Wednesday, June 25, 2014

BEWARE WHAT IS NEXT

I'm guessing a good number of us have been buttered-up at times in our lives only to be requested to perform some duty or challenge right afterward. It was no different for Jesus.

The first scene is the Baptism of Jesus (Matt. 3:13-17; Mk 1:9-11; Lk 3:21,22; Jn 1:31-34). Whether or not Father God said, "This is my Son..." (Matthew 3:17) or "You are my Son..." (Mark 1:11; Luke 4:21-22), I imagine Jesus felt terrific hearing God The Father speaking these words about Him.
  • And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." (Mk. 1:11)
First, Father God declares familiar ownership. I personally love to hear my own dad say with pride - "There's my boy!"  

Second, God The Father proclaims His love for His Son. I imagine there are a zillion emotions that God could have conveyed to Jesus, but Love trumped them ALL! 

Thirdly, Father God is the only one in the universe that can wear pride the best! He takes pride in His Son and dotes on Him, therefore encouraging Him when He said - "with you I am well pleased."

Beware What Is Next.  In Jesus' case Matthew 4:1 says - Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Mark 1:12-13 describes the timing even more immediate by saying - At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

In this time of trial, Jesus combated the challenges of Satan with the written Word of God - which was really Jesus Himself spoken under the power of inspiration via the Holy Spirit to the writers of those passages He was quoting from (get your head around that one). When Jesus said, "It is written,....", He was basically saying, "I said..." AND THAT SETTLES IT.

The second scene is The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13). With Peter droning on and on about building three booths (one for Elijah, Moses, and Jesus), Father God interrupts Peter to, in my opinion, set the record straight about who should be worshiped.
  • While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" (Matthew 17:5)
This declaration has the ingredients of the Baptism of Jesus with one extra bit of information that is followed by an exclamation point - "Listen to Him!" In this one sentence I can hear Father God raising His voice and saying, "Of all the people that have been born on earth and followed my will - this one here, my very own Son, whom I love and am well pleased - should be listened to!"

Wow! That would make me feel awesome! To have Father God approve of me and my message to humanity - it doesn't get any better than that! 

Beware What Is Next. Your fortitude and attitude could be challenged quickly. For Jesus, right after The Transfiguration, Matthew 17:14-18 records -
  • When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. "Lord, have mercy on my son," he said. "He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him." "O unbelieving and perverse generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me." Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.
Wow! What a response to a bad situation. True - His generation was unbelieving and perverse, but to question "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?" delivers an air of/attitude of frustration. But Jesus did not allow the aggravation or frustration to lead Him to sin. Jesus still rebuked the demon and the boy was healed.

I don't know what, if anything, Jesus did before healing the boy in order to calm down and do His Father's will. Did He count to 10? Did He do some breathing techniques? Odds are He prayed. 

So, here is the challenge for us. It is not every time that we are buttered-up that a challenge looms right around the corner. However, should that very situation transpire you know Jesus has gone through it and passed with flying colors - SO THAT - we might go immediately to Him in prayer when we are going through what is next.


Monday, June 23, 2014

THE WORD OF GOD

Have you ever heard the expressions - "He was sharp with him." or "That person sure has a sharp tongue." The word "sharp" is not describing a tactile experience of feeling someone's tongue only to be cut by it. Although the tongue-lashing might feel physical, it is a mental and spiritual slicing that occurs when a "sharp tongue" is used in heated dialogue. We receive an excellent image of this through the Revelation of Jesus Christ in the coming days.
  • In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword.His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. (Revelation 1:16) 
  • "To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. (Revelation 2:12)
  • Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. (Revelation 2:16)
  • Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. (Revelation 19:15)
  • The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. (Revelation 19:21)
Does God have a sword that comes out of His mouth by which He whacks all of our enemies to death? While I am sure He could, I believe the sharpness and quickness of execution to the words that Jesus speaks are what lend the "sword-out-of-the-mouth" imagery.

Is this spoken word (Logos) available to the Christian as a sword or is it exclusive to God, used especially for end-time imagery?  His Word is available to the Believer as the second edge of God's two-edged sword, a Rhema or Revealed Word, spoken about in Ephesians 6:17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Rick Renner researched that Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, described The Sword in "the sword of the Spirit" of Ephesians 6:17 to come from the Greek word machaira. According to the original Greek (machaira), the Roman equivalent of the "sword of the Spirit" is a double-edged weapon with the tip of the blade pointed upward for more tearing and ripping damage of a potential victim. Many knives and swords have a flat, dull side so that when the knife is flipped open or out it does not hurt the hand. In the case of carrying it on the belt without a scabbard the dull side would not harm the leg. However, in this picture each side of the sword has an edge.

"The phrase 'two-edged' is taken from the Greek word distomos, and it is unquestionably one of the oddest words in the entire New Testament.

Why is the phrase 'two-edged' so odd? Because it is a compound of the word di, meaning two, and the word stomos, which is the Greek word for one's mouth. Thus, when these two words are compounded into the word distomos, the new word describes something that is two-mouthed. (Dressed To Kill, Renner, p.416)


The spiritual application to the two edges of the "sword of the spirit" is that one edge of the blade represents God speaking to you and the other symbolizes you speaking that same word, out-loud into your situation or to others.

Jesus is called the Logos (Spoken, Creative, Written Word of God) in John 1:14. Jesus is called The Truth in John 14:6. Christians are called to gird themselves with The Belt of Truth (which all other weapons hang from) in Ephesians 6:14. The Belt of Truth is therefore the Logos/Spoken/Written Word of God or the words of Jesus.

I imagine the Belt of Truth (Logos/Spoken/Written Word of God) supernaturally morphing into the Sword of the Spirit (Rhema/Revealed Word of God) in Ephesians 6:14-17 for a given situation/battle in our life. Meanwhile God's sustaining power and remaining ministries are still active through the tight Belt of Truth still around our waist. The Written and Revealed are the same, it is just one - the Revealed Word of God - is drawn out for battle or comfort or for whatever the need. The Revealed Word is The Written Word of God Spoken aloud to impart loss to the kingdom of darkness (you like that? I thought of that myself, well...with God's help of course).

What screams louder than a trumpet call at this point is that it helps tremendously for Believers to know the Scriptures or Bible first in order for the Holy Spirit to have something to quicken. God could give a word of revelation to a Believer before he/she really knows the Bible. However, I personally believe that is not God's normal mode of operation. John 14:26 convinces me otherwise - But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to youIf Believers have accepted the Holy Spirit's leadership in their lives plus believe and trust in the powerful living He provides for us every day then we will be able to inflict serious damage to our enemy! "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." - Ephesians 6:12

The words that come out of God's mouth are actually SHARPER than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). This same verse continues and says that God's spoken/written Word, His Logos, penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

So, trust His Word, stay in His Word, and use His Word. Know His His Belt of Truth and Sword of the Spirit to keep defended from the devil's schemes/arrows and to deliver a revealed word to someone or a situation. Know yourself victorious through Christ Jesus. Know your enemy defeated!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

TURNING POINT

You know you have reached a Turning Point when what you have done and said as your life's work forces your travel and living quarters into hiding. Jesus came to such a Turning Point. John 11:54 records - "Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the Jews. Instead he withdrew to a region near the desert, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples."

What was the event that precipitated the "Therefore" for Jesus?  The raising of Lazarus.  This miracle seems to be a major Turning Point for other individuals as well like the High Priest, Pharisees, teachers of The Law, anybody associated with Jesus, and Lazarus.

The Jewish Concern
Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. "What are we accomplishing?" they asked. "Here is this man performing many miraculous signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation." (Jn. 11:45-48)

The Jewish Answer
Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year,spoke up, "You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish." He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. (Jn. 11:49-52)

The Jewish Plan
So from that day on they plotted to take his life. (Jn. 11:53)

Before this, "plotted", Turning Point Jesus escaped their angry grasps by slipping in to the crowds or trusting in divine timing. Observe the many attempts on Christ's life before the "plotted" stage is reached.
  • At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come. (Jn. 7:30) 
  • Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him. (Jn. 7:44)
  • He spoke these words while teaching in the temple area near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his time had not yet come. (Jn. 8:20)
  • At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. (Jn. 8:59)
  • Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, (Jn. 10:31)
  • Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp. (Jn. 10:39)
It was not good for any Jew to be associated with Jesus either.
  • His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue. Jn. 9:22)
And Lazarus - he had to be raised to die again. I don't know how Lazarus died later on, but after he was raised from the dead by Jesus, his danger of dying seemed to increase.
  • So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, (Jn. 12:10)
Are you at a Turning Point in your life? Maybe, like Jesus, you have been experiencing aggravations that you have been able to slip away from, rebuke, or it was not time to go through that yet. Maybe, like Jesus, you have just had a wonderful breakthrough (i.e. the display of His resurrection power) and now others are jealous of your blessing or gift. I don't think people will be out to kill you, but the enemy of your soul will. The fight is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities,against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12). Yes, sometimes it is us that gets in the way of us being productive for His Kingdom, however know we have an accuser that does not sleep and it is good to know his tactics.

After the raising of Lazarus, Jesus' "Wanted Level" skyrocketed. The new level was "plotted". Jesus knew this and still went through with His mission and still was successful though there was a cross to carry. Jesus adapted and went forward. He "no longer moved publicly among the Jews". If you are at a Turning Point, it could be that your "Wanted Level" has increased in the enemy's camp and you must adapt and move forward also. The Lord is there with you. Trust in His comfort and counseling - He has been through it - He has been through a Turning Point.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

THE GODLY BUBBLE

Ever heard the police say, "Come out with your hands up, you are completely surrounded!"? I never thought I would spiritualize that phrase, BUT the Holy Spirit gave it to me to portray how the Christian is to approach the beginning of each new day - hands up in surrender and praise, acknowledging His presence all around us. I realize more and more as I study the Scriptures, the men and women of God were totally surround by His presence. This is a great thing because as Jesus said, 
  • "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
In Isaiah 52:12 God's presence is positioned before the believing and stationed as the "rear guard" of the believing.
  • for the LORD will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
In Psalm 91:7, David speaks about a thousand falling at the Believer's right hand and ten thousand at the Believer's left hand. How can this be unless God's protective presence is on either side of you.
  • A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
In John 14:26, John uses the Greek word parakletos as the descriptive word for the Holy Spirit who comes alongside of the believer as a counselor, comforter, advocate, and/or representative of the believer to God and God's Word to the believer.
  • But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
In Psalm 119:105, David is talking to the Lord about the Lord's presence beneath him literally and figuratively as he describes God's instruction or "word" as a "lamp" or near-sighted source of light and a "light" for the "path" that is more broad in scope and nature.

  • Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Staying in the Psalms, David continues to paint a picture of God's intimate presence in the believer's life, this time God is above us with His protective wings.
  • Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. (Psalms 17:8)
  • Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. (Psalms 63:7)
  • He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1)

Last, but certainly not least is Paul telling the believer in 1 Corinthians 6:19 that God, by the power of His Holy Spirit, is within the believer also.

  • Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

All this to visualize an image of God's Presence as a air-tight bubble filled with His goodness, mercy, faithfulness, and love - following the believer around wherever he/she goes forever (above, below, in front, in back, left, right, and within).  For me, it brings to light special meaning and emphasis of two points - 1) God never leaving or forsaking His believers and 2) believers taking an active, submissive role in life by living, moving, and having our being - in Him.

  • ...God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)
  • 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' (Acts 17:28)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

COMING ALONGSIDE AND LIVING WITHIN

All a Christian has to do to receive the Holy Spirit is....ask.  Luke in his self-titled Gospel records Jesus saying this - If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:13) Luke then records in Acts 1:4 Jesus really desiring His disciples to receive the Holy Spirit so He gives His disciples a command to "wait" for the Holy Spirit, "the gift my Father promised". The entire verse reads - "On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about."

Holy Spirit is Hagios Pneuma in the original Greek. Breaking it down further…Holy or Hagios (hag'-ee-os) means sacred, physically pure, and morally blameless. Spirit or Pneuma (pnyoo'-mah) means a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; vital principle, mental disposition, Christ’s spirit, the Holy spirit, life, and mind.

Luke uncovers the ministry of revelation by the Holy Spirit as he tells the account of a man named Simeon.
  • Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ." (Luke 2:26)
In Acts, Luke depicts the Holy Spirit as one who warns"I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me." (Acts 20:23)

Paul says we can experience God as a resurrecting power living within us for others as well as ourselves when he said - "And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in youhe who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you." (Romans 8:11)

Paul also reveals the Holy Spirit as "the God of all comfort" in 2 Corinthians 1:3 and then made sure he associated that comfort with Christ as he said two verses later - "For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows." Studying in the New International Version, I found the "weeping prophet", Jeremiah, calling God - Comforter - "O my Comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me." (Jeremiah 8:18)

In John 14:26 the Holy Spirit is called the Counselor (NIV), or the Comforter (KJVR) - But the Counselorthe Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  Counselor/Comforter in John 14:26 is paraklētos (par-ak'-lay-tos) in the original Greek and means an intercessor, counselor, advocate, comforter, one who comes alongside another to help and represent.

I love this image of God Almighty providing His own Spirit to come alongside of us - forever.  However, God goes above and beyond by blessing the Believer with His Presence in front and behind the person (Isaiah 52:12), to the left and to the right of the follower (Psalm 91:7), alongside (John 14:26), and within (1 Corinthians 6:19).

According to 1 Corinthians 6:19 the body of the Christian is a Temple in which the third part of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit, dwells.  Why does a Christian, a spiritually born again creation through the salvation plan of Christ Jesus, need the Holy Spirit/Ghost living within to continue life?  Because the benefits demand the question - why not? Does a Christian lose his/her salvation or reward if life is experienced without the Holy Spirit?  No.  He/She simply misses out on the extra supply of everything needed to journey through it.

Let's get right to it. Let's talk results.  Fellowship of the Holy Spirit and/or with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14) results in....
  1. Fruit for you life and other lives. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control (Galatians 5:22).
  2. The ability to "pray in the Spirit" meaning pray with the mind of Christ and/or your new heavenly prayer language (Jude 1:20/Ephesians 6:18).
  3. A new heavenly language to communicate your heart to God - called tongues (Acts 19:6/Luke 2:26/Romans 8:26). 
  4. The act of prophesying (Acts 19:6/Luke 2:26).
  5. Being able to speak to a situation under the influence of the Holy Spirit (Mark 12:36 and 13:11).
  6. Gifts - "God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will." (Hebrews 2:4).  The different gifts can be found in 1 Corinthians 12:7-10.
In Other Words....with the analogy of  a card game, those are the tells of a Christian who has the Holy Spirit within their mind, body, and spirit governing their life.

Are you interested in the Holy Spirit with all these provisions and more? In order to personally know the Holy Spirit, it helps to know Jesus first. Jesus is known as "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). John points out three important things about the Holy Spirit in association with Jesus once Christ had ascended to the right hand of Father God.

  • First, John portrayed the Holy Spirit as a Counselor/Teacher and said that He would remind us of all Jesus said (John 14:26). 
  • Secondly, "...when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truthHe will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and 
  • [Thirdly] he will tell you what is yet to come." (John 16:13).  

So, it is vitally important that we at least have the head knowledge of what Jesus said. Then when you are baptized in the Holy Spirit, from that point forward His Spirit will make God's Word come more alive and meaningful to you.

There does seem to be a usual procedure to the baptism of the Holy Spirit in one's life - salvation, water baptism, then Holy Spirit baptism. There were exceptions - God seemed to work in reverse on a group of Gentiles as Peter spoke the Gospel and John the Baptist had the Holy Spirit in him from birth - Acts 10:23-48 and Luke 1:15 respectfully.  However, the usual order I have observed is salvation, water baptism, then Holy Spirit baptism (John 14:15-17; Acts 2:38; Ephesians 1:13; Acts 8:16).

Salvation first, to declare with our mouths and believe in our hearts the answer - Jesus Christ, born in the flesh, crucified, died, buried, resurrected, ascended, and returning - provided by God for our sinful condition/nature (Romans 10:91 Corinthians 15:3-4).

Water baptism second, to publicly declare our faith and display our association with our Savior. All Jesus' disciples were called publicly.

Holy Spirit Baptism third, to empower the Believer with life more abundantly.

So, the question still stands to those who have not yet received - do you want God's Holy Spirit before and behind you, on either side, alongside of you, and within you?  Remember Luke 11:13, just "ask" and remember Christ's command to "wait" (Acts 1:4) because He desires Coming Alongside And Living Within.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

ASPIRATIONS

If I should graduate to my next level of existence before The Rapture, I would like on my tombstone it to be written - "Southern. Dependable. Heavenbound."  What I would like for people to remember of me and say of me then and now is that I was and am an esteemed man of God.

To many, including myself, esteemed would mean someone who is looked-up to or held by many as a great example of a great human being, great man, great husband, great Christian, and so forth.  However, for our consideration, add to that definition the Scripture's three Hebrew words for esteemed - chashab (khaw-shab), chen (khane), and chamad (khaw-mad).

Speaking of Christ and how people of His day would perceive Him, Chashab is found in Isaiah 53:3 and means to think regard negatively. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Found in the book of wise sayings, Proverbs 22:1, Chen means someone who is regarded as showing graciousness to others and receives grace from others; kindness and favor.  A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

Speaking to Daniel, the chief angelic messenger, Gabriel uses the word Chamad as he greets him three times in Daniel 9:23/ 10:11/ 10:19. Chamad means to delight in, greatly beloved, and precious.
  • As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the message and understand the vision: (9:23)
  • He said, "Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you." And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling. (10:11)
  • "Do not be afraid, O man highly esteemed," he said. "Peace! Be strong now; be strong." When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, "Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength." (10:19)
The Christian music group 4-HIM wrote and performed a song called "A Man You Would Write About". The chorus reads - 
"I want to be a man that you would write about, 
a thousand years from now that they could read about - 
your servant of choice, 
in whom you found favor, 
a man who heard your voice."  

Oh to be that in tune with God!  Enoch was this kind of man and more.  In Hebrews 11:5 God uses the word pleased to communicate the reason for Enoch's rapture or catching away to Heaven spoken about in Genesis 5:24. This word in the original Greek is euaresteo (yoo-ar-es-teh-o) meaning entirely gratified. Can you imagine God being so entirely gratified with you that He grants you a "Get Out of Earth/Come Live With Me Free Card"!!! 

Wow!  Now these last three are something to aspire to.  
  1. I desire to be - esteemed (chen) - found giving and receiving grace throughout my life, not just as a memorial or reflection at the end of it.  
  2. I know I am - esteemed (chamad) - in heaven because Father God sent His only Son, His own Word in flesh, Jesus Christ to die in my place for my redemption.  In addition, "concerning this salvation,... Even angels long to look into these things." (1 Peter 1:10-12)
  3. I pray I am on the road and doing the right things to - please - entirely gratify God. 
I am Southern, Dependable, and Heavenbound now.  These men challenge me to be esteemed and pleasing to God also.  In the voice of the Capital One's slogan - "What's in you wallet?" - So, what are your Aspirations?!


Monday, June 2, 2014

PHRASE STUDY - "I HAVE COME TO...."

There are some key phrases that Jesus said that I love to read or hear read which declare why He came.

  1. "I have come...". 
  2. "I have not come to ____ but to ____."
  3. "I will come..." 
  4. "Until I come..."
The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Hebrews, and Revelation hold these phrases of purpose.  If there was anybody in the world that I appreciate being clear on the why of His actions it was Jesus.  He was bringing a spirit, freedom, and law of grace that challenged the old standard of ritual, tradition, and letter of The Law.  Praise God, Jesus fulfilled every letter of The Law, lived a perfect life, and delivered grace to all through the death on the Old Rugged Cross.

Matthew gets us started by recording Jesus speaking plainly about His relationship with The Law. Jesus said, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.(5:17)  

Jesus answers the what question.  He was here - "to call".  And He answers the who question - "sinners". But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (Matthew 9:13)

Jesus knew that His mission and message would arm/weaponize those who know that life is a spiritual battle. "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:34)

Jesus knew that His coming would result in division in some families.  For I have come to turn " 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law-- (Matthew 10:35)

Jesus came to preach the Good News.  Jesus replied, "Let us go somewhere else--to the nearby villages--so I can preach there also. That is why I have come." (Mark 1:38)

"I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!" (Luke 12:49)

Jesus reveals who He represents.  I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. (John 5:43)

Jesus answers where and why in one shot.  For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. (John 6:38)

Jesus declares the same God they worship is His Father and that He came from Him on a mission.  Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. (John 8:42)

Jesus did not come to judge.  There are a handful of verses opposing that view one of which is John 3:17. The following verse is not meant to portray that idea.  Jesus visits earth the first time to receive the full weight of the wrath or judgment of God that was due us because of disobedience from Adam forward.  Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind." (John 9:39)

Jesus answers that His mission is not only life giving, it is excessive life giving in quality and quantity.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

Jesus provides us with the answer to our original condition of "darkness" - Himself.  I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. (John 12:46)

Jesus displays Himself as the perfect example of a humble servant unto God.  "Then I said, 'Here I am--it is written about me in the scroll-- I have come to do your will, O God.' " (Hebrews 10:9)

In this case Jesus arriving means loss of a church's Lampstand or vision/anointing.  It means a church has fallen out of grace with the Lord and has not repented and done the things in the early years of their relationship with God. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. (Revelation 2:5)

Here is another instance of a church (Sardis) whose deeds were spiritually dead.  Jesus provides them with the antidote but warns them what will happen should they ignore His free, loving advice.  Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. (Revelation 3:3)

Looking up the phrase "what you have" in the original Greek, the word - echo - was used to depict very various applications, literally or figuratively, direct or remote; such as possession, ability, contiguity, relation or condition.  In the following verse we get the command to tarry with all that we have - mind, body, spirit and personal possessions until Christ comes again.  Only hold on to what you have until I come. (Revelation 2:25)

One particular verse I am fond of where Christ is not speaking directly on this subject is 1 John 3:8.  John said, He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.  I do not have a problem with Adam or Eve and their weakness with disobedience.  Truth be told, you put me in Adam's place and I'm probably going to decide the same fate for humanity.  I hold The Father of Lies responsible.  Lucifer is the one that wanted to play King of the Mountain with God (Isaiah 14:13-14) and lost.  But Satan is the poorest of losers and desires to hurt God by hurting His image - us (Genesis 1:26).  The devil managed to corrupt humanity with a nature of rebellion through Adam, the first man.  But there was a second man who visited earth on humanity's behalf and redeemed our murdered, stolen, and destroyed relationship with God. This Son of God and Son of Man is my Lord, my Savior, my King, and my Friend and His name is Jesus.  This same one is who loved us so much that He said, "I have come to ...." and He did.