"ON EAGLES’ WINGS MINISTRIES"
“Oneness with God—Going beyond theory!” June 2015. part 4.
In trying to comprehend the massive scope of the concept of oneness with God, how can we stand at the end and understand the beginning? Or how can we visit the beginning and understand the end? Let us try to link all the divergent aspects of this phenomenal conquest of the Divine Mind. We have said, and have shown in past lessons that the Creator’s mind and grandiose intent with his creation was to be established upon the concept of oneness.
As we read: “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ.” Ephesians 1: 10: there is the likely-hood of great conversations and debates as to what such statements really mean. Paul offered this little clue: “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.” Ephesians 1: 9, 10.
Notice that all of this is based upon God’s own will and pleasure. He does what he does, simply because that is what he wants to do. “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that ae not yet doe, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Isaiah 46: 10. “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ before the world began.” 2nd Timothy 1: 9.
Notice that this elaborate plan of salvation concerning us was birthed in the heart of God before time began; and it is all based upon his good will and pleasure. Isn’t this amazing? But what are we talking about when we mention “the dispensation of the fullness of times? We must stand where we are, and looking through the telescopic lenses of the writer of Hebrews and notice what is recorded.
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3. Today in many varied levels of conversations we hear the term: In what time frame are we talking about? That term is often used to describe a specific time as it applies to whatever we are talking about. For instance: “Speaking of the time frame in which Abraham lived, or in which Isaac and Jacob lived.” But as written to the church by Paul, we are taken behind the scene to a point before time began.
“According as he hath chosen us in him (Christ Jesus our Lord) before the foundation of the world, (before the worlds were founded) that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated (pre-ordained) us unto the adoption by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will: To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Ephesians 1: 4-6.”That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5: 27.
All of these sentiments constitute the main message of oneness with God. Look back in time and here God speak to ancient Israel, putting the idea of oneness on the line. “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice, and keep my covenant, then shall ye be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” Exodus 19: 5, 6.
Ladies and Gentlemen! Hearken unto my words, spoken in humility! We are overwhelmed by scriptural evidence that before time began, God had already constructed a blueprint of his forth coming creation. That blueprint contained every minute detail of the earth, the world at large, such react and how they should behave, especially in remaining in one accord with the Creator.
Back in Hebrews, when God framed the worlds by faith and the power of “The Creative Word” he also set in place time frames. He determined how each time frame should run, for how long, and what should be accomplished within each time frame. It is from this knowledge that men like C. I. Scofield constructed the “seven dispensation of man.” One distinguish gentlemen from Philadelphia produced and marketed an amazing colorful chart exhibiting the seven dispensation of man. It is also from this man’s written works that many today are teaching what they believe the unfolding of time is likely to be. Instead of structuring their beliefs to conform to the actual truths of scripture, they labored endlessly to bring the scriptures to underscore their beliefs.
From time to time, even in the books I have written and published, I continue to explain that what I write and teach is based upon the scripture: each in its proper context in what I believe to be the intended truth to begin with. No matter how sweet and how profound a concept seems to be, I will not share it publicly as a tangible form of teaching, if I cannot produce scripture texts that will substantiate my thoughts. Indeed, God framed the world and introduced time to mankind. At the beginning, he told man that he could live forever: but that is contingent or predicated upon his obedience, not to eat of a certain tree in the garden. God did not force death upon man! He simply pointed out that it will serve as the penalty for eating of that specific tree.
When my wife looks upon how politics has marred the landscape! How millions take no second thought to vilify the President of the United States! How human life seems to have lost its value, in so much that beheadings of scores of people is shown on television! How the poor that are barely living on the edge, watch helplessly as the faint—thin rug is drawn from under their feet by politicians who are worth millions of dollars in benefits, in salary, and in real estate. She asks me in dismay, “When will God do something about these great injustices?”
Here is where I wonder and I am searching for the truth as it really is. We have to believe that indeed, God is going to gather all things together in Christ: things that are in heaven and on earth—yea, even in him (Christ Jesus). I believe that with all my hearts! But what my mind keeps trying to unwrap is whether there will be a cleansing fire (the second death, the lake of fire) before all things can be brought back into union and harmony with Christ.
However, we are given certain scriptural guidelines such as this one. “To wit (to know—to acknowledge) that God was in Christ, not imputing (not laying it to their charge) their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” 2nd Corinthians 5: 19. There is a process that comes into play activated by Divine Order. “And so it all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Romans 11: 26, 27, 29.
It is rather easy for us to read and observe how the concept of oneness is dealt with and engineered into God’s universe. To that end, as seeing the ultimate enactment of this oneness of which we speak, a prophet long ago wrote: “And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day (The day of the Lord) shall there be one Lord, and his name one.” Zechariah 14: 9. Another prophet wrote saying: “And saviors shall come upon mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.” Obadiah 21.
From one scripture to the next throughout the Old Testament, there witnesses offered to attest to this fact that all things (and people) will come into oneness with God, even though the process of accomplishing this is not entirely noted. “Yea, all kings of the earth shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.” Psalm 72: 11. In my opinion, the most prolific writer of world events from his day until the end of time is Daniel. The prophet only repeated what was shown to him by the angel Gabriel, whose encounter with Daniel was to give him skill and understanding. At this point Gabriel showed him all that would come to pass upon his holy city and upon his people: number 490 years from the going forth of the command to rebuild the city and the temple, and to anoint the Most Holy.
But in a vision of four beasts, representing four world kingdoms, at the point of his distress over what he had seen, the prophet was told this wonderful news. “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. ” Daniel 7: 17, 18, 27.
About 553 years later, this same man, angel, Gabriel visited Mary in Nazareth and repeated some of what he said to Daniel. “And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Luke 1:33. Another prophet bore witness to these same truths as we read in the following text. “And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river (Euphrates) even to the ends of the earth.” Zechariah 9: 10. Many of these prophecies that sound as if they related emphatically to the first coming of Jesus to earth, we can see by observation that they were only partially fulfilled.
For instance, here is what the angel Gabriel told Mary. “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.” Luke 1: 32. But in only 3 ½ years this man was cut down and buried in full view of those who lived in and around Jerusalem. This entire situation created so much despondency among the disciples that Peter suggested that they go back fishing.
Ten days before he ascended into heaven, the disciples questioned whether it was time for him to restore the kingdom to Israel. But Jesus side stepped—evaded the question and pointed to what would happen in a few days. He was a real diplomat!
“And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times and the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1: 6-8. It was widely believed not only by his disciples, but Jews at large, even Judas, that this man was the Messiah in so much that they bodily took hold of him to crown him king. But history wrote the story with other components and realism that shattered hopes of the setting up of his reign upon the throne of David. By not paying much attention to Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost, the church has been pointing its members to the eastern sky, to see Jesus coming on the clouds.
Let us listen to Peter, preaching the first sermon of the Apostolic Church: first and foremost remember that Peter was among them who asked about the restoration of the kingdom to Israel just 10 days prior. Having received the Holy Ghost and fire, picture Peter grabbing a microphone and standing up with the eleven (It was not a one-man show) he immediately referred to David. “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his loins he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne.
He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ (Ladies and Gentlemen he did not refer to the second coming in the clouds,) that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. Therefore 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. For David hath not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool.” Acts 2: 29-35
Having received the Holy Ghost, Peter reached back in Old Testament history and laid out a concise plan for the kingdom of God with David in focus. Peter in essence was saying that David was dead and had not ascended into the heavens to sit on his throne, but Jesus had, and from thence, as Paul wrote, “For he must reign (as he has been doing since his ascension to sit on the right hand of God) till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” 1st Corinthians 15: 25, 26. As if to lend a little more muscle and realism to this concept, we read: “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices which can never take away sins. But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God. From where he is seated his expectancy is this: From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. Hebrews 10: 11-13. While we are living and waiting for these truths to become living experiences, many of our loved ones continue to cross over and very little is being said about them.
Let us take some time to consider their part of the salvation story. Paul offered a very strong word on the subject here! “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” 1st Thessalonians 4:13,14. To get a panoramic view of how these departed loved ones fill the gap and actually complete the story, we have to look into the records or walk the Hall of Faith Gallery. In the next chapter we will begin with the spirits of just men made perfect, constituting a great cloud of witnesses.
Royce O. Kennedy
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