THE WORD BECOMES VOID
"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty (void), without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
In the beginning was the word, and the word was toward God, and God was the word. This was in the beginning toward God. All came into being through it, and apart from it not even one thing came into being which has come into being. In it was life, and the life was the light of men ... And the Word became flesh and tabernacles among us, and we gaze at His glory, a glory as of an only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth
In the world He was, and the world came into being through Him, and the world knew Him not. To His own He came, and those who are His own accepted Him not. Yet whoever obtained Him, to them He gives the right to become children of God, to those who are believing in His name, who were begotten, not of bloods, neither of the will of the flesh, neither of the will of a man, but of God."
The "Word" (Christ) is the center of all. He is "THE ONE" Who is the Light. He is "THE ONE" that points all toward God. He is "THE ONE" that all came into existence through. And He is "THE ONE" through Whom we all become children of God. We do not become children of God by our will, or by our works, it is by the will of God. Those that deny this truth, by believing it is themselves that save, keep, or lose their salvation, have, in their hearts, made the Word that God sent forth void.
The first verses above from Isaiah tell us (figuratively) what THE WORD will accomplish in us. The rain and the snow (Word) do not return until they water the earth (us) making it bear and sprout, feeding all (sustaining us, not us sustaining ourselves). Without rain crops do not grow, in other words they do not grow by themselves, they need rain or the seed dies in the ground. So to is it with us. Only THE WORD can change us from carnal, soilish (relying on our flesh), to spiritual (relying on Christ), causing us to grow in Christ. We don't point ourselves toward God in our adamic bodies, only Christ can point us toward God. He is the Word sent out, He is the Word that will not return void of anything He was (and is) to accomplish within every believer, and eventually within all creation. With our soilish, carnal minds, we will often place self first (it is our default setting since the time of creation) instead of the Word sent, the Word that makes its home in us (Colossians 3:16).
Those who believe they can keep or lose their salvation by their efforts, are self centered, and not Christ centered. They are slaves to their flesh, not slaves in Christ, whose servants are growing in truth and knowledge in Him, relying on Him, looking to Him.
Paul warns us of these people who place snares on our journey:
"Now I am entreating you, brethren, to be noting those who are making dissensions and snares beside the teaching which you learned, and avoid them, for such for our Lord Christ are not slaving, but for their own bowels, and through compliments and adulation are deluding the hearts of the innocent." (Romans 16:17-18)
Paul wrote in Colossians:
"Let no one, then, be judging you in food or in drink or in the particulars of a festival, or of a new moon, or of sabbaths, which are a shadow of those things which are impending -- yet the body is the Christ's. Let no one be arbitrating against you, who wants, in humility and the ritual of the messengers, to parade what he has seen, feignedly, puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, out of Whom the entire body, being supplied and united through the assimilation and ligaments, is growing in the growth of God." (Colossians 2:16-19)
A.E. Knoch's comments on this portion of scripture should be considered:
"Holding the Head" [Colossians 2:19] is a succinct expression of our duty as members of the Body of Christ. A conscious connection and subjection to Him as our Head will sever us from the things of the world, whether it be its religion (however divine its origin) or its philosophy. Any attempt to improve our position before God by physical means, whether it be an appeal to the senses or a curbing of its normal needs, denies our completeness in Christ." (end quote)
We can do nothing to improve our position in salvation, it is secure. Where I believe confusion arises is our allotment in the coming eons. We are saved in grace, and we are kept in grace, but our allotment in the coming kingdom is not kept in grace, that is placed on us, by what we submit to in this life, and what spirit we submit to. Do we submit to the spirit of man, which is constantly telling us to clean ourselves up to be accepted? Or do we submit to the spirit of Christ which tells us we are already cleansed and accepted? Do we quench the spirit or do we submit to the spirit? Do we hold The Head up, or do we hold our head up?
"For is any of humanity acquainted with that which is human except the spirit of humanity which is in it? Thus also, that which is of God no one knows, except the spirit of God. Now we obtained, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God, that we may be perceiving that which is being graciously given to us by God." (1 Corinthians 2:11-12)
THAT WHICH QUALIFIES OUR ALLOTMENT
We who believe in Christ and His finished work for us, and in us, have the spirit of God. And we have the knowledge that we have the spirit of God in us, which in turn gives us peace. The holy spirit has been given to us to reveal to us that we are in fact children of God, even though at present we live in a body that has no place in our allotment in the coming eons:
"Now this I am averring, brethren, that flesh and blood is not able to enjoy an allotment in the kingdom of God, neither is corruption enjoying the allotment of incorruption." (1 Corinthians 15:50)
Yet, many keep trying to beat this body of flesh and blood into holy submission, as if preparing it for heaven.
Religion has invented dozens, if not hundreds of ways they tell their followers how to gain access to Christ, as well as keep your place (salvation) secure.
Lent was invented so people could give something up for a period of time to show God they are worthy, and in their flesh they can submit to depravation. It glorifies the flesh, but God is not impressed.
Tithing is another security blanket that is handed off as a way to keep the fleshes check book in balance with God's accounting. The more you give the more blessing you will receive, again, it glorifies the flesh, and on a side note, God isn't short on cash, it has no value in the Kingdom of God, or in your walk in the Lord (Acts 8:20).
Church attendance is another security blanket many are told is necessary to keep you in Christ. If your attendance is sparse so will your knowledge of what God wants from you, and if you choose not to attend chances are you were never a believer and therefore lost (or so they say).
Yet the one thing we are told that will present us qualified to God is often avoided. From Paul:
"Endeavor to present yourself to God qualified, an unashamed worker, correctly cutting the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)
Qualified means: officially recognized as being trained to perform a
particular job; certified.
This is our qualification for an allotment in the coming kingdom; what we know Christ has done for us, and in us, and that is only realized when we correctly cut (some versions say divide) the word of truth, revealing to us it is all Christ, from start to finish (Revelation 22:13, Colossians 2:10).
This does not mean that we are to live in total abandonment, but we are not to place ourselves under bondage either. We are to seek a balance, tuning our lives into a life that is well pleasing to the Lord (not humans), as we come into a greater realization of Him:
"Therefore we also, from the day on which we hear, do not cease praying for you and requesting that you may be filled full with the realization of His will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, you to walk worthily of the Lord for all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and growing in the realization of God." (Colossians 1:9-10)
If any continue to look at their flesh for relief, or believe submission to it is the qualifier between us and God, they have incorrectly cut the word of truth. They will be ashamed when they stand before Him with all their sacrifices, and all their works they claim they did. Upon believing this of themselves they have (unknowingly?) swept Christ aside, and placed themselves in front, deceiving themselves into believing that asceticism will bring them greater glory and a better allotment in the coming kingdom (if they even know, or are taught there is an allotment), which is to have a position in bringing all into Christ in the oncoming eons as Paul tells us:
"That now may be made known to the sovereignties and the authorities among the celestials, through the ecclesia, the multifarious wisdom of God, in accord with the purpose of the eons, which He makes in Christ Jesus, our Lord." (Ephesians 3:10-11) "Or are you not aware that the saints shall judge the world?..... Are you not aware that we shall be judging messengers (angels A.V.), not to mention life's affairs?" (1 Corinthians 6:2-3)
This allotment is only realized when we correctly cut the word of God.
We are to look ahead, not at ourselves, we are to see Christ working in us, and us in Christ, not us knocking at the door hoping we are worthy enough to get in, and once in, worthy enough to stay in. Paul in the verses before those two above from Ephesians tells us:
"To me, less than the least of all saints, was granted this grace: to bring the evangel of the untraceable riches of Christ to the nations, and to enlighten all as to what is the administration of the secret, which has been concealed from the eons in God, Who creates all." (Ephesians 3:8-9)
How can anyone know this secret of the purpose of the eons if all they are concerned about, and taught, is their flesh must be placed under submission? They can't. They are too busy fixing something that can't be fixed, something that has no place in the up-coming eons. It actually has no place now, it is dead: "Be disposed to that which is above, not to that on the earth, for you died, and your life is hid together with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:2-3). Why does anyone want to revive this dead flesh? The flesh has no allotment in the upcoming eons for the believer.
SUBMISSION: IS IT THE FLESH?
"You are our letter, engraven in our hearts, known and read by all men,
for you are manifesting a letter of Christ, dispensed by us, and engraven, not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God, not on stone tablets, but on the fleshy tablets of the heart. Now such is the confidence we have through Christ toward God(not that we are competent of ourselves, to reckon anything as of ourselves, but our competency is of God), Who also makes us competent dispensers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the spirit, for the letter is killing, yet the spirit is vivifying." (2 Corinthians 3:2-6)
The best the flesh can do is place itself under religions regulations. That is its way of submission. That is the only way it can justify itself before God, by what it does, and doesn't do.
The flesh deceives itself every day, and all who submit to it do as well. It wakes itself up and tells itself what it will do for itself and for God, and by the time it rests its head on its pillow it has really only accomplished two things, it woke up, and went back to sleep. In between the majority of its plans it made, intended for God, never came to fruition. But for all those who rely on Christ, and the plans that God intended for them to do in His name, they did, and will do, because it is God working all things through us (Romans 9:19b, Proverbs 16:9).
Paul to the Thessalonians wrote:
"Now may the God of peace Himself be hallowing you wholly; and may your unimpaired spirit and soul and body be kept blameless in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ! Faithful is He Who is calling you, Who will be doing it also."
(1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)
To hallow means to make holy; set apart for holy use.
As can be seen in these verses from Thessalonians, it is God who hallows us, and makes us holy.
We will only do as God has called us to do. We (the believer) are led by His spirit, not the spirit of humans, Paul tells us:
"For is any of humanity acquainted with that which is human except the spirit of humanity which is in it? Thus also, that which is of God no one knows, except the spirit of God. Now we obtained, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God, that we may be perceiving that which is being graciously given to us by God,
which we are speaking also, not with words taught by human wisdom, but with those taught by the spirit, matching spiritual blessings with spiritual words. Now the soulish man is not receiving those things which are of the spirit of God, for they are stupidity to him, and he is not able to know them, seeing that they are spiritually examined. Now he who is spiritual is, indeed, examining all, yet he is being examined by no one. For who knew the mind of the Lord? Who will be deducing from Him? Yet we have the mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:11-16)
God is grooming us, not us grooming ourselves, He is the sustainer (Philippians 1:6, 2:13, 1 Corinthians 1:8).
In this time of life He is preparing us for what is to be our allotment in the up-coming eons, and it is not our flesh that He is preparing.
In Christ we are blameless (as far as our salvation is concerned) in the presence of God, despite our fleshes many weaknesses. When Christ returns for us there will be no blame attached to us for not fulfilling all that God intended for us to do in Christ's name, because God will have accomplished all He intended to do through us: "Faithful is He Who is calling you, Who will be doing it also."
Yes He uses these bodies of ours to work through now, but He also knows our bodies are only capable of so much. They are designed to perish (Genesis 3:19), they are faulty, not that the design is faulty, the raw material is, it is corruptible: "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality." (1 Corinthians 15:53) That is why trying to bring this flesh into subjection to some religions understanding of what God expects, thinking it will be pleasing to God, is futile. We must be in tune to God, and what He is doing in and through us by spirit, not flesh, once this is realized the knowledge of peace and security will follow.
To Be Continued.