In Christ, Chapter Nine
John said in Jn. 1:12-13,
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
Allow me to rephrase this verse and see if it will take on a new understand of what John said here,
"But as many as received Him who were born, not of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God, He gave to them the power to become sons of God, even to them that believe on His name."
Or you could rephrase it this way,
"But as many as received Him who were born, not of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God, even to them that believe on His name, He gave to them the power to become sons of God!"
What John is saying here is that those who received Him by believing on His name were born of God and He gave them the power, or authority, to become the Son's of God! Becoming a mature Son of God is a process. It is the process of having our minds renewed until we are placed in the Kingdom of God as a son by our Father. Paul said in Rom. 12:2,
"Be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
The transformation of our mind is a process and not something that happens over night! This is why it so important to meditate on the word of God. The Lord spoke to Joshua in Josh. 1:8,
"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but you shall meditate therein day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success."
The Hebrew word for meditate is H1897 הָגָה hâgâh haw-gaw' A primitive root (compare H1901); to murmur (in pleasure or anger); by implication to ponder:—imagine, meditate, mourn, mutter, roar, X sore, speak, study, talk, utter. The American College Dictionary says, to engage in thought or contemplation, to reflect.
It is obvious from what the Lord told Joshua that meditation on the word of the Lord has great benefits. As a child of God we also have the benefit of having the Spirit of the Lord living within our spirit to teach us the things of God. Jesus said in John 14:26,
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
Paul said in Phil. 2:12-13,
"Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
The church has misinterpreted this verse of scripture to mean that we must work out our own salvation from sin in order to be found righteous and pleasing in God's sight and be accepted into heaven. Jesus took care of sin once and for all by His sacrifice on the cross! Never once did Jesus tell us to seek our own righteousness. He told us to seek first in our lives God's Kingdom and His righteousness. This passage is not talking about our salvation from sin but is rather talking about the deliverance from our way of thinking and learning God's way of thinking. We are not left alone in this process but Paul reaffirms what Jesus said about not leaving us alone. Paul says that the Lord works with us to not only have a will to know His ways but the power and ability to do the His good pleasure.
The time is coming and is now at hand when the Son's of God are going to be revealed and the world will never be the same again. Since the year 1800, the United States and Great Britain have been the two greatest nations on the face of this earth. The next kingdom to come into preeminence will be the last kingdom to rule on this earth. That kingdom is the Kingdom of God!! This Kingdom will be ruled by Jesus Christ and the Son's of God! The Son's of God who have overcome and allowed the Holy Spirit to guide them and have received the hidden manna that Jesus spoke of in the book of Revelation. Jesus said in
Rev. 2:7---To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Rev. 2:11---He that overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.
Rev. 2:17---To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
Rev. 2:26-28---He that overcomes, and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star.
Rev. 3:5---He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
Rev. 3:12-13---Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Rev. 3:21--- To him that overcomes 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.
In Rev. 20:1-6 John said,
"And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
The book of Revelation was written by the Apostle John and given to him by a vision that he had while confined to the Isle of Patmos. It is a revelation that God gave to Jesus Christ to show His servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending His angel to His servant John, who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. This book is written in spiritual language and is not to be taken literally.
For example, in chapter 21:9-14,
"Come, I will show you the bride, the
wife of the Lamb.”
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."
Years ago in my studies I came upon an article written by my dear friend, Kelley Varner, about this passage of scripture which absolutely opened my mind and spirit to the real purpose of our Father that I had never understood before. I rewrote what he had written and added what the Holy Spirit was revealing to me and it is on my website at www.rejoicinglifeministries.com under the title of The Twelve Gates of the Holy City.
If you will just take a closer look at the passage I quoted you from Rev. 21:9 you will see that the angel took John to see the Bride of Christ and showed him the Holy City that was coming down out of heaven from God! Did you know that the City of God is the Bride of Christ? If you continue reading you will discover that there are not streets of Gold in this city but there is a Street of Gold. However, the carnal mind has written stories about walking on the streets of Gold. Even with the Apostle Peter talking about the people of God being like living stones being built into a spiritual house for the dwelling of God, the carnal mind looks forward to living in mansions and walking on streets of pure gold. Peter said in 1 Peter 2:4-5,
"As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
The Apostle Paul said in Eph. 1:19-21,
"That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come."
He also said in Eph. 4:3-7,
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace you are saved;) And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
From these two passages of scripture we can conclude that there is at least two or more ages yet to come. It's my belief that we have already entered into the next age that Paul talks about. In the passage I talked with you about from Rev. 20:1-6, John talks about there coming an age when those who have overcome will rule and reign with Jesus for a period of a thousand years and calls this the first resurrection. During this time period Satan will be bound and not able to deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years are ended.
I have written this not for the reason to create controversy, but to alert you to the fact that in our journey to being an overcomer, our salvation from sin is just the beginning. The real battle is the process of renewing our minds. Our minds have been so filled with the doctrines of men and devils that it makes the renewing of it very difficult. Our leaders in the past, for the most part, were very carnal, in the fact that they were caught up in the letter of the Law and denied the leadership of the Holy Spirit. As a result, we were taught things that caused us to be fearful of digging deeper into the word of God for fear of being led astray.
One of the very foundational truths that we must build our faith on is the Love of God. I'm afraid that few really have a good understand of the extent of God's love for us. John said in 1 Jn. 4:17-19,
"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us."
When I was in my early 20's, I used to ask the Lord daily to teach me to love like He does. Really, I had no idea that what I was really asking the Lord to do was to reveal Himself to me because He is Love. That's His nature. That's who He is. The world has the idea that God is seated on some throne way out there in space somewhere looking down on us. The truth is, God is living in our spirit and has become one with us. Paul said in 1 Cor. 6:17, (NIV)
"But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit."
Paul really hits the nail on the head in Rom. 8:14,
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
I have a question for you! Think back over your experience of attending church services. How many times have you ever been taught on how to be led by the Spirit of God? Most of us were taught that the Holy Spirit was given only to the Apostles and those that they laid hands on and when the Apostles died the anointing of the Holy Spirit was ended and that we now have the written Bible and all we have to do is what it tells us to do. Because of this we have not been taught about the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
Paul said in 1 Cor. 2:11-14,
"For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
Let me ask you a question! Do you believe that Your heavenly Father would allow you to be led astray if you truly seek to know the truth? Would you believe Jesus if He told you that He will protect you? Let me share with you some of the things Jesus said. In Matt. 7:7-11,
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Religion has taught us just the opposite. It has taught us unbelief by telling us that we have to be careful what we read and that we can't attend church with those who don't believe exactly like we believe for the fear that we might be led astray and no longer believe the right way! Religion failed to teach us how to learn to rely on our Father to lead us into all truth because those who were teaching us did not know how to be lead by the Spirit! They didn't know how to be led by the Spirit because they thought that the Holy Spirit no longer did that because we now have the completed Bible to teach us and all we have to do is what it tells us to do!
Jesus also said in Matt. 6:31-34,
"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
He also said in Matt. 9:9-11,
"What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"
And finally in John 16:12-14,
"I have yet many things to
say unto you, but you cannot bear them now.
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you."
We have nothing to fear except fear itself! Paul said in Rom. 8:14-16,
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:"
If you really believe these verses you can relax and let the Spirit of God teach you what He meant when He inspired the writers of the Bible. If you are honest with yourself and with God you have nothing to fear about being led astray because the Spirit of God will lead you to all truth. You may have to change your way of thinking many times along the way to truth but the end goal is to learn of the ways of God.