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The Cross and the Kingdom

The Cross and the Kingdom

Revelation 13:8-9

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.

Everything the Father has done for mankind since the creation will culminate when His Kingdom is established on earth. The New Jerusalem, will come to earth and God’s righteousness will rule forever.

This all began at the Cross.

Those of us who have believed in and put our trust in Jesus Christ of Nazareth as the Messiah are now citizens of His coming Kingdom. We have the promise of Jesus Christ that if we seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness all things we need in this life will be supplied to us. We may not always get what we ask, but we are promised our needs or daily bread will be supplied by the Father’s provision.

So then the ultimate Plan of God will be fulfilled at the culmination of this present evil age when His Kingdom is established on earth. At that time those who are citizens will have eternal life and live in His Kingdom in a lifestyle which the world has been clamoring for, but are not able to achieve.

A question one might ask is where does this Kingdom life begin and who is this Kingdom for?

I believe the Kingdom life begins at the Cross of Jesus Christ. I believe the Kingdom life is available for all men and women who accept God’s grace, and mercy, of the gift of salvation.

With this said, I would like to share my personal story with you:

About twenty years ago my manner of life brought me to the place where I was confronted with the reality of the Cross of Jesus Christ.

Something happened that day that changed my life forever.

I was alone at home and had come to the conclusion that even though I wanted to serve Jesus Christ, I could not because in all honesty I was still a sinner. I was well aware of my shortcomings and struggles and was ready to throw in the towel and quit trying to serve Him.

This is when I began getting a deep agonizing feeling in my gut, or as the Apostle Paul would say in my “bowels.” Like I said, I so wanted to serve the Lord but I knew I was still a sinner. Therefore I concluded that I could not do anything for Him. This deep feeling was so strong that it felt as if my gut was going to burst at the seams. I began to realize there was a battle going on within myself. I was lying flat out on my living room floor and telling the Lord with tears I could not serve him due to the weakness of my flesh. Then suddenly a scripture flashed in my mind. “Oh wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from this body of death?”

Immediately another thought quickly followed indicating that Paul was a spiritual man trapped inside a sinful body, and that whenever he desired to do good, evil was present in him. Paul was trapped and he realized that within his flesh was dwelling no good thing.

It was then I realized that Paul at one time felt similar to the way I was. After contemplating this, I finally came to understand that as long as I am alive sin would be dwelling in my flesh. I also realized that in Christ I was given a power to exercise dominion over this evil.

When I was saved I was given a gift of holy spirit which is the spirit that has the power to overcome the sin dwelling in my flesh. This may also be called the spirit of obedience.

I began to see that through what Christ accomplished on the Cross I was given the power to overcome sin and given the ability to serve my Lord.

Now I could serve Him even in my imperfection.
Now Grace made strong in my weaknesses.
Now Grace is an ever present unmerited divine favor.
Now Grace is power given by Christ which is sufficient for me to overcome the infirmities in my flesh.

Then suddenly as if in a dream I found myself at the foot of the cross at Calvary. In my mind’s eye this was as real to me as if I were watching a movie with all its color and sound.

There I was laying stretched out with my arms wrapped around the foot of the cross sobbing. As I looked up I saw His bruised and bloodied feet, and the rusty nail that had been cruelly driven through them.

As I clung to the cross I slowly lifted my head and looked higher until I saw His legs which showed the marks of the cuts caused by the whips. They were badly bruised with the blood running down and dripping on my face.

I began to weep as I heard the wind howling and saw the low hanging ominous dark clouds blocking out the sun. The wind and dust in what seemed like a crazed frenzy blowing around the place of the skull. Some of the bystanders stared at Him while some wept uncontrollably.

There He was my Lord hanging helpless. His life almost gone from His body. He had been brutalized and mangled beyond recognition. His bones were out of joint and parts of His ribs were exposed. It looked as if there was not any place on his body that was not bruised or broken, or torn. The wound made by a soldiers spear in His side was open and oozing out both blood and water. I saw Him struggle to take each breath, while some people spit on Him and called Him names.

With my eyes, now flooded with tears, began to look higher until I saw His head hung to one side with the thorns insisting on digging deep into His bloodied scalp. His face was bruised and swollen, worse than any boxer I had ever seen after a brutal fight. His left eye was swollen shut, and His right eye was barely visible.

All this seemingly happening before my very eyes and not realizing that I was in a position of prayer called obeisance with my arms stretched around the base of the cross with His blood drops falling on my face.

Then He took one last deep painful breath. Just then His almost shut right eye caught my eyes and I realized He was looking at me with a pure love, forgiveness, and acceptance. No matter what I had done to sin against God and humanity before He loved me.

Suddenly He cried, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Then came His last words.

“It is finished!”

Suddenly the labored breathing which caused Him excruciating pain stopped. He offered up His live as a sacrifice to the Father.

His head fell limp.

He was dead!

Then as they slowly and carefully took Him down from the cross, I could hear some say, “Will He rise again in three days as He said He would?”

Three days later He arose from the dead and He is still alive today active in the affairs of men. He is still calling all who will believe in His name and saving and forgiving all of their transgressions committed against God and man.

As took this all in I was filled with the most relieved emotion I had ever felt before. A flood of peace came over me as any doubts of being able to serve Him were now washed away and gone!

I was cleansed by His precious blood.

I was empowered by His grace.

In this moment of time that I spent on my living room floor, I realized without a doubt that I had been to the cross where my Lord Jesus Christ was crucified.

I cannot explain this occurrence but it is real to me. Now I am able to serve Him because His willing sacrificial death paid the full payment for all my sins. And not only my sins but yours also and the sins of the entire world.

Now I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am His and He is mine! He is my Lord and my savior and He is my King.

Nothing will ever be able to separate me from Him ever again.

Without the Cross of Christ there is no forgiveness of sin and there would be no Kingdom coming in the future.

Without the Cross of Christ all mankind would be still lost and doomed to misery.

Praise the Father Who sent His only begotten Son to usher in eternal life and His coming Kingdom.

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A Word for Today

With the events of our world continuing to get darker each day, I thought I would pass along the following for your edification::

II Thessalonians 1:4 -12:

So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:

6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;

7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:

12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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The Remedy

The Remedy
(Introduction)
By Frank J. Manasseri
Is there is a remedy for the present global insecurity and unrest the world is experiencing today!

What may be done to eliminate religious intolerance, racism, slavery, human trafficking, sexism, world hunger, disease, crime and the myriad of injustices humans perpetrate regularly upon one another?

Will all the good intentions of building a better world by eliminating wars, famines, pestilences and natural disasters ever be realized? Or is the human race doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past over and over again?

There is a remedy that has been offered to mankind but thus far it has been rejected. What is this remedy? It is the promise of Jesus of Nazareth that the Kingdom of God is at hand. Christ came into the world to make the promise of the Kingdom of God a reality by establishing a government sanctioned by the eternal Creator of our ever expanding universe.
When I speak of the kingdom of God as the remedy, I am not referring to what is known today as “Dominionism Theology”. A definition of Dominonism Theology is

:
“The belief that we (mankind) have a mandate to build the “kingdom of God” on earth, restoring paradise, by progressively and supernaturally transforming ourselves and all societal institutions, through subduing and ruling the earth by whatever means possible, including using technology, science and psycho-social engineering; and then and only then will a “Christ” manifest his presence on earth.”
This Remedy of the kingdom of God of which I am referring is the Global Kingdom which Jesus the Messiah alone will establish here upon the earth.
Why is this kingdom of God the only remedy for the ongoing problems of mankind?
Where may we learn more about this kingdom of God?
Who will reign over and throughout this global Kingdom of God?
What will this Kingdom look like?
Who will inhabit this kingdom?
Where will the capitol of this kingdom be established?
When will it be available to abide in the promises of this kingdom?
These questions and more need to be answered so that we may apply this kingdom living to our everyday life style or what I call “Kingdom Dynamics.”
“Kingdom Dynamics” simply means the power of God’s Kingdom, or the rule of God over the entire earth to provide the means of positive change to this present troubled world.
Jesus of Nazareth claimed that if we seek first this kingdom of God and His righteousness, all the things the world lusts over will freely be given to us. Therefore, seeking this Kingdom of God is the only viable remedy for this present dying world in which we live. The summation of the entire Gospel of the Kingdom of God is this kingdom living is at hand or available to mankind now.
A biblical definition of the kingdom of God is simply God’s rule over the earth, or God’s way of living on earth.
This kingdom of God, in which Christ will reign as King, is a coming world government that will encompass the entire globe. In Matthew 6 when Jesus of Nazareth was asked by his followers to teach them how to pray he said:
After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Jesus when He taught the disciples “How” to pray said, “Our Father.”
We pray, communicate; talk with Him, acknowledging Our Father who is in Heaven. It’s powerful, personal and intimate.
“Hallowed be thy name.” We acknowledge Him giving Him all glory honor and praise.
“Thy Kingdom come!”
We are to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, expecting the day to come when He sets up the Kingdom of God physically upon Earth.”
“On Earth as it is in Heaven.”
It is interesting to me that the goal of many churches is to help people to go to “Heaven.” This seems to be opposite of the Lord’s goal is to get “Heaven to come to earth.”
We are to look with anticipation for The Lord’s government for solutions, and not man’s government. When His government is established by Him, He will rule over the entire Earth.
I believe part of our responsibilities is to follow the example of Jesus of Nazareth and going about “Our Fathers Business”, which begins with preaching the “The Gospel of the Kingdom of God” which includes the “Gospel of Salvation.”
“Give us this day our daily bread” The Father knows we have needs even before we ask Him. He provides for the birds that do not sow, reap nor do they store up. This is a beautiful picture The Lord painted with words to illustrate “How” Our Father will provide for those who “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness”.
“And forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
This is the part of the Kingdom attitude we are to have as “Kingdom Citizens.” Jesus taught the Eight Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount. Notice these are Be Attitudes and not Do Attitudes, meaning these are the attitudes a Kingdom Citizens should endeavor to live by in the way we treat others.
This first beatitude is one of being “Poor in Spirit” or the attitude of true humility.
How can we expect forgiveness if we will not forgive?
“Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”
Matthew 6:13 (KJV)
13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
James 1:13 (King James Version)
13Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

God does not tempt us with evil; however He does deliver us from evil.
Our Father does not lead us into temptation in order to test us to see if we will resist temptation or not. (To think this is actually blasphemy because it attributes to God something He does not do.)
“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
The Lord Jesus closes His instruction of “How” to pray by teaching His disciples to again to submit by acknowledging the Fathers Kingdom, Power and Glory!
The message of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is what I have come to believe was the focus of the Lord’s mission on earth. To preach the Kingdom of God is at hand and then to teach those who responded on “How” to become a Kingdom Citizen and to live as a Kingdom Citizen in the attitude of the Kingdom of God.
If we can learn to live as Jesus lived and taught others to live, we can again be blessed by God with His Kingdom Blessing and at the same time prepare to be with the Lord during His Millennium Kingdom someday in the future.
The more of this Kingdom of God we can learn and know about, the clearer we will be able to envision this kingdom as the viable alternative to living according to failing systems of this present world.

To Be Continued. . .

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DISCOVERING THE LORD JESUS THE CHRIST “AS HE IS” TODAY PART IX of XIII

DISCOVERING THE LORD JESUS THE CHRIST “AS HE IS” TODAY PART IX of XIII

By Frank J Manasseri

GLIMPSES OF ETERNITY FUTURE

God opened the windows of heaven and allowed the prophet Isaiah to see the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

Isa 6:1-8
1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.(KJV)

This was a revealed glimpse given to Isaiah of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings Jesus Christ AS HE IS now since His final ascension into heaven seated upon His throne, highly exalted.

Isaiah was allowed to see what was to him Eternity Future. Who he saw was the Lord Jesus Christ sitting on His throne, high and lifted up, His train filling the temple, fully God and fully man!

The prophet Daniel was also given visions in the night of this Holy place as recorded in Daniel 7:13-14.

Dan 7:13-14
13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.(KJV)

Dan 8:15-17
15 And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.
16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.
17 So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.(KJV)

Dan 10:5-7
5 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:
6 His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.
7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.(KJV)

In what was to him ETERNIY FUTURE, the prophet Ezekiel also was given a vision of the Throne of the Christ:

Ezek 1:26-28
26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.
27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.
28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.(KJV)

The Apostle John received similar revelations of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings AS HE IS:

Rev 1:9-19
9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
(KJV)

A quote from Seiss’ Commentary on the Apocalypse PP14 on ” The Son of Man” is fitting.

The “one like unto the Son of man” (), is Christ himself. He is described in
the same way in the Psalms, in the visions of Daniel, and in his own
discourses concerning himself. It is a form of speech meant to set forth the essential importance and prominence of the human element of the Saviour’s character; for it is in his human nature that his redemption work is conducted, and his victories achieved. It is as the Son of man that he came, lived, suffered and died. It was as the Son of man that he rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and will come again, judge the world, and set up his glorious everlasting rule. But he is not to be conceived of as nothing but a man. He is “one like unto the Son of man.” This word like sets us upon the scent of something higher than humanity, though conditioned as humanity, and having everything in common with it. Thus, we read of him as “made in the likeness of men,”– “in all respects made like unto his brethren.”

Throughout the scriptures can be found many other accounts which tell of the visions that were given of Jesus Christ AS HE IS after His final Ascension into heaven, which occurred 40 days after His resurrection from the dead.

These men who received revelations and visions were permitted to glimpse into Eternity Future and see the form of the Lord as He would appear forever upon His Throne. These revelations served to instill in them and others, who would hear, or read their words, a faith, hope and love which at times is beyond description. All of these men were never the same as their committment increased once they clearly saw and understood these visions.

To be continued. . .

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DISCOVERING THE LORD JESUS THE CHRIST “AS HE IS” TODAY PART VIII of XIII

DISCOVERING THE LORD JESUS THE CHRIST “AS HE IS” TODAY PART VIII of XIII

By Frank J Manasseri

Is Jesus Christ fully God?

The epistle of Hebrews is one of “much more”, “better than”, “greater than”. In all things the epistle of Hebrews shows that Jesus was and is greater than all the prophets, angels and is even greater than Moses. It also speaks of the New Covenant with its better promises than that of Abraham.

Chapter one deals with the Divine Nature of Jesus Christ and begins with the word GOD! This should immediately capture the reader’s attention, in that it is likened to Genesis which begins with, “In the beginning, GOD!” or “GOD in the beginning”. No other epistle begins in this manner, and as such Hebrews should get our focused attention because this epistle declares that God is speaking to us in His dear Son.

God makes it known that in these last days He is speaking to us through His dear Son. God speaks to us not through the prophets or by way of angels, but in His dear Son.

His Son is greater than all the prophets or angels who did in the Old Testament speak at various times and places for God. Under the Old Covenant the prophets and angels were limited to communicate to man’s intellect. However, now under the New Covenant Jesus speaks by way of Holy Spirit, directly into the spirit or heart of His people!

His Son is the brightness of His (the Father’s) glory and the express image of His nature. His only begotten Son is the exact imprint of the Father, speaking into the heart or spirit of believers. The resurrected, glorified, Christ is imparting the very life of God from the Throne room of heaven itself into the spirit of believers. 4

The Son of God upholds all things by the word of His power which has been bestowed upon Him by the Father. He has been appointed heir of all things being made so much better than the angels. He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they have.

This Son of God, in whom God is speaking to us today, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down or took His dignified and rightful place at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

Because He loved righteousness and hated iniquity, God anointed Him with the oil of joy above His fellows. As we shall see later on in this study, this anointing of Joy or Holy Spirit occurred sometime after the resurrection, between the Ascension from the Mount of Olives, and the day of Pentecost.

Therefore today if we do not harden our hearts, the Son of God lives in our heart to impart very heaven to us from His throne. He reveals Himself to us, ever perfecting us,
bringing us into the Father’s presence, in order that we may one with Him and with the Father thereby becoming over-comers in this world.

This is just a small portion of what Hebrews Chapter one reveals to those who are seeking and hungering after Truth.

To be continued. . .

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DISCOVERING THE LORD JESUS THE CHRIST “AS HE IS” TODAY PART IV of XIII

DISCOVERING THE LORD JESUS THE CHRIST “AS HE IS” TODAY PART IV of XIII
By Frank J Manasseri

A Revelation from Heaven

It is understood, that God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is not limited by time and space. He is eternal, and as such, He is not subject to any of the natural laws of the universe as we are. God is Sovereign and exists in the eternal now. We on the other hand are limited to time and space. Therefore it is difficult, if not impossible for us to fully grasp the meaning of eternity. Because of these human limitations I will be using the terms “Eternity Past” and “Eternity Future” in order to illustrate from the scriptures what I believe are the different forms of Jesus Christ’s existence.

We begin our journey on the day of Pentecost. Soon after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit Peter filled to overflowing with the Spirit, begins to preach the gospel. Then when he gets to the place as recorded in Acts 2:32 and 33, an amazing truth is revealed. These two verses disclose the actual status and location of the Lord since His recent resurrection from the dead and ascension into heaven.

Acts 2:32 and 33
This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses.
Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

This is the first indication that the Lord Jesus Christ has been glorified and exalted as prophesied in the Old Testament. This truth was being revealed to Peter as he, filled with the Holy Spirit preached on the day of Pentecost. Some fifty days earlier Jesus had told the disciples in John 16, that He would send the Comforter and that this Comforter would guide them into all truth.

John 16:7-15 (KJV)

The Lord told His disciples this Comforter would not speak of Itself, but what It hears, It would speak, and that It would glorify Jesus. This is exactly what transpired during Peter’s anointed preaching, on the day of Pentecost, ten days after the Lord’s ascension into heaven.

This word exalted in Acts 2:33 is the greek word hupsoo which means to elevate (literally or figuratively.) It comes from the root word hupsos which translates altitude, the sky or dignity.

Compare Acts 2:33 (KJV) with Philippians 2:6-11(KJV)

The Revised Standard Version puts it this way:

Phil 2:6-11 (RSV)

The Living Bible gives us another perspective:

Phil 2:6-11 (TLB)

In Philippians 2:9 we learn that God has highly exalted Him and has given Him a name, which is above every other name.

Keeping in mind the Bible offers instruction, understanding, and purpose will assist in our investigation of the scriptures in order to find out exactly when this high exaltation of Jesus Christ actually took place.

To be contiued. . .

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Discovering the Lord Jesus Christ As He Is Today Part III

Discovering the Lord Jesus Christ As He Is Today Part III

STRONGHOLDS

Understanding strongholds is an important step in our quest for truth.The wrong concepts we have developed in our minds can block us from receiving more truth about a subject. The Bible describes these wrong concepts as wrong doctrine. Wrong thinking or doctrines are strongholds that must be identified and then destroyed. The scripture is clear on the “pulling down of strongholds.”

2 Cor 10:4-6(KJV)

What is the casting down of imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God? It is throwing down or away anything that is contrary to “God-Breathed Scripture”. This includes what me or anyone else visualizes (imagines) or thinks (human logic) about what a certain scripture is (or scriptures) are revealing.

In order to receive the truth we must be willing to let the authority of God’s Word speak to us because as I Peter 1:20 and 21 states no prophecy of the scriptures is of any private interpretation.

2 Pet 1:20-21(KJV)

What are these strongholds the Bible speaks of ?

History provides an appropriate metaphor. In Medieval times Strongholds were nearly impenetrable defensive structures with thick walls made from mortar and stone. These were castles or fortresses designed to keep opposing forces out. Some strongholds were more elaborately constructed than others and were surrounded by deep moats and high towers from which the watchmen would keep vigilance against any threatening foes. In many instances access could only be made through one entrance across a drawbridge. Once the drawbridge was raised it blocked the only entrance and sealed off the fortress to the outside world.

While under siege the inhabitants within the stronghold often became like prisoners trapped inside this massive structure. Many times a waiting game ensued to see who could persevere. If the opposing forces were able to outlast those locked inside the fortress they would eventually be able to penetrate the stronghold and take over. The only way to eliminate a stronghold like this was to penetrate the fortress by the force of a stronger army.

Biblical strongholds deal with man’s imaginations, ideas, concepts and beliefs and in many ways are similar to these fortresses of mortar and stone. False teachings and non-biblical traditions in Christianity when embraced as Truth are like strongholds. Many times these fortresses of the mind have served to imprison individuals and obstruct the clear understanding of the scriptures regarding Jesus Christ.

Equally detrimental are similar strongholds that have been developed in the minds of those who have been exposed to erroneous teachings opposing and rejecting His Divine nature or His full humanity. The latter only acknowledge and accept His humanity while denying His divine nature entirely. Certain books, teachings, and portrayals which individuals have been exposed to over the years have clouded the truth of knowing Him AS HE IS. All these have served to blur the much-needed clarity concerning the only begotten Son of God.

Unless one has a clear view of both His divine and human natures an individual is most definitely limited in their true and vital relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and all that springs forth from that blessed relationship.

2 Cor 4:5-7

What is this treasure that is contained in earthen vessels?
It is the knowledge of the glory of God!

How is this treasure of the knowledge of the glory of God given?
It is given in the face of Jesus Christ, which is fellowship with Him AS HE IS!
Where is the truth of AS HE IS found?
The Truth of Jesus Christ As He Is Today is only revealed by Jesus Christ though the scriptures and through intimate fellowship with Him.

In order to discover the truth of AS HE IS we must be willing to pull down strongholds in our mind and seriously and aggressively investigate the scriptures. One must also be willing to practically apply the truth of AS HE IS in their everyday lives. Unless we are willing to commit ourselves to this quest we most definitely will remain ignorant of Whom and What Jesus Christ truly is today.

The Apostle Paul declared in Philippians:

Phil 3:7-10, 14 and 15 (KJV)

Let us be imitators of Paul in his zealous quest to know Jesus Christ in his daily life.

In dealing with the subject of Jesus Christ, (AS HE IS), one must go to the scriptures to discover proof texts regarding both His Divine nature and His complete humanity.
To be continued. . .

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