Links for the Prayer Module

Introduction to Prayer
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The Model Prayer
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Opening Attitudes in Prayer
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The Kingdom Emphasis
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Praying for Personal Needs
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Sin and Forgiveness
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Addressing Temptation
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Prayer Meetings
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Praying Without Ceasing
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Prayer and Fasting
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Motives in Fasting
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Fasting Activities
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Rewards of Fasting
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Prayer Requests for Unsaved Friends
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Praying for Others to be Saved
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To Begin the Prayer Modue, click here

Links for the Oracles of God - Part 1

Introduction to the Oracles of God
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/09/introduction-to-oracles-of-god.html
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God Speaks to Man
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/09/god-speaks-to-man.html
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The Spirit of Christ - Part 1
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/09/spirit-of-christ-part-1.html
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The Spirit of Christ - Part 2
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/09/spirit-of-christ-part-2.html
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The Testimony of the Heavens - Part 1
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/09/testimony-of-heavens-part-1.html
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The Testimony of the Heavens - Part 2
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/09/testimony-of-heavens-part-2.html
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The Spiritual Testimony of Music
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/09/spiritual-testimony-of-music.html
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The Original Language of Man
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/09/original-language-of-man.html
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Revelation Comes Forth
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/09/revelation-comes-forth.html
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The Furnace of Earth
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/09/furnace-of-earth.html
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New Testament Prophets
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/09/new-testament-prophets.html
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Judging Prophecy - Part 1
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/09/judging-prophecy-part-1.html
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Judging Prophecy - Part 2
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/09/judging-prophecy-part-2.html

To Begin the Oracles of God - Part 1 Module, click here

Links for the Gifts of the Spirit Module


To Begin the Gifts of the Spirit Module, click here

Links for the Holy Spirit Module


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To Begin the Holy Spirit Module, click here

Links for the Faith, Grace and Law Module


Introduction to Faith and Grace
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/10/introduction-to-faith-and-grace.html
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Beginnings of Faith
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/10/beginnings-of-faith.html
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The Unseen Element of Faith
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/10/unseen-element-of-faith.html
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Faith and Trust
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/10/faith-and-trust.html
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Faith as a Relationship
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/11/faith-as-relationship.html
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Faith as a Response
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/11/faith-as-response.html
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Faith vs. the Force
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/11/faith-vs-force.html
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Faith and Presumption
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/11/faith-and-presumption.html
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Absentee Faith
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/11/absentee-faith.html
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Meddelsome Mediators
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/11/meddlesome-mediators.html
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Faith and Grace
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/11/faith-and-grace.html
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The Propensity of Grace
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/11/propensity-of-grace.html
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The Work of Grace
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/11/work-of-grace.html
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Faith, Grace and the Law
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/11/faith-grace-and-law.html
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The Heart Behind the Law
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/11/heart-behind-law.html
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Categories of the Law
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/11/categories-of-law.html
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The Righteous Requirements of the Law
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/11/righteous-requirements-of-law.html
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The Law and a New Creation
http://pold.blogspot.com/2005/11/law-and-new-creation.html
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To Begin the Module on Faith, Grace and the Law, click here

The Day of Judgment

.... When the Day of the Lord comes, God will judge us by His own, heavenly perspective, and this will decide our eternity. On that Day we’ll wish we’d anticipated this event from the beginning, and planned for it all along. And through this, the mind of Christ emerges:
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.... Jesus always spoke from an eternal perspective, and the Day of Judgment is the key to understanding His frame of reference. Everywhere in the Gospels, and especially in Matthew’s Gospel, He would summarize His teachings by casting them in this light:

.... ". . . It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in that day, than for you . . . whoever receives a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward . . . the men of Nineveh and the queen of the south shall rise in the judgment against this generation . . . whoever confesses Me before men, I will confess before My Father in heaven . . . how hardly shall a rich man enter into the kingdom of heaven!"
.... To stand before God on the Day of Judgment is the ultimate goal of our entire life, and the supreme intention behind every instruction that Jesus gave us. So let us understand exactly what our Lord envisions, pertaining to the Judgment itself:
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.... From the beginning of time, God ordained a Day in which He alone would be exalted. It is that great and final day, the Day of Judgment. It is a Day that will count for all days, when everything in creation will be reviewed and judged, that God may be exalted in relation to everything that has ever been. Aptly it is called ‘the Day of the Lord’.
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.... As creation occurred and progressed, as history unfolded through the manifold workings of God, the outcome of the ages has always moved toward this goal. So to understand the beginning and all that has ever followed, from the heavenly perspective, we must discern it in this light and consider how these things will glorify God on that Day.
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....
Those things that in our lives that glorify our heavenly Father will be rewarded, for they will complement the mighty purpose of that Day. But God will also be glorified in relation to proud and boastful things, by destroying them in the judgment of that Day:
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.... "The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted on that day."

.... "that, as it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.’"
(Isaiah 2:11; 1 Corinthians 1:31)

....
This is the message that Jesus cries, "that the glory of the LORD may be revealed," and He is telling us how to prepare for it (Isaiah 40:5). Through this, He is showing us how to bring forth fruit to eternal life. Understanding this perspective is one of the very great keys to grasping the mind of Christ, and we will discuss it further in our next posting.

To proceed to the next lesson, click here

Daily Bible Reading: John 21

Links for the Oracles of God - Part 2

The Deep Things of God
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Beholding in a Mirror
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The Sufferings and the Glory
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The Letter is Born
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Raising the Spirit from the Letter
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To Begin the Oracles of God - Part 2 Module, click here

The Eternal Perspective of Christ

.... Having obtained a window into Jesus’ thoughts through our first precept, true representation, we are now challenged to interpret His thoughts correctly. Jesus sees things from a different perspective, so to understand Him we must appreciate His frame of reference. And fortunately, God has provided an exact analogy to explain this:

.... "‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’."

(Isaiah 55:8-9)

.... God’s ways are higher because they have descended from above, from a heavenly perspective, and they are designed to meet heavenly goals. But man’s ways are always temporal, focused on the things of this world (John 3:31). These are the two frames of reference, and here's how they effect us differently:
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.... Because man is earthly, he speaks of the earth, and his goals match his earthly surroundings. He walks by the sight of his eyes (John 3:31). With never a thought for eternal consequences, he desires the things of this world. He yearns to get ahead in life; he seeks the temporal advantage: he pursues material gain.
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.... Yet Christ is from above, and testifies what He has seen and heard. He walks by a higher perspective, that is, a heavenly: "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Through His teachings, Jesus always looked beyond the temporal to envision heavenly results – those which bring forth fruit to eternal life:

.... "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."

(John 6:27)

.... Let’s consider the outcome of the two perspectives in the short run and long run. A worldly focus may seem wise enough for this lifetime - and indeed, there are times when it may even seem wiser (Luke 16:8). But one day Jesus will return to reign on the earth, and the entire world system as we know it will pass away (Revelation 11:15). When this occurs and the old system is gone, the wisdom that pertained to that world will be cast adrift; there will no longer be a context in which it makes sense.
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.... Instead, the great Day of the Lord will come, and everything we have said or done will be reviewed by this higher, heavenly context, for our judgment. Here we will understand that our life was short, like a breath, and instead of seeking a result for the day itself, we should have envisioned this day, and prepared for it all along:

.... "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"

(Matthew 16:26x24-26)

.... This is the eternal perspective of Christ, the persistent frame of reference for everything He said or did. We will discuss this further in our next posting.

To proceed to the next lesson, click here

Daily Bible Reading: John 20

The Mind of Christ

.... After preaching the Sermon on the Mount, as He returned to Capernaum, Jesus was approached by a leper who fell down and worshiped Him. And he said to Him: "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean." (Matthew 8:2).
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.... Jesus had healed many people by this time, but he had never before encountered a leper -- and this particular man at a very advanced stage of the disease. The disciples must have wondered what He would do. Yet Jesus was moved with compassion and reached out His hand to touch Him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." and immediately the leprosy departed from him.
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.... Let's think about this for a minute! Here was the greatest miracle that Jesus had performed to date! His disciples must have been astonished beyond measure, and overcome with awe! Yet Jesus responded to the man by saying:

.... "See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them."

(Matthew 8:4)

.... Jesus commanded him not to tell anyone! The first time I read this, as a young Chrisatian, it thoroughly puzzled my way of thinking; but at the same time, something about the episode rang true in my heart. For I somehow knew, much deeper inside, that here was the spirit and life of the New Testament itself.
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.... Or let's discuss another example. Jesus was taken by lawless hands, was bound, and brought to a mock trial. But through it all, He held His peace. He was beaten, buffeted, and mocked -- yet He remained silent to His accusers and tormentors.
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.... As the mockery continued, His opponents grew vehement. Finally, they condemned Him on the charge of blasphemy. Now picture being Jesus, and the verdict on your life was "Blasphemy!" What could be more personally antagonistic to Him? How much more personal and nasty could they get? Yet even now, He held His peace.
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.... Next He was taken before Pilate who marveled that He would still answer nothing! He was scourged, beaten, and held to public ridicule, then crucified. And now at last He found something to say:

.... "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."

(Luke 23:34)

.... What is in the mind of Christ, so that He behaves in such ways? And who else but Jesus would say to us, and mean it:

.... "And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell."

(Matthew 5:30)

.... Jesus thinks in terms that are very different from our own, chiefly in His motivation and perspective. Each of these examples will be addressed and explained in the following postings. (Sorry to leave you hanging, but there are some further thoughts in the 'comments' section)


To proceed to the next lesson, click here

Daily Bible Reading: John 19

The Analytical Framework

.... In our previous postings we've discussed the concept of True Representation in two parts: first, that Jesus spoke from the abundance of His heart, so that His words expressed His character truly; and second, that He was moved to action from the depths of His character, so that His deeds revealed His heart and mind as well:

.... "For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."

(Luke 6:44-45)

.... Understanding this concept allows us to glimpse of the mind of Christ beneath His words or deeds, as we trace them back to His heavenly character: the wellspring that produced them. To do this we might ask ourselves: "What is His heart like, and therefore He did what He did? Or what can we tell of His character through His words?" This approach is called a process of inversion, so let’s discuss it further by way of a helpful analogy:.

7 + 5 = ___

..... In the example above we have a simple math equation. We know there is a relationship between the first two numbers (7 & 5) and the third number, the total, which is still missing. As long as we understand this relationship to be so, we can easily surmise that the missing number is 12. It simply adds up. 7 + 5 = 12. But by using the mirror image of this same, basic logic we can also invert the process, working our way backward from the total toward the beginning:
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7 + __ = 12
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. ......................................or even,
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__ + 5 = 12
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.... Because we are sure that these three numbers are still related, we know that any two of them, considered together, will still help us understand the shape of the third. And through these examples we've gradually returned our focus to the original number, which is 7. Now let’s apply this analogy to our principle of true representation, to show how the words and deeds of Jesus become our starting point in the process of inversion, to eventually illuminate the underlying traits of His character:.
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.........7...+ ..5...= ..12 ........

Character + terms of thought = living expression
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.... Through this process, we understand that the words and deeds of Jesus (the 'living expression') are the product of His character in conjunction with His basic terms of thought, because there is always a clear relationship between these elements. This also means that, in order to work our way back from His His living expressions to His underlying character, we must also grasp an intermediate stage, His basic mindset, or the standard terms in which He thinks, so let's introduce them:
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.... Jesus' terms of thought include two constant elements that will never change. These are His motivation and His perspective. In a purely intuitive sense, we've probably picked up on something about them already, but in another sense they may always seem to elude us, so we will begin to explore them further in our next postings. But in closing this posting, let's consider the ultimate purpose in discerning His subjectivity, which Jesus Himself went on to describe in the same passage:

.... "A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher."

(Luke 6:40)

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.... In other words, Jesus was more to us than simply a teacher; by intention He is our very lesson. To be perfectly trained is to become like Him. So to grasp the underlying lessons of His character as the source of His words or deeds is to gain the great insights and keys to our own transformation, that we may eventually become like Him.

To proceed to the next lesson, click here

Daily Bible Reading: John 18

Messianic Prophecy

.... The early church had existed for about thirty years before any of the New Testament was written. During that time they followed the doctrine of the apostles, and their only ‘Bible' was the Old Testament's Messianic prophecy. It was here that they proved and confirmed the apostle's words, and obtained the final verdict for defining who Jesus was:
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.... "having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone."

(Ephesians 2:20; see also Acts 17:11)

.... The joint testimony of Jesus, between the prophetic and apostolic perspectives, became the foundation of our understanding in Christ, for He Himself was the chief cornerstone of all their meaning. In fact the prophecy and the fulfillment, taken together, were designed to match, balance, and enrich each other in pointing us to Him (Isaiah 34:16).
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.... As we have seen from our previous postings, seeking the subjectivity of Jesus will bring us to a deeper type of study -- but it will also open the door for a new dimension of ministry in our lives. For the Scriptures alone, when studied as an end in themselves, will produce death; but when they are used to seek the testimony of Jesus, they'll illuminate the spirit and the life:

.... ". . . For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

(Revelation 19:10)

.... So let's think about this whole puzzle, put the pieces together, and look at the overall ministry this brings. When we search the Scriptures for the heart and mind of Jesus, we break into the realm where He may be spiritually known and where His life may be ministered in our own hearts. This would be true from both the Old and New Testament perspectives (Revelation 19:10; 2 Corinthians 3:6,17). Therefore when both of these perspectives are weighed together – the prophecy and fulfillment – so that we are seeing the spiritual side of each passage in showing us Jesus, we may ‘compare spiritual things with spiritual' in our study of Him (1 Corinthians 2:13).
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.... Through these complementary comparisons we are given a fuller glimpse into Jesus' character and a better overall ‘feel' for His meaning and application. Meditating on both perspectives together will greatly help us in becoming acquainted with Him, as opposed to having only one of the two perspectives (see Acts 18:27-28). The benefit is like seeing Him with one eye only, which will give a clear enough picture, or with two eyes together, which will add depth perception.
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.... Furthermore, since God expressed His intentions through the prophecy, and Jesus acted on those intentions, there was a living connection between them, which will emerge through the comparisons:

.... "Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights!"

(Isaiah 42:1)

.... "I delight to do Your will, O My God, and Your law is within My heart!"

(Psalm 40:8)

.... Comparing the two perspectives allows us to appreciate this living connection, and even to share in it, as sons and joint heirs of God through Jesus. The entire approach of spiritual comparisons helps us define His character as the source of His words and deeds, making Jesus Himself the true lesson. And through this type of learning we are transformed, to become more and more ‘like our teacher' (Luke 6:40). We will discuss this further in our next posting.

To proceed to the next lesson, click here

Daily Bible Reading: John 17

Spiritual Comparisons

.... In our previous two postings we discussed how the heart and mind of Jesus are revealed through His words and deeds (Luke 6:44-45). But to discern those lessons of His subjectivity, we must trace those manifestations back to the heavenly character that produced them. ‘What is His heart like, and therefore He did what He did? Or what can I tell of His heart through His words?’
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.... Through this thoughtful inversion we obtain our first impression to work with, an initial ‘feel’ for what His character is like. To develop the impression further and help define it, the Holy Spirit will assist us with comparisons to other Scripures that are similar in concept. And through these thoughtful comparisons, the inward nature of Jesus will become clearer to our understanding:

.... “These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

(1 Corinthians 2:13)

.... In fact, God has provided a very detailed range of Scriptural comparisons to help us under- stand the mind of Christ. If we are able to locate the prophecies that foretold each event, we will find the perfect matches for our study purposes. Everything Jesus said or did was foretold by the Old Testament prophets (Amos 3:7), and those prophecies were designed to be compared with His life one day:

.... “Search from the book of the LORD, and read: not one of these shall fail; not one shall lack her mate. For My mouth has commanded it, and His Spirit has gathered them.”

(Isaiah 34:16)

.... Think about it. Through the Messianic prophecy, God’s Divine intentions were being expressed; and when Jesus fulfilled those Scriptures, He was acting on those intentions. Through this, their minds matched very naturally, providing us with two highly complementary perspectives on the same events. Furthermore, a much stricter line of interpretation became necessary to uphold the correlation, which is our safety net for getting it right. In every way, these perspectives should balance each other, illuminate each other and fill in the entire picture for us.
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.... Probably a brief example would be in order, so let’s choose the story of the anointing at Bethany (Matthew 26:6-16). By comparing the Old and New Testament perspectives we'll find further insights into Jesus’ heart.
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.... In Bethany, in the house of Simon, Jesus sat at a great feast, His disciples being with Him – and Judas Iscariot, who would betray Him. The plan had fully formed in Judas’ mind as he ate his bread in the Lord’s presence. Arising from this table, he would go to Jesus’ enemies to bargain against Him for His life.
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.... Jesus knew from the beginning who did not believe, and the one who would betray Him. Alas for Judas, who even now avoided His gaze! Unspoken words lie between them. And in the quiet conflict of that moment came a woman, bearing a flask of oil to anointed Him in their midst:.


"You prepare a table before Me in the presence of My enemies: You anoint My head with oil; My cup runs over.”

(Psalm 23:5)

.... Three matching elements (the feast, the presence of the enemy, and the anointing oil) may be clearly seen. But Psalm 23 also gives further definition to Jesus' inward thoughts: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (v 24). Additional insights maybe found in the same passage, but since the psalm is so well known we will leave this for the reader to contemplate.
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To proceed to the next lesson, click here

Daily Bible Reading: John 16

True Representation - Part 2

.... In our previous posting we described how the subjectivity of Christ is revealed through His words. This was based on Luke 6:45: "Out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." Through a process of inversion, Jesus’ words may be thoughtfully pondered, retraced through His terms of thought, and back to the heavenly character that produced them.
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.... In a similar way, we can learn of His subjectivity through His conduct. For in the same passage, Jesus told us that "A tree is known by its fruits" (Luke 6:44; see also Psalm 9:16). As the perfect example of this metaphor, Jesus Himself would act from the basis of His character, so that His actions would always represent Him truly:

.... "He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak."

(Isaiah 59:16-17; Psalm 40:7)

.... In other words, based on Jesus’ conduct we may ask ourselves, "What sort of Person is He, and therefore He did what He did? Or what can be seen of His character through His deeds?" (Psalm 9:16). As we approach this study prayerfully, the Holy Spirit will assist us by bringing His subjectivity into view.
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.... Or again, in a respectful, exploratory way, we may seek further definition through contrast: "Why did He do this, instead of doing something else?" As we consider the alternatives in this way, the Holy Spirit will vindicate the subjectivity of Christ by illuminating the flaws that were avoided. In a back-door sort of way this highlights His character and shows us the principles that were upheld, which can help us understand the wisdom in Jesus’ decisions.
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.... Each time Jesus spoke or acted, another and another facet of His character was expressed and focused into application-- revealed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). These are the proofs of His inward nature, and this approach will help us focus on Him as the object of our Christian growth. In fact, in the same passage where these tools were described, Jesus anticipated this purpose:

.... "A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher."

(Luke 6:40)

.... In other words, Jesus is more than a Masterful Teacher. By intention, He is the very lesson. To be perfectly trained is to become like Him. Jesus is the pattern for Christian growth, both individually and corporately within His body, the church (Ephesians 4:15-16).
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.... When the lessons of His character are taken to heart and transformation occurs, Christlike conduct will flow from our own hearts naturally, just as fruit would grow naturally from a tree (Jeremaih 31:33-34; Romans 3:31).

.... "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

(Romans 12:2)

To proceed to the next lesson, click here

Daily Bible Reading: John 15

True Representation - Part 1

.... The Scriptures have offered three precepts for discerning the subjectivity of Jesus, that we may 'learn Christ' in our study and become like Him (Matthew 11:29; [Ephesians 4:20-24]) The first of these precepts, called true representation, shows us His heart and mind through more tangible equivalencies – that is to say, through His words and deeds.
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.... If you'll think about this for a moment, you’ll see the point quite clearly. While Jesus’ thoughts and His feelings were intangible, His words could be heard and His deeds could be seen, and that is much more tangible. Both His words and deeds bear the true image of the deeper, Divine nature that produced them, so they contain the perfect insights for becoming acquainted with Him.
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.... Jesus anticipated this very approach when He told us that 'from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks' (Luke 6:45). In other words, a person’s heart is truly expressed through their words – and this is especially true of Jesus Himself. In fact, the very first time this concept appeared in Scripture was in a prophecy that foretold Him:

.... "Then I said, ‘Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of Me. I delight to do Your will, O My God, and Your law is within My heart.’ I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness in the great congregation; indeed, I do not restrain My lips, O Lord, You Yourself know. I have not hidden Your righteousness within My heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation."

(Psalm 40:7-10; Hebrews 10:5-7)

.... Here is how this type of study might proceed. When Jesus spoke on any topic, we could learn of that topic, of course; but we could also employ a process of inversion. Through the inversion, His lessons would be thoughtfully pondered, retraced through His terms of thought, and back to the heavenly character that produced them: .

.... "What is His heart like, and therefore He speaks as He does? Or what can be seen of His heart through His words?"

.... The whole process returns our attention to Jesus Himself as the source, to illuminate His character as the true lesson. .
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.... As we focus our attention on Him in this way, and meditate prayerfully (which is the living part of this connection), a first impression will begin to emerge. This will be our initial ‘feel’ for His character in the particular incident we are exploring. The impression may seem intuitive at first, but it can be refined and improved through further meditation and discovery. For example, it may be thought- fully compared to other Scriptures that are similar in concept (1 Corinthians 2:13).
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.... In a manner that does not dispute the truth, but seeks to explore it further, we may also develop the impression through thoughtful contrasts and comparisons: "Why did He say this, instead of something else?" Exploring the alternatives in this way can help nudge us in the right direction, like a process of elimination, as the Holy Spirit vindicates Jesus' character by showing us why this particular route was chosen over another:.

.... "For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God."

(1 Corinthans 2:11)

.... Through this whole process, including our meditation and prayer, the character of Christ will become much clearer to our mind, and will acquire further definition within our own spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 2:5). The more we think and pray about it, the more the character of Jesus will emerge as the true lesson. In fact, we will soon find that we have gone beyond merely learning lessons, and we are now ‘learning Christ’ in our study -- which is also the first step to becoming more like Him (see [Ephesians 4:20-24]; 1 John 3:2).

.... "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."

(Matthew 11:29 KJV)

.... We will continue this discussion in our next posting.

To proceed to the next lesson, click here

Daily Bible Reading: John 14

Precepts for the Mind of Christ

.... Each time Jesus spoke on a topic, we could learn of that topic; but the deeper lessons of His subjectivity could also be gleaned through the very same words. The subjectivity of God was revealed through Christ, and grasping this perspective will provide us with living insights for knowing Him better, that we may become more like Him:

.... ". . . put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him. . . be renewed in the spirit of your mind . . ."

(Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 4:23-24)

.... A careful study of Scripture shows three precepts that will help us understand the subjectivity of Christ more clearly. The first of our precepts, true representation, shows Jesus’ heart and mind through more tangible equivalencies. The second, eternal perspective, offers a basis for interpreting His intentions. These will combine with our third precept, Divine motivation, to translate His perspective into action in accordance with the attitudes of His heart. Taken together, they offer a highly capable framework for understanding His terms of thought.
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.... Next to the gospel itself, these precepts are likely to impact your walk with God more than anything else you will ever learn. Each will be discussed in turn over the following postings.

To proceed to the next lesson, click here

Daily Bible Reading: John 13

The Subjectivity of Christ

.... In our previous posting we discussed how the teachings of Jesus can always be understood at two different levels: the objective and the subjective (meaning His subjectivity, not ours). The objective level offers instruction for governing our outward conduct; the subjective has to do with learning the heart and mind of Christ, and seeks to cultivate the same heart and mind within us. Through this, a very close relationship with Him is formed.

.... Jesus used this dual approach in teaching the apostles, so let’s use their lives as an example to demonstrate the concept. When Jesus taught the twelve, He told them all things that the Father had shown Him (John 15:15). As He expounded on those topics, they learned about them. This was the objective level of teaching. But now let’s recall the context in which their learning took place:

.... "Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach."

(Mark 3:14)

.... As the apostles walked with Jesus they continued with Him in His trials (Luke 22:28). Through this they came to know Him in a very personal way, which formed a living framework for His meaning. We use the same concept today when we say of a close friend, "I’ve known him for a long time; I think I know what he meant by that."

.... Furthermore, the relation- ship transformed them. The rightness of His own heart and mind won them over progressively, from glory to glory, as they came to appreciate each new facet of character they perceived in Him (Colossians 3:10). As they absorbed these living lessons through the trials and hardships they shared, they found highly similar applications which helped in their transformation. Soon, those aspects of His character were ingrained into their own characters was well (2 Corinthians 3:18).

.... "And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning."

(John 15:27x26)

.... By the end of their lessons, it was evident that the apostles had been with Jesus, for the mark of His character was upon them (Acts 4:13). Through their own ministry now, Jesus would be preached as the Holy Spirit Himself spoke of Him -- bearing witness with familiarity -- so that the effects and impressions of His life would be reproduced in those who heard them. In this way they became living epistles of Christ, as the same process continued through them, toward others (John 14:27x26; 2 Corinthians 3:3; 2 Timothy 2:1-2).

.... The apostle’s curriculum remains a model for our learning today (1 Corinthians 11:1). In the next postings we’ll explore this perspective through a series of precepts that will help us focus on the Divine nature of Christ, as it is faithfully conveyed through His lessons.

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Daily Bible Reading: John 12

Objective and Subjective Learning


.... You may not be aware of this, but each passage in Scripture contains two distinct types of lessons. This also means there are two ways to study the Scriptures and to benefit from them. Both ways are good, but one is frequently overlooked. To explain this concept more fully, let’s focus on the teachings of Jesus Himself:

..... During His time on the earth, Jesus discussed many topics. Each time He did so we could learn of those topics, and by applying those lessons we could display good conduct in our lives. This is called the objective lesson. It adds to our knowledge and provides basic instruction in righteousness:
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.... "The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD."

(Isaiah 11:2)
.... The second type of lesson is found within the very same words. For a little deeper down is the living fountain from which they spring, the well of Divine character, motivation and perspective that brought them forth: the spirit and life of the Scriptures as they reflect the Lord's personality. This is called the subjective lesson (meaning His subjectivity, not ours).



.... "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."
(Matthew 11:29-30 KJV)
.... In fact, the Holy Spirit teaches us in both of these same ways. For in the objective sense, He brings to our remembrance the things Jesus taught us and uses this knowledge to guide us into all truth (John 14:26; 16:13). But in all of our learning, He also testifies of Jesus Himself in a deeper, much more personal way that demonstrates His familiarity with Him. This is the subjective lesson, and He uses this sort of insight to promote the same relationship within us:
.... "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning."
(John 15:27)
.... The lessons of Jesus' subjectivity require some meditation. One must discern this perspective and muse upon it to truly appreciate it, so at first it may seem intuitive. We must develop a ‘feel’ for it, as they say. Yet the same precise knowledge contained in the passage, especially when compared with similar passages, will guide our insights and help us define them correctly:

.... "These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual."
(1 Corinthans 2:13)
....
We will discuss this perspective further in our next posting. See also the special example in the ‘comments’ section.
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Daily Bible Reading: John 11