FREEDOM I felt the rush of air rising, catching my wings as I ascended higher and higher through the clouds. Suddenly the mountain top appeared, rising majestically, resting on a sea of grey.The mountain trembled and the thunder clapped and the "Rock," said, " go." I flapped my wings and soon the mountain was far behind as I flew over rivers and valley's and great forests of pine. Then I came across a great assembly of men gathered together on a bleak and desolate moor as the rain began to fall and the wind howled in anguished anticipation. Words of freedom echoed up to the sky above. Will a man die for freedom? How many men have spilled their blood and hastened their souls to eternal damnation for that which is not even a shadow. And the men fought and died not knowing that it is not in the winning or the losing, neither can that which they seek be attained by knife or sword.I flapped my wings and suddenly the mists of time rolled back, back, back unto the dawning of a different age. Below me, another assembly of men, angry men. These men were not fighting for freedom, they were seeking to destroy it. They shouted, "crucify Him, crucify Him," and freedom hung in the balance. And all of hells fury cheered as the sky grew dark and the lightening flashed and the earth stood still in utter dismay. Would the sun ever rise in the sky again, or had darkness won the day?Then after three days and three nights, from a sea of darkness and gloom, rose majestically, a pure white standard that shattered the darkness forever.Now the white flag signifies surrender, when we surrender our life's to Jesus, we gain victory from the jaws of defeat and the darkness is destroyed forever.Jesus is our victory, in Jesus our Lord we find true Freedom. The Scriptures say that He who the Son sets free is free indeed. This majestic freedom rises high above all earthly gained freedom. If men could attain freedom then Christ died in vain.How free was our brother the Apostle Paul when he languished in the deep? What about Peter and John as the lashes tore the skin from their back? What about our brother Stephen as the cruel stones destroyed his earthly body? I say that they were as free as the birds in the sky, no, so much freer than they. For the birds are as free as the sky in which they fly, our freedom ascends to the very throne of the Almighty God.In the deepest darkest dungeons, chained to the walls, we are the light that penetrates and destroys the darkness, we are the salt of the earth. If true freedom could be granted or taken away by men then it would not be the freedom of Calvary. The gentiles busy themselves with earthly things, buying and selling, gaining and losing and for needs sakes we too must walk amongst them. And yet, we are a brotherhood, a Royal Priesthood sent to shine that light of Calvary's freedom into every corner of the earth.We are called to be a counter culture, not a sub-culture. The true Christian is in the world but not of it. The fact is that our citizenship is not of this world. Whether God chooses us to be born into Communist China, or Capitalist America, maybe Socialist Germany, it matters not. Perhaps we will be born under a monarchy, perhaps under democracy, maybe dictatorship, again, it is of little consequence. For we are not citizens of the world, we are indeed, ambassadors. We represent a kingdom that is, yet is not, yet is still to come. As representatives, we will live peaceably and quietly wherever we are sent. To become embroiled in the politics of wherever we are sent is to depart from our mission and is a tactic of the enemy. For we do not battle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, our weapons are not the weapons of the world for we fight the darkness with our light. We overcome evil with love, the love of Christ which is the power of the universe. If we are engaged in this war, the unseen war, then to entangle ourselves with the affairs of this world is to be AWOL(absent without official leave)We are soldiers in the army of the Lord. The war that we are engaged in never ends, there can be no peace until our Lord returns with a Trump, with a shout of Triumph. Until then, let us go about the business of Him who sent us.As Ambassadors, we represent Him and His Word, not human philosophy. Just as the early church was not involved in wars, nor politics, then neither should we. We must be like the early church, speaking boldly and without fear, the Truth in love. Many voices would engage the priesthood in "fighting for our rights." As Christians we are not shackled by rights. For rights are given and rights are taken away, yet our freedom cannot be touched.We will take the injury and go the extra mile with our enemies. If we are fired from our jobs for mentioning His name, or carrying the Word, then let us glorify in Him that we are counted worthy to suffer for His names sake. Let shame fall upon those who reproach because we love them when they despise us and treat us cruelly and unfairly. What greater cruelty that the Son of God hanging on a tree? And yet here is our perfect example , "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." Peter sought to take measures against this and was severely rebuked. Peter would even be willing to die to save the life of Jesus and drew the sword and attacked. Yet Jesus had a different way. Peter was not so willing to die for a Lord that was about to be mocked, tortured humiliated and killed. We are so willing to fight for our rights, our dignity, our heritage, our culture, our way of life, our morals, and yet we are not willing to die to the flesh in humility.We are not willing to embrace injustice, being wronged, unfair treatment. We give as good as we get, if our enemy takes us to court, then we take him to court. As Christians, we are called to follow the laws of the land, unless they compel us to violate Scripture. When the Holy Spirit wrote these teachings through our brother Paul, the Emperor of the time was Nero. Nero would dip our brothers and sisters in oil and suspend them upside down and set them ablaze to light up his dinner parties at night. Do you suffer that kind of injustice? Is your injustice worse than that? Should the Christians of that day formed an army or worked feverishly in the political realm to overthrow him? Not at all, and they did not. They engaged the enemy on the Spiritual level. Men who are not Spiritual will detest this view. For ultimately men of the world want to determine their own fate.The Royal Priest does not concern himself with this. For his fate is in the hands of God. The steps of a righteous man are ordered of God, the man in rebellion will order his own steps and make up his own rules and will ultimately violate Scripture to accommodate his own will. Let each Royal Priest be bearers of the light, let us set aside all that hinders us from following Him and leading others to Him. Let us bask in the revelation and realiztion of our Freedom. When we know Jesus , the politics of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. Fight the good fight of faith and in all things love your God, your nieghbor and your enemies. ...In the beauty of Holiness.........Frank
You will die for your country, but will you die for Christ?I have already died with Him. Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.In Christ: Phillip
Hi PhillipAt what point did the apostle Peter die?. This post would be for people who are struggling with the sin nature, but I am glad that you have no struggle :)My spirit is bought and paid for and covered by the blood of Jesus, my body too will be raised in incorruption. I still take up my cross every day, and hopefully I am being molded into His image. But I do not walk as though I had already aprehended, I still run the race. So, again this post would be for people who are still running the race, not for those who claim to have finished it..........Frank
Brother Frank wrote:
If true freedom could be granted or taken away by men then it would not be the freedom of Calvary. The gentiles busy themselves with earthly things, buying and selling, gaining and losing and for needs sakes we too must walk amongst them. And yet, we are a brotherhood, a Royal Priesthood sent to shine that light of Calvary's freedom into every corner of the earth.We are called to be a counter culture, not a sub-culture.
Frank,Quote:Hi PhillipAt what point did the apostle Peter die?. This post would be for people who are struggling with the sin nature, but I am glad that you have no struggle :)My spirit is bought and paid for and covered by the blood of Jesus, my body too will be raised in incorruption. I still take up my cross every day, and hopefully I am being molded into His image. But I do not walk as though I had already aprehended, I still run the race. So, again this post would be for people who are still running the race, not for those who claim to have finished it..........FrankIt is not I that is perfect it is the Christ in me that is perfect. 2 Timothy 2:8-11 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:If it is that Christ not live in me then I am lost and deserve hell and damnation. If we be in Christ, then who is the one that The Father sees in our lives? It must be Christ or The Father would have nothing to do with us. It is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us.If we think of ourselves of carrying our own cross, I can not and Christ could not carry His own Cross either. If you can take up your own cross and carry it by yourself I say more power to you, for perfection is not in the Law, the Law only makes you righteous in self, not perfection in Christ Jesus. Jesus kept the Law perfect but it was not the Law He kept that made Him pleasing to the Father, He only kept the Law to fulfill it. The Law cannot save anyone, even if we could keep it, it would not make us son's of God with the nature of God born again in us by the Son that is now the believers life.Again, Romans 6:10-11 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.It is the perfection of the Christ that is in men and is now my life that I seek. I only want to know Him more and more as the Holy Spirit brings forth in me the Life of Jesus Christ. Rom 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Christ in us and us in Christ is the only Cross that will make us capable of following Him. Christ is our only Glory and the Hope thereof. Colossians 1:27-28 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:This is our perfection, Christ Jesus, not what we do to become, but who we are and becoming.Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Let us trust that The Christ In us will become our understanding and our life by who we are not what we do. This is why God the Father was so pleased in His Son, not by what He did but by Who He was, and this is why He only learned to obey by the things He suffered. Christ knew exactly why He was Here. Hbr 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered;We are perfect, not by what we do, but because of who we are in Christ. 1Jo 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His Seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 John 3:21-24 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and he in Him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us. Like Paul, I have not attained perfection but the Christ in me has, and we are attaining it, and by this I press on toward the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus, in considering that Jesus Christ is my righteousness and has been made by the Father all that I need to finish the course in this upward calling. 1 Corinthians 1:29-31 That no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him (The Father)are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.In Christ my Glory: Phillip
This is a hard question. After all, we are called to give our lives for the sake of others, and the people of our nation would included "others". I don't see in scripture where anyone was praised for dying for Caesar's kingdom. In fact God tore it down. Meanwhile, a lot of people died for the sake of members of Caesar's empire. The difference is: are we willing to risk our lives in order to preserve an earthly kingdom, or an eternal kingdom. We can be misled when we mix up these kingdoms. No earthly kindgom/institution - even church is not the same as God's eternal kingdom. I think that our true motive will determine our choices. We die for the kingdom we value. I realize that you are not merely talking about a physical death, but a death of self, personal ambition, egocenteredness, self-righteousness, vindiction, etc. That is an ongoing death process, but I think it applies also. Diane
Diane writes....I realize that you are not merely talking about a physical death, but a death of self, personal ambition, egocenteredness, self-righteousness, vindiction, etc. That is an ongoing death process, but I think it applies also. Thats exactly what I was talking about Diane!!As to Phillips rely, I would say that I agree with Phillip and would not argue that when God the Father looks at us, He see's Jesus. I understand that theologically and spiritually. My piece was about what does the world see when it looks at Phillip. What does your wife see, what does your children see, what about your family and co-workers. Do they see Jesus when they look at you. Do you walk in perfection before them? Is there any room for improvement?Its the room for improvement that is the dying daily. May we all grow, in the eyes of the watching world, more like Jesus........In the beauty of Holiness...........Frank
Rom 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in [his] brother's way. 1Cr 4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 1Cr 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. Do you see me? Do you see what other people see in me? If you do then please judge me and If it agrees with Christ I will do my best by the power of the resurrection of the Christ in me to change it. I must believe that the Christ in me is the only one that can change me, I must want to change because of Him that died for me and gave Himself for me. Others see Christ in me and they say I am crazy, a fanatic, a Jesus freak, oh no not one of those, This does not concern me for the world cannot judge me, only the Christ in me has the right to do that. Then even then He did not come to judge me, He came to save me by His birth of Himself by the Father with His Seed that makes me a son of God, and fellow heir with Jesus Christ Himself to the Kingdom of God that Christ has prepared for me. I have no wife, she ran off with a childhood sweetheart after 23 years of marriage. I have much to atone for and much to learn but the Christ in me is still in me and He will never leave me. Nothing can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Would you like to meet me, and maybe you could see the Christ in me as we are supposed to see all brothers and sisters by the Christ in them. I could not see Christ in you except for the Christ in me. May we all treat each other as we would Christ, for that is who we really are isn't it. Christ in you the Hope of Glory.Jhn 8:15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. Jhn 8:16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. Jhn 8:26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. Jhn 12:47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.I am a child of God and He is the one that chastens me to righteousness, not man. Job 36:10 He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.This is an ongoing life process, for our lives are in Christ Jesus. In Christ: Phillip
Reading through this thread brought to mind something I read from Watchman Nee's book The Normal Christian Life. I have quoted it below...Our crucifixion can never be made effective by will or by effort, but only be accepting what the Lord Jesus did on the Cross. Our eyes must be opened to see the finished work of Calvary. Some of you, prior to your salvation, may have tried to save yourselves. You read the Bible, prayed, went to Church, gave alms. Then one day your eyes were opened and you saw that a full salvation had already been provided for you on the Cross. You just accepted that and thanked God, and peace and joy flowed into your heart. Now salvation and sanctification are on exactly the same basis. You receive deliverance from sin in the same way as you receive forgiveness of sins.For God’s way of deliverance is altogether different from man’s way. Man’s way is to try to suppress sin by seeking to overcome it; God’s way is to remove the sinner. Many Christians mourn over their weakness, thinking that if only they were stronger all would be well. The idea that, because failure to lead a holy life is due to our impotence, something more is therefore demanded of us, leads naturally to this false conception of the way of deliverance. If we are preoccupied with the power of sin and with our inability to meet it, then we naturally conclude that to gain the victory over sin we must have more power. ‘If only I were stronger’, we say, ‘I could overcome my violent outbursts of temper’, and so we plead with the Lord to strengthen us that we may exercise more self-control.But this is altogether wrong; this is not Christianity. God’s means of delivering us from sin is not by making us stronger and stronger, but by making us weaker and weaker. That is surely rather a peculiar way of victory, you say; but it is the Divine way. God sets us free from the dominion of sin, not by strengthening our old man but by crucifying him; not by helping him to do anything but by removing him from the scene of action.For years, maybe, you have tried fruitlessly to exercise control over yourself, and perhaps this is still your experience; but when once you see the truth you will recognize that you are indeed powerless to do anything, but that in setting you aside altogether God has done it all. Such a revelation brings human self-effort to an end.
Hi GuysI think the last two posts are missing the point, or peraps I am not clear in what I am saying. I fully accept that I am truly powerless to change anything outside of the power of the Lord. I am a big fan of Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray. This is not the point at all. We are not caricitures, we are real people. We are not "Stepford Christians," coming of an assmembly line. We are all different and God uses us. Poeple are drawn to Christ in us, and despite what Phillip writes, poeple of the world can identify the light of Christ in us. Some are repelled, some are drawn in, not by us being able to explain theology or quoting scripture verbatum, but simply by the love of Jesus, Jesus in us. There is a saying , "People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care." Phillip writes.............Would you like to meet me, and maybe you could see the Christ in me as we are supposed to see all brothers and sisters by the Christ in them. I could not see Christ in you except for the Christ in me. May we all treat each other as we would Christ, for that is who we really are isn't it. Christ in you the Hope of Glory.No, we are not Christ, and yes people of the world can know if Christ is in us. If we would step out of the way(dying to our flesh) and let Christ come forward then we may agree on that Phillip. But in all your quotes and theological prowess, I do not feel the love. Now, I understand that this medium can be very misleading, and I could be very wrong. But, for instance, when I asked if, when people look at you, as opposed to God, did they see Jesus, that was an homest question. I do not know you at all, perhaps people do see Jesus when they look at you, only you would know that for I certainly have no idea. We are called to love the world, and no human love will do, we have to be empowered to love the world through Jesus. Now, we are also called to be a witness to the world, so it is important what people see, we represent and are ambassadors for the Lord. Dying to ones flesh is not mutually exclusive to total surrender, it is one and the same. I think you guys may be splitting hairs and coming up with two theories. In any event, when the world looks at us and does not see Jesus, then we do Him and the world a dis-service. So, once again, I agree totally that one can do nothing without Him, and that when God looks at us He sees Jesus, but He also loves us as individual children, it is a real love and not a technical , theological equation. This is no mere formula, it is real love, and He loves us, flaws and all. In the beauty of Holiness............Frank