Jesus Christ, the first begotten Son of God, representing the best of heaven, was sent forth from God for restoring fallen man. This was the results of the Father’s love being extended towards His creation. The shining crown and glory of the ministry of the Son, Christ Jesus, was brought forth unto a full measure as He hung on the cross for the sins of all mankind. Prior to His death, the scriptures attest to the fact that God was well pleased with Jesus in His fulfilling the ministry He was sent forth to complete. Matt. 17:5 states, “While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” Again, we are told in 2 Peter 1:17, “For He received from the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”.
The Son’s sacrifice for mankind and its acceptance by the Father was the results of the Son’s obedience. Obedience in a total and complete sense to all the Father revealed and purposed for Him. For this cause, Jesus Christ is the only way, the only truth and the only true life, and no man comes unto the Father but by and through Him. Thus, unto God’s Son, we owe complete obedience and a faithful following after Him. Faithfulness is that which increases is us of knowing Him. Faithfulness is the requirement ask by God unto all who would become His disciples. Man must understand that by just knowing things about God and His Christ is not good enough. We must have a relationship with God, a relationship that promotes a life-style change from a darkened fallen soul into receiving through Christ the nature of God.
His nature enlarges itself within a people who know Him. And for this reason, Jesus warns us against self- deception which comes as the result of just knowing about Him only. That is, never having an intimate relationship with Him that promotes a life of obedience to the will of God. Matt. 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name, and done many wonders in your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness”. A lack of this intimate relationship with Christ is that which causes many people to cease from following Him. Again, just knowing about Him only causes many to declare, Christianity just doesn’t work.
Obedience to God and His Word, along with the Holy Spirit, becomes the agent that promotes a knowing Him relationship. Obedience is better than any sacrifice, for in obedience we began to know Him that was sacrificed. Herein He is then enabled and available to teach us to know His voice. Note that it was in obedience that Jesus was found to be perfected. Heb. 5:8-9, “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, he became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him”. This word “obedience” signifies attentive hearing, to listen with compliant submission, assent, and agreement. It is used for obedience to God’s commands, and for Christ’s obedience. The word “obey” in verse nine has the meaning of, “to hear as a subordinate, listen attentively, obey as a subject, answer and respond, submit without reservation”.
Obedience then is better than any sacrifice which involves the works of the carnal religious mind. In this, we must know His voice. We must obey and in obedience we shall be taught of Him and learn His ways. In the promises of God, and for man to see them fulfilled, we must meet the terms established upon for each promise to be fulfilled. Thus, in obedience we obtain the promise. The terms of the promise which God speaks to us are not base upon preaching, prophesying or casting out devils, but, again the Lord says unto us, obey me and I shall fulfill.
Because we are God’s called people, the arena we stand in and which we are to be motivated by is one of being thankful to God in all things. Herein, we shall be likened unto God, His nature and His glory wherein we might manifest Him. So often, Christians find it hard to be thankful unto God as He deals with us for bringing maturity in our witness for Him. We like to rejoice in the things that bring blessings to our wants, while complaining when the dealings of God war against our own selfish desires. But unto the obedient ones and those learning to be thankful in all things, God enlarges them in the spiritual things of God. These spiritual things are that which causes a people to dwell according to the heavenlies. God enables us to dwell in His heavenly orders while we still walk upon the earth.
Col. 3:15-17 states, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word and deed, do all in the name [nature] of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him”. Note that “giving thanks” means “to give freely, to be grateful, to express gratitude, to be thankful”. In like manner, Jesus prayed this prayer for us that we might likewise glorify the Father even as He did.
John 17:1-5 and 20-22, “Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I have glorified you on the earth. I have finished the work which you have given me to do. And now, O Father, glorify me together with yourself, with the glory which I had with you before the world was. … I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which you gave me I have given them, that they may be one just as we are one”.
Let us recognize that the ministry of Jesus on the cross and His being glorified by the Father will not be finished in a called people until the whole man, spirit, soul, and body have been born again. Know that he which is made glorious will truly be born again of the spirit even as the whole man is made complete. The heart cry of the true saints is that God would be glorified through them. In this, we shall be transformed to conform to His glorious body. Phil. 3:21, “Who [Christ Jesus] will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself”. Here man does not depend upon His own abilities or strength to accomplish these thing for self. It is not by man’s own works, but by God’s power and authority alone in which He is well able to fulfill. Fulfillment comes by the Holy Spirit, which has freedom to change us through obedience. In obedience we are born again to be change by a continual transformation until being conformed to the heavenlies.
John 3:3 states, “Jesus answered and said to Him, most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”. This word “again” has the meaning of “from above”, a birthing that is brought about by the power of God. A birthing that is from above, meaning the heavenlies, which means for us that a people shall take off this robe of corruption. Corruption is a natural birthing robe which we have worn from our birth but purposed to finally be dressed in another robe. John 3:30-31 also reveals this as John the Baptist declares, “He [Jesus] must increase, but I [John the Baptist as a type of the sin nature, the carnal mind] must decrease. He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all”. This word “from above” in verse 31 is the same Greek word as “born again” in verse 3 above. This reveals for us that unto those who are born again, they are born from above, from the heavenlies. These shall put on Christ that He might manifest Himself through them spirit, soul and body, throughout all the earth.
By a vessel becoming “born again from above”, with this including spirit, soul and body, that one is filled with light. No darkness remains in him as he becomes the light that comprehends all things. Matt. 6:22, “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light”. Luke 11:34-36 continues by declaring, “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore, take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light”. The word “darkness” in the above verse is from a root world meaning “to cover”. This darkness arises from error, ignorance, disobedience, willful blindness and rebellion. Darkness is an evil system absolutely opposed to the light.
But, as we purpose to walk in the light, our thoughts will become single to God’s glory. 1 John 3:2-3, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure”. This word “pure” is from a root word meaning “holy”, describing a person or thing as clean, modest, pure, undefiled, morally faultless, and without blemish, meaning a death to the fallen soul of the carnal man while being resurrected to become the “living soul” breathed into man from God.
Herein, God incorporated Himself into the many member body of Christ with the purpose of manifesting that which he is. The basic foundational truth of God is that he is love. Therefore, the law of love shall cause each yielded vessel to be filled with the fullness of God. Eph. 3:19, “To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God”. All the fullness of God speaks of more than a one-time experience or only knowing one aspect of His truth or power. It points to a broad-based spirituality, balanced through participating in all God’s blessings, resources, and wisdom. Therefore, as God’s Word commands in 1 John 3:18, “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth”. Is it not time for a people to become the visible manifestation of our invisible God? There are a people who have and are making themselves ready.