Transcript based on a Sermon given 9 May 2009

Fruit Of The Spirit - Joy

by Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

In the last two sermons I've given, we have been going through the fruit of God's Holy Spirit, and here in Galatians 5:16, it does mention here:

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." (Galatians 5:16)

If you're doing one, you won't be doing the other. Therefore, these two things are in fact vying for each other. They are opposites, one is coming from the very Spirit of God. And it lists the qualities:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such [these kind of qualities] there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)

There is no law that anybody knows of, that says 'Well, you mustn't have love, you mustn't have peace, you mustn't be patient'. That just simply doesn't happen. Out human nature is always pulling us in the other direction.

In the initial sermon I gave, I talked particularly about the fact that the actual word here where it talks about the 'fruit' of the Spirit is a singular word. It therefore means that you've got all these qualities. You can't just have one. You can't just have love and yet not have joy. You can't have one without the other. I'm not saying that they have all got to be equal in our lives. I'm not going to say we all are the same. But I am saying that if the Spirit of God is there, these are the qualities that will then come, because it flows from the actual Spirit that is there. These are the qualities of God. This is what God has, as we will certainly go on and see today. These qualities are the kind of life that God leads, and therefore is the kind of life that He wants for us.

The other thing that I pointed out, is that these qualities, this fruit of the Spirit is different from a gift. When you get a gift, you are given something. A farmer is given sunshine here in Florida. He is given the land. He is given the tree that grows. He is given the water that comes out of the sky, but he still has to put in effort. He still has to work. He still has to do his part to make sure that he sows at the right time, that he works with nature, with the things God has put in place, so that he produces fruit. The fruit therefore comes at the right time, and he harvests it and looks after it.

In a similar way, if somebody comes to your door and gives you a gift, you haven't done anything for it. These qualities here are things that have got to grow. We are plugged into the vine and these qualities therefore will grow as we are plugged into the vine and live our life and work with the things that God has put in place.

Whereas something like a gift of say; understanding scripture, or being hospitable by nature - that can be a gift. A deacon or deaconess, or somebody in the Church who has got to be hospitable, that has been given by God and given for the benefit of everybody within the Church.

In the second sermon that I gave, which was two weeks ago, I particularly stressed the fact that the Holy Spirit is something that flows. Because when you are looking at love, which is the basic and primary character of God, and is expressed by the very law of God, you have two aspects:

You have the flow that comes in - the very Spirit of God - and you get that through prayer, study, fasting, and through meditation with that study. And so this gives us access to the Father, accepting the very sacrifice of Christ. We have access to the Father, and the Spirit therefore can come into us. But it then has got to go somewhere. It then flows out. It's like a pipe - you pour water in one end and it comes out the other end. If you block one end, you've got a problem, it doesn't flow. If you don't pour it in the other end, you've got a problem, it doesn't flow.

So there are two areas that you can look at. The flow of the very Spirit and the love of God and the character of God. The fact is that you've got to look at the fact of the flow in through prayer and study and the contact that we have with God. And the flow out is the definition that we find within scripture from the Law of God, which defines what love is. And therefore the flow out is defined and we can see it in our lives, and we should be able to witness these things in our lives.

So this is where this fruit of the Spirit - love - comes from. It is no different from all the other ones. It is no different from the one we'll be looking at today, and I want to deal with the second quality of the fruit of the Spirit, which is joy. The four points I want to break it up into are:

Human Joy (PLAY FROM 07:51)

So let's first of all have a look at this subject then of human joy, and just remind ourself a little bit about the future. Look over in Jeremiah 31:10. Here's a prophecy, and I want you to notice, it's a prophecy for the Millennium, it's a prophecy for God's people, who are being returned to their land. Notice the way in which God's physical blessings produce physical joy, in God's physical people. Jeremiah 31:10:

"Hear the word of the [Eternal], O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. [So eventually physical Israel is going to be gathered:] For the [Eternal] hath redeemed Jacob [The name Jacob tends to be used when it's talking about Israel with problems - and they did have problems. Jacob was the supplanter, the one who had some problems before his name was changed to Israel], and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he." (Jeremiah 31:10-11)

So he has been in captivity and he's now being brought back.

"Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion [there's the true Church - the height of Zion is when the true Church is ruling, and here Israel returns], and shall flow together to the goodness of the [Eternal], for wheat [bagels, bread], and for wine [Chardonnay, Reisling - put something real on these good things], and for oil, and for the young of the flock [lamb] and of the herd [beef steaks, here are the physical things that these people are going to be enjoying]: and their soul [their nephesh, their breathing creature, their physical bodies] shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all. Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance..." (Jeremiah 31:12-13)

So here is the rejoicing that is there, and the joy that is there. Notice the context; these physical things, physically eating, physically drinking:

"...both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the [Eternal]." (Jeremiah 31:13-14)

Now there's a hint there that we will go on and examine, because although it's mentioning all the wine and the wheat and the oil and the young of the flock and the beef steaks and everything else, it's also saying at the end, that they; "...shall be satisfied with my goodness..." (Jeremiah 31:14). So there is this spiritual side there as well, which then - coupled with the physical - gives the true joy that is going to be there. We will see how the two work together, how they fit together and give us the joy that we really need.

If human joy is only beef steaks, or whatever else it might be, if that's our entire life, if that's all it is, that won't be true joy. But having these things, having the physical is something that God understands and realizes is something that is joyful. Being able to look out on this view that we have here, it is absolutely beautiful. Living is enjoyable, living is joyful, it is the way things have been designed by God. We have been given this physical life, it's an enjoyable life, it's something we have been given to rejoice in. Something that has been constructed for us to really rejoice in.

We see that also if you turn over to Deuteronomy 14:22. We can see it in second tithe. The same kind of physical joy that God understands and accepts and gives to His people. It is the blessing of second tithe that we can have the money to go out and spend on whatever we need:

"Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat before the [Eternal] thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the [Eternal] thy God always." (Deuteronomy 14:22-23)

Again, notice the hint there. You have got to; "...learn to fear the [Eternal] thy God always" (Deuteronomy 14:23). You go down to this place and you also have the law read at that time. So there was a spiritual element there, but the actual physical enjoyment is also given:

"And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the [Eternal] thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the [Eternal] thy God hath blessed thee: Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the [Eternal] thy God shall choose: And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen [beef steaks], or for sheep [lamb], or for wine [Chardonnay], or for strong drink [whiskey], or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the [Eternal] thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household," (Deuteronomy 14:24-26)

An actual command that when we go to the Feast, we use the physical wealth that we've got. We save up the second tithe, purely for our own benefit, and for the benefit of our families. We are to go ahead and rejoice, "you and your household."" That's the primary focus of second tithe - so that we can have a physical wealth to do this. It is something that is good and right and everything else. We can see it in action also over in I Chronicles 15:25. We can see David, now here is a man after God's own heart, who is rejoicing, and there is a sour puss who is also involved here, which was his wife.

"So David, and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the [Eternal] out of the house of Obededom with joy. And it came to pass, when God helped the Levites that bare the ark of the covenant of the [Eternal], that they offered seven bullocks and seven rams." (I Chronicles 15:25-26)

Presumably these weren't burnt offerings. I'm not sure whether they were or not, but presumably they would go ahead and kill the animal and barbecue them. Then they would go ahead and offer them and they would partake in the offering.

"And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had upon him an ephod of linen. Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the [Eternal] with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps [so there was singing, dancing and David was dancing and they were feasting as they brought the ark up to the area they were going to have the tabernacle]. And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of the [Eternal] came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looking out at a window saw king David dancing and playing: and she despised him in her heart." (I Chronicles 15:27-29)

Hers was not the approach of David. David was a man after God's own heart. He was using the physical things, and he was rejoicing in it. He was delighting in the bringing of the ark up into the area of Jerusalem, into the City of David to have the tabernacle there. Michal didn't look at things that way at all.

It is vital that we notice from these examples that we just had a look at, the human joy is right and good. There is nothing wrong with it. It is something that is given to us by God. Living itself is enjoyable - it should be enjoyable. We should in fact have a joyful life; "...I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10), that is what Christ said, and so this physical life should be enjoyable. But there is more to it. What Christ was talking about in John 10:10 was far more than just this physical life. There needs to be a spiritual side as well.

This is brought out in Ecclesiastes. Solomon looks at the condition of man. And here in chapter two, we find how he reflects on life, and how he reflects on man's existence. Because the problem is, if all we look at is the physical, it can become a way of GET; I want beef steaks, I want wine, I want - whatever it is. It's a way of GET, it's grabbing this, grabbing that, grabbing the other, so we can have more stuff. All the various bits and pieces - we live in a nice house, and then we want an even nicer house, and on and on it goes. It can become a way of GET, and Satan's lie is that way of GET. Satan's lie is to say, "Look, this is where it's at." This physical life that we've got, given to us by God, given to us to enjoy can become the way of Satan. As it says here in Ecclesiastes 2:1:

"I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth [joy, happiness], therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity." (Ecclesiastes 2:1)

The word vanity there comes from the same root as 'Abel', [Strong's 1892]. It means emptiness, it means nothingness. Eve's attitude, with the birth of Cain was; "I have GOT something from the Lord." But with Abel; "Oh, this is nothing." It means there is nothing there, nothing of any real consequence.

"I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What [actually does it do]? I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine..." (Ecclesiastes 2:2-3)

We've just been reading about it, haven't we? Wine, how it is designed for good, but here is Solomon who had everything, he had it made. He had all the wealth he could possibly want and was progressively getting more and more and:

"I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom [he was getting himself drunk, but drunk only to a point where he could still cognizantly look at himself]; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life [he satiated himself, he was the epicurean of the epicureans - the mental approach to satiating yourself]. I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards [he did all these physical things, he was trying to get more and more]: I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:" (Ecclesiastes 2:3-6)

He had these enormous palaces, he lived in opulence and luxury. You talk about beef steak, you talk about the things God is talking about for the second tithe, or the time in the Millennium. He had it all, this was a type of the Millennium:

"I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house [so he didn't have to work, he had people doing everything, he didn't even have to turn on the vacuum cleaner, they did that, they cleaned up and did everything for him]; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me [he could look forward into the future and he never had to worry about money, he never had to worry about food, he had everything that his heart could possibly want]: I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces [all the various wealth that came in, he could feast his eyes on the best and most exquisite works of art, everything that he wanted, he had]: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men..." (Ecclesiastes 2:7-8)

He had a live stereo with real singers, real musicians, they were there at his whim. If he wanted to have a piece which was melancholy, he just said; "Okay switch across to melancholy" and it came out melancholy. If he wanted something joyful, he would tell them to play something joyful, and they would play something joyful:

"...and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom [notice] remained with me. And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was [nothing, it was totally nothing, there was nothing there] vanity, and vexation of spirit [it made you uncomfortable, it made you unhappy, not joyful, not anything], and there was no profit under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 2:8-11)

So for all that physical wealth, all that physical effort, everything that's physical! We see God using the physical to give us joy, to give us something that is of benefit. We see it also within the actual second tithe. Yet, here was Solomon doing exactly the same thing, and totally miserable as a result of looking at these things. So we need to understand; why does God give us that on one side, and why is Solomon so miserable? Because Solomon was trying to GET as much as he could out of the physical. Getting out of the physical is not going to give us what we are looking for.

"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over..." (Luke 6:38)

Which is as Christ said. GET and you won't, you try and get and take more and progressively take more, it's short lived. So what is the value? What is the physical value? Notice over in Ecclesiastes 2:24:

"There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour..." (Ecclesiastes 2:24)

In what he does. There is your value, there is the physical value. The physical value is, if you are sitting down enjoying a beef steak, enjoy the beef steak. If you're going for a walk in a beautiful area, and you are walking along the beach, enjoy it. Enjoy that 'doing'. If you are working, enjoy your work. But when you stop and look back at just the physical side, and you try and gain something which is eternal, from something which is physical, you will be frustrated, we will be frustrated. That doesn't solve the problem, that doesn't give us the lasting joy.

"There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God." (Ecclesiastes 2:24)

This is what it's all about. You actually enjoy the doing. If you think about the joy that God has, it's because He is doing. He creates, He is the Creator, that's what He does. That doing, He is enjoying all the way through for eternity. But there is something else, there is more to it than that. That comes from the very Spirit of God, the mind of God, which is an outgoing mind , that will be outgoing in the things that He is doing for eternity and that then gives this everlasting joy as we will go on and see. But in the physical side, the labour, the actually doing, is what counts. Notice in Ecclesiastes 3:13:

"And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God." (Ecclesiastes 3:13)

It is the doing part that gives the human joy. That's what we are looking at. It is the fact that you have saved your second tithe, you're going to the Feast and rejoicing with everybody that's there, and you've got the second tithe to make it enjoyable. You are doing something there and then. If you are looking at that purely as the benefit that you want in life, that is not going to give you it. But it will give you joy for the time you are doing it. Notice in Ecclesiastes 5:18:

"Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion." (Ecclesiastes 5:18)

That's what we're given, physically speaking, that's what we have been given. It's the moment of doing whatever it is that we do, that is the physical side of human joy, which is good. Throughout Ecclesiastes this subject is being dealt with. Ecclesiastes 9:7

"Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment. Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun [it's actually doing, living, having an enjoyable time for the moment]. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." (Ecclesiastes 9:7-9)

None of this physical side will go into the grave where you're going. You can't take anything with you, is what he's saying. But there is this context, and the whole book of Ecclesiastes comes down to this context. If you look in Ecclesiastes 11:9 it says:

"Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment [be aware that this life, this present enjoyment that we have is not all there is, there is something else]. Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity. [But, he says] Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh..." (Ecclesiastes 11:9-10,12:1)

So you go ahead and you live and have enjoyment within the things that we do, but put it into its context. Because if we are looking at purely a way of get, of grabbing all the physical things for ourselves, we will be as miserable as Satan himself, because that's what Satan's way is. Satan's is a way of GET, has a thinking of GET, thinking of trying to grab everything for himself.

I always remember one of my children, came up to us one day and he says; "You know what I'd really like, the thing that would make me really happy?" I said; "No." He said; "A Purple Muddy Fox." I said; "A what?" He said; "A Purple Muddy Fox." I said; "What on earth is a Purple Muddy Fox?" I later found out that it was a mountain bike. A certain type and colour and so on that he wanted. If he had this mountain bike, then he would be happy. Before that, it was a skateboard. If he only had a skateboard, the whole world would be wonderful, if he only had a skateboard.

It's the same with all of us. You get the skateboard, and the actual glow lasts about two hours, or something like that. Then it's something else. A new car? Youu get the new car and you think how wonderful. I always wanted this kind of new car, but how long does it last? A week, a month, a year? I doubt if it would be as long as a year. You want a bigger car, so you get a bigger car. Then you want a little sports car when all the children have left home. You want a wife and children. How long does that last? How long does this enjoyment last? You want the kids to leave home. You've wanted children all this time. You finally have children and then you think, oh if they only leave home, then we will be together again. You live in this perpetual state of looking for something physical. You're never satisfied, never happy, never joyful.

This is what Ecclesiastes is about. Ecclesiastes is talking about the physical condition. It says, look - the way in which you gain enjoyment in a physical condition is when you are actually doing it. That is what you've got. It's the work that you do, the walk along the beach, it's the eating of the steak. It's whatever we do at the time - that gives us our physical enjoyment.

Breathing God's Spirit (PLAY FROM 32:36)

But there is much, much more. And when we are looking at God - God's world - God's way is going in a very, very, different direction. Now let's go onto this second point about breathing God's Spirit.

Remember Mr Armstrong talking right at the very end of his life, and possibly in the last year of his life, he said; "You know, I've never really understood before the hungering and thirsting after God's righteousness." If you really think about it; here is this Being who is totally righteous, totally perfect, He doesn't go out and make the stupid, dumb mistakes that we do. He has total recall. He has total enjoyment, and from all of these things. He has no pain. He never gets up on the wrong side of the bed, He is always going in a perfect Godly direction. He is always happy and looking forward to what He is about to do. This is what Mr Armstrong was talking about. It's not just righteousness by getting a list and ticking off the boxes. The righteousness is a frame of mind that then produces the joy, produces the happiness.

He was meditating on this particular aspect right at the end of his life. He said, "I've never really hungered and thirsted after God's righteousness." {1} It is that, that we really, really need. "...I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) because that's the kind of life that God has. That's the kind of Being that God is. He is continually looking forward. He is continually looking for the next project, yet at the same time thoroughly enjoying what He's doing at the particular time. He is never miserable, He is never grumpy. He is always full of energy, there is never a shortage of energy. It says in Psalm 16:8:

"I have set the [Eternal] always before me [this is what Mr Armstrong was doing. He's saying, he's setting God always before him, there is God's righteousness, that's the goal, that's what we are looking for, and in the subject of joy, that's the joy]: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved [because He's there, I'm not going to be moved, I'm going to be absolutely along those same lines]. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope [even into the future when we will finally die, we will rest in hope waiting for that glory]. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell [sheol]; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." (Psalm 16:8-10)

So he's talking dual here, yes there's David, and yes, there's you or me, but he is also talking about His Holy One being Christ. The concept about three days and three nights in the grave. He wasn't going to go beyond three days and three nights in the grave, because His flesh would have suffered corruption. This is where this concept comes from:

"Thou wilt shew me the path of life [of real, true abundant life "...I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).] "...in thy presence is fulness of joy [that's the kind of joy that we're looking for]; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." (Psalm 16:11)

For eternity, for evermore. For evermore literally means 'to the dimness'. Until you can't see anything in the future. It certainly will be forever.

Now what I talked about last week about the flowing in and the flowing out of God's Spirit, how you've got a pipe and you pour water in one end, and you've got the very Spirit of God coming through prayer and study and so on, and it's flowing out the other end. Another way of looking at this as well, is by breathing. Here I am now, breathing. I breathe in, and then I breathe out, and as I breathe out my words form. The words then convey meaning to you.

Now there's a bit more to it than just that, and if I can point you to a couple of sermons. The first one is one given by Mr Armstrong. This is Unleavened Bread, day one, 6th of April, 1985 on 'Rely on God'. It's about 33 minutes into the sermon. He starts to comment about the spirit in man, or the spirit of man, and he says that in the past he has described it as a marble. You take a marble, you put it in your mouth and swallow it. It's in the man, but not part of the man. And he says, "I don't believe that is right. That concept is not correct. If it's in the man, it's part of the man. Man is a composite being, he's not just physical. {2} He has the spirit of man with that physical as well. Yes, he's physical. He's not an immortal soul in any way, shape, or form, but he mentions in that particular sermon about the fact that there is a composite. There's of a spirit in man, or a spirit of man, that should be regarded with the man, as being part of the man.

And I commented about that in another one I would like to point you to and if you want to listen to it, is Last Great Day, 14th of October, 2006. I gave one about the meaning of the day and called it 'Awakenings'. It's on the website and can be downloaded and listen to. I commented about the concept of the spirit of man as opposed to like a marble in the man.

This is important, because when you are looking at The Last Great Day, what comes up has got to be the same as what went down into the ground. If it's not, then there are certain scriptures that will not fit, because Job says; "...I...myself...and not another..." (Job 19:27) It's not going to be a different individual. It's not going to be a case of the one that actually went into the ground and then you take this marble that was in the man, but not really the man, and then you make something else out of it. It's not really the person that went down into the ground. That's not right. This again, is probably why Mr Armstrong said what he did.

What comes out of the ground, and what went into the ground is the same, because of one thing, and that one thing is the understanding of the word 'nephesh' or 'psuche'. You find 'nephesh' used and translated as 'creature' in Genesis 1. Let's turn back to Genesis 1:20

"And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature..." (Genesis 1:20)

It says in my margin, Hebrew 'soul'. The word is 'nephesh' These are breathing creatures. Even the sharks or anything else out there, breathe through their gills. They are breathing creatures:

"And God created great whales, and every living creature [nephesh] that moveth...[verse 24] And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing..." (Genesis 1:21,24)

Again 'nephesh' being used. So here is this breathing creature and both 'nephesh' and 'psuche' mean, a breathing creature. It is also used for man, because man is also a breathing creature.

But what I want you to notice, and this is the important thing as far as this sermon is concerned, talking about the fruit of the Spirit, and the fruit of the Spirit of joy, and the kind of joy that God has - you see, the problem with the word 'nephesh' is that if you look at it purely as a 'thing', then there are certain problems. Look here in Isaiah 1:14:

"Your new moons and your appointed feasts my [nephesh] hateth..." (Isaiah 1:14)

My soul hates, it's the same word as creature. It's the same word as living soul as far as man is concerned, and it is used here as God. God has a 'nephesh'. If we look over in Isaiah 42:1 there's another one, and there are several others as well that you could turn to.

"Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my [nephesh] delighteth; I have put [my breath] my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." (Isaiah 42:1)

So here again God is shown as having, or being a 'nephesh', of being a breathing creature. How can that be?

Well, again, what I did in the sermon about 'Awakenings' on the Last Great Day; let me say to you the concept, 'she's a good runner'. What am I talking about? She is an athlete, and can run very fast. What about, 'she's a good runner'- it's a train? You can say that. 'She's a good runner', she's running on the tracks. Or, 'she's a good runner'- the car out there. Or, 'she's a good runner' - it's a horse. All of these things are good runners. Yet, one is running on tracks, one on tyres, the other running on two legs and another on four legs. Totally different creatures, some of them not even creatures. Because the word runner is not talking about what it is, but about what it does.

That's the same thing as far as 'nephesh' is concerned. 'Nephesh' means breather. It doesn't talk about what it is, it talks about what it does. It breathes. The reason why I bring it out here, without going into all the ramifications, is because what I brought out in 'Awakenings'. And another, a real, real, real important thing is that when you are looking at Christ, who was one time God, way, way back, who has always been God, with the Father - yet He became flesh. How can God become flesh? Here is this Being, He is not a spook, it says; "God is a Spirit..." (John 4:24). But we also find in Philippians 3:21:

"Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." (Philippians 3:21)

He has a body, He has a Spirit body, He is not a spook. As Christ said "a spirit doesn't have a body that you see Me have, with flesh and bones", as He actually appeared (Luke 24:39). We are getting into an area which we really don't understand and we really can't comprehend. In fact, the apostle John says:

"...it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (I John 3:2)

We will be like Him, and that body that He has is a glorified, resplendent body. We see it mentioned over in Revelation. But that body seems to be, as it says here in Isaiah 42:1, it seems to be the same kind of thing as a breather, like a human being, a breather like a creature. It breathes, but it's Spirit. So what does it breathe? It's got to breathe spirit. It's not getting its energy from air, like we are. We're physical; "...for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 3:19). We are physical, but God isn't, God is Spirit.

Put in your notes, John 4:24 if you want to look at that. "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). So that Spirit body that He has, breathes, as indicated in Isaiah 42. 'My breather'. It is actually referred to as a breather. The same as a creature breathes air, or man breathes air, but also man has a spirit in him. Turn over to Job 32:8:

"But there is a spirit [ruach, Strong's 7307] in man: and the inspiration..." (Job 32:8)

Let's take the word 'inspiration' [Strong's 5397]. And take the word 'expiration'; if you expire, what happens? The air goes out of you and you drop dead, that's basically what happens, you expire. What happens if you inspire? The air, the spirit, the 'ruach' comes into us:

"and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." (Job 32:8)

That word inspiration, by the way, if you go back in Genesis 2:7, it talks about; "...the breath of life..." (Genesis 2:7) That word breath is the same word, the identical word as the word 'inspiration' here. So man doesn't just breathe air, man breathes a breath of man. So he is breathing air for his energy, but he breathes the breath of man for his cognizance. The thing is that we are also designed - turn over to Romans 8:14 - here's where we're going in this:

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God [or the breath of God], they are the sons of God." (Romans 8:14)

You see we don't just breathe air. Air gives us our energy, air gives us our life. That's what the life is, we are a breather, we're a breathing creature, and that gives us our life. But it's not just air, we also breathe the breath of man, the spirit of man. As Mr Armstrong said; he didn't think it should be defined as a marble in the man. It's not that, the two are together, he's breathing both. He's breathing air and he's breathing the breath of man that gives him his cognizance, and these two together - as the breather - when that breather breathes again, even if the body rots and decays and disappears and burns up in a fire, it doesn't make any difference. When that breather breathes again, it's the same individual that comes up. As it says here:

"For as many as are led by the [breath] of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the breath of bondage [I'm putting breath in there because the word 'pneuma' from which we get pneumatic tyre, 'pneuma' which is Spirit in Greek means breath, air, movement of air] again to fear; but ye have received the [breath] of [sonship or making as a son], whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit [so the Spirit of God, the Breath of God, bears witness with our spirit, our breath, our breath of man], that we are the children of God:" (Romans 8:14-16)

So when we're looking at this subject of human joy, we see human joy is something that is purely physical in nature. We eat a steak, we go for a run, we have a physical life, and we enjoy life at the time. But when looking at God, as far as He is concerned, He is breathing His Spirit. It appears to be that He is breathing a Spirit. Not only is He Spirit, but He also breathes the Spirit. He also expresses that Spirit. That Spirit, when you are looking at the fruit of the Spirit, that is coming from that same Breath. This is how it works, it says that:

"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:" (Romans 8:16)

We have the same mind and character as God has. The same thing that empowers God, then is empowering us. It is giving us that same mind, those same qualities. Of what? "...love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance..." (Galatians 5:22-23) These are the qualities that are there, they are coming from that very Spirit of God.

The thing that God is, the thing that God breathes, the thing that God expresses, expires, inspires us, giving us that inspiration of the Almighty. Yes, He gives us that spirit which is a physical man-spirit, but He also has this Holy Spirit. This clean Spirit, that then witnesses with it, to make us children of God, to make us of the same kind of character.

That is where the joy comes from, the real joy. You're not looking at the joy which is physical, you're looking at the joy that God has, that is coming from His very existence. As Mr Armstrong was saying, we are hungering after God's righteousness, that He is continually filled with life, continually filled with joy. There is never a moment when He isn't looking forward into the future in a giving and outgoing way. That is what we are looking at. That's the joy.

You see why I bring this up, because it's not coming from a human source. It's coming from a Godly source. Without the Godly source, you can't have it, it's impossible. There is no fruit of the Spirit that comes from merely the breath of man. The breath of man gives us cognizance. The breath of air gives us life. But you can't get the fruit of the Spirit of God without the Breath of God. That is the heart and core because that's His life, that is what He is: His entire existence

Here am I trying to explain this, something that I don't really understand. Let's face it, where are we now? We're in a womb, we're like children in a womb. How does a child in a womb breathe? He breathes through his bellybutton doesn't he? He's got an umbilical cord that is actually attached there. The mother is doing the breathing for him. The father's genes are actually processing the breath for him, because the father's genes have defined the placenta and the actual breath that is coming into him is not his mother's blood incidently. It's not his mother's blood, his mother's blood is merely the exchange. What is coming into him are the genes that he or she has, coming in through the bellybutton. He breathes in and out totally oblivious, completely, but that's the way it actually comes.

When you look at our own life, and the fact that God's existence is defined as a Spirit. He is also defined as a Breather, or He has a Breather or He exists as a Breather. Again, I'm going into areas I don't understand. I can't nail it down for you. All I can say is, this is what scripture says. Even the apostle John says; we don't really understand. He basically is giving the impression that; "...when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (I John 3:2). And then we will know, until that time, we don't really understand. All we know is that we have this umbilical cord that we are breathing through. We have this Spirit, this contact with the Father. The Father then goes ahead and gives us His Spirit and:

"...witnesses with our spirit, that we are the children of God:" (Romans 8:16)

When we are looking at the subject of joy, we're looking at that subject which is part of God's very righteousness, God's very mind. We are looking at the perfect joy. No pain, always happy, always looking forward, always filled with excitement, and goodness, and righteousness, and holiness, and everything that is right. This is what Mr Armstrong at the end of his life said, hungering and thirsting for that, that is what we need to have a hold of. This subject is certainly part of it.

God's Joy (PLAY FROM 56:35)

So let's have a look at God's Joy, and let's have a look at the qualities of life. Turn over to Luke chapter 10:17, because here it says:

"And the seventy returned [here were these trainee ministers sent out with authority, and they returned with joy], saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name." (Luke 10:17)

So through the authority that God gave them at that time, and that Christ gave them, they were able to cast out demons, and everything was obedient to them, they were able to heal the sick and everything else:

"And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven [He could see how here is the very beginning stages of the Church itself, that will come in the Day of Pentecost, and Satan was going to be cast down]. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy [all the demonic powers]: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding [notice!] in this rejoice not [this is not where it's at, that's not the real point, the fact that you can go out and cast out a demon or you have power over this, that and the other, that's not where it's at], that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." (Luke 10:18-20)

In other words, it is that future Kingdom that is important. That you are sons of God. Eventually - it wasn't at this time - but eventually God's Spirit was going to witness with their spirit that they were sons of God. Their names were written in heaven at that time because they were the ones to form the nucleus of the New Testament Church, and they as the New Testament Church were called and selected by the Father. That is what they had to be joyful about.

There's the real joy because it's an extended thing. It's not short term, it's not just that you're sitting down eating a steak, it's not just that you're working, and you're enjoying planing a piece of wood, or making something, or going for a walk by the beach, or casting out a demon and having the power over a demon. Because that's not where it's at, it's the long term. The fact that you are a child of God, called by God, looking into the long term view of things. This is where God's joy comes from as well, that He's looking in the long term.

Now you can see this in Isaiah 53:1.

"Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the [Eternal] revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him [now I want you to notice what it says here:]. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not." (Isaiah 53:1-3)

This is Jesus Christ now; "...a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief..." (Isaiah 53:3) How can you have somebody who is defined as the Christ - that means the Anointed One, in whom the Spirit has been given without measure (John 3:34) and yet as it says here; 'a man of sorrows' How can you call such an individual a man of sorrows? Well again what you have got to understand is that you have to read around this section, because in the preceeding chapter:

"Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high [that's in the future]. As many were [astonished] at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men [you're looking at the crucifixion, that's the focal point]: So shall [in the future] he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; [in the future] and that which they had not heard shall they consider." (Isaiah 52:13-15)

Then focusing on the crucifixion, it talks about in Isaiah 53:3:

"He is despised and rejected of men...[it goes on verse 5] But he was wounded for our transgressions...[then verse 6] All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the [Eternal] hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:3,5-6)

It is the context of actually the sins being placed on Christ Himself. In John 11 you find how; "Jesus wept." (John 11:35) at Lazarus' funeral. Again He was weeping at what He saw within other human beings. Another one; Luke 19:41, He wept over Jeruslam {3} He saw Jerusalem and He could see into the future, and He therefore wept over it, at other people's misery that He could foresee. But if we go back to Hebrews 12:2 it says:

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith [the One who will finish it, He began it, He actually started the faith that we have, He will also finish it and He will bring us right the way through to the resurrection]; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)

So He therefore could see the joy into the future. Again, this concept when you are looking at God's joy, and remember Christ is God in the flesh. He was the One that said; "...your appointed feasts my soul hateth..." (Isaiah 1:14) My Breather hates, that individual divested Himself of having His life through the Breath of the Spirit, the Spirit of life, but became flesh, actually became changed into flesh. His life therefore came from the physical air that He was breathing. He was the same individual. He wasn't a different individual, He wasn't a spook from somewhere, He was the same individual.

He then went and moved from there and gave us the example of the resurrection, where He became Spirit again. He actually became Spirit. His Life, His Breather, the body that He had, had the power that came in from the Breath of the Spirit. So the life that He had previously and the life that He had afterwards was the same kind of life.

But that time when He was on earth He became flesh. The apostle John goes into this, as a heresy that was going about at that time from Simon Magus, which was saying that Christ couldn't be contaminated with the flesh, therefore He was this theophany that floated around down here. His place was taken by somebody on the crucifixion, and that individual was called Simon, and he happened to be Simon Magus. Even though he was called Simon of Cyrene who actually got crucified for Him, because He couldn't become contaminated. He was this kind of this spook that floated around. That is the philosophy of the Gnostics. It is the philosophy of this heretic, Simon Magus. This long haired hippy that's on the cross is almost certainly Simon Magus himself depicted in that way.

So He became flesh and "...the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him..." (Hebrews 12:2). He looked forward into the life that He was going to have, the Breathing Creature that He was going to be again. That He was going to have Spirit life, able to actually effect, and all things being obedient to Him again, the same way as He was before. This is the very Son of God, and for that He "...endured the cross..." (Hebrews 12:2) He endured misery, He endured a great deal.

We go through our trials and we have our difficulties, but God's joy is a long term view. It's a long term view in that context of the kind of joy, the kind of life, the kind of righteousness that God Himself has. Let's turn over to John 15:1, we see here:

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he [prunes] it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean [the word clean is the same base word as pruned] through the word which I have spoken unto you." (John 15:1-3)

So the Word of God is actually pruning us. You've got the Spirit of God coming in through prayer, study, fasting, meditation. That's the flow in from the contact with the Father. But the pruning of the very Word of God defines the flow out. It defines the breath in - you breathe it in, and as you breathe it out, you breathe it out with; "...love, joy, peace, longsuffering..." (Galatians 5:22) The very Word of God defines it.

"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me [it's impossible to have the fruit of God's Spirit without having been plugged into that vine, that's where it comes from]. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." (John 15:4-8)

That is how you will be my disciples, my students. Why? Because He was God in the flesh. He had come from God. He was returning to God. He was flesh. He was not some spook. He was not some theophany that floated around down here, when He was some kind of trinitarian hypostasis up here somewhere. That is heresy! That is Simon Magus' heresy. That is why Simon Magus reckoned that he was the one that had to go on the cross.

He wasn't like that, He was flesh, and He lived breathing air for His life. He breathed the breath of man for His cognizance. He breathed the Breath of God for His Spiritual understanding, His Spiritual life, so that He could then be resurrected and become the same Being as He was previously.

"Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples [we are students of that process - from being human to being God. That's what the process is, from having a mind that is human, to having a mind that is changed to being God's mind]. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you [that's where it comes from, it comes from abiding in the vine, it's the flow of God's Spirit that allows His joy], and that your joy might be full." (John 15:8-11)

So here is the joy of God that remains in us through the very Spirit of God flowing through us. That your joy - here's the human joy now - so that you can go out and enjoy a beef steak, you can go out and walk on a beach, you can enjoy the Feast, you can do all the physical things and have the physical enjoyment and that can be full. Why? Because you've got the other side sorted as well. The spiritual and the physical go hand in glove.

You enjoy the physical - enjoy going out on your skateboard, going out on your Purple Muddy Fox. You can do all these things, but it's in the context of another joy, which is a Godly joy. It's a context of an outgoing mindset. It's God's righteousness. It's the kind of abundance that Mr Armstrong was hungering and thirsting for, and said that, "Look, this is something we need to get our minds on. This is something we need to be concentrating on."" He did that just very shortly before he died.

So here we see that; "These things have I spoken unto you..." (John 15:11). These things being; get yourself plugged into the vine. Get that flow of God's Spirit intact, both the flow in and the flow out. It's something like a breath. It's the same kind of breathing that God the Father and Jesus Christ actually do. If that is right, and the flow in and the flow out is there, then as it says here:

"These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." (John 15:11)

So that the human joy, yes human now and going on into the future - right into the very eternity itself as children of God - may be absolutely brim full, running over, pressed down, in a way that we all want, but we don't always have. Turn over to John 16:19:

"Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me [a little while and He is going to die, and a little while and He is going to be resurrected]? Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy [because you are going forward, and you will suddenly start to see all the bits of the puzzle start to fall into place]. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world." (John 16:19-21)

This was a process. This was about to happen. He was going to die, but He was also going to be resurrected as the very Son of The Living God, as the First Born Son of the Living God, giving us the example, leading the way:

"And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you [you will see this process of becoming the very sons of God]. And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." (John 16:22-24)

"...that your joy may be full." (John 16:24) "I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). Mr Armstrong was talking about hungering and thirsting after God's righteousness. Turn over to I John 1:1, looking at this same concept, here is this Being who was breathing Spirit as far as we can gather, with a body that everything was subject to. Had abundant joy, total joy, and everything that was good, totally righteous, filled with excitement and everything that is worthwhile:

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;" (I John 1:1)

Of the Logos of life. This Individual that became flesh, that actually divested Himself of this Breathing Spirit and became a breather that breathed air, and breathed air for His life. That's what he's saying. Look, we've seen this chap, we've actually handled Him. We've laid beside Him eating. We've slept out in the hills and we've walked the hills and we've talked to Him:

"(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)" (I John 1:2)

"...I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) This is the kind of life. This is the righteousness, God's righteousness that Mr Armstrong said we've got to be thirsting and hungering for. Total joy, total abundance, total righteousness, totally holy, completely filled with everything that is good, that is right:

"That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you [notice, that's what John was declaring, that's what he was passing on, the Word that came from this individual], that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ [so there's your Family of God, we are able to have fellowship with them]. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." (I John 1:3-4)

There's the fullness of joy, that's the fullness. When we have that, it doesn't matter what is being thrown at us. It doesn't matter what may come along. Remember what it says in Hebrews: "...for the joy that was set before him..." (Hebrews 12:2). You're looking forward into the future. He was able to endure the shame and to put the present circumstances into their rightful context. So even though He was; "...a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief..." (Isaiah 53:3). He was still filled with Godly joy; "...for the joy that was set before him..." (Hebrews 12:2). He still was able to go through those kind of experiences as well with the same kind of frame of mind because He was God in the flesh. Here in II Corinthians 3:15 notice it says:

"But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it [their heart] shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face [we're not trying to hide something, we're not trying to say one thing, but really mean something else, we're open before God] beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are [being] changed into the same image from glory to glory [from the glory that Christ had when He was resurrected into the glory that we will also have when resurrected], as by the Spirit of the Lord." (II Corinthians 3:15-18)

So the very Spirit of God is transforming, is changing us. It's changing the kind of joy that we have from merely physical joy into a Godly form of joy. It changes from human love to a Godly form of "...love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness..." (Galatians 5:22) All these qualities are no longer human. They are being shifted across to a Godly form of all these qualities. II Corinthians 4:1:

"Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty [why? Because we have got an open face before this glass, we can look into the Word of God, we can allow the spirit of God to show us what we are really like], not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God [giving everybody else the help and encouragement to go ahead and do the same]. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." (II Corinthians 4:1-4)

Because that is what we are looking at. We are looking at this change as it says in the previous chapter- as an open face - we are looking at the change taking place from being human to being God.

"For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ [we are looking at this face in the mirror, with an open face, and seeing that we're changing from being ourselves to being a brother or a sister of Christ]. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels [we are breathing air, we also breathe the breath of man, giving us cognizance and that witnesses with the Breath of God, that gives us the very Spirit of God, the understanding of God], that the excellency of the power [there's the Spirit of God now] may be of God, and not of us. [And this is the evidence of it:] We are troubled on every side [the word literally means crowded, with all these things pressing on us on every side], yet we are not distressed..." (II Corinthians 4:5-8)

Why? Because we have this Godly joy, like Christ; "...who for the joy that was set before him endured...the shame..." (Hebrews 12:2) He was described as; "...a man of sorrows..." (Isaiah 53:3) but He still had the Godly joy there.

"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair [we don't always understand what is happening, but it doesn't ever go to despair]; Persecuted, but not forsaken [we have persecution from various sources, but we are not forsaken]; cast down, but not destroyed [we have our problems, we have our days of despondency, but we are not destroyed, we have got a view which is different]; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus [as we go through our life, we have the sacrifice of Christ which has been offered for us], that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body." (II Corinthians 4:8-10)

So that the same kind of life that Christ had as a human being, God in the flesh, is the same kind of life that we have as a human being - God in the flesh. That's what it's all about. Therefore, when we are looking at God's joy, that's where it comes from. That's where it's got to come from.

Everlasting Joy (PLAY FROM 1:22:50)

We are looking forward into everlasting joy. As we mentioned in John 10:10 it's life more abundantly, it's eternal life. Turn over to Isaiah 35:10, and it says:

"And the ransomed of the [Eternal] shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads..." (Isaiah 35:10)

Notice, it's everlasting joy. It's not just the joy of the dance, it's not just the joy of the beef steak, or the Chardonnay or the Riesling or whatever it is. It's the "...everlasting joy [that will be] upon their heads..." (Isaiah 35:10) Why? Because they have; "...come to Zion..." (Isaiah 35:10). They have come to the Church. It is the resurrected Spirit beings that have been created in the image of their elder brother.

"...they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." (Isaiah 35:10)

There's the context, the context is a Spiritual joy that is there. Turn over to Isaiah 51:11:

"Therefore the redeemed of the [Eternal] shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away." (Isaiah 51:11)

It repeats it again. Another one, Isaiah 61:7:

"For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them." (Isaiah 61:7)

It is something that is going to go on. You go over to Isaiah 65:17, it says, notice the context:

"For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem [this is New Jerusalem] a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying." (Isaiah 65:17-19)

It is for an everlasting joy; "...for the joy that was set before him - and this is the joy that was set before Him - He endured the shame..." (Hebrews 12:2) And for the joy that is set before us, that we are cast down, but we know we are not forsaken, and all the other qualities we read over in II Corinthians 3:8-9.

It means that, as it talks about in Malachi 4:2, how we will be; "...as calves of the stall." (Malachi 4:2) I have mentioned several times before when calves are in the stall, and they are kept all the way through the winter in the stall, and then released in the springtime. It is absolute joy to go out and see them. You've seen lambs bouncing around? Well, here are three-quarter ton bullocks that are also doing the same. You stand well clear as they come out of the stall. They leap and they bound and they kick and tear round the field. They go absolutely berserk because they have been in all winter. It says that we are going to be like that. We are going to be similar to that. We are going to be zooming up and zooming down.

When I go on a plane, and I see the clouds down below us, it goes through my mind that, we will eventually, be able to be discussing something around people during the Millennium. And say; "Look hang on a minute, I want to talk to someone." And we go up 35,000 feet and have a chat and come back down again, and then continue the conversation. Or perhaps move sideways, or however it works.

We are going to have this kind of joy and it will be an everlasting joy in this New Jerusalem and the joy of God and His people. This Individual who wrote this is Jesus Christ. He is the One who became Christ. He is the One who divested Himself and became a human being and then became the resurrected Christ.

If we just turn over to Habakkuk 3:16. This passage is the context of the returning Christ, and the chaos that will be on the world. All of chapter three is the blues, it's the blues about the destruction and devastation that there will be in the earth when Christ returns:

"When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops [he could see into the future, he could see the chaos that was going to be there]. Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines [there will still be seed time and harvest because of the promise to Noah about that, but at that time there will be such chaos that the vines are not going to be fruiting properly, the fig tree is not going to be bearing fruit]; the labour of the olive shall fail [there is going to be problems with the olive harvest and the various harvests around the world], and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:" (Habakkuk 3:16-17)

So the actual animals themselves are going to be killed in many of these plagues and problems that are going to be on the earth. Yet within all of this it says:

"Yet I will rejoice in the [Eternal, looking forward into what He is doing] I will joy in the God of my salvation [my rescue, that is where the joy comes from, he could see the plan of God unfolding, he puts the chaos he is actually experiencing in the context, and we find ourselves today is the same way]. The [Eternal] God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to [leap or tread] upon mine high places [the hills]. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments." (Habakkuk 3:18-19)

So here again, Habakkuk is writing and joying in the salvation. Looking forward into the future. Jude verse 24, just before the Revelation, he ends his book, this one chapter that he leaves us with:

"Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling [this is where our strength comes from, this is where we have got to look, this is where our joy comes from, this is what we have got to hold onto], and to present you faultless [there's the long term joy. Enjoy your beef steak, enjoy the walk along the beach, but remember that these things are temporary] before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour [our Rescuer], be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." (Jude :24-25)


Footnotes:

{1} Taken from 'Hungering For God's Righteousness', 11 June 1983 by Mr H W Armstrong.

{2} Taken from 'Rely On God', 6 April 1985 by Mr H W Armstrong.

{3} Mr Bowles mentions John 19:41 instead of Luke 19:41.