brought back into
(notice the line segments
then the solid line)
The past two weeks have celebrated Palm Sunday and Easter and I know that we've spent a lot of time 'boning up' on these events, but there are several events that define our Christian walk.
and Easter Sunday (the resurrection of our Lord giving us access to eternal life).
First, Jesus had to be born under the law (into this world) in order to redeem us from the law (this world). By walking as we walk for thirty years He established Himself as a just judge because He has walked 'a mile in our shoes'.
Second, the bible tells us that He grew up having favor with God and man, 'showing' us how to live our lives (Luke 2:52).
Then He spent three and a half years telling us how to attain eternal fellowship with the Father through Him.
On Palm Sunday, the triumphant entry into Jerusalem (the 'coronation' parade of 'the King of Kings'),
'Good' Friday our Lord was arrested, beaten and degraded AND then they hung Him of the cross, the final sin sacrifice from our Lord showing His great love for us. All sacrifices give their lives for their cause and Jesus did the same by taking our sins and our place upon the cross.
Now I realize that there are two more events yet to come (in Christian chronology),
The first five events define our access to heaven. The two events yet to come, the ascension and the descent of the Holy Ghost define the power Father gives us to live in this world.
In the ascension, Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father signifying He has all authority and power over all things.
In the descent of the Holy Ghost He shares that power with us so we can live and walk in His will and ways.
The first five events speak to what must be done to repair the broken alignment and and the final two define the power through which it might be accomplished.
Now Jesus doesn't physically walk with us anymore (as He did the with apostles), but through His apostles He has left us the information we need to come into alignment with His will.
However, the apostles of the Lamb shared with us (2000 years ago) what Jesus shared with them. And yes we have the bible to help us along. 1 Corinth. chapter 9 tells us that we prophecy in part and we know in part and John 21:25 tells us that the earth could not contain the volumes if written about everything that Jesus did.
As we read the bible we read how Israel begins in knowledge of the truth, then after time starts to stray away from what God had told them. Then, by God's grace, Father sends Israel a prophet to bring them back into alignment with his Word.
The Christian church (unfortunately) has been little different. For a myriad of reasons (find a book on the New Testament church history to discover some of them) today's church has become broken, just like Israel and just like Israel, Father raises people up to nudge us back into the right direction. The church has often grabbed hold of a revelation and built a whole concept on one idea. If you don't think we get off track easily consider the 'story down the line'.
Did you ever do the party game where you have a line of people (the more the merrier). At one end of the line the first person whispers into the next person's ear, just a few words. That person tells it to the next, and that one to the next all the way to the end of the line. Unless you have a most unusual line of people, when the last person is asked to recite what was said, it seldom if ever resembles the first words spoken at the beginning of the line. Why? Some people really don't listen and Lord knows what they might pass on. Others hear but add a little 'tidbit' of their own. Yet others hear, but don't remember exactly what was said and so on. Christianity's growth has experienced similar conditions. We quickly lose track of what was originally said and get out of alignment.
Early in my Christian experience Father shared with me 'the movie projector'. A film projector is running, showing a movie and people see something that really grabs them. It is a truth, but these folks run off to the side and start building their faith around what they have seen, ignoring the rest of the movie, which still keeps running. Later, during the movie, another group sees something that they really like (another truth) and go off somewhere else, focusing on this new revelation. And the film keeps rolling. And so on. A truth is built upon over here, over there and the movie keeps rolling on. Many churches have been built on partial truths. the people who initiated the group didn't wait for the movie to end so they could get the whole picture so they might get a proper perspective on the whole movie, rather a particular scene, or truth. Or even man's own interpretation of what he thinks was going on and not necessarily in balance with the whole picture (bible).
I mentioned that we understand and prophecy in part. In my own experience, Father has shared things with me about people or events. He has given me a 'trailer' (if you wish) which is not the whole picture, but a part of it. Later on He has given me a little more detail, enhancing my understanding about whatever 'it' is. I may receive several parts to the 'puzzle' before Father reveals the full understanding to me and even then, whatever 'it' is may not happen for a while. It may not be its season, yet. We see this 'season' issue with the prophets in the Old Testament.
When I say 'not its season I mean God may reveal something that will happen later as with Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar's dreams (Daniel chapters 2 & 4) where the statue revealed four kingdoms and later the tree revealed Nebuchadnezzar's 'madness' and return to sanity.
Father gives us prophets today, too who speak God's Word which reveal His intents for our future, individually and/or collectively (as a group) and either near or distant. These people may speak parts of God's truth or they may give us a complete picture but we just don't know when it may occur. What we do is check it out against the bible. We know that when a prophet speaks and it comes to pass, the person is a true prophet (Jer. 28:9), but again, reminding you of Daniel, the prophecy may not be for yet.
I speak about 'in part' because the bible is not the total revelation of What God says to us (I refer you back to John 21). But what the bible does do for us is it gives us all the information we need to know how to 'get saved', that is enter into the kingdom of God and know that's where we're headed, how to live for/in/through Jesus, and how we should treat the people around us. It gives us enough information that we can discover God's nature. We can't know 'what He thinks (no man can know the mind of God [1 Corinth. 2:16) but we can know 'how' He thinks (Eph. 1:17). As we read the bible, we learn the nature of God therefore we can understand how He thinks PLUS we have the Holy Spirit leading us into all truth (John 16:13). So our spirit agrees within us when something is in agreement with Father AND it will be consistent with the teaching of the scriptures. So, even though we may hear something and we can't find it 'exactly' in the scriptures, if it is from God, it will be consistent with His nature and with scriptural teaching. Of course, one has to know something about what the bible says.
I say this because many of God's truths have been pushed aside, partially because people haven't experienced it for themselves and partially because (of that) they have been taught by others certain things may not be for today. Five 'duties' are cited in Ephesians 4 which are for perfecting of the saints, work of the ministry, edifying the body of Christ until we come into the unity of faith, knowledge of Jesus, to a perfect man and to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. (vs12&13). This means that these jobs are to bring Christians to a full understanding of who we are in Jesus Christ, so the body (church) will be edified (built up), until we come to realize that Jesus is the very foundation of our faith and not church dogma and we live 'like' Jesus, operating in the same Spirit He operated in or permitting the Holy Ghost to operate in and through us as He did Jesus. Jesus tells us that we will do everything He has done and more (John 14:12). Think about that! Why don't we? Because we aren't back in true alignment with the Father.
So, because of these things and more, Christianity has become 'disjointed' over the centuries, losing many things God originally gave. Rationalizing away why we don't experience some of those things the early church did. Thus creating a 'disjointed' body which may or may not be cleanly connected to other parts of the body. All of these body parts (we are the body of Christ) therefore have become unaligned and Father is preparing to bring all those body parts back into alignment.
Oooh! That sounds like a mega church. Isn't that consistent with the anti Christ?
I'm not talking about a mega church. Christ's body is one body but many parts. All the different parts with different functions. this is true with the church compleat (whole body of Christ) and the individual church (each fellowship). Many parts, one unit. Each fellowship (local church) has many roles that need filled (you can think of some, I'm sure) and different people fill these roles. They are all individuals with their own personalities all working together to help the fellowship function as a whole. The body of Christ should be the same, a bunch of churches, denominations, all working together towards a common goal - bringing souls into the kingdom of God and making sure that they know that they all belong to Jesus and have eternal security. Many similar as well as different functions can occur in a given area so the body can grow, each subject to individual personalities (people), yet functioning for the common good. Are we getting the picture?
So back to where we started.Jesus bided His time in heaven until His season was come to enter this world. He had to fulfill prophecies because Father declared these things before they occurred so He was born of a virgin, under the law (so He could redeem us from under that law). He grew up, just as you and I, for thirty years being exposed to the same things we are and the bible says He pleased God and man. Then He began a 3 1/2 year ministry preaching and teaching the kingdom of heaven so as to draw us back into original alignment with the Father. He taught us how to live as a help for us coming back into that alignment. He suffered the scourging and the cross so we wouldn't have to bear the results of our being out of alignment. He rose from the grave victorious over sin and death bringing us back into alignment giving us the information that we need to maintain that alignment. AND He's coming back for us to complete the re-alignment process -we come to full stature in Jesus Christ. - because we will then be living with Him.