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The Matthew Page

The Matthew Page of the Living Word section has the following updates:

Chapter Three of the Gospel of Matthew, A Kingdom Chronicles Translation

Chapter Two of Matthew's Testament to Jesus Christ - An Exposition, in 4 parts.

The Debilitated Human Condition

...No eye has seen, nor ear heard... I Corinthians 2:9

Sights exist outside the current spectrum of the human eye.  Sounds exist outside the current spectrum of human hearing.  This is also true for the other senses.  Fragrances exist that no human being is capable of knowing.  Sensations exist beyond the human possibility to feel them.

The size of the human brain verses the fractional use of it perhaps is a reflection of this disparity.  It may be that God designed the human brain with its large capacity to experience this much wider range of physical senses and possibly even more.

Therefore, it is possible to surmise that God created humankind originally with the ability to have contact with the greater physical world.  Perhaps Adam and Eve then lived in this more abundant physical dimension.

Incidentally, while taking this as true, the first humans may have had the ability to see angels.  Rereading Genesis chapter three with this possibility, the serpent was not a snake or a dragon, but a title (Compare Genesis 3 with Revelation 12).  Eve had discourse with a beautiful, glorious and magnificent angelic being.

Yet, how did humankind arrive in this lesser state?  The debilitating event was the fall.  Humans disconnected themselves from God, the Creator of all things.  Furthermore, because of the disconnection, He pronounced a curse over the created world.  Therefore, though He designed humans for the fuller and richer physical experience, they now exist isolated from the wider world.  They are groping about within a much narrower frame of reference.  They use what they have left in scientific investigation to probe the area outside their reach.

The above focuses upon the physical dimension only.  If the above synopsis is true concerning the physical universe, then this presents an understanding also about the human soul, the mind, will and emotions of humankind.  If the physical race is so debilitated, then the very essence of humanity, what defines and characterizes them as human, the soul is also experiencing far less than its original design.

For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep!  Psalm 64:6

As said, humankind disconnected from God and He then pronounced a curse over the created world.  The curse itself perhaps answers to the physical debility.  The disconnection from God may answer to the soul’s debilitation.

Paul describes the “works of the flesh.”  He characterizes the fallen race as “fleshly” or carnal and “soulish” or natural.  Without God, the soul devolves and decays.  It is unable to function at its higher capacity.  It is only capable of producing what Paul calls “the works of the flesh.”

Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like.  Galatians 5:19-21

This is the state of the fallen human soul.  Though not everyone outwardly experiences all of them and the effects are in varying degrees, yet these attributes describe the debilitated capacity of the human essence.  This is the quagmire; the dark abode of humanity, the result of their separation from God.

The soul then that has reconnected to God through faith in Jesus Christ undergoes a progressive transformation back to its original design.  The original design was the character, the image and likeness of Jesus Christ Himself.  Paul describes His perfect and holy character as the Fruit of the Spirit that develops within every born-again soul.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control...  Galatians 5:22 & 23

Here is the full capacity, the full potentiality of human character, which God through His Spirit is restoring in His sons and daughters in the earth. Rebirth renews God’s life, returning the original human essence to humanity.

Yet as humanity has gotten use to the debilitated physical condition, perceiving it as the standard, so also Christians have gotten used to the lesser condition of their souls.  They do not realize how far they have fallen, or understand the true circumstances that resulted from the fall.  This is impossible to know except in the face of Jesus Christ, who rescues people from the miry bog.  The Person of Christ, His radiant glory and perfection shines shadow-less light upon this.  He draws His holy ones into His fellowship, to experience a transformation of essence only attainable in the Godhead. [11/19/09]

 

Here is a link to the "What's New / Greetings" archive page which displays all the previous introductory comments:

Miscellaneous / 'What's New Greeting' Archives

Fulton J. Sheen

(1895 – 1979)

Philosopher ● A Christian Media Pioneer ● Faithful Disciple of Jesus Christ

"The closer a person approaches God, the less worthy he feels.  A painting under candlelight shows fewer defects than under the brilliance of the sun; so too the souls who are some distance from God feel more certain of their moral integrity than those who are very close to Him.  Those who have left the lights and glamours of the world, and for years have been irradiated by His countenance, have been the foremost to acknowledge themselves as freighted down with the great burden of sin.  St. Paul, who has been such an edification to men, called himself "the chief of sinners."  In the presence of the holiest of creatures, the soul becomes self-accusing and broken-hearted with the weight of its defects.  As evil men feel their guilt more in the presence of an innocent babe than in the companionship of those who are wicked like themselves, so he who loves God is the most deeply burdened with the sense of his own unworthiness.

"But Our Blessed Lord, Who claimed oneness with God, never once confessed a sin or an imperfection.  In vain can this be attributed to moral dullness, since His analysis of sin in others was so penetrating.  What man is there in the world who could boldly stand up before great crowds and say:

"Can any of you convict Me of sin?  John 8:46

"Though Our Blessed Lord associated Himself with sinners, there never existed the least suspicion against His spotless innocence.  He told His disciples to pray, "Forgive us our trespasses," but not even in His last agony did He have to utter such a prayer.  He forgave the sins of others, in His name: "Thy sins are forgiven thee," and yet never asked for pardon.  He issued the challenge, "If you cannot detect a moral blot on My escutcheon, then credit Me with Truth."  Because He was sinless, He asserted His position in such a way as to make claims upon all mankind, such as calling Himself "the light" of a darkened world:

"I am the Light of the world.

"He who follows Me can never walk in darkness;

He will possess the Light which is Life.  John 8:12"

From Life of Christ, by Fulton J. Sheen, Chapter 17, "Our Lord's Testimony concerning Himself," page 154 & 155, 76, Copyright © 1958 by Fulton J. Sheen, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.  [11/19/09]

Here is a link to the Bishop Sheen website and a biography of him:

Bishop Sheen \ Biography

Here is a link to the "Written in the Sand" archive page which displays all the previous quotes from the past.

Miscellaneous / 'Written in the Sand' Archives

The Double Standard

Diverse weights and diverse measures are both alike an abomination to the LORD.  Proverbs 20:10

The above verse incorporates a presumption.  Are the weights and the measures different from each other, or perhaps is there another standard to which a comparison makes them abominable to the Lord?  For human beings to apply one standard of justice to one person and a different standard to someone else of course is a double standard and loathsome to the Lord.  Two weights or measures stand in contrast to each other.  Yet, take both of these and compare them with one other standard and this verse exposes the human and the carnal from the godly and the holy.

The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they scoffed at him.  But he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”  Luke 16:14 & 15

The diversified weights and measures are the human standard verses the standards of God.  This parallels the tares and the wheat, which look identical until harvest time.  This also parallels the two trees in the garden.  The good side of the one tree and the evil side of the same tree are both evil and this tree stands against the Tree of Life.

This double standard exists today in the leadership of the Lord’s Church.  There are tares and wheat.  There are leaders who do the right thing, but for the wrong motives.  There are leaders, who do the wrong thing, but for the right motives.  Over and against these, there are leaders who the Lord has directly called, prepared and commissioned.

There are people who masquerade as Christian leaders.  They are not Christians at all.  They have never had an experience with the Lord and do not have an abiding relationship with Him.  These are the true hirelings.  Christianity for them is a career.  They are in it for the money, for the prestige, or for the purpose of “exaltation among men.”  The standard is human acceptance and respectability.  The standard is the “fear of man” as opposed to the fear of the Lord.

There are true Christians, who have experienced regeneration, yet who are operating in leadership from a similar human standard as the ones above.  The Lord has not called them to leadership.  Their motives for taking the position into their own hands are from the baser desire for human exaltation.  They covet the title, the position, the respect and the human recognition.  They too are operating from the “fear of man” instead of from the fear of the Lord.

Against these two groups is the leadership that the Lord Himself has appointed.  These are the humble ones, the dread champions in the earth.  He has stripped them bare of all self-righteousness and of human exaltation.  They are not self-focused, but their focus is dove-like precision upon the Lord alone.  They have no human agenda.  Their passion is for the Kingdom of God and for the Church of the Living God.  The Lord has prepared them in the desert, in the wilderness of affliction, honing their perception upon eternal reality, upon what really is important in this life.

When the Lord appears, the first group will flee.  Some will experience salvation and join the Christian ranks.  Others will freely join themselves to the “church” of the world, a religion group that has the endorsement of the fallen world, and is propagated by the evil one.

Some in the second group may fall away and join themselves to the world’s church.  Most though, being true Christians, in the prevailing glory of the Lord, will humble themselves.  They will freely abdicate their self-appointed positions.  They will discover true freedom under the Lord’s yoke.  The Lord had called some of these to His leadership, but they had not allowed Him to prepare them.  They will all take their place with great joy in the position that the Savior has appointed for them.

The last group consists of those who feed upon the Tree of Life and who nourish others with the wholesome fruit.  The Lord imprints the Gospel upon their souls.  He hones one message within them, the “word of the cross, the power of God.”  They learn to see as He does, the earth populated with only two groups, the saved and the lost.  They understand the very narrow and pointed commission to the Church, to preach the Gospel and to equip the converted.  They are not distracted with buildings, hymnals or the color of the carpet.  They stand, having learned to recognize and throw off the “fear of man;” they stand before the Lord.  The fear of the Lord, the “awe-inspiring wonder of God” is their all-consuming joy.  Their standard is far above any human standard.  They trust and abide in the standard, in the judgment and in the will of God.

This is God’s leadership.  They renounce the “diverse weights and the diverse measures” of human reasoning.  They fully and completely submit to the standard of the Lord. [11/19/09]

Here is a link to the "Meditations" archive page which displays all the previous scriptural elucidations.

Miscellaneous / 'Meditations' Archives

Chronicles Published by Richard R. Wittneben

Last Update: November 19, 2009