The Healing Journey

Below is an excerpt of the short story "The Healing Emporium" by Dr. Rani Samuel.  In this gripping story we read about the journey that is embroidered on every soul, the journey of healing and wholeness. This book is free in our eGen store.

 

THE HEALING EMPORIUM

‘A sense of journey is embroidered on every soul’

It was 2 a.m. and Claudia Clements’ hospital room was dark. Somehow at this inconvenient hour, her heart and mind colluded to resurrect hurt feelings that needed attention. Psychologist, Jenna David, had heard many tales of the terror of the dawn hours - the wrestling, the emotional toiling and the impossibility of a return to rest. Her twenty year old patient Claudia, also lamented about these torturous hours as well as feeling lost and adrift as a person.

‘Jenna, I don’t really see any point in being alive. I don’t want to be here and I really don’t think that I add value to anyone’s life. Last week I contacted an organization in Switzerland that will assist me in dying if you would just write a letter telling them I am in a stable frame of mind. I just don’t want to live anymore, Dr. David, please help.’ Jenna listened intently to Claudia’s all-too-familiar words of desperation and desire for escape that emanated from her tear-drenched, yet well-sculptured face. She cast her eye at the hospital patient information questionnaire and saw that Claudia used to be an art student and part-time waitress, and was repeatedly admitted for heroin addiction. Claudia wept from a core of deep wounding. Tears ran down her neck and accumulated in a spot of dampness on her psychedelic, punk-rocker T-shirt. She had heard suicidal pleas many times from patients, yet the brokenness of this woman touched something new within her. She wondered how such a young life had suffered so much already.

Claudia was tall, like the catwalk models seen on fashion TV, with an androgynous appeal. There were hints of a well-cut hairstyle but it was really hard to tell between the distraction of the rivulets of tears and her restlessness from heroin withdrawal. There were no tissues in the hospital consulting rooms today, and Jenna stood to fetch some from the nurses’ station. Perhaps this mini-break would allow Claudia to calm down, even if only for a brief moment.

On Jenna’s return, Claudia explained that she was heartbroken from the separation of the ‘absolute love’ of her life - Damian. They had lived together for the past two years in a small flat along Durban’s shoreline - The Golden Mile. Initially, moving into their own place was idyllic and Claudia thought she had finally found a place to call home. Although she was but 18 in age, she felt internally like an ‘old soul’. Life had been tough for her and this was the first sign that there were better days to come - or so she thought. Claudia grew up in a small Dutch-speaking community in the Western Cape winelands. Her dad was the local preacher as well as the primary school principal. She was the apple of his eye and felt completely loved by him. Her favorite memoirs were of ‘singing with dad’ at the Sunday morning church services. Life appeared to be perfect. And then the rumors began...

CLAUDIA'S JOURNEY CONTINUES

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Be a Life-Giving Spirit

This article is curated from "The Nature of the Prophetic" by Vishal Jetnarayan.

This article is curated from "The Nature of the Prophetic" by Vishal Jetnarayan.

CHANGE OF HEART

What matters to God is an immediate change of heart and disposition. Prophecy is not meant to showcase the magnificent way God is using us, but to reveal how faithful and effective we are in communicating the mind of God in all that He conveys, and in all its aspects, past, present, and future.

A WEAKNESS OF PROPHETIC

A weakness of the prophetic ministry is that people are always focused on hearing God through other people instead of taking the time to hear God for themselves. I believe wholeheartedly in personal prophecy, but I believe that there also has to be growth to maturity. People must become responsible in having a personal relationship with the Father. Even personal prophecy is probably not the right term. Whenever an individual receives a word, it is always focused on their journey to assist the next person. In essence, a word given to somebody is personal only to an extent because it moves that individual to serve humanity in some way. The term “personal prophecy” is not so personal after all. Hearing God is always a means to our growth but not the end. We all recognize that biological growth of the child is vital. It is unnatural—and tragic—for an infant to remain an infant forever. In the same manner, prophetic words must challenge us to a new level of growth where we are able to hear the Father.

Within each prophetic word from the Lord there is process, and this always starts on a personal level. But this is also where the problem lies, which leads to a third deficiency. People have become so accustomed to hearing only good words about themselves that it has led to the prophetic ministry becoming primarily inward-focused. For example, “God is going to bless you with lots of money, a house, a car, and a boat.” While there is nothing wrong with receiving these things, this example illustrates what has become the prevalent way that people prophesy. Yet, if we review the New Testament and look intently at how Christ functioned in the prophetic, we find that His approach is the complete opposite to what currently prevails in the Church. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John give us a clear picture of the manner in which Christ functioned. After Christ empowered His disciples, their foundation of the prophetic was totally Christ-based and Spirit-led. One of the main ingredients of prophetic ministry is love. In order to understand the love of the Father, however, we must also understand His correction. The apostle Paul clearly stated this in First Corinthians chapter 13, commonly known as the “love chapter.” Corrective words delivered outside the walls of love cause more hurt, separation, and lack of prophetic hunger. They make God the Father look like He is partial and angry all the time.

BEYOND MILK

Hebrews 5:12-14 tells us that we must move beyond “milk” to the more complete nourishment provided by “solid food.” In other words, we have to start growing and partaking of the meat; that is, the “meatier” things of the Spirit. Our standard is Christ, and despite the shortcomings of man, this should not deter any of us as believers from fully utilizing the prophetic. In being prophetic, we will begin to recognize that we function by the law of the Spirit (Rom. 8:2) and that no one has to work hard in order to operate in this ministry. Performance-oriented people do not drive God. In the beginning, God designed Adam as a human being to communicate with Him, and He has designed us to do the same. To be a life-giving spirit is to be prophetic, and to be prophetic is to be a life-giving spirit. In being prophetic, the body of Christ takes on the responsibility to know that each person can be prophetic and fulfill their part.

If each of us walks in the reality of understanding the capacity the Lord has given us, then we can definitely see the earth change and the Kingdom of God become established.

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Who Can Save You?

Leslie D. Glenn leads you through her own personal journey of surrender in the book, “One Life.” You are invited into the deep and vulnerable parts of her hearts. As she shares her story expect to be both captivated and challenged. “One Life”, is an incredible adventure that she boldly shares. Below is an excerpt from her book, get your full copy in the eGen store. You don’t want to miss it!
 

WE TRY TO SAVE OUR OWN LIVES

Matthew 16:25 says, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”

The human soul tries to save its life, every day, in almost every decision. “How does this affect me? Who is right? Who is wrong? Who is better? Who or what is of greater value? How have I been wronged?” This tormenting self-focus feeds our decision-making process from a self- preservation perspective. Why? Why does the soul ceaselessly seek to preserve and protect itself? Because in the deepest part of us, we really don’t believe we can trust anyone else to protect us, defend us or preserve us – including God Himself. So, we try to control our lives, our relationships, our circumstances .... And judge the success or failure based upon how it affects us. We try to save our own lives.

 

YOU MUST LOSE TO FIND

Jesus said that whoever tries to save his life will lose it. The harder we try, the worse it gets. His answer was, “He who loses his life for me will find it.” How do I lose my life? What will I find? This world teaches us (bombards us, actually) that life is all about us. This teaching is even in our churches in the form of works – doing all the right things so God will love me. IF I do all the check marks THEN God must bless me.

The reality is that all of creation – the heavens and the earth, angels and demons, humanity, life, death, seasons, relationships – all of it exists for Him and Him alone; from before time began and after it will cease to be. To lose my life is to surrender to Him, in every facet of my being. To accept all that I am, all that I am not; to accept what my life looks like – my whole life; to accept all that He has for me and does not have for me; to no longer live for myself and my desires and my dreams, but to live for Him and Him alone; to empty myself of any personal aspirations, daily. This choice is not an outward one; it is a hidden decision, of the heart.

 

GIVE UP CONTROL

To the human soul, this is the scariest choice possible because I am giving, to another, the control of my life (which includes my protection, my provision, my decisions, my value, my happiness, my fulfillment, etc.). But, Jesus said that if I would make this choice, I would find my life.

And I have. In Him I live and move and have my very being (Acts 17:28). He gives life to my body through His Spirit Who lives in me (Romans 8:11) so that it is no longer I who live but Christ Who lives in me (Galatians 2:20). What I found is the person of Jesus Christ. He lives, He breathes, He feels, He LOVES.

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How Abraham Became the Father of Faith

Birth of The Holy Nation

This article has been curated from, "Birth of The Holy Nation: Volume 1 God and Abraham" by Corbett Gaulden. Get your copy at the eGen store. 

ULTIMATE OBEDIENCE

The obedience God required of Abraham that day was as absolute as any could be. He was required to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. God could require of him no greater example of obedience. God Himself, as a matter of fact, could not be asked to offer any greater example of His esteem for us than to offer His Son Jesus as a sacrifice. God was asking the “father of faith” to imitate His own actions in this matter. God was requiring of Abraham that he act like God Himself. This son of God was to emulate the nature of God Himself that day.

Consider this. God asked Abraham to offer his only son up to death. Abraham was required, as a son, to commit this act of sacrifice. However, the sacrifice was not a bag of marbles. The sacrifice was the son of his own flesh. The sacrifice was to be the very essence of his existence as a father. If he were deprived of his “only son,” he would no longer be a father. And his very own Father was the one placing this requirement on him. The son named Abraham set out to obey his Father, God. The father named Abraham was about to take any meaning from his own being simply because his Father required him to do so.

FORESHADOWING OF GOD'S SACRIFICE

When God stretched out His hand that day to rescue Isaac, He did so at the very last second. His son Abraham had not resisted the request made of him at a cost that no man would willingly bear. Abraham did not spare Isaac. It was God Himself who spared him (Genesis 22:12). Abraham’s actions that day provided for his descendants a model of filial obedience that is exceeded only by the act of Jesus at Calvary 2000 years later.

As a father, Abraham required of his son Isaac that he submit to his own death. From Isaac, Abraham required this act of obedience as the mirror of his own obedience to his Father. When that day was done, God had made of Abraham the most worthy of human fathers. In this way, Abraham met the final qualification for becoming the father of the nation of promise; a nation in the earth that would be a natural precursor for the Holy Nation of God. No lesser man, and no lesser degree of filial obedience could have qualified to carry this divine commission. Hence, the arrangements and providence of God and the presence in power of the Holy Spirit to complete what was necessary.

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Who are the True Sons of Abraham?

This article has been curated from, "The 318 Son: Household of Abraham" by Dr. S. Y. Govender. Get your copy at the eGen store.

WHAT IS A 318 SON?

“318” is the number of servants born in Abram’s house. Using the example of Eliezer, I have established above that “318” is a figure of adoption.

318 SONS ARE ADOPTED

Ephesians 1:5-6 KJV- "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." 

We have been predestined for adoption (huiothesia): “to be placed as sons.” This was God’s good pleasure. When we come to sonship, it is to the praise of His glory. There is a praise that is the result of conduct rather than oral declarations. Both are necessary.

318 SONS ARE BORN OF THE SPIRIT

A believer becomes a child (Greek teknon) by being born of God (regeneration), but becomes a son (Greek huios) by conduct (adoption). When a believer becomes a son he receives full rights, responsibilities, and privileges.

The indwelling Spirit bears witness of our regeneration. Leading by the Spirit demonstrates our sonship. Therefore, your conduct demonstrates whether you are a son or a child:

• Simple witness: a child

• Leading by the spirit: a son.

When we manifest the characteristics of the pattern son, Christ (love, peacemaker etc.), then we become the sons of God.

STAGES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SONS

1. Babe: brephos (new-born babe)

1 Peter 2:2 says, "As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby."

This word has the same meaning as the Greek word nepios; they both refer to a childish, immature Christian.

2. Child: teknon

John 1:12 says, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name."

3. Teenager: neaniskos (young man)

1 John 2:13-14 says, "I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father. 

4. Son: huios

This word speaks of maturity and is described in Romans 8:14-21; Greek words inserted.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons (huios) of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children (teknon) of God, and if children (teknon), then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons (huios) of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children (teknon) of God.

And also in Matthew 3:17 it says, "And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, 'This is My beloved Son (huios), in whom I am well pleased.'"

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A New Definition of Apostolic Reformation

This article has been curated from "Gilgal: Biblical Principles Governing Transition Into The Apostolic Transformation" by Thamo Naidoo. Get your copy in the eGen store. 

A NEW SEASON DEFINED

A new season has dawned upon the Church of Jesus Christ, labelled in some circles as the Apostolic Reformation. It comes in the form of a clarion call from the throne of God for a consummate reformation of gigantic proportions to be imposed upon the Church. Arguably, this title aptly captures the mind of God and describes the fundamental features that characterize this epoch in redemptive history. Accompanying the purpose of God for the season is the restoration of the office and ministry of Prophets and Apostles to the five fold ministry of the government of the Church. These ministry gifts feature prominently in the whole mission of God for this season. They play a significant role in articulating the divine intent and also providing the grace gifts for the Church to finish the assignment of the season. 

APOSTOLIC REFORMATION DEFINED

The word “apostolic”derived from the Greek verb apostello literally means, “to send off, out, forth.” It denotes a specific “sending” (on a specific mission) by the “sender”(God) that imposes a clear mandate on the “sent one” (the Church). Included in this “sending” is the idea of an intimate relationship between the “sender” and the “sent one” and that the “sent one” adopts a voluntary and a subservient attitude to the sender. It indicates strict adherence to the specific details of the mission without deviating from the prescribed instructions. In the context of this book, it refers to the exact nature and detail of the missio dei (mission of God) for His Church.

The word “reformation” defines the nature and content of the Apostolic Reformation. From a literal standpoint, it means to “make straight either by a right arrangement and right ordering or by making an amendment and bringing right again.” It conveys the idea of setting in order again that which has been made imperfect or marred by sin in the Church and in Creation. The imposition of reformation comes at a time when the imperfect or the inadequate must be superseded by a “better” (more accurate) order of things. The spirit of this Reformation calls for a forensic inquiry into the existing structure and content of the Church and the definition of her ministry in the earth. The inquiry is not merely diagnostic in its approach, but it presents a prognosis of the problems highlighted. In a sense, it is similar to the ministry of Jeremiah. It does not merely “root out and pull down” or “destroy and throw down,” but it seeks to “build and plant.” It understands that there cannot be analysis without synthesis. Hence, it presents to the Church constructive biblical patterns for building correctly.

The underlying motivation is not a cosmetic or superficial rearrangement of the furniture of the Church, but a transformation of every inaccurate position of the Church.

In essence, the message postulates that there must be a changing of “wineskins” before the “new wine” can be received. Basically, it calls for a reformation of the structure and content of the Church before the Church can expect revival, renewal and the consummation of the end-time purposes of God. The Scriptures model the conditions that activate reformation and describe the fundamental nature of the spirit of reformation.

THE STANDARD OF REFORMATION DEFINED

The ministry of Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Church, brought the greatest reformation to the earth that transformed the course of history and set the pattern and process for the restoration of “all things." It is from this reformation that the standard and plumb line for all reformations are set. If there is to be any reformation in the earth, the lessons must be learned from His example. Christ is the dimension for whatever is done or accomplished in the earth. A study of Hebrews 14 will highlight some of the factors that govern the spirit of reformation.

GOVERNANCE OF REFORMATION DEFINED

The process of a reformation is activated by the divine conviction that change must be brought to the existing religious system in the Church. Consequently, whole systems of religious activity are made obsolete or brought back to the original order by the imposition of reformation. Concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation [emphasis mine] (Hebrews 9: 10). The spirit of reformation arrives at that point in the Church when the system that sustains religious life has fully served its purpose and has become ineffective. As a result, reformation is the divine response at that decisive point when that which is “growing old” must immediately be terminated. The “old” religious system is fading away or losing “heat” and therefore must give way to a new order of things. At that precise moment, reformation is activated and released. It is at that exact point when the old order or system has fully served its purpose or has become totally ineffective in contributing to the quality of the religious life of the Church. Hence, there is the need for the introduction of a new order of things. There cannot be a release of new things from the throne of God unless there is a change of existing structures. Only new wineskins can contain the new wine released by the Spirit of God. Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved (Matthew 9: 17).

THE OBJECTIVE OF REFORMATION DEFINED

The spirit of reformation presents to the Church a new and better way for drawing nearer to God. Whenever the spirit of reformation is released from the throne of God, its primary objective is to introduce the believer to a “better” order of things. Reformation always brings with it the objective of upgrading religious systems so that believers can experience realms within the divine economy that are new to their worldview or have been shut off from them. The purpose of reformation is driven by the desire to “go on to perfection.” It intends to take the Church beyond the foundational and elementary principles of religious activity. The ultimate goal is to bring the believer to a teleios (a perfect, complete or matured) place in God.

Maturity is the goal of the Christian life. The Church cannot function at the place of merely focusing on the elementary principles or foundational principles of the faith. Instead, the believer is encouraged to go beyond these principles. This does not mean a discarding of the foundational or elementary principles, but the utilization of them, so that the lives of the believers can be configured and regulated in a way that manifests the fullness of Christ.

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The Most Profound Aspect of the Character God

This article has been curated from "My Father, My Father" by Sam Soleyn. You can download your FREE copy from the eGen store.

GOD IS A FATHER

The most profound aspect of the character of God is that of Father. God as Father expresses completely His nature of love: the love of God is inseparable from its expression as Father, and the nature of Father is inseparable from the character of love, particularly when fathering is by design.

God conceived of man as His son deliberately to express the nature of love. His careful attentiveness of this purpose explains why God would enter into a covenant with Himself to benefit man before He created Him. Man was not designed as merely a continually evolving protoplasmic flotsam, adrift in the vastness of the universe. God tied His own being to man by His unbreakable oath to Himself. In the creation of man, He set forth a proving ground for the demonstration of His nature of love. Although God always had in mind to put the majesty of His love on display, the depths of His love could not fully be displayed until He created a Son in His own image and likeness.

GOD IS LOVE

This process exists due to the nature of love. Love does not exist merely as a theory or concept. For love to exist, it must be actualized—expressed and tested. Love may be demonstrated in a variety of ways. In the Kingdom of God, such demonstrations exist as forms of order and governance that benefit all who are within the Kingdom. However, love is presented perfectly within the context of a father and his children, because that is the only form in which the nature of love, as defined by God’s relationship to man, can be fully tested and, therefore, fully expressed.

God’s relationship to man, as Father to sons, is neither accidental nor casual. It is a deliberate order and foreordained by God. God decided to create man as His son; man was powerless to influence this decision in any way.

The love of God for man is the foundation for man’s purpose in creation. When man separated himself from his Father, his purpose in creation was lost. It is only by being reconciled to his Father that he may regain the true purpose for being. The love of God should never be construed as the basis for permitting man to engage in reckless and dissolute behavior without consequence. For indeed, such a fashion of life has consequences, both in time and the hereafter. These profound truths about the nature of God and His purpose for creating man seem contrary to the normal religious emphasis of the unworthiness of man, as the background against which to view the charity of God.

A SON BEARS THE FATHER'S EXPRESSION

Prior to the coming of Christ and man’s restoration to sonship, man’s purpose in creation was defined by this hope of redemption. Accordingly, in this time of types and shadows, God favored certain behaviors, the significance of which were largely unrecognized by the participants. People were allowed to engage in religious activities that mimicked principles of father and son relationships, preserving the purpose for creation and the hope of redemption in the culture.

For example, Abraham did not understand why God would ask him to go through the preparations of sacrificing Isaac, then stay his hand at the last moment and provide a sacrifice Himself. However, his willingness to proceed as far as he did showed the heart of God the Father, who was willing to sacrifice Jesus to save Adam. On the basis of that undertaking, then, God qualified Abraham to be the recipient of the promise to bring Christ into the world through his lineage.

One should not construe this hope of restoration nor the restoration to sonship through Christ as the end within itself. The restoration of man through Christ is primarily a restoration to his lost state. It is a repositioning of man. God made man as a son, and Christ restored him to sonship. The restoration to sonship is God’s provision for accurately realigning man in the earth so that God may put on display the true meaning of Father through him.

Just as a son needs a father in order to properly understand his identity and his purpose, a father requires a son in order to put on display the father’s nature. A son’s history and his origin are determined by the father out of whom the son issued. Accordingly his purpose can never be furthered in contradistinction from his father. Correspondingly, the father is pledged to support the existence of his son. This is the role God chose when He created the son to put His nature on display. Father and son, therefore, is a symbiotic and intricately interconnected relationship toward a mutual and continuing purpose.

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What Every Man (and Woman) Needs

This week's article has been curated from "Awakened to My Wife" by Dana Thompson. Get your copy in the eGen store. 

FROM THE BEGINNING

When God formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, He knew Adam still had a need. God chose to create a distinctive sense of “aloneness” in Adam that was not filled by His personal presence. I know that may sound like blasphemy to a theologian. However, Genesis 2: 18 states, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (NIV). God said that Adam was “alone”; not lonely, but alone. Adam experienced God in the beauty of His holiness, and in His splendor and perfection, yet Adam was alone. Spiritually, Adam’s need was met. His emotional and physical needs, however, were impossible to satisfy without the presence of another person, another human being like himself. God foreknew this, and planned to fulfill Adam’s every need with a helpmate. And He did this in part by providing a wife. God knew Adam needed a wife to fulfill his emotional and physical needs.

GOD HAD A PLAN

I’m sure that at first it was hard for Adam to see his need for a helper who was “suitably fit” just for him. Like most men, he became so involved in his work of tending the garden that he was unaware of his personal needs. So many men start working and establish their identity through their work early on; as a result, they fail to realize their need for a helpmate.

So the Lord prepared Adam. He brought a group of animals for him to name. Yes, this was an exercise for Adam to use his creativity, but it was also the means by which God showed Adam his need for a helpmate. Can you imagine going through hundreds of paired animals in a day, looking at both of them, and giving them names? How long do you think it took for something to click in Adam that revealed his need for a companion? No telling! Yet it took God’s intervention to make him aware of his need for a wife. Until and unless God awakens the need within a man for a wife, he will remain unmarried all of his days.

The Lord caused a “deep sleep”to come on Adam. Ladies, this is very important for you to remember, so I’ll say it again: unless God awakens a man’s need for a helpmate, he will remain unmarried. I’ve seen women do everything possible to get the attention of the man they felt would be their future husband, but to no avail. Why? He was in a “deep sleep!”And he will stay in that deep sleep until the Lord awakens him.

THAT REQUIRES TRUST & PATIENCE

When I was a minister at a particular mega-church, I occasionally had door duties greeting people leaving the services. One Sunday a young lady came to me and said, “I need your help.”I went over to see how I could assist her. She told me that a young man was following her and she knew he wanted to ask her on a date. I considered that to be a strange concern. My thought was, “If you are not in any type of physical danger, why bother me with a guy who is interested in dating you?”I asked her to show me the young man. When she pointed him out, I smiled, because I knew him. I told her that he was a law student who had just returned from school for the summer, and his parents were very well-known in the church and the community. I looked at her afterwards as if to say, “You ought to be honored that he is interested in you.”She looked at me with mild disgust and walked away.

That same young lady is now my wife. I didn’t know it then, but I understand now that she was trying to say, “Hey, numb skull! I really like you, and someone else is on to me. Be my hero and take me away in your arms!” Back then, I was in a deep sleep; I had no inkling that the Lord’s provision was right before my eyes. God will present to a man His provision, his future wife, but that man has to receive the gift. Adam’s way of accepting God’s provision was in his statement, “Wow! This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh! She shall be called, ‘My woman!’”(Gen. 2: 23 NIV with author’s paraphrase)

Ladies, you can wear your best hairstyles and outfits, have your eyebrows arched, put on your best perfume, and stand right in front of a man, saying with unspoken beauty, “Here I am! You’d best know your God, and receive this precious gift.” Yet, if he is still in a deep sleep, you will be wasting your time and energy. Until God awakens him, he will not be able to see or receive you as the provision of the Lord.

I want to thank you for being patient with us, women. Pray that God will awaken His unmarried men in this hour. Once God awakens a man and reveals to him the provision of the Lord, he will open his mouth and say, “This is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh!”Or, as they would say in the movie The Matrix, “She’s the one.”I tell you the truth, the majority of men today need Christ and a wife. I am so thankful for a helpmate who complements me. She teaches me how to submit to Christ and protects me from my weaknesses.

AND IS MEANT FOR OUR GOOD.

Notice that God did much more than give Adam someone so that he would not be alone. God’s solution for Adam’s need was to “make a helper suitable for him”(Gen. 2: 18b NIV). It’s important here to note that “helper” does not mean “second-rate partner.” On the contrary, in the day when Moses wrote these words, to identify a woman as a “helper” ran counter-culture to the commonly held inferior view of women. Moses actually elevated the sense of woman’s worth and role by calling her by the same name used in other places in the Old Testament to describe God Himself. To be called a “helper” here speaks more to the simple fact that God had plans for Adam that he could not fulfill without a wife—he was incomplete. Adam needed His wife Eve. Adam needed Christ and a wife.

Please understand that I am not implying that every unmarried person is incomplete without a spouse. We are all created in the image of God to fulfill His purpose and plan for our lives. Nevertheless, in God’s timing, He may sovereignly choose to bring a husband and wife together for them to accomplish together as one what they could never accomplish individually. When God calls you to awaken to your mate, He gives you a spouse who, by divine design, will perfectly complement you. Together you will be resilient and more effective than either of you were when you were apart.

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Finding God's Design for Marriage

This article has been curated from "Marriage: Finding God's Design" by Dr. Corbett Gaulden. You can purchase your copy in the eGen store.

GOD'S DESIGN FOR MARRIAGE DISPLAYS SONSHIP

Many have acknowledged that the first human relationship was marriage; specifically, the marriage of Adam and Eve subsequent to Eve’s coming forth from Adam. The only relationship that preceded marriage was the Father-son relationship that GOD had with Adam (Luke 3: 38). Technically, even that is not true, because before Adam could take Eve in marriage, Eve had to be brought forth out of the living flesh of Adam (Genesis 2: 20-25). It may be provocative to say so, but this implies that there is a kind of spiritual womb in a man that stands in some kind of parallel to the natural womb in a woman. Now, it is only fair to say that GOD was in a “startup”mode and that Adam and Eve were the first of each: male and female. Hence, each of these starter-persons had to come into existence. First, GOD created the male from inanimate earth and breathed life into that inanimate object (Genesis 2: 7). He could have repeated that process to create Eve. He could have taken some more inanimate earth, rolled it up, and breathed the female into existence. However, He did not choose to make Eve in that manner. To bring her into being, GOD caused the man to fall into a very deep sleep, opened his living flesh, took some component from that living flesh, and then closed the opening in the man’s flesh. Then, with that extracted, living flesh, He made the woman. The woman was “born”from (came out of) the flesh of the man. Subsequently, all human beings have been born out of the living flesh of a woman.

Apparently, Adam approved of the work GOD had made from his living flesh. Adam immediately claimed that woman as his own because she came out of him. He reclaimed that which had been within him and took her as a wife. This, obviously, was the first marriage. But Eve was first Son of Adam; her flesh-being came from his flesh-being in a manner that did not require the normal mechanisms of human reproduction. There is no evidence that GOD breathed life into the woman. It seems that the living flesh of the man had the requisite life already in it. GOD simply made the living flesh of the man into the woman. Her life came out of the life of the man.

GOD'S DESIGN FOR MARRIAGE DISPLAYS FELLOWSHIP

There is an interesting implication in this opening narrative of human history. It is found in Adam’s declaration, upon first seeing Eve: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”(Genesis 2: 23, emphasis added). GOD’s act was not political or sociological in any way; He “simply”made the woman with purposes of His own. In so doing, He also knew what He expected from the man (Genesis 1: 28-30). It was a simple wedding, really. There were no groomsmen or bridesmaids, and only heaven was there to witness the events. But they were truly married, nonetheless, in humanity’s first wedding “ceremony.”Adam’s use of the first person singular possessive pronoun—“bone of MY bones and flesh of MY flesh”—signals his recognition that GOD made this particular woman for him and brought her to him. In this particular instance, it was absolutely true that she was bone of HIS bones and flesh of HIS flesh. She was exclusively “of” him in all her being. There was not another from whose bone or flesh she was taken to make her and bring her to life.

It is interesting to note in passing that when GOD created the man, the woman was already inherently in the man; that is, once the man was created, all that was needed to make the woman was already in the man. Scripture specifically implies this (Genesis 1: 27). GOD created them “male and female.” Thus, man was some sort of compound being from the start, in spite of his apparent solitude. This compound being needed fullness of expression in a manner that provided human fellowship for the man (Genesis 2: 18). That fellowship came in the form of the woman. This was not intended to replace the man’s fellowship with GOD, but to add the richness of human fellowship with the woman to the divine fellowship Adam already enjoyed with GOD. The divine fellowship was of a Father-son type (Luke 3: 38), while the marriage was fellowship of a very different kind.

GOD'S DESIGN FOR MARRIAGE DISPLAYS ONENESS

It is my assertion that the marriage dyad is of fixed construction. Not only is it composed of one man and one woman, but it is composed of a particular man and a particular woman .

Suppose for a moment that it were GOD’s will that a particular woman who was alive in the earth at a particular time be the wife of a particular man who was alive in the earth at the same time. Could GOD not fashion the spirit-life in the woman from the spirit-life He placed in the man as He did with the flesh in the case of Adam and Eve? I’m not trying to sound creepy, but is it possible that an omnipotent GOD could do such a thing? If so, would it not be wonderful for the particular man to be united with the particular woman in a marriage? Or is marriage simply a random phenomenon?

In distinction from our modern cultural ideas, Scripture presents us with the idea of the man and the woman becoming some sort of unitary phenomenon. The two are to become “one flesh”(Genesis 2: 24; Mark 10: 2-12; Ephesians 5: 31). This design feature is unequivocal. One of GOD’s expected outcomes of marriage is that the flesh man and the flesh woman together exemplify the oneness of CHRIST and His one, particular Bride. There simply is no room for ambiguity in this matter. Marriage between the man and the woman has a nature that, while mysterious, is not ambiguous. Part of that nature is to put on display on the earth the oneness that CHRIST displays in eternity with His Bride, the church.

Obviously, a man and a woman in a marriage do not occupy the same existence. They can be in places that are separated by great distances. They are not physically congruent. So, what is this “oneness”of which Scripture speaks? Oneness does not mean sharing a brain or a physical body, but the word clearly implies the sharing of something. It may even imply sharing virtually everything. We actually have a picture available to us in the form of inheritance in the patriarchal family. The husband inherited property and built its value. The wife lived in it and gave it color. She was as entitled to whatever was her husband’s as he was, whether they were in the middle of a quarrel or celebrating some great thing together. It was his but it was hers. This was not a distribution of things; it was a sharing of things. That must have something to do with oneness.

Oneness may also include shared purpose. If this be so, it implies that the marriage is working properly when the purposes of its partners are the same and not at variance with one another. This, of course, is not always an easy matter, as each partner has their own mind, senses and feelings, but generally it works in life.

GOD'S DESIGN FOR MARRIAGE DISPLAYS PERMANENCY

The permanency of marriage in the face of the vicissitudes of life is quite a phenomenon, particularly in today’s self-interested culture. Regardless of stress, however, marriage is to result in a permanent oneness. As CHRIST and His Bride are eternally faithful to one another in their permanent oneness , so we must treat our own marriages. We must always be of the mind that whatever trials we face in marriage are simply for the purification of our frail humanity. This is necessary if we are to adequately represent CHRIST and His Bride in the world of humans .

Many people in most modern cultures today insist that these principles are too confining. They see oneness, in particular, as an offensive requirement for both males and females. That very struggle is a significant component of marriages in the world today. Oneness has been reduced to a political consideration. For all who follow CHRIST, however, marriage is a spiritual phenomenon, not a political one.

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Embracing a Life of Better Things

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This article has been curated from "Hebrews: the Book of Better Things" by Bill Britton, a series of messages written and published earlier in booklet form, which we considered so vital to present truth that we decided to put them in permanent book form. 

LEAVING THE OLD TO EMBRACE THE NEW

Many scholars believe that the apostle Paul was the author of Hebrews, based on internal evidence, the style of writing, the revelation of grace, and the pattern of his logic. Paul, who was once the most orthodox of Jews, blameless in the matters of the Law, has had a vision of Christ and a revelation of the gospel of the grace of God. He now is the strongest opponent of the Law of Moses with its rituals, ceremonies, and animal sacrifices. He will not succeed in destroying the old order completely, nor will he be able to convince all the Jews to leave that dead system (it still has millions of followers today.) But he is sounding a clarion call to those Christians who have tasted the reality of Christ and want to follow Jesus into full Sonship. The message is that they will have to turn loose of the past and rid themselves of every remaining garment of the Jew’s religion. We have a better way. The shadows are gone... we have arrived at the substance.

Christians in our day are not very concerned about the controversy of Paul’s day between law and grace. So is the book of Hebrews relevant for us today? Yes! For today we are faced with an old order that is passing away and a new order that is coming in, bringing a revelation of Sonship... a higher order. The revelation of this high calling was given to the apostles in the early church, and they faithfully wrote it down. But it is obvious that the early church, the earnest or firstfruits of God’s order for His Body, did not fully reach that maturity and perfection in their generation. They certainly did not attain this maturity and perfection during the dark ages, and still have not, even up to our present time. But the work of God is ever progressive and gaining momentum continually.

And today we see the need for a new understanding of the book of Hebrews. It is the New Testament book of Sonship.

First of all, the Sonship of Jesus Christ; and finally, the revelation of the Body of Christ, the corporate, many-membered Son that inherits the Melchizedek priesthood order by virtue of being in Him. While the blind still lead the blind and the masses still stagger along in a dying system of “churchianity”and religion, we see a great company of Sons breaking forth into the glorious light of God’s new day.

So the need, now as then, is for God’s people to realize that they cannot hold on to the old system of religion, however well it served them in the past. Too many today, like the Jewish Christians back then, are trying to hang on to the best of two worlds. It won’t work. The Jewish Christians in the early church were constantly being hammered by the preachers of the circumcision. They were told that Jesus was their Messiah and that the Holy Spirit was for them too; but they were still obligated to fulfill the Law of Moses. Holy Spirit-filled preachers were using the only scriptures the church had to prove to them that they had to be circumcised, observe the Sabbath, keep going to the temple, and keep the Law in order to be saved. It sounded logical. If you have Jesus and the Law, how could you lose? 

The argument was that you had to touch all the bases. Paul’s answer was that the old covenant and its laws were no longer one of the bases. God has done away with it. He has now instituted a better thing. And now, in our day, the Holy Spirit is being poured out upon all flesh, in many denominations and systems of religion. And men are still telling God’s people to take the new thing, but to stay in the old sectarian order. “This new thing is simply an improvement on the good old way,” they say.

THE SONSHIP JOURNEY IS THE BETTER WAY

The book of Hebrews begins with a glorious declaration as to how God speaks or reveals Himself to us. Once He spoke through prophets, those who spoke for Him and in His name. But now He speaks or reveals Himself in Sonship.

Hebrews 1: 1-2: Many were the forms and fashions in which God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these days at the end He has spoken to us by a son—a Son whom He has appointed heir of the universe... (Hebrews 1: 1-2 Moffatt)

Now dear friends, if you think that Jesus is keeping all the glory of this Sonship and heirship to Himself, then you just haven’t read Romans 8: 17, which tells us that we are “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.”Verse 29 of that chapter states plainly and emphatically that Jesus Christ is God’s Son but that He is the “firstborn among many brethren.”Further, Revelation 21: 7 says, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”The unveiling of God in the person of a Son did begin in our Lord Jesus Christ, for He was “the beginning of the creation of God”(Rev. 3: 14). But it did not stop there. God ordained that Jesus would be the first, and that because of Him, and through Him, there would be a great harvest of the precious fruit of the earth. The Sonship of Jesus is complete; “it is finished.” God is still waiting patiently for “the precious fruit of the earth”(Ja. 5: 7). This harvest of Sons will be joint-heirs with Jesus, “Heir and lawful Owner of all things”(Heb. 1: 2 AMP).

BRINGING MANY SONS TO GLORY

First of all, we are talking here about Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. The Bible refers to this entire dispensation of grace as “the last days.” The apostles wrote of their own days being the last days, and yet we know that today (over 2,000 years later), we are still in the last days. We read in Mark 15: 25 that Jesus was lifted up on the cross as our sacrifice at the third hour of the day, the time of the morning sacrifice. He remained on that cross until the ninth hour, the time of the evening sacrifice (Mk. 15: 33-34).

In other words, the work that He came to do (provide a way of salvation from sin for mankind,) was being done until the time of the evening sacrifice, when He cried, “…it is finished…”(Jn. 19: 30). Now we see another Son, a many-membered corporate Son known as “the church, His Body” come into view. Jesus said that because of what He did for us, we would do His works, as well as “greater works”(Jn. 14: 12). So we see a Son coming forth in the morning time of these last days, the dispensation of grace, and doing a work in the souls of men. And now, in the time of the evening sacrifice (the closing hours of these last days), we see the only begotten Son of God crying, “It is finished.”He is taken down from the cross, and pours Himself (by the Spirit) into a waiting Body of Sons. What the whole world now shall see is the ministry of “greater works”that Jesus promised. It is the time of the evening sacrifice. It is the time for the younger Son, the many-membered Son, the church, His Body, to be manifested. It was the firstborn Son who created this world and brought life to it. Now it is the younger, many-membered Son, who shall (in cooperation with Christ) restore the creation to divine order. They shall be joint-heirs together. This is why He is bringing many Sons to glory (Heb. 2: 10) and why we must be conformed to the image of God’s Son (Rom. 8: 29). This is what all creation is groaning and travailing for with earnest expectation (Rom. 8: 19-22). It is the time for the younger Son, the many-membered Son, the church, His Body, to be manifested.

So at the time of the morning sacrifice, God spoke in a Son, Jesus Christ. He expressed Himself fully in Jesus. The Son was the “express image”of the Father, “the brightness of his glory”(Heb. 1: 3). And now, at the time of the evening sacrifice, God shall again speak and manifest Himself through a Son. This time it is a corporate Son, of which Jesus Himself is the Head.

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