Is God the I AM, the I WAS, or the I WILL BE?
It's a privilege to worship with you and exciting to know God is still calling for that last elect and to realize there are still sincere souls hungering and thirsting after righteousness. Today we'll examine what constitutes faith and what constitutes sin, then apply the lesson to our individual experience and attitude to the greatest revelation of all—the supreme deity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Too many church people imagine God is an easy-come, easy-go sort of Guy who loves us all so much He's not too fussed how we understand Him and whether our lives reflect His Word or this world. But according to the Bible He's a God of His Word, a strict God who from the beginning made clear He requires man to live by His Word, and every one. We need to be earnest in our desire to understand His requirements and to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.
Jesus commanded His Church to "Walk in the Light He is in and keep watching for more Light to unfold." Spiritual Light is a revelation of the Word or Will of God and unless our lives are manifesting the Word God is fulfilling in this age we are not and cannot come "under the blood of Christ," which is to be born-again. God can't make "written epistles" today by the Word He fulfilled yesterday in the ages of the Luther, Wesley or even the Pentecostals (so-called), any more than the press can sell yesterday's news (I John 1:7).
Few Bible readers have any conception what God's Bible promises are for today. It is later than most dare imagine. The faith God required of father or grandma will not place us into the Body of Christ today. This is another age in which God is fulfilling a further part of His Word. We can't be born again by impersonating the Light of a day gone by and must search the Scriptures to ensure our lives are the manifestation of the present Truth . . . what His Word promised Jesus would be doing now.
Let's cast our thoughts back to the first "Good Friday." As they had done for 1,500 years, the Hebrew ministers offered God the morning sacrifice and oblation which pointed to the coming Messiah who would be a propitiation for sin. I imagine He smiled upon them and thought, "That's My People, faithfully fulfilling My Commandments and the ordinances of Moses My prophet." But in the evening time when they offered another lamb, God's anger rose in His nostrils. He rejected the ministers with their offering, and all who offered the lamb were blotted from the Book of Life because Moses' Message was fulfilled, and they were blaspheming (Psalm 69:28).
Those people were sincere; their ministers would be stoned for not obeying the ordinances to the letter. How could God refuse them? God rejected their sincere worship for the same reason He rejected Cain's sincere offering, and the sincere worship of multitudes who love Him today. Their worship was in vain because they were sincerely wrong (Matthew 15:9; Revelation 3:17). Without faith it is impossible to please God and they were not walking in the Light of the present Truth but impersonating the Word for a day gone, proving they were not His people (I John 1:7; John 10:5; Hebrews 11:6).
What was Life and righteousness in the morning had become sin the same evening. They failed to recognize the Light of the hour; God was doing the new thing as promised by His prophets. They were walking with their hand in the hand of their minister, trusting their denomination and even the "letter" of His unchanging Word without knowing God by faith, which is a clear understanding of His Word for their day.
Israel were the most religious people. They loved the One True God, read His Word, attended worship, obeyed the Law, and died as martyrs. But they failed to keep on walking in the Light, watching for more Light to unfold as foretold by His prophets, and by impersonating a bygone age they have been apostate for 2,000 years. These examples warn us that God is no respecter of persons and is concluding the Gentile churches in apostasy because they have failed to recognize their day and it's Message. Don't expect the great revivals predicted by today's blind leaders of the blind. The only revival is in the heart of Christ's Bride. Look for apostasy! "For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape" (I Thessalonians 4:13-5:14; Romans 11:32). So let us examine ourselves, whether we are in the faith, or impersonating an age gone by.
During the Church Ages the Bible was sealed with Seven Seals. As a Mediator, Christ interceded for the ignorance of the hidden fullness of the Word and for the faith lost in the heart of saints martyred during the Dark Ages, and overlooked errors as the Protestant Reformation of the Roman Catholic system of worship progressed to greater Light. Yet the saints had to walk in all the Light revealed to their age in order to be born-again: Justification by grace through faith in the age of Luther; Sanctification added to that in the age of Wesley; and the Baptism of the Spirit or restoration of the Gifts added in Laodicea (or Pentecost). Denominations followed each of these moves of God, organizing to preserve and foster the Light revealed to their founders. But faith and the Holy Spirit cannot be institutionalized, and without exception these man-made systems have refused to receive further Light revealed to the succeeding age and became a hindrance to faith.
Like their predecessors who protested, "We are Moses' disciples," denominations love the historical Jesus but hate Christ, the revealed Word of the hour as it condemns them, and to refuse revealed Truth is sin. During the Church Ages Christ interceded for ignorance of faith "that was in PART," not for iniquity and unbelief in the revealed Word.
The "Reformation" was not the promised restoration. The reformers sought a return only to the beliefs of the Roman Catholic church summarized in the "Apostles' Creed," written following the First Nicaea Council of AD325 centuries after the death of the original apostles. These teachings cannot be found in your Bible! God's original Church with the original faith was founded at Pentecost and is the only Truth God can restore. The Protestant churches all came out of Rome, and truly are her daughters as the Bible says. They were called "Protestant" because historically they protested the evil teachings of Romanism. Today they protest nothing and are hand-in-glove with mother Rome.
When the Seven Seals were revealed at the end of the Church Ages "the mystery of God was finished" along with Christ's Mediation. All seven Church Ages are over. The denominations rejected the fullness of the Word and cannot be restored, being "naked of the Blood, blind to the faith, wretched, miserable, and [like Israel] are apostate and know it not" (I Corinthians 13:10; Revelation 3:14-20; 4; 5; 10:1-7; 18:1-4).
Christ is the Mystery of God revealed, and the Church is the Mystery of Christ revealed. As Christ is the beginning of the creation of God, the true Church is the continuation of the same Creation for the Bible is the Story of God changing His form or unfolding Himself from the Eternal Spirit alone with His thoughts, through the spoken Word to the flesh of those thoughts in the form of His Family. It is the story of God the Creator unfolding Himself into glorified Creation. Jesus Christ is the Author and Beginning of the creation of God (Colossians 1:15-19; Revelation 3:14).
Before time, before atoms and molecules, planets or stars; light, dark, angels or beings of any description . . . before God was God—that sounds strange, but the word "god" means "object of worship" and until creation, there was nothing to worship Him—He was just the Eternal Spirit alone with His thoughts.
God's thoughts are not like your thoughts or my thoughts. We might have great plans for tomorrow, but if we forget about them until the day after, they were just a fantasy. God's thoughts are Eternal. They are real and will come to pass in their designated decreed season and time. Unlike man God is not now learning or even taking counsel with Himself. His ideas He has always had. Being omniscient He cannot add to His knowledge, and will never have a new idea. That is straight Bible Truth, isn't it?
Christians must understand there is only One Creator God whose thoughts are Eternal and real as they are the Attributes of what He is. God is His thoughts. In Him were Attributes to be a Father, but how would this ever be known until His first son, Adam was formed? In God were Attributes to be a Saviour, but He could not display these Attributes until there was a "fall" and a people requiring salvation. His Attribute of justice would not allow Him to cause His children to fall, or force them as puppets to obey His Will. So He placed them in the Garden on free moral agency to choose whether to reflect His Attributes of love and trust by obedient faith, or mix His Word with Lucifer's reasoning. In God were Attributes to be Healer, but He could not express them until there was sickness and hurt. O how God loves to display His Attributes to us and through us to gather glory to Himself as the One true "object of worship".
Like Adam and Eve, we are to reflect the nature and character of God by identifying with His attributes. True worship is a life lived under pre-eminence to His Word. He gathers glory to Himself when His glorious Attributes are reproduced in the lives of His Children, making us chips off the old Block, like Father, like son.
No one is born with character. Character is a victory gained by overcoming in the trials of this ungodly world by faith in the Word of God and prayer. Our goal in this life is to gain a Christ-like character through trials. No matter how successful we are on earth, the only thing we can take with us is our character. Death in the flesh only changes your geography. The type of person you are here is the type of person you will be over "There," or will it be . . . over "there"? Have you ever considered that one of the most remarkable differences between humans and animals is our ability as amateur creators to reason and to communicate complex thoughts through language? Any word is a thought expressed; before I can pronounce the word "cat," I must first think of the animal, cat. We have fellowship and know one another chiefly through expressing our thoughts in word form. Without communication we can experience no meaningful relationship.
Because His thoughts are Eternal and cannot change or fail, God is known as "the Word," or "Logos," which is Greek meaning, "thought in speech," or concept. God expresses His Will and the attributes of His character through visions, dreams or inspired understanding of the Word we read and hear preached from the Bible. We only experience a relationship with God as we understand His Word, and no true believer is any stronger and spiritually healthy and alive than their knowledge of and adherence to the pure Word of God.
A word is a thought expressed and Jesus of Nazareth is the fullness of the Word or Logos of God manifest in flesh—not a second or third person—but "God with us" as prophesied (Isaiah 7:14; I Timothy 3:16). Good people frequently misinterpret John 1:1 and 14, presuming it reads, "In the beginning was Jesus of Nazareth, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God . . . and Jesus was made flesh." In fact it says, "In the beginning was the Word," because God had finished all of His thinking in eternity before "time" began. A Word is first a completed thought: as His thoughts are Eternal and unchanging, He was "the Word" or "Logos" when He was ready to commence expressing His Attributes in Creation. And the beginning of His manifestation was the Logos Itself, which through the virgin birth manifest as Jesus Christ.
"And the Word was with God and the Word was God." That is, the Word, Logos or concept was always with God in the form of His eternal thoughts: being eternal His thoughts are what He is. Word is Spirit in a form we can receive by faith, which is understanding. John 6:63, "My Word is Spirit, it is Life." Word and Spirit are the same thing in a different form. "And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us."
I Timothy 3:16, "without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness for the Word or Logos was manifest in the form of the flesh of Jesus, our kinsman Redeemer, who is the beginning of God creating Himself into material form . . . less than 2,000 years ago when He physically dwelt among His early disciples".
In Jesus the fullness of God's nature and character, the perfect balance of His attributes of patience, justice, judgment, love, righteousness and anger, were expressed bodily in one Man who is "the beginning of the creation of God" (Colossians 2:9; Revelation 3:14). Jesus is not the beginning of God's creation—which would make Him less than God. God's creation is His handiwork—the sun, moon, stars, rivers and trees. Jesus is the beginning, less than 2,000 years ago, of God changing Himself from the Eternal Spirit alone with His thoughts, through the Word or expression of those thoughts, to the material flesh of His Family. We are God's hands. So the New Testament saints are the continuation of the same Creation. Jesus is the Word made flesh and the true or Elect Church is the flesh becoming Word. In the new heavens and new earth, the "saved" will worship God throughout Eternity in the form of His Family—Jesus of Nazareth and His Brothers and Sisters, the New Testament saints. When we are glorified, all of us together are the Word, God manifest in flesh. Like our natural parents, His purpose was to reproduce Himself in the glorified flesh of His Family.
Three is the number of perfection and God fulfils His purpose in a threefold manner. The Fullness of His Life was reproduced in Jesus Christ, the Fullness of Christ is being reproduced in His Bride, and together we will return to a restored Eden in the fullness of perfect joy and purity.
Jesus prayed for oneness through faith or agreement in the mind of God, or Word, for eternal fellowship (John 17:20-26; Amos 3:3; I Corinthians 2:16). Once God was alone with His thoughts . . . now He'll never be lonely any more.
How is God bringing His purpose to pass? Through faith, which is communion with Him by receiving His thoughts or Word. Communion is an exchange of intimate talk and requires agreement between the parties. The Lord's Supper symbolizes the believer is born again and consequently in communion through the oneness of his invisible Marriage Union with the Word. We must discern whether we are truly Married or just flirting with God, which is why Paul said it is death to observe the Lord's Supper incorrectly, and it's death not to take it (I Corinthians 11:27-33). Often our communion with God is all one way: prayer, where man does all the talking. With Faith, man also listens to and understands what God is saying.
Faith is a clear understanding of the revealed Word of God. Let us take a look at what the Bible says about faith. May God bless each of you with grace for understanding and humility to obey what He reveals to you is my prayer.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, for by faith the elders obtained a good report" (Hebrews 11:1-2). In his letter to the Hebrew Christians Paul's reference to faith as the characteristic of the true people of God leads him to confirm in detail how that in every age, God's purpose was framed by faith. And recalling the general law of God's dealings in the victorious lives of notable saints of past dispensations he traces the spiritual history of the world through the righteous line from Abel across the flood to Abraham, Israel and the Maccabees, declaring how these victorious saints could not be made perfect until their Kinsman Redeemer had died for His Bride (ibid 11:39-40).
Contrary to popular understanding, Hebrews 11:1 is not meant as a definition of faith but to affirm the reality of faith and bring out two specific characteristics of faith which bear upon Paul's argument: (a) its object, and (b) its office.
(a) The object of faith is essentially the future and the unseen which cannot be contacted by physical experience—"things hoped for" and "objects not seen"—which includes all that belongs to redemption, and the present government of God.
(b) The office of faith is described by coordinating "substance" and "evidence," or "test"—it is proof, a genuine revelation from God which establishes the reality of the unseen.
It is in virtue of faith that things hoped for are now, so faith is their essence or substance in regard to the experience of the believer. By faith the future and the unseen can be made real for men. Things unseen are not mere arbitrary fancies: faith tries them, tests them, and brings conviction as to their being. The spiritual history of man is taken as proof of the power faith possesses to test and realize the unseen. By realizing the future and apprehending the unseen in the atmosphere of faith the inspired lives of the elders bore witness to their faith.
The certainty of Abel's faith consisted in a clear understanding of the original sin which caused man to be separated from Eternity, and of the atonement required to enable redemption and renewed fellowship with God. Abel knew life had to be given for Life. Eve's relationship with the Serpent brought death in the bastard Cain, for whom there was no atonement. By revelation, Abel knew he was a son of God, and offered the substitutionary life of an innocent lamb which spoke of the coming Messiah, who through the virgin birth could not have original sin imparted or imputed. Thus He was a sacrifice, without spot or blemish, and acceptable to God.
Abel's sacrifice was the evidence of his righteousness, the true connection to God is our faith. God bore witness to Adam by receiving his faith. The divine vindication is further seen in that God rejected Cain's sacrifice and instructed him to enquire of his prophet half-brother. If he received and obeyed, he too would be accepted. With reluctance, Abel acceded to his persistent demands, sharing the revelation. Cain recognized he was neither Adam's first-born nor in his genealogy. Realizing the lamb represented a Kinsman only for Adam's race, that he was without an atonement and irredeemable, Cain sought to gain, Abel's natural inheritance, the world, by slaying his half-brother, thus forcing God's hand.
Works are faith expressed. Abel's sacrifice was vindicated by God testifying of his faith, whereby he still speaks, his works bearing witness of him.
In a corrupt age, Enoch maintained fellowship with God. Through agreement in the "oneness" of faith, he "walked with God." Faith was the ground of his translation—and faith will be the sole basis upon which the living saints are changed in the atoms at the end of this corrupt age (Amos 3:3; Genesis 5:22,24).
Jesus prayed in Gethsemane that His Church would be one with God by faith—or in agreement by understanding His Word. In the end-time, when Christ's Mediatorial office was fulfilled after all of the saints predestinated to the Church Age part of the Body were redeemed, Jesus promised to restore the faith once delivered to the apostolic fathers that in answer to His prayer and without a Mediator, a Word-Bride will come into the unity of the faith, like Enoch, for the manifestation of the sons of God and the translation (John 17:20-26; 10:1-5; I Corinthians 1:10; 13:10; Matthew 17:11; Malachi 4:5-6; Ephesians 4:13-16).
We need to recognize there is only One Lord. And there can only ever be one faith, or understanding of His Word, for God is not author of confusion. He guides into all Truth and establishes peace in the heart of His Bride by revealing beforehand, the things He will bring to pass in their generation. He reserved a space of time after the Church Ages just prior to the translation in which His Children would unite, not in a union of man-made organizations but by supernatural faith in the Body of Christ which is not divided (Genesis 49:10; I Thessalonians 4:13-17; II Thessalonians 2:1-12; Revelation 18:1-4).
Enoch types the end-time Church who will not see death. One man separated out of the seventh generation from the first Adam, under such pre-eminence to the revealed Word he passed beyond this dimension. Christ is separating a Word Bride out of Laodicea, the seventh generation from the last Adam; she will be under such pre-eminence in the manifestation of the sons of God, what she speaks God will do (John 5:19). Glory!
We shall paraphrase Matthew 16:13-20 and apply it to our faith: "Jesus asked His disciples, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? Some say You're John the Baptist with his head back on; some [misinterpret Malachi 4] and imagine you to be the Elijah promised before the Tribulation, and others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets returned from the grave."
But all of this was guesswork and not faith, so Jesus asked His disciples, "Whom do you say that I Am?" "Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."
"Jesus answered and said, Bless you Simon, son of Jonah: because flesh and blood—books, Bible school, learning, man—has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven has revealed it, and on this rock of revelation of the Word I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against spiritual revelation of the Word [or faith]. Furthermore, Peter, you have the keys [of faith] which will open the kingdom of heaven [or new birth]. . ."
On the day of Pentecost the Church or Kingdom of Heaven was inaugurated and Peter addressed those who had gathered in Jerusalem from throughout the Roman Empire to observe the Passover and Feast of Pentecost, proving by Scripture that God had made that same Jesus whom Israel had crucified both Lord and Messiah. Catching the revelation, they cried in desperation, "Men and brethren, what must we do to be saved?" Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized every one of you, whosoever the Lord has called, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and you shall be born again." That unlocked the Kingdom to the Israelites.
If you and I are called, it will by the same Command. But if you imagine God will unlock the Kingdom by a strange baptism in three Titles, you have not been called to at all.
Peter had the revelation that the compound redemptive Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is Lord Jesus Christ. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." No Scripture commands baptism for the remission of past sins in three Titles.
But in Matthew's account Jesus says to "baptize in the Name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Ghost?" True, and the Name of the Father is Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:43), the Name of the Holy Ghost is Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:15-26), and if you are not baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ you have not been baptized in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Isaiah 9:6 said, His Name shall be called "Wonderful Counsellor [or Holy Ghost], the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace [or Son]," and the one Name to which these three Titles pertain is Lord Jesus Christ. In Luke's account Jesus said, "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name among all nations. . ." (Luke 24:49). His Name is not Father, Son, or Holy Ghost.
Nowhere in all the pages of the Bible or in any historical record prior to the organization of the Judaeo-Roman Catholic church at the First Nicaea Council in AD325 was anyone ever baptized in three Titles. And according to the record, the few Christian ministers who travelled to Nicaea went with the express purpose of persuading the followers of the heretics, Athanasius and Arius, to repent and return to the Word; when they would not listen the Christians departed before the Council sat. It was the Word which bled and died for me on Calvary, not a Roman creed. Remission of sins is through faith in the Word—Who Jesus is and What God says, not the mythologies of church organizations (Acts 2:38-39; 4:12; Romans 3:4; Galatians 1:8-9; Colossians 3:17; I Peter 3:21).
Jesus thanked God "the faith" is hidden from the wise and prudent and revealed to babes as will learn. If God were known by learning the dead letter of His written Word, the wealthy and better educated would have a monopoly on the Kingdom. God would have to remit the sins of theologians and the privileged and convert them on the basis of learning, or works. But "consider your own call, Brethren; not many of you were wise, humanly speaking, not many were powerful, and not many were of noble birth" (Matthew 11:25-29; 13:10-17; I Corinthians 1:26-29).
If faith is a clear understanding of the revealed Word, what is sin? To begin, sin is not smoking, drinking, adultery, murder, lying or theft any more than faith is love, joy, goodness, kindness, etc.; these are the attributes and product of a life of sin or faith. People lie, cheat and steal because they are sinners. Sin is one thing and one thing only. Sin is unbelief in the revealed Word of God.
It is possible to follow the "letter" of the Bible and be as lost in sin or unbelief in the revealed Word today as it was in Israel two thousand years ago. God's Word is a stumbling stone, condemning those who are religious but not spiritual, as it condemns outright rejecters. Caiaphas and the ministers of Jesus' day crucified the very God they ignorantly worshipped because they claimed He was breaking His Own Word (John 7:23; Romans 8:7; 9:32). Imagine a minister lost in sin! The carnal-minded are enmity with God and the same spirits are behind the pulpit today crucifying unto themselves the Son of God afresh, rejecting Him because He disagrees with their man-made theology. Were they to repent the organization would kick them out; they would lose popularity with their sin-loving congregation and their pensions (II Corinthians 11:13-15).
That is true, and you know it is. The Bible and church history declare it, and you can prove it by applying the Word test—first to yourself! It cuts like a sharp two-edged Sword.
In Hebrews 3:12 – 4:11, Moses and Paul define sin as unbelief in the revealed Word. The wages of sin is eternal separation from the Presence of God. For almost three million Israelites followed Moses out of Egypt, but because of unbelief, only two adults entered the Promised Land. All were justified by faith and baptized in the Red Sea, sanctified in the Wilderness, partook of the miracles and tasted the fruit of the Land, yet they were not sealed by the Spirit and Jesus said, "every one of them was lost" (I Corinthians 10; John 6:45)!
Paul said, "Today if you will hear His Voice and recognize your error, harden not your hearts, as in the Wilderness." If you recognize you have been worshiping error and are baptized with a false baptism, don't harden your heart. Don't think He will receive you on your terms or imagine yourself born-again by church ritual when you have refused to be rebaptised in His Name. "He who believes not is condemned already because he has not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18; James 4:17). Those who refuse correction by the Word are bastards, like Cain. No matter how loudly they protest their Christianity, their actions prove their Father is not God (John 8:41; 10:1-5; Hebrews 12:5-8).
If you study carefully and prayerfully you will see what Jesus meant when He instructed us to walk in the Light as He is in the Light. Moses, Paul, Luther, Wesley, Spurgeon, Knox—all great servants of the Lord did just that. He's the I Am, not the I Was or the I Will Be. What was Light and Life for the saints of one age is carnal impersonation, even death in subsequent ages. Jesus expressly stated the Life in the Word is purposely hidden from those without the personal relationship of faith. As God sent natural Israel fresh Manna every day, so has He fed His Church and no scraps of the Spiritual Food of for one Church Age is to be carried over to the next Age.
The Word of God is nothing to play with or treat lightly. These things are preached in love and by the Authority of the Lord Jesus Christ to those who can receive them. We've touched many important revelations I trust God will unfold them to you personally through subsequent services and in your study and prayer. Today we've sought chiefly to define faith and sin according to God's unchanging Word, and we have separated the true Oneness of the Godhead from the false Trinitarian, Unitarian, and "Jesus only" doctrines.
We will do well to remember God's Word comes only through His vindicated prophets and no prophet of God ever taught these errors. So much of our religious teaching can be traced to the First Nicaea Council and the Dark Ages it presaged, and is contrary to God's Bible which cannot contradict itself and is of no private interpretation. Faith is Absolute; it can never change and runs in continuity from Genesis to Revelation. May God richly bless you all as you obey His Word. Please confirm these things with your Bible, not with your husband, your wife, your minister or the lady next door. Once you have the revelation be sure to transmit, fax, or pass a printout to someone else (Acts 17:11; I Thessalonians 5:21). I admonish all who have caught the revelation Who the Lord Jesus is, to repent and be rebaptised by immersion in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, expecting the Promise of the Holy Spirit or New Birth. bb920108.htm
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