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Mary Magdalene Personifies the Ideal Believer

- Who would think that Mary Magdalene typifies the ideal believer?

- Have you read, that from her acts and the privilege accorded to her by our Lord, Magdalene occupies the premier position among the apostles and disciples?

 

Feb 26, 2000

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Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

Posted by: Administrator on November 25, 2007 4:25:46 PM (23194 Reads)

- What and where is the kingdom of God?

- What is God’s righteousness?

- What things do we expect from God after a successful search?

- Today, how do we “seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness?

 

"SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD”

 

 

 

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Mat 6:33

 

 

Kingdom

 

A kingdom is a state or condition where a sovereign reigns over the subjects. How many people know when God launched His kingdom? Since in the beginning God was alone, there could be no kingdom to talk about.

 

Neh 9:6  Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein

 

Isa 44:24  Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.

 

With all His grandeur, riches, majesty and wherewithal, God needed a kingdom to share this great bounty in order to complete His glory.

 

Gen 1:27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

 

However God is a Spirit (Joh 4:24) and man is a physical being. Our Lord Jesus revealed this seemingly strange situation. Jesus revealed to Philip He is the image of the invisible God!

 

Joh 14:9  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? 10  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?...

 

The creation of Adam and Eve therefore marked the launching of God’s kingdom. However His enemy “the great dragon, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan” (Rev 12:9) stood on the way to God’s plan.

 

 

The downfall of man

 

The shrewd maneuver of the “old serpent” (Gen 2 and 3) put a stumbling block to God’s formation of His eternal kingdom. This is where we read the spiritual history of mankind when the Devil succeeded in tempting man to “eat the fruits of the forbidden tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Gen 2 and 3).

 

Gen 2:16  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

 

Contrary to popular belief, by the revelation of God the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” actually refers to the SOUL of man for God is speaking “spiritual things” or in parables:

 

Eze 20:49  Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?

 

Who can deny that man does not have a soul whose attributes are the intellect and feeling in this parable of the forbidden tree of knowledge of good and evil)? These attributes of the SOUL compose the real character of man. The BODY is but a temporary vessel for it returns to dust in physical death. The SOUL remains alive as demonstrated in the case of Lazarus the beggar and the rich man at their physical death (Luk 16:22).

 

The following are the “fruits” of the “tree of knowledge of good and evil,” where feeling is the source.

 

Feeling from the heart:

 

Mat 15:19  For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20  These are the things which defile a man…

 

Eph 4:19  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

 

The intellect in spiritual matters:

 

1 Cor 1:19  For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

 

1 Cor 3:18  Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

 

Eve is not only an individual person but she actually represents mankind. Adam who loved Eve perceptibly typifies Jesus Christ who loves mankind. This conclusion is bereft of disagreement. Adam was not deceived. However he partook of the forbidden fruits so he could assume punishment due to the woman.

 

1 Tim 2:14  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

 

Gen 3:17  And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it…18  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee…

 

Jesus Christ is unblemished, yet He carried the sins of mankind.

 

1 Pet 2:24  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

 

Jesus Christ suffered for the sins of His chosen. These are they who would comprise the subjects of God’s eternal kingdom.

 

1  Cor 15:21  For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

 

1 Cor 15:22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

 

The following shows a clearer analogy. The first Adam was “soulish” or earthly; the last Adam (Jesus Christ) is “spiritual” or heavenly.

 

1 Cor 15:45  And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

 

1 Cot 15:46  Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

 

1 Cor 15:47  The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

 

The “first Adam” depicted physically what the “second Adam” (Jesus Christ) would reveal spiritually.

 

 

“Eating the forbidden fruits”

 

God wanted man to trust Him alone. The essence of the fruits of the “three of knowledge of good and evil” was revealed to the prophets:

 

Trust in God for divine knowledge:

 

Prov 3:5  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

 

1 Joh 2:27  But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie…

 

Human wisdom is condemned in spiritual matters!

 

1 Cor 1:19  For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

 

Jer 17:5  Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

 

How many people can do this?

 

Jam 1:5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

 

Warning against the deceitful feeling:

 

Jer 17:9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

 

While the general belief for the sin of Adam and Eve was inherited, this is what is written:

 

Eze 18:20  The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father…the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

 

Deu 24:16  The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.

 

Deu 32:5  They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children

 

Jer 31:30  But every one shall die for his own iniquity…

 

As to the sin of “one man” popularly known as “original sin,” this is God’s divine revelation:

 

Rom 5:12  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.

 

Using the intellect this is perceived to be the sin originated from Adam. But Adam only partook of the sin of Eve so he could redeem her from punishment. This is Adam’s great love for Eve, a perfect type for Jesus for His love of the chosen. Jesus Christ personifies Adam who “bare (or assume) our sins in his own body” suffering for it on the cross (tree):

 

1 Pet 2:24  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

 

The love of Adam for Eve is clearly depicted by Jesus Christ in the salvation of those who identified and believe Him (Mat 16:16-17).

 

Rom 5:18  Therefore as by the offence of one [first Adam typified Jesus carried our sins in his own body) judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [last Adam Jesus Christ) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

 

“Seek ye first” therefore leads us to know all these things about the clear identity of Jesus Christ. In His role as FATHER God who made the testament of salvation, and His second role as SON of God showing the way by example as model to the chosen:

 

Gen 17:7  And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

 

God had to fulfill His testament with death.

 

Heb 9:16  For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

 

Therefore Father God had to manifest Himself in the flesh in the person of Jesus Christ:

 

1 Tim 3:16 (KJV) And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit…

 

The two roles of Jesus are further revealed in the following.

 

 

Death of Jesus in His role as FATHER God

 

Jesus as FATHER God fulfilled His testament!

 

1 Jon 3:16 (KJV) Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

 

Hard to believe by many people is “God laid down his life.” They look for God at the moment of His death, asking, “Where was God before the resurrection of Jesus?” They overlook that death refers only to the BODY. The soul and Spirit of God remained alive. This is demonstrated at the death of Lazarus the beggar.

 

Luk 16:22  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom (referring to his soul): the rich man also died, and was buried.

 

Ecc 12:7  Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was (body): and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it (referring to the Spirit of God).

 

 

Death of Jesus in His role as SON of God

 

Jesus in His role as Son of God shows the way as model to the chosen. The Natural Man (1 Cor 2:14) thinks of His death for physical martyrdom. No wonder Christian sects claim their respective saints!

 

1 Joh 3:16  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

 

As revealed to Paul, the death of Jesus as SON of God on the cross is the death of the “old human nature.”

 

Gal 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.

 

For how could Paul be crucified with Jesus physically in the body when he became an apostle after His death and resurrection? Very clearly therefore this does not refer to the death of the BODY, but to “old human nature.”

 

1 Cor 15:31  I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

 

Rom 6:6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

 

Therefore it is a grievous error to think of physical martyrdom as basis for sainthood. Otherwise our Lord would contradict Himself in His rebuke in John 8:54-55 and 8:19 that those who do not know God can never His chosen.  Now it is clear for our Lord to disown the following who claim to belong to Him.

 

Luk 13:25  When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are.

 

Mat 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me…

 

Mat 25:12  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

 

For details, click:

 

http://www.purechristianity.org/index.php/news/Cross_the_Eternal_Symbol_for_Truth

 

CROSS THE ETERNAL SYMBOL FOR TRUTH

  • Who are not contented with the current knowledge about God?
  • All religions have this notion that we hear supplications and praises to God.
  • This is also the state of mind in all Christian sects and denominations.

 

“Seek ye first”

 

To the Natural Man to seek means to search the thing looking for with human effort. The chosen of God however demonstrated it by simply responding to His call. Personally Jesus went to see Simon Peter, Andrew, John, and James, the first among the twelve apostles, forming the “foundation of the church” They showed how they followed this command “seek ye first the kingdom.”

 

Mat 4:18  And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20  And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

 

Mat 4:21  And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

 

Something to think about is, Zebedee who heard the call did not go with his sons James and John to follow Jesus. This confirms that “to seek” simply means to heed the call of our Lord. And for Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John following Jesus meant “submitting to His will.”

 

For Saul of Tarsus, later known as Paul the apostle, for him “seeking the kingdom” was simply “hearing the voice” of our Lord Jesus and recognizing Him!

 

Act 9:3  And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4  And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest…

 

While Paul hated Jesus (truth in the word), “hearing His call” was enough for him to follow our Lord as Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John did. The case of Paul is the lesson (the “way”) our Lord wants people in our time to realize. His call no longer is personal but spiritual through the truth in His words. Whenever people “hear or read the truth in the word,” this is the call of our Lord Jesus and the opportune time “to follow Him and find the kingdom of God.”

 

Following does not mean to tag along with Jesus physically. The chosen followed Him in spirit. Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John remained fishermen earning their living (Joh 21:3) and Paul kept on making tents earning his living (Acts 18:3).

 

Act 20:33  I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. 34  Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.

 

 

The first step to salvation

 

Christ’s direction for the first step to salvation is now clearer. This is by following the example of Jesus in His role as SON in humility.

 

Mat 18:3 …Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

“Conversion as little children” presupposes “not to eat the forbidden fruits of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” The real followers of Christ are “spiritual babes” in the eyes of our Lord, devoid of human wisdom. Hence,

 

Luk 10:21  In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

 

2 Tim 3:15  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

 

 

Old Testament saints found the kingdom of God!

 

In the Old Testament since “Jesus is the same yesterday and today,” and Christ is the truth, we find Abraham (then Abram) followed the command, “seek ye first the kingdom.”

 

Gen 12:1  Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee.

 

“Kindred” means family members and relatives. In the “spiritual language” of God, this refers to the SOUL, again referring to the “fruits of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”

 

Deu 13:6  If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods…

 

For Abram “to get out of his country and leave his kindred” meant renouncing the dictate of his soul and instead submit to the Spirit or will of God. This is what Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John did when they followed our Lord spiritually. In like manner, Moses followed the command “seek ye first the kingdom” in the following:

 

 Exo 3:2  And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3  And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4  And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5  And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

 

For Abram “getting out of his country and leaving his relatives,” and Moses “turning aside and putting off his shoes for he was standing on holy ground,” all these meant humbling themselves “like babes” before the Lord. They ceased “eating the forbidden fruits of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” As a consequence, God endowed them with divine knowledge and wisdom:

 

Isa 28:9 (KJV and Bishops Bible) Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

 

 

Human perception of “seeking the kingdom”

 

During the time of Christ, human perception of “seeking the kingdom” was demonstrated by the doctors and teachers of the law. They studied the word of God diligently and conscientiously. Paul later realized that this is not the right way as he himself studied under Gamaliel. He wrote:

 

2 Tim 3:7  Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

In spite of this, the religious leaders won the respect and reaped honor from the people. They did “not see” that is an abomination to God.

 

Jam 2:9  But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

 

Mat 23:8  But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

 

“Rabbi” means teacher, pastor, leader or shepherd. While many people declare “Jesus is the same yesterday and today,” they do “not see” Jesus is the “truth in the word.”  In our time, religious leaders are even worse than their counterparts during the time of Christ. They include the following honorific titles to their list “not seeing” these are exclusive to God.

 

Psa 111:9  He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.

 

How many people realize the example of Jesus in His role as SON of God in humility? He did not admit He is good!

 

Luk 18:18  And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

 

Luk 18:19  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

 

 

The folly of religious leaders

 

Religious leaders believed they have “found the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” But look how our Lord rebuked them:

 

Joh 8:54  Jesus answered…it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: 55  Yet ye have not known him…

 

Jer 4:22  For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

 

Today who among many people claiming salvation are not subject to our Lord’s rebuke?

 

Joh 8:19  Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

 

Why do we hear preachers as if to dodge the rebuke, they say and make people believe the following?

 

“The infinite Father God cannot be clearly identified with the finite mind. To do so, then we would be like Him. Just believe. Let us not lose faith in God.”

 

 

Finding the kingdom

 

There is a misconception by many people claiming having “found the kingdom of God.” The truth is only a few found it. This was demonstrated on several occasions. In the days of Noah only “eight souls were saved.” (1 Pet 3:20) And only two adults of the Israelites from Egypt, Joshua and Caleb, reached the Promise Land after roaming the wilderness for forty years (Num 14:30).

 

During the time of Christ, feeding four thousand in one occasion and five thousand in another, and not counting the great multitudes that followed Him, only one hundred twenty (120) truly “found the kingdom” deserving to receive the Holy Spirit at Pentecost:

 

Act 1:15  And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

 

After Pentecost, we find 3,000 souls who believed and were baptized after Peter preached the gospel (Acts 2:41). To note, with this number, why did the Apostles not build churches and cathedrals, but instead they just conducted their spiritual fellowship from house to house (Acts 20:20-21)? Were not this number of people like the 5,000 and 4,000 being fed by our Lord with a few pieces of bread and fishes? However they left Him when they could not understand the “spiritual language” of our Lord:

 

Joh 6:60  Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

 

Joh 6:66  From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

 

 

Satanic deceptions

 

If during the time of Christ only two sects, the Pharisees and Sadducees, misled the people, today 1001 sects with varied doctrines preach the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Many people follow them because each claims the truth!

 

Rev 12:9  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

 

 

“Seeking God’s righteousness”

 

Jesus told His Disciples “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Righteousness is synonymous with goodness or rectitude, while unrighteousness for wickedness. Wickedness in the case of Lucifer was caused by pride. Everybody knows who is alluded to in the following.

 

Eze 28:13  Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering…

 

Isa 14:12  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! …13  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15  Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

 

This is the old serpent, the devil (Rev 12:9)! In the beginning Lucifer was the brightest of all angels, but pride turned himself into Satan. Pride for Lucifer is not appropriate for only God deserves it. Pride therefore is wickedness or unrighteousness. God showed the opposite by “manifesting Himself in the flesh.” This is the height of humility for God to do this.

 

1 Tim 3:16 (KJV and Bishops Bible) And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh…

 

Mat 1:23  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

 

 

“God was manifest in the flesh” for two reasons. 

 

No other being is alluded to but Jesus Christ (Phil 2:6-8) as everybody read and heard it.

 

FIRST REASON: Jesus was to perform the role of SON of God show the way (Joh 14:6), by example, as model to the chosen.

 

1 Pet 2:21  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.

 

Rom 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

 

It is with humility that Jesus did all these. This is the kind of righteousness that God wants the people “to seek.” Thus Jesus told His listeners:

 

Mat 18:3  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

Abraham and Moses in the Old Testament were “converted as little children.” So were Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John and Paul in the eyes of God. In the perception of man, “to seek God’s righteousness” involves human efforts. However, God explained this by demonstration. Abraham and Moses sought and found “God’s righteousness” by simply humbling themselves before Him as the apostles of Christ did. And the reward, “all these things shall be added unto you,” points to divine knowledge and wisdom revealing the “will of God” that could then be followed.

 

To the chosen in the Old Testament:

 

Isa 28:9  (KJV) Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

 

To the chosen in the New Testament:

 

Luk 10:21  In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

 

2 Tim 3:15  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

 

SECOND REASON: Jesus in His role as FATHER God (Neh 9:6, Gen 17:7), the testator of the testament of salvation, was to follow His self-imposed condition of fulfilling it with His death.

 

Heb 9:16  For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

 

Phil 2:6 “Who, being in the form of God…7 … took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

 

The proof:

 

1 Joh 3:16 (KJV and Bishops Bible) Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us:

 

Without divine revelation, it is hard to comprehend Jesus taking the role of FATHER God dying on the cross. The question bothering the mind and senses is; then where was God before the resurrection of Jesus?

 

By demonstration, the death of Jesus has no distinction from the death of Lazarus the beggar. His body was buried, but the soul is alive (Luk 16:22). The Spirit of God in Lazarus returned to God as it is written:

 

Eccl 12:7 “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God, who gave it.”

 

Therefore to Jesus, only His body suffered death; but His soul and Spirit remained as they were. This truth is revealed to John in 1 John 3:16 KJV. Comprehending this truth about the two roles of Jesus “requires divine revelation” as Simon Peter recognized Him that did not come from his “flesh and blood” (Mat 16:16-17).

 

 

Two ways of “seeking God’s righteousness”

 

1. Man’s way

 

Paul, formerly known as Saul of Tarsus, wished to serve God by “seeking God’s righteousness” as the Natural Man (1 Cor 2:14) understands it. He studied the word of God under Gamaliel, a renowned doctor of the law, and joined the sect of the Pharisees (Act 23:6). He said:

 

Act 22:3  I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel (a doctor of the law - Act 5:34), and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

 

The result, the more Paul did not recognize Jesus Christ. He was the one who kept the clothes of his companions stoning Stephen to death (Act 7:58, 8:1). As a Pharisee, Saul was subject to the sharp rebuke of our Lord who did not know the God he professed to serve and love:

 

Joh 8:54  Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: 55  Yet ye have not known him…

 

Joh 8:54  Jesus answered…it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: 55  Yet ye have not known him; but I know him…

 

2. God’s way

 

As Saul of Tarsus was on his way to Damascus to ask permission from the high priest for him to persecute the followers of Christ (Acts 9:1-2), this is what happened.

 

Act 9:3  And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4  And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

 

Act 9:5  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest…

 

The Lord?

 

Paul later wrote about Him:

 

1 Cor 8:6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

 

Not only did Paul recognize Jesus, but also the Holy Spirit who was teaching, guiding and giving him strength.

 

Gal 1:11  But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

2 Cor 3:17  Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

 

There is only one Lord, Jesus Christ!

 

1 Cor 8:6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

 

The Spirit is the Holy Ghost!

 

Joh 7:39  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

 

Paul recognized the GOD he thought he was serving when in truth he was persecuting Him. From then on he obeyed the “first of all the commandments,” a prerequisite to “loving God.” 

 

Mar 12:29  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord

 

Mar 12:30  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

 

And Paul obtained real happiness as the Psalmist and the chosen of God do:

 

Psa 144:15  Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.

 

1 Cor 8:6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

 

 

“…Things added unto you”

 

Mat 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

 

  • What can exceed the blessing from God of having identified Him?
  • What satisfaction can equal understanding and speak the “language of God?”
  • What fulfillment can compare finding God’s righteousness and now becoming part of God’s kingdom?

 

The Old Testament saints, Christ’s Apostles/Disciples, and other chosen of God fully enjoy these great heavenly blessings. The Scribes and Pharisees who were called blind guides did not find “the kingdom and God’s righteousness.” What they achieved is earthly adulation and praise of the people.

 

 

“After all these things do the Gentiles seek”

 

Our Lord admonished His Disciples:

 

Mat 6:25  Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

 

Mat 6:26  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

 

Mat 6:28  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29  And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

 

Mat 6:30  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

 

Mat 6:32  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

 

 

Human perception

 

Many people believe that God would supply their material and financial needs by fully trusting Him for they are more than the fowls of the air. They support this with the prayer:

 

Mat 6:9  …Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11  Give us this day our daily bread…

 

 

Personal spiritualization of the word

 

Others think that God, more than the material-physical, would uplift their general welfare if they truly trust Him. These may refer to good health, comfort, safety, or social or political standing. They cite how God blessed some Old Testament saints such as Abraham and David. They also see Jesus healing the people of their diseases and ordaining His Apostles to do the same.

 

Mar 3:14  And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, 15  And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils.

 

This is attested to by many personal testimonies of members of different sects and denominations.

 

 

The “words are spirit”

 

Jesus said His words are spirit. Many people ignore the truth that the body or “the flesh profiteth nothing from the word of God.” The truth is the miracles and blessing of our Lord while literally written actually are spiritual in character.

 

Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

 

Jesus illustrated this when He “opened the eyes of the man born blind.” Compare human perception with how our Lord expounded this miracle before the eyes of the Pharisees who were not literally blind.  Here is the man who was born blind:

 

Joh 9:35  Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 36  He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? 37  And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. 38  And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

 

Jesus healed this man! Many people simply see the literal opening of his blind eyes. However the Pharisees were not literally blind. Why did they “not see or recognize” Jesus that they should have worshipped Jesus as the man who was “born blind” after his “eyes were opened? Thus the truth about this miracle was expounded by our Lord in the following:

 

Joh 9:39  And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40  And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?

 

Joh 9:41  Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

 

The real message of the miracle was tossed to the Pharisees who “did not see” it. It was the “spiritual eyes” of the man born blind that were “opened.” Otherwise they and other religious people should not have tempted our Lord asking Him for signs from heaven. Many miracles were performed in their presence but “did not see” them.

 

Mat 16:1  The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.

 

Luk 11:16  And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.

 

Jesus told His Disciples about their spiritual blindness:

 

Mat 15:14  Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

 

The religious leaders, the priests, scribes, Pharisees, teachers and doctors of the law who were thought to lead the people to God, but because of spiritual blindness, were the ones who engineered Jesus’ death on the cross!

 

 

Miracles vs. wonders

 

Did these people not see “the blind see, deaf hear, the lame walk, and multitudes fed with a few loaves of bread and fishes?” Did they not see Lazarus rose from the dead (Prov 21:16) ? These miracles did not benefit the body (Joh 6:63) but the soul! Truly so, unlike wonders these were not perceived by the senses. How many people thought of the need to pay Judas Iscariot 30 pieces of silver just to identify our Lord with a kiss when the religious leaders stalked and even argued with Him?

 

Today, still many people have not realized that the message of the word of God is spiritual and His concerned are the “things unseen.”

 

2 Cor 4:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

 

Now the rebuke leveled to the Jews to whom the word of God was entrusted may well apply to many people embracing the Christian religion:

 

To the Jews:

 

Joh 8:54  Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: 55  Yet ye have not known him…

 

To people professing to know Jesus:

 

Joh 8:19  Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

 

 

“More than the fowls of the air”

 

Jesus told His Disciples, “your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” This refers to human intelligence and physical strength that no other creatures have. Therefore the chosen need not depend on God for their livelihood. They saw Jesus, in His role as Son of God, showed the example how He worked as a carpenter earning His living.

 

Mar 6:3  Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

 

He preached during Saturdays only as the Jews kept the Sabbath law literally. Paul, the apostle appointed by our Lord in His physical absence, realized this and said:

 

1 Cor 11:1  Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

 

Therefore Paul following the example of our Lord worked with his hands as a tent maker (Acts 18:3) in providing for his material needs. 

 

Act 20:33  I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. 34  Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.

 

Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John remained fishermen (John 21:3-6). They followed Jesus only in spirit. Since the “flesh profiteth nothing and the words are spirit,” and God has provided human intelligence more than the fowls of the air, therefore His chosen need not ask Him for miracles that benefit the body. Rather, all miracles of our Lord are spiritual and solely benefit the SOUL.

 

2 Cor 4:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

 

Since Jesus showed the example, physical life (consisting of body and soul) is the chosen’s responsibility. To maintain it they have to learn (Mat 10:16) , do what is right (Mat 23:26) and legal (1 Pet 2:13-14, Mar 12:17) . For their spiritual life (consisting of the Spirit of God and soul), they must live by the truth in the word. This is the life of the prophets and apostles of which Jesus Christ is the chief corner stone:

 

Eph 2:19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

 

 

All glory to God!

 

No one among them deprived God of honor and glory that solely belong to Him. It is the false apostles of Christ (Mat 24:23-25) who are appropriating the following exclusive honorific titles of God.

 

Mat 23:8  But be not ye called Rabbi: (or pastor or teacher) for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9  And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10  Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

 

Psa 111:9  He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.

 

The chosen realized that the intellect, feeling, and physical strength are the “things” that Father God bestowed on them without asking Him. As everybody know, these are the “things” or God-given attributes responsible for the development of technology and science to supply all necessities for PHYSICAL LIFE.

 

 

The Gentiles!

 

Physical Gentiles are people of non-Jewish faith. They have gods and goddesses, such as Baal and Ashtaroth (Judg 2:13), Moloch and Chiun (Amos 5:26), the “Queen of heaven” (Jer 7:18, 44:25), and many others.

 

However our Lord does not only refer to physical but to spiritual Gentiles as well. They are physical Jews but “blind to the One True God” that they do not know the God they worship. Our Lord rebuked them:

 

Joh 8:54  Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: 55  Yet ye have not known him…

 

Joh 8:19  Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

 

Saul of Tarsus a Jew and a Pharisee who persecuted Jesus did not know his God. Therefore he falls under the description of a spiritual Gentile. After he became an apostle he was a physical and a spiritual Jew as well. This truth was revealed to him when he wrote:

 

Gal 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29  And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

Rom 9:6  Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel.

 

Physical Gentiles become spiritual Jew or Israel when they belong to Christ, while physical Jews are spiritual Gentiles when they do not recognize Jesus Christ. Therefore spiritually, the Gentiles are those who do not know the truth.

 

 

Wonders mistaken for miracles

 

Who among the Gentiles belonging to other religions do not pray for miracles that benefit the body? They have gods and goddesses, such as Baal and Ashtaroth (Judg 2:13), Moloch and Chiun (Amos 5:26), the “Queen of heaven” (Jer 7:18, 44:25), and many others. What they believe to have received from these false gods actually came from the enemy of God. They have not received miracles but wonders. This belief and practice does bode well with what Jesus said and revealed to Paul:

 

Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

 

2 Cor 4:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

 

And our Lord warned His Disciples about this great deception of the “great dragon that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan” (Rev 12:9):

 

Mat 24:23  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

 

Mat 24:24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

 

Mat 24:25  Behold, I have told you before.

 

It is from this erroneous belief of many people who do not know God that our Lord warned His Disciples.

 

Mat 6:32 “For after all these things do the Gentiles seek”

 

The Gentiles are after “miracles” more appropriately called “wonders” that only benefit the body. Christ emphasized the benefit for the soul more than the body.

 

Mat 10:28  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

 

The warning regarding the preaching of “another Jesus”

 

2 Cor 11:4  For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

 

To many Christian sects and denominations professing to know Jesus, but at the same time declaring Father God is a mystery, this only attests to not having received yet the promise benefit from the New Testament that reveals the identity of God.

 

Heb 8:10  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11  And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

 

Have we not heard people worshipping Jesus with diverse identity?

 

  • Some say, “Jesus is only a man and not God.”
  • Others say, “Jesus is only a mighty God for there is a supreme or Almighty God.”
  • Still others say, “Jesus Christ is the name of the Father and the Holy Spirit.”
  • Many say, “Jesus is both God and man and He is the second person the Trinity.”

 

 Like the Gentiles, people worshiping the false Christ one way or another must have received “miracles” which in the eyes of God are wonders coming from His enemy that only benefit the body. That is why our Lord warns:

 

Mat 7:22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

 

Mat 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me…

 

 

“All these things shall be added unto you”

 

The things that the Gentiles seek are the “things to eat, drink, or raiment to put on the body.” Since many of the Gentiles know that these cannot literally be given by God, they spiritualize them as the things they enjoy in the body while living on earth.

 

However, for the Disciples after having “found the kingdom of God and realized His righteousness,” these “things” they now enjoy are the fruits of their toil as they see Paul followed  the model, Jesus in His role as Son of God.

 

In addition, no Gentiles could have clearly identified the One True God, speak and understand “His language,” and enjoy spiritual miracles that lead the soul to eternal life. Then would the chosen realize all promises of our Lord that everybody aspires to receive, as revealed to John the apostle in:

 

1 Joh 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

 

 

 

END

 

 

Prov 21:16  The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.

 

Act 18:3  And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.

 

Mat 10:16  Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

 

Mat 23:26  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

 

Mar 12:17  And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.

 

1 Pet 2:13  Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14  Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

 

Mat 24:24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

 

 

Eph 2:19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

 

1 Cor 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

 

Rev 12:9  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

 

1 Cor 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.