In the Old Testament, man met God in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple. Offerings were presented to God by the Levitical Priests. The priests represented man before God. When Jesus Christ was crucified, the veil in the Temple was torn in two. This exposed an empty Holy of Holies. God no longer dwelt among men. The Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, and the Holy Spirit was sent at Pentecost to begin the Church Age.
In the Church Age, the body of every believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit indwell the body of every believer. Meeting God is a matter of being filled with the Holy Spirit. The believer who is filled with the Holy Spirit is in fellowship with God and can worship Him privately or publicly. An intermediate priest is no longer required to worship God because every believer is a priest.
Ephesians 4:11Apostles wrote and taught Church Age doctrine. Prophets taught until the canon of scripture was completed. Then foretelling was replaced by forth telling. There are no more apostles or prophets. Evangelists operate outside the local church. "Pastor-teacher" is an hendiadys - a rhetorical figure in which a complex idea is expressed by two words connected by a copulative conjunction. 'Pastor and teacher' means pastor-teacher. Pastor-teacher refers to one person, not two, just as warm and humid day refers to one day, not two. "Pastor" means shepherd. Pastor-teachers have the Spiritual gift of communication and have authority over the local church.
Then He gave some apostles, and others prophets, and others evangelists, and others pastors-teachers,
Ephesians 4:12 ECS"Saints" are individual believers, who must be prepared for their work in Christian service. This is accomplished by metabolization of Bible Doctrine as taught for the edification of the Body of Christ. The "Body of Christ" is the Church universal. Members of the local church are also members of the Body of Christ. Pastor-teachers are symbolized by the joints of the body (Eph 4:16; Col 2:19).
for the equipping of the saints for the work of Christian service, for the edification of the Body of Christ;
Worship in the local church includes the communication of Bible Doctrine, prayer, songs of praise (ref. Eph 5:19; Col 3:16), and the Eucharist (1 Cor 11:17-34). The number of people required for a local church is two or three (Matt 18:20). Emphasis in the local church should be on the teaching of Bible Doctrine for edification. The purpose of going to Church is edification (1 Cor 14:26).
Non-doctrinal communication is not worship (Matt 15:9)
Colossians 2:20 Legalism"Elementary principles of the world" – this is a general statement of the worldly paradigm that everything is based upon the four elements, earth, air, fire, and water. The Christian has died to the world. The Spiritual life is a new paradigm. The believer who deviates from Bible Doctrine to practice worldly philosophy is submitting to legalism.
Since you have died together with Christ from the elementary principles of the world, why, as living in the world, are you submitting to legalism?
"Do not taste." Dietary restrictions of the Mosaic Law have no benefit for the Spiritual life in the Church Age. This includes prohibitions against eating some foods, drinking alcohol, or use of tobacco.
"Do not touch." Artificial boundaries, such as gender separation, are invalid in the Church.
Colossians 2:22 Dead Works to Be Burned"All of which things" - refers to the objects of the taboos. The things that are objects of taboos are all temporal and will be burned up at the Evaluation Throne of Christ, in the Baptism of Fire, or in the final Judgment (2 Pet 3:10-12). They will not go into Eternity.
(All of which things are destined for destruction by being consumed), according to the precepts and teachings of men?
Colossians 2:23 No Value Against the OSNThe category of things being discussed have "a reputation for wisdom in self-made religion." These are the tenets of religion, which is man trying to reach God through his own good works. "Mortification" is subjection of the passions and appetites by penance, absistence, or painful severities inflicted on the body (Col 2:18). This can include fasting. "Severe treatment of the body" refers to asceticism.
which category of things have a reputation for wisdom in self-made religion and mortification and severe treatment of the body (asceticism), but not of any value against fleshly indulgence.
These things are "not of any value against fleshly indulgence." "Fleshly" refers to the Old Sin Nature. These worldly taboos and legalistic practices cannot protect from the Old Sin Nature.
Worship in the Church Age requires the filling of the Holy Spirit and application of Bible Doctrine (Jn 4:24; Eph 5:18). This leaves out most Christian denominations, since they do not teach the filling of the Holy Spirit or sound doctrine.
Matthew 18:20Where two or three Christians assemble in the Name of Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ will be in their midst in the Spirit. At the beginning of the Church Age, house churches replaced the Temple and Synagogues as the place to worship (Acts 5:42; 12:12; 20:20; Rom 16:3, 5; 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15; Philem 2; 2 Jn 10). Small groups would gather in houses to worship. As the Jews hardened their hearts to Jesus Christ, the Christians were not welcome in the Synagogues, and in Rome they were persecuted. So, they gathered in small groups in houses.
For where two or three have assembled together in My Name, there am I (Christ) in the midst of them.
Although there were some large congregations, such as the Jerusalem Church, the Church Age began with small groups in house churches. These were like seeds that were sown in the world. The seeds took root and grew. The whole world was evangelized. Satan had scattered the Church, but he could not conquer it (Matt 16:18).
Pastors had local and extended congregations. They wrote letters, which were circulated among the extended congregations, and they traveled from house church to house church to teach. John was the pastor of the seven churches mentioned in Revelation. These churches were the salt of the Land and the basis for the prosperity of the Roman Empire (Matt 5:13).1
The purpose of assembling together is edification (1 Cor 14:24-25, 26). Believers are commanded to assemble together (Heb 10:25). The pastor communicates Bible Doctrine to the local congregation in the power of the Holy Spirit. The members of the congregation, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, are edified. As they metabolize Bible Doctrine, they grow Spiritually. God is worshipped through Bible teaching, hymns, and prayer. The Spirit of Christ is in the midst of the assembly of believers. Those who worship God are blessed, and those who refuse to listen or refuse to attend will be condemned. God honors His Word, and those who reject it will suffer the consequences.
It was inevitable that church services would become a ritual for some. As people gathered to attend church, it was a social function. And those who were not filled with the Holy Spirit were hardened. They fell into Lawlessness or Legalism and developed their own rituals accordingly. Apostate pastors gave the congregations what they wanted. They were taken in by the devil and became politicians and crowd pleasers. As the Catholics became apostate, the Protestants broke free. Then the Protestants formed denominations for the legalists and the lawless. The holy rollers rolled in the aisles, and the pious hypocrites pretended to be moral authorities. Then independents offered their own doctrine, some good and some bad.
In the last 50 years orthodox Christianity has had world-wide impact through the Bible Doctrine movement. This is an attempt to teach the truth of Bible Doctrine based on Dispensations to the local congregation in Grace. There was a hunger for Bible Doctrine among believers, which God satisfied. Pastors were raised up with accurate theology and the skills to study and teach from the original languages of scripture. They were also hardened to make them stand in the face of the religious establishment and not compromise. Members of the Bible Doctrine movement are hated by the world and the religious crowd, but they are richly blessed by God in Grace. They are fighting the good fight of faith.
In spite of the ritual that has come into the local church, the only legitimate ritual is the Lord's Table, the Eucharist. Even water baptism is no longer necessary because we are baptized with the Holy Spirit at Salvation. The ritual is not needed when we have the reality (Acts 1:5; Eph 4:5; 1 Cor 12:13). Ritual without reality is meaningless (1 Sam 15:22; Psa 40:6–8; Hos 6:6; Amos 5:21–24; Matt 12:7; Mark 12:33).
Isaiah in Heaven
Isaiah 6:1Uzziah, the 10th King of Judah, reigned 52 years (809-758 BC). Isaiah did not dream or see a vision. He was carried in his spiritual body to Heaven, where he saw a Theophany, a preincarnate revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the year of King Uzziah's death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the Temple.
He saw the Lord on His Throne. "Lord" is the Hebrew yn*d))a^ ('adonai), which means the Lord and is only used of God. He appeared as a man (Ezek 1:26) wearing a robe. He was sitting on His Throne (Psa 11:4; 103:19; Isa 9:7; 66:1; Matt 19:28; Lk 1:32; Heb 1:8; 8:1; 12:2; Rev 4, 5; Rev 11:15-19). He was in the Temple in Heaven (Psa 11:4; 18:6; 29:9), where God reveals Himself to creatures. Isaiah saw this Spiritually. He was allowed to see the preincarnate glory of the Lord Jesus Christ (Jn 12:41). The Lord was wearing a robe, which symbolized His royal splendor and majesty (Job 40:10; Psa 93:1; 104:1; Isa 59:17; 63:1; Heb 1:3).
Isaiah 6:2"Seraphim stood above it." Seraphim were suspended in space above the robe. They were not over the Lord's head as implied by some translations. This is the only place in scripture where Seraphim are mentioned. "Seraphim," which is the Hebrew <yp!r*c+ (seraphim), is an order of angels attending upon God, and appearing with Him, and having six wings. The word is probably from the word for the princes, or nobles of Heaven, who elsewhere are also called in Hebrew <yr!c* (sarim) (plural), sar (singular). This is the name of the Throne Angels who are the princes of God, i.e. archangels, like Gabriel and Michael, who are sent to intercede with God for the kings of nations (Dan 10:13, 20).
Seraphim stood above it, each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
The Seraphim covered their faces with two wings in awe of being in the presence of Divine Glory. With two wings they covered their feet in a display of humility, since the feet are the lowest part of the body. Not even their feet should be uncovered in His presence. With their other two wings they flew. They were suspended above the floor and the robe in the Throne Room. Similarly, the Cherubim, as seen by Ezekiel with four wings, covered their bodies with their wings (Ezek 1:11).
Isaiah 6:3The Seraphim led the antiphonal song of choruses of angels around the Throne. They called back and forth to each other, while other angelic choruses joined in.
And one called out to another and said,
"Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of the Armies,
The whole Earth is full of His Glory."
They called out, "Holy," which is the Hebrew vodq* (qadosh), meaning Holy, separate; used of God, as separate, apart, and so sacred, holy. The three holies refer to the Trinity. The Living Creatures around the Throne in Revelation sang the same thing (Rev 4:8). After this experience Isaiah's favorite name for God became "the Holy One of Israel."
The next line of the song was "the whole Earth is full of His Glory." The Creation is a testimony of the Creator. All of Creation honors and glorifies the Lord (Num 14:21; Hab 2:14). All of the Creator's production on Earth glorifies Him.
Isaiah 6:4Every time the seraphim sang out, the support of the threshold of the porch where Isaiah was standing trembled. Angelic voices are like thunder (Psa 99:1; Eze 1:24 10:5; Rev 6:1; 11:15; 14:2; 19:6) just as the Lord's voice (Ezek 43:2; Job 37:2, 4, 5; 40:9; Ps 18:13; 29:3-9; 68:33; 77:18; Dan 10:6; Rev 1:15). They have the power to broadcast their voices over vast distances without loud speakers.
And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of them who called out, and the Temple was filled with smoke.
Smoke filled the Temple from the Altar of Incense (Isa 6:6) in conjunction with the Seraphim singing. The smoke symbolizes the glory of the Lord (Rev 15:8) (Ex 19:18; 40:34f; Lev 16:2; 1 Kin 8:10f; 2 Chr 5:13, 14). Incense has the aroma of Spiritual production, i.e. glory, just as the aroma from the sacrifices on the Brazen Altar (Gen 8:21; Ex 29:18, 25, 41; Lev 1:9, 13; Jer 48:11; 2 Cor 2:14, 16; Eph 5:2; Phil 4:18). Just as the smoke filled the Temple, the Lord also appears in a cloud (Ex 19:9; Deut 4:11; 1 Kin 8:12; Ps 18:11; 97:2).
Isaiah 6:5Isaiah suddenly had a shocking guilt reaction. He was a sinner standing in the presence of the Holy God and His Holy angels. Man cannot see God without dying (Ex. 33:20). Therefore, Isaiah concluded that he was ruined, and that he must die, because the holiness of God is a consuming fire to the sinner (Isa. 33:14).
Then I said,
"Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of the Armies."
Isaiah considered himself doubly dead because he had unclean lips as compared to the Holy angels, and he lived with people of unclean lips (Ex 4:10; 6:12, 30; Jer 1:6; Ezek 2:6-7; Jas 3:1, 2). This demonstrated a very mature understanding of the doctrine that he was a liar because of living in the Cosmic System (Psa 116:11; Isa 29:13; 59:3; Jer 9:3-8; Ezek 33:31; Matt 12:34-37; Rom 3:9-18; Jas 3:6-10). People who live in the world are natural liars.
Isaiah 6:6"Red-hot stone" is the Hebrew hP*x+r! (ritsepah), for a glowing stone (or coal); baking stone. Since there is no coal in Heaven, this was a stone used for heating the incense.
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a red-hot stone in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs.
The only furnishing in the Temple other than the Throne was the Altar of Incense. The Altar of Incense symbolizes the soothing aroma of Spiritual production. And it symbolizes the prayers of the saints (Psa 141:2; Luk 1:10; Rev 5:8; 8:3-4). The use of tongs indicates the angels were not allowed to touch the fire stones with their hands. This indicates the fire stones were sacred.
Isaiah 6:7The angel touched Isaiah's mouth with the hot stone and declared his sin "atoned for." This is the Hebrew rp^K* (kapar), which means atoned for or expiated.
He touched my mouth with it and said, "Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is atoned for."
The angel understood the stone was for purification by fire or judgment. Therefore, it could judge, or atone for sin. The angel was also empowered. He didn't operate as a slave or robot. Isaiah was not in a body of flesh in Heaven; therefore, his lips were not burned. Isaiah was in his spiritual body. The Resurrection Body is a spiritual body (1 Cor 15:44), but this was not a Resurrection Body. It was the spiritual body that everyone has from the spirit of human life.
The four Living Creatures and 24 Angelic Kings of Arms around the Throne of God in Heaven also worship God. The Living Creatures sing, "Holy, Holy, Holy," and the Kings of Arms bow down before the Throne (ref. Rev. 4:8-11).
Revelation 5:1This is a Theophany. The One on the Throne is God the Father. He is holding a book of human history that contains the Judgments in the Tribulation. The scroll is sealed with seven seals, where seven stands for a category. Each seal encloses a chapter of the book.
And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.
Revelation 5:7The Lamb symbolizes Jesus Christ (Jn 1:29; Rev 5:8). The Lamb (who previously wrote the book) took the book from the Father.
And He (the Lamb) came, and He took it out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
Revelation 5:8The four Living Creatures and 24 Angelic Kings of Arms bowed down to worship the Lamb (Jesus Christ). Each had a harp and a golden bowl of incense, which symbolizes "the prayers of the saints."
And when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers from the saints.
Revelation 5:9Jesus Christ is the only one in Heaven who is qualified to open the scroll. He was promoted to King of kings and Lord of lords after He paid for the sins of the world and was resurrected. He purchased all mankind from the slave market of sin with His blood. His blood is a metaphor for His substitutionary spiritual death on the Cross.
And they sang a new song, saying,
"Worthy are You to take the scroll and to open its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and language and people and nation.
The Living Creatures and the Angelic Kings of Arms around the Throne will sing a song of praise to commemorate the historical occasion of the Lord Jesus Christ being qualified to open the book of seven seals. His qualifications are listed as giving His life as a ransom for all mankind. The Lord Jesus Christ achieved His battlefield royalty on the Earth.
After the angels around the Throne sing, an angelic chorus of myriads of angels will thunder in response.
Revelation 5:12The chorus of millions of angels will answer the Throne Angels with a thundering shout of praise for the Lamb.
saying with a loud voice,
"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing."
The scene of the Rapture is revealed from a Heavenly perspective.
Revelation 5:13 RaptureThis is the scene of the Rapture (Rom 14:10-12; Phil 2:10-11). All creatures include:
And every creature which is in Heaven and on the Earth and under the Earth and on the sea, and all those in them, I heard saying,
"To Him who sits on the throne (God), and to the Lamb (Christ), blessing and honor and glory and Sovereignty forever and ever."
Revelation 5:14As everyone shouted praise to God, the four Living Creatures around the Throne kept saying, "Amen."
And the four Living Creatures kept saying, "Amen." And the elders fell down and worshiped.
And the "elders," the Angelic Kings of Arms, fell down and worshipped.
The Tribulation martyrs will be before the Throne in Heaven dressed in white robes (Rev 7:9, 13, 14). Angels will also be standing around the Throne with the Living Creatures and Angelic Kings of Arms (Rev 7:11). The angels will shout praise to God.
Revelation 7:12The angels will praise God and express thanksgiving to Him forever and ever.
"Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, to our God forever and ever. Amen."
Fall of the Prostitute of Babylon
When the Prostitute of Babylon falls in the Tribulation, there will be shouts of "Hallelujah" from the angels in Heaven.
Revelation 19:1-2Satan rules the world as the Evil King and Prostitute of Babylon. The fall of the Prostitute of Babylon in the Tribulation will be a great victory for the Elect Angels, and they will shout, "Hallelujah," meaning praise the Lord.
1 After this I heard the loud sound as that of a great multitude in Heaven saying, "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God!"
2 "Because true and Righteous are His Judgments; for He has Judged the Great Prostitute, who corrupted the Earth with her prostitution; and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants from her hand."
Revelation 19:3 Second HallelujahThen the angels will shout a second Hallelujah as the smoke rises from the fall of Babylon.
And a second time they said, "Hallelujah! And her smoke rises up forever and ever."
Revelation 19:4 Third HallelujahThen the 24 "elders" (Angelic Kings of Arms) and the four Living Creatures will fall down and worship God. They will say, "Amen. Hallelujah!"
And the twenty-four elders and the four Living Creatures fell down and worshipped God, who is seated upon the throne saying, "Amen. Hallelujah!"
Revelation 19:5Then one of the Angelic Kings of Arms who is assigned to the Throne will give an order to "Give praise to our God." This is addressed to the multitude who have gathered round, the bond-servants, those who respect God, the small (common) and the great (nobility, winner believers).
Then a voice came from the throne, saying,
"Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who respect Him, the small and the great."
Revelation 19:6 Coronation of Christ, the KingThen will come the announcement that the Lord Jesus Christ has become the Millennial King. The shouts of the multitudes will be so loud they will sound like thunder and great waterfalls.
And I heard the sound as that of a great multitude, and as the sound of many waters, and as the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, "Hallelujah! Because the Lord God, the Almighty has become King."
How could the primary purpose of the Christian life be missing in the vast majority of Christians? The lack of fellowship with God under the Mosaic Law at first appears to be excusable on the grounds that very few believers had the Enduement of the Holy Spirit. They had no strength against the Old Sin Nature. However, the same problem exists in the Church Age, where the Filling of the Holy Spirit is available to all believers. Therefore, the reason for failure of fellowship does not lie in the availability of the Holy Spirit, but in the negative volition of the individual. There must be a conscious decision to seek fellowship with God. Fellowship with Him is available to all who seek Him (Jn 6:37). The disciples of our Lord could have received the Enduement of the Holy Spirit simply by asking, but they never asked.
The Holy Place in the Tabernacle symbolizes fellowship with God. After Salvation (Brazen Altar), the believer must Rebound (Laver) and enter the Door of Grace Orientation to have fellowship with God. Fellowship in the Holy Place includes:
Fellowship begins with Rebound, but it continues by entering the Door of Grace Orientation.
Matthew 7:7 Grace OrientationEntering the Door of Grace Orientation is described in three ways, ask, seek, and knock. Ask refers to prayer, which God answers in Grace. Seek means to look for the Divine solution. And knocking is the demand for God's Grace support or help.
Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.
Asking refers to prayer, but it also refers to asking for wisdom and asking in faith (ref. Jas 1:5, 6). Prayer is a Z-axis function symbolized by the Altar of Incense, and faith and wisdom are X-axis functions symbolized by the Table of Shewbread. The promise is "Ask, and it shall be given to you." The answer will be given in Grace. God opens the Door of Grace when we ask.
Seeking means looking for the Divine solution that has been provided in Grace on the Stage of Life. Seeking requires Light for seeing. The Light is the Spiritual Light from the Golden Lampstand, which is the Light of Life. Seeking is looking or searching for answers to problems posed by analysis of the Stage of Life or scripture. This is Y-axis alignment corresponding to enlightenment or revelation.
Knocking describes knocking at the door of Grace by prayer, Faith-Rest, strategic/tactical advance, need for promotion, and dependence upon God to fill special needs, e.g. Logistical Grace provision. Knocking is legitimately demanding God's Grace support for the function of the priesthood. It is Z-axis alignment corresponding to authority orientation (Hope) and the function of the priesthood as symbolized by the Altar of Incense (Heb 4:16).
Matthew 7:8This is a promise that the Door of Grace will be opened to all those who ask, see, or knock. Those who ask will receive God's Grace fulfillment of their prayer requests and doctrinal needs. Those who seek will be able to see God's Grace solution revealed to them. And those who knock will have the Door of Grace opened to them to provide help, support, and promotion. 1 Jn 3:6). A person who is filled with the Holy Spirit cannot sin (ref. 1 Jn 3:9). In order to sin the person must first reject God and then choose to sin. There is no fellowship with God when He is rejected.
For you see, everyone who asks receives; and he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened.
The person who sins falls under control of the Old Sin Nature (OSN). The person under the control of the OSN cannot be under the control of the Holy Spirit (ref. Rom 8:6). The one who operates in the filling of the Holy Spirit will not carry out the desires of the OSN (ref. Gal 5:16). Those who sin are slaves to sin, and slaves to sin do not have fellowship with God.
Romans 6:17The Romans, like the rest of us, were slaves to sin before Salvation. When a person sins, he is guilty of the sin, and guilt enslaves him. In addition, the OSN controls his soul and enslaves him. Satan also enslaves him.
But Grace be to God, because you were slaves of sin, but you became obedient from the heart to the pattern of doctrine which was passed on.
"But you became obedient from the heart." They became obedient to Bible Doctrine. They were motivated by the love for doctrine. They put their heart into it.
"To the pattern of doctrine which was passed on" – they were obedient to the pattern of Bible Doctrine which was passed on to them from the Apostles. "Pattern" is the Greek tuvpo" (tupos), which means copy, image; type, pattern, model. The doctrine taught is a pattern. The pattern must be learned. We are to be conformed to the image of Christ (Rom 8:29; 2 Cor 3:18; Eph 4:12-13, 24). We are to write doctrine on the copybook of our heart (Prov 3:3; 7:3; Jer 17:1; 31:33; 2 Cor 3:3; 2 Tim 1:13). This is accomplished by metabolization of Bible Doctrine.
Unbelievers are slaves to impurity and lawlessness, but believers should become slaves of Righteousness, resulting in sanctification (ref. Rom 6:19). Those who are Righteous and sanctified are in fellowship with God.
Believers who neglect Rebound persist in a state of sin, which is called grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit. Believers who are grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit are perpetually out of fellowship with God.
The new believers in the Church at Corinth were carnal.
1 Corinthians 3:1Paul could not communicate Bible Doctrine to the Corinthians because they were carnal and not Spiritual. They were not filled with the Holy Spirit but were full of the sins of jealousy and strife (ref. 1 Cor 3:3). They were spiritual babies.
And I (Paul), brethren, could not speak to you as to Spiritual individuals, but as to carnal individuals, as babies in Christ.
False teachers who refuse to Rebound are in Reversionism.
2 Peter 2:20 Doom of the ReversionistReversionism can occur at any point in the Spiritual life. Those who have escaped the defilements of the world through epignosis-knowledge of Jesus Christ can be new believers or mature believers. Regardless of their level of maturity, when they refuse to Rebound, they will fall into reversionism. Reversionists are enslaved to their OSN and the Cosmic System, and they become more and more evil as they are demoted in the stages of reversionism. As they fall deeper into reversionism, they become worse than they were as unbelievers.
For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the epignosis-knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
2 Peter 2:21Reversionists behave worse than unbelievers. It would almost be better for them not to have know the way of "Righteous-integrity." "Righteous-integrity" is the Greek dikaiosuvnh (dikaiosune), which means the Righteousness of God that demands the Justice of God; capacity Righteousness. The "way of Righteous-integrity" is the road to Spiritual Maturity. The Reversionist turns away from this road by rejecting the "holy commandment" (Bible Doctrine).
For you see, it would have been almost better for them not to have known the way of Righteous-integrity, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them.
2 Peter 2:22 Example of Gentile and Jewish ReversionistsThe true proverb is a quote from Proverbs 26:11. The dog symbolizes the Gentile reversionist (Deut 23:18). The dog returning to eat his own vomit symbolizes a Gentile reversionist, who returns to his evil ways. And the sow symbolizes the Jewish reversionist, since Jews were prohibited from eating pork. The sow that has been washed symbolizes a Jew who has been sanctified by Salvation. The sow that runs back to wallow in the mud symbolizes a Jewish reversionist. He could be cleaned again if he would only Rebound.
It has happened to them according to the true proverb, "The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow after washing into wallowing in the mire."
1 John 1:8All of us are sinners. We have Old Sin Natures, which lure us to sin. There is no such thing as reaching sinless perfection in this life. Those who think they don't have sin are deceiving themselves. They don't know Bible Doctrine, which reveals the truth about sin.
If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth (Bible Doctrine) is not in us.
1 John 1:9 ReboundIf we name our sins to God, He will forgive us our sins and purify us from all wrongdoing (ref. 1 Jn 1:9 for full explanation). Then we will be restored to the filling of the Holy Spirit and fellowship with God. Scar Tissue of the Soul) and Blackout of the Soul.2 Hardness of the Heart and Blackout of the soul are the result of Divine punishment from God. They are not a matter of choice, and Rebound will not remove them. Once God delivers this punishment, the individual must live with it until God removes it. Reversionists who decide to Rebound and resume their Spiritual lives, may be hindered by these problems. Even though they have Rebounded and been restored to fellowship with God, they still have these impediments to their Spiritual life. The only solution to these problems is to execute the Spiritual life and wait for Grace promotion to overcome them.
If we acknowledge our sins, He is faithful and Righteous with the result that He forgives us our sins and He purifies us from all wrongdoing.
Marriage Culture is one of Satan's favorite areas of attack.
1 Corinthians 7:5Christian Marriage must be executed Spiritually. Therefore, there will be times when married believers need to spend time alone in fellowship with God and prayer. Satan may seize this opportunity to exploit the vulnerability of the other marriage partner and tempt that one to commit adultery. Therefore, married Christians are reminded of their conjugal love responsibilities.
Stop depriving each other, except by mutual consent for a time in order that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and may be united again in order that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Just as Satan attacked the woman in the Garden, he attacks believers to distract them from fellowship with Christ (ref. 2 Cor 11:3). He attempts to lead the believer astray from the noble simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. Keeping life simple and Christ centered protects the believer from the distraction of Satan's side roads.
Satan attacks churches, especially those who are not well founded in doctrine. In his absence from the church at Thessalonica, Paul was afraid that Satan, the tempter, may have tempted the church members to give up on the Spiritual life. Therefore, Paul sent Timothy to check up on them (1 Thess 3:5).
Paul was given a thorn in the flesh demon to torment him (2 Cor 12:7).2 The demon was sent by Satan to distract Paul from fellowship with Christ, but God used it to teach Paul how to handle demons n Grace.
Satan captures stragglers from churches and holds them captive to do his will.
2 Timothy 2:25Timothy is exhorted to discipline those who oppose sound doctrine so they might change their minds about Bible Doctrine. "Disciplining" means teaching the truth, educating – not punishing them.
With humility disciplining those in opposition, so that God may grant them a change of mind for understanding Bible Doctrine (Truth).
2 Timothy 2:26There is hope that those who oppose sound doctrine may come to their senses and start learning Bible Doctrine. The ones who oppose sound doctrine are ensnared by the devil and held captive by him to do his will. Satan influences people to do his will just as he did Judas Iscariot. Satan is active in influencing Christians to reject Bible Doctrine.
and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
Satan influences apostate believers. They are not filled with the Holy Spirit or in fellowship with God, but they are in fellowship with Satan even if they don't know it.
2 Timothy 3:5These apostates have a superficial form of the Spiritual life, but they have denied it power. They have denied the power of the filling of the Holy Spirit, and they are grieving the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30), quenching the Holy Spirit (1 Thess 5:19), and lying to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3).
Who adhere to a superficial form of the Spiritual life, but they have denied its power. Avoid such persons as these.
"Avoid such persons as these." The doctrinal believer is commanded to separate from such apostates.
2 Timothy 3:6 CreepsApostates are loser believers under Satan's power. Satan controls them through the Prostitute of Babylon. They are in Ecumenical Babylon. These apostates creep into houses (and house churches). They are creeps. They seduce (captivate) silly women, who are overwhelmed by their sins. The weak women are full of sin in the Cosmic System. They themselves are motivated by various lusts. Satan influences both the apostate leader and the silly women to fall for each other under the power of the Prostitute of Babylon.
For among them (losers) are those who creep into houses and seduce silly women overwhelmed by their sins, led on by a various lusts,
This is the way apostate churches work. Their members are not in fellowship with God. They do not have the filling of the Holy Spirit. They do not teach Bible Doctrine. They are under the influence of Satan through the Prostitute of Babylon. Loser believers are led astray by Satan just as he did Judas Iscariot.
Sin opens the door for Satan (ref. 1 Jn 3:8). The person who sins is under the influence of Satan through the Cosmic System. He is the agent of Satan. Satan uses such losers, and God opposes them. These people have fellowship with Satan, but not with God.
Communication with God should be easy, but that is usually not the case. By the time we mull it over, consider, and reconsider, weigh the alternatives, and analyze the issues in Light of the Doctrine we understand, grasping the idea of God's communication can take a while before the lights turn on and we see in a flash the brilliance of Divine wisdom. In order to understand God's communication, we have to integrate the pieces of the puzzle together before we can see the Light. At other times we must break down the integrated whole into its components with differential analysis, or discernment. Either way, it takes far more thinking and more time than most people are willing to invest.
So, when it comes to Spiritual communication, we have a lot to learn. When God called Isaiah, the great Bible teacher of the Old Testament, He took him to Heaven and showed him a Theophany that forever changed his life. God did not show Isaiah the reality. He showed him a picture, or a model. The scene was very simple. The Lord in His preincarnate glory was sitting on the Throne of God in the Temple in Heaven (Isa 6:1). His robe filled the Temple, and two Seraphim were singing out, "Holy, Holy, Holy" (Isa 6:2, 3). Incense from the Altar of Incense filled the Temple. In the presence of the Holiness in Heaven, Isaiah felt guilty and saw himself as a man of unclean lips in the midst of a people of unclean lips (Isa 6:5). To put it more bluntly, "All men are liars" (Psa 116:11).
Isaiah was sent back to teach people whose hearts were hardened and who would not listen until they were destroyed (Isa 6:11). His favorite name for God was "the Holy One of Israel." Isaiah became a great communicator of Bible Doctrine and influenced generations after him. His ministry began with a simple picture that he was shown in Heaven.
God communicated to the Apostle John similarly. John was called in his spiritual body to Heaven. The purpose of the visit was to reveal the last book of the Bible, which would be about the last events of human history – the Tribulation, Millennium, and the Eternal State.
When John arrived in Heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ did not give him a book on the subject. John would write the book. Nor did the Lord give him a long lecture. Instead, He revealed Himself in Theophanies, morphed into various forms, and then sent John off with an angel to see more Theophanies and symbolic pictures. The pictures were indelibly imprinted in John's memory. When he returned to Earth, he was able to recall the pictures along with the explanation. From these, John wrote the Book of Revelation. And in it, he described the strange pictures.
John had seen the Lord Jesus Christ in His Resurrection Body. Apparently, He looked like He did before His death because none of those who saw Him described any unusual features, such as eyes like fire or feet like burnished bronze. When the Lord called out to John in Heaven, His voice was like a trumpet, a sign of judgment. He appeared to John as a Theophany. The message was from the Lord, but the features of His body were symbolic. His hair was white as snow (Rev 1:14). His eyes were like a flame of fire to symbolize doomsday. And His feet were like burnished bronze, corresponding to the Brazen Altar, the symbol Christ, our sacrifice (Rev 1:15). The Lord's voice was like many waters, with the power of a thundering waterfall and sound of a multitude or vast armies.
The Lord was standing in the midst of seven golden lampstands, and He was holding seven stars in His hand (Rev 1:13, 16). The seven lampstands symbolized the seven churches of the Roman province of Asia (Rev 1:20). John was the Apostle in charge of the churches. The seven stars in the hand symbolized the seven pastors of the seven churches. The seven stars also symbolized the seven known planets (counting the Sun and Moon). The planets are the work of the Lord's hand, and they symbolize Him. Out of the Lord's mouth came a sharp two-edged sword. This was the symbol of His Spirit weapon with which He would slay the armies of the world at Armageddon.
So, the Theophany that John saw was a portrayal of who the Lord Jesus Christ was, is, and will be. John was not called up for a friendly visit, but to reveal the end-time prophecy. John was given an evaluation of the seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Then the Lord Jesus Christ called John up into the Throne Room, where he saw another Theophany (Rev 4:1).
In the Throne Room Theophany there was the Throne of God with an image of One sitting on it (Rev 4:2). God the Father was sitting on the Throne of God, but God the Father cannot sit because He has no body. So, the image on the Throne was a Theophany of Jesus Christ, who also sits on the Throne of God in Heaven in the Church Age (Heb 8:1; Rev. 3:21). The image of the One sitting on the Throne appeared like the color of a diamond and sard (carnelian), and there was a rainbow around the Throne with the prevailing color of emerald (Rev 4:3).
The diamond is pure and transparent, and the carnelian is blood red. The diamond symbolizes the purity and impeccability of Christ. The diamond cannot be scratched (blemished). The carnelian symbolizes the blood sacrifice for sins. This was a Theophany, a crystalline image of Christ sitting on the Throne of God. The diamond and carnelian were the last and first stones respectively in the Breastplate of the High Priest (Ex 28:17-20) (ref. Native Land).3 The first and last stones of the Breastplate appeared as the last and first stones in the Theophany. This symbolizes Jesus Christ, the first and the last (Rev 1:17; 2:8; 22:13).
The rainbow symbolizes the Colors of Creation.4 Emerald green is for blessing.
Around the Throne were four Living Creatures, who praised the Lord God singing, "Holy, Holy, Holy" (Rev 4:6, 8). They had six wings like the Seraphim that Isaiah saw. The Living Creatures had the symbolic faces of Christ portrayed in the four Gospels (Rev 4:7).
Now this is Spiritual communication. The definitions from the Bible must be used to understand it. God could have communicated to man in may ways, but He has chosen to communicate through His Word. Without a thorough knowledge of Bible Doctrine, there will be no understanding of God or life. Life is revealed the same way these Theophanies are revealed. God is in everything in Creation, and His Word defines everything. The Holy Spirit reveals the Spiritual truths to us.
The question might be asked, "Does God still speak through Theophanies?" The answer is no. He has already spoken through His Word, and it is complete (Rev 22:18-19).
Indirect communication is external to us. God can communicate to us externally as well as internally. His Design takes everything into consideration. Therefore, the things on the Stage of Life all combine to communicate to us. God makes all the people, colors, numbers, animals, equipment, and events on the Stage of Life. Therefore, God can communicate to us indirectly as well as directly. For example, when we ask God a question, the color white may appear on the Stage of Life for sanctification or the color red may appear for suffering. When we are impatient, a slow driver may pull in front of us. When we are lagging behind, drivers may be tailgating us. When we are thinking about something, a snake may appear to indicate that it is Satanic. When someone drops a dish, it symbolizes sudden cataclysmic judgment as with a rod of iron (Psa 2:9; Rev 2:27).
We meet Christ at Salvation (1 Cor 1:9). We get to know Him when we orient to His authority associated with our Salvation (Matt 11:29) and when we learn enough doctrine to build a home for Him in the ECS (Eph 3:17). The Holy Spirit pours out the Love for the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ in our souls (Rom 5:5; Eph 3:19).
When a person is filled with the Holy Spirit, he is in communion (fellowship) and in communication with God. That includes God the Father (Gal 4:6), Son (Jn 15:26; 2 Cor 3:17), and Holy Spirit (Jn 15:26; 16:13; 1 Jn 2:27). God is one in essence and revealed as three persons (or personalities), the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
a. The Father is the highest, or Sovereign, member of the Godhead. He is the Spirit who is everywhere, limitless, and eternal. No one has ever seen Him or ever will see Him. He dwells in unapproachable Light. He is profound and super Love. He also has super abundant Happiness.
b. The Son is the Lord Jesus Christ, who became true humanity, paid for the sins of the world, and is now in Resurrection Body in Heaven, where He sits on the Throne of God over all Creation. He is the Savior of the world, the Mediator between God and man, and the High Priest of the Church. He is the author of the Word of God, and the only visible member of the Godhead. He is no longer visible or audible to believers on Earth, since He is at the Right Hand of the Father in Heaven, but He communicates with believers through the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 3:17). The Lord Jesus Christ has profound Love for all mankind and draws all mankind to Himself to be saved. The Love relationship between the Christian and the Lord Jesus Christ is Spiritual, real, personal, and profound.
c. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, who is both imminent and transcendent. He is the invisible power of God, who creates all things and holds the Universe together. He creates and sustains all life, including man, angels, animals, and plants as well as Eternal Life (Rom 8:2, 11). He is the Spirit of Truth, who reveals the Lord through the scripture and exposes the lie. He reveals the Father and the Son and never does anything of His own initiative (Jn 16:13, 14). He indwells the body of the Church Age Believer (CAB) (1 Cor 6:19), fills his soul (Eph 5:18), and enlightens him (Jn 1:9; Eph 1:18). He reveals the Gospel to the unbeliever (2 Cor 4:4). He is the helper, teacher, leader, and protector of the believer (Jn 14:26; 1 Cor 2:10-13). The filling of the Holy Spirit can be lost through sin, but regained through Rebound (1 Jn 1:9).
The Glory of God is the production of Spiritual Light. All of God's Creation glorifies Him. All that the Holy Spirit produces glorifies God. The fruit (production) of the Spirit includes Love, Happiness, peace, and patience (Gal 5:22). The production is recognizable by the person who is filled with the Holy Spirit. It is Light production (Eph 5:9).
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Light of the world (Jn 8:12), who enlightens every person, beginning at Salvation (Jn 1:9). The believer, who is full of the production of the Light, is also the Light of the world (Matt 5:14-16). Believers in the Light oppose the darkness of Satan (Eph 5:11, 13). They are the salt of the Land that delivers the nation (Matt 5:13).
Divine viewpoint in the believer is the ability to recognize the production of the Light (2 Cor 4:18). Those with Divine viewpoint can walk in the Light and see where they are going Spiritually. They are not blinded by the pseudo light of Satan, and they are not overcome by darkness like their counterparts in the world.
Enlightenment is the ability to perceive the revelation of the Holy Spirit in the soul of the believer (2 Cor 4:6; Eph 1:18). The Holy Spirit reveals the meaning of scripture to the Spirit filled believer. The Holy Spirit enables the believer to perceive the truth and make doctrinal application. The believer with Spiritual Light can see into the mirror in his soul and be enlightened (1 Cor 13:12; 2 Cor 3:18; Jas 1:23). The mirror is the Edification Complex of the Soul (ECS), which reflects the truth.
God may reveal Himself along the X, Y, Z, or Time axes of the Spiritual life.
There are three dimensions, physical, soulish, and spiritual. Communication with God is through the spiritual dimension. A human spirit is required to communicate with God (1 Cor 2:10-13). The human spirit along with the Holy Spirit is received at Salvation (1 Cor 2:12; Titus 3:5). The unbeliever cannot communicate with God, neither can he know Him because he is not Spiritual (1 Cor 2:14).
The Holy Spirit communicates with the human spirit (Rom 8:16). The communication of the Holy Spirit must be spiritually discerned (1 Cor 2:15). It is not audible or visible or felt. Human reaction to the Spirit, such as from stress or darkness, can be felt or sensed. For example, stress from violation of authority can cause a headache. Darkness can cause mental pressure or physical infirmity.
The Holy Spirit is the power of God in the life of the believer.
Author: Larry Wood, Released - Sept. 12, 2013 - Revised Oct. 16, 2013