Tag Archive for Holiness

Where does law emanates

There are many people today, who professed to be believers in Christ Jesus, and do not uphold the laws of God. They say blatantly that the laws have been done away with. Others have the perception that being obedient to the law, is to be enslaved. But what does the scripture says! The scripture says plainly; “ What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?’
“But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6: 15-18).
But where do the laws of God emanate! And what is the objective of laws?

All the laws of God emanate from His Love; the love for the particular subject it intends to govern, protect, harmonize and sustained. For example; the laws which governs the universe is a reflection of God’s love for His creation, so that there will be continuous harmony and to avoid chaos.
For example; the Lord questioned Job and said; “…who shut in the sea with doors, when it burst forth and issued from the womb; When I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band; When I fixed My limit for it, and set bars and doors; When I said, ‘ This far you may come, but no farther, and here your proud waves must stop!’ (Job 38:8-11).

The law of God which governs the sea is out of God’s love for the protection and wellbeing of those who dwell on the earth. The absence of such a law would spell disaster and chaos on planet earth.
So then the laws which God ordained for man, is out of love, in order that man may live in harmony with God, nature and with one another. Living in accordance to the laws of God is what is termed living in the Spirit. Living contrary to the laws of God with every man doing what seems right in their own eyes, or following the customs and traditions of men, is what is termed living in accordance to the flesh.

In explaining the essence of God’s law to the children of Israel Moses said to them; “Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the Lord my God commanded me that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’
“For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day? Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren, especially concerning the day you stood before the Lord your God in Horeb, when the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children” (Deuteronomy 4:5-10).

Jesus Christ in His teachings verifies the fact that law emanates from the love of God, and the expression of love is the fulfillment of the law. He said in no uncertain terms; “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” In other words, keeping the commandments is an expression of love towards God, whose love was channeled through the commandments.
He further said; “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him… “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me” (John 14:15, 21, 23-24).

The word therefore, or the law, is what sustains and harmonizes the relationship between God and man. For this is what the Lord says; “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:9-10).

Where there is an absence of law, there will automatically be an absence of love. Jesus Christ in predicting the deceptions at the end times said; “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. Because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:11-13).

The way one expresses love towards God, and to the children of God is by keeping God’s commandments, for it is clearly stated; “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” Love we are told; “does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (1John 5:2-3; Romans 13:10).

The law therefore, is the system that God ordained to give directives as to how to have a harmonious relationship with Himself and man, and man with his neighbor. And so we are instructed saying; “What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator” (Galatians 3:19).

The problem which man faced in relation to the law is that of his carnality, for the carnal mind we are told is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. And therefore, what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:7, 3, 4).

But now, with the advent of the Holy Spirit whom God gives to those who obey Him, and being imputed with the righteousness and holiness of Jesus Christ which could not be attained by the law, and being spiritually minded, the righteous requirement of the law can now be fulfilled in those who do not walk in accordance to the flesh, but are walking in accordance to the Spirit.

The fault with the old covenant was that the children of Israel did not continue in the Lord’s covenant, and the Lord disregarded them. So He made a new covenant with them saying; “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” (Hebrews 8:10-12).

In accordance to the law, “whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all,” and so; “as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them” (James 2:10; Galatians 3:10).

Because of man’s incapability of keeping the whole law without offending in one point, and be under the condemnation of death, because the wages of sin is death. God demonstrated His love toward us by giving His only Begotten Son, as an atonement for our sins, He then at conversion imputed us with the righteousness and holiness of His Son, so that we can perform the good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. And if (not when) anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

The irony of truth is, one is either a slave of sin, or a slave of righteousness. For it is written; ” What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:15-18).

Be mindful also of the fact that when one is a slave of sin he/she is free in regard to righteousness. In the same token, when one is a slave of righteousness he/she is free in regard to sin. Therefore we have been admonished saying, “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins (transgressing the laws of God) is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1John 3:7-8).

These times of ignorance God has overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.To turn around and stop transgressing the laws of God. Faith and grace do not make the laws of God null and void. According to the apostle John, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him”. And, “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.” By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1John 2;3-4, 3;10, 5:2-3).

The question is, who are we going to believe, the word of God or man`s ideology of what the gospel is, the choice is yours.

Lucius Joseph

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In Communion with God

Communion or fellowship is the act of sharing: it is the condition of things held in common with others. God’s desire for humanity is that they can share with Him, His divine nature.
From the creation of Man God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness,” so God created man in His own image. In the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen. 1:26, 27).
Unfortunately, the fellowship became tainted because of sin, and man became separated from God (Isaiah 59:1- 2; Rom. 3: 23).
But because of the great love with which He loved us, It pleased the Father to bruise His only begotten Son by whom all things were created, and in whom all things consist, to put Him to grief, by making His soul an offering for sin, so that the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. (Eph. 2:4; Isa. 53:10-11; Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:15-17).
And now, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these, He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them we may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires”(2 Pet.1:3-4).
However, for man to have communion or fellowship with God the Father, four (4) things are of paramount importance. They form the prerequisites for communion with God, and the medium by which we share the life of God.
Now the four prerequisites are:-
1. Reconciliation.
To renew the relationship man had with God before the fall of man. A huge sacrifice had to be made to pay the wages of sin, which is death. God in His manifold wisdom and love for humanity, sent His Son in the form of sinful flesh, on account of sin, so as to condemn sin in the flesh, knowing that His death was sufficient to pay for all humanity’s sins, and reconciled them to Himself.(2 Cor. 5:14-15, Heb. 2:14-15; Rom. 8:1-4).
God reconciled humanity to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing or reckoning their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-19).
We then have both the ministry and the word of reconciliation.
The ministry of reconciliation is, “The act of service by which we are reconciled to God.” The actual sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, and the actual partaking of the bread and wine which Christ left to represent His broken body, and His shed blood. According to the Apostle Paul, “I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion (fellowship) of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many, are one body; for we all partake of that one bread” (1 Cor. 10:15-17).
It is the ministry or service of reconciliation that reconciles and unites the body of Christ which is the church as one.
And this communion or fellowship of the saints is also with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3).
The word of reconciliation is the word Jesus spoke to His disciples saying, “I tell you the truth, unless you can eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is real food, and My blood is real drink. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in him” (John 6:53-56).
And so the night before He was crucified, He took Bread, gave thanks, and broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is My body.” Then He 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 out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt. 26: 26-28).
On Christ’s behalf, we implore you to be reconciled to God, because God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:20-21).

2. Acceptance of Jesus Christ and believing in Him

Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
There is a practical application to this saying, and Jesus Christ is the one and only Mediator between God and man. He was taken from among men, and appointed as High Priest to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins (Hebrews 2:5, 5:1; 8:3).
It is stated quite categorically that, if we say that we have no sin, or have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word and truth have no place in our lives. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8, 10).

Our boldness and confidence to enter the Most Holy Place is only by:-
a. The blood of Christ, His life, in the form of the wine.
b. His body, the new and living way, in the form of the Unleavened Bread
c. Christ Himself, the word, the truth, officiating as the Great High Priest over the house of God.

Then and only then can we draw near to God with a sincere heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience” (Hebrews 10:19-22).
The crux of the matter is, God is light; in Him there is no darkness (sin) at all, and if we claim to have fellowship/communion with Him yet walk in the darkness (sin), we lie and do not live by the truth.”
Therefore, before coming to God sin has to be confessed, forgiven, and cleansed. And it is only by the blood of Jesus His Son that we are purified from all sin. (1 John 1:7, 9; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1;14; Matt.: 26: 28).

3. Obedience.
Obedience to God is paramount. Jesus said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” Again He said, “If you love Me keep My commandments” (John 14:23, 15).
Now the test by which we know that we love God is by keeping His commandments. For, “He who says, “I know Him” and does not keep His commandments is a liar and the The truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-5).
It is also important to note that The Holy Spirit, our Teacher and Helper is given only to those who obey Him. (Acts 5:32).

4. Holiness.
We are admonished by the Apostle Paul saying, “Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14).
To have communion with God, one has to separate him/herself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. Righteousness has absolutely no fellowship with lawlessness, light has no communion with darkness, Christ has no harmony with Belial (useless things without worth); and the temple of God which is our human body has no agreement with idols” (2 Cor. 6:14-18).
The good and exhilarating news is that, Jesus Christ has made all the provisions for man to have communion with the Father through the cup of the New Covenant. Alienation or separation from the life of God, is as a result of “Ignorance, and hardening of the heart. (Eph. 4:18).
But truly, in the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent.I therefore urge everyone to have daily communion with God, and offer the Lord the food for His offerings at the times He has appointed, because our calling is a holy calling.
With love in Jesus’ name.
Lucius Joseph

Reasons why Christians should not observe Christmas (part 2)

2. Christmas has a pagan origin

In this regard, the Lord, who is Jesus Christ, and the same yesterday, today and forever warned His people concerning the worshiping of false gods and said; “When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’
“You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it” (Deuteronomy 12: 29-32).
We are further instructed saying; “Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says the Lord: “Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the Gentiles are dismayed at them. For the customs of the peoples are futile; for one cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers so that it will not topple. They are upright, like a palm tree, and they cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot go by themselves. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, nor can they do any good” (Jeremiah 10:1-5).
We have also been warned saying; “that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s Table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?” (1Corinthians 10: 20-22).
The irony of truth is, coming before God at a time which He has not appointed is profanity and an abomination. For thus says the Lord; “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me? I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs or goats.’
“When you come to appear before Me, who has required this from your hand, to trample My courts? Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense (prayer) is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies — I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting. Your New Moons (beginning of months) and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood” (Isaiah 1:11-15).

The Lord echoed similar sentiment to the prophet Amos regarding the children of Israel by saying; “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I do not savor your sacred assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments. But let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream” (Amos 5:21-24).
The Lord has ordained specific times on which His people should appear before Him to worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness and to rejoice before Him. For thus says the Lord; “These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times” (Leviticus 23:2, 4).

The Lord went on to specify each one of them by name, and the date of celebration, incidentally, Christmas is not one of them and therefore, it is an abomination to the Lord.
To be continued.

The Responsibility of God’s chosen people

Lucius Joseph

The chosen people of God are chosen from both Jews and Gentiles, and are called for specific purposes. For thus says the Lord: “What if God, wanting to make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

As He says also in Hosea: “I will call them My people, who were not My people, and her beloved, who were not beloved. And it shall come to pass in the place where it is said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ there they will be called sons of the living God” (Romans 9:23-26).

The main objective for being called and chosen by God is to obtain the glory of the Lord. For according to the apostle Paul, “We are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).

God’s chosen people are regarded as, “Living stones being built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1Peter 2:5).

Most people stumble because they disobey the message, which is also what they were destined for. The church is destined and has the responsibility to offer to the Lord the food for His offerings. This is made very clear by the apostle Paul who unveiled to us his insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.

He said, “This mystery is that through the gospel (which is Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that, He was buried, and rose again the third day according to the scriptures; and that we are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus) the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and shares together in the promise in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 3:6).

The apostle Paul continued to express his authority with regards to this mystery by saying; “Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration (application) of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.’

The church is consecrated by God, and its members are a chosen people, a holy 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. This is God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory (1Peter 2:9; 1 Corinthians 2:7-8).

As a nation of priests the number one responsibility of the church is to strive to obtain the glory of the Lord, until Christ is formed in us, and until we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

It is said that; “We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

The way the church can attain the glory of the Lord is by walking in unity of the Spirit, and by being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God, as alluded to by the apostle Paul who wrote saying; “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;one Lord, one faith, one baptism;one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

The apostle Paul also admonished the church saying; “that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Ephesians 1: 1-6; Colossians 1:10-14).

The power of the church, and the means by which it is glorified, is through the redemption which is in the blood of Jesus Christ, and therefore the church is required to carry out its functions as a nation of priests.

Copyright © 2012 by Lucius Joseph

All rights reserved

The Ministry of Reconciliation

Lucius JosephEveryone who has been reconciled to God through Jesus has been given a responsibility, which is, the ministry of reconciliation. Now a ministry is an office, a duty, or times of service of a minister. I am in the view that there are not too many professing Christians who know and understand the difference between one being drawn to Christ, and one being drawn to the Father.
Jesus said quite emphatically, No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” This drawing to Christ by the Father was made at the cross, as Jesus again said; “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”
Humanity was all drawn to Jesus Christ by the Father when Christ died on the cross for the sins of all humanity, giving them an access by which they can draw near to the Father. But for humanity to draw near to the Father it must be through Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life, and the only mediator between God and man, otherwise no one comes to the Father.
There is however a definite process by which Jesus Christ draws a person to the Father. Infact, there has always been a process by which anyone could draw near to God. In the Old Testament for example it was through the law of animal sacrifices, which although could not present the worshiper perfect, yet it was necessary, and so we are told that; “The law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God” (Hebrews 7:19).
Therefore, the criterion by which one is drawn near to the Father is through perfection, holiness, being blameless in His sight, in perfect harmony with God, for He is light, and has absolutely no fellowship with darkness. And, “This is what the LORD spoke, saying: ‘ By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified” (Leviticus 10:3).
For anyone to be drawn to the Father, he/she must be in complete harmony with the Father, holy, and blameless in His sight. So how can this be possible when it is clearly stated that, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” And, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us?”
The only way that this becomes feasibly is by, walking in the light as He is in the light, and then, and only then can we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. And, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The process by which one in drawn near to the Father is called the process of reconciliation, which is the act of reconciling, bringing into harmony, in agreement, and to purify by special ceremonies, through the offering of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and therefore to fulfill this requirement, believers have been given the ministry of reconciliation.
And so we are told that, “We have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
As ministers of the new covenant, our task is to offer to the Lord the food for His offerings, which He has appointed us to offer to Him at its appointed time. For the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘My offering, My food for My offerings made by fire as a sweet aroma to Me, you shall be careful to offer to Me at their appointed time” (Numbers 28:2).
Bear in mind that what transpired in the old testament was a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, because when Moses was about to make the tabernacle he was divinely instructed saying, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” And, it is also stated that, “It was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.”
To appear before God through Jesus Christ one must be in harmony with the Father, and what gives us the confidence and boldness to appear in the presence of the Father, is stated quite explicitly by the apostle Paul who wrote; “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.’
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
The irony of truth is, we can only fulfill our ministry of reconciliation by believing the testimony which God has given us concerning His Son, and applying it as ordained.
Copyright © 2012 by Lucius Joseph
All rights reserved

Has the Church lost sight of its Primary Objective!

The church from all indications has lost its primary objective, and has lost its way and focus wandering in the wilderness of sin, adulterating itself with the customs and traditions of this world, making no distinction between the holy and the profane, and between the clean and the unclean. They are associating the name of Christ to every worldly and pagan activity, using slogans such as “Let us put Christ back in Christmas.” As though by associating the name of Christ to their worldly and pagan activities this will automatically sanctify them, and gain God’s approval. What a profanity! What an abomination?

The church has either closed its eyes, or holding in contempt Christ’s prayer made on behalf of his disciples when he prayed to the Father and said; “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth” (John 17:14-19).

The church like the world has lost sight of the fact that. “The solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2Timothy 2:19).

This principle is also applicable to the Lord’s festivals, for thus the Lord; “These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.” Therefore the Lord definitely knows his festivals (Leviticus 23:2, 4).

So what is the primary objective of the church? Let me state unequivocally that all the good that we do is to fulfill this primary objective, and all that we become or attained will be as the result of this primary objective. But let me assure you that this primary objective of the church is not to use the name of Jesus Christ as a passport to every unethical thing that one does, this does not justify or sanctify the profane and the unclean.

We have been duly instructed saying; “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6)

There is only one hope for our calling, and this hope was ordained in Christ before the foundation of the world, as it is written; “We are to give praise to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realm with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him” (Ephesians 1:3-4).

We have also been instructed saying; “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 4: 3-8).

Therefore, we have been admonished saying; “…prepare our minds for action; be self-controlled; set our hope fully on the grace to be given to us when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires we had when we lived in ignorance; but just as he who called us is holy, so be holy in all we do; for it is written: Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:13-16).

To attain holiness and perfecting it in the fear of the Lord is the church’s primary objective in life, everything else is secondary, we have been admonished to; “…strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:12-14).

Jesus Christ has delivered us from sin so that we can become slaves of righteousness in order to become holy as it is written; “And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.” Then ultimately because of holiness, one will attain everlasting life which is the immortality of the human body. And so it is written; “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life” (Romans 6: 18-20, 22).

Holiness is God’s divine nature; He created us with the intent of developing his nature, to be filled with his fullness: so from the beginning of man’s creation God said; “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” And; “He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13).

So how does one attain holiness? The same way that there is one body and one Spirit, one hope of our calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, so also there is only one formula for holiness, one Mediator between God and men. So the only formula for holiness is by partaking of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, which Jesus Christ our High Priest offers to the Father on behalf of our sins. The Lord’s instruction regarding the consecration and sanctification of the priests is; “They shall eat those things with which the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them; but an outsider shall not eat them, because they are holy” (Exodus 29:33).

The church is a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own special people, ordained to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God, for it is written: “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1Peter 2:5).

And they must take heed that they offer it to the Lord at the appointed time, for it is written; “Command the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘My offering, My food for My offerings made by fire as a sweet aroma to Me, you shall be careful to offer to Me at their appointed time” (Numbers 28:28).

This sweet aroma which satisfies and fulfills the Father’s will is the sacrificial body and blood of Jesus Christ in the form of the bread and wine, which he instituted on the night before his death, and became effective after his death, since a will is not force while the testator is alive. This is the offering that he as High Priest is appointed to offer on behalf of the sins of the people, and so we have been admonished saying; “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:1-2).

May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give to us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, so that the eyes of our understanding being enlightened; may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

The Church in Real Perspective


The church in the real sense of the word refers to “All who have been Redeemed,” Or groups of Christians assembled for worship. The premise on which most churches operate, it is quite obvious that they have not internalized the huge difference that exists between the church and the world, between light and darkness, and between righteousness and sin.
The church is made up of individuals or groups of people who have been sanctified or set apart as holy unto the Lord. We all have the same prerogative to be one of those sanctified ones, because God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. In Christ Jesus we all live and move and have our existence; He is the vine and we are the branches. We were all given the equal opportunity in order that in the coming age he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Those who have accepted the call to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and have not received the grace of God in vain, have become a special people to God. They do not become special because of anything they have done, but rather, “When the kindness and love of God our Savior towards man appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy, he saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7)
Consider that, it is by grace we all have been saved, through faith, and this is not from ourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Therefore those who are sanctified have nothing to be proud and vain about, and should not hold those who are not yet sanctified in judgment: neither should those who are not sanctified hold those who are sanctified in contempt.
However those who are sanctified, and are being sanctified must raise their consciousness and come to the understanding as to who they really are, and the reason for their sanctification.
The titles which are assigned to the church are clear indications of the intimate relationship the church enjoys with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ.
The church for example is referred to as, the Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ, the flock of God, the temple of God, the household of God, the habitation of God, God’s spiritual house, God’s building, God’s husbandry etc.
This means that the church is inter-related with the Father and the Son. The apostle John alluded to this by saying: “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us: And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1John 1:3).

Nevertheless, despite the close relationship the church enjoys with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ, there is a premise, or a fundamental principle by which the church can have fellowship with the Father. The church has an obligation – but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if we live according to the sinful nature we will die. The obligation is, by the Spirit we are to put to death the misdeeds of the body, in order to live. For having been set free from sin, [our independent human nature] we have become salves of righteousness.

What Defines the Church

The premise on which one builds his/her thesis is crucial to the sustainability of that theory, otherwise when comes face to face with truth and reality it will crumble from its very foundation if not built on the right premise.

The most popular concept which people have regarding the church is that it is a religious ceremony where people come to sing songs of praise, pray, listen to a Minister or Preacher delivering a sermon, collecting the offering, and having fellowship with one another. People encourage others to go to church, and take pleasure in inviting others to church, the ideology is, people go to church.

The other concept of church is the building or site where religious activities are held, so people generally use the term, I am going to the church.

Unfortunately, this is the premise on which most people have built their concept of what church is. But let us with an open mind prove all things and hold fast to what is good.

What is the Church

The word church is associated 0nly with those who have been redeemed; and refers only to groups of Christians assembled for worship. Even in the wilderness where Moses told the Israelites that; “God will send you a prophet like me from your own people. He was in the congregation in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers; and he received living words to pass on to us” pertained only to God’s chosen people, and anyone who joined them had to abide by their rules. (Acts 7: 37-38).

The whole meaning and concept of church has been profaned, corrupted, maligned, and compromised in order to gain popularity and commercial benefits.

The church is not a forum for whosoever will may come, The forum for whosoever will may come is done in the outer Court, in our lectures, Bible studies, crusades, evangelistic campaigns, but not in the Inner Court. The Inner Court is the place where, only those who have accepted the message, and are baptized, are added to, by being baptized into one Spirit, and it is the Lord who adds to the church those who are being saved.

The titles which are assigned to the church is a clear testimony of the core and nature of the church. It has been assigned such titles as, The bride of Christ; The Body of Christ; Body of believers; Church of the first born; Church of the Living God; City of God; Flock of God; God’s Building; God’s husbandry; Habitation of God; Household of God; Israel of God; Kingdom of God’s dear Son; Lamb’s wife; Mount Zion; People of God; Spiritual house; Temple of God.

Such titles demonstrates the close and intimate relationship the church has with Jesus Christ its head, and the reason why it was destined. In fact when the good news of salvation is proclaimed to an unbeliever, and we wish that they could be converted and have fellowship with the church, they should first be made aware that our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Sensitizing them to the fact that, God is light; and in him there is no darkness at all, and so, if we claim to have fellowship with him, yet walk in the darkness [sin], we lie and do not live by the truth. It is only when we [believers gathered together] are walking in the light [in truth, holiness], as Jesus Christ is in the light, that we [the believers] have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

There is a purification from sin that must take place when believers come together and have fellowship with one another, and with the Father and the Son, for if we claim to be without sin we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we claim that we have not sinned, we make God out to be a liar, and his word has no place in our lives.

It is imperative therefore that our sins be confessed, and if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. This purification of sins is a continuous process that is administered through the cup of the New Covenant, which Jesus Christ instituted as the new agreement in his blood for the forgiveness of sins, and became effective after his death. Passover is a once and for all time phenomenon, but Atonement is a continuous process.

The church therefore is not a forum for whosoever will may come. The forum for whosoever will may come is done in the outer court, in our lectures, crusades, evangelistic campagnes, bible studies, house to house visits, but not in the Inner Court. Church is the forum where only those who are baptized into the body of Christ, and are willing to rid themselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind, and like new born babies, craving more spiritual milk, so that by it they may grow up in their salvation, for now that they have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

They come to Jesus Christ, the living stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him. They also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. [the only spiritual sacrifice that is acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, is the offering of his body and blood]. For the scripture says; “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,” and “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message – which is also what they were destined for” (1 Peter 2: 1-8).

The church is destined before the foundation of the world to be holy, meaning free from sin and accusation, put people are disobeying the message by which the church is being sanctified, redeemed, and be reconciled to God, and profaning it by not separating the holy from the profane.

The church is a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that they may declare the praises of God who called them out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once they were not a people, but now they are the people of God; once they had not received mercy, but now they have obtained mercy.

The church as a royal priesthood and a holy nation, must be holy to their God, and must not profane the name of their God, because they present the offerings made to the Lord by fire [zeal, the food of their God, they are to be holy. They become holy by eating the offerings by which atonement was made for their ordination and consecration. But no one else may eat them, because they are sacred. (Leviticus 21:6; Exodus 29:33).

The church is therefore admonished saying; “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God, as God has said: I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’

“Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you: I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

If anyone in the church is living a double standard life the instruction is, “I have written to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people – not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you” (1 Corinthians 5:9-13).

What is it that we are commanded not to eat with a brother who is sexually immoral or greedy?

Is it ordinary food! No! But the food which we eat when we come together as a church. The apostle Paul admonished the church saying; “Therefore, my brethren, when you come together [as a church] to eat, wait for one another. But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment.” The judgment is for eating and drinking the body and blood of Jesus Christ in an unworthy manner, and not properly discerning the body.

The church as the body of Christ is represented by the breaking of bread, we come together as a church to recognize Jesus Christ by the breaking of bread. According to the apostle Paul; “My dear friends, flee from idolatry. I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation [communion, fellowship, sharing] of the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation [communion, fellowship, sharing] in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1Corinthians 10:16-17).

It is the community spirit, the participation of the one bread that makes the many members one, and reconcile them to God, and it is the participation of the cup that purifies them from all sin. This is the premise on which the first century New Testament church started, for, “They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer. Everyone was filled in awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common” (Acts 2: 42-44).

 For more on this vitally important subject check the following publications:-

Worship The Lord in the Beauty of Holiness at www.createspace.com/3450099 www.amazon.com/9781452835563

Man’s Duality at www.createspace.com/3488570 www.amazon.com/9781453857779

The Purpose of Human Life at www.createspace.com/3501245 www.amazon.com/9781456347048

Why is the World in such Turmoil at www.createspace.com/3688405 www.amazon.com/9871466328563

With brotherly love

Lucius Joseph

 

THe Process of Reconciliation

The Process of Reconciliation

The second step towards man’s reconciliation is Christ drawing man to the Father. For he said quite explicitly: “I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” There is only one God; and one Mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all men” (John 14:6; 1Timothy 2:5-6).

This aspect of Christ drawing men to the Father is made possible also by three inseparable links.

  1. Jesus Christ officiating as our High Priest

Seeing that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

It is the qualification and appointment of every high priest taken from among men, in things pertaining to God, to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; and therefore, it is necessary that Christ himself also has something to offer. Now since he continues forever, and has an unchangeable priesthood, he is also able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

  1. Jesus Christ offering his body as a sin offering to reconcile us to the Father

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Christ, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once we were alienated from God and were enemies in our minds because of our evil behavior. But now he has reconciled us by Christ’s physical body through death to present us holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.

The broken body of Jesus Christ which is now represented by the unleavened bread is the new and living way to the presence God, which Christ has consecrated for us in his flesh.

  1. Jesus Christ offering his blood as the propitiation for our sins

It is the blood the purifies, it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul, and it is the blood that purges the conscience from dead works in order to serve the living God, and grants us the boldness to enter the Most Holy place. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean, how much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God. Cleanse our conscience from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God.

The confession we have to hold on to, and called to persevere is simply this; “Since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good works. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:19-25).

www.createspace.com/3488570

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