The Abiding is the most precious spiritual pose that we could ever be in. The Abiding is a two way street. Yes, He has promised that He would abide/stay/remain/continue in us. He has commanded us to abide in Him. But first we must abide/stay/remain/continue in Him (John 15:4-5).
How does one abide in Him and Him in us? First, we must be free from error about Him. He is the Truth [“I am the way, the truth and the life…”]. We cannot cling to any false conceptions about Christ and expect Christ the Truth to abide in us. This means that we must tune out the distractions of the world. We must turn a deaf ear to the tired erroneous platitudes of the false church and its teachings. We must abide in His thoughts and teachings and continue in His concepts and precepts. In order to abide and continue in Him, we must get rid of false teachings and concepts about Him.
If we do not, then these false concepts, like yeast, will spread all through the lump of dough that is destined to become the bread that feeds the minds of His followers. Tainted bread. Not good. Christ warns us about the old leaven. “Purge out the old leaven,” we are commanded, “that the lump may be holy.” The Spirit of Truth cannot come and abide in us if our thoughts about Him are tainted with the false concepts of man’s wisdom. The Spirit of Truth will not share a body with false doctrines. They do not mix.
It’s a War
Getting rid of the false doctrines is a real battle. It is an all-out war as we struggle face to face with our enemy, the devil. But it is all so deceptive. How are we to know which teachings are true and which are false? The answer, of course, is in the Scriptures of Truth.
But knowing that the truth is found in the Bible is obviously not enough to not be deceived. It takes studying the word of God. But that is not enough. It takes studying for the right reasons. Studying just for knowledge’s sake is not it. We need to examine ourselves according to the written word in order to purge out the old leaven teachings. It is the only way of getting rid of false teachings.
But it takes a heaven-sent strength to look in the mirror and tell yourself that you have been wrong about God and His plan. Ferreting out falsehoods in our belief system is like when you as a kid first began to see that Santa Claus was not real. You had to either renounce the whole idea or play along with the adults who had perpetuated the myth. As a child that lacked strength to swim against the stream of falsehoods, you for a time played their game. But now that you have become a spiritual adult, you have put away the myths of childhood. It is the same scenario with all of the false doctrines.
It is a war, and we need to arm ourselves with the thoughts of the mind of Christ. We must “put on the whole armor of God” if we are to survive this war. Those who continue to “play church” will be left out in the cold as the five wise virgins were (Matthew 25:1-13). We must study out the old leaven false doctrines and the armor of God that protects us from their deception. [For more on this, order my latest book The Eleventh Commandment. It is free with free shipping Free Copy of The Eleventh Commandment | Immortality Road (wordpress.com) .
What Stunts the Growth of the Overcomers?
And when we get rid of old leaven doctrines and arm our minds with His thoughts, Christ takes note and has promised to abide in us! He has promised in that same holy word that He would come down and inhabit us with His Spirit! He has promised to live in us and walk in us, and use our mouths to speak to those out there struggling. I know that you long for power to do apostolic works like healing the sick and standing for righteous justice for all the world. This must take place first.
Many readers of this blog have already made stupendous strides of spiritual growth. You have already had several experiences that have proven to you that God is your loving Father. You have grown, but perhaps lately some have hit a plateau where they feel they are just not getting closer to the “mark of the prize of the high calling…” Something is stunting their growth. I submit that it could be the old leaven concepts that need to be repented of [See Chapter 44, p. 166 in The Eleventh Commandment].
Christ’s elect are chosen to be the overcomers who will sit with Christ on His throne (Rev. 3:21). That is the top of the mountain, the fulfillment of the highest calling. They will know firsthand of Christ’s precious love for them.
But to get to Christ’s throne, the elect will have to repent of several faults. Christ says that these Christians in this last Church Age of Laodicea are lukewarm in their works, neither cold nor hot. It is so distasteful to Him that He will spue them out of His mouth (3:15-16).
Those whom He has called during the time of the end, have hit a plateau of growth and have become half-hearted. They are not on fire for Christ like they use to be. They have tapered off. The vision has grown cold.
Christ explains why are they are lukewarm. “Because you say, ‘I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing.’ And you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (3:17). What a rebuke to the future overcomers who may—if they pass the test—enter Christ’s throne room four verses later. What’s their problem? “I am rich,” they say. This is not worldly riches. Christ said that His words are “spirit and they are life.” Lukewarm Christians think that they already know all they need to know about Christ. They are saying they have the truth and the others need to listen to them. They are like the Pharisees. It is religious pride; every denomination thinks that they are the true church.
Christ then gives the answer on how to repent of lukewarmness. “I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich, and white raiment that you may be clothed that the shame of your nakedness does not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that you may see” (3:18).
[Many Christians will stop right here and say to themselves that they don’t know what this is all about. Some are not willing to dig deep for the knowledge. Here is where studying should engage with a white hot desire to seek His wisdom and to know Him and His thoughts. Yes, ask Him to reveal what these terms mean: “gold tried in the fire.” Look at I Pet. 1:17 for a dot to connect to. “White raiment.” Study out “white” and “raiment” and “white raiment.” Look up these terms in the Greek and cross reference them with other Greek words. The English translators sometimes used three or four different English words taken from one Greek word. And “eye salve.” The blind are those who have not added the seven additions to the faith (I Peter 1:5-9). Look up blind and blindness. As you study hard, you will show Him that you mean business—His business.
Brothers and sisters, His government and kingdom is real, and it is coming, and He has planned to share with us His administration. We are auditioning for a job as a helper, an administrator, a prince or princess, an ambassador, a governor—you get the idea. This is real! He will not promote us to be His officers under Him if we do not study all of this out. Any other way borders on lukewarm child’s play.
If we are aspiring to the throne to sit with Him ruling this earth, we better “prove all things.” Do not take my word for any thing that I write. Do not take your preacher’s word for it. Ask Him to inhabit your mind; take His word and eat it, all of it, and do not look back. Make it yours. Prove it out to yourself.
If Christ’s rebuke seems a little too harsh, remember this: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous, therefore, and repent” (Rev. 3:19). We are here and have been rebuked by Christ for our religious pride. And because some have not studied out their shortcomings, He has issued this rebuke. But the rebuke proves His love for us. Only the ones He has chosen to come to His throne will get this rebuke. The others will not be able to see, for they are blind and need the eye salve. If you have hit rough times and you are feeling His lash, smile and know that He loves you.
He is looking for a few people who will answer the challenge to become just like our Creator, to have the same purpose, plan and power to make it all happen. Who among us will receive with humility His rebuke? Who will study out their faults as per His direction? Who will repent and praise Him for His love?
Kenneth Wayne Hancock