V-MAIL TO THE FRONTLINE
ABIDING IN THE BLOOD VI
“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness and receive with meekness the ENGRAFTED Word, which is able to save your souls. And be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves”. (James 1:21-22)
Many churches over the centuries have failed to explain the true meaning of salvation. Covenant must be taught as a responsibility – not an option. People have been told they can live in sin because God understands that we are naturally stubborn and rebellious. Many have used the grace of God to excuse a lifestyle of carnality and unfortunately have presented this concept as normal Christianity. This might be accepted in the world of lukewarm religion but I cannot find the Lord excusing sin or doubt anywhere at anytime. Yes, newborns have much to learn but it is how they are trained that charts the course of their views. Pressing toward the “mark” would seem to teach the idea of striving for perfection which is being more like God. I thought the “less of me – more of Him” concept was allowing Him to be our LORD. Erroneous teachings along with the lack of discipline compound the problem while pleasing the devil, as he can keep God’s people in the misery of defeat while not having to work overtime trying to make war against them.
No doubt the covers are being pulled back on our nation which is revealing spiritual paralysis from the absence of the fear of God. We are now seeing extreme interpretations of liberal Christianity where many churches are flooded with pride filled, seeker sensitive programs, erotic dress, politically correct lectures, heavy metal music and the tolerance of everything from “all roads lead to heaven” to the gay agenda. On the flip side we observe the legalistic extremes of Quakers, Puritans, holiness and Amish that are strictly focused on isolation, independence, segregation, and sanctification. Whatever the case, people will usually follow what they have been taught because world views are the result of an “accumulation of information” process that is directly connected with learning. Problems occur when truth is distorted, knowledge is misinterpreted, we are traveling on the wrong road and we trust what we hear – instead of what God says. No matter how sincere or filled with zeal – if our understanding is in error, God cannot honor our faith because we are sincerely wrong. Many of God’s potential warriors are reduced by ignorance as the lack of God’s presence and anointing has made them harmless.
God’s salvation is based on covenant which means “cutting”. Covenants are “cut” and always require blood. Christianity is known as a bloody religion and always will be – thank God! Abraham entered into covenant with El Shaddai, (YHVH, Jehovah, the Almighty God), as he represented God’s nation – Israel. This is described to us in Genesis 15:17-21. God instructed Abraham to prepare for a covenant agreement with Him and was told to slaughter several animals. Following the common ritual of this time Abraham cut the animals in two halves and laid them on the ground opposite each other. The two parties would then walk around those two halves in a figure of eight path through the blood. In that ritual they would pledge themselves to each other to the extent of all they had, – even to their very lives. In that covenant they would name all the blessings and benefits of the covenant and also would name the curses to be exacted should that covenant be broken or violated. There in the bloody ground they would pledge themselves to each other and promise to uphold the covenant requirements come what may. It was a covenant of life unto death as they affirmed in effect that if either side violates this covenant then may that person be as this animal that was sacrificed and in whose blood we are now standing. This scripture shows this passing through when the fiery torch (representing God) appeared rushing to and fro between the slaughtered animals. Father is literally promising Abraham an eternal covenant, everlasting reliability and security but God required an obvious seal of this covenant – the circumcision (Genesis 17:1-14). This circumcision is an act done in faith and is another example of blood and faith involved with sacrifice. Every male descendant of Abraham was required to bear this covenant mark. In verse 13 God is repeating HIS promise confirming the eternal character of this covenant, but the following verse gives us the clear consequences if this covenant should ever be broken; it is the death of the perpetrator. Could this have eternal implications? Just how crucial is it to walk in God’s Sprit? Grace obviously does not supersede being lukewarm. Selah. How much sin will God tolerate in the life of His children? Is there a line a Christian can cross from being saved to being lost? Is there a place where back-sliding outweighs forgiveness?
This was the covenant God made with Abraham – and this covenant is still alive and available now! Some might say, “The old covenant has been replaced” and that we should not follow, believe or apply its promises for our lives today. On the contrary! Just because a new covenant has been established, it does not mean the original laws of God should be abolished! “Thou shalt not steal” is still a true commandment that demands honor, respect and obedience. “Since it is the one and the same God who will justify the circumcised by faith (which came from Abraham) and the uncircumcised through their (newly acquired) faith. (For it is the same trusting faith in both cases, a firmly relying faith in Jesus Christ). Do we then by this faith make the law of no effect, overthrow it or make it a dead letter? CERTAINLY NOT! On the contrary, we CONFIRM and ESTABLISH and UPHOLD the law”. (Romans 3:30-31, AMP.) Others might say, “The Old Testament promises were just for the Jews” but let us observe another very interesting passage about that subject. In Romans chapter eleven we see the Jews being a symbol of an olive tree and the gentiles portraying a wild olive shoot that is being super-naturally grafted into the tree of life by the grace of God. “You will say then, branches were pruned off so that I might be GRAFTED in! That is true, but they were pruned off because of their unbelief (their lack of real faith) and you are established through faith (because you do believe). So do not become proud and conceited but rather stand in awe and be reverently afraid”. (Romans 11:19-20) This is a type and shadow of a spiritual reality and given as an encouragement to us that His covenant applies to us. I do not see anywhere that says these promises are not valid to be received BY FAITH today! Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to FULFILL”. (Mathew 5:17) I believe the powerful lesson to learn is the truth that living in covenant with God and ALL of His Word is a vow of commitment and we can always depend on Father for everything. I realize this covenant was (and is) conditional to obedience but it should not discourage or intimidate us from walking in it. We should not pull back from the pain of sacrifice or run away from it because we feel we cannot live up to its requirements. Some have made comments lately that it is hard enough to just go to work and pay the bills let alone try to digest this revelation about living on a higher plane of tranquility. I realize that for the most part, people are simple thinkers and basic down-to-earth survivors but I will always believe we have not even scratched the surface of our spiritual potential. (I know this because of the lost look on the faces of those when covenant or walking in the divine reality is mentioned). I believe we can evolve into a spiritual overcomer – if that is what we really want. Is that what we really want? Selah. Our old nature becomes “insulted” at the truth. You see; if the gospel does not soften you – it will harden you. God’s Word was offensive and His gospel is provoking to those who are blind and calloused. The increase of lukewarmness and rebellion can be the personal rejection and resentment of God’s expectations. Jesus presented the “offensive” truth to the religious world and instead of them becoming humble and willing to change they became enraged. He was simply asking the question (and is still asking); “could it be possible that you could be blind?” The most natural and common response from a deceived person is, “how dare you presume I am blind! I am not blind and I am very offended that you would even imply that I am”. (Conviction is like deciding whether or not to have surgery). “But He gives more grace. Wherefore He said, God resist the proud but gives grace to the humble”. (James 4:6)
8. BLOOD PROTECTS: Our bloodstream provides the access for anti-bodies to patrol around the clock trying to guard against intruders. A healthy body has a strong army of these warriors that are constantly ready to fight. Our immune system is the command post that is connected to a highly advanced security system, ready to sound an alarm against all infections. Our blood also has a built-in ability to instantly coagulate in case of rupture or damage to stop the loss of our life source. This ability to repair, regenerate and heal provides “life-saving” preservation. In the spirit realm we see a shadow and type of the blood covenant of Jesus When God brought judgment upon every first born in Egypt. He commanded the children of Israel to sacrifice a lamb and paint the door post with its blood. “And the blood shall be to you for a token (sign) upon the houses where you are: and when I see the blood – I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt”. (Exodus 12:13) When we are washed in Jesus blood we are recognized in heaven and earth as being in covenant with Him as the “door post” of our heart is painted with His blood. As we honor and obey Him, He promises that He will NOT pour out His wrath upon His children. Correction is the discipline of love but not destruction. We know when Father sees our blood covenant relationship with Jesus that we will be saved and protected. Salvation IS deliverance and security.