From the Pastor’s heart
2Co 1:18 But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay. 2Co 1:19For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea. 2Co 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
Apostle Paul is speaking to us from the word of God he received about Christ who is the promise and in whom the fulfilment of all of all of the promises of God are. Since the Old and the New Testaments are fulfilled in Christ, we see the Old Testament believers looking to Christ through the promises made to them by God and those who are in the New Testament looking through Christ, who is the fulfilment of the promise. For us who believe, the promises of God are being fulfilled daily in our lives because of Jesus who lives in us. We have deep assurances of all of God’s promises each time we look to appropriating them because of what has already been fulfilled. One classic example of this is in those who get baptised in the Holy Spirit. We see the fulfilment of God’s promise in the book of Joel being outworked in our world each time a believer appropriates this promise.
So also, the partaking of other promises are fulfilled in Christ through believing what God has said in His word. 2Pe 1:3According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. There is a need in the Church today to understand how to become partakers of God’s precious promises seeing that there are many for us to appropriate. The escape of corruption through the promises are escaping decay and death of a natural life. Many of us do not even know that there are promises to be appropriated. As a result, we keep asking God for what is already given by Him in His promises.
The secret to understanding promises is not a secret at all. One has to read the word of God for they are written down in God’s word for us. If we do not read the word of God, we will be ignorant of the promises of God and walk around in life like blind people. What is worse is, we will see many others who have appropriated the promises enjoying them. One such example is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The giving of the Holy Spirit for the permanent indwelling in man was a promise of God given in Abraham and appropriated in Christ. Act 2:38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Act 2:39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. The problem is, many do not want this promise even though it is critical to our spiritual growth and well being. They even go out of their way to discredit it because of ignorance and fear. Well, they suffer immensely and live lives that are without the fullness of God whilst remaining unfulfilled in life right up to their dying day.
When Peter was alluding to the divine nature of God in these promises he was talking about heavenly things that cannot be attained by earthly methods or endeavour. If I am to be a partaker of the divine nature I must look at how Jesus did it. He knew about the promises of God and claimed them based on the word that was written having understood that they were there for Him to appropriate. He did this, for our sakes. So, when Jesus went to the Father, He asked for the promise and sent Him to us. Act_2:33Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. In doing this, Jesus passed onto us divine nature. When we speak of divine nature, we speak of spiritual nature as opposed to human nature. That is why Christians who are baptised in the Holy Ghost display a greater understanding of divinity while pursing the example of this nature in daily living. Out of this divine nature is born power, character and giving which are in the nature of our heavenly Father. This nature God portrayed in Christ His Son and then imparted it to us through the Holy Spirit of God. If we learn to emulate this nature we will see God in us.
I am constantly reminded of my own weaknesses and so have learnt to depend on God more than myself. In doing so, I am appropriating as many promises as I can along the way. When God promises, He keeps His promise. That is what makes Him so reliable. The reason God keeps His promises is simply because His words cannot return to Him void. Furthermore, He is a Creator who cannot lie. Even if that which He promises is not in existence, He will create it, just to fulfil His word. Isa 48:6Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. Isa 48:7 They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not; lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them.
Certain wrong concepts concerning the promises of God
1. God promised, so it will happen immediately
2. God will provide the promise the way I have understood it
3. God is limited and maybe what He has promised is too big for Him
4. I am limited and what God has promised is too big for me
5. The promise is taking too long
6. I misheard the promise and so what God said is not true
7. God’s promises must come without trials otherwise it is not a promise
One can find many reasons for a promise not to come true. Yet, promises must be appropriated by faith because they are placed in Christ. In order for us to receive them, we must believe the words of Jesus written down for us. The day of Israel is coming soon. They will soon receive the manifestation of an age old promise to be restored. Since this is in the air, the Church must get ready to leave this earth and allow that promise to come to pass. What remains for the Church to achieve must be done quickly. Let us not waste time living on this earth like little children but let us eat meat and walk in the maturity that God has given us and begin to appropriate the promises of God on all levels.
There are three levels on which promises must be appropriated.
1. The level of what is promised to the corporate Church & Israel
2. The level on what is promised to us personally
3. The level on which the promises of God are for this earth
In dealing with these three levels, we can get caught up in focusing on just one or two of the three levels. We must focus on all three levels and use them individually for the purpose of fulfilling all three levels. Every level of promise is given for the fulfilling of the other levels. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is given for the purpose of power to witness and bring revival in the land and for personal and corporate growth in the Church. All three levels are achieved in this one promise. Likewise, the promise of riches is not for us alone but for the corporate Church and the ones in the world. Who else is going to look after the orphans and the widows?
Let us endeavour to work the promises of God for the benefit of each level and not become selfish in the pursuit of promises only for ourselves. This is a common mistake in the Church. When the disciples received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, they went into all the world and preached the gospel. They did not indulge themselves with speaking in tongues and the practise of gifts just within the church like some who misunderstood the reason for the gifts. 1Co 14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: 1Co 14:19Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. 1Co 14:20Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
Let us not be little children and indulge ourselves in the things of God as though they are toys for us to play around with. Rather, let us see the real reason they have been given to us and go forward with them into all the world and bring the divine nature of God in us to others that there may be many sons and daughters of God birthed in the Spirit.
The hour is upon us and darkness will arise even more so. Yet the promise is left to the Church to be the light in this world. Let us not hide our light under a bushel but let us shine it on a hill and cause the world to know that the Church was a promise to mankind that was birthed through the promise of the Holy Ghost. We are the last representation of hope on earth for a dying world
Lots of love