Mystic Moments: Being Christian

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Vital Christian experience is so simple: Christ’s will is your will.  You are only Christian to the extent that this is true; you are not one inch further than that in spite of all your professions.  The word “Christian” means “Christ’s man,” and whenever your will diverges from His will, then at that point you are not His man.  You belong to Him only when you think as He thinks and loves as He loves and will as He wills.  When you accept His commandments as the principle of your life, His example as the pattern to follow, and His providence, whether is seems to be for good or ill – when you accept thankfully all that is sufficient for your need, then you are His man.   – Alan Redpath

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Poor in Spirit: Satan Part 1

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Please note that the grouping of Satan with Eve in future blog posts IS NOT a commentary on the GENDER of Eve, just the implication of Satan’s lies had on the fall of man.  In the Bible, both Adam and Eve share responsibility for the fall of mankind. 

There are two passages in the Old Testament that most conservative scholars attribute to be talking about Satan himself: Isaiah 14:12-21 and Ezekiel 28:1-19.  Even if these are not talking about Satan (which very few would argue) they still deal with the negative portrayal of someone driven by pride.  Pride is the opposite of being poor in spirit, and as such the lessons are the same to us: this is what not to be and should not be our character.

How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!  How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!  (Isaiah 14:12, NKJV) 

Lucifer means morning star in Hebrew and he was apparently a beautiful being.  We see in this passage that Satan fell from heaven, his original domain, and the next two verses will document his sin: being proud and not being poor in spirit.

And you have said in your heart… (Isaiah 14:13, Amplified)

This is where sin always starts and the sin of pride is no exception to this rule.  The heart means the heart, mind, or inner person. The primary usage of this word describes the entire disposition of the inner person that only God can discern.  Satan’s sin started in his heart and that is where our sin starts too.

Be careful that there isn’t this wicked thought in your heart…  (Deuteronomy 15:9, HCSB) 

For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire, and the greedy curses and spurns the LORD.  The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him.  All his thoughts are, “There is no God.”  (Psalm 10:3-4, NASB)

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?  I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.  (Jeremiah 17:9-10, NKJV)

We need to protect and guard the heart so that sin does not grow out of it by taking every thought captive and allowing God to change our hearts and transform our lives into the life that is being built into the character of poor in spirit.  We need to offer up our heart to the Loving Father so He can change it into what He desires it to be.

And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:7, Amplified) 

God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  (Psalm 51:10, HCSB) 

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.  We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.  (2 Corinthians 10:4-5, NASB) 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  (Romans 12:1-2, NKJV) 

We can learn much from our mistakes and the mistakes of others.  Satan was once a glorious angle who sat in the presence of God and yet sin began to form in his heart and he rebelled against the Lord.  Let us not make the same mistake.  As we continue the process of developing the character of becoming poor in spirit let us remember to guard our hearts and submit our hearts to the work of the Holy Spirit.

Offer up your heart to the Loving Father so He can change it into what He desires it to be in prayer right now.  In your quiet time with the Father meditate upon Philippians 4:7, Psalm 51:10, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, and Romans 12:1-2.  Let the Spirit show you how to implement these Scriptures to your life as grow to become poor in spirit.

Mystic Moments: Cheap Grace

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CHEAP GRACE IS THE mortal enemy of the church.  Our struggle today is for costly grace.

Cheap grace means grace as bargain-basement goods, cut-rate forgiveness, cut-rate comfort, cut-rate sacrament; grace as the church’s inexhaustible pantry, from which it is doled out by careless hands without hesitation or limit.  It is grace without a price, without costs.  It is said that the essence of grace is that the bill for it is paid in advance for all time.  Everything can be had for free, courtesy of that paid bill.  The price paid is infinitely great and, therefore, the possibilities of taking advantage of and wasting grace are also infinitely great.  What would grace be, if it were not cheap grace?

Cheap grace means grace as doctrine, as principle, as system.  It means forgiveness of sins as a general truth; it means God’s love as merely a Christian idea of God.  Those who affirm it have already had their sins forgiven.  The church that teaches this doctrine of grace thereby confers such grace upon itself.  The world finds in this church a cheap cover-up for its sins, for which it shows no remorse and from which it has even less desire to be set free.  Cheap grace is, thus, denial of God’s living word, denial of the incarnation of the word of God.

Cheap grace means justification of sin but not of the sinner.  Because grace alone does everything, everything can stay in its old ways.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Waiting: Growing Belief in the Truth

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Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths.  Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.  (Psalm 25:4-5, NKJV, emphasis added)

Belief in the truth grows stronger as we wait on God with great hope.

But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved in the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.  (2 Thessalonians 2:13, NKJV) 

In our previous meditation on waiting we considered those who did not receive the truth, and in a few verses later Paul gives thanks for the beloved who believe in the truth.  We who are led in the truth wait upon the Lord because of our belief in the truth.

But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you.  In the Greek bound is metaphorically, to be bound or obligated to perform a duty, meaning I ought, must.  Because the Thessalonians were believers Paul felt it was his calling of duty to thank God for them always.  Part of Paul’s ministry for disciples was his obligation to give thanks; this theme is seen in other letters (Ephesians 1:16; Colossians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:2 and 3:9; and 2 Thessalonians 1:3).  Always means all the time Paul was never ceasing in giving thanks for other believers.  Do you have the same attitude of Paul?  How is your thanksgiving for your brothers and sisters in Christ?    

Brethren beloved in the Lord.  Those who Paul gave thanks for were loved of God, those who believed in the truth. 

Because God from the beginning chose you for salvation.  Paul was thankful that God chose these believers in the past to believe in the truth and to be sanctified by the Spirit of truth.  Surely the Father is to be thanked for His great grace and mercy.   

Through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.  We have earlier discussed sanctification, the process by which we are separated apart for God as holy, and by which we grow day by day into the character of Christ.  This process is clearly stated by Paul to be that of the Holy Spirit and belief in the truth.  The Spirit and the truth work as a team to sanctify us.  The Holy Spirit uses the word of God, the truth, to sanctify us.  As we wait upon the Lord with hope we will realize we need to submit so the Spirit and the truth can have their way with us, to create anew, a life called out of darkness.

…which God has created to be gratefully shared in those who believe and know the truth.   (1 Timothy 4:3, NASB)

Paul is comparing the unbeliever with the believer in this passage.  God created the disciple to believe and to know the truth.  Belief and knowledge are the same gift of grace for the disciple.  This knowledge of the truth is precise and experiential knowledge of the truth.  When we wait upon the Lord with hope He leads us to belief and knowledge of the truth.

Teleios: The Perfect Tabernacle

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But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect (teleios) tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.  Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.  (Hebrews 9:11-12) 

The tabernacle of the New Testament in heaven is said to be more complete than the tabernacle which Moses built, for the new has the out-poured blood of Christ.  This is for us perfection.  Through the instrumentality of Jesus our Savior, the High Priest Himself, found and procured eternal redemption for us.  This redemption is complete, is perfect, because by His own blood Christ liberated us from sin’s penalty through the ransom money paid for a slave of sin on the slave market in the tabernacle in heaven, where the transaction of our souls took place.

Poor in Spirit: Zephaniah 3:11-12

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In that day you shall not be shamed for any of your deeds in which you transgress against Me; For then I will take away from your midst those who rejoice in your pride, and you shall no longer be haughty in My holy mountain.  I will leave in your midst a meek and humble people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.  (NKJV)

The prophet Zephaniah is speaking of the remnant of Israel who will return to the Lord in faithfulness of heart and character.  These people will come back to God with character that was not seen by those who were judged by the Lord.  We learn about the character of being poor in spirit from this passage of Scripture.

In that day you shall not be shamed for any of your deeds in which you transgress against Me.  We see that the sins of the past are no longer an issue; what is done is done.  The person who is poor in spirit has dealt with his sins in true repentance and the Lord does not allow that His children should be shamed for what was taken care of by God’s atonement.  (Note here that God always atones first because he is the initiator.  Repentance happens after atonement when the believer in conjunction with the Holy Spirit has a change in attitude towards sin when he sees himself as he is, poor in spirit).

IN YOU, O Lord, do I put my trust and confidently take refuge; let me never be put to shame or confusion!  (Psalm 71:1, Amplified) 

I cling to Your decrees; Lord, do not put me to shame.  (Psalm 119:31, HCSB)           

For then I will take away from your midst those who rejoice in your pride.  The people of the nation will all possess the same character – that of being poor in spirit because there will be no more rejoicing in their pride.  Bad character of even a few corrupts the whole nation, so the Lord will remove, or weed out, those who are corrupted with pride.

Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”  Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God…  (1 Corinthians 15:33-34, NASB) 

You shall no longer be haughty in My holy mountain.  The goal at last is reached!  This should be our desire: to come to the place when we are no longer haughty, thinking better of ourselves than we really are.  With God as our only focus we can achieve this.  When we do not look at self, but completely rely upon the Lord we become poor in spirit.

Who is among you that fears the LORD, that obeys the voice of His servant, that walks in darkness and has no light?  Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.  (Isaiah 50:10, NASB) 

I will leave in your midst a meek and humble people.  What a group of people!  How nice would it be to be surrounded by only meek and humble people, all living the life of being poor in spirit?  It would be much easier to remain in the character of Christ-likeness with the same minded people around you.

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.  For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?  And what communion has light with darkness?  And what accord has Christ with Belial?  Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?  And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For you are the temple of the living God…  (2 Corinthians 6:14-16, NKJV)

Find people who are already poor in spirit and ask them to spend time with you.  Ask them to help you in your spiritual development.  Who better to ask than someone who has gone farther up the road than you?

Now I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon so that I also may be encouraged when I hear news about you.  For I have no one else like-minded who will genuinely care about your interests; all seek their own interests, not those things of Jesus Christ.  But you know his proven character, because he served with me in the gospel ministry like a son with a father.  (Philippians 2:19-22, HCSB) 

For then [changing their impure language] I will give to the people a clear and pure speech from pure lips, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one unanimous consent and one united shoulder [bearing the yoke of the Lord].  (Zephaniah 3:9, Amplified) 

Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  (Philippians 2:2-4, NASB) 

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!  (Psalm 133:1, Amplified) 

They shall trust in the name of the LORD.  The person who is poor in spirit trusts in the Lord because he has learned that he cannot trust in himself.Jer,

Poor in Spirit: Zephaniah 3:1-2

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Woe to her that is rebellious and polluted, the oppressing city [Jerusalem]!  She did not listen to and heed the voice [of God]; she accepted no correction or instruction; she trusted not in the Lord [nor leaned on or was confident in Him, but was confident in her own wealth]; she drew not near to her God [but to the god of Baal or Molech].  (Amplified) 

The prophet Zephaniah pronounces a woe upon Jerusalem and personifies the people as her and she in this passage.  The woe is pronounced because the people are not what God wanted them to be; they were rebellious and went after other gods; they were not teachable and not lead by the Lord; they were plainly not poor in spirit.  Let us learn from this negative example of what is not poor in spirit.

That is rebellious and polluted.  Rebellious in the Hebrew denotes resistance and disobedience.  The people were rebellious and disobedient to the commands of God.  The person who is poor in spirit does not rebel against the Lord because he only trusts in God and not in himself.  The Lord is source of life and we will die spiritually if we rebelled and were separated from our God.   The word used for polluted in the Hebrew means to defile, to pollute, to stain, to make impure.  The person who is poor in spirit is not defiled for he is pure because he walks closely with his God in unbroken fellowship and is purified by the blood of the Lamb.  The person of godly character stays pure because only when he is pure can he come into the Lord’s presence, which is His highest desire.

For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and defiance is like wickedness and idolatry.  (1 Samuel 15:23, HCSB)

She did not listen to and heed the voice of God.  The person who is poor in spirit listens and heeds the voice of God because he knows that is where wisdom and direction comes from.  To do otherwise is to trust in the self, which is opposed to the Lord of all creation.  Self will lead the selfish anywhere except where the Lord God desires him to go.  God’s will is only discernible by listening and heeding the voice of the Lord. 

She accepted no correction. The person poor in spirit accepts correction because he knows that it will lead to developing Christian character and becoming all that God desires.

My son, do not despise or shrink from the chastening of the Lord [His correction by punishment of by subjection to suffering or trial]; neither be weary of or Impatient about or loathe or abhor His reproof, for whom the Lord loves He corrects, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.  (Proverbs 3:11-12, Amplified) 

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but one who hates correction is stupid.  (Proverbs 12:1, HCSB)

Grievous punishment is for him who forsakes the way; he who hates reproof will die.  (Proverbs 15:10, NASB)

She accepted no instruction.  The person poor in spirit accepts instruction because he understands that it God is the Teacher and he is the student.  Remember a disciple is a student of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This instruction and reproof will lead to developing the character God wants in the disciple.

The reverent and worshipful fear of the LORD is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; but fools despise skillful and godly Wisdom, instruction, and discipline.  (Proverbs 1:7, Amplified)

 Hold on to instruction; don’t let go.  Guard it, for it is your life.  (Proverbs 4:13, HCSB)

He is on the path of life who heeds instruction, but he who ignores reproof goes astray.  (Proverbs 10:17, NASB)

She trusted not in the Lord [nor leaned on or was confident in Him, but was confident in her own wealth].  The man poor in spirit trusts in the Lord and not in the self because the self will let him down and when he trusts in the Lord he will never be disappointed because the God Most High cannot disappoint.

As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried.  He is a Shield to all those who trust and take refuge in Him.  (2 Samuel 22:31, Amplified)

Those who know Your name will trust in You because You have not abandoned those who seek You, Yahweh.  (Psalm 9:10, HCSB)

She drew not near to her God.  The person who is poor in spirit draws near to God because there is no other place to be.  With drawing near to the Lord as their passion the poor in spirit will do whatever it takes to draw near.

But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God and made Him my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.  (Psalm 73:28, Amplified) 

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.  (Hebrews 10:22, HCSB) 

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  (James 4:8, NASB)

Read and meditate in the Scripture presented and pray how to apply them to your life.

Poor in Spirit: Zephaniah 2:1-3

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Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together, O desirable nation, before the decree is issued, or the day passes as chaff, before the LORD’s fierce anger comes upon you, before the day of the LORD’s anger comes upon you!  Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice.  Seek righteousness, seek humility.  It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the LORD’s anger.  (NKJV) 

The prophet Zephaniah declares God’s Word to the people of Israel: that judgment is fast approaching.  But the coming judgment can be avoided if the nation seeks the LORD.  How the nation seeks the LORD will lead to God’s intent for His people – character development.  One of these character traits stated in this passage is humility, which we have seen is the essence of being poor in spirit.  Let us examine each element that God wants the nation to seek out and how each piece of the puzzle fits in helping us in becoming poor in spirit.

Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice.  The starting point is to seek God and His whole essence; everything that the Lord is we go after.  We can study His attributes and learn how each one can be applied to our lives and gain the understanding of who He is.  We can search the Scripture daily to seek Him in His Word.  We can seek Him in prayer and in worship.  The point is to go after the complete God as presented in the Scriptures.

But from there, you will search for the LORD your God, and you will find Him when you seek Him with all your heart and all your soul.  (Deuteronomy 4:29, HCSB)

Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD!  Seek the LORD and His strength; yearn for and seek His face and to be in His presence continually!  (1 Chronicles 16:10-11, Amplified) 

The meek are to seek the Lord.  The word used for meek in the Hebrew means poor, oppressed, afflicted, humble.  It is used of persons who put themselves after others in importance; persons who are not proud, haughty, supercilious, self-assertive, low in rank or position.  In other words, the meek are people described as being poor in spirit.  Also, the seeker of the Lord is one who upholds justice as in a previous meditation’s discussion.  These are the people who are poor in spirit.

Seek righteousness.  Righteousness as used here in the Hebrew means a right relation to an ethical or legal standard. The word is frequently connected with the term justice, as used here.  The standard is the Lord God Himself and the only way to seek righteousness is to know the standard of the Biblical text and its Author.

Listen to Me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut, and to the quarry from which you were dug.  (Isaiah 51:1, HCSB)

But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and all these things taken together will be given you besides.  (Matthew 6:33, Amplified) 

Seek humility.  Finally, we are to seek humility, the essence of being poor in spirit.  The word used for seek means in the Hebrew to search out and strive for.  It takes some effort to do.  We are never to be passive in seeking what God has for us including developing the character of becoming poor in spirit.

Simply commit today to follow the key points presented in this lesson as vital to your character development in the Lord.

Poor in Spirit: Micah 6:6-8

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With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the High God?  Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?  Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, ten thousand rivers of oil?  Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?  He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?  (NKJV)

The Lord God is speaking through the prophet Micah to the nation of Israel and the questions He is asking in this passage are in response to the acts by which the Israelites thought were required by God in their mixed-up theology in order to come before the Most High God.  The Lord does answer the question as to how to approach Him, and the answer is to be poor in spirit and the particulars are in verse eight of the passage.  Let us examine how each part relates to being poor in spirit.

He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you.  The good news is that God has already revealed in His word, the Bible, what is required of any person who wants to come before the Himself.  It is all contained in His Word.  We never have to go outside His Word for anything to find how to live before God.

May grace (God’s favor) and peace (which is perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you in [the full, personal, precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence [virtue].  (2 Peter 1:2-3, Amplified) 

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.  (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NASB) 

To do justly.  By acting just a person is poor in spirit because they do right both in the sight of men and right by God’s standard, for God is just.  When we act like Christ we develop Christ-like character and part of the character is just living; and the character we are pursuing is poor in spirit, characterized by submitting to the Lord in all things, including living justly.

…there is no other God but Me, a righteous God and Savior; there is no one except Me.  (Isaiah 45:21, HCSB) 

So be subject to God.  Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.  (James 4:7, Amplified) 

To love mercy.  In the same way we develop our character by being merciful as the Lord is merciful in His character. 

For the Lord your God is a merciful God; He will not fall you or destroy you or forget the covenant of your fathers, which He swore to them.  (Deuteronomy 4:31, Amplified) 

To walk humbly with your God.  The sweet reward of developing the character of poor in spirit is so we can walk, day in and day out, with our God.  Every moment we can enter the Lord’s presence.  Every moment we have access to the loving Father in prayer.  Every moment God is there to protect us.  Every moment we can be assured that we are in the Lord’s will.  It is a daily walk that we desire with our Lord and Savior.  Develop into a person who is poor in spirit and it shall become a reality.   

Memorize Micah 6:8 and meditate often upon it, praying always to apply this verse to your life and you will soon become poor in spirit.

The Plow: What Jesus Commanded Part 8

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The Prophetic Word Confirmed 

For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.  For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.  (2 Peter 1:16-21) 

The Apostle Peter in this passage illuminates for our understanding the sure footing on which stands the New Testament as transmitted from the Holy Spirit through the Words of Christ to His chosen instruments.  The commands of Christ are known and given to us.  We can be sure the orders are from above and they are to be carried out in the Revolution for the Kingdom. 

For we did not follow cunningly devised fables.  Peter represents the response of an eyewitness to the sure word of Jesus.  He knew Jesus.  He walked with Jesus.  He was instructed by Jesus.  Peter and the apostles of our Lord did not follow a fairytale written to present some cunning characteristic of correct living, but rather the true commands and teaching of the Living Word, the Word become flesh in the incarnation.  These are not words meant to manipulate for the common good, but rather words meant to inspire complete obedience to our Master Jesus as Paul affirms in 1 Corinthians 1: 17, “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.”  See also 1 Corinthians 2:1, 4, and 13.  What the New Testament portrays is truth, not mythological object lessons.  The New Testament contains marching orders of the Revolution, and as obedient soldiers we are to fulfill those commands.   

When we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  As an eyewitness to the power of Christ, Peter and the other apostles can proclaim the power they saw and the coming of their Lord which He taught them.  Paul discusses the effect of the power of Christ in Ephesians 1:19-22 in which the authority of our Lord is proven in His death and resurrection.  Only by the power of our Messiah can His words be transmitted to us and obeyed.  This power and the mission declared through Jesus had been made known through the written Word of the New Testament by His apostles.

We were eyewitnesses of His majesty.  The importance of an eyewitness is once again brought up in Scripture, this time by Peter.  It was because Peter was an eyewitness that he could be both sure of the message and sure of its source.  The testimony of Peter and the apostles is the same: the commands of the Commander in Chief were stated and transmitted by Christ Himself.  Peter and the rest were eyewitnesses to Jesus’ majesty.  The Greek word for majesty is a word used for greatness, glory, and majesty of deity.  It is because Jesus was proved to be Divine in experience that the apostles were able to testify to His words and commands.   We too have this assurance through faith and the work of the Holy Spirit in us.  We too have experienced the majesty of God and should be willing to submit to the rule of Him who is calling for Revolution.

For He received from God the Father honor and glory.  Jesus, it has been established, has been always God, but through His incarnation He received honor and glory from God the Father as witnessed by Peter, James, and John when Jesus was transfigured before them.  The Three saw with their very eyes the Deity which was Christ their Lord.  And Peter now gives testimony of this fact as an assurance of the transmission to us of the Words of God.  In His glory Jesus gives us His commands as the Supreme Authority of the universe.  These commands are to be obeyed because there is no higher Authority than God Himself.

When such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  The Transfiguration (See Matthew 17:1-13) was witnessed by Peter (along with James and John) as confirmation to their growing belief in Jesus as the Son of God.  Peter references the highest character witness of all: God the Father.  In the Transfiguration account the Father gives testimony to the Deity of Jesus and to the call to obedience in which they were entrusted to submit in Matthew 17:5, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  Hear Him!”  Hear Him was Peter’s call to obedience and the New Testament is our call to obedience in the Revolution for the Kingdom.

And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him.  The testimony of the apostles is the voice which comes from heaven by which we are called to obedience.  The commands are from the top and there is no questioning these orders.

And so we have the prophetic word confirmed.  There is no stronger testimony than the eyewitness accounts and testimonies presented by Peter.  The words of the New Testament are their own confirmation, holding a higher standing as a witness in the court of heaven, higher than the personal testimony of Peter.  The eyewitness of Peter is important and valuable, but the written word is a higher testimony because it comes from God Himself.  We are called to follow the Word of God as the commands of the Most High.  

Which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.  Light brings clarity and leads us in the way, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105).”  The Word of God is our light in the darkness of battle for the Revolution.  In the midst of battle we can be sure of our footing and the commission which we received.  Jesus is the light and we can trust in His Word, “I am the light of the world.  He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life (John 8:12).”  The New Testament is the Truth bearer of the commands of Christ and the standard by which we mark our obedience for the Revolution.   

No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation (or origin).  The words of the Bible are not the words of man, but are the very words of God.  This is what Peter has established in this passage of Scripture.  The Creator spoke to people who were chosen for the transmission of His prophetic (proclaimed) words to man.  We have in our possession the commands of God, and as such, we are to study them and be obedient to them.  Man can never explain the mysteries and fullness of the Godhead by themselves.  The message of God needs to be given by God, not man.  Thus, Peter presented his case for the written Word.

Prophecy never came by the will of man.  No man chose to express his personal opinions of God but rather specific men were called to speak the words of God.  Prophecy is the simple transmission of the words of God to man by the power of the Holy Spirit.  The prophets of the Old and New Testaments had no other function but to be the mouthpieces of God.  Today we have in written form this transmission of His commands to us in the Bible.

But holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.  Holy men, men separated from the natural, where supernaturally inspired to transmit the words of God by the Holy Spirit.  God being holy could only transfer His message through the holy instruments chosen for the task.  From a holy God to holy men by the Holy Spirit was the chosen and perfect means by which our orders come to us from above.

It is clear the commandments of Jesus include the complete Word of God, the Old and New Testaments.  With command in hand we have been enlisted in the battle for the Kingdom Revolution.  As men gifted as pastor teachers we need to be obedient to the command to make disciples and to teach all He commanded.