May 2006


Part Four

We did not receive the high calling of sonship because we are special people; rather, we are special people because we have received the high calling of sonship! Until Christ fully redeems our lives, our carnal natures are as vile as ever; and our flesh still profits nothing! (Jn 6:63) I look back at the person I once was, and it is like seeing a stranger. As Christ’s thoughts replace our thoughts, our self-minded “death is swallowed up in victory!” (1 Co 15:54) Our transformation may not yet be outwardly visible to others, but we can see it in our own Inward Man! And on the great day of Christ’s appearing- when our bodies are redeemed- the world will see His manifestation in us! But for now, only God, and we, and some discerning brethren, can see the metamorphosis taking place within us!
             Christ’s Truth divests our hearts of every lie that has held us captive to our flesh. These lies include the misconception that we are autonomous (self-sufficient) beings; and that our self-will is superior to God’s Sovereign Will! Other lies are that money is the solution to most problems; that we can choose any life we want; that happenstance or karma (lit. works of man) rule the world; that this mortal life is all there is; that religious works are a means of our salvation; or that Jesus Christ cannot, or will not, deliver us from a devil who is a free agent of evil that shall triumph over good when countless souls are damned to eternal hell! Such lies are spawned by evil hearts of unbelief! (Heb 3:12) But Jesus says, You shall know The Truth and The Truth shall make you free!” He quantifies this saying, I am The Truth!” (Jn 8:32; 14:6) To experience the beauty of Christ’s Truth in our lives- and to see, firsthand, the chaos and confusion caused by lies; the Holy Spirit provides ample opportunities for conflict between these archenemies. When “Mercy and Truth are met together” (Ps 85:10) they expose, expel and replace every lie rooted in our hearts.
             God provides men with the burdensome yoke of lies, so He can provide His relieving Yoke of Truth! Of God’s armor Paul says, “Stand with your loins girt about with Truth!” (Eph 6:14) Gk 4024 defines girt as “To fasten on one’s belt.” From Gk 2223, “Belt, pocket, girdle or purse.” This is from Gk 2218, “To join, especially by a yoke! Servitude, a coupling, a law or obligation; the beam of a balance- as connects scales [or as the horizontal beam of a cross.] This is the same reference where Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and bear heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls; for My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mt 11:28-30)
In Scripture the loins represent man’s source of procreative power; and 1 Pet 1:13-16 says, “Gird up the loins of your mind! Be *sober, rest your hope fully on the Grace brought to you by the revelation of Jesus Christ! As obedient children, do not be conformed to former lusts as once you did in ignorance; but as He Who called you is holy, let your conduct be holy. For it is written, “Be holy, because I am holy.”

*The word, sober, in Gk 3525 indeed means to abstain from wine; but it is also translated twice as watchful. 2 Ti 4:5, “Be watchful in all things; endure all afflictions; do the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry.” 1 Pet 4:7-8, “The end of all things is at hand, so be serious, be watchful in your prayers, and above all, love each other fervently, for Love covers a multitude of sins!” The word, sober, is used in 1 Pet 5:5-11, “Be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Thus, humble yourselves under the Mighty Hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time! And cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you. Also, be sober and vigilant; for your adversary, the devil, walks about “like” a roaring lion, seeking all he can devour. Resist him, be steadfast in the faith, knowing that your very sufferings are being experienced by all brethren in the world. But after you have suffered a while, the God of all grace, Who called us to Eternal Glory by Christ Jesus, will perfect you, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” [Read 1 Thess 5 AV]

             Christ tells us to replace our yoke with His own, but what is our yoke that needs replacing? Who first laid it upon us? And why must we wear one at all? Scripture answers all these questions.

“You (natural man) did not serve the Lord your God with joy or gladness of heart in gratitude for His abundance toward you; so you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you! You will suffer hunger, and thirst, and nakedness, and be in need of everything! He shall put a yoke of iron upon your neck where it will stay till He has *destroyed you [*Heb 8045 lit. “Plucked down, overthrown, and brought you to nothing!”] (Dt 28:47-48)

“Is there any sorrow as great as this sorrow that was brought upon me when the Lord inflicted me in the day of His fierce anger? From above, He has sent fire into my bones to overpower them; He has spread a net to snare my feet and turn back my way; He has made me desolate and faint all day long. The yoke of my own transgressions was bound and  woven together by His own hands; He thrust it on my neck!! The Lord has made my strength fail; He has delivered me into the hands of those I am unable to withstand.” (Lam 1:12-14)

“But the day shall come to pass when your burden shall be taken away from your shoulder; the yoke will be removed from your neck! How? The yoke shall be destroyed by the Anointing Oil!” (Isa 10:27)

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you would no longer be their slaves; I have broken the bands of your yoke; and I have made you walk uprightly!” (Lev 26:13)

[Also read: 2 Cor 6:14-18 AV, and Gal 5:1 KJV & AV]

Truth is the only weapon against lies; but Truth is not merely an idea, or a matter of opinion; CHRIST IS TRUTH! Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (Jn 14:6) He also says, “I have many more things to tell you, but you cannot bear (Gk 941, “Endure, sustain, receive, or walk in”) them; but when the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all Truth!” (Jn 16:13) [Now read Jn 6:44-71 AV]
             Truth is spiritual, but “The natural man cannot receive the things of spirit!” (1 Cor 2:14) Truth is eternally illusive to carnal-minded man. He sees things upside down, so he is incapable of “Rightly dividing the Word of Truth!” (2 Tim 2:15) If Truth is spirit, as “God is spirit” (Jn 4:24), then everything in the Kingdom of heaven is also spirit. So we must “never lose heart even though our outward man is perishing, for indeed, the Inward Man is being renewed day by day! Our light affliction is only momentary, and works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory! For this cause, we do not look at things that are seen, but at things not seen. Things that are seen are temporal (earthy, worldly, brief, and fleeting); while unseen things are eternal (spiritual, heavenly, and everlasting).” (2 Cor 4:16-18)
             In God’s Wisdom, which is higher than all other wisdom, He provides a yoke of discipline for us, that we would appreciate His deliverance when it comes. Truth is a necessary yoke while we inhabit a flesh body; but for our spirit, it is light and easy to bear. Hear this prayer for overcomers:

“My soul says, The Lord is my portion, so I hope in Him! He is good to all who wait for Him, and to the soul who seeks Him. It is good to hope, and wait quietly for the Lord’s salvation! It is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth. He must sit alone and keep silent, for God has laid the yoke upon him! And let him put his mouth in the dust as there may yet be hope. Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes him, and be full of reproach; for the Lord will not cast him off forever. Though He causes us to grieve, yet He shows compassion according to the multitude of His Mercies.” (Lam 3:24-32)



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