One cannot be converted and at the same time desire and approve of the works of the flesh. If we are truly converted, our desires have turned from having confidence in the works of the flesh to desiring and having confidence in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The truly converted person’s focus will be on the fruit of the Holy Spirit and in developing a habit of replacing the works of the flesh with that fruit. When one is converted, his heart and mind is changed even though habits are still present. We, as the garden of God (Yahweh), must first stir up our ground so the seeds of righteousness can take root, so be patient. These seeds must be nurtured until they are grown up enough to produce fruit within us. Deliverance comes by sincere desire for righteousness. Our peace and joy come from the fruit of the Holy Spirit! Our desire should NOT be to partake of both good and evil for our victory comes from partaking of the fruit from the Tree of Life!
In Christ, there is comfort, peace and joy. We should not accept the concept that a life of righteousness produces as much suffering as those who go in the way of corruption. Good produces peace and joy, while evil produces sorrow and frustration. We reap what we sow one way or another. We become what we partake of. The Holy Spirit is the Tree of Life in our Heavenly Father’s garden. If we eat of life, we will produce the fruit of righteousness. So if we do not have an inner peace, we might consider what we are sowing in our life, or, maybe, what we are not sowing. We have choices, we have power, and we have responsibility. Isn’t it great to be in control?
In the scriptures, Christians are called clouds – clouds of witnesses (Heb.12:1). The Holy Spirit is symbolized as the water in the clouds. As Christians take in the Holy Spirit they get so full that they begin to rain on others, as they rain, they freshen the air with peace and joy. I love the Christian spirit that flows through my family, friends, and even Facebook friends that I don’t know personally. They strengthen me when I feel weak, and they rejoice with me when I feel strong. God bless all you clouds.
I was just pondering the statement, “Temptation is necessary to settle and confirm us in the spiritual life.” But if you read James 1:14-15, he says that every person is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. He then adds, “Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.”
James (1:2-4) said, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith [what you hold true and faithful] is ‘tested’ [by those around you], your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
Troubles are part of everyone’s life, they are not sent by God. There is a difference in being ‘tempted’ by the lust of your own flesh and being ‘tested’ by those around you so they might see righteousness in action. Troubles come through ignorance, evil imaginations, and through rebellion. We must remember, we sow what we are and we reap what we sow.
By Ronnie Garner
Several different translations of the Bible have been used throughout this writing.
If we are not careful, the things of this world will take priority over our complete service as manifestations of the Word as we surrender to the power and love of Yahweh in our Christian walk. Gradually, without realizing it, we could find ourselves not having a true personal and cherished relationship with the Father. The Apostle Paul advised Timothy to study to show himself approved unto God, as a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15). In Luke 12:31, the Savior instructed His followers to “Seek the Kingdom of God.” King David, in Psalms 9:1, speaks of seeking the Lord with his whole heart. We, too, need to seek with a whole heart if we truly desire to rightly divide the word of truth and to manifest the nature of our Father.
In the Old Testament, we can read of many examples of people living alienated from Yahweh. Their transactions were few with the priests, and they performed their required duties obediently, then went on their way involved in their daily lives committed to the tangible things in life. But notice that those who devoted their lives to the service of Yahweh were the Levites, whose lives were centered on the Tabernacle or the Temple as they performed their daily ceremonies, exploring and explaining Yahweh’s laws and ordinances. They each had their specific task, either tending to the sacrificial herds, cleaning the temple, performing the rituals, lighting the fires, putting up the tent and making sure all the implements were in the order that they should be. Aaron was the high priest ordained by Yahweh, who was responsible for the order, which was a Divine pattern set up within man-made structures that were orchestrated by Yahweh to point to the revealing of Christ and to Yahweh who designed the plan of salvation.
Hebrews 10:1 says, “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect [matured].” So what was missing? Yahweh’s Word was already present with them, and through many, many valiant and devout men and women that Word was brought forward and established a pattern that would enable those of another day to see even a higher order than the priesthood of Aaron.
We, even today, have those who are swallowed up in everyday life, not concerned with salvation, or the hereafter, going throughout the day performing their daily activities. We also have ministers that perform daily activities of the church, making sure their constituents are in order and living in a manner in conformity to their particular belief or system. They make sure that the demands of their church are adhered to. These ministers are the Levites of our day. Their lives are a blessing to many, and I thank Yahweh that they are here, but there is a higher order than that of Aaron. The order of Aaron was, and is limited, even though ordained and sanctioned by Yahweh under the old covenant. The Word was being fulfilled to the extent of what man was able to comprehend and understand at that time. They had to have a pattern that they could see and judge rightly in order to form a righteous vision within their minds.
I’m reminded of the scriptures in Proverbs 20:11-13, saying, “Even a child is known by his deeds, whether what he does is pure and right. The hearing ear and the seeing eye, Yahweh has made them both. Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.” Then we read where Apostle Paul, writing to Timothy, advised him, saying, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to Yahweh, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness” (2 Tim. 2:15-16). Solomon said, in Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he.” Solomon penned this long before Christ and the scripture above it from Paul is after Christ. These people before Christ, even though they were sincere and honest were limited to what they could see. Fact of the matter is, so are we, but their purpose was to be our “schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (Gal. 3:24-25). Many have been under this administration far too long.
In Hebrews 6:1, the believers were encouraged to keep growing spiritually, saying, “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection [maturity], not laying ‘again’ the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward Yahweh.” Paul explains in his letter to the church at Rome (Romans 2:2), saying, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of Yahweh.” In his second letter to the church at Corinth (3:18), he says, “…we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of Yahweh, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of Yahweh.”
Christ tells the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well that Yahweh is Spirit (John 4:24) and that we must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. In John’s Gospel (10:30), Christ says: “I and my Father are one.” We need to recognize that the Father and His Son are Spirit, and not mere men as was Aaron who saw the world from man’s wisdom. We need to go past laying “again” the foundation (Heb. 6:1) and reach for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which in essence is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). The word “Christ” means “Anointed.”
In John 1:1, the Apostle John says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Yahweh, and the Word was Yahweh,” and further down, in verse 14 of the same chapter, it says, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” In 2nd Corinthians 5:19, Paul says that Yahweh was in Christ (the Anointed Word, thus the Spirit of the Word) “reconciling the world to Himself,” thus making us “ambassadors for Christ, as though God pleading through us.” Like Paul, by our actions and by our words that same Gospel is being revealed. The order has been changed, we now have the order of Melchizedek, which means “king of righteousness”. A type of this order is seen in Genesis 14:18. The Anointed One was the “King of Salem, meaning the King of Peace.”
In Hebrew 7:1-3, we read, “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God [Yahweh] remains a priest continually.” This king of Salem was the Anointed Word made in the likeness of a king, the epitome of righteousness. Scripture says, in John 1, the Word was here at the beginning, and Christ was that Word made flesh. I believe Melchizedek was not a mere man, that He was the manifestation of the Anointed Word and seen by Abraham as such. Melchizedek brought bread and wine, which symbolized Christ, and was the priest of the Most-High God that blessed Abraham.
Christ said to those people who came to Capernaum (John 6:35), “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” Christ also says “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is MY FLESH, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
In Luke 22:20, Christ, using symbols, took the cup of wine saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” Paul explains Christ’s statement, saying, “But the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed [His Spirit], being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of Yahweh, through faith in Christ [the Anointed Word], to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ, whom God set forth as a propitiation [an atoning victim] by his blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were ‘previously’ committed, to ‘demonstrate at the present time’ His righteousness” (Rom. 3:21-26).
Christ came as the Lamb to be sacrificed for the sins of those under the old covenant in which He was replacing with a new. Then He dealt with the spiritual condition of those entering into the new covenant in that He poured His Spirit out upon them as their guide, comforter, and teacher that they might fulfill all righteousness, i.e. come into spiritual maturity.