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Easy III

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“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”[1]

What did Jesus Christ die for? We know Peter wrote: For Christ died for sins once for all…[2] and Jesus Himself testified that God sent Him to save the world through Him. As to what Christ died for, we know, but what sort of a church did Jesus Christ lay down His life to establish?

The answer appears simple – a powerful church of holy people, a royal household, a holy nation – you can quote the scriptures, good. But what did He get? Did He really end up with such a church? Did He end up with a powerful church that remained powerful? A holy people who remained holy unto Him? A royal priesthood where the priests dispense forgiveness of sins in His Name? Did He end up with a church where its people made the Earth a safer place or a church with people who made the world a more dangerous place? We know Christ did not die for nothing, but what did He die for? What were the things that His death was intended to achieve beyond what is obviously absent in the history of the church?

For those of you who have learned to listen to Jesus carefully, you now know that Acts 2:1 was not the original date or place for the Holy Spirit to be poured out on the gathered believers. They, that is, the disciples, had missed the perfect appointed time, as well as the pleasing appointed time, and the places. The first was Mount of Transfiguration on Resurrection morning, or as soon as they got there, and the second was in the locked room in Jerusalem when the Holy Spirit got there. Because they had scattered, some to their homes, and others to fishing trips, the Holy Spirit had to wait until they were once more gathered in one place, all of them, before He could be poured out on all of them. That time and place just happened to be Pentecost day, because whilst all of the Jews were gathering for the feast and the disciples could not go out to join them for fear of the Jews, they met together on that feast day in that house. They met there because they had nowhere else to go. They were certainly not welcome at the Temple where all the other Jews were gathering for the feast. Presumably by then they had repaired the Temple, and Caiaphas the high priest had replaced the curtain separating the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Temple so that the Jews may enter and not be cursed.

I hope that many of you already realise that when the curtain was torn at the moment of Jesus’ death, the great hoax of the last 400 years was exposed, that there was no Ark of the Covenant standing in the Holy of Holies anymore. That for 400 years since the Temple was completed no blood had been sprinkled on the Mercy Seat for the atonement of the sins of the Jews. The traditions of the Pharisees and Sadducees had been as much as to keep the people busy and also to hide this one great conspiracy that the Ark of the Covenant was no longer with Israel. They lived as a nation without their sins washed from them for 400 years! That was why many went to John at the Jordan for water baptism for the forgiveness of their sins. They must have either known or suspected that the Ark was no longer there and that the high priest went behind that curtain to do anything but to sprinkle the blood of the lamb on the Mercy Seat.

That is why when Peter pleaded with them in his preach, “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins”[3] …3000 were added to their number that day. Why? Because, by then all Jerusalem had heard the news that there was no Ark of the Covenant behind the curtains. The blood sacrifices at the Temple were not washing away their sins. And so it remains to this day for the nation of Israel that their sins remain unforgiven, because not only do they not have a Temple, but they also have no Ark. For John clearly told us that he saw the Ark of the Covenant in the Temple of God in Heaven in the Revelation.[4]

Likewise, we have been hoaxed. We thought the Day of Pentecost was the day intended by God for the church to start, but it never was. Just like those who only read Matthew’s account would think Jesus sent them into the middle of the lake, but it was not the case. So, may the curtain that veils your hearts and minds be torn now so that you can see the truth. The church you see today is not the church Jesus Christ died for, it is but a shadow of what should have been. Unfortunately for us, we have no way of knowing what should have been because no one was there to witness what was planned for the perfect occasion or what could have been done on the pleasing occasion, but only what happened on the good occasion has been recorded.

I hear you say, “But the Holy Spirit will make it known to us.” Yes, except He can only make known to us through the witness of what has been written down. Otherwise, whatever you and I say that the Holy Spirit is revealing to us can be mere imaginations of our minds.

We cannot go back to those missed appointments to see what we missed out on, no more than the twelve could have anticipated bringing along bread enough to feed the 5000.[5] The day had come, they were hungry; it was too late… Even if they had eight months of wages with them, there wasn’t enough bread to be had for them to buy. So what did Jesus say to them? “How many loaves do you have? Go and see…”[6] And again at the feeding of the 4000,[7] He asked, “How many loaves do you have?”[8]

We cannot go back, but we can see what we have, and what we have will be sufficient to meet the need.

So far, you have been shown that had the eleven and the others gone to Galilee that morning, they would have probably spent forty days and nights up that mountain in the presence of the glory of God as Moses did, and would have seen the Holy Spirit as He was meant to be seen – the glory of Jesus even, I say probably, because this is a revelation without basis of what is written and many can argue that we have no basis to make such a claim, but we are merely preaching what we believe. That is a valid counter claim that we must respect. For, as I have said, preach what you believe and you start an argument; share what you know and you have a testimony.

My theory or revelation that the early church was meant to have come down that mountain at full power, with their whole person shining with the glory of God just like Moses’ face, is interesting and makes for controversial reading and discussion, which really does not help us now. We missed it, whatever it was, and that’s that! If that was the plan – the church launched at full power through individuals who had spent forty days and nights in the presence of God until all that was unrighteous about them had been washed away – well, it never happened! What we got instead was a sort of a start with the 120 being baptised in a house in Jerusalem, and instead of striking the people who saw them there with awe because they were all shining with the glory of God like Moses was, their behaviour drew these comments: “What does this mean?” and, “They have had too much wine.”[9] No one said Moses’ face was shining because he had too much wine. They all knew what it meant, which is why they used to cover up his face with a veil.

Even if the plan was to start up the church with a group of selected people who had been enlightened and empowered by being in the presence of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – it never happened. And funny thing is this; Jesus knew it would not happen. He knew, for God foreknows all things; that the perfect plan would not happen, not even the pleasing plan, but that the church would be started with the wrong person elected for Judas’ position. The Holy Spirit would be received as what seemed to be tongues of flames that came to rest on them and that the first perception by the world of His church was that they were a bunch of drunks.

Jesus knew that His church would not be started and run or maintained by fully mature apostles with powers of the age to come, but that, as usual, they would not listen to what He said, or go where He asked them to go, or do what He told them to do, much less remember anything else. To prove the point, even Peter, James and John did not remember to tell the others what happened on the Mount of Transfiguration. Peter, in his letter, still managed to leave out the command! For he wrote: For He received honour and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from Heaven when we were with Him on the sacred mountain.[10]

I say Jesus knew this, foreknew this, because He said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing.”[11] He did not say that those who had matured[12] would be able to do what He had been doing. No, He said, anyone who has faith in Me…” He left open the ability to do what He wanted us to do, planned for us to do, to anyone, so that even if the anointed and appointed sent ones, that is, the apostles, messed it up, the world would still come to know just what He died for and what He suffered for. He died to save the world. It is saved and has been kept saved despite our failings. He died once for sin, once for all, and became the sin offering that we might become the righteousness of God by faith. And by faith, anyone would be able to do what He has been doing. Not by obedience to His commands, not by maturity, not by holiness that comes from transfiguration, not by superior revelations and deep meditations, no, by faith. Anyone, by faith in Him, could do it. It only takes for that faith to be placed in Him.

But how can any have faith in someone they have not heard, much less seen? It is no wonder that Satan has distracted everyone who believes in Jesus to listen to anyone else except Jesus. To listen to preachers sermonising is good. To listen to the apostles and the prophets, even the psalms and the law, is pleasing for it takes faith to believe them too. But to listen to Jesus is perfect! So, you have it —everyone has been deceived to the good and pleasing and kept away from the perfect, and as long as the perfect does not come, the imperfect cannot disappear, that is, sin cannot disappear, good cannot disappear, neither can evil; and death continues to have its power through the sin that gave us knowledge of the good and the evil.

So, here we are just like the twelve, at the end of the day and a hungry world to feed. Too late to buy enough food with eight month’s wages. Too late to realise we should have waited in the city until we were clothed with power before we went fishing and sightseeing. Too late! So now the Holy Spirit reminds us of the words of Jesus and makes them known to us. And as Jesus said, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see,” so the Holy Spirit makes it known to us. “What do you have? Go and see.”

That is, what knowledge, what revelations do you have, what has been written down for you? Go and see. Just as Jesus was able to feed the 4000 from the seven loaves that they had, so we will be able to meet the needs of the multitude with what we have. With the same Bible, same scriptures, same everything, just like the seven loaves the twelve had were like any other loaves anyone else had, so it is that we will be able to meet the needs of those who have come to listen to the Lord and seek His healing.

The simple and easy secret of completing the task is not whether we can raise up a church of super apostles. I fear, if we do, Paul would be against us. But rather, to think of ourselves soberly and see what we have, and give it to the Lord.

What we have, what we can have, is the ability to take the Lord at His word. You do not have to be a disciple, holy and elected and set aside, to take the Lord at His word. Indeed, the royal official of John 4:49 was not such a man. He was merely a desperate father who needed his child healed. He took Jesus at His word and received exactly what Jesus said precisely when Jesus said it. You do not need to have faith to move mountains either, but enough faith, like the centurion, knowing that Jesus does not have to be physically present, but that His word is enough, as the centurion said, “But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.”[13] It is that easy!

And Jesus has said His words; we have all that has been written down for us, if only we have the faith to take them for what they are —His words that will endure even when Heaven and Earth pass away.[14] And His words are: “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing.”

Anyone who listens to Jesus and takes Him at His word will do what He has been doing. The church at full miraculous power will manifest, not because we are a bunch of super obedient, holier than thou, righteous, good people who never sin. But rather, the church at full power will manifest despite the fact that we are still a bunch of sinners, still doing the things we know we ought not to do, and not doing the things we know that we ought to do… just like Paul. It will manifest the full power of the glory of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the glory He had before the foundation of the world, all because of what Jesus suffered and died for.

The writer of the Hebrews wrote: In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the Author of their salvation perfect through suffering.[15] This then is what Christ died for —He suffered and died so that by His death, that which God made, all of which was good, would now become indestructible and impervious to sin, once for all. The original creation was good. Indeed, it is written that God saw what He had made, and saw that it was good (five times[16])… very good in fact.[17]

But it was fragile, it took only one sin and creation fell. The system was very good, so good that everyone got fed without anyone or anything dying. The animals ate the leaves of plants and humans ate the fruits, so no plants died. But, so fragile was the system that once Adam disobeyed once, it was spoilt. Now, the danger of giving free choice to a creature to say, “Yes” or “No” means that he will not be able to stop saying “No” when you want him to say “Yes,” and he will not be able to say “Yes” when you want him to say “No.” In other words, he will never be able to stop doing the things he should not do, nor can he be counted on doing what he ought to do, the wretch that he is.[18]

So, God’s answer is to salvage that system of good, and make it so robust that it remains good, no matter what the sin is, and that’s perfect. That is the perfection Christ died and suffered for, once for all, for sin. Right now through Christ, no amount of sin can destabilise or spoil His new creation, for the new creation’s righteousness is not maintain or gained through the observance of any law, but by faith. And if not by faith, it is not by works so that even to obey the command to listen to Jesus, it is the faith with which a person listens that makes him righteous, not the act of listening.

That is why Jesus did not say, “I tell you the truth, anyone who listens to Me can do what I have been doing.” Rather, it is anyone who has faith in Him. If anyone who listens to Jesus could do what He has been doing, then all the Sanhedrin could have done it too, for they heard Him say that He is the Son of God and crucified Him for it. They heard it and believed Him enough to kill Him, but not enough to have faith in Him.

No, what we have is not a history of the church started by super apostles, but by a collection of men and women just like us, who hear but do not listen, who see but do not understand, who are told but do not necessarily obey, who start and try but may not persevere. Men and women who have all their frailty still with them, not burnt out or drowned out by forty days and nights by glorious fire, and yet not by their righteousness or obedience to any law, but their faith in Jesus Christ will do what Jesus has been doing and greater things than this will they do.

So, we do not have to find eight months’ wages or find a baker with enough loaves to buy from. No, we just have to give to Jesus what we have, just as He said, “Bring them here to Me.”[19] We do not have to go back in time and journey to the Mount of Transfiguration with super apostles who can translate through time and space to raise up the church to full power to show the world what God had always had in mind for His church to do. No, we merely have to find people who want to know Jesus, and bring them to Him as He said, “Bring them here to Me.”

It is all about bringing what people we have to Jesus here and now, wherever and whenever we are, and He will do the miracle. He will use them to meet the needs of the multitude just like He used the loaves and the fish, even little barley loaves and small fish, that is, every little person unlikely as they are.

For that is what He died for, what He suffered for, to establish such a robust and hardy perfection that no sinner within the system can make imperfect, but rather its perfection would remove the imperfection, so that the very sinners themselves become the righteousness of God. Just as Saul’s approval of Stephen’s killing worked out in such a way that he became Paul who did all that Stephen was meant to do and more.

Jesus deserves the best —and what He deserves is not a church that can do miracles like He does because they have fulfilled the Law, because they have kept themselves sinless and holy from the world, and because they are the best of mankind. Rather, He died and suffered so that He would have a church that could do great miracles like He did and even more, despite themselves. He deserves to have people who cannot fulfil the Law to be righteous. He deserves to have people who cannot keep themselves sinless or holy no matter how hard they try, and who are the worst of sinners in fact, who are able to do what He has been doing and greater things than these, because He fulfilled the Law for them.

He keeps them righteous, holy and sinless before God, and He is not ashamed to call them His brothers because they are not ashamed to take Him at His word and believe in Him. He deserves all this because He is Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God who so loved His Father that He obeyed everything His Father commanded Him, even death on a Roman cross for a bunch of wretches like us.

It is that easy—anyone who has faith in Him can do what He has been doing and greater things than these shall they do. All we have to do is bring them here to Him. Amen


 

[1] Galatians 2:21

[2] 1 Peter 3:18

[3] Acts 2:38

[4] Revelation 11:19

[5] Matthew 14:21 – 5000 men besides women and children

[6] Mark 6:38

[7] Matthew 15:38 – 4000 men besides women and children

[8] Matthew 15:34; Mark 8:5

[9] Acts 2:12-13

[10] 2 Peter 1:17 – (Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35)

[11] John 14:12

[12] Hebrews 5:14

[13] Luke 7:7

[14] Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33

[15] Hebrews 2:10

[16] Genesis 1:10,12,18,21,25

[17] Genesis 1:31

[18] Romans 7:14-24

[19] Matthew 14:18

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