The Chapters

 

 

 

John McCarthy is in the process of finishing writing projects. One has a general theme about why small groups should be a core of the church. This is where a deep work of God can happen with ministry friendships as well as establishing each one’s ministry. A lot is taken from the stories of the Bible. The second one is about a process of cleansing the heart issues and how to bring in the new life of Christ. It explains in detail about what exactly needs to be done to develop a relationship with God. It will also help to show how to be a minister and an investigator of our lives. These projects are also to help people to see how important it is to establish a ministry with friends alongside. Many of the spiritual battles God's people face is likely to be from a void of both these purposes.

 

It might be found that it could have changed the direction of your life if someone was around asking invaluable questions. This can make it easier to listen and to follow what God is saying. Even hearing a little from God and following through on it can be life transforming.  It's strongly recommended to be in a habit to set aside quiet moments to absorb what the Father is saying. Much of what the Lord is saying is about being cleansed and changing an attitude to sin, building on faith, establishing your personal ministry and ministry friends.

The verse below gives an idea that rest in found by doing good as the past is cleansed to bring in a wonderful life of helping.

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'For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said,

“In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.”'

                                                                                                                        Isaiah 30:15

It was a surprise when I found out that writing is a big part of my service for God. I see this work to get others to be established in ministry. If you find you like the vision of this website then it would be good to hear from you by contacting this ministry through the website.

John McCarthy

 

 

THE CHAPTERS

Chapter One

 How to Be a Good Minister

A minister is to ask questions and find the answers. We are made to engage. God needs to see people are doing this because we are purposely designed for it. It’s such a wise plan to seek out the right people to help with this. Meditating is a way to engage with oneself. It’s what Isaac was doing just before he met his new wife in Genesis 24:63, ‘He went out to the field one evening to meditate’. This can involve reflecting on God’s word and to examine the deep meaning to what’s going on in one’s life. The longer this is not being done it can cause complicate a relationship with the Lord. This truth about engaging makes it clearer to reveal the intention of the Lord to use Children with Adults for this purpose. In this scripture below the blessing of children’s gifts and callings seems to be celebrated before the adult’s.

‘Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion,

Streaming to the goodness of the Lord—

For wheat and new wine and oil,

For the young of the flock and the herd;

Their souls shall be like a well-watered garden,

And they shall sorrow no more at all.

Jeremiah 31:12, NKJV

The Lord wants to make it clear that children with a humble spirit can be an example to follow.

‘Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” 16 And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.’

Mark 10:13, NKJV

There is another reason why children can be useful to help with the way to engage. Since sin sticks unless it is cleansed it can cause obstructions. The longer this continues without spiritual cleansing the harder it is for the examination process of all the areas of life that is needed. For this reason, in general, I would say children could have it easier to be true to themselves simply because of the less time to experience sin. It gives some understanding why using children is especially useful with the natural ability to deal with inquisitive words. I’m sure you can picture a child asking questions about what’s going on in the world around in the beginnings of life. I wonder why it every lessons or stops altogether. If only the stream of questions would continue in later life. This is exactly what I believe God wants for this last stage of the church age: to reflect and look into what’s going on in life.

‘Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,

The fruit of the womb is a reward.

4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,

So are the children of one’s youth.

5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;

Psalm 127:3, NKJV

It would be good to know what are the core topics of what to go through with God, ourselves, others. I will share some ideas of these might be. There would of course be themes of the Bible but God wants to do deep surgery so He is likely to bring up deception and correction. One of these is likely to be about understanding the full message of Jesus. This is something that’s so needed to clarify as there can be distortions about what God expects in a relationship with Him. For instance, we are told that the grace is absolutely free as stated in Romans 6:23, ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord’. Saying that, this grace is start to grow in one’s faith with repentance and to help grow the kingdom of God. That’s what the parable of the talents is about in Matthew 25:29, ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away’. There is so much in this tremendously important theme alone to get it right in one’s spirit so that God’s grace is directed for the right purposes. I can see a stream of questions and answers related to this alone. After a discovery is made into the ins and outs of a relationship with God and how this relates to everyday life is should lead to breakthrough. Along with this there is definitely a need for prayer and affirmative action. So, it’s exciting to experience what can happen following insight into the real issues that might need to be clarified, confronted, tackled.

Heaven needs help with the crucial process to go into detail about all the facets of life to bring in God’s light. Another example would be needed to ask is how to get moving to build the kingdom both outside and inside the church. The anointing is there for this. There is surely going to be more the Lord wants to do in this way. I hope you join with me in this longing to see it. It sounds like a good prescription to all of the issues of life.

‘ “I have set you as an assayer and a fortress among My people,

That you may know and test their way.’

Jeremiah 6:27, NKJV   

Chapter Two

God’s Purpose in Blessing

I’m sure it sounds really good to know that there is a shorter way in the spiritual training program to know and grow in God. In the natural a shortcut is what most people want not just to save time to reach a destination, but also to be in a better place. I believe that for many genuine Christians heaven is frustrated because they don’t ask, seek and knock for things they need in their personal lives and ministries (Matthew 7:7). Yes, sometimes it is godly to wait and is part of being spiritual to trust in the Lord. Even so, I feel, more often is the case that the Lord is asking to make things happen rather than to be prayerful and passive. That is, there is more of a cry for ‘go getters’ and not only ‘good waiters’.

When cars are traveling on narrow roads it calls for slower driving. In this way there is more time to react to dangers ahead. There is a saying that if you turn a corner too quickly you can crash. Slow progress seems to the best way to grow in God. When cars are traveling on narrow roads it calls for slower driving. In this way there is more time to react to dangers ahead. There is a saying that if you turn a corner too quickly you can crash. A steady pace works best to be inquisitive about what's going on around one's life. It allows for the for the right questions and the right response. When our will is aligned to God’s with prayer it is powerful. I feel that the Lord asks and wonders what we want. How would you answer? And do you have peace that He is in total agreement with what you are desiring? It’s a good sign when you are absolutely sure and a bad sign that you aren’t. We are made for these discoveries and hope this gets you started on a journey to find out what maybe you already know.

                                                                                                                                                                                               JMC

 

Chapter Three

Spiritual Boundaries

After the fall of man, the make-up of the natural family is one of the most challenging and difficult struggles for God. It would make it much easier for God’s gracious work in the world if people realized these spiritual implications of family.

There are complications in childhood

Can you think what has been the most vulnerable time in your life? It is declared in the Bible that God’s view is that children are like slaves. They don’t have the rights of adults in regard to whom to live with, what to do, where to go, what the direction of life should be, who to talk to or associate with, and what God to worship and serve. As a rule, children do not have financial independence. This is one factor to be forced to live with the people like the natural family. Sure, it might be a blessing or manageable but the social status is very much as a slave:

‘I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.’

Galatians 4:1-3, ESV

When members of the family are corrupt the situation needs to be managed. It means that it’s very hard to avoid them even if they are a bad influence. It says in 1 Corinthians 15:33, ‘Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits” (NKJV).

The spiritual fathers of the human race are called the patriarchs. Even in their families there was no exception to this truth about the complications to live at home for God’s gracious heart to protect and gently bring people to Him. If there are family members in one’s life sphere that are ungodly it can lead to demonic attachments through an emotional bond or loyalty. The level of harm of these relate to the amount of time spent, the words spoken and actions taken.

God shares his heart about childhood

There is a profound meaning in an example of Jesus life on the earth? Do you understand why He felt to stay away from His family when He was twelve? Let’s look at what happened

‘His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and his mother did not know it; but supposing him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find him they, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him. So now it was that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking questions. And all who heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. So when they saw him, they were amazed; and his mother said to him, “Son why have done this to us? Look, your father and I have sought you anxiously.” And he said to them, “Why did you seek me? Did you not know I am about my Father’s business?” But they did not understand the statement which he spoke about.’

Luke 2:41

I believe the Father wants to reveal a deep truth. It could be that there are complications that God struggles with, even in a godly natural family. Jesus kept away from His family for those few days. I believe He could be promoting the idea to leave the natural family for a better home. I can see a point that in a new place, with a new atmosphere, a break from ties with the past could make much better ground for God’s sanctifying work. I believe the Lord wants to share from this story about the damage that can be done within the family structure. It’s that it is extremely difficult to recognize and distance oneself from unrecognized evil in family life. God experiences difficulties to protect and deliver from evil in the family structure. Joseph in a patriarch family is a prime example. There is a description in scripture about how serious is the sin of Jealousy: ‘Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent, But who is able to stand before jealousy’ (Proverbs 27:4, NKJV).

This sin issue described the spiritual state in Joseph’s family, even with Jacob as their father. It reflects the hindrance to God’s plans and purposes:

‘Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report to his father. Now Israel [Jacob] loved Joseph more than all his brothers, because he was a son of his old age. Also he made Joseph a tunic of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him. Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: There we were binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.” And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams.

Genesis 37:4

This story starts with Joseph. It seems he wanted to introduce God’s plans and purposes to the family.

There is a very important thing to know about the spiritual realm. I already mentioned about it and hope this gives more understanding. It is that when people are in one’s life space, even without a choice, it is a great covering when corruption is spoken against privately. Otherwise an agreement as a soul-tie can develop unintentionally. Inaction is an action in the spiritual realm. The result could be a demonic attachment to the people concerned. God’s work is so much easier when words are privately spoken against evil as it nullifies the affects of demonic attack. When these words that are needed are unsaid, it’s much harder to be true to oneself as was the case with Joseph. For example, would you think that he should have realized to keep the dreams he had to himself? I personally believe he should have. I also feel that the dreams were to be an encouragement to leave for Egypt voluntarily. His true feelings didn’t surface how he truly felt about his brothers. Consistency of character is very important to God. It is good to stress, here, the blessing to have spiritual friends around to ask the right questions. It can help to see more clearly what is happening. There are reasons that I won’t go into that can obstruct communication to Father God. So, the right people around can be like a channel to help with getting out words that are needed. Joseph, it seems, could have surely done with that.

A personal choice

If it was known by children that there was a choice about the place and the people to live with, a choice to be in a godly and righteous environment, could be life-saving. For instance, it could be the right time to escape an evil atmosphere to be in a helpful one. It could be spiritually damaging when a child is out of sync with time, space and atmosphere – the three constitutes of the spiritual realm. It makes it especially harder to mange staying faithful to Jesus when the choice is removed. There can be a harmful filling of the holes in one’s heart by being with people who live corruptly. The damage that is done by being in the company of ungodliness and having to deal and live in these atmospheres means the need for this to be cleansed.

Healing the past

God is the top surgeon. A very good remedy for healing the damage done to the soul in the past life from these ungodly family soul-ties is to be immersed in spiritual friendships. They will help to establish the new creation in Christ. This is especially true of life-term spiritual friendships. So replacement friendships are a vital strategy to stabilize and deepen the work of the Holy Spirit to be connected to the spiritual man in Christ.

Understanding a corrupt environment

To give an illustration about the problems with families, when food is rotting in a refrigerator it can spread bacteria into the air and onto other food. It can be just the same with the presence people generate even without any spoken words. It’s good to point out that some bacteria is more harmful than others. The problem is that when evil is not challenged there is a legal claim in the spiritual realm that there is tolerance or agreement that can open a door for a demonic attack. It’s important to realize that inaction is, in fact, an action. So once a demonic entity finds a way to enter a person it has to be kicked out, and is best along in repentance and faith. Holes in the heart can be filled by evil because of coerced ungodly associations with the early upbringing of family life.

Here is one of the great mysteries of the bible. Just as with any relationship even among God-accepting parents, siblings or children they can become more spiritually harmful than good. But if an ungodly attachments with family is not cut off by words and actions, if possible, it can have great spiritual implications.

Revealing a deception of the enemy

God has put a love connection within family and relatives. It’s a blessing, but there can be a demonic claim of overriding the boundaries of honor because of this natural allegiance. It’s that the feelings, wishes and rights can be ignored to invade someone’s personal space. Even Jesus had trouble with his own godly family:

‘Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For even His brothers did not believe in Him.’ John 7:2-5 NKJV

In another related account in the Bible there was an attempt to pull at Jesus’ heart to follow the natural family instead of the Father’s direction. The Lord Jesus was to be served and followed like His disciples. That’s one sign to know if someone is dedicated to God with a submission to those who are truly seeking Him and want to follow His voice. A really good scripture relates to this, it’s in Hebrews 12:9, ‘Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? (NKJV)

Here is a great example of this attack on this devotion to God from the family in the Gospels:

 While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. 47 Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.” 48 But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” 49 And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”’

Matthew 12:46, NKJV

The Lord didn’t give in to evil influences to his soul. God the Father was directing his life and purpose. The enemy tried to divert Jesus to follow man’s will. It was from His own family that there was a deceptive attack against living for the Father’s will.

The most dangerous place can be where an old identity is established of being common and ordinary. God has put plenty in His word about past places of being raised to tell us something on His heart that He really wants us to know:

‘Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, that He departed from there. 54 When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” 57 So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” 58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Matthew 13:53, NKJV

There is another account of the same conflict in Jesus home town. In my opinion, it’s not the first account is not the same as another similar visit in Luke 4:16-30. In the first record I mentioned of a visit to His home region, the reaction to Jesus newly understood identity in God was so dire to want the Lord to be destroyed. Their own beliefs was challenged to be outside of God, so because of the attitude of self-preservation it lead to a life-threatening intention. It was actually a religious spirit not at all the Spirit of the Lord. Jesus was in their personal space and the memory of Him can’t be ignored. This made it unbearable when it’s wanted to hold onto this rebellious spirit. It’s nothing like passing by a bold preacher on the street who can be purposely ignored. Jesus said in Matthew 12:30, He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.’ The Lord purposely wanted to include all these accounts in His Word to show the right attitude toward family Jesus wanted to give an example what are the kinds of things that heaven wants to be said and to give insight into the dangers to be where the kingdom is not wanted. I will show you what I mean, could you imagine the Lord staying in this atmosphere? let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.’

Hebrews 12:1 NKJV

The roles of the Godhead

There are three persons in the Godhead: God the Father, God the Son and God Holy Spirit. First we will examine the Son. For us, He is the most important person to know as God because He is the only one who can save us from our sins:

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’

John 3:16 NKJV

This means to be actively looking to the Son for salvation to deal with sin as He is the judge: ‘I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom.’

                                                                 2 Timothy 4:1, NKJV

To believe in God without being subject to the Lord Jesus is total deception. All the persons of the Godhead are joined together as a single entity, they are not entirely separate, and are all individually worthy of worship. Here describes the proper attitude toward God the Son with Jesus Himself stating clearly that He is perfectly equal with God,Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” Matthew 4:7 NKJV. There are more examples that show the way the Lord Jesus deserves to be treated:

‘Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

                                                                     (Revelation 5:7, NKJV)

And

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

                                                                    (Revelation 5:12, (NKJV)

From these two scenes of many reveals the way the Lord Jesus expects to be treated: to be equal with God the Father. One thing from these accounts is that He is to be prayed to making him to be equally involved in the decision-making in every situation in heaven.

Crossing the boundaries of praise

You might want to know here that there is a name for a type of idolatry to give out-of-bounds praise, glory or worship to people, hero worship. For our purposes, we will look at this evil attitude directed toward people that can include both parents and for a friend. It can save people’s destinies if these boundaries are recognized, accepted and acted upon.

The heavenly and the natural spiritual father

So you might have wondered about a problem with the same words used in a relationship with the creator and a created being – the Father God and a fellow man attributed as father. Let’s look at the second law of God, ‘...you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord’ (Leviticus 19:18). This verse shows a boundary is set in this law of equal status. Have you ever wondered what Jesus meant when He said, ‘Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven (Matthew 23:9, NKJV). Matthew 23:9

The revelation of this is helped by another scripture:

“As the thief is shamed when he is discovered,
So the house of Israel is shamed;
They, their kings, their princes
And their priests and their prophets,
27 Who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,’
And to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’
For they have turned their back to Me,
And not their face”

Jeremiah 2:25-27, NASB

It follows in verse 30:

“In vain I have struck your sons;
They accepted no chastening.

God is called the Father relating to being in submission as the supreme control and life-giver. This is another boundary to treat God. It’s offensive to Him when His is misplaced by a natural father in this way. This is to help to be sensitive to whenever there is a breaching of this title ‘father’ as an earthly role in someone’s life to be ‘Father’ as the heavenly one. The following verses give a description about the attitude to have toward a natural father. It’s one of the highest levels of importance among the spiritual relationships. There is something revealed about the need to see the difference between the Father as the supreme discipliner and the role as an earthly father. It’s mentioned in a verse we looked at earlier in this chapter in Hebrews 12:9. Paul the apostle wrote to the Corinthian church about this, ‘For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel’ (1 Corinthians 4:15, NASB). He expresses a love in this type of relationship compared to an impersonal helper to instill knowledge. There is a central scripture to describe the level of importance, and to be faithful once this spiritual father and son relationship has begun,   “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.” Malachi 4:5, NASB). Check for repitition in chapter about elijah?

Other friendships in man’s sphere

In the sphere of man, there are many people who expect various types of service: a father role, a mother role, a boss and so on. But the same word is used to describe a boundary that God is expecting to be uniquely related to and strictly no one else. Let’s look at both these classes of service to see the difference, ‘Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God’ (Colossians 3:22, NKJV).

The obedience to God is at a different category and not just at another level of importance. It’s related to having God as supreme above all in ways of obedience, service, honor, submission and faithfulness. In man’s sphere, all these words are supposed to represent works of service and relationships directed to God. These words that are in separate categories of importance in relation to God and man. Here is an example of one of this words:

‘giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

(Ephesians 5:20-22, NKJV)

And is mentioned again:

 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.’ Colossians 3:18 NKJV

Here are some verses using the same word about how to relate to God:

‘Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.’ James 4:7 NKJV

“But My people did not listen to My voice,
And Israel did not obey Me.’ (Psalm 81:11, NKJV)

This is a simple way to understand what is needed to please God. When God is put in His rightful place in the human heart to be sovereign over all that is thought of, spoken about and in the purpose of every action, one can say, Jesus is Lord. Since He is supreme and is saying something about everything, He requires His voice to be listened to. There are many verses in the Bible about this extremely important way to follow and to be at peace with our maker and judge,  “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”, (Revelation 3:22, NKJV). And, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you” (Exodus 15:26, NKJV). If God’s authority is recognized in the church then God’s will and His voice will be sought and reflected on.

Trust is a major constitute of the heart

All the persons in the Godhead can be prayed to for all our needs, burdens, prayers, petitions and intercessions, ‘casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you’ (1 Peter 5:7, NKJV). These following verses I would say are very well known but now I hope more light is understood about them:

‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

                                                                                 Proverbs 3:5 NKJV

When God is trusted in this way, it shows much more than a focus of attention for a desired result, but a core trust. A person in man’s sphere can be worthy of confidence especially if there is a track record of good characteristics. But to trust God and His Word is a completely different realm of trust. In the Bible, this trust God is described as a rock and a life-sustaining source, ‘Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful,
And have forgotten the God who fathered you’ (Deuteronomy 32:18 NKJV).

God lives in brokenness

There are verses that explain more about a true and proper relationship with God. This is found in brokenness. A directed trust in the Lord and His Word, with an acknowledgement of one’s weak state, is powerful and life-changing. His grace and favor is especially in places where people consider themselves in a vulnerable and lowly state. When God’s people make themselves available in places such as these, deep ground can there for seeds to sow of faith and testimonies to hope. God is working. It is described in the song of Moses:

‘“For the Lord will judge His people
And have compassion on His servants,
When He sees that their power is gone,
And there is no one remaining, bond or free.
37 He will say: ‘Where are their gods,
The rock in which they sought refuge?

Deuteronomy 32, NKJV

Have you wondered why a baby tends to cry frequently? As an adult this doesn’t happen so much on the outside. But I wonder if on the inside, this cry of the heart continues. What is required in a relationship with God is to live in a state of brokenness that I believe always exists. Paul, the apostle, knew this and was seeking God’s attention and approval with an ongoing decision to invest in his brokenness. A continual cry of the heart and directed toward the true and living God brings: restoration, healing, rescue, spiritual and physical strength, solutions to life’s problems and much more. Paul describes this secret to constantly live victoriously, ‘Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10, NKJV).

A good connection

Relationship and real friendship are, for me, interchangeable. There is something I’m going to say that you might find brings deep healing. There is a direct connection with the natural family and relatives to other friendships. There is a verse in God’s Word the speaks about this connection.

‘Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, 2 the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.

                                                                                1 Timothy 5:1

If there are unresolved issues with family relations or relatives it is likely to spill over onto other spiritual friendships. It’s very hard to have the same success within spiritual relationships without this unavoidable connection. It’s a universal principle. With a troublesome past life, if countered by prayer in faith, words of reconciliation and any affirmative action, it can lead to breakthrough in your spiritual life. All of this healing process is best to be under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He can give the wisdom and the exact instructions. The say lastly that there is great wisdom that he soft approach is generally best.

The boundaries of relationship

The Lord Jesus is a perfect illustration of how to live with the right attitude to the family. He was a perfect modal to follow in all these examples (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Crossing the divide

There are two distinct boundaries in the spiritual realm to know about. Both these are based on one’s spiritual condition. One is classed to have the Holy Spirit residing and the other is to be without Him.

Two boundaries for true Christians is divided into how to relate to other believers, and to unbelievers, while being true to God. He is holy and righteous so He is expecting His servants to be like-minded. It is explained in the Bible, ‘whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked’ (1 John 2:6, ESV).

A risk of a believer falling into judgment with willful acts of sin that leads to death, I would say, can be from a lack of progress to develop a repentant lifestyle.

When a person identifies to be a believer and crosses the boundaries to live contrary to the conditions of the Gospel then there is a breach of the fellowship meaning to avoid to be connected to that person (1 Corinthians 5:11-12).

When people are serious about dealing with sin, it is proclaimed and shown that they are worthy to be treated in the class of believer (Romans 10:9). It is in the way of a saving process to have peace with Jesus. The other class relating to unbelievers is to be accepting in a Christian’s life space but also to despise the sin to stay faithful to God. What I mean is, the Lord needs his people to be channels to attract people to come to Him as well as to reveal the seriousness of the eternal implications. The openness to unbelievers and their ungodly lives is because that is where their identity is. It explains somewhat this way to relate to people is in a more tolerable boundary than with a professed believer.

Remain in Christ

I want to give a picture of what it is to remain in Jesus. He said, ‘If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you’ (John 15:7, ESV). When one’s life is measured to God’s law it brings conviction. Then when sin is confessed Jesus and renounced it expresses to side with Him and His nature. The borderline to live in condemnation and to live in eternal salvation is important to understand. The Bible makes it clear that there is a sin that leads to spiritual death (1 John 5:16).This is one of the most important boundaries to know, to distinguish if one is living in Christ or without Him. A deciding factor is to practice an eternal sin crossing the line to side with the sinful nature, rather than truly serving God as the new creation. But it needn’t be this way, ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ (1 John 1:9, ESV). There is power in forgiveness.

Alive in Christ

There are some points to consider of certain conditions that give the right to claim to be living in agreement to Christ. With profession of the finished work of the full payment for sin on the cross, this is very important in the process of justification and sanctification. Confidence is produced from this a willingness to bring up sin to the Lord. Confession shows the desire to be cleansed. I want to give an example, it’s like making an effort to go to a Chemist to spend money given to you by someone else for plasters. It shows the intention to take care of oneself but what if this person neglects to put the plaster on a wound. This person wouldn’t be following true on the good progress to bring healing. It’s good to point out an open wound can lead to an infection and if that is neglected it can lead to something more sinister. Like the natural example I gave to bring physical healing, words of agreement to Jesus about sin by expressing words of remorse brings much spiritual healing. But it is the acting out of the new life of Christ onto the outer realm that demonstrates how much this forgiveness is treasured. This is why it’s so important to share your testimony in the power from personal assurance of the mercy and grace of God: ‘And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death’ (Revelation 12:11, NASB).

Acting out the new nature in Christ

I’d say you want to understand clearly how to stay alive in a good spiritual condition. As we have seen, it’s so important to act out who you want to be and not only to proclaim it. There is a seeking out and discovering of ways to grow the church in Christ. A great part of this is by using spiritual gifts. It is the responsibility of each member of Christ to fulfill their God-appointed individual ministries. With the ministry for the lost, ways can be explored with the Lord, and other believers, how to be effective to share about the message of Jesus. There could be places to take part in activities where people don’t know Jesus. Now you probably see where this is all aiming towards: sharing about a growing testimony. The kingdom of God sells itself. All that’s needed is to be with people to share this new life with them. I’m sure many will be surprised about how much God is working around and outside church buildings in ungodly places. I believe Jesus is saying all true believers to do this

8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

JMC

 

 

 

Chapter Four

Understanding Eternal Salvation

I would say many people were amazed that Jesus could forgive sins and heal so easily once he started His ministry. He is the author of life and salvation.  Everything He did had a deep purpose to bring a real hope. Signs and wonders, miracles, teachings and words of wisdom, casting out demons, revealing corruption and the motives behind actions were a common feature of the work of God displayed through Him. In His own words He proclaimed the purpose of all the parts of His ministry in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost”. He lived a perfect life so that it could be transferred to everyone who has a saving faith in Him.  A part of the Bible to know the specifics of how to get away with all crimes against God and man is found in chapter 10 and 11 of Hebrews. In it we will see a good description of the process of salvation.

One of the best things to know is how the way to live in God’s forgiveness works. The first thing to mention about the elements that the Lord, our judge, is looking for is in Romans 6:11, ‘Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus’. An understanding of this ‘dying to self’ is the spiritual father of the faith who followed God’s command expecting a good result to sacrifice his son in Hebrews 11:17, ‘By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son’. It speaks of identifying to be connected to God’s word and will. Having a humble spirit that listens to God’s voice and eager to follow His instruction and extantant for a good result is what is essential to live and grow with Him. 

Water Baptism

An understanding of the ordinance of baptism is that it proclaims to partner with being buried with Jesus and being raised with Him in a new life. It is described as part of the saving process in the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19, ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit’. This is symbolized by the act of Israel leaving Egypt in which the sea opened up for them to cross over. It was a miraculous event as a result of their faith, ‘He who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him’ (Hebrews 11:6). There was an active intention to go against the world’s way of self toward heaven’s way of seeking after God and His kingdom, ‘And having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own’ (Hebrews 11:13). Again, it’s likened to Israel crossing the Jordan river with Joshua and were instructed to take memorial stones. In Joshua 4:7 it says, ‘then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.” The clear passing of the river is descriptive of baptism by dying to a selfish purpose for a life after God. It is further explained in 1 Peter 3:20, ‘because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. 

A Connection to the Cross

Just like the ark needed to be brought through the Jordan it’s needed to have the daily personal connection in one’s spirit to the cross of Christ. This can be done by proclaiming a scripture about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. It mentions in the Bible how important it is to demonstrate a faith in the blood of Jesus from the old testament in Leviticus 17:11, ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.’ It resembles the Israelites having to apply the blood of a lamb on the doorpost before leaving Egypt. It follows that there is a requirement to take communion as it says in Matthew 26:26, ‘While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.’

A Saving Active Faith

Deep insight into how the Lord thinks about securing one’s eternal redemption is a confidence that He is going to get a return on the investment of grace. It’s very important to be seen to be willing and active to help to reconcile people to Him. It’s great understanding to see what Jesus wants to see happen.

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.

It could be a very good strategy when it’s found not to be giving out much of the grace to others that is given to oneself is to express to the Lord to be unhappy about it. Talking to God like this is a major part of staying in a good spiritual condition.

We can see more clearly the details of being saved by looking at an account of a believer barely making it to heaven.

‘ For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

                                                       1 Corinthians 3:11-15

The point that needs to be taken is that this person who was only barely saved was working for God but appears to be questionable to be for the right reasons or to be effective.

It could be a good time to ask how these things about being sure of salvation fit into your experience. There might be a course of action you need to take to have written over your destiny. What could that be? It might mean taking a stand for God’s name, making a decision with affirmative action for the work of the Gospel, a declared separation from past or present ungodly associations, and righteous and just living. It should be mentioned here that the better it would be to live with those who like to help establish the correct way to live with Jesus.

One more aspect of being saved is to be resting in God. This truth can be distorted by thinking that this means to be exclusively related to grace. It’s that this rest is found in the various parts of a service to the Lord.

In all the busyness of life while trying to make a contribution to the ministry of reconciliation there is a warning to make sure to stay in good terms with the Lord. When this isn’t happening it leads to man’s efforts and less of the 

Spirit. It’s a reality of a personal connection to the Lord Jesus while working out one’s ministry. By speaking out God’s word helps for this to happen as it directs a trust in Jesus who is the word in person, ‘He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God’ (Revelation 19:13).

There are more explanations about what exactly God is looking for to meet the requirements for salvation in the Gospels.

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not ]take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

                                                         Matthew 25:32

Even when anointed Christians are used for God’s plans and purposes they can be living on the outside of His kingdom. It’s about having the right attitude of heart to care for one’s spiritual condition as well as others. So there is a clear difference in these words of Jesus between working to the Lord and being used by God. Even King Saul prophesied while on the way to attack David in 1 Samuel 19:23.

A simple way to see this way of salvation is to stay connected to the Lord by demonstrating to be relying on Jesus’ finished work of the cross while being transformed to be Christ-like. With investigating one’s life, God can bless by helping to reveal what is wrong that needs changing. So there are two aspects to this repentant process: to demonstrate a belief to be justified freely by His grace and to be open to see what needs to change to be cleansed to bring in His healing. This will allow for God to come alongside to help to see more clearly with what needs attention. If you are looking for a personal experience of an assurance and peace you should find this in all these ways of abiding in God’s grace. It is likely to be easier to understand the following scripture with all we have examined. 

‘Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.’

                                                             1 Peter 1:1

                                                                                              JMC