God's Character, Nature and
by George Kirkpatrick
As the Age of Grace comes to a close and the New Day begins to appear on the horizon, we wonder, as we look at the church system with all its schisms, divisions, and its denominational separations, what happened to the "oneness" idea that was so prevalent in all of Jesus' teachings.
John, the beloved disciple who leaned on Jesus' breast at the Last Supper, recorded these words of Jesus:
"That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me." John 17:21-23
It was Jesus' desire that His people be one, as He and the Father are one. When His Body comes into this oneness, the glory that the Father gave to Jesus will be ours. But at this time in history, the oneness idea is totally foreign to the church because their agreement or disagreement is based on the precepts and doctrines of men. Jesus stated:
"This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matt. 15:8-9
Many talk about oneness and even try to come together for the glory of God. But inevitably their precepts of God and their doctrines of men will separate and divide, and another experiment in oneness fails. Most overlook the writings of Peter whom Jesus gave the keys to the Kingdom. Peter stated,
"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps." I Peter 2:21
Jesus is our example of oneness and Jesus is our example of the Father. As John recorded,
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." 1 John 3:2
If we are to see Him as He is, then we must be like Him. Jesus is our example of what we are to be like.
In the beginning, man was made in the image and likeness of God. Sin separated God and man. If we are to, again, be joined unto Christ, it necessitates that we become as our example, or we will never see Him.
Many believe that heaven is their hope in glory. Nowhere in the Word does it state that heaven is our hope in God. The Word states that Christ in us is our hope of Glory, Colossians 1:27. If we are to understand our position and our calling in Christ, we must look closely at our example, Jesus.
To understand our example completely, we must begin at His birth and look at His life.
The angel of the Lord appeared unto Mary:
"And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Luke 1:30-35
It was the Holy Ghost that overshadowed Mary and conceived Jesus in Mary's womb. Mary became pregnant by the Holy Ghost; the Holy Ghost fathered Jesus.
In the fertilization process, as God designed it, the mother has her part and the father has his part. From the mother comes the body. The mother's body is used to carry and produce the body of the child. The writer of Hebrews proclaimed,
"Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared Me." Hebrews 10:5
God prepared Jesus a body to dwell in while He walked upon the earth. Paul clarified this point in His letter to the Galatians.
"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law." Galatians 4:4
Although the woman carries the child and the child develops in her womb, not one drop of the mother's blood enters the child. The blood comes from the father. All lineage of the child is determined by the father, not the mother. The Word relates that the the life is in the blood.
1 The Blood Line
From the time of conception, the fertilized egg produces its own blood supply. Pictures of the fertilized egg show that, at conception, the fertilized egg begins to pulsate. This is the beginning of life for the child. In a very short time, the heart and the blood system are visible. This fertilized seed produces its own blood supply. At the moment of conception, the fertilized egg becomes an individual.
To further prove that the bloodline comes from the father and not the mother, we find that, when babies are mixed up in the hospital, it is not possible to take a sample of the blood from the child and identify the mother. But you can sample the blood and find the father. The mother produces the body and the father gives the child its blood line. What else comes from the father in the fertilization process?
Nationality is always established by the father. Since Jesus was conceived by the Heavenly Father, Jesus had no earthly nationality. Jesus was not a Jew, although many thought He was because they considered Joseph to be His father.
3 Character, Personality, and Nature
As we consider the birth of Jesus, we understand He had the same flesh as we have. Paul wrote:
"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." Romans 8:3
Jesus was born with the same sinful, Adamic flesh as we have. Does this mean there was sin in Jesus' life? NO! But He was born into sinful flesh. He overcame His sinful nature as an example to us that we, too, can live sinless in this sinful flesh. Mary gave Jesus His body and the Holy Spirit gave Jesus His blood, nationality, character, nature, and personality. John records:
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14
The Word was made flesh. The Word pre-existed the flesh. John further recorded:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1
The Word was in the beginning and the Word was God. God is Spirit, therefore the Word is Spirit. The psalmist reveals:
"For ever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven." Psalm 119:89
God's Word is our road map to get us through this life. It is sure and unchangeable because God is the Word and He states, "I change not." Luke records,
"Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away." Luke 21:33
John reveals that the Word was from the beginning and is part of the Godhead:
"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." I John 5:7
The word Word appears where the Son appears in all other references to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Jesus pre-existed as the Word before the foundation of the world. He was Spirit. So He existed in the Spiritual realm before being born in a body to become Saviour of the world. Before the flesh existed, there was the Spiritual existence of all things. Paul spoke of Jesus when he stated,
"In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature." Colossians 1:14-15
Jesus was the image of the invisible God. Are we then to believe that Jesus looked like God? NO! Jesus was the personification of the Father. He was our example of the Father's character, nature, and personality.
When the writer of Hebrews spoke on this subject, he explained it this way:
"Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the Word of His power . . ." Hebrews 1:3
Jesus was the express image of His person in the brightness of His glory. When we study our example to discover what God intends us to be, "we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." I John 3:2
Are we to strive to look like Jesus? Or are we to strive to be like Jesus? God's beauty is spoken of throughout His Word. The question then arises, "Was Jesus beautiful?" Isaiah records:
"For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him." Isaiah 53:2
He had no form, nor comeliness, and no beauty that we should desire Him. There was nothing in Jesus' flesh that we would want to follow. As Jesus, there should be nothing in our flesh that would attract man to desire to follow us.
Jesus had the same Adamic, sinful flesh as we have. So what should we desire to follow in the life of Jesus? It is the character, nature, and personality of the Father that comes through the Spirit.
John recorded that the Greeks came to see Jesus.
"The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired Him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus." John 12:21
And what was Jesus' answer?
"And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." John 12:23-24
The Greeks wanted to see Jesus. Instead of Jesus simply walking out and saying, "Here am I, take a look," He spoke of a corn of wheat, or a grain of wheat falling into the ground. The word for ground is GE and means "earth." Jesus stated, "A grain of wheat must fall into the earth and die. If it dies it will bring forth much fruit."
In the creation God explained,
". . . let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth." Genesis 1:11
The seed is within itself. The seed can only reproduce after its kind. If you plant carrots, you get carrots. If you plant peas you get peas. Whatever is planted is what is produced. In nature, nothing planted will reproduce until the seed planted is totally consumed by the earth.
As we begin to understand the laws of nature God instituted in His creation, we begin to understand what Jesus was saying when He made the statement, "The corn of wheat must fall into the earth and die before it can bring forth fruit." Jesus was our example and Jesus' flesh had to die to bring forth much fruit. Jesus revealed unto His followers:
"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you." John 16:7
The word expedient means "good, profitable and to advantage." Jesus was stating it was to our good and to our advantage that He go away, or go to the cross, because the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) could not come until He came to the end of His flesh.
As we read the Word, it is revealed that Jesus was slain before the foundation of the earth.
"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship Him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Revelation 13:8
What God ordained in the Spirit for Jesus' life was manifested in the flesh at the crucifixion. Jesus was foreordained in the Spirit to die in the flesh at the Feast of Passover. The Word says the same of us. We were foreknown and predestined in God before the foundation of the earth. In His writings to the Romans and Ephesians, Paul spoke of this foreknowing and predestination.
"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. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified." Romans 8:29-30
"According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." Ephesians 1:4
Before God ever laid the foundation of the earth we were known by Him in the spirit, and what He foreknew in the spirit He manifested in the flesh. It is by the blood of Jesus that we have forgiveness of sin. As Jesus was the personification of the Father, we are to be the personification of the Son. It is by the blood that we are reconciled back to the Father. But it is by His Spirit that we are to have the character, nature, and personality of the Father.
The seed that fell into the earth that will bring forth much fruit is Christ, the Holy Spirit. When the earth has totally consumed that seed, we will be changed in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, I Corinthians 15:52.
Just as Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit to bring forth the body of Jesus, we also have been overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and are impregnated with the Christ. The overshadowing of the Holy Spirit will produce the Christ in us. When that impregnated seed is given a chance, it will sprout and bring forth much fruit. The fruit that is brought forth are the fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, lowliness, patience, and righteousness, Galatians 5:22-23, Ephesians 4:2, and 5:9.
These fruits are the character, nature, and personality of the Father. This list of fruit was not given completely in Galatians. Paul revealed:
"For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth." Ephesians 5:9
All the fruit of the Spirit are brought forth in goodness, righteousness, and truth, and without Christ there is no goodness, righteousness, or truth.
There are twelve fruit of the Spirit. Twelve is the number of government. If we want to see Jesus and rule and reign with Him, all twelve of these fruit must be manifest in our lives. As we yield to the Spirit, these traits of God will begin to be revealed in our lives. All these fruit of the Spirit were resident in Jesus, in His fleshly existence.
When Jesus was addressing the multitude, He revealed Himself:
"Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matthew 11:28-29
Jesus said we were to learn of Him. What are we to learn of Jesus? "I am meek and lowly in heart." Meekness is a fruit of the Spirit. Meekness and lowliness were character traits of Jesus and the nature of the Father.
The heart of man is the mind. Solomon proclaimed in Proverbs:
"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. . ." Proverbs 23:7
What a man thinks is in his heart, and that is his mind. The physical heart is a blood pump and has no ability to think or have any other function except pump blood. The mind and the soul are the heart of man.
Jesus was meek and lowly. He did not lift Himself up in any situation. Jesus glorified the Father in everything He did. When we manifest this fruit of the Spirit in our lives, then we will understand Paul's words to the Romans:
"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Romans 12:3
We are warned not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think. Many who are called by the name of Christ are high and lifted up in pride, self-esteem, and are walking in sin. Many in leadership are walking in sin because they have not esteemed others better than themselves. They act as if what they have is resident in themselves, and God has nothing to do with it.
In Paul's letter to the Corinthians, he asked a question:
"For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?" I Corinthians 4:7
Many have set themselves on a plane far above those they are supposed to serve. They demonstrate a self assurance that, without them, God could never accomplish His purpose in the earth. These have overlooked the fact that God has predestined them to do the job He has designed them to do, and has endowed them with the ability to accomplish it.
Paul understood the principle of the seed, Christ, growing and consuming the flesh. He wrote to all the churches in Galatia:
"My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you." Galatians 4:19
Paul travailed for the churches in Galatia until Christ was formed in them. As a child is formed in the womb of the mother - - - the seed, Christ, is to be formed in us until it comes to full maturity and consumes the flesh, replacing the old, Adamic nature.
Paul proclaimed that we will be changed. The corruptible will put on incorruption and the mortal will put on immortality, I Corinthians 15:53. John informs us that we will be as He is and will see Him as He is. We, too, will be the image of the invisible God that is within us.
Jesus said we were to learn of Him. He was meek and lowly in heart and mind. If we are to be like Him, we, too, must be meek and lowly.
"The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way." Psalm 25:9
God will guide the meek in judgment and teach them in His way. God cannot work with the haughty and the proud. They do not need God. The meek and lowly know who they are in God:
"But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." Psalm 37:11
Jesus quoted this in His sermon on the mount in Matthew 5:5. The book of Proverbs also speaks of the lowly:
"Surely He scorneth the scorners: but He giveth grace unto the lowly." Proverbs 3:34
"When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom." Proverbs 11:2
God will give the lowly grace and wisdom. How are we to become lowly? James informs us:
"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up." James 4:10
If we want God's grace and wisdom in our lives, we are to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord. We are also to be humble in the sight of man. God has made many promises to those who have humbled themselves in His sight.
"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with Him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." Isaiah 57:15
If our desire is to dwell in the high and holy place with the One who inhabits eternity, then we must be those who have a humble spirit - - - the contrite ones in God. The word contrite means "to be crushed or broken." These are those who have fallen under the mighty hand of God to bring them into a position where they are accepted in the Beloved. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write to the church at Ephesus:
"And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:6
We are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus because we have a humble and contrite spirit. The word contrite also means "spiritual and emotional suffering." If we refuse to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, God will bring chastisement which will produce the peaceable fruit of righteousness in our lives, Hebrews 12:11.
Meekness and righteousness are fruit of the Spirit. They are the nature of the Father. Meekness, lowliness, and a contrite spirit is the message throughout the Word.
"Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the Kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:4
"And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." Matthew 23:12
God promises that if we humble ourselves, He will exalt us. The change that we desire will come and we will be clothed upon with the house that is from above.
"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." II Corinthians 5:1
What Paul wrote has nothing to do with dying in the flesh, but a change in our relationship to God after we die to the flesh.
"If the tabernacle (temporary dwelling place) be dissolved . . ." The word dissolved is KATALUO. The Greek word KATA means "put down." The Greek word LUO means "to loose, sever, break." When we put down, and are loosed and severed from the temporary dwelling place, we have overcome the flesh.
When the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write this, he certainly was not ignorant of the dying process common to all man. When we go to a funeral, we do not say this poor person is dissolved. We are enlightened by the Word that when a person goes by the way of the grave, they have not overcome, but have been overcome by the last enemy, death. Paul goes on to say:
"For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven." II Corinthians 5:2
We are going to be clothed with our house from Heaven.
"For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life." II Corinthians 5:4
The Body of Christ is groaning today, not desiring to be unclothed (to die and shed this body) but to be clothed upon with the body not made with hands, the spiritual flesh that comes from the spiritual realm of God. That mortality (a body that will die) may be swallowed up of life (eternal life in God). This comes not by the way of the grave, but by the way of the anointing. Paul spoke of this change as a mystery:
"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep (die), but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." I Corinthians 15:51-52
There is a change coming in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. This will happen when the seed, Christ, is formed in us and we are changed, and that which is flesh becomes Spirit. We have the promise of Jesus:
"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." Matthew 24:34
We are groaning in this tabernacle, desiring the Word to be fulfilled in our lives.
"Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord." II Corinthians 5:6
While we reside in this body, we can only enter into the presence of God by the anointing which we have received. Paul relates that the anointing we now have is only the earnest of the Spirit, II Corinthians 5:5. The earnest is only the down-payment. We are not yet walking in the fullness and we are not able to enter in, because no flesh will enter in. We can only enter in when we are clothed with our house from above.
"We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." II Corinthians 5:8
Paul earnestly desired this change that is coming, but Paul went by the way of the grave as has all mankind. God spoke of a generation that would not pass away. A generation that would be swallowed up of life. There is a line of demarcation between the flesh and the spirit that no man can pass over until this change comes. Jesus stated,
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." John 3:6
As long as we are in this body we will be absent from the presence of the Lord. God is with us, but we will not become one in Him until this change takes place. Paul gave us comfort when he wrote:
"Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him." II Corinthians 5:9
When the Spirit consumes and changes the flesh, we will be present in the presence of the Lord. Jesus stated,
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." John 10:1
The sheepfold is the true church. If we try to come any other way than by the door, we are thieves and robbers. Yet, many try to come by knowledge and religion - - - or they are trying in the flesh to be good enough or humble enough - - - trying to enter in by formulas, programs and the precepts and doctrines of men.
If we do not let the seed that has fallen into the earth grow up and consume the flesh, we will never see Jesus. The Greeks said, "We would see Jesus." The church is desiring to see Jesus. The world is desiring to see Jesus. The only way any of us will see Jesus is if we follow the direction of John, the beloved disciple, when he stated,
". . .We know that, when He shall appear, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; for we shall see Him as He is." I John 3:2
We will only see Jesus if we are like He is. The seed, Christ, must be formed in us and bring forth fruit. These fruit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, lowliness, patience, and righteousness, against such there is no law. If we want to be free from the law, only the fruit of the Spirit can free us from the law. When these fruit begin to be manifested, we will be on our way to becoming the Sons of God. We, too, will become the express image of the Father. We, too, will have His character, nature, and personality, as Jesus did. Many will say, "I could never be like Jesus." The Word is very clear. If we are not like Him, we will never see Him.
"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." II Corinthians 3:18
We are being changed from glory to glory by the Spirit into the image of the Father. Many speak about the finished work of the cross in their lives. The work of the cross was to bring forgiveness of sin. What God desires in our lives is the finished work of Pentecost, the cloven tongues of fire cleansing the flesh and bringing it into the glory of the Father.
"He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." John 12:25
Those who are not willing to put off this life and the desire of the flesh, will lose their eternal inheritance in God. There will be no eternal life if they hang on to this life. So many are hoodwinked into thinking that eternal life is in heaven. Those who walk in the Spirit have eternal life dwelling in them. When they allow that eternal life (Spirit) to consume the flesh, then that which is temporal will be eternal and that which is tabernacle will become temple.
It is taught that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit at this time. The house we are now in, that is made with hands, is covered with skin and will be destroyed and die. We are still tabernacle desiring to be changed into that which is eternal (temple) where the Spirit of the living God will dwell eternally.
"Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us." II Corinthians 1:10
We were delivered from the curse of sin at the cross. We are yet to be delivered from the last enemy, death, that we may live to rule and reign with Christ for the 1000 year millennium.
"For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." Romans 14:17
The Kingdom of God is coming without observation. It is growing within us. The fruit of the Spirit are developing in our lives. The character, nature, and personality of God are replacing the old, carnal nature - - - and the finished work of Pentecost is being manifested in our inner-most being. God must change us from the inside out. Most try to look good on the outside; but God looks on the heart.
"For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." II Corinthians 4:16-17
Our inward man is being renewed day by day. That inward man is where God will bring forth His character, nature, and personality so that the whole earth may see Jesus when He shall come to be glorified in His saints to be admired in all them that believe in that day, II Thessalonians 1:10.
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