Paul, The Preacher--A Meditation
Who is This Man Jesus
All the Fullness
Colossians 2:9 teaches that all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus bodily. Does this mean that all of God is in Jesus? What about God’s omnipresence? Does this mean that God did not live in heaven when Jesus was on Earth? Ephesians 3:19 says that Christians are filled with all the fullness of God. Is this the same as all the fullness of the Godhead dwelling in Jesus bodily? What is ‘all the fullness’ of the Godhead?
Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
The fullness of God referes to His attributes, power, and character (Bernard, 2001, p. 216). The term ‘all the fullness of the Godhead’ doesn’t refer to all of God. For example, it doesn’t refer to the omnipresence of God. It would be impossible for the omnipresence of God to dwell in one place. The omnipresence of God still filled the universe while God was manifest in flesh. All the fullness of the Godhead refers to the diety of Jesus. Anything we can find in scripture about the diety of Jesus is included in the fullness of the Godhead since all the fullness of the Godhead is in Jesus bodily.
Jesus is the Word made flesh.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 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.
The Word, Logos in Greek, is God’s thoughts, plan, mind, reasoning, center of concousness, central point that God works from, talk from, and sits on the throne. The Word is all the fullness of the Godhead. Jesus is the Word made flesh- all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Jesus is all that we need.
Colossians 2:10 tells us that we are complete in Jesus.
Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
Jesus is all that we need. We are complete in Jesus because He is all the fullness of God. This means that all of the attributes of God, His power, strength, character, etc, are all in Jesus. Father, Son, Holy Ghost, and Word are all in Jesus. Not as ‘persons’, because God is not made up of persons, but as attributes of the one God. Jesus is not God the Son manifest in flesh. Jesus is God manifest in flesh.
1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
Colosians 2:9 and 1 Timothy 3:16 explain Colosians 2:2.
Colossians 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
The mystery of God is that God was manifest in flesh. Colosians 2:9 explains the deity of Jesus, that he is the fullness of God manifest in flesh. God was made incarnate. In other words, Jesus is the incarnation of God. Not a second person within the Godhead. If Jesus was the second person within the Godhead he could not have been all the fullness of God and all the fullness of the Godhead could not dwell in Jesus because this would mean that Jesus is three ‘persons’ manifest in flesh.
Colosians 1:19 tells us that the Father was pleased that all the fullness of the Godhead dwelled in Jesus.
Colossians 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
If all the fullness refers to ‘persons’ then the other two persons should have also been pleased.
These verses are clearly talking about the deity of Jesus, but this doesn’t mean that the omnipresence of God was placed into the body of Jesus. The omnipresence of God will always be omnipresent, but the attributes of God’s character was in Jesus because Jesus is God manifest in flesh.
Ephesians 3:19 is a little different in that it does not refer to the fullness of the Godhead.
Ephesians 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
We have the fullness of God in us because we have Christ in us because he is the fullness of God (Bernard, 2001, p. 219). This does not make us God manifest in flesh. The Spirit of God does dwell in us, but we are not God. Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. He was God. We have God in us. We cannot claim that when you have seen us you have seen the Father. Jesus could say this because he was the Father manifest in flesh.
John 14:8-9 8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
Jesus is all the fullness of the Godhead incarnate. He is all that we need. He’s our Creator, our Savior, our Father. Jesus is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
Bernard, David K. (2001). Oneness of God, The Hazelwood: Word Aflame Press
The Importance of Sound Doctrine
With special thanks to the Rev. Charles V Stansell
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42).
"Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth." (2 Peter 1:12)
Doctrine simply means the teaching of God’s Word. In our day most people do not want sound doctrine, but they want preachers who will make them feel good (II Timothy 4:3). Nevertheless, we must love, cherish, and obey the Word of God. Merely knowing and accepting the truth is not enough; in order to escape deception and condemnation we must have a love for the truth (II Thessalonians 2:10-12).
Therefore, Paul admonished ministers: “Give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.... Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (I Timothy 4:13, 16). “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (II Timothy 4:2).
By becoming established in truth, we fulfill the scriptural admonitions (1) to be studious (diligent) workers approved of God, who are not ashamed but who rightly divide (correctly handle) the Word of truth (II Timothy 2:15); (2) to use Scripture profitably for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (II Timothy 3:16); (3) to be strong in our beliefs rather than tossed about by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14); and (4) to give answers to everyone who asks about our faith (I Peter 3:15).
Some erroneously suppose that study deadens spirituality, but a sincere, prayerful study of biblical doctrine will enhance spirituality. In fact, true spirituality can only develop from a solid understanding of God’s Word. The truth sets us free spiritually (John 8:32). The more we comprehend divine principles, the more God’s power will operate in our lives and in our churches.
Another erroneous assumption is that there is little connection between belief and conduct. To the contrary, inadequate or false views will definitely affect our choices and actions. The more we assimilate divine principles, the more Christ-like we will become in daily life.
The way to attain maturity in the faith is to have a balance of doctrine and spirituality. We must be zealous to hear, read, and study God’s Word, and we must be equally zealous to pray, worship God, and have fellowship with one another.
The Apostolic Message
What important doctrines did the apostles proclaim? What should we believe, obey, and love? For an initial answer, let us look briefly at the apostle Peter’s message on the Day of Pentecost. It is important for several reasons: it was the first sermon of the New Testament church (i.e., after the outpouring of the Spirit), Jesus had ordained Peter to open the doors of the kingdom of heaven with this message, it had the simultaneous support of all twelve apostles, and it succinctly proclaims how to enter the New Testament church.
The doctrine of God: There is one true God, as proclaimed in the Old Testament, and in the last days He wants to pour out His Spirit upon everyone. (See Acts 2:17; Deuteronomy 6:4.)
The doctrine of Jesus Christ: Jesus died, was buried, and rose again for our salvation. He is both Lord and Messiah—both the one true God and the sinless, perfect, anointed Man through whom God reveals Himself to us. In other words, Jesus is the Lord Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament, manifested in flesh to be our Savior. (See Acts 2:21-36; Colossians 2:9-10.)
The doctrine of salvation: We enter into the New Testament church through faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, repentance from sin, water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial sign of tongues. (See Acts 2:1-4, 36-39; 11:13-17.)
The doctrine of holiness and Christian living: We must separate ourselves from sin and worldly values and dedicate ourselves to God and His will. The new life of holiness will transform us both inwardly and outwardly. It is characterized by prayer, fellowship, giving, joyful worship, miraculous gifts of the Spirit, and evangelism. (See Acts 2:40, 42-47; Hebrews 12:14.)
The doctrine of eternal judgment: The Lord is coming back for His people. The righteous will inherit eternal life; the unrighteous will inherit eternal death. (See Acts 2:19-21; Revelation 22:12-21.)
In our day, the Apostolic Pentecostal movement is distinctive for its teaching of the Oneness of God, the New Testament plan of salvation, and aspects of practical holiness.
The Oneness of God
God is absolutely and indivisibly one (Deuteronomy 6:4; Galatians 3:20). In Jesus dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9). He is the self-revelation of the one God, the incarnation of the full, undivided Godhead (John 20:28; I Timothy 3:16).
God has revealed Himself as Father (in parental relationship to humanity), in the Son (in human flesh), and as the Holy Spirit (in spiritual action). (See Deuteronomy 32:6 and Isaiah 63:16; Luke 1:35 and Galatians 4:4; Genesis 1:2 and Acts 1:8.) The one God existed as Father, Word, and Spirit before His incarnation as Jesus Christ, the Son of God; and while Jesus walked on earth as God Himself incarnate, the Spirit of God continued to be omnipresent. However, the Bible does not teach that there are three distinct centers of consciousness in the Godhead or that Jesus is one of three divine persons.
Jesus is true God and true man as one divine-human person. We can distinguish these two aspects of Christ’s identity, but we cannot separate them. The Incarnation joined the fullness of deity to complete humanity.
Jesus possessed all elements of authentic humanity as originally created by God, without sin. Thus we can speak of Jesus as human in body, soul, spirit, mind, and will. (See Matthew 26:38; Luke 2:40; 22:42; 23:46; Philippians 2:5.) According to the flesh, Jesus was the biological descendant of Adam and Eve, Abraham, David, and Mary. (See Genesis 3:15; Romans 1:3; Galatians 3:16; Hebrews 2:14-17; 5:7-8.) We should not speak of two spirits in Jesus, however, but of one Spirit in which deity and humanity are joined.
Christ’s humanity means that everything we humans can say of ourselves, we can say of Jesus in His earthly life, except for sin. In every way that we relate to God, Jesus related to God, except that He did not need to repent or be born again. Thus, when Jesus prayed, submitted His will to the Father, and spoke about God, He simply acted in accordance with His genuine humanity.
As Jehovah manifested in the flesh, Jesus is the only Savior (Isaiah 45:21-23; Matthew 1:21-23). Thus, Jesus is the only name given for our salvation (Acts 4:12). The Father was revealed to the world in the name of Jesus, the Son was given the name of Jesus at birth, and the Holy Spirit comes to believers in the name of Jesus. (See Matthew 1:21; John 5:43; 14:26; 17:6.) Thus, the apostles correctly fulfilled Christ’s command in Matthew 28:19 to baptize “in the name [singular] of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” by baptizing all converts with the invocation of the name of Jesus.
New Testament Salvation
Salvation is by grace through faith and not by human works (Ephesians 2:8-9). The doctrine of grace means that salvation is a free gift from God, which humans cannot merit or earn; in other words, salvation is God’s work in us. The atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ have made this gift available.
The doctrine of faith means that we receive God’s saving work by trusting in Jesus Christ. Faith is more than mental assent, intellectual acceptance, or verbal profession; it includes trust, reliance, appropriation, and application. Faith is alive only through response and action; we cannot separate faith from obedience. (See Matthew 7:21-27; Romans 1:5; 6:17; 10:16; 16:26; II Thessalonians 1:7-10.) Saving faith, then, is (1) acceptance of the gospel of Jesus Christ as the means of salvation and (2) obedience to that gospel (application or appropriation of that gospel).
The gospel of Jesus Christ is His death, burial, and resurrection for our salvation (I Corinthians 15:1-4). On the Day of Pentecost, the birthday of the New Testament church, the apostle Peter preached the first gospel sermon to the crowds who had gathered to observe the Spirit-filled believers as they spoke in tongues and worshiped God. He proclaimed the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Convicted of their sins by his simple yet powerful message, the audience cried out, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Peter, with the support of the other apostles, gave a precise, complete, and unequivocal answer: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38). As this verse shows, we respond to the gospel, obey the gospel, or apply the gospel to our lives by repentance from sin (death to sin), water baptism by immersion in the name of Jesus Christ (burial with Christ), and receiving the Holy Spirit (new life in Christ). (See Romans 6:1-7; 7:6; 8:2, 10.)
This response is the biblical expression of saving faith in Jesus Christ. (See Mark 1:15; 16:16; John 7:37-39; Acts 11:15-17.) This threefold experience, viewed as an integrated whole, brings regeneration, justification, and initial sanctification. (See I Corinthians 6:11; Titus 3:5.) Baptism of water and Spirit is the birth of water and Spirit, the born-again experience of which Jesus spoke in John 3:3-5. The three steps are not human works that earn salvation but divine works of salvation in human lives.
Thus, Acts 2:38 is the comprehensive answer to an inquiry about New Testament conversion, expressing in a nutshell the proper response to the gospel. Not only did Jews from many nations on the Day of Pentecost receive the Acts 2:38 experience, but so did all other converts in the New Testament, including the Samaritans, the apostle Paul, the Gentiles at Caesarea, and the disciples of John at Ephesus.
In each case, believers were baptized with the invocation of the name of Jesus, even some who had previously been baptized another way. (See Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:3-5; 22:16.) The Epistles also allude repeatedly to the Jesus Name formula. (See Romans 6:3-4; I Corinthians 1:13; 6:11; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12.) Moreover, the examples in Acts show that the baptism of the Spirit is for everyone and is accompanied by the initial sign of tongues. (See Acts 2:4; 10:44-47; 19:6.) The experience signified by tongues is the promised outpouring of the Spirit (Acts 2:6-17, 33).
The Life of Holiness
The pursuit of holiness is essential to the Christian life. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). God commands us to be holy in all our conduct because He is holy (I Peter 1:15-16).
Being holy is a process of growth as we conform to the character and will of God. Although we are imperfect, we are growing into maturity. Throughout this process, we are holy in the sense of (1) separation from sin and (2) dedication to God. (See Romans 12:1-2; II Corinthians 6:17-7:1.)
Holiness is both inward and outward. (See I Corinthians 6:19-20; II Corinthians 7:1; I Thessalonians 5:23.) Thus, it encompasses thoughts and attitudes as well as conduct, speech, amusements, and dress. The practices of holiness separate us from the world’s value system, namely, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:15-17).
Holiness is not a means of earning salvation but a result of salvation. We do not manufacture our own holiness, but we are partakers of God’s holiness (Hebrews 12:10). We are not saved by adherence to certain rules but by our faith relationship with Jesus Christ, which issues forth in obedience and produces spiritual fruit.
The Christian life is one of liberty, not legalism. Instead of following the external law, we are motivated internally by faith, love, and the Holy Spirit, which produce greater dedication and power than the law could impart. Christians have freedom to make personal choices in nonmoral matters, but liberty does not negate moral law or scriptural teaching. (See Romans 6:15; 14; Galatians 5:13.)
All true holiness teachings are based on Scripture—whether specific statements or valid applications of principles to contemporary situations. We learn holiness from the inspired Word of God, anointed pastors and teachers who proclaim and apply the Word, and internal promptings and convictions of the Holy Spirit.
Holiness begins in the heart, as we develop the fruit of the Spirit, put away ungodly attitudes, and embrace wholesome thoughts. (See Galatians 5:19-23; Ephesians 4:23-32; II Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 4:8.)
Holiness includes proper stewardship of the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are not to become gluttonous or use substances that defile, intoxicate, or addict. (See I Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:12, 19-20.) We are to use our tongue for wholesome speech. (See James 1:26; 3:1-2; 4:11; 5:12.) We are to guard our eyes from evil. (See Psalm 101:2-3; 119:37; Matthew 6:22-23.) Because of the widespread display of evil in modern media, we must be particularly mindful of the dangers associated with television ownership, movies, and the Internet.
Holiness extends to outward appearance and dress. (See Deuteronomy 22:5; I Corinthians 11:13-16; I Timothy 2:8-10.) Biblical principles here include (1) modesty, (2) avoidance of personal ornamentation (ornamental jewelry and makeup), (3) moderation in cost, and (4) distinction between male and female in dress and hair. Women are to let their hair grow long instead of cutting it, while men are to cut their hair noticeably short.
Other important aspects of holiness include justice and mercy in personal and social relationships; the sanctity of marriage and sexual relationships only within the marriage of one man and one woman; the sanctity of human life; honesty and integrity; wholesome fellowship, unity, accountability, and mutual submission to godly authority in the body of Christ; and regulation of amusements.
Holiness is an integral part of our salvation from the power and effects of sin. It is part of abundant life, a joyful privilege, a blessing from God’s grace, a glorious life of freedom and power. The life of holiness fulfills God’s original intention and design for humanity. For the Spirit-filled believer, holiness is the normal—indeed the only—way to live.
I am a Disciple!
I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I've stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of His. I won't look back, shrink back, let up, slow down or back away.
My past is redeemed. My present is victorious. My future is secure. I'm finished and done with low-living, sight-walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, mundane talking, cheap giving and dwarfed goals.
I no longer seek pre-eminence, position, promotions, plaudits or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk in His patience, live by prayer, labor with power and overcome by love.
My face is set, my gait is quick, my goal is the kingdom of God, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear, my victory certain. The faith of God controls me. I have Holy Ghost power. Sickness obeys my command, demons flee from my presence and the enemies of God fear my glance and shun my presence.
I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or seduced. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversaries, negotiate at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up or let up until I've stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, powered up and spoken up for the cause of Christ.
I must work 'till He comes. I must pray 'till He moves. I must shout 'till the wall falls. I must stand 'till my enemies flee before me. I must prevail until the adversaries of Christ become my footstool.
I AM A DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST!
What is Hindering Revival?
So many of us are waiting for someone to validate a scripture for us before we think it can be "true." The Bible has already validated the promises of God for us. We don't need someone else's approval. God's approval alone, is MORE than enough.
When the Bible says we are healed by the stripes of Jesus' Christ....it really means what it says.
We don't have to wonder if it's "God's Will" for us to be healed--any more than we have to wonder if it's His Will for us to be Saved. The atonement for our sins, and the price for our healing were both paid at Calvary. It was a done deal. Totally accomplished. Period. End of story.
Why do we accept the atonement for our sins, but we question the price paid for our healing?
Kinda odd, isn't it?
This is the very reason that many folks are Saved in our church services, but few are actually Healed in their bodies. It is because we are "half-hearted" about this matter. We accept half of the equation, but not the other half. We gladly accept salvation--but not Healing--as a gift from the Lord at Calvary.
The Lord said over and over in His Word: YES... It is His Will for you to be healed. He wouldn't have borne the stripes at Calvary otherwise. That was the specific purpose of those stripes!
Do you think He was kidding...or worse yet LYING to you?
If you think it is a lie, why do you bother reading the Bible, or going to church?
You see what I'm saying?
Doesn't make a lot of sense, does it?
There are some serious questions we need to ask ourselves in the days ahead, and this is a good place to start.
Revival is being hindered in our churches for some reason. Everyone is doubting God's Word on this matter. Everyone is tip-toeing around saying: "Well, maybe we can see miracles and be healed, IF it is God's Will...!"
That's like saying: "Well--MAYBE we will be Saved, IF it is God's Will. But maybe NOT."
To get anything from God, you've got to KNOW SO. "Let the Redeemed of the Lord SAY SO...!"
Are you "SAYING SO" my friend? If not, that could be a huge part of the problem.
The Bible says that "Death and life are in the power of the TONGUE!" Prov 18:21
Has your Tongue been saying the right things lately? Have your words been coming to pass? I assure you, they will come to pass---whether you are speaking negative words or positive words. Whether you are speaking Faith or Fear.
Every word is a seed.... and Yes....IT WILL SPROUT AND GROW.
We must think before we speak, because we are constantly planting seeds. The Law of Sowing and Reaping will be enacted in your own life today.
What kind of fruit will it produce? Do we REALLY believe the Word of God, or are we just pretending?
Nobody has to wonder about it my friend. If there is much fruit in our lives, we must be doing something right. If there is NO fruit in our lives, we must be doing something wrong. That's what the Word of God says.
Pretty simple, huh?
Two Words we Should Never Use!
There are two words that shouldn't be in the vocabulary of a Christian!
"What if," is a doubt-filled phrase!
A friend of mine was talking with a lady in his church about the ministry that God has called him to, and the gift of faith that God has given him.
He told her, that he believed that if we stand on God's word, we can go to Walmart, find a crippled person, and like Peter and John did in Acts 3, we could take them by the hand, and say "in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk," and they'll walk! (I know of people right now who are doing just that).
The lady asked me, "What if God doesn't heal them?"
What's wrong with standing on God's word, and leaving the results up to him?
We have the Holy Ghost, the manifest presence of God dwelling within us. We’re promised power, (Acts 1:8,) and we have authority to use the name of Jesus Christ, since we’re born of the water, and the Spirit, (John 3:5,) and have taken on the name of Jesus in baptism, (Acts, 2:38, Romans 6:1/4.)
Armed with this arsenal of spiritual power, we can speak to any sickness, in the name of Jesus, and it must bow the knee.
The Bible says that every knee shall bow, and every tongue must confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! Is anything to hard for God? (Sadly, many seem to believe there is).
Sickness has to bow the knee! Addiction must go! Heart Attack? Stroke? Scoliosis? It’s not just for headaches, you know? He’ll use you for any need, if we will only just believe.
He paid for healing, and he told us in Mark 16:16-20, that these signs shall follow me, if I believe, so "What If," isn't in my vocabulary, and if you're a believer, it shouldn't be in yours either!
Let's stop just going to church, and start being the church!
Dr. Larry Yates is a Minister, Author and Bible Teacher and with Doctorates in Theology, Religion. and Ministry. He is President of Mineola Bible Institute and Seminary in Mineola, TX as well as on the Board of the International Apostolic University-London, in the UK. Additionally, he is a member of the International Apostolic Council.
We desire not only to see believers live victoriously, but to help them become rooted and grounded enough in God’s Word to reach out and teach others these same principles