THIS MESSAGE IS GOING TO BE VERY DIFFERENT THAN MOST OF WHAT WE HAVE DEALT WITH IN THE PAST, BECAUSE WE NEED TO KNOW FOR SURE WHAT PUTTING ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST REALLY PERTAINS TO. WE ARE ADMONISHED IN THE SCRIPTURES TO DO THAT, SO WE NEED TO KNOW EXACTLY HOW TO GO ABOUT IT. IF TIME IS AS CLOSE TO THE COMING OF THE LORD AS WE HAVE REASON TO BELIEVE IT IS, THERE IS VERY LITTLE TIME LEFT FOR DRESSING OURSELVES SPIRITUALLY, THE WAY BRIDE SAINTS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO BE DRESSED TO BE ACCEPTABLE TO THE BRIDEGROOM WHEN HE COMES. PUTTING ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE OUTER GARMENTS WE COVER OUR FLESH WITH, NOR THE WAY WE CUT, OR DO NOT CUT OUR HAIR, IT PERTAINS TO HOW WE ALLOW HIM TO MOLD US WITHIN, IN HIS OWN IMAGE. WHEN WE ARE RIGHT ON THE INSIDE, WE WILL NATURALLY REFLECT IT ON THE OUTSIDE. THAT IS WHAT OUR LORD IS MOVING US TOWARD DAY BY DAY, IF WE HAVE DETERMINED IN OUR HEART TO FOLLOW HIM IN THE WAY OF TRUTH. YOU WILL FIND THE TEXT FOR THIS MESSAGE IN ROMANS 13:14, SO LET US OPEN OUR BIBLES TO THAT SCRIPTURE AND SEE WHAT THE LORD WILL LEAD US TO SEE.
There is something going on in America today that is very disturbing, even though we know that what we are seeing is foretold in the written word of God. It is just that knowing how the American society was sixty and seventy years ago, it is very sad to see what it is turning into in this hour of time. I just have to say, If we really do know the Lord, let us do everything within our power to submit our will to Him, to let Him mold our inner being and make us the kind of Christians He will be coming back for. That is why we are going to talk about putting on the Lord Jesus Christ. Here, is what the scripture says, (Rom 13:14) “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provisions for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” That is a very short, but most important passage of scripture. How are we going to put on the Lord Jesus Christ? What does it involve? Does this involve just a certain type of clothing? Does it pertain to a certain way we cut our hair, or does it pertain to not trimming our hair? Should we let the hair grow as long as it can possibly grow? In the religious systems of America today, we have had all of that preached from the pulpit, but this particular scripture speaks of none of that. Our outward adornment means very little, if our inner being is not properly adorned, spiritually speaking. Denominations have had their day of teaching their dress codes to portray holiness, but the truth is, our outward appearance can be very hypocritical. I will point you to the external side of things by calling attention to the thousands of Muslims living in America. If you consider that shrouded look to be holiness, I must remind you that underneath that robe, is a human vessel filled with hate much of the time. Yes. It is hate! I know what our politicians are saying, Oh the Muslim religion is not really motivated by an anti-Christian spirit: They are a peaceful religion. They are not a peaceful religion! I know better. I have read enough about Muslimism to know something about those who follow it. Ever since it was started by Mohammed, Muslimism, as a religion, has not gained its converts by preaching: They have gained them with the sword. Every bit of it was done by wars and conflicts of conquering. They go at it to create fear and oppression. They have a certain look of external holiness, but oh how deceptive. To them, that is what they call it, but I will be quick to say, Underneath that pious appearance, is a spirit of hate and malice. They hate the very ground you and I walk on. Even if you dress exactly like them, if you dare to call yourself a Christian, they would still hate you. I do not mean to say that every Muslin in America today has that kind of hate for us, but many do. I say there are a few of them that have come here to get away from that stinking mess in the old countries where they were born and raised. They have heard about America as a land of freedom. They have come here to enjoy that, but they want to hold on to that Muslim robe. We heard a certain general make a statement the other day, and it was not long until they were jumping on his character, trying to tear him all to pieces. My point is this, They are going to get by with that for a while, but there is an undertow in America that is gnawing away. It is like a disease. The country that you and I have been born and raised in, is going to be gnawed to pieces in the foundational structure. Of all the nations in the world, this was one nation that God founded and established on Christian principles, using Christian people from the old world of Europe, those who had experienced the Reformation in Europe and knew what had been accomplished in the restoration of truth. God honored them. Therefore very slowly, this nation was cut out of the wilderness. Over a period of time, our society became governed by a system of government that wanted freedom. They did not establish any certain type of belief, but they believed as long as it was concerning Jesus Christ and that God was to be Supreme, that would be the essence of every person in America. Over a period of years, practically every branch of the Reformation found its roots in America. No matter what their attitude was about the external look of holiness, most all of them had a look that far supercedes most of the holiness movements of today. They grew up to have a respect for what they visualized in the word of God, that which requires a holy appearance, and believed Christians should present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. I am not standing here today, just to touch on these external things. I first want to say this, True holiness is not depending on what you may have hanging in your wardrobe. Let us get that part straight, concerning what the book (Bible) says about holiness. You can go to your wardrobe and put on this, put on that, you can go before the mirror, comb your hair, and say, Well I look holy now, but what about the inner you? Is it holy? That may be the way some people look at holiness, but that is not the entire picture of true holiness. The true spirit of holiness begins to deal with the inner you first, that which is the real you, (called the inner man) that man that thinks, that man that can get jealous, that man that can hate, that man that can talk one time positive, and another time negative. In other words, True holiness which is within, naturally expresses itself outwardly without hypocrisy.
WHAT SAITH THE WORD OF GOD?
I am going to read a few verses that I want us to think about. When we read the text, “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ,” The writer was not talking about going to the wardrobe to do that: He was talking about going to the word of God, because in the word of God, we find the apparel that we must put on if we truly have been born again. The new birth has nothing to do with your fleshly body. However proper spiritual attire will affect the fleshly man in a sense, but not until that inner self is born again. That inner man has got to have contact with God in His saving grace, before he can experience anything concerning spiritual attire. There is where we are going to find everything this text pertains to: right in the word of God. Turn with me to Romans 8, at this time. This is a chapter that deals with the works of the flesh, the lusts of the flesh and so forth, which is concerning the natural man that we are from birth. Then it goes on and talks about the spiritual man, the inner man. Therefore do not go away from here and say that I said nothing about clothing. I have seen people put on certain things that would give them a very holy appearance to the natural eye, but underneath that cloak, they can be just as aggravating as the devil himself, and you can hardly tolerate their very presence. That is the truth: I have seen it over and over. I am going to begin to use some examples after awhile, that will show you what I mean by that. Paul writes in the Roman letter, (chapter 8, verse 1) “There is therefore now (present tense) no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, (Being in Christ Jesus, is not determined by how you put your clothes on, it is how you were put in there by the new birth and the receiving of the Holy Ghost. That is what puts you in the mystical body of Christ. In the King James Bible we find the following words.) who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (These last words were added by the translators, which speak of how we walk when we truly are in Christ Jesus, but certainly were not meant to be a condition of our salvation as it sounds here.)When Paul wrote this, it really did have an affect on early Christendom, how they lived, how they walked and conducted themselves. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Now as I read that, some people make remarks, Well I have heard that before: I wish he would preach something else. I am not pointing the finger at anybody this morning, but I ask you, Let’s be sensible. First, Are you living in a way that you need not hear anything from God’s word about proper conduct as a Christian? How many epistles did the apostle Paul write? Actually 14, and in most of them he mentions something about the Law. The Law was the biggest problem of early Christians in their day. You everyone know that. Why? Because somebody out of the rear ranks of the Law, was always wanting to come along and put their ideas about the Law into Christianity, mixing it with Grace, putting it on the Christian people as a must. Paul constantly had to deal with that. When we get a true picture of what Paul was dealing with concerning the Law, what it was for, what it was applicable for, and what the grace of God is beyond the law, you have an altogether different picture of what the Christian life really is. “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak (Weak because it could not do what grace does) through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” Therefore God heaped upon Jesus the reproaches, the sin, all of our faults and wrong doings, and a totally innocent man who did no wrong Himself, paid the full price for the sin of all mankind; and grace is there for all who will accept it. He died in your place and in my place. “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Those words belong there in verse 4, but not on the end of verse 1.) For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh.” We see this more and more in the modern Christian ranks of this hour of time. As we came through Elizabeth this morning, (I have made reference to this before.) I looked at the back of the old Methodist Church, where they have now built on a huge entertainment addition. The various religions of the denominational systems in America today, have become a means of entertaining the people with a religious approach. That ranges from games to dances and various other kinds of programs. They do these things, all in the name of Christianity, trying to entertain the people enough to keep them coming. When you see them go in there, they look exactly like the ones you see walking around the Mall. There is no difference in the image they present. That is because the leaders have the idea, Well, we have to do something to keep them from the world. What good is it bringing them in there, when they are bringing the image of the world right in there with them? They look exactly like the world. It just proves their contact with God was cut off a long time ago. When there is no revelation in the heart of a person or persons who are trying to gain converts to Christ, all they could ever hope to do is make church members, but certainly not born again Christians. Therefore you cannot really expect anything other than what they have, a religious club. Even if they did put on a holy look and everything else, it would not do them one dime’s worth of good, spiritually speaking. That is why I have said over and over, Religion is not good enough to please God: It takes a born again experience and a dedicated life to fulfill the requirements and expectations of genuine salvation. I want to try to say these things the right way, so as not to give a wrong opinion to anyone. True holiness comes when you receive a genuine revelation of God’s word in your heart and live your life by the leadership of the Spirit of God. It is not just a matter of receiving a religious concept and trying to reform your image. You can formulate in your mind, you will not do this any more, you will not do that any more, you will not wear this any more, nor that any more, but if you do not have a revelation on how Jesus Christ wants to be molded inside you, it is not going to do you a bit of good. You are just putting on a show. That is why, ever since the days of the Reformation, practically all the elements of Christianity that fled Europe and came over here, have established their roots here. You can travel America over, you will find the Amish, the Mennonites, the Pilgrim Holiness, the Nazareenes, all of which have a concept of their way of looking at holiness, but if that is all they see, they have not put Jesus Christ on the inner man: they have only formed a religious concept to live by. I have been around some of them in earlier days. When I was younger, up in the northern part of the state and on into Michigan, I have preached among some of the Amish people that had left the Amish movement and came into the following of Bro. Branham’s teaching. I went to some of their meetings. They still used horses and buggies for their transportation, but they did have enough of the grace of God that it caused them to leave that old system. What usually got them started, there would be a sick one in the family somewhere, they would take them to one of Bro. Branham’s meetings for prayer. When he prayed for the sick person and the person was healed, that caused them to leave the Amish system and start fellowshiping around what they thought Bro. Branham stood for. There was nothing wrong with that, but it has got to go deeper than that. A dedicated, Christian life comes from a personal experience with the Lord Jesus Christ, the ONE who paid our sin debt and set us free from the bondage of Satan.
A HOLY LIFE V/S CARNAL PRETENSION
We each one must have a personal experience with Jesus Christ and a revelation of the word of God in our own heart. If we do not, then we are trying to formulate a religious, holy appearance, that does not do us one bit of good spiritually. Many times, some of these supposed-to-be holiness people would let something come along that aggravated and upset them; and they had no patience, no longsuffering, nothing to hold them steadfast through the trial, and the first thing you knew they were talking about their neighbor and just plain bent out of shape, all because they had nothing inside to control that impatient and explosive attitude. As long as you don’t bug them, cross them up or anything, they look good, but when something does come along that aggravates that old nature inside, you have something on your hands you did not expect. Jesus Christ is not like that, and neither are those who have sold out to live for Him. Let me read further here. “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh.” It is that way in the religious world today, more and more all the time. The old, cold, dead denominational churches are leaning more and more to the flesh all the time: The styles they used to avoid, they now go for them, saying, Well, This is how everyone else is, so what is wrong with it? When the world begins to have sway over the flesh man, and people that used to have a certain image because of conviction of what they wanted to look and conduct themselves like, begin to drift away from that image and start dressing and conducting themselves exactly like the worldly crowd, the only difference between them is, The totally worldly crowd are on the streets, in the honky tonks and places of debauchery, and you are sitting somewhere in a church house, pretending that you are righteous. That is not righteousness at all: It is just religion; and religion will not gain you access to the presence of God. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” No matter what kind of religious attitude you may have, if there is not something that motivates from the inner man, something that wants you to live a certain image that you feel like God is pleased with, and that He wants you to portray yourself in, you are only putting on a show. Sooner or later, something down the road somewhere, will come at you, hit you face on; and pretty soon you are all upset and misbehaving. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. (Notice what this says.) Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” That goes to show, we are not in Christ just by some kind of belief: We are only in Christ by the experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit. That is what seals you and frees you from all condemnation. “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” In other words, He will give you the ability to let your old nature be crucified, so it no longer rules your will. Your own will becomes subject to the Spirit of Christ.”Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Having said what I have so far, I now want to touch on a few examples I have personally witnessed through the years. As we have already said, holiness has been preached in such a way that you are given the idea it is all in how you look to the natural eye. I have heard it preached from the top of the head down to the ankles. Yet if you watch the system of the religion that is presented that way, they do not have a revelation of the scriptures that is worth one dime. I am not belittling anyone in particular, but I do have to say, I feel sorry for spiritually blind, good intentioned people that cannot see where they are going. Now concerning the Muslims, when you take a look at their clothing and their long hair and the covering over their face, you necessarily say to yourself, Abraham, whom they recognize as their progenitor, never required that of Sarah. She did not have to look like that. Think about that for awhile. Where do they get such an idea? When Abraham and Sarah came from the land of the Chaldeans and came into Canaan land, she did not look like that. How do you know that, Bro. Jackson? Simply because Abraham, coming into the land of the drought, headed for Egypt. When he and Sarah were getting close to Egypt, what did he say to Sarah? They are going to see your beauty. Well how could they see her beauty if she had something tied over her face and you could only see her eyes? You have all read the story. Even Abimilech at one time, said the same thing. He was a Philistine. My point is, They claim a lot of things that look holy, but where is reality? It is manmade tradition, that they portray as holy. I want to say, True holiness has to come down to the point that you are satisfied in your heart, that you know what Christ has done for you. You begin to look at your inner self, and search the word of God to find out what He requires of you. You begin to realize, I want to treat my neighbor with the same respect I would want from him. The devil can always come along and agitate something in me, but if I am a true Christian, I am going to recognize that thing before I open this big mouth and allow my fleshly nature to express itself. Religion has absolutely put on a cloak that is as false as false can be. I do not condemn every individual person, but I do have to say, That is not the way it works. When you put on the Lord Jesus Christ, you put on gentleness, goodness, longsuffering, meekness, temperance, love, joy, peace, and the element that makes all of that possible is your faith in God to enable you to do what is right in every situation. In your zeal, before you were crossed up, you were ready to go out and set the world on fire for the Lord Jesus Christ. Many new converts are just like that, but very few have the necessary requirements to fulfill such an ambition. I find in my Bible, that when we really do put on the Lord Jesus Christ, we put on all those virtues we just mentioned. We learn how to love the other person correctly, even when it is difficult. It is true, not every believer is required to measure up to the same measure of the fruit bearing. Just try to listen to me, to what I am trying to bring out of the scriptures. When Jesus spoke about the sower that went forth to sow seed, that which fell on good ground, when it comes forth, what will it do? In some, it will bring forth thirty fold, others sixty fold, and the rest one hundred fold. That literally means, that according to their ability, God gives them grace enough to rise up out of that old stubborn, self willed nature that would have driven them to ruin somewhere down the road of life, and enabled them to come to their senses and realize how much more joyful it is to let God begin to control that impatient and short temper, than to just let the devil have his way through the fleshly side of things. I have to say, The divine nature of Christ is going to be cultivated in every true believer, to fulfill the purpose of God in that life. I will say this also, so listen carefully. As the actual divine nature is cultivated in the believer, and is allowed to bear forth fruit in the believer through trials and tests, regardless of the severity, they little by little learn the great joy of allowing God to make a way for them. As they grow in the grace of God, eventually it is going to put on an outer man that looks like something has happened to him inwardly. It is going to put on a look of true holiness that will be easily recognized by others. The point is, If we are just going to put it on the outside only, in clothing and such as would give us a holy look outward, and never let this inner man be touched by the grace of God, we are absolutely just playing church and making a mess of things, rather than doing anything that would glorify the Lord. A lot of it depends on what we believe, and how we believe it. For years, the Methodists and Baptists were like this, The Baptists said the Methodists only preached sanctification; and the Methodists said the Baptists only preached eternal security, Which is once saved, always saved. They never did get together on that, because they did not honestly seek a true revelation of God’s word.
REVELATION SETTLES ALL CONTROVERSY
If we are ever going to look at the scriptures right, we have to have the Holy Spirit inside, because there is no such thing from the standpoint of the Bible, that you are saved one day and lost six months later and need to get saved again. I will challenge anyone to show me that kind of picture in the Bible. You were only born into this world physically, one time. However you may have been sick many times. Is that not right? Well why can we not see the spiritual birth in the same reality? Don’t you think the devil can hit your spirit being hard enough at times, that you get very weak, disheartened and even disgusted, so that you walk around with your head hung down and appear as one who has lost something precious? When you are asked, How do you feel? You reply, I feel terrible. Well you look that way too, when you begin to let your inner feelings have the preeminence on the outside. My point is, If you were ever really born again any time before then, birth only happens one time. If the word of God is preached correctly to you, sooner or later the Lord is going to send something along to heal that sick soul, and you are going to come out of that sickened condition; and you will not have to be reborn spiritually, as some believe. A lot that has gone on in the holiness realm of religion; and much of what was called salvation, was really just another attempt to reform and follow a set of rules. An evangelist will come along and have a few days of meetings; and yes the spirit of God begins to move on a few people; and this psychologically affects a lot of other people, so that there is a lot of physical action in the altar call. You can hear, This one and that one got saved again. I say, No. They did not; if you are talking about a genuine experience of Holy Ghost salvation. If what anyone receives, is not the grace of God that gets down in the heart and does a work referred to in the scriptures as a new creation, that begins to put that person on a pathway of life where they are going to do everything in their power to live for God, but when a trial hits them, they feel lost again. In such cases, you just have to know they have been converted to religion only. That is why many times in the old holiness realms, the same people that were supposed to have been saved three years ago, have been saved six times since then. There is no such thing possible, biblically. I am sure all of you sitting here today, know that, but many people beyond these walls will hear this message. That is why I have to say, When you put on the Lord Jesus Christ, you are going to do it because you have become dead to self and alive in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is your inner being that controls the deadness to self and submits to the leadership of the Spirit of God. Your inner man gets to the place he no longer feels like he has to live to satisfy this outer man. I dress the same way today, that I did fifty five years ago. I did not grow up thinking it was acceptable to go to the church house looking like a bum. I grew up in a generation of people that had respect for a place of worship. When going to the church house, we went there feeling like we were going into the presence of God, and back then you wanted to look your best at such occasions. However I am not just talking about the mere clothing side of things: I am talking about an attitude of decency and respect. I have seen old farmers come to meetings wearing clean overalls. They did not have anything better to wear, so we are not talking about that: We are talking about what is in control of our inner self. If it is the Lord Jesus Christ, we will want to dress our outer self as clean and proper looking as we possibly can of course, and we will not feel like keeping up with the styles makes us anything special. Neither will we feel like what we have to wear, because it is all we have, makes us anything less than special in the eyes of our Lord. I want to emphasize the fact, that when we put on the Lord Jesus Christ, we are dealing with something that dresses the inner man. We are putting on those virtues that portray moral excellence and spiritual maturity, which in turn leads to being more like Jesus. That is what the apostle Paul was getting at (Eph 4:13), when he said, “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.” We do not gain that stature instantly: We acquire it by accepting proper teaching and allowing it to little by little enable us to take on the mind of Christ. We have to know how He was before we can be like Him. That is the part we many times struggle with. Coming down through life, if you really let the Lord Jesus Christ get into your life and do that wonderful transformation work in your inner being, sooner or later you are going to begin to see yourself reflected in the scriptures. Just as you go before the mirror, to see how you are going to part your hair and fix it in the back so the cow lick will lay down, so does the word of God allow you to view your inner self, to see what changes need to be made. We can say this, When you stand before the mirror of God’s word, if you are reading it right you will see your inner self as you really are, whether it be good or bad. That should be our aim as we read and study the scriptures, to take a good honest look at our self and allow the word of God to show us what is still missing; and then show us how to apply it to our spiritual growth. Possibly, you have never thought of it like that, but when you approach the word of God the proper way, you are looking at yourself, and seeing the way the Lord wants you to see yourself. If you really let Him into your heart, no matter how long ago it was when you gave your heart to Him, sooner or later He is going to give you an understanding of what He wants you to be, whether you are a man or woman, if you listen carefully, He is going to show you exactly, from the scriptures, what He wants you to look like, both inside and outside. That is where you say, Lord, I see many scriptures that I do not understand, so I ask that you help me, that from these scriptures I may learn how to apply the virtues of your image to my life also. Jesus, in the final analysis of everything, became the fulness of God, having all His divine attributes dwelling in Him. In the human vessel of His Son Jesus the Christ, God bestowed the fullness of Himself, that He might be displayed before all humanity in the time His Son would remain on earth. Therefore after Jesus was baptized, He left the water possessing all the attributes of the great Creator, because God, being a sovereign Spirit, came down to Him in the form of a dove and filled Him (Jesus) with Himself. No. That did not mean God was nowhere else after that, because He fills the entire universe. I know it is difficult for the human mind to visualize this, but by faith we accept this as a fact. We could never find words in the known vocabulary of mankind, that could completely explain God: We just have to be thankful for the revelation He imparts to us when we truly seek Him with our whole heart. He enables His true children to explain the Godhead, which for centuries has been a total mystery to educated minds that think they see three Gods in the scriptures. The truth is, one can never understand very much of what is written in the scriptures until they have a true revelation of the Godhead. When God (Spirit) filled His Son with Himself, He did it in order to be able to demonstrate His very own attributes working through that vessel of flesh. That is why Jesus kept saying, over and over, It is not I that doeth these works, but Him that is in me. Another time He would say, I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. Does that mean that Jesus could not talk like any other man? Absolutely not. He sure did talk about natural things. I say, that many times as He walked down the road with his disciples, there would come up many natural conversations, and Jesus had a way of expressing Himself that really meant something. The reason I bring this in, is when we study about the man Himself, I see a man who knew how to talk when certain things needed to be talked about. He was not a man of ill temper, even though He got disgusted one time with a bunch of religious characters in the temple, because they had turned the temple into a place of merchandise for their own profit. He got angry at that and rightly so. If we are genuine Christians, born again of the Spirit of God and filled with His Spirit, and honestly desiring to have our inner being made like unto our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, God will honor our desires and enable us to take on that image. Even then though, there are certain things that can come along, which will irk us to the point that we sometimes feel like using a whip on certain ones, but we have to be careful what that thing is, that we see. For instance, when we see this conglomeration of religion out here in the world, the kind of example they are setting for young people, going down the road of life propagating a life style that can never glorify God, and some of what you have to witness is enough to affect your heart and make you feel angry, simply because it does not glorify God in any way. I have used a certain illustration before, and I will use it again, because it shows what some people allow their image to portray. I had an aunt, which a Methodist woman: Her husband’s name was Emmit. When Sunday morning came, she told her husband, Now Emmit, you hurry up and get ready. When she got ready, she had a bun on the back of her head as big as a loaf of bread. She was a Methodist and proud of it. She would then put a hat on over that bun. She had a certain dress she would put on, and she looked just like a holiness Methodist. She would go to church and sit there, saying, Amen. At church she would call her husband, Hubby, always saying, Hubby, isn’t that right? Hubby this or that. All of that sounds real good, but I have seen her get vexed, and when she would get upset you would hear, Emmit, look what you have done. She would go to the bedroom and throw herself across the bed crying. She was headed for a nervous breakdown, because she had a temper that she could not control. When she had one of those spells, you would not want to be around her: The holy appearance was gone. I use this because I have said many times, Going to church when everything was going her way, she looked like a holy woman, but if you saw her at other times, she might look like she could bite your head off. I have to say this morning, Religions in the world today have just been something that people have carried around in their mind. They will put on a little bit of this and a little bit of that to make them look according to what is expected of them, but I have to say, That is not putting on the Lord Jesus Christ: That is putting on a deceptive front. Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ is an expression of a divine nature within and that enables you to know exactly how to talk. You know exactly how to communicate with your brother or sister in the Lord. We even have holiness type people today, that when they do meet people in the Kroger or Walmart stores, people who do not look as holy as they do, they treat them as if they smell like a skunk. I am just using that to illustrate something to you. Did not Jesus say you are the salt of the earth? Why did He use such terminology? We are expected as Christians, to give proper respect to everyone; unless it is obvious they are abominable in the sight of the Lord. I have to say, Jesus Christ never treated the average man of the world like he was the scum of the earth. Do you understand my point? Ever since getting married, I have lived in the little town of Elizabeth. The old store is gone now, but when it stood on one corner at the four way stop, I would go there once in awhile to pick up some groceries. (I do not say this to brag, but to glorify my Savior that saved my wretched soul one day and put inside of me an outlook of how I should conduct myself.) I have always treated everybody in Elizabeth with respect, whether I met them in that store or some other place: I would say, Good morning and call them by name. Many times, I would shake their hand. I always treated them like descent human beings. Therefore I will never forget an incident one morning: When I pulled up beside the store and parked, there was a man standing there who used to be in the New Albany police department. He retired from there and became the town marshal of Elizabeth. I went into the grocery store and got some items and came out. By then, he was standing close by talking to another man and I spoke to them as I passed by. As I got close to my car, I heard the town marshal say to the other fellow, If there is a Christian in Elizabeth, right there is one. That told me something that made me feel very good, because I remembered the words of my Lord: (Mat 5:16) “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Your character, how you conduct yourself before people, how you smile and speak to them means more than all the advertising you could ever do. Some folks are so busy telling everyone they are a Christian, they forget to conduct themselves like one. If we hide that light, how is a person out there in the world ever going to have anything to look at, anything that will remind them what the grace of God can do for a human soul? God has something for each and every one of us to do; and a lot will only be expected to portray a good image in the world. That may not sound like anything very Important, if you are chewing the bit wanting to do something for God, but it is of utmost importance for Christian people to conduct themselves in a way that will cause people to know you have something inside worth having. That is where letting your light shine comes into the picture.
WHAT CHRISTIANS ARE MOVING INTO
We have been talking a lot about unity for quite some time now, and there is a reason for it: God is going to have a body of people around this world, that know how to get along with each other, simply because He is teaching us how to look at His word. We will no longer come together disputing about what this, or that means, because we will all see the same thing. God’s word does not have a dozen different meanings, so that every Tom, Dick and Harry can have his own version of what God is moving us toward. He is putting together a body of people that can all see the scriptures the same way. The end results is, His word is going to produce in each of us an inner man that is in the likeness of Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. It is not a matter of me saying, Lord, now you help me put on the right thing today. If you will just be honest with God and with yourself, you will follow a natural course of putting on the right thing every day. God’s word will do for you what you need to have done, if you will stop going to your Bible and just reading two or three verses and feeling like you have done your duty. You must read, study, meditate and pray a prayer of thanksgiving, rather than a prayer of God give me this and that. He desires, not only that we speak to Him in prayer, but that we allow Him the chance to speak to us. He does not have to speak to every one of us in an audible voice, in order for us to know His will for our lives: He is able to lead you through His word in a way that will speak to you just a distinctly as Him speaking audibly. When you purpose to keep on reading and studying, sooner or later every verse of scripture that God wants applicable to your life, will be made clear to you. He is going to say, Study this and let it be applied to your life. Much of the time, some people talk too much. In the world, they talk all the time. If you get in a group of twelve people, a certain one will be doing all the talking. It is a big job for people like that to control their mouth. Sometimes, up to a certain point, you enjoy what they are saying, but after you hear the same record, over and over, you begin to get somewhat irritated. I say to you, Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ is not how much you talk: Sometimes it is how much we can control our talk and listen. Can we have some respect for the others in the group and let them say something? That is a question we need to ask ourselves. Do you know what I am talking about? That is why I say, putting on the Lord Jesus Christ, has got to be something that deals with that inner person, how we conduct ourselves, how we have respect and present ourselves to our fellow man, and especially to the Christian body. Above everything else concerning our brothers and sisters in the Lord, We want to create an image of ourselves that is respected. It not only deals with our speech and how we look to others, but also the character we portray to them. When the world takes a look at you and cannot see a change, nothing different, there has to be something wrong; and it is not with them. You live in the world, yet you are not of the world. Sooner or later, as you and I put on the Lord Jesus Christ, when the worldly crowd sees us, they are going to begin to say, There is a man, or woman, that is different.
TRANSITION OF A NATION
When I look at America today, I hardly recognize it as being the nation I grew up in. That is why I am going to say a little bit about the change of America from sixty years ago. Yesterday in Washington D.C., (10/25/2003) there were hundreds and hundreds of demonstrators in the streets, demonstrating against our involvement in Iraq. People are speaking out against our president; and some of what they are saying is not very nice. As I listened to some of it I thought, The leaders of America today, are blind to reality. Either that, or they refuse to let themselves face up to it. Either way, we are heading for judgment. I have articles which have been sent to me in recent days, dealing with various things of interest. I am not a racist, so please do not ever say that I am, but I am old enough to know what America used to be like in the way they looked at racial people. America was originally populated by Europeans, Germans, Dutch, Russian, Italians and whoever else I may not have mentioned. When you went to the southwest, there were Spanish. Later the Orientals came to California. For years, this became a growing society of mixed races, but all were interested in becoming American citizens, and the nation was led by political leaders that wanted to model this nation in a way to show forth the freedom we enjoyed here. True Christianity grew in that society. No. It did not make everyone a born again Christian, but it did help mold the outward social appearance and set the tone for respect and moral decency. In some respects, a lot of people of the world, like maybe eighty years ago, dressed better than a lot of church going people do today. That is the truth; and it was all because of the influence Christendom had on Americans as a total society. Now it is quite obvious that something has happened to change all of that. I am thankful to God, that He dealt with me fifty some years ago and saved my wretched soul. Not only that, He also gave me a picture of what the true Christian life is to be like. I confess though, that I did not learn it all in one day. I have learned enough about it as time passed, that when God does give you an understanding of something that is plain and simple, you are able to see it as something simple; and you want to live like that, conducting yourself accordingly. You are not pretending to be something you are not: you just simply want to be what the pattern shows a Christian should be. That is why I have to say, You learn once and for all that there is a certain type of appearance (physically speaking, clothing and such like) that you want to look like. You will stay that way for the next hundred years, regardless of the styles of the worldly people, if you are allowed to live that long. Why? Because that is the image of yourself that God has given you. You do not have to ask, How do I look? Do you think I look holy enough? I am not going down the road of life asking people, Do you think I look alright? Do you think I look holy? What you see me as today, I will be that same way tomorrow. When you see tomorrow, I will be what I was ten years ago. I see no reason to change. There is nothing out there that I would change to be like. I am not this way to be contrary: I am what I am because I see it as the proper way to live my life. I am more concerned about the proper way to dress and conduct myself, than I am about trying to keep up with every new style that hits the streets. We must each one have our own personal convictions as to what is wrong or right to do and be; and every Christian should want to be sure that what they do, say and allow is not contrary to the word of God. We are each responsible before God; and He expects each of us to be examples. I am going to illustrate something to you: Just suppose I and some brother would go to a restaurant for a little lunch; and I watch him out of the corner of my eye, thinking, Is he going to drink coffee? Oh, that is a no no for me. There are some who do that. However God does not look upon us to condemn us for what we drink as Christians, as long as it is not alcoholic beverages or some other harmful substance. Likewise it is not what we eat that makes a difference: It is whether we have love, joy, peace and righteousness in the Holy Ghost. The apostle Paul dealt with all of that in the epistles he wrote. Some people have a very weak conscience: They will not eat this or that because they feel condemnation about it. Paul said, Accept him that is weak, and do not dispute about it. Let us look at Rom. 14:1-4. “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. (2) For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. (3) Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. (4) Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.” That should settle it for those who want to judge others all the time, but does it? No. There are always those who want everyone else to live by their set of rules. That has always been a source of friction in assemblies. When will people learn to put all of that into the hands of God? It comes down to this point, There are some things in this world that we have to deal with as individuals. God just puts them out there, and He is going to test all of us with them, because the real purpose is, He has to find in each of us a willingness to let Him have charge of leading us. That is why I say, Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ, is not following a set of manmade rules. Presenting yourselves in a prober way will not make you look like an odd ball walking down the street. Why? Because God, (when He is in control) has no purpose in making us look strange to others. In this world today, as soon as warm weather comes, women start stripping off their clothing. Do you think God is leading anyone to do that? Absolutely not. When you do see a woman going down the street wearing decent clothes, that does not necessarily mean she is a Christian. There are still some who do not yield to that spirit that is enticing people to conduct themselves like that. Do you understand what I mean? God is looking for stability in each of us.
I will take you back to some of the holiness images we have had through some recent years. We still have them today. You can go into an Amish community to see one of them. They have their own version of holiness: It goes back to 1450 even before Martin Luther’s hour. They will not have electric lights in their home, and no window blinds, because that is all a part of the world, they say. I must ask, What do electric lights have to do with holiness? Light, no matter whether it is electric or a candle, helps you get around in the dark. It has nothing at all to do with holiness. Nevertheless, that is the way they think. They have a certain appearance, the style of dress the women wear, is the way they wore them in 1450. You will never see an Amish woman wear anything red; it is always a dull blue, with black or gray, no loud colors. That is why I said last Sunday, I love to see the fall of the year come, God paints colors in the trees, flowers and whatever grows. You never hear anybody say, That is unholy. That is God’s scenery. As I say these things just remember this, When we think about putting on the Lord Jesus Christ, Please, let us be sure we do not think that just putting on something external to dress up the outside is all that is involved, when inside, we still harbor feelings that we will not let God change. In some cases, what is inside, is always trying to find fault with somebody else, because they try to measure themselves by the image of others they observe. We just simply cannot do that. We certainly are not to do that in such an hour as we are presently living in, a time when God, by His Spirit, is seeking to reach out and put together a people that are truly in unity. We first have to have unity in our revelation of the godhead, the true plan of salvation, what He has called us to be, and how He has called us and set us forth to be a shining light and testimony in the world of darkness about us. Here at the end especially, the Church is going to be a manifestation of the indwelling Christ, just as Christ Jesus on earth was the manifestation of the indwelling God, the great Creator and Father. That means whatever the godhead revelation is to one of us, it is going to be the same to all the others when that unity is complete. There cannot be a speck of difference. I realize we have a lot of people today, that have come down the pathway of life thinking, Well I certainly do not think we all have to believe exactly the same. I say to you who would say that, Where do you get such an idea? Certainly not from the Bible. If you think you did, I say, Give me a verse of scripture to vindicate it. When Christianity first started, it plainly tells you in the book of Acts, that they all continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Where would anyone get the idea that the apostles of Christ did not all have the same revelation concerning the doctrine they stood for? What would anyone think (continued steadfastly) in the apostles’ doctrine meant, if it did not pertain to unity? They all adhered to it, whatever the apostles taught, and in breaking of bread, going from house to house. (They had no church houses back then, like we do now.) When God eventually allowed the devil come along and inspire someone to try to insert something into that teaching that was not even part of the gospel of salvation and true holiness, that is when the problems started. That is what Paul had to contend with all the time. Then after about three hundred years of Christianity, when the original apostles and those who had studied under them were all gone from the scene, the revelation of God’s word was just deteriorating, going down, down, down all the time, so coming to 325AD, when the godhead really came under attack, In the Nicene Council, it was determined (by carnal minded men) that God is represented in a trinity. That was the beginning of the groundwork of Roman Catholicism; and the world politicians and intellectual characters of the world today, still look at Catholicism as the original Church established by the apostles. I say emphatically, It is not the Church of the book of Acts and never has been! They say that the pope is the successor of Peter: That is a lie also, because Peter was a married man, and besides that, Peter never was in Rome. In fact, if Peter could come back today and look at some of these priests, he would kick them all out. Religion today, is based upon a few scriptures that people have reached into the word of God and taken out of it a number of verses which they have applied apart from the context of their original purpose; and then put together a religious philosophy. They call themselves Christians, but are they? Are they following the teaching of Jesus Christ and His apostles? Those who truly are, will all be believing the same thing in these last days. People just adopt a certain mode of holiness for their outward appearance, and it has not affected the inner man one bit whatsoever. That is why I say, A true, genuine, born again child of God, sooner or later, God is going to mold his inner being and make it conform to His will and purpose. His true children are not going to be freaks of nature. They are going to be genuine children of God inside and outside. When you see them one day, whether they are in overalls or a suit, you see a man with the same character, the same revelation, and the same understanding he had the day before. He may gain something else along the way, but you do not lose a true revelation. He can talk to you about the grace of God on Tuesday or Wednesday, just the same as he does on Sunday. That inward character is something you live every day, regardless of where you live. It goes with you when you go to bed, it gets up with you when you wake up. It is part of you, and you want it to be there: You are glad God has helped you put on the Lord Jesus Christ. You are glad that He has changed that old nature and made a new person of you. Jesus Christ is the pattern for all who desire to live a godly life. He is the image that was set before me, and I want my life to be molded after His very image. That does not make my facial appearance look like Jesus, but in character, in principal and all affairs of life I can conduct myself in a way that I treat my fellow man like he should be treated, and see my brothers and sisters in the Lord the way they deserve to be seen, and therefore treat them the way they should be treated. I want to live that kind of life, because I know those that live that kind of life are the only ones He is coming after. All over the world, there are people that have all kinds of external, holy appearances, but inside, many of them are void of the nature a true believer is expected to have. If you try to talk to some of the Pentecostal Church of God people about the coming of the Lord, they do not know one thing about the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. All they know is, I believe I am supposed to live a holy life. To them, a holy appearance is all that seems to matter. They are as ignorant as ignorant can be about the truth of God’s word itself. I want to be sure I have the knowledge of what truth is, and what it will do for me, because I want my life to measure up to a pure revelation of truth. No one has to persuade me to feel like that: I want it to be that way. I do not want to be guilty of just putting on a front for someone. I want people to see me on Friday the same way they see me on Sunday, except for the clothing worn to cover my body (a suit or work clothes). I am not going around looking into your wardrobe, trying to find out what you bought at Walmart when I saw you there the other day. It is none of my business. Do you understand what I mean? This is important for proper conduct and for proper respect of the rights of each other. I am not going to spend my time going around, picking up this, looking into that, finding out what makes you tick. One thing I know for sure, Sooner or later, if the grace of God has visited you and put His Spirit in you, He is going to cause that inner man to be exactly what He wants it to be, because that is part of the perfection He requires; and that is also what brings us into unity. It has to be more than just what is put on to cover the outside; (I cannot stress that enough.) it has got to be what is put on the inside, to dress the inner man.
CHECKING THE SCRIPTURES
Open your Bible to (2nd Peter, the 1st chapter and 3rd verse.) “According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, (That is what it is all about; having the indwelling of the divine nature of the living God, abiding in you.) having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (Excess of this and that, living in a society, that if for some reason, (and I hope it does not come to that) our economy was to collapse like it did in 1929, I would feel sorry for a lot of people today, that would not know how to cope with primitive means of survival. They have lived for the last thirty five or forty years, when everything seemed to be come easy, go easy: We have all enjoyed and been thankful for modern day conveniences, but just suppose we had to do without them and go back to the way we lived seventy years ago. Would you know how to get by? I saw on the News last night, that one of the old steel towns in the east, now that the steel company has squandered their means and ready to sign bankruptcy, all the money that has been withheld from the employees’ paychecks to pay for health benefits and pensions for retirement, is lost. Here are thousands of people having meetings and asking, What are we going to do? People had very few of those benefits back in 1929 and on for a few years, if you know what I mean.) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; (That is speaking to those who have the Spirit of Christ abiding in them. There is no more of this thinking, that you are saved yesterday, so you sit down and coast the rest of your life. That pertains to some who have that, (I will do it tomorrow) attitude, but never study the word of God and ask Him, Help me oh Lord to understand your word, that I may know how to walk with you through life. There has to be a growing process in you, whereby you little by little take on the knowledge of God. You only get that through studying the scriptures.) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (Love is translated charity in the King James Bible. When we are adding these virtues to our spiritual life, this is putting on the Lord Jesus Christ.) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Now that rips this thing all to pieces, saved yesterday, back slide six months later and need to be saved again. He said, It makes you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful. That does not mean you will not have certain things thrown at you by the devil, that will cause you to become disappointed and feel bad, but none of those things can cause a true child of God to lose their salvation. When you have those days that you feel a little depressed, that is the devil’s business, to throw something at you that will affect you like that, but keep in mind, If you have the Spirit of God in you, He is not going to let you sit there for thirty years, rehearsing how hurt you are. Do you understand my point? How do I know that? Because, if you see to it that all these things are added to your experience, it makes you that you will neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” Meaning you will never return back to your lost state. You may allow Satan to side track you for a while, but you will never cease to be a child of God. Why do I say that? Because, if you have truly been born again, you are alive for eternity. If such a person allows Satan to get him or her into a position where the body of Christ will be affected by it, God can just take the breath of natural life out of you to halt it, but your born again inner man is alive for ever. Such a person will lose rewards, but will not be destroyed with the wicked. I speak that by the authority of what the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian Assembly concerning the man that was living with his father’s wife in an illicit relationship; an by the revelation that we have of God’s great salvation plan. (1 Cor 5:5) “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” You can read the entire setting, but we will not read it all now. When you are alive in Christ, then there is spiritual food to take in, and that is how we grow. We grow in the knowledge of the Lord and we learn by the various things of life. In a lot of the church circles today, the real individual walk of the believer, has been pushed into the closet: Everything is done to fulfill a program. God is not interested in our manmade programs: He is interested in cultivating a dedicated and enlightened life in all of us.
PERFECTION BELONGS TO THE BODY OF CHRIST
I want to take a different approach to this subject for a few minutes now, so let us look into the 4th chapter of Ephesians, verses 12, 13 and 14. I realize this is a very familiar scripture to most of you, but I want us to look at these words very carefully. I want to say a few things in an effort to clear up a lot of things in the mind of some people: especially as to how other passages of scripture are to be read and applied. An awful lot of times, people that do not have an understanding of what those scriptures really apply to, will come with questions they throw at you one right after another, like, Well explain this, and what does this mean, and what does that mean? First I want to say this, Always remember, perfection is for the people of God, not for the so-called-church out here in the world of religion. I will say it again, Perfection belongs to the body of Christ. This has to become a reality to every one of us, so much so that we will look at it as an absolute fact. I am not going to read the 11th verse, because we have read it so many times you everyone should know it by heart. Therefore let us go directly to verses 12, 13 and 14. There has got to be a ministry in these last days that will accomplish what God has said right here, that we are moving toward. Keep in mind, This epistle was written by the apostle Paul, the man that wrote about half of the New Testament. He came out of his experience with the Lord with a revelation of what God is after in this age of grace to Gentiles. As he looked back through the years since Christianity started, he could see that from the day of Pentecost when the Church was born, right on through to the hour of his experience, that God had set in the spiritual body of believers all over the known world at that time, chosen men that were set aside to fulfill these types of ministries described in verse 11. He describes the purpose of it, that we will eventually become a mature people, that will truly bear the image and nature of Jesus Christ. The church was on the road to that, but as it passed out of the first age of time and the old saints were all dead, Satan had gone to work on the carnal mind of those who were left to propagate the faith; and gradually the revelation in the people began to deteriorate; and as it did they began to lose interest, and as the true revelation slipped away, naturally the picture those scriptures portrayed became very blurred. That is why I can say tonight, When we say that God sent a messenger in these last days, we know his purpose was to call this end time body of believers back to the faith and revelation of those apostles that walked with Jesus. I am not saying these things to make you think that I cannot preach something out of the Bible without referring to him, but every time I read Revelation 10:7, I know that the finished picture lays in the fact of how we heard what he preached, and how we allow God to apply it to our inner being. “For the perfecting (Of everybody? No. It is for the perfecting of the true saints of God.) of the saints, for the work of the ministry, (It is to give the real minister something to do. God will not allow men He has called to this purpose, to just sit back somewhere enjoying their retirement. No. Every one of them is going to be busy right up to the end of Gentile time when the rapture takes place.) for the edifying (uplifting, upbuilding, encouraging) of the body of Christ: Till we all (The term we all, does not apply to the denominational church world of religion all around us: It literally pertains to those that God has chosen and called to be a part of the living Bride of Christ. Neither is it pointing to those that are dead and gone on. God will deal with them on the merits of what they had in their lives during their lifetime, but the living element of the bride are definitely going to be dealt with to finally reach a place of spiritual perfection, living and walking in unity, seeing the scriptures the same and thinking alike on how they are to apply. It takes that to make the body really exemplify Christ in the manner God purposed it to, so, Till we all…) come in the unity of the faith, (The faith, not a faith, so here is the part I wanted to get to.) and of the knowledge of the Son of God, (A lot of people would think, Well we understand the godhead: Certainly we all see that alike. I say, Do we? There are verses of scripture in Paul’s writings, (especially in the King James Version, because the translators were Trinitarians) that if people do not somehow come to know the difference from some other source and know what Paul meant when he worded certain things the way they are, I have to say, Some of those verses of scriptures really cause one to ponder. It is just the way those Trinitarian translators slanted things toward their understanding, because of a trinity concept of God in their mind, that causes many problems. Therefore we who desire truth have got to come to an understanding, that when Paul wrote something in one epistle, he meant the same thing in another, regardless of how the translators worded it. It is our responsibility to pick out those instances in his epistles, and compare them to where he dogmatically and flatfootedly laid down exactly what he meant, and if we can hold it that way, we will always come out on top: We will not be confused, and we will know exactly, that Jesus the man was not God. He never was, because He was born and God was never born: He (God) is a sovereign Spirit that is from eternity to eternity the same. He always was and always will be. We will also know that Jesus Himself, never had part in creating anything, except in the mind of the great Creator Himself, that created all things with His only begotten Son in mind. That was because of His foreknowledge, knowing what his created man would do, that would cause him to need a Savior. We have got to separate the thought, God, what He is, what He did do, and then, who Jesus Christ really is and what He became in the plan of God, and how God was manifested in and through Him, not in a limited measure, but in the fullness of all His attributes, so that the works and words of His only begotten Son Jesus, expressed and demonstrated the mighty power that He (the Father) is. Therefore, wherever Jesus went, when He spoke under the inspiration, it was God the Father speaking; not the person of the man that sovereign Spirit abode in. There is a knowledge of the Son of God that absolutely caps out everything else, when we know definitely who He is, and what He became for you and me. That helps us to see ourself in other scriptures. We are all moving toward the point of perfection; perfection in what way?) unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” When we look at the overall body of believers, in the mind of God there is an image of these believers that God is moving us toward. When we do reach that place of completeness and perfection, the mystical body of Christ is not going to be a mystery to us. However to the world it is all a mystery. It is how Christ is revealed, lived, and demonstrated in and through us. Therefore I want to say this, Through the years of time, people have had arguments about the godhead. They will specialize on one certain verse of scripture, trying to prove their point. When you read the Bible, the way certain things are worded, it would sound like Jesus Christ was the one that created all things, but a true revelation causes us to know He did not create anything. Take verse 9, in the 3rd chapter, and notice the wording. We well pick up verse 8, also, because it leads you into verse 9. This was written by the apostle Paul; a man that had a revelation beyond question. Eph. 3:8 “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; (9) And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things (This verse should end right here, but the Trinitarian translators added the last three words.) by Jesus Christ.” I have checked in different other versions which were literally translated from ancient eastern manuscripts; and those last three words are not there. I am sure you can see how adding those three words to that verse can confuse a lot of people who try to study the Bible. When you know for sure that Jesus Christ is not the Creator, that verse raises a red flag. Hold on! Why does it say that? Jesus Christ never created anything! Let us read this again. I know what the Hebrew and Aramaic translations both say, but I am reading it straight from the King James Bible that I use. Paul was writing to the Ephesian believers, (Eph. 3:9) “And to make all men see what is the fellowship.” There is a joy in fellowshiping with people when we all believe the same thing, having the same understanding. There is nothing that can be any more troubling, than when somebody begins to have questions, or rather misgivings about something they read in the Bible. They can become so concrete in thinking like that, you might hear a brother, or a sister say, But I don’t see it that way. We put up with this kind of thing all the years we were in denominational groups, but now that we know better, we must move beyond that kind of attitude. We have had theologians poke this idea down our throats, Well you might see things a little different than Bro. So and So, but you do not necessarily have to agree on everything in order to fulfill God’s requirement to love one another. That is the way they paint the picture, but that is contrary to the revelation God has given His Bride Church here at the end time. Such attitudes as we have just described, is why you will not hear any denominational preacher today, preaching about unity. It is not in their revelation: They just accept the literal wording of whatever they are studying; and when you do that with some of the translations, you can really end up in confusion. If truth is not in your understanding, you have a hard time standing a lot of things, because certain people are able to throw some of these verses at you and say, Are you saying the Bible is wrong? If your own revelation is not solid, some of these things can shake you. What I must say to you is this, The Bible moves us toward one thought, because God’s purpose is perfected in that way. Therefore if we can first separate ourselves from the confusion about the godhead, and settle it in our own mind, the difference between Jesus the Son of God and the Father (which is Spirit without a physical form) we can always separate the person of the Son from the two thoughts that cause a problem. When I speak of two, I am not talking about two gods. However you do have to realize there are two intellects incorporated in the one human body. Jesus the Man had all the attributes of a man: The Father which descended upon Jesus the Son when John baptized Him that day, also had His own sovereign intellect, so when He took up His abode in the body of His Son Jesus, both were incorporated in the same vessel of human flesh. The Father, which is Spirit, joined with the spirit of His Son and they became ONE SPIRIT, but the Son still retained a separate identity as pertaining to the intellect. Otherwise He could not have properly said, (John 5:36) “But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.” In another verse we hear Jesus say, (John 9:4) “I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” God Himself was not speaking these words: The man in whom the Father dwelt, was speaking. Notice these next two verses. (John 10:37) “If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. (38) But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in Him.” They became ONE, as pertaining to Spirit, but each intellect had a separate identity. When those same lips spoke the words of this next verse, that was not the Son doing the speaking, because the I AM that spoke to Moses was long before Jesus was born. Notice, (John 8:58) “Jesus said unto them, (The words came from His lips.)Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.” When God spoke to Moses about sending him to deliver the children of Israel from bondage, Moses said to God, When I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is His name? what shall I say unto them? Here in this next verse is how God answered him. (Exodus 3:14) “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Those ancient Jews knew God was not to be thought of in plural terms, as so many people came to think of Him going through time. Search the scriptures: He has always been ONE, never three.
MAN TEACHES, BUT REVELATION COMES ONLY
BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD
As I have said before, God is not a man: He has no human form. He never was a person, like a lot of religionists today think He is. They believe God is a person and they preach it that way. If you tell them He never was a person; and that He has no form nor shape. They will read where it says Moses saw Him. It does no good to tell them Moses only saw a manifestation God used to bring Moses in close relationship with Him, so He could convey something to Him. We who want to know the truth, realize as we go through the chronology of the Bible, that God, the eternal Creator, which also is our heavenly Father, the object of worship that identified Himself to Moses as the I AM, is a Sovereign Spirit. He and He alone is the Creator, even though He delegated certain tasks to His angelic helpers. He has continued to do that right on through time. Down through the ages, as the prophets wrote, here and there were prophecies made concerning a means of redemption that God would bring about one day. When that was actually fulfilled through the person of Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, God (the sovereign Spirit) was in that man who willingly gave His own life to redeem sinful mankind. That did not make Jesus the man, God, but God was in Him manifesting His own wonderful works through Him. An awful lot of people who read, or even study the Bible, fail to understand this wonderful truth, so they refer to Jesus the man as God. A genuine revelation comes only by the Spirit of God, regardless of how many times we may have heard something taught. Well as we get back to the rest of that verse in Ephesians, (3:9) which I will read from the beginning, please allow the Spirit of God to open your understanding to what we have just called to your attention. “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.” Remember now, that is how the translators of the trinity belief chose to record that verse, but when you go to the Hebrew bible, and the Aramaic, you will find it written like this, “To make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things.” That is what the Aramaic says, and that is what the Hebrew says. Neither one has the words (by Jesus Christ) ending that verse. Well those who do not have a revelation of the godhead are afraid to change what is written there in the King James Version, but those who do have that revelation, know for sure that Jesus Christ never created anything. Paul would say in one scripture (in 1st Corinthians) that as Christ is the head of man, man is the head of woman, but who does he say is the head of Christ? It is God Himself. Well now, did Paul know what he was talking about? Sure he did. We have to realize, Paul did not say one thing to the Corinthians, say something else to the Ephesians, and something else when he wrote to the Hebrews. Everything has absolutely got to have continuity. That is why it takes a ministry, a God called ministry, God taught, not theologically taught, but revelatory taught to get all of this straight. The end result of all scriptural teaching is to bring the true believers into unity, and that definitely means agreement. Ultimately we must see each scripture alike. Then we have knowledge. In at least four scriptures, we find that we are to have knowledge. We will read one of them. (Col 1:9) For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; (10) That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” We are to be a wise people, knowing the purpose of God, what His great plan of redemption is to produce in the end. That is why I said this morning, God might have saved and dealt with you six months or six years ago, but just because He dealt with you and saved you then, do not get the idea that you can just sit down and stop reading the Bible. As you hunger for spirituality and study the scriptures, He is going to cause scriptures to come out of the book and become the bread of life to your soul. It is not a matter of how many scriptures you memorize: It is the understanding of the scripture that becomes precious to you. It becomes spiritual bread to our inner being. As we faithfully seek the Lord we are eventually on the road to becoming a perfect man. That means we are going to learn to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. I want God to help me every day, to be able to live this spiritual life in obedience to His word, that I can be a blessing to my brothers and sisters. I want to see my brothers and sisters, not from the standpoint of their individual faults: I want to see them in a way that I can help them, by saying something to help lift them up where they can see a little more of what I am talking about, and then pray that they are able to grasp it, apply it to their inner being and move forward in the grace of God. Together, we learn to appreciate each other, and not try to find faults with the flesh but encourage each other to walk faithful to Him who has called us to this wonderful salvation. The natural man that we are, always wants to find fault, look for something to complain about, but the spiritual man within, as he is renewed daily by feeding on the word of God, desires to rise above all of that. As for me, I just want to recognize the grace of God in my brothers and sisters. We have everyone looked at a lot of things through spiritual ignorance, but God is not going to leave us in a state of ignorance all our lives. Spiritual growth causes ignorance go away. It brings understanding. True understanding in the scriptures helps you grow, because we grow by grace in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and not by memorizing scriptures. Many scriptures in the Bible, the way they have been translated, and the way they have been used, present a very confused picture. Just like we said earlier, In one place it would rightfully make God as the Creator, but another scripture, the way it has been translated, would make it sound like Jesus is the Creator. That is why we have to get an understanding of all these things: We cannot go around changing all the Bibles that have ever been mistranslated in places: we just have to allow our revelation of God, His purpose and the instruments He used, to help us get past these discrepancies without allowing them to sidetrack us. In Ephesians 1:10, the apostle Paul gave us a good explanation of what God is leading us into. He wrote this, “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him.” You can read on both sides of that verse to get the entire picture, but verse 10, sums it all up. The apostle Paul wrote the epistle to the Ephesians, and when he wrote it, the Ephesian Church was a model Church for that hour. He meant exactly what He said. What he wrote there, plainly told the Ephesian Church that it was God Himself that had created all things. If that had been translated properly, it would settle a lot of disputes, but since it was not, wise Christians will know what Paul really said, and the others will keep on disputing about the creation. We could rightly say, He created all things FOR Jesus Christ, looking at it from the standpoint of redemption, but not by Jesus Christ. He created for Jesus Christ. Why did He do that? He did not create the stars for Him, but the things that do develop and take place here on this planet earth, that is exactly what it is talking about.
ALL THINGS MADE FOR JESUS
Open your Bible with me to Revelation 3. In the book of Revelation, Jesus, in His angelic form, is speaking to John. He is starting to speak to the Laodicean church age. This is the age of Laodicea that we are living in. Since this is that age, as we come to the climax of it, it is important that we learn what was said right here. (Verse 14) “And unto the angel (That would be the messenger to the age.) of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.” Please notice how that makes it sound like Jesus existed before our time: Right? That is the way it has been presented down through time, but I want to explain to you, that this is not what these words imply. He is the beginning of the redemption. That is why all things were made for Him, not by Him. How many see the point? We can say this, The planet earth has been here for millions of years. Nobody will repudiate that, but ten million years ago Jesus Christ did not even exist, except in the mind of the Creator. He was only in the mind of Jehovah. When the time came that there was a condition on this earth that God wanted to bring forth and separate from His mind, from the sovereignty of His own thinking, a means of redeeming His creation, He created a cell of life in a virgin womb, that in process of time brought forth His only begotten Son, but He never used that Son to create anything: His purpose in Him, was to redeem His creation. Do you understand? We have to get every scripture in continuity with the overall body of scriptures. Why would the apostle Paul speak in the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians, speaking of Christ, how that He must rule until He has put all enemies under His feet; and (1 Cor 15:24) “Then cometh the end, when He (Christ) shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power,” if He was not still subject to the Father, why would He deliver the kingdom to Him? Jesus the Christ will rule and reign, in the Millennium, until He has put down all authority and power, because one of these days He is coming to get you and me. We are going to be changed to be like Him. We are going away with Him for just a little period, but we are coming back to rule and reign with Him. For what purpose? To undo the works of Satan on this planet. For one thousand years, righteousness is going to prevail over this planet, and the nations will learn to serve the Lord, all because they learned it through the reign of the Lord Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords. His part is in recreating, by redeeming creation itself. He is the beginning of the creation of God, because He is the beginning of the redemptive plan. That is why Paul could write in the Roman letter, that He is the firstborn among many brethren, because He is the beginning of the redeemed family of God, in that He is the means by how it was manifested. When He died for you and me, this was the means by how God had purposed to set in motion the total redemption of all that Satan had been allowed to divert from their innocent beginning in the Garden of Eden. That was the purpose for which Jesus was brought into the world, to redeem out of sin and death, all of this and lift us back up into a proper relationship to God. He is recreating us. Like I said this morning, You were only born into this world, physically, one time. You will never again be born again into the family of God, because that only happens one time. The physical birth that brought you into existence on this planet was by the law of reproduction, which was ordained by God Himself. Then, when you are born again into the family of God, that is a divine act ordained by God Himself, but manifested through the Lord Jesus Christ. Accepting His shed blood on the cross of Calvary as the entire payment for your lost condition is what lifts you up out of that fallen state that was brought on this planet by Satan and places you in fellowship with God. He was born to become an example, and to bear our sins and reproaches. He suffered and died, paying the price of our redemption, that we could be bought back to God, because we who are children of God were foreknown of Him before the foundation of the world. It is not the Son redeeming us, it is God that devised the plan, but it was the willingness of the Son to take our sins upon Himself and die in our place that brought the perfect plan to fruition. As He was willing to die for you and me, the Father then raised Him from the dead, so the Bible says He is the firstborn from the dead. He being the firstborn among many brethren, lets us know God brought Him into existence to be the Redeemer, as far as paying the price for our redemption, but our redemption was designed by the Creator Himself. Not to literally recreate us, but to make us what the Bible calls a new creature in the sense of renewing us, giving us a spiritual birth. (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.” That is what these verses of scripture are talking about, being made new in Christ Jesus.
REDEMPTION IN THE FINAL STAGES
We have to keep everything in continuity with the revelation Paul had. I hope you understand. As we use 1st Corinthians 15, speaking of when the Lord Jesus Christ does come and call for the dead out of the graves, that will reach back and get everything from the apostolic age right on down to the very hour of His return. We that are still alive at that time shall be changed. He is not creating us: He is recreating us. It is a matter of redeeming us. He changes us into His image, into His likeness. That is why we have to be changed first by the inner man being born of the Spirit and becoming obedient to the leading of that Spirit. Then when He changes this old fleshly man, that completes the process of putting on the Lord Jesus Christ. We are then ready to be taken to the marriage supper. Later, we are going to come back with Him, all riding white horses. For what purpose? To assist Him in the redeeming of this planet earth. That is why the apostle Paul could say, For He must rule and reign until He has put down all authority and power. For the knowledge of the Lord shall go forth from Jerusalem and it will fill all the earth. The knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth. What for? It is His way of redeeming it. Creation is being redeemed back to a righteous state, as it was in Adam’s beginning. He rules and reigns until He has put down all authority and power. When He has subdued all enemies, the last being death, then He has rid this planet earth from all the elements of Satan’s six thousand year rule. That is why at the end of the seventh Millennium, He who has reigned as King of kings, is going to sit as a Sovereign judge, still endued with all the attributes of He that indwells Him, and the great white throne judgment will take place. That is when death and hell give up the dead. They will all have to stand in a resurrected state before Him, to be judged, which is to determine their final state of punishment for all their deeds upon earth. When they are cast alive into the lake of fire, what does that do? That takes out of the earth all traces of sin and death that had been present for six thousand, even seven thousand years. It also destroys the existence of what hell is now used for. That is why I can say, There is no such thing as an eternal hell. Denominational religionists look at hell as a place that remains forever and ever, throughout all eternity, but that cannot be right. Right now, hell is a temporary place for the imprisonment of the doomed, but when the time comes that death and hell give up the dead to stand before a final judgment, there is no more need for the place now called hell. What hell is right now, becomes the lake of fire later, because that is where the wicked dead are deposited after their final judgment, to be literally destroyed. Now saints, as we look at all these things in that respect, I hope we can everyone see that Jesus is the beginning of the new creation. That is what God sent Him here to accomplish in His overall plan of redemption. When there is no more hell, and when the earth has no more graves, then all the scars that sin and evil has been responsible for in the other ages has been abolished by atonement. Jesus Himself being the beginning of the re-creation of God, then Paul’s revelation, which we must keep consistent, concludes with this statement, Then shall the kingdom, meaning the earth and all the righteous people, be turned back over to God Himself, that God may be all in all. I have my heart set on being a part of that, and there is no reason why we who have followed the Lord in truth and righteousness should not be. We do have to empty our mind of those confused pictures denominational systems of religion has crammed into us. That is why from now on until the rapture takes place, not only will God be working on our inner being, He will help us shape up on our outward appearance. We have to remain in the world, but we do not need to look like what it produces in unbelievers. Having said that, I also ask God to help me see His people as I should see them. I want to be able see you as my brothers and sisters. It is going to be my job to show unto you the grace, the wisdom, the love, and the patience to know how to say things and to lift you up and help you, that we all might see the same picture together. I realize some will bear thirty fold, so I have to have enough spiritual perception to recognize a thirty fold Christian and conduct myself in a proper way. I cannot go down the road of life saying, Well, that is just a thirty fold Christian, I have no time to spend with him, or her, as the case may be. We must get all these flesh pictures out of our mind, and endeavor to view each other as a person that God, in His love and mercy, is bringing into the likeness of Jesus. That lets us know, The ministry of this hour of time definitely has a job ahead. That job is being able to say things to encourage, to edify, to get you looking ahead, and to help you and me see ourselves in the scriptures. When I read in Ephesians 3, (who created all things by Jesus Christ), when it should have said, for Jesus Christ, it lets me see why there is so much confusion in the ranks of professed Christianity. Then when you hear someone trying to argue that the earth is only six thousand years old, and another proclaiming that it has to be millions of years old, that just adds to the confusion. However, we who believe in the predestinated plan of God, just listen and say, Even if this earth has been here fifty million years or more, so what? God was still the creator of it, regardless of how long ago. I will say this also, Once He set creation in motion, He did not think up new designs as time went on: He already had a fixed picture in His mind from before He started creating anything. I have to believe there was a time, (if we can express it like that) when God existed alone, a time when there were no angelic beings or anything. Let us ask ourselves the question, Why do Trinitarians always want to translate certain words in a way that makes God three persons? He never was and never will be three persons. Well of course we know why: It is because they look at Genesis 1:26, and get that picture, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” It is because they have no revelation of the godhead; or they would know He was speaking to His angelic helpers. He was definitely not speaking to two other persons in the godhead. He was speaking to His angelic beings, which are also spirit beings. Angels are ministering spirits. They are not just ministering spirits for the heirs of salvation, as it says in Hebrews 1:14, but there are those also that are ministering spirits within the laws of God’s domain. He designates duties that they carry out, as the scriptures point out in many places. When we can see that, we have to begin to realize, angels are not being tested in this period of time when man is being tested: they were tested long, long ago, in the prehistoric age. That is why I say, Whatever went on in that prehistoric hour, that is when some angelic beings which had first been created righteous, eventually, as time went on and they had opportunity to decide what they would do with the power and authority invested in them, many joined Lucifer in disobeying God and became evil spirits. We just have to conclude that back then, is when they were tested and cast down from their righteous state, after failing God. That is when Lucifer fell from his exalted position. For anyone to say all of that took place and God did not know a thing about it, is just plain foolishness: He sure did know. The prophet Isaiah, came along hundreds of years later and wrote about how Lucifer fell. Isaiah the 14th chapter. When you read the 28th chapter of Ezekiel, that also lets us know what happened, but it was all in the foreknowledge of God: He knew what would happen. If God could cause a prophet to look ahead and tell what is to be, He could also let a prophet see what took place back in prehistoric times. How else could they have written those things, except by inspiration of the sovereign One? That is the way we have to see these scriptures. When we can see it in that light, it helps clear up certain points of misunderstanding. When our understanding becomes the same, we have nothing left to argue and debate about. We no longer have the attitude, Well you say whatever you want to say, and I will say what I want to. God is delivering us out of this kind of nonsense. That is a result of total human ignorance, when we take such an attitude. The scriptures were not written like that, so everyone could just choose what they want and discard the rest. As we get closer and closer to God’s finished purpose, we are going to have a perfect picture of the godhead, how He materialized and brought forth one day in the person of His Son, a living image, and a perfect reflection of all the divine attributes of His own self. For three and one half years those attributes were demonstrated through the life of His only begotten Son. The revelation of things that Jesus spoke through His lips is how the Spirit of the Creator within Him, moved Him to speak. Jesus never spoke anything pertaining to the plan and purpose of His Father apart from that inspiration. He informed every one of His disciples, The words that I speak to you, they are not mine, they are His that sent me. I have to say, If we are living in a day and hour that God is going to have a people who will be the product of the fulfillment of His word, we are going to have to get to the place where we say, Lord, you take my mind and turn it into a spiritual mind. Help me see the truth so we can all see it the same. When we begin to look at the same picture with the same understanding, then the devil cannot sit on our shoulders and fill our minds with all kinds of divisions. As we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, He is going to see to it that we grow in character, and in the spiritual image and likeness of Jesus. When we read Paul’s revelation here in Ephesians and in Colossians, Paul speaks of how Christ was the image of God. When he said that, we have to realize, Paul was not referring to Jesus because of His physical shape, nor His physical stature. He was referring to Jesus because of the character and spiritual image He portrayed before the human race, and especially the Jews. That is why many Jews only referred to Him as Jesus of Nazareth, the carpenter’s son. They never saw anything else. But others came along, when they saw what He did, they heard what He said, then when Jesus asked the disciples one day, Who do you say that I am? Peter said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Peter did not recognize that because of the physical stature, he saw something demonstrated that defied the theologians and the priests in all their traditions of that hour. He saw the inner character. That is exactly what we each have to become in character. We cannot be one thing one day and six months later we have changed and reflecting something else. That is why I have said, I am what I am by the grace and mercy of God. I am thankful to God, that I know things now, that I did not know forty years ago. I will say this though, My purpose to live for God, has never changed. I am going to dress myself the next hundred years, if God would let me live that long, the same as I do now. (Just an illustration of continuity.) Since God saved me by His grace, and then opened His word to me, I am able to see in this Bible, that there is an unchanging image for the man and woman that wants to really live a dedicated life. It does not make you a freak: It makes you a person that when people see you one day, and then sees you another day, even one year later, ten years later, twenty or thirty years later, you are still the same. I say, That is how Jesus was. God wants the man called Jesus, to have that same kind of impression in our lives as He had in His. As such a life is cultivated, after a while we begin to become a people that God is pleased to work through. You will demonstrate His attributes. As we become more and more in unity, you are going to see the gifts of the Spirit begin to fall in proper place. Not everyone will speak in tongues. Not everyone is going to prophesy, but sooner or later, every one is going to have some kind of manifestation.
For a little over a year I have been dealing with a situation. Some of you sitting here, you wanted to question me. I look at you with all honesty and say, I will never touch a man’s life until I know what I am dealing with. I say that now, and I will still say that ten years from now. I will never touch a man’s life until I know what I am talking about. God has taught me better than that. I am not going to jump to conclusions. Well Bro. Jackson, do you believe everything you hear? No. I have asked God to put a filter in my mind. Sooner or later, if you look at a situation long enough, you will begin to see some indicators that will give you direction. They may be small, but you will see this a little bit and that a little bit until it begins to form a picture. That is why I say, This is a day when the preacher has got to be perfected the same as the rest of the people of God. It is not until the preacher is in a process of perfection, that we can expect the people to be perfected. When God deals with that preacher, you are still not going to see a man with halos over his head. The purpose of God in it, is that you can see some character demonstrated in that life. He is not going to be a gossip. He will deal with the situation as God begins to reveal the root cause. You never do it to destroy the soul of a person, because perfection does not destroy people: It enables people to begin to understand why they are here. You will see what the grace of God did for you. We have got to grow in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, because that knowledge tells us how to live, what to look toward, and how to look at our brothers and sisters to see Christ in them. It all goes right back to our understanding of the godhead. That is why Paul wrote this in Ephesians like he did. Until we all come into the knowledge of the Son of God. We know who He was. The man was not God, but the man was the Son of God. Though there was a prehistoric hour, all that Jesus was back then, was a thought in the mind of God. That thought was laying there in the mind of the Creator, long before there was ever a man on earth that needed a Redeemer. When dinosaurs roamed this planet, the life of Jesus was just a future plan in the mind of the Creator. God knew, that one day that prehistoric world would reach its end. If God knew everything in our dispensation, do not tell me He did not know everything about that era also. He knew exactly what Lucifer would do, when the angels were tested. That is why Jude, Peter, and all of them could come along centuries later and speak about the angels that kept not their first estate. They were looking back. I have to say, It is a shame that the religious world today has to preach what they do and try to convince people that God made the world in six days of twenty four hours. The apostles did not believe anything like that. It is just the way denominational ignorance has stopped the flow of understanding (revelation). God is not going to leave His little body of bride people in ignorance. We are all going to get a clear picture. It is not something to brag or boast about, just something to praise God for. I am very thankful I know who my Redeemer is. I know that the God of the Old Testament, the God of the prehistoric world, was in Him, working through Him, because it was not the Son that did the choosing: It was the Father in Him that did the choosing, but the Son was the instrument the Father worked through. Since God is redeeming and begetting a family back to Himself, it is all done through His plan of redemption. That is why Jesus is the beginning of the new creation of God, not the old creation. That is the only way you can understand it and preach it without getting yourself in a mess. You cannot make Him one thing in one scripture, jump to another scripture and make Him something else. That only breeds confusion. We must understand, that God was in Christ reconciling lost man back to Himself. That is why Jesus could come along and say, He that has seen me has seen the Father. What did He mean? When Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, stilled the storms, that was not the person of the man doing that, it was God in Him, that was speaking the word of authority. Then you hear the same man say, It is not I that doeth these works. When He was on the ship and spoke, looking right into the face of that storm He said, Peace, be still. The wind just immediately died down. The disciples that were sitting there said, Never a man spoke like this. The words came out of the mouth of the man Jesus, but that was the Father’s words. When that was exercised, it opened spiritual eyes and God was seen in action. Those who only saw Jesus with natural eyes, just saw a man of such and such a stature, and were just like all the rest of those Jews that caused Him to be crucified. They said, He is called Jesus, the carpenter’s son. I will say, If you have a revelational eye, you will see Him: He is the Son of God, but God is in Him, reconciling, (or recreating) begetting us back to Himself, creating within us a new nature, a new future, and a new hope. When the time comes, and our bodies are changed, and then we return to earth, we are going to reign with King Jesus for a thousand years. When that last enemy is dead, death and hell is swallowed up in victory, redemption is finalized. In what shape does that leave the earth? It is clean. How did it get clean? Did He come across it will a bull dozer? No. The Son of God, invested with the power and authority of the omnipotent God, will rule and reign for a thousand years cleansing the earth of sin and corruption by a rule of righteousness. He will defeat all the powers of Satan that has caused the pollution. In His rule, He will remove from the crust of the earth the very affects of sin, all of which has been accumulating for six thousand years. By the redemptive act of God through the person of His Son, He (the Father) has begotten to Himself a family of sons and daughters which His loving heart desired from the beginning, Jesus Christ the firstborn, the first fruits from among the dead, stands at the head of that righteous family. Adam was the beginning of the natural family, the second Adam (Jesus) is the beginning of the redeemed family, because it was accomplished through Him. I have tried to say these things in a way to make them as simple and plain as possible. Therefore after hearing all of this, you certainly ought to realize you cannot take one verse of scripture and pit it against the entire body of other scriptures that open our understanding. That is what denominationalism has done through the centuries of time. It only leaves ignorance, doubt, misunderstanding, frustration, confusion and hopelessness; and people go home from their meetings defeated, thinking, Well I simply do not know what to believe. God does not want us to continue through life that way: He wants us to have a clear understanding of His Word, His plan and purpose. That is why we need to understand that as Jesus Christ the King rules for a thousand years, the whole world, mortal people from all the nations are going to come to Jerusalem to worship God the Creator that is in Him. They will come to worship the King of all kings. What are they doing it for? They are worshiping God that has been revealed in and through Him. That will go on for the entire thousand years. Then as that kingdom comes to a close, and Satan is loosed for a little while to tempt those mortals that have been born during that time, Please remember, that though He is loosed to tempt, He is never allowed to defile the earth any more. Of those mortal subjects that have been born through that Millennium, many will fall victim to Satan’s temptation, but God calls a halt to his plan before it ever materializes: He rains down fire from heaven and consumes the entire conglomeration that Satan has deceived. We will bring this to a close by reading a few verses from Revelation 20, which will let everyone see how this all ends. Rev 20:7 “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. (You can see here, that a great multitude are deceived, because that inherited nature is still present in all mortals.) And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” I believe those verses finish this story without me saying much more. At the great white throne judgment, all the wicked and ungodly of all ages will have final judgment pronounced upon them. That is when the wicked dead are all resurrected. It is the power invested in Jesus that God uses and expresses to bring about this redemptive act. When the last enemy, which is death itself is destroyed, redemption is complete, the new creation is all that is left on the planet. God’s righteous family is complete. The earth is new, because of cleansing; and not because God created another. He did not make a new planet: He just redeemed the old planet. He has cleansed it from all the effects of sin. From there, time goes off into the eighth day. That is a day without end, ages, ages, ages, worlds without end, nothing but joy, peace and righteousness. That is why I said, Jesus Christ then becomes your elder brother. He is still your Savior, He is still the firstborn, He is still the first fruits, you and I are just the ones that followed suit, because all of that is a predestinated plan of God from before the foundation of the world. Amen