Archive for November, 2008

Is Salvation More Than Forgiveness?

November 27, 2008

Of First Importance –


Rm. 1:16

            Again, when you go to 1 Corinthians 15: 3 & 4, you will see that Paul himself said, of first importance is this death, burial and resurrection. There is no reign of God in our heart without our death and burial with Him, our entering into His death, burial and resurrection. It’s of first importance.

Mt. 24:14

            There is no power of God unto salvation without entering into His death, burial and resurrection. I’m in no way belittling His death, burial and resurrection. I’m just saying to you that the disciples could preach for three and one half years and continue to preach a gospel that is the power of God unto salvation and is a gospel Jesus said must be preached as a witness to all the nations before the end can come, and still know nothing about the death, burial and resurrection. Can you?


The Power of God Unto Salvation –


Gal. 2:20

            We’re going to spend some time looking at this Gospel which is the power of God unto salvation. What does that mean? It means the power of God to live a life that is not our own; the power of God to live the God life, the Christ life. Is that too bold? Can we come to a place where we can say, “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me?” Can we believe that the Book ends with the Bride coming forth as the dwelling place of God in the earth (see Revelation 20 & 21)? That’s been God’s intent from the beginning; not just to have creatures who could worship Him; He has myriads and myriads of those who do that. Yes, He’s wanting our worship and our praise. He intends to erect His throne upon them. He intends to set up His dwelling place in the midst of our very being. That’s the promise. This is the gospel. What does it mean?

In Luke 18:18 His question is all about the rich young ruler’s eternal life. Isn’t eternal life what we’ve all been taught salvation is all about? As a matter of fact, Jesus in His last prayer in John 17, verse 3, prays, “Father, I pray that they might know You the only true God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” “And this is eternal life,” He says, “This is eternal life that they might know You.”


What is Lacking? –


            And here in the passage in Luke 18 the rich young ruler is asking a question,


“Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”


            Let me tell you something about what is going on here. Jesus, tongue-in-cheek, plays with this young man. This is a rich young ruler, a ruler in Israel, which means he was a lawyer, scribe, Sadducee, or Pharisee. He had to know, to be a ruler, every jot and tittle of the law. And the law said you can call no man good, because only God is good and that is how Jesus replied. Jesus, tongue-in-cheek says, “Don’t you know that only God is good?” This rich young ruler knew that. Jesus knows that this rich young ruler is asking Him for eternal life, and refers to Him as good. What’s happening? This rich young ruler sees in Jesus what he is asking for, and he knows it. To the Jew, in the Hebrew mind, eternal did not mean so much the duration or length. To the Hebrew mind, eternal means as much or more the quality of life – God like life – quality.

You know the issue with you and me is not duration, it’s the quality of our duration. Can you not see that? Heaven or hell. Life or death. A living death, a continuing death. And so this rich young ruler says,


   “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.”


            That’s the law. 


   “You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother.” And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”


            And Jesus does not argue with this. This is a man who is keeping the letter of the law and yet he knows he does not have what he is asking for: “What must I do to have what I see in You – A God kind of life?”


   When Jesus heard this He said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come follow Me.”


            Whew! What if He said that to you? What if that was added to what’s required of you? Well, He’s speaking specifically to this rich young ruler. “One thing you lack.” What is it that he lacked? He lacked what he saw in Jesus – God reigning in a man’s heart – that’s what he lacked. But, I want you to continue here. We’re not done with this yet. Verse 23:


   But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. And Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!”


            Now, note this. The rich young ruler calls it “eternal life.” Jesus calls it “entering into the kingdom of God.”


   “For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” They who heard it said, “then who can be saved?”


            Now, you’ve got to see this. There are three phrases here in this passage that are used synonymously. The rich young ruler says, “What can I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said, “How hard it is for those who are rich to enter into the kingdom of God.” The disciples say, “Then who can be saved?”

            So in this text, salvation, entering the kingdom, eternal life is all the same.


Salvation More Than Forgiveness –


            But if eternal life has been to us just to have our sins covered, we’ve been deceived, because it’s more than just having one’s sins covered; it’s more than being forgiven.

            Now think about it. Before Adam and Eve ever sinned, did they have a need for forgiveness? Were they as good as having been completely forgiven? The answer is yes – but they still didn’t have the Life. Salvation is more than being forgiven.

            I have wanted more than forgiveness. I was tired of being forgiven but not having the power to keep from sinning. It is this gospel that is the power of God unto salvation, eternal life, entering into the kingdom. It is the rest of the gospel: the reign of God in the heart of man that man might be the man that God created him to be.


The Gospel Paul Preached –

November 24, 2008


            Acts chapter 19, starting in verse 6:


   And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. There were in all about twelve men. And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about…


Reasoning and persuading them about what? What was Paul preaching? The disciples, when they were with Jesus, were preaching the gospel of the kingdom. The disciples, after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, were preaching the gospel of the kingdom. What did Paul preach?

            The particular reason I’m making this point is that there is a man out on the west coast who has written a book about the Apostle Paul. He is saying that the gospel that Jesus preached was only for the Jews and when He died the Father sent Paul to bring us ‘the gospel’ of salvation – death, burial and resurrection, and the exchanged life. But what this man, in effect, is saying is that everything Jesus did and taught for 3 ½ years had nothing to do with the gospel that we are now to be about, and in reality that’s how most Christians are living today.

Mt. 24:14

            But that’s a false gospel. To suggest that Jesus spent 3 ½ years teaching and the Holy Spirit recording for us upon this generation that which died with Him, is ludicrous. Because He Himself said this gospel that I am preaching is to be preached as a witness to all the nations before the end can come. He’s talking about a message that lives long after He died, was buried and raised. But here we see Paul himself is preaching the kingdom of God.



            Let’s go to Acts 28, verse 23:

   When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus…


            Can you see the truth? Paul is at the end of his ministry, he’s in his own lodging, he’s in Rome under house arrest, and what is he still preaching after many of the epistles have been written? He’s at the end of his ministry; he’s at the end of his time, and he is till preaching this gospel of the kingdom, and the things concerning Jesus.


            Go to the end of the book down to the very last two verses:


   And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.


            I’m suggesting to you that this, which the Holy Spirit and Jesus Himself called the gospel of the kingdom that must be preached to all the nations, includes, most certainly, the death, burial and resurrection, because Jesus did share that before He died in Luke 18. But, it’s far more than that; it’s far more than that. And until we understand what this gospel is that Jesus preached, we will not be able to enjoy the power of God that’s unto salvation.

            Saved from – yes! Reconciled – yes! Power to live…?? Be honest with yourself, how many Christians do you know that are really living the victorious life? It is this gospel that is the power of God unto salvation – living the Life.


The Disciples’ Gospel –


            Go to Luke 18. We’re down to days before the death of Jesus. Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem with his twelve. Beginning in verse 31:


   Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.”


            This is the death, burial and resurrection that Jesus is preaching before the cross, but only days before the cross. Notice the response of the disciples. Now remember, these are the disciples who have been hearing Him preach for three to three and one half years, the gospel of the kingdom. They themselves have known the gospel so well that they themselves had been sent out with power and authority to preach this same gospel. And yet when He tells them about His death, burial and resurrection, what is their response?


   But the disciples understood none of these things and the meaning of this statement was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend the things that were said.


            There are three distinct phrases in this verse to say they had no idea about what He was talking about. I want to ask you a question: If they could preach the gospel that is the power of God unto salvation and had no idea what He was talking about when He was telling them about His death, burial and resurrection, what were they preaching? What were they preaching?


The 12 Preach the Gospel –

November 21, 2008


            And so we go from Luke 4:43 to Luke 9, verses 1, 2 and 6. In Luke 9 we see Jesus call together His 12:


   And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases.


            And I want to suggest to you that what Jesus was doing was a demonstration of “this gospel.” And whatever this gospel of the kingdom is, it is represented by the power and authority over everything that was wrong. All sickness, all manner of diseases, all demon possession; He reigned over them all, and He is demonstrating that here.

Mt. 4:19

            But now He’s called His twelve together and we’re about 14 to 16 months into the ministry of Jesus with His twelve. They are about halfway through or a little over halfway through their time with Jesus. They are walking with Jesus that they might be made as He is. That’s what He said, “Follow Me and I will make you…” “Isn’t it enough that a disciple be as his teacher, and a servant as his master…”(see Mt. 10:25a). They are following Him to become like Him. He has been preaching this gospel, and now He calls them aside and the Scripture says that He:


…gave them power and authority over all demons and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the Kingdom of God, and to perform healing.


            They are sent out to preach the very same thing that He preached and they are manifesting signs and wonders.

   In verse 6 they leave:


Departing, they began going throughout the villages, preaching the gospel…


            He says, “Go and preach the kingdom of God.” Then, in verse 6 it says they went “preaching the gospel…” It’s clear what the gospel was that which they were preaching. It means something!



Saved From or To –        


            I’m trying to raise a big question mark in your heart if you’ve not understood this, because it is the gospel – it is the power of God unto salvation. Not saved from – that’s the blood and body of Jesus. A salvation that is only a salvation from has you no better off than the Israelites were after they were saved from Egypt but still were laid low in the wilderness never to enter into the promise. The greater issue is of being saved to.

            I just had someone share with me that the pastor at Mt. Paran, I don’t remember who shared with me, just recently preached on “Salvation is more than from.” The greater is what we are saved to. This gospel is the power of God unto. It is the power to enter into the promise, if I can be so bold. So this was what the disciples were preaching while Jesus was with them.


Preaching the Good News –


            We go from Luke 9 to Acts chapter 8, verse 12: But when they believed Philip preaching the good news… Oops! Philip is preaching the gospel? What good news is Philip preaching? 

            Phillip is preaching the kingdom of God. Put a little circle at least in your mind, around that little ‘and.’ Philip was preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ.

            Of first importance is death, burial and resurrection. But it distinguishes it here “and the things concerning Jesus.”

This Gospel –

November 17, 2008



            Now we are going to begin in Matthew chapter 3, talking about, looking for, going to see, if there is there a “good news” that maybe some of us have not yet fully grasped. I’m suggesting to you that most of the church has not grasped “this good news.” I touched on it before but we’re going to build on it now. And this just by way of an introduction to what we’re going to talk about in this Revolutionary Gospel that must be preached. . . as a witness to all the nations, then the end shall come. I’m quoting that particular text from Matthew 24:14 because it’s . . . “this gospel” that is the power of God unto salvation that Jesus refers to as “this gospel.” It’s the gospel that follows after His death, burial and resurrection, as the power of God unto salvation. The end can not come until “this gospel” is witnessed to all of the nations.

            In Matthew chapter 3 I’m going to look at verses 1 & 2:


   Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  


            This is what John the Baptist was preaching. But if we go from there over to Matthew chapter 4, verse 17, we see Jesus coming on the scene after He comes out of the wilderness and His days of temptation.


   From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  


            Jesus is preaching the same message that John the Baptist is preaching. I just want you to see that. What ever He is preaching, it is referred to as “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand” or “…the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  Matthew was very careful not to use the word ‘God’ because he was writing particularly to Jews who would not speak the name of God. But if we look outside of Matthew in Mark, Luke and John, we find it’s referred to as “the kingdom of God.” But here in Matthew only, we see the same text referred to as “the kingdom of heaven.”

            Go down to verse 23:


   Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom…


            Jesus’ ministry begins with the preaching of whatever He is calling “this gospel.” He’s calling it and referring to it as “this gospel of the kingdom.” And He is consistently being quoted as using this phrase throughout the gospels. You will find this consistency though the Acts and the Epistles concerning what “this gospel” is. And we see that He is preaching “this gospel of the kingdom.”

            Now go to Mark 1:14-15:


   Now after John had been taken unto custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God…


            Here we have “this gospel” again.


   Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God…

             Then verse 15 defines what “this gospel” is:


   ..and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”


            Jesus comes preaching “the gospel.”

            By the way, this is the clearest definition in the gospels of what “this gospel” is. “This gospel” is the gospel of “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven,” or “the kingdom of God is at hand.”

            Let’s continue by turning to Luke chapter 4, verse 43. In Luke 4:43, Jesus  gives an explanation about why He needs to be traveling about: 


            But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also…”


            I want you to see what follows that simple declaration. Jesus is answering them and says,

   “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also…” 

And then there is a little “for” or “because.” What does He say next? “… for I was sent for this purpose…”


            You mean He was sent for something more than His death, burial and resurrection? He was sent for something more than to die for our sins? He was sent for something more than to find a covering for what we’ve done? He was sent for something more than dying, being raised? Oh yes, He was!

            He says, “I was sent for this purpose,” to preach “this gospel of the kingdom.” That’s why He says He was being sent. It may not mean what you think John Brown is implying, but it means something. You ask the Holy Spirit what it means. You cannot just ignore it. You can’t write it off. You can’t suggest that it has no meaning anymore. Because He did die, was buried, and was raised. Because, even after the grave, you’re going to see the gospel remains the same. It means something!

A Counterculture –

November 11, 2008

A Counterculture –


            Speaking of cultures, was the ekklesia of Rome a subculture or a counterculture? Was the ekklesia of Greece a subculture or a counterculture? A subculture is a part of the culture but has its distinctions. A counterculture is nothing like the culture and its whole intent is to overthrow the culture, to replace the culture.

            The Republican Party would be considered a subculture; the Democratic Party, a subculture. But what about the communist party, when they were strong, were they a subculture? No, they were very much a counterculture. Now, what about the ekklesia, what about the church, what about you and I, are we a subculture? We try so hard to be a part, don’t we? We try so hard to identify with, to be received and accepted as one of this lesser realm, thinking that some how that’s going to give us influence. The only reason we’ve done that is we’ve not seen Her. We’ve not known Him as we ought to know Him. Because He did not call us out and send us back into.


            Father, I pray that they not be taken out of the world but in the midst of the world would be Your counterculture.


            I intend to challenge you to give up all that you are and have been and all that you’ve been entrusted with and give it to the King and His kingdom.


            Gracious Father, we thank you for your Word, and we thank you Lord, for what You are doing. And Lord, we just pray together that You help us to see Her of which we’ve been made a part. Help us to understand what it is we’ve been called out of and sent into, not citizens of this lesser place but as ambassadors. We thank You Lord. Help us to be doers. Help us to buy truth, Lord. We ask in Jesus name. Amen.


Adam’s Reign –


            And when truth was lost it was lost when Adam thought that he could make decisions on his own. As soon as Adam chooses the reign himself, as soon as he considered it, as soon as his intellect became the judge of what God had spoken, it was over. The instant that the right or wrong of what God said, the accuracy of it, the completeness of it, “perhaps He hid something from me,” the instant he took over the reign was the instant that Adam lost the reign. In Genesis 1: 26 & 28 God said, “Let us make man in Our image and Our likeness, let them multiply, let them subdue and rule.”

            God’s creation, Adam and Eve, were given the reign and the rule over everything that lived and was on planet earth, including the creeping things. God established His authority in the earth by way of His man, but God’s authority over the earth was limited to the authority He had over His man. The instant God lost the reign in the heart of man, another took over that reign.

            In Romans 6 we read that we are slaves to the one to whom we submit (see verse 16). In that instant, Adam, thinking he was submitting to his own rule, but was really submitting to the rule of he who became the god of this world, the prince of the air. And the Holy Spirit, speaking by the Apostle John, as late as 65 or so A.D. after the death of Christ, says the whole world lies under the authority of the power of the evil one. That does not mean in the heavens God exercised final rule. But God has limited His rule to His man. And He has never violated that. And it wasn’t until the last Adam died and the second man came forth that God again had His reign in the earth.

Jn. 14:28

Ph. 2:6

1Jn. 5:19

            And that’s why Jesus could go everywhere preaching concerning the reign; but not the reign in the realm of what the eye could see but a reign first inwardly, in the heart of man. And it wasn’t until Jesus, as the Son of Man, accepted the reign of God in His own heart, having left His own reign behind, not thinking it a thing to be grasped, to be equal with God, He laid that down. And that’s why in John 14, Jesus could say that the Father is “greater than I,” because He was not the one speaking. Though He was never less than the Son of God, He had now limited Himself to never being more than the Son of Man. And, as Son of Man, the Father was “greater than I.” And He could say that “everything I do I did not do, but My Father, who is in Me, He did the work” (see Jn. 14:10).

            He left his reign. He laid it down. He humbled Himself that the Father might reign in Him as the Son of Man. And He became the first normal human being; the man that God created man to be. That reign was lost in the Garden, and half-truth entered in.

Introduction to A Revloutionary Gospel

November 8, 2008

Our Citizenship –


Let’s go to Philippians 3, verse 20:


   for our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.


            What is the citizenship or members of the ekklesia¹*? Where did the Romans who were in Israel who were the ekklesia, hold their citizenship? In Rome!.

            It has been the intent of our enemy to convince us that the best way to influence our culture is to be a good citizen. Now stay with me. This is important. But we are not citizens of this culture if we have been truly born again, if we are living by a life that is not fallen Adam’s life, which is all the life that this world knows. We are citizens of no insignificant nation, empire, realm. Our citizenship is elsewhere.

            Also in Ephesians chapter 2, verse 19 says,


   So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and are of God’s household.


            Then we go back to 2 Corinthians 5:20, which says,


   Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.


            We are ambassadors for Christ. I want to ask you a question: Who has greater freedom and more rights in America, John Q. Citizen or the French Ambassador? The French Ambassador! The French Ambassador can come and go to places you and I cannot go as citizens of America. The French Ambassador has the audience of the President and everyone else in authority. So why is it we think that we can influence these lesser realms more by being citizens as opposed to being ambassadors? I’m suggesting to you that the enemy has confused us about our citizenship. I’m not in any way suggesting that we not take advantage of our opportunities to be a witness with our voice or our vote. I’m not saying that at all. I’m just saying that we need to know that we are doing it as an ambassador from no insignificant nation. I’m suggesting that to accept citizenship in a lesser nation, to give up our true citizenship, does not give us more influence – it mutes our influence, it undermines our influence.

            Let me illustrate. As a citizen of America it is important that America allow our children to pray in school. But I want to suggest to you (I’m doing a lot of suggesting) that the day you give to America the right to keep your children from praying in school is the day that you loose your right to pray in school. I’m suggesting to you as ambassadors, America does not have the ability, the strength, the power or the right to keep our children from praying in school. The instant that we give it to them, we’ve lost it. And it all rests in the reality that we see ourselves as more citizens of the world than the citizens of the kingdom of God. I trust this is communicating. I’m not suggesting that we can not be a voice and speak for righteousness in the midst of this fallen, and perverse, and wicked generation. I’m suggesting we have the greatest opportunities as ambassadors to be the voice they need to hear. But you’ll not be able to carry your weight if you are carrying it as a citizen. That’s a lie.

            I met a woman in China in the secret of night that spent many years in prison and she was the freest person I have ever met in my life. And she has won them from every tribe, every ethnic group in all of China. And while listening to her, I realized I still was not free to witness to my own neighbor because I had confused my citizenship.

            The ekklesia is what He is building, and she is His body and she’s a marvelous thing. And we need to see her for who she is. And we need to look for her. We need to discover her in our selves, this part of Christ, this fullness of Christ in us. We need to start speaking as ambassadors on behalf of Him into this culture.

What Is The Gospel?

November 6, 2008

            What is the gospel? What is the second deception? It takes the reign of God in the heart of man for man just to be the man God created him to be. That’s the gospel. We’ll expand on that in the posts that follow, but the instant that God no longer reigned in the heart of Adam in the garden, it was lost. Adam lost the reign. And if there is anything that can be said about that Laodicean church, she does not have the reign over her own life. Everything else reigns over her. And she’s in this great deception. And, she’s in this great deception because God does not reign in her heart. That was lost to God in the Garden. God lost His reign over the heart of His man when His man came out from under His reign.

            The third thing that God lost was His life, the spirit of Adam in whom He was going to dwell. Man was made for God. It takes the life of God in the man just for the man to be the man God created him to be. Can you witness that? God lost His habitation.

            I told you about the first 3 chapters of Genesis and the last 3 chapters of Revelation. The angel says to John, “Come here and I’ll show you the bride” (See Rev. 21:9). And what did the angel show John as the bride in Chapter 21? Do you know? The heavenly Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven whose life was light of all creation. The glory of God emanated from this heavenly Jerusalem that came down out of heaven to the earth where it was going to stay. What is that heavenly Jerusalem? It’s the bride of Christ. I can not tell you how that is going to be, but I can tell you it will be, just simply because the Word says it. It ends with God indwelling His bride. And the whole earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord – the out-raying of the very nature of God. God who cannot be seen will then be seen in his creation as He was seen in Christ. “The glory, Father, which You have given Me,” Jesus said, “I have given to them; My life in them” (See John 17:22).

            The truth – it takes the reign of God in the heart of man for man to be the man God created him to be and the life is the life of the tree in the Garden. It was the life God lost that was the life of Adam.




To read the entire thought from the beginning, go to the Page “1st – The Basis of Teaching.”

The next series of posts will be called “Introduction of A Revolutionary Gospel.”

Deception in the Beginning –

November 4, 2008


            I missed something I need to go back and touch.

            You know, if you’re deceived you don’t know it. So if you are falling away because you are deceived, then you don’t know you have fallen away. That’s why you end up thinking you’re rich and clothed and can see when you are really wretched, miserable, poor, naked and blind. It’s because of the nature of deception. He who says he can see is blind. It’s the poor in spirit. They have nothing. Those who know they can not see, then have their eyes opened.  They cannot have sight unless He gives it. They cannot do it unless He does it. He’s the one.

            You know, with God, He can do a whole lot with just a little, but He can do a whole lot more with even less and He can do everything with nothing. So where do you think He’s taking you and me? He’s bringing us to an end of self so that He can be everything in us, to us. “Always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus so that the life of Jesus might be manifest” (see 2 Cor. 4:10).

            His ways are not the ways of a counterfeit gospel, and inadequate salvation, a powerless life, imitation. We have been offered so much more.

            I’m going back to make this connection. At the end of the age, there’s a church deceived because of three lies, three counterfeits, three deceptions. It began exactly the same way in the Garden – same issues, same lies, same loss.

            Turn with me to Genesis chapter 3. We’ve talked about three deceptions. Those three deceptions destroy the way, the truth, and the life. Reading from Genesis 3.  You know, a fascinating study is to compare the last three chapters of the Bible with the first three. They parallel: the last chapter with the first chapter, the second to last with the second, and the third to last with the third. That should challenge some of you.                                         

            Reading from chapter 3, verses 8 – 10.


   They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”   


            The first thing lost by God was His relationship with His man. We have a tendency to only see things from our perspective. God is the one who lost His relationship. If we were to turn to Ezekiel 36, we would see that in verse 22 and also in verse 32 the Holy Spirit, speaking on behalf of the Father says, “Israel, it’s not for your sake that I am doing this. It’s for My sake.”

            You cannot understand why we’ve been so deceived until you change paradigms and start looking at the word from God’s point of view. What is His ultimate intention? What is His objective? And we will end up surprised at how it’s all about Him and it’s all about the second man, Jesus, and the sons and daughters that are born of Him. It’s not about Adam and Adam’s race. It’s about God. And so, when you make that paradigm change, you have to look in the Garden and at the end and everything in between from God’s point of view. What did God loose in the Garden? I’ll tell you what God lost in the Garden. God, because of the deception of man, because man was so misled, God lost His relationship with His man. And it was that relationship, that intimacy, which would have led that man to the tree of God’s life.

            Most Christians have yet to recognize that Adam and Eve never, ever had that life. They had never, ever eaten of that tree. Had they eaten of that tree, and had sinned, God implied that it would be a real mess. “We’ve got to drive man from the Garden now that he’s sinned lest he eat of that tree and live forever in this terrible condition.” Adam and Eve never, ever ate of that tree.

Jn. 14:17

            That is why Jesus could say that John the Baptist was the greatest of all, but the least in Christ is greater than he. It was because all of those who preceded Christ never, ever had the opportunity to eat of that tree, to take that life in. They had the Holy spirit with them, but Jesus makes it very clear, you now have the Holy Spirit with you but then you will have Him in you. Man was made for the indwelling of God. And the first thing that God lost was His relation ship with man whereby He would lead man to the tree. Follow Me! Be with Me! I want to suggest to you that it was lost before Adam and Eve ever ate of the apple. It was lost before that serpent ever suggested that they eat of it. It was already lost.

            Romans chapter 1 says ‘Knowing God, they did not honor God as God in their hearts. And so chose to believe a lie’ (see verses 21 & 25).  We’ll spend more time on this a little later but I want you to see this. Not honoring God as God in the heart will be the beginning of the fall. The instant that they did not honor God as God in their heart they needed a lie. Satan knew that he had them before he ever suggested the lie. He knew they had to have a lie in order to support the honoring of selves in their heart over God. That will take some time for some of you if you have not heard that before. But it was lost when they did not honor God as God in their heart. As soon as they honored themselves above God, they became the judge over what God had said. And most Christians struggle with their walk because they are still judging what God has said.

            Most of our divisions in the body of Christ are over man’s judgment about what God has said. And that comes from not honoring God as God in our hearts. The instant that they did not honor God as God in their heart, something else happened. Then the serpent came along. You know, it was given them to rule over all of creation, over every living thing including that which crawled on the face of the earth. The instant that they came under the rule of another, it was the serpent in the end, but the truth is, they thought they were under their own rule. There really are only two rules. There is one who is called the god of this world and he is referred to as the one in 1 John 5:19 where it says, ‘the whole world lies under his authority.’  That’s 60 years after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus when all authority had been given to Christ. The prince of the air, the god of this world, the one who holds the rule, is the one who indwelt the serpent in the Garden. Adam and Eve thought they were voting for themselves but that’s really the principle of Satan. He is the one who said, “I will, I will, I will, I will, I will.” (See Isaiah 14:13-14). Five times he said it. And all he needed for man to do was for man to say, “I will.” The instant that Adam and Eve came out from under the rule of God, they lost the rule.

The Salvation Deception –

November 1, 2008

            There is an illustration the Holy Spirit is about to give us through Paul that is given for those who are approaching the end of the age. The Laodicean church needs to hear this text, because one of the works of the enemy is to deceive us concerning salvation.

     Now back to verse 1 of 1 Corinthians 10 –


   For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea…


            We’re talking about the story of the children of Israel being saved from Egypt.


            Verse 2  …and all were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 


            Here we’re talking about a people who were water baptized in the sea and Spirit baptized in the cloud. Not my words but the words of the Holy Spirit in this text. They were baptized in both the cloud and in the sea.


            …and all ate the same spiritual food…       


            They received manna from heaven; manna from God every day. And in it, was a lesson every day. Here are a people who were water baptized, Spirit baptized, daily eating manna, which was a type of the word,


   and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock…


            Now this is the Holy Spirit speaking. It’s not John Brown making up the text. It’s gotta mean something, doesn’t it? If it is written in this form for us upon whom the end of the age comes. Verse 4 says,


   and all drank the same spiritual drink and they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.  


The rock was Christ. Spiritual drink, spiritual food, water baptized, Spirit baptized.


Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased, for they were laid low in the wilderness (verse 5).


And as we read on elsewhere in Hebrews 3 & 4, they were “Never to enter into the promise.” These people were water baptized, Spirit baptized, daily eating spiritual bread, daily drinking spiritual water from Christ Himself and yet most, most were laid low in the wilderness, never to enter into the promise. 

            Point: There is a difference between being saved from and being saved to. And that’s consistent throughout the New Testament, as we shall see. That’s why this text ends in verse 12 with …take heed that he does not fall.

            Not my words. I suggest to you that as the Spirit has encouraged me to advise you that whenever we come across something that challenges us, don’t throw it away, particularly if it’s simply the reading of the word. And, don’t assume it means nothing because it does not stack up with our understanding at the moment. It means something and whatever it means, it’s true.


            I’m suggesting that the third deception that the enemy must work in the Laodicean church, the church at the end of the age, the church of the last generation is to convince them of a salvation that falls short of an entering into the promise. What is God’s answer to the deception? I’m going to make a connection here that I’ll make many times in the pages that follow but it’s important. I’m talking to you about the church at the end of the age. I’m suggesting that we look a whole lot like her in the West. It may not be her, but we certainly look a whole lot like her. And, I’m suggesting that the deceptions that will deceive the Laodicean church, it seems to me, will be very strong on the church in America. You test it. You don’t have a need for John Brown to teach you. You have the Holy Spirit.                                                                                                                                               

            God’s answer is in John 14:6. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” I am the way. I am the truth. I’m the truth both about God. I’m the truth about man.

            Jesus could say, look at me and you’ll learn the truth about man. And when you understand what the gospel is you’ll understand why he’s the truth about man. And you’ll understand why his way was the way of making disciples. Follow me and I will make you. I will make you.

            All He was asking, all he ever asked of His 12 was just simply to be with Him. Just be with Me and I’ll make you. Just be with Me. The responsibility is on Me to make you. Just be with Me. I often thought He was weeping in the garden because He knew of the betrayal of all 12; the denial that they could never deny. He had just one little 3-day work to complete on their behalf and then they would be with Him forever. Our hope rests in what He can do not in what we can do so we can rest in His promise: “Just be with Me. Follow Me and I’ll make you.”

            That’s radical. That’s what a disciple is. Isn’t it enough? “…………… Just be with Me. I’ll make you.” A radical discipleship. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.”

            And I’m wanting to make this connection here: The cause of deception that leads the Laodicean church to fall so far from the truth.