Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Monday, February 27, 2012

Glory is Found only through the Gate

Dear Father,
     Thank You that from the moment You began to impart Your Life to us, You have fought for us. Our hope is in You that You continue to deliver us from the vast armies that stand against us. Help us to understand that glory is found only through the Gate, Jesus Christ, and that no flesh may glory in Your Presence.
In Jesus Christ's Name,

Theme Song: How Long We have Sung our Songs

1 “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The Man who enters by the Gate is the Shepherd of His sheep. 9 I am the Gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. John 10

That No One May Boast Before Him

     As we enter through the Gate, Jesus Christ, the Father allows us to come to the Fountain of Life and the Feast of the Word of God. Here we experience the eternal Life in knowing Jesus Christ and having deep and sweet fellowship with Him. As we abide in Him, we are able to be in the world of turmoil and restlessness and still find rest. We will come in [to Him in Word and prayer through Christ] and go out amidst the "ferocious wolves", the roaming area of the "prowling lion who seeks to devour", the "battle against principalities and powers in the heavenly realms"... and not be harmed or come under the delusion of the prince of the power of the air. The great dragon has led the world astray, but for the sheep who know the Shepherd's Voice, their minds are ever at rest and peace because they are looking to their heavenly Father. Their hope is in Him all the day long and they have denied every pretension of their flesh that had opposed the rooted and established Gospel which continues to grow in the soil of their hearts. The Good Shepherd has gently sought out and found each one of His own and carried them in through the Gate. Yes, He Himself is the Gate and only by His grace they are able to enter. 

     There are evil forces, enemies of the cross of Christ, who tried to enter into the fellowship of the saints with their Bridegroom by some other way. They did not come through the Gate. They tried to enter by their own means. Some sought to establish a righteousness of their own through obedience to the Law. But we knno that no one is able to attain justification resulting in eternal Life through obedience to the Law. 

Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” Gal 3:11

     Others tried to enter the Kingdom of God through the fading glory of the mortal flesh. They sought to establish a wisdom, credence, honor, nobility, or strength of their own apart from the faith that saves. 

21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. I Cor 1

     No one has ever been able to enter the sheep pen through any other way than the Gate. Everyone who tried has been cast away as a released arrow far from the place of refuge in the Eternal and Living God. For God was pleased to save His own through Himself. He Himself has gone out to gather His sheep. And He Himself is the only Gate and entrance into His Abode. He has laid down His Life for the sheep only to take It up again. The moment anyone tried to enter by his own righteous merit or the strength of his mortal flesh, he was cast away. For surely those who came before Jesus were thieves and robbers. 

1 May God arise, may His enemies be scattered; 
   may His foes flee before Him. 
2 As smoke is blown away by the wind, 
   may You blow them away; 
as wax melts before the fire, 
   may the wicked perish before God. 
3 But may the righteous be glad 
   and rejoice before God; 
   may they be happy and joyful. Ps 68

    Inside the Gate is the glorious victory of all the saints. They are set free from condemnation and the powerful delusions of the world. They are set free from their former lovelessness, "hating and being hated by all men". A great peace is given to them that triumphs over every trial. The sweetest fellowship is found with the Savior here. The Father chooses to reveal His glory as He sees His Son's righteousness covering the chosen ones. GLORY IS ONLY FOUND THROUGH THE GATE.

Weakness that Allows us to Be Brought To and Through the Gate

27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before Him. 30 It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us Wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” I Cor 1

     As long as we had held onto those perceiving glories of the flesh and the standard of our own righteousness we could never come near to the Shepherd. In our own way we had tried to run from the Good Shepherd, even trying to enter the sheep pen in our own way. Yes, it was our pride, that very detestable thing hated by the Sovereign Lord, which drove us further and further from Him. Our pride has blinded our eyes and was the veil over our eyes that prevented us from seeing the Light of the glory of God in the Face of Jesus Christ. There was absolutely nothing that was of worth in His eyes before He had redeemed us. There was no asset that we could cling to or set our hopes upon. Everything was fallen. Everything was devoted to destruction by the Omnipotent Ruler. 

     Therefore, He was pleased to reveal His glorious Gospel in light of our weaknesses. For only in our weaknesses were we able to possess the broken and contrite spirit which are of great worth in the sight of God. He was pleased to reveal His glory in our dishonor. He was pleased to reveal His righteousness to cover our self-righteousness [wickedness]. He was pleased to reveal His salvation in our futility. He was pleased to reveal His deliverance and comfort in our distress. He was pleased to reveal His power and victory through those battles that seemed horrifyingly impossible for us to win. In this manner, He is able to shine through those very cracks present within His people. For surely we are as jars of clay which hold Him, the Treasure and the true Light of the world. 

4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the Light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the Image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the Face of Christ. 2 Cor 4

All of Us are Like Burning Sticks Snatched from the Flames

1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. 2 The LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”
 3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”
   Then He said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.”
 5 Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the Angel of the LORD stood by. Zech 3

     God gives us the account of His ordained high priest of the time: Joshua. He had been given his rights to priesthood through his ancestral rights. Perhaps he seemed morally righteous to the whole Israelite assembly and even among the other Levites. He was chosen by God to be the one who offered the sacrifice in the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement. This Day was ordained to point to Jesus Christ who has entered the Most Holy Place in the true heavenly tabernacle where by His own blood He makes atonement for His people once and for all. 

     Even Joshua, the temporary high priest, was accused by Satan before God. Even he was called a "burning stick snatched from the flames". God in His renowned marvelous grace removed Joshua's filthy garment and put on him a clean garment, the righteous robe of Christ, and a clean turban. The removal of Joshua's sin was a blessing to the whole Israelite community. For after God renewed him, Joshua was able to serve in his role as the high priest. 

 6 The angel of the LORD gave this charge to Joshua: 7 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in My ways and keep My requirements, then you will govern My house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.
 8 “‘Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. 9 See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day. Zech 3

     Even the greatest among men (as if there were anything great in themselves) could only be presented to those who stood near with honor and God's bestowed nobility when God Himself had removed his sin. No one may stand before God or men forgiven except through the gracious act of God. Regardless of our moral ranking in the world, each one was as a burning stick snatched from the flames. No one, even if the glory of their flesh was astounding, was anything different than a burning stick snatched from the flames. The Good Shepherd has and continues to snatch them from the flames that they may be saved and serve the Living God. 

     As they are saved through the imputed righteousness of Christ, they are fit for service in His Kingdom. Their sin has been removed in a single day. There was no time for them to perfect themselves even if they tried to move their hearts to do it. He Himself is the righteous Branch who had purposed and brought about their salvation. He allows the weakest and the lowliest among men to stand before Him and serve Him. Certainly they may stand before any man. And as the righteous are presented to the people of the world, His righteousness alone will shine through their fading and mortal flesh. The only glory that will ever come to them and be seen in them is the glory of their King. For this had been the only true glory that exists, the only glory which pervades, the only glory that remains, the only only glory that satisfies, the only glory that reigns forever...

Dying and Living with Him

He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. 4 For to be sure, He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in Him, yet by God’s power we will live with Him to serve you. 2 Cor 13

     Dear Bride, the Bridegroom calls us to die with Him. No, He does not call us to be forsaken by the heavenly Father as He had been on that day of the cross. He does not call us to experience the death that separates us from God. He rather calls us to die to the flesh. And it is only our own former blindness that causes us to view this death as a sacrifice or an act that brings sorrow. For if we could see with full Spiritual vision, we would know the fate of the flesh and would willingly "put to death the misdeeds of the body that we may live". The Shepherd has infinity ways of inspiring us to crucify the flesh and we know that He is employing some of them in our lives now. The Father will surely discipline us. For "when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world". 

     Before He gave us His Spirit, we had wanted to be perfect in our flesh. We sought to build our kingdoms with our earthly tents, or the flesh. We did not realize that the flesh was only a tent from which no kingdom could be derived. But with the hope of heaven comes the eternal Glory when "that which is imperfect will be done away with" and only the true glory of God in the face of Christ will remain as exceedingly glorious. 


Sunday, February 19, 2012

God's Indwelling is the "Pearl of Greatest Price"

Dear Father,
We glorify Your Name for You have chosen to dwell in Your people through the Holy Spirit. You have purified us by the Blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ, so that You could live in us. Please help us to fully comprehend Your indwelling in us.
In Jesus Christ's Name,

45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. Matt 13


     At the beginning of our Spiritual journey, we found that our mortal bodies were defiled and corrupted. We had all come from a different path of godlessness. Some were classified as godless by their own choices of immorality. Some were made to be defiled by the corruption of others. We were all sinful from the time of conception. Even our mortal flesh was disgraceful and the very inmost parts of our being were drenched in moral filth of every kind. Surely our deceptive hearts had hidden this truth from us so that we did not see our own unrighteousness.

12 those who are pure in their own eyes
and yet are not cleansed of their filth; Prov 30

     Many of our godless attitudes were a result of our inward attempt to hide our shame and defilement. But we only became more corrupted. Our guilt was ever increasing with our hearts' contemplation and words.

Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.Surely You desire truth in the inner parts; You teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Ps 51:5-6

     Our bodies were unclean and there was no hope of coming near to the Presence of the Living God. Our souls cried out in fear for the "rocks to cover us" rather than to fall under the due condemnation of God the Father. We were far from Him for He could not look upon our wickedness in His holiness.

13a Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
You cannot tolerate wrong. Hab 1

     The God whom we so earnestly dreaded and needed for our salvation is righteous and holy in all of His ways. He alone dwells in inapproachable light. His temple is filled with glory, majesty and power. Countless heavenly beings worship before His throne day and night crying out "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty. The whole earth is full of His glory". Not one man could stand before Him in his sin and live.

     His perfect justice required that we be completely destroyed. For our very bodies which He had created to be the temple for His own Spirit were destroyed. We had destroyed them. We had deliberately rejected His laws and hopelessly destroyed the bodies that He had given us by our impurity. If we were to foresee our deserved destiny, our eyes would behold the complete destruction of our bodies and the torment of our souls in the place from which no one can escape...separation from God forever in hell. We would behold the destruction of the inmost parts of our bodies in the fire. Surely the beast and all who worship him will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

The Pearl: His Indwelling

     From the very beginning, He has chosen the members of His Bride to be consecrated and set apart to proclaim His praises and bring Him glory. He adopted as sons and daughters, men and women from every nation, language, people, and tribe. He consecrated them to be a Kingdom and Priesthood to serve the Living God.

Even the bodies of these chosen ones were not fit to be inhabited by the Living God.

     We know that our Father has provided the way for our purification. For the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, has made atonement for our impurity. The Living Water has cleansed us daily from our moral filth. Unless we let the Master wash our feet, we have no part in Him.

To prepare us for His indwelling, He poured out His Spirit on His sons and daughters.

The Work of the Spirit

     The growth of the Kingdom of God occurs through the work of His own Holy Spirit whom He sent as the Counselor, the Convicter, and the Comforter. His Kingdom grows only through the work of the Spirit. And the work of the Holy Spirit is precisely to build the Kingdom of God among His people. God wants us to understand the work of His Spirit. He wants us to have discernment to know what is the work of the Spirit and what comes from the flesh, the world, and the evil spirits present around us.

8 When He [the Holy Spirit] comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because men do not believe in Me [Jesus Christ] ; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see Me no longer; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. John 16

Jesus is clearly telling us how to distinguish the work of the Spirit which is to convict the world of guilt in regard to:

1. sin, because men do not believe in Jesus
     Since men did not believe in Jesus, who is the revelation of the perfection of the Father, they could not see their own sin. They did not know that their ways were evil. They tolerated perversion and impurity because their eyes were not yet opened to see how short they had fallen from the glory of God. The Holy Spirit convicted the people of the world of sin. He opened their eyes to see that they had "missed the mark". Until the people of the world believe and receive Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior, their guilt consumes them and culminates in their deep fear of death and judgment. In their blindness, some did not even acknowledge that their every breath was filled with fear and hatred towards God.

2. righteousness, because Jesus went to the Father, where we could see Him no longer
     After Jesus arose from the dead, was seen by His disciples and many others, and ascended into heaven, we could not see this God-man. We could not see the perfection of God in this man Jesus. The Holy Spirit was sent to reveal the righteousness of the Father shown through Jesus Christ. He shows us the grace and mercy, love and forgiveness, justice and power, authority and Sovereignty of the Father in heaven. Indeed we had no eyes to see this glory of the Father apart from the Holy Spirit's work. The Spirit opens the eyes of men to behold and acknowledge God and to give Him glory.

3. judgement, because the prince of this world now stands condemned
     Though in our former wickedness, we did not contemplate or understand our deserved eternal destiny of judgment and separation from God, the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of men to see the true and right judgment of God for their deeds. We could not have perceived it apart from Him. But for us who are in Him, the judgment of God against His enemies means victory and salvation. For God's enemies are those evil forces that had deceived us: Satan, demons, death, Hades, sin itself. If we had not understood that the prince of this world is condemned, even the elect would be deceived into worshiping Mammon and the lusts and pleasures of this world. But the Holy Spirit has opened the eyes of the Bride to see the eternal fate of the world and all who live according to its principles. With the Holy Spirit's given knowledge of the outcome of the prince of the world, the Bride puts her faith in the eternal living God who has saved her by His own Life in Christ. Her understanding of God's judgment gives her power and victory over her flesh.

Where is the work of the Spirit? His work is wherever we see the conviction of guilt in the human soul with regard to sin, righteousness, and judgment. Look around, dear Bride, where do you see the Spirit working?

The Spirit's Purging of our Bodies

16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. I Cor 3

     The Spirit has come and circumcised the hearts of God's people through the work described above that their souls may be forever clothed in the righteousness of Christ. He has worked the message of the Gospel into the hearts of His people and cleaned them. He has entered into our bodies, even to our inmost parts, and cleansed each part by the fire of the Word of God spoken to us and the Water of Cleansing: the "washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit".

     Let us consider those defiled, contaminated, impure parts of our bodies before the Spirit had cleansed us. Was there even one of us who would call themself free from the prostitution of heart that came from our moral blindness? Could even a virgin by name be called a virgin? Could even those who the world viewed as righteous be anything other than a filthy dwelling place for the holy God? And yet, the living God has chosen to purify us through His own Spirit!

     Jesus has undergone the baptism of the cross, whereby our moral filth and impurity was placed on Him. Surely death could not hold Him down and the Father has raised Him to life so that we all may live in Him and so that He will live in us.

6 While the man was standing beside me, I heard someone speaking to me from inside the temple.7 He said: “Son of man, this is the place of My Throne and the place for the Soles of My Feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever. The house of Israel will never again defile My holy Name—neither they nor their kings—by their prostitution and the lifeless idols of their kings at their high places. Ez 43

God's temple is the place where He chooses to dwell. God has chosen to live in the bodies of His people individually and collectively.

16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.”

17 “Therefore come out from them
and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you,
and you will be My sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor 6

     God is calling us as His Bride to purify ourselves from "everything that contaminates our mind and body, perfecting holiness out of reference for God". Let us think of those defiled parts of our bodies, and remember that we have been cleansed and washed. Now the Holy Spirit dwells in our bodies. He has chosen to make our bodies as His dwelling place. He is intimately close to us for the Father's lavished love is so very great!

     We have grieved Him so very often by allowing the satisfaction of the flesh rather than "humbly accepting the Word planted in us which can save us". He is calling us to pursue Him, the Pearl of Greatest Price, and to forcefully and zealously put the world aside and pursue the indwelling of God in us and among His people, His temple.

20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 2 Tim 2

His Blessing of Life to our Mortal Bodies

     The flesh of the mortal body is fading and will soon be laid aside. And yet through the Spirit, our mortal bodies are given life. We are no longer subject to the slavery to the flesh. Apart from God, humanists have classified men as being controlled exclusively by their fleshly desire for pleasure, physical survival, and reproduction. But the Spiritual man is not subject to such slaveries of the flesh. Rather the Spiritual man is given power to control his flesh and to use His flesh to acquire heavenly prosperity. A Spiritual nobility enters into even his countenance and physical frame. This nobility is a result of the physical body's subjection to the Living spirit of the man walking in faith and love...walking by the Spirit.

     When we pursue the Pearl of greatest price, we find Jesus. As we walk and live in love as Jesus did through faith, the indwelling Spirit leads and guides us, and we are no longer slaves to the mortal flesh. Your flesh is a slave to you as you walk in His Spirit. In this way, you were made in the image of God and not the other living creatures.

9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.Rom 8

The Spirit's Revelation of Oneness Among His People

    As you live by His Spirit who lives in you, you will be transformed to see the Bride of Christ with heavenly eyes. All of those fading aspects will become dim and you will see with Spiritual eyes the Bride of Christ. And you will see her as your very self. When you see the Spirit working in the souls of those around you, you will know that the Bride truly is one and the Spirit's work in her will resonate with your being. You will start to pursue God on behalf of your own good as well as the good of the Bride. You will worship God and plead with God for your own Spiritual victory, advance, and sustenance. In the same manner you will make these pleas for the Bride of Christ throughout the world. She is alive and she is growing and changing. She is being made pure and holy in Christ. You are a part of her and we are not apart from you.

I’ve found the Pearl of greatest price,
My heart doth sing for joy;
And sing I must, for Christ is mine;
Christ shall my song employ.

Christ is my Prophet, Priest and King;
A Prophet full of light,
My great High Priest before the throne,
My King of heav’nly might.

For He indeed is Lord of lords,
And He the King of kings;
He is the Sun of righteousness,
With healing in His wings.

Christ is my Peace; He died for me,
For me He gave His blood;
And as my wondrous Sacrifice,
Offered Himself to God.

Christ Jesus is my All in all,
My Comfort and my Love,
My Life below, and He shall be
My Joy and Crown above.

author: John Mason, 1683

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

They did not Love their Lives so Much as to Shrink from Death

Dear Father,
     We praise You for choosing to live in us through Your Holy Spirit. Please consume us with Yourself so that our faith is unwavering and so our love may abound. In this way You will make us bolder in the days to come.
In Jesus Christ's Name,

Theme Song: I Will Glory in My Redeemer

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
   “Now have come the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God,
   and the authority of His Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers,
   who accuses them before our God day and night,
   has been hurled down.
11 They overcame him
   by the blood of the Lamb
   and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
   as to shrink from death.
12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens
   and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
   because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
   because he knows that his time is short.” Rev 12

Condemnation and Confidence

     As we seek to obey Him in His command to preach His Gospel to every creature and to walk by faith rather than sight, we have felt deprived of confidence and boldness. We have felt despair, fear, uncertainty, and ultimately condemnation. We have felt condemnation because we have not understood the full weight of our sin and the full removal of our guilt and shame at the cross. The extent to which we had not comprehended His atonement for our sin was the extent to which we had given the devil a foothold. The accuser of the brethren stands night and day to accuse the beloved of the King. 

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
   “Now have come the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God,
   and the authority of His Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers,
   who accuses them before our God day and night,
   has been hurled down. Rev 12

     Our perceived condemnation had resulted in our fear and uncertainty in the works of our hands and the words of our mouths. We were gripped with fear when there was nothing to fear. Our minds and hearts were tossed and blown about, when their was one who held the immortal part of us securely in His grasp. The weight of our sin was in the back of our hearts and minds, constantly weighing us down, causing us to second-guess our every noble desire and every Spirit-led purpose. The devil tortured our minds with past and present guilt, fear of judgment and wrath, and Spiritual anguish. The confident boldness that the apostles affirmed was far from us and in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.

    But God is calling His church to awaken from their slumber. He tells her to awaken from her nightmare of condemnation. Indeed she had felt as though the shroud of darkness that covers the godless had been over her. But God knows that His hovering Spirit had blown like wind to remove the shroud by the power of His Word, spoken as with the sound of rushing waters. Do you hear the sound? Do you hear the rushing waters? Surely His Spirit and Word are lifting the shroud that the bride may see and behold her salvation.

On this mountain He will destroy
   the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations; Is 25

     In our feelings of condemnation, we had shrunk back in fear. But now He calls us to remember that the wrath of Himself is removed from us. He calls us to constantly claim His grace and His victory at the cross. With every fear that we acknowledge to be within us, we know that we have not understood that our condemnation is removed. But when our hearts are free from condemnation, this is when His insurmountable boldness flows from within us.

21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from Him anything we ask, because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him.23 And this is His command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us. I John 3

    He is not pleased with us who shrink back in fear and He calls as sin "everything that does not come from faith". His call to us is to have faith in what Christ has done to save us from our sins. We remember His promise that "nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ". Have we not often asked of Him, "Father I know that neither death, life, angels, demons, past, present, height, depth, nor any other created thing can separate me from Your love. But what about my sin? For surely it is my sin which makes me feel separated from Your love and less so this list of created things." And His merciful response is "Dear child, the reason why this promise is true is because Your sin has been forgiven. That is the underlying premise for this promise of Mine; because My Son has made atonement for your sin, My love is forever upon you and in you. Have faith and do not doubt!"

37 For in just a very little while,
   “He who is coming will come and will not delay.
 38 But My righteous one will live by faith.
And if he shrinks back,
   I will not be pleased with him.”

 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. Heb 10

     He calls us to do everything out of faith with the complete belief in the forgiveness of our sins. Much of our fear of man is due to our lack of understanding that our sins have been forgiven. And not only that our intentional moral depravity has been forgiven, but that our earthly weaknesses have been covered by the blood of the Lamb. Surely, there are weaknesses in our earthly capacities that cause us to fear man and to be wanting of boldness, but His grace and the bestowments of His own glorious righteousness say, "You are clean because of the Word I have spoken to You".

I have sinned.
I do not condemn You. Go and sin no more.
I cannot walk.
Your sin is forgiven. Pick up Your mat and go.
I cannot work.
To the one who does not work, but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.
I am in physical need.
I am Your Sovereign Provider.
The assemblies have heaped accusations on me.
I have chosen, loved, and sanctified You.
My sins have overtaken me and I cannot see.
I have blotted out your sin, removed your blindness, and continue to reveal the Truth to you in My Word.
My past efforts have been in vain.
I am able to do immeasurably more than all you would ask of think according to My power that is at work within you.

     Have faith, dear family, that the full price of your sin has been paid for. His judgment has passed from you. Take each step in faith. Do not give the evil forces victory in your uncertainty in self and in the fallen world. Fix your eyes on Him. This setting of the mind on Him is a conscious act that you must deliberately take all the time. Even as you go through your daily routines, you are sanctifying your every step and word when you put your complete faith in Him. Deep boldness will come to you. Deep confidence in beholding the King as you walk. BEHOLD THE KING AS YOU WALK. As you walk.

11 And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the Glory of that which lasts!
 12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 2 Cor 3

Love and Confidence

     Our sincere unhindered unconditional Agape for our family in Christ and for our neighbors in the world will support our unwavering confidence. Indeed much of our fear had been because in our hearts we knew that we did not possess that love which our Savior had commanded us to show to our family and neighbors. We had heard of this love, but we rightly understood in our subconscious hearts that we did not have this kind of love for the people we came across. This understanding had hindered our sharing of the Words and Agape of the Gospel, for we felt that we were unable to deliver the true love or that our hearts could not sustain the love for more than a short period of time or that we could not make the potential sacrifices on behalf of that love which was commanded of us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like Him. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. I John 4

     Love is something that we must hold as our goal above all other aspirations. Indeed the goal of our faith and our pursuit of His glory is that we may know His love and love His bride. Love is the fulfillment of the law and the greatest virtue that God has equated to His very self. What is the goal of your pursuit of God, His Word, His fillings of the Spirit...what do we truly seek. We seek His love. We seek to know His Agape and for that power to obey His command to love Him and our neighbors. May our primary request of Him be to know His love and to show His love. There is no greater request for surely these items result in the glorification of our Triune God through the salvation and pleasure of His beloved.

     As we consistently pursue the command of love, He will grant us the ever-increasing understanding of His own love and the pouring of this love in and out from us to others. In the process of comprehending His love, we are denying ourselves and casting away that very earthly honor or pleasure that we had sought. Indeed all of the fears associated with our former carnal desires are removed and our confidence grows.

1 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
 4 Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. 2 Cor 3

     The love that He gives to us for one another will grant us the boldness and the confidence to speak and to labor on behalf of His endeared souls who dwell among us. May our hearts ever say, "My sin is atoned for in Christ. My weaknesses are covered in the grace of Christ. And I love you, forever and ever in Christ. I have no earthly fear for I have been granted eternal Life in knowing Christ and the certain hope of the Wedding Feast of the Lamb."

When we behold the glory of the Lord and the advance of His Kingdom, no earthly force can oppress us, no evil spirit can torment us, no fleshly object can be exalted before our eyes. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Love Has Conquered Death's Sting

Dear Father,
     Thank You for filling Your own people with Your Spirit so that they may glorify You. Your message to us is that we are set free from the effects of sin. This freedom comes from Your everlasting love by which we are bound to You and Your people forever more.
In Jesus Christ's Name, Amen

Theme Song: Christ is Risen 

54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
 55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
   Where, O death, is your sting?”
 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. I Cor 15

Judgments of God in the Present Day

     The sin of the inhabitants of the world is heaped up and recorded in a list of charges or accusations. Because of this great testimony of the wickedness of humanity, God's wrath is stored up for the final Day of judgment. On this day, those who have rejected God will encounter the Lake of Fire. The righteous will inherit eternal Life in perfect union with the triune God. 

5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. Romans 5

      In addition to the final judgment of God against His enemies, there are judgments which have been poured out on the inhabitants of the world who remain in darkness. These judgments are a consequence of the presence of sin in the hearts of men and evidence of the lifestyles of sin in sinful men. The judgments of God that are poured out in the present day include the following:

1. Conquest: War and conflict are present in the world. There is no peace in any land throughout the earth. The leader of a given conquest often bears the likeness of an agent of peace or as one who rides on a "white horse".

2. Murder: On every scale murder is widespread. The spiritual evil forces have been given power to make men slay one another. Sometimes there are physical slayings of men in genocides and terrorism among groups of people. More often, there is that anger and hatred within the hearts of men which Jesus has equated to murder.

3. Material Slavery: There is a slavery to materialism among all the inhabitants of the world. There are roots of desire for the material items of money, houses, land, technology, beauty, physical pleasure, entertainment, and the many other temporary things of the world. She is the antichrist of materialism. This antichrist is not the one Antichrist who will come in the end days, but one of the other antichrists who is already in the world. Her appearance is strong and compelling, irresistible and gruesome. The effect of her grip is on every soul. Her forces are pervasive, wide-spread, tormenting, oppressive, deceptive, lingering, sucking, draining, HORRIFYING. There is no one who seems to be free from the effects of her dominion. Her ability to torment the souls of men seemed especially present among the current-day elect who were weak in faith. "You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?  I Cor 3:3" Her effects are present in the thoughts, attitudes, and feelings of all people, but the Bride is being purified, refined, and made spotless.  God gave me faith in reminding me that His purpose is to completely free the elect from her grip. He will do this in the near future. We need not wait much longer. We must see Him more clearly and trust in His sanctifying arm more strongly. We must persevere in our pursuit of Him and remain faithful with the deposit of faith that He has entrusted to us, dear family. If not for His mighty intervention of refinement and discipline, we would have all been condemned. By faith we eagerly await the righteousness for which we hope. 

4. Sword/Famine/Plague: The presence of sickness, cancer, stroke, heart disease, aging effects, famine, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, ever present in our world. Surely these are also consequences of sin.

5. The Fear of Death: The inhabitants of the world have feared physical and spiritual death, the second death. Their labor as individuals and as collective organizations is fueled by this fear of death. They are always working to increase the lifespan and to prevent the timer from moving. Their works of self "goodness" are performed to prevent the judgment of God which will result in the second death. But these labors have been to no avail. 

6. Hatred: This judgment is perhaps the worst consequence of sin. The love of most has grown cold. The true Agape is scarce within the hearts of men. Among the numerous flocks which gather, the eyes of the Sovereign One look down seeking the ones whose hearts are fully committed to Him. He seeks the true worshipers who obey His commands of Agape as they follow in the footsteps of Christ.

     The response of men to these present day judgments is a deep-rooted terror, uncertainty, turmoil, hatred, anger, sorrow, gloom, selfishness, and spiritual distress that has possessed hearts in the present age. The manifestations of this darkening of heart are observed in the conversations between men, the content of media, dynamics of political and corporate entities, the seeking of endless entertainment, and rise of wars and conflicts.


The Power of Sin is the Law

     But, God's message for us, dear family, is that He has set us free from the sting and victory of death. The power of sin had been in the law. The law had brought out that very wickedness that had dwelt in the hearts of men from birth. The law has produced in men every kind of covetous desire. The law had convicted the hearts of men concerning the condemnation and damnation that hung over their heads. 

8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. Romans 7

Conquering Love

    However there is a great hope that we have that stands as an anchor for our souls and which enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. Here in the presence of God, the Son, Jesus Christ, makes intercession on our behalf. For there, He has made atonement for our sin with His own blood as He has borne on Himself the guilt of all of us. Thus, in Him the sting of death, sin, has been removed from us and we have been clothed with the righteousness of Christ. 

    The love of God the Father for His own children has been lavished on us. He has not held back His own Son but has freely bestowed the Life of His own Son and all of the blessings in the heavenly realms upon His people. The effect of this love is that we become over-conquerers in all of those present and future judgments of God against evildoers. We have overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our Testimony. None of these present day judgments can separate us from the love of God. 

31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
   “For Your sake we face death all day long;
   we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8

     As His glory is revealed, our knowledge of His great love increases. The revelation of the love of the heavenly Father will take away our guilt, remove our shame, and destroy all of our fears. Our blindness and hardening of heart with regard to other people and circumstances will be removed with greater understanding of His love. 

     One precious effect of knowing the Father's love is a bestowed power to resist the condemnations that our hearts heap on us. Even when our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts and He knows all things. 

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19 This then is how we know that we belong to the Truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20 whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.I John 3

      As we abide in His love, we will love one another. Our love for one another is evidence to our soul that we are not condemned but have been brought from death to life. The love in our hearts will wash away our fears of the consequences of sin. This love will confirm the Presence of the Holy Spirit's indwelling in us. Indeed our source of power over sin, over fears of judgment, over the wrath of men, over the uncertain future, over our own condemning hearts comes from that very Agape that He has instilled in our own hearts. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Inception of Envisioned Leader


Dear Father,
You are the Great Shepherd of the Flock. You are the only Eternal Father and Rabbi. Please help Your people to know the eternal wisdom of leadership.
In Jesus Christ’s Name,

1.     The Phantom Leader
2.     The Marrow of the Phantom Leader
A.    Fear of Man
B.    The Mammon Antichrist
C.    The Devil
3.     The Birth of a True Leader
A.    The Inpouring of the Vision
B.    Transformation
C.    The Followers
D.    Culmination under the Will of the Triune Godhead

1.     The Phantom Leader

There is a central tendency among mankind to lead and to be led. Mankind finds utmost inner satisfaction in being a leader or in being led by a worthy leader. Sometimes there is a combination of these two desires in a man. For those who seek to lead, the world has several resources to offer to perfect the likeness of a leader: the “phantom leader”. One of the most powerful resources is a vision or inspiration present within the hearts of aspiring leaders. These visions are often centered around political, monetary, familial, social, and moralistic causes: the condemned wisdom of the world. Another resource is the written word of leadership education which describes axioms, traits, rhetoric, features, body language, etiquette, etc. of leaders. Aspiring leaders may read and learn from such writings to become better leaders and perfect their phantom techniques of persuasion, crowd-pleasing, goal-accomplishing, and charm. Finally another resource is the self-derived learned behavior and character of the phantom leader learned from personal experience, imitation of other men, or from the devil himself masquerading as the angel of light. 

 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. 2 Cor 11

          These phantom leaders are present throughout every arena of society including the government, competitive environments, finance, corporations, churches, charitable organizations, knowledge banks, education, health, and science. The masses seek their insight and direction. The masses are influenced by numerous phantom leaders driven by the darkened understanding, depraved mind, hardness of heart, and self-seeking nature of mankind. Their labor and words are altogether useless. Both the phantom leaders and their followers will surely meet their end in God’s timing.

I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this desert; here they will die.”Num 14:35


2.     The Marrow of the Phantom Leader

 25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Matt 23

A.   The Fear of Man

Many aspiring leaders have lost their chances because of their inconfidence arising from their fear of men. Certainly those among mankind who seek to follow a great leader are unwilling to follow a leader who is either incapable or inconfident. The masses look for both competency and passionate confidence in their leader(s). The phantom leader is also given to the fear of man. Many have perfected the technique of disguising their fear of man. They are able to appear bold and self-renewing, and yet in the core of their being, they have been driven by the fear of man. The fear of man may refer to the literal fear of men: opponents, rivals, competitors… The fear of man may also refer to the fear of the rejection, disrespect, disapproval, condemnation, and judgment of man. In any case, the fear of man disqualifies a man from true leadership. This fear of man is not in the marrow of the essence of the true leader.

I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them. I Sam 15:24b

B.    The Mammon Antichrist
The phantom leader worships the antichrist of mammon. Mammon, μαμωνᾶς, refers to money, riches, material goods, pleasures of the corruptible flesh, victories in the vain battles of men, sensuality, and earthly comfort. All of the ideals of the phantom leader are contained in the overarching category of mammon. His vision will last as long as the mammon domain to which he had aspired endures. The idol of mammon is exceedingly present in our world and makes haughty claims within the territory of human souls, minds, and hearts. Her power is persuasive, alluring, commanding, sucking, draining. Indeed the Sovereign God is breaking off her power over the chosen ones… her reign has almost deceived the elect.

1 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters. 2With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.”Rev 17
Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.Phil 3:19
C.    The Devil

In some cases, the visions of phantom leaders are given to them by demonic influence. Examples include the entering of Satan into Judas Iscariot and the control of the “lawless one” by the devil.

25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.2 Tim 2


3.     The Birth of a True Leader

The eternal essence of the true leader comes from the conception of his vision and purpose. He is not born of the resources mentioned above: earthly visions, leadership education, or self/demon-derived purpose. His nature as a leader, his strength, his purpose, his character, his perseverance, his willpower and zeal, come from a vision that is poured into him from above. He becomes: “the envisioned leader”.

A.   The Inpouring of the Vision

The inpouring of the vision comes from God who has chosen to reveal Himself to this man. He has heard the Words of the Gospel and his granted faith accompanies his hearing of the Words of Christ. His faith in the Word of God is accompanied by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

8 When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because men do not believe in Me; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see Me no longer; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. 12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.14 He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is mine and making it known to You. 15 All that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is Mine and make it known to you. John 16

          As the glory of God is continually revealed to him, the eternal purpose of the everlasting God is poured into him. The result of the inpouring of the Vision is that this man is made a leader from the core. No longer does he require leadership education, rhetorical skills, or the study of lists of leadership axioms. The Vision of the glory of God has possessed him and conceived in him the purpose for the fulfillment of the will of God. All of the traits of a true leader are granted to him with increasing inpouring of the Vision. The source of his strength of leadership is the inpouring of the Father’s vision.


B.    Transformation

The revelation of the Father’s vision is transforming to the man. The core of the transformation are the words of John the Baptist “HE MUST BECOME GREATER. I MUST BECOME LESSER.” As these words are fulfilled, the leader is released from the slavery to the old marrow of the fear of man and the idolatry of mammon. The old marrow is removed and the new marrow of righteousness, humility, sacrifice, Agape, and the zeal for the honor of God are given to him.

His overarching goals become the glory of God and obedience/conformity to Christ: a life lived in love. The true leader’s goal is to love as Jesus loved. It is not as though love is his tool to accomplish some other noble goal or that love is a valuable asset that he carries as he goes about his work. The very end goal of the true leader is love. In the process of believing the Word of God and receiving the atonement for his sin, he is granted a clear conscience before the Father. His clear conscience results in his acting, thinking, and speaking in faith. He does everything with complete acknowledgement of God’s Sovereignty and grace. The result of his actions of faith is that his love increases. Indeed this is his goal. His goal is the love of the Father.

These promote controversies rather than God’s work—which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. I Tim 1

          His love abounds more and more in knowledge and depth of insight. His love bestowed to him from the Father becomes the overarching motive for everything that he does. He is completely devoid of self desires and longing. He is altogether poured out as a living sacrifice.
      His love increases his zeal and strength. He is given the supernatural power to labor tirelessly. He is able to work on behalf of the Vision during the waking hours and spend the dark hours in prayer. The Spirit gives life to his mortal body.

10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very Words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen. I Peter 4

          His desire for the Father’s Kingdom will supersede any temptation of the fear of failure. His failures do not shake him because his faith is in the One whom He has believed in who will “keep what he has entrusted to Him for that Day”. He is not afraid to try 100 times and fail 99 times. When he falls, he rises again and finds his place in the Sovereign will of God. Indeed his leadership is still valued among the believers.

for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, 
   but the wicked are brought down by calamity. Prov 24:16

One of the greatest traits of a true leader is that he lives among the people. His living, working, eating, training, conversing, and resting with them shows the trueness of his rhetoric and the worth of his passion. God often works to increase the sincerity and trueness of His leaders through the training of having them work and labor among the people. They will be tested and often feel inadequate, but God will bring them forth as pure gold. God has a way of training His leaders in innumerous ways through failures and outwardly fruitless time and work. His beautiful work brings forth jewels of Truth and Godliness from single encounters and experiences.

7 Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong. Not that people will see that we have stood the test but that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed. 8For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 2 Cor 13


C.    The Followers

There is state of leadership coexistence between envisioned leaders that does not occur with phantom leaders. The interaction of two or more phantom leaders in the worldly arena may expose the worst character traits of competitiveness, ambition, jealousy, and pride. The nature of their aims of darkness often disallow coexistence: the root cause of many type of conflicts, wars, battles, and the absence of peace in the world. In other cases, phantom leaders work together to lead the world astray.

 1 I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
 3 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword. Rev 6

However, the coexistence of true envisioned leader of God is not only peaceful and filled with the righteousness of the Father, but it is desirable and is included in the will of God. It is a great mystery that in the Kingdom of God, the leaders perform their duty by following Jesus (To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. I Tim 2:21). In their wholeheartedly knowledge of Christ, they become beacons of righteousness, shields of faith, a royal priesthood, examples of Godliness (Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. I Cor 11:1)…leaders of sacrificial and servant-like love on behalf of the glory of God in the fulfillment of His will with the love of Christ as the end goal. This mystery allows for each follower of Christ to be a leader, to be a fisher of men. He calls each one to follow Him that they may become fishers of men.

I will put my laws in their minds 
   and write them on their hearts. 
I will be their God, 
   and they will be my people. 
11 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, 
   or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ 
because they will all know me, 
   from the least of them to the greatest. 
12 For I will forgive their wickedness 
   and will remember their sins no more.” Heb 8

Every believer is given a needed purpose in the body of Christ. For the Father has configured the body in this very way in order that there may be equality, respect, honor, and value attributed to each member. They are all leaders of one another as they reflect the love of Christ and are possessed with zeal for His honor.


          As each believer follows in the footsteps of the Servant King of Love, Jesus Christ, they become leaders. The other sheep are drawn to each believer who follows Christ. The end goal of all of these leaders is the conformity to Christ’s love. In this sense, the stronger the leaders are, the greater will be the uniting force of love, humility, and sacrifice. Thus, as opposed to the nature of phantom leadership, the increasing faith, knowledge of the Word, and envisioning of leaders results in stronger leaders who possess more sacrificial love and humility. This love and humility draws in the other believers who follow suit. Stronger envisioned leadership results in a stronger unity among believers based on sacrificial love.

 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their Message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in you. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. John 17


D.   Culmination under the Will of the Triune Godhead

We use the term “envisioned leader” and yet, ultimately there is only one Teacher, one Father, one Great Shepherd, and one enthroned “Leader”. All leadership roles given to the believers are useful for the present time to carry out the Father’s will: “to give the servants their food at the proper time”, “to be overseers of the flock”, “to set examples in life, love, faith, and purity”, to “train others in righteousness and in the Word”, “to be imitated for obedience to Christ”, and “to make disciples of all nations”.

18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, 20 which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 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. 22 And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way. Eph 1


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