SCATTERED THROUGH THE NEW TESTAMENT ARE VARIOUS STATEMENTS, THAT TAKEN BY THEMSELVES, LEAVE A QUESTION IN OUR MINDS. THE QUESTION OF HEADSHIP IS ONE OF THE THINGS A LOT OF PEOPLE SEEM NEVER TO GET STRAIGHTENED OUT IN THEIR THINKING; SO I WANT TO TAKE THAT AS A SUBJECT FOR THIS MESSAGE, AND LET THE SCRIPTURES THEMSELVES TALK TO US. MOST OF THE NEW TESTAMENT EPISTLES ARE THE REVELATED TEACHINGS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL, AND EVEN THOUGH YOU MAY READ A VERSE OCCASIONALLY THAT SEEMS TO CONTRADICT OTHER STATEMENTS HE HAS MADE, JUST BE ASSURED OF THIS ONE THING: HIS TEACHING WAS THE SAME EVERYWHERE HE WENT. HE DID NOT TEACH DIFFERENT STANDARDS FOR SELECT GROUPS, HIS REVELATION ALWAYS REMAINED THE SAME. A LOT OF WHAT LOOKS LIKE CONTRADICTIONS, IS STRICTLY THE FAULT OF THE TRANSLATORS, WHICH WERE ALL TRINITARIANS. IT IS ONLY NATURAL THAT WHEN THEY HAD TO CHOOSE BETWEEN CERTAIN WORDS, OR PHRASES, THEY WOULD CHOOSE THE ONES THAT BEST FITTED THEIR INTERPRETATION OF WHAT WAS WRITTEN. I THINK WE WILL ALL AGREE THAT WITHOUT PAUL’S REVELATION, YOU COULD NOT ALWAYS EXPRESS WHAT HE MEANT. WHEN YOU TAKE A LOT OF THESE WORDS TO YOUR CONCORDANCE, FOR THE GREEK OR HEBREW WORDS THEY WERE TRANSLATED FROM, YOU WILL DISCOVER THAT MANY TIMES THEY HAD A LONG LIST OF WORDS THEY HAD TO CHOOSE ONE FROM. BUT, SAINTS: PLEASE DO NOT GET THE IDEA THAT I AM DISCREDITING THE BIBLE; I AM NOT. I ONLY POINT OUT THESE THINGS TO HELP YOU BETTER UNDERSTAND WHY THERE ARE CERTAIN STATEMENTS IN THE BIBLE, THAT SEEM TO BE CONTRADICTORY. THIS IS WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO STUDY THE SCRIPTURES AND NOT JUST TRY TO BUILD YOUR REVELATION ON ONE PARTICULAR VERSE. THAT IS WHY PAUL WROTE THESE WORDS TO TIMOTHY; “STUDY TO SHOW THYSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD, A WORKMAN THAT NEEDETH NOT TO BE ASHAMED, RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH.” (2 TIM. 2:15) THEN OVER IN CHAPTER 3, VERSES 16 & 17, WE FIND THESE WORDS; “ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, AND IS PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, FOR REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION, FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS: THAT THE MAN OF GOD MAY BE PERFECT, THOROUGHLY FURNISHED UNTO ALL GOOD WORDS.” A TRUE REVELATION COMES BY RIGHTLY DIVIDING ALL OF THE SCRIPTURES; NOT JUST BY READING ONE VERSE AND EXPECTING GOD TO SUPERNATURALLY FILL IN ALL THE OTHER DETAILS.
RECOGNIZING THE FATHER
Open your Bibles to the first chapter of Colossians, and let us begin by reading verse 12. I chose this verse as our beginning point, because I feel that we should first focus on the Father, in His universal position as Creator, and head of all His creation, before we turn our attention to the flesh that He revealed Himself through. In order to receive a true revelation, one must begin at the proper place; and in this case the proper place is with the Father, who is Spirit, and not a person. Jesus the Christ, in whom the invisible Spirit dwelt, actually became the revelation of the Father; but no one verse of scripture standing alone will ever open that up to you in a way that you can understand it, so let us begin reading. “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (which means able, or fit) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath (already) translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.” We were lost, unable to fellowship with our Creator, because of our inherited sinful nature, and He is the One that redeemed us back to Himself. Jesus His only begotten Son, was (and still is) the means by how He accomplished it. In other words, we first give thanks unto the Father who ordained and furnished all the means of our redemption. The inheritance we are made partakers of, is what He holds; and it is only after we are brought out of darkness into His light, that we become partakers of that inheritance. Everything He holds, He desires to give it to us. The first thing of course, is eternal life, there are many other relationships, which time will allow us to partake of, and benefit by. The light, spoken of here, is truth. Following tradition will never make anyone partaker of this inheritance. The power of darkness we have been delivered from, is that state of unbelief Satan had us bound by. But, Hallelujah! We have been translated, or transplanted into a marvelous light, which is an altogether different realm. I have watched my mother and also my mother-in-law, transplant flowers. They do it to give that plant a better opportunity to develop into its full potential, so it could express it’s beauty, and fulfill it’s purpose. Well that is exactly what God has done for us. It is utterly impossible for anyone to glorify God, while still in that carnal, fleshly state. But once we are translated into this environment of light and liberty, we have a completely new outlook on life. More than anything else, we desire to glorify God with our lives; because we are now under a different authority. Being translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son: (Jesus the Christ) the scales on our eyes begin to be removed through the truth that is revealed to us, and we begin to see Jesus in a different way than what the old denominational oneness people present Him. Naturally there is a certain sense in which we can say, Jesus was God; but a true revelation of the Godhead lets us see that the flesh was not the Father. Jesus walked on earth thirty years before it could ever be correctly said that He was God; simply because, until the time of His baptism by John, He was only the perfect Son of God. But after His baptism, when that sovereign Spirit entered into Him, and became one with Him, as their Spirits were joined together into one Spirit, they became inseparable. Only after the incarnation, did Jesus begin to say, Believe me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in me. The sovereign Spirit which is God entered into Him, and an immersion of spirits took place, the spirit of the Son with the Spirit which is the Father, never to be separated again. After that immersion, there still remained the intellect of the Son, and also the intellect of the Father, both being expressed through the same body of flesh; but there was only one Spirit. That is why in John 17:22, Jesus could say WE are ONE. Throughout the 3 ½ year ministry of Jesus Christ on earth, His mouth spoke part of the time as the Father, and the rest of the time as the Son, who was completely obedient to the Father. It was the Son that gave His life on the cross of Calvary, for the sins of all lost mankind; but the Father was in Him when He did it. This is where the old Oneness doctrine runs into a snag. To believe that Jesus was God the Father, as they do, you would have to believe that God died, and that is impossible, for He is ETERNAL LIFE. There is a definite difference between being eternal life, and having eternal life given to you. If Jesus the man had been the Father, as they believe He was, it would have been impossible for Him to die, to pay our sin debt. But when you have a true revelation of the Godhead, you understand that difference between the body of flesh and bones that could be seen with the natural eye, and the Spirit which controlled it, which was the merged spirits of both the Father and the Son. It was not the Spirit of Jesus, that died on Calvary, to pay our sin debt. It was a physical death; which is what takes place when the spirit of life departs from the body of flesh and bones. This physical death is something every one of us will have to face somewhere out in the future, unless the rapture takes place first. Nevertheless I do believe with all my heart that some of this present generation will live to see that glorious day. All the signs we have been watching point to that as a fact, but only God Himself knows exactly when it will take place.
THE SINLESS SON OF GOD
Spiritually speaking, we have already been translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, and now let us notice verse 14, as attention is turned to this Son. “In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” In the flesh of His body, Jesus suffered shame, humiliation, agony, and then physical death. Not because of any sin He had committed; He voluntarily took the penalty of our transgressions upon Himself, that we might be set free. God required a pure sacrifice to settle our sin debt; and no other mortal man could make such a sacrifice; because of our inherited sin. But the blood of Jesus was pure; because He was begotten of God. There were no attributes of fallen mankind in Him. He Himself, needed no redemption; yet He was willing to have our sins laid upon Him, and become sin for us, to redeem us from our helpless state of lostness. The Jews had a yearly animal sacrifice that served to push their sin debt forward. But Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:11-12, that Gentiles, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, were without God in the world, and had no hope. Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, is what made the difference; so that we now have an inheritance with the saints who walk in the light of truth. No. It wasn’t God that suffered. It wasn’t God that died. You do not even associate Jehovah to birth nor death. Remember the first words of the Bible: “In the beginning GOD.” He was before anything else, and He is eternal. He always was; and He always will be. Therefore attention is focused completely upon Him, as a sovereign Spirit, in Creation. But in redemption we focus our attention upon Jesus, His only begotten Son in whom He dwelt. The apostle Paul refers to Him (Jesus) as the first born of every creature, meaning of course, the firstborn of every creature that is to be redeemed. He is the first one of the new family God has purposed to have. We will better understand that, as we get further on into the message. God’s new family had to start with a perfect, sinless Son. Just keep that in mind, and you will better understand what Paul said about the two Adams, in the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians. Being the firstborn of this redeemed family, puts Him at the head of them all, according to the perfect plan of the Father. But as we come to verse 16, here in Colossians 1, we have to realize that the translators have again enlarged upon a statement made pertaining to this perfect Son of God. Let us read the verse first; and then I will point out something to you. “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers. All things were created by Him, and for Him.” Of course I realize a lot of people resent it; when we say the translators did not convey the true thought in their translation. But in spite of all that, we still have to be realistic about these things; so I say once again, The words BY HIM, do not convey the true revelation. You can read other translations from the Aramaic, and it will say, THROUGH HIM, instead of by Him, and believe me, one word can make a tremendous difference at times. Let me also read Eph. 3:9, before I go on; and I want you to notice these last three words in your King James translation. “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.” Some translations do not have the words, by Jesus Christ at the end of that verse; it simply says, “Hath been hid in God, who created all things.” Remember, those trinitarian translators all believed there are three persons in the Godhead, and that all three of them were working together in creation. Their version of creation is that the Father was saying, Son, create this, or that, or something else; therefore the words by Him, fit right into their understanding; but they do not fit into a one God revelation. When you read scriptures like the 1st chapter of Ephesians, and see how God (the eternal Spirit) counseled with Himself (meditated) and predetermined everything He would do, before He ever created anything, and how He did everything according to the good pleasure of His (H-I-S) will, which He hath purposed in HIMSELF: you learn also that His whole plan of redemption was worked out in His great mind, before He ever even created anything that would one day need to be redeemed, and that redemption was to be worked through His only begotten Son, which, as you all know, was not born until two thousand years ago. He (the Creator) saw everything from beginning to end, or from eternity to eternity as a completed work, before He ever started creating anything. Therefore in His mind, His only begotten Son stood out as the central figure; because it would be through Him that all creation would be redeemed, after Adam’s fall. Jesus was not there in person, taking part in creation; but He was certainly there in the mind of the Creator, that had designed all things to be climaxed in Him. Therefore anytime you read a verse of passage of scripture, that makes it sound like Jesus the Son was with the Father as a person in creation: please remember, there was not such person anywhere, before the young virgin Mary gave birth to him about two thousand years ago. Paul tells us plainly in Galatians 1:11-12, that the gospel he preached was not given to him by any man, but rather by the revelation of the Holy Ghost; therefore it would be very careless on our part, to even suspect that his teaching was not consistent in every place he taught. He had a perfect revelation of the Godhead; and he knew exactly when Jesus the man, came into the picture; and he had no reason at that time to even expect that anyone would think Jesus was the Father in creation; for all those Christians of his day had that same revelation of the Godhead. They understood that Jesus Christ was ordained before the foundation of the world, in the mind of the Creator, to perform to perfection, all that Adam would fail in. God wanted the earth filled with sons and daughters, that would walk in fellowship with Him; and Adam failed to fulfill his commission, and God knew he would fail, even before He created Him. That is why this great plan of redemption was also worked out in the mind of the Creator, as He counseled with Himself before the foundation of the world. Therefore if we can see this thing through eyes of revelation, we will not be tossed back and forth by statements that seem to conflict with something we already believe.
WHY REDEMPTION–AND BY WHOM?
When we study the Bible with an open mind, we understand that the recorded history of mankind only takes us back about six thousand years, to the time when God created Adam and Eve. But any reasonable thinking person will certainly realize that the earth itself has had a prehistoric population of some sort upon it, that God had to judge. That is what caused the earth to be without form, and void, in Genesis 1:2, when God began to bring it out of that chaotic state, and take steps toward the repopulation of it. He created a man, gave him a wife, and an animal kingdom, and a commission, to repopulate the earth. But before that commission could ever be carried out, and sons and daughters be born to Adam and Eve according to the plan of the tree of life, they had both yielded to the plan of Satan, designed to defeat God’s plan; and their children were born to them according to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; and because of that, Adam and his whole family had to be redeemed, and that includes every last one of us. We have all of that explained in other messages; so I will not go into it, except to say, that the family God had purposed to have upon the earth, had to be brought through Jesus, His only begotten Son; instead of Adam, His created son. Adam’s descendants are still filling the earth with sons and daughters; but none of them can ever come into the presence of God, the great Creator, except through Jesus. Therefore God knowing that Adam would fail, this great redemption plan was perfected in His mind before He ever even created Adam. So in His mind, all things were created through Jesus, but not by Jesus. I hope you can see the difference. The earth has been through a flood in it’s first stage of redemption from the effects of Satan’s perversion. That flood typed water baptism, which is a part of God’s redemption plan for lost mankind. He has brought the earth itself through a baptism of water, and it is yet destined to go through a baptism of fire; when His wrath is poured out upon it, at the coming of Jesus Christ, to rule and reign. In other words, the earth, and all of God’s lost sons and daughters will be redeemed, and pass on out into the eternal age, and God will then have the family filling the earth that His heart longed for, a family without sin, that can walk in full fellowship with Him, like Adam and Eve did before the fall. Now after explaining all of this to you, I want to read verse 16, as it should have been written, or translated. For through Him (Jesus) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created through Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and through Him all things consist. In other words, He is the focal point of God’s glorious purpose. Even the angels that assisted God in creation, will have to acknowledge that Jesus is something they could never be, no matter how great they are. In Hebrews 1:4, the apostle Paul wrote, that Jesus was made so much better than the angels, because He by inheritance(as the only begotten Son of God) hath obtained a more excellent name than they. In verse 17, of our text scriptures, where it says, He is before all things, it means He is preferred before all things; and through Him, everything that needs redeeming, consists. The Father, the eternal Spirit is the Creator; but His only begotten Son Jesus the Christ, is the redeemer, or the means by how fallen mankind is redeemed and reconciled back to their Creator.
ORDER OF HEADSHIP
We now come to verse 18, the verse these others lead up to. This is where we start to deal with headship. “And He (Jesus) is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead: that in all things He might have the preeminence.” We all know the Church is called the body of Christ; and Paul tells us here, that He is the head of this great body. But I want to take you to 1st Corinthians 11:3, and read another verse, to go along with this one. Notice this, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” That gives us a divine order; but let me say this, Paul is not saying that Christ is the head of every drunk man out here in the streets of our cities. The devil is the head of those fellows as long as they continue on in that trend. This verse only pertains to every man in the body of Christ, which is the redeemed church. He has that leadership position over them. His headship only pertains to the Church, and not to the whole universe. Jehovah remains to be the head of the universe. This is why Paul said, And the head of all things by the word of His mouth, so to speak, is the head over His creation; therefore He delegates positions according to His will and purpose. We will see more clearly as the message opens up; but let us go back to Genesis, where we will see why mankind will see how Christ Jesus came into His place of headship. We have already pointed out the fact that the earth itself was created long before the events of Genesis 1 & 2 took place. What we want to do now, is look at the man and woman that God placed in the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it, and see why redemption became necessary. In chapter 1, we see where God created them, first only as Spirit beings, giving them a commission to multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over every living thing upon it. Then in Chapter 2 we see where God formed a body of the dust of the ground, and put the spirit man Adam in it, giving him five senses to use in his earthly duties; and then later, how He took a rib from Adam’s side, and fashioned a woman that was to be his help mate in carrying out the commission given them. God planted a garden in a geographical area called Eden; and placed them in it, and placed His divine presence there with them, making it a realm of paradise. It is not called paradise in Genesis; but when you get over in the book of Revelation, it speaks of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God. Actually, what makes it paradise is the presence of God; and that is where Adam and Eve were dwelling, before they disobeyed God. They had perfect life; but the God head was not yet in them. The God head was not going to be expressed until after Adam was tested and allowed to make a choice. The Bible does not tell us how long they remained in that beautiful state of bliss, before they sinned against God, and had to be expelled from it. I have said before, As long as they were in that environment, they could see things in the spirit world just as clearly as they could see natural things with their natural eyes. Furthermore in that environment they would have lived forever, even after they sinned. That is why God drove them out from His presence. The Bible says He sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken; but actually he was not driven from a geographical spot, where there was a tree of life, and a tree of the knowledge of good and evil growing out of the ground, or there would still be that place somewhere, guarded by cherubims, that man would not be allowed to go to. Yet I want you to know, There is hardly any place on the face of the earth that man has not been since then. Well what is the truth about all of this, some will say? That is what we want to bring out, as we continue on.
WHAT WAS GOD AFTER
Some people wonder why God even created a man that could be tempted by the devil and actually disobey his Creator; but the truth is, God did not want the earth replenished by a bunch of robots, that could do northing other than what they were commanded to do. He was in no big hurry about it; but His ultimate purpose was to have the earth filled with sons and daughters that had been put to the test, and in the end, chose to obey His word and walk in fellowship with Him out of their own free will. Predestination does not rule out man’s privilege to choose which spirit he will obey; for predestination is according to the foreknowledge of God, Him knowing before the foundation of the world, what every persons choice would be. Well, the choice Adam made was contrary to what the Creator had required of him; therefore he had to suffer the consequences of his disobedience; for God had said to him, The day you partake of this other tree, you will surely die. If God had left them in that environment, they would have lived forever; and all their children would have had eternal life also; therefore God drove them from that state of paradise, cursed the serpent, to crawl on his belly and eat dust, cursed Eve’s reproduction organs and cycle, and cursed the ground that Adam was going to have to till, saying, “In sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.” Now you may say, Did Adam go to hell for disobeying God? No. But he and Eve, and every other person that has ever been born, with the exception of Jesus the Christ, has had a sin debt hanging over them, that made redemption necessary. In other words, headship either had to be accepted or rejected on the basis of how they reacted to free moral agency. Therefore when they rejected headship by their disobedience, the Godhead was withheld from them, and everything from then on, pointed to redemption; and instead of living forever, their natural bodies also came under a curse of death, and death passed down through them, to every last one of us. Instead of having access to the spirit world, all humanity has been earth bound ever since, functioning only by the five senses, sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Oh yes, by an anointing God can lift us up above our earth bound state from time to time; but none of us have free access to the spirit world now, like Adam and Eve did in the beginning. The ground still produces thorns and thistles, and man still has to earn, or eat his bread in the sweat of his face, simply because Adam and Eve did not willingly come under the headship of the Creator. Have you ever stopped to realize what it would have been like, if Eve had refused to yield to the enticements of the old serpent? After they had both been tested, and remained faithful to the Creator’s instructions, He would have filled them with Himself; and all their children would have been born from the tree of life; and nothing would have ever needed to be redeemed. In order to understand that fully, you have to know what the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge was. Well, to put it very simply: they were two spiritual laws; not two plant life trees. In their first state, the woman would have known exactly when to come to her mate for the purpose of reproducing themselves; just like the animal kingdom does. There never would have been any such thing as sex for pleasure. How to have sex for pleasure is what they learned by partaking of that other tree (spiritual law) there in the garden. In other words, partaking of the tree of life would have simply been for them to have sex relations only for the purpose of reproduction, and the woman would have known exactly when it was to be. When God drove them out from His presence, changed the woman’s periods, and told her, her desire should be to her own husband; and he was to rule over her, she nor any other woman would ever know exactly when to have that relationship for reproduction purposes only. The earth has been replenished through the same means as it would have been, had Adam and Eve not sinned; but it has been done under the law of death, instead of the law of eternal life; and carnal mankind has used this beautiful relationship between man and woman more for entertainment, than for its original purpose. This intimate relationship between a man and his wife, was a sacred act before the devil got into the picture. At least it would have been; but Adam came to his wife for pleasure, before he ever came to her for the purpose God gave the relationship for. No wonder the devil jumped right into the picture at the very onset; he wanted to hinder God’s plan to have the earth filled with righteous sons and daughters. The devil was no stranger to earth; he had been here in that prehistoric age; and got things into such a mess God judged the whole thing, and left the planet hanging out there in its void state, for millions of years before He began to call it forth from its judged state. The Bible says it was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. Therefore when the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and said, “Let there be light,” He was not creating; He was merely restoring back to light, that which had been in total darkness. Then He put the man He had created, on earth, not only to repopulate it; but also to have dominion over everything. He was to rule the animal kingdom, and dress the earth; and Eve was given to him to be his helpmate, in all that God had commanded him to do. But when they sinned, and God drove them out of the garden, it was just like waking up out of a beautiful dream. One day they could see into the spirit realm; and the next day, they were earth bound creatures, seeing only what their natural eyes could see. Not only did God drive them out of that beautiful environment, He also placed cherubims and a flaming sword between them and Him, to make absolutely sure they would never be able to press themselves back into His anointing presence. In other words, you simply cannot turn God on and off like a faucet. Oral Roberts talks like he can, but I seriously doubt that he will ever be restored back to what he once was. He says he used to have the ministry to raise the dead, and that he raised so many in his early ministry, and that he is going to return to that. But I say, No he isn’t! If he ever did have such a ministry, and forfeited it to delve into all these materialistic endeavors of the past so many years, he will not pick it up again. You just simply do not turn God on and off to suit your ideas of what you want to do. Adam and Eve were never even allowed to go back even for one last look at what they gave up by their own choice. They were never allowed to even view paradise again, once they made a choice that caused God to have to separate them from it. What is paradise? Paradise is God’s environment; that He withdrew from them. Satan, by trickery, robbed Adam of his potential headship, and he himself became the god of all worldly systems. In 2nd Cor. 4:4, the apostle Paul referred to him as the god of this world. No, he is not above the Creator; but he stepped into the place Adam was supposed to have. He is the prince and the power of the air, and rules unregenerate mankind. He is not a creator himself. He just perverts everything God created; and uses it to further his plan of rebellion against God. He can never be equal with God, even though he has thought he could be. You can read Isa. 14, and Ezekiel 28, and get a pretty good picture of what this fallen angel we call, the devil, used to be, and what caused him to be where he is today. He was a beautiful anointed angel, until he allowed himself to entertain thoughts of exalting himself to be like the most High God. His own pride, forced God to have to cast him down from his former position, as the anointed that covereth; and he has been the enemy of God ever since. He has used God’s very own creation, to rebel against Him. But it was not a surprise to God; for He uses him to test His children. He could not have tempted Eve, there in the garden, if God had not allowed it. You just have to see what God is after, in order to understand this. His purpose it to have a family on earth that will submit to headship; then He can invest in them, the Godhead qualities.
PREVAILING CONDITIONS IN THE WORLD
We look at the 3rd chapter of Genesis and think, Oh how disappointed God must have been, when His first son and daughter disobeyed Him like that; but you need to remember this. He knew what Adam would do. That is why He perfected a plan of redemption before He ever started creating. He allows us to go ahead in a sex relationship for pleasure, and replenish the earth with children that have to be redeemed, knowing all the time that in the end He will still have what He wants. He had to withdraw Himself from the kind of fellowship He had with Adam and Eve in the beginning; but that still does not mean that He is a million light years away. He is still omnipresent; but He only activates His presence from time to time, to accomplish His purpose. Well, what about the curse on Eve; How has it affected mankind? Brothers and Sisters: Look at the shape the world is in. We have 12 or 13 year old girls who ought to still be playing with dolls themselves, getting pregnant. They are emotionally distraught, incapable of loving and caring for a little baby; and a lot of them have parents that are in such bad shape themselves, they are not able to be of any help to them. Some of them have abortions, some of them give birth, and then leave the little thing on someone’s doorstep, and some actually try to be a mother. But of those that decide to be a mother to their little one, an awful lot of them are never emotionally stable enough for the task; therefore the world is overrun with very emotionally sick people, who look for ways of escape from their problems. That is exactly what the devil was after, and he got what he wanted; but God is till able to get the attention of enough to fulfill His purpose. Through patriarch’s, prophets and kings, God demonstrated what He could be to those who would obey Him, as time passed and sin got worse and worse in the world. He had already purged the earth with water one time, when godliness rose to a peak; but that flood did not do away with sin. The attributes of it still lay in the genes of Noah and his family, as they set about to repopulate the earth once again. Therefore, today the earth is on the threshold of another purging, and this time it will be by fire. But two thousand years ago, God activated His plan of redemption; to redeem those whom He had foreknown from before the foundation of the world. He did not create another son. He just simply created a life cell in the womb of a young virgin, and allowed this Son to be born of woman. Prophets had wrote about Him, the law was full of types and shadows that pointed to Him; but no one understood completely, until after this great event came to pass. Through God’s first son, sin passed upon all mankind; but through His only begotten Son, righteousness would be made available to all mankind. Not everyone will be made righteous; but certainly, everyone will have to make a choice as to what spirit they will follow; and those that choose to follow after righteousness, will be made righteous. The righteousness of god will be imputed to all who believe and obey His word.
HOW SATAN TEMPTS GOD’S CHILDREN
Brothers and Sisters, there are a lot of things that enter into a true revelation of the word of God. Some who seem to have it, only have it as head knowledge, something they have learned with the mind, but never really understood deep down inside their spirit. That is why it is easy for them to take off after something else, when human flesh is exalted. Until true headship is recognized and acknowledged, we are subject to be tossed with the tempest. As long as Christians believe the Holy Ghost in them, makes them immune to temptation, and the attacks of the adversary, it is obvious they do not have a revelation of headship, and of the purpose of the Father. Jesus had the Holy Ghost in the fullness of the power of the Father; yet He was tempted in every area of His humanity. After fasting for 40 days and nights, the devil tempted Him to turn stones into bread. Do you know why he wanted Him to do that? If he could have gotten Him to use supernatural power, to satisfy the cravings of His flesh, he would have had Him in the same shape Adam wound up in when he was tested. Any time we choose to satisfy our flesh instead of obeying the world of God, we are falling short of the purpose of God in our lives. If Jesus had yielded to any one of the temptations the devil confronted Him with, He would have forfeited His purpose in redemption. The Father knew He would not fail; but He still had to be tested. Otherwise Satan would have done just what he did with Job. He approached God like this; concerning Job, “Hast not thou made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.” I am not making a literal comparison between Jesus and Job, except to show you that God allows Satan to test every soul that believes and trust in Him. He simply said to Satan, “Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself, put not forth thine hand.” You have all read the book of Job, no doubt. You know how God allowed him to strip Job of every worldly possession, even his family members, and how Job fell down to the ground and worshiped, saying, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” That wasn’t good enough for Satan. He went right back and said, Touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face. The Lord God said to him, “Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.” When Satan went to work on him personally, even Job’s wife said to him, “Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die.” But he said unto her, “Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh.” That is enough there; I just use that to make a point. Jesus had to be tested, and proved to the devil beyond any shadow of doubt that He would not forfeit His God ordained purpose just to satisfy His flesh. He had to prove His loyalty to the Godhead that was in Him. If He had failed that test, He never would have had the opportunity to finish what He came into the world to do. Where is Jesus today? He is in paradise. He is seated with the Father, in His throne. In Revelation 3:21, He says this, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne.” The God head in Him, produced an exampleship of headship. When you read the gospels, especially the gospel of St. John, you see that everything Jesus did was through the leadership of the headship in Him. He knew who HE was; and He knew what He was to do; but He still had Satan to deal with; and He had to deal with him exactly the same way we have to deal with him, or He could not have been our example. He used no supernatural power in overcoming Satan’s temptations. How did He respond to Satan’s temptations? “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” After He had been thoroughly tested, and overcame His temptation by confessing the word of God as a reality in His life and purpose, the Bible says, “Then the devil leaveth Him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.” In the Gospel of St. Luke it says, “And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from Him for a season. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee.” Satan never did tempt Him in that way again; but he worked through those Judaistic religious leaders, every opportunity he got, either to try to trick Him into doing something contrary to the Father’s purpose, or to try to kill Him. Anything to stop Him from fulfilling His mission. He was perfect man, living in a sinful world; and overcame every temptation by confessing the written word of God. On the other hand Adam and Eve were perfect, (without sin) living in paradise, where there was no sin of any kind, and lost everything, when they were tested. The first Adam was commissioned to fulfill a reproductive role in the Creator’s plan and purpose; but the second Adam was commissioned to fulfill a redemptive role, necessitated by the failure of the first. Now God knew the first Adam would fail; and He also knew the second Adam would not fail; but none of His foreknowledge takes anything away from man’s freedom to choose which spirit he will obey.
WE ARE TEMPLES OF GOD
Some people think certain choices are made because God already had it written that way; but the truth is: God had it written ahead of time because, through His foreknowledge, He knew before the foundation of the world, what every person’s choice would be. It is of the utmost importance that every child of God see the difference here. You hear people say, Well, what is to be, will be, as if we should just drift along, and let the devil do anything he wants to do. What is to be, will be, only because God knew what our choices would be; but we still have a life to live, temptations to overcome, and glory to share in. After we have finished our course on earth, and overcome Satan by our own choice; then will we receive our reward; but I want to tell you for sure, No true child of God is ever going to coast through this life without any problems. Do not ever think that because you have the Holy Ghost, you are not going to be tested. There will be times when Satan will give you some experiences for testings, you will think are real. Even so, do not despair, for we have a promise in the Bible to hold on to. The apostle Paul wrote, in 1st Cor. 10:13, “There hath no temptation take you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer (or allow) you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” Every true child of God will be tested; but no true child will ever have more put upon them, than what God Himself has enabled them to bear, and overcome in it. What you have to be concerned about, is that you do not allow a spirit of pride to get hold of you, after you have come through a hard trial of some kind. The Bible says, Jesus came out of the wilderness where He was tested, in power, and in demonstration of the Spirit; but does that mean He put on a public show just to impress someone? NO. Everything He did was by the leadership of the Father, that was in Him. He never announced ahead of time, when He was going to have a meeting; and He never made known, how long He was going to be holding one. He was completely subject to the leading of that Spirit of the Father, which He received when John baptized Him; the same Spirit the disciples received on the day of Pentecost, there in that upper room, in Jerusalem. People refer to the pulpit in their church building, as a sacred place, or sacred spot; as if the building itself is anything. The building where we meet to worship is not the Church; it is only a place where the Church meets, a shelter from the elements. Jesus preached for 3 ½ years, and never did have a pulpit. He preached from a boat, sat on a rock, stood on a hillside; but never did He preach from a pulpit. What is sacred then? The word of truth in the hearts of the children of God; that is what is sacred. What did the apostle Paul say, there in the 3rd chapter of 1st Corinthians? Look at verses 16 & 17. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” We ought to have proper respect for the building God has provided for us to meet in; but let us never forget what the Church is; and find ourselves having more respect for the meeting place, than for the children of God that meet there. When you get all your values arranged in their proper order, world religion, and the world in general will accuse you of many things, just simply because you do not follow their traditional pattern. As Jesus followed the leadership of the Spirit, He did some very unorthodox things; and the religionists of His day condemned Him for them. What did He do? He healed on the Sabbath day. He went through the grain fields with His disciples; and they plucked grains of corn and ate with unwashed hands. He healed one man on the Sabbath day; and told him to take up his bed and walk; and the Jewish religious leaders got so mad, because he was carrying his bed on the Sabbath day, they tried to kill the one who told him to do it. Then when Jesus said to them, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work,” they sought even more to slay Him, because He had not only broken the Sabbath day, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. That is what they said about it. What Jesus said was, “The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do; for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” Jesus continually pointed mankind to the invisible Father; and the Father (Spirit) in Him: when it was given to the New Testament believers, always pointed to Jesus the Son of God, who was called The Christ. Hallelujah! What perfect unity! Jesus the Son of God ministered on earth for 3 ½ years glorifying the Father, and revealing His redemption name; and because of His perfect obedience, the Spirit of the Father in the New Testament Church, has been directing all attention to the Son, and leading them to be like Him. Jesus Himself never tried to get anyone to be like Him. That is: He did not go around saying to His followers, You be like me. Yet if they really believed what He taught, and allowed the Spirit to lead them, they would be like Him anyway. The climax to it all is when we will really be like Him though; for as long as we are in this mortal flesh, there will be times when we miss the leading of the Spirit. Just look what happened with Bro. William Branham in Africa. Worldly minded preachers like to carry on their religious programs; but it was always awful hard for him to allow other men to set up meetings, saying, Bro. William Branham will be in Such and Such a place for two weeks; and then somewhere else for three weeks, and so forth. Other people do not always know how the Spirit is leading such a man. The leaders of organized religion would go crazy if Jesus were here today, like He was two thousand years ago; for they would never be able to schedule a revival meeting. He might show up; and then again, He might not, for He was completely subject to what the Father showed Him to do.
JESUS OVERCOMING SATAN’S TEMPTATIONS
Through the Gospel writers, we have been able to witness perfect headship in the ministry of Jesus; but now let us watch Him, as time approaches for Him to surrender up to the cross. We will truly see Him as a man here. He went into the garden, where He prayed and wept. Father, if it be thy will, let this cup pass from me. He had to make one final choice; and in the process, He was so emotionally torn up, His sweat glands gave forth drops of blood. This certainly proved He was a man. He had a mind, He had blood, He had a nervous system, and He feared death. Oh, Bro. Jackson; Why do you say that? If He didn’t, why did He pray like that? Why did it have that kind of an affect on Him? Jehovah never gets scared; but that man He dwelt in, reacted like any other man facing an ordeal like that would. The anointing was in Him, during all that time, but that anointing would not spare the flesh. The Son had to make a choice, and after He prayed like that, three times, He was able to reconcile His psychological thinking with the word of God, and the third time He prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done: He came out where his disciples had again fallen asleep and said to them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Luke says an angel from heaven came and strengthened Him, but not one thing was done to spare Him from this fate. He Himself had said, For this cause came I into the world. When He stepped out to surrender to those who came to arrest Him: Peter jerked out his sword, and cut an ear off of one of them, and that same man that had prayed so hard His sweat was as great drops of blood, reached down, picked up the ear, and put it back on the man. That proved the Father was still in Him; for the man, without the anointing of the Father, could not have done that. In just a few verses, we have seen the agony of a human soul facing death, and the demonstration of deity, all from the same human form. I did not read the account from the Bible; but you can if you care to. You will find it in Matthew 26, Mark 14, and Luke 22; but now let us turn to Hebrews 12: 1&2, and see what Paul wrote about it. Starting in the last part of verse 1, notice, “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the JOY that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” He despised the shame and humiliation, and the taunting remarks of that jeering crowd of blood thirsty mortals; but for the joy He could see, on out ahead, He voluntarily endured it all. Yes, He died like a man; but then He rose from the dead like a God invested man, overcoming everything necessary for our complete redemption. Then the Father took Him up into paradise and that is where He is today. Six thousand years ago, there was no throne in heaven. Jehovah did not need a throne; He fills everything. Do we not read in the Psalms though, Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool? In the day of Adam’s creation, there was nothing to rule over; and nothing to judge; for God placed His presence right there in the garden with His creation; and it would have remained like that forever, if they had not sinned; and there never would have been a throne in heaven. But Adam’s sin changed all of that. Not only did the second Adam receive the Godhead down here on earth; He has been taken up into paradise and seated on a throne, and exalted above everything but the Creator Himself. Even the angels that assisted God in creation, adore Him. His perfect obedience and submission to the will of the Father, gained all of this for Him; and it will remain like this, until redemption and restoration is completed and everything that is left at that time, passed into the eternal age, which will be time without end. That is what we see in 1st Corinthians 15, which we will take a look at shortly.
BEING LED OF THE SPIRIT
Saints, Are you beginning to see why it is so important for every one of us to have a revelation of this book (the Bible)? If we do not have a proper understanding of it: we can never know how to follow the invisible Christ. That is why we see so many people out here in religious organizations, going so many different ways; they do not know how to read the book properly. When the Holy Ghost was given, it gave birth to the mystical body of Christ there in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. God began to divide Himself among them; so they in turn, could reproduce other sons and daughters in the likeness of that first one; and only those who have genuinely received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, will ever be able to follow Christ Jesus according to the perfect plan of the Father. All others just merely follow ritualistic programs, designed by natural man. I look back now at my earlier years, when I first started out; and remember how badly some of those missionaries that came through, made me feel. They would say, You have to get out here and do something for Jesus. Then they would quote the words of Jesus, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth laborers into His harvest.” and all such as that. I would think, Here I sit in this little mission, with about a dozen souls; what good am I doing here? The devil will always attack you with enough scripture to make you miserable; if you do not know how to read the book yourself. No. I am not calling the missionaries devils; it is just the way the devil used what they said, that made me so miserable. All of those scriptures have their application somewhere; we just have to know which ones apply to us as individuals, in order for us to properly follow the plan God has for us. Not everyone is called to do the exact same thing someone else is doing. This mystical body is made up of many members; just like our natural, physical bodies are, and every member has some useful function; but a toe can never be the head. If you do not have a revelation of the scriptures, and know how to apply them to your life: you will always be hanging in the balances; thinking, Maybe I should do this, or that, or something else. First we have to learn the difference between right and wrong; and then learn how to be led of the Spirit to do what is right. The world is full of people who basically, as far as natural thinking goes, are doing good things; but unless they are led by the Spirit of God, to do what they are doing, they are not doing them for Jesus. Personally I have come to the place where I realize that no mortal man can tell anyone else what they need to do for Jesus. He Himself is the head; and all direction is to come from the head. Therefore I have said before, and I will say it again, People who have different revelations, or opinions about the scriptures, cannot have true spiritual fellowship together. How can two walk together, except they agree? When you believe different than I believe: I do not have to fellowship with you, just to prove that I am a Christian. If we cannot agree on doctrines and principles of the Christian faith, what good is our fellowship? We could never glorify God with it. God has worked in some strange ways, coming out of the Dark Ages, and on through the Reformation years: but do not try to judge anything today, with what He might have done 50 or a hundred years ago. For we are living at the end time, when everything God will accept, has to be measured alongside of what the church started out with. He has to get all of those old denominational hang-ups out of us, and get us to the place where we will walk in the light of truth, seeing things alike, before He can rely on us to do anything for Him. Oh, tare bundlers do not have to agree with each other; but the ministry to the bride of Jesus Christ sure does. Because of this, the world looks upon people like us, as a cult, people that God would never waste His time with. They think we believe alike because we have been brainwashed; but we know it is because we have been washed by the water of God’s word. The measure of the Spirit of Christ we have in us, causes us to realize, He is our head; we must follow Him. When the true head is leading, you will not have one go do one thing, and another doing something completely contrary; everything will be done for a unified purpose. Just like the apostle Paul said in Ephesians 4, Speaking the truth in love, we will grow up into Him (Jesus Christ) our head, and the whole body will be joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth. There will be no more one man shows. No, He is not using glue to hold us together; He is merely taking out of us everything that is alien to the product He intends to mold us into, and what is left bonds together. The Holy Spirit is like magnet; it separates one substance from another substance, so to speak. You can drop a magnet into a barrel where you have steel nails, aluminum nails, and all kinds of plastic and wood particles, and do you know what happens? Every steel nail will be attracted to that magnet; and all that other stuff will just lie there undisturbed. You will even see one nail holding on to another nail, as that attracting force draws them together. Well the Holy Spirit works the same way. It will draw everyone that is truly born of the Spirit of God together, and will even repel everything else, just like when you reverse the magnetic field. Being led of the Spirit is not a haphazard experiment though; as some may have supposed it to be. When He leads you to do something: it will always produce something to further His purpose. If He sends you to pray for a sick person, that person will be healed. Bro. Jackson: Why do some people not get healed when we pray for them? We pray for people out of compassion, or because of a request, or whatever, knowing full well that God’s purpose must have the preeminence. Therefore we cannot say He led us to pray for this one, or that one. But my point is, If He does send you to pray for a sick person, that person will be healed. That is headship at work. We have only seen a little sampling of it so far; but before we leave here, we will see it working in the whole body. Not just now and then; but consistently. We will learn to follow the head (Jesus Christ) before we leave here; there will be no schooling on how to do that, after the rapture takes place. Remember His words, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne.” Jesus is not sitting on His throne now. That is the Father’s position he now sits in. His throne is here on earth, in the temple of Jerusalem, where He will sit for we will rule and reign with Him, until the earth and all that shall remain in it, is fully restored back to what the Creator started with.
THE TWO ADAMS
We must go to the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians now, where we will find the apostle Paul expressing his revelation of the climax of all that God’s plan of redemption encompasses. We will begin reading in verse 45, and then we will drop back to some of the earlier verses later on. Concerning Adam and Jesus the Christ: here is what Paul said. “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; (We have read that in Genesis, chapter 2.) The last Adam (Jesus) was made a quickening (life-giving) spirit. Howbeit (or however) that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and after ward that which is spiritual. (Jesus was the spiritual one.) The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.” Now Saints, we have to realize why Paul would say that like this. He knew the flesh of the second Adam did not come down from heaven; therefore he had to be speaking of the spirit man inside that shell of flesh. It was the spirit life of Jesus the Christ, that came down from heaven; the substance of His human body came from a young virgin woman named Mary. “As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthly: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; (That is because the kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom; therefore it is the spirit man dwelling inside this flesh, that inherits the kingdom of God.) Neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” As we have already said, Adam and Even were created perfect, that is, they were without sin. Yet when they were tested, they failed; so they never did attain the spiritual purpose for which God put them there. In other words, Adam was a natural man; waiting for the time when he could have become spiritual; but he never made it to the spiritual part. They were in God’s presence in such a way that we call it paradise, and they were in a geographical spot called Eden, in a garden which the Lord God had planted. Well when they sinned, He drove them from the garden; but He did not drive them from Eden. When you read the account there in Genesis 3, where God drove them from the garden and placed cherubims to guard the way of the tree of life: the human mind wants to picture a beautiful garden; with a nice fence, and a gate that the cherubims were guarding. But that is not a true picture. God drove them from a spiritual environment so that they could no longer have access to, nor communicate with the spirit world. That made them strictly earthly; but it did not take them from Eden. They remained in the same geographical area; but they were no longer in Paradise. The only contact they then had, was what they could contact through the five senses, and Satan actually acquired the headship Adam was supposed to have. That is why every governmental system that has ever raised up in the world, has been under the control of Satan; and that is why the coming of Jesus Christ, (the second Adam) is the only hope for anything different. Because of those cherubims, no man has ever been able to press himself back into that glorious presence of God. We call it the anointing, something he Holds sovereign control over; and even when He anoints someone for some purpose, there are still limitations. We do not have access to what Adam had access to before he sinned; even when God places His anointing upon us.
THE LORD OF GLORY–THE GODHEAD EXPLAINED
Now Paul and James, both referred to Jesus Christ as the Lord of glory; but we need to realize what they were looking at . He was not born the Lord of Glory. Actually He lived 30 years before He became the Lord of Glory. It was what entered into Him there at the Jordan River, when He was baptized, that made Him the Lord of glory. In him then, was the fullness of the Godhead. Paul expressed it in Colossians 1:19, saying, “For it pleased the Father that in Him (Jesus) should all dwell.” If the Godhead had not came into Him, He would have gone through life a sinless, perfect man, without ever accomplishing anything toward man’s redemption. But when perfect man and perfect God became one: there stood a God-man, the Creator Himself, dwelling in human form for the first time. From that time on, we notice two things in particular. What Jesus did much of the time, proved that He was God; for everyone knew that only God could do many of the things He did. Yet there were other times when His very actions proved that He was a man. Jehovah never gets hungry. Jehovah never cries, nor sleeps; but Jesus did all these things. Jehovah cannot be tempted by the devil; but Jesus was. Therefore those that walked with Him for 3 ½ years, saw a perfect display, both of God and of man. Well the first Adam was tested, with the potential of receiving the Godhead, if he has passed the test, while the second Adam was tested on the basis of whether He would use the Godhead He already had, to gratify His flesh. Remember, He could have done anything the devil tempted Him to do; but His personal choice was to remain faithful to his calling. He turned water to wine, raised the dead and multiplied five loaves, and two little fishes, to feed a great multitude; so there remains no doubt that He could have turned stones to bread; but if He had done it He would have failed His test also; and Satan knew that. You will notice, he did not say, “If you are Jehovah,” he said “thou be the SON OF GOD, command that these stones be made bread.” That verse alone should tell these extreme Oneness denominational people something, if they were not too blind to see it. They give no place for two intellects in the body of the man called Jesus the Christ; they look at the Son of God as being only the flesh God dwelt in. Brothers and Sisters, you have to see a human life in that vessel of clay also, or you miss the whole picture. Their explanation of the Godhead leaves unanswered questions; just like the trinity people, who make no attempt to explain the Godhead. You can ask a trinitarian how God can be three persons and still be He, or Him, and they will tell you something like this, Brother, God is too high and holy for us mere mortals to be able to explain His great being; we just have to accept by faith, the fact that He is three persons, and that the three are so in harmony, they are actually one. First of all, it is not a FACT, that God is three persons He is one sovereign Spirit, and His Son Jesus is the only PERSON in the Godhead. Then secondly, I will say this, If God were three persons as they suppose, He still would not expect His true children to just accept by blind faith, a thing like that, without ever giving them an understanding of it. A tare cannot be expected to know everything a son of God knows; but even some of them have no doubt heard the Godhead explained by true children of God, enough that they could explain it. Oh yes, there are tares hanging on to bride people all over this world today; they are not all still out there in those denominational systems. Well, the key to a proper revelation of the Godhead is in Genesis 1, verse 27, where it says, “So GOD created man in His (singular) own image, in the image of God created He him,” but they try to get a revelation of it from verse 26, where God said, “LET US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness,” and so forth. As long as anyone believes the words US, and OUR, is pertaining to the Father, His Son Jesus and the Holy Ghost, they will never get a revelation of the Godhead; for they will always see three persons. At least they will think they do. God is one sovereign spirit; and the words US, and OUR are used because God always has angels assisting Him in whatever He does, and they are spirit being also. Therefore what you see in verse 26, is God and His angelic helpers creating a spirit man, that God will later give a human body to, that he may stand at the head of every living thing God would put on earth. Well what about the Godhead? Can we explain it? Yes. Instead of three persons, you must see three office-works. The one sovereign Spirit which at first was not even God because He was alone, began creating according to His own plan, which He purposed to do, when He counseled with Himself, as Paul explains in Ephesians 1. Then after He had created something that could worship Him, He was then both God and Father. The word GOD, speaks of an object of worship, and the word FATHER applies to one that begets, or creates offspring. Therefore in creation God was Father; but when it came time for His plan of redemption to go into effect: He created a cell of life in the womb of a young virgin woman, and in process of time, she gave birth to a manchild, which they named JESUS, according to the instructions given them by an angel sent from God. Now Jesus was the son of Mary, a young Jewish woman who was engaged to a man named Joseph; but Joseph was not his father. This child’s Father was the very creator Himself; because He had created that cell of life in Mary, and allowed her to carry it nine months and give birth to it. Jesus was a begotten Son, instead of a created son like Adam was. He was perfect because He had none of man’s genes. His life came from that sovereign Creator which is God to His creation. That is why He could say, I came from God; and I go to God. He was talking about the spirit life, not His body of flesh. Therefore when the Father incarnated His Son Jesus at age 30, He stepped into another office work. Jesus became a God man, and the first, and only PERSON of the Godhead. What made Him God? The Spirit of the Father that was indwelling Him. Now we have the Father and the Son; but we only see ONE PERSON, not two. Well, what about the Holy Ghost? You can understand exactly what the Holy Ghost is. Remember, when the Father entered His Son, their Spirits merged into one Spirit, even though there were still two intellects present. Jesus had a mind of His own like any other individual person, and He spoke as that person whom He was, much of the time. But remember also that from that same mouth came the words of the Father; therefore we see the two intellects. Jesus the Son could weep when He was talking to the two sisters of Lazarus; but a little later, when from that same mouth came the words, “Lazarus, come forth,” that was the authority of the Father speaking. Then when Jesus hung on the cross, and the Spirit went out of him, The Sprit that went out was that merged Spirit of both the Father and the Son; and this is the same Sprit that was divided among the Church in process of time, and called the Holy Ghost, or the Holy Spirit. This is the Comforter Jesus promised to send to His disciples; but this Comforter is NOT A PERSON; it is a Spirit, so how in the world did Satan ever get people to believing the Godhead consists of 3 persons? Understanding how ONE God could manifest Himself in three officeworks is easy; it will not conflict with any scripture anywhere in the Bible. But when you try to make three PERSONS out of Him, you create a great mystery, and cancel out a lot of scriptures, that cannot apply. Therefore this ONE sovereign Spirit, was Father in Creation, and in His Son in redemption, and in His redeemed children, a Comforter, and an enabler, enabling them to live a victorious life. Without the Holy Spirit, we have no power against the devil; but because of His indwelling presence, James 4:7, is a reality. That is the verse which says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” We cannot resist the devil, without the Holy Ghost; we all know that; but even when we have the Holy Ghost, there is still a condition to be met; we must submit ourselves to God, allowing Him to work out His purpose in our lives.
WHAT SPIRIT DO WE HAVE?
When you have a revelation of the Godhead, you will never be found asking the question, Do we have the Spirit of the Father in us, or is it the spirit of the Son? People who believe God is three persons, read verses like Romans 8:9, 1st Cor. 3:16, and Gal. 4:6, and ask that very question. In Roman 8:9, Paul said this, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the SPIRIT OF GOD dwell in you. Now if any man have not the SPIRIT OF CHRIST, he is none of His.” Then in 1st Cor. 3:16, we read these words, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the SPIRIT OF GOD dwelleth in you?” But in Gal. 4:6, he says “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the SPIRIT OF HIS SON into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Paul was not confused; he knew exactly what Spirit he had in him; for once the Spirit of the Father and the spirit of the Son merged together and became one Spirit, they were never to be separated again; and this is the Spirit the children of God have in them. There is a beautiful verse in 1st Timothy 3:16, concerning the mystery of godliness, and showing the manifestations of this ONE God. Notice, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, (of His son) justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” Now that is where Jesus is today, in glory; but the Holy Ghost is omnipresent; He is just as much in believers in other parts of the world, as He is in us, here in Jeffersonville. The same Bible, (except for language translations) is for every part of the world. Jesus is the head of the Church, which is His body, and He always remained under the headship of His Father; and whether your equal rights people like it or not, the bible says man is to have headship over the woman. Not to rule her like she is a servant; but to give leadership and direction, and to be responsible for making governmental decisions. This business of co-equal authority ended when Even allowed the serpent to seduce her. A lot of women resent the fact that man is given the preeminence in the scriptures, concerning decisions and leadership; and they blame the apostle Paul for most of it; but you can see the headship of man over woman all the way through the Bible, if you will acknowledge it. Take Sarah for instance, did she not call Abraham lord? Of course some will say, But we are living under a new covenant now; and God is no respecter of persons. That is true. The Bible says that; and it means that; but there are certain principles that were not changed by the New Covenant. Women are just as free to pray, sing, shout, prophesy, and so forth, as any man; but no sister has any scripture for exercising headship over the man. When God multiplied Eve’s sorrow and conception periods because of her disobedience, (Gen.3:16) He also said to her, after saying, “In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; And thy desire shall be to thy husband, AND HE SHALL RULE OVER THEE.” As long as that curse remains on the woman’s childbearing; the rest of the curse remains also. That is the reason Paul did not hesitate to write, (1st Tim. 2:11-15) “Let the woman learn in silence (without jumping up in the service, disrupting what the preacher says, and asking questions) with all subjection. But I suffer not (allow not) a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” A lot of preachers apply that verse literally; and will not allow a woman to utter a word; which is just as far from scriptural authority as women running the church. I assure you, Paul was dealing only with proper order; he was not depriving the Christian sisters of their freedom to worship God. Notice now, as he goes ahead to clarify his statement. “For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in child bearing, if they continue in faith and charity (love) and holiness with sobriety.” Paul was not a woman hater, as some say; he was a servant of God, giving sound instruction to those who desired to walk godly and submit themselves to the will of God. If you have ever been in a business meeting of a denominational church, you already know that it is the women that literally run things. Well God never intended for it to be like that, in the true Church of bride saints. In the 5th chapter of Ephesians, the apostle Paul makes a beautiful comparison, using the relationship between a man and his wife, and the relationship between Jesus Christ and the Church, which is His bride. He is dealing with proper attitudes, proper respect for each other, headship and submission. Then in verse 32 he says this, “This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” If you want to know how to conduct yourself in the house of God; just study these epistles; it is all in there.
THE RAPTURE OF THE BRIDE
Some people go to the scriptures with their mind already made up, and they search until they find a verse or two that seems to agree with what they want to believe; instead of studying with an open mind, and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide them into a true revelation. Yes brothers and sisters, denominational systems have filled our minds with a lot of religious junk; and God means for us to be purged from every bit of it, before we get out of here in the rapture. Now speaking of the rapture; what exactly do you believe about it? Some believe it will take place before the 70th week of Daniel goes into effect; others believe it will be immediately after the week starts, and there are scores of others that believe the Church will have to go through the great tribulation, which is the last 3 ½ years of that week of years. Saints, I can tell you this much for sure, The true Church of the living God will not go through the great tribulation. There are two or three things to consider, pertaining to the time when the event described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 will take place. First we see in 2nd Thessalonians 2:1-3 that our gathering together unto Him (Christ Jesus) will not take place until after the man of sin is revealed to the bride. This is of course that son of perdition, the Antichrist. We already know where he will come from; but we do not yet know the individual man that will be sitting as pope of the Roman Catholic Church, when that time comes. The one in there now has all the potential; but we do not yet know if he is to be the man of sin of this verse. If he is the one that mediates and agrees to a great peace covenant with many, (many nations) including Israel; (Daniel 9:27) then the bride will know when she learns of it, that the time is at hand for her departure. The Lord will do a quick work with her, and take her to glory; for 1st Thessalonians 5:9 says, “For God hath not appointed us (the Church) to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul could not have written that if the Church was destined to go through the great tribulation. Then of course, when you think of the rapture, you begin to visualize where heaven actually is. Our natural way of thinking wants to visualize heaven, (that spiritual paradise) as being somewhere beyond the stars; but I have been thinking about that a lot lately. When I hear great scientific minded men talking about where they send, and can send these space ships, it makes me realize that there is literally no end of space. It is an endless expanse. Therefore I believe we need to realize that this place called heaven, this spiritual paradise and habitation of God, is a spirit world just beyond the immediate atmosphere of the earth. Satan of course, is permitted to invade and manipulate the affairs of man, in the immediate air space around the earth. That is why he is called the prince of the power of the air. But he does not have any control over these planetary bodies that hang out there in the great expanse of space. Everything out there functions perfectly in its orbit; which in itself proves that Satan is not allowed to mess around with them. Nevertheless, in spite of what we may have imagined all our lives, that heavenly paradise is not way off out there beyond the Milky Way; it is somewhere between here and where the stars are. Paul wrote of how our Lord Jesus Christ will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God. Brother! They won’t have to have a giant telescope to see Him; for He will not be coming from beyond Mars, Jupiter, Saturn or any of the other planetary bodies; He will be seen right out there beyond the space where airplanes fly. Heaven is a spiritual paradise that man knows nothing about, a place where sin cannot enter. The first Adam lived in paradise until he sinned. Then paradise was taken from him and put beyond human ability to explore; but the true children of God will one day return to that paradise, or paradise will return to them; all because the second Adam has opened up the way for us. The denominational systems are not preparing anyone to live in paradise; but I assure you, there are some people in the earth today, that are being prepared to hear the call. Come up hither. It is the five fold ministry, set in the Church for the perfecting of the saints, that is helping the little bride get dressed up for her wedding day. All of those denominational systems got their start because of a revelation of truth given to their founders; but they fenced in that truth, and closed the door to any further revelation; so God just left them playing church, and moved on. That is why we can say today, There is not life in any of those systems. The true church knows man cannot put an end to the revelation of God; for as long as His true children are left here, there will always be something more in His great store house, to feed them. Furthermore, He expects each one of us to come to the place where we are led by the Holy Spirit in every aspect of our lives. Now some people have the idea that when we are led by the Spirit, we will never have any problems to deal with; but that is a false concept of what the Christian life is all about.
WILL YOU SELL OUT TO SATAN
Jesus was the sinless, perfect Son of god; but the day Jehovah entered into Him and began to lead Him: His troubles started, and He was never without them; but regardless of all that Satan and his demon helpers did, trying to destroy Him, He fulfilled the perfect will of the Father. Not only did He overcome in every area of temptation and trouble, He also made it possible for each one of us to do likewise; but in order to enjoy all of our purchased benefits and privileges, we have to get our priorities in line with the known will of God. If Jesus had allowed His mind to dwell on worldly accumulations, like a lot of people do today, He could have had anything the world has to offer; but He would have lost His reward for faithfulness and obedience to the will of the Father. When the devil took Him up in a vision, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; he said to Jesus, “All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me,” do you not believe it was in Satan’s power to do such a thing? A lot of people have sold out to the devil for one reason or another, and in one way or another; but those who do so, have their reward already; and hell is awaiting them. Now some will say, Oh, Bro., Jackson: I would never do a thing like that. No. You would not make such a deliberate choice; but the things that some Christians flirt around with, is right on the borderline between serving God, or the devil. Human weakness is one thing; but wrong desires, wrong motives, and just plain carelessness is something we can have control over; and if we determine to do so, we have the same resources Jesus had. God never calls upon anyone to do something nor to be something, without making it possible for us to succeed. Jesus overcame all of Satan’s temptations with nothing more than the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, accessible to every child of God; and when He overcame, both in the wilderness temptation and also in the garden of Gethsemane, angels ministered to Him afterward. There in the garden, where He prayed to the Father to take that cup of death from Him, if possible: the angel did not come to strengthen Him, until after He had said, “Nevertheless not my will but thine, be done.” A peace came over Him, once He had it settled, as to whether He would yield to His flesh, or yield Himself completely to the will of God. He knew those worldly kingdoms did not compare with what the Father had in store for Him, once He had fulfilled what He was here on earth for. That is why He could say, What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? He knew the greatest reward would come later; after life battles have been fought and won. Let us just take a little time, to look at the materialistic kingdoms Satan had been building one after another. In the time of Christ, most all earthly kingdoms were run by kings or emperors; but as time passee, so did the imperial systems of government also pass away. Eventually they became ruled by kings; and that kingship rule lasted right on through time. Then there came the time when God caused a new world to be discovered; and people who wanted to get away from those political monarchies, fled from the Old World, came here, and out of a wilderness, they established a governmental system called a democracy. Such a system of government had never before existed. It was established by men who had respect for God, and for His written word, and that believed in man’s right to freedom of worship. Brothers and Sisters: That beautiful democracy has now been turned into a corrupt bureaucracy; that has almost completely succeeded in crowding God right out of the picture. You can no longer call America a Christian nation. It used to be called that; when laws were based upon Bible principles, and children were taught in schools, to cherish the word of God, and so forth. Even hardened criminals and drunks on skidrow, had more God-consciousness, than a lot of so called Christians today. Many who claim to be Christians today, would laugh you to scorn if you mentioned anything to them about headship, the headship of Christ, that is. Bless God, the Bible tells me I have no need of being taught by any man, I can go to God myself, and get whatever I need, because I have the Holy Ghost. No you don’t. Not with an attitude like that. God does not give you His Spirit to make you your own boss; He gives it to you to enable you to let Him be the boss. You can be your own boss, so to speak, without the Holy Ghost; but you cannot overcome Satan and walk with God without it. As soon as Jesus received the Spirit, those headship qualities began to be activated. God began to lead this only begotten Son in ways that revealed to mankind, just exactly what He expected, and required men to do; and by the time He hung on Calvary’s cross, this obedient Son fo God had completely revealed the Father to all who had ears to hear and eyes to see. How did He do it? Not by seeking to fulfill His own will; but by seeking to do only what the Father showed him to do. Those Judaistic, blind leaders of the blind, could not believe He was led by God; because He did things that were completely opposite to what they believed God would lead a man to do. They were so busy trying to keep the letter of the law of Moses, a law that contained types and shadows of the Messiah that was to come; they completely missed Him, when He walked right in among them. He who instructed Moses to write that law, stood right in their midst, in human flesh, and they were so busy in their own interpretations of it, that the one it pointed to was rejected, and condemned to die. They were so offended because Jesus and His disciples had broken the Sabbath, walking too far, and healing crippled people, they were convinced in their minds that what they were doing had to be of the power of Satan instead of the power of God. What did Jesus say to them? “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” In other words, they were spiritually blind; and God did not even honor their ritualistic worship practices, because their hearts were hardened, and they had no reality or understanding of why they were going through those rituals. The Gentile church world is the same way. It has been so long now since God left those systems, their younger generations do not even know for sure that there is a God. In school, they are taught that God is a myth; and in their church services they never see any evidence that God is present, so it is no wonder their churches are filled with people who do not know for sure what to believe about God. If for some reason God would anoint some man to preach truth to them, they would not doubt do exactly what those scribes and Pharisees did, when Jesus healed a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath day. Great multitudes began to throng Him, hoping that they could get to touch Him somehow, and unclean spirits cried out, “Thou art the Son of God,” But what did those religious leaders say? They said, “He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth He out devils.” That is when Jesus reminded them that blasphemy against the Holy Ghost will not be forgiven. You can read that in St. Mark, 3:28-29. “Verily I say unto you, all sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.” True children of God know how to test the spirit of any manifestation; but there are religious people in the world that attribute everything to the power of Satan, that does not conform to their religious practices.
LEARNING TO FUNCTION AS ONE BODY
Brothers and Sisters, I am so glad God sat in the Church a ministry that had no selfish ambitions. They were not interested in being called Dr. So and So, nor Bishop So and So, their greatest ambition was to be able to lead lost souls into the light of truth, and then see them live for God. What kind of men were those first apostles? Fishermen, tax collectors, and so forth. They had no special schooling to qualify them for the ministry, they just simply knew who the head is, and took their leading from Him. It was the Spirit of God in them that qualified them for the ministry. They did not have it individually, in the same measure Jesus had it; but collectively, in the overall body of Christ, (the Church) is every attribute He possessed. That is why it si so important that the Church once again learn to function as a unit, instead of individuals trying to be the big cheese. That is why I have said so many times, The world has never seen the Church in action, since that first century church passed off the scene. Every attribute Jesus had in Him, is in the Church; but the end time Church has not yet learned to function as one body. We are individuals as far as personal salvation goes; but when we are baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Ghost, our thoughts and desires should be centered around what is best for the whole body; and not just what we, as individuals want to do. No. It is not a matter of subscribing to some other man’s ideas; it is a simple matter of learning to be led by the Holy Ghost. The true Church will not set a goal of how many souls they will win for Christ in 1988. That is left up to the One who has to draw them, before they can be saved. Just merely getting a name added to a church roll somewhere, is not worth the time it takes to do it. That is why a lot of these denominational churches have a membership roll of 700 to 900 members or more; but only 200 active members. Well, I said earlier, a message like this goes in many different directions; but what we are dealing with is headship. It matters not how many people say, Oh yes, I love Jesus. The thing that matters is the picture painted by the kind of lives they live. Jesus said, If ye love me, keep my commandments. Not the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament; but the things Jesus taught, and the things He led His servants to write later. In other words, every scripture in the New Testament; for He also said in John 14:23, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” To keep His commandments, really amounts to getting our lives in line with all that is written in the New Testament scriptures pertaining to being born again and living a righteous life. We may say we love Jesus, but if we do not do our utmost to keep His words, there is room for one to doubt that love. Another point I want to stress while on the subject of being led by the Spirit is that the Spirit of God will never lead you to go contrary to the written word of God. People have been known to do some strange things supposedly by the leadership of the Spirit; but much of it is in direct conflict with the righteous principles God moves by. There are many voices in the world today, bidding for your attention, and your allegiance; so do not follow anything that does not line up with the word of God, no matter who may be doing whatever. My thumb cannot say to my foot, Take a step. Neither can my foot say to my hand, Wave at the king. NO. All of my members are subject to the head; and the Church is to be the same way. We do not see Him; but we know He is there just the same; for He said, We will come unto him who keeps my words, and make our abode with him.
BEING CONCERNED ABOUT EACH OTHER
Now I want to call your attention to something else concerning the five senses given mankind for contact with his earthly surroundings. Four of our five sense are activated by the head. You see from the head, you hear from the head, you smell and taste from the head. In other words, your head tells you what is right or wrong for you to hear, see, and what to eat, and certainly your head knows when it is in a stinking environment. But Brothers and Sisters: In the darkest of the night, when you cannot see a thing, and you run into a barbed wire fence, your sense of feel is what you respond to. Any part of your body will let you know there is something wrong. Do you catch my point? Any member of the body of Christ can feel certain things that are wrong, for the whole body. Things that are wrong for everyone. That brings us right back to the scripture in Ephesians 4:15-16, where Paul was laying out the means by how we grow up into Christ. The five fold ministry is set in the Church for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (for how long?) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God. We are to be brought up to the full stature of the fulness of Christ. (Why?) That we be no longer as children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine. What is the process? What will make us grow up and attain unto the stature of the fulness of Christ? In verses 15 and 16, he lays it out. “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, (how) according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, (every member) maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” When we each one become fully conscious of wanting to do the things that please Him, we lose that hurry up and do something for God attitude, and just wait for instructions from the head. That is why a lot of denominational people look at us and say, You people never do anything for God. But deep down in your heart, you know that you are willing to do anything He leads you to do; so you need not feel bad about what people say. We are not here to please the world; we just simply want to be pleasing to the head, and see the whole body of Christ working together, and edifying itself in love, like the apostle Paul said here. Every time we yield to the leading of the Holy Ghost: we become a little more conscious of how to conduct ourselves among our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Just remember the words of Paul in his epistle to the Romans, (8:14) “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Do you think these huge denominational churches have leaders that are led by the Spirit of God? No. If they were being led by the Spirit of God, they would be led to truth; and from their great church systems. God is not tied to any system. If He is tied to anything, He is tied to His word. That is why everyone who obeys His word reaps the benefits of those wonderful provisions written therein. No. I am not saying we will not be tested along the way; for those who follow the leading of the Spirit are sure to be tested; that is one of the promises contained in the written word. We do not fear the test though; for we know that comes first, before we can ever see the Bridegroom. Today He still sits right where John saw Him. It was nineteen hundred years ago, that John was lifted up in the Spirit and shown a picture of where Jesus is. He saw a throne in heaven; and He that sat upon it was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone, and there was a rainbow round about the throne; and the one He saw sitting there was none other than Jesus Christ. It was a twentieth century scene he was seeing though: for as he watched he saw a scroll in the hand of Him who was sitting there, and heard an angel saying, Who is worthy to open the book, (scroll) and to loose the seals thereof? Well we know who began to break those seals and give the revelation of them to His servant here on earth. It was Jesus, worthy to do what He was doing because of what He had accomplished on earth as the Lamb of God; and the breaking of those seals took place in 1963. The first six seals were broken and revealed; and Jesus is still sitting in that same position John saw Him in, with one seal still in place. But when that last seal is broken, He will no longer sit there on that throne. Grace for Gentiles will be over; and Jesus will be in the process of appearing to His bride, robed as the Bridegroom she has been preparing to meet in the air.
THE DEATH OF OUR OLD MAN
I want us to try to look at the whole picture in its final stages now; while Jesus is still there, just before breaking the last seal. We will go back to Romans, Chapter 8, and start with verse 12. When Paul wrote these words to those Roman believers, they understood what he meant. He was not trying to hide anything from them; and I am not trying to hide anything from you. It is just that after those first century church leaders passed from the scene, Satan was able to bring in influential men that were able to twist and pervert the true revelation, and get the church off course. Not suddenly, but over a process of time, as new generations came on the scene. That is why today, denominational church people wrestle with these very scriptures we are looking at, Could it mean this, or that, or something else? They never really know; because they depend upon theology to give them the correct understanding, instead of the Spirit of God that was in the ones that wrote them. Notice now, “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.” That is why the true spiritual Church does not have to have soup suppers, rummage sales and flea markets, to raise funds to operate with. God does not need that kind of thing to support what He has called the true children of God to do. Yet the devil can sell anything to people without a revelation; just as long as it looks good to the flesh. Brothers and Sisters; Listen to me; the world is full of beautiful programs and gimmicks that an awful lot of people place great spiritual value one; but I want you to know, true Christianity is about people; not things. All these relics that various organizations cherish so much, are as valueless in the sight of God an anything could possibly be. The Church is not built upon a lot of dead relics; it is built upon a spiritual revelation of Jesus; and what He accomplished at Calvary for the benefit of lost mankind. In the Vatican Museum, you can see every kind of relic imaginable, even bones, and so forth, valued into the millions of dollars, and it is every bit carnal. There is no spiritual value to any of it. Natural man, in his desire to be religious, places value upon things his flesh enjoys: huge buildings, beautiful furnishings, fine art, and a program that entertains his flesh; but notice what Paul wrote in verse 13, “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die.” Church people (not true Christians) love things that they can understand through their natural, human understanding. But when you begin to talk to them about going into the bedroom and getting down on your knees, crying out to God, they have no time, nor desire for that. They consider that kind of behavior to be fanatical, or something people do when they are losing their mind. No, saints, it is just the old man dying away, and the new man coming to the forefront. The flesh we live in has very little to be proud of. That is why the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians (15:50) in his first epistle, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. This flesh we now live in will not enter in, even when it becomes a material kingdom; God has to change it into immortality, before it can fit into the picture. That caused Paul to go ahead and say, “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, (die) but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we (those still living) shall be changed.” When redemption is completed, everything God has accepted takes on immortality, to live in the eternal age, but the emphasis now is on getting our inner man lined up with the word of God In 1 Cor. 2:14 Paul wrote, “But the natural man (or mind) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; (That is why the church world is dead; they have lived after the flesh.) But if ye through the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the DEEDS of the body, ye shall live.” This does not mean that we have to stop breathing; it just simply means that we stop yielding to the cravings and desires of the outward flesh; and allow the Spirit of God that we have in us, to motivate and lead us; so that the Spirit man is always in control. When the Spirit is in control, it will not allow our flesh to be subject to the wishes of Uncle Joe, Aunt Susie, nor anyone else in the natural realm. Some people are so afraid Grandpa will cut them of from their natural inheritance, they are willing to do almost anything to prevent it. Brother! The people God dealt with in that first century of Christianity did not worry about their natural inheritance; they sold out, lock, stock, and barrel for the gospel’s sake. Not only did they renounce their natural inheritance for the sake of following the Lord; they willingly accepted martyrdom, rather than turn their back on Him. Relatives and close friends can really pull on you. That is why, if what you have is not the real thing, you will sooner or later listen to them, and return to your old way of life. But praise God, those who do have the genuine, will sooner or later come to the place where they allow the Spirit to lead them. That brings us back to verse 14 here in Romans 8, the verse we read earlier. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” The Spirit of God does not lead the devil’s children; and neither does He chasten them. These are reserved for God’s true children.
It seems when we speak of how the first century church was led by the Spirit, that someone usually thinks in terms of them being like Super men, or something like that. No. They were people just like you and me. They weren’t zooming through the air like Superman; they had not self propellant in them. They were filled with the spirit of God; and they depended upon the Spirit within them to lead them. Furthermore they had no tape recorders, no televisions, no radios, nor typewriters, and probably very few scrolls; but when one of those apostles came down the road and ministered a few days in their assembly, they knew something when he left. Only as time went on and various questions an situations arose, was it necessary to write the letters to them, that we have in the New Testament today. Through those things that were recorded, was the revelation the early church had, passed on to us. Yes, the revelation of the gospel of Christ is in there; but it is written in such a way that the carnal mind cannot grasp it. They can read the same words we read, and never get a true revelation of what those words mean. That is why there are so many different brands of so called Christianity in the world today. I mentioned this earlier; but let us think about it for a moment. Those Epistles were written dealing with various problems and giving instructions and admonitions, and those to whom they were written knew exactly what was meant. Yet through the centuries since, people have read those same epistles, and got every kind of interpretations imaginable out of them. What made the difference? Their motives and the Spirit of God that was leading them into all truth. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Every last one of those sons except Jesus, were lost sinners at one time. Therefore they had to have a personal experience of salvation, and receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, before they could be led by the Spirit of God. They repented and received water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.; that was their initial beginning. It mattered not whether they were 13 years old, or 60 years old, when they had that personal experience with the Saviour, they became spiritual babes in need of proper nourishment to grow on. Now this thing of growth works the same spiritually as it does in the natural; some people grow faster than others; but the sad picture is, that some go year after year and it is hard to tell whether they are growing any at all spiritually. On the other hand, it is a beautiful thing to just sort of stand back and watch others, as they grow and mature spiritually. Nevertheless regardless of how fast or how slow people grow in the Lord, every last one of us have some function in the overall makeup of the body of Christ; even those that may seem to be the least of all; like maybe the little toes on our foot. Did you know that the little toes feed a certain feeling to our brain as we walk on various surfaces, that actually adds to the overall feeling of balance? By the same token, every member of the body of Christ has some function in the body that adds to the overall makeup of that body; and we need to be led by the Spirit, in order to fill our place properly. God can use what may seem to be the least one among us, to edify the whole assembly at times. The early church was not surprised, nor shocked when someone came along, and God suddenly used them in a particular way. Neither was there jealousy because of it; there was rejoicing. God did some things to serve as a drawing card to outsiders, to make them desire to be a part of it; but other things He did, only the believers saw it. Some people read the New Testament and get the idea that everything Jesus did was seen by everyone; but that is not the picture. When He walked on the water that night, only His immediate disciples saw it; and no one ever saw Him do that again. The multitude could not prove He did, or did not, they just had to accept the testimony of those who were privileged to witness how He got there. That is why they came looking for Him the next day; and when they found Him at Capernaum they asked, How did you get here? They didn’t know; until they were told later; for the last they knew, Jesus was going into the mountain, and His disciples were leaving in a boat. You just have to know the Lord has a reason for everything He does. He never does anything just to put on a show. It is true that a thousand people could see a great miracle; and only a half dozen of them turn out to be true believers; but that just goes to show that God will do whatever He needs to, to get the attention of those He foreknew would be children of His.
WORLDLY GAIN IS NOT GODLINESS
Let us read verse 15 now, “For ye have not received the Spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” The wording of that verse sounds a little confusing; so I am going to read the same verse from the Lamsa translation. It says, “For you have not received the spirit of bondage, TO BE IN FEAR AGAIN; but you have received the Spirit of adoption.” This makes that one place a little clearer; but there is still another verse that I want to read, to go with this one; it is 2nd Tim. 1:17, where Paul says to Timothy, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Paul considered it to be very important that the children of God be not filled with fear, when they have the Spirit in them, that can enable them to overcome every obstacle in life. First, this Spirit we receive seals us into the family; therefore He is the Spirit of adoption, and because of this, we call God, our Father. But like we have already said, Once He is in you He becomes the Spirit that enlightens you, leads you into all truth, and leads you in your everyday walk, if you will let Him. It is through His enablement that we are able to resist the devil and have him flee from us, like James 4:7 says. There is one thing modern day preachers try to make the Holy Ghost a part of, that is absolutely contrary to the scriptures. Their theory is, when you have the Holy Ghost, you are a son of God, and therefore should have the best of everything, fine cars, clothes, and everything; but what did Paul say to Timothy? He is writing of proper attitudes and conduct that leads to righteousness, and then he said, (1 Tim. 6:3-10) “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to righteousness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, (notice now) supposing that gain is godliness: (or that worshiping God is for worldly gain) from such withdraw thyself.” Paul said, Get away from people like that, who argue about the meaning of certain words, and certain statements, and really present this thing of living for God as something that should bring you worldly gain. He went on to say, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment (the necessities of life that do not run to excess) let us be content. But they that will be rich (covet riches) fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil.” Money itself is not the root of all evil; it is the love of it that gets people into trouble. God can let some Christians have wealth; because they know how to handle it; but those who build everything around worldly possessions fall into the category of people Paul was writing about.
JOINT HEIRS WITH CHRIST
Let me get back to Romans 8, and finish these verses. Verse 16, “The Spirit itself (in us) beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Right now, we are already children of God. This is not a hope-so salvation; it is something you know when you have it; because the Spirit of God in you witnesses to your human spirit that you have been accepted. Being able to say, Amen, to the light of truth is witness in itself; but you need the Holy Ghost in you to enable you to recognize truth when you hear it. The natural minded man reasons everything out, trying to understand it naturally; while the Holy Spirit in the children of God is their enablement to see with the spiritual eye what the natural eye can never see. That is because he can see far beyond the realm of the natural. Becoming a child of God will not change your natural body; you will still lose your hair, your teeth, and get wrinkles; but the inner you is made young again, so to speak; because all things spiritually speaking, become new to you. That is why the apostle John wrote over in the little Epistles, Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. The very fact that you have becomes a child of God puts you at enmity with the world. Think how wonderful it is though, to have the witness within that you are a child of God. In verse 17, Paul said, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Some have the idea that there is no suffering involved in being a child of God; but they have no scripture for that kind of thinking. The scriptures tell us exactly the opposite, saying, All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. Not necessarily from the drunks and prostitutes, but from traditional religious people. That is where Jesus and His disciples got it from. At least it started with them; and then fed off into political and military conflict as well, that brought much martyrdom. We do not hear very much about martyrdom in this twentieth century, but we are by no means immune to it. Nevertheless I believe what the apostle Paul wrote here, and he said, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. Now the manifestations of the sons of God is over in the Millennium, when the bride will be ruling with Jesus in His kingdom on earth. Then we will be just like Him. It was John that wrote these words, (1st John 3:2) “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, (already) and ti doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; (Jesus) for we shall see Him as He is.” We sing that little chorus, “To Be Like Jesus,” well the time is coming, just be patient; we will be like Him. We shall not all sleep, (1 Cor. 15:51) “but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” It doesn’t matter if we are dead and our bodies so decomposed that scientific instruments cannot even find them, God who created man in the first place knows where every little molecule is, and He will bring them all back together and give immortality to them, and at the same time, change those that are still alive. Hallelujah! It is all well worth waiting for. The bride will be taken to paradise for a little while, and Satan will be permitted to anoint his man (the Antichrist) to rule, and it will be hell on earth such as has never been before. Disease will be running rampant, people will be going crazy, trying to commit suicide, and yet death will flee from them. This is a picture of the great tribulation, and the judgments of God that will follow, and it all takes place after the little bride of Christ is taken to glory, to sit at the wedding supper with Jesus. We sing that song, “This World is Not My Home, I’m just passing through,” because we realize we do not fit in with the worldly structure of this present society; but the day is coming that we will help rul this same earth we are now strangers and pilgrims on, in a rule of righteousness. Yes there is a beautiful picture in front of us; that makes anything we have to suffer now worthwhile; for eternity is a long time.
THE ETERNAL AGE
Let me take you back to verse 24 in the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians, and let’s notice how this all ends up. After the great tribulation and after the judgments of God upon wicked mankind are finished, then Jesus comes back to earth with His bride, to sit upon the throne of His glory. At which time will be selected an element of natural mankind that is still left alive, to pass into the Millennium for the purpose of repopulating the earth once again. That of course, is the scene picture in Matthew 25, verses 31 through 46, where people of all nations that are still left alive, will be gathered together and separated one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from his goats. Those that are selected are placed on His right, and then when the selection is completed, He says to those on His right hand, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” These are the people Jesus and His bride will rule over throughout the Millennium. Then when that one thousand year reign is completed, the picture Paul gives us here in 1st Corinthians 15, will be in effect. “Then cometh the end, when HE (Jesus) shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He (Jesus) shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For HE (Jesus) must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For He (The Father) hath put all things under His (Jesus’) feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, (Jesus) it is manifest (or evident) that He (the Father) is excepted, which did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, (Jesus) then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him (the Father) that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” That will put you right into the eternal age, which is time without end; and Jesus whom we have call Lord and Master in this life, will then be looked upon as our elder brother. We go to Romans 8:9 for confirmation of that. “For whom He (God ) did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son (Jesus) that He (Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brethren.” That is why Paul could say we are joint heirs with Him. We are made partakers of all the treasures of heaven; not because of any good things we have done; but because of what He did for us, when He took our sins upon Himself, and shed His own blood to pay that debt. That is why Paul wrote, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Sin was imputed to all mankind because of what Adam did; and righteousness is imputed to as many as believe on Jesus Christ, because of what He did. The first because Adam forfeited the opportunity to receive headship; but the second Adam gladly accepted it, and always remained under His own head, that being the headship of the Father. In Matt. 28:18, Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,” but at no time did He ever get out from under His head. In every way, He set a perfect example for believers of all ages to be guided by. Not just to reform them, but to give them a new life, and make them joint heirs with Him in the family of God. Sure there is some persecution that goes with it; but those persecutions do not outweigh the rewards. Some people get so upset, if someone makes fun of them now and then; and their reactions are not always as they should be, considering the ridicule Jesus suffered for us, without one word of retaliation. Bro. Jackson: If someone uses the Lord’s name in vain, don’t you believe you should rebuke them? Why? What right do we have to demand that everyone else talk to suit us? Well do you at least ell them it is wrong to talk like that? No. This is his world. Just reforming his speech will never give him eternal life. If I have business in a place where everyone, or anyone for that matter, talks with a foul mouth, I just tend to my business, and let them tend to theirs; but I make sure I do not keep hanging around there when my business is finished. No. You simply cannot change the guy who curses in his everyday speech; no matter how much you rebuke him. It is much more effective to let your silence testify against what he is doing.
HOW TO BE A WITNESS TO OTHERS
I will give you a little illustration of what can happen if we conduct ourselves properly. I took a tire from David’s car to a certain place to get it changed. The young man there had just been discharged from the Navy; and when I arrived, he and another fellow that had been in the Navy with him, were looking at some picture of when they were in the Navy. They were cursing, using vulgar language, and using God’s name all over the place. I looked at some of their pictures and finally, the other fellow left. He put the wheel on the tire changer and started to work on it, and then asked me my name. I told him it was Jackson, and all the time he was still using curse words and talking the way those fellows do. Then he asked me what kind of car this wheel was off of, and I told him it was a 79 LTD Ford. He then asked my son’s name and I told him it was David. You men David Jackson is your son? Yes. Then you’re a preacher. Yes. Do you still pastor the church at Elizabeth? I never did. Well I thought you did. From then on there was no more foul language. When I was preparing to leave he asked, How did you get that scar on your forehead? I told him some of the story. Then he began to ask other questions: What do you believe about this P.T.L. affair? What do you think about Jimmy Swaggart? When I finished telling him what I believe and what I stand for he said, I believe that too; but I know I am not living the way I should. He told me he used to go to a Baptist Church in New Albany, and so forth. But the point I am making is, I did not have to call him down for the way he was talking; and neither did I have to preach to him; I just simply answered his questions and I believe that was all I was supposed to do. The Lord knows how to deal with a man like that, if he is truly concerned about his soul’s condition. More than anything else, we need to realize that this Christian life is a life to be lived, every day, and everywhere we go, and not to be just talked about. Jesus said, Ye are the salt of the earth; so that says to me that Christians are supposed to live and conduct themselves in a way that will have a savoring affect on those who may be reaching out for something worthwhile.
ORDER OF HEADSHIP
Let us finish these other verses here in Romans 8, and then we will bring this to a close. Verse 20, “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him (God) who hath subjected the same in hope.” I had not choice in the matter, and neither did you. We were born into this world with the sentence hanging over us. Therefore the hope mentioned here, is the hope we have; not the trees, not the wild beasts; but the hope we have. We are the creatures that are suffering because of Adam’s fall. For six thousand years more or less, man has been trying to find his way back into the paradise Adam and Even were driven from; and God has provided a way, but everything has to be in God’s time. Meanwhile these old bodies continue to get old and filled with aches and pains, and cause us a lot of trouble; but notice this next verse. “Because the creature itself (this physical makeup) also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” It is the inner man ow that is regenerated; but there will come that day when our outer man is also delivered from this bondage of corruption. We cannot hurry the process though, our hope is for manifestation of the sons of God. Literally, that points to the fact that there is going to be a physical, materialistic kingdom on the earth, in which the spirit and the flesh are in harmony, and form a complete picture. Right now we only serve God with our spirit; and all the time our flesh is holding back, selfish and fearful; but it is going to be changed also, and given us for an eternal habitation. Verse 22, “For we know that the whole creation (everything with life) groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the REDEMPTION OF OUR BODY.” If Adam had not sinned, there never would have been the enmity between mankind and the animal kingdom that has existed ever since they were driven from the garden of Eden. But because of that, the animal kingdom suffers also, and will one day be delivered from this bondage of corruption. In other words, when redemption is completed, death will be done away with. The earth will be cleansed of every dead carcass; and there will be no more dying. But like Paul said in 1st Corinthians 15:26, which we have already read, “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” That is when the eternal age is ushered in, and every child of God will be under His headship, and Jesus who has had headship over the Church relinquishes that headship and becomes our elder brother throughout eternity. Meanwhile though, there is a chain of headship to be recognized and respected, if we are going to obey the word of God; so let us read it once again (1st Cor. 11:2-3) “Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” That gives you the perfect order of headship; but remember, these are instructions to Christians, it will not work that way with the lost sinners in the world. That is why Paul wrote what he did in Ephesians 5:22, “Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord,” (or as is fitting to one professing godliness.) Some Christians sisters have husbands that would gladly drag them into the gutters of sin; if they submitted to their every demand; so this next verse sheds some light on that. “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.” You have to see a voluntary submission here; there is never to be any force. Verse 24 clarifies that even more. “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” Jesus Christ does not force the Church to submit to His headship; but His loving care for her causes it to be an automatic response. By the same token, No man worthy to exercise headship over his wife, would ever demand her to submit to him. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.” If a Christian man will treat his Christian wife with the same love and compassion Christ has for the Church, headship will never be a problem in that home. But circumstances vary; therefore every individual Christian man or woman has to depend upon the word of God to know where to draw the line, in submission to a mate that has not regard for the will of God. In other words, We cannot force lost sinners to live according to these instructions given for Christians to live by; and neither should we as children of God, compromise, and let the devil rule our lives. Every scripture has to be looked at properly, and application made where it fits. If Christian wives and husbands are ever going to have any influence on their unsaved mates, they are going to have to do it through their own obedience to the word of God; not by accusing, nagging and striving. I will just direct your attention back to 1st Peter 3:1-2 again, where Peter wrote, “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if they obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation (not words necessarily, but manner of conduct) of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation (godly manner of life) coupled with fear.” That word fear could have been translated respect, respect for the word of God, and respect for your husband. You don’t just shut the man out of your life because he is not living according to the word of God. You both still have responsibilities to each other that come with the marriage vow, regardless of whether you are Christians or not, and God expects His children to fulfill those responsibilities. You only draw the line when it comes down to a violation of your Christian way of life; and that needs to be based on a revelation of the scriptures, instead of someone’s traditional ideas. A marriage that is centered around a mutual love and respect for each other, will work out a lot of problems that many allow to thrown them completely off track. We cannot make Christians out of our family members; only God can do that. But we can be salty enough to cause them to thirst for what we have. God bless all of your. Amen