First fruits first

Romans 8:15-25: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together. 

For I reckon the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 

For the earnest expectation of the creature (creation) waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

For the creature (creation) was made subject to vanity (futility), not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope

Because the creature itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption (decay) into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we also groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.  

For we are saved by hope; but hope  that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for it?  

But if we HOPE for what we see not, then do we with PATIENCE (perseverance) wait for it.

One of the main threads used to weave scripture into the beautiful tapestry of life is this, the assurance, confidence, and encouragement that this life and this world is not all there is to the story.

Let’s think about what the Bible tells us about “firsts” and think of all the “firsts” the Bible contains, the beginning of all creation and those whose stories fill the pages telling the stories of their lives, stories of many firsts and completely new beginnings and a pilgrimage to a land clearly not of this earth:

Hebrews 11:8-10: “By faith Abraham when he was called of God to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance ,obeyed, and he went out, not knowing whiter he went (not knowing where he was going). 

By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange (foreign) country, dwelling in tabernacles (tents) with Isaac, and Jacob, the heirs with him in the SAME promise;

For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker IS God.”

So knowing these firsts we have fruits of those firsts, the wonderful things produced as God prompted these journeys of faith and with the birth of Jesus Christ, the first and only of the kind, the Son of God, born of a virgin and He chose and would choose those to be His firstfruits in the giving of the indwelling of His Spirit and by His resurrection power. He made us the first adopted in the Kingdom of God and His blood making us kindred with Him.

Think about what John tells us from Revelation 1:5,6: “And Jesus Christ who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten (born) of the dead, and the prince  (ruler over) the kings of the earth.

Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be the glory and dominion  for ever and ever. Amen.” 

James 1:18: “Of his own will begat he us (he chose us) with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

Ephesians 1:3-14:“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings, in heavenly places in Christ.

According as he hath chosen us in him BEFORE the foundations of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before in love.

Having PREDESTINATED us into the adoption of children by Christ to himself, according to good pleasure of his will.

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of HIS GRACE.

Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence (understanding). 

Having made known to 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 (when all things are fulfilled and New Jerusalem descends) he might GATHER TOGETHER IN ONE ALL THINGS IN CHRIST, BOTH WHICH ARE IN HEAVEN, AND WHICH ARE ON EARTH, even in him;

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.

That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye 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.

Which IS the earnest (down payment) of  OUR inheritance UNTIL the redemption of the PURCHASED POSSESSION,unto the praise of HIS glory.”

And that a greater life and a new story yet to be written is waiting just on the other side of that door that separates our physical earthly bodies from their true home in the eternal realm. And as he so eloquently put it, the fear we often associate with this crossing was not given to us from God.

God did not give us the bondage that comes from being chained in fear and chained by fear. God gave us hope and that hope is in the knowing that we are already adopted into a greater family, a heavenly family, and a royal priesthood, the hope in the knowledge that God is our Father, that He does hear us and most assuring that our home is not of this earth, but our true home is with him.

Our inheritance, and Jesus sealing us through himself as our “down payment”, our assurance that we do have a right through him, through that adoption into the bloodline of the King, a right to that country, yet to come.

We are given this assurance and reassurance as we do groan and we do suffer pain and heartache on this earth and yearning for that day when all will be made new, the day when peace will be as a river, kindness, love, and mercy will rule everyday life and even the animals and all living creation from the smallest microbe to largest beast will live in absolute harmony, scripture telling us that nothing shall hurt or destroy in his Holy mountain, a child will play atop a snakes den and the lion will eat straw and the serpent will eat dust.

No more pain, no more sorrow, no more dying for ANY of his creation. And that beautiful feeling of peace and hope and comfort given us by Him is only but a small sample of, as they have written, the glory which is to be revealed. We all need encouragement and a little extra zeal sometimes to get through this world and to keep us focused but sometimes I think we need to focus a lot less of this world and focus much more closely on the next.

Just as Jesus told us to not lay up treasure on this earth but to store our treasure in heaven, sometimes we need to take a peek at that treasure and remember the wonderful things waiting there and of course none of us know what we have stored up but we do know we will see loved ones who have gone on, rejoice with old friends and beloved brothers and sisters if old, we know that we will have joy unspeakable and love that never ends, heavenly choirs as we all sing to the Lord and as he did we the disciples, we may even get to hear His beautiful songs. But all the pain and all the sorrows of this creation will be forgotten and we will rejoice evermore.

So indulge me if you will, and think of me as your travel agent for just a bit, and let me give you the description of your homeland and the country you will be travelling to.

“And I saw a NEW heaven and a NEW earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make ALL things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

And he said unto me, It is done, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of LIFE freely

He that overcometh shall INHERIT all thingsI will be his God, and he shall be my son. 

But the fearful (cowardly), and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers (sexually immoral), and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

And there came unto me on of the seven angels which had the seven vials of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither (here), I  will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”

{That was the background on our country, now for the scenic description and wonders to be found there}

“And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me a great city, the holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God.

Having the glory of God and her light was like unto a tone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

And had a great wall and high, and twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel; On the eats three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in (on) them the names of the twelves apostles of the Lamb.

And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

And the city lieth foursquare (is laid out as a square), and the length is as large as the breadth; and he measured the city with a reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel (he used human measurements).

And the building (construction) of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished (adorned) with all manner of precious stones.

The first foundation was jasper, the second, sapphire, the third, a chalcedony, the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx, the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eight, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh,a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several (individual) gate was of one pearl; and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 

And I saw NO temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb ARE the temple of it. And the city had NO need of the sun, neither the moon, to shine in it: FOR THE GLORY OF THE LORD DID LIGHTEN IT, AND THE LAMB IS THE LIGHT THEREOF.

And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour unto it. 

And the gates thereof shall NOT be shut at all by day FOR THERE SHALL BE NO NIGHT THERE. 

And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

And there in no wise (way) enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh (causes an) abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

And he shewed me a pure river of water of water of LIFE, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God, and of the Lamb.

In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 

And there shall be NO more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 

And there shall be NO night there; and they need NO candle (lamp), NEITHER sun; for the Lord giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.” Revelation 21 & Revelation 22:1-6

Now that is a destination not to be missed!

Isn’t it amazing to know that you are firstfruits hand-picked to be part of that glorious Kingdom?!

Thanks for reading! Until we meet again may God bless you and yours!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

 

 

“Kingdom of Christ” Part 1 *Responsibility*

“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD ARE BECOME (are now) THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER.” Revelation 11:15 

Since the dawn of our existence, our most confusing and heavily debated aspect of Christianity has been death, the “rapture”, Heaven, hell, and the second coming of Jesus Christ to earth and “where” exactly it is that believers will go.

In honor of Holy week, I wanted to do something a little different and I know for me personally, I have never heard very much teaching on these subjects, so I will hopefully take the next few posts and prayerfully do just that.

And as today is Palm Sunday and there has already been attacks against our Egyptian brothers and sisters in Christ as they worshipped this morning and many gave their lives for that worship and now have become more in the list of Martyrs that do have a special place of honour under the altar of the throne of God.

And as we get deeper into this series, Lord will, I will give you scriptures to back up every word that I write, it is imperative that we keep ever fresh on our hearts and minds, “setting our affections on things above” WHOM we serve and why we serve Him and most importantly that even though at the present moment, satan is the “god” of this world, the day soon approaches when ALL things WILL be fulfilled and Jesus Christ will take His rightful position as KING OF THIS EARTH.

Many have always heard, get saved and go to heaven when you die.. well that is partially true and we will deal that later in our series. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour, we are give ABSOLUTE promises from God, that we ARE HIS, that nothing can change that:

“And I GIVE THEM ETERNAL LIFE: and THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH, NEITHER SHALL ANY MAN PLUCK THEM OUT OF MY HAND. My Father, which gave them me IS GREATER THAN ALL; and NO MAN is able to pluck them out of my Fathers hand. I and my Father ARE ONE.” John 10:28-30 

We CAN NOT be taken from Him unless we are WILLING to be taken:

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye ARE SEALED unto the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30

So we know that our souls are sealed by HIS Holy Spirit, and as we do not grieve Him by turning our backs on Him, and committing acts that we KNOW are sinful, never asking Him for forgiveness, and taking the good gift of His SPIRIT and His SALVATION as a light thing and taking it FOR GRANTED and arguing against one another when all time is at hand:

“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, (basic discussion) let us go on to perfection (maturity): not laying AGAIN the foundation of repentance from DEAD works, and of faith toward God, Of the DOCTRINE of baptisms, and of the laying on of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this WE WILL DO, IF GOD PERMIT.

For it is IMPOSSIBLE for those who were ONCE enlightened, and HAVE TASTED OF THE HEAVENLY GIFT, and WERE MADE PARTAKERS OF THE HOLY GHOST, and HAVE TASTED THE GOOD WORD OF GOD, AND THE POWERS OF THE WORLD TO COME.

If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the SON of God afresh (again), and put him to an open shame.

For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft (often) upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet (useful) for them by whom it is dressed (cultivated) receiveth blessing from God:  But that which beareth (brings forth) thorns and briers IS rejected, and is nigh unto cursing (being cursed); whose end is to be burned.

BUT beloved, WE ARE PERSUADED (confident about) BETTER THINGS OF YOU, and THINGS THAT ACCOMPANY SALVATION, thus we speak.” Hebrews 6:1-9

Proof positive that we HAVE been given the greatest gift receivable, as being vessels INDWELT by the SPIRIT of the LIVING GOD!

How much greater a gift could we receive? We are also taught the extreme NEED for us to honor, and cherish, and protect the gift we have been given. As we see the mirror to the scripture, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”, we are warned and comforted by the fact that, better is thought of us, that we will not be guilty of this. So once we have accepted Christ, we MUST understand, and accept the responsibility that comes with it. 

As scripture also states, “We are bought with a price” therefore we are no longer our own, and understanding that will help us understand what is expected of us.

This is His prayer before His crucifixion, and through it we can understand better WHO WE ARE in HIM and WHO He expects us to be and so much encouragement knowing, that just as He prayed this prayer almost two-thousand years ago, HE STILL PRAYS FOR US today!

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come, glorify thy Son, that thy Son also might glorify thee: As thou hast given him power (authority) over ALL flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And THIS IS LIFE ETERNAL, that they might KNOW THEE, THE ONLY TRUE GOD, AND JESUS CHRIST, WHOM THOU HAST SENT.

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me (alongside) with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee BEFORE THE WORLD WAS. I have manifested (revealed)  thy name  unto the men (humans) which thou gavest me OUT OF THE WORLD: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and THEY HAVE KEPT THY WORD.

Now they have KNOWN that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.  FOR I HAVE GIVEN UNTO THEM THE WORDS WHICH THOU GAVEST ME; and they have received them, and have KNOWN surely that I came out from thee, and THEY HAVE BELEIVED that thou didst SEND ME.

I PRAY FOR THEM; I pray NOT for the world, BUT for  THEM which thou hast given me; FOR THY ARE THINE (yours).And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I AM glorified in them.

And NOW I AM no more in the world, but these ARE in the world, and I come to thee, Holy Father, KEEP THROUGH THINE OWN NAME those whom thou hast given me, THAT THEY MAY BE ONE, AS WE ARE.

While I was with them in the world, I KEPT THEM IN THY NAME: those that thou gavest me I HAVE KEPT, and NONE of them is lost (destroyed) , but (except for) the son of perdition (destruction) {referencing Judas Iscariot} that the SCRIPTURES MIGHT (would) BE FULFILLED.

And now I come to thee; and THESE THINGS I SPEAK IN THE WORLD,that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.  I have given them thy word; AND THE WORLD HATED THEM, because THEY ARE NOT OF THE WORLD, EVEN AS I AM NOT OF THE WORLD.

I pray NOT that thou should take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (evil one). They ARE NOT OF THE WORLD, EVEN AS I AM NOT OF THE WORLD. 

SANCTIFY THEM THROUGH THY TRUTH; THY WORD IS TRUTH. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Neither Pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;  That they all may be ONE: as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, THAT THEY ALSO MAY BE ONE IN US: THAT THE WORLD MAY BELEIVE THAT THOU HAST SENT ME. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; THAT THEY MAY BE ONE, EVEN AS WE ARE ONE.

I IN THEM, AND THOU IN ME, THAT THEY MAY BE MADE PERFECT IN ONE; that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, BE WITH ME WHERE I AM; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou hast loved me BEFORE THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD.

O righteous father, THE WORLD HATH NOT KNOWN THEE, but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: THAT THE LOVE WHEREWITH THOU HAST LOVED ME MAY BE IN THEM, AND I IN THEM.”  John 17

So now we understand our relationship to Him and that our allegiance is NOT to this world, because we are NOT of the world but of the Kingdom of God., and the Kingdom of Christ which is YET to come!

 Please join me for part two when we will look at the invitation and just where we are invited to.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2017

This will be our song… pay special attention to the ending… beautiful worship!