritation and hatred by the Jews as a nation (Matthew 27 v 18); (Mark 15 v 10), by his brothers at times (John 7 v 5), and even to a close disciple (Luke 22 v 47-48); (Psalm 41 v 9); (Psalm 38 v 11). The elders sent to catch him in his words (Mark 12 v 13), they provoked him to tempt him to sin with his words (Luke 11 v 53-54), they mocked him (Luke 22 v 63); (Matthew 27 v 29-31). He was falsely accused, he was reviled, he suffered shame and reproach, he was nailed to the cross, he bled and was mocked again on the cross as he was reviled and taunted, yet as he was about die he prayed to his Father Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23 v 34); (Isaiah 53); (I Peter 2 v 21-25). The enmity in us and our neighbours In the light of this example, let us beware when the enmity within us it sends its messenger of Satan to the thoughts of our mind with messages of evil imaginations so we become deceived that there is a shortened route to salvation, to seduce us to believe that because we live in the last days we will arrive at the kingdom of God quicker than previous generations, to mislead us into thinking that there for us easy paths to the eternal forgiveness of our sins. Let us not be blinded into thinking that

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The lifetime vow of baptism there will be special favours shown to us due to the time being short, because if we hope to be fellow heirs of eternal life with the men and women of the Bible then we also must endure persecution after the same manner as they, because the scripture says, all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (II Timothy 3 v 12), (John 15 v 20). If Jesus (who now has eternal life) and all other faithful men and women of the scripture, like Noah, Job and Daniel (who are now dead but who will all be in the kingdom of God) learned obedience by the things that they suffered (Hebrews 5 v 8) can we deceive ourselves into assuming that we should not suffer persecution because we keep the word of God? This is the very reason why the records of their lives have been preserved for thousands of years, not as an interesting and unusual story but for our help and admonition to show us how we should respond when we are tempted by our own lust (for which we can blame no one else but ourselves, James 1 v 12-16) and how we should respond when we are envied by our neighbours for no other reason than we believe and keep the commands of Christ in God. Times and fashions may change but the enmity in us and its influence to disobedience never changes. Generations may come and go, civilisations will develop and fall, but the enmity, the Devil and its messengers (our evil thoughts) will remain the same. Knowledge and technology will increase, life styles will change, but the enmity Satan and its angels of our own wicked imaginations will always be the adversary of God. Human nature will never fail to find a way for us to avoid obedience to the word of God just as the serpents lie did in Adam and Eve (which is where human nature came from). We live in the latter part of the age of the times of the Gentiles (Luke 21 v 24); (Romans 11) and in this age the work of the Holy Spirit within us as a sincerely baptised people is to purge us of the effect and influence of the enmity, to kill the messengers of Satan, to overcome the angels of the devil, to kill all thoughts and motives which are contrary to the word of God as they arise. The enmity will remain within us in its full activity until we breath our last breath because that is the curse of God, but its effects, its influence, its 'messengers' of evil thoughts, its angels of wicked imaginations we are required to kill, after the pattern of the work which was perfectly concluded in our Lord and Master, the Shepherd and High Priest (John 17 v 1-4 & 16-24); (I Peter 2 v 20-25). Paul (who was given the special work by the Holy Spirit to explain the gospel of salvation by forgiveness of sins through Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, Acts 9 v 15), learned to obey God by allowing the work of the Holy Spirit to be active within himself to overcome his reactions to his own 'messengers' of Satan within his thoughts, and concerning his temptation to any self confidence in his own efforts he said And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure( (II Corinthians 12 v 7), and, For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members (Romans 7 v 14-25).

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The lifetime vow of baptism Paul fought his own private warfare against the enmity in the same way as all other faithful men and women have done and in the secrecy of his mind he never denied his own sinfulness, in the privacy of his thoughts he recognised that his neighbours sinned as he did, in his fear before God he acknowledged that he committed sin even when it was his desire not to sin. So he learned that the continual influence of the enmity was his lot from God as a mortal man in order that he could fully learn what was the power of the grace of God, that even though he sinned (like Peter who bitterly regretted denial of Jesus and was angry and ashamed of himself) he was forgiven, because he quickly repented and by the grace of God - because of the love of he had for Jesus - grace was shown to him as he wrote, For this thing (the messenger of Satan) I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (II Corinthians 1 v 8-9). Paul learned the truth of that which Jesus taught and practiced that a servant is never above his master and if the master was a servant then he was a servant of a servant. He learned that despite his privileged background (Acts 22 v 3, 25-28) and that he was falsely accused because he stood sincerely for the truth of God, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst give him drink; ..be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12 v 20-21). He learned from the things that he suffered to be content with what circumstances came upon him as a result of his obedience to the commands of God (II Corinthians 6 v 4-10); (II Corinthians 11 v 2428). We are mortals subject to the wiles of the enmity just as Paul was, we have the same work to do within ourselves - but in the context of the age we live in. We live in very different physical circumstances - but we have the same faith to be proved. We enjoy an entirely different life style - but we have the same 'messengers' of Satan to overcome in our minds. We have a lot more knowledge of all things around us - but it is the same God who requires our obedience. Our physical circumstances differ from Pauls and all others before our generation - but the reformation of our soul must be the same as theirs (Hebrews 11 v 39-40 & 12 v 1), which was the same as Jesus (I Corinthians 11 v 1). ********************* Chapter 30 Continual baptism, a miracle beyond the human power The enmity is in us for the duration of our life, to be endured as the just curse of God and its effects can only be overcome by our baptism into the death of Christ (Romans 6 v 3-4). Baptism by water was essential to gain a hope of salvation from an eternal grave, but let us not be deceived, baptism is only the beginning of a life of continual baptism by the Holy Spirit as Jesus said - after he had been baptised by water, But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! (Matthew 20 v 22-23); (Luke 12 v 50).

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The lifetime vow of baptism When we rejoice in good (uplifting) experiences and patiently endure bad (downcasting) experiences brought about by our belief in the word of God (as did Jesus, Job, Paul and others) the Holy Spirit will perform the most powerful miracle that can ever be performed, it will perform a miracle far greater than raising a dead body to life or any other miracle that can be thought of to impress our neighbours, for it will transform our naturally infidel character into a holy sanctified character. The Holy Spirit will slowly refine our soul from the impurities of the effects of the enmity to become a fine gold of tried faith as we patiently put our trust in God, it will humble our characters as we endure experiences that obedience to God brings upon us, and it will give a strength of faith to our soul and a rejoicing of spirit which no man or group of men will be able to destroy (Matthew 10 v 28). The power to do any of these things is beyond our own natural capabilities however hard we may try. This work of the Holy Spirit will bring no fame to our name, nor will it bring personal honour, but rather it will bring indifference, mockery, scorn and even contempt (John 15 v 18) because it will produce a spirit in us which is the opposite to that which human nature sees to be strong, it will change our character to be humble which the enmity within us and in our neighbours perceives as weakness. The Holy Spirit will cause us to comply to whatever is required of us from Gods word and to the effects of that word without any exceptions, it will increase our awareness of the presence of God in the affairs of our life, it will increase our reverence for Him as it decreases our esteem for human nature. The Holy Spirit will enlighten the eyes of our understanding to make us submit to circumstances that He brings upon us, by helping us to learn from the experience and appreciate what God requires of us (Micah 6 v 69); (I Timothy 6 v 6-9), it will lead us from ungodliness to godliness in the privacy of our thoughts and motives, it will enable us to refuse the unclean and choose the clean in the myriad of choices we are daily presented with by time and chance, it will direct us to refuse the evil and choose the good (Isaiah 9 v 14-15); (Colossians 2 v 20-23); (II Corinthians 6 v 14-18) and by this means will sanctify the character of our soul. The Holy Spirit will give us strength to do what is right (not in mans eyes) but in the eyes of God (II Corinthians 13 v 3-4), it will make us to be inwardly cheerful in all circumstances, it will cause us to privately rejoice and to be happy in spirit even though we may be outwardly suffering (James 5 v 11); (I Peter 3 v 14-15); (I Peter 4 v 13-19). The Holy Spirit will direct us to search and enquire for the advice and guidance of God through His word before we do or say anything because the activity of the Spirit will cause us to reduce our confidence in the judgement of our own or of our fellow (Psalm 119 v 105). It will be by these things that our characters will become known to all our neighbours who meet us (I Peter 3 v 15-17). Undeveloped enmity in a young child We are born with the enmity as part of our natural constitution and its influence does not take long to make itself obvious. We were prompted from an early age to rebel against right behaviour and to wrong manners - before we were even able to gain any knowledge from our childhood peers - before any prompting from any juvenile neighbours to rebel against our parents instructions (as all children do). We are no different from any other generation, because as we learned to understand our behaviour we became aware of the rights and wrongs of social behaviour which are based on Divine principle taught in the Bible (to love thy neighbour as thyself) but, without any undue prompting from our fellows, we naturally experimented with

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The lifetime vow of baptism answering the call to do what is right with the counter promptings of the enmity growing within us (Romans 7 v 8-13) and so we slowly learned from our early experiences that there is a warfare to be fought which we could not win alone but would bring us eventually to an eternal grave. We learned that this war cannot be won without our baptism by water into the death of Jesus Christ when the real warfare began between the power of the Holy Spirit by obedience being pitched against the subtle power of the influence of the enmity by disobedience, and that many battles needed to be fought, some of which we win and some we would loose. Knowledge of the word of God will direct our open and honest heart that - by the strength of our own willpower alone (with knowledge form the bible) will not win any of these battles as the scripture says, Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. (1 Corinthians 8 v 1). This word charity is the love that binds God to His children and the love that binds a child of God to Him as their Father (Psalm 103 v 13), and the shadow of that love is the spontaneous love that binds a parent to its offspring and a baby and child to its parent, it is the soft and tender love that knows no hardness, no malice, no hatred, and no envy, a love that is tender, compassionate, patient, understanding and forgiving. However, as we grew, the enmity became more and more active, and introduced hardness to our heart seen in our childhood rebellions and at the same time caused it to develop a reluctance to obey authority whether in our mortal superiors or the authority of the word of God, and through sin by rebellion against the word of God that resistance developed into hardness that is entirely contrary to the softness of heart that describes charity (the love from God) which love inspires obedience. We will know if this hardness of our heart is being broken down and softened by voluntary repentance of our soul through subjection to continual baptism of the Holy Spirit, because our soul (our spirit and our character) as a brother or sister of Christ will become as the spirit a child, for said Jesus, Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18 v 3-6). As very young children we had no pride in ourselves, we had no feelings of selfrighteousness by assuming the inferiority of others because we saw all our childhood peers as equals. Hypocrisy was foreign and unknown to us because in the innocence of childhood we only knew that we were what we were, so we had no malice or hatred, no inhibitions and no shame because until we were taught to obey rules based on the word of God, we had no responsibility for sin. We knew no difference between our peers, we were not concerned whether they were rich or poor, simple or clever, big or small, beautiful or ugly, powerful or weak, these differentiations came later when the enmity had begun to work. We were not ashamed of our tears, we were spontaneous in our emotions and unabashed in our love for our parents or guardian, we were not ashamed by any lack of knowledge and we accepted the need to learn with open-faced trust in our tutors, and we learned quickly and adapted to all types of situations. The reformation of our soul by the Holy Spirit is to return our heart and spirit to this childlike spirit and yet to retain and develop a maturity to be able to choose between that which is of God and that which is of the enmity, to resist evil for good, to discard unclean for clean, to reject wrong for right, and refuse hypocrisy for honesty. Jesus rejoiced in mature adult characters whose souls were restored to their original

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The lifetime vow of baptism childlike spirit, In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. (Luke 10 v 21). As Jesus grew through childhood to maturity he never lost the soft and tender spirit of his childhood and he encourages and welcomes all who are baptised unto reformation to be like him because of him it was prophesied, LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. (Psalm 131 v 1-2) It is in the soft and tender souls (like those of our childhood) that the Holy Spirit is working to convert us from service to the enmity to service of God. It is ordinary people who mature in godly reverence and remain childlike in disposition toward God that He is selecting to create into a multitudinous bride-companion for His Son Jesus Christ who will all be raised from the dead when Jesus returns to the earth and they will be changed into immortal beings to live with him for ever on this earth. This divine work is begun by our new birth into Christ by baptism in water, of being born again not of the flesh but of the Spirit (John 3 v 1-12), (Romans 6 v 1-16), and by continual baptism by the Holy Spirit throughout our lives (Luke 12 v 50); (Matthew 3 v 11) until (in Gods eyes) we are made ready for His Son (Revelation 19 v 7-9). ********************* Chapter 31 Enmity and the love of God The Holy Spirit cannot do the work of converting our souls unless the love of God dwells in us and the love of God cannot reside in us if the enmity within us is uncontrolled, because whenever we sin after being prompted by the enmity we quench the fire of the love of God which is inseparable from the fire of the Holy Spirit (James 4 v 4). Whichever command of Christ we break, without fail we always break the first commandment of all, thou shalt love the Lord thy God (Mark 12 v 29-30). We will always have the enmity active within us until we finish our probation, and we will succumb to its influence both knowingly and unknowingly, so we can never think that we do not need the forgiveness of God through the mediation of Jesus Christ on our behalf (I John 1 v 8-10); (I John 2 v 1-2); (I Timothy 2 v 5). The work of the Holy Spirit (given to us as a result of the intercession of Jesus with his Father according as to how we have used the gift so far) is to help us reduce the effects of the enmity so that there can be an increase towards the fullness of the love of God residing in our hearts and so that it can shine through our characters (Matthew 7 v 12-23); (II Corinthians 4 v 47). Enmity and the name of God

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The lifetime vow of baptism The enmity has always been opposed to the power of the name of God while it works to make a name for its owner and nothing has changed since the beginning (Genesis 11 v 4 & 9). The work of the Holy Spirit is to help us to overcome the influences of the enmity within each of us by strengthening the desire of our own free will to resist its temptations and to open the eyes of our understanding to give us the ability to make frank and sincere admissions of our errors and to lead us on to continual admission and repentance in our further sins so that we learn from our errors and work to resist repeating them. In doing this the Holy Spirit will increase our love for God in direct proportion to our realisation of the magnitude of the mercy of God in the forgiveness of our sins and His patience with us, and in so doing will help us to increase our appreciation of the full value of the meaning of His name. The name of God is not a common noun to which the Creator may be referred (as our names are), but is a powerful adjective describing His character, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty. (Exodus 34 v 6-7). In place of the phrase and that will by no means clear the guilty (King James version) the original Tyndale translation (from which the King James translators took their work) reads for no man is innocent before thee where both carry the same sense, but Tyndales original translation has greater clarity in that there can be no doubt that we are all guilty and therefore are all in need of forgiveness and that we will remain guilty until we are forgiven and that forgiveness is by repentance alone. Let us not deceive ourselves, when we fail to value the full compassionate power of the name of God and acknowledge our own continual guilt in His eyes by repentance confirmed by showing compassion to our repentant sinner-neighbours in all our thoughts, decisions, judgements and actions, then we break what is incorporated in the first great commandment, Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. (Exodus 20 v 7). We will be sobered in the view of our own selves when we realise how easily we break this commandment which is repeated again in (Deuteronomy 5 v 11) Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. In the times of the Israelites it was their custom to make a solemn oath to a neighbour in the name of the Lord as no promise could be more binding and if carelessly and casually used, it was profanity in the same way that the name of God is commonly used today, And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19 v 12). It is from this first and most important law which is carried through into the law of liberty in Christ (Matthew 22 v 35-40) that we get instruction for the process of our sanctification unto eternal life, Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully ( (Psalm 24 v 3-4) where sworn deceitfully means to take the name of the Lord in vain.

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The life and works of Jesus taught that the keeping of the letter of that law was fulfilled and concluded in his life but that faith in spirit of that law continued, But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil (Matthew 5 v 34-37). This does not release us from any guilt of breaking the spirit of the law if we profane the name of God by its casual use or more seriously by swearing a false oath of baptism (which was a simple but profound vow of yea to good and nay to evil), or by failing to be reformed in character to practice the power of the meaning of the name of God as being merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty (Exodus 34 v 67), where the guilty are the unrepentant whose sins are not blotted out and where sin is any transgression however trivial we may think it to be), because our life and character will then be an example taking the name of the Lord in vain or as the Psalmist wrote, swearing deceitfully. The enmity within us is the master at proclaiming the name of its own holder (any man or woman) in the disguise of the name of God. It is the master at forgiving where God does not forgive and not forgiving where God does forgive, all in the same name of God. It is the master of the covert use of the power of the name of God under the name of self-righteous holiness, the consummate deceiver that masquerades as acting in the name of God so that it can break down the defined lines between spiritual cleanness and carnal uncleanness, between godly obedience and moral disobedience, all in the name of God. The Holy Spirit alone can expose to us the difference between a true practising of the name of God and any counterfeit use of the name of God as Jesus warned, For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many (Matthew 24 v 5). ********************* Chapter 32 Jesus and the name of God The work of Jesus was to fulfil the word of God contained in the law, the promises and in prophecies by showing the meaning and power of the name of the Lord in a mortal body, such that his character became the character of God for the salvation of men and women. David was told He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. (II Samuel 7 v 13) which referred to a house of people in whom God would be seen, as later described by Peter (I Peter 2). When Jesus finished that work he said, I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word...And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we areWhile I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilledAnd I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. (John 17 v 6, 11-12 & 26).

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God had declared the meaning and power of His name and it was the full power of this name that Jesus came to manifest, "The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty" (Exodus 34 v 6-7) In his life and his death he showed the full power of the name of the LORD God by miracles, acts, deeds and words of help, mercy and compassion - with no greater act of mercy, grace, goodness and truth in that he died for the salvation of his friends, Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his repentant friends (John 15 v 13) which was confirmed by Paul, For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5 v 7-8). For the unrepentant, their sins remained in the record of God as Jesus foretold they would in his parable of the vineyard (Luke 20 v 9-19), and were punished first by the Romans in AD 70 and then throughout the following 2000 years, in fulfilment of the power of the name of God, .. He will by no means clear the guilty (unrepentant). ********************* Chapter 33 The enmity takes the name of the Lord in vain Baptism into the death of Jesus Christ is a vow and a solemn oath to follow him by putting on his life so that our character can be converted, therefore we also must show the name of the Lord after his example in all our doings. The name of God is not a mere noun however holy we may protest it to be, but it is a powerful adjective describing a character that is perfect, a character of mercy, a character of grace and longsuffering, a character of goodness and truth and these virtues are to be seen in us. If we deny the power of the attributes of that name of godliness in our actions and judgements, we are as those who were foretold to be in the last days who Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. ( II Timothy 3 v 5). Therefore our vow of baptism (renewed each week by eating and drinking of the sacraments) is our oath that replaced swearing by the name of the Lord which was in use before Christ. We cannot be too careful, because denial of the power of characteristics of the name of God in our ways, our words and our judgements is to blaspheme the name of the Lord which is one and the same as blaspheming the Holy Spirit as Jesus said, Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. (Matthew 12 v 31). The enmity is the master of disguises, it is the ultimate deceiver, it is the perfect chameleon that will always tempt to lead us to blend into a comfortable background of psuedo-piety, and there is no limit to the alternative interpretations of the attributes of the name of God that it will seek to impose in our minds. The attributes of mercy, grace, longsuffering, goodness and of truth will be interpreted in countless shades of

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The lifetime vow of baptism devotion unless the Holy Spirit is allowed to do its long work of converting our soul by humiliation and softening of our heart. It will forgive when there is no repentance, it will not forgive when there is repentance - because the enmity is always partial in its temptations, swiftly shifting its allegiances subject to the subtle hues of personal preference of blood relatives, families, friends, personal honour and esteem from fellows, in contrast to Jesus who came to call only sinners to repentance. Therefore under the Old and New Testaments the spirit of the law was the same. In the Old, Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous (Deuteronomy 16 v 19) and in the New, I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality (I Timothy 5 v 21). Our fickle human nature and the mercy of God Human nature is presumptuous and is our biggest enemy; it is the enmity, the enemy of God and is widely diverse in its manifestations. It is the spirit of the serpent who placed himself high-handedly as an equal in knowledge with God For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Genesis 3 v 5). The enmity will deny the need for mercy to be shown to fellows who sin but repent sincerely by claiming a self-righteous high-handed horror of unholiness that the sins of others could be so bad and much worse than their own - at the same time as ignoring the compassion God has shown to them - whereas God has said that those who repent and do His will, He will forgive, so that repentance from sin is more important than the sin to be repented of (Deuteronomy 30 v 3) as the Proverb teaches He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (Proverbs 28 v 13) and John wrote, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us (I John 1 v 810). In contrast the enmity will also proclaim universal forgiveness for all sinners that from whatever religion or group they come that God will forgive all in the name of Jesus, it will allow all manner of spiritual laxity from the strictures of the will of God, it will claim that we cannot judge even by the word of God, but Israel were told. And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst: The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven. (Deuteronomy 29 v 19-20). The scripture teaches otherwise to both the extremes of the enmity, Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55 v 7), and And he said, I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on

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The lifetime vow of baptism whom I will shew mercy. (Exodus 33 v 19), and Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? (Ezekiel 18 v 20 v 32). In like manner we are to forgive our neighbour who trespasses against us and repents, Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. (Luke 17 v 3), but the enmity will tempt us to forgive merely because it is a command of Christ and not because we realise that we also trespass against others and if we do not forgive our neighbours how can we expect God to forgive us through our prayers as Jesus taught us? And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors (Matthew 6 v 9-15) The our nature will prompt us to classify forgiveness (to forgive or not to forgive) on the severity of sins alone, in contradiction to the Holy Spirit that forgives according to sincerity of repentance. The enmity is so subtle that it will use scripture to justify its classification of sin as distinct to repentance, it will take hold of Johns words that there are sins unto death and sins not unto death (I John 5 v 16-18) thus contradicting the power of the name of God who has said that all sin is unto death (Romans 6 v 23). Thus the enmity will try to deceive us into thinking that there are good sins and bad sins, rather than judging according to the sincerity or insincerity of repentance. The word of God teaches that all sin however trivial carries the sentence of a justified and earned eternal death, therefore trivial sins that are not repented from will result in the same end as serious sins that are also not repented of. In like manner, serious sins that are sincerely repented from will be forgiven the same as 'trivial' sins that sincerely repented are. Therefore, in order not to take the name of the Lord in vain we are to forgive any of our neighbours who sin severely, trivially, against us, or against God, when they repent with frank shame. ********************* Chapter 34 The hostile enmity in us and the grace of God We live by the grace of God, our breath, our sleep, our emotions, our food and drink, in fact our whole life is by the grace of God. Our faculties, our intelligence and our ability to comprehend and remember the word of God is by the grace that He shows to us, as also the writing and preserving of every word of God in the Holy Bible was the greatest act of grace we could have received. These things are freely given to us by God and so, as we freely receive, so must we freely give of that we are able when the occasion arises as Jesus said, freely ye have received, freely give (Matthew 10 v 8). But Satan is too selfish for such freedom, it is possessive and mean and if allowed to influence us, it will restrict our ability to show practical kindness and spiritual favour of forgiveness to less fortunate believing or non-believing fellows when it is at personal cost to ourselves - particularly where our open humiliation is involved - or when the content of the grace, favour and mercy requires compassion by acknowledgement of our own sinfulness, because this goes against the promptings of the enmity which jealously guards its owners position and reputation by self justification or authoritive immunity. The enmity enables us to ease the way for us to remain aloof from the needs and suffering of believing or non-believing neighbours when we are confidently

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The lifetime vow of baptism cushioned by our own sense of righteousness and so causes us to refuse acts of grace and favour to those less fortunate and so forget the grace and favour that God shows all. The devil will tempt us to forget that Jesus came not to help and save those who were convinced of their own righteousness but to save sinners who were ready and eager to repent and reform however evil their sins had been. If we cannot show grace in practical ways, how can we hope to show the grace of God in spiritual ways, by compassion and opportunity to repent? (I John 3 v 17); (James 2 v 15-17) The intolerant devil within us and the long suffering of God Our enmity and its messengers of Satan in our thoughts has no patience in the faults of neighbours but prompts a haughty claim of a need to purge sins in the house of God by hasty excommunication and blinds the owner to the patience that God has with them over their sins. The agents of the devil (the effects of the enmity) will highhandedly claim that to do good and forgive repentant gross evil-doers is but a waste of time because they are so bad they will surely repeat their sins and therefore, lead us to ignore the sins we have repeatedly committed. On the other hand, the enmity will coax us into presuming to predict precise imminent dates for the return of Jesus Christ and to claim the need for the immediate return of Jesus Christ to this earth to destroy the wicked, when God is long suffering in His patience with mankind and is waiting for the last member of His Sons' companion to be prepared. On the other hand it will presume that the continuation of time in these last days is evidence of the failure of the promises of God but will cause us to fail to realise that Gods patience is our salvation The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (II Peter 3 v 9). The hardness of human nature and the goodness of God Jesus said, There is none good but God (Luke 18 v 19). The Hebrew word good has the sense of a burning pity for a lesser creature which is what we understand as the loving-kindness of a compassionate father for his children who were made in the image of God, Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. (Psalms 103 v 13). We are all the children of God by descent through birth from Adam and Eve (Luke 2 v 38) and the goodness of God is the love that keeps us alive. God is good to the evil and the godly, in providing all things necessary for life, but His goodness is perfected in His love for those who fear and obey Him. This goodness of God, this love of God is not in us by nature, it can only be gained by the action of the Holy Spirit in converting our soul, but cannot coexist with our intrinsic nature when it is active as the enmity, therefore the goodness of His love is the goodness by which we live and have the hope of salvation after death by resurrection from the grave. The enmity in our hearts will prevent us from acknowledging this goodness and having received it, our intrinsic nature (the enmity) has the power to prevent us from reflecting that same love in acts of compassion and pity to our fellows. Our nature has the power to deceive us into convincing us that knowledge of the word of God, that acts of faith, that labours in the name of religion are more important than acts of love, so let us take heed to Paul in II Corinthians 13 v 1-13.

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Satan and the truth of God The burden we must bear from birth is Satan within us as the adversary of the word of God, it having descended directly from the serpents questioning of the word of God and its lies against the word of God (Genesis 3 v 1-5) and is the source of all falsehood and religious pretence, whereas in contrast, Jesus said that the word of God is truth (John 17 v 17). Therefore, our own nature (Satan) will always be inclined to deny the power of the word of God whenever it sees that it is convenient to do so. The messengers of Satan will transmit through our minds that the word of God can be interpreted in any way that is convenient, that the word of God is but a guide and not a law, that the truth changes with time, that parts of the Bible are not relevant and are recorded for history alone. In contrast, the Scripture tells us that every word is inspired (I Peter 2 v 21) and is provided in truth for the purity of our faith (Romans 10 v 17) and the conversion of our character (II Timothy 3 v 16). The truth is provided by God to be our life (Deuteronomy 30 v 15) and not to be a knowledge base to be analysed systematically, but the enmity will cause us to do the reverse of this. Let us not deceive ourselves, human nature has always been the same, for the law in the word of God was given to Israel as a light to guide them to salvation in the love and mercy of God but they took it as a straight-jacket of a law of letters - a stumbling block for the blind. (Isaiah 28 v 13). Our inherited enmity against the compassion of the name of God Our serpent nature has a poison buried deep within our consciousness that will shroud truth in a delicate canopy of lies skilfully woven together to give an outward show of religious piety. But one of the last messages of the New Testament states If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. (I John 5 v 16-17). That sin (the sin unto death) is the sin that takes away the power of the meaning of the name of God (mercy, compassion, kindness, forbearance, pity and truth) and makes the name of God to be of no intrinsic value but merely an identifying name (such as ours are) by failing to forgive repentant sinners, by failing to show grace, by hasty judgements of condemnation and excommunication, by denial of acts motivated by love to neighbours, by returning evil acts for evil acts done to us, by deceit and hypocrisy and adding to Gods word and taking away its power. It is to blaspheme the name of God - and that is the greatest sin unto death. The only way to turn a sin unto death into a sin not unto death is a sincere private, inward repentance toward God for our own failings and to reflect that mercy on repentant fellows. Sincere private and inward repentance toward God for our sin is the only way for anybody to be redeemed from a sin unto death to a sin unto life, i.e. a sin that God will forgive. All other sins - however trivial or serious - will never be forgiven by God is there is no repentance. If we allow the effects of the enmity to work we will make our thoughts, decisions, judgements and actions show that we consider the name of God to be no more than a holy noun, it will deceive us into worshipping the name of a High and Mighty God instead of worshipping the character of a loving Father, it will make us afraid to use the name instead of allowing us to repeat the name in reverence and trust to reassure

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The lifetime vow of baptism ourselves of His compassion, it will make us blind to the power of the adjective describing a divine character, and we will be of the class of religious hypocrites that Jesus upbraided in his day, Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. (Matthew 23 v 23). Judgment, mercy, and faith is the name of God and this is what Jesus came to show the Jews and Gentiles in the world at large, he came to show the name of God manifest in a mortal body (John 1 v 14); (I Timothy 3 v 16); (John 17 v 26). ********************* Chapter 35 The Holy Spirit and the Love of God God is a Spirit who created the earth and keeps it in being by His Spirit and when the special work of preparing a people for salvation is referred to, that same Spirit is referred to as the Holy Spirit by which alone the power of His name can be known. In addition God is love (1 John 4 v 8) and where His Holy Spirit is at work in increasing intensity, there will be an proportional increase of the love of God but where there is no Spirit working there will be no love and no evidence of the power of the name of God, and by this means we can follow Johns advice (I John 4 v 1-4). As the working of the Holy Spirit reduces the effects of our enmity, so the love of God increases in the heart. The work of the Holy Spirit in reducing the effects of the enmity, results in a softening of our heart to a childlike softness by increasing its tenderness, its compassion and our realisation of unworthiness of the mercy of God. As God is love (1 John 4 v 8) this virtue belongs to Him and therefore must come from Him (John 3 v 16); (1 John 4 v 9-10); (Romans 5 v 7-10). It is only when we feel His love growing stronger in our lives by the shining brightness of His word through enlightenment by the Holy Spirit and we receive the light of that word in our hearts, that we can the begin to reflect the power of His name in our soul. But we cannot own the love of God, we can be in custody of it only in order to reflect that love (with our character acting like a mirror) as a direct result of that love taking residence in our character and growing in our slowly softening heart, as our heart is being purified by the 'fire' of the Holy Spirit like removing impurities from gold (I Peter 1 v 7); (I Peter 4 v 12-13) as Paul wrote, But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (II Corinthians 3 v 18) where the word glass is a mirror. However, the love of God is evident every day to both the wicked and the righteous, and we have the opportunity to acknowledge it in our lives - our life and breath, our faculties (sight, hearing touch smell etc.) and emotions (love, happiness, laughter etc.) but the enmity blinds our eyes and so that we do not always recognize it and as a result we take His daily benefits for granted (Psalm 116 v 12); (Psalm 68 v 19). When we fail to recognise the fullness of the love of God in the any parts of our animal life, then we also fail to value the love of God in our character (our spiritual life) - because the spiritual always follows the natural - and, because the love of God fills the easily

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The lifetime vow of baptism available Holy Bible, we then take it as just another book,. The enmity works to cause us to forget the freely given love of God and therefore we need to remind ourselves continually as the Psalmist did (Psalm 103 v 1-15). God made us in His image and after His likeness and put in us the ability to love. This natural love (such as bonds a man and a woman together) is a shadow of divine love that created us, but is a token of the greater love that God is. Our natural love shows us in a limited measure the power of bonding that can be created between two people in love and is a shadow of the deeper love that exists between God and us. The love between husband and wife (however strong it is) is for the duration of their life after which both of them loose it for ever, but the superior love that is of God goes beyond death and is to be reflected by us toward Him and Jesus, because it is as strong as death and many waters cannot quench it (Song of Solomon 8 v 6-7) and can be measured in us by the jealousy we inwardly feel in protecting the power of the name of God when it is blasphemed (in ourselves or in revulsion of our fellows' behaviour) - 'jealousy is as cruel as the grave' (Song of Solomon 8 v 6-7) and as the grave makes no exceptions and is never satisfied (Proverbs 30 v 15-16) so our jealousy for God can never be diminished). The intensity of our jealousy is measured by the intensity of the fire of the Holy Spirit within us - as the verse finishes "the coals thereof are the coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame' (where vehement flame is literally 'a flame of Jah'). Jesus showed this fiery jealousy in the defiled temple of God (John 2 v 1317) (Luke 19 v 45-46) by Elijah (I Kings 19 v 14). and Phinehas (Numbers 25 v 7-11) All responsible believers will be resurrected from the grave and then if they are judged by Jesus to be faithful, it will be that higher love of God that will resurrect them from mortality to everlasting life and the fullness of the gift of the Holy Spirit. (The principle of resurrection to mortality - and not directly to immortality - was demonstrated when Elijah and Jesus raised the dead as mortals and who all later died). Chapter 36 Agape and phileo In the New Testament, our English word love is translated from two different Greek words and can only be separated by the context in which they are used which is not always apparent from the text. The one Greek word refers to the love of God and the other is our natural love (such as between a man and wife). The first love (the love of God) is translated from the Greek word (agape) meaning to be charitable and is derived from (agapao) meaning simply to love. Our natural love however is translated from (phileo) meaning to have affection and is derived from (philos) meaning a friend. Both are translated into English as our words, love and charity. The natural love (phileo) is the Greek word which applies to all of us when we love, whether it be for love for material goods, ambition, pleasure, love for relatives and friends, or for the love between a husband and wife. It is in the love between a husband and wife where natural love (phileo) can be experienced at its greatest strength, as when a husband or wife is bereaved, their love for the deceased companion continues long after the companions death, but when the surviving

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The lifetime vow of baptism companion dies, that love dies with them according to the scripture (Ecclesiastes 9 v 4-6) and is gone for ever. The love of God (agape) however continues after the death of a faithful believer, for God (who is love [agape], I John 4) continues His love towards His children even when that one whom He loves has died as Jesus said with regard to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God is not a God of the dead, but of the living (Matthew 22 v 32). The proof of the everlasting Divine love (agape, which is as strong as death) is that after the death and burial of His beloved son Jesus Christ (when Jesus lost everything including his love), God continued His love and raised him back to life again as a mortal being and then resurrected him to everlasting life. In like manner, those also who He loves because of His son Jesus, will be resurrected from the grave to mortality and judgement when Jesus returns to the earth, and then God (in His love) will raise them from mortality to immortality (1 Corinthians 15 v 52-54). For this reason our faith is at one with, and inseparable from, the love of God, for without His love there is nothing for us to have faith in. Therefore our faith and the love of God cannot be separated and both grow in unison. Our belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the firstborn of a multitude was demonstrated as faith (works proving belief) by our vow at baptism into water when our first love (agape) was born (Revelation 2 v 4-5). Our faith is reaffirmed and the love of God (agape) grows in us when we submit to continual baptism by the Holy Spirit, which is the only way that our belief can converted into the unified Divine attributes of faith with love, which is distinct from a mere belief or profession however strictly we may follow bible teaching. Belief must be proven by works of love (charity or agape) to become proven faith and that tried faith cannot exist without the love of God (agape). Peter, phileo and agape The love of God grows in us in proportion to the conversion of our soul from rulership by the enmity to rulership by Christ (Luke 22 v 32), (John 21 v 15-17). These scripture teach us the difference between natural love (phileo) and the love of God (agape), and how that until - and unless - the Holy Spirit is at work in us (as a gift from God) there can be no love of God in us at all. At the time of these quoted scriptures, the disciples had not received the Holy Spirit and they were loyal friends (phileo) of Jesus but not bound to him by love (agape). In the record of John 21 v 1517, Jesus first asked Peter if Peter loved (agaped) Jesus (v15), but Peter replied that he loved (phileod) him (he did not understand agape as then). Jesus asked Peter again (v 16) if Peter agaped Jesus, to which Peter again replied that he phileod him. The third time (v17) Jesus reverted to Peters understanding and asked him if he phileod Jesus, to which Peter affirmed for the third time that he did. The importance of this for us is that Peter truly did love (phileo) Jesus (as we do), but when Peter was openly confronted by lowly servants who claimed that he was a friend (phileo) of Jesus and therefore loved him and aught to share the shame and ignominy of Jesus suffering (Luke 22 v 54-62) it became a test of what sort of love was the love of Peter for Jesus (phileo or agape) and impressed upon him that phileo is fickle whereas agape is eternal. Peter did deny Jesus publicly, upon which he immediately realised that he must be converted fromphileo to agape as Jesus had already said,

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The lifetime vow of baptism when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren (Luke 22 v 31-32). If Peter had agaped Jesus (as he later did) he would not have denied Jesus. Agape can therefore only come to us and grow by the conversion of our soul (Peter did later strengthen his brethren) and that conversion can only come by the work of the Holy Spirit and the gift of the Holy Spirit can only be received by a baptism of faith into the death of Christ by water (at which time the long work of subduing the enmity begins) and by faithful renewal of that vow each week with the partaking of the sacraments (Psalm 23 v 5). When the effects of the enmity are slowly subdued - so the love of God (agape) grows and becomes stronger than death and was seen in the many apostles and early believers who died rather than deny their Lord, as Paul later wrote, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love (agape) of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8 v 38-39). As Peter denied Jesus, so we also deny our Lord, at which times our love (agape) for Jesus has been superseded by our natural affectionate love (phileo) but the enmity deceives us into thinking that our natural love is the love of God and causes us to protest to ourselves that we still agape Jesus, blinding the eyes of our conscience to convince us that our naturally strong love (phileo) is as strong as the love of God (agape) which it is not - nor ever can be - and is the root of hypocrisy. This was what Jesus warned us of in the last letters to the seven churches, which are a multifaceted glimpse of the conditions that will be experienced in the gatherings of the few faithful believers in each generation from the time of John until Jesus returns, to those in the condition called Ephesus Jesus said, Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love (agape). Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent (Revelation 2 v 4-5). ********************* Chapter 37 The fire of love (agape) God created us to be born with a soft and tender heart capable of receiving His love (agape) but according to His curse upon Adam and Eve, God has placed the enmity within us - by inheritance from our parents and has given us the ability to choose between the two, agape (love) or human nature (the enmity). As we grew from a babe through childhood to maturity there was a natural increase in the hardness of our heart due to the effects of the enmity. At baptism we voluntarily softened our hearts again to become as a child of God in spirit and His love (the first love agape) entered our heart. This began a conflict with the enmity (the love of self) that re-hardens our heart to resist compliance to the word of God. If we allow this hardness to creep back after the softening at baptism, by resistance to the influence by the Holy Spirit of the power of Gods name in our character and by presumptuous disobedience of the words of God (Exodus 23 v 20-21), the growth of the love of God in our heart will be retarded. If we continue in that way, without conscious and sincere repentance, the increasing

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The lifetime vow of baptism hardness of our heart will extinguish the love of God entirely (Hebrews 3 v 12-13) and our love for God and Jesus will relapse permanently to phileo and we will deny our Creator and Saviour as did Peter who was fervent in his phileo, but by which love there can be no salvation. God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12 v 29) and His Holy Spirit is the spiritual fire used to consume the enmity and its allies (self-will, self-pity, self-convenience, self importance, etc). God is one (the Spirit and love [agape] Ephesians 4 v 6) therefore His love is also a fire in our softening heart, complementing the work of the fire of the Holy Spirit, not as a consuming fire but a lively fire, warm and full of spiritual energy, zeal and godly jealousy, because Jealous is His name as it is written, For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:( Exodus 34 v 14), and, For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4 v 24). The love of God in our heart is a fire which warms our soul and jealously guards it against the coldness of the enmity (Jeremiah 20 v 9) and provides the fuel to allow ignition of the fire of the Holy Spirit within us to defend our faith in God and our Saviour by burning the tempting oppositions of the enmity (whether it is from within our own thoughts or from the actions of our neighbours) - but no neighbours can quench that love of God, only we can do that to ourselves. The Song of the love of God (the Song of Solomon) tells us of the unbreakable bond that grows between God and His children, and between His son (Jesus Christ) and his companion of many people (the saints to be), Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame, Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned (Song of Solomon 8 v 6-7). Paul tells us that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit (a seal is an indelible impression, an engraving that cannot be washed away) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 4 v 30). The analogy of jealousy is cruel as the grave is the insatiable jealous craving that the love of God generates within us to resist the enmity and to come closer to Jesus and God through obedience to His word, a righteous jealousy that cannot be satisfied and allows no compromises in the same way that Solomon also referred to the insatiable and uncompromising grave, There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough (Proverbs 30 v 15-16). As the fire is never satisfied, so the burning love of God can never have enough of the warmth of His instruction and of the heat of His compassion, in the same way that the seemingly overwhelming flood of the enmity (also never satisfied - the tides of which ebb and flow with unremitting regularity) can never quench the love of God in our heart if that is our will. Furthermore, it will be the apparently barren woman of the faithful believers (often socially isolated because of their faith) - who crave the seed of the word of God in whom it conceives and grows to a new reformed character - that will have more 'children' (social company by faith) than those who succeed in the marriage to the fornication of the flesh (the lust the carnal mind. the wiles of the enmity) as Isaiah wrote following the description of Jesus Christ in Isaiah 53, Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that

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The lifetime vow of baptism didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD. .. .. O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. .. .. And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children (Isaiah 54). The captain and leader of this people, the betrothed husband-to-be, the head of the future household of God was Jesus, who for his fiery zeal and hot love for God, cleansed the temple of hypocrites to illustrate what he had done perfectly in his own body, And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up (John 2 v 13-21). King David was of this people under the leadership of Jesus (by faith in his days) and he suffered the similar temptations of the enmity that were suffered by Jesus, for he wrote allegorically, Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away (Psalm 69). Also of this number was Elijah who was driven by his jealous love of God to oppose the idolatry of the enmity and fled for his life when he prayed to God, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away (I Kings 19 v 10). Elijah was followed by Jeremiah who jealously guarded the faith in his heart by the heat of his zeal and his fiery love for God amid a hypocritical nation - as he wrote of himself, his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay which burning fire of jealous love put him in opposition to his neighbours who then became his adversaries and sought to kill him, but the love (agape) of God held firm his belief in God and confirmed that belief as faith, while his neighbours continued to worship God in love (phileo) alone (Jeremiah 20 v 7-9) by which there van be no salvation. In like manner, it is this same zealous love that will jealously guard the heat of our own faith and will keep our faith fervent through all difficulties which come on us due to the effects of the enmity, it is the fire of that love (agape) that will help us overcome every obstacle presented by the workings of our own Satan (or of that of our fellows), and it will be the heat of that love that will warm our heart as the chill of each trial proves our patience when the resident thoughts of the devils prompting will tempt us to take a easier way. Thus the love of God will strengthen us beyond any natural effort we may have in overcoming many personal and private temptations from our own nature (our own world of the enmity, each temptation of which is against the softening of our heart), and finally the fire of the love of God in our heart will prove the power of the name of God in our lives by the fire of the Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus the one (agape) to give heat and zeal and the other (the Holy Spirit) to compliment that by killing the effects of the enmity (Romans 8 v 35-39); (1 Corinthians 13); (John 15 v 12-13).

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The lifetime vow of baptism The love of God was fulfilled in the heart of Jesus Christ which remained soft and tender from birth to death and who from his heart honoured God privately and publicly by the zeal he had for the law of God and his jealousy for the honour of God (Psalm 119 v 11); (John 2 v 13-17); (Mark 11 v 15-19) and for his friends for whom he died that they might have the hope of everlasting life (John 15 v 12-14). The fire of the love of God was seen in the zeal he had for the honour of God, and as a fiery zeal, it was a righteous jealousy that his heart should never be influenced and ruled by the enmity but always be the place where God dwelt exclusively through His word - as a temple and sanctuary dedicated to God. The enmity and its agents (the messenger-thoughts of the devil, Satan, human nature and our world) fight against the word of God to displace its power in the temple of our heart seeking to make it a temple of idols, but Jesus continuously and vehemently fought against it, cast it out and killed it with righteous ferocity to keep it a sanctified temple of God and to show to Israel (and us) the living fulfilment of the commandments of this work of jealous zeal which he was perfecting in his own body. Jesus showed us this commandment to love (agape) in the law of God by making a scourge of small cords and driving out of the temple of God in Jerusalem - on two occasions - those that defiled the house of God as it is written, And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; (John 2 v 15). This he did on two occasions, once at the start of his ministry and again just before he was crucified to confirm the importance of this command to us and to illustrate the principle that repeated cleansing of our heart is needed because, as we cast out the messengers of the devil, they will soon creep back in. This jealous ferocity within our own heart coupled with a tender compassion for our neighbours who acknowledge the same nature and weaknesses as us, is the fire of the love (agape) of God. Jesus said that whoever kept his commandments, he and God would dwell in them by the Holy Spirit and with the love (agape) of God (John 14 v 21-23). As a further commandment to us, John wrote by the Holy Spirit that as Jesus had died for us, so we must also lay down our lives for each other (1 John 3 v 16). The commandment to lay down our life is not a call to physical death (our voluntary or assisted death is an abomination to God, because Jesus alone fulfilled all teachings of the voluntary sacrifices), but by the heat and warmth of compassionate love to lay down our own natural spirit - our own self-will - our own opinions - our prejudices - our likes and dislikes, our habits and any way we may offend our neighbour as a sacrifice in the spiritual interests of fellow believers (Romans 14 v 21-23); (I Corinthians 8 v 10-13); (I Corinthians 10 v 32-33). ********************* Chapter 38 The virtue of love (agape) Love (agape) - which is the same as charity - is a divine virtue making this love of God the most valued of all virtues that we can possess (II Peter 1 v 5-7) but it can

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The lifetime vow of baptism only continue its residence in our heart if the spirit of our heart is undergoing the softening process of continual baptism of the Holy Spirit (Luke 8 v 15). The measure of our possession of the love of God will be identified by the effect it has on our lives with relation to (firstly) our habits, tastes and interests, and (secondly) the way we interact with our neighbours, both believer and non-believer, which are the fruits Jesus spoke about (Matthew 7 v 15-18). Paul taught that self-examination is necessary to ensure that we have the true faith (like gold purged of hardness and purified by fire) and that with that true faith we have the love of God or whether we have some substitute of our own (1 Corinthians 11 v 28), (Galatians 6 v 4), (II Corinthians 13 v 5). Let us not deceive ourselves, our examination will not be easy because it is possible to have a faith without having love (agape) it being substituted by love (phileo) (II Corinthians 13 v 1-3), and Jesus did warn us of the subtlety of our own human nature, (Luke 18 v 18-27), (Matthew 6 v 1-8), (Revelation 2 v 4-5). We are all capable of creating in our hearts substitutes for the love of God which masquerades under the mantle of love (phileo) common to all mankind and deceives us into thinking that it is love (agape), but let us be warned, the word of God teaches that there is only one love (agape) unto salvation from God. How can we examine ourselves? For if we are indeed loving in phileo alone, then when we read the word of God we will be reading it with a sight and understanding that is influenced by the wrong love and so we will doubly deceive ourselves. So how can we examine ourselves? From our own experience of natural love (phileo), we know that when we love a person, an object or anything, we cannot take the focus of our attention off it (both literally and mentally) such that the object of our love occupies all our thoughts, wherever we are and whatever we are doing, to the point that we can become completely preoccupied with it. God placed love (phileo) in us when He created us so that we could use it in His service and to His glory by obedience to His word and to seek from that word an understanding of His superior love (agape) which is concealed within the word of God and is always against the enmity manifest in the flesh (Isaiah 59). Our examination is therefore simple, how vehement are we in condemning ourselves (and not our neighbour) as a sinner? How zealous are we in driving out the thoughts of the enmity from our own minds (not our neighbours)? How hot is the jealousy of our faith that the word of God is not displaced from our own heart (not our fellows)? How ferocious are we in casting out our own wrong thoughts as they arise (not our fellow citizens)? How preoccupied are we in our daily lives with our own thoughts of God, of His word and of Jesus? We have to work and concentrate at work, for that is also a measure of our faithful service to God, but as we awake, as we relax, as we see the beauty of creation, as we drift off to sleep, how often do we think of God, His word and Jesus? We are limited to talking about these things when we are in company with non-believers but we are always alone with our thoughts so there is never a time we cannot think of God and His purpose (Jeremiah 17 v 10). What are the predominant occupying thoughts of mind? What is in the forefront of all our judgements? What thought is it that dictates our actions? What thoughts prompt our intentions? Because that which is at the forefront of our mind now will decide what is placed on our forehead forever, it will be either the name of God or the mark of the beast who is driven by the devil, Satan, our own human nature (Revelation 7 v 3-4); (Revelation 14 v 1); (Revelation 13 v 16).

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The lifetime vow of baptism Preoccupation with the power of the name of God in His purpose is the most precious virtue we can possess for we cannot be preoccupied with Him without loving God for His mercy, grace, compassion, favour, patience, goodness, faithfulness and truthfulness as we go about our normal daily lives. Isolation from society will not particularly help us because Jesus prayed that we be not taken out of the world, furthermore, fastidiously reading the bible will not necessarily help us for then we will only increase our knowledge and Paul says knowledge puffeth up, but if God through His word is at the forefront of our minds, if we are preoccupied with His purpose, if we inwardly marvel at His work with the earth, if we keep turning over our understanding of His grace in the secret of our minds as we would fondle a precious jewel to view all its many facets and reflections, then we will love (agape) God, and His love will take residence in us and our works of charity (agape) will be works of faith - a practical demonstration that we believe in the name of God and show it our actions. ********************* Chapter 39 Gods love for His creation God loves all his creation which He created for His pleasure (Revelation 4 v 11) and, because He loves it, His eyes are always upon it - in all its detail (Proverbs 15 v 3) and nothing is hidden from His sight. God loves mankind together with all creatures and things that He created and has no pleasure in their death or extinction (Ezekiel 18 v 32), (Ezekiel 33 v 11), (II Peter 3 v 9) but of all things in His creation, God hates human nature. To illustrate this real and particular focus of the love of God on His creation, God has set a particular love for the land of Israel as the land that He has promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for an everlasting possession for them and their seed, A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year. (Genesis 15 v 18-21); (Genesis 14 v 14-17); (Deuteronomy 11 v 10-12). As God has set the focus of His love on a small land among the many lands of the earth, so God has also focused His love upon a few people in each generation - of all the human race which few God has called and is reforming as His new creation (Psalm 34 v 15), (Psalm 33 v 18); (Isaiah 65 v 17-25). These reforming souls (who by freewill, live lives of obedience to the word of God by undergoing continual repentance of their characters through the work of His Holy Spirit) fill the mind of God, and He is patiently waiting for the time of their salvation (James 5 v 7). God loves these few people as a father tenderly loves his own children (Psalm 103 v 1214) and He chastens them as a true parent should (Hebrews 12 v 5-11). Even though God loved all His creatures, He justly cursed mankind to an eternal grave (and all creature because of us) because of the sin of Adam and Eve because He hates the guile of the serpent, now known as human nature (the enmity). The will of God is that the enmity must be destroyed (Genesis 3 v 15) and He has shown that He does not change His will - as man changes his - (Numbers 23 v 19), (Malachi 3 v 6),

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The lifetime vow of baptism but God has stated without doubting (from Satan) or counter argument (from the devil) that despite His hatred of the flesh (the enmity) God is a tender-hearted, compassionate and just Father (Ezekiel 18), (Luke 15 v 1-32). God will destroy the enmity in its entirety at the fulfilment of His purpose - after His saints have been proved by their own hatred of it (I Corinthians 15 v 23 - 28); (Revelation 10); (Revelation 12 v 12); (Revelation 16 v 17). In His tender love, which is strong and faithful, God raised up (by a mortal woman) His own mortal son (Jesus Christ) to be a saviour for these few people that He has set His love upon. For God has purposed that salvation from the grave for those whom He loves would depend upon the perfect obedience of one mortal man, who by allowing Gods Holy Spirit to entirely overcome and kill the enmity within himself, would be an acceptable sacrifice to atone and cover their committed sins. By way of completing that victory, this one Jesus Christ would willingly give himself to the sentence of a premature death, and so give his blood and his life to be poured out to God as a libation, as a washing away of their sins. Jesus died and became dead as any other man who was died, but God (in His love) was justified in raising him from the dead, after the sentence was carried out, because Jesus was not guilty of any transgression but died because he bore a sinful nature inherited from Adam by his mother. In this way God showed His love (agape) towards us (1 John 3 v 7-12) and the only way that we can enter into and remain in that bond to reflect that love towards God, Jesus and our neighbours, is by faithfully submitting to continual baptism by the fire of the Holy Spirit so that the fire of the love of God may increase throughout our life following our baptism by water. The Love of God in the temple of our heart We were created with the intention that we should willingly keep our heart and minds as a sanctified temple where God would dwell by the power of the Holy Spirit through obedience to His word, Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (I Corinthians 3 v 16-17); (I Corinthians 6 v 19). Because no man and women has ever kept their hearts free from idolatry as a sanctuary of praise and prayer, God provided a physical tabernacle (and later a temple) as a place where He would dwell among His people (Exodus 25 v 1-8) to teach all those who read the bible (particularly Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) what characteristics are required in our soul in order to sanctify our heart and keep it place separated to God where He - by Jesus Christ - will dwell. By using the properties of various materials and the order of the services as types and figures to foretell what the character of our soul aught to be by faith (whether before or after Christ) Jesus said, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him (John 14 v 23), and Paul confirmed, That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love (Ephesians 3 v 17). Jesus showed that man (of whom are we) could not even keep a physical temple sanctified - let alone our hearts - and that we repeatedly make the 'temple' of our heart and mind a place of merchandise and thievery in the name of God, so he left us his commandment by making a scourge of small cords and drove out the merchants from the temple as it is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye

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The lifetime vow of baptism have made it a den of thieves. (Matthew 21 v 12-13), And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. (John 2 v 13-17) Let us not deceive ourselves by claiming that we do not understand the symbology of the command which Jesus used, because we live in an age of consumerism, an age of buying and selling (Luke 17 v 26-30) and we know that merchandising is the exchange of goods, services and chattels at an agreed comparative exchange rate. It requires a salesman and a client, either the client desires and the salesman satisfies, or the salesman creates a desire and the client is tempted and whether the goods match the sales claim, or is value for money the client finds out later. The first unprincipled salesman was the serpent in the beginning, he 'sold' a desire that should have been impossible to sell, he compared the substantial value of obedience to the command of God to the spurious value of his lie of increased knowledge and an 'angelic' after-life from the forbidden tree, he compared the value of humble obedience to God with the empty value of vain curiosity, and he found a ready client in Eve, a client with a desire to be satisfied and she was tempted to see the exchange as a good one and so she concluded the contract by eating the fruit and embraced her husband Adam to share the experience, only to find that the goods they received did not match the promised benefits. The enmity is none other than the same spirit of that unscrupulous salesman the serpent, Satan and his messengers, the devil and his angels in our thoughts, human nature and its fickle vagaries, the 'flesh' and its uncleanesses, the 'world' and its godlessness, and it is still working in our heart and mind making merchandise of the sanctuary of the temple of our heart, to change it from a house of prayer to a house of personal human profit. Let us not continue to deceive ourselves, the things that the Jews sold, the money that they exchanged was indeed needed in the services of the temple for offerings and tithes but not at the convenience of man nor to his profit, and so can we do likewise under the pretext of serving God, under a canopy of piety, with a great show of religious fervour make merchandise of the pure laws of Christ (II Peter 2 v 3); (Jude v 4); (II Timothy 4 v 3-4). The fire of love of God will cause us to make scourge of small cords in our mind and help us to jealously drive out anything that is contrary to the purity of the power of the name of God, and that love of God will dwell permanently in our heart if we fiercely defend the sanctity of our heart as a temple of God and jealously act against the advances of the enmity as it seeks to plant its seeds of doubts and self-convenience in the sanctuary of God of our mind, after the example of Jesus who went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; (Mark 11 v 15). The love of God (through Jesus Christ) has to dwell permanently in our heart if we are to hope for salvation by the absolute and final forgiveness of our sins when Jesus returns. For that love to continue to dwell in our hearts (for it will either grow or die) it has to be actively reflected in our works according to the power of the meaning of the name of God, and for this to be done the focus of our mind must become singular, because for love to be the love of God (agape) and not affection (phileo) we must

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The lifetime vow of baptism have eyes only for God and His son Jesus Christ and not for ourselves (Matthew 6 v 21-23), (Proverbs 4 v 25-27). No man has seen the face of God nor can do (Exodus 33 v 20) nor has any of us in this generation physically seen Jesus Christ because there are no visions, dreams or open revelations in these days because seeing must be by our faith. Because of this, and because God will love His children up to the last day, God has preserved His word by the power of the Holy Spirit (despite all attempts by man to destroy it and alter it) to enable us to see Him through Jesus by faith in His word with the enlightenment of our understanding by the Holy Spirit, which Spirit inspired the writing of that word from the beginning. Therefore we must focus our minds upon the word of God, not just in reading and listening (because those can easily masquerade as the natural love of man for a good and pleasing story and deceive us (Ezekiel 33 v 31-32)) but we are to keep at the forefront of our minds the instructions contained in it and be warned and encouraged by the examples recorded in all that we do every day, so that we may be directed into doing what is right and keeping away from what is wrong in Gods eyes, that we can constantly choose between good and evil, clean and unclean. If we focus our mind first and foremost upon God and Jesus we will, as we work or relax or travel, continually recall His words from our memory, we will remember the lessons of the good and bad examples He has recorded, we will treasure the promises God has made, and we will keep the commandments that Jesus taught, for this was the example that Jesus set us (Psalm 1 v 1-6). The eyes of God are set on hearts that are like this and if our hearts heart and mind are on Him, then the bonding power of love (agape) will draw us closer to God and He will dwell in us by His Spirit which only we can loose (no man or woman can take it from us) and it will be a love that we will take to our grave in faithful assurance that the love that God has for us is stronger than our death and that He will raise us up again in His good time. With the love of God increasing in our heart, we will take greater care in all that we think, on what we plan and what we do, for we will slowly become more aware that God and Jesus are watching over us with perfect clarity, we will see God and Jesus more clearly each day by faith, and that God is willing us (through Jesus) to repent and reform more and more on a continuing daily basis and there is rejoicing in heaven when we do repent (Luke 15 v 10). Let us not become over confident because, equally, God is both sorrowful and pitiful when we sin, angry when we fail to repent and fiercely angry when we sin willingly or carelessly or continue sin and not to repent. If we increase our share in this bond of love (for the love of God is secure) by continual baptism of the Holy Spirit, then our hope of eventually being blessed with life everlasting after our resurrection from the dead will become real and secure as the faith of Paul, I have fought a good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth is laid up for me a crown of righteousness. (II Timothy 4 v 6-8). After the example of the resurrection of Jesus to everlasting life, who as the firstfruits was first resurrected from the dead and then to everlasting life (I Corinthians 15 v 23) the forerunner of our salvation (Hebrews 6 v 20), so will be our change of nature from mortality to immortality, resurrection to mortality first, a judgement and then resurrection to immortality afterwards (I Corinthians 15 v 50-57) when we will have been judged by Jesus that power of the meaning of the name of God was at the

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The lifetime vow of baptism forefront of our minds and was seen in our lives (Matthew 25 v 32-46). Then will be fulfilled the last prophecy of the Holy Bible, their Fathers name will be written in their foreheads (Revelation 22 v 4) speaking figuratively of the fulfilment of the activity of the love of God in our minds (Revelation 14 v 1), (Revelation 3 v 12) the completion of the work of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 3 v 16). ********************* Chapter 40 Forgiveness by love As the bond of love grows between God and Jesus, and our self (John 14 v 23), there will be an increase in our realisation that we have no more right to share the love of God than our neighbour, irrespective of how godless they are, for we will realise that God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy and He does not need our help to choose. With this mind, Jesus commanded His disciples to love one another (John 15 v 12), (1 John 3 v 16-18). As the love of God grows in us we will begin to appreciate that as God forgives us in His love if we repent, so must we forgive others who also ask forgiveness of us after offending against us and must forgive those who sincerely repent after offending God (Psalm 51), (Psalm 34 v 18); (Matthew 6 v 12) as Jesus said, Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him (Luke 17 v 3-4). As God is compassionate to us when we repent so must we be to others who also repent. Let us not deceive ourselves, there cannot be forgiveness of sins without sincere repentance no matter how trivial the sin may appear to us, therefore repentance from sin is more important than the sin because all sin is evil in the eyes of God and cannot be categorised (James 2 v 8-10), which is the teaching given from the record of the sins of King David (Psalm 51). Furthermore, as God loads us with the daily benefits of life, food, our senses, the ability to earn wages, to get goods suitable for a quality of life, so we must be prepared to share those benefits with them who are less fortunate than ourselves when they are in distress (1 John 3 v 16-18). Testing our love God will test our love to see whether it is phileo or agape, and the most severe test will be when circumstances we are in appear to us that God has forsaken us because He does not directly answer our prayers for help, guidance and deliverance form evil. Will we continue to love God with the same zeal and jealous intensity? Will we love Him even more or will we abandon our love (agape) in exchange for phileo? God has said that He will never leave or forsake those that trust in Him (Hebrews 13 v 56), but God does try our faith and tests the strength of our love for Him and Jesus, by appearing to leave us for a time that seems to be long but in fact is short compared to the gift of everlasting life (Romans 8 v 35-39). When we are tempted by the enmity within our nature to despair with resentment of the apparent hardness of God, agape will respond with a jealous eagerness that continues to allow the Holy Spirit to work within our soul with a quiet patience that ignites the fire of our love (agape) yet more

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The lifetime vow of baptism by an increasing conviction that God is merciful if we continue in faithful obedience to Him , by reading, remembering and musing on His word. Let us not fail in weakness by allowing phileo to replace agape by rejection of God or by descending to a form of religion and denying the power of the Holy Spirit (II Timothy 3 v 1-7) in a faade of piety and oppressive hypocritical religious rituals and petty regulations. Agape will respond by make a scourge of small cords in the privacy of our minds from the threads of our faith and will remove any thoughts that attempt to clutter the quiet sanctuary of our heart with a jangle of contradictions and thus the activity of our love (agape) for God and Jesus will increase through our words, thoughts, decisions and actions of our life even though we appear to be alone in a godless world. That agape will maintain and increase our faith and will quieten our naturally impatient spirit to patient continuance and allow the Holy Spirit to continue its painful work. Then the patience of the saints will be perfected in us as it was in Jesus, Noah, Job and all the faithful (James 5 v 10-11) on whose behalf Paul wrote, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8 v 35-39). We alone can loose the love (agape) of God - nobody can take it from us. Therefore we can blame no one if the fire of the love of God goes out in our heart and we return to the clamour of the bazaars and marketplaces of the serpent selling its shallow entertainments and counterfeit hopes, and the Holy Spirit is taken from us - with the hope of everlasting life. This was the assurance of Jesus who had his life taken from him by murderers who could not understand his love and faith, And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10 v 28). ********************* Chapter 41 The love of God and the Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit is the source of all life and the core of every substance. God is the Holy Spirit as Jesus said, God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4 v 24). Furthermore, God is light (I John 1 v 5) by which He enlightened the earth (Genesis 1 v 3), and He is love (I John 4 v 8) by which He keeps all things in being (Acts 17 v 23-31). The Spirit, light and love combine to be the fountain of life as the Psalmist wrote, For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. (Psalms 36 v 9). It is not possible for us to be in custody of the love of God without the Holy Spirit being present, nor to have the Holy Spirit without the love of God and when we have these as active fires within our hearts, minds and conscience we have the light of God which three combined are the substance of faith (Hebrews 11 v 1) and the foretaste of everlasting life, He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3 v 36).

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The love of God and the power of the Holy Spirit will keep us in the way of salvation by faith no matter which generation we live in nor in what circumstances we live in or wherever we are in the world, and they will open the eyes of our understanding to see all the complimentary types and shadows that God has set both in His word and in His creation, to teach, strengthen and comfort us while we patiently endure the work of the continuous baptism of the Holy Spirit to destroy the effects of the enmity within us, as Paul wrote, For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Romans 1 v 20). The path of salvation by faith is the same way that all the faithful have gone in every generation from Abel to now, most of whom now await the resurrection from the dead, it is the same faith, same enmity, same love of God, same human nature, same Holy Spirit and the same hope, because, And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. (Hebrews 11 v 39-40); (Hebrews 12 v 1). Despite the promptings of the enmity to the contrary, there is only one Spirit and one love of God as taught by Paul, There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all (Ephesians 4 v 4-6). ********************* Chapter 42 Noah and the dove, the symbol of love Noah was one of the cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 11 v 39-40); (Hebrews 12 v 1-2) who went before us in the way of salvation in whom was the love of God and the Holy Spirit and who understood, by the Spirit, the invisible things of the purpose of God by the things that God created (Romans 1 v 20) and it was not by chance that Noah chose the dove as the herald of the new beginning after the flood. Noah understood the figure of the work of the Holy Spirit at work in uniting a people to God for ever by the blood of Jesus Christ when he released a dove from the ark at the end of the flood and it returned twice to him (Genesis 8 v 8-12) - the second time with an olive leaf. God has set the dove to symbolise the characteristics of Spirit seen in Jesus Christ and - by him - to be seen in his multitudinous companion (the cloud of witnesses) and this was the faith of Noah (Genesis 7 v 2-3). In the pecking order of the bird world the characteristics of the dove are meekness, fidelity, faithfulness to one mate for life and gentleness. Mated companions spend long hours softly murmuring and calling to each other as they roost in the branches of olive groves, and these characteristics have been used by Solomon when he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to record the jealous dialogue of devotion between Jesus and his saints, Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes. (Song of Solomon 1 v 15 & 5 v 12). Doves are the divinely chosen symbols of

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The lifetime vow of baptism His faithfulness and love (agape) which two are inseparable, and it is by His faithfulness and His love that peace between God and man was made possible by Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2 v 14), and it is from this that the dove with the olive leaf has become the popular symbol of peace used today. However, God does not need to make peace with us, because God is peace and we broke that peace by transgressing His law, therefore it is for us to make peace with God that we can only do in Jesus Christ. Furthermore, no matter how many doves are used, peace cannot be achieved amongst mankind because of the effects of the enmity within all of us, nor can peace be achieved between man and God without the faithfulness and love of Jesus Christ - symbolised in the dove - working in us. Solomon used the figure of the dove in the Song of Solomon as symbol of devotion in a dialogue between a man and a women deeply in love with the love of God (agape) with the result that they are devotedly faithful to each other and between whom is perfect peace, which teaches of the love between Jesus and his betrothed bride of the multitudinous saints, where Jesus speaks of his love for the faithful believers thou hast doves eyes within thy locks (Song of Solomon 4 v 1), and she returns the expression of her bond to him His eyes are as the eyes of doves (Song of Solomon 5 v 12), O my dove, thou art in the clefts of the rock (Song of Solomon 2 v 14). By our faithful baptism by water, and by our undergoing the continual baptism of the Holy Spirit since then, we will have eyes for none other than God and His son Jesus Christ, to whom we will be devoted and faithful (even unto death), and we will - in the mercy of God - by the blood of Jesus, have peace with God (John 14 v 27), (Ephesians 2 v 14). This peace is not freedom from disturbance, tribulation, mental turbulence and physical trials but a quietness of mind and spirit (during the times of turbulence) brought about by our jealous love of God in driving out of the temple of our own heart and mind all types of fleshly merchandise of the enmity within us. The figure that Noah understood in the dove - and why he used it - was that it symbolised a forerunner who would go before the faithful and seek out a resting place of peace with God for ever on a renewed, cleansed and replenished earth. The dove was the herald of a new era of the fulfilment of the promises of God, a new era of peace on earth, and era where the previous works of sin had been destroyed. Noah saw - in the dove - a figure of a man who would make peace with God by the work of the Holy Spirit within him, and who would return to an ark of safety having seen a reclaimed earth by faith, to reassure his companion that the promise of God was true, and bring her (his multitudinous companion - the saints) into the kingdom of God on earth, as was foretold of Jesus - by Solomon - when Jesus returns to the earth, Rise up my love my fair one and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, and the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle (dove) is heard in our landArise, my love, my fair one, and come away (Song of Solomon 2 v 10-13). As a confirmation of the choice of the dove as the symbol of the combination of His love, the Holy Spirit and the bond between Him and His children, God chose the dove to show John the Baptist (by the character of the dove) the effects of the work that baptism by water and the Holy Spirit would achieve in Jesus Christ. Immediately after Jesus was baptised by John in water, John saw the Holy Spirit descend in the form of

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The lifetime vow of baptism a dove and alight upon Jesus, a sign of the work of peace through the love of God by the Holy Spirit in the one - who by faith went before the great cloud of witnesses to make the way of their salvation possible by peace with God. Jesus is the male dove whom God raised up and His bride is the female dove that God is still creating as each successive generation passes (Matthew 3 v 16); (Mark 1 v 10); (Luke 3 v 22); (John 1 v 32). ********************* Chapter 43 The dove and the olive leaf As God chose the dove as a symbol of His love - and peace with Him by that love - so God chose the oil of the olive tree as the symbol of the Holy Spirit, and to complete the figure of these united symbols, God caused the singular dove to return to the ark and present Noah with the olive leaf as a representative of the olive tree (and its oil), and after this figure John saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus in the form of a dove. Oil from the olive tree (characterised by its leaf and wholesome fruit) is the symbol that God has chosen to represent the Holy Spirit to create (by the word of God) a holy people in whom will be the fullness of that Spirit (everlasting life) to inhabit His earth for ever made possible by one man who went before his companion to prepare the way for her, as it is written of Jesus "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Psalm 1 v 1-3), where the tree is the olive tree). These people are referred to as the two witnesses' and the two anointed ones who stand before the Lord of the whole earth (Revelation 11 v 3-12); (Zechariah 4 v 1-14) and refers to work of the Holy Spirit as the oil of the candlestick united in two olive trees by golden pipes, through which the oil of the Holy Spirit flows from its source to its confluence when mortal man will be made immortal. The candlestick is the symbol of light of God in Jesus - I am the light of the world (John 8 v 12) - and in his companion - Ye are the light of the world (Matthew 5 v 14). In the tabernacle there was a candlestick with seven branches representing the united body of Christ and his bride, six branches with three bowls each for oil as a burning light, and one branch - the stock of the tree - with four bowls to represent Jesus Christ where the six branches growing out of the stock and dependant upon it, represent his companion (Exodus 25 v 31-34). The faithful cloud of witnesses spoken of by Paul (Hebrews 12 v 1), the anointed ones (Zechariah 4 v 14) and the two witnesses (Revelation 11) are the lamps of the six branches (with their bowls and burning olive oil) from which the figure of everlasting light shines. It is not their light, but the light of God through Jesus Christ - by the Holy Spirit - symbolised in the continuous flow of oil from the olive tree (from whence the dove of Noah took his leaf) and the candlestick. The olive tree and the candlestick are therefore complimentary symbols of Jesus Christ - the root and stock - and of those who are to be redeemed by fullness of the Holy Spirit in everlasting life. The olive trees are in the figure, inseparable, one and the same as the candlestick of pure gold, as

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The lifetime vow of baptism complimentary symbols of the Bridegroom (Christ) and his bride (his companion, the saints). ********************* Chapter 44 The olive tree and the Holy Spirit The dove, the olive tree (as the representative of the oil) and the candlestick are the symbols that unite the love of God, the Holy Spirit and the peace of God together in a united multitude of people under one head. Faith (in the union of that people with God - by birth into the death of Christ through baptism) is founded by the Holy Spirit in our conscience, and by the sensitivity of our conscience the Spirit continually increases the softness our heart to make it tender and gentle after the character of a dove, so that the love of God can grow in us in proportion to the action of the Holy Spirit (like a lamp of fire or a candle) as it consumes the effects of the enmity (our fleshly characteristics) by displaying the warm light of the peace of God in our actions (John 3 v 19-20), by which means the symbols of the dove, the Spirit and peace with God are united. The work of the Holy Spirit within our soul is allow the fruits of righteousness to grow as it consumes the effects of the enmity in our bodies. If we follow the figure of doves that made their nest in the branches of the olive trees in bible days (which Noah understood), we will understand the complimentary work of the Holy Spirit in addition to overcoming our flesh. Jesus (the bridegroom) and the saints (the bride of Gods new creation) make their spiritual dwelling place (by love and faith in a purified conscience) within the confines of the words and commands of God which like the confines of the branches, twigs and shoots in the olive trees are chosen to represent the work of His Holy Spirit through his word. Those who make the word of God the dwelling place of their conscience will grow up in character as the olive tree to give the fruits of the Holy Spirit in their lives (Galatians 5 v 22-25) among the peace of the company of fellow trees - trees of righteousness (Isaiah 61 v 1-3) - and by overcoming the effects of the enmity will attain to peace with God as Paul enjoined, And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful (Colossians 3 v 15) .The object of growing the olive tree and harvesting its fruit is to produce fine virgin oil and this is no different to the purpose of God with us, the object of our baptism by water (and by the Holy Spirit) and the subsequent increasing in our experience, knowledge, faith, and love (II Peter 1 v 4-8) is to convert our souls to become characters like that of Jesus who grew to show the character of God, so that the light of the Holy Spirit shines out of us to the glory of God by works of righteousness. Works of righteousness are the display of the power of the name of God as shown by Jesus (Exodus 34 v 6) and taught by Paul (Galatians 5 v 22-23). The fruit of the olive must be bruised, crushed, squeezed and refined if it is to give a golden oil suitable for a clean light (Isaiah 53 v 4-7) and is what we now know as pure virgin olive oil (Revelation 14 v 1-5). The effect of bringing forth the fruits of righteousness will bring us into conflict with our own nature where a fight will ensue (I Corinthians 9 v

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The lifetime vow of baptism 25-27) and then into conflict with those who hate us because of our fruits, who will often be hypocritical believers, If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you (John 15 v 18). This same virgin oil from the fruit of the olive tree was used to make the anointing oil which was used exclusively in the Tabernacle as the holy anointing unction and was used to sanctify the tabernacle, its furniture and the priests (Exodus 30 v 22-26). This anointing oil was used for temporal sanctifying - cleansing and setting apart for God as a teacher of moral and physical sanctification from unclean mortal fleshliness to a state that is prepared for immortality and everlasting life, a preparation that Jesus perfected prior to the change to immortality that he experienced after his resurrection from the dead (Psalm 45 v 7), (Hebrews 1 v 9); (Psalm 133). The oil of the continual burning of the seven-branched candlestick was pure virgin olive oil, that when ignited into action gave the light that illuminated the tent of the tabernacle in the Holy Place in perpetuity (Exodus 27 v 20-21). This candlestick of pure beaten gold represents the completed body of Christ consisting of Jesus Christ the stock and stem, and the companion bride of Christ, the branches, with the oil as the light of the Holy Spirit, collectively are known as the seven churches who surround, embrace and always look to Jesus (Revelation 1 v 12, v 20 & (Revelation 2 v 1). ********************* Chapter 45 The Light of the Holy Spirit There was to be (required under the law of God) a perpetual fire on the altar of burnt offering that consumed the sacrifices (Leviticus 6 v 12-13) which taught of the work of continuous baptism by the fire of Holy Spirit in Jesus Christ in order for him to gain his victory over the enmity within him by consuming its tempting messengers of Satan - his thoughts - (as flesh is burnt by fire) and was complimented and confirmed by the perpetual fiery light of burning olive oil on the candlestick in the tabernacle (Leviticus 24 v 2-3) to teach (in parallel) of the righteous soul and the holy character of Jesus as being the fruitful results of the work of the Holy Spirit within him as the flesh was consumed. Jesus Christ was the light of the world who was foretold by John the Baptist, The same (John) came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light (Jesus), that all men through him (the Light) might believe. He (John) was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (John 1 v 7-9). Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8 v 12); (John 9 v 5) and he has allowed us to participate in that work. As Jesus was completing his work he said to his disciples Ye are the light of the world (Matthew 5 v 14-16), where light is a burning flame), thus he has shared his light - the light of the fire of the Holy Spirit - with those of us who follow him in submitting to the continual baptism of the fire of the Holy Spirit, so that the light of that Spirit can shine in our lives, with the knowledge that none of the disciples, nor any other at that time,

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The lifetime vow of baptism or at any time since, nor us, can be of the same value and brightness as the light that was in Jesus. Jesus had the same opportunities of life that we do, but unlike us he chose from the earliest age to purify himself by continuous baptism of fire of the Holy Spirit in burning every temptation of his flesh (identified as being contrary to the word of God) after the prefigurement of the continual sacrifices of the altar of burnt offering (Numbers 28) so that he was without fault. At the same time, he was a continuous and lively witness to the light of God - in that in his mortal body he illuminated his character with the righteousness of God - as was prefigured in the furniture of the tabernacle, the ark of the covenant, the veil, the altar of incense and the table of shewbread - all illuminated by the light seven branched candlestick. The sevenbranched candlestick was beaten out of one piece of pure gold and had bowls shaped like almonds into which was poured pure beaten virgin olive oil (Exodus 25 v 31-39) as a fuel for the lively flame of light. The olive oil in the bowls of the lamps was to be replenished morning and evening by the high priest at the same time that the continual burnt offering was offered so that as the sacrifices were always burning so the lamps were to be always burning (Leviticus 24 v 1-4), (Numbers 8 v 2-3). At the same time, fire was to be taken from the altar of burnt offering to ignite the sweet smelling incense at the altar of incense, of which the smoke of the fire was to be a sweet smell of praise and delight to God, resulting in the unification by the Holy Spirit fire of the sacrifice of the flesh, the shining of the light of God in a mortal body and a life of delight to God, And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations. (Exodus 30 v 8) and the Psalmist sang Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. (Psalm 141 v 2). All these services in the tabernacle taught of the work of Jesus Christ by the fire of the Holy Spirit illuminated by the oil of the Spirit. The whole candlestick signified Jesus Christ and had seven branches beaten out of one piece of gold of a talent in weight, and as the branches cannot exist without the stock so Jesus is singularly that stock and central support, and God has invited his companion (the saints) to be the six branches, beaten and moulded out of the central character Christ. We must follow him as our head and leader by allowing the Holy Spirit to do its work in us of continually reducing our fleshly thoughts, immoral tastes and appetites, stubborn self righteous opinions of ourself to ashes by its fire through obedience and submission to the Holy Spirit's teaching of the word of God at the same time as our characters shine as lively lights by enlightenment for the Holy Spirit and so - by that same fire - our prayers will be faithful and a delight to God. But (as with the vine where the branches are no use without the stock (John 15 v 4-7)), so we (as the candlestick branches) have no power of light without the oil of Comforter that Jesus, the stock and root of the candlestick and the faithful High Priest at the right hand of God promised those that keep his commandments, But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14 v 15-26). *********************

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The lifetime vow of baptism Chapter 46 Ye are the light of the world Jesus gave us the responsibility of maintaining the bright burning of that light when he ascended into heaven and when he said unto the early believers, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16 v 15); (Acts 1 v 9-11). According to what Jesus said to us ye are the light of the world, that responsibility includes submission to the continual baptism of the fire of the Holy Spirit, because no matter how we may try to deceive ourselves that we are the light of God, it cannot shine in our lives until we consume the effects of the enmity within us with the same fire, and so the light of God shines from a warm dim glimmer at our baptism to increasing brightness as we gain control over Satan within us and burn its messengers as the Proverb foretold, But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. (Proverbs 4 v 18). Let us not be hypocrites, we claim to be the light of God in the world, but what is involved in this responsibility that we can so easily claim, considering that Jesus warned of a counterfeit light (Matthew 6 v 22-23)? Responsibility, by claiming to be the light, will bring us - by resurrection - to a time of judgement that will be by that light and fire of the Spirit (I Corinthians 3 v 12-18) to either illuminate and justify, or to expose and condemn. God is light and in Him is no darkness (1 John 1 v 5). That light (the power of righteousness) has been shown to all mortal man and women by the word of God, but the enmity (the power of darkness in our world of human nature) has influenced us so that we do not to reflect the light by nature, as John wrote And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1 v 5). But Jesus, the son of man, whom God raised up to be the light was the exception who allowed the power of righteousness (the light) to rule his life and it was seen in his character by which he was known, That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (John 1 v 9). Isaiah prophesied concerning this mortal man Jesus (who was to be the righteousness of God, the light of God in a mortal body) that he would be a son born of a mortal virgin who would name her son Emmanuel which means God with us (Isaiah 7 v 14-15). Do not be deceived, the light of God cannot shine where the enmity is at work through its inner messengers of Satan and tempting of the devil. The light of God, the Holy Spirit, is the power of righteousness that gives us spiritual energy to oppose and kill the power of the enmity wherever it arises so that as the light increases, the effects of the enmity recedes, and conversely, the power of the enmity gives sensual energy to satisfy the lust of the flesh in all its forms as the adversary of the power of righteousness. The two (the Holy Spirit and the spirit of the enmity) cannot co-exist because the power of righteousness (the light of the Holy Spirit) can only reside in a spiritually soft and tender heart, whereas the power of the enmity only thrives in a stubborn and selfish heart which is hardened against complete submission to the word of God and cold towards the compassion of God. Before God (by the light of the Holy Spirit) can shine in us there must be a softening of our heart and mind by overcoming the effects of the enmity, which work can only

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The lifetime vow of baptism be by the action of our baptism - first by water - and then by the continual fire of the Holy Spirit - to purify, test and prove our faith and to develop our love (agape) for God, because if the righteousness of God is to dwell in our heart and so to shine as a light in our ways for all our neighbours to see, then we must realise that God is a God of love, a God of faith and a God of a tender heart, a God of mercy and grace, a God who is long suffering, a God who pities and is compassionate and a God who is willing to forgive all sincerely repentant sinners (Exodus 34 v 6-7); (Psalm 119 v 156); (Psalm 103 v 6-18) and show those virtues in our contact with our neighbours as Jesus said, This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you (John 15 v 12) so that we act towards them - as God acts toward us. All these qualities are virtues of light - the light of God - that must shine in the actions of our bodies directed by our conscience and character. The word of God (which was wholly inspired by the Holy Spirit, (II Peter 1 v 21) is that light of God manifest in a written form, and describes the righteousness of God in words, events, examples, promises, laws, similes and figures which are easy for us to understand (Psalm 119 v 105) & (Psalm 130). If the light of God, through the Spiritinspired word of God is to increase and shine in the place of our naturally dark character of our mortal body, then there is a special and continuous work to be done of igniting and feeding the light of God in us that can only be accomplished slowly little by little - by faith in our heart, so that the flame of the Spirit of God can flourish. The igniting and increasing of the light of God will happen at the same time that our own natural spirit is being softened into meekness by our own willing humility to submit to the light of the righteousness of the word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit, because this was the example that Jesus Christ left us (John 4 v 34), (John 17 v 4), (John 19 v 30); (I Peter 2 v 20-25). ********************* Chapter 47 Conditions for the light to shine, the example of Jesus Christ God is Light and thereby the only source of natural and spiritual light, where the natural light is the light whereby see and the spiritual light is the light of the righteousness of God which is opposed to the 'darkness' of sin. Spiritual light was removed from Adam and Eve and all their descendants when God cursed them (and us through them), and drove them out of the garden of Eden and placed Cherubim with a flaming sword to prevent access to the tree of life as it is written, So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. (Genesis 3 v 24). In the figure taught by this barrier it is shown that the only way to receive the power of the light of the righteousness of God was by engaging in contact with the flaming sword of the Holy Spirit through the word of God, as it is written, For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4 v 12). It is by that same power of the sword of the word of God - by the Holy Spirit - that Jesus killed all effects of the enmity within himself by passing through the 'flaming sword' barrier of the Holy Spirit, and because of that singular victory has been given power to remove

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The lifetime vow of baptism all the unrepentant wicked from the earth (Revelation 19 v 15) & (Revelation 21) when he returns to the earth. The word of God enters our heart - with understanding - when we begin to obey it as the word of a benevolent Father and not as a austere master, because the word of God is provided by a pitiful Father for the specific purpose of destroying the effects of the enmity within us to nurture children to be like Him (Psalm 103 v 13) , and the Holy Spirit is only given to those who obey the word in order that it can be as a fire to consume the effects of human nature, and that the light of that Spirit - the power of righteousness unto salvation and eternal life - can shine in the pattern of our actions and the example of our lives. This is the work of God - the new creation (Isaiah 65 v 17-18) - by His Holy Spirit in reconciling a family to Himself to whom He will give everlasting life to inherit His earth for ever. Because of the intensity of the power of the enmity within all men and women and the inherent weakness of mankind, God purposed to raise up (by the power of the Holy Spirit) His own mortal son as a saviour - who would also have the enmity within him - so that his work was to allow the power of the light of the Holy Spirit through the word of God to overcome all power of the darkness of the enmity and so become the light of God, the righteousness of God, in a mortal body (Hebrews 2 v 14-18). Jesus completed this work (John 17 v 4) and the light of the righteousness of God shone perfectly throughout his life through his words, his works and his habits, a full measure of the displacement of the dark effects of the enmity within him by the light of God, and if we are baptised into him and he is our head then the light of his righteousness must shine in us also as we submit to the continual baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is written that there would be one who would shine as a light and who would be The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. referring to the breach made when God removed the power of the light of the righteousness of God from Adam and Eve by removing their access to the tree of life and everlasting life - and this has remained ever since (Isaiah 58 v 12). The repairer and restorer was Jesus Christ in that he made peace with God by overcoming the enmity within himself throughout his whole life and finally crowning his victory over it when he died, and so made a way possible for others to be redeemed from death and to have access to the tree of life. Thus Jesus restored the path and repaired the breach (Genesis 3 v 22-24); (Revelation 2 v 7); (Revelation 22 v 14). It is easy to engage in interesting interpretations of scripture and fail to read the scripture as it applies to us and so draw out the sweet goodness of the power of the light of the righteousness of God because the enmity within us knows that that sweet goodness will lead to bitter experience as we digest the truth of the word of God with regard to our self in His eyes. Let us do what is required of us according to our vow of obedience at baptism. The prophecy from Isaiah 58 vs.1-5 refers to mankind as a whole by nature (including us), vs. 6-12 refers to Jesus Christ, and vs. 3-14 refers to ourselves who have put on his life by being baptised by water into his death, and now undergo the continual baptism of the Holy Spirit as we follow in his footsteps (Matthew 16 v 24-27); (Romans 6).

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The lifetime vow of baptism It is our responsibility to understand what was the brightness of the light of the righteousness of God that was seen in Jesus and to apply the teaching of his life in our lives and not just in our words but in deed and action, because Jesus said that this light has got to shine in us if we are to be the light of the world. The prophecy (Isaiah 58) refers to a fast and an affliction of the soul (Isaiah 58 v 3-12) as the condition for the light of God to shine; Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?.And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: (Isaiah 58 v 6-10). The teaching to be understood from the act of fasting and the synonymous affliction of the soul - commanded under the law of God - was in two parts (a natural and a higher spiritual or mental), and both were provided to teach Israel of the faithful response God required to His commandments in a believer. There was a physical fast in starving the body of the delights of food (fasting) and a mental fast in starving the mind of the delights of the flesh (affliction of the soul). Affliction of the soul (Leviticus 16 v 29-31); (Leviticus 23 v 27) & (Numbers 29 v7) was accompanied by the literal fast (no eating), both of which were symbols to teach the need to deny the satisfaction of lust that result from the prompting appetite of the enmity. Therefore, fasting was the physical practical part of the spiritual mental fast of the affliction of the soul unto repentance, and was a figure of the breaking down the hardness of our natural character. No mention is made in the law of fasting, only affliction of the soul but the link between the teaching of fasting and the affliction of the soul is provided for us in the Psalms; I humbled my soul with fasting; (Psalm 35 v 13), and; When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach. (Psalms 69 v 10). Israel were given the commandment to afflict the soul in the law in association with the day of Atonement (the 10th day of the 7th month), a day when all the sins of the previous year were forgiven and washed away by God as a result of the work of the High Priest in the Most Holy place in the tabernacle which service prefigured the greater work of Christ in his life, death and resurrection (Hebrews 4 v 14-16); (Leviticus 16) provided that law was kept by faith and not by ritual (by the letter), or by blind and ignorant obedience (Numbers 29 v 7). It is our own responsibility and the essence of our vow at baptism to afflict our own soul and break down the hardness of our natural spirit (human nature), and is the whole of the work that God requires us to do if we are to have a part in His promises and it is the same work that has always been required by God, whether it was in the Hebrews who were under the law or us who are free from the law of Moses. Affliction of our heart, our spirit, our soul, our character is the basis and the only way to fear God (Deuteronomy 6 v 24) and is the foundation of wisdom (Job 28 v 28), (Psalm 19 v 7-9); (Proverbs 8 v 13) and without wisdom there can be no salvation (11 Timothy 3 v 15-17). ********************* Chapter 48

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The lifetime vow of baptism Our fast of affliction Israel were given the law of God because of their lack of faith in God, because they could not understand the purpose of God as their forefathers had - that a man of their race would be the light of the power of the righteousness of God in his mortal body and by his death and resurrection would make a way possible for them to be reconciled with God and be given everlasting life on this earth. Therefore all details of the law teach concerning the work of Jesus Christ and are preserved for us to understand what many in Israel failed to comprehend, as Paul wrote Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Galatians 3 v 24). Although an understanding of the teaching of the law is necessary for us to fully comprehend the way of our salvation in Christ we are not under the law but are saved by faith, which faith we get from understanding the law beginning with the ten commandments, consolidated by Jesus into two commands (Matthew 22 v 37-40) whereupon we build our faith as Paul wrote, But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. (Galatians 3 v 25). We ignore the teachings of the law of God at our peril for therein is our salvation as they are the essence of work of Jesus Christ the Anointed One. Under the law of the Day of Atonement, the Israelites were required to afflict their souls (Leviticus 16 v 29-31). The sense of the original Hebrew word was to fast but has been translated into the English word affliction and is taken from the sense of breaking up fallow ground into a furrow by a sharp blade so that the hard crust is cleaved and broken down to expose the soft innermost soil to light, air, water and then seed - in the same way that we see in a ploughed and harrowed field today (Strongs Concordance #6031 and Gesenius Hebrew and Greek Lexicon, p642, II). The same sense is used in the Psalms, The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows. (Psalm 129 v 3). William Tyndale (1535) in the original translation from Hebrew (before King James translators changed it) used the English word humbled instead of afflicted which had a closer understanding of the original Hebrew word, because to humble is to break down our spirit as soil is broken down under the plough. Jesus said of those who would follow him and begin to break up the natural uncultivated hardness of their own soul by obedience to the word of God must not look back once they have started (Luke 9 v 62), but after the example of a ploughman we must keep our eyes focused on a mark at the end of the field as ploughmen do and always look forward to the end of the ploughing process which is the kingdom of God (manifested in the life of Jesus), and when that time comes our hearts must be wholly softened and humbled with fruit of obedience to the seed of the word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit to the honour of God, as Paul said of the same work that he did, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3 v 14). Breaking open our heart and softening our spirit to be able to produce the fruits of righteousness by the Holy Spirit so that the light can shine in our lives is figuratively described by Jeremiah and Hosea as a prerequisite for any approach unto worship of God, Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow

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The lifetime vow of baptism ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you (Hosea 10 v 12); (Jeremiah 4 v 3-4). Breaking down hard soil is not a once in a season work but is a continual process during the growing season by ploughing, exposure to the weather, harrowing, hoeing, sieving and weeding and watering. So likewise we must continually afflict our heart as part of the process of continual baptism by the Holy Spirit for the whole of the season of our life, because, as the soil of the ground always goes hard with time (even when it has been ploughed, harrowed and tilthed) so our heart naturally returns to hardness in time - even after our baptism - and it needs to be continuously broken open if the seeds of Gods word are to result in fruits that give the yield of righteous works that God requires, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Galatians 5 v 22-23). The fast of affliction, the softening of our heart the centre of our soul If we afflict our heart with mental fasting by thoughtful reflection on the meaning of the word of God as it applies to us (as we go about our daily business), if we allow the sharp blade of the word of God to break down the resistance of the effects of the enmity in our minds to admit all our wrong and repent, and so reduce our natural spirit to be compliant to the force of the word of God like a fine tilth is to the hoe, if we cast out the messengers of Satan of our temptations like casting stones out of the garden of our conscience, if we allow the Holy Spirit to enter our character like the wind aerates and freshens finely broken grains of earth, if we remove the seven things that God hates from our soul as they germinate like removing weeds as they grow in a cultivated plot, if we remember that we have no more right to the mercy of God than our fellow (Romans 9 v 15-23) and that we are so small in His creation that we cannot comprehend how God could notice us (Psalm 8), then we will have a broken heart in the scriptural sense, in the sense that the fast in word of God was intended to afflict us. This is what a spiritually broken heart is, and it is the basis of the fear of God and is the fundamental requirement that God needs to see in a heart which He can prepare unto eternal life and glory (Isaiah 57 v 15); (Isaiah 66 v 2); (Psalm 51 v 17); (Psalm 34 v 18). Despite his sufferings Jesus was a happy, cheerful, compassionate and friendly man even though while possessing these precious inward virtues he broke his own heart in this spiritual sense as an example and forerunner of all the faithful (who will be saints) have afflicted their hearts and been inwardly happy at the same time. This is an enigma to the enmity within us, it is a mystery to the mind of our flesh, it is incomprehensible to the Satan of our nature, because our nature will prompt us; how can we break our heart and be happy and cheerful? (Psalm 144 v 15); (Psalm 146 v 5); (Proverbs 3 v 13); (Proverbs 28 v 14). Without the work of spiritual ploughing in our heart and receiving the seed of the word of God there can be no hope of salvation for us, because the work of breaking open our heart is primarily an individual work within ourselves and requires no outward show to our neighbours, nor is it dependant on the support of our fellows as Paul wrote, Wherefore, my beloved, .work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2 v 12). In this way prayer is the essence of fasting as Jesus said, And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be

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The lifetime vow of baptism seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly (Matthew 6 v 5-15). The word of God - fulfilled in Jesus Christ - showed us that ploughing and harrowing of the natural spirit of our heart is an inward conviction in our minds and thoughts that we have no right to breath and live or to have the knowledge of the word of God except by the continual mercy of God, and that any (and all) of our neighbours have an equal opportunity with us to repent and love God, and that God will extend His mercy of forgiveness without partiality to those who do repent as it is written, Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly (Psalm 138 v 6). Ploughing, harrowing, fasting and afflicting of the soul is not an outward expression of the lips or of bodily depravation, but an inward conviction of the guilt of our sin before God, unworthiness of His mercy and gratitude for His grace (II Corinthians 12 v 7-10). In the processes of humbling our hearts, fasting breaks down the natural pride in our heart - the resistance to interpretation and application of the word of God to ourselves, afflicting our souls reduces and removes self-confidence in our own opinions, ploughing subdues and removes our feelings of self righteousness compared to others and breaking down the fallow ground of our heart causes us to cease from despising others even in trivial ways by acutely increasing our awareness of the kindness and patience of God towards us as an insignificant individual (Jeremiah 17 v 9-10), (Jeremiah 10 v 23); (Ecclesiastes 9 v 3); (Romans 7 v 19-24). Like the skilful hand steering the plough blade through the earth and the keen eye of the ploughman on the mark that he has set, so the Holy Spirit by the word of God will guide us to break open our heart so that we realise that we have no right to forgiveness of our sins in the mercy of God (Luke 7 v 6-7). Like the straight cut of the furrow when the plough blade exposes all that was previously hidden, so will we realise the shame of our own sinful nature and that no motive in our heart, mind and thoughts is hidden from God even as Jesus recognised that he was also (Psalm 73 v 217); (Hebrews 4 v 13); (Psalm 19 v 12). Like the wind and the weather enters the ploughed clods of earth and breaks them down to smaller pieces to make the ground soft, so will the Holy Spirit enter our soul and soften our emotions so we can understand, that in Gods eyes, our own sins are a bad as our neighbours and that there are no good sins or bad sins but that all sin carries the sentence of Gods curse as James and Paul wrote, For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2 v 10), For the wages of sin is death (Romans 6 v 23), O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (Romans 7 v 24). Like the wheels of the harrow that reduce the ploughed earth to a soft tilth, so the word of God will break down our heart to make us physically aware that Jesus was a mortal man in whom the enmity was never allowed to succeed (and therefore who never sinned) but nonetheless died for us a sinful people - so that we can be saved and we will begin to ask ourselves; would we give up any part of our life, our opinions or our feelings so that our neighbour who repented could be saved? (Romans 5 v 6-8). As we remove the stones of our stubborn self-righteousness (For

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The lifetime vow of baptism no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it (Ephesians 5 v 29) we will gain the precious conviction that God can choose to place His mercy in any other sinner in the world beside ourselves if He so chose and so we will fear Him for His remembrance of us (Romans 9 v 15-21) and But if any man love God, the same is known of him (I Corinthians 8 v 3) and (Galatians 4 v 9). Let us not be deceived into the practices of pagan worship, God does not require us to physically hurt or change ourselves in any way because we are made in the image of God and to deface ourselves or terminate our life is to do despite to the glory of the handiwork of God (I Kings 18 v 27-29); (Leviticus 19 v 28). Neither let us deceive ourselves into being hypocritical dour Christians, we are not required to look sad and mournful, severe or stern, nor are we required to wear sombre uniforms - on the contrary - we are to be bright and cheerful and to wear clothes that are appropriate for our circumstances (Matthew 6 v 16-18). What God does require of us is to break open our heart, to humble our heart so that we realise and acknowledge in all our private thoughts - and our prayers - that there is a living God from whom nothing is hidden, who sees all things and knows all things even all the thoughts of our mind and all the desires of our heart (Hebrews 4 v 13); (Zechariah 4 v 10); (Jeremiah 32 v 19); (Micah 6 v 8) and that God is everywhere present and reigns everywhere in His creation (Revelation 19 v 6). We cannot break down our heart while we are continually enveloped in the whirl of the rush and bustle of daily life in the 21st century, neither can we if we are wholly distracted by the attractions of the flesh, because this work of the Holy Spirit requires time to be set aside for quiet contemplation away from the things we must necessarily be occupied in to live our life. Because of this God has given us one day of the week to cease from the normal activities of our occupations in order to remember His mercy, to remember our sinfulness and to renew our vow of obedience by baptism in water. There is not a law to keep the seventh day of the week as that day because the teaching of the law of the Sabbath day from creation to Christ - was fulfilled by Jesus whose whole life was a Sabbath of rest, in that he put aside and rested from all the works of the enmity that normally occupy the time of mankind, in order that he could live a life of reflecting the glory of God in a mortal body while going about a normal life (Luke 6 v 5); (Mark 2 v 27-28) (where the meaning of rested is not because of tiredness but to cease from a work as finished). Nevertheless there is a need for us to set aside one day of the week so that we can rest from our daily tasks and distractions in order for us to regain our spiritual strength so that we can continue the ploughing of our heart throughout the next week, therefore if we are in Christ we need quietness away from the necessities and demands of daily life. Because we have been baptised into the death of Christ and risen again as new creatures (Romans 6 v 4-13) this day of rest is the first day of the week - chosen by God - because Jesus rose from the grave to a new life on that day (John 20 v 1 & 19); (Acts 2 v 7); (Acts 2 v 1) and if we are being continually baptised to stop our old man (the enmity) working - in accordance with our vow to die with him in the waters of baptism - then we have been raised from the grave of servitude to sin by baptism in water to begin a new life in the character of Jesus in our mortal state and our remembrance of this fact of our faith is to be the first day after his example (Romans 6 v 1-18).

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The lifetime vow of baptism The first day of the week is provided by God for us so that we can put God - and His purpose in Jesus - at the beginning of our week as a pattern of what is required of us, which is, that we are to put the law of Christ at the forefront of our thoughts in all our activities. Therefore the first day is provided for us to have time to remember God by renewal of our vow, by prayer and by reading and remembering the word of God so that that occupation sets the tone of our lives for the rest of the week in that the requirements of God must always come first in all of our thoughts, plans and activities for the rest of the week. If the requirements of God are at the forefront of our thoughts, then our conscience will guide us in our decisions and actions, by the knowledge of the word of God safely stored in our memory as glittering precious jewels. If we take advantage of the gift of the day of this weekly beginning, then as each day follows - with its many and varied thoughts and occupations - the remembrances of the first day will discipline our minds to make all our primary thoughts (our principal overriding thoughts that will guide us) a reflection of what God requires of us and will remind us of our responsibility to afflict our mind and heart in accordance with our vow at baptism by water and faith, and we will also realise that nobody else can be held responsible for our actions, whether they are good or bad. ********************* Chapter 49 The way of affliction of our heart Jesus said of those who will be his companion in the kingdom of God that they will be as sheep in the flock under his care (John 10). If we are indeed the sheep of the flock of Jesus then we will make time to find good pasture in which to rest in mental peace and quietness and ruminate on the word of God by remembering and considering the teaching of the word - like a sheep chews the cud, the grass that it has already eaten as the Psalmist wrote, I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands (Psalm 143 v 5); (I Timothy 4 v 15-16); (Psalm 1 v 2); (Psalm 23); (John 10 v 1-14). By quiet and private reflections on what we read and learn from the word of God we will afflict our soul by a fast of denying the urge to wander like sheep without a shepherd as we were before our baptism (Isaiah 53 v 6). When we pray with deliberate remembrance of our utter dependence upon the mercy of God and our insignificance in His sight, in the way that Jesus told us (Matthew 6 v 5-18) - and after the manner that we are taught in the Psalms - then our silent prayers will have the effect of re-humbling our heart and re-subduing our natural spirit before God, and our faithful silent and private prayers will be both the vehicle of fasting and affliction of our soul (Psalm 52); (Luke 6 v 12); (Luke 22 v 41-46) and the renewal of the hope of our salvation, Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; (Romans 12 v 12), where our prayer will be concluded through Jesus Christ by our amen as a conviction that Jesus - as our mediator (Hebrews 2 v 16-18); (Hebrews 4 v 15-16) - will set our prayer in the correct manner as incense (Psalm 141 v 2) and present them to God (Romans 8 v 26). If our inner desire is to obey God and be led by a merciful and forgiving shepherd in gratitude for His love to us, then we will keep ourselves close in spirit to all the other

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The lifetime vow of baptism sheep of Gods pasture who have lived and died since creation by reading their records in the bible and learning from their experiences, and our prayer to God through Jesus will be as foretold in the Song of Solomon, Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions? If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents (Song of Solomon 1 v 7-8). If our inner determination is to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit to glorify God (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance, (Galatians 5 v 22-23) in place of the carnal fruits of the flesh (Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings (Galatians 5 v 19-21) we will be careful labourers in the field of our own heart by consciously breaking down the natural hardness of our heart and deliberately throw out the stones and weeds of carnal temptation in a determined effort to overcome the effects of the enmity as they arise - after the example of Jesus when he was in the wilderness - because we will understand what the word of God teaches us and why because we want to understand it, Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground? When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rye in their place? For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him. (Isaiah 28 v 24-29) When we practice these things with diligence, our heart will be broken down in a scriptural sense and will be brought to a humbling acknowledgement that even though God provides all our life and our breath we still forget Him, and when we apply these simple disciplines to our daily life, we will not acknowledge, notice or count our good works but rather we will be ashamed of our failures and feel unworthy to be children of God (Matthew 25 v 33-40). When we do these things regularly we will remember that God allows us to sleep and awake refreshed (Psalm 127 v 2), that God gives us our faculties of sight to see His creation, of hearing to hear the sounds of His making. He has given us sense of smell, and the sensitivity of feeling to touch His handiwork, and we will acknowledge that we do use and misuse them without gratitude to Him. We will deeply acknowledge that God gives us our strength and abilities to be skilled in all manner of labour (Psalm 8 v 1-9), and has given us our emotions, to love, to be happy and to laugh, to remember, our intelligence and our ability to choose between right and wrong, and despite these blessings still we disobey His commands (Deuteronomy 30 v 11-16). Affliction of our heart by the fast of our prayers, humbling of our spirit by our chewing the cud of the word, and breaking of the resistance of the enmity by ploughing our heart will bring us to fully realise that even though God has given us His word and enlightenment by the Holy Spirit to understand the word, we easily forget what we learned and continue to satisfy our natural lusts and are therefore continually in debt to Him for forgiveness, and that all our sins no longer seem trivial to us but are sins that need the mercy of God for forgiveness. Contrition of our heart by fasting will bring to the front of our own mind that God has shown to us His mercy

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The lifetime vow of baptism and given us a hope that there will be a resurrection from the dead (Daniel 12 v 1-4); (I Corinthians 15 v 20-23), and that He has promised everlasting life to us who allow the work of His Holy Spirit to complete its work (I Corinthians 15 v 52-55), yet in spite of his we constantly forget Him and follow our own inclinations and increase our indebtedness to Him. Until we realise that we are naturally ungrateful and not worthy of any of His blessing - including life itself - and that He has witnessed all our wrong thoughts, actions and words, but still He keeps giving His blessings, then our heart is still hardened in sin (Romans 7 v 21-25). When we realise that we have no more right to any of Gods blessings over our neighbour (no matter how wicked they are) then our soul is being afflicted as God requires it to be which is the basis of our fear of God, it is the beginning of our reverence for Him, it is the foundation of the wisdom of God, the wisdom of Job in us as he righteously confessed (Job 42 v 1-6). This is the fast that God requires in all His people, and it has only been fulfilled perfectly as God required - in Jesus Christ, who humbled himself and became obedient to the cross (Philippians 2 v 8). By this way Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah and became the light of God, the repairer of the breach and the restorer of the path to salvation (Isaiah 58 v 5,10&12), and he killed all thoughts of the enmity that are always contrary to the will of God with the fiery sword of that word before they became the fruits of sin (Matthew 4 v 1-11); (Hebrews 2 v 17-18), (Hebrews 4 v 15). ********************* Chapter 50 Jesus became the light of the world by afflicting his soul Let us not deceive ourselves, our fasting (by concentrated short prayer, (Matthew 6 v 9-15) and affliction (by introspective meditation, (Matthew 6 v 16-18) is to be as God requires and not as an outward show of sad countenances with disfigured faces, superior attitudes or bodily isolation from non-believers, nor of religious uniforms or pious rituals, but our affliction (which is to be inward in our thoughts) is to be balanced by our cheerful character, a ready smile, a firm handshake, a sincere embrace and most of all, an alert sensitivity both to our own spiritual frailty and to that of our neighbours, as being examples of those who fully appreciate the blessings of God on the believer and non-believer, as Paul wrote, be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity (I Timothy 4 v 12) which is after the example of Jesus (I Chronicles 11 v 1) who afflicted his own soul and was afflicted by his neighbours as it is written, For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps (I Peter 2 v 21-25). This example of Jesus Christ is pure unadulterated religion as required by God of which James wrote, Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world (James 1 v 27), where the world is human nature) and this is the same spiritual fast and affliction (after Christ) as the fast and affliction that Isaiah prophesied (before Christ) concerning he who would be light of the world, the repairer of the breach and the restorer of the path of salvation (Isaiah 58).

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The fast - the affliction of the soul that Jesus accomplished in accordance with what God required and if we are in Christ by baptism is required of us - is: To loose the bands of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, To break every yoke, To deal thy bread to the hungry, To bring the poor that are cast out into thine house, To cover the naked when they are seen, To see ones own flesh as it really is in Gods eyes, To remove the yoke, To not put forth the finger (accusing or despising others), To not speak vanity (boasting and self righteousness or importance), To draw out thy soul unto the hungry, To satisfy the afflicted soul, when this is done: THEN shall thy light break forth as the morning, and Thy light shall rise in obscurity, and Thy darkness shall be as the noon day (Isaiah 58 v 6-10). When we do these things, let us never feel important, let us never feel self-righteous, neither let us never count our good deeds, because we cannot do these things without the intercession of Christ - to God for His mercy - to enlighten our eyes by the continual baptism of the Holy Spirit, so that we can be humbled by that Spirit, in order to be able to have compassion on those who cannot repay us or who are publicly despised, or we will be like those who Jesus spoke of; Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7 v 22-23). Jesus was the light of the world which is our assurance and example that he fulfilled all the details of this prophecy, in that he afflicted his soul without fault as God

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The lifetime vow of baptism required, that he fasted in the way that God intended the fast to be (of the mind not just the body), that he became the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in, the maker and author of the way of salvation as Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14 v 6) and as Paul later wrote of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the vail, that is to say, his flesh; (Hebrews 10 v 20), so that we - who are sinners - could have the hope of the forgiveness of our sins (Romans 5 v 6-8). The fulfilling of this prophecy in Jesus Christ was the fast that all bodily fasting (as required in the law) was intended to teach, it was the continual affliction of his righteous character by prayer and meditation that were taught in the law of the days of afflicting the soul, and it was inspired wholly by the Holy Spirit which Jesus knew was the only way of affliction of the soul that was acceptable to God, and resulted in a life of obedience to God - by sacrifice of temptation - in the full power of the love of God to give honour and glory to Him and to embrace his friends in love and mercy (John 15 v 12-14). The prophesy applies exclusively to Jesus Christ, but as we are baptised into his death and have risen as new creatures in him we also must reflect the same characteristics that were seen in him. The fast and affliction of Jesus, the death of the enmity, the hope of our baptism To loose the bands of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, To break every yoke, (Isaiah 58 v 6) God had said of these, Is not this the fast that I have chosen? These bands, burdens, oppressions and yokes are not limited to the people of Israel in the days of Isaiah to whom they were addressed but are the effects of the work of the enmity that have afflicted mankind since the curse of God upon Adam and Eve. The work to be done in the 'fast' that God has chosen was to release the power of the grip of the enmity and then to remove it entirely, thus reconciling man with God. It was foretold in the promise of God to Abraham, ..and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies (Genesis 22 v 17-18). This seed is a singular seed as it is written, Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ (Galatians 3 v 16). The enemy is the enemy of God, the devil, Satan, the adversary, human nature, the world, the flesh, the carnal mind and many other titles. In bible times the gate in walled cities was the place of rulership, counsel, authority, law-making and judgement (Deuteronomy 16 v 18-20). The city - which had the gate to be possessed - is the city of the world which is anywhere that human nature rules uncontested in an individual or in a collection of individuals (I John 2 v 15-17). The motive spirit and power of the city of the world is the enmity - placed there by God in His curse - and

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The lifetime vow of baptism (like the serpent from which it came) is always against the laws of God (Romans 8 v 7-8). The inhabitants of that city of the world include every individual that has been born (Ephesians 2 v 2-3 & 11-13). The power of the gate is the enmity which is the authority of the counsel of this city of moral behaviour and is absolute in all men and women. Until Christ came no man or women had been able to overcome it and destroy it. The work of Jesus was to succeed where all others had failed (Isaiah 61 v 1-3); (Luke 4 v 18-19), and for this victory (to remove the bands, burdens, oppressions and yokes in himself and others) Jesus knew that he would have to be stronger than the devil within him, to be stronger than his own nature, to resist and overcome every temptation motivated by the enmity, and it was of this struggle, warfare and victory that Jesus spake when he was accused of being the devil himself (Beelzebub). Jesus said, When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace, but when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh away from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils (Luke 11 v 17-23); (Mark 3 v 23-27); (Matthew 12 v 25-29). The strong man was the enmity in Jesus and the stronger than he was the Holy Spirit working in Jesus. By obedience to the word of God, Jesus slew the enmity and possessed the seat of the counsel of the enmity - the gate of Gods enemy - in his own heart (out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies Matthew 15 v 19) and established the foundation of a new spiritual city of whose gate was the counsel of God, and this was the city that Abraham looked for (Hebrews 11 v 10-16), the same city that Paul described as heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12 v 22), and as John saw a city prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (Revelation 21 v 1-27). In this way Jesus removed the bands, burdens, oppressions and yokes of the enmity and made the way possible for salvation of others by obedience to the laws of the Holy Spirit and by forgiveness of sins as he said, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11 v 28). In this way Jesus became the firstborn seed of a new community of spiritual citizens by faith separated by time and distance who would be born and built as a city which one day will be made of many people resurrected from the dead and will be freed for ever from the clutches of the enmity (Ephesians 2 v 19-22). ********************* Chapter 51 The fast and affliction of Jesus lit up the mercy of God By the work of fasting and affliction described in the last chapter Jesus became a covering for the sins of others, and God had shown that for there to be a covering for the shame of sin there must be a death by the shedding of blood, as taught when God provided animal skins to cover nakedness and shame necessitating the shedding of blood (Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them Genesis 3 v 21). This was the first sacrifice and blood was shed to teach about the victory of Jesus over the enmity to provide a covering for the shame of sin, and taught that it was necessary for Jesus die voluntarily under the direction of God (I John 4 v 10); (Genesis 22 v 10-18). The faith of all believers - from Abel unto

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The lifetime vow of baptism us in these days - is that Christ Jesus would be both the son of man and the son of God and would be the only mortal man who would preserve an unblemished and faultless upright character until his death (as son of man) and would in humble obedience to the will of God his Father break his own natural spirit (the effects of the enmity) by mental fasting, prayer and meditative affliction (as son of God), and through his lifesacrifice would provide a covering for the sins of his friends by allowing his physical body to be overcome in death by the shedding of his blood, so that we - sinful characters - could have hope of release from the bondage of sin (Isaiah 53 v 1-12); (Romans 5 v 6-8). The life and death of Jesus is all the more remarkable in that even though born a son of Adam and never sinned and or ever forgot to apply one word of God in his life, he mixed with sinners and had compassion on those who were sinners, and died to save those who did forget Gods goodness (Matthew 9 v 10-13); (Matthew 11 v19); (Luke 7 v 3-50); (Luke 15 v 7); (Luke 10; 19 v 7). By this means Jesus showed to the whole of the human race in every generation the meaning and power of the name of God in his mortal body, Merciful, gracious, long suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin, and by no means clearing the guilty (unrepentant) (or as Tyndale originally translated for no man is innocent before Him William Tyndale 1534) (Exodus 34 v 6-7); (Isaiah 7 v 14-15); (John 1 v 14); (1 Timothy 3 v 16). Thus Jesus showed us the power of the mercy and grace of God - hidden in the name of God - by the work of his life (Emmanuel, God with us) a work he completed in his death on the cross as he had prayed, I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them (John 17 v 6 & 26). This work of Jesus Christ is the confirmation and fulfilment of the fast and affliction that Isaiah wrote of (Isaiah 58) and of which Jesus said of himself Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11 v 2830). But what are the bands of wickedness, the heavy burdens and the yoke? (Isaiah 58 v 6) ********************* Chapter 52 The yoke of the enmity An unbalanced burden is impossible to bear, so a yoke is designed to balance the weight of the load so that man or beast can transport heavy loads as confirmed by the law against unequal yoking of beasts of burden, Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together (Deuteronomy 22 v 10). A badly made yoke - or a good yoke improperly loaded - will quickly bring the bearer to exhaustion as a captive of the burden. We are born in the image of God with the balanced weight of responsibility

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The lifetime vow of baptism (Gods law on one side and His promises on the other) to obey Him in return for our life, but are also yoked to the enmity by our lineage through our parents according to the curse of God. Due to the fickleness of the effects of the enmity in human nature that yoke is unbalanced because of the opposing forces of the word of God and the lusts of the enmity, which makes the yoke of our weaknesses impossibly heavy as we struggle between obedience to God and satisfaction of temptation where the burdens of that unbalanced yoke are our sins (Hebrews 12 v 1-4). The result is that progress in sanctification unto salvation is prevented in the same way that a prisoner is prevented from moving freely outside his or her cell walls. The yoke of the enmity (unlike the balanced yoke that Jesus Christ spoke of - Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11 v 28) is bound to us like an iron band and a weighted shackle (such that slaves were made to bear to prevent their escape) that holds us in a prison of iniquity due to our transgression of the law of God and from which like a slave to sin, or a convict of crime - we cannot escape by any power our own. Let no one deceive themselves into thinking they are not, for all sin great or small - is sin against God. The 'yoke' of the enmity is like a living prison where the bounding walls are the shackles of pride, 'chains' of hypocrisy, 'bands' of self-righteousness and the 'squalor' is ignorance of Gods will (Luke 11 v 42-53) which walls need to be knocked down, and where the gates and doors of the prison are the yokes are our spiritual blindness, stubborn deafness, indolent lameness, and sleepy lethargy (Luke 7 v 22) which all need to be opened and awakened. These bands, shackles and yokes are the oppressing loads of guilt when we recognise our true position in the eyes of God and it results in private shame of ourselves before God (those who do not recognise their own sinfulness, deny the existence of the 'yoke' and shackles). It was Jesus alone who made a way possible for our release from captivity - provided we recognise that we are overburdened captives to sin - as was foretold of him, The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound (Isaiah 61 v 1-3); (Luke 4 v 17-20). As the yoke that we are burdened with by the enmity is not even and balanced (but is like an ox and an ass ploughing together under the same yoke, (Deuteronomy 22 v 10), so there is a motive in every man and woman (like a stubborn ass) to do what we consider to be right and convenient to ourselves in contradiction to the ox-like strength of the word of God which - acting alone - results in the ploughing of a character as a straight furrow, but - acting with the ass - is chaotic and crooked. Within our own conscience the ass-like effects of the enmity burdens us with conflicts and contradictions by a myriad of diverse temptations to scratch our carnal 'itches', our 'blind spots' to truth and 'uncertainties of absolute allegiance' to God - from whence we get our fickle and changeable temperament, as Paul wrote of us, henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Ephesians 4 v 14). The tempting effects of the enmity can never be balanced with our conscience if our heart is made sensitive to the word of God by the Holy Spirit, nor can it be in equilibrium with our sense of right and wrong learned solely from the bible (Romans

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The lifetime vow of baptism 2 v 14-15), nor can it be equal and balanced with the mind and will of God (Ezekiel 18 v 29-32). Let us not deceive ourselves, the yoke of the enmity is the bittersweetness of the 'strange' woman who is smooth of manners with her psuedo-demure attire, flattering of words with her full sensuous lips and devastatingly powerful with her flickering eyes, ready to convince us that our load of the guilt of sin is small and trivial, whereas in reality it is hard and heavy with no hope of redemption (Proverbs 2 v 16-20); (Proverbs 7 v 5-27). The yoke of the oxen (the yoke that Jesus referred to as easy), the yoke of our vow of obedience to God is perfectly balanced and even though it brings the heavy burden of affliction of the soul through obedience to the will of God to break up and soften our stubborn heart, it is perfectly balanced, entirely unbiased and can easily be controlled by a humble heart of faith - as Elisha showed us in single-handedly controlling his twelve yoke of oxen (I Kings 19 v 19), because, for every cut of the blade (or sword) of the Holy Spirit in our conscience, for every trial of our faith in the justice and reality of God, for every test of our love for Jesus and for every fiery experience of fighting our lusts there is the equally balanced hope and counterbalancing joy of the mercy of God in the forgiveness of our sins and a renewal of our hope in the promise of everlasting life after resurrection from the dead. ********************* Chapter 53 Bands of wickedness The Hebrew word for bands used here is to cut the skin in the same way that a band of iron, steel or brass would cut the ankles, wrists and neck of slaves who were held captive by a cruel master and for those who sought to escape the result would be pain and bleeding. God has justly placed mankind in the grip of the bands of the enmity - the most cruel of masters - under whose regime we are born, where we by nature view ourselves as free to wander where we will, but always faced with the prospect of the painful bands of sentence to an eternal grave because of our repeated transgressions which is another word for our denial of the authority of God. Jesus came to deliver those who desire to escape the dominion of the enmity and recognise the bands of their sins with pain of heart and the loss of lifes opportunities, as Paul wrote of the bands of his captivity to sin, O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?, I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 7 v 9-25). These bands of wickedness were first put on by Adam and Eve through their lust which was eventually satisfied by eating of the forbidden fruit. This wandering desire has been perpetuated by mankind since (Romans 5 v 17); (Romans 6 v 16) and is confirmed by God as secure in His curse on mankind, but although Jesus was susceptible to the grip of this same curse - unlike Adam and Eve and every other descendant of them - he never allowed the fetters and bands of wickedness to grip him through transgression, by resisting any part of his mind or soul to wander from keeping the word of God in all its detail, and although he died as any other man did, the bands of his death were temporary as God was justified in removing them from him for ever by resurrection from the dead and then from mortality, because he was

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The lifetime vow of baptism unfettered by any sin of his own (Hebrews 12 v 1), (Psalm 16 v 8-11); (Psalm 119 v 11). Thus he removed in himself the bands of the wickedness of transgression, and by his death Jesus made a way possible whereby his many friends could also be released from the bands of the enmity - never again to experience the pain of transgressing the law of God - as it is written of the glory in store for those who resist the power of the enmity, And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Revelation 21 v 4) The heavy burden of guilt Although Jesus bore the burden of the shame of sinful human nature on the cross to glorify his Father in His condemnation of mortal flesh, he never bore the burden of the shame of any sins of his own, but by his death brought relief for those who have the heavy burdens of shame of their sins (Galatians 3 v 13); (I Peter 2 v 20-25). Although he bore no guilty burden of his own sin, he took upon himself the burdens of the sins of his friends as Isaiah wrote, All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53 v 6). Like clinging brambles, tearing thorns and stinging nettles, the burden of human temptation acts like a snare in that the more we attempt to free ourselves of guilt by excusing ourselves or blaming our neighbours, the more entangled we become in the undergrowth of the fickle nature of our own heart and mind. For our salvation, Jesus founded the way of freedom and liberty from the clinging snares of the thorny brambles of human nature to the freedom of the tree of life by rooting out all the suckers of temptation as they arose in his mind by the action of the flaming sword of the Holy Spirit inspired word of God, before they could mature into the thorns, brambles and nettles of sin, and by righteousness, faith and love and Jesus gave hope to those of us who are oppressed by the guilt of our own disobedience (Genesis 3 v 24); (Hebrews 10 v 19-23); (Psalm 23 v 1-6); (John 14 v 6) and who recognise that the grave is our just reward apart from the mercy of God. In this way, Jesus became the light of the world. ********************* Chapter 54 Jesus became the light of the world. Baptism by water into the death of Jesus Christ and continued baptism by the Holy Spirit brings responsibility to inwardly fast by prayer and meditative thoughts and to afflict our souls by breaking down our own feelings of worthiness after the way shown by Isaiah in chapter 58. The work described in verse 6 (Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?, Isaiah 58 v 6) applies exclusively to the work Jesus did for us by becoming the light of the world, but because we are part of his body by baptism we also are to be lights of the world as Jesus told us and therefore we have a responsibility, in his name and the name of his Father, to remove heavy burdens and oppressing yokes of our fellow trespassers (who show genuine repentance) by forgiving their sins as we have had our sins forgiven, by

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The lifetime vow of baptism baptising them in water, or by forgiving them if it is after their baptism by water (John 20 v 23); (Matthew 18 v 15-19); (Matthew 16 v 19), (Luke 17 v 4). ********************* Chapter 55 The fast of continual baptism What is required of us? Let us not excuse ourselves with a show of sombre faced religious piety, long sermons and lofty eloquent prayers - Jesus has showed us what the new and living way of baptism by the Holy Spirit is, and how we can be the light of the world, what is required of us is to follow his example which fulfilled all scripture, as it is written, deal thy bread to the hungry, then shall thy light break forth (Isaiah 58 v 7) Jesus is the bread of life (John 6 v 48) and he has - in his compassion - shared with us the bread of his body which is the symbol of the victory of his love and faith over the enmity, a gift which he foretold by a miraculous demonstration when he shared his meagre rations with the 4000 and 5000 hungry people, and by a greater miracle has satisfied our hunger for the hope of salvation (Mark 6 v 34-44); (Mark 8 v 1-9). No other man or woman could be the fulfilment of the symbol of that bread which was first given by God in the manna - as a sign - to the hungry children of Israel in their wilderness journey and those meagre grains of manna that kept the whole congregation alive and fully nourished for 40 years, and was the food by which God sustained them entirely until they entered the Promised Land (John 6 v 31-35); (Exodus 16 v 11-15); (Joshua 5 v 12). To confirm the figure of bread as the sign of the body of Jesus Christ it was incorporated in the law of the sacrifice for all generations up to Christ (and by it's teaching - us after Christ), that no sacrificed animal-offering was permitted without an offering of unleavened bread accompanied by wine, signifying his body and blood respectively (Numbers 15 v 3-5). God decreed that part of the bread of the meat (bread) offering under the law (Leviticus 2 v 1-3) was to be burnt on the altar of burnt offering and the remainder was to be eaten by the high priest and his sons, to teach us who have been brought close to God by adoption through baptism of the need for intimate spiritual 'digestive and nutritional' association with the sacrifice of Christ (by the Holy Spirit) where the bread - and its accompanying animal sacrifice - symbolise the victory of Jesus over the enmity in his death on the cross (John 6 v 48-58). This figure was entirely fulfilled when Jesus Christ (the anointed eternal High Priest) inaugurated the sacraments of the bread and wine with his disciples and those who obey his command to this do in remembrance of me (Luke 22 v 17-20) and thus ended the ritual of the law. The private warfare that Jesus fought against the enmity, the experiences that were endured from the enmity in his neighbours and the victory he won over the enmity in

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The lifetime vow of baptism his mortal body are embodied in the symbol of the bread which Jesus ordained to be freely shared among his friends so that they also - without partiality or preference could have the hope of salvation by forgiveness of their sins for which reason he died (Matthew 26 v 26-29); (Mark 14 v 22-25); (Luke 22 v 18-20); (I Corinthians 11 v 2328). This command - to share this hope of his victory - was the fulfilment of the compassion Jesus showed when he fed the 5000 and 4000 hungry people in the wilderness (Matthew 14 v 15-21); (Matthew 15 v 32-39). By obeying the command of Jesus to eat and drink bread and wine on the first day of the week and sincerely renew the vow of our watery baptism, we submit ourselves to continual baptism by the Holy Spirit, which Spirit is replenished (after the figure of the Aaronic high priest who was instructed to replenish the olive oil in the seven branched candlestick twice every day at the time of the continual burnt offering with bread and wine) by the intercession of Jesus Christ to his Father. It was on the first day of the week that Jesus first gave the apostles the gift of the 'Comforter', the Holy Spirit (John 14 v 16 & 26); (John 20 v 19-23), not to perform miracles (that fullness came later on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2 v 1-4), but to enable the enmity to be overcome within them so the light of the Holy Spirit could shine brightly through their characters. Without the weekly food of faith in the bread and wine - with the gifted measure of the Holy Spirit to give light and strength which increases with our weekly efforts to overcome - we cannot have hope of completing the journey of our salvation in the wilderness of our nature to reach the kingdom of God. Let us remember eating bread and wine alone cannot do anything for our salvation, anybody can do that, but eating with faith and understanding by the Holy Spirit requires the gift and mercy of God. Jesus is the bread of life who freely and compassionately gave his body to his friends and by this we became the light of the world, but what are we required to do to fulfil Jesus words that we are to be lights of the world? We are to be living examples of the character of Christ and in so doing we are to silently preach the gospel by our quiet and compassionate manner of life and actions, always bounded by the words of God, as Paul wrote, Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man (Colossians 4 v 6) where speech is our manner of life and salt is a figure of the influence of the Holy Spirit in a believer (Matthew 5 v 13-16); (Mark 9 v 49-50); (Luke 14 v 34-35). If the Holy Spirit is active within us it will be seen in our character, we will be lights to the world in that we live in and among the world (the enmity) but do not allow it to rule us but show a meek and quiet spirit. At the same time, we cannot by our fervent zeal of righteousness prevent (by our example, our teachings, judgements or any action) our baptised neighbour from eating the bread of life as equals with us (Galatians 6 v 1-8); (II Corinthians 4 v 1-7), as it is God who withholds and removes the gift of the Holy Spirit and He will make it abundantly clear when He does so. We can never accept payment for any work of preaching the gospel, nor can we sell books, leaflets or any other service in the name of God and Jesus, neither can we personally accept money (other than for the furtherance of the preaching the Gospel), goods in kind, praise, honour or adulation from any source as a result of the preaching of the gospel whether by our charitable manner of life or in our work of spreading the gospel, for said Jesus freely ye have received, freely give (Matthew 10 v 8) as he fulfilled the words of Isaiah, Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no

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The lifetime vow of baptism money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (Isaiah 55 v 1-3) Jesus has shown us by compassionately sharing and mercifully giving us the bread of his body - that we can be a light of this world and hold the hope of everlasting life. We are to follow his example, to singularly 'love' God and our neighbour as God loves us, to be 'joyful' and happy in outlook because of our hope, to be 'peaceful' in our heart and dealings with our fellows because of our belief, to be 'longsuffering' with others as God is with us, to be 'gentle' with transgressors as a nurse with a patient, to be 'faithful' in our way of life to God and to our neighbours in time of need, to be 'meek' in not asserting ourselves over our fellow and 'temperate' with no excess in anything (over righteous or wickedness), which example (Galatians 5 v 22-23) will be the standard against which we will be judged when Jesus returns (Daniel 12 v 1-3); (John 5 v 28-29); (Revelation 20 v 12-13). Jesus said concerning the judgment of those who do his work faithfully Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for youFor I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in ..Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me (Matthew 25 v 31-46). What else is required of us to follow Jesus? ********************* Chapter 56 ..bring the poor that are cast out into thine house ... then shall thy light break forth (Isaiah 58 v 7) In a literal sense, Jesus had no house in which to take the poor during his three and a half year ministry (Luke 9 v 58) but this did not prevent him from fulfilling the will of God prophesied by Isaiah. Jesus had had a physical home with Joseph and Mary but chose to give the effort of his whole life in the service of preparing to build up his Fathers spiritual house, a house of faith that would become a united body of people, the house spoken of to king David, He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. (II Samuel 7 v 13). At the early age of 12 years Jesus understood this work and said to his parents who were searching for him, wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? (Luke 2 v 49) where business is the Greek word for house. For Jesus to do this work in the spirit of his character, he was required to submit to God his Father through His word and follow the example of a master craftsman (he was a skilled carpenter) - in the preparing of 'spiritual' building stones and timbers for a 'physical' house made up of many people. His soul was to be shaped and squared as a cornerstone, his character was to many other be cut and shaped as a timber king-post is fashioned and all aspects of his life were to be analogous to many other building parts. As a mortal being he was hewn out' (born) of the earthiness and rocks of mankind, he was cut out' (separated by faith) of the race of the 'forest' of his fellow men, the misshapen edges of the effects of the enmity natural in all of us were cut off as he laid

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The lifetime vow of baptism the square and plummet of the word of God against his character (Isaiah 28 v 16-17). His character was hewn, shaped and polished by obedience, his soul was refashioned and formed by experience and his spirit was restored - by submission to the law - to what God had created in the beginning, being reclaimed by killing the enmity to become the foundation corner stone on the house of God (Luke 20 v 17-18). We are to be fitted to this stone (I Peter 2 v 2-10) in a spiritual house of immortal beings as was shown to King David (II Samuel 7 v 12-16); (I Chronicles 17 v 1-27). The stones, rafters, doors, fittings and artefacts of this house are the poor of this world, not necessarily poor in terms of wealth (Abraham, Job and Joseph of Aremathea were wealthy) but poor in spirit, despised as weak by those of the enmity, rejected as religious misfits by the ungodly and often hated by their own fellows who profess to be religious. These are the poor whom Jesus called blessed, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5 v 3), they are the afflicted ones - the ones who broke open their own hearts as the word of God requires, they are the contrite in spirit who patiently endure the trials brought about by obedience to the will of God through baptism by the Holy Spirit (Psalm 51 v 17); (Psalm 34 v 18). These are those for whom Jesus prepared the way to be brought into the house of God, which house he made so much his home that he became the temple of God (John 2 v 19-21), (Mark 11 v 15-17). These poor are those who are despised and cast out by their self-righteous peers and indignant fellows as the blind man was cast out by the Pharisees because of his innocent believe in the power of the compassion of the miracle Jesus, They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. (John 9 v 1-41). To be cast out means to be afflicted by being despised as worthless and rejected of no value or consequence due to a self-afflicted and humbled spirit, it is to be mocked as being weak for being humble, it is to be scorned because of innocent obedience to the word of God, it is to be falsely accused and condemned and to be denied forgiveness of sins even when repentance is evident. The poor have never been numerous in any generation but have often had to nurtured their spiritual poverty in the company of those who claim poverty but are in fact rich in the deeds of the enmity (Revelation 3 v 17). They are those who quietly work their way (one by one) through the commands of Christ in the privacy of their lives, who patiently endure the tests of their faith and carefully endure the reshaping of their characters by the applying the knowledge of the enlightenment that continual baptism of the Holy Spirit brings (Hebrews 11 v 36-40); (Revelation 6 v 9-11) which is to reverence the merciful, compassionate and long-suffering name of God. To bring the poor that are cast out into thine house was the work that Jesus Christ did and he proved it by befriending those who were despised by the elders and church leaders of his day, like the sinner woman (Luke 7 v 36-50), the blind man who was healed (John 9 v 34-38) and the disciples who were rated as unlearned and ignorant men (Acts 4 v 31). None of these could repay Jesus for his kindness, nor can we because we are indebted to him as a servant is to his master, therefore we can only show the value of our gratitude to God by helping others who cannot possibly repay us in both practical and spiritual ways (Luke 6 v 27-38); (Luke 14 v 12-13). Furthermore, if we bring those who recognise and confess their lack of the riches of righteousness to the warmth of the house of God by faith, if we bring these poor - that

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The lifetime vow of baptism are cast out by religious professors - into the body of Christ which we have made our home, we are showing that we are not ashamed of these fellows in their destitute condition and pitifully lowly position in the eyes of outside observers as the good Samaritan did (Luke 10 v 30-37). If we associate with these poor and bring them by faith into the warmth of the spiritual house of God, we are acknowledging our own shame before God by showing that we are also poor (in Gods eyes) and depend entirely on his mercy for forgiveness of our sins. Jesus was not ashamed of us and thus became the light of the world, which means that there is no reason for us to be ashamed of our association with repentant sinners. We cannot repeat the work of Jesus but we are baptised into his death and have put on Christ, so we had better be sure what is required of us. The poor in spirit (as taught in the word of God) will never be popular in the spiritual 'markets and bazaars' of the world of religious groups and opinion, and they will not always be obvious among the crowds of human beings, because we have not been given power by the Holy Spirit to read the innermost feelings of our the hearts of our fellows. This means that we aught never to be ashamed or hesitate to do compassionate good deeds to any man, women or child of whatever social status they are who cannot repay us (for we may not always know whether they are poor in spirit or not), but if they call for help it is our duty and responsibility to help them to embrace the hope of salvation and we must never hesitate as Peter wrote, But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (I Peter 3 v 15). We will have no excuse when we are examined by Jesus Christ at his judgement seat, if we fail to take the poor in spirit into the house of God - the house of faith that we have made our spiritual home because Jesus has commanded us, And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. (Luke 6 v 31); (I Corinthians 3 v 16-17); (I Corinthians 6 v 19). Only in this way - by following the example of Jesus whose mind and body became the temple of God and was open to all who came to him in sincerity - can we hope to be lights of the world, because on this basis we are going to be judged by The Light of the world when he returns (Daniel 12 v 1-3); (John 5 v 28-29) as Jesus will say to those who have done so, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for youFor I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in ..Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me (Matthew 25 v 31-46). Bringing the poor into the spiritual house of God that has become our home in spirit, who have been cast out and despised by the world of religious hypocrites is but part of the work that will make us into lights of the world because as Isaiah foretold of Jesus Christ, we are also to cover the naked when we see them. ********************* Chapter 57

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The lifetime vow of baptism ..cover the naked when they are seen ... then shall thy light break forth (Isaiah 58 v 7) If we are the 'poor' of this world we will - by reformed nature - be ashamed of the nakedness of our own body and have an instinct to cover ourselves if we become exposed, as well as being equally ashamed at seeing the nakedness our fellows and immediately reacting to cover our eyes from their nakedness. This is our natural response to a subconscious moral recognition of the guilt of our sinfulness which was first experienced by Adam and Eve after they transgressed the law of God (Genesis 3 v 6-8). Our instinctive physical shame is a potent reminder to ourselves of the need for spiritual guilt of our sinfulness before God (and shame of that of our fellows). It is required in us to understand how God has used our natural inclination to cover our physical nakedness to teach a similar need for a covering of spiritual shame. God has provided a covering for the nakedness of our sin with the shed blood of Jesus Christ as was prefigured in the animal whose blood was shed when God slew it to provide covering coats for the bodily shame of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3 v 21). The work of Jesus by the Holy Spirit was to provide this covering for those who acknowledged their nakedness because of sins, and he showed the power of that work in the miracle of the healing of the mentally sick man called Legion who lived naked among the tombs in his madness (Luke 8 v 26-36). This man illustrated the true nature of us all in the eyes of God - spiritually mad and totally naked due to sin - and God gave his beloved son as a sacrifice that by his blood we may obtain both spiritual sanity and be clothed with the righteousness example of Jesus Christ to cover our sins because of our shame and to wash them away in the mercy of God (I John 4 v 9-11); (Galatians 3 v 27). Let us not deceive ourselves, every time we sin we remove the covering of the life of Christ and re-expose ourselves in the eyes of God and soil our characters. If therefore we do not recognise our sin, we remain uncovered and soiled before God and thus continue in our sin, consequently staying guilty - without shame - which is presumptive sin for which there is no forgiveness (Exodus 34 v 7), but if we acknowledge our sin with inward shame and anger at ourselves, then by a sincere renewal of our vow of baptism by water and by submitting to the continual baptism by the Holy Spirit in the eating and drinking of the bread and wine of Jesus, we can be assured by faith, that we have been washed and re-covered with the life blood of Christ by the forgiveness of our sins and that we can then renew our efforts not to become unclothed by repeated sin. If we rejoice in this glorious hope as a reality, then we will show our gratitude by sharing this joy with fellow sinners who are likewise remorseful, and by allowing admission to the table of the sacraments in our house of the temple of God (admission first by baptism in water then by uniting in faith at the table) we will acknowledge that as our nakedness is re-covered, so a covering of our naked fellows is also provided in the way that Jesus intended the covering of his life blood to be when he instituted the feast of remembrance to replace the feast of the Passover. It is part of the work of the enmity within us to make our own coverings which are more convenient to us than the pain and ignominy of the sacrifice of a life (as Adam and Eve did who sewed fig leaves together) but God has provided only one covering

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The lifetime vow of baptism and that is the sacrifice of the despised and rejected mortal man, Jesus Christ, whose living continual sacrifice we must participate in by the action of the continual fire of the Holy Spirit as he did, which was confirmed by Paul, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12 v 1-2). When we are exposed to the admitted nakedness of sin in our fellows, our reaction must be the same as in the natural, we must be ashamed as if it were us who had sinned (for no man is innocent before God) and there must be - as in the natural - an instant covering of our eyes, therefore we must never examine their deeds more than is necessary for us to know that it is unclean, but rather examine the sincerity of their shame and if it is according to scriptural teaching we must quickly provide the comforting covering of the mercy God that has been shown to our nakedness, and bring them closer to the warmth of the house of God by baptism in water or by admission to the table. Let us consider carefully, when we are shocked by exposure to the uncleanness of our fellows, we are to be reminded that that is how we appear before God by nature and show our admission by making speed to cover their shame, not by hiding it from sight as if it had never happened and covering it with the excuses of the fig leaf, but by helping them and ourselves to understand how our covering garment was made to slip in sin, and to find a way to avoid the transgression again. In this way the naked - and ourselves - will benefit and both will be warned and brought closer together, because lest we forget - the shame of our sins became the shame of Jesus as he hung upon the cross, and so we will continue to look unto Jesus in faith as Paul instructed, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12 v 2). Let us never forget, Jesus took the guilt and shame of our sins upon himself and died on the cross to provide a covering for all manner of sins that are repented of (Luke 7 v 36-50); (Isaiah 53 v 4-6). Only by following the example and teaching of Jesus can we hope to be a light of the world and on this basis we are going to be judged when Jesus returns (Daniel 12 v 13); (John 5 v 28-29) as said Jesus concerning that judgment Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for youfor I was naked and ye clothed me. Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me (Matthew 25 v 31-46). But before we can do these things we have got to see our own flesh as it really is in Gods eyes. then shall thy light break forth. It is the strength of the enmity within us to look upon our neighbour as inferior to us due to their sins (in other words to point the finger) whilst forgetting or minimising our own sins, as Isaiah continued (Isaiah 58 v 9) and Jesus fulfilled his word. ********************* Chapter 58 ..hide not thyself from thine own flesh then shall thy light break forth (Isaiah 58 v 7)

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The scriptures tell that us the only way we can understand this and do it, is for us to look at ourselves in a mirror and remember that the reflection will tell us the truth of what we are with spots, warts, wrinkles, scars, blemishes and deformities, but let us take heed, we soon forget what we really look like when we turn away from the mirror, as James said of the effects of the enmity, For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. (James 1 v 23-24). Reading and remembering the word of God will show to us what our flesh - the enmity and all its many disguises - is are really like, but, like a looking in a mirror of glass, if we turn away from remembrance of the word of God we will quickly forget all our weaknesses - our spiritual spots, warts, wrinkles, scars, blemishes and deformities. The closer we privately examine the word of God as every word applying to ourselves, the more we will see the true state of our own flesh and the better we will be equipped to do the word, rather than just to hear it like a pleasant song as James wrote, But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (James 1 v 25) and as God said to Ezekiel of Israel, And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. (Ezekiel 33 v 32). Jesus read and remembered the word of God to enable him to see his own fleshly weaknesses before he allowed them to cause him to sin as the Psalmist spoke of him, Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee (Psalm 119 v 11). In that word he learned of the wiles, the subtle infidelities and deceiving unfaithfulness of the serpents poison in the enmity so that he could anticipate its cunning temptations before it prompted him to transgress, and from his experience he told his disciples to be as wise he was, Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10 v 16). His continual search in the word of God was to plumb-the-depths of how deceptive and duplicitous the flesh is so that he could counter it with every word of God as was written of him, Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night" (Psalm 1 v 1-2). If we look into the word of God - like we look into a mirror - we can be sure that we will see all lot of what we do not like about ourselves, but if we persevere and concentrate on this self-examination it will have the effect of afflicting our heart and humbling our soul within us when we see how unworthy we are to be blessed by God in both natural and spiritual ways, and - like our natural appearance - we will do all we can to improve our spiritual appearance and we will find that we have very little time to watch our fellows, but rather, we will always see ourselves as God sees us. This was the work of Jesus, who knew the depths of Satan from his experience, as it was written of him, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man (John 2 v 25) and whose work was to remove the yoke of the activities of the enmity, the experience of which he passed on to the seven churches (Revelation 2 v 24).

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********************* Chapter 59 ..remove the yoke then shall thy light break forth (Isaiah 58 v 9) Many miracles in the work of Jesus were to relieve the sick of the burdensome yoke of the frailties of their bodies (Luke 7 v 22) for the sole purpose - not to temporarily relieve their discomfort - but to teach of the spiritual healing that the work of the continual baptism by the Holy Spirit can do in all those who followed, which work is indeed a parallel miracle of the reformation of our souls. We are not able to heal our own physical infirmities and sicknesses how ever much we try (by faith or by the Holy Spirit) but we can allow ourselves to be healed of the unclean characteristics of our own hearts and minds by the power of the Holy Spirit given to us for our enlightenment. In like manner, we cannot heal physical infirmity and sickness of our fellows, but we can give to them the opportunity to be healed of the burdensome yoke of the spiritual sicknesses of blindness, deafness, lameness, leprosy and any other frailty of the human character by the example of our quiet lives and honest works of truth that we are the light of the world and that with us there is the warmth of the fellowship of mercy and compassion of the name of God in Jesus Christ to any who repent as God requires. If we see a fellow struggling with a heavy or awkward physical load we would not hesitate to go a help them by sharing the burden, so can there be any reason why we should not do the same in spiritual matters? For, if we cannot do it the natural we will never do it the spiritual. We all have to bear the burden of our own frailty of sin before God, but to show that we acknowledge that we will bear our own responsibilities for our own sins, do we not instinctively share the burdens of the shame of our fellows when they become too great for them to help them towards forgiveness, as the good Samaritan did o his fellow? (Galatians 6 v 1-7) Only by this heart-felt compassion of the importunities of our neighbours can we hope to be lights of the world, and only by following the gentle example of Jesus can we hope to be a light of this world, because on this basis we are going to be judged when Jesus returns (Daniel 12 v 1-3); (John 5 v 28-29) and, said Jesus, concerning this judgment Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for youfor I was sick and ye visited me .. Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me (Matthew 25 v 31-46) The strength of the enmity is the authority it usurps over those under the authority of God, as the serpent became the 'lord' of Eve, which 'lordship' Jesus came to break as Isaiah foretold, ********************* Chapter 60 .. to not put forth the finger.then shall thy light break forth (Isaiah 58 v 9)

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The lifetime vow of baptism It was common practice in Bible times that masters ordered their servants to obey them by the pointing of the finger alone and not with words and instruction, as a sign of the absolute authority of master over them (Parkhurst p740 sect IV). The practice was continued into the days of Jesus as was shown in his witness against the lawyers, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! For ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers (Luke 11 v 46); (Matthew 23 v 4). This was not a warning of laziness in the lawyers but an accusation that they put forth the finger in interpreting the letter of the law of God and used that letter of the law to order the people to conform to their interpretations with dire consequences of judgement without mercy if they failed, but in so doing they became blind to the spiritual teaching of the law and devoid of any enlightenment by the Holy Spirit, they practiced their own interpretation in judgement, without mercy and faith into what the law was teaching (Matthew 23 v 23). Let us be warned, this error was not unique to the Jews of the Bible, the same error has deceived Christians to this day and we are able to do the same. In all that Jesus said, he first applied the words to himself and thus was able to explain - to those who would pay attention - what the spirit meaning of the words of God were by his personal actions, by the miracles he performed and by his whole manner of life where the words of God were shown in his character, for he said he that hath seen me hath seen the Father (John 14 v 9). In this way Jesus became the light of the world, but again let us be warned, the majority of people who saw Jesus and witnessed his works and words, hated him because of his righteous actions. The enmity within us has the power to extinguish the light of the Holy Spirit by doing precisely what Jesus warned the religious elders of in his day - and what Christians religion leaders, elders and luminaries have continued to do since - but God has said that only when we do NOT put forth the finger can we become of the light. Let us not fall victim to the wiles of the devil within us, Jesus said in the last seven letters written by John to the believers in the last days of the dangers of putting forth the finger of authority in his name, the doctrine of Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate (Revelation 2 v 6 & 15). Nicolaitanism means rulership over the laity, both those who take it upon themselves to rule with vigour and those who willingly submit themselves to such rulership. We can never rule over fellow believers for that would be to despise Jesus as our common lord and master, our ruler and head, and he said that he came not to be ministered to, but to minister to his friends, he came as a servant not a master, he came to put forth the finger of God to himself not to his friends (Mark 10 v 42-45); (Matthew 20 v 20-28); (Luke 22 v 25-27). By putting forth the finger in the name of Christ, leaders, bishops, elders and selfstyled shepherds and psuedo-inspired men have organised large and small sects and churches under the banner of Christianity only to descend to the level of the Jews of Jesus' day, by introducing laws, edicts, guide lines and practices which have overshadowed the simplicity, purity, trust and true faith of the early believers (the early Christians) who instructed the Gentiles - who converted to follow Christ - with the first principles of truth of the gospel of the faith of Christ by saying that they would lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things, that ye abstain from meats (food gifts) offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled (forced rulership through fear by asphyxiation of the Holy Spirit), and from fornication" (Acts 15 v19-20 & 28-29). From this we are instructed that the boundaries of the truth

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The lifetime vow of baptism unto salvation are abstinence from fornication (physical, spiritual and moral), any form of idolatry (including self engrandisement - Ezekiel 14 v 3) and rulership over our neighbour, but to have mercy on the repentant and to envy no fellow, which are the limits of our guiding rules if we are to be lights of the world and part of the light of the world Jesus Christ (more of which see later). Anything beyond these are the commands and doctrines of men (Matthew 15 v 9). Isaiah continued to speak of the work of Jesus who we follow, in the next chapter. ********************* Chapter 61 .. to not speak vanity then shall thy light break forth (Isaiah 58 v 9) Let us not deceive ourselves, we are no better than Peter who vehemently said to Jesus, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. (Mark 14 v 31) but who went on to deny Jesus. Let us not be religious bigots, we are of the same nature as Israel who, when Moses gave them the law of God said with one voice, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. (Exodus 24 v 3) and then went on to ignore the spirit of the law of God and to forget the law from generation to generation. Let us not think that we are strong where king David was weak when he counted the power of the kingdom as if it was his own who said, that I may know the number of the people. (II Samuel 24 v 2) and later confessed to his sin. Let us not mock Nebuchadnezzer who took the glory of Babylon and its kingdom to himself (Daniel 4 v 30) and suffered the ignominy of madness, nor of Herod who accepted the adulation of the people and suffered a hideous death (Acts 12 v 22), for we are of the same nature as they and deny our Lord whenever we sin by forgetting to follow his example, a weakness which afflicts every Christian religious elder, leader, shepherd, preacher and proselytiser within the security of their own flocks, despite the trust of those who love to follow them. No man or woman whatever their status is exempt from denying Jesus as Peter did, but, on acknowledgement and repentance - as Peter did - there is forgiveness from Jesus as he forgave Peter. God has given us the gift of the power of speech so that we can praise God in prayer and song and can talk amongst ourselves of the wonders of His mercy, as was taught in the statute of the law, And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up (Deuteronomy 6 v 7). God has allowed us the freedom to use this powerful faculty to talk to our fellows on any subject we choose, but the enmity that God put within us has even greater power - in that it uses our power of our speech to spread any reasoning of our heart and mind into the minds of our neighbours, without regard for the original reason for this gift of God which was exclusively given to honour Him. This was the way that the serpent in the beginning (who also had the power of speech) communicated and planted its own reasoning into the mind of Eve which was contrary to why the gift of speech was given it. If we are the light of the world our bodies will be the temple of God (I Corinthians 3 v 16-17) and we will not forget why we have been given the power of speech which

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The lifetime vow of baptism will result in careful thought before we speak - lest we speak the opinion of man and not praise to God which reason Solomon wrote, Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. (Ecclesiastes 5 v 1-7) (where few' means weighty or carefully chosen to the glory of God). Whether we like it or not, the scripture tells us that we are no more than empty vanity by nature (Ecclesiastes 12 v 8) and that we use the power of our speech to express the excess of our vanity according as it is written, A fools voice is known by multitude of words (Ecclesiastes 5 v 3), and, in the multitude of words there wanteth not sin, but he that refraineth his lips is wise (Proverbs 10 v 19). Whether we are naturally talkative or quiet - if we are lights of the world (after the example of Jesus Christ) - all of our words are to be carefully chosen according to the faith of Jesus (which is our faith) and they must not be our own opinion but the motivated by the power of the Holy Spirit that is given to direct us (Luke 12 v 11-12). Therefore, if we speak before we think - we will certainly sin, if we think once before we speak - we will most probably sin, but if we think twice before we speak - we may not sin but if we do sin it will be more grievous than if we never thought at all, for our second thoughts must always be the thoughts of God and Jesus. Excess of spoken words is always vanity and not in any way an honour to God, but similarly fewness of words is not a good guide of wisdom - for there are some of us who naturally do not speak much. What God requires - and was perfected in Jesus - is weighty words, words that express the love of God in our hearts with reverence for His name, words that are moved by the warmth of the Holy Spirit within us and are tempered by the softness of our heart, as the gentle words of a nurse to her patient (I Thessalonians 2 v 7), for said Jesus out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Matthew 12 v 34-37). We will be without excuse if we speak idle, empty words (Matthew 12 v 36) because the scripture is full of advice on our speech, He that hath knowledge spareth his words (Proverbs 17 v 27-28) and Jesus said when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking (Matthew 6 v 7). Peter warned of religious professors that speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error" (II Peter 2 v 18). It is from those who feel that the freedom to express opinion is a special gift given to themselves as inspiration (who are convinced that they are caring for their fellows but are really caring for themselves) that all commandments and doctrines of men originate, as Jesus said of the Pharisees and the scribes, for laying aside of the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men.. (Mark 7 v 6-9) and again, But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men (Matthew 15 v 9). If we are to be lights of the world in whom the Holy Spirit is active, then our words must be carefully chosen words words from the word of God - and not thoughts and ideas of our own as Isaiah spoke of those who despised the fast that God had

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The lifetime vow of baptism chosen, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: (Isaiah 58 v 13). We are always to be ready to answer questions of our faith (I Peter 3 v 15) but we are never to argue with the enemy of a false religion (James 1 v 26); (Matthew 7 v 6). We are never to press the word of truth on the unconverted that do not seek it, we are never to proselytise by strong arguments, threatening words or forceful persuasion (Matthew 23 v 15) for it is God who calls to fellowship in Christ Jesus (John 6 v 44) not we who convert. However, let us not remain as silent recluses, we can and must sow the seed of Gods word by spoken and written word, we can and must water the seed by answering questions and by scriptural rebuke, but it is God who gives the increase of the Holy Spirit to any seed that is sown in order for it to grow (I Corinthians 3 v 7). We are free to speak - whatever we choose - wherever we desire - on whatever subject we can think of - to whoever we want, but let us remember, upon our response to the instruction of God - speaking not vanity- we will be judged by Jesus who will be the Judge and who has said, every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement, for by thy words thou shalt be justified and by thy words thou shalt be condemned (Matthew 12 v 36-37) where idle means light and trivial words in respect of godliness. ********************* Chapter 62 Trust in God He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light (Psalm 37 v 5-6) We cannot be a light in the world merely by our own efforts, it is God who is light and it is He who makes His light to shine - through us - in response to our faith, love, sanctification, our trust in Him and commitment to His word. We cannot trust in God without having enduring patience - a bible word that means to bear under a burden or to carry a load as a yoke would be carried - because God is long suffering (Exodus 34 v 6) and patient (meaning to bear with as a skilled artificer as he works with his materials not bear under or to carry a load James 5 v 7-11) He does not answer our prayers when we would naturally like it, as Jesus said, And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? (Luke 18 v 7) to which he later added, In your patience possess ye your souls (Luke 21 v 19). We know from experience that we cannot trust in anything without first having faith that we will not be disappointed when the waiting is over, and that trust can take time to build up which is why God has preserved His word in the Bible for us to read and be convinced of the faithfulness of His dealings with those who He calls. We also know from experience that there is no need to trust in another if we are capable of helping ourselves which we know as independence, but forgiveness of our sins - unto salvation by resurrection of the dead - is not within our power, therefore we must have faith in God in order to trust in Him, even when the burden of waiting appears to be too much for us. Similarly, we cannot arrive at a destination in any new journey without putting our trust in a guide, nor can we complete any work to a satisfactory conclusion without instruction. Despite how many good works we may think we do, and no matter how hard we think we may try to do good works, unless we trust in God for instructions to work and guidance for our journey of faith through His word -

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The lifetime vow of baptism and commit ourselves to that instruction in all our ways - we will never shine as a light in the world. Because trust in God - by faith in His name - is a solid foundation which the storms and vicissitudes of the enmity cannot erode and so we are able to endure suffering beyond what we would naturally expect of ourselves because God has reassured us that, There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (I Corinthians 10 v 13). We know that trust without commitment is not trust but mere profession, as it does not prove the faith that we have put our trust in, just as if we had faith in a bridge that we trust to be safe to use - but appeared to be rickety to our fellows - unless we commit ourselves into crossing the bridge, our trust will be merely academic and of no value. If have faith in the truth of the word of God and trust in God that He will give everlasting life by resurrection from the grave and from mortality (as He has said He will), then we must commit our lives to the call of God through His word and cross over from servitude of the enmity to the rulership of God to become as Hebrews in spirit (meaning to cross over as Abraham did) and then the light of Christ will shine in us as was foretold by the Psalmist, Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday (Psalm 37 v 3-6). If we are lights in the world, we will rest in the Lord and patiently wait for him (Psalm 37 v 7) with a privately quiet and peaceful conscience, we will not become fretful over the success of the hypocritical (Psalm 37 v 1 & v 7) who enjoy making a fuss of their own good deeds and enlarge the bad deeds of others. As a result we will cease from anger and to forsake wrath (Psalm 37 v 8) as this is the prerogative of God in whom we have committed our trust as it is written, Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord (Romans 12 v 19). Only when we do these things - as a commitment of our trust to prove the faith of our belief in God - can we hope to shine as lights in the world. ********************* Chapter 63 Lights of the world shine brighter by continual baptism of the Holy Spirit The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day (Proverbs 4 v 18) and Jesus said ye are the light of the world. let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5 v 14-16) therefore the whole purpose of being lights of the world is to glorify God by our works, and we can only glorify God if our works describe and illustrate His name (Exodus 34 v 6-7) by our character so that our neighbours can see that we are different and understand why, as Jesus was different to his neighbours and thus showed us the character of God in a mortal body.

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The lifetime vow of baptism Our character will change according to the effects of continual baptism by the spiritual fire of the Holy Spirit working in the privacy of our inner most thoughts to cause us to obey the word of God (first privately and then publicly) after the example of Jesus as taught in Isaiah (58), the Psalms (37) and Jesus himself as he said, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9 v 23). As a result of our continually increasing private obedience - within the thoughts and motives of our hearts and minds - the light of understanding that God has given us will shine brighter and brighter as a freely available radiance to those who notice, through the spontaneous works of faith that we do among our neighbours in the world of the ungodly (I Corinthians 5 v 9-11), our clean habits, the principled decency of our lifestyle, our personal standards in moral scriptural principles, the physical help we give to the less advantaged, the spiritual succour we offer to those who seek, the moral support in troubles, kindness to the needy, honesty in business, humility in honour, politeness in deportment, respect in deference, forgiveness in debt, service in cheerfulness and patience with the weaknesses of our neighbours, after the teaching of Paul, who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life (Romans 2 v 7). By these means we progress towards the shining light of the example of Jesus until the end of our probation as Peter wrote when speaking of Christ, We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts (II Peter 1 v 16-19). After our death and resurrection from the grave and after our judgment at the judgment seat of Christ - if we have indeed become lights of increasing brightness in the world of the unbeliever, if we have glorified the name of God by our works in the world dominated by the enmity - then we will be made immortal in the mercy of God as revealed by John of the saints, And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Revelation 21 v 1-5). Then we will become as the bright shining stars of heaven and as the brightness of the firmament of a sky without clouds as Daniel was told, and many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life.and they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament.as the stars for ever and ever (Daniel 12 v 1-3); (John 5 v 28-29). This is the fulfilment of the promise of God to Abraham who was righteous, kind, humble and patient, the father of the faithful (Romans 4 v 1-18) and it is the outworking of the covenant of God's promises that Abraham's seed would be as the stars of heaven (Genesis 15 v 5-6); (Genesis 22 v 17-18). We have no excuse if we forget the surety of this Divine covenant because, to assure us every day and night of the truth of that oath, God created the heaven and the earth for His pleasure in such a way that they are a constant reminder of His faithfulness in His everlasting covenant (Psalm 19) and so created the firmament to diffract the incoming white light of the sun so that its blue spectrum alone penetrates the sky like a canopy to cover us (horizon to horizon) as a surrounding dome of blue - the colour that God has chosen to represent His covenant that mortal man will be made immortal, a figure that He showed to the seventy elders of Israel who, as mortal men, met the immortal angels and did eat and drink (Exodus 24 v 9-11), and simultaneously revealed that He had chosen blue for the outer covering of badger skin

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The lifetime vow of baptism on the tabernacle (Exodus 26 v 14), and blue for the High priests over-garment (Exodus 28 v 31) and for the hem of blue to be worn by all Israelites as it is written, Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God (Numbers 15 v 38-41). The covenant of God reveals that if we keep His commandments (now in Christ Jesus) He will give us everlasting life to be as the angels (Mark 12 v 24-25) after our death and resurrection, and so, as the sign of the promise of covenant seen in the blue sky deepens to black at nightfall, so the stars He created replace it to appear out of the darkening blue to confirm the fulfilment of the promise of His covenant (Psalm 8) as a continual cycle of silent witness, such that if we could see the sky in a rapid time frame it would switch from bright blue to starry blackness repeatedly, blue to stars, blue, stars, blue, stars, blue, stars, and maybe we would not forget the covenant of God and the promises so easily as we do. Let us not be blind and uncertain of what the practical attributes of the light of God are that we are required to show if we are to become - and remain - lights of the world, because we have been told in specific words - in addition to the many examples in the scriptures - what the attributes of the light of God are to be in us while living in unbelieving world, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (Galatians 5 v 22-23), where love is agape (John 15 v 13-17), (I Corinthians 13), joy is inward rejoicing (John 8 v 56), peace is reducing our sins (John 14 v 26-27), longsuffering is patient continuance (James 5 v 11), gentleness is the sensitivity of a nurse (I Thessalonians 2 v 7-8), goodness is spiritual riches (II Corinthians 8 v 9), faith is the living proof of our beliefs (Hebrews 11 v 1), meekness is remember our own sins (Philippians 2 v 3) and temperance is to have or do excess in nothing (Acts 15 v 28-29). These characteristics of light can only grow by continual practice in response to our continual baptism by the Holy Spirit, as our eyes are progressively enlightened as to what is right and what is wrong, what is clean and what is unclean in the eyes of God. If we fail to gradually reform (after the way God requires of us) then our light will actually become darkness, because our righteous words and scriptural protestations will not be echoed in the works of our life as Jesus warned, Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them (Matthew 7 v 20) and we will become hypocritical, and as we increase our protestations of righteousness the sight of our faith will dim and our eyes will loose their focus on the practicalities of the light of the life of Jesus Christ until we become entirely blind (Matthew 6 v 21-24). ********************* Chapter 64 The light and the enmity

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The lifetime vow of baptism By becoming the light of the world in the fulfilment of the prophetic words of Isaiah and all other scripture, Jesus fulfilled the most significant part of that which was foretold in the curse of God upon the serpent in the beginning, And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3 v 15) where the first part refers to the woman of righteousness - later identified as wisdom (Proverbs 8) , (Proverbs 31 v 10-31) - the wise woman (that is, people of principle in obedience and submission to the word of God), the second part (her seed) refers to all who were born of that woman (her children) throughout all subsequent generations of whom the most particular 'child' was Jesus Christ. The third part ('it shall bruise') specifically refers to the singularity of seed of the women (Jesus Christ) as it shall bruise... - but where in the original Hebrew text (and most other subsequent versions apart from the Authorised Version) it is rendered as he, thus, he shall bruise thy head (the spirit of the serpent, the enmity). In fulfilment of this prophecy Jesus slew the enmity in the head, mortally wounding human nature within himself by refusing all temptations to transgress the commands of God and thus rendered the enmity powerless within his own character. In all cases throughout the curse, the serpent and its seed refers to those in whom is acting the spirit of opposition (the enmity) to the word of God as an adversary (the origin of the name Satan) in every generation. The final part of the curse (and thou shalt bruise his heel) refers to the spirit of the serpent (the enmity) in his fellow people who slew Jesus for no other reason than that they envied him (Matthew 27 v 18) where envy is the principle product of the enmity, Thou (the enmity, human nature, the serpent, Satan and the devil) shall bruise his (the singular seed of the woman) heel. Jesus suffered the effects of the enmity in two forms, firstly by temptation within himself as a mortal man under the sentence of death in whom the enmity resided - but was rendered powerless by his obedience to the word of God - and secondly in the nation of Israel who Jesus came to save and for whom he was born to be King (Matthew 1 v 21-25); & (Matthew 2 v 2), where the nation as a whole - the religious leaders and their congregations - hated him because of his humble, obedient and sinless character which exposed their hypocrital religious confidence as an empty show as Jesus testified (John 3 v 19-21), (Luke 11 v 44). Because his righteous example outshone the tarnished dross of their religious rituals like pure gold and silver outshines lead, they humiliated him, they afflicted him, they oppressed him and they killed him, which suffering was in addition to the affliction he imposed upon himself by denying the promptings of the devil his enmity by obedience to God (Isaiah 58); (Matthew 27 v 17-18); (Isaiah 53 v 7-9); (I Peter 2 v 21-25); (Hebrews 5 v 7-8). The effects of the enmity are likened to darkness in the sense that total darkness brings disorientation where all sense of direction is lost as Jesus said, for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth (John 12 v 35), so likewise the enmity blinds the eye of our conscience to cause us to loose all the sense of direction of right and wrong (from the viewpoint of God) that the word of God contains, as was shown by Isaiah concerning the natural estate of human nature where the enmity is unchecked, .. .. Therefore is

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The lifetime vow of baptism judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men (Isaiah 59 v 9-10). The darkest of darkness is however when the enmity tightens its grip on our conscience in the form of hypocrisy as was shown in the conduct of Israel (used as an analogy by God as our representative in sin) as a drunken man, .. .. they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.. .. Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men (Isaiah 29 v 13). These words which were emphasised by Jesus of the religious elders of his generation (Mark 7 v 6-7); (Matthew 6 v 22-23). The effect of the enmity - in any form - is darkness of conscience (the inability to choose between right and wrong, good and evil, moral and immoral, clean and unclean), but God is light (I John 1 v 5-6) and the work of Jesus sent by God - was to save those who recognise that the natural blindness caused by the darkening effects of the enmity within us is a prison from which we cannot escape by our own efforts, as was foretold of Jesus to whom God would give the strength to overcome the enmity and dispel its darkening effects upon his conscience by the light of the word of God by the Holy Spirit as was prophesied by Isaiah, I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house (Isaiah 42 v 6-7). Let us not be fools blinded by the smothering blanket of hypocritical self righteousness and consider that the darkness of the enmity does not affect our conscience as it did the elders and sages of the Jews in the days of Jesus, we likewise are human beings affected by the same curse of God with the same weakness, so let us admit privately to ourselves that blindness through darkness is our natural lot and even though liberated from darkness to a measure of light, we naturally and easily slip back into darkness without a constant vigilance of our conscience. The only antidote for blindness of conscience (or the onset of blindness through the effects of the enmity) is private and personal affliction of our own heart as shown by Isaiah (Isaiah 58) and demonstrated by Jesus. Sense of direction can only come when light penetrates darkness and then it can only come slowly as our eyes become accustomed to the brightness of the light and so shapes become slowly visible, dimly at first then through advancing stages of the brightness of light until full clarity is reached in daylight which is the process God has used to illustrate the process of enlightenment by the Holy Spirit unto sanctification and to which Paul referred, For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known (I Corinthians 13 v 12). Let us not deceive ourselves there are no flashes of light, no pillars of fire, no visions of translucent brightness, the light of the word of God by the Holy Spirit unto salvation by sanctification begins in our heart as we break down the

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The lifetime vow of baptism resistance of our natural will against the will of God and sensitise our conscience to see right and wrong as God sees, and not as we see. The work of God by His Holy Spirit - planned from the beginning was to provide a redeemer for those whom God is calling to be His children by dispelling the darkness of our ignorance of the true meaning of the word of God in us, and replacing that ignorance with the truth of the word of God - as light displaces darkness and exposes everything good and bad without partiality - so that our character can be spiritually enlightened from the moral disorientation of good and evil inherited from Adam and Eve and the serpent. By completing this work in removing all the dross of the enmity within himself (by the fire of the Holy Spirit as dross in removed from refined gold and silver) Jesus became the Light of the world (John 3 v 19-21) and finally gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins so that the dross of our character may likewise be purged and the recurring tarnishing of our sins may be washed away. In this way Paul describes the work of Christ in us, Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6 v 11-12) and again speaking of our deliverance form the natural grip of the enmity within our souls, Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature (Colossians 1 v 12-15), that is, God by the power of His Holy Spirit has translated our characters from rulership by the enmity to rulership by God through Christ with he as the king within our conscience, in preparation for the time when the kingdom of God will be physically established on earth by which time our characters will have been prepared by forgiveness of our remaining sins and all that will be needed is our bodily sanctification by translation form mortality to immortality. In no other way - and by no other means - can we offer our lives as a sacrifice acceptable unto God (which is essential for salvation) but by the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ in whom the power of the light of the word of God by the Holy Spirit replaced the power of the darkness of the enmity within his own heart. Paul wrote of our sacrifice in Jesus, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12 v 1-2) where the world is the enmity within our soul and the enmity unchecked within our fellow human beings. ********************* Chapter 65 Jesus, the light of the world .. the healer of the breach, the restorer of the paths

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The lifetime vow of baptism The purpose of God has never changed from creation and is centred around a mortal man - the son of God who by the light of God in a mortal body would dispel the darkness of disobedience to God by obedience to His word and thereby pay the price of his life blood for the salvation of a family of people who otherwise would remain permanently in the grave. God gave many prophecies and practical indicators of this work throughout the 4000 years from creation to the birth of Jesus, and one of the collective symbols was the Tabernacle of the congregation given to Israel within which were four items of furniture each of which portrayed some aspect of the work of Jesus Christ. One of these symbols was the seven branch candlestick into which was poured pure olive oil twice a day and rekindled so that the oil burned continuously in the bowls of the candlestick as a prefigurement of the life of Jesus Christ as the light of the tabernacle to give light in the tent of the tabernacle. Jesus fulfilled this figure and translated it into the work of his life in that he dispelled the natural darkness of the world of his human nature within the temple of his body and made his body a sanctuary wherein God dwelt by His Holy Spirit. In this way Jesus became the light of the world - God manifest in a mortal man - by the shining example of his character, fitting him for the fulfilment of the purpose of God in that by him the light of the word of God will one day fill the whole earth by dispelling all disobedience to God. The work that Jesus did in his mortal body fulfilled Isaiahs prophecy of the one (as then to come) who would afflict his soul to become the healer of the breach, the restorer of the paths, the breach was made when Adam and Eve sinned by disobedience to the command of God and God drove them out of the Garden of Eden to prevent them from eating the fruit of the tree of life - lest they should live for ever - thus removing the path that led to that tree of life (Genesis 3 v 22-24); (Psalm 69 v 4). Had the enmity within Jesus had any effect upon him by disobeying the word of God it would have extinguished the light of God (even temporarily) and left a blemish of darkness in the record of his character and destroyed the work of healing and restoration of the path the way of salvation - to the tree of life. Therefore the only way to complete that work was for him to become the light of God in a mortal body (with no hint or flicker of darkness) - as 'God manifest in the flesh' - (I John 1 v 5); (I Timothy 3 v 16) meaning that all the effects of the enmity had to be destroyed in his mind and heart, a vanquishment that could only be completed as a victory in his voluntary death by the shedding of his blood according to the will of God as revealed in all prophecy and figures in His word. Because of this high standard, Jesus set himself from the earliest of age to learn, remember and understand the word of God as it is written, And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were "astonished at his understanding and answers (Luke 2 v 42-47) and continued to speak and practice no other doctrine but that which was from the word of God as enlightened by the Holy Spirit which never makes any accommodation for the whims of the flesh (Psalm 119 v 105) (Psalm 130); (John 8 v 26-28); (John 5 v 19) (John 3); (John 14 v 10); (John 1 v 1-36), and was proved by his actions - as it was prophesied of him, Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous (Psalms 112 v 4) Jesus said of his disciples that they were the light of the world and that after his death, resurrection and ascension into heaven they would continue his work and

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The lifetime vow of baptism become the light of the world by the action of his life shining through their works in mortal bodies, not just by preaching but by example of life. Those disciples were so called simply because they were disciplined by the commands of God through Christ, and the same mantle of discipline to those commands of Christ falls upon us who have undertaken the solemn vow of baptism by water to be disciples and renewal of that vow by eating and drinking of the sacraments. By this way we also are committed to the requirement that we enter that path of spiritual healing of our sinful sicknesses and restoration of our as-created pure characters by overcoming the enmity within ourselves in the way that Jesus set, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14 v 6). We are baptised into the death of the mortal body of Jesus Christ and have therefore put on the 'character and spirit' of the new man Jesus Christ (meaning Saviour and Anointed by the Holy Spirit) which character, soul and reformed spirit was the motivation of his mortal body - so we can only follow him as the sheep of his pasture with him as our shepherd and leader. We cannot re-fulfil that prophesy of Isaiah (nor any other prophecy concerning Jesus) for it has been done and cannot be repeated but we are required to live within the light of that life and to reflect it in accordance with the words of Jesus, Ye are the light of the world. ********************* Chapter 66 Ye are the light of the world Baptism by water into Christ brings responsibility to follow the example of Jesus who as our forerunner was baptised by full immersion in water and then by the Holy Spirit (Mark 1 v 9); (Luke 12 v 50). It is our responsibility to be sure that our light is the light of God and not a substituted light of utter the darkness of the hypocrite (Matthew 6 v 21-24). We are to examine ourselves - not our neighbours (II Corinthians 13 v 5). We are to examine ourselves to the same standard that all other faithful believers have done since Abel. It is our duty to measure ourselves against the full stature of the example of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4 v 13-16). It is our duty to weigh ourselves in the balances of the truth of the word of God where the example of the life of Christ as taught throughout the scriptures is in the one pan and our actions, thoughts, words, interests and occupations are in the other. By faith we are to submit ourselves to continual baptism by the Holy Spirit as the most important part of following the example of Jesus as he taught, .. .. I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! (Luke 12 v 50) and I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost (Mark 1 v 8). Continual baptism by immersion of our thoughts, meditations and prayers in the light and fire of the Holy Spirit will humble our minds and to afflict our hearts and bring to us with the clarity of daylight the realisation that we can only follow him imperfectly, that we will continue to be imperfect as long as we are in our mortal state, and that as a result we are in continual need of the forgiveness of our sins (Romans 7 v 24-25), that we continue by His grace (II Corinthians 12 v 9), and that we survive in our faith because of the long suffering patience of God (Exodus 34 v 6).

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The lifetime vow of baptism The first practical examination of ourselves is, that if we do realise that we are in daily need of forgiveness of our sins and we do daily repent with shame and contrition, then we will without hesitation forgive our fellow sinners who also repent with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and we will make no exceptions nor favour one more than another (James 2 v 8-13); (Colossians 3 v 25); (Romans 2 v 11); (Deuteronomy 1 v 17); & (Deuteronomy 16 v 19). The forgiveness of the sin of our fellow will be a measure of the shame and guilt that we have of our own sins - for we are no better than our neighbour by nature in the eyes of God - (Matthew 18 v 21-35), (Matthew 6 v 12); (Galatians 6 v 1-2). It is natural for each of us to hope for forgiveness of our sins in the mercy of God but we are to remember the example of Moses and Paul who were willing to give up their hope of salvation if it could be the means of saving others by Gods forgiveness of their sins, for Moses prayed to God when Israel grievously sinned Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin-; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written (Exodus 32 v 32), and Paul said I wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh (Romans 9 v 3). This is the mind of one who is the true light of the world after the example of Jesus who died for those who were worse than him - sinners. However, God has said that He will ultimately decide, through Jesus Christ, whom He will forgive and whom He will not forgive, and we have been told that forgiveness will be only for those who forgive other genuinely repentant characters, as it is written, For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. (James 2 v 13). If we see that our neighbour has been influenced by the wiles of the enmity within them and has fallen in to the grip of the thieving devil of our nature by committing a particular sin, we are help them to recover not by accusation and remonstration, nor by sympathizing and trivialising the deed, but by helping them (and ourselves) to see what caused their fall into that distinct sin so that both of us can learn and be warned, like the Samaritan who helped the man who fell in among thieves when going down from Jerusalem (where the temple of God is) towards Jericho which is near the Dead Sea (Luke 10 v 25-37). In like manner we are to make every effort (at cost to ourselves) to save such sinners, just as we would appreciate some other doing so to us if we were in a similar position, with the memory that Jesus - who did no sin - died for us who are sinners (Galatians 6 v 1-2). Only if we demonstrate compassion by our actions can we hope to continue as a light of the world, but if we remain aloof and walk by on the other side when we see our neighbour entangled in sin then the sensitivity of our conscience has been seared (I Timothy 4 v 1-2) and our selfexamination will show us that our light is going out. If we remember that everything we have - our faculties (sight, hearing etc), our possessions and the spiritual knowledge of salvation - is given to us by God and that when we die we loose it all (Ecclesiastes 9 v 5-6), then when we see our neighbour as being less fortunate than ourselves and in need of help in spiritual and natural matters and that they have not the ability to repay our kindness and we help them at cost to ourselves (Luke 6 v 30-36); (I John 3 v 16-17), (James 2 v 14-17) and then will the light of the word of God shine by the Holy Spirit as it did in Jesus Christ.

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The lifetime vow of baptism If our light is to continue to shine in the darkness of a sinful world steeped in psuedoreligion then we will never to be ashamed to keep company with any humbled fellow who is despised and rejected by the proud church-goers, by haughty congregationals, the insular sectarians and the self-righteous religious hypocrites, even if it means scorn upon ourselves - for that is the example Jesus left us (Luke 7 v 37-39). The light of the word of God - by the Holy Spirit burning within us - will make us sensitive and alert to any neighbour who desires an understanding of the purpose of God and we will not rest or sleep until we can give answers to the enquirer in accord with the word of God (11 Corinthians 4 v 1-7); (11 Timothy 4 v 2); (Psalm 132 v 3-5) we will not attempt to proselyte the stubborn unrepentant - for that would need a lowering of the standard of reverence, but if the light of the Spirit is within us we will spread the gospel of the word of God regularly, earnestly and with conviction where ever it is received or not as is written, Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days (Ecclesiastes 11). What we preach is not to be our choice - if the light of the Holy Spirit is shining through us - so we will remember that the gospel of the word of God is the expression of the mercy of God in giving a hope of salvation from an eternal grave through the body and blood of Jesus Christ coupled with what God requires as a response from mankind in overcoming the enmity and this was the last specific command of Jesus to those who discipline themselves in his example, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16 v 15). Interpreting the signs of the times and the fulfilment of prophecy is important but only as a reassurance of the faith of believers the signs and prophecies were not given for preaching to the world as portends of impending doom, they were given to the disciples in answer to their questions as to the realisation of their hopes of salvation. The prediction of dates and times from bible prophecies is a matter of private faith not public proclamation - to quietly reassure us that God has not forsaken the world, that He is firmly in control of the events of mankind and that He has appointed a particular day when He will conclude the times of the Gentiles by revealing Jesus Christ in the earth but that, as Jesus said, of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only (Matthew 24 v 36); (Mark 13 v 32-33), and we can be assured that that particular day will be the day that God decides that the last saint has been sufficiently sanctified to receive His blessing of full sanctification of everlasting life. The Spirit will direct us that interpretation of prophecy for future events will never be as important as searching for - and understanding - the doctrines of the gospel of what is required of us for our sanctification (Mark 16 v 15-16). Only if we practice this can we hope to be a light of the world. If we read the bible as a collection of interesting writings and moral stories about other people and remote events, then we are blind without the candlelight of the Spirit, but if the candle of the Lord is burning in us then when we are read the word of God we will read every word as it applies to ourselves, as if it were written about us, for us and to us then we will be lights of the world, and we will seek out and read those things that applied particularly to the perfection of the sacrifice of Christ - to humble us and to shame us that we fail where Jesus succeeded. We will read the records of the wicked as if they were records of our lives so that we realise that we are no better than they were in the eyes of God (for all sin is sin, there are no good sins and bad sins, no serious sins nor are there non-serious sins, but there are general sins

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The lifetime vow of baptism and particular sins, there are sins of ignorance and there are presumptuous or selfwilled deliberate sins. There are sins with repentance - and sins without repentance and there are sins to be forgiven with repentance and sins - without repentance - that are not to be forgiven (I John 5 v 16-17). When we are the light of the world, we will see all our sins in the light of the word of God, we will realise that we have sins that we are not aware of - but are known to God (Psalm 19 v 12) and we will be humbled to know that we are totally dependent on the grace and patience of God. If we are lights in the world we will never forget the grace of God in causing the Bible to be translated into English out of Hebrew, Greek and Latin to give us an accurate record of the inspiration of His Holy Spirit to faithful men of old (II Peter 1 v 21) and for enabling those translators to understand the differences in these languages and English. The bible is not merely a book of moral stories nor a book of history (although these are contained in it), the old and new testaments are a living message provided for salvation for every generation from Moses to us. The first translator of the Bible from Hebrew to English (whose efforts we owe our bible) advised us, when he searched the meaning of every Hebrew word to translate the full power of the word of God into English, As thou readefte therfore thinke that every fillble (syllable) pertayneth to thyne awne filf (self), and sucke out the pithe of the fcripture, and arm thy filf agaynft all affaultes (assaults - of our nature) (The Pentateuch, Apologue, p12, 1st , William Tyndale 1525). As a tree needs light, water and air to grow, so we - as trees of righteousness - need the light of Holy Spirit, the water of the word of God and spirit (liveliness) of Holy Spirit to enable us to grow in character so that we can become reflections of the light of God to encourage our repentant fellows to grow also. To be a light in the world is to be wise (Matthew 5 v 2); (Matthew 10 v 16), and to be wise we have to fear and revere God (Job 28 v 28), and to fear God we must be humbled in mind (Isaiah 57 v 15) and to be humbled we must afflict our souls (Isaiah 58 v 5-11) and fast by prayer and meditation in breaking down our pride (Matthew 6 v 5-7). When we grasp these things then we will be lights of the world, not only by word, but by our example and we will follow the teaching of the law of liberty in Jesus Christs as explained by Paul, Peter, James, Philemon, Jude and John, and we will remember that our light will go out if we become entangled in traditions, rituals and commandments of men, spawned by their spiritual and shepherdic anxieties (however well meant they appear) for such over-anxious care is a charade that is only vane and hypocritical - because the early apostles and founders of the original Christian faith laid upon us no other burden when they said, But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. (Acts 15 v 20-29). ********************* Chapter 67 The brightness of our lamp

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The lifetime vow of baptism We can do all the good works of helping the poor, relieving the sick, preaching the word as taught in the Law, Psalms, Prophets, Gospels and Epistles of the bible and particularly those in Isaiah (58) and we can convince ourselves that we are a light of the world, but we can never fill the spiritual vessels of our hearts and minds with the Holy Spirit, nor can we ignite the lamp of the light of Gods word within ourselves in order for it to burn brightly as a light. This was the teaching of the figure of the seven branched candlestick in the law of the tabernacle, where only the high priest (appointed by God) was permitted to fill up the bowls of the lamps and to light the lamps of the seven branched candlestick with virgin olive oil, and to trim the flame of the light (Leviticus 24 v 1-4); (Numbers 8 v 1-4). The brightness of our light (seen in the example of our character) is dependant on the mercy of God through Jesus Christ our High Priest (Hebrews 4 v 14-15), and according to the faith of our convictions in God, His son, and His purpose and according to the sincerity of the works of repentance in our heart - he will give us sufficient of his Fathers Holy Spirit to us to enable him to ignite the light our lamps at our baptism by water, and he will continue to fill the bowl of our sensitised conscience (at the core of our souls) with the Holy Spirit each week as we renew our vow, our conscience being baptised - not with water - but with that Spirit, and he will trim away the burnt residues of our experiences (tears, fears, uncertainties, sorrows, personal shame etc) by the forgiveness of our recent sins in response to our continued repentance, so that the light of our character can remain cheerful and lively and so that we can continue to follow his example - as revealed in Isaiah 58, the spirit of the law, the gospels and elsewhere (Psalm 37 v 1-11). To be a light of the world the lamps of our character needs first to be given some oil and then lit, where the oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and the lighting is an act of grace from God by Jesus who promised us that he would do so when we first keep his commandment by our vow by baptism in water and then by renewal of that vow in eating and drinking of his body and blood when he gave them bread and wine and said, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me (Luke 22 v 19-20) as promised, If ye love me, keep my commandments.. .. the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. .. .. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me (John 14); (John 15 v 26). To be a light of the world is a privilege not a right nor a personal effort but an honour of grace, a cherishment of the continued mercy of God - through His appointed high priest Jesus Christ. Jesus has promised to continue to refill and trim the lamps of our conscience each week with the Holy Spirit as we keep his command of renewal of our vow by eating bread and drinking wine each first day as was taught prophetically in Psalm 23. In this Psalm, our shepherd Jesus expressed his faith in God his shepherd, Thou preparest a table (the bread) before me in the presence of mine enemies (the enmity), thou anointest mine head with oil (the Holy Spirit), my cup (the wine) runneth over (for others to drink) (Psalm 23 v 5). Therefore, as lights in the world, we follow our shepherd (Jesus Christ) when we partake in faith of the bread of his body and drink of the wine of his life (that was so full of love and mercy that it ran over for us to drink), so Jesus our shepherd and high priest will refill our

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The lifetime vow of baptism hearts with a measure of the Holy Spirit sufficient for our needs to overcome the enmity within us by enabling us to spiritually digest the principles of truth that sanctified his body (the bread) and to assimulate his spirit - by drinking the wine - that displayed the fruits of righteousness (the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5 v 22-23) so that we can keep the devil of our nature and the Satan of our impulsive thoughts at bay. This is our faith as described by Paul, Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11 v 1), where substance is the bedrock upon which we build our life, things hoped for is enlightenment towards sanctification leading to everlasting life, evidence is living proof and things not seen is the Holy Spirit which is eternal life. Faith is our spiritual conviction founded in the privacy of our heart and is strengthened by our mental labour by increasing our beliefs as a result of reading the scripture with a simple mind, as Paul wrote, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10 v 17). The result of faith is works of reformation in our character as a direct result of what pre-occupies our mind and therefore motivates us in our manner of life thus converting belief into faith. Let us not deceive ourselves, it is easy to believe - but it is hard to have faith. The things hoped for and things not seen are firstly our continued enlightenment unto progressive sanctification (persistent removal of the effects of the enmity) and the gift of a measure of the Holy Spirit by which sanctification is achieved, but ultimately, it is our change from mortality to everlasting life by the gift of the fullness of the Holy Spirit which Jesus will give to his faithful friends when he returns to the earth (John 14 v 1-4); (I Corinthians 15 v 50-57); (Psalm 132); For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (I Thessalonians 4 v 16-17) where the air is an analogy for the Holy Spirit as used by Jesus as an influence, a force that we cannot see, but can hear it, feel it and see its effects - so also are those moved and filled with the Holy Spirit - The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3 v 8). If we keep the perfect law of liberty in faith (James 1 v 25) Jesus will maintain our light. We will either be as the foolish virgins who were baptised by water, who kept separate from the ways of world as virgins who made every claim by word and works to be a brother or sister Christ - teaching, preaching and doing charitable works but who were never being continually baptised by the Holy Spirit by allowing it to purge and purify their own hearts in the fast spoken of by Isaiah 58 v 6-11, and as a result did not do the will of God as was done in Christ, that is, they did not have a privately humbled and contrite heart. If we allow that Spirit to change our natural spirit (Romans 8 v 16-18) then we will be as the wise virgins who do all the same works as the foolish virgins but in addition - in the privacy of their hearts - willingly submit to continual baptism in the Holy Spirit by faith, with the result that our hearts become softer, our spirit becomes tender, our conscience becomes sensitive to the needs of our neighbours and our minds become more pure, as Jesus continually fills up the vessels of our heart with the Holy Spirit, wipes away the soot of our tears and the sorrow of our acknowledged sins by renewing our hope, and so keeps our lights burning brightly while we trim the flame of our zeal by obedience to every command of God (Matthew 25 v 1-13).

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In this way, the process of continual baptism by the Holy Spirit, the process of softening our heart, of tenderising our spirit, of sensitising our conscience, of burning the light, the Proverb is fulfilled in us as it was our Lord, But the path of the just is as a shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Proverbs 4 v 18). ********************* Chapter 68 Sanctification by the light of the Holy Spirit The continuous process of baptism by the Holy Spirit following our baptism by water is the process of sanctification of our characters in preparation to be saints of whom it is written, But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. (Daniel 7 v 18). As no man or woman can light their own lamp to be lights in the world (nor light any body elses lamp), so in like manner can no man or woman sanctify themselves (or anybody else) as holy unto God. Sanctification is solely the work of the Holy Spirit and is a continual process, beginning at baptism by water and ending at the death of the believer (Romans 15 v 16); (I Corinthians 6 v 11); (II Thessalonians 2 v 13) and the work we have to do is to allow the Holy Spirit to work. Sanctification is the daily process of separation in our hearts and minds of what is good and what is evil, what is moral and what is immoral and as a result, the removal of that which is wrong so that our conscience can direct our actions and enable the growth of our new character in Christ (II Corinthians 5 v 17). The carnal character of the enmity within us must recede in influence (Romans 6 v 6-7) while the righteous character of Jesus Christ grows taking us towards a soul in which is the fullness of the activities of the Holy Spirit with no activity of the enmity, so that our life (our conscience, soul, character and person) becomes a brighter and brighter witness that the Holy Spirit has been given to us as a gift to use in service to Christ and God in fulfilment of all scripture particularly Isaiah 58 (Romans 8 v 12-16). To help us to understand the divine requirement for sanctification and to comprehend the need for the work of sanctification by the Holy Spirit in all of us who will make up the family and the house of God, the figure of the sanctification of the tabernacle of the congregation of Israel has been kept for us having been built exactly as God required it (Exodus 39 v 43). The tent of the tabernacle, the furniture, and the priests who were to minister in the tabernacle were to be sanctified by anointing of the holy anointing oil which had a base of olive oil - Gods chosen token of His Holy Spirit (Exodus 29 v 7); (Exodus 30 v 25-33). After that prefigurement, we who are being sanctified by God to be saints (the family of the High Priest) must also be anointed (not now with oil) but with the Holy Spirit by faith through continual baptism of the Holy Spirit as Jesus said But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14 v 26), and John confirmed later, But we have an unction (anointing) from the Holy One, and ye know all things (1 John 2 v 20).

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********************* Chapter 69 What are we required to do to be sanctified? It is God who will sanctify us when we submit to and obey His word in Jesus, as was prefigured in Israel, that ye may know that I the Lord do sanctify you (Exodus 31 v 13); (Leviticus 20 v 8); (John 17 v 17) but God will not continue to sanctify us if we do not respond to His word by actively allowing sanctification of ourselves with the gift of the Holy Spirit that He gives us (Exodus 19 v 10, 22-23); (Leviticus 20 v 7-8); (I Peter 3 v 15). We receive the Holy Spirit by faith, first by our belief when we keep the commands of Jesus (baptism and repeated renewal of that vow), and then by continuance of that belief in the word of God - confirmed by our inward work within our mind and heart - to give us increasing knowledge (enlightenment) of what we are required to do by outward works of faith. Jeremiah told us that our hearts are deceitful (Jeremiah 17 v 9) so let us take the warning as applied to us, so let us be sure that we are being sanctified by God, and not deluding ourselves as the foolish virgins did. God knows the weakness of our soul with regard to His will and, Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. (Psalm 103 v 13), God has given us a token to teach what is required of us and is formalised in the law of God which Jesus fulfilled in his life, and gives us guidance in this important and essential work of the Holy Spirit. Israel were to mentally and spiritually sanctify themselves as clean and holy unto God in response to the physical sanctification of them by God in separating them from Egypt. This was why the law was given to them, to teach them - or lead them to Christ their Messiah - as a schoolmaster leads a student to understanding of a subject (Galatians 3 v 24-25). The whole of the law teaches of the separation from that which is unclean and that which is clean in the eyes of God (Leviticus 10 v 10-11); (Leviticus 11 v 47), so that Israel could sanctify themselves correctly according to what God required rather than what they thought was correct (inwardly first and then outwardly), in exactly the same way as we (who are freed from that law of God by Jesus Christ) must be sanctified by obedience if we are to be saints. Whilst the law of Moses was a law that had to be obeyed in a strict practical and physical way, it was intended primarily as a law of the heart, mind and spirit, a law of the soul, a law of the character, to transform those under its jurisdiction from characters of the enmity to have characters like God. The enmity in the children of Israel, however, proved stronger and as a result the law became a series of edicts to be physically obeyed as a letter without mental or spiritual understanding (Isaiah 28 v 13); (Matthew 23 v 23). The letter of that law is now abolished in Christ (Ephesians 2 v 15), but the spirit of that law (the Holy Spirit by which the law was written) is very much alive and is now called the perfect law of liberty, so for us, the letter is not kept as a statute but the spiritual teachings of the law are to be practiced to enable the work of the Holy Spirit to sanctify us. *********************

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The lifetime vow of baptism Chapter 70 Differentiating between clean and unclean It is God who decides what is clean and what is unclean because it was He who placed the curse on His creation because of the transgression of Adam and Eve which God classified as uncleanness, therefore any effect of the enmity is uncleanness in Gods eyes and to illustrate His view of right and wrong God cursed the earth - not because it or any creature on it was faulty - but entirely because of the sin of man (Genesis 1 v 17) to be a continual reminder of his wilful sinfulness and to teach the subsequent race of mankind that they must differentiate between good and evil by separating clean from unclean in their everyday lives if they are to have hope in His promises. That curse made in the beginning remains in force and unaltered to this day and one particular part of that curse concerned a practical awareness in mankind of a distinct separation between clean and unclean and was incorporated into the law of Moses to teach the principle of a clear separation between right and wrong required by God and He chose to use His creatures to make this point obvious and physically practical, To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten (Leviticus 11). That command was the law of separation between different creatures by a demarcation of those that God classified as clean and those which He set as unclean, with the clear principle that none of them were unclean of themselves but that God had chosen them to illustrate the uncleanness of man as Paul later wrote, I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean (Romans 14 v 14) where he - that esteemeth and thing to be unclean - is God not man. This command - incorporated into the Law of Moses - confirmed what had already been understood by Abraham and Noah (neither of whom had the law of Moses but nonetheless had strong faith) and was the law of unclean and clean animals, birds, fishes and insects (Leviticus 11). At the end of the chapter God says For I am the Lord your God, ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves and ye shall be holythis is the law of the beaststo make a difference between the unclean and the clean.. (Leviticus 11 v 44-47). Let us not be blind, the natural 'old' world (the rulership of man) is used by God as a figure of the spiritual 'new' creation (the rulership of God) yet to come on earth, and the old creation is that which teaches of the new, and the practical actions in our life are indicators of the fitness of our spiritual state in preparation for the new. We are free to disregard our respect for this law of clean and unclean meats under the banner of our freedom in law of liberty and to decide ourselves what is clean and what is unclean - but let us not deceive ourselves - our voluntary keeping of the spirit of this law in our natural appetite is the only way that we can constantly exercise our minds - every day to train it to keep spiritually alert and fit, so that our emotions can instinctively choose between right and wrong in all other matters of our life - not as an edict of a law that eating unclean meats will bring the wrath of God - but by a quiet and sobering reflection that as God has set certain creatures as unclean - so He has set our human nature as unclean in His sight. So by this way we can begin to see the practical everyday issues in our life as God sees them.

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The lifetime vow of baptism By practicing a freewill, voluntary - but strict and instinctive - choice between what we eat and what we do not eat, we can become exercised in mind, athletic in differentiation and strong in will to instinctively distinguish that which is spiritually clean and that which is morally unclean in all other issues in our life, and train us not to forget what is fundamental to our sanctification the ability to decide between good and evil and to consciously choose the good and refuse the evil - not because it is just a law - but because we appreciate the value of what the law teaches for our benefit, and furthermore it is how God sees things. This is what is needed if we are follow the footsteps of Jesus who without fail instinctively choose good from evil in all his experiences (Isaiah 7 v 15). Let us not be blinded by the subtlety of the enmity within us like the serpent beguiled Eve by reasoning that she did not need to be so particular in what she ate (Genesis 3 v 5). Paul says that no creature is unclean of itself, but to him that esteemeth any thing unclean, to him it is unclean (Romans 14 v 14), and God created all things in the beginning as very good - with no blemishes or uncleanness (Genesis 1 v 31) - but the word of God teaches that as a result of His curse upon man all the creation was cursed because of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3 v 17); (Romans 8 v 22), and the law of God teaches that within that curse God has esteemed certain of His creatures to be unclean (Leviticus 11) for the duration of the curse (the prophet Malachi tells us the that God does not change, Malachi 3 v 6). Therefore the words of Paul ring true in that God esteemed certain to be unclean, so to God they are set as unclean (not permanently but until the curse is removed as Paul also wrote, For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now (Romans 8 v 2023) and if they are esteemed as unclean by God (Romans 14 v 14) they must be also be so to those who are being sanctified by the Holy Spirit in order to be eventually made immortal to be as the angels. God chose some creatures to be esteemed as unclean in His eyes while ever the enmity was loose in mankind, even though these creatures had done no wrong themselves, a fact that only mankind has been made aware of and therefore responsible to take note as to why. The only disturbance to the perfection of the creation of God was the sin of Adam and Eve, as a result of which God cursed the serpent, the man, the women, the ground and all creatures, to be a constant daily witness to subsequent generations to the sinfulness and the sins of mankind. Therefore because of our sins - and to constantly remind us of them - God cursed the earth and everything on it, a fact of which we are reminded every day in that God has brought the curse of disease, decay, violence of animals, birds, fishes and insects to each other, some plants to grow wild as weeds to choke others, the experience of pain, sorrow and death. Furthermore, God set some creatures apart as clean and the rest were esteemed by Him as unclean - solely to teach us that there is a clear difference between the clean and unclean, moral and immoral, right and wrong, good and evil, sanctification and unsanctification - so that we can be led (or school-mastered) to understand that God is separating a naturally unclean people - to be sanctified as saints - by separating them from spiritual uncleanness (Galatians 5 v 19-21) to spiritual cleanness by the work of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5 v 22-25), and that the redeemer that God would raise up (Jesus Christ) to enable this work to be done, would be restored from a potentially unclean character (subject to the enmity within him, a son of man) to

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The lifetime vow of baptism cleanness of character as God created man - without blemish (son of God) and was represented by all the clean creatures particularly set aside by God such as the ram, the kid, the sheep, the ox, the dove, the deer, the sparrow, the locust. No creature is unclean of itself (or inherently unclean) but is esteemed as unclean by God for the reason that we can look at those unclean creatures and observe the mind of God and realise that it is not that they are inherently unclean (the dog, pig, skunk etc) but that it is us who are naturally unclean in Gods eyes, because He has cursed them because of us, and that they have done no wrong before Him - but that we have, and to teach us that we must be sanctified to be as active, obedient and alert members of His flock (sheep or goats) or herd (cattle, deer, etc) before we can be esteemed as being cleansed in Gods eyes. Therefore, as the natural prefigures the spiritual, we cannot eat that which God has esteemed as unclean, because God wants us to learn the difference between clean and unclean and to choose right instead of wrong in both our natural and spiritual appetite. We are free to keep unclean animals, to love them, to care for them, to play with them and to work with them, but we are to remember that they are not to satisfy the appetite of our palette any more than we are to have no appetite to taste the unclean immoral delicacies of the world (the enmity human nature unchecked). But we still live in the world (the earth) where the world of human nature reigns, we work in the world where the world of adversary to the word of God thrives, we help those in that world in whom the world of the enmity is unchecked, we communicate with those in the world in whose world is no belief in God, we love our neighbours in the world in whom the world of their heart is no faith. Therefore we live among, work with, help, communicate with neighbours as people created in the image of God but we never partake of the world of the enmity - the world created by disobedience which is unclean in the eyes of God. Because of our sins due to our natural disobedience to the word of God, it is distressing to see the creatures of nature killing each other, particularly when the strong kill the weak and the dominant kill the vulnerable, but us never forget that they are cursed because of our sins and are a constant witness and a sharp pointed reminder that the first act of killing was done by one of our species - Cain - who slew Abel his brother for no other reason than he hated his brothers righteousness, and let us remember that the spirit of envy of our neighbour is the enmity and it is within each of us (Genesis 4 v 8); (I John 3 v 12-13). God set the difference between clean and unclean creatures and gave His decision to mankind at the time of the curse and this was passed on through the generations to Noah who understood that there was this difference between the clean and the unclean creatures and that it by God was set to teach him of the difference between the clean character of his redeemer (held in an unclean mortal body) and the uncleanness of his own natural character (also held in an unclean mortal body) (Genesis 6 v 19-22) & (Genesis 7 v 1-3). This understanding - enlightened by the gift of the Holy Spirit enabled him to express his faith that God would a provide a redeemer who would be clean in character and so Noah sacrificed clean (mortal) creatures to God (avoiding the unclean) as thanksgiving for his deliverance from the effects of the flood, which deliverance reassured him in his hope of ultimate salvation from an eternal grave, and in response to his faith God blessed Noah - and us through him - that He would never flood the earth again nor destroy His animal creatures (the clean or the unclean) again because of the lower than animal-like conduct of mankind (Genesis 8 v 20-22).

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As a daily witness, God in His mercy has used the natural creation to teach us of the way of salvation to His new creation of the rule of righteousness on this earth (Isaiah 65 v 17) where there will be no curse as it is written, And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: (Revelation 22 v 3), and to teach us to identify that there is a difference between the clean and unclean, to teach us to practice daily physical discrimination, as a training ground for continual spiritual discrimination which in the same manner requires practical separation from the uncleanness of the effects of the enmity. If we open the eyes of our conscience (from a Greek word meaning to see together with) to see as God sees, and do not blind ourselves with modernistic reasoning like Eve was with the modernist thinking of the serpent, we will be re-minded that the same difference in the eyes of God - remains in all creatures to this day, there are clean and there are unclean creatures, and that the character of Jesus was prefigured by the clean creatures, the lamb, the goat, the bull, the pigeon, sparrow, locust and the deer each showing some aspect of his spiritual life i.e. meekness, sure footedness, strength and docility, devotion and gentleness, humility, despised and hungry, joyful (Leviticus 11 v 2-3) & (Deuteronomy 14 v 4-6) and we - by our natural character ruled by the enmity - are esteemed as unclean (the dog (Proverbs 26 v 11); (Matthew 7 v 6); (Mark 7 v 27-28), the pig (Luke 8 v 32-33); (11 Peter 2 v 22) and many more).

Differentiating between the clean and unclean - disease When God cursed mankind and the earth because of mankind He placed the weakness of disease in all creatures and used this scourge as a figure of the effect of the enmity in His eyes. The spiritual effects of the enmity in the character are analogous to the physical effects of the uncleanness of sickness and disease in the natural body, and the purpose of our sanctification by the Holy Spirit is that we make a mental separation between the cleanliness of the word of God and the uncleanness of our nature, and then use the word of God as medicine against the infectious and contagious effects of human nature so that we increase a healthy strength by the Holy Spirit to put into practice those things that we have learned through the word of God. By this means, the effects of the word of God can be seen by our own spirit - which bearing witness of the effects of Holy Spirit (as Paul wrote, The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God, (Romans 8 v 16) - that we are morally and physically separated from the excesses of the flesh as we live, work and live peaceably among unrepentant sinners in the world, so that by the manner of life we lead we become witnesses that we do not have the same appetite for the excesses of the indulgence of the flesh that they do, particularly the scourge of hypocrisy the leprous and cancerous scourge that eats away at our own conscience that we are righteous and every body else is wicked (I Peter 4 v 1-4). The figure God used to teach us of our need for mental segregation from uncleanness within our own heart is contained in the law of leprosy (Leviticus 13) & (Leviticus 14) and represents the worst excess of the enmity within us in that it hates the strictures of the word of God. Leprosy is one disease of the many which form part of the curse of God on the whole of mankind because of sin, but does not mean that the afflicted are any more sinful than those who are not afflicted as Jesus taught with the blind man (John 9 v 1-4), but sickness and disease (particularly leprosy) is used by

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The lifetime vow of baptism God to teach us of Gods view of the uncleanness flesh in man. God has chosen leprosy as the disease that illustrates the enmity at work in us which is summarised in the seven things God hates (Proverbs 6 v 16-19); (Romans 8 v 6-7). The significant feature of leprosy used by God to illustrate the works of the enmity in the mind of our flesh, is the rising of raw flesh from deep within the skin to become a running sore that it is highly contagious (Leviticus 13 v 10, 24, 43-44). This is how God esteems the enmity when it is left to work within each one of us. Firstly, the effect of the enmity is no more than a hidden thought of darkness in our mind sometimes known only to ourselves (but often not even realised by us) which frets and increases in intensity till we do (or say) some act of deed of foolishness contrary to the mind of Christ. It is at this point that the disease of the enmity becomes highly contagious as it is exposed to our fellows who can begin to sympathise, to copy us and follow our error (James 3); (Hebrews 12 v 13). As the natural comes first, so it is obvious that we cannot heal ourselves individually of leprosy without medicine and qualified help (or any other of the diseases that God has cursed us with), so in like manner - in the spiritual - we are not able to heal ourselves of our spiritual sicknesses without the medicine of the word of God and help from God by the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ. In our natural sickness we need a physician who has the support of a large inventory of drugs and wide ranging medical facilities, so in like manner, we need the intercession of Jesus Christ by our faith that by the action of the Holy Spirit which Jesus will supply to us (the Comforter) from God his Father (John 14 v 16-17, 26) &amp (John 15 v 26) we can submit to the continuing baptism of the Holy Spirit in our heart, mind and body and apply the remedies taught in the word of God. Naaman, the captain of the host of the Syrians learned that only by obedience to the words of God given through Elisha could he be healed of his leprosy (11 Kings 5). In like manner, it is only by the command of God through Jesus that we can be healed and that commandment is baptism by faith in water and by the Holy Spirit. Substitute baptism is not acceptable to God where our personal convenience or our pride is involved, for there is only one baptism by faith into the death of the mortal man Jesus Christ, even as Naaman was shown that only the waters of the river Jordan would be acceptable for his cure - where his washing was to be seven times which teaches us of a continual process (seven represents terms a complete sequence of events in bible). Naaman was not a Jew but was a Gentile, which assures us that God is calling people from the Gentiles to become Jews in heart and soul, even as Jesus was the perfect Jew (Romans 2 v 14-15 & 28-29). ********************* Chapter 71 Sanctification of the sanctified ones The hope of all faithful believers from the beginning and of those who remain faithful in this day is that one day they will be raised from the dead and - during the judgement which begins at the house of God (I Peter 1 v 17) - we will be selected by Jesus Christ and then sanctified in fullness to become immortal saints (I Corinthians

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The lifetime vow of baptism 15 v 23). The final stage of sanctification is beyond our power - or the power of any man or woman - because it is a permanent and irrevocable change of our nature, it is the resurrection from mortality to immortality (I Corinthians 15 v 50-57) by the power of the Holy Spirit and is entirely in the mercy of God. Jesus will then be king over the whole earth with the saints as his ministers, his judges and his priests who will inherit the earth with him (Daniel 7 v 18); (Revelation 20 v 6). Continual progress towards sanctification is essential if we hope to be elevated to this perfect and everlasting position, for God will only show His mercy to those who respond to His call - through His word - by repentance according to His standard revealed in that word, and who are sanctified by the action of the Holy Spirit in His son Jesus Christ, and God has said that no man or woman will enter the kingdom of God without first having prepared themselves to the requirements of the Father of the bridegroom (Jesus Christ) (Matthew 22 v 1-14); (Revelation 19 v 7-8). Our preparation to full sanctification is the process of continual baptism by the Holy Spirit and it is a life-long act of faith, it is a probationary journey prefigured in the wilderness journey of the children of Israel. It is a journey of faith illustrated by the power of God in many simple examples in nature - created for His pleasure and for the instruction of His children - as for example in the migration of the swallow each year many thousands of miles between the nest of its birth and the freedom of its natural vacation, a journey which no man has yet understood the reason why or how it does it, so in like manner is the journey of preparation by faith that saints will have made from the nest of their birth into Christ to the freedom of liberty from the enmity in the kingdom of God, a journey of faith which is filled with danger but is sure, certain and never understood by the unbeliever and the hypocrite (Psalm 84 v 3); (Psalm 24). Our separation between the clean and the unclean We can have no excuse for failure in our preparation to be saints through sanctification by the Holy Spirit because God has given us innumerable tokens both in His creation - and in His curse placed upon us - to show us that it is God and not man that has set a distinction between the clean (sanctification) and the unclean (unsanctification). These tokens (clean and unclean creatures and leprosy) are provided to teach us from nature - that there is a distinct difference to be observed by us between the clean and the unclean in spiritual matters - that there is only one way of salvation for our soul - that our character must be spiritually healed and converted that our hearts and minds are by nature unclean - that we are to continually make a distinction between clean and unclean thoughts - that we must segregate these thoughts into Spiritual and enmity categories that we must refuse the unclean and choose the clean. We are to remember that the desires and attractions of our heart and mind are propagated and fed by what we see with our eyes, what we hear with our ears, what we feel with our touch, what we taste with our tongue and what we sense with our smell, and that we allow the words of God by the Holy Spirit alone to influence and rule our feelings and emotions so that it will dictate what we do with our life which God has given us (Psalm 51 v 10-11). We are to learn and remember that these tokens of cleanness and uncleanness of the creatures is not because they are unclean or clean of themselves or that they are wellformed or are ill-formed, but that God has set the distinction for our benefit and

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The lifetime vow of baptism salvation if we will humble ourselves to take note, to show us the distinction between our sins and sinful nature and the pure, holy and sanctified character of God which was seen in Jesus Christ without blemish or sickness in a naturally unclean mortal body (Isaiah 7 v 14). Let us not deceive ourselves by interpreting individual scriptures without keeping the whole message of God clear in our mind, because the enmity will take every opportunity to take the words such as those of Paul in isolation and literally interpret them out of harmony with all other scripture. In this case Paul said For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving (I Timothy 4 v 4), and But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. (Romans 7 v 6), and For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. (Galatians 2 v 19). Let us not allow the enmity to interpret these scriptures as a license to consider that God no longer teaches us the difference between clean and unclean creatures with regard to what we have an appetite for and digest for the energy of our life, because a similar message - open to interpretation by the enmity for those who wanted to - was given in the Law of God given to Israel, When the LORD thy God shall enlarge thy border, as he hath promised thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh, because thy soul longeth to eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after. (Deuteronomy 12 v 20) and then in Deuteronomy 14 v 3-20) instructs the same children of Israel to make a clear distinction between the clean and unclean food. Again Noah was told, Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things (Genesis 9 v 3) meaning that everything is edible but does not override the fundamental principles of the teaching of the word of God it must be remembered that God created us to eat herbs alone, as it is written, And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat (Genesis 1 v 29). The taking of animal life was introduced solely as a result of the sin of man to provide coats to cover their nakedness, therefore killing and eating stood as a symbol of the satisfaction of the lust of the boundless appetite of man, and as the wilful appetite for sin in mankind had become so profligate in Noahs days and was proved to be universally uncontrollable, God took away all restriction to appetite to illustrate the abandonment by mankind of the teaching of the word of God, but left the way for a voluntary abstinence by faith in the meaning of the clean and unclean designations. There are no contradictions in the word of God, the only contradiction is the effect of the enmity within us which came from the serpent in the beginning who was the consummate contradictor, a creature who could tell a lie that sounded like the truth to any who wanted to hear what it had to say. Let us not be like a sloth and go to sleep and expect that inspiration to do right will come as a shaft of light out of the darkness, if we want to be sanctified in preparation for full sanctification to eternal life then we have to search for the truth of what God has said is right and wrong (Matthew 7 v 7); (Matthew 13 v 45-46) and it is our responsibility to find out from the teaching in the word of God what God has esteemed to be morally and spiritually clean and unclean so that we can respond to the power of sanctification by the Holy Spirit by obedience to the doctrines of Christ with

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The lifetime vow of baptism the result that we are continually sanctified with the measure of the Spirit given to us, because the enmity within us and abroad in the world is full of imaginations, interpretations, doctrines, theories, rituals and hypocrisy. Physically separating ourselves from our neighbours in the world and living in partial or complete isolation from unbelievers (as if from something that is contaminated and contagiously unclean) would be hypocritical and would show that we considered ourselves to be cleansed above all others and that we considered all other people to be at a lower unclean level, which is wrong, because although we are continually enlightened and repetitively cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit - and as a result we are able to see the difference between the spiritual cleanliness and moral uncleanness - we are still mortal in the same way as all others are and are as unclean by nature as any other human being in the estimation of God. Thus we have no individual right to this blessed state of sanctification any more than any other sinner in the world, because it is God who calls the unclean to be cleansed by His choice - not because of any righteousness of our own (Deuteronomy 7 v 7); (Deuteronomy 9 v 4-5) - but because God has said that He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, as was shown in the conversion of Saul (Paul) who was a sinner above all sinners of his generation (Acts 8 v 1-4); (Acts 9 v 1-2); (Acts 26 v 11); (Galatians 1 v 13). ********************* Chapter 72 Sanctification of our hearts and minds first Sanctification by the power of the Holy Spirit can never be achieved by our own physical efforts alone no matter how much we deprive ourselves of the facilities available in the world at large, nor how much we isolate our company from our neighbours in that world - any more than faith can be achieved by works alone (James 2 v 26). Sanctification can only come from inner motives to the outer actions, from within our heart and mind - by the control of our emotions and motives - according to the word of God which word will dictate the actions of our bodily members (our hands, our tongue, our feet, our moral appetite, our attitude, etc) and in turn will form the disposition of the soul we have, the character that we are, the cleanliness or uncleanness of our habits, the manner of our life, our spiritual appetite and moral tastes, as to whether we tend to righteousness or unrighteousness. Belief in God followed by works of obedience make faith (faith is when we are moved by enlightenment of the word of God by the Holy Spirit to prove our belief by works, Hebrews 11 v 1), so likewise sanctification can only come by first cleaning the thoughts and appetite of our mind so that our character can be reformed to do physical acts of cleanness (Matthew 15 v 17-20). We are to make a distinction between what God says is clean and unclean, what is right and wrong, what is good and evil, moral and immoral in our minds and hearts. We are to make the decisions of what is a clean thought or an unclean thought from the viewpoint of God. We are to develop a taste for that which is good and a distaste for that which is evil as directed by God. If the difference between clean and unclean, right and wrong, good and evil is to be by the standards of our own decision then that

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The lifetime vow of baptism decision will be influenced by our social background, our status, our upbringing and education, which cannot be the right way because God has no respect for persons whether they be rich or poor, simple or educated, but only for the humble hearted and those that reverence and respect Him. If we (or any other fellow) were to decide by our standards - no matter how well intentioned they may be made - about what is acceptable and what is unacceptable, the result will be confusing because what is not acceptable to one according to their upbringing will be acceptable to another due to their different background and therefore all of us will have our own equal right to decide, which was the state that Israel descended into during the days of the Judges when every man did that which was right in his own eyes (Judges 17 v 6; Judges 21 v 25). ********************* Chapter 73 We cannot decide what is clean and what is unclean The ability to make independent decisions between right and wrong (or to obey any decision of our fellow) was the root and poison of the reasoning of the serpent in the beginning and was the cause of sin in man and woman, it was the reasoning of the serpent that the individual (or group of individuals) had the ability and right to choose between what is right and what is wrong, that eroded an uncompromised obedience to God. Sanctification is firstly and primarily a work of God in any heart that He sees to be of the right disposition to do His will (II Chronicles 6 v 30); (John 14 v 15-24); (John 14 v 6) which is a disposition of humility in heart, contrition of character and reverence for the name of God (Exodus 34 v 6-7); (Psalm 34 v 18); (Psalm 51 v 17). Only in response to that act of mercy can we engage in the work of sanctification in ourselves by the power of the Holy Spirit from God - who alone has decided what is clean and unclean - and therefore we can only search the scriptures for instruction to make unbiased decisions as to what is clean and what is unclean. It was the prayer of Jesus that God should sanctify his friends through the truth of the word of God as it is recorded, Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth (John 17 v 17). Therefore for us to search the word of God is the only way we will know how to choose between the clean and unclean, and as a result of our searching of the scripture (with open mind), of reading it (by comparing scripture with scripture) and applying what we read (as though it was written of us so that we fast and afflict our soul by shame and by prayer) - our belief in God, our understanding of the word of God and our wonder at the creation of God will increase, and from our increased belief in the difference between the sanctification of God and uncleanness of ourselves we will become selective in the tastes of our moral appetite. The result will be, that we will change our preferences for what we hold in our mind which will then be seen in our manner of life and subsequently be etched in our character and so we will demonstrate a convincing belief in the word of God, which combination of belief of heart and example of life will be our faith (Romans 10 v 17); (James 2 v 17-26); (Hebrews 11 v 1). This faith will become obvious to our neighbours in that we are of moral cleanliness of mind and habit, and so we will be the fulfilling the work of sanctification by the Holy Spirit and we will be witnesses of the work of God in us to

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The lifetime vow of baptism all who meet us, But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (II Corinthians 4 v 3) Scripture tells the difference between clean and unclean Before we can overcome the unclean effects of the enmity to be cleansed in character by sanctification, we need to know what those unclean effects are if the enmity is left unchecked in us - but let us not mislead ourselves - the enmity within us will resist the frank exposure of the light from the word of God without us realising it, by hardening our sensitised conscience to resist the pricks of our guilt and cast shadows of selfrighteous indignation across the light of the truth of the word of God, as Jesus said, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (John 3 v 19-21). God inspired holy men to write the bible for us to read as though it was written about us, so that we can be warned from past examples of uncleanness (as being our representatives in transgression) and understand the teachings contained in them concerning the difference between clean and unclean as a constant reminder that we are no different from them by nature. Let us not deceive ourselves, we have any of the same uncleanness's of human nature latent within us, adultery, fornication, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, revelling, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, covetousness, bitterness, anger, malice, blasphemy, filthy communications out of the mouth, lies, stealing, clamour, evil speaking, false accusations, and many, many more (Galatians 5 v 19-21); (Colossians 3 v 5-9); (Ephesians 4 v 27-31). These are the filthy traits of our nature - from the enmity - as they are esteemed by God and they begin as seeds of evil germinated and sown by the enmity in the fertile ground of the imagination of our mind, and as they germinate they fight against the germinating seeds of the word of God for space and prominence in our thoughts and emotions as Jesus taught in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13 v 3-23). Jesus was no different to us and suffered in the same way from the pernicious dangers of these seeds of evil and he showed that many of the evil thoughts (of spiritual uncleanness) begin with physical conditions that we become faced which can influence us into reasoning that our evil thoughts can be excused as reasonable in the circumstances we are in and masquerade as reasonable conduct. For example, Jesus hungered beyond our experience after a fast of 40 days and the enmity within him - the devil - argued that it was reasonable that a man could satisfy such a hunger lest he die, for his nature Satan - knew that there was still a great work for Jesus to do and subtly reasoned within him that to die of hunger would have terminated the work. But the word and will of God was firmly rooted and clear in Jesus mind and these exposed the tempting thoughts of satisfaction to be the subtle seeds of evil masquerading for reasonableness to the flesh, so Jesus removed these seeds and crushed them with the strength of his faith in the word of God by repeating the command of God it is written, and never forgot that God was doing the work in

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The lifetime vow of baptism him - to which he was responding - and therefore God would keep him alive to complete that work for as long as was required, and that it was God who would decide when Jesus should finish that work of salvation in his death, by the means that God had chosen. As our forerunner and example, Jesus trusted in God and killed the tempting thought with the word of God (Psalm 37 v 3); (Matthew 4 v 1-4); (Hebrews 12 v 1-4). In a further example, Jesus believed that he was given protection by the angels from God who would protect him from any misfortune that would impede his work by bearing him up from the chance of physical danger (Matthew 4 v 5-7) and the enmity (his nature) tempted him to use that power of protection so that he could advertise the full power of God to the watching world by jumping off the pinnacle of the temple, but Jesus would never presume upon that physical protection of God and there were no prophetic words of God that required him to do such a display, so to presume on the protection of God would be to tempt the Lord so he killed the seeds of the thoughts with the words of God it is written .. ... In a further example, Jesus knew that he was born to be the king of Israel and that he was destined by God to rule over all the nations (Psalm 2 v 1-12) but when he was tempted to secure the throne to himself as a natural right by the power of the Holy Spirit that God had given him, he knew that all worship, honour and glory must first be given to God his Lord and Master, as a subject gives honour to his lord and master and that all the power that he had was given to him from his Master - for the use of the Master - which was to allow the rules of his Lord to govern all his service, and only when he had proved this would God elevate him to the rulership of Israel and all nations in the good time of the purpose of God, and in like manner he destroyed the seeds of thought with the command of God, it is written .. ... (Matthew 4 v 8-11). In the same way we have freedom of choice and liberty make our own decisions, we have many choices of action and innumerable options of reaction to the daily experiences of our life, of our feelings of personal rights - any of which can appear to be reasonable to us and can even seem to be right - but, the example of Jesus showed that the thoughts of our actions could be those subtle deceiving seeds of evil which grow into plants with fruits of sin, so our only recourse can be to refer to the word of God to first expose them and then to kill them, so we are to constantly ask ourselves the question what does the Bible say is clean and unclean? ********************* Chapter 74 What is clean or unclean? Let us never forget that God is holy without shadow and pure without blemish and is represented throughout the scriptures for our benefit by that which is clean as it is written, Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: (Habakkuk 1 v 13), and again, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (I Peter 1 v 16). When God created the heaven and earth He said they were very good (Genesis 1 v 31) meaning that they were physically and spiritually clean with no shadow of uncertainty or blemish of orderliness (Psalm 24 v 1-5) which made the creation of the world a

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The lifetime vow of baptism new and clean foundation upon which the existence of mankind was based, which perfection could only be added to or destroyed by uncleanness, in the same way that a new clean garment can only be added to by dirt or taken away from by damage. In like manner - after the natural so the spiritual follows - the word of God is the clean foundation for a spiritual and moral world and can only be added to or taken away from by the uncleanness of disobedience, so it is written, The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times (Psalm 12 v 6). Eve knew that the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was not only forbidden by God to be eaten but that even to touch it was wrong, therefore although she had no knowledge of uncleanness she knew that it was disobedience even to approach it with the intention of touching and eating of it (Genesis 2 v 17); (Genesis 3 v 3). But the serpents word appeared reasonable (Genesis 3 v 4-5) .. .. would it not be better to know more than she knew - to be able to make independent decisions of what was right and wrong? Would it not be sensible to be wiser than they had been created - so that they could make reasoned choices? Would it not therefore be better to be able to make decisions that are more informed - rather than allowing God to choose for them? Would not the extra knowledge be helpful to decrease their dependence on the stricture of the word of God? Let us not find fault with Eve or with Adam (who should have rebuked her), these arguments are typical of the thoughts of our minds which wander away from the purity of the cleanness of the law of God in Christ when the enmity prompts us to experience the excitement of forbidden thoughts as it is written, Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. (Proverbs 9 v 17), and to experiment with our abilities beyond what God has decided is needful for us as it is also written, Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13 v 5), and to speculate on imaginations to gain a little more information than God has given us according to the words of Paul, But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. (Titus 3 v 9), to attempt to interpret the prophecies of the word of God as a precise formula to impress our fellows as Peter wrote, Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation (II Peter 1 v 20)), to add a commandment of our own by embellishing the word of God - due to our personal anxieties - and to remove the full power of an instruction of God in order to allow for the whims of friends as Jesus upbraided the religious elders of his day who were convinced of their own beliefs, doctrines and dogmas, Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. (Mark 7 v 13) (Proverbs 27 v 20); (Ecclesiastes 1 v 8). The word of God is clean and unambiguous and is always clear to those that fear and reverence God because The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. (Psalm 19 v 9), and - if read as God intended it to be read - the word of God leaves our humbled hearts in no doubt about what is clean and what is added to or taken away thus making the clean to become unclean. The commands of God through Christ are uncomplicated, thou shalt. and thou shalt not. and in obeying these simple commands we demonstrate our faith by works to confirm our humble beliefs (I John 5 v 1-4) and in

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The lifetime vow of baptism keeping them continually, we increase our faith until we begin to understand that God has given us those commandments to return our souls to Him - by repentance - and to restore our characters to those He created - by reformation - to the clean foundation that He created in the beginning. This is the new and living way that Jesus made possible as he restored the paths to dwell in and to repaired the breach (Isaiah 58 v 12); (Hebrews 10 v 19-22); (John 14 v 6) and for those who are in that way, God will always provide sufficient knowledge and understanding for all our needs - as they arise provided we show works of belief and trust in Him (Psalm 37 v 25-28). ********************* Chapter 75 Individual responsibility in sanctification It is our own responsibility to understand the motives and works of those who have lived before (by comparison to the word of God) - both as recorded in the Bible and from our own experiences of our neighbours who have been baptised - and to learn the lessons of their examples (as though we were them - good or bad) and apply them to ourselves. With the knowledge of their examples we will be better able to resist the temptation to excuse ourselves when we fail to be cleansed as God requires and at the same time will remind us that they who have lived and died cannot erase the works they did, to make us use the times we have left as opportunities to repent as God requires. After listening to the reasoning of the serpent Eve showed Adam the way to touch and eat of the fruits of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but Adam also knew that it was wrong and held the responsibility to ensure that both of them kept the law of God as being the head and protector of Eve - as decreed by God in their creation - and as such he ought to have rebuked her in his love for his wife, and, she as the weaker vessel (I Peter 3 v 7) and helper (Genesis 2 v 18) aught to have obeyed Adam. Adam bore greater responsibility than Eve because the law and dominion of the earth had been given to him and as a result it was he who became the weaker one by indirectly following the reasoning of the serpents via the transgression of Eve thus making the appearance that he was partly innocent and thus insinuating that the blame lay with Eve as he answered God, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat (Genesis 3 v 12). Adam is the representative in sin of all men who have followed, teaching men that it is necessary to admit fault without reserve and to stand firm within the bounds of the commands of God and lead their women (represented by Eve) in the way of hope of the mercy of God by obedience (Romans 5 v 12,18-19); (I Timothy 2 v 13-14). We have no room to find fault with those two because we are no better than Adam and Eve having proven ourselves to be, not only as spiritually unclean as they, but, even more so because we have the written record of the whole bible, including the good examples and the bad examples and the judgements and blessings that occurred to all of them to help us, and we know that there is no brighter light than hindsight (Romans 1 v 20); (Romans 2 v 1); (I Corinthians 10 v 11-13).

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The lifetime vow of baptism It is our responsibility to search the scripture - with the measure of the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) given to us - to show us what is clean and what is unclean in order that we do not deceive ourselves into a hypocritical following of the word of God by blind obedience through our own traditions and not knowing why - strictly from the scriptures - we do, or do not do, certain things, as if we are following a book of rules, which has been (and is) the convention in all churches and various other religious meeting groups and sects who have become established (Luke 21 v 8). It is an individual responsibility to search for cleanliness of mind and heart but we are only to search for that which the word of God decides is clean and what is unclean for us - with an open and honest heart as Paul wrote But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (II Corinthians 3 v 18), and as Jesus said of the sowing of the seed of the word of God, But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. (Luke 8 v 15).

The foundation of the difference between clean and unclean - the Holy Bible The word of God (the Holy Bible) is the only example of that which is pure in the eyes of God and the singular record of that which is entirely clean in the sight of God, the only record that has no blemish of deceit or contradiction (Psalm 12 v 6); (John 17 v 17). The words of God are the expression of the Holy Spirit (II Peter 1 v 21) recorded for the purpose of setting the divine standard of truth as a demarcation against evil, to be as the counterbalance of all our thoughts, our words and our actions as they are balanced in the scales of our conscience (in all our private judgements) where the fulcrum (pivot point) of the weighing balance of our conscience is to be sensitised by the influence of the Holy Spirit. The words of God were typified in the standard of shekel of the sanctuary which was the divinely chosen weight against which all other weights were to be compared by balancing in an even balance (Leviticus 27 v 25) because it is by the words of God that the record of our lifelong actions will be weighed when we are ultimately judged as to whether we have used the word of God correctly by continually weighing the decisions of our own conscience against it, whether we have tampered with the power of the word (Amos 8 v 5) or whether we have denied the power of the Holy Spirit by hiding the required effects of the word but displayed it as vain knowledge. We will be judged by the standard of every word of God (not the few we may have chosen to listen to) because we have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit by baptism to understand it and we will be weighed by Jesus to see whether or not we have allowed the Holy Spirit (by that word) to baptise us continually towards our sanctification. Because of the gift of God we are responsible unto judgement for own souls (Matthew 25 v 14-30). It is therefore our own responsibility to learn from the bad example of Adam and Eve and all who have followed them - including our own sins - that any disregard of the power of the word of God - however small or well-intentioned - whether in ignorance or in presumption is sin and as a result is uncleanness. The sole purpose of our sanctification by continual baptism of the Holy Spirit is to separate us to the

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The lifetime vow of baptism cleanliness of humble obedience to the word of God away from the uncleanness of our own mind soul and character - however small, well-intentioned, ignorant or presumptuous that sinful uncleanness may have appeared to us. Our decisions therefore between that which is clean and that which is unclean must be based solely on the word of God, not by taking isolated words and passages out of their scriptural context but by comparing all scripture with scripture, example with example, Old Testament with New Testament, and by reading all words and phrases within the whole context of their setting to get the sense of the words with the gift of the Holy Spirit that is given to us in sufficient quantity as God sees fit to open the eyes of our understanding at the time of our need (I Corinthians 2 v 12-16) as was the example of Ezra, So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. (Nehemiah 8 v 8). The enmity within us, the spirit of the serpent, the devil and Satan, will always attempt to interpret the word of God contrary to the intention of God and to encourage us to practice that interpretation according to our own convenience and opinions (or to those of any of our fellows if we enjoy their flatteries) as the serpent flattered Adam and Eve in the beginning tempting them to know more than the cleanliness of the word of God had given them, making it seem 'good to the eyes to make one wise' (Genesis 3 v 6). The word of God alone - unadulterated by the enmity - is the light for our manner of life where there is not a circumstance that we can experience without there being help of what we should do, it is an inexhaustible well of guidance to enable us to see how God sees, it is a wall of safety amongst all the wrestlings of our conscience when troubled by the pricks of doubt and guilt and to which we must continually return and reread in the light of our new experiences as though the Bible was written about us, and to which teaching and doctrine we are to hold fast in faith, despite the powerful and subtle opposition of the enmity within us to resist the mind of God in the pride of our own mind, with the assurance of Jesus in mind, Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. (Revelation 3 v 10-11). ********************* Chapter 76 Sanctification in the world of the last days We live in a world that is socially, industrially and materially very different from that which existed in the days of the Bible, but let us not make excuses, human nature is the same today as it was in those days and it will never change (2 Timothy 3 v 1-5). We can excuse ourselves that there are many more apparent opportunities in the world of today for our temptations but the subtle reasoning of our flesh will be in vain because the lust of our flesh (the effect of the enmity) remains just the same today as it was in the days of the bible (James 1 v 13-16) to deny the full power of the work of the Holy Spirit in the private humiliation of our heart. There are many more people today who claim to be believers in Christ but religious deception remains as

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The lifetime vow of baptism unchanged today as it was in Bible days (1 Timothy 4 v 1-3); (Luke 21 v 8). We, in these last perilous days (2 Timothy 3 v 1-5), are no more at a disadvantage or at an advantage than Jesus was in all his temptations, nor the apostles nor the prophets or any of the believers were in their day, because spiritual and moral uncleanness is a fundamental issue of our own heart and mind and not in any way to do with the world around us or those in it who indulge their temptations and who must answer for themselves (Matthew 15 v 17-19), where the basic law of God without partiality is that every one of us must answer for our own transgressions (Exodus 32 v 33); (Ezekiel 18 v &20). The word of God in the Old Testament writings set the standard of sanctification for Jesus who by his example, his words, the miracles, his life and his death explained the difference between spiritual and moral cleanness and fleshly and immoral uncleanness to us, and following his work the apostles further explained to us in the New Testament from the Old Testament what was the foundation and structure of the Christian faith so that we could follow Jesus by their writings (I Corinthians 11 v 1). The combined writings of the Old and New Testaments compounded in the life and death of Jesus Christ are recorded to show us what we should believe and what we should choose to do, and what should we reject and choose not to do. The record of the life of Jesus and the works of the apostles who followed him show us that the Holy Bible contains the fine but clear line between what is physically and spiritually clean and what is unclean in the eyes of God and anything added to or taken away from the power of this line is of the reasoning of the serpent - the enmity - within us. Isaiah prophesied of Jesus that he would know how to refuse the evil and to choose the good (Isaiah 7 v 14-15) by the butter and honey shall he eat, where butter and honey are tokens of the richness and enlightening strength of the word of God (I Samuel 14 v 27); (Job 29 v 5-6), (I Peter 2 v 2) and as the Promised Land - that Israel left the bondage of Egypt for - flowed with milk and honey (and was the divine symbol of the inheritance of Israel under the perfect rulership of the law of God) so we who have been baptised (from the bondage of sin) have put our souls and characters by faith - under the sanctifying rulership of Christ in preparation for full sanctification in the kingdom of God yet to come. The milk, butter and honey of the richness of the word of God is to be our only nourisher. ruler and governor to teach us what is clean from the viewpoint of God and what is unclean as a result of the enmity, to instruct us how to keep our minds free of the unclean effects of the enmity, to guide us in what to do in separating right in the word of God from what is wrong (the subtle reasoning of our nature the devil), to expose in us the light of godliness against the darkness of the hypocrisy of the adversary (Satan) so that our minds and hearts may be moved by faith alone in order that God may continue His work of grace by sanctification through the Holy Spirit in us. No matter how standards of social behaviour may have changed since the Bible days or no matter how fashions and trends change in the environment of the world we live in, no matter how our circumstances may change, the standard of the word of God has never changed - nor ever will (Acts 15 v 20-29); (Acts 21 v 25). As Jesus constantly and deliberately choose between good and evil, between clean and unclean by not physically isolating himself in any way from the world of his contemporaries (Matthew 9 v 1-13) so have we to do likewise, to live among the sinners of the world, to work with them, help them, be kind to them - but not to develop an appetite for

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The lifetime vow of baptism their tastes of uncleanness of the enmity unchecked in them (John 17 v 14-17), (I Corinthians 5 v 9-11); (I Corinthians 7 v 31). The burden of sanctification The apostles said to the early believers, For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things.. .. . The foundation of the one Christian faith, the bedrock of the singular Christian faith, the purity of the sanctity of the unadulterated Christian faith of the early believers is based upon those few and weighty words of the apostles (who were first called Christians) and were laid down shortly after the death, resurrection and glorification of Jesus Christ. The few words of the apostles are the essence of the cleanness and purity of truth and summarise the four cornerstones of moral, spiritual and physical conduct to maintain the required separation for a sanctified life in Jesus Christ unto salvation. It is recorded that the apostles instructed (when laying down the boundaries of Christianity for the baptised Jew and Gentile) But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. (Acts 15 v 20) repeated, For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. (Acts 15 v 28-29), and repeated again, As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. (Acts 21 v 25). Upon these simple instructions of truth (founded upon the groundwork of faith in God, Jesus Christ His son and a kingdom of God upon earth the first principles of truth - Hebrews 6 v 1-2) the complete boundary of the process of mental and physical sanctification is based - by continual baptism in the Holy Spirit - through Jesus Christ, and any additional law, edict, instruction or doctrine (added to the power of these words or taken away from) is in danger of sullying the purity of truth of God by masquerading as a personal show of pious humility - adding nothing to the strength of faith in the heart - but satisfying every natural craving to feel gratified by sacrificial depravation before an otherwise angry God, and any taking away (or ignoring the power of these words of the apostles) is a denial of the example of the life of Jesus Christ, being but the stealthy uncleanness of the enmity within us rising up for our own personal reasons - however well meant they may be - of which Jesus spake in the final words of the scripture, For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22 v 18-19). The four tenets of the doctrine of sanctification in the Christian faith (built upon the first principles of truth) as laid down by the apostles regarding the forbidden unclean

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The lifetime vow of baptism effects of the enmity in all of us are, 'idolatry', 'fornication', 'blood' and 'things strangled'. Idolatry is the worship of any creature (including ourselves), alive or dead, any inanimate object of wood stone or other composite, any star, planet or constellation, any idea, article or doctrine other than God, where to worship is to be preoccupied in mind and heart such that it influences or dominates our actions. Idolatry is one of the four corner stones of the laws of separation from uncleanness in the Christian faith. Fornication is the immoral violation of the sanctity of the singular vow of unity in marriage between one man and one woman who are made to be both bodily physically co-joined and more importantly emotionally joined together as one flesh, which serves as a practical example of the outworking of the vow of betrothal to Christ by baptism as a sanctifying vow unto marriage and any introduction of the adulterating effects of the enmity into that avowed bond of love between Jesus Christ and a believer is adultery. Fornication is one of the four corner stones of the laws of separation from uncleanness in the Christian faith. Blood uniquely refers to any blood of mankind (not animals) shed in anger, hatred or envy, both in a literal violent sense (Genesis 4 v 10-11), (Matthew 27 v 4,6,8, & 24-25) or spiritual violence sense as Jesus said, Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8 v 44) where both examples make spiritual or physical violence synonymous with shedding the blood of man. Any form of envy, hatred and anger of our neighbour by thought or action is violence - physical and spiritual is 'shedding blood' where the motive is the same as the physical act in Gods eyes, and is one of the four cornerstones of the separation from uncleanness of Christian faith is abstinence. Things strangled (or literally in the Greek, taken by the throat) is blasphemy (literal or spiritual) which is to take the name of the Lord God in vain for which there is no forgiveness Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain (Exodus 20 v 7) where the power of the name of the Lord God is mercy, grace, longsuffering, goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; where the guilty means the unrepentant (Exodus 34 v 7). To help us to understand the connection between things strangled and blasphemy, the only other use of the phrase things strangled in the scripture is in the parable of the unjust steward (Matthew 18 v 23-35) - who was frankly forgiven by his master of a large debt he could not possibly repay - but then the same dependant servant took a lesser servant by the throat (the same word as strangled) to force him to pay a trivial amount that he owed him, thus showing an entire lack of reverence for the kindness and compassion of his forgiving master and a callous contempt for the overriding mercy, grace and patience of the benefactor of them both, which teaches us that one of the four corner stones of the separation from uncleanness in the Christian faith is that if we do not forgive a repentant sinner who repents according to the directions of God we are in contempt of the compassion of God that He shown to us and have - in the eyes of God - strangled our neighbour by disregarding the power of

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The lifetime vow of baptism the name of God - the Master of all creatures - whose virtues and attributes He has shown to every living creature in equal proportions. To deny the power of the meaning of the 'name of God' in our lives in relation to our fellows is to deny the affect of the power of the name of God has towards ourselves (mercy, grace, patience, goodness and truth) and is therefore denial of the power of the name of God and that is to blaspheme. ********************* Chapter 77 To violate the word of God is 'violence' in God's eyes Peace ruled on the earth until Adam and Eve violated the command of God from which time God took peace from the earth by the imposition of the enmity. As God cannot co-habit with evil so peace cannot coexist with violence of any sort. Peace on earth - by the sole government of the Holy Spirit - was the purpose and essence of the creation of God in the beginning, and in like manner, peace on earth by the government of that same Spirit is still the purpose of God yet to be fulfilled through Jesus Christ as was the declared purpose of God upon his birth, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2 v 13-14), and upon conclusion of his lifes work before he died Jesus said to his disciples, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14 v 27), and as Isaiah foretold events not yet fulfilled, For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this (Isaiah 9 v 6-7). When the government of the Holy Spirit is disregarded within the confines of our life, when the power of that Spirit is abused in the decisions that we make and when the overruling influence of that Spirit in guiding our actions is presumed upon by the vain assumptions of our mind, then violence against the Holy Spirit results and as the Holy Spirit is God and God is the Holy Spirit then the peace of God (exemplified in Christ) is violated and there is no difference in the eyes of God between moral, spiritual, mental or physical violence. The origin of violence Adam and Eve began the violation of the peace of the creation of God when they disregarded the law of God and looked at the fruit that was forbidden with tempted eyes, it was violated further when they handled the fruit - which was knowingly prohibited - and peace was destroyed entirely by compounding their errors of lustful seeing and sensual touching by eating of the fruit which was outlawed. As a result they became unclean by accepting the reasoning of the serpent to know more than they knew before and obeying its voice and in so doing violated the law that God placed upon them. The reasoning of the serpent was a deadly intellectual poison. As a result of this violation, God cursed mankind by taking the poisoness power of the

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The lifetime vow of baptism reasoning of the serpent out of the serpent and placing it - as the enmity - within us to become an adversary between mankind and God, and between the violators of the law of God in whom the motivating poison thrives and the chosen seed of God in whom the Spirit of the word of God is active (Genesis 3 v 14-15). The effects of the enmity is the source of all physical and mental violence which exists in mankind and (as a constant reminder to us of the curse that we do violate the law of God) God has put violence between all creatures in creation, between man and beast and creature and creature even though the creatures of the animal creation do not violate the laws of God law but are cursed because of us as a witness to us that the toxic reasoning of the serpent is in us (Genesis 3 v 17); (Romans 8 v 19-22). Violation of the moral purity of the law of God led the way to physical violence between man and man. After Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden of Eden the uncleanness of their immoral violence against the word of God was quickly followed by physical violence when their son Cain developed a private anger - rooted in envy as a fruit of the enmity - against his brother Abel for no other reason than that Abel was more God-fearing than he (I John 3 v 12). Cain then compounded his accommodation of the envy of the enmity (that led to his anger) by killing him (Genesis 4 v 2-8). From this small origin (secret envy, private irritation, personal jealousy, despising of a neighbour) physical violence has since become a world wide scourge (Genesis 6 v 11-13); (Matthew 24 v 36-39). (More about violence in the next chapter) ********************* Chapter 78 Violence and the love of the peace of God It is the will of God (whom we cannot see) that we (as creatures created by God in His own image and likeness, (Genesis 1 v 26-27) should love God and be at peace with Him with the same divine love that He loves us. A token of that divine love of God to mankind has been given to us in our ability to love our neighbour and to be at peace with them (whom we can see) which love is particularly experienced between both a man and woman who become husband and wife - as one in body and soul - (Genesis 2 v 23-24); and So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church (Ephesians 5 v 29-33) and between an innocent young child and its parent - a figure used by Jesus to illustrate the love for God that must develop in a baptised person, Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. (Luke 18 v 17), Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18 v 3). As soon as the enmity had its first success within us during our childhood the peace of innocence from transgression of the will of God was violated and thus the enmity began its unceasing works of rebellion against the word of God during our developing youth to maturity. The effect was to replace the original peace of innocent obedience to the will of God with varying potencies of wilful seeds of emotive lust to experiment for natural excitement, moral declension from obedience to the word of

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The lifetime vow of baptism God, mental aggression against conformity to the rules of the scripture and physical hostility by childish rebellion, emotions that are adverse to unconditional submission to the word of God. At the same time these germinating seeds of the enmity eroded our simple childlike ability to forgive our neighbours and to live in the peace with them (as an inseparable husband and wife and a bonded child and parent do) and thus violated the law of God (Colossians 3 v 15); (I Thessalonians 5 v 13). The forgiving love of a husband and wife and the innocent love of a young child and a parent are our God-given natural emotive tokens of the fullness of the love that God has for His creation and particularly for those who obey Him, which were used by Jesus and the apostles for our benefit, and it is for us to take note of the details and pay attention. God requires that we love our fellow neighbours (as a shadow of the pattern of the love that a husband and a wife or a parent and child experiences) with a love founded upon our reverence and respect for God so that we make evident for all to see that we believe that God made our neighbour in exactly the same way as He did us, that we show awesome reverence for God as a benevolent Creator and provider of life for all creation and that our reverence is rooted in an innocent child-like heart which is voluntarily humbled by the acknowledgement that all blessings of God graciously rest equally upon every man and women every day (Luke 6 v 35). God requires that we show by our actions at all times that we all share and enjoy the same ability to breathe, to use our faculties of hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste, to see the sun rises and sun sets and feel its warmth, to taste and digest food, drink and enjoy uncountable other things, and that God wants all sinners including ourselves - to repent (Psalm 8 v 1-9). All of mankind receive the same blessings of God, both the good and the wicked, the blasphemer and the righteous and no individual has more right to these God-given gifts than any other, but, when God deems the time correct, God terminates life (Ecclesiastes 12 v 7) and so teaches us that we all live by the grace of God (as described in His name). When this fact is at the forefront of our mind - and begins to fill our heart - we can begin to reflect His love in jealously keeping (against the objections of the enmity within our consciousness) the first great commandment, And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. (Mark 12 v 30) and when we begin to do this, then we can begin to live in peace with our neighbours as God intended us and to love them as Jesus taught us, And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12 v 31). When we fail to keep the first commandment, we violate the will of God and when we fail to keep the second commandment, we do violence to our neighbour in the sight of God. Our love for a neighbour cannot be founded upon our personal tastes, nor on any likes or dislikes of our own but is to be stimulated by our realisation that we have no more right to breath and live than our neighbour and that we should love our neighbour as God has loved us and how we would like to be loved by our neighbour. Our love is to be built upon the convinced belief that we have no more right to develop our mental and physical skills and abilities than any other man or woman and that such skills do not give an advantage (or disadvantage) in a persons ability to love and that whatever natural benefit we have it is given by God to give glory to God and is not a personal right.

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Furthermore - lest we should become hypocritical in the confidence of our belief and obedience to God - our love for our neighbour is to be motivated by our realisation that any understanding of the word of God that we have is not because of any power of our own, or because we are special in any way, or that we have a right to it, or that we were more special than other unbelievers, but is given to us by the grace of God who caused His word to be written for all mankind and preserved it and caused it to be translated into our language by the same Holy Spirit that has opened our eyes to understand that same word as it is written, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (II Timothy 3 v 16) and again, Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost". (II Peter 1 v 20-21). If we withhold our help from our neighbour, in a moral way, in a spiritual way or in any physical way when it is in the power of our ability to give it, we do violence to our fellow in the sight of God by despising the help and love that God gives us with each breath, for how can we love Jesus who we cannot see if we do not love our neighbour who we can see? (I John 4 v 20). Jesus taught that our neighbour and brother is any fellow human being, whether previously known to us or not, and that we should love them and treat them how we would like to be treated if we were in their situation - as was shown in the example in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10 v 25-37). The command to love our neighbour is not a new one because John taught the same message when he said that it was the commandment of God from the beginning that we should love one another (1 John 3 v 11); (1 John 3 v 21). The name of God is the character and person of God "merciful, gracious, long suffering full of goodness and truth..... (Exodus 34 v 6-7) and these characteristics and spirit are bestowed on the whole creation every day, including every man, women and child. To demonstrate our appreciation of His love to us we are required by God to love our neighbour in the same spirit - irrespective of who they are. However, we are commanded not to love (or assist) any wrong deed of our neighbour, but to love them (despite their wrongdoing) as God loves us (despite our wrongdoing) and do good to them whenever the opportunity arises. ********************* Chapter 79 To despise our neighbour is hatred, violence and murder We believe that the message taught by John that we should love one another to be true and our hope of the forgiveness of our sins and of our full sanctification to eternal life at the forthcoming judgment seat of Jesus Christ will depend upon how we have kept this law - but John also taught - that if we hate our brother (or neighbour) we are a murderer (1 John 3 v 15) making hatred and murder synonymous in the eyes of

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The lifetime vow of baptism God. If we do not love our neighbour by showing to them similar compassionate and merciful deeds of kindness that Jesus has shown us (and God has done since creation), does that mean that we hate them? we will instinctively claim that we would never hate any neighbour. Alternatively, is there any neutral position where we neither love nor hate them? the hypocrisy of the enmity will instinctively tell us that there is a neutral position if we do not involve ourselves with their plight. On the other hand, is there a middle ground where we can both love and hate them? where a spiritually self-satisfied enmity will say there is by giving fair words of vain comfort but no practical help. The enmity within us will indignantly claim that we would never do violence to any fellow nor we ever commit murder, but the enmity within us is as subtle now as it was in Eve who was deceived by the lie of the serpent. The enmity of our nature prompts us to think that it is reasonable to excuse ourselves of involvement of our neighbours difficulties when they are in self-inflicted, but God - who examines the heart and mind - does not excuse us but requires us show our love to them by keeping the first and second commandment to demonstrate to Him by faith that we recognise that we inflict trouble upon ourselves by sinning against Him even as our neighbour does. To count our neighbour to be of less value than us is to despise our neighbour - in the scriptural sense of the word and to despise our neighbour is to hate them and to hate our neighbour is murder in the eyes of God. The three phases are one - to despise, to hate and to murder are synonymous. Jesus taught, when he referred to the hypocritical piety of his people the Jews in his day that our own nature - the enmity within us - is a murderer and has been from the beginning (John 8 v 42-45). Jesus further taught when he referred to the law of God, that the sin of murder is committed in the heart before the physical act is done, You have heard that it hath been said thou shalt not kill. But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. (Matthew 5 v 21-26). Let us not be deceived, the enmity within us will use every shade of deception to deny the truth that to despise our neighbour (in any way) is hatred and that hatred is one and the same as murder, but the enmity is Satan (the adversary of the word of God) in the same way that the serpent was the adversary of Eves obedience to God in the beginning, so how can we be guilty of hating our neighbour and so be guilty of such a heinous crime as murder in eyes of God? The New Testament of the Holy Bible was translated directly from the Greek language texts by William Tyndale in 16th century and he translated the original Greek word for hatred directly into the English word hatred, but for us to understand the full implications of the sense of the word hatred - as it was originally used by the apostles in comparison to its normal use today - it is necessary to refer to the Hebrew language which was the natural tongue of Jesus, John and all the apostles and which Tyndale found is a language whose sense fits our English understanding better than either Greek or Latin (Daniell, David; 1994; William Tyndale, an Autobiography; Yale University Press. Moynahan, Brian; 2002; If God Spare My Life; Little, Brown). One compiler of the Hebrew-English lexicon (Parkhurst !8th century) records that the sense of the Greek word hatred comes directly from the

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The lifetime vow of baptism Hebrew word meaning to despise a fellow with contempt and disgust as a worthless creature (Parkhurst Greek, 1769, , pp379; Parkhurst Hebrew 1811, ,pp 388). The first example of the use of hatred as being to reject a neighbour with contempt and disgust - as a hypocrite despises a fellow - concerns Job who was a man despised by his friends for the simple reason that he was more righteous than they, meaning that he allowed the word of God to sanctify him away from his natural moral uncleanness to the cleanliness of obedience to God. As a result of the hatred of his friends Job lost all his children and possessions and was stuck with a dreadful affliction which caused his skin to break into loathsome flaking sores like elephantiasis (Job 2 v 7-8); (Job 7 v 5) - for no other reason than the envy and jealousy of his friends in whom the enmity was working active and unchecked, showing them to be Satan in a mortal body, the enmity as men ( Job 1 v 6-12) & (Job 2 v 1-7). The second example of hatred as to reject with contempt and disgust refers to the prophetic words of the Psalmist concerning the rejection of Jesus by the Jews who he came to save, the stone which the builders refused is become the headstone of the corner (Psalm 118 v 22) where refused is the same word as hated, to reject with contempt and disgust which is what the nation of the Jews of his day did (Matthew 21 v 41-42); (I Peter 2 v 7). These examples apply to a neighbour hating a neighbour but the same word is used when God rejects an unrepentant soul in whom the enmity is unchecked because the same Hebrew word for hatred is also used in the sense of bankers rejection of reprobate silver as it is written of the unrepentant, Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them. (Jeremiah 6 v 30). This refers to the despicable practice of the forgery of silver coins where reprobate impure silver is exchanged - by deception - as being pure silver which deceit can only be detected with specialist knowledge. In the same manner, forged coins and counterfeit bank notes are circulated today and are equally shunned, hated, despised and rejected thus showing us that God hates the enmity the consummate counterfeiter - as the source of all evil. We cannot accept any excuse from the reasoning of the enmity within us that we are following the will of God and being guided by His Spirit if we follow the subtle but self-righteous piety of the hypocrite by rejecting a repentant sinner, or by despising any sinful human being and by refusing to help our neighbour - for any reason but that if we do it is no different to hatred in the eyes of God, and as Jesus taught, hatred is murder within our heart and mind. We cannot escape the truth that hatred - in the sense that the Bible uses - is something that we are all guilty of because not one of us can say that we have never despised our neighbour in our thoughts at some time, none of us can say that we have never spoken ill of our fellow in our heart, that we have never counted a fellow as worthless, that we have never unjustly avoided a neighbour like we would a counterfeit coin, that we have never spoken evil of our fellow to another in secret, that we have never felt ourselves to be more righteous than another, and this is what hatred of our neighbour means in the eyes of God.

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The lifetime vow of baptism We are to hate the works of the enmity (in ourselves and our neighbour) but not the person that God has created, we hate the uncleanness of the flesh but not the repentant sinner who desires to be clean, we are to hate the indulgence of the deception of the enmity when the serpent persistently becomes Satan acting as the person, and if we persist in hatred of our neighbour or we wilfully continue to think evil of them without cause, if we speak ill of them falsely or act against them in hatred without scriptural justification, if we despise them by our own judgement or reject them by our own feelings or by popular consent, then that is murder as Jesus said (Matthew 5 v 21-22). To reject with contempt and disgust, to hate and to murder is a gross uncleanness of our natural mind and is like leprosy in our flesh and like the hardness of our stony heart is to a faithful sower, and shows that we do not appreciate that we have all been made in the image of God and that all equally enjoy His blessings which are given in mercy, grace, longsuffering, goodness and truth. Violence and hatred is rooted in our heart Jesus said of his contemporaries, O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. (Matthew 12 v 34) and James referred to our tongue as the member that both curses our neighbour and blesses God by our voice, Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, who are made after the similitude of God. (James 3 v 8-11) and in the same sense, Jesus said but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire (fool meaning a spiritually worthless character, Matthew 5 v 22). We therefore cannot despise our fellow in our heart a spiritually worthless character for whatever reason and still enjoy the peace of the rulership of the Holy Spirit in our heart, as it is written, let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. (Colossians 3 v 15), we can never count our neighbour as worthless - even if it appears justified - if we are under the government of Jesus Christ and we cannot treat our fellow with spiritual contempt or disgust (even if we think that they deserve it) and still hope for the compassion for God for His forgiveness of our sins, because we are required to despise our own nature and remember our own weakness. Therefore, we can only consider our fellow as being more worthy than us (Romans 12 v 10); (I Timothy 5 v 21) and if they are in a scriptural fault then we must remember the parable of the Good Samaritan and give our help at cost to ourselves (Galatians 6 v 1-2) and if they will not be helped but reject us as worthless for trying to help then we must pray for them to God to help them (James 5 v 16-20); (I John 5 v 15-17) and if we and our help is still counted as worthless in their eyes (there being no repentance according to scripture) then there is no more we can do but pity them and attend to our selves to make sure that we do not follow their unrepentant way. By these things God has taught us that for us to think wrong of any fellow unjustly is the same as hating them, and that hatred is murder in Gods eyes, therefore we cannot but love our neighbour (as the Good Samaritan) whether they are our friend or enemy (Matthew 5 v 43-48); (Romans 12 v 19-21). The power of the poison of the enmity inherent within us is the influence to prompt us to consider our fellow to be of less worth than ourselves and is the root of all strife, the spring of all hatred, the font of all envy and the source of all violence (whether it

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The lifetime vow of baptism is in our mind or in any physical act we may do) and is Satan - the adversary of the power of the Holy Spirit which is working in us to create peace with God in our soul and was first seen in the hatred and envy of Cain for Abel which resulted in actual murder. Let us not think that the envy and hatred that infected Cain cannot affect us because we are told by John tells that the despite of Cain for Abel was for no other reason than that Abel was a God-fearing man and obedient to His will and understood the grace of God that forgiveness of sins and salvation is dependant upon blood that was to be shed whereas Cain did not appreciate that will of God. The same principle understood by Abel and not comprehended by Cain applies to neighbours today, that by the blood of Jesus Christ there is forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal redemption from the grave, understood by some but not by others, held and practised by some but despised by those who claim to but is not evident in their actions (John 6 v 54, 56, 60 & 66); (1 John 3 v 12); (Hebrews 11 v 4). Following the murder of Abel, history has shown that the effects of the enmity in human nature (seen by envy and hatred in the characters of men and women) has not changed and that their descendants have rarely learn from the lessons of past events and that subsequent generations perpetuate and increase the sins of the previous generations because hatred, envy and violence increased so much in the days of Noah (Genesis 6 v 13) that God destroyed the creatures of the earth in the flood with the exception of Noah and those with him in the ark (Genesis 7 v 13-16). Jesus upbraided the elders of his day, Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres. (Luke 11 v 47-48). Since then there has been more moral and physical hatred, anger, envy, violence and bloodshed in the name of religion than over any other cause, showing us that the enmity is alive, active and well in all mankind - of whom we are - as Jesus said it would be (like the days of Noah) when he returns to the earth to establish the kingdom of God on earth. All violence (mental or physical) is based upon our estimation that a neighbour is of less worth than ourselves and is directly opposed to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit by the government of the law of Christ ruling in our heart to bring peace to our soul and goodwill to our neighbours. Any thought associated with the moral dirt of envy, any spoken word of the spiritual uncleanness of hatred from our lips, any action that shows a despising of our fellow, any ill thoughts against our neighbour in judgement, is contrary to our vow of baptism and is contrary to the work of the Holy Spirit in our continual baptism unto sanctification which continues in response to the weekly renewal of our vow. We cannot allow ourselves to think evil of any of our neighbours for it is in our thoughts that the boundless imaginations of the enmity find fertile ground which spawn if we hold them within our minds and are ready to fester and break out into the leprous sores. These thoughts result in false accusations - muttered in words and innuendos to others - and spread like wildfire embroiling any who have itching ears who all become guilty of the violence to a neighbour by false witness which an abomination hated by God - in all its forms - and those who hold to its tasty tattle as Paul wrote, And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. (I Timothy 5 v 13); (Proverbs 6 v 16-19); (Exodus 20 v 16).

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To reject with contempt and disgust, to despise, to think that our neighbour is inferior to us in any way is to think evil of our fellow and is slander (1 Timothy 3 v 11); (Proverbs 10 v 18); (Psalm 101 v 5). These same evil thoughts lead to whisperings, debates, wrath, strife, backbiting, swellings, tumults (II Corinthians 12 v 20); (Romans 1 v 29-31), tale bearing, being a busybody (I Peter 4 v 15); (I Timothy 5 v 13). All these unclean effects of the enmity and are contrary to the sanctifying process of the Holy Spirit as prescribed by the early Christian apostles, As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. (Acts 21 v 25) where blood in is the original is the blood of man and represents moral, spiritual or physical violence and if we persistence in entertaining these imaginations of the enmity - even if only in our heart and mind - God will remove His work of sanctification from us. Our response to the divine call for our separation from all forms of violence - being one of the cornerstones of the Christian faith - as viewed through the eyes of God will be influenced by the interests of our life and our tastes in relaxation when violence is seen in our fellows. ********************* Chapter 80 Violence and private pursuits In view of the far reaching effects of violence (despising, hating and murder) we can never be entertained by any form of violence whether it is in films, documentaries, educational records, in books, in newspapers, in magazines, in games, in sports or in any contact with our neighbours that we may have, for to be entertained by any form of mental, emotional or physical violence is to satisfy the lust of an unclean mind (James 4 v 1-5) and is entirely contrary to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit and if we continue our exposure to any form of violence it will reduce our sense of how abominable violence is to God. Our manner of life is to be free of physical or verbal fighting, it is to be without aggression to our neighbours, it is to avoid all arguments with our fellows particularly in matters regarding the word of God, and we are never to revenge ourselves of ill done by our neighbour even if it is only verbal violence (I Peter 2 v 21-24) and we are never to hold evil thoughts against our neighbour but remember that we both depend upon the grace of God. If we cannot choose between good and evil in the thoughts, entertainments and actions of our daily lives then we will never be able to resist the violence of the enmity against the new spiritual man Christ Jesus within us by baptism, as Jesus remarked, And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. (Matthew 11 v 12) ********************* Chapter 81

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The lifetime vow of baptism Fornication is contrary to sanctification The boundaries of our separation unto sanctification according to the faith established by the apostles are to abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood (Acts 15 v 20) where fornication is mental and physical decadence, carnal gratification in mind and body, and lax morals in spiritual and secular conduct and is described by an early English translator as simple fornication between two unmarried persons, lasciviousness of other kinds (Mark 7 v 21), whoredom in a married man or woman (adultery), incestuous whoredom (I Corinthians 10 v 1), all kinds of lewdness (Romans 1 v 29) (Parkhurst Greek English Lexicon, 1769) about which the apostles said, Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (II Corinthians 6 v 17). Principles of truth in the spiritual applications are prefigured by the natural, where spiritual fornication includes claims of faith without intelligent baptism, adulteration of principles of truth for personal convenience and congregational popularity, toleration of physical immorality, control of the laity by Nicolaitanism, doctrines and commandments of men and any other influence that takes away from, or adds to, the example of Jesus Christ who came to save sinners. God created our original parents (Adam and Eve) as very good and by His wisdom set a standard of male and female relationships that is morally virtuous, physically clean and mentally innocent but which has since been relaxed and degraded by the baseness of human lust in each generation to such an extent - that in these last days moral laxity and carnal uncleanness is considered entertaining and socially acceptable and has become so widespread that the carnal excesses of the enmity within mankind have been forgotten and moral laxity has ceased to be abhorrent. The scriptures teach us that the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (Romans 8 v 7). The origin of moral rectitude God created the physical body of man in all its bodily detail after the image of God and after His likeness (Genesis 1 v 26-27) and then created woman from Adams' body according to the same purpose, and set the emotions of their character within them and made them to stand upright and walk with balance. God gave them intelligence, sensory organs and a nervous system for them to use in a way that displays a life that is dedicated to the honour and glory of God who created them (Genesis 2 v 19-20). God made the woman out of the man (Genesis 2 v 21-22) to be a help fit for him (Genesis 2 v 18) and gave them both the ability to love each other, to be faithful and loyal companions to each other and made them in such a way that their two physically dissimilar bodies to be complimentary in abilities and, physically co-joined as one. Their two emotionally different souls had the ability to become united as one (one in mind, one in heart and one in love) for the length of their life to enable them two (as one) to love God to give Him the pleasure for which He created all things, ..for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4 v 11). To confirm His will that these created inferiors (Psalm 8 v 5) should be men and women who can be united as one to perpetuate His honour and glory, God made

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The lifetime vow of baptism Adam and Eve in such a way that they could physically join together to become one in body also (Ephesians 5 v 28-33) for the purpose of raising a family of God-like created beings to perpetuate the witness of His wisdom of creation on earth, so that the whole earth should be populated and be ruled by them and so that subsequent generations could live as Adam and Eve were first formed, by honouring and glorifying God their creator through obedience to His law, until the earth was wholly populated by righteous inhabitants according as God did in the beginning, And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: (Genesis 1 v 28).. Sin entered and their life span was limited by death, but God still allowed His creatures to regenerate into subsequent generations so that their progeny could also have the opportunity (where Adam and Eve had failed) to honour God by obedience with the hope of salvation from an eternal grave, and consequently God is now a husbandman who is seeking a harvest of righteous people to populate His earth as a wholly righteous people (James 5 v 7) for ever. God has not left us without help to enable us to comprehend the standard of sanctification and cleanliness of the divine union of a man and a woman that He intends to populate the earth with and that standard is described in the Song of Solomon, which is an emotional and spiritual dialogue between one man and one women - wholly committed to each other in love - teaching us of the union of Christ Jesus and his multitudinous companion, the faithful who are in preparation to be saints (Hebrews 11 v 39-40). These two (absolutely faithful to each other despite all manner of distractions) are to be united by God as one in the fullness of the work of the Holy Spirit after the resurrection of those faithful from the dead (Ephesians 5 v 25-33). Moral laxity and fornication is continued in the next chapter. ********************* Chapter 82 Moral laxity and fornication The spirit and the sanctity of the future union that we hope to be part of (Revelation 19 v 7-9), and which we have been given a foretaste of in the God-given emotional excitements of the intensely private, physical and mental bond between a man and a woman as husband and wife, has been abused and debased by the insidious subtlety of the enmity like no other feature of the creation of God since the time of the creation of Eve out of the body of Adam and of their subsequent marriage. Therefore we cannot support any indulgence - or agree with any toleration - of any immoral act that violates the purity of the lifelong physical vow and the unbreakable emotional oath that one man and one woman make between themselves by their private physical actions of bodily joining together or by their publicly spoken word of fidelity, for said Jesus, what therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder (Matthew 19 v 3-9) where that joined together is the God-created bodily form that enables regeneration by a private physical act (Genesis 29 v 21-23); (Exodus 22 v 16-17); (Deuteronomy 22 v 28-29) and of equal importance is by a spoken oath in civil law (Ruth 4 v 9-13).

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The lifetime vow of baptism Fornication is the word that the bible uses for this abuse, whether it is physical indulgence of two bodies before the vow of civil law, or whether it is after an oath of fidelity but outside of that vow, and is therefore the most obvious uncleanness that we - as baptised persons who are being sanctified by the Holy Spirit - cannot associate with and from which must make a clear and unreserved mental separation, to be followed with a physical separation, because if we cannot keep the purity of our vows with those who we can see, how can we keep our vow to God through Jesus whom we have not seen? In addition, if we tolerate or excuse the physical act of the abuse of this sanctified union by wanton loss of virginity before the marriage vow, how can we expect to be spiritual virgins when Jesus Christ reappears to claim his chaste bride? To remind us of the original faith of the apostles, Paul wrote, For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. (II Corinthians 11 v 2), and as it will be testified of those who maintain the fundamental faith of the apostles, These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. (Revelation 14 v 4) Fornication is adultery Let us keep awake to the truth of scriptural teaching, our private and public physical works will confirm (or deny) the faith of our soul as being a demonstration of the beliefs held within our mind (James 2 v 24) whether they are in obedience to the truth of God or not (John 17 v 17) and that true faith can only come from the teachings of the scripture by enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (Romans 10 v 17) teaching us that the secret state of our mind will dictate our private and public actions and show whether it is ruled by the enmity or by the Holy Spirit. Therefore according to the teaching of the Jesus, the cleanliness of our mind and the level of sanctification of our thoughts must precede the cleanliness of our actions, making the sanctification of our private thoughts of greater importance than the sanctification of our public actions, because human nature (the effect of the enmity within us) is capable of creating a hypocritical sham of a pious life while harbouring the filth of a secret fleshly mind under its cloke of self righteousness - without actually indulging in the act. Jesus taught - quoting from the law of God - concerning cleanliness of character Thou shalt not commit adultery, but at the same time emphasised the importance of moral rectitude within the heart, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with already in his heart, teaching that private uncleanness of the mind goes before the act of fornication (which may not actually be engaged in) where the laxity of the divine standard of moral conduct is already established deep within the heart, and as a result, is uncleanness of the mind and heart - which is the greater sin than the act because it is compounded by hypocrisy (Matthew 5 v 27-28). This applies to enjoying secret adultery in the mind, enjoying the titillation of a neighbours infidelity or toleration of moral laxity by reading and discussing such betrayals. These base lustful private thoughts are prompted by the enmity deeply embedded in our natural character but pose themselves as subtle reasoning of the serpent, the reasoning of indulgence against the written law of God (Genesis 3 v 15), and as they are inherent within our naturally unclean mind they tempt us (both men and women)

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The lifetime vow of baptism to satisfy our natural desire for more than what God has provided or they allow us to tolerate laxity in our neighbours (James 1 v 14-15). If these temptations are not rooted out as they arise in the privacy of our minds by applying the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit word of God as Jesus showed (Matthew 4 v 1-11) - let us not deceive ourselves - they will result in our secret mental enjoyment of adulterous acts, of private gratification of the deeds of illicit relationships, of passing on to our neighbours such details of immorality, of toleration of fornication, of excusing immoral relationships for personal gain, of indulging in obscene language and of engaging immorally wrong conversations, in reading and discussing filthy communications of the dissolute and keeping such pornographic communications in our possession (it is well to note that the root of the Greek word for adultery is directly translated as pornos in English), of engaging in inordinate and vile affections (Colossians 3 v 5-6) all of which were epitomised in Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18 v 20) and of which Jesus said it would be repeated in the days when he returns to the earth, not only in the unrepentant unbelievers but in those who claim to be the repentant believers as Paul wrote of those believers to Timothy (II Timothy 3 v 1-7). Fornication is carnal lust Let us not deceive ourselves with any reason that we may argue as valid, if we have any lingering thoughts or any continued association with these base effects of our carnal mind, our character will become unclean and become an adversary to the will of God - shown in that everlasting principle of the provision of one man and one woman (and one man and one woman only) joined together in holy matrimony as loyal, faithful and true to each other - and as a result we will begin to make exceptions in our judgement of right and wrong. Any thought of lust between a man and a woman - who are not married, any act of lust between a man and a woman - who have not vowed to be loyal and true to each other, any thought of termination of a sanctified marriage - with divorce, any suggestion of creating a situation where divorce is a real possibility, and any other vice that is associated with the debasing of the divine sanctity of one man and one woman united in Holy matrimony for life - is uncleanness of the mind and contrary to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit and we cannot have any association with it (Mark 10 v 2-12), (Matthew 5 v 27-32), (Ephesians 5 v 1-5), (Romans 1 v 24-32). Upon these principles Paul wrote of the congregation claiming to be the repentant believers of his day, I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. (I Corinthians 5 v 9 & 11) If we believe without doubt that the words of God are true and if we have the meekness of spirit do what the spiritual fast of the Holy Spirit by continual baptism requires, then our memory will be instantly clear about the boundaries of the gulf between the uncleanness of an unrestrained lust and the cleanliness of a continually sanctified mind, and as a result we will repeatedly strengthen our belief by overcoming our unclean thoughts in the privacy of our mind (not by ignoring them but by killing them with a command of Christ, it is written) and will demonstrate

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The lifetime vow of baptism our belief by the example of the decisions of our life and that will be counted by God as our faith (Genesis 15 v 6); (Hebrews 11 v 1). ********************* Chapter 83 Separation from fornication We are required to live in the world where moral permissiveness dominates like it did in the days of Noah and in Sodom and Gomorrah (John 17 v 15); (Luke 17 v 27-29). This necessitates being in contact with fornicators, adulterers and other such indulgers in our daily life (I Corinthians 5 v 9-11); (John 17 v 14-16) - but let us warn ourselves - with continual inevitable exposure to fornication we can become accustomed to immoral behaviour and begin to loose the power of the sincerity of the conviction of our belief in the sanctified relationship of a unified holy marriage (Matthew 24 v 12). Positive identification of the boundary dividing line between spiritual and moral cleanliness on the one hand and uncleanness on the other, and our subsequent active private mental rejection of uncleanness, must come before any meaningful physical and public separation from evil can be done. This means that sanctification in the privacy of our mind and spirit precedes sanctification of our private and open actions, and it is our responsibility to understand by the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit through all scripture - what are those boundaries in the context of this decadent world that we live in, so that we can be in this world among the population of unbelievers but still be spiritually and morally separate from the deeds of those unbelievers, and to inwardly use those boundaries to separate ourselves from uncleanness (as being repulsive to us) and so allow God to continue with His work of sanctification by continual baptism of the Holy Spirit. Let us take the lessons of the lives of those from the scriptural past as though they were written about us and we will find that unguarded exposure to the evils of the enmity in human nature and the subtlety of illicit male-female and other decadent relationships will wear away our conviction regarding the definite line of truth, as was seen in the example of Solomon who allowed the boundary defences of a convicted belief in the truth and purity of the law of God to be eroded and relaxed by the women he associated for whose whims he made accommodations (I Kings 11 v 1-8); (Proverbs 7 v 6-23), nor as Pilate - who although warned by his wife to have nothing to do with the conviction of Jesus Christ to death - chose his own popularity with his superiors and the people to unjustly convict him (Matthew 27 v 19-20). One thing is sure, we cannot change the world (II Peter 3 v 7) nor can we convert the unconverted in the world (John 14 v 6); (I Corinthians 3 v 7) and neither can we be sympathetic to carnal excess of those in the world and those who claim to be repentant believers (I John 2 v 15-17), but by living with unbelieving neighbours in a godless world, by working alongside colleagues in an unbelieving world and by being in the company of the non-believers in the world, we can be living examples of good works (preaching by works, not by words) - which result from our belief in the word of God - and as lively witnesses that there is a God who is sanctifying us as a people

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The lifetime vow of baptism for Himself and His Son Jesus Christ by our continual baptism of the fire of the Holy Spirit purifying our hearts (II Corinthians 4 v 1-7). We are to be examples of godliness to all people by our polite avoidance of all association with any form of fornication, by courteously declining continued conversation where the subject degenerates toward the carnal indulgence of the flesh and for whatever reason we may press upon ourselves - we are to refuse to read any writing that contains a subject of carnal indulgence - or to look at anything that we know beforehand to contain images or words of immorality - nor can we allow any memory of dissipation to linger within our thoughts whether it is by secret enjoyment or by hypocritical disgust. If we reject carnality without reservation or sympathy immediately it arises, we will allow the Holy Spirit to rule in our hearts and then our own physical behaviour will naturally follow our sanctified mind as acts of faith, and we will allow the Holy Spirit to continue the work of our sanctification. Fornication and our daily life It is our own responsibility to overcome any thoughts of fornication that arise in us from the effects of the enmity within us and it is our vow by baptism in water to avoid all lingering visual and physical contact (for whatever reason) with carnal lust by repeating the words of Jesus as we are exposed and tempted, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God (Matthew 4 v 7) and it is our renewed oath by eating and drinking of bread and wine each first day that we will continue to teach ourselves to be selective in our choice of daily information and entertainment, of our choices of newspapers, magazines and journals and of the reports within our chosen media, it is our individual choice in the privacy of our lives to be careful about the books we read, of the films we select to watch whether on television, DVD or video or in our choice of any audiovisual computer programs by CD or by accessing the world-wide-web, it is our decision by our own freewill to be extremely cautious when accessing internet web sites to avoid all sites that promote any suggestion of the violation of the divine purity of a one man and one woman marriage, and it is our choice that the music we listen to will not contradict the sanctification of our renewed mind. We are to shoulder the responsibility of our own individual vow of baptism (we cannot hide under the canopy of a book of rules from an organised church) by being personally vigilant in the choice of all forms of entertainment offered today that none contain any hint of moral permissiveness that is contrary to the will of God in the purity of marriage, we are to be trusted to be selective of the type of shops and stores we enter - that they do not promote carnal lust, the websites we access - that they do not lower the moral standard required of us, the places we go - that they are not designed to excite the baser instincts of the enmity within us, because if we learn the lesson from the fall of Solomon - as if it were a record of our own life - we will know that unnecessary exposure to any form of fornication is harmful even to a sincere mind. We must never fall into the snare of thinking that we can temporally indulge in any of these debasements, even if we attempt to justify to ourselves that our indulgence is so that we can warn others not to indulge, but by reading the scripture (which forbids any contact with immorality) and by allowing the Holy Spirit to rule in our heart, our natural spirit will change and will make us instinctively aware of any uncleanness to

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The lifetime vow of baptism identify it long before we have chance to temporally indulge without being particularly told and so fulfil the words of Paul, The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (Romans 8 v 16). The rules of our heart and mind must be as clear as the word of God was to Jesus thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God (Matthew 4 v 7). If we do unexpectedly stumble unawares across uncleanness in a place where it is not to be expected then we are to avoid it and pass right by it and show our love to other believers to warn them to be careful (Proverbs 4 v 23-27) and if in turn we are warned by our fellows that uncleanness is close, we are to be grateful and take the warning without question and not go and see for ourselves. We are to live on this beautiful earth among the uncleannesses of the enmity within the world, amongst its daily moral laxity but we are never to become partners with the unclean elements in the world of the curse of the enmity (John 17 v 15) but at the same time we are to be thrilled and inspired by the sharply contrasting cleanliness of the creation of God and the constant grace of God that He does not destroy the earth in His anger but still blesses the righteous and the wicked with daily benefits. We are to live amongst unbelievers and the unrighteous but we are hear no evil, we are see no evil and we are to speak no evil, particularly when such evil is evident in acclaimed believers, as Paul instructed the believers in his day, to touch not, taste not, handle not (Colossians 2 v 20-22). Anything that violates or degrades the divinely appointed vow between one man and one woman in the unity of their bodies - and minds - for the duration of their life whether it be adultery, immoral relations outside of marriage, or anything that is carnally associated with illicit relationships is uncleanness and contrary to our sanctification and against the foundation of the early Christian faith, that states that we abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. (Acts 15 v 20), and again, That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. (Acts 15 v 29), and again, As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. (Acts 21 v 25). If we cannot keep our minds, hearts and actions free from any association with lax moral behaviour - among believers of unbelievers - then we can never hope to keep our soul away from spiritual fornication where we will mix allegiances to our own human feelings - the reasoning of the enmity within us and the imaginations of the devil as an adversary of the word of God with the pure unadulterated word of God, like a faithless wife cuckolds a trusting husband, all of which leads to idolatry as a worship of our own feelings and those of our adulterous associates. ********************* Chapter 84 Idolatry is contrary to sanctification

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The lifetime vow of baptism God created us with a unique capacity to memorise the experiences of our senses (hearing, sight, touch, taste and smell) so that we can recall them as recollections from memory for the exclusive purpose that our minds should be constantly refilled with the handiworks and word of God - to the end - that we apply them in our life to worship God intelligently as a singular, superior, merciful benefactor by the thoughts of our mind, the actions of our body which will be seen in the character of our soul, even as our spiritual predecessors (the children of Israel) were commanded, Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (Deuteronomy 6 v 4) and , For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God (Exodus 34 v 14), where to 'worship' is to mentally (or physically) prostrate ourselves by manner of life, in service to God as direct a result of the recollections of our memory of the will of God that has been set in our mind. Idolatry is to worship any additional concept or idea (that is formed by the imagination of our mind), which replaces our memory of the truth of the word of God, and masquerades as worship of God making the word of God appear false. Idolatry is the result of the power of the enmity within our consciousness, which persistently creates subtly alternative interpretations of the word of God as 'images' in our mind that are attractive to our own tastes and occupy our time, whether they are from our own imagination or from a similar imagination in our fellows (Genesis 8 v 21). Idolatry is worship of any attraction that distracts from the pure unadulterated word of God and acts as a substitute for it, which when we worship, we mentally (or physically) prostrate ourselves in service to the substituted mental image and adore the subject (or the object) that has become set in our mind (Ezekiel 8 v 16). We worship (as idolatry) when we adore our fellow or when we spiritually prostrate ourselves to any imagination of our neighbour whether it is from their works, their words, their thoughts, their writings or their habits. Idolatrous worship is when we idolise any object made from the imagination of man or when any part of Gods creation influences our manner of life contrary to the word of God (Jeremiah 44 v 1719); (Ezekiel 8 v 7-16). Adoration (which is idolatry, false worship and slave service) is when any image of our imagination, fills and preoccupies our thoughts to the exclusion of our singular belief in God and His thoughts as given in the Holy Bible. Therefore, we begin to serve an idol when our first and primary thoughts are toward the object of our adoration rather than toward the mind of God as singularly presented in the scripture, with the result that our primary thoughts become superior to the memory of the unadulterated word of God which become relegated to secondary thoughts. It is in the subtlety our nature for us to consider that we would never prostrate ourselves - under any circumstances to submit ourselves to anything that is either equal to us or that is less equal and inferior to us (Jeremiah 17 v 9-10) and as a result - we will naturally claim - that we only worship anything when the subject and object of our worship is superior to us, because idolatry is service of a slave to a superior. Worship of self God created all men and women to be subservient to Him as equal subjects in matters of salvation and we would never mentally or physically willingly prostrate ourselves in worship before a fellow man or woman because of our equal status in the eyes of

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The lifetime vow of baptism God. Apart from respect for authority held by our neighbour, instinct tells us that we cannot worship a fellow mortal because they are created equal to us in the sight of God, and for similar reasons we would not worship any other creature of the natural creation because we have been made to have dominion over them (Genesis 1 v 28); (Psalm 8 v 6). In like manner we could never idolise anything that a neighbour has made, that they have said or works that they have done because those things will be but a reflection of the skills of a fellow human being who (authority apart) are not superior to us in any way (Isaiah 44 v 9-20); (Mark 7 v 6-7), nor can we be preoccupied in adoration of any part of the natural creation of God such as the sun, moon or stars, the wind, fire or water no matter how awesome it is. If these things are so - and we will readily agree that they are true - then the only object of worship left for us to be preoccupied with is our own self (apart from to God which is the overriding worship applicable to all), with our own importance, with our own opinions, our own comforts and with our own conveniences - in essence - with our own life. We cannot worship anything without first mentally prostrating ourselves into submissive service to it, and to be in service is to bow down and prostrate (if not physically in body then certainly in obedience to its whims as a slave to a master). Prostration of mind to our own whims will be the result if we become preoccupied with our own will, with our own comforts, or if we become focused on our own conveniences or if we become over-awed with our own importance and an opinion of a righteousness of our own in contradiction with the righteous superiority of God. Our persistence in pursuing these egotistic thoughts of self piety - which are counter to the law of Christ - and harbouring them in our mind to the exclusion of the unadulterated word of God (containing the power to humble us) will result in an unwitting prostration of our spirit to become a servant to those self-centred thoughts (Romans 6 v 16) and will show that we have become over-awed with ourselves as being more important than we are in the eyes of God. As a result we will become bound as a bond-servants to the source of our adoration - the enmity within us, the adversary of God, the serpent whose reasoning became the adoration of Adam and Eve and all who followed them and was illustrated in the physical prostration of the sons of Jacob before Joseph their brother when they unwittingly met him in Egypt and were over-awed by his presence (Genesis 42 v 6, v 10-11) & (Genesis 44 v 14). They did not intend to worship Joseph (because they hated and despised him) but in that hatred they had unwittingly prostrated themselves to their own imaginations of self importance, but the judgement of God finally overtook them and caused them instead to literally fall down before Joseph and realise that they were not as important as they thought they were. In like manner, when we therefore prostrate ourselves (knowingly or unknowingly) in mind or in bodily actions to our own self, to our opinions, to the importance of our own position, or to any another fellow, then our sense of awe has been diverted from an unadulterated worship of God to an idolisation of the enmity as self but deceptively posing as a false cloke of piety so that we become as bound servants - slaves to sin - which is the root of idolatry. Idolatry is service The word used for servant in the New Testament means a bond-servant or slave and comes from the Greek word deo (dew and donlos) and is the true sense of the word that Jesus used when he said, Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6

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The lifetime vow of baptism v 24-33) where mammon is human nature motivated by the enmity and is an active resident in each one of us. When God created the earth and man upon it there was created a simple and uncomplicated hierarchy of servitude where Adam served God, And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. (Genesis 2 v 15) where to dress means to till or to serve, and in turn all other creatures were in the service of Adam and Eve. No alternative masters or servants were created by God, except when God created Eve out of man He made Eve to be subservient to Adam (Genesis 3 v 16) but with an essential difference, Eve was made to be the helper of Adam (Genesis 2 v 18) in a joint servitude to God (not a slave to him) and it became the heavy responsibility of Adam to ensure she did so as being the weaker vessel (I Peter 3 v 7). These two were created senior to the rest of creation and as superiors, God gave them dominion over all things (Genesis 1 v 26) and gave Adam the freedom to name all creatures (Genesis 2 v 19-20) and in so doing God confirmed that those creatures were subordinate to Adam. In this benign and kindly servile occupation, Adam and Eve were to remain fully preoccupied in mind, heart and body with the rule and law of God (Genesis 2 v 16-17) in awe of their Creator (it is not possible to have any servitude or any dominion without rules and a law). Had Adam and Eve continued mentally and physically preoccupied with the law of God and with their tillage of the garden their lives and that of the creatures would have perpetuated indefinitely, but Eve listened to the reasoning of the serpent and subsequently became preoccupied with them in contradiction to the law of God. How long it took for the serpents thoughts to occupy the thoughts of Eve we are not told, but we do know from our own experience that for us to become preoccupied with any thought can take quite some time and certainly enough time for us to have second thoughts and give us the opportunity for us to discard those first thoughts for the better thoughts of God. As a result of her preoccupation Eve then followed her thoughts and occupied her time in approaching the tree to look upon the fruit and - having found it to be desirable - she became more intensely preoccupied with the promise of increased wisdom. This compounded preoccupation caused her touch the fruit, to pick it and to eat it, sharing the object of her preoccupation with Adam who also became filled with the thoughts of the serpent at the cost of thoughts of obedience to God. Because of their new occupation, they came to be servants of the serpent and therefore put themselves under another law (the law of sin) first by entertaining the reasoning in their thoughts, and then by physical occupation in eating the fruit. The next chapter continues with 'Idolatry is service to two masters'. ********************* Chapter 85 Idolatry is service to two masters Following on from the previous chapter concerning idolatry in Adam and Eve being 'service to self', a complicated and intolerable situation occurred for they were now servants to two masters (God and the serpent - mammon) and as Jesus said, no man

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The lifetime vow of baptism can serve two masters so a conflict began as they were now being pulled in two opposite directions, which conflict is explained for us in practical terms by Jesus when he said to Martha - who was cumbered about much serving - that she was careful and troubled about many things (Luke 10 v 40-42) where the sense of the word cumbered is to be pulled in opposite directions by two different masters. Let there be no doubt, we are descendants of Adam and Eve and equals with Martha and likewise become easily preoccupied in our every day thoughts and cares, which brings the risk of idolatry closer to us than we realise. Whilst we are to be careful and circumspect in our every-day affairs we can easily become encumbered due to the minutiae and trivia of daily life - where we do have major issues which affect us all from time to time which must be attended to responsibly - but we cannot forget or neglect to put into practice the words of Jesus because he provided them for us for our sanctification and salvation, and ignorance of them will cause us also to become encumbered with service of two masters as Jesus taught, Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6 v 24-34). We also do have to be diligently occupied in work for our masters as the scripture instructs us, Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; (Titus 2 v 9), and - if we are selfemployed or retired - we are to be subservient (as being ideal citizens) to the dominion and authority of the government and its agencies (Romans 13 v 1-8) because if we cannot be exemplary citizens in this life (to which we had no choice in our birth) we can never hope to be citizens in character of heavenly Jerusalem (to which we are voluntarily born by baptism). There are a multitude of daily chores and works to be occupied with at home and abroad, but we can never become preoccupied with any of them to the exclusion of the law of God in our master Jesus Christ, for if we do, then idolatry will result. Let us look at Adam and Eve as if we are in their position, in their preoccupation they imagined that the reasoning of the serpent was superior to the reasoning that God had given them simply because (for whatever reason) it was an attractive addition to their familiar experience - which is a trait that we inherit - as Solomon said, the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. (Ecclesiastes 1 v 8). To satisfy the itch for additional experience they partook of that which was forbidden (Genesis 2 v 16-17) and became servants to the serpent, because when Adam and his progeny were cursed by God they were not only cursed to become dying creatures but to till the ground until they died (Genesis 3 v 23). The Hebrew word till used here (, (abad)) and translated as till in English is the word from which our understanding of service, to serve, and servant comes where the Hebrew has the primary sense of meaning as to serve the ground, to till, to labour together with the natural agents (water, light, soil, heat etc) in making it produce its fruit regularly and plentifully (Parkhurst; 1811; p508). This original word till is used throughout the Old Testament translated by Tyndale as to serve. When Adam and Eve took of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they willingly and knowingly put themselves under the servitude of the reasoning of the serpent and thus became servants of the serpent, servants unto death (by transgressing the law of God) because the poison of the serpents reasoning had infected their minds.

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The lifetime vow of baptism Therefore God justly cursed them to become perpetual servants of the earth (or any other trade their progeny took to) and in addition God made them liable to be subject to the false authority of the reasoning of the serpent - to which they had already succumbed - because God called the reasoning of the serpent the enmity because it was opposed to His word, and He cursed Adam and Eve by taking this poisonous adversary out of the physical serpent and placing it (the enmity) within their soul as that which is always against the word of God, always contrary to the authority of God as a duplicitous power to replace the singular rule of God (Psalm 58 v 4); (Psalm 140 v 3); (Romans 3 v 13); (James 3 v 8). Awareness of the enmity continues in the next chapter.

********************* Chapter 86 The curse of the enmity, the power of idolatry The curse of the enmity was spoken by God to the serpent (not Adam) but if we consider what happened we will see that the power of reasoning of the serpent is our nature within us and is alternatively called the devil (Matthew 4 v 1-11), Satan (Job 1 v 6-12), the adversary (I Peter 5 v 8), the flesh (Jude v 23), the carnal mind (Romans 7 v 14), the world (I John 2 v 15-17) and the great dragon (Revelation 12 v 9), the prince of this world (John 12 v 31) (John 14 v 30) (Ephesians 2 v 2). God not only cursed the serpent physically by taking away its ability to speak and caused it to crawl on the earth (Genesis 3 v 14) but also took away the motivation of its character - the poison of its power of reasoning - and placed that power where it had found willing servants - in the heart, mind and soul of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3 v 15). At the same time as the curse upon the serpent (and the transference of the enmity of the serpent to Adam and Eve) God continued His requirement that Adam and Eve (and all subsequent offspring) serve God alone, adore Him as their Creator, worship none other but the Lord, be a servant of servants unto God and a devoted slave to Him, who (in contrast to the cruel, calculating and cunning serpent) is a compassionate benefactor. As a compassionate benefactor, God (having now cursed them with the power of enmity from the serpent to which they had willingly submitted themselves) encouraged them to serve Him by obedience with a promise contained within the curse that one of their offspring (a son) would overcome the authority of the power of the serpent within him by a perfect submission to the rulership of God, and by that perfect submission finally kill the enmity in his death, and by this victory over the enmity would make a way possible for others to be restored to peace with God and to live for ever on this earth entirely free from the curse. Let us be warned, the curse within us came because the reasoning thoughts of the serpent occupied the thoughts of Adam and Eve until they became pre-occupied with them, and as they became pre-occupied with them, they were encumbered with them and it is exactly the same weakness that we have. We become idolaters before we realise it simply by allowing the word of God to be pushed aside by thoughts of some other care of the world of our heart, a world that is convenient to us at that time

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The lifetime vow of baptism (Matthew 13 v 22) until the cares and encumbrances of this power of the enmity choke the word of God within us. When we succumb to idolatry in its most primitive form (within our hearts and minds) we can blame only ourselves, for our own wandering thoughts and lazy reactions to the word of God are the origin of all forms of false worship. Not one of our neighbours can make us to worship anything other than that which we want, therefore our own wandering mind is the root of idolatry and our ability to idolise our self (or our fellow or any other imagination or material object) is endemic within us being the personal weakness of our own nature. This weakness to worship ourself and the world of our preferences as being superior to the word of God is that which we have to overcome with the power of the Holy Spirit, and whether we admit it to ourselves or deny it, we are naturally in bondage to sin having been born subject to the servitude of Satan (even before we had knowledge of good and evil; (Romans 7 v 9-12) as natural slaves to the devil, naturally inclined to be subservient our own nature where the enmity is the motive power behind our weaknesses. God-given ability to worship God has given us the ability to venerate a superior, the capacity to fear in worship of a better than us, the ability to revere a benefactor, the capability to be in awe of that which is higher than us, to respect a more honourable than us, to prostrate ourselves before a master, the ability to follow a neighbour as a leader and to mimic any cause we consider to be superior to us. As a result of this God-given ability to worship inherent within us, we will be either false worshippers (idolaters) or true worshippers because our God-given intelligence does not allow us to worship nothing, and as there is no neutral ground where we worship nothing, we will either worship mammon or God (or mammon in the name of God) because there is no other choice for us to worship. Let us be in no doubt, God is the only one who is ultimately superior to us there is no other - therefore true worship can only be to Him as a singularity through Jesus Christ and false worship is anything (tangible or intangible) other than God, including adulterated worship in the name of God (Proverbs 23 v 26); (Ecclesiastes 12 v 13) however sincere it may be, as Jesus said to Peter Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Matthew 4 v 10) The worship that God requires of us is contained in the spirit of the law of God and is summarised in the ten commandments, Thou shalt have no other gods before me, .thou shalt not bow down to them or worship them (Exodus 20 v 3-5), and is further summarised by Jesus as the first two great commandments in answer to his questioner who asked: Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22 v 36-40). The sanctifying work of continual baptism by the Holy Spirit in Jesus Christ is to cleanse and keep us from any form of unclean worship (however small it may seem to us, to keep us particularly from worship of ourselves) of our likes and dislikes, our comforts and conveniences, to keep us from any form of psuedo-spiritual servitude to

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The lifetime vow of baptism sin in the name of Christ (Colossians 2 v 18-23) and to purify us from all traces of idolatry that naturally occur in the imagination of our heart. The work of the Holy Spirit is that we become sanctified from worshipping the effects of the enmity in preoccupation of our thoughts, by the employment our God-given ability to worship, in fearing and reverencing God alone - through Jesus Christ - to whom we belong by baptism (Romans 6 v 13-16). Forms of false worship The subtlety of the effects of the enmity within us is such that we are capable of idolatry by false worship without knowingly doing so, which was the original sin of Adam and Eve by mental prostration in obeisance to the reasoning of the serpent as a dutiful slave to a demanding superior, and the sin of idolatry has been faithfully followed by their descendants in every generation, and we are no different (Acts 17 v 23). It is our responsibility to understand how easily we can become unclean by false worship of anything other than God - as a living Creator as he requires to be worshipped, such as an icon, an artefact, a picture, some fellow human being, an idea, a ritual, insular isolation, and our self. It is our responsibility to know how easy is it for us to become idolaters, so that we train ourselves to have the ability to be able to examine ourselves in order that we do not become idolaters without realising it, remembering that some forms of idolatry are more obvious than others. Images, icons and charms Worship (by preoccupation of our mind, time, money and goods) of any image or pictures of images, any carvings in stone, wood and other material, any icons depicting people now long dead, wearing of pendants representing symbols of religious nature (for example, the cross, symbols of fishes, pendants of patron saints) and keeping and wearing charms to bring good fortune, are all spiritually unclean and make up idolatrous worship. We cannot be in possession of nor be influenced by any of these, nor are they to be touched by those who are being cleansed by baptism of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 44 v 9-20); (Acts 19 v 24); (Revelation 18 v 12-13) according as the scripture instructs us. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you (II Corinthians 6 v 13-18), Touch not; taste not; handle not (Colossians 2 v 20-23). Furthermore, to worship any physical object that is necessarily connected by divine command to the furtherance of the worship of God is also spiritual uncleanness and is the also idolatry, for example, we know that the Holy Bible is holy and cannot ever be misused, but neither can it be worshipped as a sacred book, nor can the writers of the books be worshipped but God only as Johns was told And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God (Revelation 22 v 8-9). Likewise the sacraments of the bread and wine are holy and sanctified by prayer but can become idols in themselves to be worshipped with veneration, whereas they have been provided simply as tokens, figures and symbols of that which is believed in by faith. The truth of the scriptures teach that God alone can be worshipped by faith through

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The lifetime vow of baptism the mediation of Jesus Christ to as our High Priest (John 14 v 4); (Hebrews 4 v 15), For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (I Timothy 2 v 5). Hero worship Multimedia and instant global communications bring notable personalities in sports, business, politics, religion and entertainment to our daily attention without us having to look for them, but if we become influenced by them to knowingly mimic them or to unconsciously follow their activities by copying them in our dress or conduct, that is hero-worship and therefore worship other than God and as a result is false worship or idolatry. For example newspapers, magazines, television and radio continually promote sports, films, music, political and religious personalities who can become influential in our thoughts and prominent in our conduct to whom we can hold our allegiances, which is to worship them who are no more than fellow creatures made in the image of God as we were, all made to be in service to God and never to be as a replacement, a substitute or an alternative. Worship of idols continues in the next chapter in 'Worship of mammon' ********************* Chapter 87 Worship of mammon But we cannot blame any of our false worship on personalities in the world at large or in any religious or local social group, nor can we blame our own secret idolatry on any material service which the world provides, because our God-given intelligence has made us that we cannot worship any person or artefact that we do not consider is attractive or superior to us in some way, whether it is in material things or in spiritual matters such as religious leaders, past or present. We can only blame ourselves when we fall victim to idolatry (or deny our own weakness to idolatry, I John 1 v 8-10) because when our thoughts and actions are contrary to the will of God (due to the requirements of the word of God being inconvenient to the unseen enmity) and we follow them, then we worship ourselves - our own human nature, the poison of the serpent - and pander to its effects in our own pride and confidence (Psalm 12 v 1-4) which was why Paul wrote, Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (I Corinthians 10 v 12). If we become preoccupied with our personal rights in social, legal and political matters (which are a major issue in this age) and we consciously assert them, then we become servants of ourselves and we begin to be idolaters of our own rights and our own status, to our personal likes and dislikes, to our own opinions and views, which through the eyes of God is idolatry in the same way that Adam and Eve did who allowed the word of the serpent to become more powerful than the word of God. In like manner, if we follow our own ambitions and plans without first being mentally preoccupied with what the word of God requires - in whatever area of activity we choose - and if we satisfy our personal desires with disregard for the will of God, then that is worship of mammon and idolatry and it is for us to correct our plans and

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The lifetime vow of baptism ambitions according to the will of God written in the scriptures as Jesus taught, But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6 v 33). This was the example shown by Jesus Christ, who fulfilled every word of God at the expense of his own way and who has provided us with the enlightenment of our understanding by the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) so that we can follow after him (Psalm 40 v 6-9), (I Peter 2 v 21-25). Worship of the world We live in an age of material plenty that is so advanced and technically detailed that no other generation the during the history of the Bible has seen such knowledge - in fulfilment of the prophecy of Daniel concerning the days of the return of Jesus Christ to this earth where he prophesied that, knowledge shall be increased (Daniel 12 v 4). We have the opportunity to earn and amass money with relative ease, we are able to can buy, hire, lease and possess goods and chattels to satisfy every desire we may have and to meet every need and every circumstance, we have the free time and resources to pursue virtually any cause whatever with a single-minded determination and enjoyment, and God has left us - on trust - to live in the world (John 17 v 15), to use the world but not to abuse it by becoming part of it (1 Corinthians 7 v 31), but this divine liberty is easily and unconsciously abused by the enmity within us, so that we are quickly deceived and become both secret and public idolaters. We could shut ourselves away in a remote hideaway and never see or hear what is going on around us, but Paul said that we are to live in the world (I Corinthians 5 v 9-11) and Jesus prayed that we be not taken out of the world (John 17 v 15) and Paul wrote again that we should use the world but not abuse it (I Corinthians 7 v 31). Let us not be blind, any of these things which are available to us can lead us away from service to God - as He requires it - and back into idolatry where we naturally belong, from which, baptism by water has cleansed us and from which the blood of Christ by baptism of the Holy Spirit is continually cleansing us, so we are to be constantly alert with our spiritual eyes wide open to the dangers - as if we are walking through a spiritual mine field - so that we can overcome our own temptation to idolise any of these, in place of undivided service to God (Revelation 2 vs. 7, 11, 17, 26) & (Revelation 2 vs. 5, 12, 21). We are to live in this carnal minefield of a world, we are to work in this spiritual battlefield of the world, we are to use the facilities of this world of material gain and pleasure but we are to be balanced in our judgement between the good and evil in our associations, we are to positively and particularly choose between the clean and unclean so that we can worship of God and be free from idolatry according to one of the fruits of the Spirit temperance which means no excess in anything (Galatians 5 v 22-23). We are to constantly learn to find the fine but clear line of demarcation between clean and unclean - understood by the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit within us - so that we can voluntarily refuse the unclean and choose the clean as we live normal lives, doing our daily labour for our masters both the good and the bad (I Peter 2 v 18-20) and have spiritually healthy leisure times, always remembering that we have no more right to the hope of salvation than even the worst of the sinners in the world (Romans 9 v 15-19). We have to learn to choose between the good and the evil - every day - and not to set and enforce any laws of mans making (as a blanket ban on the first day) which is what the elders of the Jews did in Jesus day, but which was in contrast to the example of Jesus foretold

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The lifetime vow of baptism in prophecy, Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. (Isaiah 7 v 15). ********************* Chapter 88 Covetousness is idolatry Covetousness is the result of the promptings of the enmity to arouse in our heart a craving to have more than is sufficient for our daily needs unto sanctification (Proverbs 27 v 20); (Ecclesiastes 1 v 8); (Matthew 6 v 24-34) and is idolatry (Ephesians 5 v 5); (Colossians 3 v 5). Idolatry (by covetousness) is widespread in its effects, it can be in a desire for material gain as Achan did who lusted after forbidden spoils (Joshua 7), a yearning for increased social standing with respect to our neighbours as the Amalekite did to David (II Samuel 1 v 1-10), power in civil affairs as Absolam did (II Samuel 15 v 1-6), authority within religious groups as Diotrephes did who ruled the laity by force of personality or as carnal lust for a neighbours husband, wife or any of their possessions as directed by the ten commandments, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's (Exodus 20 v 17). For us to satisfy covetousness in material gain we need money. The love of money to satisfy the need for material gain - is the root of all evil (I Timothy 6 v 6-10) which, like a root hidden in the ground feeding a demanding plant, the lust for satisfaction of material gain (as a tangled network of hidden roots) spreads far and wide in search of ways to find the means to indulge our cravings. Money (either in cash or material possessions) gives us the power to indulge our temptations which like a drug - cannot be satiated, but sends the roots of our cravings to bury deeper and wider in the bottomless pit of human nature until it is satisfied. There are few who can say that they have never been influenced by covetousness at some time, where money has become our idol if only temporally. To satisfy our covetous appetite for increased social standing (which is the craving for honour from our neighbours) we need willing supporters who will act as friends of the flesh to elevate us to an honour that we were not created to have, by compromising - in some way - the truth of the word of God for the sake of personal favour as Jesus said, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations (Luke 16 v 9) where to have friends of the flesh we must loose the friendship of Jesus Christ to which we have been baptised into (John 15 v 13), because the truth of scripture says, A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18 v 24). The first word friend means an associate, or a messmate (Strongs Concordance 7453 derived from 7462, ) meaning to associate with others like sheep gathering loosely in a pasture (Judges 14 v 2; Job 2 v 11, [Parkhurst Hebrew 1811, p 693]) - which association we would call a friend of the flesh or an acquaintance. The second word - friendly - (Strongs Concordance 7489, )means to break or to be broken in pieces as a man who has many intimate companions and is ready to be ruined by divided loyalties because he

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The lifetime vow of baptism cannot satisfy the demanding and conflicting intimacy of the friendship of them all he must favour one over another (Isaiah 2 v 19; Proverbs 13 v 2, [Parkhurst Hebrew 1811, p 692]). The third word friend (Strongs Concordance 157, )means to love and the affection of love (Genesis 22 v 2; Genesis 24 v 67; Proverbs 10 v 12, [Parkhurst Hebrew 1811, p 6]) and is the love with which the Lord Jesus Christ loved us (agape in the Greek New Testament) whom we will disastrously compromise if we gain friends of the flesh, friends of the mammon to increase (or secure) our social standing. To satisfy a lust for power and authority we will need firstly the friends of the flesh to support us and then a ruthlessness of spirit to abuse the power that God has given us but which is not compatible with the meekness required in a child of God. This ruthlessness to consolidate the power God has given was found in Saul the first king of Israel (I Samuel 14 v 25), in Jehu who was zealous for the Lord (II Kings 10 v 16) and in Saul the Pharisee who was later converted to be the apostle Paul (Acts 8 v 3), who were all raised up and used by God to further His purpose in sanctifying a people to Himself, and who all acted in what they claimed to be the interests of the truth of God. To satisfy our carnal covetousness for a neighbours husband or wife we do not need a willing response because we commit adultery in our heart long before we may make any approach (Matthew 5 v 28). To satisfy coveting of a neighbours possession that cannot be bought with money, fleshly favour or neighbourly kindness - then we must resort to overt deception where stealing is the result - whether it is in material goods or spiritual deception. Idolatry by covetousness in matters concerning the word of God or the congregation of believers is pride, it is the love of personal gain among our neighbours by defrauding (if necessary) the power of the word of God, it is satisfaction of the prompting of the enmity by exchanging the clean for the unclean, of right for wrong, of justice for injustice, of mercy for hardness and of mercy for laxity, of compassion for coldness, of love for envy, it is the urge to crave the poison of the enmity to have more honour and glory than we deserve as sinful believers. It is to satisfy the carnal urge for a religious faith that we want, in place of a devotion that we need, to be subjects of God (Proverbs 30 v 8), (James 1 v 26-27), it is the urge to over-indulgence our legitimate God-given rights by adding to the word of God or by taking away from its power to satisfy mammon (I Timothy 6 v 5-8) (Revelation 22 v 18-19). True worship (the worship of God) is to believe and demonstrate that the abilities and skills we have (enabling us to live and earn our wages) are God-given and that God has given us all those abilities for us to be content with them and to use them in a way that never hinders the work of God within our heart in our inner sanctification through continual baptism by the Holy Spirit, If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world (James 1 v 26-27); (Hebrews 13 v 5); (Proverbs 30 v 8-9). The worship of mammon is first and foremost worship of our own self. It is to satisfy the temptations of the enmity within us to bolster our own opinion of our

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The lifetime vow of baptism abilities and is seen through a love of status in the eyes of our neighbours by creating our own world of vanity, it is seen by asserting our personal rights for the accommodation of our own comforts by building up a world of spiritual self sufficiency and it is seen by using the power of the love of money or authority to squander on our whims. Idolatry of self is the easiest form of idolatry to fall victim to, and is the root and foundation of gambling (which is the product of the love of money or material gain) whether it be betting, lottery, prize-giving competitions, speculating on the stock market and owning shares in business investments, whether it be bank loans (and other loans) that are beyond our means to pay back at any time, or credit card debts which are beyond our short term income, and anything which may defraud our neighbour at our gain (Romans 13 v 1-8). The Hebrew word for covet (where to covet is idolatry) in thou shalt not covet (Exodus 20 v 17) means to clip and was a fraudulent practice familiar to everybody in biblical days as those who secretly clipped small amounts of metal from silver and gold coins (and similarly from standard weights and measures) to reduce their intrinsic worth while maintaining their visual appearance of value, and as this trick would be unknown to the receiver, the covetous (the clipper) would make dishonest gain at the expense of the honest trader (Leviticus 19 v 35-36); (Amos 8 v 4-6), and therefore to defraud our neighbour by deceit (or by unnecessarily hard bargaining) it is none other than worship of our self as an unclean idol (Proverbs 20 v 14). These ordinary everyday experiences help us to understand what idolatry is in spiritual matters and are figures to teach us of the duplicity of human nature in the both the natural and the spiritual, so even if we are not capable of physically defrauding our neighbour by deceit in material things we can just as easily defraud our fellow in spiritual ways by tampering with the power of the word of God, by adding commandments of men and by clipping away the true value of the ability of Gods word to kill the enmity in us - in all its disguises - so that the honest neighbour and the unsuspecting fellow are in danger of being misled into a laxity of standards that is none other than false worship and idolatry (Revelation 22 v 18-19) and so John advised us, Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world (I John 4 v 1-3), where to confess Jesus is to deny ourselves as worthless (Luke 9 v 23). Worship of nature is idolatry From the days of Noah idolatry became known in the worship of the earth, the sun, moon and stars where the most popular forms of these natural powers as idols were taken as powerful deities, a mother and a son and adapted from the truth of the word of God (which truth was known and passed down from father to son from Adam to Noah and then to Abraham and his sons). These all powerful deities were accompanied by the worship of every part the natural world of the creation of God water, light, fire, fishes, insects, animals, birds, plants, fruit and anything natural

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The lifetime vow of baptism (Ezekiel 8 v 7-18). But let us not be misled, worship of the sun, moon and stars is still practiced today in organised orthodox religion and practiced in every land of the world, together with the publication and belief in horoscopes, fascination with birth stars and birth stones, in fortune telling, in belief in the signs of the zodiac and astrology, fascination with the paranormal, magic, wizards, witches, all of which are idols and those who have been baptised by water and are being continually baptised by the Holy Spirit unto sanctification cannot read them, consult them or follow any neighbour who do so, because worship of these idols is the origin of religious festivals such as Christmas, Easter and Lady day, Valentines day, Halloween and all others which have no association with Jesus Christ and are idolatrous feasts contrary to the first commandment For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: (Exodus 34 v 14). ********************* Chapter 89 Worship of us We have been warned in the scriptures that in the last days before Jesus returns to the earth men shall be lovers of their own selveshaving a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof (II Timothy 3 v 1-8) and to confirm the truth of those words never has there been a time in the history of the world when individual human rights, personal liberty of thought and private possessions have been so jealously guarded by the individual and universally encouraged. The truth of the word of God is that we have no individual human rights or personal liberty of conduct (or thought) in the sight of God, because we are alive only by the grace of God - proven to us each day by the fact that after being unconscious in sleep we wake up without any conscious effort on our part and are thus given another opportunity to be sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit which is provided in the mercy of God to understand the will of God in the Holy Bible and reform our characters (I Corinthians 13 v 11-13); (II Corinthians 3 v 18). In view of this simple truth we cannot assert in any way (privately or publicly) our social, political or legal rights or any other rights we may feel we have, because this is no more than menial servitude of our self prompted by the enmity within us which is the Satan of the adversary of the word of God - nor can we (privately or publicly) jealously protect our own comfort and convenience if it is contrary to the requirements of the will of God in Christ, for to do so is to worship the mammon within us with the effect that our life, our time, our comfort, our pride and our convenience has become an idol to be pandered to and to be satisfied in its manifold desires. Idols in our heart Let us be truthful within the thoughts of our own mind, when we become preoccupied with the cares of daily matters at the expense of the word of God we become our own worst enemy. When we do become cumbered with cares, anxieties and delights of daily life, the emotions of our heart - excited by the enmity within us - conceives imaginations in our mind that become building materials to fabricate idols in our

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The lifetime vow of baptism heart, and in a similar way our innermost thoughts - spawned from our imaginations become the threads that weave the tapestries on which are woven the mental imagery that decorate our world, a world that we unconsciously serve. These idols and images built up by the misguided intent of our refined intelligence (given us to honour God) - create distractive subjects for our attention, service, preoccupation and worship, and replicate themselves by propagating yet more thoughts that are contrary to the word of God which in turn craft further gods needing to be satisfied, as Jesus taught in the parable of the man who, being cleansed of sin, sank into the pit of indulgence because he did not fill the cleansed void of his mind and heart with the word of God (Luke 11 v 23-26). That forgiven man - whose end was worse than his beginning - is our representative in idolatry when we become preoccupied with cares of mammon, which cares develop from the spawn of our own imaginations to build up idols, stumbling blocks of iniquity and let us not be deceived - are often cloaked in the disguise of pious religious worship (Ezekiel 14 v 1-9). The enmity in our heart is deceptive beyond our expectation as Jeremiah wrote (Jeremiah 17 v 9) because it will prompt us to find an excuse that we do have cares that are important and that preoccupation with them - over our trust in God - is to be tolerated, but we have been told the truth of our nature not only by Jeremiah but by Jesus when he spoke of the treasures in our heart, where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6 v 19-21). Let us not excuse ourselves that this 'treasure' is material goods alone, this treasure can equally be self preservation in social position as a keeping up of appearances, it can be knowledgeable status to impress our neighbours, preservation of friendship at the expense of loyalty to Christ, personal appearance of our body which are contrary to the teaching of scripture, it can be material goods (whether we can afford them on not), it can be services to mammon both in ourselves or in our neighbour, it can be in entertainment of our emotional tastes, or any other secret delight that is peculiar to us. All of them start as small and trivial treasures (like a child clutching a worthless trinket) that we keep hidden within the privacy our memory so that we can recall it to satisfy any itching desire of our heart. The object of worship may be nothing of consequence and harmless in itself - it is our servile imagination of that object (our preoccupation) that is the idol - and it can be something we do not (or cannot hope to) possess, so let us not fool ourselves - for we cannot deceive God - if this be so, then our protection of those idols of our heart will be a jealous one and will be reflected in our attitude to the word of God when that word is opened to us and our jealousy will show what is really worshipped in our heart by denying the power of the word of God despite our protestations of service to God. Let us again pay attention, the most insidious idols of our heart are stubbornness (which can masquerade as faith), pride (which replaces compassion), our personal comfort (which induces indolence), our private time (which is selfishness), and personal opinions (which is rebellion) however well meant they may be. Stubbornness of our pride and rebellion by our self intentioned opinions - with respect to an unqualified obedience to the truth of the word of God - are what Saul was rejected for as it is written, For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (I Samuel 15 v 23). Let us not be tempted to find fault

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The lifetime vow of baptism with Saul he is our representative in pride - the pride of our dignity in the eyes of our neighbours as he said himself, yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD thy God. (I Samuel 15 v 30). In like manner Lot, our idol can be the comfort of our person as shown when he turned from the sojourns of Abraham to the green fields of Sodom (Genesis 13 v 10-11) because of the discomfort of the way and inconveniences that it brought, but was rescued by God as Peter wrote, And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (II Peter 2 v 7). David wrote of those who squander their allotted time for worldly aims (Psalm 12 v 3), Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. (Psalm 49 v 11). In like manner, when we jealously protect our perceived rights and opinions then we worship our self and are idolaters as Paul said, no man ever hated his own flesh (Ephesians 5 v 29). Over the centuries since the time of creation idolatrous fashion has developed from primitive worship of the powers of nature fabricated into man-made objects to the worship of self by freedom of time and plentiful availability of resources to indulge every whim. Despite this spread in the subjects of worship and the objects of idolatry human nature has not changed, the enmity is as active now as it was in our forebears who experienced the same temptations as we do. Physical idols are more easily identified as images of stone, metal or wood made to depict the imaginations of the mind of man as concentrated distractions to lead away from the worship of God by faith into a single-minded focused devotion according to the locality of the time and place, but in these progressive days of dramatically increased knowledge and technology (Daniel 12 v 4) distractions from true worship of God by faith are so many - and so universally distributed - that any of the developments of this age can become idols to preoccupy our attention and satisfy our imagination. The world of the 21st century - created by advanced technology and freedom of thought - is a spiritual battlefield full of snares for the unwary where if we walk without care in the private decisions of our life we will place the footsteps of our character in the wrong places and so will become entrapped by our own weakness to become servants to the enmity (Proverbs 7 v 21-23). If we ignore the pricks of our conscience - sensitised by the Holy Spirit to display the power of the name of God as seen in Jesus - we will become privately jealous of losing the secret delights of our inward satisfactions, we will become ambitious of gaining yet more experiences to preoccupy our mind by satisfying the latent craving of our flesh like feeding the craving for an addictive narcotic. Despite the proliferation of subjects and object to worship in the 21st century to distract us - it is the desires and preoccupation of our heart that are the idols and it is these that are created long before anything else is worshipped by our manner of life whether it be a material object, pride, stubbornness, our comfort, our time or social status. ********************* Chapter 90

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Many choices to idolise The choices we have to satisfy and service our wants and needs is limited only by our imagination and our efforts to gain them. There are consumer goods to suit every need, personal chattels for every taste, public and private services for every eventuality, money is as easily available according to how much effort we put into getting it, personal comforts are provided for in the home, in travel and the workplace like as never been seen before, labour-saving devices in the home and garden give us more time to ourselves, the provision of entertainment of every type is delivered to every home that chooses to have it, availability of participating in any sports activity we choose, there are an infinite number of careers we can choose to follow, there are hobbies and pastimes for even the most obscure interest, and there has been an increase in religious sects such has never been experienced before to cater for the taste of every individual as Jesus said there would be, Take heed that no man deceive you.. .. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.. .. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.. .. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect (Matthew 24). Idol worship of the world The world of the 21st century is filled with opportunities for idolatry, but isolation from this world will be contrary to the work of the Holy Spirit (in the need for us to be sanctified) because we are required pass through this world as a battlefield as we fight to maintain our faith and overcome our own nature (the effects of the enmity) to succumb to temptation as Paul wrote, Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. (II Timothy 2 v 34), and again by Jude, Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude v 3) where contention is reserved for 'contention within our own spirit' not as proselytising our neighbours as Jesus wrote in the last message for us to overcome our own nature (Revelation 2 v 7,11, 17, 26) & (Revelation 3 v 5, 12, 21). We need to live in the world as it is, but not to become part of it (John 17 v 15); (I Corinthians 5 v 10-11); (II Corinthians 7 v 31); (II Corinthians 6 v 17). We are to remember that the enmity in our heart is the source of all idolatry and by satisfying its temptations we become idolaters to any one of the distractions of the world at large, therefore the world as an object of our love and attention is none other than the enmity in our nature (I John 2 v 15-17) because the physical objects of idolisation are of no value or consequence to a true child of God (I Corinthians 8 v 4). It is for us to constantly check (II Corinthians 13 v 5) whether we are unknowingly setting up idols in our heart, it is for us be aware of what is our first and most frequent thought, it is our salvation to know what thoughts fill our minds for the most part from the moment we awake until we go to sleep, it is our work to be conscious of what is in the forefront of our thoughts as we go about of days business. We are on trust - by God and Jesus - to be constantly alert to what our thoughts are as we make decisions to do this or that, to examine and correct when necessary the underlying

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The lifetime vow of baptism thought in our mind, because the Holy Spirit has enlightened us to know that whatever thoughts fill our minds are from the motives of the imaginations of our heart, and we have been taught by Jesus to know that whatever continues to fill our heart will become the treasure of our heart, where your treasure is , there will your heart be also (Matthew 6 v 19-21) and we have vowed in baptism by water that the law of God in Christ will fill our heart. ********************* Chapter 91 Worship of men Let us not confuse ourselves into thinking that idolatry is restricted to the worship of material objects, worldly services and figments of our imagination, we are equally capable of idolising a fellow human-being. The enmity - always the adversary to the absolute superiority of God in our heart creates a weakness within us to become fascinated by a imagined psuedo-superiority of a neighbour due to their elevated status or some talented ability they have in the same way that Eve became fascinated with the talents of speech and reasoning in the serpent. Idolatry of a fellow human is hero-worship of film stars, idolising television personalities, admiration of sports stars, exaltation of political personalities and esteeming business people as icons of success, but one of the most subtle and distasteful forms of idolatry in the eyes of God is veneration of religious leaders, elders and preachers (Jude v 16). The law of Christ commands respect for those in responsible positions in the community of believers - while ever they obey the laws of Christ as examples of the leadership of Jesus (Mark 10 v 42-45) - but never do those laws require veneration of a man, his ideas, his words or his status, for any of these can deceive us by masquerading man-worship as true religion, it being no different than worshipping material objects. Due to the subtlety of this form of worship - even when the subject of worship is a righteous man - John was shown the danger of becoming a menial servant to a truly pious man, of how we can be overawed with a righteous personality, of how we can worship a fellow righteous religious person - or, by being worshipped ourselves because of our true Christian acts, deeds and works because John was told when he worshipped the angel that showed him the vision of the Revelation see thou do it not, for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book, worship God (Revelation 19 v 10); (Revelation 22 v 8-9). This is the law of Christ. Let us never forget, whatever we are preoccupied with, whatever is persistently at the forefront of our minds is what we are worshipping. This was the figure and teaching of keeping the Sabbath day under the law of God, where Israel were to do no work on that day in order that their minds could be fully preoccupied with God and His law and not to be encumbered with the necessary occupations of daily life, which law was a figure of the life-long work of Jesus Christ. From a child - and as he was occupied in his craft of carpentry and in the daily necessities of life until he was about thirty years of age - his mind was always preoccupied with understanding and keeping the will of God and the words of God - what does God require of me - were always at the forefront of his thoughts (Micah 6 v 8); (Psalm 40 v 7-8); (Ecclesiastes 12 v 13-

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The lifetime vow of baptism 14). In like manner - we who have put on Christ by being baptised by water and continue to be clothed by his character by continual baptism of the Holy Spirit - must keep that same spirit of the Sabbath day in all our doings - every day of the week which simply means that we are to be preoccupied in the service Jesus in doing the will of our master and to have God in the forefront of our thoughts and decisions and so to worship God every day. We will be without excuse if we fail to make good riddance of any form of idolatry in our hearts because the very founding boundaries of the Christian faith are in the scripture for us to learn, to understand and to practice in their simplicity, As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. (Acts 21 v 25). ********************* Chapter 92 Blasphemy True religion from the beginning, true Christianity from the days of the early believers is to love the name of the Lord God as it has been recorded many times from before the flood, .. .. and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD. (Genesis 4 v 26) and 3000 years later, And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. (Psalm 9 v 10), and another 1000 year later, I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word (John 17 v 6). Let us not be foolish, the name of the Lord God is a description of His character and not an appellation as our names are given to us largely for a means of identification. When we use the name of God, the LORD, Almighty, Jehovah or Yahweh, we are associating our words with the Spirit of God, with the character of God and our very existence. Blasphemy is to use the name of God without full reverence for the absolute and singular superiority of God whether we use the names in our prayers, in our speech, or whether we take any action in His name (in matters of religion), or by our manner of life (for we carry His name in Christ), or in decisions related to the hope of salvation in our neighbours. We are in far more of danger of blasphemy than we would like to think and it is for us to pay attention to this important boundary, with sanctification by the Holy Spirit on one side of the boundary and the uncleanness of the enmity on the other. It is our natural tendency to blur this line of honour to God and to erode power of the practical significance of the name of God in our lives by allowing the effects of the enmity to encroachment by pious religious arguments and shallow humility and because of this weakness within us the apostles used the word strangled to put across the power of the meaning of the sin of blasphemy. They wrote, As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. (Acts 21 v 25) where strangled is to throttle or suffocate and

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The lifetime vow of baptism is analogous for blasphemy. The link between the meaning of these two dissimilar words is in the New Testament where the only other use of the original Greek word for strangled is in the parable of the unjust steward where Jesus said, .and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. (Matthew 18 v 28) where took him by the throat is to strangle. In this parable (Matthew 18 v 23-35) a senior servant owed his master a debt that he could not repay and when he was called to account by the master fell down and pleaded for time and patience to clear the debt. The master was full of compassion and freed him from the debt but the same senior servant then took a fellow junior servant by the throat (strangled) who owed him a trivial amount and demanded that he pay his debt in full and when this inferior servant pleaded for time and mercy (as the senior servant had done to his master) no mercy was shown. The senior servant therefore regarded his own release from debt due to the compassionate character of his master as a vain and empty gesture and so blasphemed his master by counting the example he had shown to him to be of little or no value. To blaspheme is to deny the power of the name of God. It is to by defame the renowned mercy of God, to trivialise the tender grace of God, to count the compassionate pity of God as of no practical value, it is to discount the rich goodness of God and to cast doubt on the veracity of His truth. It is referred to in the law of God as to take the name of the Lord God in vain (Exodus 20 v 7) as the unjust steward had treated the power of his masters benevolence. We can be in no doubt as to our appreciation of the power of the meaning of the name of the Lord God because it has been given to us by Moses, And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. (Exodus 34 v 5-7). This is a name that describes a character of compassion beyond our comprehension, but proven by the fact that every day we receive of His grace, mercy, patience, goodness and truth - both in our animal existence and in our spiritual welfare - and woe betide us if we even think to do as the unjust steward did (in any of our thoughts, decisions or actions) where repentance and contrition is shown, because it is written, For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. (James 2 v 13). The power of this incomprehensible compassion (described in the name of the LORD God) is limited only by the refusal of a wayward servant to repent before Him in prayer, but is boundless where that servant repents as He requires. The boundless compassion of God is founded upon an immovable bedrock of He who is Eternal, who existed before there was time, who lives now and who will live for ever a God who is self-sustained (Jehovah, Exodus 6 v 3). The richness of this name is built upon He who is immortal (He who was, He who is and who will be (I AM) He who not only has existed for ever, but will be manifest in a mortal man, Exodus 3 v 14) and who will never weaken or die (Isaiah 40 v 28-31). His name (Yehovah) is inseparable from ultimate strength (the meaning of the name GOD) who is omnipotent in His overruling power in the earth as one day it will be universally acknowledged, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. (Revelation 19 v 6).

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God made man in His image and likeness and - whether we realise it or not - we blaspheme the name of God not only when we make light use of His name in our speech, but when we despise of any of our fellows (who are also made in the image of God) particularly when we consider them to be physically or spiritually inferior to us or when we discount them as trivial in value or worthless due to our own Godfavoured sanctification. Let us not forget, we understand the purpose of God to sanctification only because of His mercy and compassion on us - as God told Moses and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. (Exodus 33 v 19). Let us not be in any doubt, if we defraud our neighbour in any way by thought or action, materially or spiritually, we blaspheme God as it is written, He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit. (I Thessalonians 4 v 1-8). Remember the unjust steward. Blasphemy of the power of the name of God (to disregard its power within our heart) is the first transgression we commit in any sin because we are physically created in the image and likeness of God and in return are required to be in the image and likeness of God in character also, by allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to be our sole ruling authority. Any transgression - however trivial we may consider it to be - is first and foremost an act of blasphemy against the name of God (in which name is compassion (mercy), kindness (grace), long suffering (patience), richness of righteousness (goodness) and trust and fidelity (truth) all of which are of God to give us life), and when we allow the power of that name to become impotent (not working) within our heart by following the promptings of the enmity to sin, we temporarily count the influence of the power of that name as of no value (blasphemy) where the truly repentant (those who want the Holy Spirit to rule in their hearts) will be privately ashamed before God and redress their error with humiliation of their heart by recalling how great is the power of the mercy of God to forgive. We cannot underestimate the ease with which we blaspheme the name of God as Jesus emphasised in his testimony that the first and great commandment (which is broken whenever we break any other be it fornication, idolatry or violence) Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. (Matthew 22 v 37-38). Because blasphemy is so far reaching this means that without cleansing by the blood of Jesus Christ by faith (through baptism in water and by continual baptism of the Holy Spirit as a result of renewal of our vow by eating and drinking of the sacraments each week) we are justly condemned to an eternal grave. We are in no doubt that we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1 v 27) and that God intends us to be of His character as Jesus was - upright in morals, righteous in sanctification and true in faith - but when we fail to keep that requirement we lower the standard required of us in our God-like body to that of our own wandering imagination (the enmity, Satan) and therefore we defame God who made us and keeps us alive every day. We must take our all sins (private and public) as king David counted his sins - that they are all (and always) against the name of God, Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest (Psalm 51).

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The lifetime vow of baptism If we deny the power of the Holy Spirit in our thought, words and deeds, or if we attempt to deny the power of that Spirit working in our neighbours - through their thought, word or deeds - we blaspheme the Holy Spirit (which is the power of the name of God) as did the scribes when they defamed the work of Jesus by counting them as the work of Beelzebub (Mark 3 v 28-30). Furthermore if we claim the use of the power of the Holy Spirit in ourselves - or in our neighbour - when it is not present, that is also blasphemy as it is written, When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18 v 22) and (Deuteronomy 13). For this reason we are taught to try and test the spirit working within ourself and working within those who claim to be teaching the truth of the word of God (not to find fault) but to identify blasphemy, as John wrote, Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world (I John 4 v 1-3) where to confess is the example of our manner of life and therefore the trying and testing of the motivating spirit is to compare the fruits of the our example (and those of our neighbours) against the example of Jesus Christ who always showed the power of the name of God in a mortal body as he said, he that hath seen me hath seen the Father (John 14 v 9). The power of the incomprehensible grace and compassion of God described in His name is limited only by our refusal to repent in the way that God requires which way is described by the Psalmist, The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (Psalm 34 v 18) and The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psalm 51 v 17) which effects are all the result of the work of the power of the Holy Spirit, and that is how we identify its work by the fruits of the manner of life - of our self - or our neighbours. Without continual repentance of this standard (in any of our sins) God will not forgive (Exodus 34 v 7); (Ezekiel 18) and therefore we cannot hope to be forgiven of our transgressions - however trivial they may seem - without our own continual contrition, nor can we condone forgiveness of the deeds of our neighbour if they do not repent in like manner (John 20 v 23); (Matthew 16 v 19) otherwise we are guilty of counting the forgiveness, compassion and long suffering of God as a trivial accommodation of wrong doing which is blasphemy. ********************* Chapter 93 Fornication, Violence, Idolatry and Blasphemy These four effects of the enmity are the territory of the 'world'. The word of God (summarised in the words of the early apostles) is the boundary of truth that was set by the early apostles (Acts 15 v 20 & 29) as the perimeter of our separation from the uncleanness of our flesh, which if we overstep we will hinder the work of

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The lifetime vow of baptism sanctification by the Holy Spirit in ourselves. The boundary between cleanness and uncleanness was demonstrated in the manner of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ who fulfilled every word of God - without exception - and beyond which boundary is the world of the enmity, the world of human nature, the world of our self sufficiency, the world that John warned of, Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever (I John 2 v 15-17). If we move these boundaries by adding to or taking away from them then it is at our own peril - no matter how sincere we may think we are - as the law of God stated (which was kept in all its spiritual applications by Jesus), Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour's landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen (Deuteronomy 27 v 17), and the Proverbs repeated, Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set (Proverbs 22 v 28) which translated into scriptural boundaries is the last warning (before his return) that Jesus gave to the Christian believers, For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22 v 18-19).

********************* Chapter 94 The end of the work of the Holy Spirit The work of sanctification of our character by baptism of the Holy Spirit after baptism by water cannot be completed during our lifetime because we have our soul (our character) in a naturally unclean mortal body as the scripture teaches, But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (II Corinthians 4 v 7). In view of this, for the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit to be completely fulfilled, Jesus Christ must return to the earth and raise all of the dead whom God esteems to be responsible for their actions - whether we have been faithful to their vow or not. Until the day of our death, God will continue to sanctify us continually - while we respond to the power of the Holy Spirit within us right up to the day of our death when the work will then cease and we will be laid to rest. Jesus will return when the last repentant sinner has finished their work, when the last member of the multitudinous companion of the Lord Jesus is made ready and God commands him to return. His first work will be to awake all those who rest in death (who have previously received the gift of the Holy Spirit to sanctification) to bring them back to life as they were when they went into the grave (Daniel 12 v 1-3). Jesus will then sit in judgement of them all by the power of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 25 v 32-46) and those who have allowed that Spirit to reform their spirit, to restore their soul, to reshape their character, will experience the fullness of the sanctification of the Holy

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The lifetime vow of baptism Spirit by the change of their nature from mortal to immortal, from corruptible to incorruptible (I Corinthians 15 v 50-56). The sanctified ones (the saints) will then inherit the earth with Jesus as the universal king (Revelation 5 v 10); (Revelation 11 v 15) after all unbelievers in all nations have either repented to worship of God (Revelation 14 v 6-7) or destroyed as unrepentant reprobates (Revelation 19 v 16-21). Those of the unbelieving nations who do repent will live as mortal subjects of the immortal king and priest Jesus Christ and his saints in the Kingdom of God on this earth (Micah 6 v 1-4); (Zechariah 8 v 20-23); (Zechariah 14 v 16-19). The earth will be freed from the curse of God set on all creatures (Isaiah 11 v 1-9) with the exception of death (I Corinthians 15 v 23-27), and each saint will have a portion of the earth over which they will administer the government of Jesus (Luke 19 v 11-27); (Daniel 12 v 13). This kingdom will last for 1000 years, after which there will be a second judgement of those mortals who lived as subjects on the earth, some will be raised to everlasting life and some to an eternal grave according to their response to the law of God during the 1000 years of the kingdom (Revelation 20 v 7-15). After this time, death will be removed forever and all power and glory will be to the honour of God for eternity (I Corinthians 15 v 24-28). We cannot know the precise time of the return of Jesus Christ and is not known by any but God as Jesus said of the day of his return, But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father (Mark 13 v 32), although we are told the era of time that he will come (Matthew 24); (Luke 21); (II Timothy 3), it is of no use for us to attempt to calculate or speculate on a particular date. It is better for us to realise that the precise time that God commands Jesus to return will be when God decides that the last believer has been sanctified by the Holy Spirit and has been made ready for the fullness of the mercy of God to become a saint. Rather than spending our precious time in attempting to unravel prophecy in great detail, in studying past records like a historian so that we can forecast the future from the past and present-day conditions, it is for us to concentrate on seeking out what the mind and will of God is with regard to ourselves - which was the way taught by the word and example of Jesus and explained from the Old Testament by the apostles and then to make a continual concentrated effort to submit in obedience to that will of God revealed to us. We then must continually put on Christ by knowledge, faith and love to endure the process of reformation of our character by a real and living baptism of faith (by water) and fulfil the subsequent and inseparable requirement of continual baptism (by the Holy Spirit) by the repeated renewal of our baptismal vow in eating and drinking - in sincerity and truth - of the tokens of the bread and wine, lest we shall be found by Jesus to be unworthy of the mercy of God when he returns and a neighbour takes our place, And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. (Matthew 22 v 11-12). Let us remember - that as far as we as individuals are concerned - the day of our death (sudden or pre-known) is no different to the day of the return of Jesus Christ because

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The lifetime vow of baptism there is no knowledge of time in the grave where we will rest, therefore Abraham will awake with no comprehension that nearly 4000 years has passed, such is the kindness, generosity and wisdom of God for those who give themselves to him.

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