Sunday, July 27, 2008

Greater than the Greatest!

Greater Than the Greatest of the O.T Prophets

By Abraham Israel

Jesus came to this earth in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh (Rom 8:4), that by Him every one who believes is justified from all things (Acts 13:39). The Spirit of God can dwell in you as His temple because of the Divine Exchange that has taken place on your behalf. He himself became a curse and sin for you that you might become the very righteousness of God in the inner man (Eph 4:24; 1 Cor 6:17, 20; 3:16; 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16; Galatians 3:13-14; 2 Cor 5:21).

If you had not become the righteousness of God, the Holy Spirit could not reside in you.
This is the reason Jesus said that “…Among those born of woman there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist…” (Matt 11:11). If we ask the question why Jesus said this? It is because in the O.T period there has not been anyone filled with the Holy Spirit, right from the womb of one’s mother except John the Baptist who was the last and the greatest prophet of the Old Testament (Luke 1:15; Matt 11:13). But the first person with whom God Himself was with and was conceived by the Holy Spirit of God who dwelt in Him and the first person for God to dwell in human flesh after the first Adam before the fall (Matt 1:18, 20; Luke 1:31-32, 35; 3:38) was Jesus who is for that reason is called the Last Adam and the second man (1 Cor 15:45-49). He grew up as a man child and became strong in the spirit man and because of that growth was filled with wisdom and the grace of God was upon Him (Luke 2:40). In other words as much as he hit the inner spirit man with the word of God, He grew tremendously in wisdom and began to realize His identity of who He was. Even when He was twelve years old Boy, He knew who He was and where He has come from and what was the mission that is ahead for Him to fulfill. He thirsted after the word of God and the temple of God. All who heard Him speak were astonished at His understanding and answers. Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men implying that He grew up as a perfect man subject to His parents (Luke 2:42-52).

Many people who have no understanding of the Word of God say, because God the Father called Jesus as His Son, He is made and has a beginning. To that the Word of God clearly shows that God the Father even before Jesus came in to this world in eternity past told to Jesus how His future relationship with Him will be after His incarnation as a God-man. The Bible gives a explanation for that issue in
Heb 1:5 where God the Father spoke to God the Son during eternity past discussing the issue by saying, “You are My Son, Today [the day of His incarnation before 2000 years] I have begotten you”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”?. The Second part is spoken to the Holy Spirit of how their relationship should be patterned after in the earthly realm. God the Father did not say, ‘I am to Him a Father, and He is my Son.”. If He had said like that it would have shown that He was born in to the world like any other man on this planet earth. But the very fact that God spoke in present continuous tense by saying “I will be….and He shall be…..” shows that Jesus was God in the eternity past before He incarnated to become a man. The phrase Father and the Son is used as a title in anthropomorphic [having human form or qualities, Anthropo means like or concerning human being] earthly representation.

And also the other evidence in the same
chapter 1 of Hebrews Verse 8, God the Father says to the Son, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever…”. If Jesus was not present in the eternity past, How can God the Father call Jesus Christ the Son, as God? This is a undeniable evidence that Jesus had been there in the eternity past, where in the round table discussion of the blue print for planet earth was being prepared by the God head. This was actually a revelation that came to David about the God the Son (Ps 45:6). David by divine revelation understood what had happened before the foundation of the world in the heaven during eternity past (1 Peter 1:20).
The God who became man and dwelt in the planet earth as a perfect man along with men was Jesus
(Matt 1:23). The Bible says in Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given….” From this verse we can understand that the child was born as a baby in the manger but inside the baby was the very Son of God who was given from heaven by God to this mankind. In other words God prepared a body for the Son from heaven to dwell in this earth and He sent Jesus with a mission to redeem man (Heb 10:5; 1 Cor 15:47; John 3:13, 17). God did not tell Mary you shall bear or produce a Son, but He told to Mary ‘you shall bring forth [from which place? from heaven] a Son’. And that God the Son who had incarnated as a baby was told to be called as Jesus (Luke 1:31). God the Son not only has visited the planet earth in human form but He opened a channel to God through His flesh ascending in to the very presence of God who is in heaven to bring it [presence of God] in to the very flesh [physical body] of every human being who believes Him (Heb 10:20; 9:24; 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16-18).

The moment we believe in Jesus who himself is the embodiment of the word of God and who is God
(John 1:1-5), the very seed or sperm of God gets implanted in your spirit man (James 1:21) and your inner spirit man is born newly in the very image of the righteousness of God from heaven (John 3:3, 5; Eph 4:24). This baby spirit that is born newly will be connected to God the Spirit (1 Cor 6:17). From this time onward you will be able to receive, understand and be nourished by the spiritual message as from a mother to a baby and you are born in to God’s family (1 Peter 2:2-3; Eph 3:14-15). But just like a baby desires and craves for pure milk, if you desire the word of God and be fed with it, day by day you will be strengthened to grow and become mature until you become His sons and daughters (Eph 3:16; Rom 8:14). When you have grown up and are in the stature of His sons, you will be able to take solid food and not only digest it, but you will be able to cook it yourself to supply it to others (Heb 5:12-14). In other words you will be able to digest in-depth spiritual messages from God and will be able to supply it to others as a mature son of God.

Such kind of in-depth spiritual messages cannot be given to babies, toddlers, children or even teenagers. It will cause indigestion to them
(Heb 5:11; 1 Cor 3:1-4). At least teenagers will be able to understand at least half of it or more. These are the various levels of spiritual growth to Adulthood.

As a mother feeds and comforts a baby with milk to grow, the Holy Spirit will feed you and will comfort you
(Isaiah 66:13; 51:12; John 14:17; 15:26; 16:7). Only the child will recognize his/her mothers love. Like a mother teaches a young child, the Holy Spirit will teach you (Heb 12:3-11; 1 John 2:20, 27; John 14:26). As a mother guides a child in to the truth, the Holy Spirit will guide you (John 16:13-15). Only a parent who knows about your past can tell you about your future, like that the Holy Spirit will tell you of things to come (John 16:13). These are all the privilege of the New Covenant. This is the reason why Jesus said, “… he who is the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he [John the Baptist]” (Matt 11:11). Surely we as the child, sons and daughters of God are greater than the greatest of all the Old Testament prophet who is John the Baptist because the Holy Spirit dwells in us forever (Heb 13:5-6).

Jesus assuredly said,
“Among those born of women [any man born in the flesh- it stands even till today] there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he [you] who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he [John the Baptist].” (Matt 11:11). This is because the new spirit man that was born inside you, when you first repented and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:5-6; Acts 16:30-31; 2 Cor 5:17; Ezek 18:30-32; 36:25-27; Titus 3:5-7 ->[regeneration – to make something develop and grow strong again; renew – the process of bringing something new]), this new spirit man’s very conception is by the Holy Spirit.

Just like that which was conceived in Mary
[i.e. Jesus] is of the Holy Spirit (Matt 1:20), in the same way, that new spirit man which was conceived when we were born again is of the Holy Spirit. So only the Bible says “…the spirits of just men [which have been] made perfect” (Heb 12:23) and the Bible also says “…the new man which was created [when? When we were born again] according to God [is], in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:24). This is the reason we are greater than John the Baptist and are called as the sons and daughters of God (2 Cor 6:18). John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb, but we who are born in the kingdom as the children of God, our very conception is of the Holy Spirit (John 1:12) and we have the indwelling Spirit of God always with us.

Those who receive the king
[Jesus] are given the right to be as heirs with Him in His kingdom (Rom 8:17, 29-30). When the spirit man comes out strong and becomes separate [or else normally the spirit man in under the bondage of the soulish desires weak and feeble to rise and stand out (Heb 4:12-13)] under the Holy Spirits guidance, then truly you will be mature sons and daughters (2 Cor 6:17; Rom 8:14). The influence of the soulish man cannot co-exist with the strong spirit man, instead it [the spirit man] will rule and reign over the soulish man under the power of the Holy Spirit (Gal 4:30-31; 5:16-18). Most of the Christians live in the Spirit (Rom 8:9), but the question is do we walk [under the influence and power which is] in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). Be a mature son, not just a child of God !

Apostle Paul said that God called him, to reveal His Son in him
[what is that? To reveal the same amount or capacity of the Anointing which Jesus carried], so that Paul could preach Jesus Christ as Jesus Himself preached about the Father (Galatians 1:16; John 20:21-23; 5:17-23, 30). Once Paul understood about his calling he never approached the Apostles to lay their hands on him and transfer the Anointing as many think like that nowadays. It cannot be done like that, because it is Jesus who decides to give His Anointing to each person and He is the only person who has the Spirit without measure (John 3:34). We should seek Jesus in order to receive more of it (Matt 3:11, 12). Paul was trained by God Himself year by year as he pursued the call, so he received greater measure of the Anointing day by day (Galatians 1:15-17, 19, 22-24).

Anointing is precious; so it cannot be poured out on somebody to be wasted. It cannot be poured in or applied to the flesh
(Luke 5:37-38; Exodus 30:31-33). Jesus will pour out more and more as your capacity to hold it in increased capacity increases [i.e. your character gets matured]. As you are set apart in character more and more, you will experience God in the Spirit more and more (Heb 1:9; 12:14; 2 Cor 3:17). There is a price to pay to experience this Anointing, but as a child of God everybody is privileged to receive it more and more. This price is to gladly pass through the chastening hand of the Lord in our life and willing to be corrected and punish all disobedience when our obedience is fulfilled (Heb 12:7-11; 1:8, 9; 2 Cor 10:6).

We should be in an attitude of not despising the chastening or discipline of the Lord. At the same time we should not get discouraged when we are rebuked by Him. The Lord lovingly chastens and receives those He scourges
[He hears the prayer of this son] (Heb 12:5-6). Jesus Himself is our example to see and grow in this sonship of God that has been given to us as a gift (Heb 12:2-4; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:44). Because we have been adopted as sons, as a result of it the Spirit of God who has resided in our spirit cries out “Abba, Father!” In other words the Spirit of God is the guarantee that we now are the sons, and as a result we become the person who has legal right to receive His property as God’s sons and daughters through Christ (Galatians 4:5-7; 2 Cor 5:5; Rom 8:14-17).

The more we go through suffering, the more we will be glorified with Christ with the same anointing now in this life itself
(Rom 8:17; Phil 3:10-11; 2 Cor 5:4).

The apostles are those who are trained in this capacity and they will hold the Anointing of God overflowing in this measure
(Eph 4:13), so that they will pray and work towards seeing mature sons with the same capacity of Anointing. They will not cease till they see them before their very eyes (Galatians 4:19; Eph 2:20; 3:5-7; I Cor 3:10-11; Luke 11:49).

Galatians 4:19 Paul is not speaking about bringing people into salvation [i.e. to be born again], but he is speaking about forming Christ [i.e. developing in them the Anointed one’s Anointing capacity]. The same capacity is attainable because Jesus promised it (Luke 6:40; John 14:12). First be established in the foundation of the apostolic doctrines, and then build your capacity on it as high as possible, as large as possible and as long as possible (Acts 2:42-43; Rom 8:31-39). So when the storms of life come to hit you, you will not be moved, you will stay as strong as the Rock on which you have built yourself (Matt 7:24-29).

Some people say with out knowing the word of God, that Apostles are not present today to build people in that capacity. But they are mistaken. In
Ephesians 4:11, the Bible says “…He [Jesus] Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, building up the body of Christ (Eph 5:23; Col 1:18), till we all come… to a perfect man, to the stature of the fullness of Christ;” (Eph 4:11-13).

My question to you is if teachers, pastors and evagelists are present in the body of Christ, where are prophets and the apostles that Jesus has given to the church [Note: not just the first century church]?

First of all the list which start with apostles and ends with teachers have been given to the body of Christ, which means given to the church of all ages irrespective of the timeframes or time limitations. The answer to the question asked above is either they feel shy to be identified as apostles and prophets or the church with erroneous or limited knowledge might have rejected them and may not have identified or recognized them. It is not a wrong or proud thing to confess who you really are
(2 Tim1:1). The church have not yet attained to the fullness of the stature of Christ [mature man] even in our days. As a matter of fact the apostles and prophets will lay the foundation of Jesus Christ in every one till they see it happen before their very eyes (Eph 5:26-27).


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