Partners with the Holy Spirit: Part #11

The Spirit of God is the most powerful “Being, Force, Energy, and Source” of life in the universe. The Spirit of God made man with an “autonomous spirit” that can cooperate with the Spirit of God in managing and in redeeming the world from the evil forces, which invaded God’s creation. Satan, the archenemy of God and man, incarnates animals and man to disrupt "God’s Good Will" and the "recreation process" on earth. Pharaoh of Egypt was such a person. Pharaoh defied the existence and the power of the Most High God. And Pharaoh also hindered the redemption and the formation of Israel into a nation obedient to Yahweh Elohim, and the “LORD GOD OVER ALL.” Pharaoh was a false-self-made god. Pharaoh prided himself that he was a descendant of the sun-god.

The Heavenly Kingdom on Earth

The Heavenly Kingdom is a system of government that is to be managed by an emissary of God, the Creator. The Heavenly Kingdom was promised to come, at the time when all human endeavor had completely failed. The human endeavor began to fail when the kings and the priests replaced the Laws of God with their own legislations and their own regulations, in order to follow the desire of their hearts. Man was created with the intention to do the Will of God and not to do his own will. Man was to be a part of a "Kingdom" that was similar to the one that is in heaven. Man’s prayer was to be, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

Restoring God’s Image and Likeness in Man

Zechariah’s vision was clouded by the rapid change in the world’s leadership. The supporting Persians, who lifted the priests into power, were defeated by Alexander the Great. And Alexander the Great’s death raised up two mortal enemies of Judah; namely, Egypt and Syria. In particular, Syria hellenized her domain and the priests refused to submit to Syria. And as Zechariah had predicted, Judah split into two parties, which did more harm to each other than all the Greeks or the Romans. Hence, before it could get better, it became much worse. The prophet Malachi deplored the chasm, which the priests had created between themselves and between their own people. This condition was also prevalent in Jesus’ day, and the Jews practiced it even when Rome scattered them among the nations. Malachi described how God felt in “The Oracle of the Lord to Israel”:

Restoring God’s Image and Likeness in Man

The priests had their way from the time of Ezra --- Nehemiah to the Sadducees and Pharisees in Jesus’ day. The Maccabees were the first who had to defend their way of life against the outside intruders, who had determined to hellenize the Jews. It turned into the bloodiest period in Jewish history. And it ended in the most disastrous destruction of Jerusalem and Judaism. The events turned the Jews into world missionaries for nearly two thousand years. This all began between a priest by the name of Mattathias and Antiochus Epiphanes, King of Syria over a pig, which was sacrificed on the altar of God in the temple. The word “Maccabee” means a hammer or a club; it was given to Judas, the oldest son of Mattathias for defeating the Syrians and securing religious freedom for sixty-five years. After Judas, his brothers became the Hasmoneans, and they reigned over Judea for one hundred years (I Maccabees 2:4; 2:66; 3:1).

Partners with the Holy Spirit: Part #7

Faith needs the Holy Spirit to see what God wants from man. And especially from those who partner with the Holy Spirit. Jesus charged the leaders of his day with spiritual blindness, for not seeing their guilt (John 9:41). Saul, who became Paul, persecuted the followers of Jesus in blind anger and hate, until the Holy Spirit came into his life. It was then that Paul discovered the grace of Christ Jesus (Acts 9). Paul began to look at faith through the eyes of grace.

Partners with the Holy Spirit: Part #8

Faith needs love to grow into a force that braves a person to dare to live a life that honors God, the Creator. Faith, even when it has grown, can not adequately operate without love. Even God could not operate without love, neither could God's Son, nor can man please God without love (John 3:16; 15:9-17). Love helped Paul replace his hate for Christians and Gentiles. And therefore, Paul became their servant: