Thought For Today (July 11, 2012): Grace Operates Through Faith

Grace operates through faith.

Ephesians 2:8-10 reads: < For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. >

Grace operates to facilitate GOD’s Righteousness functioning in our being and in our lives.

Romans 10:10-11 reads: < for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” >

2 Corinthians 5:21 reads: < He (YHWH) made Him (the MESSIAH) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. >

To ensure that the highest levels of YHWH’s Righteousness be made accessible to us, by grace through faith, YESHUA has become the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Hebrews 12:1c-2 reads: < let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. >

By grace, through faith in CHRIST JESUS, we cannot fail. Amen!

Understanding Lawlessness And Its Consequences

The Bible is a spiritual book written in the context of a human history.

There is a flow to the biblical narrative:
• A creation without sin, death and evil (Genesis 1; Ezekiel 28:13-15a).
• The fall away from GOD (Isaiah 14:12-14; Genesis 2-5) that manifests lawlessness [which is the spirituality that opposes GOD, misrepresents Him etc.; the spirituality of all that stands in the lie that denies GOD].
• The issuance of the Law to govern lawlessness (Exodus 19-20; 31:18).
• Salvation that reverses the effects of lawlessness (John 3:16-17; Romans 5:6-11) and, the unfolding of the Kingdom of GOD (John 3:3-5).
• Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).
• A new creation that opens a new beginning (Revelation 21).

Sin stands contrary to GOD’s will. Sin is the conduit through which evil manifests and develops in us and amongst us. And, all that we see in the world around us testifies of the deep darkness of evil that is progressively engulfing human reality.

Where does evil come from? What is its root form?

There were two prophetic trees in the Garden of Eden where Adam was placed (Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17):
• The first prophetic tree was called the Tree of Life, originating from the will of GOD communicated through the seed of YHWH’s Word (Galatians 3:16; 1 Peter 1:23) that manifests the prophetic dynamic of the Life form that flows from YHWH through the actualities of His Word.
• The second prophetic tree was called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, expressing the lie that stands against the knowledge of GOD (see 2 Cor 10:5b). This tree is the prophetic expression of the Mystery of Lawlessness (see 2 Thessalonians 2:7) that manifests the spiritual dynamic of sin and death.

Adam was given one commandment: not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam failed; and, through “freewill disobedience” Adam sinned and, evil and death manifested – irreversibly – into human reality. [This is why we need to be saved in order to break out of Lawlessness.]

But where did this prophetic tree of the knowledge of good and evil originate from? How did it come to be in the Garden of Eden where GOD placed Adam; and, where and how did its prophetic realities of sin and death originate and come into being and development. And, ultimately, how will GOD deal with this tree and its consequences.

The prophetic reality of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was birthed when Lucifer and, the angels aligned with Lucifer, rebelled against GOD after having developed – through “freewill faith expressions” – a knowledge form that objectively stood against the knowledge of GOD.

This freewill knowledge form that opposes GOD, birthed by rebellious angels who stood before GOD in heaven, is prophetically addressed in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 as: the Mystery of Lawlessness.

The knowledge form in Lawlessness that stands against GOD, originated in the Eden that was in heaven, where Lucifer the Covering Cherub stood.

Ezekiel 28:13-18b reads: < 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; … . 14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.

16 By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones. 17 Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; … . 18 You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading … . >

Isaiah 14:12-14 (KJV) sheds more light on this angelic rebellion: < 12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart: ‘ I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ 15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit. >

In Luke 10:18, YESHUA testifies: < “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” >

In Matthew 7:21-23, we see the adverse impact of this knowledge form, originated by Lucifer (who became satan in his fall) in the lives of those anointed to answer a high calling in ministry, in the body of CHRIST (the MESSIAH). In this passage in Matthew, we hear YESHUA declare these individuals as practitioners of Lawlessness; and, we see YESHUA disavowing any knowledge of these individuals, dismissing them from His presence.

When Adam was created the Mystery of Lawlessness was exclusive to fallen angels confined to the Domain (Kingdom) of Darkness. However, the prophetic dynamic of evil and its spiritual consequences had been irreversibly opened into the creation by the angelic rebellion.

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil had been irreversibly opened (in a spirituality of Lawlessness) as a prophetic “faith option”, for the creation to enter into – in eternity – by the wrongful exercise of “freewill faith” (see Rom 12:3c, KJV).

Because of what was irreversibly opened by the angelic rebellion, we see that this tree was found in the Garden of Eden where Adam was placed. And this is why the prophetic reality of lawlessness will always be a possibility – in eternity.

YESHUA tells us that hell was created for the angelic rebellion. In Matthew 25:41 (NKJV) we see YESHUA describe hell as: < the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels >.

[Man only gets into hell through “freewill covenants of faith” we make with fallen angels.]

Hell was created to clearly declare what the consequences of evil would be.

The purpose of hell was to act as a testimonial deterrent – in eternity – to the creation making foolish choices contrary to GOD’s Will.

[The flow of human history clearly demonstrates the foolishness of our ‘freewill’ choices in Lawlessness. Even so-called Church history clearly shows the consequences of Lawlessness.]

The prophet Isaiah (66:22-24) pointed to this testimonial deterrent in no uncertain terms: < “For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the LORD, “so shall your descendants and your name remain. And it shall come to pass That from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the LORD. “And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.” >

As children of GOD we should clearly understand that grace does not condone sin. Grace deals with the issue of sin through our willingness to repent and, our willingness to repent must result in the pursuit of our creation in JESUS CHRIST (see 2 Chronicles 7:14; Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 4:16-18). Amen!

There is a prophetic key to staying in GOD’s grace that GOD gave Abraham even as He opened Covenant with Abraham.
Genesis 17:1-2 reads (NKJV): < “I am Almighty God (EL SHADDAI); walk before Me and be blameless. 2 And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” >

YHWH is declaring that if Abraham chose to walk before Him he would be blameless. The KJV uses the word “perfect”. This realm of grace is what the implanted Seed of CHRIST has opened to us. For this to operate, we need to stay in a state of repentance and choose to walk before GOD; asking GOD to address our many issues in His Righteousness, through our persevering faith in JESUS CHRIST. Amen!

We cannot fail because grace operates in us, by the SPIRIT, in CHRIST JESUS (Romans 8:2), in the Righteousness of YHWH (Rom 10:10, 17).

But for this prophetic realm of YHWH’s grace and mercy to operate, we must always choose to walk before YHWH, through faith in YESHUA MASHIAH. As YESHUA declared in Matthew 17:20c, “And nothing shall be impossible to you!” GBU.

Thought For The Day (July 9, 2012): YHWH Is Watching Over His Word To Perform It

GOD is watching over His Word to perform it.
o Jeremiah 1:12 (NASB) reads: < Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it.” >

What are the prerequisites to actualize the performance of GOD’s Word in us and through us?

We must hear and understand GOD’s Word.
o Matthew 13:23 (NASB) reads: < “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” >

We must hear and accept GOD’s Word.
o Mark 4:20 (NASB) reads: < “And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” >

We must hold fast to GOD’s Word in a good and honest heart and put that Word into practice in our lives – with perseverance.
o Luke 8:15 (NASB) reads: < “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance. >

The LORD JESUS CHRIST upholds all things – for actual fulfillment – in the Rhema Word of His Power (see Heb 1:3b).

To see the prophetic content of the Word of GOD manifest in our beings and through our lives we must first hear, understand and, accept GOD’s Word.

We must then hold fast to GOD’s Word in our hearts in the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth; and, we will then see the actualities in GOD’s Word flow into us and through us.

30-fold, 60-fold and 100-fold growth rates are unknown to the realities of human endeavor. This is the power inherent to the prophetic content of the Scriptures.

As 2 Cor 1:20 reads: < For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. >

Thought For The Day (July 8, 2012): The Law Of CHRIST

The Law Of CHRIST:

Matthew 5:44-48 reads: < But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. >

GOD achieves the impossible by bringing the fullness of CHRIST JESUS to life in us through the ministry of the HOLY SPIRIT.

John 16:14 reads: < “He (the HOLY SPIRIT) will glorify Me, for He (the HOLY SPIRIT) will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. >

John 1:16-17 (NASB) reads: < For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. >

2 Corinthians 3:3 (NKJV) reads: < clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. >

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) reads: < I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. >

Philippians 4:19 (NKJV) reads: < And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. >

By CHRIST JESUS, all the demands of the Law of CHRIST will be met. Hence every demand of the Law of CHRIST that we see throughout the New Testament is an opportunity to discover what YHWH has provided for us ‘by CHRIST JESUS’!

The possibilities are awesome.

Circumcision Of The Heart Fulfills The Law

Circumcision was the outward sign of the Abrahamic Covenant.

Selected portions of Genesis 17:2-13 (KJV) declare the following:
1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
13 … and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.

In verse 13, GOD talks about His Covenant being in our flesh for an everlasting Covenant. How can this be? An everlasting Covenant in our flesh!

Moses talks about the circumcision of our hearts in Deuteronomy 10:16 (KJV), declaring: < Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked. >

Ezekiel 36:26 talks about GOD removing our hearts of stone and giving us a heart of flesh. 2 Corinthians 3:3 (NKJV) talks about us becoming Epistles of CHRIST through hearts of flesh.

In Deuteronomy 30:6, Moses talks about the fulfillment of the Law in circumcised hearts of flesh being the sovereign work of YHWH:
< And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. … And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. >

So the writing of Covenant in hearts of flesh through a continuum of circumcision brings the progressive fulfillment of the Law into functional Covenant reality within the tablets of our heart.

Romans 2:28-29 (NASB), proclaims this as the work of the HOLY SPIRIT: < For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. >

Circumcision of the heart of flesh yields the reality of Jew and Gentile being brought forth as one new man as proclaimed in Ephesians 2:14-18. This one new man is in the image (Rom 8:29) and fullness (John 1:16) of MASHIAH YESHUA.

This reality is foreshadowed in the circumcision of MASHIAH YESHUA on the eighth day (‘eight’ pointing to new beginnings) when He was given the Name YESHUA (Luke 2:21).

Galatians 3:24-29 declares what flows in the fulfillment of the Law:
24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.
25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.

We are heirs according to promise in circumcised heart of flesh! And this is the work of YHWH! Praise YHWH! Amen!

Thought For The Day: Trust In YHWH

Psalm 37:3-11 reads:
3 Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday.
7 Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
8 Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
9 For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.
10 Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.
11 But the humble will inherit the land And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

Thought For The Day (July 6, 2012): The Righteousness Of YHWH

By faith in JESUS CHRIST, the righteousness of GOD operates in our hearts.
• Romans 10:10 (NASB) reads: < for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness …. >

By faith in JESUS CHRIST, the righteousness of GOD progressively creates a peculiar Epistle of CHRIST in us.
• 2 Corinthians 3:3 (NKJV) reads: < clearly you are an epistle of Christ … written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. >

Through this (progressive) Epistle written, the power of GOD operates in us.
• 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 (NKJV) reads: < For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. >

In His Righteousness revealed, YHWH provides for us according to the power that works within us.
• Ephesians 3:20 (NASB) reads: < Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. >

Thought For The Day (July 5, 2012): The Righteousness Of YHWH Is At Work In Us

Ephesians 2:8-10 reads: < For by grace you have been saved through faith [in JESUS CHRIST]; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. >

In the New Testament we are the product of GOD’s Righteousness actualized through faith.

Romans 10:10-11 reads: < for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness [this is YHWH’s Righteousness expressed by the SPIRIT, in CHRIST JESUS – see Romans 8:2], and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him (JESUS / YESHUA) will not be disappointed.” >

Imagine the power of YHWH’s Righteousness working in your heart according to the Word you have understood and believed in the Testimony of YESHUA through the finished work of the Cross!

Matthew 17:20c YESHUA declares: < and nothing will be impossible to you >. Amen!

Revelation 3:14b (NASB) declares that YESHUA’s Witness is: < The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God >.

Meeting The Demands Of GOD’s Law

By James Niles

At the highest level GOD’s Law makes the following demands (amongst many others in the OT and the NT):

o Deuteronomy 6:4-6 reads: < “Hear, O Israel! The LORD (YHWH) is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.” >

o Leviticus 19:2c reads: < ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD (YHWH) your God am holy.’ >

o In Matthew 5:48 YESHUA (JESUS) declares: < “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” >

o In Matthew 5:44-45a (NKJV), JESUS declares: < But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven … >

The demands of the Law are clear. And, these demands must be met. How can the demand for perfection (Matt 5:48), in a holy (Lev 19:2) love (Deut 6:5), be met by us who are fatally flawed?

As Scripture declares all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of GOD (Rom 3:23).

The solution flows in and by and through YESHUA, the WORD become flesh, who came to fulfill the demands of the Law.

In Matthew 5:17-18 YESHUA declares: < “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” >

There is no question as to where the Law stands in fulfillment. The Law stands fulfilled – exclusively – in the (Logos) Testimony of YESHUA.

Revelation 19:10c declares that the Testimony of JESUS is the Spirit of Prophecy.

Hebrews 10:14 reads: < For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. >

The fulfillment of the Law is – exclusively – communicated by the HOLY SPIRIT in the (Rhema) Witness of YESHUA.

As YESHUA declares in John 6:63, < “It is the Spirit (referring to the HOLY SPIRIT) who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the (rhema) words that I have spoken to you (communicating My Testimony) are spirit and are life. >

As YESHUA declared in John 16:14, < “He (the HOLY SPIRIT) will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” >

How will the HOLY SPIRIT declare the fulfillment of the Law?

By uniquely creating our hearts as Epistles of CHRIST (see Matthew 5:8).

2 Cor 3:3 (NKJV) reads: < clearly you are an epistle of Christ, … written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone (which Moses received on Mount Sinai) but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. >

This reality of what is accomplished in the Epistle of CHRIST written into us is prophetically foreshadowed in two verses in Exodus that declare:

o Ex 31:18 … < And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God. >

o Ex 32:16 … < Now the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God engraved on the tablets. >

The Epistles of CHRIST are wholly the creative work of GOD (see Eph 2:10) and they are a living and growing, eternal expression of the righteousness of YHWH.

Hence, Romans 8:2 declares: < For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. >

What the righteousness of man FAILED to accomplish by observance of the Law (even Moses failed; see note on Isaiah 64:6 below), is in the New Testament, the exclusive work of GOD in His Sovereign Righteousness, manifested as we choose to put on CHRIST JESUS – by faith through grace.

As John 1:16-17 (NKJV) reads: < And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. >

As 2 Cor 4:6-7 (NKJV) reads: < For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. >

The Law and its demands are only fulfilled as we put of CHRIST JESUS (who is the glory of GOD). Trying to observe the Law in our own strength has been and will be always a failure.

We need to get out of legalism and put on CHRIST JESUS. Unless CHRIST is formed in us, the demands of the Law can never be met! See Galatians 4:19 and Colossians 1:28.

Note: Isaiah 64:6 (NKJV) reads: < But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away. >