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|Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:43 pm|
Joined: 02 Aug 2006
Entering & Remaining in the Kingdom of Heaven
DATE: January 16, 2004 - November 8, 2007
TO: The Lost Sheep of the House of Israel
FROM: Caleb Motupalli at Softpill.org
SUBJECT: Entering and Remaining in the Kingdom of Heaven
Greetings in the name of Yeshuah our Lord, Savior and Model!
(Please look-up the verses mentioned in bold with the use of a software like Instaverse by just hovering over them with your mouse. )
(All verses from NASB except where indicated.)
Isa 41:21 -- In response to my cry after hearing to a message, the King of Jacob had asked me to present my strong arguments. Today's teachers are shutting the kingdom of heaven by discouraging those who are pursuing righteousness after they are born-again (2 Tim 2:22). For when we were slaves of sin, we were free in regard to righteousness...But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God (i.e. His Law -- Rom 7:25) we derive our benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life (Rom 6:20,22).
In general, at the minimum, the work one needs to do, to get the assurance of salvation (entry into the kingdom of heaven) is take Baptism. And to keep the assurance of salvation (remain in the kingdom of heaven) is walk in the Spirit, Foot-wash as and when applicable and Commune. Here is why:
First and foremost, God is trustworthy in not only administering justice, but also good (i.e. not arbitrary) in the way He administers mercy. That is, He takes into consideration the helplessness (Rom 5:6), the humble state (Luke 1:48; 16:20-25) and/or the little good that people have done (Acts 10:4; Luke 7:4,5) or the inclination one has for good (Luke 19:3,4). Men may be worthy of death (though not already dead--Jn 3:18) but at the same time God remains a rewarder of goodness, and regards the humble, "worthy" of mercy and grace, which is however only through faith in the Anointed One Yeshuah (James 4:6; Matt 10:13). Such people--a type of Rebbecca (Gen. 24)--will find favor with God and the Holy Spirit calls them to the Lord Yeshuah the Anointed One even as the Father draws them and we ourselves draw near to Him (Jn 6:44; Heb 7:25). In contrast is the type of Pharaoh who hardened his heart and God too hardened further and the end result is death for Pharaoh.
Yeshuah to whom we are drawn toward made it mandatory that one should be born-again not only of the Spirit but also of water to enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Jn 3:5)
Born-again here means, to become childlike or humble enough to concede that there is no other way to heaven but through Yeshuah because He alone died and rose again for us. That is, become humble enough to admit ones own sin and the inability/wretchedness of self to be reconciled with God except through a sinless mediator and then repent (be converted in mind to a new and good person). People who so humble themselves will find favor with God and their sins will be washed away even as they, childlike, obey in the waters of Baptism, which gives them a fresh start to life (Matt 18:1-4). That is, when they humble themselves and believe in the one whom He sent, they are cleansed by the water with the Word (Jn 6:29; Eph 5:26).
The above humbling is affected (A) Serendipitously through macroscopic evangelism as our mind / spirit wanders around and into the Word (Name) (Matt 13:31-32; Jn 3:6-8; Pro 18:10). His Word is holy Spirit and is life (Jn 6:63). Therefore the Anointed One must be lifted up so that the humble can wander/run into Him and then after beholding Love and by believing they may have eternal life (Jn 3:15-16). (B) Humbling is also affected through microscopic evangelism (Matt 13:33), when a man beholds the love of one whom He sent, trusts him, hears and understands his talk/story about the loving Savior who died for him and everyone, believes that he himself is also a sinner needing the Savior, and puts his faith in Christ (Eph 1:13).
Receiving Christ into one's heart satisfies the requirements of God as mentioned in Micah 6:8 to enter heaven, because it is tantamount to having done justice, for, through it we collectively establish God's Law on earth (Rom 3:31); and we have loved to receive/give the way of mercy; and have not gone by the way of self-sacrifice as if we had any, by which we may have cause to boast about, but we have humbly walked before God, for, we have counted ourselves as rubbish--a zero--to be qualified for heaven and were born-again making Christ the Lord of our lives.
We get to only "see" the kingdom of God, either of two ways (Jn 3:3). (1) Born again only of the Spirit, which is believing in Christ and being sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13). (2) Born-again only of Water, which is when water baptism is taken merely because one realized his sins and wanted to wash them away (also called the baptism of repentance -- Acts 19:4/ Mandaeanism; Bathing in the Ganges; Etcetera). "They don't seem to realize that this comprehensive setting-things-right that is salvation is God's business, and a most flourishing business it is. Right across the street they set up their own salvation shops and noisily hawk their wares. After all these years of refusing to really deal with God on his terms, insisting instead on making their own deals, they have nothing to show for it" or another version reads, "For not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God." (Rom 10:3 The Message/ NASB). Forgiveness in either case, is assumed and taken for granted but not really obtained for it does not meet the requirements of a Just God who also wants to put Satan to public shame and death, and put every other thing under the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ (Ps 110:1). Therefore the one who has not obeyed in the waters of baptism, he has not really made Jesus Christ yet as his Lord. "Seeing" here means, he gets to come to a church gathering and only hears to the Word of the King of kings through a message being preached. But he is not a doer of the word and has not become part of the kingdom and the body of Christ.
However, to "enter" into the kingdom of heaven and grafted therein, one has to be born-again by the Water as well as by the Spirit (Jn 3:5). In other words, one must be:
(A) Water baptized by a duly appointed member of the Body of Christ, which can be in any waters "in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." It is the one baptizing that makes the water holy not only because water comes with the Spirit as it is the washing by the water with the Word (Eph 5:26)...but also because water and Spirit are accompanied by the blood of Jesus (1 Jn 5:5-8). "In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit" here means: it is granted that the one who is giving baptism is a member of Christ's body, which is under the ultimate reign of the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit, and that the one being baptized is acknowledging the Lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ on his life, in that, he needs Christ (1) to remove His sins with His shed-blood-unto-death (for, without paying the just penalty, there is no forgiveness for sins--Lev 17:11; Heb 9:22), (2) raise him from the dead in baptism because Jesus Christ Himself also rose again from the dead (Rom 6:1-7), and (3) lead him to temporal as well as eternal Bliss / Life / Liberation / Salvation / Moksha (Mark 10:28-30; Luke 18:28-30).
(B) Spirit baptized (Word immersed) (Cf. Jn 6:63). Meaning, one must be immersed in the study of the Word of God, know the full extent of the requirements of God, and allow the Spirit/Word/love to reign in the members and fully die to self-will and live to do the will of Christ.
We are NOT automatons being controlled and forced into heaven or hell by the Holy Spirit. We are responsible for the decisions we make and take. The seal of the Holy Spirit that is spoken of here, which goes on our forehead (Rev 7:2,3; 14:1), implies eternal security (Jn 10:28-29) so long as we ourselves do not let go of Christ (i.e. letting sin overcome us rather than the other way around). Forehead, being the seat of understanding and decision making, the seal on it is not like the seal on the hand, as is the case with the mark of the beast, which refers to forceful drawing--we are made to understand why we ought to follow Yeshuah the Anointed One and the decision is left to us. (Notwithstanding we are expected not to muddy the waters.) We have to exercise our free will all the time and follow Yeshuah (i.e. do His will as expressed in His person and life). Not everyone who says to Him, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall "enter" the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of the Father in heaven (Matt 7:21).
Eph 1:5 speaks of only corporate and not individual predestination because there is a qualifier in it, which is the phrase "in Him". This means only a hypothetical remnant is predestined. Neither does God have anyone (predestined) for whom He ensures salvation, for it is written, "many are called but few are chosen" (Matt. 22:14). They are chosen and preserved only after entire sanctification (1 Thess 5:23), a process, which begins at preliminary justification (Acts 26:18 ) when we are born-anew. We will be "qualified" and brought into the likeness of Yeshuah (Col 1:12) or rather equipped for the God given role in the body of Christ that we have been destined for, for glorification, "if indeed we continue in faith," (Col 1:21-23) as did the heroes of faith mentioned in Heb 11, who demonstrated it with their works.
Ever since the Anointed One has become our head, grace now comes to us in the form of direct Word of counsel or comfort when ever necessary; and through indirect comfort when the Head orchestrates the work of other members through counsel to other members. The strength of the Anointed One in us, of grace today, is His Word-in-Expression. The Word of God will create strength within us. Therefore it is written, "when He had spoken unto me, I was strengthened" (Dan. 10:19). And this grace is sufficient for us to carry us through (2 Cor 12:9). We have to remember though that this grace will come to us only through faith. With faith we can overcome (1 Jn 5:1-5) and carry ourselves through temptations, trials, tribulations and still do the "good works, which God prepared beforehand for us to walk in them" (Eph 2:10). When the Anointed One says in our weakness, His strength is made perfect, it does not mean that we should not use our talents. Rather it means: let grace--His Word-in-expression--be magnified when we are weak.
The seal of God is always on our forehead and not on our hand. The Holy Spirit is our Counselor (Paracletos--One who comes along side to help) not our coercer! There is a kind of drawing but it is only with the bonds of love (Jer 31:3; cf. Jn 6:44; Luke 14:23). The Holy Spirit takes from what is Yeshuah's and makes it known to us (Jn 16:14). And this Word-in-expression is infallible in that it can achieve the intended purpose (Isa 55:11). But the carnal (babes in the Anointed One--1 Cor. 3:1) can grieve or even quench (put out) the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30; 1 Thess. 5:19) and thereby weaken the infallibility of the Word (Rom 8:3). Surely today the Sudanese Christians are going through more tribulations than the average Christian. And today's ministers are teaching the Church that God's grace is sufficient for the Sudanese, implying that we can sit smug in our cushions and watch the massacre. The Father no doubt disciplines those who do not heed His Counsel. To put it in the Anointed Lord Yeshuah's terms, "He prunes us." But first he takes away the other branches that don't bear fruit and they are burned (Jn 15:2,6). Since God will spare neither the natural sons nor the adopted sons, we should not be conceited but fear (Rom 11:20, 21, 22). All stumbling blocks and those who practice lawlessness will be cast out of the kingdom and thrown into fire where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt 13:41, 42). Let alone loosing rewards, abused mercy turns into the greatest wrath (Heb 10:29; Luke 12:39-48).
Baptism of fire: A non scriptural precursor is suggested here for those who realize their willful sin and want to repent. (Under construction. Thoughts: It has to be an act of faith and NOT a righteousness that we want to establish ourselves as if to supersede God's righteousness.)
We are on trial still living in this fleshly tent. We have not reached heaven yet. We have to continue to trust/believe in the Anointed One, during sanctification. The faith that enabled us to believe when we were born-again should enable us to do great exploits for God. As those who perished before reaching Canaan, we too can perish if we do not continue to trust/believe in Lord Yeshuah the Anointed One (Jude 5). God can keep us from falling (Jude 24) BUT we have to abide in Him (Jn 15:4). To abide in Him we have to keep His Commandment of loving one another if necessary to the extent that He loved us. (Jn 15:10,12; 1 Jn 2:17). This is the Law of Christ and of Melchizedek, which is written on our hearts today.
NOTES and other INSIGHTS for further meditation:
His flesh is true food and His blood is true drink because it sustains us in eternal life. So we come together every Sabbath (Sunday being the Sabbath to distinguish the legalist from the believer) to partake of it. But before we come into union with His holy body we must have our feet washed, meaning we must be washed with His Word as expressed by His prophets for that day/week because some sins could have accumulated since last cleansing. It is always washing by the water with the Word.
Baptism for the dead (1 Cor 15:29): Those who have recently converted from worshiping false Gods, and whose parents have died in them (as they were partaking of the same table (1 Cor 10:20-21) and who were also worshiping false Gods), will have their ancestors up to the third or the fourth ancestry in them ( Jn 14:19-20; Heb 11:39-40 ) (for the dead have to be raised up for judgment -- Jn 5:25-29) and their sins too in them (Exodus 20:3-6). Therefore such people should be baptized seven times (2 Kings 5:10)--three times for his father's ancestors, three times for the mother's ancestors (i believe), and finally one time for his own sins. In Jn 5:25-29 our Lord, when speaking of the "resurrection of life," He is speaking of the born-again experience through the Spirit and the Water; and when He is speaking of the "resurrection of condemnation," He is speaking of the baptism of fire in the lake of fire.
To know what is written on our hearts let each Christian with the gift of Prophecy in the United Church speak with regards to any specific issue and others pass judgment (1 Cor. 14:29). And let them speak in accordance to the weightier matters of the Law, which are Justice, Mercy, Faithfulness and Humility, which are really expressions of love.
If there had been any faith it will be proven genuine during sanctification where we show our love to our neighbor, for glorification. (1 Pet 1:7 NIV)
Trusting/believing in the Anointed One now means continuing to believe in and doing (James 1:22) what the Anointed One says or commands. Remember even during the born-again experience we believed only Christ can wash away our sins and we went to a member of the body of Christ and received our bath (Water Baptism).
Lord Yeshuah says, by keeping the Commandments of Love, we will live eternally. Therefore there is eternal security and glory only within this Law. (Luke 10:25-28l )
We must pursue this righteousness by faith in the Holy Spirit who makes it known to us (Rom 9:30-32; Gal 5:16). We must not grieve or quench (extinguish) Him by despising prophetic utterances (Eph 4:30; 1 Thess 5:19).
The Anointed One had come in the flesh to fulfill (Matt 5:17) and establish (Rom 3:31) the Law of God (Law of Moses), which is perfect (Ps 19:7) for Judgment Day to condemn sin in the flesh (Rom 8:3).
We too need to (Matt 5:20) and can now fulfill the Law through the Law of the Anointed One (Gal 6:2; Rom 13:10) and exceed its requirements with counsel from the Holy Spirit (Matt 19:26; Rom 8:4). The Holy Spirit works through the witness of our conscience (Rom 2:15). But we can be carnal, behaving like babes, our consciences being defiled (weak -- 1 Cor 8:7); and there are those who have departed from the faith, whose consciences are seared as with a hot iron on some issue or the other (dead consciences -- 1 Tim 4:2). Therefore we (including the prophets) should fall back on the written Law for all contentions and judgments.
The amount of love we render unto God is proportional to the amount of forgiveness we have received. (Luke 7:47)
Also, we would be keeping His Commandments if we truly love Him. (Jn 14:15)
Humble obedience by testifying in the waters of Baptism (by which one is really saying, "i am a sinner, i can't help myself and i need cleansing from You") is the test to see if the person has really believed or not. This is the least love one will have for his/her Savior for the least forgiveness he/she has received for the least sins committed. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. All need Believer's Water Baptism unless it is an exceptional case where Baptism is not possible or unless he/she is only an infant, who has yet to understand the Good News. When the child comes to realize his/her sin nature and the many unpunished sins committed, he should not be hindered (Mark 10:14) from taking Baptism for the forgiveness of sins. Though meanwhile the child may take recourse to Foot-Washing as he is born clean (1 Cor 7:14) if at least one of the parents to whom he is born to is in right standing with the Lord through Foot-Washing (Jn 13:14) and Communion . He/She is under the stewardship of his/her parents. Infant baptism is contrary to sound teaching. If infant dies before taking Believer's Baptism, he will be in the parents and either of them can take the Baptism for the Dead. From now onwards children who are not in order must be weaned quickly from the family table (Cf. Matt 24:19).
We are preliminarily justified (i.e. treated just as if we have not sinned and also an account is opened in heaven with a minimum balance in our name for believing in whom He had sent) in order that we may do the good works that were prepared beforehand for us to walk in them and credit it to our account. These works are done out of faith in the Holy Spirit, which comes through humility, with the understanding that ones deeds would be nothing had it not been for the Holy Spirit's counsel. (Eph 2:10)
So only after being baptized, our sins are washed away, and we are born-again of water and only then we actually enter into the kingdom of heaven.
In this way we have to bear fruit of love in keeping with repentance. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matt 3:10; Luke 13:6-9)
Even in the vine, every branch that does not bear fruit will be cut off and thrown into the fire. (Jn 15:2,6)
James reminds us in 2:10 that if we have broken the Law in one point (even the Sabbath), we are sinners and need Lord Yeshuah the Anointed One. We can't decide to keep a part of God's Law and ignore the rest. We have to measure ourselves against God's standard. And through the Law of our Lord Yeshuah we can surpass that standard.
Addressed to a believer, if we willingly continue in sin after we come to the knowledge of the truth no more of Yeshuah's sacrifice at the Lord's Table is available but only judgment and raging fire. (Heb 10:26-29)
Persecution may come in the way but only those who endure till the end will be saved. (Matt 10:22)
"For many are called, but few are chosen" (Matt 22:14 NKJV; cf. Rom 8:29,30). One must have faith that works to please God as did all the heroes of faith (Heb 11:1ff) and remain in the Kingdom of Heaven (1 Cor 10:1-12). This is a warning to the one who thinks he stands safe in the kingdom.
As works please God, by obeying to do the "acts" of the Holy Spirit, we can not only keep the lamp-of-faith with us (Rev 2:5), but we can keep it burning with oil (Holy Spirit) even as the Holy Spirit is kept from being grieved and quenched (Eph. 4:30; 1 Thess. 5:19). Therefore, faith is perfected by its works. (Matt 25:1-13; James 2:22) <sup></sup>
"Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many... will seek to enter and will not be able."(Luke 13:24 NKJV)
The Lord is my Shepherd who restored my soul by dying for me. Now i have a Counselor within me to overcome the world, the flesh and Satan with my faith in Him. If i don't, my name will be erased from the Lamb's book of life. (Rev 3:5)
We are justified freely by grace through faith to see the kingdom of heaven. However to enter and remain therein we have to bear fruit overcoming the flesh, the world and Satan. "Work" in itself is not the result of the fall (Gen 2:15). So let us use our talents and not be counted with the lazy. (Matt 25:26)
Even though our Lord Yeshuah asked us to pray to the Father for all things, He also taught us to pray in such a way that our prayer prepares us psychologically to be in subjection to Him--to hallow His name, to bring His kingdom upon the earth, to do His will (Commandment), to forgive others (Matt 6:9-13). So without controversy there is a yoke to carry but it is easy and His burden is light (Matt 11:30).
In true worship, there is sacrifice. Sacrifice of the fruit of our lips is only the beginning of worship. Latria (a Greek word for Worship of Service--Rom 12:1-2; Heb 13:16-17) is the higher form of worship involving greater degree of sacrifice (Matt 25:31-46).
Thus says the LORD: Haggai -- Our values and priorities are reflected in how we use our resources--time, money, strength, and talent. Often our actions belie (show the untruth of) our words (take for instance our songs). We say God is number one, but then we relegate him to lesser number on our "to do" lists. -- Life Application Study Bible. Luke 13:9; Matt 28:1. Thus says the Lord -- Eze 43:11.
Last edited by Administrator on Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:21 pm; edited 2 times in total
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|Sat Nov 10, 2007 1:01 pm|
Joined: 02 Aug 2006
Entering & Remaining in the Kingdom of Heaven
Dr. R.C. Sproul, when questioned, "If justification is by faith alone, how can we apply James 2:24, which says a person is justified by what he does, not his faith alone?"
That is an incorrect understanding of how one is justified.
One is first justified here on earth and then he is justified in heaven with God. "For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son" (Jn 5:22). And the Son in turn says to Apostle Peter and to the one whom the Holy Spirit appoints as the Vicar of Christ: "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven" (Matt 16:19; cf. Jn 20:21-23). The Vicar in turn, with the unction of the Holy Spirit, delegates this authority to whom ever he appoints and sends into the world.
Unless such a sent member of the body of Christ washes (baptizes) the sinner, i.e. unless a baptist sets him free on earth, he is not free; he will remain bound in heaven, for he "stands condemned already" (Jn 3:18 NIV).
God loves us so much that he has vested this in us and that is why we call it The GREAT Commission (Matt 28:18-20). Even Satan himself along with the other fallen angles will be bound and cast into the lake of fire by such an act of ours (Rev 20:10).
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|Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:07 pm|
Joined: 11 Aug 2006
"Dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph 2:1)
Billy Graham wrote:
Were we already dead to begin with? The answer is NO! Paul was merely alluding to John 3:18 where our Lord Jesus says:
But that is not to discount the fact that we will die later on after beholding our depraved sin condition in the face of a holy God. We will then need to be resuscitated to life by the Word/Spirit of God.
The aspect of dying is not for God to execute but we need to die ourselves. In other words we need to become humble or small by our own self will. No doubt this can happen only after the Gospel is presented to us by the minister of the Spirit (Word) of God. Though we will get a hope of a tomorrow (life), the burial as well as the resuscitation itself is carried out in the Waters of Baptism.
© 2006-2015 Caleb S. Motupalli
~Most of our problems will be solved if only we yield our freewill to the Lord's will.~
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