It is our desire to convey to you what Abba Christian Center is all about. In this context, we are putting the first three chapters of the book, Abba Father, by Pastor Michael Bruno, online so you can read it. (You can call the church office at 724.421.5139 to order the book in its entirety.)
The book, Abba Father, exemplifies the vision of Abba Christian Center in our passion to convey the heart of God and the wisdom to enter into His virtue and grace.
Chapter 1: The Spirit Cries Abba
The revelation of God as Abba is one of the most glorious revelations in the word of God. I will be so bold to say that it is the foundational revelation of Christianity.
The believer’s relationship with God is dependent on two variables. The first is knowing who God truly is to us. The second is knowing who we are to God. The revelation of God as Abba brings knowingness to these areas as virtually nothing else can. Herein, knowing God as Abba is the revelation of intimacy. The following verses are two of the main proof texts regarding God being our Abba:
Galatians 4:4-6 (NIV)
But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full right of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father!”
Romans 8:15 (NIV)
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, you received the Spirit of sonship, and by Him we cry Abba, Father.
Let us look at some of the logistics associated with these verses. I first want to focus on the word Abba itself. Many, knowing that the New Testament was originally written in Greek, assume it is a Greek word. However, it is of an Aramaic origin. Paul’s reasoning for using the Aramaic word Abba in scripture is twofold. The first rationale is in the context of emphasis. The variable of emphasis is seen throughout the Bible. In the Psalms, when we see the word Selah, it is simply conveying emphasis or special importance to that which David is sharing. Jesus Himself used the variable of emphasis extensively in His ministry. Each time He used the expression, “Verily, verily,” He was putting the principle of emphasis to work.
John 3:3 (KJV)
Jesus answered and said unto him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
What is He saying when He speaks, “Verily, verily?” He is saying, “This is especially important, listen up!” Likewise, God inspires Paul to use this principle of emphasis as well. This is seen via the scripture of 1 Corinthians 16:22.
1 Corinthians 16:22 (KJV)
If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
The phrase Anathema Maranatha is kept in its original form for emphasis. Likewise, the word Abba is kept in its original language to bring attention to its importance.
The second reason for the word Abba being left in its Aramaic form is in the context of translation. The Greek language of Paul’s day is considered by linguists to be one of the most sophisticated languages of all time. However, the intimacy intrinsic to the name of Abba, even in the Greek, was virtually impossible to convey. Consequently, it was left in its original form. Likewise, our English language has great difficulty in communicating the intimacy contained in the meaning of the name, Abba. ‘Daddy’ is the closest the English language can come regarding its translation. Indeed, the name ‘Daddy’ denotes great intimacy. However, it still falls short of the glory intrinsic to the name of Abba.
Let us now look at the scripture of Galatians 4:6 itself. When examining the scripture of Galatians 4:6, we see the Spirit of God crying out Abba unto our spirit. It is indeed important to understand this cry of the Holy Spirit. The crying shared in Galatians 4:6 is translated from the Greek word Corazo. This word Corazo means to scream. This scream is in the context of necessity. For example, if a mother would see her young child ready to be hit by an oncoming car, she would Corazo to him. She would scream at the top of her lungs. She would do this to deliver him from disaster, to bring about his safety. Likewise, the Holy Spirit screams to our spirit. As the mother knows that her young child has to hear her voice, the Holy Spirit knows that the believer has to hear the name of Abba. It is the name that will free us from the bonds of religion and the law. It is this name that will bring us into the freedom and victory that is rightly ours through Christ.
Also, as it is important to understand the crying of the Holy Spirit, it is critical to understand the priority of this cry. When a believer is born again, the first thing that his spiritual ears hear is the cry of Abba. The Holy Spirit comes into your heart with one word on His lips…Abba. This initial cry is tremendously significant. It shows us that the revelation of Abba is indeed the foundational revelation of Christianity. There is a reason that the Holy Spirit speaks the name of Abba immediately upon conversion. It is because this is the truth that He desires to communicate to your spirit most.
Parents have the opportunity to speak to their newborn baby whatever they desire. Almost invariably, they repeat the word “daddy” or “dada” over and over again. You won’t find many parents speaking, “Go to college, graduate, get a job!” No, they speak of relationship. They speak of who they are to that child.
When you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, the Spirit of God does not come into your heart crying, “Go to church.” He does not come into your heart crying, “Pay your tithes.” He does not come into your heart crying, “Stop drinking and carousing.” He does not come into your heart crying, “Do not fear.” He does not come into your heart crying, “Have faith.” He does not even come into your heart crying, “Share the Gospel.”
When you as a believer enter into the revelation of Abba, you will go to church. This is because you have to be in the presence of your Father. When you receive this revelation, you will pay your tithes because you have to help establish your Father’s kingdom. When you come to know God as Abba, sin will bow its knee. Fear will also take a back seat. This is because the perfect love of Abba Father casts out all fear. Faith will be realized when you see the Father’s heart. Sharing the Gospel is also a natural fruit of knowing Him as Abba. When you see who God truly is to you, you cannot help but share the Gospel. It just overflows.
Many times, the church falls short when someone gets saved. Instead of crying “Abba unto life,” we cry out all of the do’s and do not’s unto frustration and condemnation. We need to follow the Holy Spirit’s example and first cry out Abba. We need to teach Abba and preach Abba. The do’s and do not’s will fall into line upon the revelation of this glorious name.
I will never forget the testimony of a young man after he heard me share on God being his Abba. This man became so excited, that immediately after the meeting, he began looking for people to tell. Overflowing with joy, he contacted an unsaved friend. He shared of the glory of the blood of Jesus and how it enables God to be unto us as Abba. This friend, instantly upon hearing, accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Glory to God! Let us now look at the scripture of Galatians 4:1-3.
Galatians 4:1-3 (KJV)
Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differs nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so, we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.
It certainly is not a coincidence that these verses precede the glorious text of Abba. They act as a prelude to this revelation. Verse one shares a profound truth. It states that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different than a slave. The heir referred to in this verse is the child who is the heir to the throne. He literally is a child of the king. However, the scripture shares that as long as he is a child, he is no different than a slave. This indeed is such a powerful truth and so applicable to the church.
As a believer, you are a child of the King. You are a joint heir with Christ. However, it is very possible, even though you are an heir of God, to live like a slave. In fact, this is the state of so many Christians today. Though they are children of the King, so many live in a slave like state. They are enslaved to sin, fear, and the curse.
The late Kathryn Kuhlman shared the following story numerous times. She shared of a man who died in horrid poverty. After his death, the authorities found that this man’s mattress was filled with almost a million dollars. Evidently, it was inadvertently given to him without his knowledge. He had slept on this money- filled mattress night after night before finally dying of exposure. The provision was so close to him; however, he was unaware of that which he possessed. Miss Kuhlman would often share how this man symbolized the state of so many Christians. Indeed, this is what the passage of Galatians 4:1-3 is addressing.
It is possible to be a child of the King and yet live as a slave. Satan will do his best to blind our eyes to keep us from becoming children of God. Once we are saved, he works just as hard to keep us from seeing who we are and what we have in Christ.
What is God’s provision for our eyes to be opened that we might live as an heir? It is the revelation of God as Abba. The purpose of this book is that you may enter into the glory of this revelation. The ensuing pages are penned for one purpose. It is that with every word read, you would hear the Spirit of God cry Abba unto you.
Chapter 2: Exceeding Warfare
Scripture proclaims that the revelation of Abba is one of the foundational revelations of Christianity. Correspondingly, Satan has strategically attacked this revelation as virtually no other.
When a country engages in war, the primary strengths of the opposition are targeted. Electric plants, major highways, airports, and bridges are first on the hit list. In the spirit realm, it is no different. The greatest battles revolve around the most critical lifelines.
In Ephesians 6, before elaborating on the provision, Paul shares of the opposition. He shares of the opposing forces that we are fighting against. Following this order, I want to share of the hindrances one will face in the endeavor to know God as Abba.
The purpose of sharing these hindrances is twofold. The first is that we might understand the warfare involved regarding this revelation. Second, it is to inform us of the enemy’s schemes, in order to empower us to fight in wisdom.
The first hindrance to receiving the revelation of God as Abba is past experiences of hurt and calamity. Romans 2:4 shares that it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. 1 John 4:19 states that we love God because He first loved us. Where there is no revelation of God’s goodness and love, there will be no repentance.
Hebrews 11:6 says that the one who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. We cannot be in faith if we do not come before God in this manner. So many find it difficult to see God as Abba because of past experiences of hurt and calamity.
Years ago, I came in contact with a man who was a former satanic high priest. He now has a small ministry and works part time for the FBI assisting with satanic crimes. In talking to him, the order of Satan became very apparent to me. I am sharing the following example, although graphic, because it is so important for us to understand how Satan works.
Members in a satanic group, in their desire to please the devil, vowed to abuse a young child. They then invoked demons to empower them to carry out this act. After doing this, they consummated the act with prayer. Yes, with prayer. They prayed that a lying spirit would go to the parent of the child and speak three things. First, that God is not good; second, that He is not loving; and third, that He is not a father.
This order gives us much insight into the working of Satan. The evil one does not simply ravage to fulfill his lust. He desires to negate both the goodness and fatherhood of God. It is critical for the Christian to understand this.
For the last twenty years, I have been involved in sexual abuse counseling. I want to focus on this area of abuse for two reasons. First, it will reinforce the reality of spiritual warfare. Second, it clearly shows how calamity can affect one’s perception of God.
All throughout both my undergraduate and graduate studies, I heard the following statistics regarding sexual abuse. One out of every four females and one out of every six males have been sexually abused. Because of the profoundness of these statistics, I simply could not accept them.
The following experience changed my way of thinking. While directing a campus ministry, I appointed students to lead small groups. We would use these groups during our main meeting to teach and for prayer times.
One of the group leaders was a girl who had been dramatically healed of sexual abuse while counseling with my wife and I. She was leading one of these small groups one particular night when the topic of sharing hurts that hindered our relationship with God was being addressed. There were six girls in her group. Five of them shared that they too had been sexually abused. This changed my ministry. This experience was the impetus to making victims of sexual abuse a priority in ministry. The church has certainly fallen short in ministering in this area. It has taken a very passive approach regarding sexual abuse. Truly, it is not a pleasant topic to focus upon. However, it exemplifies Satan’s use of calamity and hurt as virtually nothing else can.
Psalms 139:14 shares that our soul knows that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Sexual innocence is certainly intrinsic to His divine design. Another verse that gives tremendous insight to His glorious design regarding His creation is that of Deuteronomy 32:10.
Deuteronomy 32:10 (KJV)
He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.
The apple of the eye is taken from the Hebrew word ishon. Ishon literally means little man of the eye or retina. The retina is the most securely guarded part of the eye. It is also the most sensitive. One touch can bring destruction.
Over the years, I have counseled scores of sexual abuse victims. The pain is virtually infinite. Why is abuse so prevalent? It is because this is an area that Satan has targeted. Satan will do all that he can to negate and confuse people concerning the father heart of God. He will aggressively attack the areas that serve to exemplify God as a loving father.
Regarding this strategy of Satan, I think of the following situation. It involves a young lady who attended a dorm Bible study I led while directing campus ministry. She knew the Bible well, but was not living the Christian life. Those in the Bible study began praying for her. Finally, she opened up and shared her heart. She shared that from a young age her grandfather had repeatedly sexually abused her. On top of this, her cousin was struck by lightning on a perfectly sunny day. They were good friends and he was only sixteen when he died.
It is no wonder why this girl was struggling in her relationship with Christ. Her perception of God was greatly tarnished by these acts of calamity. Complicating matters, those in the church told her that this was part of God’s plan for her life. This obviously was not what her heart needed to hear.
This precious girl was in a place of tremendous hurt and pain. These acts of calamity devastated her. Unfortunately, this teenage girl represents so many today. The good news is that God did minister to this girl in a very glorious way. God indeed has provision for all of those who have experienced such turmoil.
The first step in the healing process is to understand that God is in no way responsible for calamity. The following is a very profound example of how Satan tries to blame God for both hurt and calamity.
A number of years ago, Rios Dimont became President of Guatemala through a bloodless coup. Many in the Christian community rejoiced, as he was a strong Christian. However, I became confused regarding Mr. Dimont. Every night on the news I heard of his government troops ravaging and raping people in the rural areas of Guatemala. At the same time, reports of his Christianity continued to flourish.
During this time I was aware of a missionary couple in Guatemala. Herein I asked them about President Dimont. They explained how they knew him personally and shared the following story with me. They said that they were in some of these villages as they were being ravaged. The couple shared that the government troops were not responsible for the massacres. They said it was the Communist insurgent troops who brought this hurt.
The couple described how these insurgent troops would enter the village after having broken into one of the country’s main supply depots. They would take the government uniforms from the supply depot, and exchange their insurgent garb for the government uniforms. Then they ravaged, raped, and murdered the villagers. In the midst of this torment, the villagers saw the government uniforms and consequently ascribed the work of the insurgents to that of the government troops.
Truly, this is how the devil works. He clothes himself as an angel of light and goes about killing, robbing, and destroying. The church, with its ungodly traditions, actually reinforces a mindset of God being responsible for this death and destruction. Herein, so many Christians are unsure of God’s goodness towards them.
The purpose of the church of Jesus is to proclaim the goodness and Father heart of God. It is to proclaim the preciousness of God’s personage. It is to proclaim God as Abba. It is to share of His goodness, love, and fatherhood. So many have been hurt. Only a true perception of God’s goodness will enable the revelation of Abba to be received.
The second obstacle that thwarts so many from knowing God as Abba revolves around the earthly father. In the twenty-five years that I have been endeavoring to convey the revelation of Abba, this is perhaps the most prevalent obstacle.
The earthly father is so critical to each of our lives. God has ordained the earthly father to convey His personage. It is one of the cornerstones of God’s plan in revealing who He is. This is why He made us so impressionable regarding our fathers. This is why we have such a need for intimacy with our fathers.
Indeed we are both impressionable and vulnerable regarding the actions of our earthly father. A slap in the face from our father is so different from one received on the playground. The blow from a father’s hand can leave a scar that perhaps only Jesus Himself can erase. Truly, there is a God given need for a father’s affection residing in every child. It is one of the most profound needs intrinsic to man.
Today in America, virtually half of our children do not even live with a father. In many states, legislation makes it legal for homosexuals and lesbians to adopt children. On the news I viewed two lesbian women with a little boy that they had just adopted. It simply broke my heart. The results of this scenario are most profound. Rebellion, anger, crime, drugs, confusion, promiscuity and deviance are among its fruits. Can you imagine how a child raised by lesbians would perceive the Father Heart of God? If ever there were a need in the days we live, it is the need for fathers to be in their respectful place.
I know that the above statements are very strong. However, they are in no way to convey God hating those of a homosexual persuasion. God loves all people. God simply hates the sin and that which it does to people.
It may be politically correct to condone homosexuals raising children. It may even be religiously correct in some circles. However, it breaks the heart of God.
Our love and prayers need to go forth to the couples and the children involved in these situations.
The father fulfilling his God given call is a major battleground. Through selfishness, divorce, lust, early death, accidents, and character flaws, Satan has wreaked havoc within the family unit. So many have never known the earthy father of God’s intent.
Many times while conducting revival meetings, I will share on the revelation of God as Abba. To some this may seem inappropriate. This is because a salvation message is expected when conducting revival meetings. However, I believe that it is very appropriate.
To me, the church is a lot like a bull in a bullfight. If that bull ever found out that his problem was not the red hanky being waved in front of his face, but the matador making a mockery of him, that matador would be in a whole lot of trouble. Likewise, if the church ever found out that its problem was not the color of the pastor’s tie or a lack of people to serve on its committees, but rather a lack of intimacy with God, the devil would be in a whole lot of trouble!
Herein, at a revival meeting, I was teaching on the revelation of God as Abba. After the second meeting, I was approached by one of the elders in the church. He shared that his heart was crying out during the message to know God as Abba. However, because of what he had incurred at his father’s hands, he simply could not receive the reality of God being a loving father. This man’s struggle is common to so many.
God certainly had provision for this man. However, it does not negate the reality of the struggle. It is certainly natural to generalize our perception of our earthly father to the heavenly Father.
Recently I was ministering to a man who had an illness. I shared with him of God’s father heart and His desire to heal him. He looked at me with a blank stare. God being his father seemed foreign to him. He shared that when his older brother was five years old, his dad unknowingly backed his car over the boy, causing his death. His father lived in guilt for the remaining twenty years of his life. During this time his father did not say more than three words to him.
As I shared with this man, he must have thought, “God as a father? What is a father?” This man eventually received deliverance from his situation. However, there was a tremendous battle involved. Beloved, God has provision. The reason I am sharing of these obstacles is so we might realize the provision. If we do not understand the battle, how can we apply the blood and the word unto victory being realized in our lives?
In the last days, many prophecies will be fulfilled. One of the prophecies regarding the last days that excites me most is that of Malachi 4:5-6.
Malachi 4:5-6 (NIV)
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to their children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Indeed, a sign of the last days will be fathers returning to their rightful places in the home. Beloved, God is not mocked. When the devil comes in like a flood, God always raises up a standard. This standard is infinitely greater than the devil’s warfare. God has not been caught off guard. He knows the devil’s strategy. Correspondingly, He has provision. In the last days, God will pour out His Spirit unto the restoration of the father image in the families of the earth. Likewise, He will set people free from wrong experiences and wrong perceptions unto a true knowledge of God’s father heart.
It needs to be understood that the revelation of Abba is the key target of the enemy. It is that which he is afraid of most. Herein, it is of great significance that the primary supposition of Islam is that God is not a father.
I love the Moslem people so very much. It is a passion of mine to see them know the love of the Father. However, that which makes it so hard to present the Gospel, the truth of the Father sending His son and wanting to be our Father, is the Muslim belief that it is blasphemous to call God a Father. We need to simply pray that God will be seen as a Father regarding them.
The last obstacle is that of the natural man. This obstacle can be seen in the following scripture.
1 Corinthians 2:14 (KJV)
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The natural man only believes that which is in accordance with this natural world. This is why the natural man receives religion but opposes true Christianity. His Bible is not the word of God, but his five senses.
In this context, it is important for us to understand that the more that something is spiritually discerned, the more difficult it is for the natural man to receive it. Beloved, there is nothing more spiritually discerned than the reality of God Almighty being your Abba!
I will never forget the first time that I confessed out loud that God was my Abba, my Daddy. My mind rebelled. It was as if I said, “I am going to fly to Jupiter tomorrow.” It was completely illogical to my natural man.
In this context, I want to share a vision that the Lord gave me while ministering at a revival meeting. I believe that it will help us to see the battle that we have with the natural mind. The services at this revival meeting were going well, but I sensed oppression among different people in the church. It was in this setting that I was given this vision. In the vision, I saw a woman with a paintbrush and a can of white paint. She joyfully painted the concrete wall that was in front of her. When completed, it looked beautiful. She went away rejoicing. However, when she came to the wall the next day, it was very different. The wall had absorbed the paint. It looked like a brush never even touched it. The woman threw up her hands in anger and ran away.
The vision helped me to see the need to minister on faith to this church. It also taught me the strength of the natural man. In the vision, the concrete wall symbolized the natural man. The paint represented God’s word. It shows us that we need to continually feed on God’s word. It shows us that we need to put the word in our hearts until it controls our minds. Indeed, the natural mind is at enmity with God. Consequently, it takes a lot of word to control our natural mind.
I want to share the following analogy to further explain the reality of the natural man. You may find it humorous, but I believe that it will help make a point.
Believers everywhere have a desire to share with the unsaved in the work place. Sue is no different. For years, she has prayed for her boss and co-workers. Today, it seems that she will get a chance to share her faith, as the subject at the workplace is now about God.
Jim, Sam, Jackie and Jennifer make up Sue’s office. The conversation has turned to God with everyone sharing about who they feel that God is.
Jim shares first. He is the typical naturalist. He shares that God is in the stars, the ocean, and the trees. Those around him readily receive his assessment of God.
Sam is up next. He shares that God is the strength within man that enables him to do what is right. He of course represents the humanist. His view of God is applauded.
Next to share her view on God is Jackie. She would be labeled by many as a nominal Christian. She shares that God to her is like a person. Well the phrase, kind of like a person, is not too spiritually discerned, thus it is received fairly well.
Jennifer jumps in next. She is the office manager for whom Sue has prayed for much. She shares that God is the summation of like auras when man is in a state of mental peace and in unity with all people. This of course is of a New Age persuasion. Those in the office receive this theology with open arms.
After Jennifer shares, all eyes turn to Sue. Sue is an ‘on fire’ Christian. She openly shares that God is her Abba, her Daddy. All those around her hang their heads in silence as they exit the room. Although none comment, they think to themselves, “How could Sue say something so preposterous?” This would be the reaction of most unbelievers. It is also the response of our natural man.
Now, most likely God would not lead a believer to first share that God is Daddy to an unbeliever. This truth should be embraced with other variables of the Gospel. Jesus shared, as people were able to hear. However, this is indeed the Gospel. So many have distanced themselves from the revelation of Abba because of their minds. We cannot afford to appease the natural man at the expense of the negation of intimacy.
It is always difficult to address obstacles. This is because the flesh does not like battle. However, this is the beauty of Christianity. Where there are obstacles, there is always provision in Jesus Christ. God always has a ram in the bush.
Ephesians 5:26 (KJV)
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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.
The devil is real. Past hurts are real. The natural man is real. Jesus Christ is infinitely greater. Jesus has the ability to wash us from anything that has imprinted us adversely. Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, is the counselor. He is the healer. He is the comforter. He is life. He is the Greater One.
His word will wash you from tragic past hurts. His word will erase the memories of pain and degradation that you have experienced. He will come in His glory and bring life and faith. As a strong ocean tide washes away the grains of the sand on a seashore. God will move in greater power. He will wash away hurts and wrong perceptions and make them as if they never were. More so, His word will give faith unto seeing Him as Abba, enabling you to walk with Him accordingly.
This, beloved, is the ministry of the church. It is the responsibly of God’s ministers to proclaim the glory of His personage. Indeed, God is so good. Indeed God is so loving. Indeed He is a Father. He is Abba.
It is the word of Abba that draws the sinner. It is the word of Abba that washes the saints of hurt and pain. It is the word of Abba that fills us with the glory of intimacy.
Chapter 3: The Way of Similitude
Psalms 103:7 (KJV)
He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
Psalms 103:7 is such a glorious scripture. It beautifully differentiates between God’s acts and God’s ways.
In this scripture the acts of God are associated with Israel and the ways of God are associated with Moses. The acts of God are what God does, His power. The ways of God entail why God does what He does. It involves His heart and His motivation. The reason that Moses walked in such great intimacy with God is because he knew God’s ways.
Exodus 19:16-20 (KJV)
And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightning’s and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice.
And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.
Hebrews 12:21 (KJV)
And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake.
One of the most awesome acts of God recorded in the Bible was His literal descent upon Mount Sinai.
It was nothing short of phenomenal. The mountain literally smoked and shook with His holiness. So awesome was the sight that it caused Moses himself to tremble.
What was the purpose of this manifestation of power? The answer is found in Exodus Chapter Twenty.
Exodus 20:18-20 (KJV)
And all the people saw the thundering, and the lightning’s and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they moved, and stood afar off.
And they said unto Moses, “Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” And Moses said unto the people, “Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces that ye sin not.”
God was readying the people to hear the commandments that they would soon be responsible to keep. The awesome manifestation of His power was to help them make a commitment to those commands. In essence, it was simply a backdrop for the reading of the commandments. It was a backdrop conducive to commitment.
Did it work? Certainly. After sharing hundreds of ordinances, Moses asked the people if they will keep this covenant.
Exodus 24:3 (KJV)
And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, “All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.”
All the people with one voice said yes. Who wouldn’t? The mountain was still smoking, lightning was streaking across the sky and the mountain was still shaking! They made a commitment under this guise.
You see, God was instilling His fear into them. However, He was also leading them into a revelation of His ways. The reason that they fell away so quickly is that they never graduated from knowing His acts to knowing His ways. Consequently, shortly after voicing great commitment, they worshipped a golden calf.
Hebrews 3:10-11 (KJV)
Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, they do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I swear in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest.
Israel consistently wavered and backslid for centuries. It is because they never entered into His ways. Hebrews four tells us that we are to avoid their mistakes.
Hebrews 4:1-2 (KJV)
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
The ways of God are more precious than gold. It is the difference between not knowing God and knowing Him in intimacy. For whatever reason, I have heard little taught regarding the ways of God. It is most important that we understand the ways of God. The Bible can only be understood when we understand the heart of God. The Bible is not a rule book unto condemnation. It is a conveyor of God’s heart. The ways of God are given to unlock the glory of His heart to you
There are specific ways intrinsic to each of the major doctrines of Christ. For example, intrinsic to the doctrine of salvation are the ways of redemption, grace, and unconditional love. The ways intrinsic to the doctrine of faith are those of intimacy, personage and expression. Concerning the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the ways of sanctification, glory and infusion are most primary. The ways of prayer includes wisdom, intimacy, and dominion. For each major doctrine of Christ, there are specific ways intrinsic to each. The most exciting thing that there is, is to learn of the ways associated with these major doctrines. This is the key to understanding them fully. This is the key to the word coming alive. It is that which causes you to see the heart of God.
The ways associated with the revelation of Abba are most precious. They are filled with both the glory and the wisdom of God. I believe that they will change your life as virtually nothing else can.
WAY OF SIMILITUDE – LAW OF LIKENESS
The way of similitude is one of the foundational ways intrinsic to the revelation of God as Abba. It is nothing less than glorious.
Hebrews 2:14-16 (NAS)
For it was fitting for Him for whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, “I will proclaim Thy name to my brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will sing Thy praise. And again, I will put my trust in Him. And again, Behold I and the children whom God has given me.” Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil: And might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.
This passage in Hebrews Two is most profound. The purpose of the first chapter of Hebrews was to refute the heresy being propagated by some in the church that said that Jesus was in some way inferior to angels. Through demonic spirits, angels were being put on a pedestal and actually being deemed as worthy of worship. Chapter One boldly brings forth the reality that there is only one who is worthy of worship and His name is Jesus.
Chapter Two deals with angels in the context of man. It shares of man being exceedingly higher than angels. Verse Sixteen boldly declares that God never considered shedding His blood for angels. However, concerning the seed of Abraham, He laid down His life willingly. Hebrews 2:11 speaks emphatically to this issue, profoundly differentiating man from angels.
Hebrews 2:11 (NAS)
For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren.
This verse, beloved, is most awesome. I honestly do not know why it has not been taught on more, but it should be! It is so glorious. Let us look at it in detail, using it as a preface to understanding the way of similitude.
The one who sanctifies is, of course, Jesus. Those who are sanctified refers to man. Referring back to Jesus and man, the scripture says that both are of one Father. In this context, it then goes onto say that Jesus is not ashamed to call us His brethren.
Isn’t this verse most glorious? It concretely states that the believer and Jesus are of the same Father. Now, at this time there is an obvious balance that has to be put in front of us as we partake of this verse. Jesus is of course deity. He is one with the Father through both His perfection and personage. We, of course, are of the Father only by the blood of Jesus through grace. This is obvious but it needs to be shared for the sake of safety. Balances need to be shared even when obvious, especially in the context of doctrine.
This balance does not negate the glory of Jesus calling you and I His brothers. I know that this sounds strange to many as it has not been taught. However, it is true. The scripture says it.
Why can Jesus call you and I brethren? Well, the answer lies in the words that proceed this proclamation of Jesus. He calls us His brethren because we are of the same Father that He is of! Glory to God!
This proclamation is part and parcel of the law of similitude. Before man, God had created a multitude of angels. However, His heart was not satisfied. As Hebrews 2:11 teaches, they were certainly not His children. Herein, God created man. This is where the law of similitude is clearly seen. This is also where we can see why Jesus is not ashamed to call us His brothers.
The law of similitude, or the law of likeness, is defined as follows: Only to the degree that you are like someone in spirit is the degree that you will be able to have intimacy with that someone. Jesus could call us brethren and not angels because He and man were both of one Father. Hallelujah!
Three of the cornerstone scriptures regarding the law of likeness are the scriptures of Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 5:1-3, and Luke 3:37-38. Let us look at these scriptures.
Genesis 1:26-27 (KJV)
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them.
These verses are filled with glory and revelation. God had created angels and they were certainly blessed beings. However, they were in no way created in His image, after His likeness.
The word ‘image’ in Genesis 1:26-27 is the Hebrew word teelem. It is a primitive root that simply means ‘the same as the other.’ The word ‘likeness’ is translated from the Hebrew word dmuwth, which is a derivative of the primary root damah. It literally means ‘likeness’ and can also be translated ‘similitude’ or ‘model.’
Do you understand what these verses say? God Almighty created you in His image! God Almighty created you and I in His likeness!
I want to shout this from the mountain tops, I want to rejoice with all that is within me. I want to just gaze on these scriptures and stand in awe of them.
Words can not convey the glory of these verses. I want to share with you two analogies that I hope will help you see the magnitude of the glory intrinsic to Genesis 1:26-27.
Most of us know the great worth of Rembrandt’s most prolific works. There are those of great means who would pay almost anything for these works. However, there simply are no more available. There are no other paintings on the earth in the image or likeness of these prior paintings.
What would happen if another one of these paintings was found? It would be the greatest joy of the individual desiring this Rembrandt. Excitement would be bursting forth.
How much more should we be excited and filled with joy in God having created us in His very image? We are the rembrandts of His heart.
Our second analogy revolves around a common scenario for those in need of a bone marrow transplant. Life and death revolves around the ability to obtain marrow that is in the image or likeness of the one in need.
There are times when thousands and thousands are tested to see if there is a match. Parents are always first. They will do anything for compatibility. The doctors examine each and every sample. Is it similar? Is there likeness?
Life and death depends on the outcome. Is there any marrow in my child’s image? Is there any marrow that is like his marrow? The marrow that is not similar will be rejected and death will result. Marrow of like kind will be received withstanding all infection and give life.
The analogy is obvious. We are only lifed through God choosing to match us with Himself. For the one dying of leukemia, only similar marrow, like marrow, can bring life.
Only to the degree that there is like marrow can there be receptivity and life. Only to the degree that one is like Him in spirit can there be intimacy with Him. Life only comes from likeness. As marrow will reject marrow unlike itself, God can not give intimacy to that which is unlike Him. As like marrow is received by the body unto life, that which is in His image can interact with Him and be fully received by Him.
Due to my having worked with many individuals in this situation, this analogy is very significant to me. Life and death is decided by the availability of likeness. Likewise, our ability to be His children is a reality of Him having made the decision to create us in His likeness. Praise His name!
The greatest commentary on Genesis 1:26-27 are the scriptures of Genesis 5:1-2.
I have been asked many times what I think the best Bible commentary is. I always say the Bible! This is because scripture interprets scripture. Genesis 5:1-3 are awesome scriptures in this light.
Genesis 5:1-3 (KJV)
This is the book of the generations of Adam. On the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created. When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth.
When hearing of man being created in God’s image and likeness, many try to dilute this glory by putting their own definition on the words image and likeness. Thinking it is wrong to be so close to God, the terms image and likeness are minimized. However, God did something to take care of this!
God, in Genesis 5:1-3, uses the exact terminology regarding Adam and Seth that he uses regarding Himself and Adam. Surely, no one could negate the reality of Seth being like Adam.
Seth was made in the image and likeness of Adam. Seth was similar to Adam. Herein, they were so very close. Beloved, when God states emphatically that Adam was made in the image and likeness of God, it means that man is so close to God. Man is unlike any other creation. Man is made in the image and likeness of God!
The Bible says to prove doctrine through at least two or three witnesses. Our third witness is the verses of Luke 3:37-38.
Luke 3:37-38 (KJV)
The son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
I love the Bible. It is so concrete, so emphatic. It shares truth so openly. Seth was the son of Adam, Adam was the son of God.
Now this does not mean that Adam was some kind of little God. No, he was not omnipresent, omniscient, or omnipotent. However, he was a true child of God.
These verses are nothing less than awesome. They are the roots of the believer. It is imperative that one know his roots. Many believe that their roots go back to apes. Correspondingly, they believe that they are now nothing more than modified animals. Many in the church believe that they are dirty and worm like.
However, our roots are neither apes or worms. Our roots are God Himself!
He chose to make us in His image. He chose to make us in His likeness. He chose to make us His children. Again, as I write this, I simply have to stop and worship Him. I simply stand in awe of this reality.
Again, the law of likeness is shared through the following definition: Only to the degree that you are like someone in spirit is the degree that you will be able to have intimacy with that someone.
Beloved, you can have an intimacy with God that is virtually infinite. This is because you are truly like Him! You are made in His image! As Seth was the son of Adam, you are God’s child!
The account of Eve being taken out of Adam is a beautiful type of the way of similitude. Let us look at it.
Genesis 2: 18 –23 (NAS)
Then the Lord God said, “it is not good for the man to be alone, I will make him a helper suitable for him.” And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.
And the man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the fields, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.
So the Lord God causes a deep sleep to fall upon man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place.
And the Lord God fashioned into woman the rib, which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.
And the man said, “this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.”
There is so much within this passage. God first proclaimed to Adam that He was going to give him a helpmate. Then, God seems to have a little bit of fun with Adam. After declaring his desire to give Adam a helpmate, He marches all the animals before him to give them names. I believe that when God saw Adam’s expression once he saw the hippopotamus, He was laughing heartily.
And do you know what happened when Adam saw that hippopotamus? Blessed be God, the law of likeness went into affect. Adam very simply said to himself, “I know I haven’t been in this garden that long, but I’ll tell you one thing. I know that this can’t be for me because it sure ain’t like me.”
Again, the law of likeness is expressed in this simple statement of fact; only to the degree that you are like someone in spirit can you experience intimacy with that someone.
I believe in my heart, especially after having the animals paraded in front of him, that Adam longed for a helpmate. I must have someone created in God’s image, someone like me.
Notice closely that which God does to fulfill this desire. He does not speak a helpmate in existence. This is because this would not have been unto full intimacy.
You see, if a farmer has a beautiful apple tree and wants another one just like it, there is an order that he follows. He does not try to make one. He does not try to find a certain piece of wood that matches the bark and a certain flower that matches the blossoms.
In the context of the law of likeness, he takes a seed of its fruit. The seed is the very substance of the tree. This seed gives the farmer a tree exactly like the one he has.
God took the literal substance of man. He took out a deposit of that which Adam desired to embrace. Herein, God, in the way of similitude brought forth bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. There was now an intimacy between Adam and Eve that was virtually infinite. Eve was unto Adam as no one else could be. This is because no one else was formed out of his literal being. Indeed the way of similitude is nothing less than awesome.
WAY OF IMPARTATION
The second way that is critical to understanding sonship is the way of impartation. It is very closely related to the law of likeness and is most powerful. One of the foundational scriptures regarding the way of impartation is found in Genesis, Chapter Two.
Genesis 2:7 (KJV)
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
The glory intrinsic to this verse is virtually infinite. Previous to Genesis 2:7, God spoke the world into existence. He said, “Light be,” and it was. He said, “Waters be,” and they were. He said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures,” and it did. He said, “Cattle be, animals be,” and they were. That which was not suddenly was because of the spoken word of God.
It is important to note something. God spoke all the world into being. However, in bringing forth man, He spoke not a word. Why was this? The answer lies in the way of impartation.
God did not speak man’s spirit into existence. Man’s spirit was brought forth through the glory of impartation.
Man’s body was created through God forming it from the dust of the earth. Man’s spirit was imparted through God breathing a part of Himself into man.
Beloved, You do not create something that is all ready there. The order of how the sun brings light to the earth exemplifies this truth. The sun, which a part of the earth at any given time cannot see, is not created so it can be seen. In its rotation, the earth simply enters into the sun’s light. Likewise, if my wife takes our car to the store at eleven o’clock and brings it back at four o’clock, she did not create the car. She simply brought it from one place to another.
The sun is not created again and again to bring light to the earth. A car being returned to a prior location is in no way an act of creation. Likewise, man’s spirit was not created. Man is a being of impartation. God imparted part of His own Spirit, a measure of His own glorious essence unto man. Through the act of breathing, God literally imparted a measure of His likeness unto man.
The glory intrinsic to this way of God is virtually infinite. The glory is simply beyond our comprehension.
The ways of similitude and impartation are intricately woven together. Scriptures that convey both the glory of these ways and their close ties are those of John 4:23-24.
John 4:23–24 (KJV)
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
These are very powerful verses. They share of God’s heart and the glory of the ways of both similitude and impartation.
Verse 23 shares that God seeks worshippers. Most know that we are to seek God. However, most do not know that God seeks us! What causes God to seek worshippers? The answer is found in verse 24 and is the key to both the ways of intimacy and impartation.
In this verse, we see that worship is that which enables the believer to be in the Spirit. Worship is that which is Spirit. This is brought out in the context of God being a Spirit. The way that intimacy between God and man is realized is through God ordained vehicles, which are spirit. Worship is one of these vehicles. God is Spirit; worship is a vehicle of God unto intimacy that is spirit. Accordingly, God seeks worshippers.
I know this sounds complicated, but it really is not. You see, believers can only interact with God, who is Spirit, through vehicles, which are spirit. Herein, every major vehicle that God has ordained unto intimacy has its roots in being spirit.
John 6:63 shares the Bible (God’s word) is spirit. Ephesians 6:18 tells us that prayer is praying in the Spirit. Galatians 5:16 shares that obedience is nothing less than walking in the Spirit.
This order of intimacy is of course part and parcel of the law of similitude. It is indeed the wisdom of God.
You see, understanding is the foundational variable regarding the word being viable in our lives. Matthew 14:23 shares in the parable of the sower that the good ground represented those who hear and understand the word of God.
The way of similitude gives us a completely new perspective on spiritual things. Instead of seeing worship, prayer and reading the Bible as vehicles of obligation, we see them as vehicles of glory. We see them as spirit. God is Spirit. Worship is spirit. The word is spirit. Prayer is spirit. Obedience is from the Spirit.
Why? It is because only that which is directly from God, who is a Spirit, is that which can touch God. The only thing that is good is that which starts in heaven. The word has been sent from heaven. True worship originates from heaven. The prayer that starts in heaven is the prayer that will be answered by heaven.
The reason that religion is so destructive is because it negates the law of similitude. Religion is the substitution of flesh for spirit. It replaces the word with man’s theology. It replaces worship with tradition. It replaces spirit prayer with repetition and the doctrines of man.
Truly, man can only enter into intimacy with God through God’s sovereign vehicles of spirit. What is even more exciting is that man is spirit himself!
Even as God brought forth Eve’s physical being through taking a literal part of Adam and fashioning her accordingly, God brought forth His children through taking a literal part of His own Spirit imparting a measure of His own virtue unto man.
Truly there is nothing that could be more magnificent and precious than this. These ways are the foundation of the revelation of God as Abba. Their glory cannot be underestimated. They share of the reality of Sonship and of God’s infinite wisdom.
God created the world and all that it contains through the utterance of His lips. He saw His creation and said that it was good.
However, He saved His best for mankind. He breathed His very life into man. He gave man a very measure of Himself. He caused us to be truly children of the Most High God.
As we see and proclaim these truths, He will have the agreement that He needs so that we can walk together in Spirit.
BIRTH VERSES ADOPTION
Within the glory of the ways of similitude and impartation is the Biblical doctrine of the new birth.
That which separates Christianity from all the religions of the world is the reality of birth. Most within the church are familiar with this glorious and fundamental doctrine of Christ. Truly, the fruit of the blood of Jesus is that it enables man to receive a born again spirit.
The new birth is the key to being a Christian. It is also firmly founded within the ways of impartation and similitude. Herein, I want to look in depth at this glorious Biblical experience. Let us start by focusing on the classic scriptures of John Three.
John 3:1-8 (KJV)
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”
Jesus answered and said unto him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Expect a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus saith unto Him, “how can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?”
Jesus answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, “Ye must be born again.” The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
These scriptures are so powerful, so gloriously filled with revelation. I want to particularly focus our attention on verses five and six. In verse five, Jesus emphatically shares that the one who is not born of the Spirit will not go to heaven. Verse six shares why. It shares that the unsaved person, no matter how good he is, is flesh. What does it mean to be flesh? According to Romans 7:18 and 8:5, it means to be governed by the natural man. It is man in his evil state. It is the truth of man being in bondage to living by fleshly instincts and needs that are not good, but evil. The last part of this verse gives the answer to man’s predicament of being flesh. It is becoming spirit.
Verses five and six of John Three are the heart of the Gospel. Man, even as religious as Nicodemus was, is flesh. Herein, he is hell bound. His only hope is to become spirit. There are two very powerful truths brought out by these verses. The first truth excites me beyond what I can express. This is because it is a cornerstone verse regarding similitude and impartation. Again, John 4: 24 shares that God is Spirit. Herein, it is impossible for flesh to be intimate with Him. Thus, man had to be brought into a place of being spirit, even as God is Spirit. This is the only way that man could ever interact with God. This is the way of God’s order.
The second truth is related to the act of birth itself. This order is conveyed in verse eight.
John 3:8 (KJV)
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every on that is born of the Spirit.
Verse eight shares that man’s spirit is born through a supernatural act. It is a miracle of God that cannot be discerned by the natural man. It is a miracle that only the Holy Spirit can perform. This glorious act is certainly correlative to the truth of impartation.
God has placed many scriptures within His word to reinforce the glory of John 3:1-8. James, Chapter One is indeed one of these.
James 1:18 (KJV)
He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.
Glory to God! He chose to give us birth! The glory of this verse cannot be underestimate. Hebrews 12:9 reinforces John 3 and the ways of similitude and impartation as well.
Hebrews 12:9 (KJV)
Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live.
Indeed He is the Father of our spirits. He is not the Father of flesh because he is not flesh. He, being Spirit, is the Father of our spirits.
Before we continue to look at scriptures relating to birth, I want to focus on the word adoption. This is because different teachers use the word “adoption” to try to negate the truth of birth. They share that the blood of Jesus does not enable the believer to receive a new spirit. Instead, through the blood, God accepts us in our flesh. This acceptance in our flesh is termed adoption by these teachers.
The King James Version of the Bible uses the term adoption. The New International Version does not.
Galatians 4:5 (KJV)
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Galatians 4:5 (NIV)
To redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
The key is understanding what the term adoption means when it is used. E.W. Vine, the noted Hebrew and Greek scholar, has excellent teaching in this area. Expositionally, he shares that God does not adopt believers as children. They are begotten as such by his Holy Spirit through faith. This statement is indeed powerful and is the main premise of both the new birth and the law of similitude.
God does not simply accept us in our flesh reckoning this as sonship. Through the blood of His son, He changes us from flesh to spirit. This is the glory of the new birth.
Being involved for many years with a local crisis pregnancy center, I am intimately involved with the adoption process. Adoption is very glorious. Full intimacy can be derived through adoption because all humans are the same. Black, white, yellow or red, we are all the same.
This is not the case between God and man. God is Spirit. Man is flesh. Oneness can only be realized when man is delivered from a being of flesh unto a being of spirit. God truly does not adopt believers. They are begotten as such by the Holy Spirit through faith. Glory to God!
In the context of the law of similitude, let us continue to look at the scriptures that relate to birth. They are some of the most glorious scriptures in God’s word.
John 1:13 (KJV)
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:13 (AMP)
Who owe their birth neither to bloods nor to the will of the flesh (that of physical impulse) nor to the will of man (That of a natural father), but to God. (They are born of God!)
John 1:13 is a powerful verse relating to birth. Indeed, the believer owes his spiritual life to no one other than God, who has birthed him.
The familiar scripture of 2 Corinthians 5:17 is another verse proclaiming the scriptural glory of birth.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Truly, all things have passed away. All things have become new. Only birth from the Spirit of God can bring about this reality.
1 John 3: 8-9 (KJV)
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
1 John 3:8-9 (AMP)
(But) he who commits sin (who practices evil doing) is of the devil (takes his character from the evil one), for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen and dissolve) the works the devil (has done).
No one born (begotten) of God (deliberately, knowingly, and habitually) practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him (his principles of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him); and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God.
1 John 3:8-9 (NAS)
The one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose; the He might destroy the works of the devil.
No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
These verses are so powerful. These verses are indeed so glorious, but they truly anger the religious.
I believe that the Lord despises religion. He drove out the religious from His house with a whip. He equated them with open graves and hypocrisy. The religious killed Him.
The Biblical doctrine of birth infuriates the religious. It is the antithesis of all that they believe in.
Religiosity usually takes on two forms. The first is that of degradation. The religious man can readily receive himself as a worm, a reproach of men. He readily accepts infirmity and curse as a part of God’s plan. Sonship reality is seen as too good for man and even equated with evil.
The second form is that of substitution. This substitutes creeds and good works in place of the blood of Jesus Christ regarding God’s acceptance of man. Man has no need to be birthed to be delivered out of his fleshly state. He believes that perfecting his flesh can gain him acceptance by God. Those who believe this are nothing more than artificial trees trying to bear fruit. This is why they are so frustrated and usually so miserable!
The revelation of Abba dispels both of these religious mindsets. This is why it receives so much opposition. The idea of man being birthed by God through the Holy Spirit offends both. It causes the worm theology to be seen for what it is. The believer is a son. It also brings to light the reality of man’s inability to be accepted in his flesh.
To give the religious a knock out punch, let us look at Romans 8:29 and Hebrews 2:11.
Romans 8:29 (NAS)
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Hebrews 2:11 (NAS)
For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren.
Again, these verses are nothing less than awesome. They are profoundly emphatic in regards to both God being our Father and Jesus being our brother.
Again, we have to be sure to give the balance. Jesus is not only our brother. He is our God. Jesus always was. Jesus was always perfect. Jesus is the awesome one. Jesus is the I AM. Jesus is the only begotten son.
Man obviously did not exist until his natural birth. Born again man is not perfect in his actions. Born again man does not have life in himself. Born again man is only alive due to the grace of God and the Blood of Jesus Christ. These realities need to be in front of our eyes as we look at these two verses. However, they do not negate the glory of Jesus Christ being our Brother.
As I shared prior, when I first verbalized in the quiet place the truth of God being my Abba, my daddy, my flesh cringed. Likewise, the proclamation of the Lord Jesus as being my brother has like repercussions to the flesh. It is also appalling to the religious. However, it is a glory of relationship. It is a foundational truth of Christianity. Jesus is my brother. He is the first born of many brothers!
For one not to accept and proclaim this truth would be a negation of who the believer is in Christ. Accepting and rejoicing in it enables one to enter in to intimacy with Jesus in a glorious manner.
Years ago, I heard a well-known Bible teacher share on the radio. He shared that he knew that the scriptures share of God the Father being our Abba and Jesus our Brother. However, he could not receive it, as it was just too much for him.
Indeed, it is too much for us. Even sixty fold wine skins will not contain it! It will burst them! Let us let the Holy Spirit give us a hundred fold wine skins so we can contain the glory of this truth. The new wine of this revelation is meant to be in every believer.
There are so many glorious verses regarding the new birth. Luke 7:28 is another of these verses.
Luke 7:28 (KJV)
For I say unto you, “among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
What was Jesus saying when He shared this? John the Baptist was indeed one of the greatest men who lever lived. However, compared to those who would be born again, he would be considered least! The new birth is indeed the key to the kingdom of God being realized in a believer.
John 3:3 (KJV)
“Jesus answered and said unto him, “verily verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John 3:5 (KJV)
Jesus answered, “verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
John the Baptist was not born again. This is because the blood had not yet been shed on his behalf. Indeed the blood has now been shed. The new birth is available. It is that which causes even the least in the kingdom to be greater than one of the greatest of prophets!
The new birth is critical to the ways of similitude and impartation.
Truly, only to the degree that one is like someone in spirit is to the degree that intimacy is able to be realized. Beloved, through the new birth, we are like Him! We are like Him! Herein, the intimacy that we can enter into with God is virtually infinite.
The balance inherent to the new birth is obvious. However, to ensure safety regarding doctrine, it again needs to be shared. The new birth causes man to be like God in kind, not degree. Our spirit is born of God in kind so that we might be like Him unto intimacy. However, we are in no way like God in degree. Herein, we are ever dependent on the Holy Spirit to infuse His life into us to live in holiness.
A while ago I was made aware of a poster that capsulized the above truth. It shared that there are two main facts in the world. The first fact is that there is a God. The second fact is that you are not Him! Indeed, this is the Gospel. Through the new birth, we are like Him in kind that we might experience full intimacy with Him as our Abba. We are in no way like Him in degree. Herein, we have full need of the Holy Spirit to infuse His life into us that we might walk in victory.
At this time, I want to look at the Gospel itself in the context of the ways of similitude and impartation. The Gospel is nothing less than awesome. It is especially glorious when one understands the ways of Abba that are intrinsic to it.
I have spent much time introducing and defining the ways of similitude and impartation. I now want to qualify these ways in the context of the Gospel itself. It is one thing to hear that a close friend is getting married, it is another thing to see the glory of her beauty at the actual wedding. It is one thing to see a diamond. It is another thing to see it cut and placed in the setting of the ring and given as part of a wedding proposal. Likewise, when the ways of Abba are see within the Gospel message, their glory is seen in full clarity.
To many, the Gospel has lost its excitement. We are so familiar with the four spiritual laws associated with the Gospel that the profoundness of these truths does not affect us as they should. Let us rekindle afresh the power intrinsic to them by seeing them in the light of the ways of Abba.
To those unfamiliar with the four spiritual laws, they are simply laws representing different aspects of the Gospel.
The first spiritual law is that God is love. Within this law is God’s passion for man. Most have been taught that God has created man with a void that only He can fulfill and this is of course true. However, most do not realize that there is a void within God that only you can fulfill. We need to know this as well.
In Genesis 1:26 we see that God had a vision for man to come into being.
Genesis 1:26 (KJV)
And God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
Beloved, this declaration is more profound than most could imagine. The Bible says that no one is to do anything without first counting the cost. Accordingly, we know that God counted the cost. As a young Christian, I think that I took for granted the covenant that God made in forming man. Now, I realize that there was so much involved in that decision.
I believe that if we could have listened into the conversation of the Godhead, it would have been something like this:
The Father voiced His desire to create man. He then went on to say that this time we are not creating angels. We are going to bring forth children, those who can truly cry Abba. At this time, the Holy Spirit, as the counselor, spoke. He shared of the cost involved, the covenant that would have to accompany this creation. He then shared of the blood that would have to be shed. According to John 10:18, Jesus then shared of His willingness to be the Lamb. Glory to God! After this decision was made, the desire was consummated.
Genesis 2:7 (KJV)
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
I believe that this verse is one of the two most revelatory verses in the word of God. I know that this is a profound statement. However, it is simply this glorious! We will look at the second verse later in this chapter. Right now, let us look at Genesis 2:7 in the context of sonship and God’s love.
I have shared regarding this verse in introducing the way of impartation. I now want to elaborate on it regarding the Gospel itself.
Hebrews 2:16 shares that God paid a price for fallen man that He never even considered regarding fallen angels. From this scripture, it is obvious that man and angels are vastly different in God’s eyes. Indeed there is no angel that cries Abba. Let us now look at another verse dealing with sonship, that will bring out the Glory of Genesis 2:7.
Luke 3:36-38 (NIV)
The son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxed, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Kenan, the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
These verses obviously consummate the genealogy of man as shared by Luke. Verse 38 is one of the most awesome verses in scripture. It is so powerful. Let us look at it again.
Luke 3:38 (NIV)
The son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
Do you see what it says? Enosh was the son of Seth. Seth was the son of Adam. Adam was the son of who? Adam was the Son of God!
Previously, I have taken time to emphasize the balance of Biblical sonship. Man through impartation is like God in kind. However he in no way is like God in degree. Herein man’s life is not in himself. It is through the Holy Spirit within him. I want to reiterate this again for the sake of emphasis. This is because the revelation of sonship is so precious that I do not want people of ignorance or people of religion to tarnish it in any way.
Balance is indeed the key to rightly dividing the word of God. Unfortunately, many teachers within the body of Christ do not adhere to this precept. They negate the truth of sonship. Out of fear of upsetting the religious apple cart, they are silent regarding scriptures such as Luke 3:38. However, this scripture speaks loud. Adam, the Son of God. Indeed, he was!
Again, Adam was not in any way a God unto himself. However, he was God’s son. The first scriptural law intrinsic to the Gospel is that God loves you. Beloved, when you love someone, you want to be intimate with that someone. Consequently in the way of likeness God imparted His life unto man. Herein, Adam, according to Luke 3:38, was indeed the Son of God. This is intimacy. This is the fullness of love.
The second spiritual law of the Gospel revolves around man’s sin. Due to the glory of impartation, man was indeed a true son. His spirit was literally born of God. He was a spiritual being, his spirit being his lifeline to God. The intimacy that existed between God and Adam and Eve was virtually infinite. God walked with them in the cool of the day. Adam and Eve hungered for God. His presence and voice was their sustenance. They were unto God as only children could be. He was unto them as only a Father could be.
In regards to the context of this intimacy, God gave one command. Let us examine this command.
Genesis 2:16-17 (KJV)
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
There are two main variables within this command. The first is seen in the tree that they were not allowed to eat of. It was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The tree represented soulical life. It represented man living independent of God. It represented man living though his knowledge rather than God being Lord. There were grave consequences for eating of this tree. It was death. Man’s spirit would die.
Adam and Eve chose death. They chose soul life over spirit life. God gave them what they wanted. He also was true to His word regarding the consequence. Man’s spirit died. The spirit, that which was man’s lifeline to God was now destroyed. Even as God had spoken, death was now realized.
To understand the gravity of this death, one needs only to look at Adam and Eve after they sinned. The spirit, which once longed for His presence is now dead. Man is now a soulical being, a mind being. He interacts with God accordingly. He associates God with fear and hurt, hiding from Him. He rationalizes his sin. He is unable to walk with God openly. He is a being of flesh. He is a picture of the man who is without Christ today. This fallen condition is described in Roman’s Chapter three.
Romans 3:9-18 (KJV)
What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Destruction and misery are in their ways:
And the way of peace have they not known:
There is no fear of God before their eyes.
The condition of fallen man can be conveyed only in the context of death. His situation was completely hopeless. Man’s spirit was not tarnished through his sin. If this were the case, the new birth would never have been needed. Man’s spirit did not need healed. Man’s spirit was dead. Only the blood of Christ could recreate him. This variable of death is seen in the evil present of the world today.
The third law of the Gospel is the law of provision. God could not absolve man of his sin by speaking a word. He could not simply recreate man at his command. Provision had to be brought forth. Herein, Jesus came to the earth.
The Bible says that without a vision, one will perish. What was the vision of the Lord Jesus in coming to the earth? What was his motivation regarding the horrid death that He would suffer? To understand His motivation, let us look to the reward of His suffering.
Hebrews 12:2 (KJV)
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jesus endured the cross due to the joy that was set before Him. Truly, that which this joy entailed had to be most profound, as it enabled the Holy One to endure the cross.
To understand this joy, I want to focus on a very glorious scripture. This is the scripture that I alluded to previously; sharing that it is one of the most revelatory verses in the word of God. It is the key to understanding what the joy was that enabled the Lord Jesus to endure the cross. It is the scripture of John 20:22.
John 20:22 (KJV)
And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.
Beloved, does this verse remind you of something? Obviously, it is the New Testament correlate of Genesis 2:7.
Genesis 2:7 (KJV)
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Genesis 2:7 was the consummation of God’s desire for man to come forth. It was the greatest act of human history. Man was brought forth by the glorious act of impartation.
John 20:22 was the consummation of God’s heart regarding man again. It was the reward of Calvary.
Jesus knew that man was in a state of hopelessness. His spirit, which was his lifeline to intimacy, was no more. At the moment man sinned, Jesus envisioned the cross. He envisioned making the way for impartation to be realized once again!
In the midst of the hellish suffering on Calvary’s tree, Jesus was looking to the joy set before Him. That joy was the right to breathe once again into man! Glory to God!
John 20:22 takes place after Jesus suffered for sin and presented His blood to the Father. It was the fruit of His redemptive work. It was the greatest miracle that the world will ever know.
Can you imagine the excitement of the Lord Jesus as He went to the Apostles?
As the Olympian, who has scarified years for a chance for the gold medal walks to the Olympic stand; the Lord Jesus now walks towards man. Overflowing with joy and excitement He comes. Now is the time. As He breathed into Adam, He breathes again into those for whom He has died!
The only joy that can compare to this act is the joy of His knowing that this glory will be duplicated over and over again. This is due to the order of the new birth. Each time an individual is born again, the wind blows! God Almighty breathes into us unto impartation.
John 3:6-8 (KJV)
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Every time that an individual accepts Christ as His savior and Lord, God the Holy Spirit supernaturally brings forth the glory of impartation. How glorious is the Gospel beloved? It is indeed most magnificent and precious, even as The One who has secured our salvation.
The ways of impartation and similitude are indeed magnificent. They are indeed foundational to the Gospel itself.
The Gospel indeed is a Gospel of sonship. It is a Gospel that is infinitely greater than what we can even begin to comprehend.
1 John 3:1 (NIV)
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.
You can sense the excitement of john as he writes this verse. He has a revelation of sonship and his joy is evident. Indeed, the joy of Jesus was in the reality of his bringing forth sons. How much then should we as sons joy in the Gospel that has brought us forth and in the One who has caused us to be born again? Truly, He is infinitely worthy.