I pray and hope that WE ARE BEING EDUCATED by the Word of God in Whole Truth Help. Never has there been a day like this day in which we need a strong and clear word in season. There is so much raging around us, so many attacks on the Word of God, and so many false winds of doctrine blowing in hurricane force. It is astonishing! We must help our people to get their faith feet strongly under them, and to be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them. Let God be true, and every man a liar. Blow the trumpet in Zion, and blow it hard, blow it often, and blow it long!
TO UNDERSTAND some basic things in this teaching, WE MUST GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING of time! Yes, understand something absolutely fundamental as the essence and meaning of life, and it is this:
“FROM THE VERY BEGINNING OF TIME, MAN WAS MADE TO HAVE
FELLOWSHIP, COMMUNION, WITH GOD AND GOD WITH HIM.”
If you will:
“MAN’S REASON FOR BEING ON THIS EARTH, IS TO DWELL
WITH GOD AND GOD WITH HIM.”
It all comes down to this, and we must get this way deep down inside us:
“MAN’S EXPRESS PURPOSE FOR BEING AT ALL, IS FOR GOD TO HAVE INTIMATE
FELLOWSHIP WITH MAN, AND FOR MAN TO HAVE INTIMATE
FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.”
That of course Satan wants to hide from man. Satan had tried to replace God as God, and he flopped. He got the boot out of Heaven, and his passion ever since is to get men to have fellowship with himself, and not with God. He has been far more successful on earth than he was in Heaven, even though he took 1/3 of the angels with him out of fellowship with God.The vast majority of humanity does not fellowship with God, but instead fellowships with the devil.
You have to hand it to Satan:
“THERE ARE MANY THEOLOGICAL ACADEMIANS WHO ARE FAR
MORE FAMILIAR WITH BIBLICAL RESEARCH THAN THEY
ARE WITH GOD OR THE BIBLE.”
“GOD DOES NOT WANT TO BE STUDIED AND DISSECTED AS AN
OBJECT, BUT WORSHIPPED AND COMMUNED WITH AS THE
GREAT AND ONLY GOD.”
These are the same “scholars” who submit that the Genesis creation account is allegory, and the miracles of Christ are myths with a meaning. Going to what are considered the “finest schools” in the country, is like visiting spiritual and moral graveyards. Not much fellowship going on with God there. Marxist Communists have screamed for centuries that GOD IS DEAD – many modern seminaries and churches are even more convincing.
“MAN’S WHOLE CREATED PURPOSE IN LIFE IS TO COMMUNE WITH
GOD AND GOD WITH HIH.”
If that ever sinks in, IT WILL REVOLUTIONIZE YOUR LIFE SINGULARLY AND COLLECTIVELY. That is why we read the purpose of the Gospel of Salvation in I John 1:3-4:
“TRULY, OUR FELLOWSHIP IS WITH THE FATHER, AND WITH HIS SON,
JESUS CHRIST. AND THESE THINGS WRITE WE UNTO YOU, THAT
YOUR JOY MAY BE MADE FULL.”
I. GOD AND ADAM
And so, THE VERY FIRST VERSES IN THE BIBLE DESCRIBE MAN AS HE WAS INTENDED TO BE. We read in Genesis. 3:8 that,
“GOD WALKED IN THE GARDEN IN THE COOL OF THE DAY.”
That’s it! Yes, that is stated after Adam and Eve HAD FALLEN INTO SIN, AND THEY WERE HIDING FROM GOD! But nonetheless it shows THE PURPOSE OF GOD WITH MAN, AND MAN WITH GOD FROM THE BEGINNING. God could have gone cloud walking. He could have gone star jumping. He could have gone planet hopping. He could have gone wind surfing. He didn’t. Instead, He went garden walking looking for fellowship with His image bearers. That is creation’s purpose, and it is redemption’s purpose. It was the purpose for the creation of the FIRST ADAM, and it is the recreative purpose of the LAST ADAM:
“THAT GOD AND MAN WALK TOGETHER, TALK TOGETHER, FELLOWSHIP
TOGETHER, AND LIVE TOGETHER FOREVER.”
Of course, in all of this, Satan got to man early, and as a result, man now has fellowship with his DOG, but not with GOD. Man by nature would rather walk his dog than go walking with God, any day. Man in his sinful state is a horizontal fellowshipper, not a vertical fellowshipper. He prefers talking to his dog rather than talking to God. He would rather ride with his dog, than ride with God. I’ve met many dog lovers, they live all around me. But real God lovers are few. Oh that Christians would love God half as much as unbelievers love their dogs. So we read in Romans 1:25,
“For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped
and served the CREATURE rather than the CREATOR,
Who is blessed forever. Amen.”
Come on now, let’s admit it, we push ourselves and our kids for good grades and the good life, as if that is the point of our being here. But the fact is:
“GOOD GRADES AND THE GOOD LIFE MEANING NOTHING WITHOUT
FELLOWSHIP WITH THE VERY GREAT AND GOOD GOD.”
Alger Hiss made good grades. Benedict Arnold and Vladimir Lenin were both very bright. Hear it:
“THE HONOR SUDENT MEANS NOTHING UNLESS HE HONORS GOD.”
“MAN’S ENTIRE HONOR IS BORN FROM THE FACT THAT HE WAS
CREATED TO HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH THE GOD OF
I tell you, no greater honor could be bestowed upon a redeemed sinner like me, than to have intimate fellowship with the Almighty God. It doesn’t get any more honorable than that.
So it is that we read Genesis 1:27,
“And God created man in His own image, in the image
of God He Created him; male and female He
Fact is, God formed Adam out of the dust of the ground. Once He had gathered the right amount of earth, God breathed into the man’s dirt-composed nose (nostrils), and suddenly this non-living mound of dirt was both sculpted and enlivened into guess what – THE LIKENESS OF GOD HIMSELF.
And be sure of this:
“THE PERFECT GOD WAS EXACT WHEN HE DREW HIS AWESOME
LIKENESS IN MAN.”
Earths’s first man and woman were beautiful and brilliant beyond anything we know. They were not club-wielding Neanderthal nitwits jumping around grunting, and eating wild berries on all fours. Aristotle was but the crumbs of Adam, and Greece in its philosophical heydey was nothing but a shadow of Eden. Adam and Eve had no struggle with memory. Their intellects found the answers as soon as they asked the questions. The doors to their minds opened without knocking. We date our ignorance from conception, while they dated their genius from the Divine LET THERE BE AND THERE WAS. Ignorance now is the misery of the mind, but then, it was understanding that was the ecstacy of the mind.
Man was created in God’s IMAGE/LIKENESS, and the awesome reality was this:
“IT WAS TO BE A HIGH AND HOLY COMMUNION NOT OF UNLIKENESS,
BUT OF DIVINE-HUMAN LIKENESS.”
“WHAT PRIVILEGE IS THIS, THAT DUST SHOULD BE GIVEN
THE DELIGHT OF LIKENESS-COMPANIONSHIP WITH
THE HOLY GOD.”
But tragically, this is not what Adam is known for. Adam became known as “THE MAN WHO WALKED AWAY FROM GOD.” God came to the Garden of Eden, and the awful sight hits us, as we find God walking alone. What is that all about?That is not the scene that God desired or intended. He came to fellowship with Adam in the cool of the day. The day was drawing to a close, and it is time for God and Adam to have fellowship together. Where is Adam? God had told him that if he ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he would die. He did and he died. He was cut off from God. He was hiding from God. Now in Adam all men hide from God and die! Everyone knows that down the road, a headstone awaits them like all the rest. Adam became “THE FIRST MAN OF THE FALLEN – DEAD – AND DYING HUMAN RACE.” But praise God the Bible gloriously tells us:
“AS IN ADAM ALL DIE, SO IN CHRIST SHALL ALL BE MADE ALIVE.”
We are each given a most gracious choice, whether we will be the children of the FIRST ADAM, or we will be the children of the SECOND ADAM – JESUS CHRIST. Whose child are you?
II. GOD AND ENOCH
Then, after the Fall of man, between Creation and the Flood, there is a world, a whole eon of time, that we know little about from Adam to Noah! But, we catch glimpses of the same PURPOSE, as in the life of Enoch, as we read in Genesis 5:22-24,
“Then Enoch WALKED WITH GOD three hundred years after he became
the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters.”
“So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years.”
“And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.”
Finally God found someone who really wanted to WALK WITH HIM. He is so thrilled that He states it twice. God is not absent-mindedly repeating Himself. No, no, He is intentionally restating that which He could not find in the Garden of Eden. Three hundred years of walking with God did Enoch, mind you. Adam didn’t walk with God for even a day, when he instead walked away. How that stuck painfully deep in the mind of God. So He jubilantly announces twice over this 300 YEAR WALK OF ENOCH WITH HIMSELF. Feel the heart of God here! Listen to it beat! There is such excitement in the air. God’s is not walking alone on earth anymore. Now the earth no longer looks totally out of sync with Him. It is a sight worth looking at, and then imitating starting now.
Are you and I walking with God? I am not talking about sending God occasional prayers from a distant religious outpost. I am not talking about emailing God. I am talking about heart-to-heart, step by step, hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, intimate communion with God.
I LOVE THE WAY THE LITTLE SUNDAY SCHOOL GIRL TOLD IT. SHE SAID:
“ENOCH WAS A MAN WHO LEARNED TO WALK WITH GOD, AND THEY USED TO TAKE LONG WALKS TOGETHER. ONE DAY THEY WALKED SO FAR THAT GOD SAID, LOOK ENOCH, IT’S TOO FAR FOR YOU TO GO BACK, JUST COME HOME WITH ME. SO ENOCH WALKED HOME WITH GOD. HE WAS NOT, FOR GOD TOOK HIM.”
It is very significant to note that ENOCH WALKED WITH GOD rather than SAT WITH GOD. Many believe that fellowship with God can only be experienced by sitting down somewhere in a quiet place. It strikes me that all of Enoch’s life is characterized as WALKING-FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD. Can we walk with God in our coming and going? Yes! Can we walk with God in our rising as well as in our resting? Yes! Our whole life is to be a PEDESTRIAN COMMUNION WITH GOD. Walk on with Him my friend.
Enoch, as it turned out, did not have to give death a second thought, as he walked with God right into eternity without stopping off at a mortuary. God took him, and that was the last time anybody saw Enoch – HE WAS NOT.
We ask Enoch, how would you summarize the 300 plus years of your life? And he would be able to say:
“THE BEST PART OF MY LIFE IS THAT I WENT ON A LONG
WALK WITH GOD.”
And Enoch enjoyed it so much, that it became his whole life, and he just kept on walking with God. Sad to say:
“THE VAST MAJORITY OF MANKIND, AS WELL AS RELIGIOUS KIND,
NEVER DISCOVER THE WALK WITH GOD, AS THEY SPEND
THEIR TIME HERE IN PRAYERLESS LIVES AND
Enoch was not a some prehistoric numbskull who marked his territory with urine. God was not walking Enoch on a leash so that he would not chase every leaf that fluttered in the wind, or bark and snarl at every other being that crossed his path. To walk in fellowship with God one has to be very spiritually and mentally agile and insightful. To walk with God for 300 years required a very high level of Divine-Human Compatibility. He was no pre-fall Adam who was ignorant of nothing but sin. But neither did he have the intellect with the dimness of a small candle.
To have fellowship with God requires a compatibility of faculties, but for Enoch it was always as a servant to his Master – note:
“IT DOES NOT SAY THAT GOD WALKED WITH ENOCH, BUT THAT
ENOCH WALKED WITH GOD, ALWAYS FOLLOWING THE
DIRECTION OF HIS VASTLY SUPERIOR GUIDE.”
In the WITH GOD WALK, it is really a “FOLLOW THE LEADER WALK.” And we are not the leader, God is the Leader. This is not a CO-LEADER WALK, with you and I having the leadership role 50% of the time, and God having the leadership role the other 50% of the time. Nor is this a game of FOLLOW THE LEADER where we take turns being the leader. This is not play, this is follow the leader and live, but if you demand the leadership role, you will die. This FOLLOW THE LEADER WALK is a matter of life or death.
We are reminded of Romans 8:14,
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they
are the sons of God.”
Which also means this:
“For as many as are not led by the Spirit of God, they
are not the sons of God.”
So this means the following:
“WE MUST SURRENDER OUR LIVES TO GOD, STAY IN OUR PLACE IN
THE WALK WITH GOD, AND LET HIM CALL THE SHOTS IN
Otherwise, we will be walking alone, and then Satan will move into the leadershp role and start calling the shots. Either we will be walking with and following Jesus, or we will be walking with and following Satan. This is not multiple choice, this is eithier or.
The word LED in Romans 8:14 is the Greek AGO from which we get the Enlish word AGONY. Our flesh will agonize to no longer be in the leadership role, for like a little child, our natural desire is to run the show. No more, not on THE WITH-GOD WALK! Fleshly desires and lusts must die, but if not, it will not be a walk with God but an unwilling tagging along at best.
Of course, this is how we remember Enoch the most – THE WITH-GOD WALKER. As a matter of fact, Enoch has sort of become over the ages the MICHAEL JORDAN of THE WITH-GOD WALKERS. You know how it is today, if someone is really good at something, they will say, “He’s the Michael Jordan of downhill skiing,” or, “He is the Michael Jordan of the luge.” But you see, the emphasis here is not that God walked with ENOCH, but the GOD with Whom Enoch walked. As it is with humans, even religious humans, they often worship more the preacher than the Christ Whom the preacher preached. To get the point here, do not change the uncapitalized misspelling – enoch walked WITH GOD.
III. GOD AND NOAH
Or again, the same purpose is stated in that early period, about an even more famous fella named NOAH. We read in Genesis 6:9,
“AND NOAH WAS A RIGHTEOUS MAN, BLAMELESS IN HIS TIME;
NOAH WALKED WITH GOD.”
We now come to a new and higher level of man walking with God. A man by the name of Noah takes us to that higher level of WITH-GOD WALKERS. I don’t believe that I have ever met a WITH-GOD WALKER like Noah. God tells us that he was RIGHTEOUS AND BLAMELESS. What does this mean? I know that at best I am neither righteous nor blameless, and that at worst I am both fully unrighteous and blameable. I guess that disqualifies me from walking with God!? It was the Apostle Paul who tells us toward the end of his life that he was THE CHIEF OF SINNERS. I am right there with you Paul.
No, understand this, Noah was not perfect, as God defines perfection. It was a perfection of sincerity, as well as ever ascending degrees of righteousness and blamlessness. All the parts of righteousness were there, though neither he nor any one of us can in this life attain to the highest degree of any or all virtue. It is best summarized by David in Psalm 119:6 KJV,
“Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect to all
You see, WALKING WITH GOD IS AN UPHILL WALK! Imperceptible at times, but always moving onward and upward. The walk with God never stops in this world, and it is always pressing forward and upward to higher and higher degrees of righteousness and blamelessness. Hear me:
“HE WHO TRULY WALKS WITH GOD WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO THINK OF HIMSELF
AS HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS ENOUGH. IN OUR WALK WITH GOD, HE
IS BOTH OUR GUIDE AND OUR GOAL.”
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder, and each step higher becomes the foundation for the next step up. We are either going forward or backward, upward or downward. It is the walk with God that is the exercise unto Godliness. The more we pray, the more fit and vigorous we are to pray still more. The walk with God is like a flowng stream, the further it runs, the more strength and power it has to run further.
Hear it now:
“WHILE THE MAN OF THE WORLD IS NEVER RICH ENOUGH, THE MAN OF
GOD IS NEVER RIGHTEOUS ENOUGH.”
To many people in his day, as well as in our day, NOAH WAS NO DOUBT KNOWN, AND STILL IS, AS “NUTTY NOAH,” not as righteous and blamelelss. In fact, Noah was just plain a nut! That’s what people thought of this first evangelist of the Old Testament. But, Noah believed that God was totally in charge of history! And Noah believed that there was coming a catastrophic flood of judgment just as God had said. So Noah went on building the ARK in spite of the “NUTTY NOAH MOCKERS!” And he built an ark 500 miles from the nearest ocean, 1,000 times too big for his family, and when he finished it, he filled it with animals. And yes I know that his great faith in and commitment to God was that which God rarely saw anymore in Noah’s generation! Noah was one of a kind, a righteous rarity in the midst of moral rot. That is why God could choose him for such a monumental task. Frankly, God knew that he was the only one in his wicked generation who had the righteousness and determination and fortitude to pull it off. And we better know that it took a whole lot of all three to hang in there.
Noah was smart – very smart. Brilliant to be sure! Not only righteous and blameless in his time, but extremely intelligent. The story of Noah and the ark is constantly derided, and Noah is constantly degraded as nothing more than a more sophisticated sub-human who got along with animals better than with people, and then ended up being eaten by dinosaurs. It is astounding what you read and hear people say about Noah and the Ark, anything to get rid of the truth of the Word of God. But Noah was an amazing man. Noah was not a shipbuilder by trade, but in the building of the BIG BOAT, he became one. No doubt he learned as he went along, but he had the mental capacity to build a ship of greatly advanced workmanship as we shall see later. He turned the wilderness into an advanced shipyard, and he would give shipyard foremen today a run for their money and their jobs.
Noah had the two main ingredients of high intelligence:
1. He had the intellectual power both to inform and direct his hands in building a massive impromtu vessel that was to be seaworthy to sail the turbulent ocean of a world under judgment. It was truly a tumultuous WATER WORLD crashing down from above and boiling up from beneath.
2. He had the intellectual power both to command and oblige the lower creation of animals and birds into the ark not only, but to maintain order in this floating zoo of man and beast for 150 days and nights. Far from being nothing more than a clod, Noah was a master architect, carpenter, and naturalist. Now is the truth beginning to bubble up to the surface of your awareness? Yes I know that the surfacing of truth has to fight through lies and deception to get to the top. Deep down we have been propagandized into thinking that early men were known more for paws, fur, and grunts, than for torsos, tongues, and talk.
But, Noah was known for fulfilling something more important to God than building an ark. Noah was known for fulfilling THE HEART’S DESIRE OF GOD AND THE PURPOSE OF MAN from the beginning, Genesis 6:9,
“NOAH WALKED WITH GOD.”
There is is again. People just can’t get it. If a farmer was seen kneeling in his field talking to God, it would stop every other tractor and car on the gravel road just to gawk as this fanatic farmer. Noah COMMUNED WITH GOD, FELLOWSHIPPED WITH GOD. He walked in the straight path of righteousness, not in the crooked, winding, and turning, serpentine slitherings of his fellow human beings. That was the summary of his life as it was of Enoch’s life. What will be the summary of your life and my life?
IV. GOD AND ABRAHAM
Or again, THE PURPOSE OF MAN AS ORDAINED OF GOD IS SEEN WITH a man named ABRAHAM. In fact, so close were God and Abraham, that God in the Bible calls Himself by the name, “THE GOD OF ABRAHAM.” Abraham shared that distinction with His son Isaac and his grandson Jacob to whom God also attached His name. (Genesis 4:5) My God is that something or what! If I were Abraham, it would almost sound like God’s main identity was that He was THE GOD OF ME. This beats hollow American Idol and Dancing With The Stars. God named Himself after me! It would make me feel like I had been crowned champion of the world in every category known to man. You talk about coming way out on top in Who’s Who!
Man walks with God not only, but God puts man in His Holy and Exalted name. Abraham is called in the Bible THE FATHER OF ALL BELIEVERS. (Romans 4:1) Put your name in there believer -THE GOD OF BOB – THE GOD OF RUTH – THE GOD OF JIM – THE GOD OF MARY.
Man from the beginning of time was elevated far above the animal world, the lower creation. God does not walk with monkeys, nor does He call Himself THE GOD OF APEMEN. Man is the pinnicale of God’s creation, and bears the very fingerprints of God, but the world of plants and animals has no imprint of the image of God whatsoever. That’s a very big deal! It blows evolution to bits.
Though the image of God was defaced and marred by sin, man and man alone is still the only one, through the blood of Jesus Christ, in whom GOD CAN SEE HIMSELF AGAIN. Man, and now redeemed man, is alone the elite class of THE DIVINE IMAGE BEARERS. God does not call Himself anywhere or anyhow THE GOD OF NEANDERTHAL. He is forever THE GOD OF ABRAHAM through whom the redemption and the Redeemer of the world would come.
And here is the beauty of God’s grand purpose for man stated so powerfully again by David Redding in his book “Faith Of Our Fathers:
“This new God promised Abraham a new world. Abraham took Him seriously. FAMILIARITY BLOSSOMED INTO AFFECTION. He was prepared to gamble everything he had on the fresh possibility. He had been fooled and fleeced long enough by Ur’s stationary gods. Here was a God who would get him out of the town, who was not tied to a temple, A GOD WHO WOULD GO WITH HIM. His name was – EL – A WAYFARER GOD…Abraham didn’t leave home with ideas about God, he left home with God.” (End of Redding quote)
Abraham found God to be his most reliable GPS. Abe not only walked with God, he went on a journey with God not knowing exactly where he was going, or where this EL would take him. It was a step by step walk of faith, as EL led him to watering holes, protected him from wildnerness rabble, and led him to the Promise Land. Abe’s journey is over, and by faith we must take it from here. We will find EL to be totally faithful as Abe did. I already have, and I am in it for the long haul. Are you all in?
Abraham was the man WITH WHOM GOD ENTERED INTO COVENANT! (Genesis 17:7) And COVENANT is the greatest way of TWO PEOPLE COMING TOGETHER AS ONE! That is why marriage is rightly referred to AS A HOLY COVENANT! God is covenantally married to believers. And the literal meaning of the WORD COVENANT is:
“TO BIND TOGETHER.”
And those who ARE IN COVENANT TOGETHER have a name for each other:
That is why we are told in James 2:23,
“THAT ABRAHAM WAS CALLED THE FRIEND OF GOD.”
In the New Covenant, Jesus calls His disciples HIS FRIENDS. (John 15:15) Man’s best friend is his dog. God’s best friends are His children. Their best friend is Jesus. They are the ones who WALK IN COVENANT FELLOWSHIP and FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD, ONE TOGETHER WITH GOD! THAT’S THE CREATED PURPOSE OF GOD FOR EVERY PERSON HERE TODAY through the cross of Jesus Christ.
We have to understand that when God had designed the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Scripture tells us that God was unable to conceal the great purpose from His friend Abraham. And so we read in Genesis 18:17,
“And the Lord said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am
about to do?’”
God thought it a violation of the rights of friendship to keep His plans wholly to Himself. Abraham’s friendship with God, his walking with God, his traveling God, had companion privileges that others do not have. Powerful! Abraham was God’s confidant of such a high quality, that God thought He had better check in with Abraham before He burned Sodom and Gommorah to the ground. And after all, Abraham’s nephew Lot and family lived there, and He wanted to give Abraham’s relatives the opportunity to get out of there before He fired and brimstoned the twin cities of iniquity into oblivion.
All of this walking with God is glorious, but when you WALK IN CLOSE FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD WHO IS LOVE (I John 4:8 and 16), He has to lovingly rub off on you. If it is real walk, it is always a WALK OF LOVING TRANSFORMATION. You will not be remain the same person as you walk with God, in fact, you won’t know yourself back real quickly.
In John 13:34 Jesus says:
As I have loved you, love one another.”
The little word “AS” packs a punch in this context. The Greek word is “KATHOS” and seems to carry with it (according to F. Dale Bruner) the idea that the love that must fill the hearts and lives of the disciples is not merely a love that imitates Christ, but that actually wells up from the overflow of Christ’s actual love. The love of Christ himself needs to be IN you if you are going to live off its riches. This love is so novel, so powerful, so utterly mind-blowing, that it is not something you could ever concoct on your own. It has to be given to you as a gift.
Theologian Laura Smit says that so often when people—sometimes even when theologians—talk about the characteristics of God, we think that it’s enough to understand what we’re talking about if we take a human concept like goodness and, when applying it to God, just make it bigger. We are good but God is GOOOOOOD. We think that if we can just put an exponent on human goodness and thus magnify/multiply our human conception of goodness, we will approach something of what it means to understand God’s goodness. But what if divine goodness is not just a really big version of human goodness, but is actually something that, while bearing some resemblance to human goodness, is finally a trait with a wholly different quality altogether?
That seems to be what Jesus is saying about love in John 13.The kind of love Jesus wants us to display to the world is not just a souped-up version of human love, but a love that is of a different kind, of a different quality, altogether. If so, then this love needs to be placed into us by Christ himself (and by grace alone) so that at least something of this extraordinary, amazingly sacrificial love really will grow in us and in the church.
“WHEN WE DO NOT LOVE LIKE CHRIST LOVED US, IT IS NOT BECAUSE
WE ARE NOT TRYING TO LOVE HARD ENOUGH, BUT BECAUSE
OUR WALK WITH JESUS IS NOT CLOSE ENOUGH.”
V. NEANDERTHAL RETARDS
Just a little historical aside to all of this that I think you should know! Please don’t get these pagan ideas that these pre-flood, and immediate post-flood people, were folks WHO WERE NEANDERTHAL RETARDS walking around in animal skins, carrying clubs! And that God’s fellowship at best with them was like the level of your dog Rover! And that when God walked with Adam, Enoch, Noah, or Abraham, He had to whistle and say:
“WRRR, COME HERE ADAM, HEEL ENOCH, GOOD BOY NOAH,
STAY ABRAHAM, GOOD BOY, SIT.”
And then Adam, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham licked God’s hand, and got a bone, GOD’S BEST FRIENDS!
NO, NO, NO, NO! Who do you think taught Egypt to build the ancient pyramids! Whoever they were, they were brilliant men, and they didn’t come from outer space or some evolutionary chain. Noah brought that genius with him through the flood, mark you well! There was a civilization there that makes you and me look like first graders! In fact, Abraham understood the mathematics by which we run computers today. That’s a fact, we’ve dug up the Ur of the Chaldees where Abraham was from and discovered there IS CLEAR EVIDENCES OF BI-NOMIAL MATH, the basis of computer systems.
Pseudo intellectuals would have us to believe that early men were club-wielding cave beings only a step away from their ape ancestors. They were not part of a GARDEN, but instead lived in a ZOO. Think again! Writes distinguished Archaeologist Dr. Jerry Bowen:
“The odds of getting a straight story, outside of the pages of the Bible, are extremely remote. What we will get is pieces of the story mixed up with all kinds of popular thought. A perfect example is a chronology of Egyptian history: what exists are small pieces, a rag-tag assortment of information bits. Scholars add to this what they believe played out through history. They mix in a little science, like the storyline of Jurassic Park (mixing the frog DNA in an attempt to complete the genetic code), but truly it is just their best guess. We end up with a giant powerful deception!”
“The enemy of souls relies on crowd-thinking to promote his agenda, and to keep the majority in the world captive. He has no problem with you understanding SOME things that are true, as long as you don’t connect all the dots and learn THE truth. Many traditions are supernaturally promoted; the devil fears the truth and knows it will be his eventual undoing. Once you are caught in the net of tradition it is difficult to break free, but not impossible. There are many who have made the choice and trusted in a power outside of themselves to accomplish the objective, if God be with us who can be against us? You with God is always the real majority, as He has His entire creation on the side of truth, and He truly knows the end and the beginning.”
“The way of tradition (such as evolution) is not the safe way, for it is designed to keep the truth from you. Paul’s counsel is so timely, “Examine ourselves to see whether we be in the faith, prove our own selves.” Many today believe in cunningly devised fables, tradition is designed to make us feel comfortable. It is used to make us feel comfortable in our thinking, not challenging the status-quo, to keep us on a certain path; unfortunately this path is not the path that leads to truth or life. It is high time to awake from indifference and lethargy, to know the time is now to stand up and be counted.”
“In reality the relatively recent concept of evolution with billions of years of elemental and planetary development, is a minority consideration with a trend towards special creation as the most likely concept for our existence. The use of the ten cylinder words has lost its impressive influence, as once folks become aware of what is actually being hypothesized, they see the folly of it. Credibility in the pseudo-science theory of evolution is being exposed for just what it is; a theory with no basis in true empirical science. Many that argue for this fairy-tale theory comment from a micro evolutionary perspective which has legitimacy, the problem comes when they assume the same processes throughout the other five stages as an answer for our existence; Cosmic, Chemical, Stellar, Organic, and Macro. These five they cannot test, observe, or duplicate, and possess no scientific evidence for, these they can believe, but cannot list under true science; this is the category of where the majority of their theory falls.”
Bowen continues now about the pre-flood people, as well as about Noah and his Ark and the Ark site in Eastern Turkey:
“The Durupinar site (named for the captain that discovered it on a stereo-photo) is the only site with any promise at all of being the real deal, if one will dispense with tradition and just consider the evidence, and not just because it looks like the hull of a ship. In the Genesis account of the Bible, Moses as an historian records the dimensions provided to Noah from God, 300 cubits in length, 50 wide and 30 in height. Just one of the amazing features at Durupinar is the length exactly that of the biblical account, 515’6”, (300 royal Egyptian cubits), considering the remains slid to its present location and there was no change in length is in itself quite miraculous. The super-structure of the vessel must have included some fascinating features to maintain its integrity over so many thousands of years and its traverse down the mountainside. Once at the final resting place who can tell how long before it was buried from the ensuing Lehar. Once fully hidden the ancient relic would be out of sight and in the perfect underground environment for petrification to begin, and it would be just a matter of time as people groups were displaced that the Ark would be a forgotten memory.”
One of the most amazing samples that places the formation uniquely in the category of a man-made structure is the laminated deck timber, this was actually dug up by the Turkish Military at the request of the Governor of the Agri province, after Wyatt demonstrated the use of the sub-surface radar to the authorities. Even though it was filmed by their local media reporters, people today still do not believe it happened, this is clear evidence of the power of tradition. Tradition will not allow for any other location other than Mount Ararat, so no amount of evidence would suffice and that situation is truly a denial of Christian faith.”
“What God is providing here is a tool for believers to use in their missionary endeavors, how sad to turn a blind eye to such divine assistance. We know by faith that the story took place and here we have right in front of us the confirmation of that event, confirmation that we don’t need, but someone does and we have a responsibility to set pride and ego aside for the sake of millions of others in the valley of indecision.”
“The wood sample was given to Wyatt by the Governor and at his request Ron was to have it tested. The sample displays a number of unique qualities; it can be clearly seen to be a laminated timber, meaning several layers of wood glued together. Laminated wood is stronger than a timber of the same dimensions primarily due to cross graining. Each layer would run perpendicular to the other, creating a cross grain pattern. This would allow for much greater flexibility and durability, most defiantly something the Ark would need to survive a storm of global flood magnitude. The wood itself was identified as cypress, the glue a type of resin, most likely tree resin and processed in such a way as to fuse the wood together much like a weld. The sample also displayed small metal nails almost like finishing nails, I believe used in the lamination process to secure the layers of wood until the glue hardened. Today we use similar techniques in the development of plywood.”
“One of those traditions that these samples destroy is the one depicting PRE-FLOOD HUMANITY AS BACKWOODS HILLBILLIES, KIND OFA CAVEMAN IMAGERY, WALKING AROUND MAKING GRUNTING SOUNDS HOPING THAT SOMEONE WILL UNDERSTAND YOU. You’re also in high fashion with your animal skins on and that club over your shoulder just adds the right touch. Your hair has never been cut, you haven’t taken a bath in 5 years, and you smell just like the animals you’ve been tracking for the last month. O yah this is the picture, I can see it in my mind right now, just one thing though, it is totally false, complete nonsense and absurdity.”
“For all the madness going on before the great flood, the antediluvians lived ten times longer, were 2 ½ times taller, (from archaeological samples) probably 1,000 times stronger, and much more intelligent, they didn’t need a Bill Gates or a Steve Jobs, their capacity for knowledge and learning was far in excess of ours. The computer was right under their hats, and a thousand times more advanced then modern computers today. They had incredible minds. It is somewhat depressing to see how sin has minimized us into such a frail dependent ignorant species.” (End of Bowen Quote)
How does that grab your NEANDERTHAL HAIRY, FURRY, BRITCHES? But, more than that, and back to the point, THE PURPOSE OF GOD FROM THE BEGINNING WITH MAN! THEY WALKED WITH GOD, TALKED WITH GOD, FELLOWSHIPPED WITH GOD, INCLUDED HIM IN EVERYTHING!
The Bible speaks of the heart of the matter:
“THEY WALKED WITH GOD – THEY COMMUNED WITH GOD – THEY
FELLOWSHIPPED WITH GOD AT A VERY HIGH LEVEL.”
This was not a communion of omniscience with dimwits. We like to think that we are the mentally advanced ones, and that we make Adam, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham look like simpletons at best. That is how National Geographic has poisoned the minds of their readers and viewers.
No, no, the Bible and archaeology prove otherwise. States Bowen about the Ark site in Eastern Turkey:
“Another telling sample is the many pieces of ballast material that litter the landscape. These are more than likely the slag from the production of the iron, the tailing pieces that would be used to provide ballast placed in the hull of the ship. Any sea worthy vessel would need weight or ballast to displace the water more effectively, keeping the ship lower in the surf, preventing unnecessary wave action. One of these samples was originally sent to James Irwin (Apollo Astronaut) early in Wyatt’s research, Irwin sent it on to Los Alamos National Laboratory for testing. The sample included several highly sophisticated elements, ones which lead the technicians to wonder if they had in their possession a piece of a downed satellite. It was from the exposure of this sample that John Baumgardner who worked at the facility, ultimately got involved with Wyatt’s research. This was indeed a sophisticated sample but not from a satellite, but from an ancient man-made ship, trailings manufactured over 4,400 years ago and used to save Noah, his family and all who would come aboard, and us today.” (End of quote)
VI. GOD AND MOSES
The fact that I am a Christian does not primarily mean the following:
-That my sins are forgiven, though they are through the blood of Christ, praise God. But that is not the ultimate or central thing.
-That I am on my way to heaven, and praise God I am. But that is not the end all and be all.
-The central issue is this:
“CHRISTIANS ARE THOSE WHO WALK WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.”
You see, that has always been God’s purpose for us:
“TO BE AT HOME WITH US – TO FELLOWSHIP WITH US – TO DWELL
“GOD NOT ONLY WANTS TO WALK WITH HIS PEOPLE, BUT HE
WANTS TO DWELL IN THEIR MIDST.”
Do you remember the Old Testament Tabernacle, that portable church, God’s dwelling place in the midst of His people? This Divine dwelling place was not a crude structure like something a beaver would build. It was not a teepee or shack. As a matter of fact, the Divine Architect gave Moses the extensive and elaborate architectural drawings over a period of 40 days and 40 nights. You can read all of it in Exodus 25-27. It is amazing, both in terms of design and material. God was not talking to a man of mere Erector Set or Lego mentality or capability.
More importantly, the name of the whole thing was THE TABERNACLE. This was God’s way of saying to His people:
“I WANT TO COMMUNE WITH YOU. I AM GOING TO WALK WITH
YOU, I AM GOING TO WALK IN YOUR MIDST. BUT MORE THAN
THAT, I AM GOING TO DWELL AMONG YOU. I AM GOING
TO COME AND LIVE RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF YOU.”
So we read in Exodus 25:8-9 God’s words to Moses on the Mount:
“And let them construct a sanctuary for me, that I MAY DWELL
“According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern for
the tabernacle and the pattern for the furniture, just so you
shall construct it.”
In other words:
“MOSES, DO IT EXACTLY AS I HAVE LAID OUT FOR YOU. NO
ALTERATIONS OR SUGGESTIONS FROM YOU WILL
I guess if I were Moses, I would have to say to the Lord:
“LORD, WOULD YOU MIND RUNNING THAT PAST ME AT LEAST
ONE MORE TIME, AND PLEASE DO IT VERY SLOWLY.”
But now I want us to note something critically important. In Exodus 25:8, the place called the SANCTUARY in the Hebrew is MIQDASH. But though God dwelt in the MIQDASH in their midst, His dwelling was separated by a HIGH FENCE around it. Why? Because the blood of the Lord Jesus had not yet been shed, and people’s sins were atoned for by sacrifices. In essence:
“THE LORD WAS NEAR TO THEM AND YET FAR FROM THEM, HE
WAS IN THEIR MIDST, AND YET INACCESSIBLE.”
The fact was that only the High Priest could go into the SANCTUARY once a year to represent the people. But remember, THE MIQDASH – THE SANCTUARY – THE HOLY OF HOLIES was where the ARK OF THE COVENANT WAS, where GOD’S GLORY DWELT. The MIQDASH is where the UNCREATED, INCANDESCENT GLORY OF GOD dwelt and lived. It was known as the SHEKINAH GLORY, MEANING:
“THE TOTAL AND IMMEDIATE PRESENCE OF GOD.”
Now hang on, for we live in the New Testament, and the blood of Jesus has been shed once and for all, the blood that washes away all of our sins. And so we read in Ephesians 2:22,
“IN WHOM THE BUILDING FITLY FRAMED TOGETHER UNTO
A HOLY TEMPLE IN THE LORD.”
And where we read the word TEMPLE, is the Greek word NAOS, and the Greek word NAOS most literally means INNER SANCTUARY. So we can translate Ephesians 2:22,
“WE ARE AN HOLY INNER SANCTUARY IN THE LORD.”
Do we see it? We are the MIQDASH, we are the NAOS, we are the HOLY OF HOLIES of the Lord. We are His DWELLING PLACE, the HABITATION OF THE LORD, GOD’S RESTING PLACE. Now get it strong:
“CHRISTIANS AND THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH ARE THE MIQDASH, THE
NAOS, WHERE GOD’S GLORY AND IMMEDIATE PRESENCE
If you will:
“WE ARE THE INNER SANCTUARY, WE ARE HIS GLORY HABITATION,
HIS GLORY HOME.”
“ALL THAT GOD IS, ALL HIS GLORY, HIS SHIMMERING LOVE, MERCY
GRACE, AND POWER, DWELLS IN US AND AMONG US.”
Come on now, let’s get real. Remember the days when we thought the church was a building? Tell me, what did we call and what do we still call the room in which we worship the Lord? Yes, you are right, we called and still do call it THE SANCTUARY. Does that open your eyes wide? It should make them bug out of our heads. Why?
“BECAUSE WE ARE THE LORD’S SANCTUARY, WE ARE HIS NAOS,
WE ARE HIS MIQDASH, AND GOD IS RIGHT HERE FULLY
AND IMMEDIATELY AMONG US. WE ARE WHERE HE
IS AT HOME, WHERE HIS GLORY DWELLS, WHERE
HE LONGS TO BE.”
There is in the gospel a wonderfully paradoxical presentation of GLORY. Yes, glory can be and is everything we usually associate with the glory of God: glory can be luminous and splendid and mind-boggling and blinding and majestic in ways that unmake us and send us falling down upon our faces in humble adoration.
But glory can also come through the grace and truth of the very humble incarnate Lord Jesus, as we read in John 1:14. The glory of Jesus emerged in the course of His ministry when He gave hope to the poor, when He forgave the sins of downtrodden and marginalized persons, when He healed the terminally ill, when He drove the demons out of the hopelessly possessed, when He reached out to His enemies in love, when He displayed grace to the least deserving.
The glory of God’s One and Only who came here humbly accommodating Himself to us in our brokenness by taking on the very nature of a servant! We have seen His glory. We still see his glory. It is all around us. We see it at the communion table and at the breakfast table; we see it in the water at the baptismal tank, and in the water from the sprinkler that catches the sun’s rays just so; we see it in the anthem sung by a grand choir and in the simple chorus of “Jesus Loves Me” that our child absent-mindedly sings to herself while doing her paint-by-numbers. This is the glory we see. Thanks be to God!
Yes, His glory is all around us as well as in us. The Saint Teresa of Avila once said, “Christ dwells among the pots and pans.” But we’d rather that Christ dwelled among only the more glorious and obviously pious parts of life. Some would rather fast-forward the sacred journey along the way to heaven so that they can feel like they are in heaven already. And if they cannot quite manage that, then they will at the very least make their lives sound as heavenly as they can.
Yes indeed, Christians get together and one man talks about what Jesus said to him at breakfast that day just as he was eating his bagel; and a woman talks about what God had done for her yesterday afternoon at about 2:23 right there in the mall; and still another man gushes about how the Spirit had gifted him in so mighty a way that right after he visited old Harold in the hospital, why, the very next day Harold was healed. Oh yes, He does reveal His glory in those ways and much more. Indeed He does, and those who do not recognize it are truly THE SPIRITUAL NEANDERTHALS OF RELIGION.
However, His glory is far more pervasive. What is missing from such talk is the texture of everyday life–the kind of life the disciples had led with Jesus all along, the kind of life in which the Father God himself had been hidden and active in their midst yet they somehow missed it. We do, too. As C.S. Lewis once said, we too often substitute religion for God. But that is like substituting navigation for arrival or wooing for marriage. Getting to your destination is wonderful but the trip itself is also valuable. Just walking with God and fellowshipping with Him, being loved by Him and loving Him back, is the greatest glory of all.
God has always purposed to WALK WITH US, AND WALK AMONG US, AND DWELL IN US. Not just you, not just me, but US. For you see, God is too big, there is just too much of Him for just A ONE ROOM DWELLING. God is just too big to dwell in a 3 room bungalow. Ephesians 2:22,
“WE ARE THE HABITATION OF GOD THROUGH THE SPIRIT.”
“GOD IS EVERYWHERE, BUT HE WANTS TO BE AT HOME EVERYWHERE.
SO GOD HAS HIS PEOPLE EVERYWHERE SO THAT HE CAN BE
AT HOME EVERYWHERE.”
So then, we know this:
1. He walks with us.
2. He walks in our midst.
3. He dwells in us.
4. He fills us with His glory.
I ask, “Can it get any better than this on earth?” No it cannot! The only thing to top it will be Heaven, where we no longer will live by faith, but by sight. Then we shall see Him face to face. It will be the ultimate, of which now we have through the Holy Spirit the earnest of our HEAVENLY INHERITANCE.
Understand this, yes our WALKING WITH GOD leads us to Heaven. Indeed Heaven is our glorioius destination, but now it is the WALKING AND THE JOURNEY WITH JESUS CHRIST that is glory. I close with these stirring thoughts from C.S. Lewis:
It reminds me of what C.S. Lewis once wrote about heaven. People worry that heaven is a bribe. Indeed, some accuse Christian people of being goodie-two-shoes only so that they can go to Heaven. And sometimes we worry about that. We wonder, “If I were told that there is no Heaven, that when I die it’s all over, would I still want to serve God?” Is the prospect of Heaven the bribe we take to do good works that we would not do if the only reward in the whole thing were merely serving our God in Christ? It’s a good question, and searches us deeply. Is it the destination that motivates us, or is it the Divine-Human fellowship that already fully rewards us in the walk of faith?
But Lewis thought it was ill-focused. After all, Lewis writes, “What is Heaven if not finally eternal fellowship with our Triune God, living and serving in that God’s New Creation and existing to the praise of that same God.” Amen!