In Christ

In the Harem by Fabio Fabbi  (1861 - 1946)

In the Harem by Fabio Fabbi (1861 – 1946)

Or in the harem to stay with our little allegory. One needs to understand that the harem is where all the women’s work was done, unlike what our western fantasies are. The cooking, cleaning, and laundry where all done in the harem and by the harem.

But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. Rom. 8:10

This is a term only Paul uses. The inherited churches have made this out to mean salvation. As if it is the same thing; Messiah in you, and you in Messiah.

In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. Rom. 15:17

But it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has commissioned us; 2Cor. 1:21

Back up the Bible Bus. Being in Messiah has something to do with that hated word, WORKS. After all isn’t a commission a JOB?

To be “in Messiah” is to follow His teachings, to be His student, His servant, to obey His words, to do as He did. Noah and his family had to be in the ark to be saved, the man-slayer had to be in the city of refuge to be safe from the avenger of blood. [Num. 35:6] To me “in Messiah” is not a metaphor or figure of speech, it is a reality. It is a job, a profession, ones life’s work.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col. 3:17

So what are we to do? Well! to start with, there are Ten Commandments, they were never suggestions.

Faith

What is Faith?

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Heb. 11:1 

We’ve all heard the charlatan healers claim that the reason they cannot heal is because the sick person’s faith is not strong enough. However healing is not what our faith is primarily for. For it is a faith in things NOT seen.

We tend to think that faith is a feeling. However faith is the assurance of the things we hope for. We are as sure of the things of God, as we are that the chair will hold us up, that gravity will keep out cup on the table, and the sun will rise in the east and set in the west.

We are sure that Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth is the promised Messiah. We are sure of our salvation. We are sure of new and incorruptible bodies. We are sure that we will present ourselves before the judgment Throne of God with Messiah’s righteousness imputed to us, that we come under no condemnation.

The things unseen are of the kingdom of Messiah, it is all around us, the armies of His heavenly host in battle with the forces of evil.

. . . because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2Cor. 4:18

What we see is old Jerusalem the one of bricks and stone, but out hope, our faith is in New Jerusalem, the Jerusalem that is above and for now is unseen.

Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy! Psa. 137:6

But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. Gal. 4:26

He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. Rev. 3:12

We watch as friends and family die. Their bodies seem dead and cold. But our faith is that we will have the victory over sin and death. It is ours, we just can’t see it. [See Also: What Happens when we Die?]

 

See Also: Hope

Hope

Hope in the Bible is more than “hope” as presently defined in postmodern English, where “hope” is to believe that good and pleasant things will come to us. Biblical Hope is the steadfast belief and confidence that those blessings presently unseen are in fact ours.

. . . having a hope in God which these themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. Acts 24:15

Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. Rom. 5:2

For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait for the hope of righteousness. Gal. 5:5

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Col. 1:27

NonBelievers Trust in Money and Power

Believers are contrasted with the rich, who trust in their positions and power, for it was by these positions and power that they believed that they could bribe their pagan gods into showing them favor.

As for the rich in this world, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches but on God who richly furnishes us with everything to enjoy. 1Tim. 6:17 

There is One Hope

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, Eph. 4:4 

There is only one real hope, it is a hope of salvation. That the Lord’s righteousness will be imputed to us. It is not a hope of earthly life, health, or prosperity. But rather a hope in things unseen at the present time. That when we seen those hidden things we will be in good standing, because of our Lord’s sacrifice. As the old hymn says

Bold I approach the eternal Throne,

And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

from And can it be that I should gain

See Also: Five Crowns

Faith

Jezreel is The Valley of Decision

Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. Joel 3:14 

The valley of decision is not a literal place, just as Armageddon is not literal (see the Battle of Armageddon). The valley of Jezreel in Israel represents a state of mind or rather the nations religious beliefs.

At the western end of the valley of Jezreel stands Mount Carmel where Elijah called down fire from heaven [1Kings 18]. This is where Elijah had challenged the priest of Baal to a kind of duel between his God and theirs.

Aerial view of Tel Megiddo by AVRAM GRAICER

Aerial view of Tel Megiddo by AVRAM GRAICER

The sight was chosen to make Elijah’s point. If you stand on top of mount Carmel and look east toward Mount Tabor you would have seen the city of Megiddo on the north side of the valley and the city of Jezreel on the south.  Megiddo means “the place of cutting”.  The priests of Baal had come from city of Megiddo for that is where their cult center was. Cutting themselves was a central part in the worship of Baal.

 

Jezreel- 24 December 2005, picture by Ori~

Jezreel- 24 December 2005, picture by Ori~

Whereas Jezreel mean “God sows”.   This is what Elijah was referring to,

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. 1Kings 18:21 

Make your choice, which city do you belong to?

At the time of Elijah these two cities no longer stood in contrast to each other. Ahab and Jezebel lived in and had corrupted Jezreel. For which they and their children paid a terrible price. Not one survived.

” He said,  “Take them alive.” And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of Beth-eked, forty-two persons, and he spared none of them. 2 Kings 10:1-14 

The lesson or principle here is that we are to have nothing further to do with the false church. The false preachers, priests, and teachers who have compromised with paganism from the beginning.

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues. Rev. 18:4   

This is what happens to those who conspire against God and His purposes, and those who associate themselves with them. Like the kinsmen of Ahaziah the neighboring kingdom, you should have nothing to do with the apostates. [2 Kings 10]

But God is able to restore us to a right relationship with Him. But we must stop the Baal and Ashtaroth worship.  We must stop mixing the pagan with the divine. Stop standing in the middle of the valley, get yourself into Jezreel.

 “And in that day, says the LORD, I will answer the heavens and they shall answer the earth;  and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel;  and I will sow him for myself in the land. And I will have pity on Not pitied, and I will say to Not my people,  ‘You are my people’; and he shall say ‘Thou art my God.’” Hos. 2:21-23

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; Eph. 6:14

For a complete understanding of what is Babylon see: The Two Babylons, or The Papal Worship Proved to be The Worship of Nimrod and His Wife by Alexander Hislop.

Renew or Repair your Mind

The Greek word for renew is anakainosis, it means to make new, to renew, to repair so that it is superior.Amerling, Friedrich Von (1803-1887) -The Oriental

True ladies of the Harem renew their minds. It is our work.

In the letter to the Gentile churches believers are called on to renew their minds, spirits, and knowledge.

Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Rom. 12:2

. . . he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:5

. . . and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Col. 3:10

. . . and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, Eph. 4:23

The Hebrew equivalent in the Old Testament is chadash, and is most often used in the cleansing of the temple. The temple was constantly being corrupted by pagan idols and practices. Just as our temples of the Holy Spirit are continually subject to the temptation of these same pagan concepts.

Then Samuel said to the people,  “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingdom.” 1Sam. 11:14

When Asa heard these words, the prophecy of Azariah the son of Oded, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had taken in the hill country of Ephraim, and he repaired the altar of the LORD that was in front of the vestibule of the house of the LORD. 2Chr. 15:8 

After this Joash decided to restore the house of the LORD. 2Chr. 24:4

It is the Spirit of God that is the agent of renewal.

. . . thou dost renew thy witnesses against me, and increase thy vexation toward me; thou dost bring fresh hosts against me. Job 10:17

When thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created; and thou renewest the face of the ground. Psa. 104:30

Restore us to thyself, O LORD, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old! Lam. 5:21

We must return to learning Messiah and the only way to do that is to read the Bible.

17   Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds;  18 they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart;  19 they have become callous and have given themselves up to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of uncleanness.  20 You did not so learn Christ! —  21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus.  22 Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts,  23 and be renewed in the spirit of your minds,  24 and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Eph. 4:17-24

Piety

Where have all the pious people gone? As a child I remember old people in the church deeply grieved about how the young people were no longer respectful of God. The way we treated Him like a buddy and friend rather than the Judge and Righteous King He is.

I must say it is even worse now as the next generation is more profane than the sailors when I was a child. Piety as a word has all but disappeared in our post-modern language. Piety is presented as a negative word for as long as I can remember. It represented one who was so heavenly minded that they were no earthly good, or too religious.

“Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Matt. 6:1

And when Peter saw it he addressed the people, “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk?” Acts 3:12 

When we consider that the Greek word for pious is dikaiosun and that it is most often translated as righteousness, we get a new perspective on what is meant.

But seek first his kingdom and his piousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. Matt. 6:33

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for piousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matt. 5:6 

We should seek and thirst for a pious life. Rather than the earthly life that is before us.

The crazy thing is that most of those who fain piety, don’t believe it when they see it is others. However a sinner knows it when they see it.

For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots believed him; and even when you saw it, you did not afterward repent and believe him. Matt. 21:32 

The world must be convinced of piousness, because Messiah is not physically here to do the convincing.

7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.  8 And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and piousness and judgment:  9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;  10 concerning piousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more;  11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. John 16:7-11

We need to get our pious on.

And Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality,  35 but in every nation any one who fears him and does what is pious is acceptable to him. Acts 10:34   

Now go back through the verses because dikaiosun can also mean just/justice.

Follow or Believe

fishing_nets27607Believe

To him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:43 

And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31 

From these verses the fundamentalist churches have constructed a false doctrine of “asking Jesus into your heart.” Belief is just that belief, there is nothing to be done beyond that. The “act” of “asking Jesus into your heart” is somehow sufficient for salvation. However this prayer is nowhere in the Scriptures. It is the work of man, and as such is no different, than any other penance that is the creation of men. We can do nothing to be saved, it is a free gift from God.

However because the teaching of this easy believism is so prevalent in the post modern fundamentalist churches there needs to be a change in our language. The concept of “belief” has been so abused that it no longer carries any real meaning, and the warning that demons believe is lost.

You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe — and shudder. James 2:19

It is incumbent on us to change our language and tell people that they  must FOLLOW Jesus. He must be Lord and King of ours and their lives.

“Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Acts 2:36      

Follow

What does it mean or look like to FOLLOW Jesus?

19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. Matt. 4:19-20

Those that followed, are fishers of men. If our chief proposes in life is something other than spreading the Gospel, we are not following.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col. 3:17

If what we are doing does not glorify God, then we need to find something else to do. We have left the strait and narrow path and need to find our way back. We have a job it is to Go and Make Disciples.

And he said to them,  “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15

There is a cost to following and it can be very hard.

But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.” Matt. 8:22

This is Jewish hyperbole, and many have misunderstood that Messiah was telling the man to abandon old or ill parents. The real meaning of His word are that those that do not or will not follow, are in fact already dead.  There is no point in staying among the dead, for the dead cannot hear the message of the Gospel. We are not to waste time begging people who will not follow to follow.

And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Matt. 10:14

Sometimes we do follow for our own benefit. But even as these two beg for mercy, they seem to be the only ones who understood that He is the Son of David.

And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” Matt. 9:27 

Another misunderstood passage. Mostly because people see “saved” or ‘salvation” even where it is not so stated. Jesus says if you want to be “perfect” which is an impossible task. He man’s imperfection was his love of money and position.

21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” . . . 27 Then Peter said in reply, “Lo, we have left everything and followed you. What then shall we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Matt. 19:21, 27-28

Then our Lord allows Peter to get away with a half truth. He claims to have given up everything, however we know that his boats and nets where still there and being kept in working order, so one can only conclude that his business was still running. [John 21:3]

Who are the true followers? According to Messiah it can be anyone.

38  John said to him, “Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. 40 For he that is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward. Mark 9:38-41

So even offering a cup of cold water is an indication that one is a follower.

Following Strangers

We have created too many Simon Magnuses. [Act 8:9-14 and Justin Martyr’s First Apology Chapter XXVI.—Magicians not trusted by Christians.] These evil men preach health and wealth, and that God can be bribed with a tithe. They buy and sell religious positions for personal gain and profit. The only ones who get wealthy are they themselves as they sell their religion to ignorant people who never seem to ask where the tithe money is going, or where the commandments say they should go. We are admonished not to follow these strangers.

4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” . . . 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; John 10:4-5, 27

When we meet those that are following false teachings, there seems a deep laziness inside them a desire to turn the responsibility of the faith over to someone else. Their condition is to be lamented. However we are admonished not to worry about others faith, we are to follow alone if necessary. We can’t fix other peoples faith. We can only fix our own, through prayer and the study of the Word. We must continue to only follow the true shepherd and never listen to the stranger.

Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!” John 21:22

One way to know the strangers from true believers are that those who follow or abide in the Lord, keep His commandments.

. . . but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. Deut. 5:10

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. John 14:15  

He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” John 14:21

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. John 15:10