The New Man was Created in Christ Jesus

New Jerusalem - the Consummation

New Jerusalem is new because the city is in God and permeated with God. The city is the consummation of all the newness in the Bible.

New JerusalemGod created the first man Adam for His purpose but sin and death entered, ruining man. In response, God came in the man Jesus Christ. He lived a human life, died, and resurrected for God’s purpose. While dying He created the new man in Himself and with Himself (Ephesians 2:15). In the new man “Christ is all and in all” (Colossians 3:11).

The new man, as a precursor to New Jerusalem, is new because this man is in Christ and Christ is in this man. Colossians 3 says about the new man, “Christ is…in all” that is, in all of us as members of the new man.

Thank the Lord that we have been incorporated into the new man. However, we cannot say that…

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The Pagan Practice Of Valentine’s Day Versus The Divine Revelation In The Word

The pagan practice of Valentine's Day

The pagan practice of Valentine’s Day

World’s celebration for Valentine’s Day is coming, so I guess it’s an opportunity for me to share something about it based on history and how it contradicts to God’s divine revelation in the Word.

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men- his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.

Some also believe that Valentine’s day is celebrated to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial- which probably occurred around 270 AD while others claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “christianize” celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival.

Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day around 498 A.D. The Roman “lottery” system for romantic pairing was deemed unchristian and outlawed. Later, during the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of bird’s mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of February -Valentine’s Day- should be a day of romance.

The Romans called the festival the Lupercalia. The custom of exchanging valentines and all the other traditions in honor of Lupercus- the deified hero-hunter of Rome – was also linked anciently with the pagan practice of teenagers “going steady”. It usually led to fornication. Today, the custom of teenagers dating only one person on a regular basis a thought very modern.

Nimrod – the original St. Valentine– was also known as Saturn, the Roman-Babylonian god who hid from his pursuers in a secret place. The Latin word Saturn is derived from the Semitic-speaking Babylonians. It means “be hid”, “hide self”, “secret” and “conceal”. The ancient name of Rome before it was rebuilt in 753 B>C was Saturnia – the site of Saturn’s (Nimrod’s) hiding place. There he was found and slain for his crimes. Later, professing Christians in Constantine’s day made Nimrod – the St. Valentine of the heathen – a saint of the Church and continued to honor him under the name of a Christian martyr.

Myths or muthos refers to words, speeches, and conversations concerning such things as rumors, reports, (true or false) stories, and fictions; these are profane and old-womanish myths. (Life-study of 1 Timothy, msg. 1) Cupid in mythology (Roman) is the god of love. It is derived from Latin “cupido” meaning “desire”. Almost and always, he is depicted with two arrows – gold-headed and lead-heade; gold for falling in love and lead for falling hatred.

Practices in Valentine’s Day such as giving flowers, cards and especially dating are empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world and not according to Christ; therefore it must be condemn from among God’s children (Col. 2:8; 2 Cor. 6:17, 7:1)

The divine revelation in the bible is Christ as the reality and everything to the believers (Col. 2:17; 3:11). God in Christ is the reality of our love; if we have Christ we have the real love, apart from Christ our love is not love (1 John 4:8-9). Only God is the source of love because God Himself is love (1 John 4:8). 

Pagan practices are empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world and not according to Christ (Col. 2:8). Nothing is real in it and it does not depend on the revealed writings of God, but on the traditional practices of men. Although practices of this are not according to the Bible, Christianity followed them because of tradition. The principle we should follow is that of testing everything with the Bible; we should care only for God’s direct revelation in the Holy Word, not for anything that is according to the tradition of men.

As believers and children of God, we must purge out the old leaven of Christianity (1 Cor. 5:7); we must come out of their midst and e separated and must not touch what is unclean.. (2 Cor. 5:7). 2 Corinthians says “Therefore since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and of spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” We must hate what the Lord hates (Rev. 2:6). By fleeing youthful lusts to preserve our vessels from fornication (2 Tim. 2:22; 1 Thes. 4:3). We must guard ourselves from idols because He is a jealous God (1 John 5: 21; Deut. 4:24).

May all the young people in the Lord’s recovery will make a great resolutions of heart and great searching of heart!

(Enjoyed from the Lanao Young People’s Meeting)

As the chorus of the hymn says:

Lord, refine our hearts,

Never to be apart,

Fully trusting in your love,

Single and true.

Lord, refine our hearts,

Spread Yourself in every part,

All Your life divine impart,

Until we will be filled with You!

Concerning Grace

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Question: Does grace mean giving less because man does not deserve it?

Answer: Grace is NOT a matter of giving less because man does NOT deserve it. God has NOT overlooked the problem of man’s sin. In dealing sin, God is very strict, definite, and thorough. Through His Son, He has thoroughly deal with this problem. Therefore, how can any questions related to man’s worthiness or the degree of his worthiness remains? God’s grace is NOT concerned with man’s unworthiness. Since ALL men can obtain God’s grace.

God does NOT withhold His grace because of man’s unworthiness; instead, He bestows grace because of his unworthiness. God does NOT DIFFERENTIATE among the unworthy according to who is more unworthy and is less unworthy. God does NOT enable the less unworthy to receive more grace and the more unworthy to receive less grace.

God cannot bestow less grace to those who have greater sins and more grace to those who have less sins. Grace is never used by God to patch up sinner’s flaws. The condition of the sinner, his works, and his merits (both great and small) are completely put aside.

Since grace is grace, it is NOT related to the recipient’s condition at all. The recipient does NOT need to have any qualification to receive grace, since grace is given to those who do NOT deserve it and is NOT related to the recipient’s condition. Therefore, grace is NOT giving less to those who are less deserving. Otherwise, man’s condition once again becomes the prerequisite of receiving grace. The bestowing of grace in neither according to a person’s condition nor the result of comparing one person to another. God’s grace is vast, expansive, and intended for all kinds of sinners. Those who think they are all right need God’s grace as much as those who regard themselves as great sinners.

Some may think that a better person deserves more grace. But from God’s viewpoint, everyone is the same. Suppose several plates fall to the ground. Some may break in half, some into five pieces and others into fragments. Although they may break in different ways, they are all broken. Whether you are a “better” sinner or a “worse” sinner, you are still a sinner. The Bible says that all men are sinners. God sent the Lord Jesus to die for sinners, thereby affording every sinner an opportunity to be saved. If only one sinner in the world needed to be saved, God would have still sent His Son to die for him. In the parable of shepherd seeking the lost sheep, the shepherd left the ninety-nine sheep to seek the one lost sheep (Luke 15:3-4). Whether you are a great sinner or small sinner, as long as you are a lost sheep, you need the Lord Jesus to die for you.

Questions On The Gospel (Watchman Nee)

 

CHRIST—THE PORTION OF THE SAINTS

ImageColossians 1:12 says, “Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you for a share of the portion of the saints in the light.” In the King James Version the word “portion” is translated as inheritance, but portion is the proper meaning of the Greek word. Christ Himself is the portion of the saints. God has given Christ to us as a gift (John 3:16), and this gift is our portion. After I had been a Christian for several years, I knew that Christ was my Savior (Acts 5:31), Lord (Acts 2:36), and life (Col. 3:4). However, I did not realize that Christ was the portion of the saints. Christ as the portion of the saints is not so simple or small. As our portion He is related to God, the creation, and the new creation. The new creation is the church as the Body of Christ. Christ is the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15). God is invisible (John 1:18; 1 Tim. 1:14-17; 6:16), yet Christ is the image, the very expression, the explanation, and definition, of the invisible God. Without Him, we cannot know God or see God.

Christ is not only the image of the invisible God, but also the Firstborn of all creation (Col. 1:15). This means that He is the first item of all creation. As the Firstborn, He has the first place, the preeminence, in all of the creation. Verse 16 says, “Because in Him were all things created in the heavens and on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or lordships or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and unto Him.” “In Him” means in the power of Christ’s Person. All things were created in the power of what Christ is. All creation bears the characteristics of Christ’s intrinsic power. “Through Him” indicates that Christ is the active instrument through which the creation of all things was processed. Finally, “unto Him” indicates that Christ is the end of all creation. All things were created for His possession. The entire creation now subsists together in Christ (v. 17) and it will be His inheritance.

The portion of the saints includes Christ as the embodiment of the Triune God. Colossians 1:19 reads, “For in Him all the fullness was pleased to dwell.” The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Him bodily (Col. 2:9). He is the very embodiment of God, thus, God is embodied within Him and expressed through Him. At this point, we must check with ourselves: How much do we daily enjoy Christ as such a portion? How much do we enjoy Him as a portion with God embodied in Him or as a portion with God expressed through Him? Do we enjoy Him to such an extent?

Christ as our portion is many other items in the book of Colossians such as the Head of the Body, the Firstborn from among the dead (1:18), and all in all in the new man (3:11). As the Firstborn from among the dead, He is the first one resurrected from among the dead. Thus, He is the first one in God’s new creation, in resurrection. He is not only the Head of the Body, but He is also everything within the new man. He is the life of the saints today and their hope of glory for the future (3:4). Colossians 3:3 also says that our life is hidden with Christ in God.

 

What’s the meaning of “Oh Lord Jesus”?

ImageOH – used to express a strong emotional reaction such as surprise, shock, pain, or EXTREME PLEASURE.LORD – our Lord Jesus became “Lord” after His ascension, is for the exercising of AUTHORITY (Acts 2:36), a matter which concerns His HEADSHIP.

JESUS – means Jehovah the Savior. He is not only a man but Jehovah, and not only Jehovah but Jehovah becoming our salvation. He is our Savior, the One who brings us into rest (Heb. 4:8; Matt. 11:28-29), which is Himself as the good land to us.

“In oneness, we need to take the “Lord” as our Head and Authority”Eph. 4:5 – ONE LORD, one FAITH, one baptism;

Eph. 4:6 – One God and Father of all, who is OVER all and through all and in all.

“ONE LORD” – This verse does NOT say “one Son,” but “one Lord.” In the Gospel of John it is Son into whom we believe (John 3:16), but in the Acts it is the LORD into whom we believe (Acts 16:31). In the Epistles of John, the SON is for the imparting of LIFE (1 John 5:12), whereas in the Acts, the LORD, after His ascension, is for the exercising of AUTHORITY (Acts 2:36), a matter which concerns His HEADSHIP. Hence, our BELIEVING in Him is related to both LIFE and AUTHORITY, for He is both our LIFE and our HEAD.

As the Head of the Body, He is the Lord. Christians are DIVIDED because they NEGLECT the Head; that is, they NEGLECT the Lord’s headship and authority.

“FAITH” – Through faith we BELIEVE into the Lord (John 3:36), and through BAPTISM we are baptized into Him (Gal. 3:27) and terminated in Adam (Rom. 6:4). Through faith and baptism we have been TRANSFERRED out of Adam INTO Christ, thereby being JOINED to the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17). Immediately after believing in Christ, we should be BAPTIZED to COMPLETE the transfer.

“OVER” – The Trinity is implied even here. ‘OVER ALL’ refers mainly to the Father, ‘THROUGH ALL’ to the Son, an ‘IN ALL’ to the Spirit. The Triune God eventually enters into us ALL by REACHING us as the SPIRIT. The oneness of the Body of Christ is constituted of the Trinity of the Godhead – the Father as the source and origin being the ORIGINATOR, the Son as the Lord and the Head being the ACCOMPLISHER, and the Spirit as the life-giving Spirit being the EXECUTOR. The Triune God Himself, when realized and experienced by us in our daily living, is the fundamental basis and very foundation of our oneness.

 

PRAYER AND DESIRE

ImagePrayer is an EXPRESSION of our DESIRE before God. The Bible records that many people HAD their prayers ANSWERED. EVERY ONE of them prayed with a DESIRE. Without a DESIRE, there is NO NEED for prayer. If what we pray for TRULY COMES from the BOTTOM of our heart, SURELY the ANSWERS to our prayers will NOT be so FEW. It is because our DESIRE is NOT SINGLE that our prayers become SOUNDING BRASS and CLANGING CYMBALS. The GREATEST DANGER to prayer is attempt to be ORNATE and to pray according to FORMAL RULES. There is MORE danger in PUBLIC prayer than in private prayer. Actually, nine times out of ten the LONG PRAYERS of a “thousand words” are EMPTY prayers. I am afraid such prayers are DIRECTED more toward MEN than towards God. Many times, the CONTENT of a prayer is VERY PLEASANT, the VOICE VERY DESPERATE, and the TONE VERY HARMONIOUS. Yet EVERYTHING is directed toward MAN. God will NOT hear nor answer such a prayer. Prayer that are WITHOUT any DESIRE are MOCKERY to God. In God’s eyes these prayers are DETESTABLE. Even when a person PRAYS alone, is it NOT true that many TERM he uses are FAMILIAR terms that are UTTERED without much thought? Because the words have become familiar, the SAME words may be uttered WITHOUT any RESPONSE from the heart. Such prayers are really a WASTE of time. They are WORSE than USELESS.Those who TRULY understand God and His holiness and majesty will NEVER DO such things. If we come to God with a PURE HEART and realize who He is with whom we have come FACE to FACE, would we ever DARE to be HYPOCRITICAL? Actually, we should NEVER pray BEYOND what the HOLY SPIRIT has PROMPTED us TO PRAY. If we do this, surely it is COUNTERFEIT. Hence, it is BEST to ALLOW the Holy Spirit to PLACE in our spirit the THINGS that we should pray FOR, so that we will NOT OFFEND God. We should LEARN to be HONEST before God. It is BETTER to have SHORT prayers than FALSE prayers. We should PAY ALL the more ATTENTION when we pray for OTHERS. Many SUPPLICATIONS are but a kind of PAYMENT of debts! Thus, there is NO sense of DESIRE, and the whole things is a MERE ROUTINE. Therefore, those who do NOT have a REAL love for OTHERS CANNOT pray for OTHERS. When we FEEL others’ NEED to be OUR OWN, we will pray SINCERELY for them. When we FEEL others’ NEED in the same way they FEEL it themselves, we will make SUPPLICATIONS for them FAITHFULLY. It is because there is NO love for OTHERS that prayers have become mere EMPTY voices. We should SYMPATHIZE with others MORE and should IDENTIFY ourselves with others MORE. May we henceforth pray with our MOUTH and also with our HEART. May our prayers REACH the presence of God like FRAGRANCE.

Based on the book “Twelve Baskets Full” by  Watchman Nee

 

P.A.P.S Time With Him

Lord, recover our Personal, Affectionate, Private, and Spiritual time with You!

Lord, recover our Personal, Affectionate, Private, and Spiritual time with You!

People who are in love says that if you love someone, you always love to spend time with him or her. They then added that distance and time is not an issue as long as you can see and talk with your beloved. A brother once said that when he was so much in love with her wife before they got married, 5 or 10 minutes talk with her was not enough. The moment that he can hear the voice of his beloved, he cannot help but be with her and talk to her even if it takes how many hours, even for the entire day.

This is what the Lord wants from us; He wants us to spend more time with Him.  As we love Him, we need to have an appointed time to talk to Him in a PERSONAL, AFFECTIONATE, PRIVATE and SPIRITUAL way. Every early morning, before we are going to pursue our Morning Revival material, we need to have a PAPS time with the Lord first. As we spontaneously talk with Him and have fellowship with Him, 15 minutes is no longer enough for us. Moreover, the moment we come to the Lord’s presence, we cannot help but be with Him and have fellowship with him an a very intimate and personal way even if it takes the whole day. Then, as we pursue Him more in the Morning Revival material, we will be supplied and satisfied. This is the real revival. If we sense that although we have read the material, but still feels dry and dissatisfied, then, that is an indication that we have not really revived.

A brother once said that there are two ways on how to minister: ministering to the Lord and ministering to His house. So often, we only see the latter one and tend to forget the ministering to the Lord. Ministering to the Lord is to have time with Him first; to be one with His presence; to have a talk with Him; and to consider Him as the preeminent One. we need to see that before we can minster His house, that is the church, we need to minister to Him first; to have PAPS time with Him before anything and anyone.

As co-workers of our Lord, we want others to be touched by the Lord through us, but how can the Lord touch them if we have not been touched first by the Lord? Bro. Nee once said that we cannot touch others unless we have been touched first. May we see the need to be touched by the Lord first by simply touching Him and by having PAPS time with Him.

Psalms 66:18 says, “If I regarded inequity in my heart, the Lord did not hear”. This means that if we still have unconfessed sins in our hearts before Him, then our PAPS time with Him is not that effective and intimate. This is also a related in the matter of exercising our spirit. To exercise our spirit is to use the functions of our spirit. The bible reveals that our spirit has three functions: fellowship, intuition and conscience. Fellowship is to contact God; to have communion with Him; to have a talk with Him; and to be one with Him. Intuition is to have a direct speaking from God and a direct knowledge from Him beyond any human reason. Conscience then is to recognize good from evil; and to justify things according to righteousness. To use these functions is to exercise our spirit. In our PAPS time with Him, our spirit needs to be exercised. Otherwise we cannot have a real PAPS time with Him. Hence, there is a need to for us to confess our sins no matter how small it is, and to repent to the Lord by turning our hearts to Him.

May the Lord continue to recover our PAPS time with Him that it may become a habit for us every early morning!