Coming Into Perfection
It is interesting to see the scriptures through another person’s viewpoint, but difficult to express ones own concept in the totality of its scope because of the difference in our definition and understanding of many words.
I want to tell you a little about my spiritual experience before I deal with the subject of perfection. I will try to make it brief and, I hope, interesting as possible. This might help you understand something about my convictions.
My siblings and I attended church off and on between the time I was four and eight, and we witnessed a couple of miracles in our home. My two sisters, Marie and Billie, and I prayed for and received rain when we were eight, six, and three.
Another miracle that I witnessed was Dad’s divine healing when he was on his deathbed and the Lord miraculously raised him up. At that time I was seven.
I was eleven when I first attempted to include Christ in my life and was baptized. I had no Bible, spiritual support, or Church affiliation.
A year later, we moved into town and I attended two nights of a revival and I renewed my efforts to find salvation. This time I faced greater opposition and still no spiritual support. It was late summer and we followed the harvest until after berry picking the next spring. There was certainly no opportunity for such things as school, Bibles, church, or spiritual support in that situation.
We attended two months of school that next summer, which was my last public schooling. Before the fall session began we headed for the harvest again. We followed the harvest (cotton and fruit) until I was fifteen. My folks applied and got a false birth certificate for me, saying I was three years older than I was, and I went to work in Ryan’s Aircraft factory at sixteen. World War Two was in full swing. I later transferred to Rhor’s where I met my husband, whom I call Ed.
By 1946 Ed had returned from the war with bad memories and still fighting his private war inside and venting it out on his family. It seemed he was trying to forget by pickling his brain in alcohol while clever bar-maids relieved him of most of the money he made for our provision. I do not mention this out of disrespect for him, but because it is a vital part of my story.
Ed had a stillborn daughter and an invalid son, which he had custody of when our first child, Barbara, was born in April of 1945. We had Beverley in January 1947 and Gloria in December that same year, she died a month later. Brenda was born in 1949.
Caring for my stepson and the other little ones made it impossible for me to attend church. I tried to establish connections with the Church of Christ and the Salvation Army Church, but without success.
One more child and a few years later (1953) I began to lose my health. I ended up in a sanitarium with both lungs badly infected. The doctors thought I had TB and I was locked away from my children. By this time, I had lost one daughter and my stepson. The other four children were placed in foster homes. I was supposed to stay in the sanitarium the rest of my life; they would have had me arrested if I had walked off. But I had other plans for my life, and praise the Lord he did too.
Finally, my husband persuaded the institution to let Ed transfer me to my home state, Arizona, but we never went to Arizona. We gathered our children and moved east. I had been locked up two months and nine days. That was the turning point in my life
On November 14, 1954, I started an on-going relationship with a Living Savior. Ed and my daughter Barbara were baptized on November 28 that year.
On October 8, 1955, I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Two of my children, Brenda and Beverley experienced the same thing on June 16, 1956, and Barbara received the Holy Ghost in August 1956. Needless to say our lives changed!
One thing became crystal clear to me during this time; I knew that Christ was alive and involved with me. This was a shock for me; you see, my God had lived on another planet and the only connection I had with him was a nineteen hundred year old book that I could barely read, much less decipher its deep and mysterious sayings.
While seeking the Father to take care of my children after I was gone, he actually spoke to me. He said, “If I can’t take care of you now, how can I take care of your children after you are dead?” My fears were banished forever; my relationship with my God was not limited to man’s ideas. I could have a relationship with a living Savior—this was my desire.
I believe the only Mediator that stands between my heavenly Father and I is Christ. I received the desire of my heart and my life was turned around completely. I was transformed from a life of misery, darkness, and hell on earth, to a life of joy and delight. There were still problems, but I had a partner. Someone loved me and I had a purpose for being alive. I discovered that Yahweh had a plan and purpose in all his works. I was part of that wonderful plan. My suffering had had a purpose. I was not just an ignorant creature put here to be abused and used by other ignorant people. I had found purpose and hope; Christ had become my hope of glory, and I had already tasted a portion of that glory. The whole thing was mind boggling.
I was shocked when I discovered I could love the barmaids that had stolen food from my children’s mouths and clothes from their back. I left behind the resentment for being alive in a hostile world, and my anger at a selfish uncaring god, which religion had created, had vanished. I said a welcomed “Hello” to an omnipotent, omnipresent, loving Father that would help me climb out of my pit of ignorance. I found love and forgiveness for my husband and comfort for my grief over my deceased children. For the first time it was marvelous to be alive.
I started with a fifth-grade education and a tiny zipper Bible, which I had purchased with green stamps, and a new set of encyclopedias with a dictionary. Now I was all set and ready to learn. At that time I knew nothing of a center reference, Strong’s Concordance, Young’s Concordance, commentaries, Bible dictionaries, or any other Bible helps.
By this time Ed was working nights, so after he left for work I rushed through my responsibilities and after I had put the little ones to bed I scattered my books on my bed, got on my knees to start my research and study. I was rewarded for my search. The Father not only spoke to me through the written word, but he spoke to me through dreams, visions, prophecy, and also through an audible voice a few times.
My girls and I started going to a Baptist church and there the Lord used Mrs. Mannings, a precious lady, to convince me that my salvation was obtainable, even though I was married to a divorced man. I was immediately given the Sun Beams class to teach.
My superiors were horrified when Mrs. Mannings reported that she had overheard me telling the Sun Beams about the rain miracle that had happened in my life at six. I was reprimanded and told to keep my religious opinions to myself and teach the material that was supplied by the Southern Baptist headquarters.
I soon learned that there was one other thing that the board did not want me to teach—they objected to the belief in divine healing. None of them knew my secret; they did not know I was dying or that I had to have a God that could heal. The doctors could help me stay alive only if I deserted my children and stayed in bed. I could not do that.
Bad health was not my only problem. I had two educated ministers, both college graduates and trained in the ministry, trying to convince me that my God was not a healing, miracle working God. They were convinced that I could not contact him or receive the blessing described in First Corinthians twelve. “That experience,” said they, “was long out dated. It was just for the beginning of the (one body) church.”
By this time I firmly believed that Yahweh was an all sufficient God, but matching my expertise against these highly educated and brilliant men was a struggle. I was forced to question “my” right to contact God. But to accept their theory was to accept the death of my own body. I reasoned, “If the Church was one Body, how could that chapter only apply to part of the one Body and not to all of the one Body.” I could not buy their package—I had a different understanding of those scriptures.
Yahweh had spoken to me one night in my bedroom and told me he would heal me. My mind drifted back to the two-night revival when I was twelve, and I remembered my best friend receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues (she was 12 also). I did not know what she had experienced, but I knew it was from Yahweh, and I knew my friend was not faking—the experience was real. I learned that Paul (1 Cor. 12: and Acts 19:1-6) knew what it was as did Peter (Acts 2:13-21), for in my new-found excitement I had found their comments. It stopped mattering to me that my pastor and his assistant had not received that glorious experience as yet, therefore, they did not know about it. What did matter was the love vibes that penetrated my every fiber and set me on fire for Yahweh.
I knew man was not my answer—I needed more than man could offer. I needed life. In my situation I did not need man’s carnal opinions or his systematic religion. I had met a living, loving God. My days of resentment and fear of him were over.
I had been miserable for years in my search to find God in a perfect church and I had failed. There were all kinds of churches around me, all refuting part of the scriptures and each other. They all had one thing in common; they were all led by educated men. Something was wrong here? Why did all these educated leaders disagree with each other?
If education was the answer to the spiritual understanding of the scriptures, should not all these educated men understand the scriptures exactly alike? But they didn’t. And since they didn’t, which one was right? How could I, an uneducated carnal sinner, know which one was right? I thought that my salvation depended on me being able to make the right choice, or did it?
My answer came from the Bible; when I ran across 1 Corinthians, chapters 1 and 2. But more than that, I found a God that could rescue a confused war veteran from the filth of bar life and put plenty food in my children’s mouths. In short, I had found an all sufficient God. One that I do not serve, because I am not his servant—I am his beloved child, his very own Spirit-born child, and I have become spiritually educated by his Holy Spirit who is my daily guide, comforter, and teacher. I commit my life to him and strive to be exactly like him in all my ways. I have not reached that goal, but that is my delightful expectation.
I love my Father so much that I strive to stifle any and every fleshly desire, for I delight in finding ways to please him and to fulfill his wishes. And since I am not under the old covenant, but under the new covenant, I am free to know the Lord through his anointing. See Hebrews 8:8-13.
I believe the Church is one body, and of course all of us good Christians know that the Body we belong to is the only Body. Right? But Yahweh helps us to understand that the one Body we belong to is much greater than some people might realize. It includes all the born from above Christians from the birth of the Church until now. It includes all the believers all over the world. We Christians may not see exactly alike in all things, we may not dress exactly alike, nor even act alike, but if we hunger and thirst for righteousness and truthfully desire our Father’s will in our lives, he will make a way for us to understand his will for us.
To me, the Body includes every sincere born from above believer in Christ. But if a person is filling his mind with corruption and has no desire to seek righteousness and truth, he has missed the experience that I had. I am certain he should go back to the altar, square up with Yahweh, and have a genuine know-so salvation experience.
I believe Yahweh loves all his creatures even the stiff neck ministers of dead churches, which to me is miraculous, because they do not accept the Kingdom and they stand in the doorway preventing other people from coming in.
I believe the Kingdom of Yahweh is within and it comes not with ocular vision. Yasha said, in Luke 17:20-21, “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! nor, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
Somebody once said that Yasha didn’t mean the Kingdom would be inside of us, but only in our midst, but I am convinced righteousness, peace, and joy would not be anywhere else. It can only work if it is on the inside of people. Right? “For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost,” Romans14:17. And praise his name we are “Giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has (not, will someday, but has already) translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son (lit. the Son of His Love), Col 1:12-13. For “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures (lit. Himself creatures),” James 1:18.
This was my cup of tea. I was not smart enough to contrive theories and become a noted scholar—I did not have to be—I had found the God of the lowly and ignorant. He is also the God of the not so ignorant and those that are capable of loving him more than the great mass of wealth they have accumulated.
If you will notice the date of my conversion, you will see that it was during the greatest revival and out pouring of the Holy Spirit, which the world had not witnessed since Bible times. Thousands and thousands of people were healed, saved, and filled with Yahweh’s Holy Spirit. Thousands and thousands of lives were changed. And a super witness of Yahweh’s power and ability was established in the earth. But I accepted the Lord’s provision in a little Baptist Mission and my healing was in a very small church.
Now to Perfection
In First Corinthians chapter 2 verses 12-13, I see Paul speaking not only to the Corinthian church members, but speaking to the apostles and other writers of the word of Yahweh; they received special revelation concerning coming into perfection.
I agree that it is not likely that those carnal minded babies (Christians) at Corinth, thoroughly understood what Paul was teaching at that time, but we will surely agree that Paul hoped they would eventually comprehend, or he would not have been explaining it to them. If any of them ever understood it, it was after they had received the spiritual revelation through the same spiritual source that the apostles and the other ministers had received it.
“In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise. Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Yasha, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Yasha Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power),” Ephesians 1:13-19,
Revelation must agree with the scriptures—true revelation will not agree with a carnal understanding of the scriptures. The Spirit of revelation is given to help us understand the Scripture. I am always amazed when someone uses my favorite scripture to refute my theory when my theory is built on my understanding of that particular scripture.
First John 4:1 is a good example of how people understand differently: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” This scripture takes verses 2-3 to finish John’s whole thought, and it is the passages that sounds different to different people. For instance, some understands it to say, “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ ‘is’ come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ ‘is’ come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist.” While others read it thus, “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ ‘came’ in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ ‘came’ in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist.”
Can you see the difference in the concepts? One has a messenger coming as a person to persuade the people, the other has the Spirit of Life coming into the people to dwell in them. These two interpretations are worlds apart—separated by two words, “is” and “came.”
Another such example is found in John 14:3. Some folks read, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where ‘I am,’ there ye may be also.” Others read it thus, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where ‘I am at that time,’ there ye may be also.” They do this assuming that the Lord could not have possibly been saying what he meant. But if we read John 14:11 (“Believe me that ‘I am in the Father,’ and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake,”), we could see the true meaning. If we still have a doubt to his meaning, we can go to John 3:13: “And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.”
I am one of those that see this statement as speaking of present tense and I back it up with, John 14:23; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 4:19; and many more. Yet many people disagree with me.
I was reading of the great controversy over this issue in the early Church. I had never thought of it like it was stated in the paper I was reading. Some believed that God and the creation had no connection. The other side of the argument was that creation became connected (one with the Godhead) through the redemption of Christ. They used the scripture: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me. And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them,” John 17:20-23.
The opposing side believed that Christ was the author of the above statement, and they were not sure what he meant, but the one thing they were sure of, was he did not mean that Deity had been united with humanity.
Yahweh did not give anyone the license to sin. Sin is death, and of course, Yahweh wants us to live. But I think the transgressor knows he is a transgressor—I did when I was a transgressor. But I was delighted when I learned that through the shed blood of Christ I had no sin standing between me and the Father. I think that is the message we should preach. Sinners don’t need someone to remind them they are transgressors; they know that, they need someone to give them a way out of their bondage to sin.
A person that has experienced a spiritual experience like I did when I accepted Christ will not continue to participate in the base activities of their lower nature. They may miss the mark in many ways, or at least I have, but it will be out of lack of maturity rather than a desire for corruption. I would doubt a person’s experience that did not shown strong signs of conversion. But if the person who did not confess and repent the first time will go back and honestly repent, the door of salvation is still open for him. A person who participates in sin is still a sinner.
Some people believe that Yahweh withholds his glory (maturity) from us. Paul plainly states he was reaching for the prize of the High Calling. He, if not others, had been shown things that were unlawful to utter, and he speaks of Yahweh revealing them by his Spirit. I’m sure he was fully aware of the substance of the prize. Why would any sensible man strive for something that he knew was impossible to attain?
There are several scriptures that indicate that some are to reach perfection (maturity), among these are, Heb. 6:1; 2 Cor. 13:9; Luke 8:14.
Ephesians 4:11-16 speaks of the ministry gifts being placed in the Church for the purpose of perfecting the saints and says, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole Body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, making increase of the Body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
Notice that this process is to take place among earthly saints that still have the potential to be tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.
Matthew 5:48 quotes the Lord, saying, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Tell me, whose power is limited, the power of flesh or the power of Christ? I had a problem with this until I learned to put more confidence in Christ than I put in my mirror. None of us can credit our improvements to the flesh-man. I am a helpless creature without Christ dwelling within me.
Look at Romans 8:1-23, especially verse18. Also, notice that the creation is waiting for this manifestation; namely, the redemption of the Body. Paul says we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,” are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord,” 2 Corinthians 3:18.
I thought the mirror in Paul’s day was made of metal, but there are three Greek words translated glass in the New Testament and when I looked them up out of curiosity, I found that Strong’s concordance insisted that two of them came from words meaning glass—which makes me wonder. I, too, assumed that glass had not been introduced to the world at that early date. And I am still not sure it had been.
As long as we are being created in Christ Yasha I am not going to put any limits on his ability, being as the world was created by him and for him. I would not think he is looking forward to a bunch of inferior products. The trouble with dealing with the word “perfect” is we can’t know the meaning of it while we are yet immature. I sometimes wonder if we could recognize a mature Christian while we are still in our immaturity.
Please notice what Paul says in Ephesians 3:17-21: “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of Yahweh. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, Unto him be glory in the Church by Christ Yasha throughout all ages, world (ages) without end. Amen.”
This glory has to be really great to outreach my imagination, for I am sure our Creator can do anything he wants to.