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wind_blows
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Joined: 2009/1/4
Posts: 353


 Just thought I would share

The First Two Chairs

In the first chair, we have an unbeliever or pagan—someone who makes no claim to follow Jesus at all. Perhaps this person is a Muslim or a Hindu or an atheist. This person does not claim to be a Christian.

In chair number two, however, we have a person who claims to follow Jesus, but this person does not obey Jesus. At meetings, this person appears to love Jesus. But he does not really love Him because he does not obey Him. In Matthew 7, Jesus said that there would be many people who say, “Lord, Lord.” There will be many who do high-profile works in His Name, but to whom He will say, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.”

Everyone knows that the person in chair one is not saved because this person doesn’t even claim to follow Jesus. We know that unless you have the Son, you cannot have the Father. Unless you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, the Blood will not wash away your sins. This person does not claim to be interested in the Savior. He doesn’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God. This person cannot be saved because he does not trust in Jesus. Jesus’ Blood does not wash away this person’s sins. Until this person in chair one surrenders to Jesus, he cannot be saved. He might be considered a wonderful person and a good father and a good worker, but he cannot be saved without the cleansing of the Blood of Jesus.

On the other hand, the person in the second chair says, “I’m a Christian.” But the behavior of this person is bad, even though this person may do seemingly “good” works in Jesus’ Name. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus said that on the Day of Judgment, people like this will say, “Jesus, you taught in our streets. You ate at our table. We did miracles in your name. We gave our wealth to the poor.” But Jesus says to these people in Matthew 7:21, “You did not obey me. You did not do the will of my Father. I never knew you.” Jesus is indicating here that many people who profess to be Christians, and even do mighty works in His Name, are actually on the broad road that leads to destruction. These people claim to be Christians, they claim they are members of the Church, but in reality, they are not.

The person in the first chair is not saved because of unbelief. The person in the second chair is not saved because of disobedience, which the Bible says is also unbelief.

The Other Three Chairs
Now the people in the next three chairs represent true, Blood-bought followers of Jesus. These three are Christians. But I want to clarify something so that there is no confusion with the person in chair number two.

There is a very intriguing passage in 1 John 2 that identifies the individuals we have in our last three chairs. John said, “I write to you children, I write to you fathers, I write to you young men.” And then he said it again, “I write to you children, I write to you fathers, I write to you young men.” Now our normal way of thinking of the order of things is children, young men, and then fathers. Right? But God gives this order, “Children, fathers, young men.”

Children, fathers, young men—these are all saved individuals. These are people that believe Jesus is the Son of God, and their sins are forgiven and they are washed in His blood. Chair three represents children, chair four represents fathers, and chair five represents young men. You could think of them as babies, mature or responsible adults, and then warriors.

The thing I want to make clear is that sometimes the behavior of children, even though they are totally saved, looks like the behavior of unsaved people (like the person in chair two). But the person in chair three (the True child) is washed in the Blood of Jesus. The person in chair two may claim to have been washed in the Blood of Jesus. This person might even sing songs about the Blood of Jesus saving them, but because this person can go on and on deliberately rebelling against Jesus, this person is not truly a Follower of Jesus. “Anyone that claims to be in Him must walk as Jesus walked.” “Everyone that will not listen to Jesus will be completely cut off from amongst the People.” “Everyone that has this Hope purifies himself as He is pure.” “No one who is truly born of God will continue to sin, because God’s Seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning because he has been born of God.

The Chair Two/Chair Three Dilemma
Sometimes the behavior of the person in chair two might even be better than the behavior of the person in chair three. But there is something you have to understand about the Good News of Jesus. The person in chair three is saved because he has surrendered to Jesus and sought cleansing in His Blood. In Ephesians 1 and Galatians 3, God said that when a person believes in his heart (not just in his head) in Jesus Christ, that He gives that person the gift of the Holy Spirit to live inside of them. The Holy Spirit is given to everyone who truly believes and trusts in Jesus from the heart.

So now you have a dilemma. If you’re only judging by the behavior, how do you know how to respond? What if you encounter the baby Christian who behaves poorly, and you have an unbeliever that claims to be a Christian, but, for all you can see, perhaps behaves a little better? Well, has anyone ever been saved from sin because they have good behavior? Is that the Good News of Jesus? Is the Good News that we’re saved by our good behavior? Of course not! We’re saved by the Blood of Jesus. We’re saved from our sins past, and we’re saved from our sins future by the Blood of Jesus Christ.

So then, why does it say in the Bible in the book of Galatians that everyone that lives like a sinner will not enter the Kingdom of God? That sounds like our salvation is affected by our behavior. But we know that can’t be true. We’re saved by the Blood of Jesus, not by our behavior. So then, why does the Bible say that everyone who lives in sin and continues to live in sin cannot enter the Kingdom of God and will not go to Heaven? Why did Jesus say, “The sheep are the ones who do My will and obey Me, and the goats are the ones who would not obey Me”? Jesus said the sheep are going to heaven, and the goats are going to hell. And Jesus said you know the sheep by what they do, and you know the goats by what they don’t do. That sounds like we’re saved by our behavior. But we know that can’t be true.

Resolving the Dilemma
What is the message here? How do we understand this aspect of the Gospel? Well, this is the mystery and the power of the Good News of Jesus. Everyone who has truly given their heart to Jesus and has turned away from their past is given the gift of the Holy Spirit. We read in the book of 1 John that there are many signs of what the indwelling Spirit looks like in a person’s life. There are many who will say, “Lord, Lord,” but will hear Jesus say, “I don’t even know you.” So we know that a person is not necessarily a Christian just because that person claims to be or does seemingly wonderful things in the Name of Jesus.

The book of 1 John was written about sixty years after Pentecost. The Apostle John was perhaps eighty-five to ninety years old. John had many years to think and to pray about what a true Christian looks like. By that time, sixty years after the day of Pentecost, there were many people that had grown up in the Church. There were new babies born who grew up and had their own babies in that amount of time. So there were many people that grew up saying the right words because their parents said the right words. By this time, there were many people who “grew up in the church” and so knew all the songs and could clap and sing and say all the right words. But John recognized that though some might appear Christian, they might have never truly given their lives to Jesus. A person is not a Christian because his or her parents are Christians, right? A person is not a Christian because that person attends Christian meetings. A person is not a Christian because of mentally believing the right things. A person, according to Jesus, is not even a Christian by virtue of performing miracles in His Name. There are going to be people on that Day, who have apparently done miracles in His Name, and He will tell them, “Depart from Me into outer darkness. I never knew you.”

A Deposit of the Holy Spirit
As I mentioned, the book of 1 John was written sixty years after Pentecost. John answers many of these same questions that he likely had to face also. John wrote many different things in the book of 1 John that describe what a genuine Christian looks like. Over and over he describes what it looks like if someone has evidence of the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says that everyone who is truly a Christian has a deposit or a down payment called the Holy Spirit.

When a person is buying a house or buying a car, sometimes they will give a down payment or a first payment. That deposit, or down payment indicates that the buyer is serious about the purchase. That first payment is like a guarantee that the full payment will come. The Bible says that God, as a down payment, gave the Holy Spirit to everyone who believes. This is the proof to us that we will inherit eternal life forever. If someone is missing the down payment, the deposit of the Holy Spirit, it is an indication that there has been no agreement or covenant made between this person and Jesus.

This is why John, the apostle, says that the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian is not whether they do miracles, not whether they believe the right things, but whether they have the Holy Spirit. And what does it look like when a person truly has the Holy Spirit? Is it doing miracles? Is it singing and attending meetings? No, those are not indicators that help us understand who has the Spirit and who does not. The person in chair three, who is a baby in the faith, may have truly surrendered to Jesus from the heart, but might display bad behavior sometimes.
Some Love the Light

John and Jesus gave us one very important test to help us make sense of this confusion. Jesus put it this way, “Some love the light, and some hate the light” (Jn. 3). John said, “If we can continue to sin, then we don’t know God, and we have proven that we don’t have the Holy Spirit” (1Jn. 1-4).

Jesus said, “Some love the Light, and some hate the Light.” This saved person’s behavior might not be very good sometimes, but because this person has the Holy Spirit in their life, this person will love the light and love the truth. Like a newborn baby, this person will crave the pure spiritual milk of the Word. When you approach this person and say, “Your behavior at work, or with your wife is disconcerting, brother. Do you realize that when you do these things you’re hurting many people, including Jesus?” The person in chair three may start to cry and say, “You’re right. I know you speak the truth. In my heart, I am sad about how I have treated my wife. Thank you for coming to tell me. I want you to tell me these things. I need your help.” This is very strong evidence that this person has the Holy Spirit and is truly saved.

Perhaps this person’s behavior is not very good at home or at the workplace at first, but the Bible says that if one is truly saved, the Holy Spirit will manifest Himself with a love for the Light and exposure of Truth. This person will say, “Pray for me! Ask Jesus to help me! Please—YOU help me, too? I invite you to speak the words and insights of Jesus to me anytime. I will open my heart and welcome Light and Truth and His Priesthood of all Believers.”

What does the person in chair two say? This person does not have the Holy Spirit. This person may appear to do miracles in Jesus’ name. This person may sing and dance and even preach sermons, but still not have the Holy Spirit. How do you know this person does not have the Holy Spirit and is not really saved? Because when you go to this person and say, “Your behavior is not very good with your wife,” this person says, “You’re judging me! Get the log out of your own eye! You’re being legalistic! Mind your own business! Who do you think you are to talk to me like that? Don’t you know I’m a “pastor”? You can’t talk to me like that! Touch not God’s anointed!” This person is not saved, because this person does not love the Light. There is strong evidence that this person does not have the Holy Spirit, because this person does not love the Light. Some love the Truth and so are saved. Some do not love the Truth and are not saved (2Thes. 2:10). Some love the Light and some hate the Light because their deeds are evil (Jn. 3:19-21).

So, if you judge only by behavior, you’ll make mistakes. Sometimes the behavior of the chair number two people and the chair number three people looks very similar. In fact, sometimes chair number two people look better than chair number three Christians. Chair number two people appear, at times, to be doing great works for Jesus. But Jesus in John 3, and the Apostle John in the letter of 1 John say behavior is not how you judge. You can only understand who is saved and who is not by who has the Spirit. And a key evidence of the Spirit living inside of a person is that person’s response to Light.
____________________________________________________________
Reading through this teaching and finding it to be very interesting. Thought I would share it here. Part 1

 2010/1/11 1:10Profile
wind_blows
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Joined: 2009/1/4
Posts: 353


 Re: Just thought I would share

The New Covenant

I’ll go back all the way to the Old Testament to prove this point. The prophesy about the coming of Jesus in the New Covenant can be found in Jeremiah 31 and also in Ezekiel 36. In both cases, He said the same thing about the coming of the New Covenant. God said that in the Old Covenant, a man says to his neighbor, “Know the Lord, know the Lord!” (We’ve tried to re-enact the Old Covenant in modern church for many years now, and it’s the wrong idea.)

The New Covenant, according to both Jeremiah and Ezekiel, works like this: “The proof that I’ve forgiven their sins and remembered their transgressions no more, the proof that I’ve truly forgiven their sins and made them Christians is that I’ll put my Spirit in them and I will cause them to keep my commands and decrees.” The proof that a person is truly a Christian and their sins are forgiven, according to prophecy six hundred years before Jesus, is that Jesus will put His Spirit in them and He will turn their hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. He will put His Spirit in them and now the sheep will know the Shepherd’s voice.
The Proof of the Holy Spirit

A Christian, a partaker of the New Covenant, loves the Truth (2Thes. 2:10) and loves the Light (Jn. 3:19-21), and is now a “partaker of the DIVINE nature” (2Pet. 1:4; Rom. 6:1-14). That’s the proof that the Spirit lives in them or in any of us. We don’t have to take everyone’s word for it just because they say, “Lord! Lord!” This is good news! Pagans or false religionists no longer can control the Churches! We can now obey, out of relationship, the command to “get the leaven out of the batch” without being “judgmental”! If they do not love the Light of exposure because they earnestly desire to grow in Jesus, but rather resent and resist and close others out by being defensive, they are not saved, according to Jesus, and cannot be considered part of His Church. Now, remember: ONLY WITH DAILY RELATIONSHIPS can you EVER know if anyone loves the Light and the Truth, and is therefore a child of God. A few meetings a week will never allow anyone to know if someone loves the Light and is just weak, or if they hate the Light and therefore are not yet Saved. If they do not love the Truth and desire it with all their hearts (rather than resist the Truth with pride and defensiveness and blame-shifting), then the Holy Spirit says they are not saved at all. This is very helpful to understand! IF they are saved, they WILL have the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9, Galatians 3, Ephesians 1). And the PROOF that they have the Holy Spirit in them (no matter how many times they tell you a great “testimony” and say, “Lord, Lord!” Matthew 7) is that they love to obey. They are new creations and now love the Light, and love the Truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10), and “like newborn babies crave” the Word of God to be applied in their lives (1 Peter 2). Under the New Covenant, we won’t have to convince someone, “Know the Lord, know the Lord.” We won’t have to say, “Change your behavior so you can act like a Christian.” Now we can say, “You’re behavior is not like Jesus.” And true believers, like newborn babies craving milk, will say, “You’re right. God forgive me! Will you forgive me too? 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4 say I need your help to be all I can be for Jesus. Can you help me? Please pray for me. And if you see me acting like that again, please come to me again. And if I’m not listening to you very well, please bring two or three and come talk to me again, the way my Master and my beloved Jesus said to do.”

Do you remember that scripture in Matthew 18? If you talk to a brother or sister and at first they don’t understand you or won’t hear you, Jesus says you should bring two or three others to help them understand. Then, if they still don’t understand and won’t change, you should tell the whole Church. Isn’t that what our Lord taught us to do?

Now, let’s say you come to me and I’m angry with my children, and you say, “You shouldn’t be angry with your children like that. You can be kind.” Or I’m quarreling with people and having arguments with people, and you come to me and say, “God said the Lord’s servant must not quarrel.” If I’m a little baby, I might say, “You know, I don’t really see what you’re saying. I don’t really agree with you. I don’t understand what you’re saying. You say my behavior is bad, but I don’t really see it that way. Will you please bring three others to help me understand, because I don’t agree with you? If you’re right, I want to know about it, because I want to change. So please bring two or three others to help me understand and then even tell the Church if you need to, because I want to understand.”
Look at the Heart, Not Behavior

This heart is the proof that the Holy Spirit lives inside of a person. The gift of the Holy Spirit is the deposit that guarantees their inheritance. “This is the verdict,” says Jesus, in John 3. This is what separates innocent from guilty. Not that everyone is perfect, but the ones who have their sins forgiven ALL “love the Light.” They have the gift of the Spirit that they didn’t have before. Now, from deep inside, their hearts of stone have become soft hearts of flesh. From deep inside, God is causing them to keep His commands and decrees. From deep inside, they care about Jesus’ words about their behavior. The sheep know the Shepherd’s voice because they have the Spirit of Jesus. The sheep say, “I want to follow Jesus! Lead me that way.” The goats say, “Leave me alone! I can do miracles! I can give my money to the poor! I know things. I’m better than you, and I don’t care what you say.”

Looking at behavior is not the best way to understand the heart. If a person’s behavior is bad, that’s an indication that there is a problem. But if you cannot talk to them because they do not love the Light, then you have a serious problem. That person is not saved. If, on the other hand, a person’s behavior is not very good because they are still a baby, the behavior is still a problem. They just may not know any better, but they love the Light and want help. And that’s a very workable situation.

We must not look only at the behavior problems. Many people have problems because, perhaps, their parents raised them poorly. Others perhaps had friends who were bad company before they became disciples of Jesus. Perhaps before coming to Jesus many were deep in sin (as I was and some of you were), and so we came into the Kingdom with pretty bad habits. Again, the issue is do we love the Light?!

Do you remember this example from Scriptures? The believers in Corinth were new Christians. None of them had been Christians for more than three or four years. They lived in a very wicked city called Corinth. There were many evil things in that city. Many of the believers in the Church in Corinth had been involved in those evil things, including homosexuality and many other things, according to the letter. These believers had come out of those evil, wicked things, but they were still babies. They had given their lives to Jesus, but they still had weaknesses and bad habits. So their behavior was not yet perfect. But do you remember what Paul said when he confronted some of their problems? He said, “I knew that you would obey.”

In the second letter to the Corinthians, in chapter 7 Paul said, “When you got my first letter, you responded with great energy and great repentance. You were frightened by the evil that you saw in your own lives. You were alarmed by it, and you were very earnest and passionate to rid yourself of that sin.” Paul said, “I bragged to Titus that I knew when you got my letter that you would repent.” That’s what it says in 2 Corinthians 7.

Their behavior was very bad in the Church in Corinth. Paul wrote the first letter to them confronting all of their different kinds of sin. But they were truly saved, and Paul knew that they were, so he was able to write, “I knew you had the Holy Spirit, so I knew that when I brought these things to your attention that you would repent. And I even told Titus you would repent. So now Titus has returned to me and brought me a lovely message, and it brings great joy to my heart to hear you have repented just as I told him you would.” Any person who truly has the Holy Spirit will welcome a letter or welcome a brother coming to them and helping them. They want to change.

The Good News of Jesus Christ is that we are washed by His Blood and all of our sins are forgiven because we put all of our faith in Jesus as our Savior. The proof that we have done that from the heart, the deposit that guarantees our inheritance, is the Holy Spirit given to every true Christian. If a person has the Holy Spirit, they will love the Light and love the Truth... and then their behavior will begin to change. They repent of how they treat their husband or their wife, and they change. They repent of how they treat their coworkers, or their children, or their neighbors, and they change. They repent of their past sins and wicked habits, and they change and become more mature.
____________________________________________________________

Part 2

 2010/1/11 1:20Profile
wind_blows
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Joined: 2009/1/4
Posts: 353


 Re:

God’s Plan for Growing Us Up

Now, do you see how the Church comes into this issue? God’s plan is a treasure in earthen vessels. God’s plan is a priesthood of believers. God’s plan is for His people to “admonish one another every day.” As we truly live this out together, one benefit is that all of God’s true children become more and more mature. Another result of walking together as God intended is that if someone doesn’t love the Light, then they are exposed as a pretender. If they are uncorrectable, if they don’t care what Jesus says about these things, if they get angry and arrogant, then they are exposed as being a counterfeit Christian. It becomes clear that they must not have ever really given their life to Jesus because the truth is one cannot have the Holy Spirit and not love the Light (John 3, 1 John 1, 3).

So, if the church is truly being the Church, then as priests we will all help each other to grow in maturity. We will all be Light and Life to one another. We will all help each other see things that we can’t see in ourselves. If I’m selfish, I can’t always see my selfishness. But my selfishness is hurting Jesus. My selfishness is harming my ability to love Jesus. If I have selfishness, it’s harming my ability to be blessed by God, because God won’t bless selfishness. It harms my testimony for Jesus if I’m a selfish man. So the purpose of a priesthood is to help each other know God better every day—in the marketplace, in the home, in the workplace. In the Church, I can grow from being a baby who is selfish, and eventually become a true man of God.

Paul said (1Cor. 3) that some people who are saved barely escape through the flames. These people go to Heaven, but they sneak through the flames to get there. Read it in 1 Corinthians 3 yourself. The Bible says that some people are saved, but they are burned escaping through the flames. But that is not God’s intention! It is not God’s desire that we just barely make it to Heaven. God’s intention is not that a bunch of babies with lots of sin in their life go to Heaven. God’s intention is that we be a City set on a hill that cannot be hidden. God’s intention is that we be established as the Chief among the mountains. God’s intention is that we be a Bride that has made herself ready. God’s intention is that we be a pure, spotless and blameless Bride. God’s intention is that His Church be an equal yoke for the Son of God when He comes back for His Bride.

Everyone permitted by God into the Church loves the Light. Some of us may be immature. Some of us may even behave badly sometimes. But if we truly have the Spirit of God, if we are true Christians rather than counterfeit Christians—then we will love the Light. And loving the Light together with other brothers and sisters, we will be able to help each other to grow. Then everyone will grow stronger and stronger and wiser and wiser. We can have more and more love of Jesus and more and more power from God in our lives. The testimony of Jesus can get stronger and stronger and humiliate the enemy. There will no longer be a bunch of babies who are an embarrassment to Jesus’ Testimony—a bunch of babies with bad behavior that look nothing like Jesus. A bunch of babies with bad behavior is not impressive to the gates of hell. A bunch of babies with bad behavior will not help unbelievers become followers of Jesus.

If we are a Church of men and women of God who are mature and look like Jesus with our lives...if the Church is a glorious, wise, wonderful Bride for Jesus with the power of God and the character of God in our lives every day, then people will be very impressed with Jesus and they’ll want to come to know Him!!

So, consider this issue of what a false Christian is (chair number two) and what a true Christian is (chairs three, four and five). Consider that good behavior does not necessarily mean you’re a Christian (Mat. 7). Consider that bad behavior does not necessarily mean that you’re not washed by the Blood of Jesus. The real issue according to John 3, 1 John 1, 2 Thessalonians 2, and 1 Peter 2 is that a true believer has the Spirit of God. A true believer’s behavior might be bad sometimes, like sometimes a young child’s behavior is not good. But if they are truly born a second time with the Spirit, like a newborn baby they will crave Truth and crave Light. The purpose of the Church is to help the person with bad behavior who does love Truth to have the wisdom and the courage to obey Jesus and become more mature.

So, we must define a Christian properly. We must also live like the Church is supposed to live—admonishing one another daily so that none are hardened or deceived by sin. We must live as a priesthood. Then all the babies will get stronger and stronger. Then Jesus will have His testimony—a Bride filled with His Spirit and His personality. Jesus will have His Church that the gates of hell will not prevail against. And then, the beauty of Jesus will be here for all of Islam and all of Hinduism and everyone to see. We must not be just babies who say the right things, but don’t live like Jesus. And, the Church is not a collection of counterfeit Christians who say the right things but don’t have the Spirit of Jesus living inside of them, as a Person. But we can be and will be a glorious Bride for Jesus. This is the Good News of the Kingdom of God.
______________________________

part3

 2010/1/11 11:41Profile
live4jc
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Joined: 2008/10/2
Posts: 203


 Re:



Hi Windblows,

What you shared was a blessing ! There are many good insights in this piece you've posted. I like the sections below that underscore that 'having the Holy Spirit' and 'loving the light' are some of the key characteristics of a true believer in Christ. Though both mature and less mature Christians will differ in some respects, it seems like these are some of the more important traits that all Christians will share in common.

In Jesus,
John


"This is why John, the apostle, says that the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian is not whether they do miracles, not whether they believe the right things, but whether they have the Holy Spirit. And what does it look like when a person truly has the Holy Spirit? Is it doing miracles? Is it singing and attending meetings? No, those are not indicators that help us understand who has the Spirit and who does not. The person in chair three, who is a baby in the faith, may have truly surrendered to Jesus from the heart, but might display bad behavior sometimes.
Some Love the Light

John and Jesus gave us one very important test to help us make sense of this confusion. Jesus put it this way, “Some love the light, and some hate the light” (Jn. 3). John said, “If we can continue to sin, then we don’t know God, and we have proven that we don’t have the Holy Spirit” (1Jn. 1-4).

Jesus said, “Some love the Light, and some hate the Light.” This saved person’s behavior might not be very good sometimes, but because this person has the Holy Spirit in their life, this person will love the light and love the truth."

 2010/1/11 22:48Profile





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