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Being Sanctified….

What part of scripture do so many not understand?

Hebrews 10:14 (The Amplified Bible) For by a single offering He has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are consecrated and made holy.

(The Holy Bible, New International Version®) because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

[From Strong’s:

Teleioo tel-i-o’-o

  1. to make perfect, complete
    1. to carry through completely, to accomplish, finish, bring to an end
  2. to complete (perfect)
    1. add what is yet wanting in order to render a thing full
    2. to be found perfect
  3. to bring to the end (goal) proposed
  4. to accomplish
    1. bring to a close or fulfilment by event
      1. of the prophecies of the scriptures

Dienekes dee-ay-nek-es’ Definition

  1. continuously, continuous

Tr (KJV (4) – continually + (1519), 2; for ever + (1519), 2;   , NAS (4) – all time continually, 1; perpetually, 1;)

Hagiazo hag-ee-ad’-zo Definition

  1. to render or acknowledge, or to be venerable or hallow
  2. to separate from profane things and dedicate to God
    1. consecrate things to God
    2. dedicate people to God
  3. to purify
    1. to cleanse externally
    2. to purify by expiation: free from the guilt of sin
    3. to purify internally by renewing of the soul

Ts (KJV (29) – be holy, 1; hallow, 2; sanctify, 26;)]

The New American Standard Bible:

For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

The New King James Version:

For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

World English Bible:

For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified.

The Bible in Basic English:

Because by one offering he has made complete for ever those who are made holy.

The Darby Translation:

For by one offering he has perfected in perpetuity the sanctified.

Young’s Literal Translation:

for by one offering he hath perfected to the end those sanctified;

J.P. Green’s Literal Translation:

For by one offering He has perfected in perpetuity the ones being sanctified.

The Complete Jewish Bible:

For by a single offering he has brought to the goal for all time those who are being set apart for God and made holy.

The majority of the above do not indicate in any way that believers are being sanctified over time. It happened once. The idea of being sanctified means those who are being saved, being added to the church. But they are added once. Context must rule. So must the bulk of scripture. One translation cannot be made to bow to all the others. One translation differs must be read in the light of the rest.

The above passage from Hebrews is the only place I found where the word, “being”, is used in some translations. It possibly is translated this way because of the Greek word for “all time”, “perpetuity”, or “for ever” can also be “continually”. However, most understand that “continually” refers to the effects of the finished work of Christ. Again, one scripture cannot make all others bow to it.

Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, to sanctify means to set apart for God. It is an act, not a process. Sanctification is to be set aside and made holy. Of course, we know that we grow and mature in Christ. But that is not sanctification. We cannot make ourselves any more holy than Christ has made us! Perish the thought.

[1] This is true except for one other place in one translation, as follows: The New King James Version – Heb 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, The word, “being”, seems to have no justification in this passage other than to support the notion of progressive sanctification.


Are Christians Supposed to be Poor in Spirit?

How are believers supposed to view the statements made by Jesus in what we call the Sermon on the Mount – or the Beatitudes?

Matthew 5:

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Are we supposed to stay in an attitude of poorness in spirit? Some say so. If we acknowledge we are poor in spirit, we are acknowledging our dependence on God. Right? Are you sure?

Meekness, hungering after righteousness, mercifulness, purity of heart, peacemaking, and even persecution, all find support in our walk as believers. And at times we can feel poor in spirit and we mourn at times. Still, as a spiritual reality, poorness is not what we should be professing. How can we be poor in spirit when we have the Holy Spirit in and upon us, for power, and for so much more?

Jesus was teaching about what the kingdom of heaven was like. He said the kingdom was at hand. He even said it was here, for if he cast out devils by the power of God, the kingdom had come. Luke 11:20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

In the kingdom of heaven, no one is poor in spirit, neither does anyone mourn, for they are one with Jesus. Of course, we might mourn when we lose a loved one – but we don’t grieve as the unbelievers do. 1Thessalonians 4:13 But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not sorrow as others do who have no hope.

Are we also supposed to always mourn? Mourn for what? The word for mourn is much more than sorrow or grief. He is talking about lamenting. This is a deep, deep, despair and sorrow. We have no need to mourn. We have not lost Jesus. He is with us to the end of the age, for He sent the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to us. Our joy is full. One who mourns has no joy.

This is the same way we should look at being poor in spirit. Of course we live and move and have our being in Him – thereby knowing we are dependent on Him. But what else do the scriptures say about our spiritual state in Him? Do we not have all spiritual blessings and riches in Christ Jesus?

Colossians 2:1-3 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Jesus said the poor in spirit were blessed (happy and fortunate) and theirs was the kingdom of heaven. He also said He didn’t come to the well, but to the sick. He was saying that those who seek will find. Those who know they have need will seek to be healed. Those who think they have no need will not seek to be healed.

The Sermon on the Mount was about how to find the kingdom, and what that means. You have need, you mourn because you have not found it, but when you do, you be blessed. You will also be persecuted for His name’s sake. That’s just how it is. There is a cost, but the blessings far out weigh the costs, and even the costs will be rewarded.

Furthermore, in Him we have obtained mercy and purity, we are satisfied, and offer the gospel of reconciliation/peace to all who will believe. He was not saying we had to do these things to see the kingdom, but that we couldn’t possibly do them ourselves. Flesh and blood does not inherit the kingdom, and the works of flesh and blood cannot get us there. 1Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

In more than one place, Jesus set up impossible standards. He said our righteousness had to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. He said to pluck out our eyes if they cause us to offend. We know we can’t do those things in order to get into the kingdom.

Neither can we get there by being poor in spirit, nor see God if we are pure in heart, and so on. He alone makes us pure in the sight of God and we will see Him face to face on that great day. There is no other way. We can’t do it. In that respect, we are poor in spirit, for we can do nothing to get ourselves into the kingdom.

Know this: believers are not supposed to be going around under a cloud of mourning or of poverty in spirit. Only those who know they are poor in spirit can find the kingdom of heaven, but once we are in it by faith in Christ, we have all spiritual riches and blessings.  How can we be poor in spirit if we have Him? He did not leave us comfortless when He was taken up. He sent the Comforter. The kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit! Fullness of joy is ours! Rejoice!

If grace does not produce acceptance, we aren’t operating in grace at all.

Grace cannot produce awareness of sins. Awareness of sin, as a transgression, is known from the law and the law is done away in Christ. Awareness of our failings and our weaknesses is not sin. We should not even speak of remaining in sin (Rom. 6:1). How can we? We are dead to it.

We are in relationship with God. Like lovers, we seek to please Him. And for His part, He does not see our failings. He gives us grace, favor, a work in the heart.

So, if we are dead to sin, and it is not charged against us, how can we accuse others of it?

How can we point the finger and refuse to accept any? By grace, we have gained a brother or sister and have not been a stumbling block to them. And we have not fallen from grace back into law.

It is strong grace, from an almighty God! We are to deal with problems with the goal of restoration. For instance, Jesus was not saying to permanently exclude anyone for whom He came to die. Love is to be our aim.

The law is done away, and we have no relationship to it, to obey or disobey. God does not reject any of His children based on what we may think of them or what they do.

We can demand certain behavior, or forbid it, but those efforts will fail. Grace never fails – it is sufficient to keep us from falling back into law. Grace teaches us godliness. The law is not our teacher.

Neither are we taught by stories in Genesis. The Gentiles did not know the stories of the Jewish faith. They believed and received the same grace as the Jewish believers, and that grace taught them,  just as it does us today. We are not to try living by the Old Testament. Period. We live by faith in the Son of God, the grace placed in our hearts.

When we live with sin consciousness, we have forgotten we are forgiven and are not living in knowledge of the grace that has cleansed us (2 Peter 1:9). When we are conscious of sin, we judge others and thereby place ourselves under the same law. This is mixing law and grace. This is being double-minded.

We are called to a ministry of reconciliation – to bring in those who are outside the household of faith. We are also called to be in relationship with God, not to live by an external morality. 

Grace is actually a two-way relationship as we return love for love. We are under the rule of the spirit of life in Christ. Grace and the fruit of the spirit are very much alike, and the love it produces is described in the ‘love’ chapter (1 Corinthians 13).

So, there are none to throw the first stone, and none to accuse, for grace won’t allow it. Grace draws a large circle and takes everyone in. Law draws a small circle and keeps most out.

Jesus Fulfilled the Last Three Feasts

In this season of Christmas and Hanukkah, interest in the Jewish feasts is heightened. I hear it all around in my church. All Christians generally agree that Jesus fulfilled the first four of the seven Jewish feasts. But rarely does anyone teach that He fulfilled all the feasts. Well, He said it was finished, and it was. If we see that He more or less ended the appointed days with Pentecost, it may help. Still, it may not be chronological at all. They are only types and shadows of the true substance, which is Jesus.

I offer excerpts from three different sources, which show how one of each three “remaining” feasts is fulfilled.


The Fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets

I believe that the truest fulfillment of this festival is Jesus’ offer of the New Covenant to all who would receive it.

“‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you'” (Luke 22:20b).

We who have accepted the New Covenant remember this fact every time we take communion. The bread and the cup remind us of the cataclysmic events of the Lord’s death and resurrection. They remind us of our responsibilities in being New Covenant-people. We repent and show remorse for our sin in falling short of this high and holy calling. Through faith in the shed blood of Jesus, we receive the full and final atonement provided by the New Covenant.


This feast day should be self-evident in the atonement of Christ!

Yom Kippur [Heb. = day of atonement], in Judaism, the most sacred holy day, falling on the 10th day of the Jewish month of Tishri (usually late September or early October). It is a day of fasting and prayer for forgiveness for sins committed during the year. Jews gather in synagogues on the Eve of Yom Kippur, when the fast begins, and return the following morning to continue confessing, doing penance, and praying for forgiveness. The most solemn of the prayers, Kol Nidre, is chanted on the Eve of Yom Kippur. Biblical origins are found in Leviticus, where the priestly ritual of atonement is described.


On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (John 7:37-38). Presumably Jesus had been sitting as he taught. Here he stands and in a loud voice declares that he is the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles.

On the final day he declared that it was fulfilled. No longer would the streams of water need to flow from the altar and down from the temple. Jesus was the sacrifice and as he said in John 2, he was the temple. He was the one who would be on the altar of the cross and have blood and water flow from his side and run down the hill to bring new life. Jesus brings a whole new meaning to their understanding of the Feast. Those who believe in Jesus will be sustained by the power of God and his Holy Spirit. It was not really about the Dead Sea or physical streams of water or the valleys growing crops. This harvest would come from the inside out. As with the Samaritans in John 4 this harvest would be a harvest of people for God’s kingdom.

I submit that if Jesus fulfilled the feast of tabernacles, He of necessity fulfilled all. The Feast of Tabernacles comes at the end of the last three feasts….! One thing that bothers me the most about the idea of future fulfillment for some prophecy, and parts of the Mosaic system, is that it disregards the finished work of Jesus. I often wonder what He must think of our blindness. We should be looking first to see if there already has been fulfillment, not believing the dispensationalists and pushing so much into the speculative future. Okay, now I feel better….

Do We Substitute Words for the Holy Spirit?

So often I hear preachers and teachers of doctrine say that we have to do this or that in order to have a more power-filled Christian life and more effective “witness”. Really? Is that what is wrong, and is that how we fix it? Or is the fix that is wrong? The apostle Paul said he came not with the power of words, but in the power of the Holy Spirit. (1Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: )

We humans have a tendency to throw words at problems. At least, in the Western cultures. We are full of what we think of as wisdom about what to do about just about anything. So then as Christians, we tend to throw scriptures from the Bible. We may pray of course, but we pray long winded and lofty sounding words. Then we counsel the same way, often combining our wise words into our prayer, just to be sure we are understood, I think. But true wisdom is to operate in the things of the Spirit. The people wondered what wisdom it was that Jesus had, to do the things He did. The answer is that He had the Spirit without measure, remaining with and on Him.

Sadly, our wise words and prayers and counsel sound like Job’s miserable comforters most of the time. We try to help the one who is having the problem by telling them what they must have done wrong and how to do better. We tell them to repent of whatever “sin” it might be. But Jesus seems to say that our problems aren’t from sin, but are so the glory of God will be seen. We haven’t broken any law that we are being punished for. There just are troubles in the world. And He said to rejoice, because He has overcome the world!

You know, I can’t think of a worse ploy of the enemy than to get believers to stumble over the means of receiving their power by reducing it to the letter of the written scripture – or to the persuasion of spoken words. Those who do not believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit – with the evidence of speaking in tongues, will not like what I am saying. And again, what better ploy of the devil than this! Those who do know what I am talking about will agree. We are not operating in His fullness of power without the fullness of the Holy Spirit in us.

So, let’s learn to hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. When we miss the mark, He will let us know. Just the way He let the apostles know. He will show the way, just like He did for the apostles. And all the early Christians – even while they missed it – for they were set right again if they paid attention. God never forces us to love Him or to follow Him. Let’s stop trying to live everyone else’s life and just let Jesus live in us, and we in Him. That is the goal, and that is where the prize is. Substitute nothing for the Holy Spirit in you.


As an extension to this, I submit that we too often substitute doctrine (which is defined by words) for the Holy Spirit. I’m thinking specifically of a few very good teachers of grace who say we have it all when we come to Jesus. They don’t allow that we could ever need any more than what we get via the Holy Spirit when we believe for salvation. Those who teach this way are not in the charismatic/pentecostal/full-gospel camp, by very definition. They are also often cessationists, meaning they believe the supernatural gifts, signs, wonders, and of course, speaking in tongues as evidence of the Holy Spirit baptism, have ceased with the end of the apostolic age – and especially they deny the tongues part.

So for those who believe it all ended, there is no observable infilling of the Holy Spirit, no tongues, no extra touch, no special anointing, no “more” of God to seek today. This is quite sad, because even in the book of Acts, they were all filled a second time, as at the beginning. The place where they were was shaken (Acts 4:31). Further, tongues are still the only observable evidence of the Holy Spirit baptism. Now just as at the beginning, this is how we know someone has the fullness of the Holy Spirit. When it is squelched in an assembly, we are left to guess, to hope, to wonder. And the enemy has succeeded in keeping believers from realizing that fullness, that victory, that peace and joy.

In practice, we know that the Holy Spirit often comes upon us and refreshes us, stirs us up, and speaks through the gifts as well as directly to our own spirit. We are told to desire the best gifts. And Paul wished all spoke in tongues as much as he did. The desire to know more of God by way of the Spirit is one that should not be quenched by teaching that we have it all. There is no way we could ever have all of God, or know all of Him. But we can desire to see and know and feel Him more. He delights to give us His goodness and we should desire Him in fullness – all that we can bear.

There is something lacking in those who do not embrace the fullness of the Spirit. I was one of them once, and can tell you that the difference is like night and day, black and white to Technicolor, silents to talkies. There is a discernible missing spiritual element when the one bringing a teaching does not have the fullness of the Spirit, be it in print or speaking. Doctrine has been substituted for the sweet Holy Spirit.

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