Right shape

asters-469797_640Exodus 39:3: And they hammered out gold leaf, and he cut it into threads to work into the blue and purple and the scarlet yarns, and into the fine twined linen, in skilled design.

You need to be cut into the right shape, because life is about you fitting into the plans of God, and not about God fitting into yours.

The bible says that known to God are his works from eternity past (Acts 15:18). Since his knowledge is comprehensive and our knowledge is limited, we need to be submitted to the cutting process to be in the right shape and form to be used in the hands of God. We need him to get to the right place and the right time for our destiny and purpose. We do not get to pick our ways or make our choice, he makes our choices for us. The bible says: the Lord will choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loves (Psalm 47:4).

God send Jeremiah to the house of a potter to explain something about what he wants his relationship with the nation of Israel to be. He said he is the potter and determines the shape the clay should take (Jeremiah 18:1-6).

If the shape coming out of the pottery process was not good enough, the potter can remake it, breaking what he had made first. It is all at his discretion. The clay cannot have a mind of its own and still be clay, the only mind in the interaction between the potter and the clay is the potter’s.

Jesus said that his father is the husbandman and his is the vine, while we are the branches. He added that that the branch which bears fruit in him (John 15:1-8), is pruned so as to bear more fruit. The process of pruning is removing parts of the branch that are not contributing to the production just feeding on the vine. Therefore the branch is cut into a better shape for enhanced productivity.

When God called Gideon to be the deliverer in Israel, and the number of people who responded to the call to war by Gideon was about 30000 (Judges 7:1-9). God decided that he should cut the number into a smaller shape. He believed that with such large number, when the victory comes, the people will ascribe the glory to themselves, and not to God, which will make them puffed up and at the end of it, he will have to punished, for not ascribing glory to him. Jonathan said that it is nothing for God to save with many or with a small number (1Samuel 14:6).

Discipleship is about coming into the right shape. When some people believed in Jesus, they though that that was enough, but Jesus told them that was just the beginning. He said if they continue in his word, they will be his disciples indeed and they will know the truth which will manifest in their lives as freedom from sin (John 8:3-32). It was sin that needs to be cut from their lives so that they can be in the right holiness shape. There are excesses that needs to be cut from us.

The summary of John the Baptist as a forerunner, was that he was supposed to get the people of God to the right shape to receive Jesus (Isaiah 40:1-5).

He was the fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah which goes thus: a voice crying in the wilderness make strength the way of the lord, every valley shall exalted and crooked path made smooth, every mountain shall come down, and the glory of the Lord, manifest in Jesus (as many years later was made plain) shall be released. All are about the path shaped appropriately for God’s glory to be made manifest, it is about making a people prepared for the Lord (Luke 1:14-17).

Being in the right shape is not just about what to be removed by also what to add. Before Jesus released his disciples to carry the message of his resurrection to their world, he said they needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8).

Peter gave a list of some things that should be added to the Christians so that we might be in the right shape (2Peter 1:5-11). He said certain things should added to faith, being the foundation. Jude wrote that we should contend for the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3). Because once the essence of faith is compromised there is nothing else, no other foundation that can be laid expect that which is laid which is Jesus, i.e. faith in Jesus. Without that foundation there is no shape the building will take.

Below are some of the things Peter said needed to be added to the saving faith.

Virtue

There is no running away from the need to be of excellence character. When Jesus said that we are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14), it means manifesting virtues of godly character. Faith without works, James wrote, is dead (James 2:26).

Knowledge

There is nothing advantageous about being ignorant. Spiritual growth is partly measured in knowledge and grace (2Peter 3:18). And there must be an hunger and thirst for truth in you before you are filled, because Christ would not care to cast his knowledge pearls before swine, those who have no interest in or value for it (Matthew 7:6).

Jesus, aghast, asked Nicodemus during a discussion with him: are you the teacher of Israel and you do not know this things (John 3:10)? So knowledge must once again be elevated in the church. Truth is meant to empower. The bible says that those who know their God will be strong and do exploits (Daniel 11:32). But to learn we need to put on humility.

Self-control

This is about temperance, being able to curb the appetite, what goes into our mouth in the food we eat and what comes out of it in the words we speak. It also has to do with the emotion. The man that cannot control his emotion still has a long way to go.

Steadfastness

This has to do with being tenacious. The ability to exhibit faithfulness in the most difficult of circumstances. To be steadfast you need vision. Moses followed God because as the writer of the book of Hebrews says: he endured as seeing the invisible (Hebrews 11:27).

Godliness

This is about holiness. It is not about externals, but which goes on the inside the head, in the thought and intent of the heart (Hebrews 4:16). In the secrets in the heart, in the words spoken in privacy.

David prayed: let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you oh God (Psalm 19:14). He does not just want to be seen as godly by those who are outside, but he wants to be holy in the privacy of his thoughts. Paul enjoins us to offer our bodies, our members to God as instruments of righteousness, glorifying God.

Love

Love is the capstone of everything that should be added. Paul wrote that three things are eternal, love, hope and faith and the greatest is love (1Corinthians 13:13). Jesus expressed his love by his sacrifice. He said no greater love can one have than laying down his life for his brothers (John 15:13). And when love is added, every other thing can take the right shape because God is love (1John 4:8).

Altar

matches-171732_640Exodus 30:1: “You shall make an altar on which to burn incense; you shall make it of acacia wood.

The altar may be described as the place of man’s initiative to activate the presence of God, initiate fellowship contact and connection with God. An altar is a form of divine portal.

But when Jesus came to the earth, he announced that he was the temple of God (John 2:19-22). He was a walking altar. Wherever he was you can find solution to your problem. He told Nathanael, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of man (John 1:45-51).  He was the walking altar.

God said that he does not dwell in house made with human hands, he want to dwell in human beings. Jesus as the quintessential house of God, and was so described partly because God poured out his Spirit to him without measure (John 3:34). The life he lived was a portal (way, truth and life [John 14:6]) for our individual experience of God. He said we would do greater work, but it is still him doing it in us.

Jesus is the portal of heaven because he is the conduit for us to experience God in all his essence. In the Old Testament, there was a limit to the people’s experience of God. Jesus came to break that limit. If perfection was through the Old Testament, then there is no need for the blood of Jesus to be shed (Hebrews 8:8). The difference in the blood of Jesus and that of goats and sheep, is the difference between the old and New Testament.

The blood of bulls can bring us to a physical temple; the blood of Jesus can bring us to the spiritual temple. The blood of goats can give temporary solace from the problem of sin, the blood of Jesus gives permanent solution. With one sacrifice he perfected forever those who come to God through him (Hebrews 10:10-14).

Jesus said that the least in the kingdom of God is greater than John the Baptist who was even greater than Moses (Matthew 11:11). There is no one born of a woman who is greater than John the Baptist. That means it is about birth.

While John the Baptist was a prophet of the Old Testament cadre, he was not born of the Spirit. But Jesus said that he was going to send the Spirit, and he does certain works in us:  regeneration, infilling and transformation. That is God living in us, making us at the most basic level greater than John. We have access to heaven, to the very presence of God, because of Jesus.

With Jesus as the template, we now have the possibility for millions to please God, coming to him wearing the righteousness of his son Jesus because of the application of the work of regeneration in their hearts (Titus 3:3-7).

The Holy Spirit is the water of regeneration. But he is also the river of life. And Jesus said those who come to him and believe will experience the Holy Spirit as a river of living water flowing out of their belly (John 7:37-39). With that we become walking altars of God, just like Jesus. God reaches us through the water of regeneration, and we are able to reach others for him with his life through the rivers of living water flowing from our belly, bringing life to this world.

To make an altar is to seek connection with God. It is setting other things aside to seek God, to embrace the higher calling, to seek the purpose of God, the presence and his mandate, to see clearly as he does, to relate with him intimately.

These are all we do in the place of prayer which is another meaning of altar. Jesus said that when we pray we should do it in private, and the God who sees in secret will reward us openly (Matthew 6:6).

In the focus verse, the burning of the incense is associated with the altar. And incense is associated with prayer in the book of Revelation (Revelation 8:4). So in that sense the altar is about prayer. That means wherever you pray becomes the altar, becomes the point where heaven can kiss the earth in the realm of the spirit.

The bible says that the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness therefore (Psalm 24:1). He made the earth, and his intention is that the whole of it will be an altar, populated by people in constant communication with him.

But things changed when the devil usurped authority from the Adam, when there was only two humans on earth. This happened because God had given man a lease on the earth, and the devil by deceiving man got the world, but not the earth. God still said that the animal on a thousand hills are his (Psalm 50:10).

But the devil became the god of this world (2Corinthians 4:4). The world is a system, the way things work, and the basic dynamics of mental engagement, and relationship interactions on the earth, including the basic thought patterns of people. That is the world. That is why Jesus said that we are not of this world (the entrenched satanic order), i.e. those of us who believe in him. He did not say that we are not of this earth, because we are. God told Adam dust are you and to dust we will return (Genesis 3:19).

Man’s destiny is attached to this earth. Jesus said that the meek will inherited earth (Matthew 5:5). When the world between our ears are changed, then we can live heavenly lives, setting our hearts on things of heaven and not on things of the earth (Colossians 3:1-3), as veritable altars of God. That way we bring the force of the unseen reality of divinity back to this earth, which is the platform for the world. The new different world that Jesus is interested in setting up on the earth beginning from now is called the Kingdom of heaven (Matthew 4:17).

God when he created man, wanted him to set up a world that will be heaven on earth. The Garden of Eden before the fall of man was a special place. It was an altar, a place for God to come down and meet man. But when man was chased out form the garden, there was hardly any other altar anywhere on the earth. But in the fullness of time, Jesus walked the earth and said that his mission was to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). And what was lost was God’s absolute influence (the definition of his kingdom) on the earth through man.

Between the internal and the external  

lowers-191777_640Exodus 32:16: The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.

At first, what God gave to Moses first as tablets of the Ten Commandments were purely the work of God. But the second one (after Moses broke the initial one when he saw the Israelites enmeshed in idolatry [Exodus 32-34]) was partly man and partly God. Moses cut the tablet himself and God wrote the words on it.

That corresponds to the two locations in the temple, which is the Holy of holies (the most holy place) (exclusively for God) and the holy place (thou sacred, regularly witness human activities), corresponding with man’s spirit and soul respectively.

In the soul of man, there is need for the active cooperation between man and God, but the spirit is all about God. It is born of God, but the soul needs constant renewal (Romans 12:2). The spirit is perfect while the soul needs to be worked on.

When John said that we have receive an unction from the Holy One (Jesus [Mark 1:24]), and we know all things, having no need for anyone to teach us, he was referring to our spirit (1John 2:20). Jesus said that he that is born of the flesh is flesh and he that is born of the spirit is spirit (John 3:1-8). The flesh there is the physical/soulish realm, while the spirit is the representation of heaven in us.

Also when Paul said that the kingdom of God is not in food and drink but it is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17), he was contrasting our soul with spirit. While for the sustenance of the soul in interaction with the world around, we need food as fuel and energy. Remember that when Isaac wanted to bless his first son Esau he told him to prepare for him delicious food which he eats, so that his soul will bless him before he dies (Genesis 27:4).

Natural food have something to do with the soul, while the spirit does not need such things, it is about connection with God, and made in the form of God who is Spirit and does not need food.

That is why fasting is advocated. When we suspend feeding the soul for a while, it allows the spirit to establish dominion in the inner space of man, so that we can judge the will of God (who is Spirit) more accurately.

With fasting, the soul leaves its own desires/needs to latch on to the desires of the Spirit as we are led from the inside out not the outside in.

Jesus said that when he leaves the disciples they would fast (Luke 5:33-35).

Why?

So that they can have access to the presence of Jesus in a spiritual sense after he left them physically. Then they stopped experiencing him primarily in their souls, and in fasting to seek him with their spirit. Paul said he has stopped perceiving Jesus according to the flesh but according to the spirit. And he said he fasts often (2Corinthians 11:27).

While Jesus was in the flesh the disciples could perceive him with their physical senses, but now there is need to perceive him with their spiritual senses, therefore fasting is to enhance your spiritual senses to engage with Jesus, who is now a life-giving Spirit (1Corinthians 14:45). With fasting our awareness of God is heightened, since we put our body (which is associated with the soul) under, so that we can soar in the spirit.

We will now examine some words of Jesus, as he expresses the difference between the physical life and the spiritual life.

  1. Jesus said: man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Luke 4:4).

This clearly shows the difference between the physical and the spiritual and in this life, not knowing the difference could get us into trouble. Paul recognised the difference, as mentioned earlier, saying: I put my body under control so that after preaching to others I will not be a castaway (1Corinthians 9:27).

He was not going to assume that whatever his body says is the correct thing, but will check it with the word. The word proceeds from the mouth of God, and is beyond what is spoken. God’s word is his life (John 1:1-5), his energy, coming into us, for us to live by it in a spiritual sense, as the seed contains life, and when planted it blossomed into new plant. The plant lives by the life given to it by the seed.

This is in line with that Peter wrote that we are born again of the incorruptible seed word of God (1Peter 1:23). That is the power word; and a seed has the potential to generate a forest.

  1. Jesus said: the kingdom is within you

The Holy of Holies is within us. And there is a difference between the outer man and the inner man. Paul again said that though the outward man perished, but the inward man is being renewed daily (2Corinthians 4:16).

Jesus said that we should pray to God: your kingdom come. That is equally about heaven coming to the earth as it is about what is within us in our calling and destiny to manifest for all to see. Paul said that the creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God- you and me (Romans 8:19). There are things locked up in your spirit (1Corinthians 2:9-16), purposes we are meant to fulfil. That is the kingdom within.

  1. Jesus said: do not be afraid of those who are kill the body but fear the one who can destroy body and soul in hell.

Everyone, everything else may reach your soul, or your body but not your spirit. Jesus said he keeps anyone that God gives to him and no one can take them away. Importantly, life is not to be lived with an overemphasis on the external, what people have to say, and ignoring the internal, what God has to say. It is wrong to overemphasis the present disregarding the future. Esau did this and the bible says he is a fornicator, all about the body (Hebrews 12:16).

God said about himself: I look at the heart not at the appearance (1Samuel 16:7). We should therefore make a lot of effort on our inside, i.e. set your eyes on things of heaven not on things on earth (Colossians 3:1-3).

They saw God

road-348544_640Exodus 24:11: And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.

To see God is what it means to be enlightenment. The only path of self-discovery is God discovery, because being in pursuit of God causes us to realise our full potential.

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve not only related to God but saw him (Genesis 3). God spoke to Adam about his place, his role in the pristine Garden. They were to maintain an order in creation, and to the limit that they saw God, that order will be maintained. They were meant to be representatives of God, and to the limit that they are in alignment with him, they bear his image and get to rule on earth.

The disciples saw God and did not know it when Jesus walked the earth (John 14:8-11). At the end of that time, Philips told Jesus: show us the father, and that is enough for us.

Jesus was sad, and said: “you have been with me all these while and you still ask to see the father!? Do you not know that if you see me you have seen the father?”

Jesus walked on the earth as God in the flesh (John 1:14, 17). But that thought is too lofty for mere man to consider, because that (the incarnation) was a creative act without precedent on the earth.

Because of the uniqueness of his birth, Jesus qualified to be a high priest in the order of Melchizedek. Having no father or mother, no beginning of days or end of life, he stands as a priest forever, in an unending mandate (Hebrews 7). That is why he is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through him.

John did not mince words when introducing Jesus, declaring that he is God the word (John 1:1-5), who was in the beginning with God through whom everything was created.

But for the purpose of making salvation available or everyman, he took on the form of flesh, God the Word became flesh and dwelled among us, talking on our form so that in salvation we can take on his form; condescending to us so that we can ascend to him; manifesting as us so that we can manifest as him; changed into us so that we can change into him.

By the same spiritual portal through which he was delivered to the earth as Son of Man, we were delivered to heaven as Sons of God. He became poor so that we might become rich (2Corinthians 8:9), he became limited so that we can become unlimited, he came to the earth not only so that we can see God, but so that we can manifest his essence to others. Principalities and powers, angels get to see God in us, they gain a new perspective of God. It is written: the church displays to the principalities and powers the manifold wisdom of God (Ephesians 3:10). They get to see different lights of God through us. They get lectured about God through us.

He created man and put him in the Garden of Eden so that he can bear the image of God, manifest his essence. The ultimate expression of the work of salvation is for people to see Jesus in us, as we are changed into who he is (Ephesians 4).

Jesus lived his life seeing God. That was the key to his success because seeing God is linked to getting direction from him (John 5:19). When Moses saw God in the burning bush it was time for him to be the deliverer he was born to be (Exodus 3). When Jesus saw the Holy Spirit descending on him after he was baptised by immersion by John, it was the beginning of a new day for him (Luke 3:21-23).

Paul saw Jesus in a revelation (Acts 9), while he was on the way to Damascus. Before then he pursued a different vision for his life. He thought he was doing the right thing, but when he saw a bright light and heard the voice of Jesus, he submitted to the Lordship of Jesus, realising the errors of his ways. His direction changed.

Seeing God causes us to go in the right direction. We are told to summit ourselves under the mighty hand of God, and in due season he will lift us up (1Peter 5:6). Going up is the right direction. Submitting to him is about obedience. It is about being changed from glory to glory as we behold the Lord. It is about liberty in his presence, and it is about reflecting his light, conveying his power.

Habakkuk wanted to take time out and see God because he felt that the conclusion he came to about the situation around him needed to change. So he said: I will stand upon my watch to see what God will say to me (Habakkuk 2:1), and his life was changed after that. To see God therefore is to have a life-changing encounter with him.

When Job saw God he knew that his previous experiences of him was just by the hearing of the ears. We need to have such an evolving experience of God, in which we see him, more and more, drawing closer to him as he draws closer to us (James 4:8).

To see God is to experience him for who he is. And real change comes when we see God, being the ultimate aim of prayer. Prayer should not just be about getting things from him. When we see him, his image becomes more and more manifest in our lives.

To look at God means to have expectation of him. The bible says of some people, they looked unto him (God) and their face was enlightened and they were not put to shame (Psalm 34:5). Blind Bartimaeus though without physical eyes saw spiritually (Mark 10:46-52). He saw Jesus as the solution to his blindness and shouted at the top of his voice: Jesus son of David have mercy on me.

It was obvious that He saw Jesus with the eyes of faith because when he met Jesus and he asked him: what do you want, and he said to be able to see, Jesus said: let it be to you according to your faith.

The woman with the issue of blood also saw Jesus with the eyes of faith (Luke 8:43-48). She said in her heart long before he met Jesus that she will be healed when she touches the helm of his garment, and that was what happened. She touched Jesus, having seen him in her heart as healer and she was healed. Jesus equally told her: your faith has made you whole.

Was Jesus the Son of God from eternity past?

jesus-8283_1280Genesis 10:8: Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth.

God did not become the father of Jesus until his incarnation. There is no evidence to the contrary in the bible. It is stretching the truth to claim that Jesus was eternally the son of God. He wasn’t. That underplays how vitally important the incarnation is, as a means through which God the father became the father of the Jesus, the second person of the trinity.

Many have tried to figure things out about Jesus. It is heretic to claim he is not God, but the problem comes when trying to determine the kind of relationship Jesus, as we know him, had with the first person of the trinity (who is God) in eternity past.

[God the Father has been the father from eternity past being the source of all things. However, even that name was not the exclusive preserve of the first person of the trinity, the word father was also applied to the one who will later be called the Son. Isaiah said he will be called everlasting father (Isaiah 9:6). And the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father (Matthew 10:20), through whom we cry Abba father (Romans 8:14-16).]

So with no biblical backing whatsoever, just because it seems to show Jesus in great light, many theologians has fallen over themselves to claim that Jesus was the Son of God from eternity. They try to scrape together some meaning from some obscure bible verses to build a case that is not case for the eternal sonship of Jesus. They attempt to remove what they see is the cloak of mystery off the identity of Jesus in eternal past, but they only confuse the matter the more, drawing a conclusion, which the bible did not come to, by overstretching their imaginative reasoning, beyond biblical latitude.

And do not tell me about some spiritual fathers of yonder years came to a similar conclusion. The bible says: to the law and to the testimony, if they do not speak according to this world, there is no light in them (Isaiah 8:20). The word of God is foundational to truth, not the reasoning of men. It is time to remove the veil from the true Jesus, it is then we can experience him fully as a church.

Those who push the eternal sonship of Jesus, under whatever theological cloak, do not know that they actually underplay the seriousness of the incarnation, and how everything changed because of that, on earth and in heaven; how at the incarnation, a new thing came to being that never was. God had a Son by the Holy Spirit tying himself to be expressed in time. That may offend your sensibility, but it aligns with biblical testimony.

Those who push the eternal sonship of Jesus reveal a gap in their understanding of what the incarnation really means. That was God showing all his hands in the womb of Mary to undo the work of the enemy on the earth and in our lives (1John 3:8). It was God’s “all-in”. It was that serious.

To say Jesus had been the son of God from eternity, is false. The first person called the Son of God in the bible was Adam. God also called Israel his Son. So there is really nothing special in being called Son of God, so we should not feel compelled in a bid to honour Jesus, try to make him Son of God before he really became it. If you say he was not the son of God from eternity, he would not be angry with you because he was not. Forget about what your theologian told you.

Sonship and fatherhood, have in them the understanding of the prior existence of the father and the latter emergence of the son. Any attempt to stretch this concept beyond that is to engage in theological hocus-pocus.  Sonship and fatherhood, brings the idea of time. The father is before the son, simple.

Before we go on, we need to answer this question: Since Jesus was God, and he was not the son of God from eternity, who was he?

He was God the word, being there at the beginning, but without beginning, so fully not less than fully God.

John the apostle of Jesus did not mince word, but clarified that from the first words of his story about Jesus (John 1:1-5).

Peter by revelation told Jesus: you are the Christ the son of the living God (Matthew 16:16). He was not the Christ for eternity, it was his call by birth, being the Son of David, and he was not the son of David for eternity.

So in a bid to be theologically correct, we cannot bend over backwards to ascribe eternal reference to everything about Jesus.

For example he was not Jesus from eternity, and no length and depth of biblical exegesis will allow us to come to that conclusion.

Jesus was God the Word from eternity, he was not God the Son. It is interesting that the phrase “God the Son” never occurred in the bible, it is always Son of God. God the Son is a wrong theological construct, covering up the truth about the time-bound essence of Jesus, as the prototype son of God in the flesh and the one we are to be patterned after (Ephesians 4).

We cannot be God the son, Jesus was never and is never God the Son, because the only point of his incarnation was so that in all things he can be made like us (Hebrews 2:12-13), and we can be one with him. We cannot be God like him as God the son, since we cannot be God, but we can be one with him as Son of God.

As God the son, he will be far off and that defeats the whole mandate of Jesus to bring men to God, but as Son of God, he is near, since other men have been called son of God. And in the book of Job we read of the Sons of God coming to have a meeting with God (Job 2:1-5). We cannot be like him as God the son, but as Son of God. He is not the first person to be so called, it is not so strange to us, not beyond our reach.

Jesus is the Son of God in the ultimate sense. When angel Gabriel came to Mary to inform her that he will give birth to the son of God (Luke 1:26-42), he said: the one that will be conceived in you shall be called the Son of the highest. He did not say: he was called the son of the highest. That was not his name pre-incarnation, though he existed in eternity past. Let us not get it confused. In our bid to honour the son of God, we should not be found guilty of the mistaken identity.

When we realise that the sonship of Jesus started in time, we can fully identify with him as his body, connected to him in the oneness of the Spirit, in a vital spiritual sense. He is not afar off, he is near in us, as sons of God, through faith in him.  It is on that basis the time-limiting concept of Jesus being the son of God that we understand how we are sons of God.

We are only sons of God to the extent that Jesus is and nothing more. A more accurately understanding of his sonship will give us a more accurate understanding of our own sonship.

Incarnation

This was the point of the implantation of Jesus in the womb of Mary. It happened at a point in time, so also is salvation.  And the birth of Jesus was by the Holy Spirit. So, there is no spiritual rebirth without the Holy Spirit. He is the one who seals us, being the sign of divine ownership of us. We also read: the Lord knows those who are his, and the lord knows those who are is and let those who name God’s name depart from iniquity (2Timothy 2:19).

Invasion

Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, but he experienced Holy Spirit invasion while he was being baptised in water by John. The heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit came mightily upon him. That brought him to the limelight, in the explosive power of God (Luke 3, 4).

Translation

Jesus third level experience of the Holy Spirit is at the resurrection. We read that he was declared to be the son of God with power by the Holy Spirit, being gifted with an undying body (Romans 1:4).

Conclusion

At those three levels he was declared to be the son of God. When Mary was having a conversation with Gabriel (Luke ), He was declared to be the son of God then, when Gabriel said that he will be called the son of the highest. At the age of twelve we see that identity fully formed (Luke 2:48-50), but at the baptism of John, it was not the voice of Gabriel speaking to Mary, but the voice of God from heaven, in the midst of the people who came to receive the same baptism in the river Jordan by John (Luke 3:22).

In the first declaration by Gabriel, only Mary heard it, the second declaration was by the father, who is the one who gave the Holy Spirit to us. But the third declaration was not by words but action, by the resurrection, which marks permanent victory of death (Colossians 2:14-16) and was witnessed by all devils in hell, and angels in heaven, and to be proclaimed among men through the believers (2Timothy 3:16).

In the same vein, John wrote that we do not know what we would be like, but when we get our new resurrected bodies we would be like Jesus (1John 3:1-4) in his our resurrected body. But we cannot be like God the Son, but like Son of God.

When Jesus rose from the death, he appeared to many people eating and fellowshipped with them in a new body that can go through wall, and could be invincible at times.

At that times we would be sons of God on a whole new level, the third level. For us, the incarnation stands for the new birth; the invasion stands for the baptism of the Holy Spirit; the translation, the gaining of the new bodies at the resurrection of the just, is what we await at the second coming of Jesus.

Time

clock-272483_640Genesis 1:1: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

God is eternal, beyond comprehension, since human comprehension has in it the paradigm of chronology and increment.

God is not limited by time, nor confined by it, since he created it. The bible says that time and chance happen to us all (Ecclesiastes 9:11). That means time is a component of human life. Moses even prayed: teach us to number our days so that we might apply our heart to wisdom (Psalm 90:12). Applying our heart to wisdom, is about knowing what to do per time to get the right result. The sons of Issachar were described as those who understand the times, knowing what Israel should do per time (1Chronicles 12:32).

David was a man who was in the habit of asking God for what to do. When an army came to route his place when he and his men were not around, carrying away their properties and wives and children, rather than panic he asked God what to do (1Samuel 30:8). The result was nothing short of miraculous. He experience the restoration of all things.

Job had a similar experience. At a time it was as if his life has gone down the drain, but at the end he had restored to him double what he lost (Job 42). The bible says God restored double to him after he prayed for his friend.

Maybe the best thing for you to do with your time is see how you can pour into others. How you can be of benefit to them. Rather than be worried about yourself, why not immerse yourself into prayer for others?

Paul wrote that we need to redeem the time, because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-16). Even God, when he became man as Jesus, he had to conform to the dictates of time. He said: I must work the work of him who sent me, while it is day, the night comes when no man can work (John 9:1-5).

When God set man in the garden, he was to spend his time working, taking charge of and developing the garden to his full potential (Genesis 2:15). There is the garden of your life, your family and ministry that you have been give the custody of, to maximise, to make the best of it over a period of time. You have no excuse, because with wise work and hard work you are definitely going to make a success of it. There is wise work and hard work.

Paul when has comparing his ministry with that of other apostles said that he laboured more than them all. And the effect of his ministry is still being felt till today (1Corinthians 15:10).

However in the book of Ecclesiastes, we read that it is not just about hard work, but there is something called smart work. We read that that the labour of fools wearies them because they do not know how to get to the city (Ecclesiastes 10:15); and if the cutting instrument is sharpened then less energy is used to cut down the tree. Wisdom, the bible says, is profitable when we allow it to direct us (Ecclesiastes 10:10) because it is not good enough to pass time, but using time smartly to better ourselves and our world.

The incarnation represents God’s smart work and hard work in time to save us from our sins, to bring salvation. That was God limiting himself to time, as the word became flesh and dwelled among us (John 1:15, 12-14, 17-18). It was one of the greatest wonders of all time, heralding what will soon happen to the believers on our inside in time, as they become born again by the incorruptible seed of the word of God (1Peter 1:21).

It was hard work because it involved the painful death on the cross, and it was smart work, because by that one sacrifice God sanctified forever those who believe (Hebrews 10:12, 14).

That God became man is not logical, it is not within the mental power of man to grasp. How can time and eternity coalesce? It confuses and mesmerises men. It is offensive to many and on that point may have shut the door of the gospel to themselves.

The incarnation of Jesus was prophecy (Isaiah 7:14) and miracle manifest. When Gabriel was talking to Mary about her supernal conception of Jesus (Luke 1:26-38), he said the power of the highest will overshadow her and she will give birth to Jesus, the Messiah. That was an information that she can handle. She could not handle the fact that Jesus was God.

But as revelation progressed, Paul would later write boldly: this is the mystery of godliness God was manifested in the flesh (1Timothy 3:16).

John also wrote so that we do not get it twisted that in the beginning was the Word who was God and that he is the one who was manifested in the flesh and when we believe in him we will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). And he established later in his epistle that when the identity of the son of God is called to question their can be no salvation.

For there to be a new beginning for humanity after the sinful mishap of Adam, there must be the word which is light going forth, and it did in the incarnation of Jesus.

In the first verse of the bible we saw God saying to the worn-down earth: let there be light (Genesis 1:1-3). And when John was introducing Jesus he said that he is life, in a connection back to the creation of the world, when God caused living things to manifest. And John also said of Jesus: in him was life and the life was the light of men, and the light shines in darkness, which could not comprehend it.

The presence of darkness in the second verse of the bible necessitated the divine declaration: “let there be light” at the beginning.

Darkness was the prevailing situation but it did not prevail for long as God created a new order of light and life. While the situation in the first chapter was largely physical, with the coming of Jesus as light and life, the problem was largely spiritual. The accurate knowledge of God was far from humanity. With spiritual darkness we could not accurately see God and the god of this world, Satan, has blinded the minds of those who do not believe (2Corinthians 4:4).

And we are not changed except we believe. The devil was able to mess up the new beginning that God set up in the first chapters of the bible, when he got man to disbelieve the word of God, but now in the new order of things, we are restored when we believe Jesus the Word of God.

The bible says that in time past, God revealed himself to the father through the prophets, but the light they received was limited, the life they expressed was limited, but in Jesus the limitation in the experience of God was removed (Hebrews 1:1-3).

Jesus told a church in the book of revelation that they should go back to the first works in repentance (Revelation 2:1-5), because they are loved has waxed cold, as a measure of repentance they are supposed to go back to the first works, as it were, turn back the hand of time, go back to what they used to do at the beginning of their relationship with God, then they will experience God anew. This is because loving God is not some esoteric idea, it is exposed in what you do with your time (1John 2:15-17).

In comparing Mary and Martha, Jesus said that Mary by sitting down at his feet had made the better choice in the use of her time, rather than what Martha was doing. Martha was engaged in many activities for Jesus, but not listening to Jesus (Luke 10:38-42).

One major sign that you love God is that you listen to him and not just what you do for him. Even Jesus had to have a listening ear. In a prophetic work concerning him, he said, sacrifice and offering you do not desire, but my ears you have opened (Psalm 40:6).

Isaiah wrote that God wakes him morning by morning to hear as the learned, so that he may know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary (Isaiah 50:4). He was not permitted to speak if he had not heard from God, he was not permitted to express anything except the divine opinion and perspective.

Even when it comes to fasting, it is about the will and ways of God, not just about feeling and obligation. God told Isaiah the kind of fasting he wants, the one that is according to his will. It is not just about what you do, it is also about why you do it, hence the need to be receptive to God all the time (Isaiah 53).

When God made man the first person he listened to was God. Then everything was well with man, he had peace, pleasure and power. But when he listened to his wife, who had listened to the serpent, against the will of God (just as Saul listened to his soldiers instead of the one who gave him an assignment) and he became invaded with fear, lack, struggle and weakness.

Listening to God bring peace (curing us of fear), being what he ministers to our heart. When there was turbulence in the seas as Jesus was coming with his disciples on a boat (Mark 4:39), he said peace be still. He calls us to come near to him to learn from him, since his burden is light and his yoke is easy and we will find rest for our soul (Matthew 11:28-30). And part of carrying his yoke is to listen to him.

Listening to God also brings pleasure. The bible says that in the presence of God, where we get to listen to him, there is fullness of God and in his right hand pleasures forever more (Psalm 16:11). In the presence of God we are under the shadow of his wings for protection (Psalm 91). Peter listened to Jesus in his fishing business and he experience abundance (Luke 5:1-6).

Listening to God is power. It is by hearing and doing what the father does that Jesus expressed so much power in his lifetime (John 8:38).

Worship

dolmen-3716_640Revelation 13:8:  and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.

The devil desires worship and he seeks to get it through various means. For example by convincing people that there are many gods or no god at all, or to give a twisted view of God. He collects the worship that comes through those channel, since he is anti-God.

So because you call on a god does not mean you are calling on God. The god that your various religion has exposed you to is not the true God, if he is not the father of our Lord Jesus Christ (). That statement can be offensive to some, but we cannot remove the offence of the cross so as to accommodate some people, or else would be preaching another gospel, and campaigning for another God, and that brings no reward at the end of time.

Paul was very harsh saying:  if you believe another gospel different from Jesus then you have fallen from grace (Galatians 5:4), Christ would not be of value to you (Galatians 5:2).

So it is important that we get an accurate picture of who Jesus is to know whom we have believed and worship, so that we do not worship satanic spirit in the guise of worshipping God because if the door to the god you claim to worship is not Jesus then it is the devil you are worshipping in whatever guises.

Jesus sent people to go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creature. The gospel has not been reviewed, it is the same old message, but the devil will want to convince people that after Jesus has come and gone back to heaven, we need a revision of what the gospel really is. I speak concerning some religions that came after Jesus’ ascension, like Islam, grail message and the like.

The grail message claim that because we have an advancement in intellectual pursuit, we now need some intellectual updated understanding of Jesus. They call themselves cross bearers, and put themselves in an endless spiral of deception. There words sound intellectually stimulating with a sprinkling of mysticism, just to make it attractive enough.

The bible warned of the wisdom of men being foolishness to God (1Corinthians 3:19), and with wisdom man has not been able to reach God. It is all vanity upon vanity.

Islam claims the “another comforter” that Jesus talked about is Mohammed. They conveniently claim that some part of the bible is corrupted, while taking the word of Jesus that another comforter is coming to be true, just because it is convenient for them to do so. They are self-deceived.

Muslims and grail messengers are deluded followers of false gods, demons, which receive worship in one form or the other on behalf of Satan.

Worship is allegiance, but it comes with certain rituals, behaviour pattern, to express it. It shows in the way we speak, where we go to congregate with other worshippers.

But the one we should worship is the true God not an idea of him. Mohammed was obviously deluded or self-serving or both.

Worship is a thing of the heart, and is an expression of love or fear or both when it comes to a deity. When it comes to God, Jesus said we should love the Lord our God with all our heart with all our strength, with everything, our money, our life (Mark 12:30).

When it comes to giving-worship Jesus said that a woman who was in the temple who and threw two mites into the offering as the expression of her worship (Luke 21:1-4), did more than the money bags, who gave part of their possession. While she put small money there she added a big heart, it was the whole of her money representing the whole of her heart.

A woman poured an expensive oil on Jesus in an extravagant expression of worship (John 12:1-2), but Judas found fault with it saying in his heart that the oil should have been sold and the money given to the poor. But John added that Judas was only concerned with himself, that since he held the purse, he wanted more to steal from it. Since God looks at the heart and not the appearance (1Samuel 16:7), Jesus judged she had done the right thing.

Worship is about the heart and the life. For Abraham to show he is a worshipper of God, he needed to move beyond mere confession, into action and what was demanded was the sacrifice of his son. He needed to step up his worship and he did (Genesis 22:1-20).

God warned Israel against the participating in the worship of foreign God, but throughout their history they were caught in the web of such practices. Why was this? Remember that God had warned them against associating with foreigners, so that they will not be influenced negatively, but the peer pressure time and time again seems irresistible.

Solomon epitomises this error when he decided he needed some excitement (1Kings 11-12), something to challenge him, something new to do, and he embarked on marriage spree. He married foreign women and in the spirit of accommodation created spaces for and built shrines for their different gods, forgetting that all the spaces in Israel were for God who brought them from the house of bondage.

God’s judgment against his unfaithfulness was swift and permanent. In an unprecedented act, God took 10 tribes from the house of David and gave it to another, to Jeroboam, who instead of learning from the error of Solomon decided to codify the worship of graven images making two idols for the people, to move the heart of the people from the worship of the true God, giving them an alternative.

John wrote that we should beware of idols (1John 5:21). That is whatever seeks to hold our allegiance apart from God. He also warned against loving the world and the things in the world in, saying if that is our state, that means the love of the father is not in us (1John 2:15-17).

Worship is about devotion to God. In whatever way that is expressed in our lives is, in a general sense worship. They are the things that show that our heart is attached to God. It is a statement of commitment and attachment, which also means detachment every other thing.