For me to stay saved means to stay and live in “grace” and practice “grace” in my daily living. It also means to live in Christ and do what He has commanded. One of Christ’s Commands was that if I do not forgive I forfeit my right to be forgiven. Forgiveness itself is a life-long … Continue reading How do I stay saved? #23
Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be “a Counselor” and not a commander or a servant. He would not bear a person’s cross, but enlighten him/her how Christ lived and what He taught. And the most profound service Christ rendered was for the benefit of his fellow men. John, the Evangelist, injected Jesus’ promise of a Counselor four times.
The first thing Jesus said to John’s messengers was that He had come to cure blindness, “the blind receive their sight”, and the fourth thing was that “the deaf hear” (Matthew 11:5). Jesus linked physical blindness and deafness with mental and spiritual impairments. The human mind puts blocks on what it does not want to see or hear. The mind is the intelligence center, which controls the “intake” and “output” of things beneficial or harmful to life. To the earliest Bible people, the mind sort of collided and collaborated with the heart, the soul, and the spirit. One simply could not and did not dissect the human life into parts unrelated to each other. The translators have been kind enough to assign certain functions to these different organs and parts of the human body. So, the mind stores information and skills useful for their survival. For instance, after Joseph emerged as the second in command over Egypt, Jacob kept in mind Joseph's dreams, which hinted at a time when his parents and his brothers would bow to him and that he would save them from starvation, (Genesis 37:11). The mind was mostly self-serving and acknowledging that God had it all planned (Genesis 50:15-21).
We do have Jewish blood in our family and we are also followers of Jesus. I am dumfounded why some Jews are so adamantly opposed to us when we pray in His Name. We are not against you when you pray in Moses' name. In spite of your unfriendly attitude, the followers of Jesus are your greatest supporters because they believe that you still are the apple of God's eye. Even the Apostle Paul could not fathom why His people were persecuting Jesus and His followers. He believed that Jesus would come back and redeem Israel. He relied on Isaiah 50: 20-21 and 27: 9. "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins."
The disciples whom Jesus sent into the world had and still have two strikes against them. Their kingdom is not of this world and they are no longer of this world (John 18:36; 17:16). When the messengers of Christ must obtain permission from religious or secular authorities to preach the good news and when they are also being censored and restricted in diction, then Christian ambassadors are in a very hostile environment. The USA has become such an anti-christian country. Unless there are massive revivals and repentance, the USA, like the Church in Laodicea, will be spewed out (Revelation 3:16).
God is not One who favours one person over another, as so many believe. God chooses his messengers who serve Him best. King Nebuchadnezzar was such a person into whose hands God placed, for discipline, the people of Jerusalem, Judea, and many other nations. It was also to Nebuchadnezzar that God disclosed His own Heavenly Kingdom (Jeremiah 27:4-7). God’s Kingdom would begin small, but it would become one of the biggest single organizations in the world. Jesus compared it to the swelling of leaven and to a mustard seed (Matthew 13:31-33).
Jesus, too, was angry and upset over what the people of God had done to "His House of Prayer." Jesus’ human instinct flurried into action. Mark and John provided us with their interpretations. The Lord Jesus had a heart for Jerusalem, the temple, and for Israel. He had come to save it, but He was misunderstood. When Jesus spoke of His death, they feared that He had come to destroy the temple.
John the Baptist had misgivings about Jesus being the Christ. He expected One (the Christ), who would deal with the Romans, with Herod, and with the Jewish leaders. However, Jesus showed no signs that He would take on these unwelcome powers. John accused Herod, the king of adultery, and he ended up in prison. From prison, John sent messengers to Jesus asking:
A Church is to be a window of heaven where Christ, the light of the world, lightens the members so they shine for the glory of God, the Creator. One of the first things God has made and sent into the world was light, both physical and spiritual.
Preparing the way for Christ did not end with John the Baptist, but it merely opened the way for men and women, young and old to open their hearts and make their hearts fit for Christ to take up residence. Man must remove the debris from his heart before the Holy Spirit can partner with a man and help him lead a clean and holy life. It is for that reason, even after Christ has been here, and His Spirit is standing by to inhabit the human spirit, God continues to send prophets, apostle, teachers an example to prepare human beings for salvation. And it is up to man to work out his salvation and not to Christ (Luke 11:49; Philippians 2:12). The Apostle, whom Jesus chose directly (Act 9:15-16), commanded his Roman Christians to stop sinning that jeopardized their salvation: