Tag Archive for Redemption

Put God first (part 3)

The third important aspect of putting God first is to seek first God’s righteousness.

But how do we seek first God`s righteousness and not confusing it with man`s own righteousness and the righteousness which is in accordance to the law? It is stated quite distinctly that; “Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and godly fear, for our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28).
Our worship and appearance before God is to express our gratitude and thanksgiving to Him for His manifold graces, and it must be done in a way that is acceptable to Him with reverence and godly fear, which is made possible only because of His righteousness.

It is without any doubt that, God will under no circumstances coexist with sin, He is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. Therefore, if we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. Sin alienates man from God, for according to the prophet Isaiah “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear, but your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).

Now in the same token, if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.

So then, how can sinful man have fellowship with the Father? For anyone to have any kind of fellowship with the Father he/she must first be reconciled with Him; and what reconciles us with the Father and grants us the boldness and confidence to present ourselves before God and worship Him acceptably with reverence is the offering of the crucified body of Christ. For it is written; “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior; but now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:21-22).

The apostle Paul further endorsed this concept by saying; “Therefore, brethren, 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 (Hebrews 10:19-22).

It is therefore imperative that we seek first the righteousness of God even before we can present ourselves before Him, and furthermore, practicing His righteousness is what distinguishes the children of God from the children of the devil; for thus it is written: “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10).

Because of the importance and seriousness of this calling to seek first the righteousness of God, it is imperative that we establish and prove without a shadow of doubt, what is this act of righteousness we should first seek, and when practice, differentiates the children of God from the children of the devil.

We can say with Certainty that, it can not be our own righteousness; because it is clearly stated that, “We are all like an unclean thing and all our righteousness are like filthy rags. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” We are all under the power of sin as it is written; “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God, all have turned aside, together they have gone wrong; no one does good, not even one” (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:10-12).

Neither can it be the righteousness from keeping the law, because it is again stated quite clearly that; “Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith, but as it were based on works. They stumble over the stumbling stone.” It is well understood that, “No one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the law; rather, through the law one becomes conscious of sin” (Romans 9:31-32; Romans 3:20).

What therefore is the act of righteousness one should seek first, and when practice differentiates God’s children from the children of the devil?
The righteousness which one has to seek first, and when practice differentiates the children of God from the children of the devil, is having faith in the act of righteousness by which man was imputed with righteousness. And since faith without works is dead, it means demonstrating this faith by whatever symbol that proclaims, represents, and demonstrates this act of righteousness.

It is stated that, “As the result of one man’s act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man (Adam) the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the One Man (Jesus Christ) the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:18-19).
This act of righteousness which imputed righteousness and brought life to all men, is the offering of the body of Jesus Christ which He offered to the Father as a sweet smelling aroma, and which satisfies His will, it is the bread of life that is our righteousness, the bread which both came and comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. It is the sign which identified Jesus Christ after his resurrection.

It is stated that after Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead, He met two of His followers walking going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that happened concerning Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ joined them and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing Him. They explained to Him all what transpired during the three days since Jesus Christ was crucified and how some women amazed them, when they went to the tomb early in the morning but did not find His body.
Then Jesus said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter His glory? And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He explained to them what was said in the scriptures concerning Himself” (Luke 24:25-27).

With all that being said they still did not recognize Him. It is only when He sat at table with them, took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them that their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight. “Then the two got up and returned at once to Jerusalem, there they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when He broke bread” (Luke 24: 35).
To be continued.
Copyright © 2014 by Lucius Joseph
All rights reserved

God’s Covenant with Christ

God’s plan for man was foreordained in Christ before the foundation of the world, as it is written; “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.’

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His gracewhich He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth — in Him”.

“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:3-12).

The plan which God has for man and was foreordained before the foundation of the world, is the covenant He made with Jesus Christ, for man’s restoration and holiness. For “Thus says God the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk on it: I, the LORD, have called You (Jesus Christ) in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house. I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images” (Isaiah 42:5-8).

“Thus says the LORD:” Again, ” In an acceptable time I have heard You, and in the day of salvation I have helped You; I will preserve You and give You as a covenant to the people, to restore the earth, to cause them to inherit the desolate heritages” (Isaiah 49:8).

And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”
God the Father gave Jesus Christ as a covenant to the people, to restore the earth. This covenant was ratified with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, when He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to His disciples, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” This covenant became effective after the death of Jesus Christ since it is stated that, “Where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives” (Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 9:16-17).

The sad thing is that, the majority of people do not see this covenant which became effective only after the death of Jesus Christ, going beyond the cross, they believe that the once and for all necessitates no more offerings to be made on behalf of sins. But the irony of truth is, the once and for all signifies that , once and for all there is an offering that can present the worshiper perfect and sinless before God, and thus fulfilling the will of God. And so Jesus said; “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second.By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

So the question is, are we offering the Lord the food for His offering when we present ourselves before Him! Or are we so self righteous to believe that we can with all our limitations, with all our sinfulness, and with all our unworthiness present ourselves before the Father?

Going to the Father through Jesus Christ who intercedes on our behalf as our High Priest without presenting His body and blood is incomplete, because one is incomplete without the other. For it is stated quite clearly that; “There are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit (Jesus Christ), the water (His flesh), and the blood; and these three agree as one” (1John 5:8).

The testimony which God has given us regarding His Son is simply this; “And this is the testimony: 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.”

Now with regards to this life the Son said quite emphatically; “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you 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 food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.This is the bread which came down from heaven — not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever” (John 6: 53-58).

Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life
It is the offering of the body and blood of Jesus Christ with Jesus Christ interceding as our High Priest that grant us access to the Father, as clearly stated 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” (Hebrews 10:19-25).

The bottom line is, “ 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).

To regard the Lord as holy, one must be holy themselves, and the way one becomes holy is by eating of those things with which the atonement was made. Truly these times of ignorance God has overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.

Copyright © 2013 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

The Lord’s heart-felt Prayer, how can it be fulfilled


The church, the body of Christ – true believers, can be perfectly united in mind and thought if they all believe and practice the system which Jesus Christ has ordained for them to follow.

The system which Jesus Christ has ordained for the unification of his church is simply this; “…Christ loved the church and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 4:25-27).

The plan which the Lord has for his church was foreordained before the foundation of the world. “For He chose us in Christ before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.’
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.’
“And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment – to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ” (Ephesians 1:4-10).

This plan of God for our unification through sanctification and cleansing is being effected in three ways:-

1. The water (flesh) has to be washed by the word. [Christ our Righteousness]

This denotes that, the word of God which is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, must convict the individual to bring about a change and transformation, so that the body may be presented as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is our spiritual act of worship.

Necessitating that we; “Live a life worthy of the calling which we have received, and be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love, and make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. For Christ himself bore our sins in his body [flesh] on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. And remember also that Christ our righteousness set us an example that we should follow his steps.

2. The sanctification of the body of Christ [Christ our Sanctification]

The sanctification, the holiness, or setting apart of the body of Christ is made possible by being obedient to the word of God which says; “You must observe my Sabbaths, this will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so that you may know that I am the Lord who (sanctifies) makes you holy. Observe the Sabbath because it is holy to you…” (Exodus 31:12-14).

It is through partaking of the body of Christ that one becomes holy, for it is written; “Then Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket, by the door of the tabernacle of meeting. They shall eat those things with which the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them; but a stranger shall not eat them, because they are holy” (Exodus 29:33).

We also, in order to be holy must eat of those things with which the atonement was made; which is, the body and blood of Jesus Christ, to consecrate and sanctify us. 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” (Colossians 1:21-22).

3. The Cleansing of the Soul [Christ our Redemption]

There is no shadow of doubt that the blood is the one and only source of cleansing. For the life of every creature is in the blood, and God has given it to us to make atonement for ourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22).

The Sabbaths therefore, which honors Jesus Christ as “The Lord” states; “Observe my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary I am the Lord.” It states again; “Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us, Then you will know that I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:30; 26:2; Ezekiel 20:20).

The Sabbaths were ordained to fulfill God’s eternal purpose for the unification of his church through four (4) specific ways (viz):.

1. To rest physically and spiritually in order to be refreshed.

For there remains a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s [spiritual] rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their examples of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:9-12).

Now the way God rested is stated quite categorically; “…By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made in holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done” (Genesis 2:2).

2. To have a holy convocation, and rejoice together before him

For thus says the Lord; “These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.” Again; “These are the Lords appointed feasts, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times” (Leviticus 23:2,4).

3. To offer to the Lord the Food for his Offerings

For thus says the Lord, “These are the feasts of the Lord which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the Lord, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, everything on its day – besides the Sabbaths of the Lord, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your free will offerings which you give to the Lord” (Leviticus 23:37-38).

The burnt offering represents Jesus Christ presently officiating as our High Priest; the grain offering is the unleavened bread representing the body of Christ; and the drink offering is the wine representing the blood of Christ; the means for our sanctification and cleansing.

4. Worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness

Righteousness has nothing in common with wickedness; light has no fellowship with darkness; There is no harmony between Christ and Belial; a believer has nothing in common with an unbeliever; the temple of God has no agreement with idols [those who idolized themselves].

Therefore; the admonition is; “Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples; for great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy in his dwelling place.’
“Ascribe to the Lord, O families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength, ascribe to the Lord the glory due to his name. Bring an offering and come before him; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns” (1 Chronicles 16: 23-31).

What is so wrong with this system that every believer in Christ cannot implement, so that they can all be perfectly joined together in one mind and thought? The answer is clear, “WE know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one; and the great harlot who sits on many waters [nations], with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk (deceived) with the wine of her fornication.

More on this important subject can be found in the pages of my books:-
Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness from www.createspace.com/3450099
www.amazon.com/9781452835563
Why is the World in such Turmoil from https:// www.createspace.com/3688405
www.amazon.com/9871466328563

Lucius Joseph
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essentialsoflifeministry@gmail.com
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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 Reconciling Work of Christ

The Reconciling work of Christ

This is what produces peace with God, gives us access to the Father, and produces unity between Jews and Gentiles, and believers with other believers. The reconciling work of Christ is made possible only through his body as it is written; “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:22).

In like manner, the redemptive work of Christ is made possible only through his blood. For God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, (through his blood) the forgiveness of sins.

The reconciling work of Christ is three-fold, and each requires a three way cycle to make it complete, just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit complete the Godhead, and the body, soul, and spirit makes man complete, so it is with God’s plan of salvation for man.

The first step towards man’s reconciliation is God the Father drawing man to Christ, as stated quite distinctly by Jesus Christ who said; “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 was repeated for emphasis when the people did not believe the words which Christ spoke to them, so he said to them again; “This is why I told you that no one can  come to me unless the Father has enabled him” (John 6:44, 65).

The process of drawing people to Christ was made possible by three inseparable links.

  1. Jesus Christ had to be God

Only as God was Christ able to claim and redeemed the lives of every human being. He was the Word who was in the beginning with God, and who himself was God, through whom all things were created, and without him nothing was made that was made. He is the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation. For by him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 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. But as God it was impossible for him to die, so the next obvious chain of event had to occur.

  1. The Word who was God, and by whom all things were created, became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Since as God he could not die to pay the penalty of sin in man’s place which is death, he was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, that he by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For 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 brothers. He says; “I will declare you name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praise.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me” (Hebrews 2:12-13).

Now since the children whom God has given him have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. And because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

  1. Redemption through his blood

It should be an indisputable fact, that the law requires nearly everything be purified with blood: for without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Therefore in order that our sins could be forgiven, it was imperative that Jesus Christ shed his blood. For the life of every creature is in the blood, and God has given it to make atonement for the soul on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. It is through the process of these three inseparable chains of events that God the Father drew man to Christ, like he said; “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. (John 12:32-33).

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The law of the Spirit of Life (part two)

This law is the authoritative rule, or stipulated way of life in the Spirit, that makes one free from the law of sin and death. This authoritative rule or power, is the righteousness of God. For it is written; “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 to death, or of obedience 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 – For just as you presented your members as slaves of un-cleanness and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.” And, “If Christ (who is the way, the truth, and the life), is in you, the body (where the law of sin and death dwells) is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness” (Romans 6:16-19; 8:10).

The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, which has made us free from the law of sin and death, is the law which replaces the one which made nothing perfect; and has become a better hope, through which we draw near to God. It is the law which governs the Melchizedek priesthood. For it is written; “For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law…And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life.’

“For He testifies; “you are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.’ For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and un-profitableness, for 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 7:12-19).

The law of the Spirit has made us free from the law of sin and death, because we are being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God presented as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, that has made us free from the law of sin and death, is the law which states; “For the life of the 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 the soul.”  “For according to the law almost all things are purged with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22).

The law of the Spirit of life is to believe, and have faith in the act of righteousness, by which the righteous requirements of the law might be fulfilled in us (which is to present the worshiper holy, perfect, and irreproachable in God’s sight), who do not live according to the sinful nature, but according to the Spirit.  This act of righteousness is the offering of the cup of the New Covenant of Christ’s blood, as the atonement for our sins.

The death of Jesus Christ on the cross, is the once and for all sacrifice he made for the redemption of all humanity. But the cup of the New Covenant which he took and gave thanks, and gave to his disciples saying, “Drink from it, all of you; ‘For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins,” is the atonement for our sins, It is the law of the Spirit of life that makes us free from the law of sin and death (Matthew 26:27-28).

This act of righteousness is the duty of the priest. “Priests 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.” We also, “Like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ”  (Leviticus 21:6; 1 Peter 2:5).

This is the better hope by which we draw near to God, and which gives us the boldness and confidence to enter the Most Holy Place behind the curtain. We now have a superior High Priest, and the perfect sacrifice which fulfils the righteous requirement of the law. This is the pre-requisite before drawing near to God. As stated clearly; “Therefore, brothers, 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. (Hebrews 10:19-22).

In summary, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, which makes us free from the law of sin and death is:-

  1. 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” (1Peter 1:14-16).
  2. Offer the Lord the food for his offerings, at the appointed time as it is commanded saying; “See that you present to me at the appointed time the food for my offerings, made by fire, as an aroma pleasing to me.” It is by so doing, that we can now 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 (Numbers 28:2; Hebrews 10: 22).
  3. Consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, for we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. And are urged to; “Live a life worthy of the calling we have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Hebrews 10:24; Ephesians 4:1-3).
  4. 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 we see the Day approaching. For thus says the Lord who is the same yesterday, today, and forever; “These are the Lord’s appointed feasts, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing offerings made to the Lord by fire…” (Hebrews 10:25; Leviticus 23:37).

Warning! “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the Law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who insulted the Spirit of Grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ and again, “The Lord will judge his people, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:26-31).

It is the blood of the New Covenant that washes away our sins; it is the blood that makes us whole again when we have fallen; for our pardon, this is what we see, for our cleansing, this is all our plea, this is all our hope and peace, this is all our righteousness, for nothing else can atone for sins. This is the law of the spirit of life that makes us free from the law of sin and death, do not neglect so great a salvation, and do not receive the grace of God in vain.

To the Jews this is a stumbling block, to the Gentiles this is foolishness, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God: For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

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