Free or Bond: What Are You?

Galatians 4:16-17 KJV
[16] Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
[17] They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.
[18] But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.

[19] My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, [20] I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.

[21] Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? [22] For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. [23] But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. [24] Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. [25] For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

[26] But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. [27] For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.

[28] Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. [29] But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. [30] Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. [31] So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

Let that sink in.

The Adoption

Galatians 4:1-5 KJV
[1] Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; [2] But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. [3] Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: [4] But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, [5] To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Let that sink in.

The Wise Don’t, Can’t Sell

Prayerfully read Matthew 25:6-13 (King James Version).

6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

I couldn’t help but notice that when the foolish virgins approached the wise, they asked them to give what they had to them. They did not even ask them to sell what they had. But when the foolish left the wise, the foolish went out to buy. This puts the wise in that category of those will not be allowed to buy or sell, because they would not receive the mark or name of the beast or the number of his name.

Now read Rev 13, especially verse 17: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Let us watch and pray and examine ourselves, that we may be found in the camp of the wise, who don’t compromise GOD’s Word and then for some contrived reason won’t be allowed and therefore cannot buy or sell anything else in this world just before the Great and Awesome Day of the LORD’s Coming.

Let’s be wise and ready—in the name of Jesus.

Meat

Our physical and spiritual meat (food) must be the meat God first made and provided for His created beings: The Word and the Law of God.

God is in the process of restoring His people unto His image. This was how it was in the beginning, before Adam and his wife sinned.

The spiritual sight of man will be no greater than the spiritual meat (food) they are eating. The physical meat (food) of man will bring no healing nor any nutritional value; It will give no strengthening nor power to the body systems, if the spiritual meat (food) is not built on truth, the law, the light. And that is every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. That is what God blessed for His created beings to receive healing and health, or to maintain health and healing, as we live in this world.

Spiritual meat affects our decision-making. Therefore, we must determine to eat only the very best God made for our physical body. For spiritual things are spiritually discerned.

Let that sink in.

Smoke Screens: Don’t Be Distracted

There is more and more that surfaces and hits the headlines to distract the people of God.

Let our hearts (minds) remain focused upon God, the Lifter-Up of our heads. And let our eyes be light that our whole bodies—our very existence—be clothed with Christ righteousness. Then His glory will shine through us, as it did through Moses, after he spent long quality time with God in His holy mountain, on Holy ground.

The Most Holy place of God, where He seeks to dwell in is in our minds. It is in our minds that we sup with God, dining at His feet, humbled before Him, partaking of His word, eating it. We long for it more than for our necessary (physical) food.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Oh, let us abide in the secret place of our God, our Creator, our Maker. Then, we will not fall to deception and be deceived by all the distractions around us.

Read Psalm 91. By faith and the grace of God, you may walk in the light of the Lord. Go on. Don’t be distracted. Spend long quality time with Him, in your mind, in His Word. No one and nothing will be able to deceive you. Every fiery dart of the wicked hurled at you, He will quench.

Joseph and Mary: Were They Married?

I was always a bit bothered (actually, more than a bit bothered) by the commonly understood interpretation of Matthew 1:18-20, and Luke 2:4-7.

It was, and perhaps still is, taught that Mary and Joseph were only engaged during this period. They were not actually married. In fact, I was told that they were somewhere in between, since an engagement during that era was taken more seriously than is common now. And when the Scripture says that Joseph “was minded to put her away privily,” instead of it meaning that he sought to divorce her, it really meant that he was seeking to break off the engagement. Indeed, my current Bible notes that “espoused” in Matthew 1:18, technically means “engaged to marry.” And “espoused wife” in Luke 2:5, means “engaged.”

There are a couple of problems with that interpretation, which, thankfully, is resolved by both the etymology of the word and the Word Itself—the Bible. One problem is the immoral message it sends about Joseph and Mary seeking “a room” in Bethlehem and receiving guests after Christ’s birth, presumably as a still unmarried couple. With never any mention of an official marriage, they eventually present their son JESUS in the temple at Jerusalem, when it could be said that they then effectively and officially presented themselves as a family.

We have no details of their sojourn in Egypt, where they fled from the murderous intent of King Herod and where some official marriage could then have happened. Nevertheless, finally “they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth” (Luke 2:39), while Jesus was still a child. Still, there was no mention of even a wedding feast for the extraordinary couple.

Another problem is that of discounting and even obliterating the message of the angel to Joseph. The angel clearly commands Joseph, “Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife” (Matthew 1:20). Why wouldn’t the angel rather say something less definitive than wife? Maybe because there was no further need of explanation. Matthew, who quotes the angel, also definitively calls Joseph “her husband” in verse 18. That ought to be clear enough to mean that Mary and Joseph are already married, at least in the sight of the Holy and Almighty God. That must at least mean that their marriage is recorded in Heaven.

Consider this. Etymologically, “the words ‘espouse’ and ‘spouse’ are related, both deriving from the Latin verb spondēre, meaning ‘to promise or betroth.’ In fact, the two were once completely interchangeable, with each serving as a noun meaning ‘a newly married person’ or ‘a husband or wife’ and also as a verb meaning ‘to marry.’” [“Espouse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/espouse. Accessed 24 Aug. 2021.]

Therefore the word “espoused” for both Matthew 1:18 and Luke 2:5, is better read “newlywed.” In both cases, they were married. They had not, however, sexually consummated the marriage. And Joseph, probably angry and hurt and disappointed with Mary and fearful to face the world under such circumstances, refused to keep her as his pregnant wife, when he knew for a fact that it wasn’t his child. He was convinced that he should divorce her. But to somehow “save” her (himself, really) from public embarrassment, he decided to do it in some secret way. That is when God stepped in to correct his near gross error.

Now some could retort that Joseph and Mary had not even lived together under one roof yet. That could be true. But it does not negate the fact a couple could indeed have been married, but for some reason had not made the physical move to live under one roof. For many various reasons, that still happens.

Interestingly, there is evidence of that very thing happening earlier. Espoused in the Old Testament appears once when David demands the presence of his wife Michal, for whom he had already fulfilled his marital obligation. He demanded that his wife be relocated to his place of residence. He wanted to receive his wife under his own roof and claim her as his own. (Read 2 Samuel 3:14.)

Espoused, substituted by either of these terms (married, newlywed, nuptially contracted, or given in marriage) works better than our usual understanding of the expression “engaged to marry.” Try it, prayerfully. Confirm for yourself that it makes sense. All other questions become immediately resolved.

Our Heart’s/Mind’s Focus

Let us eat the word and the best diet God gave us that we be restored unto His image.

Philippians 4:8-9 KJV
[8] Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. [9] Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

We by faith choose daily to sit at the feet of God and learn of Him in His word, being led of the Holy Spirit; we are taught God’s love His character. By beholding Him in His word, we become changed.

O woe unto you who abhor change. Do you know that if you do not become changed by God; you cannot not enter His kingdom, be one with Him?

Let us realize the fact of the matter is our bodies do not belong to us. Our thoughts depend heavily upon what we are feeding upon each day. Eating was the choice of our first earthly parents to eat what God commanded them not to eat that brought forth death upon all; and put the plan of salvation into action. A simple choice to disobey God by eating put Jesus on the cross. Eating.

The words below speak volumes, and is in harmony with God’s word on our eating affecting our minds and bodies spiritually and physically.

Our bodies are built up from what we eat and drink, and the character of our spiritual experience depends on what our minds feed upon and
assimilate.

By continually dwelling upon the mistakes and defects of others, many become religious dyspeptics.

The Lord has bidden us,
“Whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,
think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

But those who are so busy in dissecting the words and acts of others to discover all that is objectionable fail to discern the good and pleasant
things. They do not eat of the proper food to promote spiritual vitality and healthy growth.

If we keep uppermost in our minds the unkind and unjust acts of others, we shall find it impossible to love them as Christ has loved us; but if our thoughts dwell upon the wondrous love and pity of Christ for us, the same spirit will flow out to others.

We should love and respect one another, notwithstanding the faults and imperfections that we cannot help seeing.

Humility and self-distrust should be cultivated,
and a patient tenderness with the faults of others. This will kill out all narrowing selfishness and make us largehearted and generous.

  • Mind, Character, and Personality Volume 2, 635.

Judge Yourself

What are the characteristics of Satan? What actually caused war in heaven? Why couldn’t Satan remain in heaven? And why can’t Satan ever return to Heaven? The answers to all of these questions are the same: self, self-righteousness, self-indulgence, lying, deceit, disobedience, and the inciting of confusion, fear and rebellion to the laws of God. Satan absolutely did not want to be governed by the laws of God.

Do you have the same characteristics? Do you find yourself rebelling against God, even though you call on the name of God? Know this: Light and darkness cannot co-inhabit the soul. There is only light or darkness. God says He is Light and in Him is no darkness at all. (Read 1 John 1:5.) Sin is darkness. Sin is disobedience to God. Sin is the transgression of the law of God. (Read 1 John 3:4.) Which side do you stand? Judge yourself.

The Called

God calls all. He is no respecter of persons. Yet, God knows the end from the beginning. His chosen are those He calls according to His purpose, and they answer Him. They love Him and choose by faith God’s power to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. These have the discernment of Jesus. They hear His voice and do what He says through the power of the Holy Ghost and with the faith of Jesus.

Let that sink in.

The professors of God are not so. These profess to be the called according to God’s purpose. These resemble the called and seem to have answered the call. They don’t all realize, however, that they are not the called.

They may even dissect and judge others who are led of the Holy Spirit and tell them who and what they are not. Yet, being blind, they do not perceive their own state. They think they are being deep, as they so claim; but they don’t have a clue. This is so very dangerous, because these are souls calling out the Holy Spirit to be of sin, while claiming their spirit is of God. Instead, this is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. There is no forgiveness for this sin.

Professors ask questions, but reject truthful answers. Truth angers them, because they then see their own reality. They see in themselves that which they have judged and falsely labeled in others.

There is a saying: “Hurting people, hurt people.” This is true, if you are choosing to walk in darkness. This is true, if you are choosing to embrace the behavior of the world. This is true, if you are choosing to reflect in yourself the character of the destroyer of character, instead of the Master Restorer, who grants us His image and helps us walk uprightly.

The professors and the “I know truth, but . . .” are really the same.

Then there are those who do not know God; but based on lies, tradition, self, they think that they do. These and others will see the called according to God’s purpose and see their walk or their talk. And they are jealous (some are even angry) that their walk is not as they know it should be. They will dissect those living by faith and the power of God. They will speak as though they have divine discernment of God (and deceive many, including themselves). In this supposed state of divine discernment, they judge others. Yet, they really are revealing their own state of heart (mind).

Those who love God and are called according to His purpose speak by the grace of God through the Holy Ghost. As the Spirit gives them utterance to speak, they speak as boldly as they ought. The called know when God is leading them. This is a learned walk by experience as the soul becomes changed by God, by beholding God in His Word day and night—especially through life’s storms of tragedy, death, calamities, suffering, disappointments, and injustices.

Every soul has her/his own heart (mind) to search out. Every soul must receive understanding from God concerning the actual life lived by faith. Every soul must choose to accept God’s gift of salvation, giving up selfishness, dying to self and self-willfulness. Every soul must consent to being governed completely by God with no assistance nor interference from self. Every soul must be persuaded in his/her own mind of Truth or of an outright lie, or of a lie mingled with the truth. Regardless, 99.99% truth and .01% lie is still 100% lie.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 KJV
[3] For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; [4] And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

We are to preach (talk and walk) the gospel which is the good news. But what is the good news? What is the gospel? It is the power of God unto salvation. This is a walk like no other walk. And there are few who actually talk and walk the journey of this strait gate and narrow way. But all things are possible with God.

We each take someone with us: either to the kingdom of God or to eternal death.

God is seeking to reach people, who are rejecting Him one way or the other.

Remember this:

John 10:3-5 KJV
[3] To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. [4] And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

[5] And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

God loves all—no matter our sins. But His love does not force conviction of truth unto repentance, unto the forsaking of sin. God does not force us to love (obey) Him. The called of God according to His purpose loves all, no matter if hate, jealously, anger, persecution is the response. The called pray for their enemies to be saved. They ask God to forgive them. All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But thank God for His grace and for His deliverance that we do not continue in sin. For if we love Him, we will not continue in sin. Children of God measure and live their lives daily by God’s Word. They are not doing it by their own strength. God is doing it in them through His Spirit. If their life, if their witness, if their talk and their walk bothers or angers another, the one bothered must ask and answer these questions. What really is going on? Who is it that they are really bothered and angered by? Is it the person or is it God?

Let that sink in.