After Jesus had been incarnated, suffered, died and resurrected on our behalf to make us His betrothed chaste virgin (His body), He sprinkled our consciences with His own blood. He continues to intercede for His body and the impact on her is presently hard to fully comprehend. It’s driving the value of His cross deeper into her being causing her to be faithful, giving Him honor and being full of thanksgiving. It is making her put to death all things serving as a hindrance to His oil (His Spirit) from filling her vessel (soul) always; that is, anything that will stop her from meeting the bridegroom at His Father’s appointed time to enter the marriage supper (consummation).
Is Christ’s ceaseless intercession impacting your heart, soul and body? Saleh!
We are exhorted to intercede for one another because it produces visible results. That being the case how much more is Christ’s intercession on behalf of His body producing real results in His kingdom today. The result is the fruit of the Spirit we the branches are bearing.
We must remember that the flesh is weak and goes to sleep before midnight but, the heavenly gift (Christ’s life) which we possess, never sleeps or slumbers. Therefore, we’re called to worship in spirit and truth—this happens both when we are asleep and awake. If we go to sleep without the spirit in our vessels, then, we must buy oil again to remain in the light, have life and strength. Please note, in the parable of the ten virgins, those who awoke at the sound of the trumpet which announced the visitation of the bridegroom who needed to go and buy oil were described as foolish because they did not learn the lesson from the ants as advised by the Spirit Proverbs 30:25; 6:6-11. How many times the Holy Spirit must have prompted the ten virgins but the five foolish shunned the warning that their oil or measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ was lacking in their souls, thus they grieved the Spirit Ephesians 4:30, 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Paul’s emphasis in verse 30 of Ephesians 4 and verse 23 of 1 Thessalonians 5, underscores the point that we can’t save ourselves Galatians 3:11. Therefore, the Holy Spirit that has started us in Ephesians 2:8-9 is the only One who can bring us into the end of our faith; the salvation of our soul 1 Peter 1:9. We have been saved and shall be saved if we grieve not the Holy Spirit.
The summer given to man is fast coming to an end, the winter is almost here and it will be quickly followed by the midnight that will separate the wise from the foolish, the lazy from the diligent, men from the brethren, sheep from the goats Matt 25:32, Romans 11:21, Revelation 3:20-22. Dear believer, open your soul to His knock or prompting and buy oil now. Please read Hebrews 3:1-19 before continuing with the article.
A question to ponder is, “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Galatians 3:3.
The flesh does not obey the Spirit—Indeed, it cannot! So, we must show ourselves as wise now and “put our flesh under submission” by faith in obedience to the Holy Spirit and resist the devil James 4:7, Romans 8:9-39. Please note, while neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, cannot separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord verse 38-39, unbelief, disobedience or grieving the Holy Spirit can. Saleh!
The parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25 is a big encouragement to the kingdom of Christ. This is one of the deepest parables in the scriptures. In it, the kingdom of God is likened to the ten virgins. These virgins had one focus, which is, to meet the bridegroom. All the ambitions, needs and wants they had ever pursued narrowed down to this one destiny. Every other thing became a shadow. To inherit their destiny, they all took their lamps. At this point, the gospel that mattered is the gospel of buying oil and filling the vessel. It is the gospel of the Kingdom of the Bridegroom. It is the end time gospel that started after the resurrection of Christ. The gospel of the fulfillment of ambitions is not even secondary but useless and worthless. Dear reader, go for the gospel of His Kingdom that is within you.
Now, we note that the kingdom is one—so, it is not a comparison of two kingdoms but a narrative of the event within one kingdom. In other words, the ten virgins are of one kingdom with one bridegroom or blessing as their focus.
The virgins knew that they needed lamps and oil. They were all aware that they were responsible for taking their lamps that had been provided for them and also, to take enough oil made available to them and to hold unto it firmly till they unite with the bridegroom. Eventually, the time to meet with the bridegroom came and what was hidden became exposed. Five of the ten virgins were foolish (unwise) because they did not walk in the wisdom of virgins which is, buy oil without money when the Holy Spirit prompts or instructs to do so. Meanwhile, the other five listened to the Spirit and kept in step with Him—buying oil whenever the vibrancy of the Spirit in their soul (vessel) needed fanning. The ten virgins all recognized the joyful announcement of the spirit as it made attractive music to their ears, but to join in the spiritual songs, dance and festivity (not Christmas), their vessels needed to have been clothed with Christ Romans 13:14. Note carefully that verse 14 of Romans 13 is addressed to a people who already have Ephesians 2:8-9 blessing.
So then, virgins can walk as if they are not virgins and lose the benefit (the blessing Proverbs 10:22) entrusted to them. Virgins must walk as wise or chaste virgins till they are married to the bridegroom. The ten virgins were only betrothed to the bridegroom before that glorious day of consummation. John the apostle admonished those engaged to the bridegroom thus, “Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us 1 John 3:24, Romans 8:14, Ephesians 4:30. The Holy Spirit is what enables the word to shine light on our path (soul); without Him (Oil) we will be empty and none of His. We will be foolish virgins—virgins that have no light and life when it is most needed.
After Paul the apostle had worked tirelessly not to “plant churches” but to encourage those engaged to Christ as virgins, he admonished them, “For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ 2 Corinthians 11:2-3. What is Paul’s concern for the virgins? It is unfaithfulness to the Christ. How can it happen? By them permitting for their thoughts (mind or soul) to be filled by another Jesus and spirit. Paul had great grace in understanding the mystery of God. He understood that man’s soul can’t be without a covering, a Lord, Apostle, Prophet, Shepherd and High Priest. So, he was concerned that that of the virgins betrothed to the Christ by the Apostolic Spirit of Christ in him were not deceived, seduced and married to or have “another (false) apostle, prophet, shepherd and high priest (the devil who is the antichrist).
A pure or chaste virgin is a wise virgin or remnant that keeps her thought and imagination on the Spirit and not on the flesh. Those whose minds (souls) are renewed and being renewed by the oil from their lamps.
The body of Christ as a virgin must be zealous for good works—meaning, being wise or pure. Here, good works are not our self righteousness (struggling to keep the laws of commandment) but, our obedience to the workings of the Holy Spirit in us and with us. This is obedience proceeding from the Spirit of life given to us in Christ Titus 2:14, Hebrews 9:14, 1 Corinthians 13:12. Paul says, the is a dimension of Christ at work in all who are in Christ and Christ in them—when, they eventually see Christ face to face, then, they will know something of Christ measure they have had all along that they did not know. This hope to eventually find out the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ God has worked in us that we cannot comprehend at the moment, gives the wise virgins dominion over sin Romans 6:14. Not even one of the sins in Galatians 5:19-21 shall have victory over you. Do you believe? Dare to believe Mark 9:23
1 John 3:1-2 describes firmly the truth that we are now betrothed which is our gift from God—the heavenly gift Hebrews 6:4. Consequently, our ceaseless zeal should be 1 John 3:3 as admonished. It is categorical not optional. This admonition to be wise is not a catalogue of things we don’t do and do but, a consistent dependency on the leading of the Spirit. It is a call of faith—to look unto Christ.
A generation that does not know God is easily fooled—they seek God’s peace by singing of His peace! Yet, His peace stays far away from them as far as the east is from the west and even further. See those His peace is reserved for in Isaiah 26: 1-3, Prov 25:28 and James 1:21.
A generation that knows nothing about the foundation of the faith neither the importance to know it will certainly enjoy ecstasy—that is to say it will float! The life of Christ, the Chief Corner Stone (Isaiah 26:4) in man does not make him float. Rather, He lays man down on His foundation which He predicated on the Apostles and Prophets (Eph 2:20). Because this glory He has bestowed on the Apostles and Prophets many times carries a death sentence (Luke 11:49), there is always the temptation for man to evade it. Some do so by going into business and the academic world—yet, many more go into hiding.
If you are gifted as an Apostle or Prophet, look at the Church and the world with your natural eyes—what do you see? What you see, where is it coming from? Is it not from the spiritual realm?! Remember, you are gifted by God to perceive the origin of things and to exhort, warn and teach His implanted word that saves souls. Do it fearlessly now—we who are not Apostles and Prophets, are waiting to hear what God is saying to us from His word by the mouth of the Apostles and Prophets. We are not waiting for what the Pastors are saying; they too, are confused though they pretend a whole lot. They need direction much more than anyone else I know! They need someone to help them transit from Pastor to Shepherd so they can know true peace.
The Holy Spirit speaks to every Christian and yes, He is speaking expressly but, God’s wisdom has also gifted some of His people who we can see physically to echo the Voice. God knew there would come a time when the world would come into His body and His body would find it difficult not to be part of her though aware that partaking of her is suicide.
God uses and will use men who are “beside themselves” so to speak, to address the Church in our time or else, the casualty the new age multifaceted doctrine that has taken firm root in the church will not be gotten rid of. Why men who are beside themselves? Because some may lose their lives and it takes only men who care less for their lives to confront the religious spirit that wages war against the spirit of Christ in His body (the Church)! It has always been so. The sweetest exhortation from true Apostles and Prophets is fiercer and far more life changing than the harshest admonition from the rest of the ministries and spiritual gifts put together. I am not speaking of senseless fleshy accusers and condemners but, those gifted with the grace of Apostleship and Prophets. If you say they don’t exist, close your bible and go on vacation!
We have too many people who have made names for themselves among God’s people who hardly know the Holy Spirit! How did they gain their reputation in the first place—they are smart! They have a good grasp of S.M.A.R.T. Or else, how is it to be explained! Those who were physically with Jesus for three and half years who did not have the Holy Spirit could not gain any reputation until the Holy Spirit not only empowered them with speaking in tongues but also with power to deny themselves. By that, they took up their cross daily, lived in Christ and worked only to the measure to which they lived in Him.
It’s different from our day, when we have rough and filthy talking folks with huge reputations even before they seek to understand and have the Holy Spirit. Their lives in Christ are like 20% but, their works for Him is 90%. Where is the extra strength for the 70% coming from? Self! This wrong example is what is being set before the younger generation.
Young people like us need to pick our bibles, sit down, read and chew upon—it will humble us! We will understand that talking it and writing it in social media or blog is good but, its author—the Holy Spirit wants to direct us and that, means increasing death to our “self” and, it takes time. He gives us barrel of water to carry first and then, barrel of oil. It takes time to distinguish or discern their differences and weight. Young people like us mostly fail to recognize that though both are liquids the oil contain particles which makes it heavier than the barrel of water.
The life of Christ and His body are not random as it is increasingly being presented to us today. It is precepts upon precepts, word upon word, step upon step and glory upon glory as we behold His glory or image increasingly presented to us by the Holy Spirit. It’s not; I started or planted Church just yesterday and within xyz time, see the impressive growth (number). Don’t be deceived! Gal 6:8.
God neither leaves nor forsakes us—we should neither leave nor forsake Him too! To forsake Him is to walk into darkness and no amount of singing and praying for peace can make peace abide in darkness. Peace; takes people out of darkness and brings them into light.
God created the earth with intent that His Spirit will govern it. Hence, He made Adam who was to manager it in His own image—fashioning him after His likeness by fellowshipping with him in the Garden of Eden. As a loving and caring Father, He observed, having already known, that Adam needed help to fulfill his responsibilities to care for His earth and to love and worship Him. Being a Father of all providence, He created Eve from Adam seeing that nothing else He previously brought to him could help and satisfy him because they were not his kind or equal.
God Created Them Male and Female
The male and female were created with their individual and joint responsibilities to God and to each other. To examine this important topic of their roles, I intend to avoid treating it with circumstantial lenses which obscure’s God’s perspective.
When Adam woke up from His deep slumber after God had finished surgery on him to give him the suitable help needed, he was perfectly pleased with the image of God he saw in Eve. At last, flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone—his kind or equal! A person to share the communion and love he has learnt from God. One with whom to care for God’s earth!
To Love is to Protect
Eventually, Adam (the male) failed to lovingly protect Eve (the female). When he noticed that Eve had been deceived, sinned and failed in her responsibility to God, he did not call out to God on her behalf rather he partook Gen 3:6. But, when God inquired of him about what they had done, he accused and attempted to abandon her to be punished alone Gen 3:9 & 12. The recognition that he is one flesh with Eve as he used his own mouth to confess to God made no meaning to him in the moment of accountability Gen 2:23. He did not understand the truth that God came to him and not to Eve for the inquiry because he had failed in his responsibility to Him and Eve. The male has kept failing in his responsibilities since then. Hence, irresponsibility is a major male disease till date.
The Perfect Man
God’s original plan always stands. He does not make it up as He goes along like mere mortals. Therefore, He sent another Adam to His earth. This second Adam (Jesus) is a male and out of Him, God has created another female (the church). The male has to get it right! And to do that, he needs help and submission from the female. He is first (head or senior) to the female. So, must love, protect and care for her while she must love, submit and help Him make the Father glad by being one with the male in love, worship and caring for God’s earth.
For the perfect man to be born, the female is needed because she is not inferior—She is His body. She has her role and the male his. In the natural, the female bears and nurtures a baby. Males do not have this glory though, in Christ, there is neither male nor female. The female serves with her womb.
Jesus, the perfect Man, came as a baby, grew and taught the male and female how to love, worship and serve God. The female as His body is growing to His stature as a man-child. From that backdrop, the component of His body (males and females) must love and serve each other. Christ came to restore all things as they were in the beginning—showing mankind where God was taking them in His likeness. While it covers all aspect of man’s existence, as said earlier, I will focus on the relationship of the male and female in their roles to God and to each other which have produced two schools of thought—the egalitarians and the complementarians.
Egalitarianism doubtless, is a concept which has evolved based on the experiences of man—that is post fall. As such, its interpretations are hugely circumstantial though sometimes plausible. Man’s pleasurable and painful experiences have made man evolve in his modus operandi thereby creating cultures and conventions. But, these are inferior to the culture God has already laid down for man to walk in Eph 2:10. God’s ways must dictate the path for man and not the opposite. For this reason, I will delve into complementarianism which captures scriptures or the pre fall perspective that governed Eve and Adam, women and men of the faith in the Old Testament and the early church.
Before looking at the scriptures, it is to be noted that the subject deals with males and females as opposed to husbands and wives though it’s included. Its specific implications in the context of marriage will be examined in a different post.
The scriptures portray Jesus’ practice and teaching as complementarian and at His ascension, He sealed it by giving the ministry gifts only to the males Eph 4:11. The proof that verse 11 of Ephesians 4, is limited to the males is given in Luke 6:13. Though His disciples were men and women, when He wanted to choose, he chose males for these responsibilities—and it had nothing to do with superiority of males over females because both are perfectly equal in every sense Joel 2:29, Acts 2:18. However, males and females bear different functions e.g., males produce Y chromosomes and females produce X chromosomes— neither have the glory of the other. This is beyond cultural bias or evolution. Whether males actually produce the Y chromosome and the females the X, is not relevant to the truth that God designed each for that function. But, when they do, they glorify God by fulfilling His purpose on the earth Gen 1:28. Selah!
Though Eve was inside Adam when God created him, like twins, the male came first—so, by design, the male is senior to the female 1 Tim 2:13. Again, God made sure that the first offspring of the first male and the female He created produced a male Gen 4:1. This circle completed the principle of two or three witnesses.
Seniority of the male over the female:
The male (Adam) first had fellowship with God, learnt what it means to love Him, worship and service or care for God’s earth.
The male was given the privilege to name the animals Gen 2:19
The male named the woman Gen 2:23.
For the time Adam was lonely and desiring his kind or equal as he saw that other things God created had their kinds, he was not deceived 1 Tim 2:14.
The woman was deceived 2 Cor 11:3 and then, both sinned.
In the New Testament, the major time God spoke to the female in preference to the male was related to the service of her womb—that is, the birthing of His body as a baby Luke 1:26-32, whose foundation is established upon the doctrines of the Apostles and Prophets. This foundation is to equip the church (the female) to mature to the full stature of Christ. This ministry of Christ is given to the males. For this reason, there was no mention of any female with any of the ministry gifts in NT except Anna the Prophetess. But, she is from the old regime which was a shadow already giving way for the reality of the things of God. As such, nothing was ever mentioned of her again after God used her and Simeon as witnesses to confirm the baby Jesus as the redeemer to the people in the temple.
So, while males and females are co-equals with respect to all of lives endeavors, the responsibilities of His body as it relates to the ministry gifts and eldership (different from spiritual gifts), is given to the males.
In 1 Tim 3:2 & 12 and Titus 1:6, Paul amplifies the practice and teaching of complementarian living among the people of God. Showing clearly that eldership is for males not because they are superior or any better than the females but, upon God’s design or pattern 1 Tim 2:13. I have tried to re-render these passages to read as, “Wife of one husband” in order to accommodate modern trend but, its screaming, “funny, funny! This may be the reason those bent on distorting the word of God and producing funny versions of the bible have not changed the rendition of these passages at least for now, till the image of the beast come to its full measure in those that are anti-Christ.
Post fall (Cultural) Effect
The fall of man (Adam and Eve) disfigured their minds! Males and females suffer for it in their unique ways— everything meant to bless and work for them rebel against them including beasts of the fields and nature. The corrupt nature man (males and females) acquired produces its greatest effect through their minds that seeks to rule and dominate each other and even tries to control God their creator.
The twisted mind of males now looks down on the woman with wickedness and exploitation—with fear and suspicion. Being afraid she will usurp him because usurping exists in his mind. The woman, having lost godliness, sees the male she is suppose to help as a weakling, deceiver and a traitor that must be challenged and fought against! Because males and females are equals, they have proved the worst rebels and enemies to each other! Till man returns to honoring God, the situation shall remain so—the male who is fittest, that is, by means of fleshly strength, will continue to win to his detriment because winning the one (woman) who is specifically designed and equipped to help him is not winning at all rather is losing immensely.
The fall affected the woman in a way that makes her fail to recognize the type of glory God gave her and as such, she competes for an inferior glory (inferior glory in the sense that glory is attached to assigned responsibility). If any person performs a task outside of their assignment, though it appears they do it excellently, there will be no crown available to the person.
So, the woman has become an epitome of rebellion such that, the spirit Jezebel (a rebellious spirit) is named after the female. A spirit that opposes anything God and male fiercely! And the male, having failed woefully before God and the woman, seeks to reclaim his long lost glory by his own selfish way which refuses to acknowledge the glory of God and that of the woman. Both males and females fail to understand that each other’s glory is not necessarily superior to the other but rather, is God’s design to create complementary roles— each being champions in their responsibilities. The glory of the man and woman shines only when the source of ALL GLORIES (Christ) is flowing through them.
Males must be regenerated (baptized into Christ) by faith through His grace and, learn submission to Him. That way, their irresponsibility will pass away with their Old nature—giving room for Christ to flow through them. Any man Christ flows through, will without fighting, discharge his duties to God, the woman and creation. Also, any female who wants to enjoy her glory from God, must be baptized into Christ (born again-regenerated) and Christ will flow through her helping her to fulfil her duties to God, help the males and care for His creation. For emphasis, we’re dealing with male and female not husbands and wives.
The wrong notion that for the male to love, cherish and protect the woman and for the female to love, submit and help the male includes sex or marriage is another myth distorting the subject. To dismiss these myths, the bible calls for the males and females to abide by Eph 5:1,2,21 and 1 Cor 13:4-7 which applies to all married or not. Mutual submission is advocated among believers married or not, male or female for the sake of Christ Who dwells in each individual’s heart Eph 5:17-21. Married or not, males and females have responsibilities to love Christ, submitting to Him and in same way, love and submit to each other.
Let the male not become a female neither should the female become a male. The wisdom and grace of God will keep His Church even in this disfigured world. May the males in Christ grow in loving and submitting to the female that she may be greatly blessed and may the females in Christ grow in loving, helping and submitting to the males that they may be greatly blessed.
This exhortation is taken from “George H. Warnock’s book” [Chain Reaction in Realms of the Spirit] Beauty For Ashes Part 4” Chap 4, “TWO MEN/TWO KINGDOMS”:
Paul speaks in Romans 5 of TWO RACES OF MANKIND–JUST TWO. And the one is the figure or type of the other. Nor is it left to our imagination as to the manner in which the first Adam prefigures the Last Adam, for the apostle expounds all this in great detail. But as we consider this let us note the COMPARISON as well as the CONTRAST, in all that the apostle is saying. Just as we might compare the darkness to the light, a blade of grass to a mighty tree, a pebble on the beach to a rocky mountain dazzling in its splendor, a shooting star to a galaxy, so does the apostle mention the attributes of the first Adam, and how we inherited all this from him, and then he proceeds to magnify the contrasting attributes of the Last Adam, and all that we inherit from Him.
The Two Men (v. 14)
Sin and death entered the world through the first man, so that in the first man all are afflicted with his sin and death… But Adam was a “figure” of another “Adam,” who would likewise birth a generation of men, in whose family all would partake of Life.
Two Initial Causes (v. 15)
One trespass was the first cause, and this brought death to the whole race of Adam… But the grace of God was the second cause, and this brought the gift of life to all in the new race of the Last Adam.
Two Effects (v. 16)
The effect of the one trespass was condemnation to the whole family of the first Adam… But the free gift follows on the heels of condemnation, with the free gift of justification to all who are born anew into the family of the Last Adam.
Two Dominions (vs. 17)
The first man’s offense brought into being a kingdom in which death became supreme lord over all in Adam’s realm… But grace and righteousness have overtaken the old kingdom, and have brought into being a kingdom of life, so that now life becomes the Lord and Monarch in the new realms of the Last Adam.
Two Judgments (v. 18)
It took just one act by one man to bring a sentence of condemnation and guilt on the whole family of man… So also it took just one act of righteousness by One Man, who by His sacrifice on the Cross brought a decree of justification to the whole family of the New Man.
Two Pathways (v. 19)
This one offending act sprang from disobedience, a deliberate choice by the first Adam… and this made sinners out of the whole race… So one act of righteousness sprang from obedience to the will of the Father, a deliberate choice by the Son, and this brought forth righteousness to all in the new race of the Last Adam.
Two Chain Reactions (v. 20)
The chain reaction of sin and death was greatly accelerated by the law, so that sin abounded in still greater dimensions of its dominion… God’s ultimate design being that when sin had abounded beyond all imaginable proportions, then He would reveal His grace that would abound far beyond all the realms of the dominion of sin and death.
Two Reigning Monarchs (v. 21)
In consequence of all this, SIN became the KING, and he would co-reign with DEATH as lord on the throne, and would overtake and consume the whole family of Adam…
BUT GOD’S DESIGN WAS THAT WHEN SIN HAD RUN ITS DEVASTATING COURSE, AND HAD CONSUMMATED ITS REIGN OF TERROR–THEN GRACE WOULD FOLLOW ON ITS HEELS AND REIGN IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND CONSUMMATE HIS KINGDOM IN ETERNAL LIFE, IN THE WHOLE FAMILY OF THE NEW ADAM!
How can we miss the “logic” of the Holy Spirit as He sets forth in this comparison the overwhelming attributes of the Kingdom of Grace and Righteousness and Life that is inherent in the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus?
What is our problem then? Simply this: We know the power and the authority of the Law of Sin and Death. We know from experience how effective it is. But the other Law–the Law of the Spirit of Life–well, it still seems to be rather vague, impractical, unworkable, and intangible. We would probably be very happy to discover the Law of Life working within us that would be EQUAL to the authority and the power of the old Law of Sin and Death. But can we not hear what the apostle is saying–NOT ONCE, BUT FIVE TIMES IN THIS CHAPTER– MUCH MORE…MUCH MORE…MUCH MORE…MUCH MORE…MUCH MORE…
This is the way it is in Adam–there is a chain reaction of overwhelming, devastating dimensions–Then, if this be so, WE ARE TO HAVE MUCH MORE EXPECTATION–TO BELIEVE AND TO ANTICIPATE THAT THERE WILL BE A CHAIN REACTION OF LIFE, THAT WILL HAVE FAR GREATER DIMENSIONS THAN WE HAVE SEEN IN THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH.
For not only did the old law have great power… IT HAD DOMINION! IT RULED AND REIGNED! But now we have been delivered from that old monarch, and have become the subjects of a new Kingdom, ruled over by a new Monarch, and subject to a new Law–a Law that functions in grace and in truth. God tells us that His grace is not only to be revealed–IT IS TO REIGN IN RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO LIFE! GRACE IS TO BE IN SUPREME COMMAND AND CONTROL! WHERE SIN WAS ONCE IN CONTROL, RIGHTEOUSNESS IS TO BE IN CONTROL! WHERE DEATH ONCE HAD DOMINION-LIFE IS NOW TO HAVE DOMINION!
Now it is for this very reason that God sent His Holy Spirit to abide in His people in the earth, THAT HE THE HOLY SPIRIT MIGHT TAKE FROM CHRIST AND BESTOW UPON HIS PEOPLE IN THE EARTH, ALL THE RICHES AND TREASURES THAT ARE HIDDEN IN CHRIST JESUS, THAT AS MEMBERS OF HIS BODY WE MIGHT HAVE THAT DIVINE ENABLEMENT TO MINISTER LIFE ONE TO ANOTHER, ACCORDING TO THE EFFECTUAL WORKING OF THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE THAT FUNCTIONS IN EACH MEMBER.
AND THE TRAGEDY OF ALL THIS IS THAT GOD’S PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO BOW TO THE KINGDOM OF SIN AND DEATH, AND GIVE THIS CRUEL LORD ALL GLORY AND HONOR, AND YET REFUSE TO BOW TO THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST, WHO DESIRES TO BRING ABOUT A CHAIN REACTION OF LIFE THAT WILL FLOW FROM ONE MEMBER TO ANOTHER–AND STILL ANOTHER–BY AN OPERATION OF THE SPIRIT THAT FAR SURPASSES IN ITS EFFECT THE AUTHORITY AND THE POWER OF THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH.
Are we saying, then, that if God’s people will humble themselves and BOW TO THE KING OF LIFE, AND GIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT HIS LORDSHIP IN THEIR LIVES, AND IN THEIR GATHERINGS TOGETHER IN HIS NAME, THAT WE CAN EXPECT TO SEE THIS KIND OF CHAIN REACTION THAT WILL PERMEATE THE WHOLE BODY OF CHRIST? AND MAKE THEM TO BE A PEOPLE WALKING ACCORDING TO A NEW LAW, IN A NEW REALM, AND IN A NEW ENERGY OF SPIRITUAL LIFE? Yes, this is what we are saying, for I believe this is what God is saying. And the reason we are not seeing it is because we are content to move in dimensions of REVERSE ACTION, to merely drift along with the momentum of a Church that is drifting–drifting further and further away from the ways of God, and trying to draw our attention to their vain promotional schemes, rather than having us focus on the ONE THING THAT REALLY MATTERS, THE ONE AND ONLY THING THAT WILL REVERSE THE TREND OF OUR APOSTASY–SUBMISSION TO THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST IN HIS HEAVEN, AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT IN OUR MIDST.
Salvation or regeneration is predicated on one thing and one thing alone—that is, believe in Jesus Christ. This means a person in an aircraft that is about to crash can repent or turn the heart to believe in Jesus for his or her soul to be saved and God will hear their heart’s prayer and save the soul from eternal condemnation and punishment in hell, though they may die in the crash.
The fact the person is not baptized in water will not nullify the person’s regeneration (baptism into Christ Gal 3:27, Eph 4:5, 1 Pet 3:18-22). However, it does not cancel the truth that baptism in water is a commandment from God. The truth that this command is not a prerequisite for salvation does not diminish its importance. Jesus obeyed it Matt 3:13-16 and so must every believer whom God gives the opportunity (to remain on the earth after being regenerated).
The thought here is this, baptism in water is an important outward symbolism of the unseen death and resurrection (regeneration) of a believer. What it symbolizes or represents detail how it should be done (by immersion). Given it is a command from God and its importance, refusing to obey it will pass as lawlessness (or sheer disobedience). Being adamant to obey this God’s command could possibly be pointing to an absence of regeneration (the replacing of the heart of stone with the heart of flesh) and a conscience sprinkled by the Blood of redemption (Christ).
One of the responsibilities given to the body of Christ by Christ is, “baptizing them (those that come to believe the gospel) in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit” (signifying the three that wroth the work of salvation in the person) Matt 28:19. However, because salvation is given in the name of Jesus Christ alone Acts 4:12, if baptism is done in His name alone is done in the stead of the trinity. So, there is no difference Acts 2:38. The Father is perfectly pleased in the Son and the Holy Spirit perfectly works in accord with the Son even resurrecting Him to be the author and finisher of salvation.
The only basis for baptizing a believer is upon their own confession or profession of faith. Subtle or overt investigation is not required. In Acts 10:24 and 44, Cornelius gathered his kinsmen and friends who were not necessarily believers but when they believed, they were immediately baptized in the Holy Spirit in one stretch. Then, Peter, knowing that some of the brothers who came with him where yet to grow up and out from institutional mentality said this, “Can anyone object to their being baptized now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” Acts 10:45 and 47.
Religious institutions have long been a stumbling block to the simple but profound ways of God. Unfortunately, the same problem is still with us today. Based on human experience of people who pretend to believe while they don’t, investigation (queries of a proof of salvation have) long been instituted in church organizations. Well, given that organizational ethos or dogmas maintain human pride, help push our objective to make Christianity attractive and bring in people into our enclaves; repentance “to God’s ancient ways” may come hard. God help us!
The all wise, loving and faithful Creator of the world and mankind has predicated salvation on what is at the reach of all—which is, faith and the grace of the sacrifice of Christ Jesus. Faith, which all mankind have enables us to believe though many pitiably put theirs elsewhere.
In Romans 10:10KJV, we are told, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Rom 4:3KJV makes the same announcement, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Then, Mark 16:16KJV says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
We note that believing is done not with the mouth but the heart and it gives righteousness or imputed righteousness (Christ’s life- salvation) and the mouth is used to declare it. Also, in verse 16 of Mark 16, “but” is introduced to indicate that baptism is consequential rather than a basis for salvation.
Therefore, believing in Christ Jesus is entirely sufficient for the saving of the soul to the utmost. The scriptures repeatedly and vehemently warn believers to continueto believe or abide in Christ. All good deeds must proceed from the imputed deed of Christ within the believer else, it’s a filthy rag. So then, baptism in water must be an act of faith based on the circumcision of the heart Rom 2:29KJV. Hebrews 11:6 says “And it is impossible to please God without faith”… Romans 14:23NLT affirms it by saying, “…For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin”.
In conclusion, looking at James 2: 14-19, we know that faith here speaks of having Christ—our imputed righteous. Who Himself, authenticates His presence both to God and man with evidence of His fruit. In other words, He continues to do with any temple (body) He lives in, the same things He did while He was physically on the earth. He is the gift or the fleshy heart which believing has given His people.
Those with fleshy heart (believers) possess the most expensive gift on earth and in the heavens apportioned to humans. Therefore, they love to submit to God. It is their default spiritual disposition though they may occasionally stumble Rev 2:5. But, because it is not their new heart’s nature to rebel against God; they fall back quickly to His propitiation as the Spirit corrects, disciplines, revives and restores graciously 1 John 2:1, 1:9, Heb 12:7-8.
We gladly proclaim as in Rom 6:4, and Col 2:12, “we’re dead, buried and risen with Him” praise God. Let us also gladly show it in joyful obedience through being baptized in water to the praise and glory of His Holy Name! Amen.