Behold, I Show You a Mystery

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Corinthians 15:51 – Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

I can understand why Paul said that this is a mystery, as even today, nearly two thousand years later, this subject is still misunderstood, although it has been recorded here in Corinthians for centuries. “We shall not all sleep” means that not every “Christian” will die before Christ returns, some of us will be living at the return of Christ, and this is indeed our lively hope. Yet when Christ does return, we all (believers in Christ) shall be changed, and receive new spiritual bodies.

I Corinthians 15:52-53:
-52: In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead {sleeping} shall be raised incorruptible, and we {who are alive} shall be changed.
-53: For this corruptible {those who are asleep} must put on incorruption, and this mortal {the living} must put on immortality.

I know that the common belief today is that all those who have died are actually up there having the time of their lives living in Paradise, Heaven, and some who are less fortunate are in purgatory or hell. However, the Scriptures do not entertain these ideas! If the dead are living and these unbiblical notions were really true, then we should get out a pair of scissors and start cutting out verses from our Bibles starting with those above. If everyone who has died is really living, then what is the purpose of the resurrections, and our gathering together (I Thessalonians 4:13ff)?

Romans 5:5 – And hope {the hope of Christ’s return to gather the dead and the living} maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost {holy spirit} which is given to us.

Having the hope of Christ’s return and our gathering together unto him “maketh not ashamed” meaning just the opposite of shame, giving us something indeed to be proud of. On the other hand, without hope of our gathering together the Christian does indeed have shame. Paul said in I Corinthians 15:19 “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” The context here is that if we hope in Christ and our gathering together and he does not return, then we should be the most wretched people on the planet. However, Christ indeed is returning, so we will be gathered up and blessed for all eternity. For the present time God has given to us His own love to sustain our lives as we continue in His Word, believing in our hope.

Acts – Revealing Our Spiritual Love

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Book of Acts, we have the story from the beginning of the Christian movement with its rise and expansion culminating with the power of holy spirit and spiritual love given for the believers to be genuine witnesses:

Acts 1:8 – But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost {holy spirit, the gift of God} is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Acts opens up with the final gathering of Christ Jesus with his Apostles whom he had chosen. In Acts the believers would receive the spiritual power of holy spirit, and this inspired as well as empowered the new Church of God to begin walking with God in Christ in them.

The believers began experiencing God’s divine love in a much more dynamic way than was ever experienced by the individual believer before that time, for man would now have the love of God laden within their hearts through their receiving of the gift of holy spirit.

The Book of Acts shows a transition between the Gospel age and the new age of God’s grace, and with His grace upon their lives (as well as ours) the believers began enjoying God’s love in them and to one another, and they shared this with the world.

Romans 5:5 – And hope {of the return of Jesus Christ} maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost {holy spirit, the gift of God} which is given to us. {“Ghost” is an inaccurate translation of the Greek word, hagion. Our God is not a ghost, nor does He give His children ghosts, rather He gives holy spirit, and with this gift of holy spirit we have the love of God.}

The love of God that the believers were experiencing and enjoying literally propelled the first century Church into greatness, they were enjoying spiritual freedoms that had never before been given to men and women before the age of God’s grace.

Colossians 1:27 – To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Colossians reveals that we have Christ within; he is the epitome of love and he is our inspiration for living in love.

Even today the love of Jesus Christ within inspires Christians to walk in love, just as he had done in the first century Church as they loved not in word only, but in-deed and in truth (I John 3:18).

In the Book of Acts, the believers did exploits as they walked in love towards one another and presented to the people in the world the love of God.

Even though we cannot literally read the word love in the book of Acts, the powerful love of God in Christ was the motivating factor in their lives. Their love changed the course of human history and is underscored throughout Acts and is demonstrated in the lives of believers as they reached out passionately with love.

We cannot literally read for instance that Stephen in Acts chapter 7 stood up and with “forgiving love” opened up his heart and mouth to speak. Nor can we read about Philip’s “love of deliverance” in Acts chapter 8 when he went to Samaria and changed that city. Nor can we read in Acts 16 about Paul’s and Silas’ “saving love” when they were in jail at Philippi. Nor can we read about Peter on the roof with his “loving entreat” of the Gentiles to bring spiritual wholeness into the household of Cornelius and his friends with the Gospel. Nor can we read about the Apostles display of “magnifying love” on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. Nor can we read in Acts 16 about Timotheus’ “obedient love” that was well reported by the brethren of Lystra and Iconium. Nor can we read in Acts 21 about Agabus’ “binding love” to rescue Paul. Why? The words “love of God” are not recorded in the Book of Acts, yet love is there, more real than if LOVE was written across the pages in big bold letters because love is the master key they utilized in order to live love as Jesus had instructed them in John 13:34-35.

Acts 19:20 – So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

The Word of God became living and real in the hearts of believers for they were motivated by love, becoming genuine witnesses of the resurrected Christ. Thus the Word of God grew mightily in their lives and prevailed in their culture.

Love was the motivating power and source behind almost every action that the believers undertook in the Book of Acts.

Today as we walk with God believing in the knowledge contained in the Church Epistles, then the same powerful love will still bless and motivate our actions. As God’s love grows within our hearts, love will inspire believers to reach out and offer to others the same spiritual love that has been so graciously given to us in Christ.

Luke who was inspired by God to write the Book of Acts omitted the word love, and instead he was inspired by love to write clearly on the effects that love produces, as is seen throughout Acts.

The inspiration of Jesus Christ and his love that is placed within our very hearts continues revealing Our Spiritual Love because his love still inspires us today to continue walking with him in God’s grace as the believers in Acts had done.

Our Comfort in Hope (The Longer Version)

 Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

There are hundreds of promises written in the Bible, and these are available to those who know they exist, obtainable to those who have found them, and they are most certainly reachable for those who will believe to receive them. In II Peter 1:4, we read that God has “given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,” and these promises are given to believers in order that we may partake in the bountifulness of God’s divine nature. Still, there are other things that the Bible reveals that are totally out of our reach, and thus even with believing we cannot receive them, such things as having our heavenly treasures now or receiving our new heavenly bodies. We cannot spend and enjoy any of our heavenly currency that we have laid up (in heaven, Matthew 6:20; Colossians 3:24) until we arrive, nor may we have our new and indestructible, eternal bodies until Christ returns, neither can we believe for Jesus to return any quicker and arrive on a timetable of our choosing.

Whenever we cannot believe for something that the Bible promises we shall receive, then the Bible tells us so by placing them in the category of HOPE, which is to be a future reality, a definite certainty, but we just cannot have them now. All of the hope that God reveals in the Bible is given to bring comfort to believers as we read in Jeremiah 29.

Jeremiah 29:11 (The Amplified Bible):* 
For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for {your} welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

I Corinthians 9:10 declares, “he that ploweth should plow in hope,” because we do not reap the harvest at the moment we have plowed, rather the produce comes in after the ground is prepared, the seeds have been planted, the soil has been watered, the weeds have been pulled, the temperature cooperates, and the sun has supplied its energy. Still, the hope was also planted on the very day of tillage in the heart of the farmer, for he has expectation for a future crop, to give him hope in his final outcome. A farmer sows and cultivates with the hope that there soon will be a bountiful harvest for him to reap while his work continues (see Romans 8:24–25, below).

Whenever it is available to receive an immediate promise from God, then the Bible tells us to have believing faith to realize that promise. But whenever we find promises in the Bible that we cannot presently have, then these are always in the category of hope, and hope is always future. Yet even hope will come to fulfillment when in the course of time we do reap, but the receiving of these are always on God’s timetable; believing is on our timetable and given to us by God at the precise moment in time that we truly believe to receive the promises in the Bible, promises that we have claimed in Jesus Christ’s name (Mark 9:23).

So then, Christians who are “only hoping” for God to bless them in the present tense rarely do receive any abundance (from God), while Christians who believe really do receive abundance (from God). Our needs are truly supplied as soon as the biblical requirement of believing is applied; thus, the descriptive term for Christians is “believers.” Jesus taught, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24). Believing is so much more satisfying than simply hoping that something might happen for our immediate needs. Believing is for now – hope is for later, believing is powerful – hope is quiescent, believing appropriates the promises of God – hope is anticipating the future promises of God, believing is something you are in control of – hope is coming in the future and in God’s hands, believing is receiving – hope comforts with upcoming expectation.

There is also a third category that I like to call “impractical beliefs or hopes.” If one was to believe or hope for a slice of cheese from out of the moon, they would not receive it because the moon is not made out of cheese. We could believe or hope for awful, bad things to happen to people who have wronged us in the past, but this is really an ineffectual use of our time and effort. James 4:3 calls this asking amiss, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss.” We would be better off not believing or hoping for things that the Bible does not promise us; for instance, believing or hoping for someone to change their mind and “fall hopelessly in love with us” because God will not tamper with someone’s free will and force them to love. But, thankfully, we can inspire someone with the love of God to want to love without crossing any of the boundaries of one’s free will.

 Romans 8:24-25 (The Amplified Bible):**
-24: For in [this] hope we were saved {this hope is referring to “the redemption of our body” Romans 8:23, which will take place at a future moment, and thus it is called hope}. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For how can one hope for what he already sees?
-25: But if we hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure.

Notice that the Text says we were saved, yet the redemption of our bodies is still to happen, but with the hope, we have a definite salvation, it is our ever present hope for a glorious future, for it is already ours. We were saved is in the past tense to assure us that the hope of salvation is always ours, and that we cannot change this eternal truth no matter what we may believe, for God gives the hope, and that hope is in His hands to give. Thank God that hope is in His power to give, for I am sure we would mess it up along the way if it were up to us. Colossians 1:5 reveals that “the hope which is laid up for you in heaven,” is ever presently waiting, but out of our reach, for the hope is laid up for us in heaven. Yet the fullness of this hope will be a wonderful future experience for all believers, and thus we are encouraged to wait for it with patience. Hope is always to receive a future of blessings for our walking with God today. We will, after the return of Christ, be given all the blessings promised, yet today we patiently wait in hope to receive, and this hope is given to us now as it is Our Comfort in Hope.

I Thessalonians 5:8 encourages us to, “let us, who are of the day {i.e., enlightened by God’s Word}, be sober {minded}, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.” This helmet is our future hope of salvation, for hope encourages the mind of the believer to “take the helmet of salvation” (Ephesians 6:17) into our lives to the point that we are assured of our eternal destiny. This helmet helps to protect the mind wherein your believing emanates, for when doubts come at you about your true destiny of redemption, the helmet, your hope of salvation, is given to you to prevent those outside distractions from penetrating or disheartening your God-given hope in your future glory to ever be with the Lord (Colossians 3:4).

Is not God quite awesome to have given us promises to believe in for our immediate needs, and as well, other promises for our future that we may hope in and look forward to their fruition? And as we learn of these, our hope will continue to grow while we, with excited anticipation, look forward to these lovely things God has prepared for us.

Romans 15:13: 
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing {for our immediate needs}, that ye may abound in hope {for our future}, through the power of the Holy Ghost {holy spirit}.

Hope is not an elusive concept of speculation about our future, but something that can powerfully abound in our inner souls, for abounding hope allows the believer to enjoy this life without a doubt about their eternal destiny.

Romans 5:5: 
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost {holy spirit} which is given to us.

Where shame or doubt once lived in one’s soul, hope now can occupy that space, for where shame would have festered in one’s heart ― hope now permeates with the joy of experiencing the love of God. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed” (Philippians 1:20).

How many Christians are there who feel almost reticent or guilty just for being a believer, or embarrassed because they go to church, or ashamed for being associated with others who are of their same belief who have wrongfully abused their religion? But on the other hand, the Apostle Paul taught, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16). Hope is what invigorates the believer to stand with God and fellow believers through adversity, and to help us endure the difficult times in life, because we have been given the hope of a blissful future.

The greatest hope that the Christian has is the return of Christ to gather us up together with him in the clouds.

Having hope, especially the hope of Christ’s return and our gathering together unto him maketh not ashamed, meaning just the opposite of shame, giving us something that we can indeed be so very proud of, as hope fills the desire in our hearts to want to tell anyone who will listen that Jesus is coming back. Paul said in I Corinthians 15:19, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” The context of this verse is that if we hope in Christ and our gathering together to be with him for eternity, and if he were not to return, then we should be the most wretched people on the planet for hoping in vain. However, and thank God, our hope is that Christ indeed is returning and then we will be gathered up and blessed for all eternity. For the present time, God has given to us His own love and the permission to believe His promises to us which will help sustain our lives as we continue to believe and enjoy His healing Word that guarantees our pleasurable expectations of divine hope.

I Thessalonians 4:12-13:
-12: That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without {without hope}, and that ye may have lack of nothing {by believing}.
-13: But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

Whenever you read in the Bible that God would not have you ignorant, it is because He wants you to be knowledgeable of something. In the upcoming verses from I Thessalonians, you will learn what God would have you to understand. You see, your God desires that you have, “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling” (Ephesians 1:18). The hope of his calling relates to being risen up to enjoy eternal life with your Savior. That ye sorrow not is the very reason that this section in I Thessalonians 4:12–18 is written, for we have been given a tremendous hope to ever be with the Lord.

Today we are spiritually risen with Christ (Ephesians 2:5–6), but in the future our God-given hope is to be physically changed and risen as Titus 2:13 confirms that we should be, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Looking for this blessed hope (rather than being fearful of that great and glorious day), so we may humbly thank God because we have been given such a wonderful hope for that splendid day!

 Philippians 3:20-21 (The Amplified Bible):**
-20: But we are citizens of the state (commonwealth, homeland) which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly and patiently await [the coming of] the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [as] Savior,
-21: Who will transform and fashion anew the body of our humiliation to conform to and be like the body of His glory and majesty, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself.

See our wonderful hope in these verses? We will have our bodies completely changed, from short-term vessels to everlasting vessels that can sail through the heavenlies, and that, my friend, will be with a new, changed, glorious body! This is our assured hope.

I Thessalonians 4:14:  
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him {with Jesus}.

God in this verse is comforting the living, letting us know that the sleeping believers’ hope of the return of Christ is still true and still a future event and God has not forgotten them and He will bring them with us into heaven at the “gathering together” (II Thessalonians 2:1–2). The phrase sleep in Jesus refers to the believers who have passed away, believers who did have the hope of Christ returning for them will God bring with him up to heaven. We, the living, who also believe that Jesus died and rose again, will also be gathered up when Christ returns.

Psalms 17:15:  
As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

This is a future promise of God revealed to us by King David, a promise that many past believers had hope in; it is the promise to wake up with thy likeness, the likeness of the Savior ― this same future promise is promised to all believers who have fallen asleep.

I Thessalonians 4:15: 
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord {by revelation}, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord {Christ Jesus} shall not prevent {precede} them which are asleep.

This verse shows us the order in which believers will rise, the sleeping believers will be the first raised, and then we which are alive and remain here on earth will follow them up as the next verse will further detail. The Bible uses the word asleep for believers who have passed away, and it is an accurate translation, because Christ indeed will raise them from the dead. At that time, they will feel as though they just woke up from a good night’s sleep, only they will have new bodies that live for eternity! I Corinthians 15:42–44 sheds some tremendous light on this, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is {to be} a spiritual body.” What an amazing hope we have! “And as we have borne the image of the earthy {body}, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly {body}” (I Corinthians 15:49).

I Thessalonians 4:16: 
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first;

When Christ returns, the sleeping (passed away) believers shall rise first; this is the order which the Bible reveals to us. When Christ returns during this “gathering together,” only he himself comes down as far as the clouds above, and the believes who were once alive will be raised up and out from among all the rest of the dead to meet Christ in the clouds. This is why the angel said to the Apostles in the Book of Acts 1:11 “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” This is what the Apostles saw “while they beheld, he {Jesus} was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). Thus, the return of this same Jesus will be similar because believers will be gathered up in like manner to the gathering in the clouds, and from thence, it’s off to heaven ― oh, what a glorious hope we have!

Christ returning only as far as the clouds has nothing whatsoever to do with his return to earth, which will occur later. The events of his returning to earth are revealed in many Scriptures such as in Daniel, the Gospels, and Revelation. But this return should not be confused with our gathering and rising upwards, which is our expected hope. You see, Jesus’ literal return to the earth “cometh as a thief in the night” (I Thessalonians 5:2), totally unexpectedly. BUT, thankfully, we have been assured with the comfort of hope that we will be with Jesus (in heaven before II Peter 3:10 happens), and before he as the King of kings and Lord of lords returns to the earth, and that day will not “overtake you as a thief” (I Thessalonians 5:4). Thus, the day of the Lord cannot – will not – and is impossible to overtake you as a thief!

I Thessalonians 4:17: 
Then we {believers} which are alive and remain {here on earth} shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

This is the “gathering together;” this is your hope, to ever be with the Lord where everlasting reunions with families, loved ones, and friends will commence and never end. This is the hope that God in Christ has given you for your comfort, for your future goals, for at that time God will dry all your tears in the warmth and love of His divine presence. Your body will also be transformed from an earthly to a heavenly body, and from a mortal to an immortal being!

I Thessalonians 4:18: 
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Hope is sort of like having a life insurance policy underwritten by the bank of God (offices located only in heaven), and delivered to you by God’s agent, Jesus Christ, and you, yes, only you will be doing the collecting! Oh what a glorious day for you to anticipate, the day when you gather up all the dividends you have coming, and mind you – with accumulated interest – talk about a rollover – wow – you will be rolling over with extreme joyfulness! Thus, we are encouraged to comfort one another with these words.

I John 3:1: 
BEHOLD, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

To BEHOLD is to admire, to recognize, and to fathom the actual love bestowed upon us by our heavenly Father. We are called the sons of God; this is an all-inclusive noun for all the children of God, male and female, young and old. God, being our Father, has given to us His own characteristics, namely (from the above verse) His love, of which the world has never known because the world has never really known or understood the Father. Jesus said, O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these {referring to believers} have known that thou hast sent me- John 17:25, and Jesus made known God (John 1:18) as our righteous Father, and His love He has bestowed upon us and this love we are encouraged to BEHOLD. Where is the fear? Where is the shame? Where is the doubt? Undoubtedly – not in God’s loving words to us, and truly – not in our comfort of hope, and certainly – not in our never-ending future!

I John 3:2: 
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and {in the future} it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

You and I could spend all day just considering this first word beloved, we are beloved of God, the Creator of heaven and earth! All I can say about this is, what a privilege we have been given! You see, we do not become the actual sons of God at some point in the future because Beloved, now are we the sons of God! However, in the future what it will really mean to be His sons and daughters is beyond our comprehension, thus, it doth not yet appear what we shall be. A great illustration of this can be observed from the Epistle of Romans 8:17, where it emphatically states that we are “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ,” yet how can we truly grasp this awe-inspiring reality? Being heirs of everything that belongs to God is unfathomable, yet this is a part of our splendid hope; this hope is ours because we are not only heirs of God but we are also joint-heirs with Christ! God has made us heirs of heaven’s throne with every right and privilege that genuine, beloved sons and daughters deserve for their believing today.

The details have yet to be revealed on the significance of all that we truly have, but it would not hurt to look up at a night sky and at least look over some of our future inheritance. This we can know will be ours and hope for, because when Christ returns for us, then we will be just like him, “fashioned like unto his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21). For then we will clearly see him as he currently is, as we look over and enjoy our complete inheritance.

When Christ was raised from the dead, he had a new body of unimaginable splendor. He could travel the lengths of the universe in the blink of an eye, appear and disappear at will, and be recognized only when he wanted to be recognized. This is how he is! This is how we will see him when he returns. This is how we will be when he returns. What an amazing, glorious hope we have been given! This makes life go from just manageable to downright exciting ― this is given to us for our daily Comfort.

Just knowing the outcome makes it easier to not fret the small things, and the larger things easier to believe positively to overcome in today’s world. II Corinthians 4:17 says, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” What this verse means is that every pressure we endure today ― called, our light affliction, is in reality minuscule in duration (is but for a moment), compared to the amount of everlasting blessings that we will receive in heaven for enduring through all the pressure of this current hour. Corinthians continues, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (II Corinthians 4:18).

Our example is Jesus who saw his ultimate destiny, which made it possible for him to endure the pressures of crucifixion. “Who {Jesus} for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising {setting aside or ignoring} the shame, and is {now} set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus’ seat at the right hand of God was his hope, was the joy that was set before him, as it is our hope. Jesus was enabled to ignore the shame of being nailed to a cross. He was perfect and sinless and always had done only good, yet he was despised, cursed, beaten, and ridiculed, and what strengthened him was hope, the helmet of salvation, for this showed him the joy that God set before him. We have been given this same amazing hope, the hope that displaces shame, as this same hope with joy is now set before us.

 I John 3:3: 
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

To become what God’s Word promises we will become ― that is our hope, and as we put our trusting hope in this, we become purified (today) as much as Christ is pure. The hope of Jesus Christ’s return purifies the hearts and souls of believers today because the hope itself is a pure hope, inspirationally uplifting. You see, we can sometimes mess up when we believe (see the third category above, “impractical beliefs or hopes”), but we cannot mess up our glorious hope, thank God.

Hope in Christ’s return for you will continue to purify you equally and proportionately to the purity of Christ himself. The hope that purifies assures the believer that he or she can presently enjoy wonderful days of hoping. The believer can know that he or she already is destined to be an elite member of God’s heavenly family (Ephesians 2:19–22), because the believer has been called by His Excellency, the Creator of the heavens and earth to be His very own child who may enjoy His love that is currently within our hearts. How many people are there out there, even in Christendom, who fear their future? But what an awesome calling and hope we have been guaranteed! As we continue anticipating the hope, our hope of Christ’s return for us, we will continuously purify our heart and mind to the pure healing Word of God ― this in truth is Our Comfort in Hope.

II Timothy 4:7–8 (The Amplified Bible):**
-7: I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith.
-8: [As to what remains] henceforth there is laid up for me the [victor’s] crown of righteousness [for being right with God and doing right], which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me and recompense me on that [great] day ― and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved and yearned for and welcomed His appearing (His return) {our splendid hope}.

*Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE, Old Testament copyright (c) 1965, 1989 by the Zondervan Corporation.
Used by permission.

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

Treasure in Earthen Vessels

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the church Epistles, Romans through Thessalonians, there are many wonderful aspects for the Christian believer to experience ― the renewed mind, gifts, and manifestations of the spirit. We can also discover principles of financial abundance, leadership, and discipline that can enhance our walks with the Father. To walk in the renewed mind is to learn how to walk in and with all that God has given us in Christ. The renewed mind is enjoying our new nature which is given to us by God Himself, as His Word reveals to us (II Peter 1:4). This is a divine treasure hunt as we search the Scriptures.

There are two major ways to approach the renewed mind process. One way is to try and renew the mind based on fear, based on having the wrongful fear of God’s wrath for not doing so, and the undue fear of not being pleasing to other believers. However, whenever fear is our motivator for renewing our minds, at best, we will only be able to put on a pseudo-type mind of pretense, and this effort will always be apart from God’s desired will for His children. The other way, the correct way is to begin enjoying the truth that we have the renewed mind with His love in our lives, knowing that God loves us regardless of our actions, and that He in the Epistles encourages us to enjoy and experience our renewed minds because we are already pleasing to and loved by God (Ephesians 1:3-6). When we know this, and really believe it in our hearts, then we can begin to effortlessly walk into the fullness of God because we own it – we have the always‑guiding, never-failing love of God (I Corinthians 13:8).

II Corinthians 3:18: But we all, with open face {without shame} beholding as in a glass {or a mirror} the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

God is Spirit (John 4:24), and everything that He has given to us is spiritual. As we look into the Word, the Word itself begins reflecting back into our lives what God has spiritually given us through Christ. God’s Word contains the true treasures that are already ours. As we look into the Epistles, we will find what the Bible calls the “new man” (Ephesians 4:24, and Colossians 3:10), our true spiritual abilities (Philippians 4:13, Colossians 3:4, and John 14:12), and the love of God (Romans 5:5, and Ephesians 5:2). As we read and study our Bibles we literally will become changed into what God’s Word reflects, and this is the image that we behold, from the glory contained in the Scriptures reflecting back to us the glory of the Lord that our God has placed in our own hearts.

As we come to realize we have been given a renewed mind according to the healing Word of God, He will continue to show us the great and wonderful ability (spiritual ability) that He has given to us of His own divine grace and love. Already having a renewed mind according to what the Scripture reveals will inspire us to enjoy the serenity of our relationship with our heavenly Father that the spirit of Christ within reflects in our hearts. The more we realize that we have the glory of the Lord within, the greater our own spiritual revival begins to grow in the true light of the Epistles.

II Corinthians 4:7: But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of {or rather ― from} God, and not of us.

The treasure is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27), and the power of Christ in you is from God. We learn the truths about God’s wonderful power via learning and then reflecting His powerful Word in daily living. His healing Word always gives us access to His power, and as we recognize where the power originates from (from God, Ephesians 6:10), and we put our trust in the Word of God, then we will effortlessly begin using unlimited spiritual power and live the life that is more than abundant.

I Thessalonians 2:12–13:
-12: That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
-13: For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

No one on earth can absolutely prove God real to anyone else because God is Spirit, but anyone can see and read His Word, and believe what he or she has read, and then the Word of God itself will effectually worketh also in you that believe. This is how God reveals Himself to the individual; this is how the believer receives an understanding of His truths, His power, and the glory of the Lord (Christ within). When anybody believes what the Scriptures reveal, he or she can then prove that God’s Word is exceptionally “good,” wholly “acceptable,” and soundly “perfect” in every detail, for the believer will begin walking with the glory of the Lord, and share in the love of God to love’s fullness.

Romans 12:1–2:
-1: I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
-2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

God’s Word encourages us to allow the renewed mind itself to transform us from within with the purpose of knowing the reality of God’s will, the good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. The benefits are immense for we will experience in our hearts the heavenly treasures God has placed in our earthen vessels! If we can absorb one idea from this study and practice something that can prove to our heart’s content the reality of God, then I would like to highlight the love of God that we have received. Let us reach out and love another person with God’s love. God has given us His love, the Bible tells us so, and when we love with His love, we will be applying something very spiritual and rewarding, something good, and acceptable, and perfect. When we give, we also receive. Whenever we love someone with God’s love we do not empty out, rather God continues to supply us in return for He is a fountain of unlimited supply.

Galatians 5:13–14:
-13: For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh {to be lazy or stingy with God’s love}, but by love serve one another.
-14: For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

For all of the law is completely fulfilled in one word, that one word is love! God’s divinely‑given love has completely fulfilled all of the requirements that the Law had ever commanded (Matthew 22:37-40). Let us consider the last phrase of verse 14; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. We are loved completely by our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ without any strings attached because they are love in its fullness, and we are loved in their fullness. The essence of the phrase, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself is “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself is loved by God in Christ in you.” How God loves us is how we can love one another, and we learn about the tremendous love God has for us in the Scriptures, and this same love that the Bible speaks of is in our earthen vessels.

Romans 13:10: Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

God’s love always works in positive ways, and never works to bring hurt (ill) to a neighbor (John 4:20-21). God placed in our very hearts this love and made it available for us to manifest His love to others as God keeps on supplying ― more. Let us be honest for a minute and recall how many times we have heard the phrase, “love your neighbor as yourself” and many of us have perhaps thought, “Them, Oh my God you must be kidding. I don’t know if I have the strength to love those people over there in the same way as I love myself.” But with God’s love that has been freely given to us, being loving is so easy (I Thessalonians 3:12-13); it is almost like spending someone else’s money. We did not earn God’s love by our works; rather, we were given God’s love because of the generous work of Jesus Christ. This is a treasure in earthen vessels.

John 13:34–35:
-34: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
-35: By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

If we were to love others solely contingent upon how much love that we have for ourselves, then I assure you that someone would be getting the shorter end of the stick because some people love themselves more, and some much less than others. However, God has given us a constant standard ― Christ’s love. God has made it available for each of us to love equally proportionately to the same love that Jesus Christ loves us with, and thank God for giving us this wonderful understanding about the genuine spiritual service of love that is so uplifting to all those this spiritual love touches. I John 3:18 encourages, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth,” With this new spiritual love of Christ we have been enabled to love the unlovable with the same intensity that we could love the most deserving and lovable souls.

The love of God that He has placed in our earthen vessels is a divine treasure chest and is stocked complete with pure heavenly love. God’s love applied reaches all the way into the heart of man, beyond the appearance or facade that people portray on the outside, “for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” (I Samuel 16:7).

The love of God is the true spiritual strength of the Christian family, and the spiritual foundation for true believing unity within the church, and the true spiritual uplifting in the individual believer’s heart, and is the believer’s lifeline into the tremendous blessings contained in God’s revealed Word.

Romans 5:5: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost {holy spirit} which is given unto us.

The hope is the return of Christ and our anticipation of that glorious day to be with him, clothed in a new spiritual body (Philippians 3:20-21). As we come to an understanding of the hope, we will know with inner believing conviction that there is no shame to ever be given us in our future, but rather glory immersed in the favorable, loving graces of our heavenly Father. The blessing that can cause the hope to become so alive in our hearts, in the continuous and present tense, is that we have the love of God ― now. The Word teaches us that we have and can utilize this love, and then we can equally share God’s love for and with one another which is the manifestation of the renewed mind. This is one of the divine treasures that God in His love has placed in our earthen vessels, so that we may even now enjoy His presence and presents.

Ephesians 3:17–20:
-17: That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
-18: May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
-19: And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
-20: Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.

Ephesians 6:10:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

God Is Spirit

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Gospel of John 4:24 it says, “God is a Spirit.” He also is omnipresent, inhabiting heaven and earth, dwelling in and throughout all of eternity. In the Book of Acts 17:28 we read, “For in him {God} we live, and move, and have our being.” God is present everywhere, yet without understanding His Scriptures He appears to be only as an enigma for so many. We can find God anywhere, and miss Him everywhere, yet finding Him is as simple as picking up your Bible, for the Bible is the very heart and breath of God Almighty. Romans 10:9-10 reveals the entrance into the salvation of humanity, and the beginning of our grasping the Creator’s very life and His eternal embrace.

John 14:17:
Even the Spirit of {the} truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye {disciples} know him; for he dwelleth {present tense} with you, and shall {future tense} be in you.

The believers were beginning to know “God Who is Spirit” because they were continuing in the words of God that Jesus was teaching to them. Jesus was teaching them that the “Spirit of truth” was currently dwelling with them and that in a future time God’s spirit of truth would literally be in them. After Jesus gave his life for us, ascended up into heaven, and the day of Pentecost came (Acts 2:1-4), the believers received the spirit of truth into their hearts and became sons and daughters of God for eternity.

Galatians 5:16:
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

We started this byte stating, “God is Spirit,” this is the very essence of God, and now Galatians says to “Walk in the Spirit.” The reason that we can walk in the spirit is that spirit now dwells within our hearts (Romans: 5:5). Our spirit within, God created at that moment we confessed and believed in Romans 10:9-10, and spirit is eternal. To start walking in this spirit we simply (and slowly) begin walking in and with the Spirit of the truth, and truth is the Word of God.

Romans 8:14:
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Well thank God! To be led by the Spirit of God is to be genuinely walking in the true spirit of the Scriptures, for “the words that I {Jesus} speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). And as an extra bonus (so to speak), we are the sons of God. The word “sons” is an all-inclusive noun for men and women, boys and girls, because every believer has God’s spirit and is a son or daughter of the living God.

Jesus Christ is a son of God, and the Bible says that we are sons of God: could we be in better company? God is a Spirit. We are encouraged to walk in the spirit, for when and where we do, we will walk within the fullness of God – ourselves.

Have a wonderful day enjoying your heavenly position as a child of God, and know that you are walking in Him Who is Spirit.