First, I want to highly recommend 2 Bible programs. They’re both free! The Mac version I use is called “MacSword” ( www.macsword.com ) and the PC version I use is E-Sword ( www.e-sword.net ). E-sword even has a version that works on my Pocket PC! And Palm users can go to www.olivetree.com !
With today’s computing power you can load up 15 or 20 Bible translations (including God’s Word and Young’s Literal – my favs!), Greek and Hebrew versions of the Bible, as well as various commentaries, dictionaries, daily devotionals (C. H. Spurgeon’s “Morning and Evening” loads with the calendar date every time I open Macsword!) and various other Christian classics! So go for it! Hopefully we’re all giving diligence to present ourselves approved unto God, workmen who don’t need to be ashamed, but who handle accurately the word of truth. (from 2nd Timothy 2:15)
I want to share a few things that have impressed me about the coming reign of our King, the Lamb of God Slain from before the foundations of the earth, the Lion of Judah! He alone shall be worthy to open the seals and loose the judgments that will rescue love from its oppressors. I want to look further into scripture re: God’s Tabernacle – or dwelling – in the heavens… and how we enter in fully and learn to dwell with God the way Adam did in the Garden of Eden.
Genesis 3:8a – “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day…”
So, apparently, it was God’s practice to walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the garden on a daily basis! I believe scripture bears forth the truth that God’s primary joy is to dwell – or tabernacle with us on a consistent basis and at a deeply intimate level!
Psalms 16:11 – You make the path of life known to me. Complete joy is in your presence. Pleasures are by your side forever.
Revelation of John 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth did pass away, and the sea is not any more; 2 and I, John, saw the holy city–new Jerusalem–coming down from God out of the heaven, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband; 3 and I heard a great voice out of the heaven, saying, `Lo, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will tabernacle with them, and they shall be His peoples, and God Himself shall be with them–their God, 4 and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and the death shall not be any more, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor shall there be any more pain, because the first things did go away.’
And notice that Yeshua will DWELL with us HERE on Terra Firma. Inside today’s borders of Jerusalem on planet Earth – our home… our Lord will establish His government will never stop increasing!
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God…
24 The God who made the universe and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth. He doesn’t live in shrines (temples) made by humans, 25 and he isn’t served by humans as if he needed anything. He gives everyone life, breath, and everything they have. 26 From one man he has made every nation of humanity to live all over the earth. He has given them the seasons of the year and the boundaries within which to live.
27 He has done this so that they would look for God, somehow reach for him, and find him. In fact, he is never far from any one of us.
Pause … and think of that!
28 Certainly, we live, move, and exist because of him. As some of your poets have said, ‘We are God’s children.’ 29 So if we are God’s children, we shouldn’t think that the divine being is like an image made from gold, silver, or stone, an image that is the product of human imagination and skill. 30 “God overlooked the times when people didn’t know any better. But now he commands everyone everywhere to turn to him and change the way they think and act. 31 He has set a day when he is going to judge the world with justice, and he will use a Man he has appointed to do this. God has given proof to everyone that he will do this by bringing that Man back to life.”
Otherwise, he would have had to suffer many times since the world was created. But now, at the end of the ages, he has appeared once to remove sin by his sacrifice.
Why is it that we were raised to think of harps and angels and floating endlessly on clouds? (I really can’t get over that one.) I honestly think it might have been devised by the devil… to keep us from really gripping our salvation – here on earth… now!
Maybe our adversary knows that if we do grip the forgiveness of sins and the “righteousness of God in Christ Jesus” NOW (Rom. 5:17, 1st Cor. 1:30, Philippians 1:11) then, perhaps, we will benefit more of the same LATER… here on earth!!! And THAT’S what he’s really trying to ROB us of!
“More?” you ask?
Yes, more salvation. There’s ALWAYS more of a good thing in the Kingdom of the Father of lights!
1st Corinthians 3:10-18
18 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another builds on it. But let each man be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no one can lay any other foundation than that which has been laid, which is Yeshua the Messiah. 12 But if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or stubble; 13 each man’s work will be revealed. For the Day will declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself will test what sort of work each man’s work is. 14 If any man’s work remains which he built on it, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, but as through fire.
16 Don’t you know that you are a temple of God, and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is holy, which you are. 18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone thinks that he is wise among you in this world, let him become a fool, that he may become wise.
See also 2nd Timothy 2:19-21
19 Yet the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, The Lord knows those that are his; and, Let every one who names the name of the Lord withdraw from iniquity. 20 But in a great house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also wooden and earthen; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21 If therefore one shall have purified himself from these, in separating himself from them , he shall be a vessel to honour, sanctified, serviceable to the Master, prepared for every good work.
Can you see from that critical passage how direly linked and important “building wisely” is with our being the temple of God?
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let hi
m that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
But would you rather dwell on the outskirts of His kingdom on earth (as scripture seems to indicate is possible)… or co-own and co-rule with the Maker of the Universe!?
Consider the future state of the “overcomers” of the 7 churches in Revelation (and the specific conditions of overcoming in each context) Rev. 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, etc… (look for the “to him who has ears to hear” to find the other 4 promises!)
And perhaps the emphasis of this passage from Paul to the church in Ephesus addresses the 51% of pastors who admit visiting porn sites and the 37% who admit struggling with that form of sexual sin. (statistic from Christianity Today, December 2002)
1 Imitate God, since you are the children he loves. 2 Live in love as Christ also loved us. He gave his life for us as an offering and sacrifice, a soothing aroma to God.
3 Don’t let sexual sin, perversion of any kind, or greed even be mentioned among you. This is not appropriate behavior for God’s holy people. 4 It’s not right that dirty stories, foolish talk, or obscene jokes should be mentioned among you either. Instead, give thanks [to God]. 5 You know very well that no person who is involved in sexual sin, perversion, or greed (which means worshiping wealth) can have any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
And HOW do we “overcome”? Isn’t it paid for and finished by our Lord? Yes. Completely paid for and finished. But it remains our part to surrender to that finished work.
We go to Him – the Suffering Servant – the Lamb of God – and we cast ourselves down in total humility and desperate need and we tell Him we are only worthless sinners without Him. We believe that because of His Once-for-all sacrifice upon the Cross, we are completely forgiven and restored to Eden-like fellowship with Him, the Maker of the Universe!
And then we stay there.
Galatians 3:1-3, 13-14
1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
And we keep on looking to His Cross, His death, His resurrection and His ascension… AS OUR OWN… in utter humility and desperate need and in total and complete trust… for He is our BrideGroom King and will complete us with His love!
1st Peter 4:1-2
1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
1st Peter 5:10
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.