How can one live a rejoicing life in this horrible world? You must find the answer for this question in time...
The New Testament was born out of a painful and sad event, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The four gospels report the most significant event of world history in details, almost like an official report.
Since the early Middle Ages, the cross has been the symbol of Christianity. The world also regards the cross—that worked as a gallows in the Roman Empire—as the essence of Christian religion, as its spiritual and emotional content. Most Christian denominations' church buildings are distinguished from their surroundings by the cross. A large number of church members believe that the cross has supernatural power, this is why they wear it as a medal on their bodies or place it on the walls of their rooms. In the Christian culture, people accept the cross as a cultic object. In many countries, even the laws of the state protect its sacredness.
It has nothing to do with the crucifixion of Jesus that the cross has become a fetish. The cult of the cross is the religious respect of an object. People expect from the cross the same as in some societies that are based on magic: supernatural protection against wicked and destructive forces and success in the earthly life. Many Christians are convinced that the cross has spiritual power that affects both the events of the natural and the supernatural world. On the basis of this belief, more and more crosses are placed to the squares of the towns and villages of Hungary. This practice cannot be reconciled with the original content of Christianity. Originally, in the center of Christianity there are no objects but a historical person. The gospel claims that he has resurrected and he is the Son of God.
The early Judeo-Christianity rejected idol worship and fetishes, as well as the Jews of the Old Testament times did. They regarded them as useless things that cannot symbolize the supernatural that comes from the Creator, or intermediate between him and people. Paul asserted in Corinth that
...we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone - an image made by man's design and skill. (Acts 17:29)
According to the Holy Scriptures, God's presence can be transferred and represented on Earth only by something similar(homoios) to God's nature (hypostasis). The human being is the only person who was created to the likeness(homoiosis) of God, only he had the ability and task to represent God and intermediate between God and the creatures in the visible world. After he fell into sin, the Adamic race has lost this ability, and has been separated from God's presence.
One of the most serious consequences of man's alienation from God was that he lost the similarity to him. Instead of the presence of God, the spirit of death entered the human spirit. It made impossible for him to go back to the presence of God with his own strength and represent God on earth. Pagan religions do not pay attention to this fact; they do not take into consideration that people are not able to grab God's presence. In their theology, they attribute to natural people potentials that were lost or degenerated at the ancient fall of humankind.
Pagan cults are different from the Judeo-Christian revelation also in the fact that they attribute the ability to objects that they can represent God and transfer his presence if they were made for religious purpose. In Christianity, they try to trace down the grace-transferring power of religious objects from the Bible. They often refer to the Old Testament Temple and the holy objects that were placed in it, for instance the table, the holy bread, the altar, the candlestick, and especially the Ark of the Covenant, which was probably in the Most Holy Place till the end of the reign of Solomon.
From the spiritual significance of these objects, the Bible itself gives explanation. Even the Old Testament claims about the Temple that
But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! (1Kings 8:27)
The revelation denies that anyone ever could build a house on earth that can transfer or symbolize the presence of the Creator. According to the Bible, if someone builds a building for this purpose, it is in connection with the worship of foreign gods and idols. Those who think that the sacral objects of traditional Christianity are the New Testament versions of the sacred objects of the Old Testament Temple, are wrong. The predecessor of the Temple of Solomon was the Tabernacle, which was made by Moses on the basis of the heavenly, everlasting pattern.
See that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain. (Exodus 25:40)
The sacred objects in the Temple - for example the Ark of the Covenant - were made according to the pattern of heavenly, everlasting objects.
The similarity between the everlasting objects and their earthly copies made it possible that the shekina of God was present in the Tabernacle. The epistle to the Hebrews calls the earthly forms of the everlasting things (we may call them ideas) models (hypodeigma) and shadows (skia) of the heavenly objects. They are not real, original, they are only copies of the everlasting pragma's’ (things, issues) images.
The reality of the earthly models and shadows has been incarnated in Jesus Christ. Therefore the transfer of the presence of God through the objects (pragmas) of the Old Testament has lost its function in the New Testament. The attempt of Christians that they try to transfer the supernatural by means of ritual objects, belongs to the technique of the pagan religions. The New Testament does not make the cross the object of religious respect just because Jesus was executed on one of these. This practice was absolutely far from Jesus' disciples. They were persecuted by the religious authority of those days, partly because their way of thinking was nonfigurative compared with the religious practice of the Old Testament. They were accused of despising the Old Testament rituals, because they were radically spiritual and charismatic.
The Christian rituals of our days—in opposition to the rituals of the Old Testament—do not have heavenly origin, heavenly reality. Therefore they are not similar to the eternal ideas and they are not able to transfer or symbolize divine presence. The essence of the Lord's supper in the gospels also differs from some denominations’ ritual practices that have developed through history. The early Christians did not worship the cup of thanksgiving and the broken bread. On the basis of Jesus' teaching, they believed that through these, the members of the church have communion (koinonia) with the blood and body of Christ. This communion came into existence through faith in God's Word and transference (not transsubstance) of the bread and wine.
Instead of joy, depression, sternness and rigor characterize the religion that is under the spell of fetishes. The inner spiritual-psychical essence of a religious respect is determined by its object. The fetishes are lifeless, material things, therefore the respect that is aimed at them is also empty and without experience. There is joy in religion only where the worshippers can come into contact with a transcendent person who has a positive attitude to them and helps them. The meeting with the God of the Bible gives joy to the people's hearts because he is eternal, and at the same time he is good and almighty. If a person is in communion with him, he or she can experience the living presence of the Almighty and his personal character. It comes from the nature of religious objects that they cannot give the same experience to their worshippers. If people follow the practice of worshiping them, they become material and they alienate not only from God but even from their real selves and—according to David—they become similar to their idols. Also in the New Testament the worship of God cannot be reconciled to the respect and worship of religious objects. In the different Roman cities, the apostles usually spoke about this truth when they preached the gospel. In my opinion, the cause of the fact that Christianity is characterized by joylessness and sternness is that—instead of having personal relationship with Christ—a great mass of people's religious practice is dominated by the respect and cult of ritual things and objects.
Another cause of Christian joylessness and sadness is the false interpretation of the gospel. According to this, the story of Jesus ends in tragedy, in the crucifixion. Many church members cannot accept the events that happened after the crucifixion as true, historical events and facts. Partly this is why the question of the responsibility for crucifying Jesus arises again and again in the history. A large number of Christians feel that Jesus' death meant a great loss for them. Therefore their religiousness is characterized by sadness, grief, mourning and they blame the people who were responsible for his death.
However, the truth is that the crucifixion of Jesus brought abundant profit for everyone. The death of Jesus meant suffering and pain for him, but for us, who regard it as a substitution sacrifice, it means joy, because Jesus went along the Via Dolorosa and up to the cross to be crucified instead of us. For us, it means, the forgiveness of our sins, escape from death, healing from diseases, etc., in one word, the gospel.
According to the Bible, the communion between man and God can be restored only by means of propitiatory sacrifice. Through this, humankind pays his debt to God, and makes amends for his evilness. God is holy, everlasting and righteous. He only accepts the propitiatory sacrifice that is similar to his divine characteristics. Jesus' blood was adequate for this divine expectation. In it, there was no sin; it is faultless, holy, innocent human blood, over which death does not have authority. Our blood carries the spiritual-moral condition of our nature. In our blood, there is impurity, wickedness, so it is the slave of death. The content and quality of Jesus' blood is unique in world history. God did not see holy, faultless and innocent blood in anyone neither before nor after him. Only Jesus' blood was adequate for the expectations that were essential for propitiation.
Why was the shedding of Jesus' blood necessary? 1. It gave propitiation for humankind that was acceptable for God. As a result, it brought forgiveness of sins for human beings from God. 2. Jesus' blood was also needed as a ransom, in order that every human being could be set free from the power of Satan and the evil angels. 3. The shedding of Jesus' blood was also needed in order that we were able to identify ourselves with it. We can take this blood for ourselves and through it we can be set free from the evil nature, evil blood that we have inherited from our fathers. The resurrection and the ascension of the Nazarene prove that God accepted Jesus' blood as perfect, and declared it a legitimate propitiatory blood, ransom and redeemer.
Jesus' crucifixion is not a tragedy for humankind, for the world, but good news, gospel. It is good news for us that Christ arrived in the world as a real being, as God’s Anointed One, in order to demonstrate to the Kingdom of Satan and to the material world the authority and power of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is good news for us that the Nazarene perfectly fulfilled all the divine expectations of redemption with his crucifixion; he did not have to die for his own sins, but for the sins of the world. It is good news for us that after the Redemption came the glorification of Jesus Christ. As its result, he has been seated at the right hand of God.
These positive events made it possible for everyone to abandon suffering and death and step onto the path of life and joy. Jesus Christ's death, his redemption and his living reality can change us. He laid the real foundation of rebirth with his death and resurrection. Under rebirth, we do not mean the renewal of human nature, but a transition that affects the inmost part of a human being. His spirit is set free from the spiritual death and, with the acceptance of Jesus Christ's person and his work. In baptism, by the identification with Jesus' death, burial and resurrection a new spirit that has God's eternal life is born in a believer.
The Word of God calls this new spirit inner or new nature that is bound to increase and development. The inner nature has communion with Jesus Christ and the Father, through the Holy Spirit. The Bible emphasizes that the God of Abraham is the God of the living, therefore the communion with him presumes a spirit reborn to eternal life. You can share from rebirth if you make a decision based on your free will. This decision is the most important and most joyful event in your life. You cannot be set free from death without rebirth, and personal relationship with God is impossible without it. The condition of the heart (or spirit) that is under spiritual death is characterized by despair and fear, because you can continually feel the nature of death inside. Death is the enemy of God and humankind, therefore before rebirth, your invisible part is in the hands of your most cruel enemy. Spiritual death is a supernatural reality, which directly gets from satanic powers those spiritual ‘"viruses"’ that continually spoil the unredeemed heart. They tempt the heart through inspirations, attractions and allurations in order to make you do such deeds that will make his authority and oppression harder and more massive. In this fallen and sinful state, not joy comes from the oppressed human heart, but fear and depression flows toward the soul's mind and emotions.
The spirit does not only guarantees your existence but it is also an inner well through which the nature or power of the invisible spiritual world gets into contact with you and decisively determines your behavior, identity and even your relation to the transcendent. Those people's spirits who call themselves atheists or do not concerned with the existence of God, also functions as an inner well. But in their spirit, those powers dominate that deny the existence of God. The spiritual powers that are specialized to denial, often make people believe that they do not even have spirits. According to the Holy Scriptures, in the spirit of a human being who still stands before rebirth, those wicked spiritual-moral powers reign that lead them on the way of death and eternal punishment. The source of moral evilness is also in the spiritual reality, and comes from demons and wicked angels. According to prophet Zechariah, a wicked angel is responsible for the spread of godlessness on the earth, between humans (see Zechariah's 5th chapter: ‘a woman sitting inside a basket’). Through false religions or occult practices humans make direct relationships with satanic powers. As its result, the powers of spiritual wickedness manifest more forcefully. The Bible calls the unredeemed human heart evil, because its well contains fermented, spoiled water. The powers of wickedness can rejoice only over lawlessness and sin, they are hostile toward righteousness and life.
Life is rejoicing
Life appearing in the born-again human spirit is of higher order than the earthly one; that's why our conception about this godly life can't rely upon earthly experience, but only upon God's Word. The natural life a man's fallen spirit transmits to his body is vicious, limited and mortal, totally unable to conciliate God. Originally this was not the quality of life the Creator presented the first human couple with. After the Fall a symbiosis between the forces of death and life came about due to which, the human existence has become meaningless and deprived from its substance. Since then man's greatest endeavor aims at refilling existence with content and sense. But in this respect the Bible deprives us of all illusions, making clear through the history of revelation, that by own forces and abilities man is unable to fulfill his target, as he is enslaved not only by the time, but also by the death and Satan.
The good angels greeted Christ's embodiment, i.e. Jesus birth with joyful songs, because He brought to the mankind a new life having been former inherent in God alone. This life is imperishable, eternal and immortal. Jesus of Nazareth often identified himself with the life, whose eternal reality was proven by His resurrection. The crucifixion had a replacing character, too: He took away our sinful, rotten life and our old self and let it been nailed onto the cross, in order to give us his eternal holy life instead. Apostle John declares in his epistle, that "He who has the Son has life", i.e. Jesus came into the world in order to give the godly life to those who recognized in Him the Savior and Son of God.
In the Gospels and throughout the events of the Acts the boning again is always accompanied by joy. Zacchaeus descended the sycamore-fig tree with great joy, in order to receive Jesus in his house. In Samaria repentance of men was also accompanied by joy. After surviving the nightly earthquake, the jailer in Philippi joyfully became the Lord's disciple through Paul's testimony. Recognition and acceptance of salvation was always accompanied by joy in the ancestral church. The spiritual and psychical state of the first Christians was totally different from ours. Their life was much more penetrated by joy, than that of many Christians today; the early Christians were able to rejoice even while authorities persecuted them or their contemporaries slandered and reviled them. In the most special situations of life, in both abundance and needs they were equally rejoicing in the Lord, in His presence and in those gifts of grace, their Savior made them recipients to.
What was the primary reason of their joy? The everlasting life received through Jesus Christ. The act of being born again produced real changes in them; they were set free from sin, and death. Their spirit was so overfilled by the presence of the Lord, that His power over death and satanic forces became evident. This reality and the eternal life itself which surpasses the forces of both, Satan and this world, burst out of their inner fountain. The force and power of the new life maintained continuously their inner spiritual and psychical being above Satan's kingdom and the circumstances of their natural life.
The main reason of man's joy is life. The process of becoming Christian starts with sharing in God's life; so while repenting, each man steps on the way of joy. Through the spirit of a born again person the reality of God's kingdom is revealed in the human nature. The eternal life and the kingdom of God are such hidden treasure, a pearl, that the one who founds joyfully sells all he has, in order to achieve the sense and essence of his existence. The atoning sacrifice caused Jesus suffering, unbearable pain and a humiliating death - but made it possible for us to share in His everlasting life and to enter into a community with God; these are often symbolized in the Scripture by wedding.
In the Gospel of John wedding did not appear accidentally as the starting event of Jesus' service. By transforming water into wine Jesus showed His glory for the first time. Israel had not experienced the glory of God since many centuries, because He had disappeared from among the nation and from the Temple (in the 6th century B.C.); consequently Israel's dispersion among the nations had started. The manifestation of the glory during the wedding was also a prophetic sign: God's presence arrived on the earth, in order to draw Israel into a new covenant, the law of which was written by the Holy Spirit into the heart of the sons of Israel. The gospel presents Jesus also as a bridegroom, who calls Israel to wedding. The bridegroom's wedding gift to his people is the forgiving of sins, eternal life and the kingdom of God. The intimate relationship between the Messiah and the people of God is most sensibly expressed by the image of a wedding. After repenting and being born again such a close and personal community that is based on love comes about between the Lord and the believers, that only the symbol of a wedding can describe deeply enough its spiritual-psychical content. Apostle John considers the life with the Lord, the co-existence and the walking together with Jesus a covenant and union between a man and a woman based on mutual love. The wedding of such a couple is filled with joy and happiness.
But during the wedding in Cana an unexpected and annoying turn intervened: the wine was gone. This could cause the finish of the wedding, moreover, the disappointed termination of the joyfully started event. Due to the lack of God's glory all good joyful and happy things in human life end up in disappointment, suffering and tears. After a promising growth and fulfillment in career, a man's all abilities, beauties and happiness attaining a peak starts downwards on the slope of decline, until what was nice and marvelous in life vanishes like a dream, nothing remains. By the flight of time oblivion wipes even its remembrance out and there remains only the body dried to a skeleton and the dust, which ultimately reintegrates into the earth's components. The most tormenting fact is, that human mind foresees all these, therefore he has to put his thoughts "in cold storage" during his very flourishing period, for not to let them poisoning his wedding and joy. But the detested day sooner or later appears in everybody's life, when the fellows announce that the wine is out, there is no going on, the wedding came to an end. According to the prophet Isaiah
all men are like grass and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall (Isaiah 40:6-7).
Earthly weddings pass away, joy and happiness dries out from the heart. The jewels, one is proud of in the youth and ripe age, fall down like the petals of a flower.
In the story of John the good news is that there is a man among us who can fill up our empty jars with water and then with wine so that the wedding feast continues for ever. Jesus is different from us. He has never lost the life of God, although He made himself less then the angels for over 30 years so that He could visit our worldly weddings. He is attending and waiting for us. He knows that all at once our losses will be so large that we despair because of our own empty, joyless and dead existence.
It is a special luck when we are found in such station by people who know that empty jars and spoiled weddings have to be led to Jesus Christ. You are not able to get to know and love Jesus while you are filled with yourself or the world. Jesus does not come to us from the world or from deep and subconscious slots and caves of ourselves. The Word of God and the Holy Spirit bring Him to our heart working through His anointed people.
You are a wonderful possibility on the earth. If you perceive it rightly and take advantage of it wisely than even your worldly life can become a wedding. This possibility is a chance for the complete success. Each part of you starts towards its development with this possibility and chance but they are lacking in content. Several times the Word of God compares people to jars that get their value from the content that will fill them up - so from things that are outside of them. People consist of spirit, soul and body and all the three parts are lacking in wedding wine.
You give the value and sense of your own existence on the basis of your choice. If you fail to do it you live senseless. Many people did not give sense to their life, they were only running for the goods of this world they needed. Money, material goods and sex can not give sense and value even to the human body: the possibilities and needs of the physical body are much larger then these things. It became possible to give eternal sense to the human life in physical sense after the resurrection of Jesus Christ - that is immortality and imperishment also for our body. The bridegroom of the unredeemed body is death. Welfare or sex can hide this misery for a short time but finally the body undergoes such a changing during the human life that it loses its ability for welfare, and its connection with death becomes more and more obvious. Body has to break away from death so that its existence gains sense. The sense of Jesus' death was conciliation but there is no sense in the death of the other people unless they leave their body with the hope of resurrection.
You can receive the value and sense of your spirit from the reality of the invisible kingdom of God and not of the visible one coming from the outside world. Your spirit gets into the kingdom of God by a conscious and personal decision. Nobody's spirit can get into the presence of God spontaneously, being drifted by destiny. Your spirit is also a jar and a tool for the supernatural world. Your spirit remains empty and lifeless even if you discern and take care of it, even if you make it the internal sense of your life. The basic attitude of repentance to Jesus Christ is that you give your heart (spirit) to the Lord or rather receive the Lord into your heart. Then engagement with the Messiah formulates that results in reconciliation with God.
Soul (psyche) decisively depends on the spiritual and physical state, however it makes a positive impact on both of them, especially if the Word of God and the Holy Spirit sanctify the soul too. All three of your parts are means for the supernatural reality.
The Word of God divides the supernatural world into good and bad parts. It calls one of them the kingdom of God and the other one the kingdom of Satan. According to the Word of God the kingdom of God offers eternal life and wedding to you while the kingdom of Satan makes death and condemnation the final end of human life. The Word says that you have to choose between God and Satan, life and death, and salvation and condemnation. Who has not yet chosen consciously, he is also part of the spiritual world that covers the universe and the human life. On this basis Paul divides people into jars for noble purposes and jars for common use. The internal content determines the value and usefulness of jars. Jars that are for noble purposes contain treasure:
For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (2 Corinthians 4:6-7.).
The treasure is the knowledge of God, life of which John says that it is the light of people and the supernatural power of God. The Lord puts this treasure into the hearts of believers. These are the gifts of the bridegroom for his brides.
During the Canaan wedding first water was poured into six jars and then Jesus transformed this water into high quality wine. The natural miracle lights the most important event of becoming Christian that happens on the grounds of the New Testament. At rebirth believers gets first ‘water’ from the Lord:
But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. (John 4:14).
The eternal life received from Jesus unites with your heart, and as a consequence of that such abilities and state come into being that urge you to search the eternal life of God and to be filled with it. In a good and personal community with the Lord life flows continuously into the holy jars. This makes it possible that rising over their problems and circumstances again and again spiritual people continue the spiritual wedding and rejoicing.
But jars have to be filled with water so that it can become wine. In order to be fulfilled with life it is unavoidable that you become fulfilled with the Holy Spirit, about which Jesus says the following:
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. (John 7:38).
In the community with the Lord people of the Holy Spirit turn their attention to invisible things and subjects of faith. If they turn their attention to external, human, congregational and other things and problems of this world connected with life and ministry -as it happened to many Christians -their jars will become empty and dreary and they will serve God only because of the sense of duty and fear but not with joy. During your activity you should not lose sight of treasures of your jar and you have to be aware of the level of the Holy Spirit in you. The optimum level of the Holy Spirit is fullness in believers. God's will is that every Christian gets fulfilled with the Holy Spirit in other words lives continuously in such state in which the Holy Spirit totally fills their body, soul and spirit, keeps them under his rule, covers and surrounds them from all sides, from head to foot.
The Scripture symbolizes the Holy Spirit with living water and wine. One of the symbols refers that the Spirit gives life continuously to people living in community with Him. It is also an external manifestation of fulfillment with the Holy Spirit that "streams flow from within" anointed people. The power of God flowed from Jesus' body and clothes. He was always surrounded by God's supernatural power and strength from outside too. The sick, demonized people and the woman who had been subject to bleeding saw it and faith developed in them: if they touch Jesus' clothes, they will be healed or set free. The miracles really happened.
Jesus Christ promised also his disciples the fulfillment with the Holy Spirit. After his resurrection he appeared several times to the apostles and gave this command:
Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my father promised... (Acts 1:4).
The promise fulfilled at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit felt to the one hundred and twenty disciples staying in one place and "all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:4). Now from the apostles not only the water welling up to eternal life was flowing, but also the streams of God's presence, life and powers began to flow from their nature. Their jars were filled with supernatural treasures. The strong presence of the Holy Spirit surrounded them and thousands repented to God through them. Streams of anointing flowed clearly particularly from Peter:
...People brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed. (Acts 5: 15-16.)
It was the real wedding. It had become clear for the people that the disciples are the allies of Jesus Christ, who received life and the power of God flowing out from them from the bridegroom. One of the important secrets of the early Church was that the jars for noble purposes were filled with God's power and strength, that enabled them to force the kingdom of Satan back and to set people free from its rule. The apostles anointed only such believers for ministry "who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom" (Acts 6:3). Stephen, the deacon was also anointed by the Holy Spirit, and represented the kingdom of God with penetrating force:
But they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke (Acts 6:10).
Believers advanced the growth and extension of the early Church in the Roman Empire whose jars were full of life and the Holy Spirit. Paul was also this kind of Christian. The philosophy of his ministry was built on the demonstration of "the Spirit and power", therefore he was followed by extraordinary miracles during his missions. For example in Ephesus
even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them (Acts 19:12).
The life and the ministry of the first Christian generation were followed by joy. They never broke away from the presence of God and never became alienated from the anointing, but lived in a better and closer community with the Lord. Also victories over the powers and the strength of Satan provided the continuity of their wedding. They allowed their jars in no circumstances to run out of wine. Paul requests every Christian in the book of Ephesians
not to get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord (Ephesians 5: 18-19).
According to this revelation the Christian life can be a holy wedding already on the earth if believers are filled with the Holy Spirit. They can progress on the way of joy only in this state. The similarity to God is restored in such anointed, joyful and musical people that enables them to move both in the Church and in this world as the carriers of God's life, power and strength. Unfortunately today many Christians leave the apostle's instruction out of consideration; therefore there are many believers in the congregations whose life is empty and dreary. You should not be surprised at that in consequence of the estrangement from the fulfillment with the Holy Spirit, most of the congregations consist of frustrated, bitter, loveless and brain-centered people. The time for restoring is getting shorter and shorter, as the Lord is coming back soon. It is important that all believers make an account about their state as soon as possible, so that they have time to fill their jars up, because that is the guarantee for further participation in the wedding for everybody in the last days.
To rejoice here and now?
How can you live with joy in such a horrible world that is in a critical state? You have to find the answer to this question in time because the world is still just appointing to its nadir. In the future things will go even worse than today. The Apocalypse will shake every civilization in its foundation. Some cultures has already been reached by the destroying storm, which gives way to the denouement of history. This high wind, which is about to sweep over the Near-East in a little while, will lastly fall the Western civilization down into ruin and destruction.
Christians have to accept the interpretation of the Bible concerning this world because this is the only way they can keep themselves away from the evil that is becoming bigger and bigger in the world. This world is not controlled by politicians in reality but by evil fallen angels. In spite of the fact that they were disarmed by Jesus, by his cross-sacrifice and resurrection, they still have power over the nations and states. However the end of history is coming nearer and nearer to us.
The time-signal system of the nations of the world is placed in Jerusalem. Israel is also marching towards the formation of a new civilization. In a short time a ferocious war will break out in the heavens between the good and evil angels for the dominion over this world. The great looser of this real star war will be this world which will be occupied by satanic beings so that they transform the world into the last fortress, enemy camp against the kingdom of God. After this act a new world-civilization and world order will be established on this earth under the direct dominion of Satan that has been called the Empire of the Antichrist by Christians for nearly 2000 years. Jesus stated about the state of the satanic world the following:
For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:21-22).
According to the prognosis of Jesus, due to the horrible events people's feelings will be dominated by terror:
Man will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world (Luke 21:26).
The previous quotations together with other words give us a black picture of the upcoming world in which there is no joy for an honest man.
You have to pay attention to this fact because the sources of joy for most believers are of material, human and social nature, which means that the state of their soul is determined by outer conditions. This state cannot be maintained. After rebirth an inner man was born in you through whom you can continuously reach the joy created by divine reality and things. This joy has spiritual nature. Contrary to the most frequent physical and psychical joy it is not caused by the advantageous changes of the things of this visible world but by the eternal life and the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.
Not all the forms of the physical and psychical (or profane) joy are bad or connected to sin. God's anointed people also had outer man, through which they were in contact with the society and nature. For example Jesus had his meals with people with pleasure, he liked being with them, traveling and speaking with them, he had his favorite dwelling places, and among their disciples and supporters he had many friends. However the real great and complete joy for him was the fellowship with his Father. The outer man depends on the visible, present world, on the human connections and communication. The inner man, however, lives from the invisible kingdom of God. The two men have not the same life and state all the time. Apostle Paul makes this clear:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (2Corinthians 4:16).
The corruptness and evilness of the world, which is often the service field of Satan, cannot deprive our inner man, our reborn spirit of the joy of the Lord. God's presence and the Holy Spirit carries the new graces (charis) necessary for the renewal of your joy to your heart (The root of joy (chara) and grace (charis) are the same in Greek.). For the renewal of your joy there is an inexhaustible source in the Lord. Maybe the understanding of the connection between grace and joy is also hindered by the fact that–contrary to the Greek in the Hungarian standard language grace is a legal category, which is very foreign to joy. It is connected to seriousness, authority and judgment.
The more the inner man determines the thinking of the believers, the greater joy gets to be relieved in their nature and behavior. According to prophet Isaiah
the ransomed of the Lord’s will walk on a road where:"no lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it. (Isaiah 35:9)
This road has an inner and spiritual and personal nature, it is the invisible road of the Lord on which the inner spiritual man passes along to his final goal under divine protection. It must not be confused with the outer fate of believers, which can be attacked by the lion, the ferocious beast, that is the devil. Our inner life is not public, this life is hidden in the Lord.
The most glaring characteristics of the returned ransomed is the radiant joy springing from their inner state and life. According to the vision of the prophet:
The ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (Isaiah 35:10).
The heavenly Zion, the mountain of God can be found in eternity. It is the place of the source of life where the Almighty dwells. Zion is the final stage of our earthly wandering, the road of the Lord leads there. As we are approaching to Zion the joy, gladness and happiness in our inner man are more and more increasing until they overflow even onto our head. The pain and sigh are disappearing through the walking on the road of joy. Those who are walking on this road are encouraged by many revelations to rejoice and to sing and to despise fear and despair because
they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. (Isaiah 35:2b).
Enjoy food and drink!
Many people seeking God make the same mistake as the Jews returning from the Babylonian exile, to whom the words of the Law were read and explained by the people of God. The knowing and understanding of the Word of God embittered the sons of Israel because it helped them to recognize the sins of the past. The reading and interpretation of the Word finally produced such a weeping that it had to be stopped. In the end Nehemiah and his companion suggested the people to
go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10).
If you have accepted the Lord and left away your sins and repented with a sincere heart to God then do not grieve and sorrow about the sins of the past and your wasted life because God has forgiven your sins! The old has gone, you are a new creation, to whom not the grieving but the joy of the Lord gives supernatural strength and grace. Sadness makes you weak and sick, but by joy you will be renewed and healed.
There is a difference between the listening to the Word and the feeding with the Word. Listening is the precondition of feeding, and the latter happens when you personally take possession of the Word, when you apply the good news to yourself and confess your faith with your mouths,
for it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (Romans 10:10).
Jesus Christ spoke about the feeding with the Word when he proclaimed that
man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4).
So the divine life in us comes from the feeding with the Word, and its fruit is joy. Feeding refers to the Word, it is the choice and rich food of our inner man.
Nehemiah however reminded his whining brothers of the importance of drinking, too. Jesus also encouraged his disciples to drink when on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles he cried:
If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. (John 7:37).
Every teacher of the Bible agrees that this sentence refers to the fulfillment with the Holy Spirit. Jesus makes his disciples drink Holy Spirit. Drinking the Spirit seems to be a gross and unacceptable thing for many Christians, but God's Word uses this phrase concerning this charismatic event at more places. For example:
...we were all given the one Spirit to drink. (1Corinthians 12:13b).
Many fastidious Christians are reluctant to eat choice foods and drink and be drunk with the Spirit. Similarly to John's and the Pharisees' disciples who had deprived themselves of food and drink -at that time fasting also had outer, emotional signs (weeping, lamentations, tearing of the clothes)–-they despise and rebuke the Lord's disciples of today, who get filled with the Holy Spirit and are rejoicing people. However as the Bridegroom is with the wedding guests the joy of the Lord can be relieved and grow in the disciples this way. This way the jars fill up with wine by which the life with the Lord will be a wedding-feast. Humbleness means submitting yourself to the Word of God, a humble Christian gives up his theology, which is contrary to the Word, so that he can gain grace from the Lord. Apostle Peter did not rebuke the addressees of his letter but praised them for they were "filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy for the Lord." (1Peter 1:8b).
After these what can we say? Only that, what Paul said:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4).
Source: New Exodus