Yesterday we learned that as believers. when we were “Born Again,” or “Recreated,” we received the very life and nature of our God Himself Do you remember that Elohim declared, “Let us make humans in our image, in our likeness. Let them rule . . .” Then, our ancestors betrayed that gift, and surrendered that authority to Yahweh’s enemy. Then, Jesus bought our Redemption and the Holy Spirit gave us Yahweh’s Life and Nature. Now we have to understand what it means for us.
Once you truly understand and know what I am about to show (have faith to believe it is true), it will make it easier to act in accordance with what God has established as a practice in His Word.
So let’s look at this. Turn over to the John’s Revelation:
Blessed is the one who reads, as well as those who hear the words of this prophecy and pay attention to what is written in it because the time is near.
From John to the seven churches in the province of Asia. Good will and peace to you from the one who is, the one who was, and the one who is coming, from the seven spirits who are in front of his throne, and from Yeshua Christ, the witness, the trustworthy one, the first to come back to life, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. Glory and power forever and ever belong to the one who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and has made us a kingdom, priests for God his Father. Amen (Revelation 1:3-6)
Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years (Revelation 20:6)
Hmm, interesting. So we have been born again, filled with the Spirit of God; adopted and have become honored children of the God of Creation; seated with our Lord and King; raised us up together with Christ; and declared to be “priests of God,” who will “reign with Him,” yet we live lives that are defeated, ignoring those who will face judgment.
Yesterday I told you that I was going to show you something that will blow your mind and to start with, we will return to the tenth chapter of John’s Gospel, where Jesus claimed to be the door and the shepherd:
“Yes, indeed! I tell you, the person who doesn’t enter the sheep-pen through the door, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. But the one who goes in through the gate is the sheep’s own shepherd. This is the one the gate-keeper admits, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep, each one by name, and leads them out. After taking out all that are his own, he goes on ahead of them; and the sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. They never follow a stranger but will run away from him, because strangers’ voices are unfamiliar to them.”
Now go back a read that again and notice that those who belong to the “Good Shepherd,” hear, and recognize the voice of their shepherd. They don’t wander around on their own, wondering what is true, and what is error. He goes ahead of His sheep and they follow Him.
Yeshua used this indirect manner of speaking with them, but they didn’t understand what he was talking to them about. So Yeshua said to them again,
“Yes, indeed! I tell you that I am the gate for the sheep. All those who have come before me have been thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the gate; if someone enters through me, he will be safe and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, life in its fullest measure.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, since he isn’t a shepherd and the sheep aren’t his own, sees the wolf coming, abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf drags them off and scatters them. The hired worker behaves like this because that’s all he is, a hired worker; so it doesn’t matter to him what happens to the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my own, and my own know me — just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father — and I lay down my life on behalf of the sheep. Also I have other sheep which are not from this pen; I need to bring them, and they will hear my voice; and there will be one flock, one shepherd. (John 10:1-16)
Well that really messed with everyone. They didn’t know if he was a demon or a saint (John 10:19-21)? This raised such a melee the crowd couldn’t possibly decide what Jesus was saying, so a bunch of big shots met him “in the temple, in the stoa of Solomon” (John 10:23). The Judeans surrounded him and said to him, “How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us publicly!” (John 10:24). Well! What is Jesus going to do now?
Well, Jesus answered them, “I have told you, but you don’t believe me. The things that I do in my Father’s name testify on my behalf. However, you don’t believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep respond to my voice, and I know who they are. They follow me, and I give them eternal life. They will never be lost, and no one will tear them away from me. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than everyone else, and no one can tear them away from my Father. The Father and I are one.”
What did He say? “The Father and I are one?” Huh? No wonder they wanted to stone Him! Such audacity! He is declaring that He and Yahweh are one and the same! Just the other day I heard someone declared that Jesus never said that He was God. He didn’t? Look like He did here!
The Jews brought some rocks to stone Jesus to death. He said to them, “I have shown you many good things that come from the Father. For which of these good things do you want to stone me to death?”
The Jews answered, “We’re going to stone you to death, but not for any good things you have done [well, at least they are honest], but for dishonoring God! You claim to be God, although you are only a man.”
But then Jesus answers them with some other questions:
“Don’t your Scriptures say, ‘I said, “You are gods” ’? [What?] The Scriptures cannot be discredited. So if God calls people gods (the word used is “Elohim”) (and they are the people to whom he gave the Scriptures), why do you say that I am dishonoring God because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? God set me apart for this holy purpose and has sent me into the world. If I am not doing the things my Father does, don’t believe me. But if I am doing those things and you refuse to believe me [then that is your fault], then at least believe the things that I’m doing. Then you will know and recognize that the Father is in me and that I am in the Father.” (John 10:34)
Wait a minute, what was that old testament passage he mentioned? It was Psalm 82:3-6
Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked. They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable. I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.”
As you probably guessed, the Hebrew word used here is Elohim, which is the first name for God that is used in the very first verse of the Bible:
In the beginning Elohim created heaven and earth (Genesis 11)
Then again in Genesis 1:26-2:
“Then Elohim said, “Let us make humans in our image, in our likeness. Let them rule the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the domestic animals all over the earth, and all the animals that crawl on the earth.”
Psalm 8 declares:
“When I look at your heavens,
the creation of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have set in place—
what is a mortal that you remember him
or the Son of Man that you take care of him?
You have made him a little lower than yourself (Elohim).
You have crowned him with glory and honor.
You have made him rule what your hands created.
You have put everything under his control:
all the sheep and cattle, the wild animals,
the birds, the fish,
whatever swims in the currents of the seas (Psalm 8:3-8)
Wow! So He takes care of “mere mortals” and “made them a little lower than Elohim”? Huh? Now remember, I did not write this, nor am I taking isolated verses to mak. Remember how the Scriptures declare that Yahweh is God of gods, and Lord of lords? Who or what are the gods and lords He rules over?
It seems that it is the mortals He created, who were created to rule and reign with Him. Don’t you find it significant that Jesus stated, “I am the true vine, and my Father takes care of the vineyard. He removes every one of my branches that doesn’t produce fruit. He also prunes every branch that does produce fruit to make it produce more fruit!
“You are already clean because of what I have told you. Live in me, and I will live in you. A branch cannot produce any fruit by itself. It has to stay attached to the vine. In the same way, you cannot produce fruit unless you live in me.
“I am the vine. You are the branches. Those who live in me while I live in them will produce a lot of fruit. But you can’t produce anything without me. Whoever doesn’t live in me is thrown away like a branch and dries up. Branches like this are gathered, thrown into a fire, and burned. If you live in me and what I say lives in you, then ask for anything you want, and it will be yours. You give glory to my Father when you produce a lot of fruit and therefore show that you are my disciples.
“I have loved you the same way the Father has loved me. So live in my love.”
[Holy Spirit, please open our eyes. Let us see what you intend for your Church].
Friends, begin to read Scripture with the light and understanding of someone who lives in the knowledge of the Kingdom of God. For instance, read Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus:
“Praise the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua Christ! Through Christ, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing that heaven has to offer. Before the creation of the world, he chose us through Christ to be holy and perfect in his presence. Because of his love he had already decided to adopt us through Yeshua Christ. He freely chose to do this so that the kindness he had given us in his dear Son would be praised and given glory.
“Through the blood of his Son, we are set free from our sins. God forgives our failures because of his overflowing kindness. He poured out his kindness by giving us every kind of wisdom and insight when he revealed the mystery of his plan to us. He had decided to do this through Christ. He planned to bring all of history to its goal in Christ. Then Christ would be the head of everything in heaven and on earth. God also decided ahead of time to choose us through Christ according to his plan, which makes everything work the way he intends. He planned all of this so that we who had already focused our hope on Christ would praise him and give him glory.
“You heard and believed the message of truth, the Good News that he has saved you. In him you were sealed with the Holy Spirit whom he promised. This Holy Spirit is the guarantee that we will receive our inheritance. We have this guarantee until we are set free to belong to him. God receives praise and glory for this.
“I, too, have heard about your faith in the Lord Yeshua and your love for all of God’s people. For this reason I never stop thanking God for you. I always remember you in my prayers. I pray that the glorious Father, the God of our Lord Yeshua Christ, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know Christ better. Then you will have deeper insight. You will know the confidence that he calls you to have and the glorious wealth that God’s people will inherit. You will also know the unlimited greatness of his power as it works with might and strength for us, the believers. He worked with that same power in Christ when he brought him back to life and gave him the highest position in heaven. He is far above all rulers, authorities, powers, lords, and all other names that can be named, not only in this present world but also in the world to come. God has put everything under the control of Christ. He has made Christ the head of everything for the good of the church. The church is Christ’s body and completes him as he fills everything in every way” (Ephesians 1:3-23)
Oh man, keep reading! Get your Bible out and read! Read every day and every night. Never let His Word our of your sight so you too can grow to receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know Christ better!