Tuesday, April 24, 2012

TOTAL CONFORMITY TO CHRIST’S IMAGE



TOTAL CONFORMITY TO CHRIST’S IMAGE

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, (Galattians4:19)

An extraction from the book INNER LIFE” Written by Mordecai Uka Dike

…..PREAMBLE….

The days we’re presently in aren’t days that one should be playing religion; it’s time for whole hearted devotion to Christ and the kingdom of God, a time of prayer, with focus on the heavenly realities. The world is sinking and will continue declining until the final Day of Judgment and destruction of the wicked!  Every child of God should be looking upward being kingdom minded and not earthly conscious, for our citizenship is in heaven where the Lord Jesus Christ lives, and we should be eagerly waiting for him to return. He’ll take our weak mortal bodies and transform them into glorious immortal (celestial) bodies like His own, using the same power with which he’ll bring everything under his control (Philipians3:20-21). It doesn’t take much to see that there is spiritual dryness in the structural churches today; there is spiritual stagnancy in the organizational Christianity. It’s high time we drop religion and come back to God through genuine repentance and devotion to holy living. It’s a pity that most think backsliding is when you stop going to organizational church or stop making religious noise (Have a blessed day! you are blessed! Hallelujah! Amen, Jesus is Lord! etc).  You can be very active and committed to a local church and still be a backslider! It’s obvious that many acting pastors and bishops of today are complete backsliders! People can be good Christian actors outwardly, but inwardly the accurate perception and passion for holiness has gone completely; Paul the apostle put it this way, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof (2Timothy3:5). The power mentioned in this scripture is the “moral force” ability to perform God’s word. What Paul is simply saying is that in the last days (this present time) there’ll be many bible quoters, active churchgoers, great preachers and teachers of doctrines without the capability to carry out the word. Most Christians have lost the beauty of moral force but they’re still very active in fulfilling religious routines. What kills the moral force is the pursuit of worldly pleasures and cares of this world. When Christians cease from chasing after holiness and sinlessness in Christ and become earthly (money) conscious they stop producing genuine fruits of the Spirit, they’ll only play church without attaining complete maturity in Christ. When Jesus Christ was interpreting the parable of the sower, He pointed out that, the seed that fell among thorns represents those who hear the word, but the message is quickly crowded out by the cares, riches and pleasures of this life, so they never grow (bring fruits) unto full maturity or perfection (Luke8:14). Due to the false financial prosperity messages that have dominated Christendom, believers nowadays aren’t thinking about achieving true holiness and sinless perfection in God; Christians are un-interested in seeking for a deeper life of Christ, most think that Christianity is all about obtaining money and fame. We Christians today need a change of mentality; we are to change from being earthly conscious to become kingdom minded. This article has been written to encourage those who truly want to stand out of the crowd to fully manifest Christ’s lifestyle on earth.

Establishing in the Present Truth of God

Revelation gives birth to a revolution, in other words, a true transformation can never happen without a current revealed truth, or we can’t experience a complete change in our life without first changing our perception about certain things, especially the things of the Spirit. Dogmatic theology can’t bring spiritual transformation in our life, we must establish ourselves in the present truth of Christ for a complete change.

Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth (2Peter1:12)

The present truth means what God is revealing or saying at the moment through the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ; in the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets in different periods and in various ways, but in this present time God is speaking to us through Jesus Christ (Hebrews1:1-3). All that we need to know about God to enhance our spiritual growth must be learned through Jesus Christ. We should be rooted fully in the New Testament teachings and principles of Christ in order to experience a positive change in our spiritual life. The greatest problem facing us today is the majority of us Christians have chosen to adhere to what men are saying instead of hearing and following the Holy Spirit! For instance, the Lutheran Christian groups have settled with the teachings of Martin Luther and refuse to accept anything contrary to what Luther has said about Christ and His kingdom, the Presbyterians are established on the doctrine of John Calvin, Mennonites on the teachings of Menno Simon, Amish sect on the view of Jacob Amman, Methodist on John Wesley, most Baptists on John Smith, Pentecostals build on the views of William J. Seymore, Charismatic on Demos Shakarian, David du Plessis and Dennis Bennett. Church of God worldwide follow Herbert W. Armstrong’s doctrine, Word of faith movement follow the teachings of Kenneth E. Hagin, Jehovah witnesses follow Charles Taze Russell, Seventh Day Adventists on the prophecies of Ellen G. White, and Latter Day Saints settled on the doctrines of Joseph Smith. It’s obvious that you can’t find any Christian denomination not following someone’s view of Christianity, only very few Christians are hearing directly from the Spirit and that’s what has made Christianity religion powerless. Most Christians aren’t willing to accept anything new from God because they believe their leaders have revealed all relevant information about Christ. All Christians must follow the move of the spirit and obey its revealed principles.

Understanding Move of the Spirit

The move of the Spirit referred to here is different from “Pentecostal madness”; it isn’t people shedding emotional tears during “church service” or people falling down under “the anointing” or running around and shouting inside of religious cathedrals. The move the spirit represents a paradigm shift or divine revolution, a complete turnaround from one way of doing things to another way that’s usually diametrically opposite, or a change from one way of thinking to another. It's a transformation, a sort of metamorphosis, or when a significant change happens, usually from one fundamental view to a different and enhanced view. A good example of spiritual revolution or paradigm shift is the Old Testament and the New Testament, the scripture teaches that the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ(John1:17). The Mosaic Law came before grace and truth, but since Jesus Christ came with a higher and more accurate revelation of God compared to prophet Moses, the disciples of Moses had to shift completely from the Mosaic Laws to establish fully in the grace and truth so they could achieve their spiritual destiny in God…. We shouldn’t conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans12:2). Constant renewal of our minds requires a daily fresh revelation from God, as we pursue our eternal destiny in Christ we are bound to shift with the Spirit of God as He is revealing a fresh elevated revelation of Christ and divine pattern of worship daily to us. It’s good to know that we are completely in a different spiritual order, it’s evident the majority of Christians are blindly following the pattern of the Old testament order to serve God due to the establishment of denominational systems of church, which is why most Christians are no longer growing spiritually.

New Covenant is different from the Old Order

Most ordinances in the Old Testament were just but a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ (Colossians2:16-17). Most argue that Jesus Christ didn’t change anything from the Mosaic Law, but the truth is that under the Law, there was a physical temple of worship, a day of worship, a Levitical system of priesthood, a written set of laws to govern the people, etc. Under grace, those ordinances established by Moses have changed through Christ; Jesus has introduced a completely new perspective in God worship. Jesus confirmed that our heart is God’s temple, that God can’t live in a temple made by hand, which means that we should be conscious of keeping our hearts pure and to hear from God within our heart.  Instead of considering ourselves as the true temple of God, Christians are still pointing to physical buildings as God’s house because men out of greed have re-established temple worship. Jesus says that every child of God is a priest, and He also informs us that it’s not a matter of keeping one day holy for God, but we are to keep ourselves holy each day for Him. It’s obvious that only a few Christians are actually applying the principles of Christ. When people adhere to the old move of the Spirit, and refuse to shift when a fresh revelation is revealed by God, the people sooner or later must conform to this world, because as the knowledge of God is increasing so the worldly knowledge is growing.  We are made to grow from faith to faith, strength to strength, and from glory to glory till we all reach God’s predetermined state of perfection….

Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God (Psalm84:5-7).

Stagnancy isn’t God’s will for any of His children; we must achieve an advanced level of knowledge, revelation, wisdom, power, holiness, purity and glory each day, just as Peter the apostle said; And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (2Peter1:5-7).Our spiritual advancement (growth) should be constant, we should be growing instead of declining! Our level of separation, inward purification and dedication at this moment shouldn’t be the same tomorrow; each day should be our new beginning. If a Christian fails to advance spiritually and refuses to be fixated in the knowledge and character of Christ, the system of this world will overtake and dominate him/her again.

Inner Life

There’s an inner and external Christian life. The inner life is the way to attain true holiness and immortality in God. When Paul the apostle wrote to encourage Christians living in Corinthians in the 1st century, he said….

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2Corinthians4:16-18)

This scripture absolutely explains what inner life in Christ represents. Inner life entails daily cleansing “purification” of our inward man through the internal truth; the heavenly realities perceived through our inner sight or the eyes of the spirit. Inner life works with inward witnessing of the Holy Spirit (Romans8:16). If you’re living an inner Christian life, or living by the Spirit, you’ll discover there are internal laws of God which can be hidden from a non spiritual person because those laws aren’t written plainly in the bible. There are  many unlawful deeds “sin” that aren’t plainly recorded in the book of law; the original Hebrew Tanakh “the Hebrew Bible” recorded in Torah (Genesis –Deuteronomy) is only 613 commandments (mitzvoth) including the 10 Commandments” called “Aseret ha-D'vareem” in Hebrew meaning the ten Things or ten utterances. For instance, Jesus says; anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew5:28). This is the type of sin that King David pointed out as secret sin….Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults (Psalm19:12). The internal laws of God are written inside the table of our hearts….

I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. (Hebrews8:8-12)

We can only obey God’s eternal laws through the help of the Holy Spirit; without the Holy Spirit, no one can obey the eternal unwritten laws of God which is why each Christian is to be led by the Spirit not by the book (Romans8:14). It’s by the Spirit that one can discern what sin is when it’s not written openly in the scriptures. If you’re practicing a true inner life in Christ, inward purification should be transpiring daily in your heart, following a daily fresh revelation of Christ and inward witness of  the Holy Spirit; this is the real meaning of living an inner life, and is what Paul means by working out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philipians2:12). You can evangelize the whole world for God, plant churches and do charity work, but still lose your soul (Mathew7:21-23). Inner life is the path to achieve perfect oneness with the Father (John17:20-24), the nature of sin must be completely erased in us by the living word of God.

Inner Life as a Life of Faith

Inner life can also be defined as a life of faith; Paul the apostle wrote thus in his epistle to the Romans; for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith. (Romans1:17). This scripture urges us to imitate those who through faith and patience inherited what has been promised (Hebrews6:12). In reading the entire book of Hebrews 11, I’ve discovered that one powerful spiritual quality in the lives of those men and woman of God in the days of old who earned a good reputation was faith. Through faith they all stood out the crowd and brought praise and glory to God (Hebrews11). We all need faith, for without faith it’s impossible to please God (Hebrews11:6). Whatsoever doesn’t proceed from faith is sin (Romans8:23). We must understand that faith isn’t just to believe in something and then claim it, faith is prophetic; it’s a spiritual reality revealed by God to man which man has to bring into physical manifestation through sacrifice and patience. Faith isn’t blind, “we walk by faith, not by sight” means focusing on what the eyes of the heart have seen regardless of what’s physically happening around us. Jesus assures us that if we have faith as a grain of mustard seed we could move mountain (Matthew17:20). This saying doesn’t suggest that if we have a little faith we can literally move a mountain. To understand what the Lord is saying, we may have to consider the parable of the mustard seed….

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.(Matthew13:31-32)

The mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds, but being small doesn’t discourage it from becoming a massive tree; the mustard seed spiritually visualized that God has created it with potential to become a big tree, and seeing that vision with the possibility of becoming great, the mustard seed gradually with patience and sacrifice pursued it until it became a large tree. This parable explains how we should spiritually grow in Christ; first is to receive the vision from God (what He desires us to do, not to do things according to our own mind), Second is to strongly believe the vision and pursue it with all your might with a willing heart and to pay any price to accomplish it. That’s what it means to have faith like a grain of mustard seed. It’s only through the eyes of the heart that one can perceive the heavenly realities; our physical eyes can only see effects within this mortal sphere. It is written; eye hasn’t seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, and the deep things of God.  For what man knows the things of a man accept the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man doesn’t receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians2:9-14).

Spiritual Blindness

One can be able to see clearly with his or her physical eyes, but still be named among the blinds, Jesus called the scribes and Pharisees “blind leaders of the blind” (Matthew 15:14, 23; Luke 6:39, 41) because the people were excellent bible teachers and preachers who could see clearly with their physical eyes, but couldn’t perceive spiritually. Spiritual sight is more important than natural; you can live without physical eyes and still enter into the kingdom of heaven (Mathew18:9), but it’s impossible to live without internal sight and enter into the kingdom of Heaven. The apostles and prophets of old who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies (Hebrew11:33-34) were all spiritual men, people with a divine insight and not theologians; they lived their lives based on what their internal eyes perceived not by any religious organizational church doctrine. For instance, Enoch spiritually perceived immortality and pursued it with great sacrifice until he was translated without experiencing a physical death (Genesis5:24, Hebrews11:5). Abraham and Sarah throughout their lifetime pursued a spiritual city they perceived with their internal eyes, the city hath foundations, and it’s builder and maker is God (Hebrew11:10). If you study the writing of Paul in 2 Corinthians chapter five, you”ll understand the city Abraham and his wife hoped to reach in their lifetime was to achieve immortality of the total man. When Christ was physically here on earth, He didn’t do anything on His own; He brought down into physical manifestation only what He saw the Father do in the heavenly realm….

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.(John5:19)

To achieve total conformity to the image of Christ we must walk by faith, in other words, we must be prophetic; we must make use of our inner eyes. We Christians must sharpen our spiritual eyes and ears. This isn’t the time to depend on another person to tell us what the Lord is saying. We must see and hear directly from God ourselves!

Sharpening our Inner Eyes

Nothing will change in our lives until we change the way we see things, and we can’t change the way we see things unless we begin to view things using our internal sight, which are the eyes of our heart. Our inner eyes can be sharpened through fasting, prayer, studying and daily meditation. Oftentimes, we need to separate ourselves from everyone and from all activities to spend quality time alone with God. It’s good to pray with a group of true Christians, however, it’s more important to spend time alone with the Spirit. During the time that Jesus Christ was physically here on earth, He was spending most of his time alone praying and meditating in quiet private places…

And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. (Mark1:35) And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. (luke6:12)

It was during the course of quite time, prayer and spiritual meditation that Isaac discerned his wife when he saw her coming far off….

And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. (Genesis24:63-64)

It’s obvious that we Christians have abandoned the life of privately praying, fasting and meditating for the eastern religions; we now see meditation as something belonging to the Hindu, Jain, Buddha, Silk, Hare Krishna and other Indian sects. We are commanded to meditate on God’s word day and night…

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. (Joshua1:8)

Christian meditation is different from “trans and yoga kinds of meditations.” We don’t need to chant “Mantra” or learn Chakra” to meditate, that’s what Jesus means when He says, But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do! (Matthew6:7). Most religions of this world can’t meditate without reciting the names of their deities, spiritual guides or their acclaimed ascended masters. The words that we Christians are to meditate on daily are the eternal revelations of God revealed to our spirit man by the Holy Spirit, or the rhema word received from the written word of God.  Inward illumination and rhema can be received when the peace of God is still in your heart; when your mind isn’t occupied with the troubles of this life, but holding unto the promises of God. There’s no other way to learn prayer than to pray! To develop a life of meditation, you can start by not talking too much; know when to talk and when not to talk! When you talk, make sure that you’re only saying something that will make a positive impact in the life of the person or people listening to you…

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.(Ephesians4:29)

Avoid gossiping completely; always mind your own business. Disciplining your tongue, eyes and ears is vital in developing your inner eyes; what you watch and listen to will determine what fills your heart, and it’s from the abundance of the heart that your mouth speaks (Mathew12:34). You can’t watch dirty movies, listen to filthy music and foolish discussions, and expect to see the holy things of heaven and speak life-giving words. When you filter what you see, hear and say daily, the eyes of your heart will begin to sharpen. You should know that there’s no other way to live for God than to walk in the spirit and to live by what our spirit accurately perceives about God and the inward witness of the Holy Spirit.

Defining the Church

An accurate perception of what church means can also help us to achieve a greater spiritual height in Christ. The word church entails a called out people, the term “called out” isn’t suggestive of a Christian cult or sect.  It’s common to find groups of Christians who have ceased to function in denominational systems and regard themselves as the true “called out people”. It’s important to recognize that denominationalism is a mindset which is beyond religious names; whenever you conceive in your mind that you or your group is better than other Christians you’ve already created segregation or formed a new denomination in your mind. When Jesus promised that he would build his church, He wasn’t referring to forming a religious organization or sect on earth. Christ intended that He would call people out spiritually from the sin nature and gradually guide them into the sinless nature of God unto immortalization through the power of the Holy Spirit. In this regard, the true called out people are those who have genuinely repented and came out of an immoral system of life, who continue cleansing themselves daily from sin through the guiding of the Holy Spirit. To be a true called out person means that you must repent and come out of your sins such as pride, sexual immorality, moral impurity,  idolatry, sorcery, greed, lust,  hatred, gossip, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, lying, racism, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions,  envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar (Act2:38), and to daily continue adding in your life the fruits of the spirit which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control and so forth. That’s the way to make your calling and election sure (2Peter1:5-10). Church has nothing to do with Roman Catholic, protestant, Methodist, Pentecostal, charismatic and so forth.

Our Spiritual Calling in Christ

The name church “the called out” suggests that Christians are called out for a specific purpose. It’s obvious the majority of the Christians don’t know what their calling is, while some who claim they know will tell you they’re called to be apostles, and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. Realistically, in studying the scriptures you’ll discover that God’s calling is beyond the ministerial calling; ministerial gifts are given to enable us to fulfill our spiritual or the heavenly calling in Christ (Hebrews3:1). Paul the apostle said God didn’t call us to uncleanness, but unto holiness. (1thessalonians4:7), he also said God has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began (2Timothy1:9). God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love (Ephesians1:4). It’s important for us Christians to know the main calling of God for us is the call unto repentance; we are called to attain true holiness in God. The word that translated “holiness” in Hebrew is “Kadusha” from the root word “Kadosh” which has the notion of sanctification or consecration. To achieve a profound understanding of what holiness actually entails, we must look at the word from its English root. The word “holiness” is from the word “wholeness” meaning completeness or perfectness. The statement in 1Peter1:16… Be ye holy; for I am holy” and the one in Matthew5:48… “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your father which is in heaven is perfect” have the same meaning. When something is declared holy, perfect or complete means that the thing has no faults or it is ideal in every way. We are called to manifest the sinless life of Christ on earth!

Separation unto Holiness

To achieve true holiness you must undergo three different aspects of separation, which includes spiritual, physical and emotional separation…. 

Spiritual Separation - Spiritual separation (1Peter1:2) means to disconnect one’s spirit from the spirit of the age “the lawless spirit which is controlling the people of this world” and to come out of sin. Spiritual separation can only be obtained when one becomes born from above which some people call “born again”, that’s when the Spirit of the living God comes into our spirit man (Roman8:16), when this take place, one will gain “God’s divine ability” to free himself from the dominion of the sin nature of Satan that’s imparted in our human spirit through the disobedience of Adam (Romans5:12, 21).

Physical Separation - After spiritual separation the second is physical separation (2Corinthians 6:17) which simply means to discern and separate oneself from those people who can hinder spiritual growth. For instance, before God used Abraham according to His purpose He had to call Abraham alone (Isaiah51:2) out of his father’s household, his people and out of his country (Genesis12:1-2). Physical separation is vital because evil communications corrupt good manners…

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? Or 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 in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. (2Corinthians6:14-18)

Emotional Separation - The third stage of separation is emotional separation, which means to detach one’s human feelings from friends and relatives when God has spoken to you and has shown you what you’re to accomplish for Him on earth. Emotional separation doesn’t mean not to remember people or think about them, another way to explain it is to condition one’s mind and prefer doing God’s will even when it means hurting your own feelings and the feelings of your friends, relatives and loved ones; that’s what Jesus Christ means when he says….If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.  And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple (luke14:26-27). If Jesus Christ was emotionally attached to his mother above God’s will he couldn’t have agreed to die on the cross when he saw His mother shedding tears. It’s certain that if a person doesn’t separate himself emotionally he’ll always find himself pleasing men instead of God. Complete separation will make the inward purification easier for us.

Our Spiritual Destiny in Christ

After separation, we must stay focused on our destiny; One of the most important things in spirituality is focus, if you don’t have vision or a spiritual target you can’t advance in your spiritual life, King Solomon said in his proverbs: The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead. (Proverb21:16). A dead congregation represents an assembly without spiritual vision or accurate revelation of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God; a church that grows only in quantity and not in quality. Lack of vision causes stagnancy, backsliding and destruction of a soul; where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (Proverb29:18). It’s significant to comprehend clearly what our final destiny is in Christ. The called out people (Church) spiritually represents the Hebrews, which is derived from the root word Abar “Eber” meaning “to cross over” or “people in constant migration”. There’s a mystical race or a journey set before the church, and this race is a marathon not a sprint (Hebrews12:1-4).  The same way the natural Israelites were called out of Egypt and the people gradually journeyed and entered the Promised Land, so the church (spiritual Hebrews) is gradually migrating to the eternal land of promise, which is why we are known as the called out people. We are destined to conform fully to Christ’s image…

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:28-29) 

This means that we are to exit gradually with sacrifice from sin nature to arrive into the sinless nature of God, unto permanent perfection and immortality of our earthly body fixing our whole attention on Jesus Christ (Hebrew12:2). That’s what Paul the apostle regarded as a high calling of God in Christ Jesus, which is the vision each true Christian should run with; spiritually we must clearly see Jesus Christ and constantly pursue him to become like him. People like Paul of the bible weren’t pursuing theological degrees or the establishment of international ministries, neither did Paul consider any other thing as his vision; he set his heart after holiness, sinlessness and immortalization of the total man (Philipians3:7-14). People who’ve perceived the inward journey of perfection in Christ and focus on it will never become cool or lukewarm in their spiritual life, because each day the Holy Spirit will spiritually open their internal eyes to let them see that they’ve never arrived, and are still in need of a deeper separation and purification of their heart. As we pursue inward and outward purity, we’ll see ourselves as new beginners each day, but those who pursue external services as their vision without considering the inner life of Christ will not go far spiritually, their zeal will last for but a moment, as soon as they succeed to establish their religious structures, their fire will burn out. Everything that we do must center in the vision of full immortalization; God has made it thus. For instance, it’s for the purpose of perfection and immortalization of the total man that God gave Adam a help-mate, both were made to run the spiritual race together; man is endowed with the path finding or breakthrough capability to spearhead the move and carry his wife along to reach the complete state of perfection and immortality in God…..

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also 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. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself (Ephesians5:25-28).

It’s clear in this scripture that the sole purpose of marriage is to attain a complete state of perfection and immortality in Christ and that’s the vision. Husbands are to provide a strong spiritual covering for his wife; dying daily in the flesh to bring his entire household unto perfection. It’s a pity that some people will neglect building themselves, their wives and children and begin to pursue religious nonsense. God wants each individual and  family on earth to achieve sinlessness and immortality in Christ Jesus. Religion is something that man created in rebellion against God; Satan invented religion to blindfold people from seeing the pathway to perfection.

Purification

We can’t achieve total conformity to Christ’s image without having the accurate revelation or perception of the temple of God. It’s one thing to say “we are God’s temple” and another to believe in what we confess and act upon it. Many profess to be “temples of God” yet on Sundays they call different physical structures “God’s house” which has contributed to our inability to attain wholeness in God. Our God is a loving father, a great and mighty Spirit who wants all His life in heaven to tabernacle in us here on earth, so that we can represent Him in all ramifications….

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.(Revelation21:3)

For us to achieve total conformity to the image of God, the people have to shift their mind from focusing on the physical cathedral to perceive the heavenly realities that God has imparted in us through Jesus Christ. We can’t consider physical temples as the house of God and then become the true image of the heavenly temple of God, when Jesus came, He taught God’s word accurately helping the people to see that God can’t inhabit in physical buildings….

Then answered the Jews and said unto him, what sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. (John2:18-21)

Jesus revealed to his disciples that the true temple of God is the heart of men, God who is a Spirit has chosen to tabernacle himself in us; God has come down from heaven to tabernacle in us so that His Spirit can help gradually purify or cleanse us until we reach sinless perfection and translate to immortality. The destruction of the physical temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD was a sign that the era of temple worship is over, that’s why God allowed the Romans to demolish it, for God’s temple is now with men; WE’RE NOW THE SPIRITUAL TEMPLE OF GOD

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (1Cor, 3:16-17)

The outer court, Holy place & the Holy of Holies of the Old Testament tabernacle now represents our SPIRIT, SOUL & BODY; God has chosen to dwell in our heart through the Holy Spirit. This means that all those cleansing rituals that were transpiring inside of the Old Testament temple should be transpiring IN OUR HEARTS on a daily basis; we’re to purify ourselves from everything that defiles body & spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God (2Cor7:1). The early Christians understood this great spiritual truth and that is why they were all devoted in living the inner life of Christ, and that made them a holy and purified people. The Christians of old weren’t just proclaiming with their mouths they were God’s temple, they lived up to it just as Jesus taught them. The people refused to build any cathedral or temple and call it “the house of God”, they were only anxious of cleansing themselves daily from sin through repentance, confessing of their sins, studying, scriptural meditation, praying and fasting. In the beginning, the Christians shared the same temple with Jews because they were never separated fully from Judaism (Act2:41-46,). After their final departure from Judaism, they were meeting most in their various homes, not in large numbers (Romans16:5). Each church developed by Paul the apostle were independent house churches and were all named according to their geographical locations. There were no presidents and founders of the church; Church wasn’t a family business as we have them today (husband and wife enterprises). It’s obvious that the present day Christians have re-established the pattern of temple service as a part of end time rebellion against Christ. Instead of making people to realize that they’re God’s temple, they’re making them believe that without appearing in a physical cathedral on Sunday’s they’re not true worshipers. If each individual Christian would actually comprehend the truth that we’re representing God on earth; the most high God is living in us, we would remain holy each day. There’s vast evidence that the early Christians were instructed not to consider building a physical cathedral “temple” of worship or to regard any physical structure as the house of God….

And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.(Matthew24:1-2)
He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. (Act 17:24-25). 

Moreover, I will also tell you concerning the temple, how the wretched [Jews], wandering in error, trusted not in God Himself, but in the temple, as being the house of God. For almost after the manner of the Gentiles they worshipped Him in the temple. But learn how the Lord speaks, when abolishing it: "Who hath meted out heaven with a span, and the earth with his palm? Have not I? " "Thus saith the Lord, Heaven is My throne, and the earth My footstool: what kind of house will ye build to Me, or what is the place of My rest? " Ye perceive that their hope is vain.(Epistle of Barnabas-Chapter XVI.-The Spiritual Temple of God)

The Word, (Christ) prohibiting all sacrifices and the building of the temples, indicate that the Almighty is not contained in anything…. (Clement of Alexandra (c.195, E), 2.462).

We refuse to build lifeless temples to the giver of life. Our body is the temple of God. if any man defiles the temple of God by lust or sin, he will himself be destroyed for acting impiously towards the true temple. Of all the temple spoken of in this sense, the best and most excellent was the pure and holy body of our savior Jesus Christ. He said to them destroy this temple, and in three days, I will raise it again. This He said of the temple of His body. When they reproach us for not deeming it necessary to worship the Divine Being by raising lifeless temples, we set before them our temples (our bodies with the full manifestation Christ’s character) Origen (c.248,E),4.646.

You say that we build no temple to (gods)and do not worship their images. Well, what greater honor or dignity could we ascribe to them than that we put them in the same position as the Head and Lord of the universe! Do we honor Him with shrines and by building temple? Arnobius (c.305, E),6.507.

God’s Has Set up His Throne in Us

The early Christians were often criticized by pagans (idol worshipers) for not building temples of worship as the pagan did; the pagans built temples where they keep the statue of their gods. The purpose of not building temples in the early church was to help the Christians know God and worship Him accurately, to let them know that indeed their heart was the true tabernacle of God. Instead of the people lifting their eyes to the sky in search of the throne of God, they sought Him within their hearts through the word of God, knowing their heart is the true throne of the Almighty. When Jesus was physically here on earth, He was the ultimate throne of God….

For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians1:19, Colossians2:9)

God wants to enthrone in us exact the same way he mounted His heavenly throne in Christ;

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.(Luke17:21)

The word kingdom entails rank, state or attribute of a king, royal authority, sovereign power, rule, dominion or government.  Now The Kingdom of God, Greek Basileia tou Theou” entails the divine government of God, God’s way of doing things or God’s lifestyle; For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans14:17). It is important for us to see the kingdom God first as the nature and character of God before seeing it as a place. Why hoping to go to heaven and be with God, God has come down to dwell in us first, His name is Emmanuel meaning God with us (Mathew1:23). The purpose of God making his abode in us is to form fully his nature and character in us (Galatians4:19).

Our High Priest is in His Temple

Jesus Christ came the first time as a Lamb to make atonement for the sins of the whole world, and after His crucifixion, death and resurrection, He ascended back to heaven and came back as our spiritual High Priest to cleanse the temple “our heart” in order to present us holy and blameless before God, after the temple Christ will come physical again as the Lion king to set up his physical kingdom Earth. God said through prophet Malachi, Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts (Malachi3:1). Jesus Christ is Lord and the messenger of the covenant and He has already come into His temple, which is the Church. From the day that the Holy Spirit came upon the early disciples in the day of Pentecost until now, Christ is spiritually purifying His saints in order to present them unto God as a holy temple without spot or wrinkle. Our internal cleansing involves perfection of our spirit and soul; our high priest Jesus Christ will completely erase the sin nature in our spirit man. The word sin translated in Greek is Harmatia and Hamatano”, which is the nature of sin and the act of sin. The sin nature causes a person to commit sin. (Romans7:15-20) Without total cleansing of our sin nature, we can never be free from sin, which is why Christ came into our spirit to destroy the sin nature;

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin (Romans6:6).

After purification of the spirit, the Lord will completely renew the second sanctuary which is our soul. The soul is the place that contains our intellect, emotions and will. After the total renewal of our soul, we then will be able to say like Christ, “Father not as I will but let you own will be done”! This means, we will die to our own will and allow God‘s will to be done in our lives. The last to be transformed will be our physical body, after the internal purification, Jesus Christ will transform our mortal body to immortality; this stage will confirm that Christ has made us whole; There will be no more walls or partitions within us; our spirit, soul and body will become one and join with the Lord. Now that God has chosen to reside in us, the best place to hear from God is within our heart not in any physical building. As you are looking up to hear to hear from God, He is speaking 24hours within your heart. That is why Prophet Habakkuk says…But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. (Habakkuk1:20) We need to stop making religious noises; silent within our heart is what we need to hear and to follow the inward voice of the eternal Shepherd. (John10:4; 27)

We Are the Carriers of God’s Divine Presence

It’s a pity most will say they “feel the presence of God” when they enter a particular building, this is due to lack of understanding and lack of spiritual maturity. We are God’s temple; you should be the carrier of the divine presence of God, wherever you go God’s presence should be present there. It’s not a matter of “feeling it” in one place, if you can’t feel God’s divine presence until you enter a particular religious building, you have problem! As a true Christian, anywhere you are God’s presence must be present there (Luke5:17). As mentioned earlier, People say religiously that they are the temple of God, after confessing it, on Sundays they still point to physical buildings as being “the house of God”. The day you come to full realization that you are God’s throne; that the Almighty God is living and seated in the center of your heart is the day you’ll begin to experience true holiness. Instead of looking up or looking at what’s going on in the physical buildings mistakenly called God’s house, you’ll begin to look deeply within yourself the true temple of God to observe what’s happening within your heart and clean up every impure thing therein by the help of the holy spirit, consider the following scripture….

And he brought me to the door of the court (of the temple); and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall. Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door. And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about.

In the same manner God asked Ezekiel to dig a hole in the wall of the sanctuary in order to discover every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel hidden inside the sanctuary is the same way we Christians individually should be digging deep daily in our lives to discover and cleanse all sin and unclean thoughts hidden in us, for we are God’s present temple. There are still creeping things, abominable beasts and idols secretly residing in us; for instance, creeping things can represent lies, gossiping, envy, jealousy, hatred, etc. abominable beasts in us can be anger, pride, demons of lust and so forth. Idol can be love of money, education etc. we must continue digging each day in our lives to find and clean out everything that desires to replace God in our life, we are God’s true temple.

Revelation of the Christian Ministries

As we become God’s spiritual temple and priests, our assignments now involve interior and exterior services; this can be explained through the sign of the cross. Most people see a cross as an adornment, some see it as a crucifix or sign of suffering, while others see it as a Christian symbol. A cross symbolizes Christian ministries; one part of our ministry goes vertical and the second goes horizontal

THE VERTICAL OR INTERIOR MINISTRY - The interior ministry represents our gradual movement from mortal to immortality or the inward journey to perfection, which involves daily purification of our inward man; we are to cleanse ourselves daily by the word of God from sin till we finally conform to the nature and character of Jesus Christ and translate to immortality (2Corinthians7:1), this should be our primary focus, Jesus says…

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. (Mathew 23:25-28)

The scribes and Pharisees were excellent bible teachers and preachers who had no revelation of inward purification. They concentrated only on outward religious activities while their inward man was still filled with sin. They thought that washing their physical bodies with water as in baptism, wearing of clean expensive religious clothes and converting people to their religion and other outward religious rituals would make them clean. This is exactly what’s wrong with today’s Christianity, we are so consumed with the work of evangelism, going to religious cathedrals on Sundays and fulfilling other religious rituals, but we overlook the spiritual prosperity of our soul, which should be our primary focus. Our soul must prosper before we can be effective and productive in the knowledge of Christ. One thing the Antichrist spirit is using to make Christians deviate from the eternal path to sinless perfection and immortalization of the total man is the perverted prosperity gospel; due to the false financial breakthrough teachings that have circulated in the structural churches, most Christians have completely forgotten about the coming of the Lord or the end of the age. Most are no longer making any effort to enter the new world which is to come by purifying their inward man; some Christians even now believe that your own end of the world comes on the day you die. Let us be more conscious of eternal life than just fixing our eyes on the material pleasures of this temporary life. Let’s not assume that we have assurance of salvation simply because we confess Jesus Christ, there’s a big difference between “confession” and “submission” for it is written; you believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that and tremble (James1:19). We must believe and submit totally to the will of God, especially in this critical hour of darkness when rebellion and wickedness is dominating every human endeavor… The Lord says we must make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many will try to enter and will not be able to (Luke13:23). One scripture the human agents of darkness have used to deceive carnal minds, is “3John1:2” that reads, Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. It’s important that we consider what the writer is telling us spiritually… the Greek word that translates the English word “prosper” is “euodousthai” which means to have a  good and safe journey throughout one’s life. This indicates that we are on a constant migration; there’s a spiritual journey/race set before us which  is why Peter refers to us Christians as strangers and pilgrims (1Peter2:11). We must continue moving forward, growing spiritually and physically defeating every sin until our spirit, soul and body which now represents the outer court, holy place and holy of holies become totally cleansed and remain blameless (1Thessalonian5:23). Our soul will never prosper until we completely cease to fulfill our own desires and live only to do the will of God on earth. Church service must start within us; our mind and God’s mind are to become one, and our actions must be in line with His.

THE HORIZONTAL OR EXTERNAL MINISTRY - this involves going out to preach the gospel and to make disciples for Christ;

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God (2Corinthians5:18-20).

The ministry of reconciliation involves leaving your religious temples to go where the sinners are to preach and teach them the word of God and make them disciples for Christ (Mark16:15). It’s a pity that many believers have been deceived by Satan and don’t know the real meaning of service! Even the pastors and bishops in the Pentecostal congregations have limited service to mean Sunday and mid-week meetings of the Christians. Oftentimes one can hear blind pastors boasting that they were “having one service before but now they are having three services” on Sunday. Oh! What blindness! Church service is not coming together on Sundays or weekdays, we should always remember that the word service has the notion of ministry, and the ministry given to the church is beyond gathering under a preacher to hear sermons, singing, praying and giving monetary offerings; true external service of the church is to reconcile sinners back to God. If the structural church were operating properly, sinners wouldn’t be found inside its four walls but only in the world; therefore, we should go wherever they are and minister to them in order to win them back to God, that’s “church service”. North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia as a whole need the gospel, and as the church, we should go there and service. Any Christian assembly boasting of having many services on Sunday isn’t making progress; a successful local church is a church where people are discipled and released into their individual assignments. Effective local assemblies should function similar to patrol stations where motor vehicles come to refuel. The Roman Catholic religion introduced the false idea of Sunday service, they call it service because they serve people with bread and wine each Sunday. May we all serve God like Jesus Christ who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil (Act10:38). Make it your task to reach the unreached people groups of the world with the gospel; you can’t grow up spiritually just seating down in one place to watch your pastor perform for you every Sunday. I challenge you take a personal trip to visit interior villages, cities and towns where people need to hear the truth about Christ, some of the spiritual and physical challenges that you’ll face in reaching dark regions of the world with the gospel of Christ will contribute greatly in your spiritual growth. As you are reaching other people don’t forget what soul winning mean, so that in your effort to save other people you will not lose your own soul.

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