The Making of a Man

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The Making of a Man 

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? 

Affections and Intellect 

It appears there are two forces in play in a human being’s nature (mankind in general), the affection and the understanding. These are the primary forces that activate the personality (self) and by way of definition, we can call them what the scriptures call them; flesh and spirit. In each person these forces have their sway to one degree or another. An extreme of flesh, for instance, would evidence itself in an individual who was very earthy, natural, attracted to materiality, the things perceived by the senses, or soulish ( Greek – psuchikos). The spirit extremity would show itself as ethereal, cognitive, abstract, and disentangled from its opposite’s goals and pursuits, thus spiritual (Greek – pneumatikos). But either extreme is rather rare, with the vast majority of mankind being an admixture of the two, providing a full color spectrum of possible combinations. Therefore, we see various types and personalities in mankind in the same fashion as one star differs from another star in glory. 

A good illustration of this is found in the Scriptural portrayal of Jacob and Esau, not only brothers from the same womb but twins who came into this world with the second holding onto the heel of the first. Esau, firstborn to Isaac and Rebekah, is described as a hairy man with a ruddy complexion, a crafty hunter of the field. Of his brother Jacob it is said, he was a peaceful man dwelling in tents. The story goes on to develop the portrait of Jacob, how he lived up to his name, supplanter, and used his wits to barter Esau’s birthright away from him and later deceived his own father into bestowing upon him the family blessing due to the firstborn. Here we have a typical dramatic conflict between the visceral and the cerebral and later Scripture records God’s commentary on it saying it was Jacob whom he loved and Esau whom he hated. (Rom 9:13) 

Perhaps implied in this statement is a reference to the fact that God’s spirit (God is spirit), when it came upon a man in the Old Testament, is portrayed as bestowing power which produces knowledge, understanding and wisdom. He made man, the first man of the earth, earthy and the evidence points to the conclusion that He is training man’s heart and intellect to make wise choices, as evidenced for instance in his longsuffering of Israel’s transgressions or the trials of Jacob or Joseph. The New Testament informs us there are two Adams, the first being a type or shadow of the second or last Adam who is the Lord Jesus Christ. “The second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1Co 15:47-49)  

So, for a man to choose, a God given ability, and choose wisely is the crux of the matter. And Christ came, full of grace and truth so that “the grace of God that brings salvation appears to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” (Tit 2:11-12) 

I Am

But what is it that gives a man his identity, one who can make choices, and makes him uniquely individual? Certainly it’s not simply a physical body which changes over time and can be altered. Scripture informs us that we will survive this carnal body and exist in a spiritual body at some point after death. “So also the resurrection of the dead…. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural (psuchikos) body, and there is a spiritual (pneumatikos) body.” (1Co 15:42-44) Thus, it appears to be what can be done in this natural (soulish) body that we currently have rather than the actual body itself; as it is said, you will know them by their fruit. (Mat 7:20) 

What is this ‘I’ that acts and produces fruit; this ‘me’ that can be known? 

To begin to know another, we must communicate or share with each other; a joining. We do this principally with words, which are essentially metaphors; symbolic representations of our thoughts and the concepts that we hold in our minds. Many thoughts and concepts we hold in common with mankind but other thoughts and concepts are uniquely our own. Thus, ‘I’ can be defined by what ‘I’ believe or you are what you think. “For as he (man) thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Pro 23:7) Robert Bolton, a sixteenth century preacher, author, classical scholar and philosopher said, “Belief is not merely an idea that the mind possesses, it is an idea that possesses the mind.” But what I think and believe can and does change, so ‘I’ am not who ‘I’ used to be but just who I am now, at this very moment. Therefore, if I judge another by what I know him to have been, I judge falsely. 

Change is inevitable. What we experience changes what we believe; so we are, at any instant in time, the sum of our experience. I cannot have all of another’s experience, only my own. I cannot fully know another, only of another. It is only if and after we have shared experience, becoming intimate over time, that I am able to begin to know another. In that intimacy we are becoming like each other because to some extent, we have shared thought or the same mind. 

All Men Are Becoming

The Scripture teaches that man is a personality composed of spirit housed in a body of flesh. The soul, then, is the result of the body having been animated by the spirit of life (lives, living) producing a breathing or moving creature. This personality is on a journey in the realm of temporality, on a voyage or passage through the system (kosmos, world). This system is organized by God who created all in the “beginning” (re shiyth, head, firstfruit) as heavens and earth, opposites of contrast which effectively define each other. All creation is for benefit of the sojourner, created and placed in the heavens and earth. Everything within this system is structured and ordered after the whole, as comprised of opposites; for example, the contrast of life (motion) and death (stillness) or light and dark, good and evil, love and hate. These contrasts have been designed by the creator God to teach the traveler of the nature of the creator; that which we can see, the temporal, explaining what we cannot see, the ethereal. Without discord we could never understand harmony! “But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb 5.14) 

“The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” (Isa 11:2) God is spirit and did not limit himself to revealing his nature merely through materiality. From man’s first moments, God commenced to reveal himself spiritually. He spoke with man. “The words that I speak to you are spirit and are life.” (Joh 6.63) Intrinsic to the nature of man are his thoughts and the expression of those thoughts is in words. That which appears to be the contrasting part to the faculty of rational thought or understanding in man’s nature is his affection. The affection expresses matters of emotion and feeling, the things of the heart, while the understanding contributes the thoughts of the rational mind and together they produce determination resulting in the choices we make. Both thought and desire operate in man and when combined give birth through choice to action, motion, life. 

Words are ethereal since they are allegorical or abstract representations of what a man sees and perceives. For instance, communion is just a word which has different meaning to different people but at its root means a joining together. Individual personalities communicate, establish commonality with each other through words and God, through his Word the Lord Jesus Christ, reconciles with that which came out from him, birthed through him, his creation.

What I am trying to say to you with my words is this: our life is a process of becoming what we are not yet, a progression intricately designed and fully orchestrated by God’s Word. The Scriptures confirm this in a myriad of ways, from stories and illustrations to direct statements and purposeful word choices. Anyone with more than a casual relationship with God’s Word would be hard pressed to deny this. But there are precious few who have begun to grasp the complexity with which God has articulated his Word to reveal himself, in an ever fuller and deeper fashion, to his creation and in his creature. His revelation of Himself in the world and in each individual person is progressive unto an end. That end, as expressed in and by his Word, is that God would be “all in all” (1Co 15:28). 

How Shall We Know

Paul’s writing to the Corinthians in the scripture tells us this materially oriented flesh, this body of death, shall not inherit the kingdom of God. What this is saying to us is ‘the soul that sins will die.’ (Eze 18:20) and it is unequivocal in stating that all men sin (Rom 5:12).

God created and said it was good, but to know good one must know evil with which to make comparison. Adam, in eating from the fruit of the tree energized the lust and the pride already inherent in created mankind, placed there by the creator. This first selfish act of worship placed his and our focus firmly on the things of our father the devil, whose kingdom is of this earthly realm.  But it was necessary, in God’s plan, for it to be so; it is “not the spiritual first, but the natural; afterward the spiritual.” (1Co 15:46) 

Through sin or selfish worship came death and to die is to not know. “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.” (Ecc 9:5)  When the serpent tempts, he says ‘dying you shall not die for God knows in the day you eat of it you will be like Him, knowing good from evil.’ (Gen 2:17 – Young’s Literal Translation) Knowing good from evil is not knowing God and it is not life. But, “…this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (Joh 17:3) 

It was all in God’s plan for man eat of the tree and thereby to gain the knowledge of good and evil, symbolized and magnified by the Law, so he might eventually be brought to eat of the tree of Life, the type of The Lord Jesus Christ. He came that we might have life. (Joh 10:10) 

“For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him (God) who hath subjected the same in hope.” (Rom 8:20)  

“Because the carnal (natural) mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Rom 8:7-8) 

We were made; a body of flesh and blood given the breath [ spirit] of life.

We became a living soul. We are and do sin, thus dying we die. “The soul that sins, it shall die.” (Eze 18:4) This God given spirit which makes a man dies to its creator, no longer able to commune with Him and yet lives on in the flesh in a dying body. 

We have all been called by God to acknowledge that we are on this journey and that we are in the process of becoming. Some refuse to accept this as truth and there are even those who actively oppose it. Others acknowledge that this is indeed a truth and find a degree of relief in perceiving the goal. But better still, there are some who agree with God and consciously participate with God in the process. “For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die. But if you through spirit mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live.” (Rom 8:13) But as in all things, even here is contrast, for to participate by focusing only on knowledge, effectively discerning good from evil in order to choose one better thing from another, is to worship the creation rather than the creator. 

Spiritual Being

In Luke’s gospel we have what appears to be Christ’s final utterance before he dies. Why do you think the Lord said “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”? Was he saying that since every soul which has been born has been conceived by having the spirit of life (lives) breathed into him, as a result he was charging God the Father to care for his own portion of that spirit? “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” (Luk 23:46) Was that spirit in any way separately and uniquely the Lord? 

Likewise, was Stephen’s uniquely his own as implied by his request of the Lord Jesus to receive his spirit upon his own death? “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon and saying, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’” (Act 7:59) In the eighth chapter of Luke, the ruler of the synagogue’s daughter was brought back from sleep (death) by the Lord and her spirit returned to her. Why is it each of these cases refers to a personalized spirit? 

For what man knows [ sees/ perceives] the things of a man, except the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God. (1Co 2:11)  

This seems to be saying that the spirit of a man is privileged to that which makes each man an individual in the same fashion as the spirit of God perceives those things intrinsic to God. 

“But it is spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.” Job 32:8 (ESV) 

This begs the question, “What is spirit?” 

When the scriptures use the word spirit, most frequently it is a direct reference to God since God is spirit. More specifically it refers to the divine power of God; that which gives life (animates) and when God takes it away the result is stillness or death.

“When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath (spirit), they die and return to their dust. When you send forth your spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.” (Psa 104:29-30 ESV)

The principle word for spirit in the Hebrew of the Old Testament is ‘ruah’ and it appears over 375 times. It is mostly translated into the English words ‘spirit’, ‘wind’, or ‘breath’ and these signify the ethereal nature of the concept behind the word. As I intimated earlier in this text, it is this divine power which produces knowledge, understanding and wisdom and is associated with the abstract nature of words and thoughts, being used frequently in that way in the Old Testament. 

In the New Testament Greek the corresponding word is ‘pneuma’ and it also appears over 375 times but is almost exclusively translated into some form of the English word spirit. When speaking to Nicodemus: “Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it desires, and you hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell from where it comes, and where it goes: so is every one that is born of the spirit.” (Joh 3:5-8) Here is a single occurrence where the word “pneuma’ is translated wind in the New Testament. ‘Pneuma’ occurs five times in this one passage alone which conveys to us a very good understanding of the immaterial quality of spirit. 

If we put together what we have seen in the last several quotations with some other verses of scripture, we can see some interesting information emerge. In Gen 2 God describes part of the process of making man saying he fashioned a body from the dust and breathed into its nostrils “the breath of life” and the result of the combination was a ” living soul”. The word for soul in the Old Testament is ‘nephesh’ and its counterpart in the New Testament Greek is ‘psuche’. Said another way, the soul, which is man, is God’s spirit housed in a body. 

We have seen that this spirit (God) gives the soul (man) understanding which incorporates wisdom and knowledge producing a man’s ability for rational thought. Again, as we might expect, there is duality; we see the wisdom of God and the wisdom of man, God’s thoughts and natural man’s thoughts, spiritual and carnal respectively. God’s thoughts are infinite as he is all knowing, whereas a man’s thoughts are finite, drawing upon his experience. When man was created with God’s spirit, he walked and talked with God, much as a child stays close to and is nurtured by its mother. It was God’s plan for man to abandon this position and enter the state of spiritual death (in the day that you eat of it, dying you shall die), principally because the body was made of earth. This body, made of the dust of the ground, earthy, natural and carnal, introduced an element of corruption into this man- soul. 

“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.” (1Co 3:1 NKJV) 

“…and marred is the vessel that he is making, as clay in the hand of the potter, and he has turned and he makes it another vessel, as it was right in the eyes of the potter to make.” (Jer 18.4 CLV) 

“It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” (1Co 15.44) 

God makes a natural man- soul first so he can make a spiritual man- soul last. 

“However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.” (1Co 15.44 NKJV) 

Now, if the man- soul is corrupt from sin and dying, he operates out of carnal, fleshly knowledge and thought or the spirit of natural man; cut off from the wisdom of God and open to the things experienced of the natural world. “For all that is in the world– the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life– is not of the Father but is of the world.” (1Jn 2:16 NKJV) And I probably don’t need to remind you whose influence dominates the world system  of things: “And he led him (Jesus) up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give you all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.” (Luk 4:5-6 NASB)   

So, as a natural man, we are spiritually just like those Jews whom Christ told “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.” (Joh 8:44 NKJV) 

Notwithstanding our state, we know and want to remember that it is “according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will”. (Eph 1:11) 

Spiritual Growth

So far in this writing I have tried to help you begin to see what spirit is but the Scripture gives a direct statement that cannot be ignored when considering the definition of spirit. God is spirit and they that worship him must worship in spirit and in truth. The Greek underlying the New Testament translations says Pneuma ho Theos which transliterates Spirit the God. Nothing could be more direct, God is spirit.  

Now the scripture gives many verses that qualify the spirit of God, not the least of which is that it is the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ. I’ll give you an abbreviated list of what the spirit is:

Adoption (Rom 8:15)    Burning (Isa 4:4)

Counsel (Isa 11:2)    Glory (1Pe 4:14)

Grace (Zec 12:10; Heb 10:29)  Holiness (Rom 1:4)

Judgment (Isa 4:4)    Knowledge (Isa 11:2)

Life (Rom 8:2)    Love (2Ti 1:7)

Might (Isa 11:2)    Power (2Ti 1:7)

Prophecy (Rev 19:10)   Revelation (Eph 1:17)

Sound Mind (2Ti 1:7)   Supplication (Zec 12:10)

Truth (Joh 14:17)    Understanding (Isa. 11:2) 

These begin to define the character of God himself and because the spirit of God was in the person of Jesus Christ without measure, he could make statements like ‘I and the Father are one’ and ‘I say what I hear the Father say and I do what I see the Father do.’ 

Christ was to reveal the Father to mankind; the spiritual through the temporal to the temporal. Now, that revelation is the word of God spoken to us in his son. It is also the revelation of God spoken to us through his son for he said only what he heard the Father say and it is the revelation of God spoken to us by His Son. It is the Spirit that makes alive, the flesh profits nothing. 

Maybe you are ahead of me here but some may not be. It is God’s will that all men would be saved (1Ti 2:4) and He sent his only begotten Son into this world to be the Savior of all men. (1Ti 4:10) This salvation is deliverance, it is healing, it is admission to his Kingdom and it only happens through death and resurrection. The Lord Jesus Christ is busy undermining the kingdom of self and establishing the kingdom of God. 

The first step in the process is for the spirit of God to interact with us in such a way that we become aware of the call of God to make the change in kingdoms. Once He helps us come to acknowledge our need to make that change, we enter into an irrevocable contract with the Lord Jesus to bring it about because the promise is that if one believes he will be saved and it is also said that the gifts and calling of the Lord are irrevocable. (Rom 11:29 NASB) 

What that means is that God has entered into the new covenant agreement with you, personally. The new covenant supersedes the old and it is written that he will: “put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people”. (Heb 8:10 NKJV) Notice that this is generally one sided, God saying what he will do. It is an irrevocable gift from him that he will bring to completion, in his time. If he determines that is to be in this life, he will do it and if it is to be in the time frame of the resurrection, it will come to pass. He begins the refining process immediately, removing the dross, replacing the heart and mind. He begins the process of revealing his son in us and like the book of Revelation signifies, it takes place over an extended period of time and through much tribulation. 

All of this is brought to fruition by the power of his spirit inculcating truth into the mind of the man- soul. We know that spirit is abstract and with a certainty truth is conceptually abstract also. It is no wonder that the scripture says “And it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. (1Jn 5.6) Neither are we left wanting for a list of other things that are of God’s spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Gal 5.22). 

When we are given aionian (eternal) life or born again/ from above, then “the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in us and he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (enliven) our mortal bodies (of flesh and blood) by his Spirit that dwells in us.” (Rom 8:11)  His indwelling in the spirit of holiness gives life and truth to the man- soul, his heart and mind, body and spirit, in the person of God’s son. “Jesus said to him, ‘I am, the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.” (Joh 14:6) 

So also it has been written, that the first man, Adam, became a living soul (Gen 2:7) and the last Adam a life- giving spirit… the natural first, then the spiritual. (1Co 15:45-46) 

“Now we (who are God chosen) have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 

But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1Co 2:11-16)  

Spiritual Maturity

Now, to answer the question that I posited earlier; the spirit of Jesus, of Stephen, of the synagogue ruler’s daughter and of each and every human is personally identifiable. The memory of our personal experience, what we have perceived through our understanding and affection, can be reviewed through the thoughts of our rational mind. These thoughts are what comprise the spirit of man, whether human oriented toward flesh or divine in the spiritual man. This is our life history and what individualizes the man- soul and makes each one a unique person. It is the spirit that will be used by God to resurrect the man- soul either to life or to judgment. 

This is the glorious part of God’s remedy and ultimate salvation of all. He indwells us by His spirit and that indwelling spirit of holiness begets in us a new spirit, not oriented to the natural but in communion with the spiritual. As a result we are able to receive the wisdom, knowledge and understanding of God and the natural man- soul is mortified by it. We are dying daily to the natural and our new creation spirit is growing in the things of God. So when our old creation man- soul finally dies and goes to the place of death, of not knowing anything, our spirit, which has been being enlightened by the spirit of God’s holiness returns to God to await that time when he will once again reunite it with a body. But this time, the man- soul will not have a corrupt, earthly, carnal body but a glorious indissoluble, spiritual body and those who have had the grace of God applied to their life in this world and have remained faithful will be the first to see the glorified Lord and be made like Him. 

Since we have access to the mind (thoughts and affections) of Christ, we must guard against grieving or quenching the spirit of God. We can recognize when we are doing that by becoming acquainted with the ‘Logos’, God’s revelation to man, and His sayings and teachings written in scripture. We do this by our intimacy with him; that is when we walk by God’s spirit. “For the word (Logos) of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two- edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb 4:2) 

As He did with Gideon, God, through his spirit, clothes Himself with the spiritual man’s new creation body and faculties and manifests Himself, working in and through the believer. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Php 2:13) The results are made patent to those with spiritual eyes and ears, much as the wind rustles the leaves of a tree for you to see and hear. 

In Joh 1:1, the Greek of text of the scripture is translated “In the beginning was the Word (Logos –the expression of the total concept of God), and the word (Logos) was with (face to face in intimacy with) the God (the Father) and God (spirit or essence of God) was the word (Logos).” We are in the process of becoming more intimate with the Lord Jesus Christ, being made like him, and we look forward in hope to that time when we too can see him face to face. But for this time we see through a glass, darkly; He remains something of an enigma in the process of becoming clearer. 

“And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Rom 8.10) 

The Lord Jesus Christ, who was filled with God’s spirit without measure, clarifies it for us so there is no doubt: “It is the Spirit that makes alive, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit and are life.” (Joh 6:63) This is a very interesting verse which contains more than might be perceived. Many Christians know that the Jesus is called the Word in the first chapter of John’s Gospel. Not a few may know that the Greek used for ‘Word’ is ‘Logos’. But what we have in this verse is not the Greek word ‘logos’ but ‘ rhema’; the ‘ words’ are spirit. 

“Rhema’ is from the Greek root word ‘rheo’ which means a flow or a pouring forth as in “out of you belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (Joh 7:38) This implies not a single spoken word but, if you will, a collection of words as in a saying or a teaching. So when Jesus responded to Satanic temptation during his testing in the desert and said: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”, the ‘ word’ is ‘rhema’, the sayings and or teachings of God 

Let’s look at and spend some time meditating on a few more uses of the word ‘ rhema’ in the New Testament scripture. 

“For with God nothing [ no sayings/ teachings] shall be impossible.” (Luk 1:37) 

“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words [ sayings/ teachings] of eternal life.” (Joh 6:68) 

“He that is of God hears God’s words [ sayings/ teachings]: you therefore hear not, because you are not of God.” Joh 8.47 

“And if any man hear my words [ sayings/ teachings], and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects me, and receives not my words [ sayings/ teachings], has one that judges him: the word [ Logos] which I speak, the same shall judge him in the last day.”1 (Joh 12:47-48) 

“And they remembered his words [ sayings/ teachings]” (Luk 24:8)  

These words, the sayings and teachings spoken by Christ, are the Father’s words. “For he whom God hath sent speaks the words of God: for God gives not the Spirit by measure.” (Joh 3.34) 

“Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he doeth the works.” (Joh 14.10) 

“Now they have known that all things whatsoever you have given me are of you. For I have given unto them the words which you gave me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from you, and they have believed that you did send me. (Joh17.7-8) 

“I do the will of Him that sent me, Lo, I come, – it is written of me in the volume of the book – to be doing your will, O God.” (Heb 10.7) 

All the disciples did not understand his words, the sayings and teaching of God. “But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.” (Mar 9.32)  

“And they understood not the saying which he spoke unto them.” (Luk 2.50) 

“But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.” (Luk 9.45) 

“And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.” (Luk 18.34) 

But his promise to them was that after the Lord’s death and resurrection, when the spirit came upon them they would remember and understand and would learn more than he had heretofore taught them. This was conditional upon the disciple’s death and resurrection with him. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal 2:20) 

There are many important thoughts expressed in the sayings and teachings of the word ‘rhema’ in the verses that follow, things that once revealed in us, conform us into the image of Christ. 

“But he answered and said, ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” (Mat 4:4) 

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph 6:17) 

“But what does it say? The word is near you, in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.” (Rom 10:8-9) 

“In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. (2Co 13:1)

 “So then faith is by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom 10:17) 

“That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph 5.26-27) 

“Who being the brightness of glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” (Heb 1:3) 

“And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,” (Heb 6:5) 

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Heb 11:3) 

“But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Mat 12:36) 

“But the word of the Lord endures for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. (1Pe 1:25) 

Now, because I have the spirit of Christ and the mind of Christ, I can say to you “The words that I speak to you are spirit and are life.” (Joh 6.63) 

The Consumation 

God the Son chose to go the way of the cross so God his spirit could come to us and we could know God. “And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and aionian (eternal) life.” (1Jn 5.20)

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Rom 8:9)  

“For we that are in this earthen tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.” (2Co 5:4-5) 

“That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Eph 1:10-14)  

As for those who have been given to him by his Father; 

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image [ likeness] of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Rom 8:29) 

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Php 2:5)  

“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (1Co 2:16)  

We are being made into that same image. 

1Jn 4:17  In this is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, that as He is, so also we are in this world. 

The Son of God is making us to be sons of God. 

“For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.  

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 

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? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 

Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Heb 12:6-11 NKJV) 

The time is now that judgment begins with the house of God. 

SBM

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