You and I are living in a new century in a world in which there is great momentum. The pace of life increases year after year at a rate that man could not have imagined 100 years ago. This pace is the result of a frantic race by man to gain greater and greater knowledge and to assure for himself a life earmarked by an abundance of leisure time. There are many voices screaming at us every day — each one trying to convince us of how we can be a success and have a happy life. The pace is so fast and the search for meaning, purpose, and, most of all, love is so frantic that few of us slow down long enough to see that the end of the road we are on is destruction, that the true condition of our life is futility, emptiness, and loneliness.
And yet, in the midst of all this confusion, there is one message that makes sense, one life that gives hope. It is a simple message with a crystal clear answer. Please listen, for the answer lies in this true message of true love.
There was a time when man was created and placed on this planet, earth, as the highest and most magnificent of all creatures in the universe. In fact, he was created in the exact likeness and image of his Creator in order to rule over all of God’s created things — including Satan.1
Rebellion had entered the universe through the self-exaltation of God’s appointed archangel, Lucifer. His rebellion was lawlessness, acting against God’s order and authority, his will and purpose. Lucifer was not content to exercise his dominion under God so he rebelled against God’s order and authority and desired to usurp God’s authority altogether.
“How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’”2 Thus the archangel became the archenemy. Lucifer, the “star of the morning,” became Satan, the adversary, before the creation of man, and was cast down and confined to this planet, earth, in order for rebellion to be dealt with.
The first man’s name was Adam. He needed God as a child needs his father, and was continually walking with him in the Garden of Eden — a paradise that God had made for him. They were always talking together, loving one another; and Adam, realizing the great love of his Creator, obeyed him and worshipped him continually. This was true fellowship — there were no barriers between them.
Therefore, by virtue of this kind of relationship with God, Adam was given grace to overcome and take dominion over Satan, God’s archenemy. You see, when Satan brought rebellion into the universe, God could have just destroyed him, but God was not interested in proving who was the strongest. He is eternal, uncreated, and all-powerful. It would have been no contest to wipe out Satan, a created being. God had to put in a plan by which the created being, man, would deal with the created being, Satan.
God put a tree in the Garden and told Adam not to eat its fruit. There was no reason given for this obedience, only the warning that eating the fruit would mean death. Satan’s strategy would be to persuade man not to trust God, but to strive for equality with God, taking on Satan’s arrogance. God’s victory would be that Adam would believe God, obeying him and disobeying Satan. God put Adam here to rule. The means God provided for him to subdue Satan was grace and encouragement through his fellowship with God.
However, the day came when Adam chose to eat the forbidden fruit, following Satan in his independence and rebellion. At the moment Adam disobeyed God and obeyed Satan, he fell from his relationship with his Creator and he became a slave of Satan. He lost his inheritance, earth, to God’s archenemy and found himself in bondage — trapped and in chains, cut off from the relationship he had with God. And not only that, but also all those who were born after him have been born under the dominion or rule of sin — the principle of man’s disobedience to God. “Do you not know that if you give yourselves to anyone to obey him as slaves, you are his slaves? Either you are the slaves of sin and will die, or you obey God and become righteous.3 Satan, therefore, has become the father of all those born after Adam, for all have taken on his rebellious character. And all mankind from that time on has been “in Adam” without any power of their own — no hope. They were hopelessly lost, as far as having any good in themselves to make them worthy of being restored to their original state of being.
When Adam gave Satan the right to rule him, he gave him the keys to lock all mankind after him into his clutches. And so the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.4 Man, God’s prized creation, who was made to rule over all created things, including Satan, has now become a slave to him. And thus mankind lost all privilege of ruling the earth for God, the very thing God created man for in the first place. Man’s relationship with God was broken, and the fellowship he once had with God, the source of all power and authority, was lost.
In Eden, God’s government was expressed this way: God was the head over man, and woman was the helpmate or helper to man. This was paradise — peace on earth; there was no striving on the part of woman, entirely submissive to man; and there was no abuse of authority on the part of man, submitted completely to God, directly guided by one who is completely wise and just and loving. The government of earth had been given to man, but Satan’s strategy was to make man somehow lose this commission. Satan’s hope was to entice the woman to disobey her head and thus bring a break in fellowship with Adam and with God also. This put the pressure on Adam as to where he would stand. Satan’s schemes are always the same — to pressure man to rebel and act independently from his head. This was Satan’s strategy and master plan. And the serpent (Satan) won — he accomplished the very thing he set out to do with the First (Man) Adam.
If only man today could have the intimate fellowship with God that Adam had — like a Father with his son — if only he could be restored to the encouragement, strength, and power that Adam drew from this relationship. Then Satan’s authority could be subdued — thrown into the pit or abyss. If only man could be restored and brought back to the place Adam fell from in the beginning, then God’s will and purpose could be accomplished. But how could this be done? All of mankind was now under Satan’s dominion. What man could grasp the right and privilege to rule when all men were slaves locked up under Satan’s power and authority? God said, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it, and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that creeps on the earth.”5 But what man can rule? All men are by nature unqualified, for all men are fallen; and fallen man cannot do what only an unfallen man can even attempt. Satan had become the ruler of the earth. It was his domain, and man was his food.
All men were brought into slavery — subjected to Satan’s power — because of one man’s disobedience. It is the same with men as with plants — the seed of a thorn bush cannot produce grapes, and the seed of a thistle does not bring forth, figs. So, the seed of Adam only produced men enslaved to Satan. All mankind from Adam until Yahshua were lost and hopeless and could not save themselves. They were looking for a messiah, a deliverer, a savior, someone who would take the bonds away and set the prisoners free and lead the captives out to freedom.
To the human mind, the situation that man was in was hopeless. But God, still our maker and lover, found a way. God solved this impossible situation by the incarnation of the divine Word of God — meaning divinity came to dwell in humanity. By His Spirit, God caused a new life to be created in the womb of a virgin. This life was a man, having the untarnished image and likeness of God. Rather than the fallen seed of Adam, he was conceived from an unfallen seed. And this man was born as a baby boy, and his name was Yahshua — Immanuel (“God with us”), Savior, Deliverer, Emancipator — for he will save his people from their sins and the bondage of Satan, of being separated from God.
Since Yahshua was conceived by the agency of the Holy Spirit, he was not the fallen son of Adam and Satan had no claim on him, as he had on the rest of mankind. God states in the Bible by the Apostle Paul that this Yahshua was born of a woman so that he qualified to be a man — a member of the human race — in order to re-enact Adam’s dominion over all things, the original purpose for man coming into existence, as he says, “When the fullness of time came God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that he might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”6 Yahshua could now contend as a human being (a man) with Satan — just as Adam had done, but lost.
God loved his creature man so much that from the very beginning he planned to send his Son. For he said to the serpent (Satan), “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall crush your head and you shall bruise his heel.”7 This scripture was the first recorded evidence of this supernatural birth, for her seed (offspring) was the only seed ever physically born of God.
The miracle of the birth of Yahshua, the Son of God, was the demonstration of the wisdom of God. How great was the wisdom of our Creator when His Word came to dwell in human flesh — when Yahshua was born, not of Adam’s seed but of a preserved seed from before the Fall! For if Yahshua had been born of Adam’s seed and Adam’s fallen nature had been passed on to him, he could not have been an unblemished sacrifice. He would have deserved to die rather than being a perfectly sinless sacrifice for our sin. If he had been born of Adam’s seed, nothing would have been accomplished by his death. He would have died and not risen from the dead. He would have been an ordinary man, born under sin’s dominion like all of us. But God in his wisdom, far greater than Satan, sent his life to earth to rescue us. For Yahshua, although he was a man, was born of a virgin. This means that God’s Spirit came upon Mary, a godly, pure woman, and a preserved seed was placed supernaturally in her womb, and a miracle occurred. A new creation was conceived. An authentic man, unstained by the fallen seed of Adam, but begotten through the Spirit of God.
At the birth of Yahshua of Nazareth a new race began. Once again there was hope that man could do what he was created to do. This new man, Yahshua the Messiah, lived a morally perfect life as an authentic human being. Yahshua was tested and tried by the same devil Adam was tested by. In fact, he was faced with every temptation that you and I (and everyone who has ever lived) has been tempted with. The only difference is that Adam fell — you and I fell — but Yahshua overcame. Where Adam brought all men into bondage under Satan, Messiah freed all mankind from that bondage by accomplishing his Father’s will. He did it in the only way possible to do so — the same way that Adam would have — by his own personal fellowship with and obedience and perfect submission to God, his Father. Therefore, through his fellowship with his Father, he lived an entirely sinless life.
Satan, through all of his deceitful scheming, could not persuade Yahshua to break fellowship or unity with his Father, God. Yahshua did not rebel and act independently. He was not lawless. He was under authority and he accomplished the mission that he was sent to earth for — to take away Satan’s authority over mankind — to save the world, to establish a new order, a new government, a Kingdom where only righteousness reigns. Therefore, the one who says he abides in Messiah ought to walk in the same manner as he walked; and Yahshua, the Son of God, appeared for this purpose, that he might destroy the works of the devil.8 For this reason, he established the Church and made possible the future Perfect Age.
The destiny of the whole world and the human race hung upon the outcome of this struggle between Yahshua, the Son of God, a created being, the man born of woman, the authentic human being, and Satan, the created archangel that rebelled against God and thus brought rebellion into the created universe. Our only hope was that this man through his righteous, obedient life, even to the point of death on the cross, would eradicate (or erase) rebellion once for all time. If Satan could have caused Yahshua to have one thought independent from the Father’s will, then Satan would have been the victor and the whole world would still have no hope. We would all still be lost, with no hope of saving ourselves. But Yahshua never gave in — he kept his simple devotion to his Father. He proved to be a true son. Even through much suffering, intense pressure to compromise, he never once gave in. For, in the days of his flesh, when he offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to him who was able to save him from death, and who was heard because of his piety, although he was a Son, he learned obedience from the things which he suffered, and having been made perfect, he became to all those who obey him the source of eternal salvation. He became to them a life-giving spirit.9
You see, Messiah’s suffering on the cross was not just a one-time ordeal. For the death that he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life that he lived and still lives, he lives to God.10 He suffered every day in giving up his life and his will to do his Father’s will. Even in his most severe testing in the garden of Gethsemane he said to God, “...nevertheless, not my will but your will be done.” When Yahshua was dying on the cross, in mortal agony, he dismissed his Spirit without once failing in his submission to the heavenly Father. His death was the final moment of a whole lifetime of overcoming. Therefore, in his overcoming, in his obedience, he accomplished what God has always wanted man to accomplish — to have dominion over Satan. Thus Satan was defeated. Yahshua won the victory for us, for mankind. He did not give in to Satan’s pressure, but lived a perfect, sinless life, fulfilling the law. He is our righteousness.
Satan’s blunder was this: in his desperate attempt to cause Yahshua to lose fellowship with the Father and break their oneness, he killed him, an innocent man who knew no sin, a man whom he had no claim to, who was not under his authority as all others had been since Adam fell. Satan committed murder and brought upon himself the sentence of death. Now all of Satan’s legal rights have been stripped from him. The legal claims to earth and man that he won when Adam disobeyed God are now cancelled by the victory of Yahshua the Messiah. Through death he rendered powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.11 Adam disobeyed God and obeyed Satan, but Yahshua disobeyed Satan and obeyed God. Therefore, because Satan murdered this innocent man in his anger and frustration, he now is under the death sentence and has no rights. The ruler of this world has been judged, and Yahshua, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, has sat down at the right hand of God waiting until his enemies be made a footstool for his feet.12
Because of the victory of Yahshua over Satan, the precious Holy Spirit has now been sent to earth. His mission on earth is this, according to the words of Yahshua: to “convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”13 This judgment of Satan has already been made, and he has only a few desperate moments remaining in this age.
It will only be an instant before this prophecy is fulfilled: “I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed... And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”14
Yahshua, the light of the world, is the one who has judged Satan. But he also gave his life in order that whoever believes in him should not perish (like Satan will perish) but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that through him all mankind might be saved. Satan is the one whom God intended to judge, not man. The lake of fire was never created for man but for the destruction of God’s enemies. But there is a judgment for man: “He who believes in him [Yahshua] is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been formed in God.”15
God’s word has never been broken. It is impossible for God to lie. And his word proclaims Satan’s defeat and destruction. As clever and charming and powerful as Satan may seem, he is a loser. So why follow a loser?
The tragic thing, the thing that grieves God’s heart, is that the whole world is following the loser, except for those who have come out of the world to follow Yahshua the Messiah. Does a man believe that there is one God? The demons also believe, and shudder. Is a man moral, knowing right and wrong? It was Satan himself who taught mankind to judge good and evil for themselves. Regardless of mental belief or moral integrity, all who are not following Yahshua are following Satan. In fact, some of Satan’s most avid followers are those who deny his existence.
All mankind that does not find safety in the salvation of Yahshua, that does not dwell in the shelter of the Most High and abide in the shadow of the Almighty will not be delivered from the snares and schemes of Satan that are already at work upon the earth to lead everyone to destruction. The climax of Satan’s deception will be a world leader with all the cleverness, charm, and power of Satan himself — the antichrist. “And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark.”16
For those who follow the Antichrist (the Beast), or for those who are merely concerned with their own self-interest, the judgment is clear: “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of his anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”17
“But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”]fn]Revelation 21:8 And from this fate, the fate of Satan, there is only one refuge, and that refuge is in Yahshua. In the days when the world leaders are uniting together, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed or left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.18
You can see from all we have said thus far that God has gone through many things in order to forgive us. His forgiveness was not something he just did in his mind, but it was something he expressed in the birth, life, and death of Yahshua. When you look at the sacrifice of Yahshua, you can start to see what love is. Love is expressed through forgiveness. God already has forgiven us in Messiah.
You see, God has not isolated himself in the far corners of the universe, but he has shown us here on earth what he is like, He has let us have a real glimpse of the magnificent and great love that is a part of his very nature. God’s deeds are so great and wonderful, and his person is so perfect and complete, that it is difficult for us to understand a God whose love is infinite — without end. But at the same time he is also righteous and his righteousness is like his love: it has no end.
God is complete; he is whole. There is no conflict between his infinite love and his infinite righteousness. He never has to compromise one for the other. He is altogether loving and righteous. Therefore, because of his righteousness, God cannot just write off our sins without any concern for the Law, even though in his love he has forgiven us. Many people ask why God cannot just forgive my sins without sending his Son to be crucified.
God’s plan of redemption could only be accomplished through the love and wisdom of the Creator of the universe. It could only be carried out by his Son, the Word of God (the complete expression of his nature), who became flesh — became a man.19 Yahshua the Messiah came to earth 2000 years ago to take the judgment for our sins upon himself. His death includes all of us. With this death, our sins can be forgiven. So, God’s forgiveness of me depends upon his judgment of Yahshua. This is the only way God could forgive man and still be righteous.
When God passed sentence on Messiah, he passed sentence on us, also. God has judged us in Messiah and has also forgiven us in Messiah. He substituted the just for the unjust. The Apostle Paul speaks of “one having died for all.” His death was our death. He experienced death for us, for all of us, in order that the living may no longer live in bondage (for themselves) but for him who died for them and rose again.20 The “one” refers to Yahshua, and the “all” refers to us. That means we are saved if we are included in the all. All means all, if we have faith in the Word of God. God has made him who knew no sin to be sin for us for this expressed purpose: that in him we may become the righteousness of God.21
The one who knew no sin is Yahshua. He was made to be sin for us. To be made sin means that when Yahshua hung on the cross, God regarded him as the sin of all of us, you and me. He looked at Messiah as sin, representing the whole world, the entire human race. When Messiah died sin was removed and its mastery ended. The penalty of sin (which is death) was placed upon the Son. The Father sacrificed his Son in order to satisfy his righteous character, which demands death as a penalty for sin. It is not enough just to repent in order to be forgiven for past sins. This is no better than rehabilitation. Is it righteous for a man to be forgiven if he is brought before a judge and repents for shooting someone? No! Someone must pay the price.
The righteousness of God must be satisfied before there can be any justification of sinners or forgiveness of sins. The salvation of God is based upon the judgment of his Son. Through his death we become the righteousness of God. It’s not that we become righteous, having our own personal righteousness, but we become the righteousness of God.22 We have done nothing to make ourselves righteous; it is totally what God has done in Messiah. God has placed the judgment of sin upon his Son. Therefore, he can righteously forgive us — that is, he can forgive us without going against his righteous nature. Oh, how great is the salvation of our God!
Everything that God spoke to the Jews in the Law and Prophets (the Old Testament) was pointing toward Yahshua. In the Holy of Holies stood the Ark of the Covenant, and it represented Messiah. This was the place where God dwelled by his Spirit. Once a year the high priest sprinkled the blood of animals upon the mercy seat as a sacrifice for sins. The mercy seat was the lid or cover of the Ark of the Covenant, lined inside and out with plates of gold. Man’s prayers passed through this cover to reach God and God’s answer went through the same cover to meet man. This was the meeting place between God and man.
But now, there is no more need for the blood of animals, for God’s wrath — his righteous anger — no longer needs to be appeased or satisfied. Messiah was made sin for us and God poured out his judgment or wrath upon sin. Messiah was made sin, who knew no sin. Therefore he is now become our atonement, our covering, our mercy seat, our mediator, and our high priest. He is the focal point between God and man. Both now can meet in him, in the sacrifice of his blood. Yahshua has died for us. He shed his blood and has forgiven our sins. For 4000 years, from Adam to Messiah, God was looking to Yahshua for all the sins committed during that time. In the same way, he is looking back 2000 years to Yahshua for the sins that we have committed.
We are saved according to the righteousness of God. Being saved by grace does not rule out the righteousness of God. God’s grace could not be realized (laid hold of) until his righteousness was satisfied. It was grace that sent a savior to mankind, and God was full of grace, but his righteousness could only be maintained through the sacrifice — the righteous sacrifice of the Son of God.
It was impossible for God to save us until the one sacrifice was made, and it has always been his desire to save us. He loved the world so much that he gave up his only begotten son to death, in order that whoever truly believed in him would not have to perish with Satan, but could have eternal life in Messiah.23 Before Yahshua died, God did not have to save us. In fact, his righteousness prohibited it. But afterwards he had to save us, because then in his mercy he could not help but save us. He was bound by his very nature and by his word. He is righteous and faithful to forgive us and to save all who are lost. He cannot help but save us. God is bound by two unchangeable things — his promise and his oath.24 It is impossible for God to lie. If God does not forgive us then he is a sinner. But we know that is impossible. We must then believe God that he has forgiven us, and that he has justified us in Yahshua.
The judgment of sins has been accomplished! The problem of sin is solved! God can no longer reject anyone who comes to him by the blood of Yahshua. There is absolutely no reason to believe God won’t forgive us. He has already in Messiah! He died for the whole world and everyone who has ever lived, so that must include you. It is finished on the cross. Redemption — being set free from the power of sin — is accomplished to bring us back to God. Reconciliation — being restored back to fellowship — is over with. We have a right relationship with God in Messiah Yahshua.
We deserved death for our independence and rebellion against the will of God. But God in his wisdom has provided a way for us to return to him. This way is only through finding forgiveness for our sins. Outside of Messiah there is no forgiveness; there never could be forgiveness outside the precious blood of the Lamb.25 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; but in his mercy the Lord has laid on Him the guilt and sin of us all. All our sins have been laid on Yahshua.26
It is like a transfer of funds in accounting. Originally sin was in your account, but now it has been transferred to the account of Messiah. We all like sheep have gone astray. I am a sinner that has gone astray. I am included. And the Lord has caused the sin of us all to be placed upon him. All my sins are upon him. What a relief! What a wonderful salvation! He has done it for us. He will forgive me. I must now believe only in him, Messiah Yahshua, my Sovereign.
Now that God has dealt with our sins and has forgiven us, we don’t need to be sinners any more. Receiving the forgiveness of sins restores us back to the state we were intended to be in before Adam rebelled and lost his relationship with God. Adam was a man, and he had a human soul and spirit. But God intended to give Adam and Eve Eternal Life, just as he has given us Eternal Life in Yahshua. This is what we should rejoice in — that we have Eternal Life. Our names are recorded in the Lamb’s book of life. The Lamb of God is Yahshua, slain for us in our place. He was sacrificed for you and me. He now gives us Eternal Life.
God is getting what he never got in Adam. He is giving us what Adam never received. There was another tree in the Garden of Eden, and its fruit was not forbidden: the tree of life. But Adam never ate of that tree. If he had not sinned, he would have eaten of that tree and come into possession of Eternal Life. Paul says that we are a new creation in Messiah, the old things have passed away, and, behold! New things have come.27 Messiah is the seed of a new order, a new life. When we believe, we inherit a life far greater than the life Adam experienced. We inherit the life God wanted Adam to have. This new life, this new creation, is the life of the very Son of God himself. And this life is Eternal Life.
What is the meaning of Eternal Life? The glory of becoming a new creation is that we not only have Messiah on the outside but we have him on the inside. Adam had Messiah on the outside and fellowshipped with him. But we have him on the inside and fellowship with him. Thus he will never leave us or forsake us, for he is in us. This fellowship is having Eternal Life — Messiah in you.28 Only if we have within us him who is Eternal Life can we humans last for eternity. We must have the life of the Ages in us or we will not make it. We must be in possession of Eternal Life and Eternal Life must be in possession of us.
The scriptures make it clear that this life of eternity is in the Son, and it is found in no other person.29 Whoever does not have the life of the Son is merely temporary — he can exist on earth, but not through eternity. He must have the life that makes him eternal. Paul says that the last Adam has become a life-giving Spirit, that he was made a life-giving Spirit.30 The purpose of this is to enable all those who have received Messiah to receive a Spirit that regenerates them — that actually gives them a new life. When a person receives a life-giving Spirit, that means that the Spirit he receives gives him a new life — a totally, radically different life — the very life of Yahshua the Messiah. So, therefore, all who truly have this life in them will in deed walk as Yahshua walked when he was personally here on earth.
You must be born from above.31 The new life is an absolute necessity. It is the essence of our life in Messiah. The presence (or witness) of this life is the way we can determine who is false and who is true.
God has said, through the Apostle John, “He who has the Son has the life of the Son; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life of the Son.” And then immediately, he says, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have Eternal Life.”32 He also lets us know that salvation is not a matter of doctrine but a matter of life. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps his word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in him: the one who says he abides in him ought himself to walk in the same manner as he walked... We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this: that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.33 It is this life that determines whether you have the Son of God. Messiah has become our new life. We are a new person when we believe, we have a new beginning.34
Man can do nothing but accept, believe. Religion asks man to do something: to improve, to work, to suppress our thoughts and desires. But Messiah is our life: the inward work of Messiah far exceeds man’s own efforts or outward labor to try to be righteous and loving. God gave his only begotten Son to man to redeem man and give him Eternal Life.35 But the scriptures say that as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become the children of God, even to them who believe on his name.36 How do you obtain this life? It is very simple. God gave and we receive — that’s all. Just receive and accept what God has given. Simply believe and receive and you will obtain the Eternal Life. For those who are led by the Spirit are the sons of God. You are being led now, at this moment, by God’s own Spirit to accept his Son, Yahshua — the one who died in your place to forgive you for your sins in order that you might come into possession of Eternal Life.
In order for rebellion to be eradicated from the universe, it must first be dealt with in the human heart. God has provided a cure for all spiritual defect and corruption in the human heart. The heart is the issue — the heart must be changed. There must be a cure for the deep-seated disorder that is in the heart of every human being — including you and me. The defect is cured by one means only — that means is in the name and person of Yahshua the Messiah.
We desperately need the witness in us that we have a new heart. He who believes in the Son of God with all his heart — trusts in him and clings to him — has the testimony in himself. The one who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given concerning his Son, Yahshua.
If we receive or believe the testimony of man, the testimony of God is greater. The testimony or witness of God is this: that he has borne witness concerning his Son. As a matter of fact, this letter to you is exactly that testimony that God has for you. Messiah now has become a life-giving Spirit, and his Spirit gives all the witness you need to become a child of God, born of his Spirit.37
Paul the Apostle says this: “Flesh and blood (a normal human body and life) cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.”38 This perishable life and body cannot inherit what is eternal and imperishable. Your natural life you have now cannot live forever. It is absolutely impossible for you to change or to cause yourself to have Eternal Life. There must be a supernatural birth — the receiving of a seed of life from heaven. It is only possible with him, by his grace and mercy.
The true witness of God is that he has given us Eternal Life, and this life is in his Son. The life of the Son is the true witness of the Spirit. These things were written down in order that whoever has the Son by believing on him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength may know that they have Eternal Life within them. They will know that they have passed out of death into life because they are loving and clinging to their brothers and sisters, who also have the life of the Son of God and are clinging to him.39
Someone may say, “I have come to know him (the Son of God),” but if he does not keep his commandments he is a liar. This is also God’s testimony of the truth.40 These things were written to those who believe, or say they believe, in the Son of God, that they may know for sure whether they have Eternal Life.41 God’s word is his witness to us. It is the standard and rule of our faith. We are measured by his word, his witness.
Someone may say, “I am a Christian; I belong to God; I have the Son of God; I have eternal life,” but if this one does not do what his word tells him to do, then he is a liar and the truth, the witness, is not in him after all. Instead, the witness is false, and a false witness is the liar, who is the devil.42 It is the Spirit (of God) that bears witness because the Spirit is the truth. And who is the liar but the one who says he loves God but does not love his brother? For the one who says he loves God, and yet does not love his brother, is a liar and does not love God no matter what he says with his mouth.
The true witness is in deeds and not just in words. This is also the testimony of God.43 This is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son, Yahshua the Messiah, and love one another, just as he commanded us.44 If we don’t do this, how can we know we have Eternal Life?45 So, if you come to know the Yahshua by believing in his name and are led by his Spirit, you will lay down your life for your brothers as Messiah laid down his life for us.46
By this word we know what the testimony of God is concerning what the word love really means.47 Love is what we're all looking for, but no one seems to know what it is. But God has given testimony as to what love is. It is a life that comes from laying down your life. This life can’t be bought or worked for. It is a gift from God. It is Eternal Life. No one can live the life of the Son of God, which is love, without believing in him and receiving this life by his Spirit. All other life is death, all else is vanity, all else will pass away — but a life of love is Eternal Life.
There is no use even trying to obey his commandments or his word outside of the “Community of Believers.” It is impossible. God will lead you to people who share a common life together and daily lay down their lives for each other. A life together is the witness of the Spirit — it is a life of love. The word of God says that whoever has this world’s goods and sees a brother in need and closes his heart against him — how does the love of God abide in him?48 The love of God cannot live in that person.
Let us not love with just talk but in reality — deed and truth. We shall know by this that we are of the truth and shall assure our hearts before him. Do not believe every spirit, for there are many spirits and many Jesuses being proclaimed today. We know that in the last days many will present the wrong Jesus — a false Jesus and a false spirit — one that cannot stand up to the test: the word and testimony of God. Many false witnesses have gone out into the world, rejected from the Body of Messiah. So judge yourself by his word and the standard and life in the community of his Son, Yahshua.
The spiritual defect of the heart is cured only in the name of Yahshua. This defect that everyone who is born possesses is what keeps us in bondage — walking in darkness. There is nothing we can do about it. We personally did not ask to be born and we did nothing to bring this defect on ourselves — except being born and being a part of the fallen human race. But God has done something about it. He has sent his only begotten Son into the world to deliver us from this bondage to the evil one and the evil system of the evil world.
The system of the world is under a curse and the earth is beyond redemption, except by the personal bodily return of the Messiah, Yahshua, to this planet. And this man, with a human body like ours and with the Eternal Spirit of God dwelling in him, will return in the fullness of power and glory. Our pitiful state of being has only one solution: the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world — Yahshua the Anointed One.49
The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone. There is salvation from our pitiful condition in no other name, no one else. For there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved except this Yahshua, the stone that was despised and rejected by the builders.50 Understand: it was the Jews (the religious people) and the Romans (the people dedicated to civilization) who rejected and crucified Yahshua. If your hope is in the progress of man or in being a good, moral person, then beware: you are building on a foundation other than this cornerstone Yahshua the Messiah, and you have rejected the only solid foundation for life.
The old race of which Adam was the head is passing away. This is the race of fallen man. It is doomed — sentenced to death and destruction. But Messiah is the head of the new race, the new creation of redeemed man. He is the second man and the last Adam. He is the second man because he was born from above and not of Adam’s seed. He is the last Adam because he has risen from the dead and sits at the right hand of God, his Father. There will never need to be another Adam because the second man and last Adam, Yahshua, has done the will of the Father and secured the obedience of a new race who will put Satan under his feet.
The first Adam was the representative of a very large body — large enough for all mankind to be in him. When he sinned, the whole race was corrupted. The entire human race fell into hopelessness, unable to achieve God’s purpose in creation. But God executed judgment on one man — Yahshua.
He, Yahshua the Messiah, is also a very large man, a corporate man, and we are all included in him because of his death. But it takes true faith, true belief in this Yahshua to make our life in him a reality. Messiah is a body that all mankind can come into. There is room for all those he died for. Messiah is a body to be entered by baptism. In the same way that Noah entered the ark and was brought safely through the water, so also now baptism saves you — not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience — because true baptism brings you out of a world that is perishing and into a visible body of people where the life of God is manifested in flesh and blood.51 All have opportunity to be sons of God through faith in Yahshua, for all who have been baptized into Messiah have put on Messiah.52 You can only put him on through immersion by the Holy Spirit into his Body.
Only there is there no distinction between races or any walls between people of any kind. We are mixed together in one body in love and unity. This new race will rule the earth. This is the new creation, a corporate man that will put Satan under his feet. Only in the new creation can we have dominion. The day of execution for Satan is coming up, when the corporate man, the Body of Messiah, will — by their true fellowship with the Son of God — put him under their feet. For Messiah, “having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until his enemies be made a footstool for his feet.”53 And he is still waiting. Hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
The purpose of the New Testament period, or the day we live in, is that now, in Yahshua, we might become the people God has brought back to himself — a People to glorify him. He has built for himself, on the foundation of Yahshua the Messiah, the dwelling place that he has always wanted, as he said, “A chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; for once you were not a people but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy.”54 This is written to those God has chosen to do his will, those in whose midst he dwells. Yahshua did not die on the cross so that you could go your own way without fear of punishment. He died and rose again and ascended into heaven so that he could bring back to God, and to fellowship with God, Man: “a people” who would live under his rule, “a kingdom of priests” that serve him.55
But in this day of confusion and falsehood we have come to believe that God exists for us. We may ask, “How can I fit God into my life and plans?” when we should — or must — fit into God’s life and plans. We exist for him. He is now offering us a place in his kingdom. He is not coming back to this earth to live under Satan’s rule. Satan will be bound and held for his appointed destruction in the lake of fire, together with those who serve him. And God will dwell among all men, and he shall wipe every tear from every eye. There will no longer be any death, or mourning, or crying, or pain.56 The covering of Satan’s tyranny that has dominated the earth for 6000 years is going to be removed forever and ever.57
God is not someone who can’t get his people to do what he wants them to do, so he gives up and does what they want instead. Don’t ever think he is like that! For he has a one-track mind, and he will get the people he has always wanted. He wants to save Mankind, and that includes you, but he won’t always give you the opportunity. Yes, the opportunity to be saved from the coming judgment and destruction will come to an end soon, along with everything else in this world system. He wants to save you from the bondage of self-worship. If you wish to follow Yahshua, then deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow him. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for the sake of Messiah shall find it.58 Men were made for God and not for themselves. He has created all things — and for his pleasure and purpose, in order to accomplish his will, they exist and were created.59 Their single purpose must be to honor him. Yahshua, the Lamb of God, is worthy of all glory and honor. It is he who was slain and purchased for God with his blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. He has made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God and they will reign upon the earth.60
God will gather men out of every nation, and they will become his people. He will be their God, and he will give them one heart and one way, that they might fear him always — for their own good and the good of their children. He will put the fear of him into their hearts so they will not turn away from him. God will rejoice over them and will faithfully plant them in the Land with all his heart and soul.61
The false god of independent “belief,” serving God for yourself apart from a distinct people, is being exposed for what it is. God is raising up his standard, his people, together in one place — loving one another daily, expressing this Eternal Life of the new creation that will go on forever. This is what God is committed to. Are you included in it? Do you sense his call? Are you beginning to fear him? For if you are, it is the beginning of wisdom for you.
Are you included in something that God in heaven is committed to? Something that he is going to do, with all his heart and all of his being? Did you know that God has already done these things? He accomplished it all when he came to earth in a body prepared for himself, in Yahshua the man. Did not God send his own heart and soul in Messiah? Is it not true that the Holy Spirit was sent to complete the work — gathering all those who believe this with all their heart and all their being?
The Holy Spirit is in the world today, convicting all men of their sin, of their need for a savior. He is proclaiming to everyone the standard that he has established here on earth in Messiah — a code of behavior for those who follow him. Every moment the Holy Spirit is proclaiming the judgment awaiting Satan and al I those who choose to follow in his footsteps — in rebellion against God and his purpose on earth. The Holy Spirit is in the world to gather together the lost sheep of Israel, to merge them into his fold. Are you a lost sheep?
“A father of the fatherless, and a judge and protector of the widows is God in his holy habitation (in the midst of his people). God makes a home for the lonely and places the solitary in families. He leads out the prisoners into prosperity. Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.”62 Are you one of these? Do you not need a savior? Do you not need your sins forgiven? Do you not need a new heart? Is the Holy Spirit who was sent to earth nudging at your heart’s door?
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and his Messiah, who is gathering his own people. Are you one of God’s own people who are lost and wants to be found? If you confess with your mouth Yahshua as your Lord, and believe with all your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart a man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation from the world and its appointed destruction.63 You can know by the Spirit that is speaking to you right now. And if you will be led by this Spirit, you can be a child of God.64 He will lead you to his people who have surrendered their own lives, their heart and soul to him. Won’t you surrender? Will you, after all, be one who will dwell in a parched, dry land where only the rebels dwell? Do not rebel against this Holy Spirit who loves you, who was sent to gather a people for his own name.