TO: World’s in residence Churches of God. Tamuz 10, 5,780; 7/2/2020.
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Paul’s teaching kept the fact that gentiles were grafted to God’s chosen people, ‘Israel,’ two became one people in Christ, explaining that he was of the tribe of Benjamin and that God gave Israel stupor of mind because of their hardness of heart. Paul understood the prophecies regarding Israel’s future deliverance and that all promises to Abraham were perpetual. Study the whole of Romans 11:
(Rom 11:25-32; For, I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion; He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” (See Isaiah 59: and Jeremiah 31) And this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” In regard to the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but in regard to election they are dearly loved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.
Just as you –gentiles- were formerly disobedient to God, but have now received mercy due to their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For, God has consigned all people to disobedience so that He may show mercy to them all.)
(Rom 11:33-35; Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how fathomless His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? Or who has first given to God that God needs to repay him? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever! Amen.)
Side note, a visiting preacher relative questioned me about why God
didn’t save more people, and why He didn’t do this or that. I attempted
explaining-unsuccessfully- that God pre-planned things, including Satan’s
temporary successes, and all was working out for God’s ultimate purpose.
(Phil 4:8-9; Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things, what you learned, received, heard and saw in me, do. And the God of peace will be with you.)
Paul absolutely knew how he stood with his Lord Jesus Christ. He encouraged, we prove all things and stand fast in the truth -God’s Word- as originally written.
(Phil 4:10-23; I have great joy in the Lord because now at last you have again expressed your concern for me. (Now I know you were concerned before, but had no opportunity to do anything.) I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in any circumstance. I have experienced times of need and times of abundance. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied, hungry, have plenty or nothing. I am able to do all things through the One who strengthens me. Nevertheless, you did well to share with me in my trouble. And as you Philippians know, at the beginning of my gospel ministry, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in this matter of giving and receiving except you alone. For even in Thessalonica, on more than one occasion you sent something for my need. I do not say this because I am seeking a gift, rather I seek the credit that abounds to your account. For, I have received everything, and I have plenty. I have all I need because I received from Epaphroditus what you sent – a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, very pleasing to God. And my God will supply your every need according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. May glory be given to God our Father forever and ever. Amen. Give greetings to all the Saints in Christ Jesus. The brothers with me here send greetings. All the Saints greet you, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.)
May we each be blessed as Paul, who could say, “In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing, I am able to do all things through the One who strengthens me.”
Worshipers in Caesar’s household were, ‘a church of God.’ They were Caesar’s servants and Jesus’ bondservants. Jesus’ message through Paul sets each Believing –Christian- free from this world’s system of things, and demonic doctrines that make it impossible for people to be made merchandise of. We come up short when evaluating ourselves in light of God’s truth. When people are yielded to their fleshly desires, and passions, concerns are about the immediate circumstance of me, mine and ours. People don’t naturally evaluate their hopes and prayer request, prioritizing as Jesus suggested.
Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, particularly those God the Father called in this and the age to come. Followers of Jesus are spirit led to share His concerns, that His Kingdom come, and a gifted faith desire to be like minded, rather than prayer concerns for -me, mine and ours-. We’re commanded to put others ahead of ourselves. To be otherwise, ‘people’s leanings are friendship with the world and likely considered spiritual adulterers by God.’
When our Lord’s brother ‘James’ wrote to the twelve tribes scattered abroad, he revealed to them and us, - why prayers aren’t answered- writing, (You do not have because you do not ask, you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions.) Additionally, James had the audacity to call the twelve dispersed tribes, adulterers, because Israel’s covenant agreement with their Creator was likened to a marriage covenant, “accepting the Lord God as their husband.” When they didn’t live up to their covenant promises, Israelites became spiritual adulterers and thus were dispersed as God had promised they would be. They prioritizing their concerns and developed friendship with the world, ‘the worldly system became their God.’ The same with professing Christians in this age,
-friendship with the world- is bondage to this world‘s system of things.
James wrote, “Adulterers, do you not know that friendship with the world means hostility toward God? So whoever decides to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy.” James 2:4
Israel’s history is for today’s Christians’ -spiritual Israelites- for learning! Paul wrote; “For everything that was written in former times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through encouragement of the scriptures we may have hope. Now may the God of endurance and comfort give you unity with one another in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice, glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:4-6
Followers of Jesus – Christians- are wedded to Jesus by covenant, and as such the focus must be parallel with His as a faithful wife to a husband, less we be considered spiritual adulterers. At His Apostles request, Jesus taught where their inner concerns and focus should be regarding prayer.
(Matt 6:7-10; When you pray do not babble repetitiously like the Gentiles, because they think that by their many words they will be heard. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. So pray this way: “Our Father in heaven, may Your name be honored, may Your kingdom come, may Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.)
FIRST, we need to understand the deity of our God is, God the Father and God the Son, honoring our heavenly Father as did Jesus. SECOND, our number one concern, -inner focus desire as followers of Jesus must be- that God’s kingdom soon come, that this world’s order will soon be as planned and pleasing to Him. When people’s inner desires are me, mine and ours, our prayer focus is, satisfying our self serving nature. We should ask for blessing, healings, protections and security, but these should be secondary to desiring God’s will be done.
Let’s review Jesus’ teaching regarding prayer. (Matt 8:11-12; Give us today our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we ourselves have forgiven our debtors.) When we belong to God our needs are promised, so express thankfulness and their continuance.
It’s imperative that we seek to be gifted with a forgiving nature. Knowing the mercy bestowed on us, and each Believer is without merit on our part. Prior to God miraculously changing our nature, we were incapable of forgiving to the degree Jesus had in mind.
(Matt 8:13; And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.) Do not lead us into temptation is not an accurate translation. Comparing spiritual to spiritual we find, God doesn’t tempt nor can He be tempted. (Our Lord’s brother -James- clarifies. (James 1:13-18; Let no one say when he is tempted, -I am tempted by God- for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself tempts no one. But each is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. Then when desire conceives it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death. Do not be led astray, my dear brothers and sisters. All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change. By His sovereign plan He gave us birth through the message of truth, that we would be a kind of first fruits of all He created.) Asking that we continuously be delivered from the evil one, “Satan” is faith reliance on God to do just that.
(Matt 8:14; For if you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive you, your sins.) When we belong to God our nature is changed to the likeness of Jesus’, and as such we know His mercy toward us is unmerited. So we need to be quick to forgive.
No one inherits a nature conducive to prayer as Jesus commanded from birth. A mindset parallel with Jesus’ is required to be forgiving as He.
(James 1:12; Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has proven to be genuine, he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love Him.) Holy scripture principally teaches, if we love God it’s because we recognize that He loved us first. By giving His only begotten Son, having mercy on us individually, revealing His way, calling, opening our minds and reveling Himself.
(James 1:21; So, put away all filth and evil excess, humbly welcome the message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls.) It’s Jesus’ doctrine, gifted, implanted to our minds, that saves individuals. When we humbly welcome His gifted outlook - knowledge, there is no room for boasting except in Him.