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Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 13

The Advent Part 5

The forty days that they spent with Jesus after His resurrection were perhaps the happiest days for His disciples, because although they were still flesh and bone, they had fellowship with the risen Christ.

The Word does not tell us that Jesus spent every minute of every hour of those forty days with His disciples, it was not a permanent fellowship, but rather He was seen by them during forty days, at various times and for various lengths of time, teaching them what He needed to, then returning as He saw fit.

I have often wondered what it was that Jesus spoke to His disciples about during these forty days. What was it that He taught His followers during the time He was with them after His resurrection? Apparently I am not the only one to have wondered this, since there are countless opinions and hypotheses concerning what it was that Jesus taught them, from the Gnostics who used to say that Jesus taught His disciples mysteries not contained within the New Testament, yet which they somehow came to possess, to others who say that Jesus taught His disciples concerning the hierarchy of the church.

Although opinions vary, one thing is certain, Jesus would not teach His disciples something that contradicted His previous teachings, such as hierarchy. Before His suffering death and resurrection, Jesus was not a fan of hierarchy within the body of believers, so logic would dictate that His feelings on the matter would have remained the same.

Matthew 20:25-27, “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

As far as what the Gnostics claimed, concerning the ‘seven mysteries’ the word ‘mystery’ is not associated with any of them in the Bible. There is no such thing as ‘secret doctrine’ the way into the kingdom is plainly written within the pages of the Bible, confirmed by Christ’s own words, that no man comes to the Father but by Him.

For some reason however, man has this overwhelming urge to complicate the simple, to attempt and convolute the simplicity of scripture, then claim that he’s discovered the secret of secrets, the mystery of mysteries, and only by following after him, or supporting him, or buying his audio teaching on the matter will you likewise know the secret and mysterious doctrine.

I realize this is off topic, but stick to Scripture. Let the Word of God guide you, let it be a lamp unto your feet, and a light for your path, and if something does not match up with Scripture, if someone claims ‘secret doctrine’ or ‘new revelation’ concerning Biblically pre-established dogma, reject it from the onset even if it sounds good or pleasing to the flesh.

If we read the Word carefully, we get a general idea of what Jesus spoke to His disciples about for the forty days He was among them.

Acts 1:3, “to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.’

Mystery solved! Jesus spoke to His disciples of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. What these things were specifically, we may discover when we stand before Him in eternity, but not before.

I realize it is painful, but sometimes we must allow for the possibility of not knowing certain things, because certain things were not revealed to us. As to why this is, God knows, and that’s good enough for me.

Jesus was preparing His disciples for the work that was ahead of them. There was no talk of ‘secret doctrine’ or ‘mysterious revelation’ not included in Scripture; He was speaking to them of things pertaining to the kingdom of God, and their responsibility and duty in furthering it.

Mark 4:11-12, “And He said to them, ‘to you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that ‘seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them.”

To them, to the Disciples of Christ, as well as to us, it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God. In this world, the kingdom of God is a kingdom of grace, and in the age to come it is a kingdom of glory. Christ is one with His kingdom, and His kingdom is, wherever He is Lord and King, be it in a heart, in a family, in a community, in heaven or on earth.

1 Peter 3:15-16, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.”

Now to sanctify is defined as to set apart for sacred use, to make holy, to purify or to consecrate. If we desire to have the kingdom of God in us, then we have no other means of attaining it, than to sanctify the Lord God in our hearts.

I have said it often enough, but it bears repeating, God is not interested in having roommates, He is not interested in sharing the space of your heart, He is not interested in having one room above the garage while the rest of you is filled with worthless pursuits, desires, and vices, He demands that we sanctify Him in our hearts, that we consecrate ourselves to Him, and that we remove from ourselves anything that would hinder the fullness of Him in us.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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