Tag Archive for Everlasting Life

Put God first (part 3 cont.)

From the inception of humanity beginning with Abel, offering the Lord His offering, His sweet smelling aroma is the source of man’s righteousness. Immediately following the scripture which teaches that practicing righteousness differentiates the children of God from the children of the devil, we read the following instructions; “For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning that we should love one another, and not be like Cain who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brothers righteous”(1 John 3:11-12).

So the question is, why did God regard Abel’s offering, and disregard the offering made by Cain? And, not only did He highly regard Abel’s Offering, but He also commended Abel as being a righteous man.
So how did Abel attain righteousness? This is what we learn from the scriptures; “In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the first fruit of the ground, and Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord has regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard” (Genesis 4: 3-5).

We are further told that, “By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, by faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings” (Hebrews 11:4).

Therefore, the reason why Abel’s offering was accepted, and Cain’s not accepted it was because, Abel offered to the Lord the sacrifice, the sweet aroma which satisfies His will, one which depicted the best he could offer for his redemption. For the word of the Lord says clearly, “The life of all flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for ones life” (Leviticus 17:11).
The priests were instructed by the Lord saying, “You must not redeem the first born of an ox, a sheep or a goat; they are holy. Sprinkle their blood on the altar and burn their fat as an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.” Again the Lord said to them; “The priests shall burn them (the fat) on the altar as food, and offering made by fire, a pleasing aroma. All the fat is the Lord’s. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. You must not eat any fat or any blood” (Numbers 18:17; Leviticus 3:16-17).

The sprinkling of blood and the burning of the fat of clean animals which were offered by Abel, and also the Levitical priesthood, were a type which foreshadowed the real sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which is the best, the sweet aroma, and only sacrifice that fulfills the Father’s will in presenting the worshiper holy and blameless before Him.
It is this secret mystery that was hidden for ages in God who created all things; and that through the church, His manifold wisdom might now be made known to the principalities and powers (Satan and his demons) in the heavenly places.
This secret mystery is in accordance to the eternal purpose which God has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we now have boldness and confidence of access through our faith in Him. Therefore, the practical righteous which one should seek first and which distinguishes the children of God from the children of the devil is faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ which is proclaimed and demonstrated by partaking of the bread and wine. As it is written; “For as often as you eats this bread, and drinks this cup you proclaim (demonstrate) the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11: 26).

When God’s people the church, assemble together, they come to Mount Zion which is figurative to the Church and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in joyful assembly, and to the assembly of the first born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a Judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks better things than that of Abel.

Jesus Christ is the Mediator of the New Covenant which He instituted on the night before His crucifixion when He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His disciples saying, ‘Take and eat; this is My body.’ And took the cup gave thanks and offered it to them saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant which is poured for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:26-28).

This covenant became in force only after the death of Jesus Christ, and became the means by which we can become ceremonially clean. For so says the scriptures; “He (Christ) entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but His own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.’

Therefore He is the Mediator of a New Covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred which redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant. For where a will is involved, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when someone has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living” (Hebrews 9: 12-18).

Therefore the New Covenant which Jesus Christ instituted on the night before His death, became effective after His death, and it is now the means by which one becomes ceremonially clean and can now draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with their hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience, and their bodies washed with pure water, and Jesus Christ as their Mediator interceding on their behalf.

Therefore to put God first by seeking first His righteousness necessitates offering the Lord His offering at His appointed times. For thus says the Lord; “Give this command to the children of Israel and say to them: ‘My offering, My food for My offerings by fire (zeal), My pleasing aroma, you shall take heed to offer to Me at its season” (Numbers 28:2).

We were not left in ignorance as to when is the due season, or the appointed times are, for they are clearly stated in the book of Numbers chapter 28 and 29, and Leviticus chapter 23. As a matter of fact a holy or sacred assembly is a time God has sanctified and set apart for His people to appear before Him, and the specific purpose for this sacred assembly is to offer to Him His offering, which is besides or in addition to anything else one offers to Him.
For thus says the Lord “These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim as times of holy convocation, for presenting to the Lord offerings by fire, burnt offerings (which in our new dispensation is the Lamb – Jesus Christ), and grain offerings (flour mixed with oil – unleavened bread), sacrifices and drink offerings (wine), each on its proper day; besides the Sabbaths of the Lord, and besides your gifts, and besides whatever you have vowed, and besides all your freewill offerings, which you give to the Lord” (Leviticus 23:37-38).

It is this act of righteousness that the children of God have become enslaved to: For having been set free from sin, we have become slaves of righteousness. God requires that this offering, the food for His offerings, His sweet smelling aroma be offered to Him at its appointed time, and has set aside specific times for His children to come together before Him, specifically to offer to Him His offering, this is why the practice of this act of righteousness differentiates the children of God from the children of the devil.

This is the act of righteousness, that when practice produces holiness, and ultimately everlasting life. It is this same act of righteousness that when practice, one becomes righteous even as Jesus Christ is righteous. Therefore we have been warned saying; “Dear children, do not let anyone deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous just as He is righteous” (1 John 3:7).

The same way Abel was commended as being a righteous man because he offered the Lord the offering which was pleasing to Him, in like manner, we attain righteousness by faith when we offer the Lord His offering, His food for His offerings, His pleasing aroma at their appointed time.
The children of God are distinguished as, a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, in order that they may declare the praises of Him who called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. They are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Now the main duty and responsibility of the church as a royal priesthood, is clearly as the scripture states; “They shall be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God, for they offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and the bread of their God; therefore they shall be holy” (Leviticus 21:6).

So let us learn to put God first, and do not worry saying, “What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after these things, and our heavenly Father knows that we need them. But let us seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to us as well.” We are admonished to; “Labor not for the food that perishes, but for the food which endures to Everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you. On Him God the Father has placed His seal of approval” (Matthew 6:31-33; John 6:27).
God has overlooked these times of ignorance and now has commanded all men everywhere to repent.
Copyright © 2014 by Lucius Joseph
All rights reserved

What is Everlasting Life?

The word everlasting life and eternal life have been used interchangeable at times by some translators, and many people are in the view that both are one and the same: but is everlasting life and eternal life the same?

The Holy Spirit has led me to see and understand that there is a huge difference between eternal life and everlasting life, and knowing and understanding the difference is vitally important for our future.

Judging from what is written in scriptures, it is quite evident that they are totally different to each other, even the words themselves convey a different connotation.

For example:

The word Eternal denotes that it has eternally existed, and will continue to exist forever, and furthermore, it is a gift from God. For it is written; “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Eternal life, who is Jesus Christ, is our gift from God. It is in him we all live and move and have our being. In Jesus’ prayer to the Father he said; “…Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17: 1-3).

The testimony or witness that God has given us concerning his Son is that; “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1John 5:11-12).

Everlasting life however, conveys a different connotation, it denotes something which had a beginning, and will be allowed to live forever: and, contrary to eternal life which is a gift, it is a reward for righteous living. For thus it is written; “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is everlasting life” (Romans 6:22).

We have also been warned saying; “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap everlasting life” (Galatians 6:7-8).

From what is seen from the pages of scripture; everlasting life is a reward, something one receives from sanctification, or holiness, as the result of being slaves righteousness, and the benefit one reaps for sowing to the Spirit.

Everlasting life from all indications is the immortality of the human body which is mortal, and begins at birth, and it is appointed to die, but now has the opportunity to live forever. This is what Jesus Christ alluded to in John.3:5 stating; “Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is of born of water [flesh] and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Therefore, in order for anyone to inherit the kingdom of God, their human body must be given life in order for it to live forever, and this is the future hope of our salvation.

Eternal life is a gift from God: it is by grace that we have been saved, but we who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoptions as sons, the redemption of our bodies: for in this hope we were saved. According to the apostle Paul; “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens. Here indeed we groan, and long to put on our heavenly dwelling, so that by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we sigh with anxiety; not that we should be unclothed, but that we should be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God: who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee” (2Corinthians 5:1-5).

Everlasting life therefore is the immortality of the human body, and it is guaranteed only to those who, not only believe in Jesus Christ as the Beloved Son of God, who became the Son of Man, but who also believes in Jesus Christ as the Begotten Son of God. For it is written; “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Begotten Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Jesus Christ the Beloved Son of God, became the Son of Man, and declared to be the Begotten Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead. As God alone, Christ could not have saved us, because He cannot die. As man alone He could not saved us, for he could have only saved Himself. He had to be both God and man.

As the Son of Man, He was made lower that the angels for the suffering of death. As the begotten Son of God, He is crowned with glory and honor. “For to which of the angels did He ever say; ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten you? And again, ‘I will be to Him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? But when He again brings the first born [from mortal to immortal] into the world, He says; let the angels of God worship Him” (Hebrews 1:5-6).

The Son of man became the Begotten Son of God by the quality of life He lived as the Son of Man. This life is indicative of how His followers ought to live, for he came to set us an example that we should follow his steps, and this is how we know that we are in him. Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the Father, but became the first born [from mortal to immortal] among many brethren who will receive the adoption as sons. Because in bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exist should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brethren.

The life that he lived, which we ought to follow in order to receive everlasting life is a life of:-

(a). Holiness which is separation from sin: for we are admonished to, “Be holy for I am holy” (1Pet. 1:15-16).

(b). Loving righteousness which is three dimensional: and that is, Loving the Lord who is our righteousness: loving the act of righteousness by which we were imputed with righteousness: and by keeping his commandments for all his commandments are righteous.

©. Hating lawlessness: meaning hating disobedience just as God says concerning his Son: “Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness: therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of gladness” (Hebrews 1:8-9).

(d) Being obedient to the Father, by obeying his commandments.

(f) Humility; as we are admonished to, let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.

(g) Be completely dependent upon the Father.

g) Be led by the Holy Spirit

(h) Love being the motivating factor for all His works

Be an over- comer: For it is he who overcomes that will be granted to sit with Christ on his throne, even as he overcame and is sat down with his Father on his throne.

This is the criterion in order to reap everlasting life – the immortality of the body, which is our eternal inheritance, which unfortunately some will forfeit. For, “Each one’s work will become manifest; for the day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on Christ [eternal life] endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself [spirit man] will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1Corinthians 3:13-15).

The structure we are building is developing the nature [character] of Jesus Christ. Hence, the degree of glory is dependent on how much we have measured up to the stature and fullness of Christ. For, as we behold His glory, we are to be transformed into the same image, from one degree of glory to another, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Everlasting life or immortality is something one has to seek along with glory and honor in addition salvation: For God will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. For he who sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption: but those who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

It is only those who attained immortality [everlasting life], that will be resurrected at the return of Jesus Christ, and that will reign with him as kings and priest. The rest of the dead will not live again until the thousand years is ended, and they will be void of immortality, and those whose name were written in the book of life, will be given access to the tree of life and the river of living waters, so that their lives can be perpetuated.

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