Thursday, January 29, 2009
Parables,Spirit of stupor and Delusion.
Matthew 13:10-17 (New International Version)
The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?"
He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. This is why I speak to them in parables:
"Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
" 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
For this people's heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.'
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
The Lord Jesus Christ spoke in parables to those whose heart has become calloused with sins so that they will not see or perceive,hear and understand truth which they will distort or misuse later.God knows each one of our hearts for He searches our hearts and thoughts.Isaiah the prophet in the Old Testament, prophesied of how truth will be veiled to those whose hearts are calloused.
The knowledge of the secrets of His kingdom are given only to those who already have the deposit of the Holy Spirit in them.They will be given abundance of the knowledge of the secrets of His kingdom that will overflow through the streams of living water in them.These secrets will turn many who are called,chosen and faithful to Christ for the forming of the righteousness of Christ in them fully.
Do you often despair that the secrets of God are not given to you but given to others.He says " Draw near to me and I will draw near to you " But, you should never draw near to God with the intention of 'gaining' something that is not yours.We have an example of coming to God with wrong motives in one's heart.The verses below shows us this example.
Acts 8:9-13 (New International Version)
Simon the Sorcerer
Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great,and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, "This man is the divine power known as the Great Power." They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
Continued in this same chapter at latter verses were this account of Simon:
Acts 8:18-24 (New International Version)
When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money and said, "Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit."
Peter answered: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin."
Then Simon answered, "Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me."
When you come to God through Christ our Lord,your intentions and motives of your heart must be right with Him. You will be found out by God."We can fool man but we cannot fool God".He is our Creator and He knows everything about us.
Simon thought with all the money in the world with him ,he could buy " the power of the Holy Spirit" to use it on others to gain himself more money and fame.He hasn't truly repented,has he?. That's why God speaks to these in parables and keeps them in the dark about His kingdom secrets but gives it those 'foolish,weak and despised' in the eyes of the world.He gives these abundance of secrets of His kingdom to the least respected.
Remember the Lord Jesus Christ himself was the 'stone' the builders rejected.But, He became the Capstone for God's eternal building.But, these supposed 'builders' where are they now? They probably don't even have a share in God's kingdom. The Lord Jesus Christ spoke in parables to these 'builders' who were the hypocritical Pharisees and the Saducees,the chief priests and priests,those who considered themselves very respected in the eyes of the public.They never had the approval of God in their lives,though they claimed they had. It showed in the end of things.
Spirit of Stupor
Romans 11:7-10 (New International Version)
What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened, as it is written:
"God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes so that they could not see
and ears so that they could not hear,
to this very day." And David says:
"May their table become a snare and a trap,
a stumbling block and a retribution for them.
May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent forever."
A people who thought that they could do any evil and get away with it were given a spirit of stupor, that made them feel like they were drunk to the maximum. They were 'intoxicated' with this spirit of stupor that made them stagger and not see this truth.These were proud and arrogant people who did not trust in God or Christ whom He had sent, but their evil hearts flirted and trusted in their own intelligence and strength to do as they liked, without seeking God's help.
Just like a drunkard will have all his senses impaired temporarily, these people could not see clearly,hear, or understand. So 'drunk' were they that they could not recognise who was standing before them.
John 1:1-12 (New International Version)
The Word Became Flesh
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John.He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
The spirit of stupor was on them that they could not recognise who was standing before them, even the Son of God,the Lord Jesus Christ. They could only see Him as just another man.They could not see the difference.Their judgment was impaired too.
King David prophesied of them:
"May their table become a snare and a trap,
a stumbling block and a retribution for them.
May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent forever."
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 (New International Version)
For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
God sends this powerful delusion into those who delight in wickedness and have them to believe the lie and not see the truth forever and ever, till they are condemned and thrown into the lake of fire to be destroyed.
These are those who find delight in sinning even when warned.They delight themselves in wickedness.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 (New International Version)
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
Deception comes through delusion.Those who are easily deceived will be those on whom God has brought on the powerful delusion because they delighted themselves in wickedness and refused to repent and turn away from these sins even when warned.
Watch the coming days ahead!
Dissipation,Drunkenness and Anxieties of Life.
Luke 21:34-36 (New International Version)
"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth.Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."
Carelessness towards Christformation in us will result in us caught in a disastrous trap.On that day, we will find ourselves so entangled in the things of this world that we would not be able to set ourselves free or escape from the coming testings of our faith that will be so severe.We will just admit defeat to the Devil and not be able to stand before Jesus Christ our Lord who is the Son of Man, at His second coming.
When we have ceased to be alert of the wiles of the Enemy and have become deliberately careless with our faith and Christformation in us, our hearts will become weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and be filled with the anxieties of life instead. We can escape this trap if we watch and pray always. To 'Watch' means to know where the enemy is attacking from and when to expect it.If we pray fervently to the Lord He will reveal these things we don't know for our own safety and the safety of others around us from the attacks of the Enemy.
The dictionary meaning of the word 'dissipation' is wasteful consumption or expenditure,dissolute indulgence in pleasure,amusement and diversion.It's a form of unrestrained pursuit of pleasure,wasting and squander,scatter or dispel.Things that go vanishing by dispersion.
It also means, to indulge excessively in the pursuit of pleasure and debauchery.
This sin has caught up with many today knowingly or even unknowingly.
The only reason I see why would one do this with his or other's hard earned income would be to release himself or herself from the guilt that is attached to all forms of sinning which has not been dealt with through the blood of Jesus Christ our Lord.We had been careless with our walk with the Lord.
The warning of the Lord goes this way:
1 Peter 4:3-5 (New International Version)
For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
If you had fallen into this first trap,there is still time for you to come out of this now. The way out is repentance, meaning 'turn away from this and never return to it ever'.Turn to Jesus Christ our Lord for Christformation to fill your born again spirit,if you know you are born again in your spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (New International Version)
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
We know if we continue in these sins without repenting,we will not be able to enter the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is within us.Full-Christformation in us is the kingdom of God. If we have willfuly neglected full Christformation in us by being involved in such serious sins, then, we will never be able inherit or gain Christ in us.Christ will not be formed in us even if we attended meetings faithfully.
We must turn away from these wickedness.
Many dispute or defend that drunkenness is not a serious sin.It is,only if you realize that it will hinder or abort Christformation in you.You will not be able to escape easily out of this deadly habit. Drunkenness is Satan's solution for problems he created,for Satan or the Devil is the author of every sin.
Anxieties of Life
Matthew 6:25-34 (New International Version)
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[a]?
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
'Anxiety' is another dangerous trap we get ourselves into.This is a trap from the devil too.Satan fills you with greed first and then gives you the anxiety if you can't achieve it. This lousy feeling comes directly from the Devil.This is why the Lord Jesus Christ specifically warned us about this trap of the Devil in the verses above.
Anxiety or worry can do much damage and hinder Christformation in us.Out of this worry or anxiety many have turned to the world and have made shipwreck of their faith.This may even kill your faith if you don't watch it.
Instead, this is what we should be doing.
Philippians 4:6-7 (New International Version)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
We should be careful about Christformation in us and not allow any of these sins above to hinder or abort full Christformation in us.These are the deadly sins of the last days that will lead us to the pathway of destruction if we indulge in them.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Christformation In You Ministries
Christformation is the ‘White-Stone Pearl’ in you.
Matthew 13:44-46 (New International Version)
Parable of the Pearl
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
Wikipedia describes a pearl as such:
“A pearl is a hard, roundish object produced within the soft tissue specifically the mantle of a living shelled mollusk. Just like the shell of mollusks, a pearl is composed of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other shapes of pearls (baroque pearls) occur.
The finest quality natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for many centuries, and because of this, the word pearl became a metaphor for something very rare, very fine, very admirable and very valuable.
Almost any shelled mollusk can, by natural processes, produce some kind of "pearl" when an irritating microscopic object becomes trapped within the mollusk's mantle folds, but virtually none of these pearls are valued as gemstones”.
Christformation is very much like a pearl found in an oyster. An oyster is hidden away deep in the seas. Likewise, Christformation is hidden away in the depths of our born again spirit. The forming of Christ in us is going on secretly within us, while we still have life on this earth, like the pearl. Do you see why we need the Holy Spirit in us so badly? He helps us in Christ being formed within us in the depths of our born again spirit where no one could go or reach.
Wikipedia further explains about the physical properties of the pearls in detail.
“The unique luster of pearls depends upon the reflection, refraction, and diffraction of light from the translucent layers. The thinner and more numerous the layers in the pearl are the finer the luster. The iridescence that pearls display is caused by the overlapping of successive layers, which breaks up light falling on the surface. In addition, pearls (especially cultured freshwater pearls) can be dyed yellow, green, blue, brown, pink, purple, or black”.
Fresh water and Salt-water pearls
“Freshwater and saltwater pearls may sometimes look quite similar, but they come from very different sources.
Natural freshwater pearls form in various species of freshwater mussels, family ‘Unionidae’, which live in lakes, rivers, ponds and other bodies of fresh water. These freshwater pearl mussels occur not only in hotter climates, but also in colder more temperate areas such as Scotland: see the freshwater pearl mussel. However, most freshwater cultured pearls sold today come from China. Saltwater pearls grow within pearl oysters, family ‘Pteriidae’, which live in oceans. Saltwater pearl oysters are usually cultivated in protected lagoons or volcanic atolls”.
We see that natural pearls have distinct physical properties as compared to cultured ones. That is why we say that Christformation is distinct and cannot be counterfeited. It will show up with end-results that will be distinct from the counterfeit.
‘Buy’ Christformation with a Price
In the ‘Parable of the Pearl, when we have found that valuable pearl we will have to “sell everything away and buy” that highly valued pearl. What does that mean?
When we have known Christ and are born again now, we must be ready to give up all of the sinful nature, in order for Christ to be formed in us fully. There is a price to pay for full-Christformation in us.
Luke 14:33 (New International Version)
In the same way, any of you who do not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
In order for full-Christformation to happen in us, we must give-up everything that hinders us from gaining Christ fully. There is a price to pay. You will have to count the cost first on what you want to hold-on to or give-up.
If you want to follow Christ to full formation of him in you, you must deny yourself of pleasing your sinful nature in you. You must pick-up the cross or be filled with the suffering nature of Christ to resist sin and Satan’s sinful nature in you. Put it to death on that cross of Christ you carry daily and then follow the Holy Spirit’s leading to full- Christformation in you.
The formation of Christ is like the formation of the pearl in that least attractive shell that hides it. The pearl is formed out of its resistance to the “irritating microscopic object”. Christformation became necessary in the Garden of Eden when Satan deceived Adam and Eve and sowed his evil sinful nature into them. God had to send them out of that Garden to prepare the way for full-Christformation to happen in them by way of revealing who that ‘Tree of Life’ in that Garden was. If we choose to eat the ‘fruit’ of Him, we will have the divine nature of Christ formed in us continuously until Christ is fully formed in us.
This need came about out of Adam and Eve’s disobedience but because of Christ’s obedience to the Heavenly Father, even to the point of death on the Cross of Calvary, this atonement has worked out a way for us to full-Christformation in us. We who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ can now eat from the ‘Tree of Life’ daily and be filled with Him. This will please the Heavenly Father for this is His eternal will for us that everyone who believes in His only begotten Son whom He had sent as our Redeemer and Savior will become fully like Him in His divine nature. We must ‘eat and drink’ of Him to be filled with Him.
“Freshwater and saltwater pearls may sometimes look quite similar, but they come from very different sources”. This is what Wikipedia says of pearls formed from different sources that look almost the same.
Let’s look at the word of God to see what is written about this:
James 3:9-11 (New International Version)
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?
“Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?”
The answer is a “No”. The source where it flows from will decide the outcome of the pearl that is formed inside.
Christformation in us will be decided by the source of that formation in us, and that is Christ himself. The Holy Spirit is that overflowing streams of Living Water in us. He brings full Christformation in us when we fully obey His leading in us.
All counterfeits will be recognized by Christ (even if it is dyed) at the end of that race of Christformation in us. Who is the source of our lives today? Christ or Satan? The same question God had asked Adam and Eve to choose in the Garden of Eden. They willingly out of their own disobedience chose Satan. The choice was about who will rule them. What about you and me today? Whom do we choose to be our source of Life? If you choose Christ you will have eternal life and if you willingly choose Satan you will have eternal death, like him. Choose the One on which you wish to spend all your strength and might on. Which one do you wish to ‘buy’? Which one will you cherish and which one will you give up? The consequence of choosing either one will leave you with eternal results in the end.
Who is your Source, Christ or Satan?
Like the valuable pearl, full-Christformation is rare and valuable. It takes a life time to form to its individual rarity and value. We have to make every effort to enter through that narrow door.
Luke 13:24-30 (New International Version)
He said to them, "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.'
"But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from.'
"Then you will say, 'We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.'
"But he will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!'
"There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last." This last feast is for feasting on Christ for what’s lacking in them".
‘Making every effort’ is the same as “working out your salvation with fear and trembling”. The reason the ‘door will be closed’ on some will be their continual sinning even when warned? Working out our salvation with fear and trembling is obeying God’s word.
If we just sit down to hear God’s word and not obey it, we are not working out our salvation with fear and trembling. Full Christformation in us happens only when we fully obey His word.
Isaiah 66:2 (New International Version)
Has not my hand made all these things,
and so they came into being? declares the LORD.
"This is the one I esteem he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.
WORD became flesh and now is the time for all flesh that obeys Him with fear and trembling to become WORD. This can only happen through full Christformation in us.
Like the pearl formation. Christformation is within our born again spirit and will not be judged by what we did outwardly only but by our motives, desires, intentions and thoughts.
"Then you will say, 'We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets”. For this, Christ will say, "But he will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from. “Get away from me, all you evildoers!”
‘The Pearl’ will show in the end what was formed in it. If it was formed naturally it will produce a natural pearl. If a cultured pearl, it will produce an imitation pearl that looks the same outwardly but in content formation will not withstand the tests of the deep seas. It will be recognized as something that is just an imitation with not much value in it. The source of the formation was different and therefore the pearl outcome will be different.
The true Source (Christ our Lord) will not recognize the imitation pearl because it never had its source through Him and He will say, “I don’t know you and where you come from”. IF we continually do evil, even though we confess or profess the name of Jesus, then our source has never been Christ. Our source should have come from the divine nature of Christ brought to us by the Holy Spirit in us then we will not continue sinning.
If the source has been the Devil (Satan) through the sinful nature in us then we will continue to do evil on earth even when warned.
Before the gnashing of teeth comes eternally on you, it will be good for you to repent and turn away from that false source (The Devil) now.
The pearl is the rounded white stone that means ‘fullness’ just as ‘full- Christformation’ is the new name for the ‘white stone’ being formed in us now.
Christformation is the process where the ‘pearl’ named as full-Christformation is being formed. The source who is Christ himself will decide Christformation in us with the help of the Holy Spirit here on earth. We are being made valuable in God the Father’s eyes with eternal value through the full formation of Christ His beloved Son in us.
We will become the eternal dwelling of God through Christ being formed in us. Precious stones are used in the book of Revelation to describe the many characters of Christ in us. God the Father desires to see the many characters of Christ formed in us fully. When this is completed we will become their eternal dwelling.
Revelation 21:19-27 (Version New International)
The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald,the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.
I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
We will become the dwelling of God through Christ His beloved Son. This is the promise we have from Christ our Lord. Full Christformation will happen only in those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Who are those in whom full Christformation will happen?
John 14:23 (New International Version)
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him".
Those who obey His teaching will have their names written in the Lamb’s book of life. Who are those who will obey His teaching given by the Holy Spirit in us? Those who love Him will obey His teaching. IF you love Him you will keep his commandments and if you don’t love Him you will not keep his commandments no matter how much you are forced to.
The ‘Pearl’ has a love relationship with the Source of Everything on earth, in heaven and beneath the earth. That’s how the pearl becomes a valuable Jewel, where the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit will make their home in forever and ever as in Revelations 21:19- 27.
Written by Ronald K.Pillai
Monday, January 26, 2009
We need to look at this verse carefully and understand fully what it says about our public confession of our faith in Christ.Generally,this verse is being misunderstood with it's exact meaning.
Romans 10:9-10 (New International Version)
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
This confession of our faith that "Jesus is Lord" is not to be confined within 'four walls'.This confession must be shown in our daily conversations and public conduct wherever we go. We don't just confess our faith that Jesus is Lord on Sundays and go on swearing and cursing from Monday to Saturday.This is where the deception lies,beware!
What we do from Monday to Saturday should reflect what we are on Sunday. Often this is not the case. The opposite is true. Even on Sundays, right within that 'four walls, the conversations between one another will not reflect their true beliefs or their 'true beliefs' will show otherwise through their talk. The confessions of our mouth in what we believe must continue outside of that 'four walls' but it doesn't.
The general conduct and practice will show far from the truth of Romans 10: 9-10.
The Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to 'go out out of the tent' and carry that message with our Christ-formed conduct but that doesn't happen. The public confessions will be contrary to what the Holy Spirit in us is urging us to do.
There will be willful disobedience to the Holy Spirit in all that is done. This is not what God requires of us. Are we only trying to please men with our outward form of religiousity but do not fear God who can see our thoughts and actions all the time. to be continued....
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Christformation In You Ministries
Running the Race of Christformation
Hebrews 12:1-4 (New International Version)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
We often hear of the phrase ‘running the race’. Why was this phrase often used. What ‘race’ is this? Why race? Why not a slow jog, brisk walking or slow walk?
The one same answer to all these questions above is that the race has already been ‘marked out’ for us by the Lord, the Author and the Perfecter of our race of faith..
According to Hebrews chapter 12 verses 1-4, we see the requirements of our God in this race marked out for us. We need perseverance on our part to run this race or else we will fail.
Cloud of Witnesses
There is always a crowd invited to watch or witness the running of a race. The crowd is for the cheering, wooing, clapping and encouraging of all participants of that race
In this race marked out for us by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself we have a ‘cloud of witnesses’ too. What is this cloud of witnesses? Rather, who are they? Why are we being surrounded by these witnesses? What are they watching for? Let’s look at the verses below in chapter 11 of Hebrews.
Hebrews 11:32-40 (New International Version)
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect
“God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect” Hebrews 11: 40
What is that which ‘God had planned better for us’? As new covenant believers what is better for us than old covenant believers ? The marked difference between the Old and the New Testament believers is that in the Old Testament, all of God’s people then were judged by their physical obedience to God, whereas the New Testament Christians by our spiritual obedience to the Holy Spirit.
To explain it further, in the Old Testament times there were the ceremonial laws, physical laws such as circumcision, bodily cleanliness laws, priesthood laws, physical structure laws for the tabernacle of Moses and the temple building, laws related to the ark of the covenant which they had to strictly follow or face the death penalty by stoning.
In contrast to the New Testament times today, we will not be judged by our physical obedience but by our spiritual obedience to the Holy Spirit our Helper whom the Father has sent through His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Laws of God are written in our new hearts, in our new born again spirit. The Holy Spirit will remind us of these truths and convict us of three important things in our heart and renewed mind. He will convict us of the sins we commit from our sinful nature that will defile us if we yield to that specific temptation.He will urge us to put to death the sinful nature within us. The second important thing He will convict us about is the righteousness of Christ that needs to fill our lives all the time. The third thing that He will convict us about is where we stand in God eyes through Christ and reminds us that Satan stands condemned before God eternally with all his fallen angels. We will suffer the same punishment eternally, if we disobey His constant leading in us.
Noah was given specific measurements for the Ark he was told to build. Disobedience to that would have cost him his own life and the life of the seven others with him in that Ark. Moses was similarly given specific items to build the Tabernacle with. The physical and tiresome journey from out of Egypt into the land of Canaan made the Israelites disobey some of God’s commandments. They were punished with physical death. They were required to obey God physically.
In the New Testament, we are required to obey the Holy Spirit who leads us to full Christformation in us. In the Old Testament, those who strictly obeyed God’s commandments with their physical obedience had Christ formed in them. Those who did not obey died or were destroyed along the way.
You may ask how Christ can be formed in those who did not meet or experience Christ themselves as we have done. The answer to that is, as they obeyed and met the requirements of God with pysical obedience, for example, the circumcision, Christ got formed in them.
All the requirements of the Old Testament pointed to Christ who was to be revealed soon to the world, The Seven feast of the Lord, the articles in the Tabernacle of Moses, the priesthood garments, the Ark of the Covenant, the ceremonial laws, the physical journey from Egypt to Canaan were all Christformation in them whenever or wherever they obeyed.
Peter 1:10-12 (New International Version)
Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
Today, if we obey the Holy Spirit in us alone (who leads us to all truth), Christ gets formed in us.
If that was the case, why is the ‘cloud of witnesses’ watching how we run the race marked out for us?
This is so because we have taken over the ‘baton’ from them and are running towards the finishing line. They are watching and cheering us on so that we will finish our race with much perseverance till the end, a race which they themselves began and would like it completed with full Christformation in all of us. They lived to please the Author of their faith during their times and are waiting eagerly to witness the Perfecter of our faith bring full Christformation in us into completion.
Let’s study these verses carefully that speaks of the physical and spiritual differences.
1 Corinthians 15:40-58 (New International Version)
There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.
I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.
For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable, for we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true:
"Death has been swallowed up in victory."
"Where, O death is your victory?
Where, O death is your sting?"[The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain”.
Perseverance to run the race till the end is required, but first, before we ‘run the race’ we need to do something, without which, we will fail.
Throw off Everything that Hinders
In order for us to run with perseverance and ‘win’ or ‘gain’ the crowns offered to each triumphant and more-than-an-overcomer coveted ‘prize’, we need to throw off everything that hinders full- Christformation in us. First, what are these crowns, if they are not full- Christformation in us?
Aren’t these crowns called crowns of righteousness, eternal life in Christ, salvation, joy or glory found only in Christ? Don’t all these crowns speak of full–Christformation in us? Isn’t the righteousness of Christ supposed to be formed in us fully? Doesn’t the eternal life of Christ form in us? Don’t we have to work out salvation with fear and trembling to gain Christ fully in us? Or else, why do we have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, if not for full-Christformation in us.
What exactly is it that we need to ‘throw off’? What is this ‘everything’ that hinders? Hinders What?
‘Everything’ that is in our sinful nature which has been sown in us by Satan through Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, we need to throw off. Why do we need to throw off the sinful nature? The sole reason is that, full-Christformation in us will be hindered if it’s not ‘thrown off’. We have to overcome all the power of the enemy in order for full Christformation in us.
How do we throw off the sinful nature from us? Is it possible to throw off the sinful nature from us? Yes, it’s possible. In the Old Testament, there were two kinds of goat offerings, one is to be killed and offered on the Altar of burnt offering and the other to be laid on with hands by the priest laying all the sins of the people of God on it and be freed into the wilderness without return. This will symbolize full salvation for them.
These two goats symbolized the forgiveness and the removal of the sinful nature from us through Christ’s death on the Cross. Goats symbolize sins in us. The Lord Jesus Christ had no sin in himself. He came to take upon himself our sins. Just as the first goat was offered on the altar with all its blood, Christ the perfect Lamb of God also shed his blood and died on the cross at Calvary. All the remaining flesh of the goat was then burnt on the altar to be the burnt offering. Christ died on the cross and his flesh was buried for three days in his grave. This Altar of Burnt -Offering symbolized the forgiveness of our sins through the atonement work of Christ on the cross of Calvary. The other goat will now be laid with all the sins of God’s chosen people when the priest lays his hands on the head of the goat. The goat will become the ‘scape-goat’ and be released into the wilderness without return. This will be the second part of our salvation.
Our sinful nature will be removed far away with no return only if we choose to ‘throw it off’ from us. If we don’t resent it with all our might but cherish even some part of the sinful nature to remain in us, the sinful nature will not be removed from us. With the remaining of some part of the sinful nature, full Christformation will be hindered in us. The choice or decision is still yours but the consequences of retaining the sinful nature will be eternal embarrassment, shame and disgrace because you might have the life in you but the righteousness of Christ will be conspicuously lacking because you did not want to let go off the sinful nature of Satan when the opportunity was given to you. You may appear poorly dressed for eternity revealing some of your ‘nakedness’.
Obedience to the Holy Spirit in us is very important to the running of the race of Christformation. If we do not listen or obey Him at this point of time, we will be deceived easily. We must be led by the Holy Spirit and not by any flesh, let alone our own flesh. Don’t ‘gamble’ your life away. It may cost you your eternity in Christ and only you would have to suffer the consequences by yourself.
The apostle Paul says it this way in his epistle to the Ephesians. “Put off you old self”. It’s the same as saying “throw off everything that hinders”.
Ephesians 4:22-24 (New International Version)
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
To “Put off your old self” is to let your sinful nature go from you with no return and not hold it back, like the scapegoat as in the Old Testament times. The sinful nature will corrupt you if it continues to remain in you. Corruption of the sinful nature in you will give no place for full-Christformation in you. It will hinder full Christformation in you.
Remember always, the race we are called to run is the race of full Christformation in us. Anything that hinders full Christformation, you are required to throw it off from you. The other corresponding exhortation Paul gives to this body of believers is, “put on the new self”. The new self is the new creation in us. The new creation is full-Christformation in us. Without Christ being formed in us, how can we be like God in true righteousness and holiness? There is no other way. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man goes to the Heavenly Father except by Christ being formed in him.
Just how do we ‘throw off everything that hinders’ or ‘put off the old self’ which refers to the same thing?
Yes, the apostle Paul once again touches on this subject in his epistles to the Colossians. Here it is.
Colossians 3:5-10 (New International Version)
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry? Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
This time the apostle Paul tells them to “Put to death” He urged them to ‘put to death everything that belongs to their earthly nature’. The phrase ‘earthly nature’ is synonym to the phrase ‘sinful nature’. Any reference to ‘earthly’ in the word of God is attached to the Devil (Satan).This earth is Satan’s temporary ‘home’ before his eternal annihilation. He did not rightfully inherit it but was “thrown down to this earth like lightning” because of His sinful pride, the Lord Jesus told us so.
The verses above in Colossians say, “...The wrath of God is coming”. Why is it coming? It is coming on those who cherish this sinful nature of Satan in them. The sins that come from the sinful nature of Satan are found in these verses there specifically. These are the sins that hinder Christformation in us. Let’s remove it from ourselves willingly.
“Being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” is Christformation and it all happens in the new born again spirit in you. That’s your new self in Christ. Christ must be fully formed in your new self.
Run the Race with Perseverance
2 Timothy 2:5 (New International Version)
Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules.
Many of us do not know why we are in a race and are in the dark as to what kind of race we are running. We are in a race because a race involves strict self discipline. It’s when we lack self discipline that God comes into our life with His own disciplining of us. This discipline is necessary to align us back to God’s ways after we had lived the way of sin for a long time. Though we have a born again spirit within us, the sinful nature is still there waiting for us to ‘put it to death’ willingly.
Hebrews 12:7-13 (New International Version)
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Running the race of Christformation is an ongoing race and the ‘crowns’ or prize of that race you will ‘win’ or gain is full Christformation in us. It will require a lot of perseverance from us. Each of the crowns is actually a part of Christ’s divine nature and when you have attained all the ‘crowns’, you would have gained Christ fully. Full Christformation would have happened in you. But, only with perseverance you could successfully finish the race and ‘win’ the ‘crowns’ of His divine nature.
Perseverance is the strength you would need to run this race of Christformation. Why perseverance? What is perseverance? How do we get this perseverance? How does this strength come to us?
You will be surprised to note that suffering actually produces perseverance. That would mean perseverance is a product of suffering.
Suffering is a fearsome thing for many. Instead, many choose worldly pleasure because they fear suffering. The cross of Christ is a symbol of suffering. Some preachers, in order to retain membership and loyalty to themselves and their organizations have even gone further to preach and teach against suffering. They have resorted to the standards of this world and would prefer preaching and teaching about how their members could avoid suffering.
The Lord Jesus Christ was a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering while on earth. He had to suffer to bear our iniquities. Well, He could have instead just lived comfortably and taught his disciples on secrets of success on how to live a comfortable life too, on earth. He did not.
Isaiah 53:3 (New International Version)
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
He taught his disciples that suffering produces perseverance. He persevered till the end and ‘won’. When the disciples could not take the sufferings anymore they left Him and went back to fishing which was the only means of earning an income for them. For most of them, their livelihood was fishing.
The Lord Jesus Christ suffered shame, humiliation, rejection, mockery, poverty, physical lack, oppression, hunger, thirst, pain, injustices, cruelty, physical and emotional abuse, psychological tortures and pressures, unjustified hatred, verbal insults, unjust punishment, false- accusations, unfairness, persecution, threats, opposition, being alone and forsaken, being without a permanent shelter,the death penalty although not guilty and the list goes on.
Isaiah 53:10 (New International Version)
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
His disciples, except for Judas Iscariot suffered almost similarly for their faith in Christ. The apostle Paul suffered much for his faith in Christ our Lord. Similarly, the Old Testament patriarchs, prophets, priests, judges, leaders, kings, and the people of God in general suffered too. One such person was Job. He was rewarded for his perseverance or should we say the sufferings in Job’s life brought out the perseverance in him? God allows suffering because suffering produces perseverance. But what are we going to do with this perseverance after we have gained it. Well, we can use it to defeat Satan (the Devil). The Devil does not have perseverance.How do we know that? Just take a glimpse at those who do not belong to Christ and you will know that Satan does not have perseverance. Why do Satan’s children fight among themselves and destroy each other? It’s because they lack perseverance. They cannot take the test. They are only accustomed to living comfortable lives which they acquire by ‘hook or by crook’. If they cannot get their way, they fight and quarrel. Remember, the once ‘Lucifer’ became the ‘Deceiver’ because he wanted his way with God. That was how he was thrown to this earth.
Perseverance is keeping your eyes, thoughts, motives, intentions, desires, hope, trust and love on the Author and the Perfecter of our faith, who is, Jesus Christ the Son of God and our Lord and Savior.
We are running the last lap of the race of Christformation. Please do not be mistaken here! We are not running the race for Christformation but we are running the race of Christformation. What is the difference between the two?
When we say we are running the race of Christformation, it speaks about the race we are running now. Whereas when we say the other (for Christformation), it only speaks about the purpose of our running. We don’t run for the purpose of Christformation but we run the Christformation race for full Christformation in us. In this race, we will overcome all the power of the enemy in our life along the way, just like an athlete runs overcoming tiredness,slackness, pain in the legs and muscles, the competing opponent’s heated challenge, personal indiscipline, fears, doubts about his ability, inconsistency, lack of stamina, lack of self confidence and so on.
The race is not our goal. Christformation is the race but full- Christformation in us is the goal. The fullness of Christ’s divine nature formed in us will produce Christ likeness in us for eternity that will please the Heavenly Father, for that was His will from the beginning of everything on earth, in the heavens and underneath or beneath the earth.
Revelation 20:4-6 (New International Version)
I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
The suffering life of the Lord Jesus Christ will be formed in us fully if we obey the Holy Spirit fully. We must remember extra eyes,the cloud of witnesses are watching us all the time. We must put to death the sinful nature and run the race of christformation marked out for us with perseverance and gain Christ fully in us with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Article written by Ronald K.Pillai for Christformation In You Ministries.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
CHRISTFORMATION IN YOU MINISTRIES
My dear children for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you. Galatians 4:19 (NIV translation)
THE TEMPTATION OF CHRIST
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of Gaod, tell these stones to become bread. Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'[a]"Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'[b]" Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'[c]" Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me. "Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'[d]" Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
With three temptations Satan targets the premature abortion of Christformation in you.
In the four gospels, the word of God introduces Christ our Lord with the three temptations He went through in the wilderness. He was tempted the same way we are being tempted today but how He overcame them were of exemplary character.
God, the Father did not tempt Him. He allowed Satan, the deceiver, to tempt Christ His Son knowing beforehand how He would respond to temptations especially after He had fasted forty days and forty nights. Christ is the Firstborn of God, among many brothers. He is the perfect example we are to follow as God’s children. No other man or woman on earth or heaven could be compared to Him.
Christ, the Anointed One, shows us the way of obedience to our Heavenly Father. No man has obeyed the Father like Christ did on earth.
Though He was God’s own Son, He learned obedience to the Father on earth. Christ was sent to earth as the exact representation of the Father and He obeyed the One who sent him to be lowered among man. He was humiliated but yet He obeyed God, even the punishment of death on the cross!
God predestined us to be made into the likeness of Christ. Everyone from lambs and sheep to mini-shepherd, we are to be formed into His image. Primarily, the outcome of our relationship with Christ is determined by how we resist Satan and the worldly temptations he brings our way because this will hinder Christformation in us.
Christ the Overcomer has shown us how we could resist the evil one. It is God’s will for us to be an overcomer too, following Christ’s example. The Heavenly Father is pleased when we become the exact representation of Christ, His Son on earth, to all others on earth. He knows those who are His children, in whom Christ is being formed.
There are three temptations that stand out as Satan’s evil scheme to hinder and destroy Christformation in God’s own people. Christ showed us what they were and how to overcome them. Satan’s target on God’s called out and chosen ones are three things. The three very important characteristics of the divine nature of Christ in the life of a believer in Christ are; the word of God, the will of God and the work of God. Satan seeks to keep us away from these three eternal formations of the nature of Christ in us. Christ our Lord was tempted in these three areas but He overcame the devil, putting Satan to eternal shame. Christ is truly the Firstborn of God, the Father.
THE WORD OF GOD
It is Satan’s desire to see every predestined child of God neglect the word of God in their lives here, while on earth. But, it is the Spirit of God that reveals God to us by His Word. Greater is He who lives in us than he (the evil one) who lives in the world. The word of God is the seed by which we are born again in the Spirit of God. The word of God gives nourishment to grow in Christ so that Christ is formed in us fully.
God’s word is life in Christ brought to us by the Spirit of God. God’s word brings maturity to the believer in Christ. Satan would do all he can to hinder and blind these eternal treasure from God’s chosen ones.
The reason Satan fell is because it became proud and arrogant before God! He deceived Adam and Eve to do the same, to live separated from God (not needing God’s help) so that they would earn the same curse as Satan deserved for outright rebellion.
We belong to the second Adam or rather the last Adam. There is no more other Adams for us to follow-only Christ, our Last Adam. So, if someone says to you there is another after Christ whom we could follow, don’t believe them. It’s a lie.
When we obey the word of God as He speaks to us by the Holy Spirit, we become more like Christ, His beloved Son. But, Satan will seek to abort Christ being formed in us if he can persuade us to disobey the word of God.
The more we obey the word of God, the more we will become like Christ and He will be formed in us eternally.
Christ being formed in us will become our resurrected body in Christ which is being constructed at the heavenly Father’s right hand now. We will be clothed with this imperishable body at the return of Christ our King. Christ our Lord is interceding for every of God’s chosen children, that we obey His word without fail and be clothed with Him.
Did you notice that when Satan tempted Christ our Lord in the wilderness, he referred to food, first? Food is for the stomach and stomach means survival. Satan’s evil suggestion is for Christ to make his stomach his God. A temptation it still brings today to all of God’s chosen children in Christ. Satan was tempting Christ to make his short physical survival on earth the main emphasis and the most important thing to do and take his eyes off God.
Christ simply reminded Satan that the most important thing to do, as God’s chosen, is to feed on God’s word and grow by it. You can skip your eating but do not skip feeding on the word of God. When you feed on the word of God you are feeding on Christ.
When you obey the word of God, Christ is being formed in you. Do not stop obeying the word of God. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul the apostle said with affirmed warning that the true enemies of the cross of Christ are those whose ‘stomach is their God’. For such people their destiny will be destruction and their glory is in their shame actually. In Philippians 3:19, he said:
“Their destiny is destruction, their God is their stomach and their glory is in their shame”.
It is easy for us to take our eyes off God or rather shut our ears to what He is saying to us through His word when we are tested to see if physical survival is more important than the source of everything, God himself.
What God is saying to us today is more important than our daily food. I am not saying we do not need to work in this world. Each of us should be ready to face the consequences of our own actions at the end of the day, on how we conducted our lives while trying to survive on earth.
The world is changing fast but our God does not change through the ages. He is the same yesterday, today and forevermore. God’s formulae for us does not change, so, we should obey what the word of God says spoken with relevance by the Holy Spirit today to each individual.
When the book of Colossians Chapter 3:1 tells Christians “to set their eyes and minds on things above” it means to say, set your thoughts and desires always to this body you are going to be clothed with, after your resurrection in God’s presence. This body is in God’s presence now and we are seated with Christ in the heavens always.
Our thoughts must be on Christ our Lord, at the Father’s right hand, on what is transpiring there right now, between us and God through Christ. We can see these daily with the help of the Holy Spirit.
The word of God is the most important of all food to God’s chosen people in Christ. Christ is that Word, that Word was with God and that Word was God, the Son, and that Word was revealed and became flesh so that all chosen flesh of His, will become His Word in return.
The present earth and heaven will pass away but His Word will remain forever. If we are going to remain forever and ever with God, flesh must become Word first, because only Word will remain forever, nothing else will. The Word (Christ) must be formed in us, in His fullness. Only then, it will be eternal quality and material to live forever and ever with God.
In Paul’s epistle to the Colossians, we are told to let the word of Christ dwell richly in us, that would literally mean, everything He had said In Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, the book of Acts, the epistles and all the books in the whole bible, inclusive of the Old Testament.
When I first believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord, I began to take all the books out of the church library and search for the ‘treasure of which I had newly found the ‘clue’. It cost me much because I was only seventeen then and I had to forgo my youthful ‘experiments’ outside in the world and be shut in instead. I did know what the Holy Spirit was doing in me then, but, now I know. The Word of God is more important to His chosen ones than anything else in this world.
THE WILL OF GOD
Satan is addressed as the ‘Tempter’ in this entire passage which best describes it’s nature and rebellious self will. The sinful nature in us is Satan’s deceptively sown nature that produces ongoing temptations within us. Apostle Paul said of this nature in Romans 7:15
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do”. There is an inbuilt temptation provider planted in us as a result of the original sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. That’s how serious the original sin is to us. We have to put to death these misdeeds of the body in us with the help of the Holy Spirit. Walking in self will is putting the Lord your God to the test. That’s how dangerous this sin is to us.
“For we know that our old self was crucified with Him(Christ) so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” Romans 6:6-7
The very clear intention displayed by the Devil here asking The Lord Jesus to “jump so that he will know if God keeps his promises” is persuading Him to walk in self will and rebellious pride.
Satan wants to prove a point to the Lord Jesus, but, the Lord knows God His Father more than the Devil. The Lord Jesus told Satan that this foolish act will amount to rebellion with self-will towards God and you need not test God to see if He will keep his promises. He surely does keep His promises unlike Satan himself, who is known to be the father of all lies and deceit.
Today, as for us who are his chosen ones in Christ our Lord, the temptation to walk in self-will, the will of others who influence us, the will of the world may turn out to be the greatest temptation to draw us away from the Lord. These may come our way very subtly, even over a movie. Satan’s intention is to abort the perfect will of God for us. The perfect will of God is for Christ’s divine nature to be formed fully in us.
“For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son that He might be the firstborn among many brothers”. Romans 8:29
.In this second temptation of Christ, we see the evil of making ‘self’ our God. The intention of the devil here is to make Christ forget the seeking of God before He does anything on this earth. Walking in ‘self’ will is the clear call of Satan to Christ. Satan claimed if Christ were to walk in self-will, God will still not mind and will protect him as His word says so. But, the Lord Jesus told Satan “do not test God” because He might not save you if you take Him for granted.
In Habakkuk 1:11, it says there are some who “make their own strength their God”. Satan would want you to draw from your own strength to do anything without seeking God first because Satan was such a rebellious creature itself.
Habakkuk said in 1:11:
“Then they sweep past like the wind and go on, guilty men, whose own strength is their God”.
This temptation we face daily that is to trust in our own strength instead of trusting in the Holy Spirit in us, will leads us away from seeking the will of God in everything we do on earth. Satan does not like us saying to God “let Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven today”. Satan desires that everyone on earth does Satan’s evil self-will, so that he could rule the earth through them.
Satan’s intention is to see us separated far away from God and eventually not trust in Him daily as the source of every thing. Satan will suggest to you that. ’Self’ is God. If you buy that lie from the devil, you would have yielded to temptation. Yielding to temptation is sin. Of course, the most pleasurable thing for the sinful nature to do in rebellion towards God is making ‘Self’ God, but it is the pathway to eternal destruction. It is same as saying this evil ‘let Satan’s will be done on earth’.
At the Garden of Eden, Satan, by way of deceiving weaker Eve caused Adam to place importance to the lie of ‘Self’ above God. It appealed to Adam and Eve to follow the way of ‘self’ without God. Disobedience always has the element of ‘self’ above God appeal. Living with selfish ambition and self-will always appeal to the sinful nature of man which originated from Satan.
Christ re-affirmed himself on doing God’ will at all cost in the Garden of Gethsemane. Self-will took over at Garden of Eden in the hands of the First Adam but The Lord Jesus Christ, the Last Adam, prayed “Not my will, but Yours be done” at the Garden of Gethsemane. The First Adam jumped at the idea of walking in self will but the Last Adam jumped at the idea of obeying God’s will.
When Christ is formed in us, we will do the same. For the Christ formed man or woman of God, it will be more appealing for them to walk in God’s will rather than walking in self- will, the will of the world or the will of Satan. When it comes to walking in self-will, Satan is the father of this abominable sin in God’s eyes.
We have been given the Helper-the Holy Spirit. When we obey the Holy Spirit in us, we will be doing the will of God. The Lord Jesus knew what Satan was implying to Him with this temptation- that it is more appealing to walk in self-will than to seek the will of God in everything he does. The Lord Jesus’ answer to Satan was, “No, I will not test God by walking in my own self will”
Satan will attempt to make our ‘own strength’ our God. Many of mistakes that we commit today come from making our ‘own strength’ our God. It is best we realize it now and return to the Lord fully to do His will on earth. Resist self -will, the will of the world at all cost, and Satan’s destructive will. Resist them with all your might as much as the Lord Jesus ‘sweated blood’ in the Garden of Gethsemane. Resist it sharply as much as the Lord Jesus rebuked Peter, His very close disciple saying “Get behind me you, Satan…you do not have the things of God in mind!
The way of the Cross requires us to walk in the will of God, no matter how difficult it might seem. We will have to persevere on with the help of the Holy Spirit till Christ is fully formed in us. We will partake of His divine nature in full if we walk obediently to the leading of the Holy Spirit now. He will lead us to all Truth. Caution: Satan does not want you to do God’s will on earth, so, RESIST THE DEVIL with all your might. Let God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven today.
THE WORK OF GOD
The third temptation of Christ had to do with whom we will choose to serve today. It is easy for everyone to say we are serving God. What does our action show? What do we hold in highest value? Is it our money, wealth, social status, worldly recognition, people, pleasure, possessions, worldly wisdom? I mean to say, what do you hold in highest regard on earth? Another words, what or who do you worship the most? What are you most thirsty for in your life now? Just be honest with yourself. What is it that you won’t hesitate to take your own life or the life of another for? What will make you lay down your life for?
"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. "Luke 16:13
Satan knows this is the most appealing part of the sinful nature deposited in us deceptively by Satan in the Garden of Eden. If he can trigger this tripping of our feet in us, we will live under his wicked deception and yet claim heaven and everything in it, is still ours and that, we have the legal right to these things just like Satan still claims today. As we know now, his destruction is right at hand and so will it be for us if we seek these temporal things and make it the most important pursuit in life.
Many who are serving Satan today are also claiming to be servants of Christ. What makes the clear distinction between whom or what we are serving today? Jesus said “You either serve God or Money-you cannot be the servant to both or you cannot have two masters in your life to serve”.
At the fast approaching last day many will claim that they have served the Lord, but yet the Lord Jesus will say to them “I do not know you”. This will be so because there will be a marked difference between those who served the Lord and those who did not. Service will be marked by love for the master. You cannot hide from what you love much. It will eventually show clearly in your life.
If you loved money more, your conversation will be about money most of the time, even in your teaching of God’s word supposedly. If you loved God more your conversation will be about God. It will show where your heart is tilted to in the way you conduct your daily life and influencing of others. I am not referring only to those who are ignorant of God but to those who claim to know God and even claim to be leaders of God’s people.
Worship and service go together. You cannot serve God by worshipping money; neither can you worship God by serving money. We must worship and serve only our God and our Lord. You and I have a choice to either serve God or serve Mammon. Choose you this day while it is still ‘today’.
The root of all evil is money. The love of money can draw you away from the Lord and lead you into many grieve. We realize that the devil took Jesus to the top of the mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of this world. Do you know that Satan’s pride is in the kingdoms of this world? The devil is very proud of its evil establishments on this earth because that is all it got, nothing eternal. Do you But, the Lord Jesus said that all the kingdoms of this world that Satan is proud about will fall in one hour and they will become the kingdoms of our Lord. By its downfall, in Christ’s and our hands as an army of the Lord, the kingdoms of Satan will become the kingdoms of our Lord.
Love, hate, devote, despise are the words used to describe how we serve the two distinct masters of mankind. Christ formation in you will be decided by these words. Satan takes pride in money and therefore anyone who values money more than God is serving Satan. More money and wealth is seen as power to intimidate people and manipulate situations in this world. That is why the devil takes pride in this and so are the wicked. The time has finally come where those with power and fame with much money as in, millionaires and billionaires, are seen as the ‘prophets’ of the day. Not so with God, He sees them as false prophets’ crazy for power and fame. He never chose them for they do not qualify with money alone. In fact He does not know them.
Remember the ‘rich fool’? When the Lord Jesus asked if he will give up everything of this world that is holding him back, he answered ‘no’ and went on his own way, despising the way of Christ?
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. 1John 2:15-17
Money or Mammon will become your God, if you reject Christ who is God’s own beloved Son. At the rate things are happening around us today, Satan is telling the world to make Money their God. It is saying if you do not have money, you do not have God. Money is being made into God.
Today, people do not want to serve the Lord if it does not promise them more money, teachings about gaining money and wealth.
Instead of filling their lives with Christ in themselves they choose to be filled with the desire for more money and be more powerful with more money. With more money they could control more lives. This is how Satan indirectly controls everyone who has fallen to its filthy schemes.
The third temptation is to make money your God and live for money alone. If you have fallen into this temptation, you are an idolater even though you are still attending church. Attending church regularly does not make you free from committing the sin of idolatry but yielding to the temptation of making Money your God does. You can continue attending the church but that does not free you from idolatry. You must stop yielding to this temptation and worship and serve God alone.
Christ had shown us the perfect way to the Heavenly Father but if we do not submit to him as the perfect Shepherd we will lose our way and wander away from Him. That is exactly what Satan wants from us.
These are the three temptations that Satan brings along to every believer in Christ, the temptation to make your ‘Stomach’ your God, or ‘Self’ to be your God or Money/Mammon to be your God. If you have yielded to any of the three above, you have made Satan your god unknowingly or even with your own consent, whichever it was.
When this yielding to temptation happens Christformation will never happen in you or Christformation in you will be hindered temporarily until you realize your sin, repent and turn from it. There are some who will walk in their stubbornness and not turn from it even when told. Beware! You can abort Christformation in you if you yield to Satan’s temptations in your Christian life.
Satan will attempt to stop, hinder, and abort your obedience to the Word of God, Will of God and the Work of God through you. The threea temptations to the Lord saw the early defeating of the devil before the death, burial and triumphant resurrection of the Lord. At the glorious resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ the devil’s defeat was made a public spectacle. The annihilation of the Devil is coming soon.
Written by: Ronald K. Pillai for Christformation In You Ministries, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Copyright@
Friday, January 16, 2009
Mark 16: 15-18
"He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."
There is a marked difference between the demonstration of the Spirit's power,which is,God's power and signs that follow those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and the Heavenly Father who sent him to this sinful earth.All these above can be counterfeited by the Enemy and it's children.Thats what is happenning today.
Signs that follow those who 'believe' can be counterfeited but demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit in us cannot be counterfeited.This is God's power of Christformation in you.You either have it or you don't.Though the Dragon or the 'wolf' may speak with the voice of a 'lamb or'sheep', and try counterfeiting Christformation in them, it will not remain with the 'test of fire' that's coming.
Hebrews 12:25-29 (New International Version)
See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire."
The sign of those who believe recorded in Mark 15 : 15-18 can be counterfeited.Thats what the Devil and its children have begun to do.The gifts of the Holy Spirit can be counterfeited to make those who 'see' believe in them but they have no power to bring Christformation into them.Christformation can only come if they are born again in the Spirit.The signs can be counterfeited by those who are not born again and have no Christformation in them but they cannot counterfeit Christformation in them.They will be found out.
Te Lord Jesus said "not all who who call me Lord,Lord will be saved"... I will tell them away from me you evildoers for I do not know you".They will try to justify and say that the signs of those who believe have followed them, so, how can you say we do not know you.To that He will answer:The demonstration of the power of the Spirit in your life will make you turn away from all evil doing but you have continued in them.I never knew you because you have never obeyed My Spirit's voice to turn from all evil.I know those who are mine.They turned away from all wickedness when I was invited to be formed in them.Christformation in you is the demonstration of the power of the Spirit of God in your life.You cannot counterfeit Christformation in you.It will be tested to the maximum with the testings of fire.
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 (New International Version)
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power,so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. God's power is the power of Christformation in us.Thats the power of the Word of God in our life.It's men's wisdom against the Spirit's power.Men have to speak persuasively with the wisdom of this world but God's power brings forth true repentance and Christformation in him.
Healing,deliverance,speaking in tongues and the other gifts are just signs that follow those who believe.Satan and its children will counterfeit the signs but they cannot counterfeit Christformation in them .It will show because it requires aprice to be paid for choosing that way of Christ.
Luke 16:13-15 (New International Version)
"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.
You either serve God or Money(Mammon).Is there a 'Mammon' today? Mammon is the 'god of Money'.More and more, foolish men don't seem to understand that you cannot equate your financial status with your walk with God.You cannot come to the conclusion that when you have lots of money in this world,you are walking 'right' with God.Thats the greatest delusion that's coming.Infact,this is how the Beast( The Antichrist) will be introduced into the scene to make many foolish men and women fall-down in worship of this Enemy of Christ in sheep's clothing.Beware....More to come!
1 Timothy 6:3-10 (New International Version)
Love of Money
If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching,he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
The Fourth Character of Christ is that He is Just,Righteous and Kind.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 (New International Version)
23 This is what the LORD says:
"Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom
or the strong man boast of his strength
or the rich man boast of his riches,
24 but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,"
declares the LORD.
It is not easy to be just,righteous and kind at the same time.Only Christ Jesus our Lord has this quality of character.He and the Heavenly Father are one.The Holy Spirit brings these same character and nature into us.Christformation is important in anyone who believes in Christ and the Father who sent Him.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Ephesians 4:1-7 (New International Version)
Unity in the Body of Christ
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle ; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
There is only one true unity that remains till the end,and that is the unity of the Spirit and that has got nothing to do with any flesh, whoever you are recognised as, in this temporal world that is going to be destroyed soon.The unity of the Spirit will remain forever in the new heaven and the new earth.All the other temporary unity will fail.Today we see 'unity' being misused for business,financial,social and very personal concerns.This is the place where Christ The Word becomes second to this abominable thing called 'Money'.The pursuit of more money,fame,prestige,recognition in public and government,power and pride becomes the main objective of that unity they strongly promote.In the pretext of seeking these temporal things, they will not hesitate to misuse Christ's Name.
Unity of the Spirit is very different from what they have misunderstood 'unity' to be.In the unity of the Spirit there is peace with one another,not pride,jealousy,strife,anger,envy,discrimination,hatred,self-boasting, selfish ambition,arrogance and feelings of superiority.Infact, if you have these things in this 'unity'- you're walking in the pathway to destruction,although you name the name of Christ with your filthy lips.You must repent and come out of that evil path.
Unity in the Spirit of God is, unity among those in whom true Christformation is taking place.They are not bound by beautiful,eye-catching,comfortable,ego-enriching buildings and wall decorations.They are not bound by things that deceive their eyes and understanding of who Christ Jesus our Lord is actually.Those with the unity of the Spirit will never take pride in the things that these eyes could see.They will take comfort in the things that are unseen by the physical eyes.They will be given spiritual eyes to see the things of Christ and our God.They will rejoice in those things the world considers foolishness.Hypocrisy will be far from them.
It is Christ who apportions everything to all those who believe in Him and love Him,that means those who keep all His commandments as in John 14:23. If you read this verse, you'll know that you can deceive men but you cannot decieve Christ himself.He knows those who are His.Unity among His people will only come when we unite Father ,Son and Holy Spirit to dwell in us by us obeying His commandments.
In this troubled world today, people 'unite' for many earthly reasons.The most destructive is when they use the name of Christ to forward their earthly pursuits.
We know that in the book of Revelation,there is a prophecy nearing fulfillment where an evil unity is being formed called 'The mother of all prostitutes' also nicknamed 'Babylon'- meaning 'they who sell themselves away to the Devil for earthly profit'.This should ring a bell in your head! Many who call themselves as God's people will turn and be united with this unified group because they would not want to be hated by the world.They will choose to maintain friendship with the world and be recognised by them.This has begun to happen and is exactly what is grieving the Spirit of God now.
There will be very few left, who will maintain the unity of the Spirit."Wide is the road that leads to destruction and many will travel on it" and very few will persevere on and be united with the Spirit of God on earth.Very few will follow the pathway that eyes could not see.These people who have their 'unity in money' will tread only on the road that their eyes could see and be attracted to the "Mother of all prostitutes" and thats where they should belong unless they choose to truly repent from this evil and turn fully to Christ, with Christ being formed in them fully.
Welcome to the diligenthands of the Christformation prophet
Welcome to this prophetic writings blog that warns and saves lives from eternal condemnation as a result of continual sinning. Overcoming sinful living is the objective of the prophet. Diligently writing down of every timely warning to avoid catastrophic disaster by the fruit of our sinful living.
The fierce wind that blows away the bad fruit may also unintendedly throw to the ground, good fruit because they grow on the same ground. If forewarned, the good fruit could safely grow on solid ground and be well guarded and escape the wrath that they don't deserve.
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him— to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
The fierce wind that blows away the bad fruit may also unintendedly throw to the ground, good fruit because they grow on the same ground. If forewarned, the good fruit could safely grow on solid ground and be well guarded and escape the wrath that they don't deserve.
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him— to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.