Category Archives: Sanctify

pertaining to sanctify

We have a altar

He 13:10-13 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.
11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.
12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

The altar that is mentioned in He 13:10, is the altar where the carcasses of the animals used as sin offerings, were burned outside the camp of Israel, Exodus 29:14, Leviticus 4:11-12. According to Ernest L. Martin, in his book The Secrets of Golgotha, the sin sacrifice altar, where the bodies of the sin sacrifices were burned to ash, was very near where Jesus was crucified. http://www.askelm.com/golgotha/gol001.htm  It was located east of the temple, outside the camp of Israel. The encampment of the tribes of Israel, in the wilderness, was arranged in a circular pattern around the tabernacle. There was a specific area encircling the tabernacle and the encamped 12 tribes and that area was consider clean. Anything considered unclean, such as the body of the sin sacrifice, was burned outside the designated “clean” camp area of Israel. This also held true for the temple of Jerusalem. The Eastern wall of the temple was lower than the other temple walls in order that the entrance to the holy of hollies was visible from that altar, which was on the Mount of Olives. In the sacrifice of the red heifer, the high priest needed to be able to look directly to the entrance of the Sanctuary as he sprinkled the blood during that sacrifice. The lower Eastern wall also allowed God to view the sacrifices on that altar and allowed him to watch the crucifixion of Jesus. It was strictly taboo for anyone in Israel to eat flesh from the body of the sin sacrifice, whose blood was brought into the holy place, and it was also against Mosaic law to drink blood, Le 6:30 and Le 17:12. John the Baptist publicly proclaimed Jesus as the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, Jn 1:29 and Jn 1:36. And yet not much later in time, Jesus proclaimed that his disciples needed to eat his flesh and drink his blood, so that in his words, they would “dwelleth in me, and I in him.”, Jn 6:56.  Is it any wonder that he lost many disciples on that day, Jn 6:66,  because what Jesus was suggesting, was repugnant and taboo to the Jewish laws and cultural morality of the day. The spiritual significance of this altar cannot be, but is quite often, overlooked. The offering of Jesus Christ as a sin offering is inclusive in regards to his body, the church, which is the body of Christ, He 2:11, He 10:5. It is not a past tense event, it is a aorist tense event. Aorist is also known as the Greek indefinite tense. As a reminder, aorist means “without horizon”.  It helps to view the sacrifice and the work of salvation by Jesus Christ from this perspective of having no horizon and indefinite in regards to verb tense and time. The offering of the body of Christ for sin, in regards to the corporate body of Christ being sanctified, is not bound by past, present or future as is resides in all three. The individual members of the body of Christ have been and are being conformed to the image of Christ by God, and this has been taking place for nearly 2,000 years. It is ongoing, and will be ongoing in the future until the work is accomplished. It is quite difficult for the English language to describe this, lacking a indefinite verb tense. But the span of time covered, and our participation in this process emerges from the scriptures and a good bible translation helps. More than a few years ago I bought a Concordant Literal New Testament. One of the unique features of this translation is that it has different punctuation marks, placed before various verbs, that denote different verb tenses and verb forms. This bible has a short description of the verb forms and tenses and the following descriptions I give, are paraphrased from the information from within this bible. There are rare times when you have a combined verb form which the translator labels a Fact- State form. These verbs are designated with a small -o before the verbs as they appear in this bible. This denotes that the verb has two combined forms, Fact and State verb form. Fact verb forms are indefinite in regards to time and when conveying abstract ideas they express timeless truth. A Fact form is the Greek indefinite or aorist tense. State forms of verbs, denote a completed form that give the state resulting from an action. So a Fact-State form would be a completed form that is indefinite as regards to time. Now to see this in action.

He 9:14 how much rather shall the blood of Christ, Who, through the eonian spirit -o offers Himself flawless to God, be cleansing your conscience from dead works to be offering divine service to the living and true God? CLV
He 10:12-13 Yet This One, when -o offering one sacrifice for sins, is seated to a finality at the right hand of God,
13 waiting furthermore till His enemies may be placed as a footstool for His feet.

In both of these sets of verses from the epistle of Hebrews, “offers” and “offering” are both a Fact-State verb form and that sheds much light on the sacrifice of Jesus and the offering of his blood and body. The sin nature of the corporate body of Christ, the church, is being destroyed/sanctified, Ro 6:6, He 10:10, as a result of the offering of the body of Christ, once for all. This offering is indefinite in regards to time and is going on presently, because we are the Lords body, Heb 2:11, Eph 5:30. That is why it says to be cleansing your conscience from dead works to be offering divine service to God. Our works means nothing in regards to being justified and sanctified because Jesus, by the offering of his blood and his body, purges our sins and destroys our sin nature. Thus presenting his corporate self, the body of Christ, flawless to God. So in He 9:14 where it states that through the Spirit, Jesus offers Himself flawless to God, you should view it as a completed action and yet at the same time, a on going process.  Does this mean that Jesus was and still is offering up his body, the body of Christ, flawless to God?  And that the offering up of the Gentiles mentioned in Ro 15:16 is a part of that offering? It certainly seems so to me. But see the difficulties one has in regards to English verb tenses, specifically the past tense, in even trying to convey this! In He 10:5 the body prepared for him, is the body of Christ and the whole 10th chapter of Hebrews which follows, explains how the last verse of Hebrews the 9th chapter will be accomplished. That being so, that verse makes a good deal of more sense when viewed from the aorist tense perspective.

He 9:28 thus Christ also, being offered once for the bearing of the sins of many, will be seen a second time, by those awaiting Him, apart from sin, for salvation, through faith.

The faith of the son of God, is to have faith that his sacrifice and the offering of his blood and offering of his body is the mechanism that forgives sin and destroys our sin nature, Ro 6:6. For a good deal of time I was intent on understanding the offering of Jesus and his body as a sin offering, by rigidly trying to compare it by type and shadow to the Old Testament day of atonement sacrifice for sin. This effort was quite frustrating, as the two events by type and shadow, did not precisely line up in the scriptures. But God be thanked when I finally understood the implications of Hebrews 10:1.

He 10:1 ¶ For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

You cannot expect the sacrifice and offerings of Jesus Christ to be exact, by type and shadow, to the law and its sacrifices. One glaring difference is that the New Testament sacrifices, in Christ, are better sacrifices, He 9:23. And the sacrifices offered up to God which are in Christ, 1Pe 2:5, Ro 15:16, are spiritual sacrifices. One needs to look at what the New Testament scriptures have to say regarding this matter. Since being made perfect or mature, is the goal of the sin offering, that is a good word to take a closer look at. Below is a Strong’s Concordance definition of the Greek word translated as “perfect” from a bible interlinear I download from the following URL. http://www.scripture4all.org/download/download_ISA3.php

G5048 teleioo tel-i-o’-o

from G5046;

to complete, i.e. (literally) accomplish, or (figuratively) consummate (in character).

KJV: consecrate, finish, fulfil, make) perfect.

I like the “consummate (in character)” part of the definition because as sinners, that is what we are sorely lacking, character, godly character. But never fear God is equal to the task at hand and will remedy that situation. As stated in previous articles, Jesus death and his blood as a propitiation, it is as if his death and his blood sprinkled, is our death and our blood sprinkled as payment for our sins. That is evident in He 7:26,

He 7:26-27 For such a chief priest did become us — kind, harmless, undefiled, separate from the sinners, and become higher than the heavens,
27 who hath no necessity daily, as the chief priests, first for his own sins to offer up sacrifice, then for those of the people; for this he did once, having offered up himself; Young’s

He became us or represented us in the crucifixion so that his death for sin would be viewed by God as our death, as payment for our past sins. But it goes even deeper than that because being dead in Christ, allows us to be judged by God, He 9:27, in order to eradicate sin in our life and make us perfect/mature so Christ can appear a second time without sin unto salvation, He 9:28, 10:1. He became us, in that sacrifice/death on the cross, so that in him we might be justified and sanctified in order to become the righteousness of God in him.

2Co 5:21 For the One not knowing sin, He makes to be a sin offering for our sakes that we may be becoming God’s righteousness in Him. CLV

Another strong image of what the sin offering is accomplishing is when Jesus said “It is finished”, Jn 19:30, and the veil in the temple of Jerusalem was split from top to bottom, Mr 15:38.  Couple that with the scriptures below and you will notice what was done.

Hebrews 10:19-23 KJVS
[19] Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, [20] By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; [21] And having an high priest over the house of God; [22] Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. [23] Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

By offering his blood as a propitiation for sins past and his body/flesh as a sin offering, Jesus opened the way for the removeal of the body of Christ’s sin and sin natures. His flesh is our flesh and the corporate body of sin is being destroyed on a figurative and yet real altar that is outside the camp, He 13:10-13. So yes indeed, “it is finished”. But even though the salvation work of the cross is finished, it still needs to be worked out and worked into our flesh, 1 Pe 4:1&2. It is hard to make a clear distinction between being justified and being sanctified in regards to the changes being made in us, outside of just reading the definition of the two words. The definition for justified is to render just or innocent. The definition of sanctify is to make holy. But of late I am starting to view being justified as taking place in the heart and being sanctified as the slow destruction of the sin nature in us. We are sanctified by the offering of the body of Christ once for all, He 10:10, which destroys the sin nature in us, Ro 6:6. God is ultimately going to save all men, 1Ti 4:10 and that will entail all men being justified, but for those who first trusted in Christ, Eph 1:11-12, He has promised a inheritance, and those that are to receive that inheritance, are being sanctified, which has to do with the altar outside the camp.

He 13:12-13 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

The meaning of verse 13 is somewhat elusive, but some clarity results when looking at the definition of the word “reproach”.

Strong’s Concordance-G36791) a reproach
a) such as Christ suffered, for the cause of God, from his enemies.

So what was the cause of God that Christ suffered and died for? He became sin for us who knew no sin, that we might become the righteousness of God in him, 2 Co 5:21. The insidious nature of many Christian theologies of the various denominations that are present in this world, is that they undermine God’s work in our lives. They look at the work of the cross as a past tense action by Jesus Christ, and then, in some fashion, go about to establish their own righteousness with the law and laws of their own. Very much like Israel of the flesh.

Romans 10:2-3 KJVS
[2] For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. [3] For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

We are to go without the camp and bear Jesus’s approach. We are that body of sin that he died for, we individually have a sin nature that needs to be destroyed. That can only happen by submitting ourselves to the righteousness of God. I honestly don’t know how to properly interpret the words to go without the camp and bear his reproach. Obviously the Jewish religious authorities rejected Jesus as messiah, as they were ordained by God to do, Acts 2:23. But it goes much deeper than that, the religious authorities in Israel turned a religious system, the law, that was initially a punishment for transgression into a hypocritical and posturing system of men that used the system for their own enrichment. Not only monetarily but also in regards to prestige and standing in their society. How much of this is true today with the thousands of different churches, small fellowships and splinter groups in the Christian church, I will let it up to the reader to decide. But to me the whole point of being told to going out the camp to that altar, is for us to realize we have a sin nature that needs to be destroyed, Ro 6:6. And that any actions we take toward establishing our own righteousness are futile. The altar outside the camp in the Old Testament, was a place where the carcass of the animals whose blood was taken into the holy place for sin, was burned. It was also a place where the carcasses of the various sin sacrifice animals slayed by the Levite priests were burned. Those ashes were used for purification and to sanctify, He 9:13. Which is a intriguing type and shadow in its own right, of the good things that are to come. I worked 14 years in the meat packing industry and can assure you that when a animal is dead, you have a carcass to deal with in some fashion or another. The law was not a exact type and shadow of the good things to come, He 10:1. So there is no real physical body on a literal altar being burning to ashes in regards to Jesus being a sin offering for the body of Christ. But you have a spiritual body and it is the collective body of sinful flesh, the sin nature of the body of Christ, which is presently being destroyed on that spiritual altar, outside the camp, before God. Romans 12:1 tells us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service. The Greek word for service, G2999, appears in He 9:1&6 describing the service the Levite priest preformed in the worldly sanctuary. One should read the whole 12th chapter of Romans as it offers some excellent guidelines on offering reasonable or logical service to God. Being kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love, is not always easy and grates against our fleshly nature and ego at times. That is exactly what needs to be burned up on the altar outside the camp. The fire of that altar is the trials, suffering and afflictions of life, Mt 3:11, 1Pe 4:12.  How a person treats those around themselves while in the midst of these trails can be quite indicative of the flesh that still needs to be destroyed. You can confess sin and be forgiven for sin until the cows come home. You can then take those cows and sacrifice them and then burn their carcass on a sin sacrifice altar, and still the cause of sin, our sin nature, is not being destroyed. The sin nature, flesh, can only be destroyed by incorporation into the body of Christ and becoming dead in him, so that the flesh of the corporate body of Christ might be destroyed, Ro 6:6. When that is complete, then and only then, can that body of Christ become the righteousness of God in him, 2Co 5:21. The simplicity of it is astounding. It follows type and shadow up to a point but not exactly and greatly exceeds what the Old Testament sacrifice and offerings for sin could accomplish. Namely perfection. The law made nothing perfect but the bringing in of a better hope did, Heb 7:19. That hope is Christ in you the hope of glory, which enables us to draw close to God and His throne of grace, Heb 4:16. Both of whom, God and Christ, play their parts in the destruction of the flesh. But just exactly how is this body of sin destroyed?

Mortify the deeds of the body

Early in the sixth chapter of Romans, Paul states that our old man is crucified with Christ, so that the body of sin might be destroyed, Ro 6:6. Which in my mind leaves the matter of our sin nature, the old man, and the problem of sin in the flesh, unresolved because it is written, “might be destroyed”. Now, that is not the only time in the scriptures where the reader is left up in the air, so to speak, in regards to sin in the flesh being done away with.

He 9:28  So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Paul asks in the sixth chapter of Romans if we should continue in sin so grace might abound, Ro 6:1. And also asks if we should sin because we are not under the law but under grace, Ro 6:15. The answer of course is no, but we are still left up in the air in regards to the problem of sin in our lives. Paul then, in the next chapter poises the problem of sin in the flesh, by describing the insidious nature of sin in the flesh. That in fact, sin has a mind of its’ own.

Ro 7:18-20  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Thankfully, in the eighth chapter of Romans, Paul gives the sinner some relief from the problematical nature of sin in the flesh, and a sinner’s worry concerning it.

Ro 8:1 ¶  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

The reason for this is that God has provided a process by which the sin nature of the body of Christ will be destroyed.  Which is Jesus role as a sin offering.

Ro 8:3-4  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

But even still, the mechanics of exactly how this is all worked out in the flesh, is not made clear. There is a verse in the eighth chapter of Romans that shines some light on how the sin nature in the body of Christ is destroyed, so that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.

Ro 8:13  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

This naturally brings to mind the question of how exactly does the Spirit, with our apparent involvement, mortify the deeds of the body?  It is not too much later in the 8th chapter that this question is answered but it took me a good many years to see and understand these verses and their implications.

Ro 8:26-27  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

The following is a definition from Strong’s for the word infirmities.

G769  astheneia  as-then’-i-ah

from G772;

feebleness (of mind or body); by implication, malady; morally, frailty.

I would contend that the infirmities or weakness of the flesh that the Spirit is interceding to God in our behalf, in regards to the redemption of our bodies, are largely moral weaknesses. Largely the lusts of the flesh as listed in Ga 5:19-24. But when a person reads the word infirmities, they can naturally assume it means sickness or bodily weakness. No one wants healing of the body more than I do after having lived 30 years with a spinal cord injury. But in the last decade, maybe less, I have been doing much groaning in the Spirit. I didn’t really know what was going on as I never gave it much thought. When chancing upon Ro 8:26 in my daily scripture readings, I thought it to be my ardent desire to be healed that was behind the groaning in the Spirit. The funny thing about scripture is, that as you read the verses, you often feel you know what they mean, when in fact you don’t. Not fully. You always have to read scripture in context, so let us look at a couple verses just before Ro 8:26.

Ro 8:22  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Now it comes into focus. The Spirit of God in me has been interceding to God, on my behalf, for the grace to grow in the fruit God wants me to possess, in this age and the one to come. The redemption of our bodies entails our being made righteous and the fruit of righteousness are the fruit of the Spirit. It is through the travail of the difficulties of my life, that I am giving birth within myself, to a new creation. The manifestation of the sons of God, mentioned in Ro 8:19, is the birth of this new creation. This is not a easy process and the analogy of being in childbirth describes it quite well. The pain, suffering and travail are all a necessary part of my godly character development. So by the prompting of the Spirit, I groan within myself quite often. The Spirit is searching my heart and interceding on my behalf for the weakness and even hostile and negative attitudes I posses because of the difficulty of my situation. In short, God is purifying my heart by faith. Now we can fight this or facilitate it. We are told to pray in the Spirit always, Eph 6:18, and to not quench the Spirit. 1Th 5:19, and for good reason.  Because, it is by this symbiosis with the Spirit of God, that we mortify the deeds of the flesh. It is also necessary to come before the throne of grace in times of need. If you read He 4:16 in context, you will again see it is talking about infirmities of the flesh, He 4:15, and links them to being tempted, or tested by sin. The word of the Lord is a sharp two edged sword and shows you, the thoughts and intents of your personal heart, and what comes out of our hearts is often what defiles us. These scripture verses in Mark, recording the words of our Lord, and are quite relevant.

Mark 7:20-23  And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
21  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22  Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
23  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Galatians 5:19-21 also lists some of the works of the flesh and against these infirmities is what the Spirit of God is interceding to God for, on our behalf. Often times the Spirit moves on me and I pray in the Spirit, in tongues or with groanings which can not be uttered. This whole process was prophesied by John the Baptist, before he first saw Jesus.

Mt 3:11-12  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
12  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

The baptism of fire is compared to burning the chaff of wheat at harvest. The chaff, outer covering of the grain, being the flesh and we know that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, 1Co 15:50. Fire is also used to refine silver and gold. In my past I have smelted aluminum at a junk yard. Just before a ingot was poured you would skim the dross off of the top of the liquid aluminum in the furnace. So to, unless one has the dross brought to the surface and removed in the refiners fire, Mal 3:3, by the difficulties of life, he has little value to God in the age to come. Hand in hand with the Spirit mortifying the deeds of the flesh, is also suffering. Because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 1Pe 4:1-2, so that we no longer should live the rest of our time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. In light of the analogy of smelting or refining gold, the fire of the sufferings of life, is what brings the dross, weaknesses and impurities of character, to the surface to be removed from our hearts by God.

Despise not thou the chastening of the Lord

Hebrews 12:5-8 KJVS
[5] And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: [6] For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. [7] If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? [8] But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

When the Lord chastises you, it can produce varying emotions within you, during and after the fact. Shame, embarrassment and regret at first, and later there can be resentment, anger and bitterness. We are told not to harden our hearts when being tempted or tried earlier on in the book of Hebrews, and cautioned not to let a root of bitterness spring up in us, a few verse later in the 12th chapter of Hebrews, He 3:8-10, 12:15. Keep in mind our hearts are purified by faith, Acts 15: 9, and part of that process entails for us being tried, or put to the proof, by fiery trial, 1Pe 4:12. The peaceable fruit of righteousness, He 12:11, can only come about through chastening by the Lord. When we were reconciled to God by the blood of the cross, we were still, at times, enemies in our mind by wicked works, Col 1:21. But in time God will correct that situation if you continue in the faith and be not removed from the hope of the gospel, Col 1:21-23. It is amazing how many years you can read and study scripture and still come away with new knowledge and timely insight pertaining to yourself, in light of your individual salvation process. I suppose that is why it is called the living word. God scourges the sons he loves and due to the deceitful nature of sin, He 3:13, Ro 7:11, you can receive chastisement many times for the same sin or lack of holiness. A couple times in my life, the small still voice of the Spirit in my head gave a warning, and I either ignored it or did not catch the significance of it at the time. And then payed the consequences for my action. We are exhorted to lay aside the sin that so easily beset us, He 12:1, but not more than four verses later we are told to faint not when we are rebuked by the Lord. It is perplexing at times the struggle we face concerning sin in our lives. Paul tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in us to will and to do His good pleasure. To me, sin is the symptom of the underlining true problem God has with man. The hearts of mankind and what their heart’s motivates them to do, Mt 15:19-20. It is easy enough to have a heart overflowing with kindness and love when the sun is shining and everything is going your way. But when trial and difficulty is a part of your daily life it is a entirely different matter. Read the book of Job sometime. I know I have more than a few times trying to find insight on why I have had to suffer as I have. It would profit us to take a closer look at the Greek word and definition for that word which is translated into the English word chasten and its derivatives

Strong’s Number
G3809
Original Word
παιδεία
Transliterated Word
paideia
Phonetic Spelling
pahee-di’-ah
Parts of Speech
Noun Feminine
Definition
1. the whole training and education of children (which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment) It also includes the training and care of the body
2. whatever in adults also cultivates the soul, esp. by correcting mistakes and curbing passions.
a. instruction which aims at increasing virtue
b. chastisement, chastening, (of the evils with which God visits men for their amendment)

The very last part of the definition jumped out at me a week or so ago. Odd that I noticed it now, but not so odd in light of a recent evil visited on me for my amendment. It would appear from the book of Job, that God doesn’t directly visit evil on a man but uses Satan, in his role as the adversary, to do so. And the evils visited on us are due to our being drawn away and enticed by our own lusts.

James 1:12-14 KJVS
[12] Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. [13] Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: [14] But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

Keep in mind the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. The longer you are a child of God and continue to grow into maturity. The more knowledge you attain, the less latitude your are given in regards to behavior and feelings in your heart. You reach a point where you begin to comprehend fully these two verses mentioned previously.

Philippians 2:12-13 KJVS
[12] Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. [13] For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

The trouble is, A person really has little power over themselves to generate a life that is pleasing to God. We are God’s workmanship in Christ Jesus. Our works of righteousness mean nothing and attempting to justify ourselves by observing the law and laws of religious organizations, using our own strength, actually makes us fallen from grace, Ga 5:4. Remember by grace we are taught, chastised and disciplined by God, Titus 2:12. The Greek word teaching in Titus 2:12 is G3809 whose Strong’s Concordance information is pasted just above in the article. If you have the time it would do you well to look up the verses in which that word is used in the New Testament. You can only learn true obedience and submission to God’s will through having been put to the proof, tested and tried, through suffering, afflictions, tribulations and perhaps even persecutions. The analogy the Marine Corps used in a commercial years ago, of a sword being forged through fire, hammered and shaped into a sharp, tempered instrument of great beauty and strength, lends itself well to how the body of Christ is being prepared for the age to come. But the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.

2 Co 10:3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. NIV

This war, a significant part of which is against our own flesh, can ultimately only be won by obedience to the will of God in our lives. Suffering, due to being scourged by our Father in heaven, is part of how God changes us into the new creature in Christ. So of late, I try and keep in mind the exhortation in Hebrews, and admonishment in Corinthians.

Hebrews 12:5-6 KJVS
[5] And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: [6] For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

1 Corinthians 10:12-13 KJVS
[12] Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. [13] There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

I have often looked at the previous verse for meaning and a hope for escape. I have suffered due a spinal cord injury for over 30 years, and at the beginning of this suffering, was encouraged by the Holy Ghost with this verse.

Hebrews 11:1 KJVS
[1] Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

At the time I thought that if I had enough faith I would be healed. And I am being healed but not in the way I even slightly envisioned 30 years ago. We are being blessed by God, by Him sending His son to turn us away from our iniquities, Acts 3:25&26. In order to understand He 11:1, the verse needs to be read in context. The 11th chapter of Hebrews gives examples of the Old Testament saints who demonstrated faith and the last several verses in chapter 11 and first verse of chapter 12 puts the whole 11th chapter in context.

Hebrews 11:36-40 KJVS
[36] And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: [37] They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; [38] (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. [39] And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: [40] God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
Hebrews 12:1 KJVS
[1] Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us , and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

So how exactly are we to lay aside that sin that so easily besets us? A few verse later provides a answer to the question and offers this advice which brings us full circle.

Hebrews 12:5-8 KJVS
[5] And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: [6] For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. [7] If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? [8] But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. [11] Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

The washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost

Titus 3:5-7 KJVS
[5] Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; [6] Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; [7] That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

It is funny how this web site seemes to write itself. Perhaps because it mirrors the progression of my understanding of the mystery of God in my life. The Christ in you, the hope of glory. It should go without saying, but we are God’s workmanship in Christ Jesus. The new creature, 2 Co 5:17, that is being created through the agency of the Holy Spirit, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost in the individual members of the body of Christ, throughout their lives. I have noticed in the last couple years a progression of the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit in my life. Probably because I am asking God for grace more often. Life is getting harder for me. I have lived over thirty years with a spinal cord injury, with every added year making the struggle all that more difficult. This struggle has made me bone weary and tired of the seemingly endless repetition of days, filled with pain and the struggle against weakness. And yet I find myself walking around smiling and conversing with people in a agreeable manner, even though I am fighting to take every step and at times living in the kind of pain most people can not imagine. Now, I can not attribute this to myself, not as if it was any work of righteousness on my part, but as it states in the scripture above, it is due to the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. In essence God is purifying my heart by faith. Praise God and His holy name. The last couple years I’ve gotten in the habit of starting my mornings out with a cup of coffee, then I open the iPad and listen to a few Christian song videos. I have bookmarked quite a few, many of which I have also purchased from iTunes. And most every morning as I listen and praise and worship God and sing along, the Spirit washes over me, regenerates me, and renews my heart. God and His Spirit sustains me and hopefully will continue to sustain me through this fiery trial until the day God heals me, I die, or the Lord returns. The regeneration of the Holy Ghost is bringing about the new creature God has in mind, which is to be the resurrected body of Christ. There are only a few verses that mention this new creature in the New Testament.

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJVS
[17] Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Galatians 6:15 KJVS
[15] For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

The first scripture does not ring true to me as it appears, so I looked at the Strong’s definition for the Greek word translated into the English word “creature”. The primary definition is more in line with my thoughts regarding the meaning of the verse. The definition follows. 1.the act of founding, establishing, building etc. This definition gives one the sense that it is a work that is presently underway, rather than a past tense, completed state of being. The rest of the verse is also suspect to me in regards to verb tense. Unfortunately, translators have a difficult time translating the Aorist tense into English, and most often use the past tense. If you remember, Aorist tense is the Greek indefinite, indefinite in regards to verb tense, and means without horizon. Since I am not a expert translator in koine Greek, I can only compare the above verse to other verses in the bible to arrive at a better understanding of 2 Co 5:17. I have read in the past that 43% of the main verbs in the New Testament are Aorist. Just a scant few verses later in 2 Corinthians, is a verse that puts light on the preceding verse 17, part of this verse is used as a tag line for this web site.

2 Corinthians 5:21 KJVS
[21] For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

That we may be made the righteousness of God in him does not sound as if this new creature is already a established and completed fact. Most every day of my life I do not feel like a new creature in Christ. Not in the sense that it is already a completed state of being in my life. Thoughts like this do not appear to line up with a verse like 2 Co 5:17. Thoughts like this can be troublesome and make you feel as if you, in some fashion, have missed the boat. Especially when you are in a dire situation where weakness, pain and doubts about how long you can continue to live alone and take care of yourself, trouble you on a daily basis. If you look at the verse I started this article with, you see the words “washing of regeneration”. Part of the Strong’s primary definition of the word “regeneration” is “new birth, reproduction, renewal, recreation, regeneration”. So we are going through a process of being reborn through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. A scripture I just recalled today, agrees with this. I read and edit these articles sometimes dozens of times after I publish them. Correcting typos or making additional comments or adding scripture verses that come to mind, after the fact, that make subjects I am writing about clearer. This is one of those times.

Ephesians 4:24 KJVS
[24] And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

This verse gives a good mental image of the process of becoming this new creature, new man that will be the body of Christ. The word “put” is not in the manuscript, just the word “on” and I really like the Strong’s definition for the Greek word.

Strong’s Number
G1746
Original Word
ἐνδύω
Transliterated Word
enduō
Phonetic Spelling
en-doo’-o
Parts of Speech
Verb
Definition
1. to sink into (clothing), put on, clothe one’s self

You get the real sense of being in the process of clothing yourself in righteousness. Believe it or not, just knowing this gives me comfort. I got to admit, that this “name it and claim it” theology mind set of certain areas of Christianity, has been and is troubling to me, for a very long time. The onus of not having the faith to be healed is always on the individual who is sick, weak or injured. I have a spinal cord injury. I was paralyzed for ten days. I cried like a baby from the intense pain when they first put me on a mat in Physical Therapy and told me to get into a sitting position. I lost over 30 pounds of muscle in ten days due to atrophy while paralyzed. It took 3 months of painful therapy to walk 100 feet on my own. And I have lived with this injury and pain associated with it for 31 years. I can remember early on, being in a halo vest, a device worn to stabilize the cervical vertebra that were fractured, and going to a healing service at a local church. This visiting healer placed his hand on my chest to push me back and fall into the waiting arms of two young men. I suppose it was to mimic being slain in the Spirit. I did not fall back due to fear of possible additional injury but the theatrical nature of the healing ministry rubbed me the wrong way. If God is going to heal me, He will do it without fanfare or theatrics. So this whole prosperity, name it and claim it theology, that implies people lack the faith to be healed, can lead a person to feel as if he missed the boat. Maybe I don’t have the faith to be healed. Maybe the trial of my faith will bring me to the place where I do have the faith to be healed. Or maybe it is necessary for a hardhead tough guy like me to suffer so, in order to die to the pride in ones own strength,and other ungodly lusts, 1 Pe 4:1&2. Or maybe I needed to suffer in order to understand why suffering is necessary in order to be conformed to the image of Christ, Php 3:10, and relay that knowledge to others. God only knows, but knowing that I am a work in progress and having the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost in my life, is a experience that is reassuring and certainly quells the notion that I have somehow missed the boat. If I were to translate 2 Corinthians 5:17 on my own, it would look something like this.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is becoming a new creature: old things are passing away; behold, all things are being made new.

This translation would agree with many other verses that make the new creature in Christ, salvation and righteousness, appear to be a ongoing work of progress in our lives, Ro 6:6, 2 Co 12:9, He 9:28. I have read Titus 3:5 hundreds of times over the last decade and never really understood the importance of the verse in regards to salvation. Salvation in Christ, again due to the mistranslation of the Aorist tense, is largely presented as a past tense action by Jesus Christ alone, by modern day Christian theology. I have mentioned before, that years ago I bought Concordant New Testament. This translation has various marks before the verbs that indicate different verb forms in the Greek language, which allows the reader deeper insight into the various scripture verses in the Word of God. All these realizations concerning the meanings of various scripture verses, in regard to verb tense, is a recent development in my life. Largely propelled by searching the scriptures because of the feeling of having missing the boat in some fashion, due to the long term difficulty of my life. By recent, I would say the last ten years. I don’t think you can truly understand scripture until God works it into you and you say, “yeah, that verse is what is going on in my life.” For that reason it is hard to impart this knowledge to others. And let’s face it, the scripture verses in the New Testament are many and complex. Of which many religious organizations are using in purposely deceiving humanity with their various doctrines, Eph 4:14. The Word of God and the truth of the gospel is important to me. But of late, all I can manage to do is publish a infrequent article for this web site using my right index finger to peck out the articles using a iPad. Before I damaged my spinal cord I was able to type 60 words a minute using the home row method, but due to the nerve damage in my left side, I have limited dexterity in my left hand. Sitting at my computer typing with two index fingers is slow and painful due to 4 fused vertebrae in my neck, so I have come to rely on the iPad. I can lie in bed with the iPad resting in a wood holder I made, that rests against a wood clamp that is attached to the headboard of the bed. I am not likely to start a fellowship or attend a church regularly or even try and teach at a local church due to the pain and weakness. Not that any church would embrace some of the doctrine I espouse, like Universal Reconciliation with a hell of limited duration. I have been asked to leave a few churches when bringing those topics up in casual conversation. I have little choice but to be outside the camp bearing Christ’s reproach it would appear, He 13:13. Plus, God has made me a honest man, so deception by omission would not sit well with me. From my perspective God has sidelined me, or rather allowed me to sideline myself so the Holy Spirit can teach me and hopefully, I teach others. So we have God and Jesus Christ in our lives, working from the inside out and the outside in, creating this new creature.

John 17:23 KJVS
[23] I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

This being made perfect in one and being justified requires teaching, discipline and chastisements from God. Trials, afflictions and sufferings in order to put to the proof, the fruit of the Spirit God is growing in us. Carrot and stick approach, with the carrot being the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, that can be accompanied by joy unspeakable. I see all this at work in myself. But so slowly does change take place, that it requires much patience and hope to hold onto the eventual promised adoption and redemption of our bodies.

Romans 8:22-25 KJVS
[22] For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. [23] And not only they , but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit , the redemption of our body. [24] For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? [25] But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

So with patience I wait for it. And one of the things that God has given us, like a clear sweet spring of water bubbling up out of the ground, if you will, is the frequent washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost in our daily lives, which is partly instrumental in the formation of this new creature within us.

That the heart be established with grace; not with meats

Hebrews 13:9-13 KJVS
[9] Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. [10] We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. [11] For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. [12] Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. [13] Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

Peter makes a statement at the Jerusalem council which also contained two of the same words in the above verses, grace and heart.

Acts 15:9-11 KJVS
[9] And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. [10] Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? [11] But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

Notice that Peter said, through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, and part of the process of being saved is having the heart purified. Much of the whole focus of the New Testament regarding salvation, is involved with two words. Grace and the heart. Let’s look at another verse. Just about every Christian, young or old, can rattle this one off the top of their heads. But the 64,000 dollar question is, do they truly understand it?

Ephesians 2:8 KJVS
[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Most all Christians will agree that grace is the driving force behind God’s salvation of mankind through Jesus Christ, Ro 2:24. But in what manner does grace save us? That is what I intend to show you, using scripture. Apostle Paul wrote a very important verse that shows the fundamental problem mankind has with obeying the law of God. Remember Jesus himself said he did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it, Mt 5:17. So let us look at what Paul had to say about the law.

Romans 8:3 KJVS
[3] For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

The flesh of man is too weak to obey the law, and understanding this fact is absolutely necessary when contrasting justification through the law or through grace. Man, by his own efforts, is incapable, too weak, of following the law. Largely because out the heart of man, emerges the varied lusts of the flesh that overwhelm a man, Ro 7:17. Jesus during his ministry, made a statement that sheds some light in this regard.

Matthew 15:19-20 KJVS
[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: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

Paul expands on this in great detail in the 5th chapter of Galatians. You would do well to read the chapter sometime, but for now I cherry picked two verses out of that chapter to make a point.

Galatians 5:13,16 KJVS
[13] For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. [16] This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Then, following this statement Paul outlines some of the lusts of the flesh and lists the fruit or fruits of the Spirit. The primary fruit of the Spirit is love. Paul describes love as the means by which we can be obedient to the law of God in the book of Romans.

Romans 13:9-10 KJVS
[9] For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [10] Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Simply put, the heart of man needs to be brought to the point, by God, to love in this way. Paul in another epistle, states that brotherly love is taught to us by God.

1 Thessalonians 4:9 KJVS
[9] But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

Being taught by God is a function of grace and a verse written in another epistle by Paul expands on this theme.

Titus 2:11-12 KJVS
[11] For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, [12] Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

The Greek word translated into the English word teaching is G3811. It is used three times in the 12th chapter of Hebrews, two of which are in the following verses.

Hebrews 12:6,10-11 KJVS
[6] For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. [10] For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. [11] Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible has this to say about fruit of righteousness.
“Being filled with the fruits of righteousness – That which righteousness in the heart produces. The fruits, or results, will be seen in the life; and those fruits are – honesty, truth, charity, kindness, meekness, goodness. The wish of the apostle is, that they might show abundantly by their lives that they were truly righteous. He does not refer to liberality merely, but to everything which true piety in the heart is fitted to produce in the life.”

Barnes states it quite well. It would seem to be counter intuitive that the fruit of righteousness would be grown in man by God chastening them. But there is another aspect to grace that offsets being chastised, and is directly responsible for changing a man’s heart, which the following verses makes clear.

Titus 3:4-7 KJVS
[4] But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, [5] Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; [6] Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; [7] That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

I can attest that this is true and see it working in my own life. I have suffered pain and weakness due to a spinal cord injury since 1984. The last twenty years have been difficult. The last ten years exceedingly so, largely due to a increase of low back pain. The only thing that has kept my heart right before God, has been the frequent washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Ghost. I have been chastised by God more than a few times. Chastisement, for me, has involved a large degree of mental suffering cause by the frustration wrestling with sin that dwells in me, Ro 7:20. The 31 years of suffering due a car accident, in which I severely damaged myself due to recklessness and irresponsibility, is at times hard to understand in the context of salvation. This whole trial by fire has been quite difficult for me but suffering is another aspect of the salvation process overlooked by many.

1 Peter 4:12-13 KJVS
[12] Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: [13] But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Paul puts it this way.

Philippians 3:9-10 KJVS
[9] And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: [10] That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

Weeks before the car accident that so drastically changed my life, a scripture verse kept running through my head often times when I daydreamed. I was boning hams at a local meat packing plant working 2nd shift. It is line work. By that I mean you stand next to a moving conveyor belt, in the same place for eight hours, cutting the bones out of a pig’s lower hip and thigh. Plenty of time to daydream. At odd times this one bible verse kept running through my mind, over and over for about a three week period before the accident.

Colossians 1:24 KJVS
[24] Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

I did not know what it meant then, I only knew it was important. I know what it means now. Our hearts are purified through faith, Acts 15:9. So it stands to reason that the trial of faith, 1 Pe 1:7, is aimed towards the purification of our hearts. Suffering in its many forms plays a big role in this process.

1 Peter 4:1-2 KJVS
[1] Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; [2] That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

We suffer when God chastises and sometimes God uses evils in life to chastise us in order to instill the fruit of righteousness. I cannot honestly claim that the fruit of the Spirit and fruit of righteousness are one in the same, but think they are. There is also trials and afflictions ordained for us to endure, 1Thess 3:3. God’s ways are often not readily discerned. When God tries you, he is putting to the proof, that in which He is painstakingly instilling in you. The suffering, difficulties, afflictions and persecutions in life is also the fire of the sin sacrifice altar, outside the camp that burns up the flesh, He 12:11&13. We know Jesus was the lamb of God that was a sin sacrifice. His body is the church.

Ephesians 5:23 KJVS
[23] For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

Jesus was without sin, but he became us in his role as a sin offering, in order that we might become the righteousness of God in him, 2 Co 5:21. I think the failure of today’s theology is it does not understand that the body of Christ is one with the altar mentioned in He 13:10. Sacrifice and altars of sacrifice were a common part of life for Jew, Christian and pagan alike.

1 Corinthians 10:16-18 KJVS
[16] The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? [17] For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. [18] Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

Jesus at one point made a statement that was responsible for turning away many of his disciples.

John 6:53-56 KJVS
[53] Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. [54] Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. [55] For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. [56] He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

This was pretty powerful language and those Jews who were listening knew it was against the law of Moses to drink blood or to eat off of the body of the sin sacrifice, plus what he said would smack of cannibalism. But the point Jesus was making, was that unless you received the Spirit of adoption and became a part of his body, and then have your flesh burned up and destroyed on the sin sacrifice altar, you would not rule and reign with him during the millennial kingdom. The phrase eternal life is a poor translation. Young’s literal translation properly translates eternal life this way.

Jn:54 he who is eating my flesh, and is drinking my blood, hath life age-during, and I will raise him up in the last day;

Another set of verses that point to this sin sacrifice altar is in Romans.

Ro 6:5 For if we have become planted together in the likeness of His death, nevertheless we shall be of the resurrection also,
6 knowing this, that our old humanity was crucified together with Him, that the body of Sin may be nullified, for us by no means to be still slaving for Sin,
7 for one who dies has been justified from Sin. CLV

I like this particular translation rather than the King James Version because of how the 7th verse is translated. The verb tense does not seem right in context with the tail end of the previous verse. One who dies has been “justified” is a more literal translation. The King James uses the word “freed” rather than justified in the seventh verse but the Greek word used, and its definition and usage follows.

Strong’s Number
G1344
Original Word
δικαιόω
Transliterated Word
dikaioō
Phonetic Spelling
dik-ah-yo’-o
Parts of Speech
Verb
Strong’s Definition
From G1342; to render (that is show or regard as) just or innocent: – free justify (-ier) be righteous.
Thayer’s Definition
to render righteous or such he ought to be
to show, exhibit, evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered
to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be
Usage by Word
justified (26), justify (4), justifieth (2), shall (2), was (2), being (1), by (1), freed (1), he (1), i (1), is (1), justifier (1), righteous (1)

As you can see, this Greek word has been translated most often into the English word justified in the New Testament. Being dead in Christ, Ro 6:5, is not the same as having our old man of sin nullified or destroyed. That takes place due to the offering of the body Jesus Christ, on the sin sacrifice altar, once for all.

Hebrews 10:10 KJVS
[10] By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all .

There are a couple aspects involved with being a member of the corporate body of Christ. First we are members of his body, his flesh and bones, Eph 5:30. There is also the aspect of being a part of the corporate body of sinful flesh, that we, the body of Christ possess, that needs to be destroyed, Ro 6:6. It is very hard to separate justification from sanctification because sin is only truly eradicate in our lives when the sin nature, the sin that dwells in us, Ro 7:17, is completely burned away on the sin sacrifice altar. And yet in He 13:9-13, which is a clear allusion to the sin sacrifice altar, starts out by stating it is good thing for the heart to be established by grace and not by meats. In essence our efforts, our works have little to do with our salvation. The heart is the problem, and the driving force behind sin.

Jeremiah 17:9-10 KJVS
[9] The heart is deceitful above all things , and desperately wicked: who can know it? [10] I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

I think the problem in understanding justification and sanctification in relationship to each other, lies in viewing these concepts separately and in light of the types and shadows cast by the law and its various sacrifices and offerings. That is only true in a very broad sense.

Hebrews 10:1 KJVS
[1] For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

The first part of the tenth chapter of Hebrews is about sanctification. About our inclusion in the body of Christ as a offering for sin. In short perfection is attained only through the nullification of the power of the flesh over us, Ro 6:6. Insight can be gained by reading the definition of the Greek word translated into the English word “destroyed” in Ro 6:6.

Thayer’s Definition
to render idle, unemployed, inactivate, inoperative
to cause a person or thing to have no further efficiency
to deprive of force, influence, power
to cause to cease, put an end to, do away with, annul, abolish
to cease, to pass away, be done away
to be severed from, separated from, discharged from, loosed from any one
to terminate all

The flesh is not necessarily destroyed but it’s power over us is nullified, or rendered idle. This involves the heart being purified by or through a lifetime of faith, Acts 15:9. This may not seem obvious at first, but if we truly love God, we would be like Jesus, and always do that which would please the father, Jn 8:29. Paul touched on this in the seventh chapter of Romans.

Romans 6:17-19 KJVS
[17] But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. [18] Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. [19] I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

So, to me, the line gets blurred between justification and sanctification due to the heart being the prime motivator of sin. And in order for sin to be rendered idle in our lives, our heart needs to be purified/justified. Another reason the line between justification and sanctification is blurred is because Jesus is in us, and God is in him.

John 17:17,23 KJVS
[17] Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. [23] I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Justification in my mind is usually associated with God justifying and purifying the heart, Acts 15:9, wherein sanctification involves Christ being in us and we in him, and our communion in the offering of the body of Christ on the sin sacrifice altar. Since Jesus is in us, and God in him, the line of distinguishing between being justified and sanctified is blurred to the point of not being able to differentiate between them. Both God and Jesus Christ are involved in the salvation process which includes being justified and sanctified pretty much simultaneously, 1 Co 6:11. Both God and Jesus Christ in their own way bring us to the place where we are made perfect/mature in love.

Colossians 3:14 KJVS
[14] And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one

Hebrews 2:11 KJVS
[11] For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Some Christian denominations view the body of Christ as a figure of speech and some view the body of Christ literally, to the point where communion is the actual body and blood of Christ. Both view points miss a important spiritual facet regarding the Lord and his body, the ecclesia. It is only by being in the body of Christ, 1 Co 12:27, that a person can be sanctified and reach spiritual maturity/perfection.

John 17:23 KJVS
[23] I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

I once heard a woman preacher on the radio say to her congregation one broadcast, that members of the church would never reach perfection in their lifetimes. Why then did the author of Hebrews say the following through the power of the Holy Spirit?

Hebrews 6:1-3 KJVS
[1] Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, [2] Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. [3] And this will we do, if God permit.

A good deal of the Christian world are unaware of the sin sacrifice altar outside the camp that is mentioned in He 13:10.

Hebrews 13:9-11 KJVS
[9] Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. [10] We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. [11] For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.

I cover this concept in more detail in this article http://www.justifiedfreely.com/?p=178 There are two offerings involved with the day of atonement sacrifice which, by type and shadow, pointed to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. The offering of his blood on the altar in heaven and the offering of his body, on the sin sacrifice altar, He 13:10&11. It can be difficult extrapolating meanings from the types and shadows of the Old Testament sacrifices conducted under the law, in relationship to the realities that are contained in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, because of this verse.

Hebrews 10:1 KJVS
[1] For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

Since the law is not the very image of the things to come, we have to rely on what the New Testament scriptures say regarding sanctification, always bearing in mind that the sacrifices and offerings under the law, were carnal ordinances and made no one perfect, He 9:10. I don’t think there is a chapter in the bible that I have read and studied more extensively than the tenth chapter of Hebrews. This chapter touches upon the sanctification of the body of Christ using images and terminology from the law. The chapter makes reference to sacrifices and offerings that the Hebrew Christians were well aware of at the time, because their lives were and had revolved around the Temple and the law of Moses associated with the Temple. The offerings burned on the sin sacrifice altar, were the dead carcasses of animals sacrificed for sin. These carcasses were burned to ashes on this altar and then the ashes were then used by the Levite priests for purification, He 9:13&14. This designated altar on the Mount of Olives was outside the ritual clean area of the city of Jerusalem. The types and shadows of the law with its sacrifices and offerings for sin, are not sharp or clearly defined types and shadows of the reality of the sacrifice and offering of Jesus Christ. None the less, it needs to be understood that perfection or being sanctified for a member of the body of Christ, is due to the offering of the body of Christ, once for all, presumedly on that figurative altar outside the camp.

Hebrews 10:10 KJVS
[10] By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Some insight can be gained from a few verses in Romans that can easily be overlooked due to the numerous scripture verses in the New Testament.

Romans 12:1 KJVS
[1] I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Romans 15:16 KJVS
[16] That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

The offering up of the Gentiles can only be “in Christ” because the ecclesia is the Lord’s body, Eph 5:30, and is where sanctification takes place, Jn 17:23. But just how this sanctification process works itself out in our flesh is not readily apparent from the types and shadows of the Old Testament law of Moses. Obviously fire was used at the sin sacrifice altar to burn up or purify the bodies of the sin sacrifice animal, He 13:11. Actual fire is not used with the body of Jesus Christ but the image of fire is used by the Apostle Peter and is also used in other books of the bible connected with being purified and sanctified.

1 Peter 4:12-13 KJVS
[12] Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: [13] But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Isaiah 48:10 KJVS
[10] Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

Fire, altars and activities associated with the law of Moses are often alluded to in the New Testament scriptures and are associated with sanctifying those who are chosen by God to reign with Jesus Christ, Just as the carcass of the animals used for the sin offering were burned to ash, this by type, holds true for sinful flesh of the members of the corporate body of Christ.

Ro 6:6 knowing this, that our old humanity was crucified together with Him, that the body of Sin may be nullified, for us by no means to be still slaving for Sin,
7 for one who dies has been justified from Sin. CLV

I used the Concordant Literal Translation for the above verse as it uses the word justified in verse 7 rather than the word freed which is used in the King James version. The Strong’s Concordance number for the Greek word translated into “freed” in the King James Version is G1344 and is the word translated as justified in most other uses in the NT. Dying to the flesh can be a painful process with a good deal of suffering involved, 1 Pe 4:1&2. We read in Hebrews 12:6, that God scourges the sons he loves and the Greek word translated as chastening and its word usage in the New Testament is paste below, taken from the Strong’s Concordance embedded in the bible software on my iPad.

Strong’s Number
G3809
Original Word
παιδεία
Transliterated Word
paideia
Phonetic Spelling
pahee-di’-ah
Parts of Speech
Noun Feminine
Definition
1. the whole training and education of children (which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment) It also includes the training and care of the body
2. whatever in adults also cultivates the soul, esp. by correcting mistakes and curbing passions.
a. instruction which aims at increasing virtue
b. chastisement, chastening, (of the evils with which God visits men for their amendment)
Usage by Word
chastening (3), chastisement (1), instruction (1), nurture (1)
Usage by Book
Ephesians, 2 Timothy, Hebrews

Oddly enough, I have cited this Greek word and definitions for years. The first article I wrote for this web site contained the definition for this word also. And yet, I never really keyed in on the “(of the evils with which God visits men for their amendment)” part of the definition. Which brings the book of Job to mind. My whole life seems to have been visited by evils that were a result of my actions or suddenly visited on me by chance. Or at least I thought so at the time. In retrospect a few of these times in my life, the evils that were visited on me, were by the leave of God for my amendment. Although I did not recognize it at the time. I was, an am still to some extent, thick headed, stubborn and slow to learn but I will say I am developing a kinder and more caring heart. God will do whatever it takes to straighten a person out, and instill the fruit of the Spirit in us, He 12:11. This whole presentation of God being a kindly Father in the heavens showering material blessings on His children feeds into the money grubbing religious institutions of today. If you bless them with ten percent of your increase, God will bless you with material blessings, with health and a long life to boot. Few indeed realize what the blessings of Abraham are in Christ, and what these blessings really entail.

Acts 3:25-26 KJVS
[25] Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. [26] Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

Abraham’s blessings for those of us in the body of Christ are God, due to the sacrifice of our Lord, turning us away from our iniquities. Which is slowly accomplished by God writing His laws on our minds and hearts and the eventual destruction of the sin nature within us, Ro 6:6-7. The definition of iniquities is depravity, iniquity, wickedness, malice, evil purposes and desires. None of which we can be turned away from, easily or painlessly, 1Pe 4:1-2. When you buy or acquire a little puppy you have to housebreak them. One method often used when the puppy makes a mess in the house, is you swat them with a rolled up newspaper and push their nose in the mess they made. Probably a apt analogy, in that judgement begins at the house of God, whose house we are, 1 Pe 4:17, He 3:6. If you read the scriptures frequently you will constantly be shown the areas of sin in your life. I can readily relate to King David when he said his sin was ever before him, Ps 51:3. We lack the ability to control and overcome our sin nature on our own, but still our inner man delights in the law of God, Ro 7:18-22, and desires to please Him. All the while this internal pressure is taking place, God is chastising and whipping the sons He loves, He 12:6&7, because of the sin and lack of godliness in their lives. We very much so, are caught between a rock and a hard spot. Of course we should all know the rock is Christ, 1 Co 10:4. In the end, our sin nature will be destroyed by a cooperative effort between man and the Spirit of God.

Romans 8:13 KJVS
[13] For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Eventually we will become obedient to the will of the Father, Ro 6:6, He 5:8, 1 Pe 4:1. And the various trials, sufferings, afflictions, chastisements and even persecutions in life, are the fuel God uses at the sin sacrifice altar, to burn up the body of the sin sacrifice, which is the flesh of body of Christ.

Romans 6:6 KJVS
[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.

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened

Ephesians 1:17-18 KJVS
[17] That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: [18] The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

This verse like many others in the New Testament electrified me in the past and beckoned me to further investigate the meaning thereof. The obvious approach is to investigate the word inheritance and heir. When you do, you find that the body of Christ is Abraham’s seed, and heir to the promise God made to Abraham, that he would inherit the earth, Ga 3:29 , Ro 4:13. In Eph 1:18, Paul prays that God the Father of glory Himself, gives you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. In short, the knowledge of Jesus Christ goes hand and hand with the mystery of God, which is Christ in you the hope of glory.

Colossians 1:25-27 KJVS
[25] Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; [26] Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: [27] 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:

This verse is a companion verse to Eph 1:18, and many times when the word glory as used in the New Testament scriptures it is referring to God’s glory on the earth, the thousand year Kingdom of God. It is curious for me to hear other Christians mentioning dying and then going to heaven, as if that is the end point of it all. There are few scripture verses in the New Testament that shed light on this belief. It is written in Re 6:9-11, that the souls of those who were slain for the word of God are kept under the altar in heaven. If you read the verses in context, it could suggest the souls were animated for a short period of time, white robes given them, and then told to rest a little while longer.

Revelation 6:9-11 KJVS
[9] And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: [10] And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? [11] And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were , should be fulfilled.

Souls under the altar in heaven sounds like the altar is a repository of sorts for deceased souls of those who were slain for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Which is suggestive that there is no conscience awareness while a soul is in heaven awaiting the first resurrection. But it is hard to separate what is figurative and what is literal in the book of Revelation and the same holds true for the parable of the rich and poor man that appears in Lk 16:19-31. Most times when I cite Revelation 20:6, that clearly states that the body of Christ is going to rule and reign with Jesus Christ for a thousand years, it seems like it has no impact on the Christian I am conversing with. That is because God the Father himself has to enlighten a persons eyes to see His calling. As a side note it also appears that the man child is resurrected first and woman that gave birth to him is given wings and flies off into the wilderness for 3 1/2 years, Re 12:14. Is the man child the body of Christ? Many believe so. Jerusalem is the mother of us all, Gal 4:26, and yet it states in Re 12:17 that the dragon made war with the rest of her seed. There are some interesting distinctions raised in the word of God that a wise man not seek to formulate into doctrine and would be smart to take a wait and see approach. Is this distinction regarding the seed of the woman because many are called but few are chosen, Mt 22:14? Over the years I have known many Christians who were very aggressive in their attempts to bring people to Christ. It is as if they feel, by their own powers of persuasion and willpower, a person can be drawn by them into the kingdom of God. But as you see that is not the case, John 6:44. God does the drawing. The revelation of Christ in you the hope of glory and all the implications thereof, does not happen all at once. We know only in part, at first, seeing these matters as through a darkened glass, 1Co 13:12. But as time goes on we grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and then see more clearly and embrace the hope of the calling, Php 3:14, the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Which is to rule and reign over the nations of the world, in righteousness, with Jesus Christ for a thousand years from the nation Israel, Re 20:6. A person does not come by this knowledge easily so one must heed the advice Paul gave to Timothy and study to make himself approved, 2Ti 2:15. Approved for what? The high calling of God in Christ, the first resurrection. In your study of the Word you would do well to stay clear of wind of doctrine of men and learn from the scriptures.

Ephesians 4:14 KJVS
[14] That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

The Strong’s definition for the Greek word translated sleight in the above verse has interesting connotations.

Definition
dice playing
metaph. the deception of men, because dice players sometimes cheated and defrauded their fellow players

To cheat by deception in a dice game is motivated by the desire for monetary gain. I would imagine the motive behind the deceptive wind of doctrines of man are for the same reason. Coupled with the desire to rule in this age, 1Co 4:8. The concept of the casting of dice brings to mind another verse and word associated with the casting of dice that has direct bearing on the topic of this post.

Ephesians 1:11 KJVS
[11] In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

The Strong’s Concordance definition of the Greek word translated as ”
Inheritance” in the above verse.

Strong’s Number
G2820
Original Word
κληρόω
Transliterated Word
klēroō

Definition
to cast lots, determine by lot
to choose by lot
to allot, assign by lot
on to another as a possession
in NT: to make a lot, i.e. a heritage, private possession

This Greek word is only used once in the New Testament and has a large impact on the doctrine of predestination. Those who are to rule and reign with Jesus Christ were chosen by God with the casting of lots or by random chance before the foundation of the world, Ro 9:16, Eph 1:4. It is radom chance because God is not a respecter of persons, Acts 10:34. I have given this much thought over the years and the only conclusion I come away with is that history as we know it, and the role the vessels of mercy play in history, are all predetermined by God to fulfill His purpose in this earth. The realization of the thousand year Kingdom of God is part of the purpose that God intends with the body of Christ. A common thread running through most of my articles is that we are being made mature or are being made perfect by God for this inheritance Col 1:12. But the overall end goal is to present all men perfect in Christ, Col 1:28, so that God can be all in all, 1Co 15:28. Of which the body of Christ plays a important role as priest and kings with Jesus Christ in the age to come.

Revelation of the mystery

Col 1:27  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:

The Apostle Paul’s epistles and the other epistles and gospels of the New Testament, have to be viewed in light of the mystery of God and when it was revealed, and the impact this has on how the church perceives salvation. Paul at a certain point in his ministry, wrote of a revelation he received from God.

Eph 3:3  How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
5  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
6  That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

Paul was given the dispensation to fulfill, fill up, the word of God by disclosing the mystery of Christ, to the church, Col 1:25. At what point in time this revelation was given to Paul, is not really made clear in the epistles. Using the search function in a bible editor, one can examine the scriptures used in connection with the mystery of God and get a rough idea when Paul received this revelation. The mystery is most clearly defined in Paul’s later epistles of Ephesians and Colossians.  We find that this mystery was hid in God since the beginning of the world, Eph 3:9, and was only made manifest to the saints at a specific point in time, Col 1:26. The mystery of God, which is Christ in you the hope of glory, is finished at the sounding of the seventh trumpet.

Revelation 10:7 KJVS
[7] But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

That is when the head of the body is joined to the body of Christ. When every member of the body of Christ receives their glorified body. The hope of glory, that the members of the body of Christ are in expectation of, is to rule and reign with Jesus Christ during the thousand year kingdom of God. God’s glory on this earth. Since being sanctified and becoming perfect or mature are words associated with the mystery of God, when and where these words appear in scripture can tell us much. The word sanctify, and its derivatives, as they appear in the New Testament, gives us some idea when the mystery of God first became known to the church. Books written before the disclosure of the mystery of God lack any information concerning sanctification, which is accomplished by Christ in you, Jn 17:17, 19&23. The authors who wrote epistles or gospels before Paul received this revelation were either not aware of the mystery or were not inspired to mention the mystery at the time when they wrote the epistle or gospel. The epistle written by James reflects this lack of knowledge regarding the mystery of God and the role Christ in you, plays in being sanctified. Sanctify and other derivatives of that word, in connection to the body of Christ, appears in the gospel of John, in later chapters of Acts and then in Ro 15:16, in the order the gospels and other New Testament books as they appear in the bible. The gospel of John is thought to be written in the 80’s or early 90’s. John 17:17&19&23, reflect the knowledge of the mystery of God in Christ. The first time the mystery of God was briefly mentioned by Paul was in Ro 16:25. I feel, contrary to what some believe, that Romans was written before the first Corinthian epistle. I will give my reason why, in just a bit. The concept of sanctification is contingent upon Christ in you the hope of glory. Sanctification and the mystery are briefly touched upon by Paul in the 15th and 16th chapters of Romans, and commented upon twice in the 1st Corinthian epistle, once in the beginning verses, 1Co 1:2, and in 1 Co 6:11

1Co 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Sanctification takes place due to the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, Heb 10:10. So when Paul remarks in Ro 15:16 that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, this knowledge is contingent upon the revelation of the mystery of Christ in you the hope of glory. Since there is only one offering for sin connected with sanctification, He 10:14, then the offering up of the Gentiles mentioned in Ro 15:16 has to be understood as taking place”in Christ”. Because there can be no sanctification without being in the corporate body of Christ, and having God and Christ dwelling in you.

John 17:23 KJVS
[23] I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Hebrews 2:11 KJVS
[11] For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

In Ephesians 3:3, Paul refers to the mystery and that he had mentioned it before in a few words. A reference bible links this verse to Ro 16:25. That clearly put a rough time stamp on when the mystery was disclosed to Paul. A important point supporting the premise that the epistle to the Romans was written before the Corinthian epistles, is when Paul makes two similar utterances by the Spirit, in Romans and then 1 Corinthians. In both verses Paul asks the question, “who has known the mind of the Lord?”,  Ro 11:34, 1Co 2:16. But in the 1 Corinthians verse, a observation is made following that question, in which Paul states that we have the mind of Christ! Having the mind of Christ is only possible by having the Christ in you, the hope of glory.  So why did Paul not make that observation in Ro 11:34? Obviously because the Spirit did not inspire Paul to include that comment in Romans or perhaps he had not received the revelation of the mystery of Christ in you the hope of glory, until he was nearly finished with the writing of the book of Romans. And then only briefly touch upon it in Ro 16:25. All this is speculative but the books of 1&2 Corinthians have more content regarding being sanctified and being in the body of Christ than the book of Romans does. My guess is, this may be due to progressive revelation by the Holy Spirit. Christ in you the hope of glory, and the sanctification of the Gentile members of the body of Christ, along with the Hebrew contingent, was not touched upon in the gospels and epistles written earlier in time before Paul received the revelation of the mystery. Probably for a few important reasons. The early church was facing the hurtle of establishing in the Jewish believer’s minds, that one could not be justified by one’s own works under the law but by grace. Which came about due to the redemptive work of salvation by Jesus Christ. God instructs man on a individual and societal basis and uses the church in these functions. The Jewish culture had been waylaid by their religious leaders and mislead in believing they could be justified by the law. The law was added in the wilderness, due to transgression, Ga 3:19, and made no one perfect, He 7:19.  Perfect or mature is another word that describes the process of being sanctified, due to Christ in you. The Pharisees and other religious leaders in Israel stumbled at the stumbling stone, which God laid, the rock of offense, Ro 9:31-33, who was Jesus Christ. They were intent on establishing their own righteousness by observing the law of Moses and their own doctrines of man. This type of self will worship is insidious and was something God had ordained for them to follow, 1Pe 2:8 , Ro 9:22. The emerging Jewish Christian church was having a hard time making the transition from the law of Moses to living a life of faith and being justified by grace, via the Holy Spirit. This was so much of a culture shock, that even Apostle Peter fell back into old patterns of behavior in regards to the law and separation of Jews and Gentiles, Ga 2:12-14. Another consideration is that the early Jewish Christian church was persecuted by the leadership of Israel and the Levitical priesthood had considerable knowledge concerning prophecy and the Old Testament scriptures. If they had found out very early on about Christ in you the hope of glory, ultimately leading to sanctification of the Jewish and Gentile Christians, they very well may have not crucified the Lord.

1 Corinthians 2:7-8 KJVS
[7] But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom , which God ordained before the world unto our glory: [8] Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it , they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Timing played a big part in the revelation of the mystery. The fledgling Christian church faced much opposition from the Jewish leadership early on and perhaps that has bearing on when the mystery of God was disclosed to the church. It was a profound example of the power of God over the will of man, to convert Saul to the faith of Jesus Christ, who just seconds before was extremely zealous in stamping out the Jewish Christian church. And chose him to be the Apostle to the Gentiles. There were Old Testament prophecies of salvation being taken away from Jews and given to the Gentiles, Deut 32:21, Isa 65:1. If you read the parable of the husbanmen, Mt 21:33-45, it was clear to the chief priests that Jesus was indicating that the kingdom of God would be taken away from them and given to the nations or Gentiles. The Apostle Paul proclaimed this very fact in Ac 28:25-28, again quoting a Old Testament prophet. The chief priest were afraid of losing their place of power over Israel and that was largely why they crucified Jesus.

Joh 11:48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

When the time arrived that salvation went to the Gentiles the Jewish leadership did not want the gospel preached to the Gentiles

1Th 2:15  Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:
16  Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.

So when the Apostle Paul in 1 Co 2:6-8 states what appears to be obvious, albeit after the fact, that if the princes of this world had known about the mystery of God, they would not have crucified the Lord. This is a very important fact in regards to progressive revelation. Unless a seed fall in the ground and die it cannot bring forth any fruit, Jn 12:24, which is a perfect parable used by our Lord describing his sacrifice and offering and his role as the seed, the Christ in you the hope of glory. But Jesus spoke in parables to disguise the real intent behind God sending him to earth as a sacrifice and offering for sin, Mk 4:11. God on the macro scale was and is changing society and on the individual, micro scale, changing individual men within the different societies. The transition from law to grace, the transition from Jew to Gentile in regards to salvation was a very difficult cultural transition for the early church to pass through. God is a excellent card player and holds His cards very close to His chest and plays the cards of history and the salvation of mankind through Jesus Christ, Jn 12:32, in the order that pleases Him, Isa 46:8-10. Not only within society but also within our individual lives. It is interesting to look at the three different accounts Paul gives in the book of Acts in relationship to time, regarding his experience on the road to Damascus.  In the different accounts Paul discloses what Jesus said to him at that time, and how these various accounts differ as recorded in the book of Acts, is interesting. The verses being examined are Acts 9:4-6, Acts 22:7-10 and Acts 26:14-18. It is only in Acts 26:18 that the word sanctified is mentioned and that is in regards to inheritance. That word sanctified is used only one other time in Acts, in verse 20:32. Again in regards to inheritance. As I wrote earlier, in the four gospels the word sanctified, in regards to the body of Christ, is only mentioned in the gospel of John. The following verses have always had a profound effect on me.

John 17:19-23  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20 ¶  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, is a apt description of sanctification, He 10:14. The gospel of John was thought to be written in 90 A.D., and for that reason is the most theological mature gospel. Which is a prime example of progressive revelation in itself. The point being made, is that sanctification, Christ in you the hope of glory, was a concept disclosed by God to the world and to the church, in the time frame He saw fitting. First, the transition from the law to grace in regards to who justifies who, man justifying himself or God justifying man, had to be firmly established. Then the first order in the salvation process of mankind is address, the body of Christ being justified and the. sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ once for all, He 10:10, He 13:12. It takes time in order to change society and the individuals who are indoctrinated by the doctrines of men, who live in those societies. Living a life under the law, mistakenly trying to justify your self before God by your own efforts. Living lives as pagans sacrificing to idols and demons. The transformation taking place in society and in the individuals at that time, and even today, by those called of God, was and is enormous. One also has to keep in mind that these changes in society and in the individual are linked hand in hand with the educational process of being taught by God, Jn 6:45. The knowledge of good and evil, which makes us like God, Ge 3:22, and discernment thereof, can only be learned by experience, He 5:14. This all gives a person just a glimmer of understanding of the work God is doing in this earth, Acts 13:41. Keep in mind that in the salvation process of mankind, 1Ti 4:10,  God will eventually justify all men by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.  In regards to sanctification, God is sanctifying Himself a people, He 13:12, and the body of Christ, for a inheritance to rule and reign with Jesus Christ in the age to come, Eph 1:11, Col 1:12. That sanctification can only happens by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Which is the mystery of God in Christ, the Christ in you the hope of glory.

Because they received not the love of the truth

2Th 2:10  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

If you examine the Greek word translated as “received” in the above verse, using the Strong’s Concordance you will see this definition.

G1209  dechomai  dekh’-om-ahee

middle voice of a primary verb;

to receive (in various applications, literally or figuratively). Compare G2983.

There is much debate regarding the middle voice usage and its’ meaning in Koine Greek. Which makes it difficult to derive at a exact meaning for the word translated into “received” and its’ effect on the meaning in that verse. Suffice it to say the middle voice falls somewhere between the active and passive voice in verb function. In the Concordant New Testament, the author describes it like this. “In the middle voice the subject is affected, more or less, by the action” Even that definition seems ambiguous to me and difficult to put into context within 2Th 2:10. But suffice it to say that those that perished, for whatever reasons, did not receive the love of the truth. The distinct possibility in my mind, is that God did not intend for them to have the love of the truth at that time. In John 17:17, the Apostle John places no small importance in the truth of God’s word.

John 17:17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

From personal experience, once I received the Holy Spirit, the truth of the scriptures became a burning desire for me. Over 30 years ago I received the Holy Spirit and promptly bought a hard cover copy of The Strong’s Concordance. When I finally threw it away, it was dog eared and well worn, but I had not yet arrived at the truth of the gospel. Unfortunately circumstances in my life became extremely difficult and my pursuit of the truth was sidelined for a good deal of time. Once I found I had the time and the inclination to pursue the truth of the gospel again, the computer and the resources available online, greatly aided my quest for the truth of the gospel. I have in fact, largely arrived at the truth of the gospel and this web page is devoted to the attempt to convey that truth to others. In 2Ti 2:15, Paul encouraged Timothy to study to show himself approved and to rightly divide the word of truth.

2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Timothy was acquainted with the scriptures from his youth, 2Ti 3:15, and yet Paul urged him to study to show himself approved of God. Approved for the first resurrection or being saved, as stated in 2Th 2:10.  Many Christians erroneously, because of Awana, think that 2Th 2:10 applies to children, but that is not so. God, 4 or 5 years ago, chastised me with this very verse when I was having a trial of my faith and was questioning my faith. Largely the reason I was questioning my faith, was because many scripture verses seemed to contradict one another. After being disciplined I resumed my quest for truth in a more determined fashion. Part of the process of studying and understanding scripture is to rightly divide the scripture. The definition for the Greek word translated into the English word “dividing” offers insight.

G3718  orthotomeo  or-thot-om-eh’-o

from a compound of G3717 and the base of G5114, to make a straight cut, i.e. (figuratively) to dissect (expound) correctly (the divine message).

In my mind this means that when you use a scripture verse you use it in context, and make sure that that verse, and the meaning you give that verse, is in agreement with all the other scripture verses in the bible.

Ps 119:160 The sum of Your word is truth, And all of Your righteous ordinances are eonian. CLV

Granted deriving the truth of God’s word is not a easy task, but attainable, if in fact you have a love of the truth. A apt analogy is assembling a large 5,000 word puzzle. I and my brothers and sisters assembled these types of puzzles when we were children. The hours spent fingering and placing pieces of the puzzle together, in order to achieve a completed picture, is a very apt analogy indeed, of understanding God’s word. Except the bible and scripture verses therein are much more numerous and complex. You have to have a love for it. And I do, thank God. So the goal is to take the pieces, scripture verses, and fit them together into a harmonious whole. You can’t force pieces together nor can you ignore or throw any pieces away, in order to get a completed picture.  I also have a passion for woodworking, and use traditional joinery techniques, which is a similar process except that you fashion the pieces of wood needed for a piece of furniture and then assemble/glue them into a unified whole.  So when I see a scripture verse that apparently does not fit together with other verses, it bothers me. The landscape of Christian denominations that litter today’s Christian world, is a testament of those men and organizations in the past, who did not rightly divide the word of truth nor had a love of the truth. It may sound harsh, but you cannot read and study scripture on a regular basis without seeing verses that state God intends to save all men. The article posted previous to this one, Universal reconciliation, contains well over a dozen of these verses. And yet most, if not all of the Christian denominations, believe in a eternal hell where a large amount of unrepentant sinners burn in a torturous, eternal punishment. And yet it states clearly in the Word, that God is love, 1Jn 4:8,  and He sent Jesus to be the saviour of all men, 1Ti 4:10, especially those who believe. So those people mentioned in 2Th 2:10, those that are perishing, are not lost and never going to saved. They are just not in the body of Christ and are not slated for the first resurrection.

1Ti 2:6  Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

In order to understand properly 2Th 2:10, it is necessary to know that Paul is addressing the Thessalonian church and their fear that the first resurrection had already taken place. So, Paul clarifies the events that need to take place before the coming of the Lord. Those who do not have the love of the truth, when the Lord comes, will perish and not see the salvation of the first resurrection. The word of God is precise and fits together wonderfully as a unified whole, if you are able to undo the indoctrination of the religious institutions of man with their winds of doctrine. You can do that, by studying the scriptures as Paul urged Timothy to do, and be no longer children.

Eph4:14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Decades after the birth of the New Testament church, the Apostle Paul warned of the coming apostasy and his warning very much applies to today’s Christian world.

2Ti 4:3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

So coming full circle, it is of great importance that those of us who want to take part in the first resurrection, 1Th 4:16-17, make learning the truth of the gospel, of primary importance in our lives. And then stand fast in that truth, just as those brethren that Paul urged in the Thessalonian church to do.

2Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.