Fullness Of The Stature
No matter your denomination, and no matter your bible version, we as believer's all have 2 things in common.
One, : is that we were dead in sin, hopeless and lost, and needing to be forgiven and saved.
Two, : all of us, (born again) ether by death, or by rapture, are going to meet Jesus The Christ, face to face.
So, i always tell all who will listen, ither in a group, or one by one, that "you need to thoughtfully live your Christian Life, the best you can, as if you are going to die today and meet the Lord and give account of your deeds- works - motive(s).".
And that is because you just might.
Trust me when i tell you, that all the people, every single one that is not an infant, who are found in the obituary page today, had no idea yesterday they would be found in it today.........Follow me?........Good.
Saint, you are exactly one stopped heartbeat, at all times, from meeting JESUS...so, thats important to consider from time to time, as this knowledge can help you understand what not to do, and what TO do with your TIME.
The bema seat, the judgment seat of Christ, or whatever you need to call it, .... there is coming to you, ready or not, a meeting with your Lord regarding what you have done for him, "in the body", on this earth, after you were saved. He is going to judge your works, and if your motives for doing some of it were vain glory, selfish ambition, or "look at me" opportunities, then our NT tells us that in the sifting fire of Jesus's Righteous analysis, these works of yours, (your lifestyle included).. SOME OF THEM.... will be deemed "wood, hay and stubble".........But, the others.....the other works you did for your Lord, out of Love, and out of a pure motive that was not selfish or self centered, will be DEEMED BY JESUS as jewels, as precious stones, as gold., and you can study all this out, simply by doing a deep study of the "judgement seat of Christ", and just run the verses (study) and ask God to give you wisdom and enlightenment about all this that is coming your way.
So, having said that, let me now get to the purpose and point of this Thread...... which is.... There is this verse....>"absent from the Body, and present with the LORD".....given by Paul, which is of course a fact and confirmation regarding what i just told you, = where you are going as soon as you die or as soon as Jesus cracks the sky and takes us, his redeemed Bride, all up high.
And what exactly do i want to show you..... is this.
I want to show you an understanding about how you are to comprehend what is meant by 2 verses....
1.) "grown or matured into the fullness of the measure of Christ"... and.... 2.) "conformed into the image of Christ".
So what is all that?
Well its very simple and i'll tell you.
Im giving out Light, so be discerning.
As you know, from the moment of your new birth, (born again), All Believers began a physical and spiritual journey that is taking you (transforming you) from your old adamic nature and remaking you day by day, "from glory to glory" into the IMAGE of Christ.
And what is Christ's image?......... Well, in this instance this word means, "just like" or "same as"....or, "exact nature", "perfect/precise likeness". And all this means is that God, who began a good work in you, (salvation) will be faithful to complete it, totally, when you get you new body and enter the literal 3rd Heaven, where Jesus is along with all those of faith who have gone before, as well as the heavenly host of Angels and others.
Saint, imagine seeing winged Cherubs in the air..... Imagine a place where you never get tired, have no worries, and dont need sleep and have a body that is just like the Body of Jesus........Imagine a place where you can have a chat with The Apostle Paul, St. Francis, John The Baptist, both Mary's, John the Apostle..... Imagine Saint, that you can tell Jesus how much you love Him, and see Him SMILE and tell you that He loves you and is so glad you are THERE..
How about all that?....... Philippians 4:8
Now, quickly, as its nearly 12:00, and many of you are looking at your watches. ... :)........... How are we to understand what it means to be made into the image of Jesus, and what is that like, regarding a human being, when the process is finalized?.....> How will you know you are there?.......Have you ever wondered this?....Well great, as now you can know.
There are 2 understandings of how to understand what it means for YOU to have ARRIVED to a final evolution, INTO the fullness of Christ, while you are down here on the earth, in your earth suit.
1.) Paul explains here, the final level of Christian Maturity... = "it is no longer I who live, but CHRIST who lives in me and through me".
2.) "long- suffering , with JOYFULNESS"....
So, those 2, when you have come to the place in your Christian maturity when those 2 verses are YOU, then you are become, "the fullness of the image of Christ"
You have arrived.
You are THERE.
So, where are you? ????????????????
How far along are you, Saint?
You can check your progress into the fullness of the stature of Christ, by truthfully accessing yourself based on these two criteria.
And if you are not quite there yet, then God bless you as you press toward the mark for the high calling of God, which IS to become,= the fullness and the image of Jesus as much as possible, even tho its YOU, as a HUMAN.
Here is your spiritual level reality check... : Help yourself to a check up.
1.) Are you so dead to self and lust of the eye and the pride of life.... and so heavenly minded and completely non-conformed to this world and its FLOW, that your mind has become the mind of Christ to the degree that you seem to feel connected to the pain in others who are hurting around you ??? , And, furthermore, all you want is more of God and His presence, more Righteousness, more Enlightenment, and can't wait to get to heaven, and would go right now if God would let you do it?
2. ) Are you right now, able to endure any and all SUFFERING...... physical, mental, emotional, even torture, ... does not matter the type... and still have the JOY of the LORD springing up like a deep well inside you spirt and emotions, that overrules and overcomes all your negative feelings?
I'll see you on the way there....... as we keep on going.........:)
“It’s not just that we don’t know our Bible but that we have so fragmented, dissected, and compartmentalized the Bible that we have lost sight of its great overarching story.”
Hugh Whelchel i
Occasionally I ask myself, what motivates me to write. In response, I would have to say it's religious opposition and a deeply seated desire to see the church walking in truth. The idea of walking in truth, in my mind, means a church that is trained appropriately in the Word. I don't see that happening at any of the churches I have been a part of.
An aspect of that opposition recently occurred as a “brother” in Christ, told a friend of mine, that I believe life has to be one-way, mine. Have you read any of my posts? Do I present myself like that? Hardly, I attempt to show God's word as the only basis for truth, and, in a manner that people can understand. I suppose, to some degree, that means adding my commentary to what I write in an effort to promote understanding, but leaving the decision-making process to the reader, as they accept or reject God's word. With that understanding you are not rejecting me, you are denying God's truth and mercy, as you refuse what God's word says.
Elijah, the prophet, bemoaned his situation and cried out that he was alone in Israel.
1 Kings 19:9-10 NASB Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" 10) He said, "I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away."
And yes, that is the way I feel some days. God's response.
1 Kings 19:18 NASB "Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him."
I realize that I am not alone, but the number of those who are passionate about God are few. I am fortunate to sit with a few of them on a weekly basis.
Having had someone say of me, “he believes it has to be, his way or no way,” is somewhat like a slap in my face, and I can tell you I am highly intolerant of actions like that. So, why would someone say something like that about me? Perhaps it is because I am very passionate about truth and God's word.
Sending everyone to hell at the Great White Throne has nothing to do with truth; it merely demonstrates how adamant this man is about judgment, something we are to leave to Jesus, [especially since ALL judgment has/or will be given to Him.]
The Apostle Paul was not put off by the scholars of the Berean community. In fact, he thought highly of them. This body of believers did their research and found that Torah and Tanakh validated what Paul was saying. Having legitimized Paul's statements they believed. When you consider the limited resources, these men had, our accolades for them should be even more significant.
Let me give you an example of what this opposition to, and the rejection of, the truth looks like.
The man who leads the Monday morning study, once again pointed out that he was an ordained Bible study leader, not a pastor. As the leader, he has just about every week, exclaimed that everyone brought to the Great White Throne judgment is sent to hell. If you are a reasonable student of the Bible you should be asking, is that a correct statement? The answer is NO, but why would you know that?
Because you have read the Word of God, as you should; you looked at the context; compared alternate texts and scenarios, and, like a hungry pet who has, awaited you to come home so they can eat, chewed on and ingested every word so that you could understand the depth and meaning of the Greek words being used and their Hebrew origins. But here is where the problem lays, as statistically, no one does that?
The statistical work I am going to show you were undertaken by Lifeway Research in 2014. Here is an excerpt from Christianity Today.ii
“Some Stats to Consider
Americans read the Bible on occasion—churchgoers a little more. In a recent LifeWay Research study, we learned the following about our Bible reading habits among church attendees. They indicated that they read their Bible as follows:
19% - Every day
26% - A few times a week
14% - Once a week
22% - At least once a month
18% - Rarely or never.
There are a couple of interesting takeaways from this study. Almost 60% of churchgoers open our Bibles at home during the week at least once. And for every person who is reading his/her Bible every day (19%), someone isn’t… at all (18%).”
Do you think, in this condition of apostasy, that the numbers would improve any as time progresses?
I was pondering this idea before pulling up the statistical information. My guess/estimate would have been about 20% of the “church” actually reading their Bibles every day. But even then I could see a problem with that number because I sit with some of these 20% per-centers, and know for a fact that they will not move off their traditional interpretations and understandings regardless of what you show them in scripture. Are you beginning to see a problem? Illiteracy has no option but to run rampant through the church; And, it is not just the church. I just read yesterday, 5/10/2018, that schools have found they are going to have to take down the analog clocks on the schoolhouse walls and replace them with digital clocks because no one can read them.
Let's go back to the significant false teaching of the morning “bible” study – how that everyone coming before the Great White Throne goes to a fiery hell.
The first question is: how does one study the Bible? It seems to me that everyone should know how to do this; in truth, I had to learn how.
Every student should:
Read the text without a premise.
As you read ask, what is this passage supposed to be saying to me?
Do not merely assume that the teacher standing before you, saying things like, “What Paul is saying here,” is the truth. [Here is a heads up. Paul, a former Pharisee, a man who was very skillful at what he did, had no problem speaking to JEWS, about this new life and grace found in Christ. This is the case as Saul/Paul spoke about the Hebrew wording within the Law and the Prophets and pointed out the evidence in those words, which led to an understanding, in those who chose to listen, that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah they longed for. Paul made it clear that our acceptance of Yahshua brought about this life and the hope we have come to understand.]
The idea of reading without a premise can be applied to my pastor's sermons since he has a motive and a point to be made. In pushing his motive, he has created a premise and is working to make the scriptures fit his premise. These directed efforts often work in opposition to my understanding of Bible study.
Look at the context.
An example of this applies to what I am going to analyze momentarily – Matthew 25, where we see the sheep and the goats at the throne of judgment. The context surrounding this word picture begins in Matthew 21, when Jesus rides into Jerusalem, on the back of an unridden donkey – the Rolls Royce of the day, and He is perceived as the Messiah Israel hoped for. Unfortunately, He did not do what the disciples, nor the people expected, as He overturned the sellers tables, chairs, and loosed their merchandise where they had been selling, in the court of the Gentiles. And then, Jesus got into a verbal confrontation with the elders and Pharisees. All this activity shook the disciples and prompted them to ask, “when will all these things come to pass, and what will be the sign of your coming as the Messiah.
I am always analyzing the scriptures even as the pastor speaks. I examine the context and what the interlinear Greek or Hebrew dictionary says the words mean. Occasionally, the pastor is preaching in opposition to what the words mean. As a side note: Pastor and I had a bad moment one day, as he challenged me about my intensive focus on end times and the eschatology books of the Bible. In his indictment of me, he said, “Notice how in my sermons, I present the gospel in a manner that brings about change in people.” I try not to overthink the pastor's words that day, but isn't that what the Word of God is supposed to do, change people?
Look for a comparative text.
Many of the Calvary Chapel pastors, like Don Stewart or the late Chuck Smith, used to say, “allow scripture to define scripture.” What does that mean? As I read the Revelation, I see where John, on two occasions, in speaking to the churches, uses the term the Synagogue (Rev 2:9, Rev 3:9.) Why is this significant? Because John, was not writing in code as some would ascribe, he was writing to Jewish converts/followers of Christ. And therefore, spoke in a language they would immediately understand. Greek, of course, was one aspect of this language but the other carried the oral history and word stories from the Old Testament. The evidence for this is rather extensive and is demonstrated in the writings of James (James 2:2) and the Apostle Paul. Read Acts 18. In every city we find Paul entering the local Synagogue and preaching. For over fifteen years Paul preached, almost exclusively, to Jews. It was only after years of abuse at the hands of religious Jews that Paul finally said, and I am taking this message to the Gentiles.
The Apostle John, James, Peter, and Paul focused their attention on the Jewish community. Peter, although he had a brief exchange with the Roman Centurion's family, maintained, as did James and John, a focus on Jews. [Read Paul's account in Galatians 2,] Many of these believed for years that this gospel of Jesus was meant exclusively for Jews. Peter, in 2 Peter 3:10 says,
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” NASB
This passage has clear and definite associations with Isaiah 13:9; Jeremiah 46:10 among others.
In conjunction with the idea of comparative texts, was the indication that everything, aside from direct revelation from the Holy Spirit, came out of the Torah and Tanakh. Paul's letters; James words on wisdom, and the Revelation that John conveyed, all came from the Old Testament. We can put this idea of comparative texts into action where Revelation speaks of a multi-headed beast with crowns and horns (Revelation 13:1). This imagery is found in multiple locations but primarily in the words of the prophet Daniel (Daniel 7:7).
Matthew 25:31-45, where we see the sheep and goats, is a comparative text. The words Jesus spoke were in response to questions His Jewish disciples ask him, and those words made sense to a Jewish audience. If you had been a student in Synagogue school you were expected to memorize the Old Testament teachings. Therefore, one might expect that these people were looking for these events to happen.
Try to take in as much of the background wording into consideration as you can.
When I look at Matthew 25:31-45 in the NASB, the segment that speaks of the sheep and goats carries the headline, The Final Judgment. That headline in itself gives me nothing of value except as a reference point. If I were looking for a direct association to the final judgment, there is nothing within these verses that define this explicitly by using that terminology.
Can I find an inference of final judgment in verse 31?
Matthew 25:31 NASB "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.
Here you see the Son of Man coming in His glory.
This is the same Jesus that Stephen saw, as he stood before the Jewish council (Acts 7:55-56,) and it is the same Jesus that Daniel saw in Daniel 7:13.
And, He will sit on His glorious throne.
There is a passage in Joel 3:12 that would cause the audience listening to the speaker that day to take note. Joel 3:12 LITV Let the nations be awakened and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat. For there I will sit to judge all the nations all around.
This passage in Joel can easily be associated with the judgment we are about to see in Matthew 25. These two points alone do not convince me, as we see Jesus coming in Revelation 19 prior to Him being seated for judgment, and, there is no account of Him sitting upon His throne in Revelation 19.
To be honest, I have to stretch my mind a bit to see the final judgment. However, if I look at the next verse, the finality suddenly becomes clearer, especially if I have an understanding of Joel 3:12. [Mat 25:32 And before Him shall be gathered all the nations;]
There is only one glorious throne.
Is this the same throne that we see in Revelation? We have to look at Revelation 20:11 and see if there is something here that matches.
Revelation 20:11 NASB Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.
A great white throne
Our only references to a white throne come from 1 Kings 10:18 and 2Ch 9:17, and they are effectively the same story
1 Kings 10:18 NASB Moreover, the king made a great throne of ivory and overlaid it with refined gold.
Ezekiel tells us what he saw, Ezekiel 1:26 NASB Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man.
lapis lazuli - Sapphire - Clear heavenly blue. Apparently, the color is insignificant.
In 1Kings 10:18 it is clear that this is a great throne, and in Daniel 7:9 Daniel sees the throne as being fiery flames.
Although you don't see this happening in Matthew 25, Revelation 20:7-8 tells us that after the thousand years, Satan is released from his prison and he deceives the nations. Those nations, in turn, surround the city of God in an attempt to kill God and His people. Those gathered are killed in an instant. The next event scripture shows us is the gathering of the nations, or, as Matthew 25 puts it, the dead are brought before this great throne.
Although my methods of sorting out what I read, and disseminating the false teachings I hear, might be different than what you learn in seminary, they work for me. You also just got the added benefit of some insight into a false teaching that seems to enjoy sending all who approach the throne of judgment, to hell. A serious look at scripture will demonstrate that such a teaching is blatantly false and damaging to our understanding of who God is.
iThe Church’s Secret: Biblical Illiteracy in the 21st Century, Hugh Whelchel, writing for the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics. March 13, 2017. https://tifwe.org/the-churchs-secret-biblical-illiteracy-in-the-21st-century/
iiBiblical Illiteracy by the Numbers Part 1: The Challenge
Hi I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and Personal Savior over a year now. But struggled with my faith, I don't want my faith to be based on feelings which only last for a moment. I am right now on the worship team in my church I attend.
I am longing to do the will of my Heavenly Father Jehovah and to follow Jesus Christ as my Lord. I want to have that intimate relationship with him and never leave his presence. But now I have a problem, people know of my past and right now I feel like I am fighting a battle all alone. Even members in my church are saying that it is too late for me that there is no hope for me. To my face they encourage me, but when I am away from them, they keep saying this things and saying that i can never change and that i went to far from God. Since more than one person keeps saying it is too late for me, is that a confirmation? Wat would one do in my place? Would God reject me?