LUKE, Chapter 21 – God’s justice is like a two-edged sword; it brings to the (sincere) believer full grace, but judgment to all others

LUKE,
the Book of the NEW MAN in Christ

“Verse by verse” the deeper meaning of this Bible-book,
explained in the light of the Israeli Tabernacle

Part III:
The life in ‘the holy of holies’ of the marriage child of God

*************************************************************************Sword of God

God’s justice is like a two-edged sword; it brings to the (sincere) believer full grace, but judgment to all others

Viewed in the light of the Israeli Tabernacle, this chapter shows us the symbolism of the two tables of the Law, with on it the ten Commandments, which were hidden in the Ark of the Covenant. They depict the full justice of God, represented in the ten Commandments, although this “full justice of God” will, of course, only be revealed to us in the full (and thus complete) Word (viz. the bible) of the LIVING God. We can read about these perfect ten Commandments of God for the Kingdom of heaven (on earth) in Matthew 5:17-48; 6:1-34 and 7:1-29. This Word of God is like a sharp two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). It brings about full grace and it forms a power of God to make into children of God (John 1:12) for those, who, by acceptance of this (divine) Word, have turned repentantly unto God and have given over their lives to Him, beside having a sincere faith in the Word of the cross and in His omnipotence to plant this Word into us. But for all the unwilling, the disobedient, the unrepentant, and the sinners, however, it forms the full and terrible judgment of a wrathful God. We can read in John 12:48: “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” And in Hebrews 10:31 we read: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
This full (and eternal) Word of God – which will be revealed to us by the Spirit of God in ever increasing measure in the last days (see Revelation 14:6) – will bring God’s (Bride)church to the fullness of Christ in these last days. We can read this a.o. in Hebrews 9:11-12 and Ephesians 5:27: “But Christ… brought about (or obtained) an eternal redemption” … “that He might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” This victorious Word of God is a fact in heaven, but here on earth it must still be realized in the hearts and lives of believers, who have repented unto Him. And, as we all (could) know, the Church of God has never reached this level in the course of history; even if her image in the initial period of Christianity is to be called very wonderful indeed. But, in the end-time, God will clothe His (Bride)church with the “Bridal adornments” of perfection and justice (Revelation 12:1; 19:7-8), and take her in unto the Marriage of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9), according to the promises in His Word. It should be clear to everyone that the spiritual condition of the (Bride)church must hereto be brought to that condition of the heart of the poor widow in the first verses of this chapter.

LUKE 21 verse 1-4“And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury (poverty) hath cast in all the living that she had.”
In her deed this woman acted out a total offering, she gave everything that she possessed to God, to her Lord and Savior. God will find the same inner disposition in the end-time, in the heart of His (sincere) children, namely a total subjection; whereby He can bring them in His perfect, eternal redemption, and, spiritually seen, He can envelop them with the (divine) garment of spotlessness, wrinklelessness, holiness and blamelessness! “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
But over those who are and remain unwilling – namely the disobedient, the idolaters and all, who wish to remain in sin – the judgment, in the fullness of God’s wrath, will come of a righteous God. And this God’s judgment – in and over this world – means that the demonic forces of “the spiritual wickedness in high places” will be loosed more and more, so that the people of this world will be handed over to the destructive powers of satan, in whom the wicked (and sinful) person likes to remain. These people will then have to experience the harshness, cruelty and evil of him they (consciously or not) chose for their master.
Characteristic of these judgments of God are statements like: “Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates” (Revelation 9:14). Hereby is meant the unleashing of demonic angels upon mankind; angels who will pour out in increasing measure their calamities and destruction on humanity! The Euphrates or Frath is a river which flows at the garden of Eden, and is symbolic for mankind. (Compare: Revelation 9:14 with Revelation 7:1-3 and Revelation 16:12).
As the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman commander-in-chief Titus, which was predicted by Jesus – and which was the result of the unbelieving, unrepentant Israelites of Jesus’ days – took place around the year 70 after Christ, so also will the judgment predicted by God be poured out over the unrepentant part of His House (Church), and over the unbelievers, in the end-time.

LUKE 21 verse 5-6: “And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

LUKE 21 verse 7: “And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?”
When His disciples asked Him for the specific signs which would mark these days of God’s judgment – signs which also will introduce His return – He gave them the following as the very first sign:

LUKE 21 verse 8: “And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.”
In the end-time satan will produce a great multitude of imitation spiritual workers. He will give them a (false) anointing which will imitate the divine work in Jesus. Yes, they will even perform wonders and signs; but they are wonders and signs of the liar (2 Thessalonians 2:9). And these “angels” of satan, pose as “angels of light”, act as if they are real workers of God, and this is because they scorched their consciences “as with a cauterizing iron” In Matthew 7:22 we read how astonished the people were about their (eternal) damnation by God. For, although we here deal with laborers of the Lord, who digressed in sin and unrighteousness, they kept their calling. For the Spirit of God is able to (continue to) work through such people, while He passes by their personal salvation. We also notice this in the words of the Lord, which we find in Revelation 3:17b: “…and (thou) knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked”. Compare these texts regarding the false laborers also with 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.
“Christ” means “anointed one”, namely the anointed of God unto the labor for Him. But these people, namely those of 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, are false Christ’s, false anointed ones; for they were anointed by satan, but pose as “angels of light”. Therefore God, as judgment, allows the strong delusion, because they did not accept Him – in Jesus Christ as God’s redeeming, purifying and sanctifying power. We can also read about a similar judgment of God in Romans 1:18-32. And in 2 Thessalonians 2:10b-11 we read: “…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie”. The same story one finds in the Old Testament, in 1 Kings 22:19-22.
It will be these (false) laborers which will deceive those great multitudes of people, and catch them in their nets (Matthew 24:11 and 24). The tragic result will be that this crowd of people will be gathered as weeds in the end-time, to be bound up at the time of harvest in order to… be burned (see Matthew 13:30).
Therefore let us rather be led by the true Holy Spirit of God, Who always leads us out of sin by His purifying, sanctifying and justifying works! So, the end-time is a time wherein two spiritual movements run parallel. The first spiritual movement is that of the Holy Spirit of God, Who reveals His redeeming, purifying, sanctifying and perfecting works in full-Gospel power in His own, and Who, as a result, will create a perfect Bride(church), which will be God’s instrument in the restoration of the Church and at the worldwide revival in “Latter Rain Power” (i.e. the Holy Spirit revival of the end-time, as a.o. prophesied in Joel 2:23-30). The second movement, perhaps in looks more spectacular, is that of satan, which also brings forth wonders and signs, but then of the liar! The result of this will be the false (and politically minded) world church of the end-time, about which we can read in Revelation 17, 18 and 19; also called the hidden Babylon or the “Great Whore”, which will prepare the anti-Christian path of the person of the antichrist. Warned by the Word of God, let us watch and pray that we too be not entangled in the snares of these – for un-anointed eyes – hidden, anti-Christian works, of this satanic power of hidden unrighteousness.
Another form of divine judgment we will come across in the last days of the present-day world in increasing measure and eventually worldwide in extent, is that of war, and also of rebellion against governments of state!

LUKE 21 verse 9-10: “But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions (revolutions), be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”

By E. van den Worm

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If you want, see also the ‘verse by verse’ study of:

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Book review 24: The sermon of the Lord Jesus Christ on the mount (the constitution of the Kingdom of heaven ON EARTH).

Part 1

The ladder of God’s blessing bringing grace

The sermon on the mount

1.
Introduction

Tit. 2:11-14, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
This study tells us about that, what God has given to His covenant children (and wher we have to take consciously part in), by our Lord Jesus Christ, through sharing the redemptive power of His death and resurrection which He has accomplished in the crosspoint of the ages. This study further tells us what He asks from us.

God’s purpose with His covenant children

1 Cor. 2:7-12, “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”
Gen. 1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”

He wants to recreate men, who at the end will have the same glory as His eternal Son.

Eph. 1:3-10, “Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ: According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved. In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; Wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times (i.e. in the end-time) He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven (the deceased souls), and which are on earth; even in Him.”
1 Jn. 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.”

He wants to allot His covenant children – they, who have made a covenant with the Lord God – with His perfect salvation bringing grace, which He, especially in the end-time, wants to share out in all perfection here on earth.

Hab. 2:14, “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”
Rev. 14:6, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.”

This great purpose has been remained, even after man has fallen in sin by the temptation of satan[1], by which all offspring of Adam and Eve are born in original sin.

Ps. 51:5, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
Eph. 2:1-10, “And you [hath He quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Rom. 8:20-21, “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the child­ren of God.”

He will accomplish this salvation bringing grace in His covenant children, till His final purpose is achieved.

Eph. 4:13, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”
2 Cor. 5:17, “Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

With “in Christ” is meant “living in the perfect Christ nature”.

Mt. 13:43, “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
1 Jn. 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
Rev. 21:1-7, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven (this is not one action, but a continual communication with the throne of God in heaven) prepared as a bride adorned for her Husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and He will dwell with (in) them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, either shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son.”

The Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

He alone is the by our Father God given Person, Who will bring us up to God’s ultimate aim. Here on earth He works in us trough His Holy Spirit.

Jn. 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Acts 2:36, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
2 Cor. 3:17-18, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty. 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.”
1 Tim. 2:5, “For [there is] one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus;”
Hebr. 9:11-15, “But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us]. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause He is the Mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions [that were] under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”
Zech. 4:6, “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This [is] the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”

Jesus’ Divine heritage

By the proclamation of Jesus’ Divine Testament – His Gospel. He offers all men His Divine heritage, obtained by the death and resurrection of the Lamb of God, our Lord Jesus Christ.
We partake in this Divine heritage by:

  1. Our faith in the redemptive and perfecting power of His shed Blood on Golgotha,
  2. Our faith in the almighty redemptive power of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who shares with us His heritage by and through His Holy Spirit,
  3. Our perfect repentance of all sins to God,
  4. Our confession of our guilt,
  5. Our daily surrender and opening of our being, by which He is able to enter our body, soul and spirit to accomplish His salvation bringing grace,
  6. Continually fleeing from the might of sin and sinful circumstances, struggling in the power of the Holy Spirit against the temptations of sin, never leave the first love, the love for God and for our Lord Jesus Christ.

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CLICK HERE if you want to read this study for FREE (or for printing by PDF)

By E. van den Worm

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[1] We write the word satan not with a capital, as it is not a name, but a word meaning opponent or adversary, accuser.

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LUKE, Chapter 20 – The life of the bride of Christ will be in deep and perfect UNION with God

LUKE,
the Book of the NEW MAN in Christ

“Verse by verse” the deeper meaning of this Bible-book,
explained in the light of the Israeli Tabernacle

Part III:
The life in ‘the holy of holies’ of the marriage child of God

*************************************************************************

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The life of the bride of Christ will be in deep and perfect UNION with God

Second Coming for the Bride

We must view this chapter in the light of the Ark of the Covenant (also called the Covenant chest) which stood in the Holiest of holy of the Israeli Tabernacle. The lid of the Ark (or chest) is called the “mercy seat”, where also the two cherubim (statues of angels) stood. This lid with the two cherubim was formed from one lump of pure gold. The two cherubim and the mercy seat are symbolic for our almighty God. The mercy seat as the type for the Son and the two cherubim as the type for the Father and the Holy Spirit. This lid forms a complete and well-closing unity with the chest itself, which, although made of acacia wood, was covered with leaf gold; which points towards the Bride(church) of Christ; who seen from the outside is living in deep and perfect union with God in His threefold revelation. It is a union which is emphasized by the two stone tablets of the law, the ten commandments (type for the inward workings of the justice of the Father-God); and the gold cruse with manna (type for the inward workings of the mercy of the Son of God); and also Aaron’s staff, which had budded (type for the inward workings of the omnipotent union with the Holy Spirit of God), which were in the Covenant chest. These three objects depict the deep inner union of the Bride with the almighty God. A description of these are to be found in Exodus 25:10-22 and Hebrews 9:3-5. It is like the Word says in Matthew 9:15 that we must live in this dark world as “children of the Bride chamber” (literal translation from the Greek), namely in absolute union with Him alone!

Christ, the High Priest, lives in deep and perfect UNION with the Father, and acts exclusively after the will of His Father

LUKE 20 verse 1-8, “And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders, And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority? And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not? But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet. And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was. And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.”
In the previous chapter we saw Jesus, urged by the holy (and purifying) fire of His Father, cleanse the temple of the Jews – because they, by their (unholy) desires for material gain, traded even in the temple, thus in God’s house – in order to restore this temple in its original purpose, that it be a house of prayer again.
In this temple He clearly acted as someone with power, much to the irritation of those who had the leadership. In their eyes Jesus’ behavior was very inappropriate. The piqued and furious chief priests and elders, who had ignored this trade, and who most probably profited from it themselves, demanded that the Lord Jesus give them an explanation of His behavior; they wished to know who had given Him the authority for this action. The Lord, however, only was willing to answer their question if they would answer His counter-question. He associated the problem raised by them with the baptism of John. For, if they believed this baptism to be of God, then they would also heed what took place at Jesus’ water baptism, whereby a voice from heaven testified: “Thou art my beloved Son, in Thee I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22). Then they would have known that He acted in the authority of His heavenly Father. But, because of their cunning considerations, of which we read in above (bible)verses, they said: “We do not know whence this is (viz. the baptism of John)”. Therefore the Savior did not inform these (spiritually) digressed leaders either that the fire of God’s holy wrath urged Him thereto.
Our Savior had (and has) no other desire than to always live in deep and perfect union with the Father. “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me (i.e. who partakes of the holy Supper [symbol of the eating (sharing) His flesh and blood], whereby we acknowledge to also want to die to our old, earthly-minded life), even he shall live by me” (read John 6:57-58). The same way we are to live in deep and perfect union with our Lord Jesus.
The Lord Jesus lived in such deep dependence on the Father that He testified: “…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 5:19b). “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 5:30). “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38). So, too, are we to live; in the same dependence and servitude to our Lord Jesus Christ. Never should our will be done, but always His!

God’s laborers must serve Him in deep union with, and devotion to Him and in His (perfect) love

Jesus wanted (and still wants) all God’s laborers to work with the same love, devotion and sense of unity as His. How far from this perfect image, however, were the spiritual leaders in Jesus’ days! He showed their deep (spiritual) deterioration, their works full of egocentric motivations and their rebellion against God in the following parable.

LUKE 20 verse 9-17, “Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time. And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him. But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid. And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone (symbol for Jesus) which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner (viz. an indispensable cornerstone)?”
These (spiritually) digressed laborers of God’s vineyard served themselves instead of the Lord. They wanted to profit (a lot) from their “religious” labor. They passed over the most important goal, namely to bring people to repentance, subjection and obedience to God; and instead thereof they pursued selfish goals, such as material gain and power, a good position, honor and applause among their fellow believers.
They silenced the prophets which were sent by God in a despicable manner! And finally they crucified God’s only Son, God had sent them! Therefore God took away His “vineyard” (here: His work field) from them, and brought them into judgment. Because of this judgment (a.o.) Jerusalem was destroyed and burned by the Roman armies. Many of them were killed, or sold as slaves and banished from their home and land. Palestine (present-day Israel) was to be trodden upon (and thus taken possession of) by the gentiles through the ages, until the time of the end of this present world…
God then gave His “vineyard” to His people, (spiritually) born of the gentiles, from all the nations of this world, among which also the ten “lost tribes” were and still are (see note 1 on page 3). These new people He made into a Dwelling Place of God in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:22), of which He is the Cornerstone (verse 17) and the Foundation, upon which this spiritual building rests. In other words: He was able to have a relationship with these people, in such a way that He has been able to live and work in and through them. And when the Jews would repent they would be added unto them (Romans 11:11-29).

LUKE 20 verse 18, “Whosoever shall fall upon that stone (symbol for Jesus) shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”
Whosoever does not accept the Son of God, will stumble on Him, on this “Stone”; that person will come under the crushing judgment of God! And when God’s judgment falls on them, then He will (have to) crush them! “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!” (Hebrews 10:31), “for our God is a consuming fire!” (Hebrews 12:29). But this same fire of God can cleanse us (completely), and is merciful to all them who truly repent unto Him and who, by faith in Him, give themselves over to Him, to from then on live in deep union with Him, and to serve Him sincerely. That our spirit always serve Him and be devoted to Him!

By E. van den Worm

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If you want, see also the ‘verse by verse’ study of:

Posted in Bible study 'verse by verse', for FREE, LUKE 'verse by verse', Message of the cross, NEW LIFE in Christ, sanctification, the FULL Gospel, The Holy Gospel explained | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book review 23: Called by the Spirit of God to take part unto the Marriage Supper of the Lamb of God…

Revelation 19 verse 9:

“And he saith unto me, write,
Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.
And he saith unto me, these are the true sayings of God.”

gebed

Called by the Spirit of God to take part unto the marriage supper of the Lamb of God and… unto the divine marriage

Rev. 19:9, “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”
When the time of the formation of the marriage of God’s Lamb has come, God will call His Church to take part unto this marriage supper. By this God will bring about unto us His perfect redemption of all power of sin by our willingly taking part in this divine supper. By doing so we will get redeemed, already here on earth, from all spot and wrinkle of sin, being so wash in His blood perfectly. Only hereafter He is able to share His marriage with us. I may draw your attention to God’s Word, that referring to this quotation, it tells us, that He calls us to the supper of the marriage of His Lamb, of Jesus Christ in His function of Lamb of God. This tells us, that we, by taking part in this spiritual marriage, have to take communication with His death and resurrection on Golgotha (i.e. Calvary), by which we also will get to the death of our sinful self perfectly.
Eph. 5:26-27, “That He might sanctify and cleanse it (i.e. the Church) with the washing of water by the word (of God), That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it (i.e. the Bride-church) should be holy and without blemish.”
When we want to take part in this marriage of the Lamb, we have to experience His perfect redemption of the power of sin, even unto the deepest depth of our being by the washing in the shed blood of God’s Lamb, brought about by the Holy Spirit. Not before this cleansing perfectly has been done He is able to clothe us with His divine glory and majesty, and fill our inner being with His divine justice, so revealing His divine nature IN and TROUGH us. This, the Bible calls the revelation of the sons of God.[1]
Rom. 8:18-19, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God (see note1).”
Isa. 60:1-3, “Arise (don’t stay asleep spiritually), shine; for thy Light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee (i.e. the Bride).[2] And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”

The 7 spiritual steps we have to make with our Lord to accomplish in His power this perfect sanctification and marriage with God’s Lamb – here on earth

  1. Not only do we have to convert ourselves unto God and have faith in Him and in His Word, but we also have to open our heart and being for our Lord Jesus Christ. By doing so He is able to bring about His finished work on Golgotha (i.e. Calvary) in our heart and being. By this graceful work in our heart and life we at last will perfectly take part in His death and resurrection and will at last totally die from our sinful life up to the deepest parts of our subconscious. May we die before this sanctification has been brought about unto us by the Spirit of God, so the rest of this way of our cross He will recount unto us.

Rev. 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door (of your heart), and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door (of the heart), I will come in to him and will sup[3] with him, and he with Me.”
The above mentioned is what He meant by saying: Then I will sub with him and he with Me.

  1. This contact with the Lord WE have to persist, so HE is able to share with us His divine work in our sinful heart and being perfectly.

2 Cor. 4:10-11,Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the (resurrection)life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the (resurrection)life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh (so: here on earth).”

  1. WE also have to persist in bearing about His finished work in our being: His death and resurrection for us.

Luk. 9:23, “And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
“Our” cross is our free participation in His death and resurrection, so we are able to die indeed from our sinful old life. This way of our cross we have to bring about fully – in His strength – and our Lord Jesus Christ will continually lead us on this way. In case we would die before we reach the end of this road, the rest of this road is granted to us and counted as if we finished it.

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By E. van den Worm

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[1] Also daughters (of God) will become – if they are perfect ‘in Him’ – (spiritual) sons of God. It is the so called male maturity: “the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13). And, when we have entered the eternity, there are no mariages anymore, nor is there intercourse between man and woman, because  no propagation is needed there.

[2] Compare this verse with The Song of Solomon (the book about the Bride and the Bridegroom) 6 verse 10: “Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?” Compare this verse also with Revelation 12 verse 1.

[3] “The marriage or wedding supper of the Lamb”, see Rev. 19:9.

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LUKE, Chapter 19 – God’s (royal) priests know an absolute devotion to their King

LUKE,
the Book of the NEW MAN in Christ

“Verse by verse” the deeper meaning of this Bible-book,
explained in the light of the Israeli Tabernacle

Part III:
The life in ‘the holy of holies’ of the marriage child of God

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holiness

God’s (royal) priests know an absolute devotion to their King

Worldly-mindedness must be a victory gained for a laborer of God

By nature man is worldly-minded. Therefore an unbeliever can only perceive the visible and material things with his senses. Their senses are blind to the supernatural things, the spirit realm. Their intellectual capacity, their “common sense”, is based only upon these sensory perceptions. This therefore is the reason they could never find God and the supernatural things with their intellect alone. However, their spirit is capable, once they (start) to believe the truth regarding this spiritual world and the supernatural things of God, to make contact with God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who can deliver them (completely) from all forms of bondage to tangible (and thus visible) things and from a way of life which is solely focused on this earth. Through faith the born-again and now spiritual person can receive a completely new existence from God, as well as divine powers and inspirations from the Holy Spirit for the life and the ministry he is called to. In 1 Corinthians 1:30 we read the following: “But of Him (i.e. God) are ye IN Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us: wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”
We know that our Lord Jesus Christ, by His sacrifice on the cross of Calvary, brought us in the first place redemption. The “redemption” (from sin and guilt) therefore does not take place by one act or another, but by a person; namely by the second revelation form of God: the Son of God. Yes, all divine works of grace are given to us in and by Him, and this therefore is the reason John, in his first general missionary letter, writes: “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (5:12)!
Again: Only Jesus can deliver us from all material bonds, from all earth-bound acts and from all emphasis a man may put on the treasures of this earth. And not only this, but He also gives us an ETERNAL treasure in the knowledge of Him and in the relationship with Him, whereby we receive that (divine) love, peace, and joy, but also His divine strength to be able to live in that divine justice and mercy. “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and they exceeding great reward” (Genesis 15:1b), whereby is meant that God wants to be our Protector, and wants to be an eternal Possession unto us.
“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung (garbage), that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:8). In this light we must view the new standpoint Zacchaeus had taken regarding earthly possessions, after our Lord Jesus had found him and granted him godliness.

LUKE 19 verse 1-9, “And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son (of the generation) of Abraham.”
Here is Zacchaeus with a strong desire to see Jesus. God had drawn him unto Himself because He knew his deepest being. For, no one comes to Jesus unless the Father has drawn him (John 6:44).
In order to be able to see Jesus properly Zacchaeus had climbed a wild fig tree… That was very appropriate, for his life, too, was like that of the wild fig tree: wild through sins and stubbornness. That was also the reason Jesus asked him to come out of that fig tree. When Jesus calls us unto Him, we, too, must humble ourselves in confession of our sins that He deliver us from them. And when we obey then He will become to us a Deliverer (of sin and guilt). “If the son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free (of sin and guilt) indeed” (John 8:36).
Let us, too, experience personally that Jesus Christ is our Deliverer; because the burden (and the power) of sin has fallen off us! We first must believe in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, and also that this was done personally for us. We also must believe in Jesus’ omnipotence to deliver us (completely) from sin. That is the legal side (the promise) of our redemption. Then, by God’s work of grace, the deliverance, as a real experience, will come over us. This is the realistic side of our deliverance. First there was faith, now reality.
As Jesus’ disciple Zacchaeus laid his life on the altar of burnt offering to die to his old life. So his old publican life, a life full of stinginess and deceit, could be burned to ashes by God; because of which Zacchaeus was renewed, and was called a son of Abraham, a son to whom salvation was brought by God’s work(s) of grace.

LUKE 19 verse 10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Jesus said to Zacchaeus that He was to stay in his house that day; the same way Jesus, after He delivered us from all earthly lusts, comes to make His dwelling within our heart and life.
He had freed Zacchaeus from the idol mammon; and the same way He will free us, if we sincerely want to, from each idol and each idolatrous attraction of sin, fear and worldly-mindedness! When He enters into our heart and life, the spiritual death (and thus satan) must go. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).

A true laborer of God receives from Him the spiritual ability (such as gifts, powers, etc.) to – in and by Him – work with Him

LUKE 19 verse 11-13, “And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy (do business with this) till I come (back).”
Jesus was near to Jerusalem and His disciples thought, that He was about to rule as a King over the earthly Jerusalem. Therefore He told them the parable of a King-to-be, Who first had to leave for a distant country (namely heaven) to receive the Kingship there (from His Father), to return afterwards as a ruling King. This king-to-be (future king) had ten servants. The number 10 in the bible is the number of fullness (perfection); all His servants throughout all ages are meant here. (Compare: “The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins” – see Matthew 25:1a). Each servant He called unto Himself, received a pound, symbol of the divine gift (the revelations of the Spirit – see 1 Corinthians 12:1-11), to be able to really serve Him.

LUKE 19 verse 14-27, “But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury (interest)? And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”
In order to receive a ministry in the service of the Lord, we need the divine gift of sharing His anointing – namely the revelation of the indwelling Spirit of God – in order to build and perfect the Church. But, before there can be any talk of the revelation of the indwelling Spirit of God, God’s Spirit must first be able to come and live in His temple, His dwelling place, whereby first the body of the believer is meant. We can read this in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s”. The Lord also warns us in John 15:5b “…for without me ye can do nothing!” Nothing regarding the eternal things of God. We are only co-workers with God (1 Corinthians 3:9). He determines the work we are to do in Him. Us fits an eternal: “What would You, Lord, that I do?” (Luke 17:10).
The great line in this labor (in, by and for God) we find in Ephesians 4 verses 11-13: “And he (God) gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers; (1) For the perfecting of the saints, (2) for the work of the ministry, (3) for the edifying of the body of Christ: (4) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
The Holy Spirit’s work, in and through God’s laborers, must bring the Church of the LIVING God to unity of doctrine (namely: knowing the real truth concerning God’s plan of redemption, renewal and perfecting of mankind), and by the knowledge of this unto union with God (namely: knowing Him, because He is IN us, and we IN Him) until “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” in all is reached, whereby is meant the perfection in Christ; where Ephesians 3:18-19 speaks of: “(that ye) may be able to comprehend with the saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD.”

Let us now return to above parable. The Spirit of Christ, symbolized by the pound, has come to dwell in His temple (which is, and must be, in our body – see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). What do you do with Him? Do you let Him and His guidance freely work in you, or are you binding Him? We let Him free, when our spirit continues to serve Him by the sincere prayer of our soul: “What would You, Lord, that I do?“… without being in His way. We bind Him, when we let our own will guide us into labor for Him, and continue to live after the lusts and longings of our sinful flesh! This life after the flesh can also relate to our religious work. We then do something for Him highhandedly and by our own will. It is something which is bound to be worthless to God. God cannot sanctify us by such a life in the flesh, let alone work through us! However, if we give Him the free hand in our heart and life, because our heart sincerely longs for this, then He is able to work mightily through us, that we be a blessing to others. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him” (2 Chronicles 16:9a). This way we also meet Ephesians 2:10.
This then was the way the first (faithful) servant, who was called to account by his king. The pound he was entrusted with grew to ten pounds. This means that the measure of the Spirit in him grew ten times as big. And we know that in the bible, 10 is the number of fullness, of perfection. Do you want this? Do you wish to let God’s Spirit grew and work freely in you, until at last He has brought you unto His fullness; until God’s Spirit has brought you “to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”? This means that God finally has His way for the rest of your life; that God, in His fullness, comes to make His dwelling in your heart and life! (Ephesians 3:19b). He will then put the seal of His love and mercy on your life, and work through you in His perfect, redeeming and sanctifying power. Then you will be able to say with Paul: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Soon a perfect revelation of Christ will become reality in and through us: His desire has become our desire; His will our will; His thoughts our thoughts. For this will happen when He will have made His Bride(church) without spot or wrinkle (i.e. perfect) (Ephesians 5:27). It is because of this that Obadiah, speaking of this time, prophesied: “And saviors shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau (type of the worldly-minded Christian); and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s” (verse 21). Christ will be able to reveal Himself, and work, so powerfully in and through them that they can and will bring His people the full salvation of God like saviors. In the strength and in the Name of the Lord Jesus they will lead the Great Revival (namely the so-called Latter Rain period of the end-time), which will go all over the world. To God be all glory for this! Let us remember that this perfect sanctification in Christ is a process. Let us therefore now give ourselves completely, with heart and soul, to Christ.
With the second (faithful) servant the pound grew to five pounds. The number 5 in the bible is the symbol for the reconciliation with God, but also of the deliverance from all powers of darkness, and from all sinful and dead works (works in one’s own strength) of the “old man”. Here the five pounds of this second (faithful) servant typify a wonderful state of holiness which was brought about by the full fire of the Holy Spirit (see Isaiah 4:4, and Matthew 3:11-12), but not yet of perfection (the number 10) in Him.
If, in the light of the Israeli Tabernacle, the Holiest of holy is the type of the group represented by the first servant; the Holy Place is for the group of God’s children represented by this second servant. There were five pillars which bore the “door” of the Tabernacle (type of the Lord Jesus Christ and His five wounds). And this “door” led to the Holy Place of the Israeli Tabernacle. The 3-partite division and order of the Israeli Tabernacle is as follows: First the Forecourt, then the Holy Place, and next the Holiest of holy. They are symbols of successively: the Paradise (where all deceased believers go after their death); the heavenly Canaan (God’s true church here on earth = God’s heaven on earth); and the New Jerusalem (the [Bride]church, the wife of the Lamb, coming down from heaven – see Revelation 21:9-27). That, which we usually call “heaven”, in fact relates to these three (different) areas of the Kingdom of God.

When He comes into our life, we must let God’s Spirit cleanse us of all dead works of the old, sinful man, that we, being cleansed in Him, shine His light in this world, just like the sevenfold candlestick did in the Holy Place of the Israeli Tabernacle. Let us not put away the gift (namely the “pound) we received from God in a sweat cloth like that third (unfaithful) servant did; whereby we push away the Holy Spirit in our life in order to, in our own strength, work ourselves into a sweat for the Lord, and therefore de-activate God’s Spirit by the (spiritually seen) dead works of our “flesh”, namely works in sin and self-will!
How many children of God, although baptized with the Holy Spirit, do their own works, and labor in their own, human strength! Such Christians do not have themselves sanctified by Him either, but “do their best” to seem righteous in the eyes of their neighbors, as if they could earn heaven by their works (in their own strength and after their own insight). In Romans 10:2-4 we can read: “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth”.
Many Christians try, with set jaws, to walk the “holy way of Christ” (see Isaiah 35:8), while He testified: “My yoke is soft, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). This stubbornness in the service of the Lord is also depicted by the church of Ephesus in the book of Revelation (2:1-7).
We must subject ourselves to Him alone, with a completely sincere heart, and devote our life completely to Him. Then He will (be able to) work through us (Ephesians 2:10). Therefore it is no honor to us. It is not our righteousness, but His righteousness, not our love, but His love, which must work in us. As Paul testified: “The love of Jesus constrains us” (2 Corinthians 5:14). When you work yourself, you perspire (sweat). The “pound” was wrapped in a sweat cloth by the third (unfaithful) servant. He received God’s Holy Spirit, yet he worked in his own strength. And, as we read, the returned king spoke His judgment over him; he should have given the “pound” to the bank, if he did not know what to do with it. The bank here symbolizes God Himself. He should have come to God and should have put this gift in God’s hands, in absolute subjection. Then God would have been able to lead him into this rest in the labor for Him, “practicing usury” with this pound, namely winning souls, etc.!
We also know what will happen to the enemies of King Jesus: they will taste eternal death, eternal damnation, just like satan and his angels. Therefore, beloved, let us pursue the in-filling of His Holy Spirit, after that He delivered us from the lusts of this world; let us be willing to be a co-worker with God, then He will be with us until the end of this world.

By E. van den Worm

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If you want, see also the ‘verse by verse’ study of:

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Book review 22: JOHN – the book about the life of Jesus Christ, the Son of God

christelijke verordeningen

Introduction

This last of the four gospels was written at approx. 90 A.D. by the apostle John, a son of Zebedee (Matthew 4:21), and Salome, a devoted one of the Lord (Mark 15:40; 16:1): The Lord Jesus called him, together with his brother, the apostle James, “sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17). Was this because of their spirit, which (initially) called for judgment (Luke 9:52-56)? And yet this apostle was later called pre-eminently “the apostle of love”. The Spirit of Christ had changed him that much by His sanctifying works of grace. His nickname became later on “the disciple whom Jesus loved” or “who loved Jesus” (John 13:23; 21:7).
Did Matthew describe Jesus in his gospel as the King of the Kingdom of heaven; Mark described Him as the Servant of God, “Who let his ear be bored through with an awl” (Psalm 40:7-9; Exodus 21:5-6), and Who had served God as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Luke described Him as the New Man, the second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45-47), Who was to defeat satan for man – by His obedience unto God, even unto death (Philippians 2:7-8). John, on the other hand, described Him as the Only Begotten Son of God (John 1:14), the Lord of heaven, Who would fill the, by Him, purified person Himself with godliness and perfection/ fullness (2 Peter 1:4; Ephesians 1:23; Isaiah 60:1-3), sharing with him/her His own body (Romans 8:17; 1 Corinthians 12:2 and 27). Because of this, this Gospel is pre-eminently the Gospel for the last days, thus the time wherein we now live; the time wherein God, already here on earth, will fill His Church, temporarily at least part of it, with His perfection, namely His Bride(church) (Revelation 12:1; 14:5; Ephesians 5:27; 1 Peter 1:3-5). Therefore it is not surprising that John, after having introduced Jesus as the incarnate (i.e. the becoming man or flesh) Living Son of God (see chapter 1), involves this Son of God in a Marriage (see chapter 2:1-12).

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Chapter 1

Jesus Christ, the Son of God is the only Gate (Entrance) to eternal, Godly life

The sevenfold introduction of Jesus Christ

I.  The first introduction:
Jesus was God’s Word before His carnation; He was with God and was God.

JOHN 1 verse 1-2, “In the beginning (of creation) was the Word (already), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same (Word) was in the beginning with God.
Jesus was and is and will (always) be the express image of God’s autonomy (see Hebrews 1:3), the only begotten Son of the Father (see John 1:14 and 18; 3:16 and 18), originated from the eternity of the past; the visible Part of the invisible God (see Colossians 1:15; John 1:18); the Firstborn of all God’s children (see Romans 8:39). And God’s children received their son-ship, because they have become members of His Body (see Ephesians 1:23). And Jesus, after His atoning death on behalf of man, is seated at the right hand of God as the Head of the Church, and as High-priest (see Hebrews 1:3; Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 5:6; Daniel 7:13-14).

II.  The second introduction:
Jesus was the Creator of heaven and earth.

JOHN 1 verse 3, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
Jesus was also the Creator of all visible and invisible things (the world of the angels – see Hebrews 1:10); Who in the beginning, with the Father and the Spirit, created heaven and earth as the second Person in the Godhead (see Genesis 1:1), as the spoken Word of God (see Psalm 148:1-6), Who works through His sent-abroad Spirit (see Psalm 104:30; Revelation 5:6).

III.  The third introduction:
Jesus is our God-given Savior.

JOHN 1 verse 4, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”
For men Jesus is the resurrected Lord from heaven, and has been given to man by the Father for his/her Light and Life (see John 11:25), for his/her only Savior (see Acts 2:36; 4:12; 5:31; 1 Timothy 2:5).

God offers man grace through Jesus Christ
JOHN 1 verse 5,              “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness (namely mankind surrounded/enveloped and controlled by darkness) comprehended it not.”

JOHN 1 verse 9-11,         “That was the true Light, which (as the Son of man) lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and hiw own received him not.”
God’s outstretched hand unto salvation is not accepted by the majority of the people, wherefore this majority unfortunately is condemned (i.e. will have to be sentenced to hellish punishment), because they prefer to remain in the darkness, in sin, that is in the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19), whereby they irrevocably come under the judgment and condemnation of God (Romans 2:12).

JOHN 1 verse 6-8, “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a (divine) witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He (himself) was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.”

JOHN 1 verse 15, “John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred (was always already) before me: for he was (here) before me.”
John the Baptist, as His herald (i.e. someone, who in former days announced a prince, and made announcements, and such like, in his name), was to announce the first coming of the Savior, namely His coming as Man and Lamb of God (Malachi 3:1), that men might believe in Him. For man only receives salvation simply and solely from God by his/her faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:16) – Who, by His death and resurrection, has won the victory for him/her over the sinful nature, the spiritual death, the nature of satan, wherein he/she was born – by opening his/her heart, his/her life, his/her being, completely for the Spirit of this resurrected Lord unto the salvation of his/her being (Titus 2:11; 3:3-7), unto the sharing of His death and resurrection (for it is a gift, a present from Him to share in this) (Romans 6:5).

JOHN 1 verse 12-13, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe (sincerely) on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
But all, who accepted Him, all, who open their sinful being repentantly unto Him, and yield to Him, will receive Him in the Spirit (Revelation 3:20). He has all power in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18) and will destroy, if we sincerely desire this, also in us all powers and influences of satan (1 John 3:8), our completely sinful old “I”-life, and will them come in us with His life (2 Corinthians 4:10-11). His Spirit is the Power, Who will make us children of God, yes sons of God (whereby noted, that spiritually mature/perfect daughters also, spiritually seen, are/become sons of God), truly born of God, and will so be filled, saturated, in the Spirit of this resurrected Lord!

JOHN 1 verse 14, “And the Word was made flesh (and thus Man), and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.”
That eternal Word of God was made Man among men to die, for the reconciliation of man, as their sin offering, as God’s requirement for the salvation of men from before the foundation of this world (1 Peter 1:18-20; Revelation 13:8b). He came as, and was, God’s spoken Word with regard to sinful man: He was full of grace and truth!

JOHN 1 verse 16, “And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.”
From Him we receive grace for grace, for there is not a single merit of ours. We receive this from His limitless fullness, until we have become His equal (2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 4:13; 1 John 3:2) by the redemption and renewal, and the filling with His quickening Spirit (Ephesians 1:23) and Word (Hebrews 4:12).

JOHN 1 verse 17, “For the law (of the Old Covenant) was given by Moses, but grace and truth (of the New Covenant) came (in force) by Jesus Christ.”
In the Old Covenant God gave the Law, wherein was stated the way man was to live before the face of his/her holy God. In the New Covenant God gave us Jesus. By Him, that is: by His Spirit, we too are filled with grace and truth (after that we have believed His Word, and let it work in our heart and life) that He could saturate us with His Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13) and His Word.

JOHN 1 verse 18, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him (= made Him known).
We get to know intimately, and taste, the Being of God by the indwelling fullness of the Bringer of grace, the Lamb of God; and this knowledge is eternal life (John 17:3). Then we live His life instead of our life, and lead also a life full of grace and truth, just like Him. So we will be made unto a dwelling of God, a dwelling for His Spirit (Ephesians 2:22).

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By E. van den Worm

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LUKE, Chapter 18 – The purification… in order to come to “the end of all flesh” (Part 7)

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The purification of the holy place in order to come to “the end of all flesh”
(Part 7)

In and by Christ, we must be willing to be cleansed of the sin of prayerlessness

In the chapters 12 up to and including 17 we have seen how the sin lodges in the deepest and finest fibers of our being; and this goes for every Christian! But we also know that our Lord Jesus Christ, by the offering of His body on the cross at Calvary, once and for all brought deliverance from all sins and powers of sin (Hebrews 10:10b; 1 Peter 2:24). By this sacrifice He gave us the way unto life, that we might escape all sin and darkness and might have communion with God, because the veil – which indicated the separation between God and man in the Tabernacle, and was (and is) pointing to our sinful flesh – was torn because of the offering of His atoning death (Hebrews 10:19-20; Matthew 27:51a); whereby the (direct) contact with God became possible again for each person who believes in Jesus and His sacrifice for us.
In the light of the Israeli Tabernacle we must see these chapters in the sign of this veil, torn for us (which points to Jesus Who gave His life for us). We, too, must, willingly and thankfully, undergo this “way of the cross”, namely the breaking down of our old, sinful life – by the inner, powerful workings of His Spirit and blood – that Romans 6:5 become a living reality in our life: “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection”.
We will now have a closer look at the last one of all sins a Christian must be delivered from. This sin, to un-anointed eyes, may seem small, but for God it is a very great obstacle, for because of this He cannot grant us the fullness of the glory of His nature; namely union with His holy, true and merciful Being. For sins, however small in our eyes, separate us from our God! “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). The indicated last sin is the sin of prayerlessness. For it is a matter of the highest urgency to put all of this sinful being of ours completely in the hands of our faithful Redeemer and Savior. With David we must pray: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). If we sincerely desire this He will investigate our entire being and show us our sins and shortcomings, that we feel them as a burden, because of which we all too eagerly would lay them down at His feet; that He wash us clean in His precious and dear blood! Then we will experience His deliverance in our heart and life and will shout for joy before His countenance, because we will know by then that we are freed from the pressure and demonic compulsion of sin. For, “if the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed (of [the power of] sin)” (John 8:36).
Let us now see how we must come to God in prayer, and which obstacles there are (may be); because of which our prayers shrink to quick prayers. Yes, because of which we even go through life prayerless, (thus without God)… Despite the fact that this subject was already discussed at length in Chapter 11, it appears that the Holy Spirit finds it necessary after all to touch on it again here.

We must pray with perseverance until we receive an answer

LUKE 18 verse 1-8, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (spiritually); Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not (help her) for a (long) while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long (is patient) with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find (true) faith on the earth?”
In this parable we are confronted with a widow who goes to the judge to seek justice, because her opponent did her wrong. But the judge was unjust and would not hear her. But, this widow clung to this judge like a bulldog. And, being wearied by this persevering woman, he finally administered justice. By this parable the Lord wants to teach us to display the same kind of perseverance in our prayers, until, in answer to our prayers, we are granted grace by our God.
We must put the sins the Lord showed up in our conscience at the foot of His cross; confronting God with the promises of His own Word. Let us thus, filled with a sincere desire for God’s justice, pray unto God with perseverance, pleading with Him to, after His own holy promise, answer us because we are willing to be completely cleansed, and want to become as pure as He is. And we are to continue praying until He fills us with jubilant faith by the assurance that He heard our continual prayer. If we remain faithful to Him, we shall find that He leads us in the full answer to our sincere prayer. For, He wants to make us pure, as white as snow, as white as white wool (Isaiah 1:18)!
(Very soon) there will be a time when Christians with such persevering prayer life will be persecuted. The “wise ones” among them will be led away (and kept in) the wilderness (see Revelation 12:6 and 14), but the “foolish ones” among them (the remnant of her seed – see Revelation 12:17) will have to go through the Great Tribulation, because they have not reached the fullness of Christ. And during this Great Tribulation they will be killed by the antichrist (see Revelation 11:1-2; 20:4). When Jesus thought of this, He sighed: “But when the Son of man cometh, shall he find (true) faith on the earth?”
We often still sin by showing the opposite of persevering prayer; maybe because we are (too) soon disappointed if our prayer is not immediately answered. This might also be the reason why our prayers often shrink to quick prayers. Let us pray the Lord for just such a persevering heart as the widow’s in above parable. Does not nature teach us that no new life will come without patient pregnancy and labor pains? Likewise that NEW LIFE of God shall not be given us without this patient waiting (expecting) and the labor pains, whereby the wrestling prayer is meant, as Jacob did (see Genesis 32:24-26)!

We must pray with a penitent heart

LUKE 18 verse 9-14, “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in them-selves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather (more) than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
Both prayers remind us of the offerings of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:3-5). Like Cain offered the (best) fruits of his harvest to God, so this Pharisee pleaded on the (“good”) works of his righteousness. And like Abel, especially because of his awareness of sin, only pleaded on the blood of the substitute offering of the sacrificial animal, so this publican only prayed to God for grace because he was aware of his sinful state.
Because of the added word “rather” (in our bible translation) by the translator (verse 14) the impression is created that the Pharisee who prayed so haughtily, was also justified by God. But this is impossible, for such a haughty prayer will never receive God’s approval and blessing, just as Cain did not receive it! We, too, should never appear before God’s face with a “holier-than-thou attitude” with regard to our fellow brothers and sisters. Were we not all pulled out of the mire of sin? Not for nothing it is written that the one who thinks to be standing (strong, spiritually), must watch out that he does not fall himself. Is not everything, that is really good, really righteous, really noble and really loving, from Him? Would it be right that we exalt ourselves regarding the things which are not of ourselves, but which were given to us by God’s grace? It is Jesus Christ, and Him alone, Who should receive all honor and glory. For, when we spread the fragrance of (divine) righteousness, then this is not of ourselves (otherwise it would be selfrighteousness), but it is the fragrance of the Rose of Saron (see Song of Solomon 2:1), whereby is indicated Jesus, our heavenly Bridegroom, Who by His grace will flower (and grow) in us.
Let us always be willing to stand before our God in a “Lazarus condition” – namely “begging” for spiritual food, that we grow spiritually, whereby He will be able to let us walk in and by His grace – but never with (spiritual) pride, such as that rich fool in the parable of the “rich man and poor Lazarus in Luke 16:19-25, who, because of this, opened his eyes in hell!

We must pray like a child

LUKE 18 verse 15-17, “And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them, but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”
Just like a child we must believe everything concerning the Kingdom of God. We must have the faith and trust a child has in its parents. How happily and trusting a child can be when someone promises it something. Our relationship with God, too, must be one of childlike dependence and affection. For, a child blindly trusts that which its father says or promises. “My father said it and therefore it is so!” When we have such a heart’s condition with regard to our heavenly Father, we will receive all the promises from God!

By E. van den Worm

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