Sermon given 23 November 2013

Why Christ Came - Part 4

by Jon Bowles


So we now come to the final point in this series I've been giving on 'Why Jesus Came'. It has been taken from 'Mystery of the Ages' page 216 and Mr Armstrong mentioned:

"Jesus did not come to save Satan's world while Satan sits on the throne deceiving them. Jesus will save the world at his Second Coming, when Satan shall be put away. Why, then, did Jesus come more than 1,900 years ago? Not to rule, not to reign over all nations, not to save the world while Satan still rules over them." 'Mystery of the Ages'

He brought out five points that he highlighted, that deal with this particular question. The first one was to qualify, specifically to replace Satan. Secondly to announce the Kingdom of God, the future establishment of the Kingdom of God and He came into Galilee preaching the good news of the Kingdom. Thirdly to take on the penalty of our sins by His death on the cross, so that we can share in the world that will be coming. And fouthly to be resurrected from the dead, to make God-Life possible by that resurrection.

We finally come to the fifth point that he mentions and that is; to establish God's Church to be trained and to rule under Him. So it's not just a case of establishing God's Church, but He highlights the focal point of the reason for that Church to be there. And that is to be trained, that is not just to be trained generally, it is to be trained to rule under Him specifically, under Him.

So I really want to ask the question how? How does He go ahead and train God's Church to be ready to be ruling under Him when He actually returns? What is He doing? How is He doing it? There are five areas I want to go into:

1. I want to remind all of us about the fact that the Firstfruits, the Church at this present time, is a part - a vital part of God's plan. So I want to go into that just a little bit, just the fact that it is a vital part. Without the plan of God you are completely at sea to understanding the reason for the Church.

2. I want to talk about the reason for that plan. The reason why we are being trained at this present time, is to become king-priests. Kings and priests to reign with Jesus Christ. The indication is that because it's the order of Melchizedek, and He is the High Priest, the king-priests also are going to be of the order of Melchizedek. So they are king-priests, they are both kings and priests. Melchizedek was both a King of Salem and a Priest of the Most High God, so the king-priests.

3. In order to be that we need the character of God, that is what is necessary. In order to be able to do that, to develop that character within us, Jesus Christ didn't just come way back when, and then left the Church to its own devices. This is what people tend to lose sight of; particularly today, quite frankly. Jesus Christ has not gone way off somewhere He is; "...the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." (Hebrews 13:8). He remains the head of His Church.

4. So Jesus Christ remains an active High-Priest as far as the Church of God is concerned. The way in which He does act, the way in which He actually leads the Church is through the Spirit of God.

5. Those that are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. We do need to be led by that Spirit of God, and obedient to that High-Priest who is the Living Word of God. The Living Word of God as understood through the very Spirit of God through which it was originally given.

God's Plan (PLAY FROM 03:56)

So if we are going to have a look at this vital part of God's Plan, let's turn initially to the point where the Church came into being. In Acts 1:6 here is Christ about to leave and be taken back up into heaven;

"When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6)

Now they saw the Kingdom of God as the establishment of the Kingdom that was understood from Daniel's time and the Messiah was there to establish His Kingdom. It was the literal Kingdom that was going to be ruling over the earth. As I have pointed out before what they didn't really grasp, and what the Jews certainly didn't grasp, was that it was an everlasting Kingdom. Therefore, flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. But they were saying; "...Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6). In the Millennium that will be the case. Acts 1:7:

"And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power [that particular judgment period when Christ will return, that is in the Father's power entirely]. But ye shall receive power [the power that is going to be given to the Church], after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:7-8)

So that power is going to allow them to be witnesses of what they have actually seen when Christ was alive, and what they had seen while spending the time with Him. If we go to Acts 2:1, we find that power actually coming:

"And when the day of Pentecost [notice they had to wait in Jerusalem until a specific time, the Day of Pentecost, also well known as the Day of Firstfruits, and it is to do with the harvest time; so when we are looking at parts of God's Plan it is the first harvest, which we go through this every year on the Day of Pentecost] was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting." (Acts 2:1-2)

Can you imagine you've been down in the Philippines recently and you talk about a mighty rushing wind, yeah, 200 mile an hour hurricane/typhoon. Can you actually see it? You can't actually see the wind, but boy can you ever see what it's doing. You can see what is being blown about. You can't see the wind itself, but you can hear it. In the same way, it mentions over in John 3:8 so is everyone is born of the Spirit, you can't see them. They are spirit beings and that spirit being is going to be able to do and accomplish. Unless he manifests himself, you are not going to be able to see him.

The word 'pneuma', Strong's G4151, is used for Spirit, and the word for breath. It is the same word we get 'pneumatic' from, pneumatic tyre, or pneumatic drill. They are being powered by the drill, pumping up the tyre with the air. So this mighty rushing wind was the sound that they heard when they were imbued with this particular power, because it is the power of the Holy Breath, the Holy Wind, the Holy Power. It is not just a tranquil thing by any stretch. Acts 2:3:

"And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy [Pneuma] Spirit, and began to speak with other [languages], as the Spirit gave them utterance." (Acts 2:3-4)

Now notice what He said. He said; " shall be witnesses unto me...unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8). How are they going to do that? Through the mouth. So what was actually happening? Well, they began to speak with other languages they would actually communicate with people. What was empowering that was the Spirit of God, the Breath of God was empowering them. This was the beginning of the Church in a spectacular way. The Breath of God was empowering them. Acts 2:5:

"And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language [this Holy Breath, this Holy Air, this Holy Spirit was actually empowering them to speak and as they spoke all the other audience would hear in their own particular language]. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes," (Acts 2:5-10)

They all heard in their own language. So that witness, through the very Spirit of God, the message would get through. That is basically what it's saying. It is interesting as well, when you are looking at this particular section, notice in Acts 2:13:

"Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine." (Acts 2:13)

You think why? Why were some amazed listening to them in their own language, and others say; "Ah, they're just babbling?" Because some understood and some didn't. Turn over to Acts 2:37:

"Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do [these people understood, these people realized what the problem was]? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit [the Holy Breath, the empowerment]. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." (Acts 2:37-39)

So there is a calling necessary. Turn back to Psalm 19:1, because it is interesting when you compare it with something else that the Creator has done, also teaching in all kinds of different languages:

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork [you and I can go out and look up at the stars and be in awe of what we see, and somebody over in Africa can go out and look at the stars and also be equally in awe, speaking a totally different language from you or I]. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard [you aren't dependent on language, you can go out and look at what is there]. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world..." (Psalm 19:1-4)

So they can go out and look at the sky in any language. The same way this Holy Spirit empowered them to give a witness. It doesn't matter what language is being used, the witness is the same. The witness was the hope for the Kingdom of God. The hope for the very Government of God, the very Family of God, and that message, that witness is going to go out regardless of the language involved. Yet some say; "Oh, that's babbling." Some thought the witness wasn't going to go out to them - not yet, because there is a certain order to this. The establishment of the Church is a vital part of God's Plan, but it is an overall Plan for the salvation of all mankind, not just for the Church. The Church is merely a part of that. It is interesting here in Psalm 19:7 it goes on and says:

"The law of the [Eternal] is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the [Eternal] is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the [Eternal] are right, rejoicing the heart [anyone who understands those, it doesn't matter what language they are in, the Law of God, the Torah, the Way of God, the Mind of God speaks to the heart. It doesn't matter what language you read it in]: the commandment of the [Eternal] is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the [Eternal] is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the [Eternal] are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold..." (Psalm 19:7-10)

He goes on highlighting the spiritual aspects within this Psalm, saying you can go out in any language and look up at the sky. It doesn't matter what language you use. In a similar way, the spiritual aspects also. When you really understand the spiritual aspects, it doesn't matter what language you speak, you still understand them in the same way.

Now the vital part of God's Plan.As I said, some of them couldn't understand, but those that could, got it. Those that could, their eyes were open, they could see and they are drafted; "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you... [Verse 19] ...I have chosen you out of the world..." (John 15:16,19). And the classic one is; "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44). But here in Ephesians 1:9 it says:

"Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in [or heavenly offices, the heavenlies], and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being [notice] predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:" (Ephesians 1:9-11)

So there is a predestination. The calling was something that was predestined. It doesn't mean that they are predestined to make it, but they are predestined to be called. There is going to be a certain type of individual called, and that particular individual has got to be fitting within the plan. It is all part of the Plan of God. Ephesians 1:12:

"That we [Jews] should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye [Gentiles] also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise [this Holy Breath, sealed], Which is the earnest [down payment] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." (Ephesians 1:12-14)

Eventually we are going to be empowered. Just as we breathe air now for our life, eventually we are going to breathe Spirit for our life, for our existence. The Spirit will empower us as Spirit Beings to give us life. It is the Spirit of Life, completely. How will we actually breathe it in and breathe it out? Or, will it pour through us? I would imagine it is going to pour to some degree, but we will be empowered however it will work.

Those that are destined for the Church are drafted. They are predestined for that. So you and I have been predestinated. We have been predestined to fulfill the job that is necessary. Over in Romans 11:13, we see the same kind of thing, the same basic message coming through here. Remember, the Holy Spirit came, empowering the Church, giving them the ability to witness in all the world of what they had actually been seeing, and it came on the Day of Pentecost, the Day of Firstfruits:

"For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit [that is the Gentiles and the Jews that are in the Church now] be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches." (Romans 11:13-16)

It is coming from the same source. Ultimately we are all going to have access to that Spirit of God, so all the people that we have as friends out in the world, or enemies, out in the world, will have the same access eventually, to that Spirit of God. It is just that part of the plan is for us to have access first. We are therefore, the Firstfruit that is Holy, and we have got to be Holy. That is part and parcel of the purpose of the Church. It talks about how; "...the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever." (Daniel 7:18). The word for 'saints' there is Holy Ones. Notice what 'saint' means; it is the same as the Holy One, like 'hagios pneuma' or 'pneuma hagios' depending on which way round the different usages of it are. {1} Romans 11:17:

"And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou [Gentiles], being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree [Israel]; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee." (Romans 11:17-18)

So let's make sure we understand where this Spirit is coming from. It is not something you are given at baptism, and then bottled up. Those that had the Spirit, this mighty power, this rushing wind that came, and the flames of fire. That had to be continued. It was something that flowed, it flowed into them, and empowered them and allowed them to go ahead and speak in tongues. But if they just dismissed it, and never went and got on their knees and prayed to God, and didn't do any amount of meditation and study of the Word of God, that would have gone, that would have left. Undoubtedly some of them, whether there were any of the hundred and twenty or not, I'm not sure, but some of those that have been maybe baptized, maybe some of them did. Some of them perhaps did lose it later on. It has to be maintained. It is something that flows in and flows out.

That is what the identifying sign, of the Church of God is. Those that are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. They are the sons of God and being led by the Spirit of God, would then give us; "...the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit..." (Romans 5:5). There is your love between brethren that John mentioned as an identifying sign. This is one of the fruits; love, joy, peace, longsuffering. It is the fruit coming from this Spirit, but the Spirit itself is so crucial. This is what being led by that Spirit is; what makes us a child of God, what allows us to be part of the very Family of God.

It is interesting as far as Firstfruits are concerned, as it is mentioned here; "For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy..." (Romans 11:16). It also talks about the 144,000 in Revelation 14, being at least part of the firstfruits. They are firstfruits to God. But as far as we can see, they are only part of that group.

king-priests (PLAY FROM 20:30)

What are they training for? What in fact is the vital part of God's Plan? It is to be trained as part of the very Plan of God. Yes, it's a vital part of the plan; but what are we being trained for? Well, the training is a vital part for a particular group of people:

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." (John 6:37)

So Christ is then going to work with each individual that the Father gives Him. He is giving them for a purpose. The purpose is to become king-priests, that's the purpose. Notice who is doing the calling, John 6:39:

"And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." (John 6:39)

So when that trumpet blast sounds and the end of this present age occurs, they will be raised. That is the will of the Father, and given to Christ for that purpose, to be ready to take their role as king-priests after the order of Melchizedek. So in John 6:44 it says:

"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up [the one that has been drawn by the Father] at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God [this is the purpose of it, the teaching, being trained within the Church ready to be king-priests at the Last Day]. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." (John 6:44-45)

How did John describe Jesus Christ in this particular gospel of John? Well, basically he described Him as the Word of God, the Logos. Even here in John 6:60 if you notice it says:

"Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? [Verse 63] It is the spirit that [makes alive]; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:60,63)

There is the thing that makes the difference. It is the Word of God - coming from where? Coming from the Spirit of God. It is the Spirit that empowers that Word. As I said, you have the miracle that occurred that everybody heard in their own language. It was empowering the apostles to speak in such a way that everybody could hear in their own language, and empowering them in such a way that they could then take that message out to the entirety of the earth. John 6:64:

"But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him." (John 6:64-66)

Similar to the case of the individuals who reckoned; "Oh they are on new wine." It made no sense to them, there was no sense being made. But to the majority it seems that they were hearing the apostles at that time. There were many, in the thousands, five thousand anyway. They understood it in their own language. John 6:67:

"Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." (John 6:67-68)

How did he get that information? Because his mind was open. The Spirit was only working with him at that time, but his mind was in fact open to that Power that was working with him.

In being a king-priest, it says; "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." Revelation (5:10). These creatures around the throne of God; they were actually transmitting the odours that were coming up as the prayers. We have been made unto our God kings and priests. That is what we have been fashioned as, that is what we are being trained for.

Another one is; "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left." (Isaiah 30:21). That is interesting the way it uses the term the 'way', Strong's H1870. It is not the word Torah, but the word Torah is for the Law whenever you see the word Law mentioned. It is not a mistranslation. But it's not a very good translation of the word Torah. Torah comes from the word 'yarah', Strong's H3384, which means to point or to shoot for something. It is pointing and shooting. It is the Way, it is the direction that we need to go. Therefore, that Way, or this Way, that is mentioned in Acts all the time is talking about the Torah in a spiritual sense. It is the Torah, the Way, according to the Spirit of God, understood in Spirit and in truth.

The reason for that, is so that we can become kings; "And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:" (Deuteronomy 17:18). The kings had to write the law, the entirety of Deuteronomy certainly. They had to read from it every single day of their life thereafter, because they were the ones administering the Government of God. So we too, are going to have to use the Law, the Torah, The Way of God, The Way God thinks and apply it in His Government as kings.

The priests; "For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Eternal of hosts." (Malachi 2:7). The Law of God is to be found in his mouth. It is the Torah that is being taught by the Priesthood. We are the ones who are going to have to be teaching that. We will have to be teaching that Way. Another thing as kings and priests, something that we are to become, in Ephesians 2:18, we find:

"For through him we both [Jew and Gentile] have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye [Gentiles] are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints [the Holy Ones], and of the household of God [we are all in this together is what Paul is saying, all going in the same direction, to become king-priests; he defines it in a different way]; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord [we have become the very temple, why the temple?]: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." (Ephesians 2:18-22)

That was where the very Word of God came from. It was between the cherubim. When we read the Book of Deuteronomy or we read the Book of Leviticus. Where did that tend to come from? Almost all of it came from the voice that came from between the cherubim in the tabernacle at that particular time. In a similar way, the temple is the dwelling place of God. In the dwelling place of God, through the Spirit of God dwelling within you and me and all of us that are baptized. That Spirit flows through us. It should be flowing in and flowing out also.

It is interesting, while we are here, notice something else. There is another simile that is being used. It says in Ephesians 1:22, just cross out the italics things and to be because they are not in the original:

"And hath put all...under his feet, and gave him [Jesus Christ]...the head over the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." (Ephesians 1:22-23)

That is really an arranged marriage when you think about it. It is the Father, that has this daughter in you and I, as the collective Church; that gives His Son to that daughter-in-law to be. He is given to the Church. We find that concept expanded upon on over in Ephesians 5:23:

"For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body [we are not just going to be king-priests, we are going to be king-priests as part of the very bride of Christ, as part of the very wife of Christ for eternity, a temple of God where the Spirit of God dwells]. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word," (Ephesians 5:23-26)

So what has Christ come for? He came to establish the Church. There is more than just establishing the Church, it is establishing the Church to be trained, and to rule under Him. It is that training to rule under Him which is so vitally important. The way He does it, is with the washing of water by the Word. He prepares each of us individually as part of the collective Church. The Church is eventually going to marry Christ as the bride of Christ. Ephesians 5:27:

"That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." (Ephesians 5:27)

Each part, each particle, each individual part of that Church is to be Holy, Saints. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48). That is impossible humanly. It's not just being a good human. A good human isn't good enough. You have got to become converted to become God. That is what has to happen. It has got to be; "...the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit..." (Romans 5:5), through the pouring of the Holy Spirit. It is the mighty rushing wind that came on the Day of Pentecost, the Day of Firstfruits, that is going to continue on right the way through into eternity. Ephesians 5:28:

"So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church." (Ephesians 5:28-32)

So we see this analogy, it's more than an analogy, it's type and antitype. It is marriage, which is the type of the future marriage. It is not the other way around. Future marriage isn't the type of our marriages. Our marriages are the type of the future marriages. Because that future marriage is the one that is going to last for eternity. We see it brought out, if you turn over to Psalm 45:6, this is quite a moving Psalm:

"Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever [talking about verses 2-5, not about a human king but about Jesus Christ; it is an eternal, everlasting kingdom]: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows [this is talking about the Christ, the Messiah; in that context it says in verse 9]. Kings' daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir." (Psalm 45:6-7,9)

So again; if this is Jesus Christ The Messiah, who is the queen standing at His side, but the Church? Psalm 45:10:

"Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear [here's God talking to the Church that the Father has given Christ to; so they can be all in all, He says]; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him. And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour." (Psalm 45:10-12)

So literally the Church is going to be there, and the daughters of Tyre, the commercial capital of the world at that particular time. The commercial undertaking of the world will in fact intreat the favour of the Church. Psalm 45:13:

"The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace. Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth. I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever." (Psalm 45:13-17)

So you are looking here again at an eternal kingdom. You are looking here at an eternal queen, an everlasting queen, and that is the Church. So this office as ing-priest, you also see as part of the Temple, you also see as the bride. Turn over to Revelation 19:7 and we find this role as the bride of Christ:

"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints [the training is to have this righteousness, washed with the waters of the Word; having a queen that is righteous, decked in complete righteousness and reigning in righteousness]. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. [Verse 11] And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war." (Revelation 19:7-9,11)

If you go back to Psalm 45 sometime and read the entire Psalm, this really reflects exactly these verses here in Revelation. Revelation 19:13:

"And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. [Verse 16] And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KING AND LORD OF LORDS." (Revelation 19:13-14,16)

Then in Revelation 20:1, you find that Satan is therefore put away for a thousand years and cast into the abyss and then Revelation 20:4:

"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This [resurrection, the ones that lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years] is the first resurrection." (Revelation 20:4-5)

" No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44). This is the first resurrection, this is the purpose, this is the reason for our existence. The reason why the Church has been established. To be trained to rule under Him as Kings and Priests. As Revelation 20:6 says:

"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." (Revelation 20:6)

There's your purpose. That is the purpose of the Church. That purpose is to become king-priests. That is what the Church is doing. That is the purpose of the Church, to train the king-priests. That is why you and I are here. That is what the Church is here for.

Developing Godly Character (PLAY FROM 38:19)

Now a vital area of that is to have the very character of God. As I mentioned; "And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him." (Daniel 7:27). It talks about the Saints, these Holy Ones, who will inherit the Kingdom. That Kingdom will be an everlasting Kingdom; "...flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God..." (I Corinthians 15:50) but the saints, the holy ones, the ones that are doing righteousness. As it says; "And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." (Revelation 19:8). The character of God. It has to be built within each of us individually so that we can take on that role as being righteous king-priests. Kings after the order of Melchizedek. As it says in Matthew 5:48:

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)

Another scripture you can put down in your notes is Matthew 16:27:

"...and then he shall reward every man according to his works." (Matthew 16:27)

So the character of God is vital. Another one is; " And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." (Revelation 22:12). It says the same thing, that we are rewarded by our works. Turn over to Luke 19:11 We find here the parable that Christ gives that describes the work that we have got to do. Our reward is according to our works. It says:

"And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear [it wasn't going to immediately appear]. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return." (Luke 19:11)

That is what Christ had to do. He had to go, and He will return; "... in like manner as ye have seen him go..." (Acts 1:11). As the angel said to the apostles when He actually left the Mount of Olives. He was going to return to the Mount of Olives in the future. Luke 19:13:

"And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy [use] till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities." (Luke 19:13-17)

Now what have we been given? What have you and I been given? We have been given our physical life. We have been given the knowledge and understanding of the Word of God, an illumination of that, and we have also been given access to His Holy Spirit. From that access to the Holy Spirit, from that Word of God that directs us, and certainly from the Law of God, the Torah, The Way, the pointing, we should actually be able to generate a life that is going in a certain direction, which is living a certain way.

That certain way of life, is what we can make of it. We have been given so much and we have to make something of it. We are going to use what we have been given to make something of that life. The reward, or what we are trying to make of our life, is not physical, not carnal, not fleshly. Yes, it involves fleshly things and how we use them; but the criteria is spiritual. How are we going to make best use of the things we have been given so that we are ready to become king-priests in a better way?

"And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow [if that was the way you think I was, if that was the case]: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him." (Luke 19:18-26)

He loses out completely. We have got to produce fruit. What kind of fruit? The fruit of the Spirit of God. We have been given the Spirit of God, and the Word of God. We have been given a physical life. Putting those three things together and producing fruit is what is involved. Luke 19:27:

"But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me." (Luke 19:27)

You find this, that Christ when He returns He will put to death. You know, there will be bodies heaped in the street according to Psalm 110:6. So if you look here at the parable of the pounds, that Holy Spirit has got to actually produce something. It has to produce the character. That character has got to reflect the mind of God. It has got to be the way God thinks, and the ability to actually administer that Way of God.

Turn over to John 10:9. The administration of that Word of God, the administration of that Spirit of God, that was given to Christ without measure, produces something. Here it says what it produces:

"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and [and this is very important] that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:9-10)

It is an abundant life that is necessary. It is having that Spirit of God. It is having that Word of God, and then producing the fruit of God which gives us an abundant life. Getting on with life, making that life actually productive. The abundance is not just limited to our door, it is to all we come in contact with, everybody we come in contact with. How much love? How much joy? How much peace? How much longsuffering? How much gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance? These are the qualities that are necessary. It comes from a combination of the Spirit with the Word of God, which defines the way we live. We live; " every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4). The Word of God defines it. The hebrew word 'yarah', Strong's 3384, meaning pointing, the Way that is necessary. It is combined with the physical life we have been given. So it is combining those three things together to produce a certain character. That character is a life that is more abundant.

Turn over a couple of pages to John 15:1. We find Christ describing this process, this character of God that is being produced, which you and I have got to have, ready to be king-priests to be able to produce that abundant life within those that we are reigning over in the future. That's why the ones that we are reigning over in the future, according to how we do in this life, we will be rewarded according to our works, according to how we do. Here it says:

"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 [pruned; Strong's G2508 meaning cleanse, prune, purge, where we get catharsis from] through the word which I have spoken unto you." (John 15:1-3)

As I say, we have the Word of God, and we have the knowledge and understanding of God. That therefore, allows us to see what shouldn't be within our life, what shouldn't be there, and therefore is being pruned off. John 15:4:

"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." (John 15:4)

Be plugged into the Vine. The Holy Spirit isn't a static thing. It flows, it has to flow in and flow out. It flowed into those individuals on the Day of Pentecost, the Day of Firstrfruits, and flowed out of them when they were actually speaking to people. John 15:5:

"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." (John 15:5-6)

We found that over in Luke in the parable of the pounds. The one that didn't do anything with what he had been given. Again, it's not us working ever so hard to be super righteous. It is us working ever so hard to make sure we stay plugged into the Vine; if we are plugged into the Vine, then we have the power of the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. John 15:7:

"If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you [ask for the help necessary to produce the fruit, to go ahead and have what is necessary there; verse 16]. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." (John 15:7,16)

That fruit is going to be generated. What is the fruit of the Spirit? The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance" (Galatians 5:22-23). Those nine qualities give you the fruit that is necessary. It is in the context of John 14:16, the preceding chapter:

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive..." (John 14:16-17)

So, it is talking in the context of the Spirit of God; but in that context he is talking about the fruit being generated by that Spirit of God.

Interestingly if you turn over to II Peter 3:18. A lot of people try and misquote this particular passage, but it is really very much the case that we need to be growing:

"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge..." (II Peter 3:18)

People end it there many times and say we need to grow in grace and knowledge; therefore, we are going to change this of Mr Armstrong's, and that of Mr Armstrong's, and the other of Mr Armstrong's. It is taken completely out of context. It doesn't say just grow in grace and knowledge. II Peter 3:18 doesn't say that, it says:

"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." (II Peter 3:18)

The context of it is that, as it says in II Peter 3:15:

"And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness [within that context of hanging on to the truth as delivered to you]. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." (II Peter 3:15-18)

It is the way Christ would live; if He was in the flesh in your place, doing the kind of work that you do, having the kind of marriage that you have, having the kind of children that you have, having the kind of grandchildren that you have, in this particular situation that you're in, how would He act? What would He do? What would be different? That is the; "grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ..." (II Peter 3:18). It is to do with the character of God, because He was God in the flesh. Again, the context of the entirety of II Peter, if you go back to II Peter 1:3 notice it says:

"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things [what is the divine power? The Holy Spirit, the Holy Breath] that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature..." (II Peter 1:3-4)

That divine nature then goes on for eternity. That divine nature is the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. It is a life that produces fruit, a life that therefore can be used by God in the future. Saying; "Okay, you're going to be a king-priest in the future. Based on this, you have been given a pound of the Spirit of God, of the Word of God with the physical life that you happen to be in, and you have the kind of character that has been built there and you have allowed the trials to go ahead and build that character in the same way that Christ would were He there living that same kind of life." That is really part of the training.

Our Active High Priest (PLAY FROM 53:56)

Now in helping us in that training turn over to Hebrews 4:11. When we look at why did Christ come? Well He came to establish God's Church, to be trained to rule under Him in the future, obviously. But here Jesus Christ - it isn't just what happened in the world; they think that Christ died and then He was resurrected and then He went to heaven and there He stays, and that's it. We therefore have our synods, or whatever has this voting procedure, and we all basically bicker and fight and we therefore come up with our own ideas and whatever we happen to have on the agenda at that particular time. That's not the way it works.

Christ, although, yes He went to heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father. Again; " "...until I make thine enemies thy footstool." (Psalm 110:1) . That particular Psalm is quoted over, and over, and over again throughout the Book of Hebrews, which is about the position of Jesus Christ:

"Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest [going into that Millennial rest], lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick [living], and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." (Hebrews 4:11-13)

Notice, what we have to do. Christ has not gone way off. The fact that the Church is shattered at the moment; and the fact that Christ is on the outside of the Church knocking, in the case of Laodecia, doesn't mean to say He has gone way off. He is still the head of the Church, and we still need to recognize that. Hebrews 4:14:

"Seeing then that we have [right now, present tense] a great high priest, that is passed into [through, is a better translation] the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points [tested] like as we are, yet without sin [if He was able to do it without sin when He was alive as a human being, then He is able therefore to help us]. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:14-16)

So we can also live without sin. So we can overcome the sins that we have, the struggles that we struggle against. In Hebrews 7:1 it says:

"For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace [He is a King-Priest]; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually." (Hebrews 7:1-3)

So our High Priest is still on the throne. We can go to Him whenever we need to. This entire section is about Christ. Hebrews 8:1:

"Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens [referring back to Psalm 110 again]; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. [In verse 10 notice] For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:" (Hebrews 8:1-2,10)

So what is the activity of the High Priest? Is it ceremonial? No. It is to write the Laws in their minds, and write them in their hearts, and be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. Hebrews 8:11:

"And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8:11-12)

For this priest, after the order of Melchizedek is the High Priest. We are being trained by our High Priest, so that the Law is on our inward parts, in the heart, and therefore applied to every situation that we come in contact with.

You see this activity of Christ with the Church in the Acts 10, where He goes with Cornelius and with Peter. This is after His resurrection, yet Christ is therefore leading the Church and leading it into new understanding, into a new way of looking at things. Undoubtedly we have new understanding that will need to be revealed between now and when we have to flee. When we flee, we don't know where we are fleeing to, we don't know when we are fleeing; that is going to have to be revealed. We trust God to do that. We trust Christ to look after His Church, to do that. Our job is to make sure that we become converted; develop the character to allow Him to work on us as a potter works on His clay. If we do that and we are in close contact with Him, He won't let us down. We don't have to worry about that. That will be taken care of. It says here in Romans 5:1:

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in [trials] also..." (Romans 5:1-3)

It is not just a case that we have access to God the Father, but we glory in trials. The fact that we go through trials, makes trials meaningful. The trial becomes useful in actually developing the character. A natural human being will not look upon a trial like that. But that's the way it is if we go to Him for help in time of need. That is what we are able to do. Romans 5:3:

"And not only so, but we glory in [trials] also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because [why?] the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us." (Romans 5:3-5)

That same power that came as a mighty, rushing wind, that flowed into the apostles of old. That flowed out in language that everybody could understand, that God had actually called at that particular time. Romans 5:10:

"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." (Romans 8:10)

Now His life is guiding and directing. If we go to Him and we actually ask for help and we go to the Father and ask for help from the Father, He will direct Christ, as a Living Word. We can go to Christ directly ourself if we need to, but Christ tells us predominately to pray to the Father. Notice in Romans 8:26, that it is Christ that makes intercession for us:

"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us [it makes intercession through Christ as we will go on and see] with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he [Christ] maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." (Romans 8:26-27)

We know that it is Christ that is being talked about, as it says in Romans 8:34:

"Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

So the One that is making intercession can see through the Spirit what is going on with His power; His eyes, He can see what is going on and He makes intercession for us on our behalf as our High Priest. We can see the purpose, the entire process, turn to II Corinthians 3:15. He is an active High Priest, He is not just a High Priest that has gone way off somewhere. Christ didn't return to heaven and then just disappear. He returned to heaven and sits at the right hand of God and makes intercession for us, actively involved with our lives, actively involved as a Master Potter. He is allowing our trials to mold us through the very Spirit that He has given to us. Here it says:

"But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart [so these individuals who said; "Ah, they have been drinking new wine," they have no clue]. Nevertheless when it [that heart] shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away [when God calls them, when they are actually turning to God]. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (II Corinthians 3:15-17)

So He operates through the Spirit of God, through that power. It is more powerful than the winds that occured on that typhoon over in the Philippines, 200 mile an hour winds. It is more powerful than that. He is like a mighty, rushing wind. All the power in the universe is at God's disposal. II Corinthians 3:18:

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord [the Word of God, remember, washed by the waters of the Word; Psalm 119 talks about the Law being like a mirror], are changed into the same image [we can see how the Living Word should be in the person of Christ, being a reflection of the Living Word of God, the way we should be, we see that within the mirror, we see our own face within the mirror and we also are changed into the same image] from glory [Christ's glory] to glory [our glory], even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (II Corinthians 3:18)

This conversion process is taking place. It is Jesus Christ as our active High Priest. It isn't just the case that Christ came 2,000 years ago to establish God's Church and to be trained and rule under Him and then just disappear. He remains active to this day. He is intimately involved with each and every one of our lives. Turn over to Ephesians 2:4 and it says:

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath [made us alive] together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places [or heavenly offices or perspectives] in Christ Jesus [because of the understanding that we have]: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:4-10)

The Law of God being the Ten Commandments, are the way pointers. The Torah, which is The Way of God is the actual direction. It's like a pathway. I always imagine a pathway through a field of corn. You never know quite where the pathway is, because the corn has been growing up. You have way pointers on either side, pointing the way. That is like the Law of God being the Commandments of God. The Commandments of God point the way, but the Law, the Torah, is the way itself. It is the path that you walk, that you are aiming for; "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10). The way pointers that we find in the Commandments. And we are His workmanship. As Psalm 17:15 says, David looks forward to the time when he will actually wake in the likeness of God:

"As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness."

Being Led By God's Spirit (PLAY FROM 1:08:20)

So Jesus Christ is the active, High Priest, but He is active through the very Spirit of God, that is how He operates. Turn over to John 14:15, we have been back in this section before, but it says:

"If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that it may abide with you for ever [the Spirit of God will be with us for eternity, it is something that will never leave us; the power of God will be intrinsically part of our lives for eternity]; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth it not, neither knoweth it: but ye know it; for it dwelleth with you, and it shall be in you." (John 14:15-17)

Now at that time it was really just dwelling 'with' them, but it was going to be actually 'in' them. But how is it going to be in them? John 14:18:

"I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you [so Christ is going to come; but how - through the Spirit]. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we [plural] will come unto him, and make our abode with him." (John 14:18-23)

So through the Spirit of God, both Christ and the Father are dwelling in us. That Spirit flows into us, and flows out. It is something that is active and dynamic. John 14:24:

"He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the [Parakletos, Strong's G3875], which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:24-26)

We can see how the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of the Father are one and the same thing. It is the one Spirit. It is not multiple Spirits at all. The Father and Christ use the Spirit; it is a kind of breath. You and I in the room here - I'm breathing. I am using my breath to actually convey my words. But you are sharing the same breath - the air that I breathe and you breathe. We have all been breathing the same air. In the same way, Jesus Christ and the Father - and we! - share the same breath. It is the same Spirit. We were baptized remember; "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body..." (I Corinthians 12:13). Here in Romans 8:9 it says:

"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his [so are the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God different? No, they are precisely the same]. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also [make alive] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." (Romans 8:9-11)

So it is the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of God, and it is used interchangeably. So those three verses show that the same Spirit is being used by the Father, being used by Christ also. As Christ said; "...we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." (John 14:23)

So how in fact is Jesus Christ our active High Priest? How is He training us? He is doing it through the very Spirit. How is God the Father training us? Through the same Spirit. That Spirit that is in us - coupled with the Word of God, coupled with the life and the trials of that life - we can be molded as clay is molded by a Master Potter.

A piece of clay takes shape. We are clay, that is all that we are; "...for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Genesis 3:19). That is what we are, we are clay, we are dirt; that is being molded at this present time to be led by that Spirit. Romans 8:14:

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

Turn over to I Corinthians 2:6. To establish God's Church - why the Church? Well, they are the ones being led by the Spirit of God:

"Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are [being perfected]: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the [rulers] of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory" (I Corinthians 2:6-7)

The world doesn't understand the things that we do. The veil has been lifted; " No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44). They are the ones that He is dealing with, dealing within the Church, training within the Church. The purpose of the sermons and sermonettes are training materials, that is what they are for. I Corinthians 2:8:

"Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." (I Corinthians 2:8-10)

So again, like the pound, we are given the Spirit of God so we can understand these things. We are given the Word of God so we know what it is that is required of us. We are given a life, and that life is whatever it happens to be. You and I have been selected by God. We have been called by the Father, and handed to Christ for training. He does that training through the very Spirit of God. I Corinthians 2:11:

"For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him [when you think about a cow, you go up to a cow and try and explain anything to it, nothing goes in, nothing comes out; that is just the way it is.]? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." (I Corinthians 2:11)

You have got to have that Spirit to be able to have that knowledge. If we have that Spirit of God, if we understand these things, then there has got to be fruit produced. That fruit is the character defined by the fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, and so on. That fruit has got to be produced in our life as we deal with the different problems and difficulties and trials that we go through. I Corinthians 2:12:

"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy [breath, pneuma] Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness [we saw over in Acts 2:13 some of them thought they're drunk, they made no sense to them, no sense whatsoever; but to the others, and there were thousands involved, they understood in their own language. Just the same way as going out and looking at the stars and understanding the wisdom of the Creator] unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

It is the spiritual discernment that is necessary. Turn over to II Peter, he talking about; "...his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (II Peter 1:3). The divine nature and all the various aspects that lead up to that final divine nature, which is in agape, at the end of II Peter 1:7. Peter then talks - and this is the final writing as far as we know, by the apostle Peter who was the Head/Chief Apostle at that particular time. Here in II Peter 1:19 it says:

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts [do you really have the converted heart that is necessary, to be literally fully converted in the future by eventually becoming a literal child of God, born into the Family of God?]: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation [not for any private interpretation]. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (II Peter 1:19-21)

So what is he saying here? The Holy Breath. You are looking at the start of the Church. What happened at the start of the Church? Well the start of the Church was on the Day of Pentecost, the Day of Firstfruits, the coming of the Holy Spirit. They, through that Holy Breath were able to actually preach to the people and they all heard and understood it.

In a similar way, how did these prophecies of old, going into the Old Testament, how did they come? It was the Holy Breath that actually gave them. If you want to understand that prophecy, how do you understand it? Well somebody who is actually expounding it has got to have the same Holy Breath. It is the same Holy Breath that both expounds it and gave it in the first place.

It's like if I'm talking to you, and you happen to be sitting under water, you are going to have some problems listening to me. Chances are, if I was underwater, or a whale was underwater, you would be able to hear the voice of the whale because the whale makes a noise that travels in water better than through air. It travels hundreds of miles through water. If you have a different medium, or a different spirit there, a different medium of exchange... if I was talking in air, but your head was underwater, you are not going to hear me. It is the same way. To be able to hear me, you are going to have to be of the same air, the same medium, the same breath.

It is the same way as far as the Spirit of God. The Spirit that inspired the original Word of God has got to be interpreted by those that have the Spirit, and it has got to be given to them and revealed by those that have the Spirit. Again; "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8). This is why we hold onto the Word of God that is revealed to us. II Peter 2:1:

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." (II Peter 2:1)

They had a different spirit, a different air. It's like they have their head underwater trying to preach something. The Word that originally came, came through the air.

So again, why did Christ come?

"He had come 1) to qualify, where the first Adam failed, to replace the former archangel Lucifer on the THRONE OF THE EARTH, ruling with the GOVERNMENT OF GOD. He had come 2) to announce the future establishment of the KINGDOM OF GOD and teach that prophetic good news (gospel) to his chosen future apostles. He had come 3) to take on himself, as our direct Creator, the penalty for our sins by his death on the cross - that we might share in that world. And he had come 4) to be resurrected from the dead by God, making possible ETERNAL GOD-LIFE for the people of God and after his Second Coming for all who are willing, of all humanity, who have ever lived on this earth. And he had come 5) to establish GOD'S CHURCH, to be trained to rule under him." 'Mystery of the Ages' page 216.


{1} Both the Hebrew and the Greek words for 'saint' mean holy ones. Compare Strong's H6922 and G40.