Overcoming This Post Modern World

Overcoming This Post Modern World
Introduction
By Robert Wurtz II

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (1 John 3:1 KJV)
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:4-5)

Notice our passage states clearly that the world does not ‘know’ the sons of God just like it did not know the Son of God. Why? Because the world is moving in a totally different paradigm than God. It cannot relate to Jesus Christ and if we are of Him it will not be able to relate to us. The ways of the sons of God are foolishness to this present evil world. They are totally incompatible. Keep this in mind as we progress in our thoughts.

The first revelation we have concerning God’s will for man is when He stated, “…let us make man in our image and in our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26b Latin Imago Dei) God’s will is that man would be like Him; not in His deity, but in His personality. From the beginning in Genesis to the end in Revelation, God never changes course in setting about to fulfill this desire. For it is said that in Him there is no shadow of turning. (James 1:17) He has determined to make man in His image and He will do it. Another way of stating these things is simply to say that God desires sons

This is the pattern He has always demonstrated as we read of in Job, one of the oldest books in the Bible, when the sons of God are mentioned. Though they are a higher form of creation, God asked Job in the 38th chapter where he was, When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? These creations of God are the same sons that came to present themselves to God and Satan came along with them in Job 1:6 and 2:1. These sons are what we know as varying orders of the elect angels. Nonetheless, the sons of God (elect angels) are by choice after the very nature and character of God. They long to do God’s will. Such is their level of obedience to God and willingness to please Him that Jesus prayed that the will of God would be carried out on earth as it is in Heaven. That is a staggering thought. How is the will of God carried out in Heaven? Instantly; like a flash of lightening (Ezekiel 1:14). On the other hand, Satan and his angels rebelled against God and are by choice the antithesis of God. They obey God I suggest, but not willingly. Instead of doing the Father’s will willingly at the speed of lightening, He desired to set his throne above the stars of God and was as lightening falling from Heaven. (Luke 10:18) Satan’s is the spirit (diabolic pneuma) that now works in the children of disobedience. (Ephesians 2:1ff)** 

He that overcomes 

In Revelation 21:7 we have this promise; He that overcomethshall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. This is what God purposed before the world began; He wanted sons. Male and female are in view. In 2 Corinthians we read; Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:17, 18) This is true enough, but the ‘sons’ motif dominates the New Testament revelation. Perhaps this is because in eternity we will live in our glorified bodies as the angels and will neither marry or be given in marriage. Our reproductive faculties will be no more. So there is a sense in which, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28); but we must still observe our place as male and female until our change comes. I am a male, but I am part of the Bride of Christ. That would seem to be a contradiction, but not from the view God is revealing. In like fashion females that are born again in Christ are also the sons of God. 

After His Kind  

God wanted to reproduce Himself after His own kind; again, not in deity, but in personality. Jesus expressed this reality when He confronted the religious leaders of His time; “Is it not written in your law, “I said, ‘You are gods” ’? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, “You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?” (John 10:34-36 NKJV) The priests in the Old Testament were representatives of God and were expected to be right representations of His person. This is why they are called ‘gods’; not that they were little idols or deities; but because they were called to reflect the personality of God. Jesus Christ the Son of God was an exact representation of His person as He is the Son of God. (Hebrews 1:3) He said in one place, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father.” (John 14:9) This is very important. God wanted Israel and her leaders to be a reflection of Himself. They failed miserably in fulfilling this destiny. We will need to examine some of the reasons for this later in this series. Jesus Christ, who was the express image of the person of God, asserts Himself in John 10:34-36 as being the exact representation of what God desires; sons. He wants sons that will love Him and obey Him under all circumstances and against all odds. He wants sons that could exist in the world, with Satan as its head, without loving it or the things that are in it; but rather will overcome it. He wants sons that love Him more than life itself. To be a disciple of Christ (the Son of God) is to set ones self on a course to be one of the sons of God that God desires. This is why Jesus gives a list of things that if they are true one cannot be His disciple (Luke 14:26-33, etc.).

The Son and sons.  

Indeed, Jesus Christ is the uniquely begotten Son of God (upper case ‘S’), and as the Son He overcame the world; but God desires many more sons that share His personality and character- that He might enjoy with them the fellowship of love. They will also overcome the world. He wanted fellowship with creatures with whom He could walk together in agreement. (Amos 3:3) Not automatons (preprogrammed robots), but free moral agents. This is a great mystery. We have additional insight in regards to God’s desire for sons in Hebrews 2:10; For it was fitting for Him, for whom [are] all things and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Notice the purpose of the creation and its subsequent redemption is in “bringing many sons to glory.” This is what God is doing. He wants sons and He will have them. 
The Master Potter
And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. (Genesis 2;7, 8 NKJV)
Our Hebrew word for formed is yatsar and it is translated some 17 times in the Old Testament as ‘potter’. God formed Adam (male) from the dust as would a potter form the clay into His image (1 Cor. 11:7). Needless to say it was a light thing for God to form dust; for He had given it no free choice. The inward part of man; His character and disposition would not be so easy. God sets before a person a proposition that essentially asks, “will you be my son?” This is effectively what Adam was intended to be. Since there can be no virtue without testing, the Serpent was allowed in to the Garden to try the faith of both Adam and Eve. As we know, Adam followed the direction of the Serpent (Satan) and rebelled against God after his wife was deceived. He became at that moment in time a child of the Devil (Satan) and the lusts of his father he and the whole human race would be bent towards doing. 

We have a partial description of Satan’s personality manifest in man in John 8:44; Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. This is why all human beings must be born again. (John 3:3) How can one overcome a world that they love and feel at home in it? The unregenerate walk together with the world in agreement. (Amos 3:3) The image of God was marred in the Garden and from that time man has fallen short of the glory of God. They have a carnal mind at enmity with God. God banished Adam from from the Garden and set up Cheribim with flaming swords signifying that the way back into God’s presence was blocked. It is useful to point out here that this picture is taken up later in the Wilderness Tabernacle where the Cherubim were embroidered into the Vail. Hebrews comments on this, Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. (Hebrews 9: 6-8) Without the inward dwelling presence of God it is impossible to walk out the nature of Christ or overcome the world. This is an essential truth. 

God still on task
Yet, God did not give up when Adam fell and he was thrust from the Garden. He eventually called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees to begin a process of making sons out of fallen man in a fallen world. He gave birth to Isaac and then Isaac gave birth to Jacob and then Jacob the 12 Tribes of Israel. These went down into Egypt for 400 years to be in bondage under Pharaoh. This was a figure of this present evil world (Egypt) with its evil head (Satan). Notice how God refers to Israel; And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.  (Exodus 4:22, 23) The process would be simple; if the children of Israel believed, obeyed, and loved God they would be His unique possession: His sons (‘son’) upon the face of the earth. Yet after hundreds of years of rebellion we hear the lamentation of the prophet; Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God. (Hosea 1:9)  “The third child, a son, was named Lo-Ammi, which means not My people. In the ancient covenant formula God declared, “I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be My people” (Lev. 26:12; cf. Ex. 6:7; Deut. 26:17-18). But now that relationship was to be severed. The last clause of Hosea 1:9 (I am not your God) is literally, “and I [am] not I AM (‏אֶהְיֶה‎) to you.” (BK Commentary) 

Although Israel had failed, these events set the stage for the coming of Jesus Christ who would set back in order God’s design for man to be made sons of God. He will open the possibility of regeneration through the born again experience (John 3:3). These will go on from glory to glory being fashioned into His likeness. We will need to believe and obey God. Disbelieve God and the whole process stops. As John reveals to us; For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:4-5)


____________________________

** . H.A Meyer observes, ‘This is the spirit that mankind has. This spirit is the diabolic pneuma, that is, the spirit proceeding forth from the Devil, under whose power the world lies, and whose sphere of action it is (2 Cor. 4:4, Eph. 2:2, 6:11f)

Book Release

Book Release
Robert Wurtz II

I’m pleased to announce that I have finally released my new book, “The Love You Had At First” for Kindle from Amazon. The paperback version should be available sometime early next week. In this book we trace the wonderful beginnings of the church of Ephesus right through to Revelation 2 when they had ‘left their first love’. It is a mixture of history, theology and corporate and personal revival. For those that are interested please do also post a review.

CLICK HERE for “The Love You Had At First” Kindle Version. 

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Popularity and Priesthood

Popularity and Priesthood
Robert Wurtz II

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)


I wish to focus in this entry on a seldom discussed aspect our our Christian lives and it is that of acceptability with God. Peter understands, just as Paul understood, that offerings of any kind must be acceptable with God (Romans 12:1ff, 15:16, etc.). Peter is concerned that as a holy priesthood, we would offer up spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable with God by Jesus Christ. This points our attention again to the relationship between the Old Testament priesthood and New Testament church life. Understand that the Old Testament is an account of God’s dealings with man and His systematic movement closer and closer to man through the nation of Israel. Once Adam was put out of the Garden of Eden and from the presence of the Lord, God was working on moving His way into man. 


If God is going to eventually live in man then man will need to understand that God is holy and He is to be utterly reverenced and obeyed. This meant that God would have to teach man His ways through revelation, both by precept and by demonstration. Man had to learn about the God that was approaching. He is not like other gods that accept any ole thing, He is a holy God that is to be served with absolute obedience. When God was upon the holy mount the people witnessed an awesome and fearful sight, but this was necessary in order for them to comprehend the God that was near. They witnessed the God that judges sin. The wisdom of this theophanic demonstration is understood in our times, as the masses speak of God as if He were their elderly grandfather that lets the grandkids do as they will. Many have no comprehension of what they are saying when they speak of God being their judge. It is reflected in their flippant attitude towards sin. God revealed Himself to Israel in a way that sobered the peoples mind about sin and judgment. 

The Levitical Example



God met Moses at the burning bush and set Israel on a path of having God be their God. This was an awesome privilege and responsibility. This means He would rule as King in their midst as He rules in Heaven. This is the subject of our Lord’s prayer; thy Kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as is it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10). Kingdom implies the King and His ruling authority. In God’s Kingdom there is a willful submission and desire to fulfill the will of the King. The elect angels obey His voice willingly; the others are rebellious and obey by constraint. In time there will be a separation and the rebellious angels will be cast into Hell that has been prepared for them. As God’s Kingdom came near to Israel they had to obey the voice of God in a way characteristic of the Kingdom of God. 

Covenant and the Kingdom



The relationship was governed by a covenant. There were terms of an agreement for fellowship. This covenant had to be serviced to deal with the people’s disobedience. This is what the offering of sacrifices for sins was about. The blood of bulls and goats was a picture of the blood of Christ. The priests, and especially the high priest were the closest people to God as they performed their service in the Tabernacle. The high priest alone was allowed to go into the most Holy Place once per year to do service to God. He was supposed to be the supreme picture of obedience to the will of God. Aaron failed grossly in this area while Moses was on the mount. Many high priest’s tried their hand at attaining God’s ideal for this role, but only Jesus Christ came to do God’s will in a way that rightly represents members in the Kingdom of God. He loved righteousness and hated iniquity and as a consequence was anointed above all other priests (Hebrews 1:9). 


Of all places on the face of the earth, the Wilderness Tabernacle had to function virtually like Heaven itself. The Tabernacle was God’s mobile palace with the most holy place being (as it were) the Throne Room of God. The Ark of the Covenant represented His seat of authority. When that authority was challenged in disobedience blood had to be sprinkled on it as a propitiation for the offense. This removed the offense, or as some have said ‘pushed it back’ until Christ offered His own blood in the True Tabernacle (Hebrews 8:1ff). Inside this building, that was modeled after the pattern of Heaven shown to Moses on the holy mount, God was to be King in the absolute sense. This was not the place for the funny-business that accompanied the service of God in Israel’s later years. In fact, things had gotten so flippant by the time we get to Isaiah that God had to give the prophet, as He did Moses, a first-hand look at what the true Throne Room in Heaven was like just so he could recognize the God he was dealing with. We read this in Isaiah 6. This was a revelation to Isaiah that utterly transformed his life and prepared him to be the great Prophet that he became.

Bad Examples



The priests were to be a Kingdom example to the people to sanctify the Lord in their eyes. This sounds like an odd concept perhaps, but God wanted the people He created to reverence Him as their Creator and to view Him in the way the elect angels view Him. Understand that the elect angels obey God’s every word. Even the demons believe and tremble, we are told. So how ought man to view his Creator that is lesser than the angels in power and might? God wanted Moses and Aaron and their associates (the Levites) to put on a life demonstration. They were called to be a revelation of the Kingdom of God. This is why when Moses was dying God said to him, For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that [is] the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin. (Numbers 27:14) Moses was a great man of God like few others, but he was expected to obey the voice of God to the letter. This is perfection and God expects it. By Moses’ disobedience he left the people with the notion that they could disobey God under certain conditions. At a critical moment he had been a bad example and God cannot tolerate it. The time would fail to tell of Nadab and Abihu or Eli and his wicked sons derelict example. They were terrible examples of obeying the voice of God and how they ought to conduct themselves when dealing with God. What happened? Nadab and Abihu were burned to death with the Fire of God when they offered common fire to God and Aaron was not allowed to mourn their death (even though they were his sons). Many years later God Judged Eli and his sons and terminated the priestly designation in Eli’s family. This is what happens when men are called to sanctify the Lord in the eyes of the people and they refuse to do it.

Presumptuous Sins



The psalmist makes an interesting plea to God in Psalm 19:13, Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous [sins]; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Our word for ‘presumptuous’ is typically translated as ‘proud’. Pride is the condemnation of the Devil. It is what brought him down and is the cause of God resisting any man. The psalmist apparently did not want to behave towards God in a proud and presumptuous way. He was not an innovator, he wanted to know the counsel of God so that he could perform it. The proud presumptuous man is moving in his own self-will and innovating as he sees fit. How could this ever sanctify the Lord in the eyes of this evil rebellious world? The Old Testament is loaded with story after story of the benefits of seeking God’s will and obeying it. This could be summed up in the life of a king in Israel that had a terrible fall; And he (Uzziah) sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper (2 Chronicles 26:5 emphasis added). However, when he got proud he attempted as a king to enter into the Temple and offer up to God as if he were a priest. This presumptive act resulted in him being immediately smitten with leprosy (an O.T. symbol of sin) and he died a leper. This set the stage for the events I mentioned earlier when Isaiah saw a revelation of God’s Throne Room. Note the beginning of the text, In the year king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord…” (Isaiah 6:1ff) God had to correct the presumption and restore reverence for Himself through Isaiah that was enabled through this revelation to rightly sanctify the Lord before the eyes of the people. 

Kingdom of Priests

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:6)   

God always wanted a kingdom of priests. This is a kingdom of obedient ones. This is what Israel was supposed to be. Yet in order to be this we have to have a right disposition towards God. We have to have been born again in true regeneration. The ‘washing of regeneration’ in Titus 3:5 is laver of regeneration in the Greek, the place where the priests washed themselves before going into the presence of God. No one can be a member of the Kingdom that has not been regenerated. Jesus offered Himself as the Lamb of God and in resurrection became our Great High Priest. We offer our bodies as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1ff) and in regeneration, with the coming of the Spirit and Fire, we are enabled to be priests unto God. We are changed and equipped for the service of God. This is why Peter could say, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5) But as in Israel, so also today men refuse to sanctify the Lord in the eyes of the people and be a representation of the Kingdom of God on the earth. They want to identify themselves in their own personality. They move in a presumption that disqualifies them. What is worse is that they refuse correction.    

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