Jesus the Face of God Jesus Gods Superior Answer

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Jesus the Face of God

Jesus Gods Superior Answer

If Jesus is the answer, what is the question? The question is twofold; how can Father regain intimate heart connection with his children and how can the children live in such a way as to not break the Fathers heart. Ever since man chose self rule above Gods loving rule for their lives the questions have been around issues like;

How to restore the true image of the father to mankind’s heart? How to deal with the separation of relationship that sin has caused? How to build a new humanity that can dwell with God forever? How can I connect with a holy high powered high energy being called God and live?

The Old Testament system of rules and regulations sacrifices and offerings was only meant to be a temporary solution – it allowed people to come close, to know God, but it provides no lasting satisfaction for either side. People were still distorting the image of God and trod very warily around him just in case His wrath should flare up. The rules were on tablets of stone and weighed us down. (Heb 10:1)The only effect of all these rules was to make us more aware of what we had lost when we walk out on God; at best they made us hungry for the “more” we were designed for. However God had a plan and was waiting to launch his better solution on to the world.

In Hebs 1:1-4 we see that God had spoken in the past. But God spoke we misunderstood because fear distorts, so God speaks again and sends his clearest final message, His Son. (the spitting image of his dad!). Jesus is the “radiance of Gods glory” – radiance means, the light that shines out from a luminous body. Jesus is the light bulb of heaven and as he came into the world the Light of God was seen once again in our environment without distortion or mixture He was not only full of light but weight! The word glory means heaviness or weight so Jesus makes heavens imprint on the earth just as a foot makes an imprint on wet sand due to its weight

He is also the “exact representation” of his Fathers being – in Greek the word is “charackter”. A charackter was a tool for cutting moulds and dies that go on to reproduce the original shape. Jesus exactly represents the Fathers nature and character so He can perfectly reproduce it in us, with no loss of clarity, or distortion. A charackter was used to cut patterns on signet rings; a signet ring speaks of authority. Jesus aims to create us into signet rings for His father business!

The representation was so exact that Jesus could say “If you have seen me you have seen the Father (Jn 10:30) We have to get away from the stained glass window Jesus wafting through Galilee in a Persil white nightie floating six inches above contradiction lisping “bless you bless you” He represented his Fathers might & power, authority & dominion, compassion & love, all expressed in works of power healing provision justice and destruction of the Devils works, in the lives of women and men. “If you want to know what Gods like look and see what I do – Oh and by the way I only do what my father is doing!” In Col 1: 15 Jesus is the visible image (ikon) of God and He had everything of God in Himself Col 1:19

Jesus is the lens through which we must read all scripture especially the Old Testament understanding of God. All Scripture is inspired by God and good for teaching but God in OT must be seen through lens of Jesus. (There are different lens in a telescope but Jesus is the optimum final one). In Bill Johnson’s phrase “Jesus is perfect theology and as such trumps all other revelation”.

So the good news is that Jesus is a perfect manifestation of the Fathers nature. Again in Bill Johnson’s words “all inconstancies in the revelation of the nature of God between old and new testaments are cleared up in Jesus....for the believe it is theologically immoral to allow an Old Testament revelation of God to cancel or contradict the clear manifestation of God in Jesus”

In the accounts of the Transfiguration (Mk 9:1-12) we see a lot about the superiority of Jesus and what He brought with Him from His Fathers’ house. The word transfiguration (metamorphoo in Greek) means to change form Jesus changed to show them who he really was.

We see the superiority of Jesus covenant: Mk 9:1-12 Jesus met with Elijah (representing the prophets) & Moses (representing the Law) consulted with them then superseded them. Heb 1:4, Heb 8:6 & 13 The superior displaces the inferior, the name and covenant of Jesus is a superior deal by far and the old should fade away like video in face of DVD’s why watch the old when the new is an infinitely superior upgrade that answers all the questions! (Heb 10:1-4 & 14)

We see the superiority of Jesus identity: Mk 9:7Jesus is clearly identified as God son by the voice of his Father. Fully human yet able to fully manifest His Fathers glory Jesus says “I am the door” the door to heaven opens and Glory pours out Jesus is a portal or interface with the Kingdom of heaven. Don’t believe us unless you see the Glory of God shining on our faces

We see the superiority of Jesus Name: Mk 9:8 in the end only Jesus is left. At this point the old system was superseded by the new. There is no other name by which people can be saved we are told in Act 4:12

We see the superiority of Jesus Priesthood: Fear based response in our hearts often produces religious activity done for people to see. Religious spirits always wants to build something with its own hand to try and contain God. Religion always wants God without power in a safe container. Jesus comes as perfect bridge builder between man and God no need for any more human priesthood. His is (Heb 4:16) perfect priesthood connection that knows both side of the equation – fully human fully divine able to understand us because He’s been here and brought the tee shirt!

2 Jesus Gods Victorious Death

John the Baptist said of Jesus “behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” Jn 1:29. If the powers of darkness had known what God was up to in the last hours of Jesus earthly life they would not have put Jesus to death that’s what Paul says! (1 Cor 2:6-7) Paradoxically Jesus death has opened up the way for millions of children to come into Glory so we are going to look at three strands of the cross story that combine to make an unbreakable chord used to pull Satan down and pull people up into relationship with the Father. Firstly the Cross and the heavenly court room, then the cross and the heavenly sacrifice and thirdly at the cross and the heavenly victory.

Firstly let us look at the power of Jesus death in the courts of heaven. Jesus freely submitted to the judicial process of arrest trail and execution. Jesus arrest was in line with the divine plan. It was not an accident but an intervention! In Rev13:8 Jesus is the “lamb” that was slain from the foundations of the earth. Right from the start the trinity had a plan that if necessary Jesus would die to save people back to God. As soon as man chose to walk out on Gods way of living and relationships God activated the rescue plan.

In Gen 3:15 we see the first mention of the plan – someone born of eve (the seed) would be the rescuer who would destroy all that Satan had just acquired (The first murder on earth was inspired by Satan’s hunt for the seed when he killed Able). In Gen 49:19 God prophetically flags up the tribe of Judah as the one from which the seed, Messiah, rescuer would come. A sceptre was like a club great for smashing Satan’s head

By 2 Sam 7:16 we are told that the ruler will come from the family of King David. (Have you noticed the genocidal murderous attack on the line of David until by 2Kings 11 there is only one male descendant of David, a baby boy called Joash being hunted by ocultic Queen Athaliah). This attack is renewed in Mt 2;13. Suddenly the spirits of death hanging out in Herod’s court get a lead, from a bunch of astrologers, who have come to worship the “baby King” – they are soon inciting Herod to kill all the babies in Bethlehem

Time and again during Jesus life people came to kill him but it was not his time until suddenly one night in the garden of Gethsemane it was time. For the first time the demons found Jesus without his body guard and they pounced and nailed him to the cross He was like a lamb silent before his tormenters Isa 53:7-8. Jesus freely submitted to the process he could have avoided it by calling on legions of angels to come but He voluntarily chose Fathers will above his own. This submission of his will was an injustice on the earth that allowed Jesus to justly defeat Satan in the court rooms of heaven

Secondly we can see Jesus death as an act of heavenly sacrifice. The Lamb of God was to be sacrificed on the cross. The Devil thought he’d won. The seed was dead the hope of the world is in the grave! But Jesus had said “Unless a seed falls into the ground and dies it cannot live”.

The cross was an act of divine exchange – the word redemption is a Greek word exagerazo it means to buy back out of the salve market. Jesus had said that people are slave to that which they obey thus mankind had sold itself into Satan’s slave market. People find themselves “chained into life styles that are obedient to sin and alienate them more and more from God. We end up with minds, hearts and actions that are to God’s love, peace and kind rule. The only sentence possible past regretfully by a court biased in every way towards mercy was still death. Mankind must reap the bitter fruit of the seeds of choice- unless it could find someone to eat that fruit in its place. We live our lives in the condemned cell waiting to see if we can be released until one day Jesus come to our cell “Its finished I’ve paid the price your mine now” we see in Col 1:20-21 that the wrath and judgment of God was poured out on Christ so that His goodness could be poured out on me and through me to others. We have gone from: chains to freedom, from barred from blessing, to being a blessing, from image marred to image restored from alienation to reconciliation. Jesus has opened the door of heaven and wants us to come in.

Thirdly we see Jesus victorious in the heavenly realms. One thing the Devil can never learn is the power of humility. The deeper the humbling, the great the level of exaltation, in Phil 3:8-9, as Jesus humbled himself to death on the cross he came in line for a massive exaltation. As the Devil takes Jesus in to the world of the dead to put him in his trophy cabinet he suddenly sees that it’s not him who has Jesus but Jesus who has him. Jesus Christ totally victorious in the unseen world goes on a rampage to take back from Satan all he has stolen from God. The effects of Jesus rampage are the disarming the Powers of hell Col 2:12-15, the destroying Satan’s works Heb 2:14, 1Jn3:8 and Delivering of all the captives Gal 1:4. The lamb through meek submission has now become a lion in victory! Aslans paw has swept away the wicked witch’s power and the deep magic has been restored and winter is over in Narnia!

They say you can’t keep a good man down and Jesus was very good! (try holding down a float board at the swimming pool) the power of heavens life in Jesus with, no sin of its own to hold it down, could not be contained within the world of the dead! Satan tried to place his seal of ownership on Jesus but when He rose every one could see “made in heaven” stamped on Jesus. The resurrection declares who Jesus was Rm 1:4. If Jesus death was to pay the price for sin his resurrection declares the price was paid & accepted! Rm 4:25. Jesus is not some dead past master or reincarnated guru. He’s not a past tense example but a present tense Lord & saviour He the “I am” not the “I was”!

3: Jesus Gods Righteousness

In 1Cor 1:30 we are told that Jesus has become for us the righteousness of God! Anyone who is a believer is said to be “In Christ” their life is now “hidden with Christ in God. So the attributes of Jesus are now given to me, now, not just when I die! So wisdom holiness and righteousness is all mine now. I am like Jesus! In Mt6:33 it says that we are, “to seek first the Kingdom of God and His “righteousness”; not seek and you may find, rather seek to activate what is already in your life in your life. The Kingdom is an established fact we need to find it, believe it and walk in it and we will see its phenomena coming round our lives and impacting people in this life. In just the same way we are to see Gods righteousness working out in our lives. Righteousness is; “Right standing before God (internal spiritual reality) walked out before men (external seen reality) our internal reality and standing with God affects every part of how I live now.

On the cross Jesus didn’t just do enough to get us out of the red but He invested in us to get us into the black. By the cross the Father imputes into our live a huge injection of divine credit. He recapitalizes our bankrupt condition. At the foot of the cross there are huge deposits of God stuff waiting to be picked up and activated by us! He inject righteousness as a gift like a seed into us and since we are no longer un-righteous he then chooses to join us with himself; so we share name character and influence with our Father. We have seeds of heavenly reality and seeds of heavens approval in us.

Most of us have a theoretical idea that we are righteous but we feel uncomfortable about entering the home of the righteous. Zec 3:9f Zechariah was a priest and allowed to come in to God’s presence that to his horror he saw that all his garments were wrong they belonged to the prison not the palace; so God graciously exchanged them. We get clean as we come into the court room of God (based on what Christ did for us). We don’t get clean in order to come in. Jesus has lain up an eternal store of heavenly cleaning agent – it’s called “the blood”. You come in to get your “issues” dealt with you don’t stay away until you are OK – “come unto me all who are heavy laden and I will give you rest” You have UNRESTRICTED ACESS to Gods throne because you have been given Jesus’ righteousness when you believed. You ARE HOLY and your ARE RIGHTEOUS before God even when you feel bad and feel you’ve let Him down. The Devil (accuser & slanderer) constantly points at you, tells you that you “are not worthy” and points out memories and behaviours that are proof that you are still a sinner and better stay away from God BUT YOU ARE NOT it’s all a lie and a scam. The Devil is terrified that you will find out your “true nature” and start living out of that instead of the “lie nature” he’s been feeding you! Satan is an expert at “Identity fraud” saying things like “If you are the son of God etc”

Yes you can still sin but it’s not your default setting. You are no longer a sinner by nature you are a saved saint. This does not mean I can’t it just means I am no longer a “Professional Sinner”! (Nail in the foot illustration).We need to learn to walk our lives out of who we are, not out of who we were. Jesus got what I deserved so I could get what he deserved. When he redeemed us God brought all our debts and all our problems and they are now his to fix! 1Jn 1:9 – 1Jn 2:2 says that we can deal with our mess and we have the best lawyer in town! You have access to the throne of Grace (Heb 4:16) and the judge is your friend, the court is biased in every way towards mercy and are looking for just one thing - do they have “righteousness” if so throw out the accuser!!

So what happens when “righteous” people blow it? Sin & failure in your life is not more powerful than destiny – you are destined to be conformed to the image of Jesus and that’s where the Father is taking you day by day. Failure and sin scare us as Christians and we want to judge it control it and punish it so that we can feel secure. God however is not afraid of sin! 1Jn 4:18 He is love and “prefect love drive our fear” We are afraid of bad examples being set and that if we don’t keep high standards then things will get worse and we will see Judgment coming in effect we partner with fear when we are around sin – it makes us nervous.

So what should our response be to sin? 1Jn 4:10, 1Jn 2:2 Sin in us, can no longer be punished or controlled by regulations, because at the cross Jesus made each of us un-punishable by being punished himself for the total sin of the entire world. This is the meaning of the words propitiation/atonement – satisfaction of divine wrath sin and the fathers need to punish lawbreakers. At the cross in love Jesus satisfied an un-satisfiable reality and launched a whole new way for man to relate to God. He removed the fear of punishment from our relationship to God

New Deal v Old Deal in Galatians: Gal 3:1 Galatians started off in the new deal but after a time started to incorporate aspects of the old deal into their lives. In other words they were trying to live in two systems (Covenants) at the same time 4:21f.They were conflicted between the Old Covenant, pictured by the salve women Hagar and the new covenant pictured by Sarah the free women. The old covenant was rules based run by something called the law. The new covenant was love based and run on principle of relationship. Paul says you started out receiving stuff freely out of a love relationship with the Father but you have gone back into the old system of living by rules and not relationship. People love to have lists to live by and tick boxes rather than relationship with a person Gal 5:1 Paul says resist the drift to rules or you will end up enslaved by your rules. The question is, are you trying to protect your relationship to the rules or your relationship to the Father?

In Rm 7:22 Paul talks about two laws at work in his life: The law of sin and death which leads to a relationship with the rules or The Law of the Spirit of Life which sets us free with no rules to do as spirit leads us to do. Most of us would feel uncomfortable with no boundaries but the boundaries are real they come in the form of a relationship not a punishment base. Gal 4:13 says we are free but not to do what sin wants! In Rm 8:1 Paul says there is no condemnation (no punishment) for those who are in this new law of the spirit of life.

So what does this look like in practice? Love and heart relationship with Abba is key. We are not seeking a relationship with the rules – I don’t want to tick boxes rather I want to please not grieve His heart. I seek to protect my connection with His heart. Jesus said if you love me you will keep my commandments. I avoid sin not to avoid punishment but to maintain connection. “How do you deal with what is important to me?” Intimacy shows up in behaviour that seeks to protect Gods heart. Father is not seeking to control us to get a good outcome (Control is opposite of love). That which we love we set free. He’s looking for what our spirit of self control brings forth. It shows Him my real heart Gal 5:16. We say we live by relationship not rules. The acid test of this is what happens when we or someone else breaks the rules. How do I react to my failure how does the community react? Christians are famous for being offended judges rather than lovers of love: Are we living to protect the rules which results in a religious culture or are we living to protect relationships which leads to a love culture

Peter blew it three times publicly denying Jesus controlled by fear of man – he blew it big time. Deep repentance restoration based on Jesus love for him not on the rules Three times Jesus tells Peter what precious to his heart Jn 21:15f. Peter now spends the rest of his life protecting what was important to Jesus – his lambs. In rules based religious culture repentance means allowing you to punish me to prove I can be trusted at some time in the future. In a grace based culture repentance means allowing God to change my heart so it won’t go after that which breaks relationship. Repentance is a gift from the heart of the Father that flows into you once you decide to prioritize his Heart above your own stuff. Repentance can never satisfy a rule based system but it touches heart of relationship that longing for reconnection. “If you love me you will protect our relationship

4: Jesus Gods Glorious Template

Jesus had died, had risen and had been around for 40 days downloading all the disciples brains could take. What now, was there more? Lk 24:50 -51 & Acts 1:9. Theologians call this the “Jesus’ ascension into glory”. The ascension was not just the Father being neat and tidying up some loose ends of the story! Without the ascension the cross and the resurrection are meaningless. The ascension takes the story Jesus back into eternity and it universalizes the presence and power of Jesus for all time so all people can connect with it. The cross is a beginning not an end in itself. The resurrection is a transition not an end, but the ascension brings into view the end product.

Is your Jesus Glorious? Jesus was the suffering servant headed for the cross but Jesus is triumphant resurrected ascended and glorified. Look how He appears to John in Revelation Rev 1:14-15, no Jesus meek and mild here! The Christian life is not found at the cross it’s found were Jesus is today and that’s heaven. Cross is door – don’t camp on the door mat we are called to come up “higher” The story of Jesus goes on but He’s different now!. After the ascension Jesus re enters heaven; all the angels are cheering and worshiping at his return to His throne at the right hand of His father Heb 1:3. He receives back all His glory might and power that he laid aside at His incarnation.

1 Jn 4:17b NKJV “as Jesus is so shall we be in this world” Jesus in His glorified state is the template or model, that the Holy Spirit is mandated to replicate on the earth – glorified sons of God. The Holy Spirit could not start this work until after Jesus was glorified, see Jn 7:39. Why was He delayed? - Because He did not have a blue print, a model, a template to work from. Now He does! He spends a week absorbing the magnificent sight and power of Jesus. Then He pours out of the courts of heaven, through the roof of the upper room and into the spirits of the believers, with one all consuming passionate mission; to reproduce what he’s just seen in heaven on the face of the earth (Rm 8:19-21). Holy Spirit is sent so that we might measure up to the full stature of Christ. Eps 4:13 it’s the Holy Sprits mission and remorseless intention to get you to conform to that image that He sees every day in heaven. I am not to be like Jesus was I am to be what Jesus is! As He is in glory as He is in power as He is in triumph so shall we be in this world not just in heaven. Christian means little Christ. We must learn to live in our divine nature, to get it out of heaven and put it on display down here on the earth. I am meant to be a glory carrier!

Let’s look at the Glory of Jesus in the life of the believer (2 Cor 3:17 – 4:7) We see from 2Cor 3:18 “we are being transformed” into the Glory of Jesus; are being, not will be, this is stuff that happens this side of heaven. It’s a present tense activity and experience. 2 Cor 4:7 “we have this treasure in jars of clay”. “Have” it’s a fact and promise even when we feel treasure less we are a treasure trove. “Jars of clay”, we are poor chipped and cracked pots of rough material. The nature of the jar does not define the richness of the content. Get over you jar issues! “All surpassing power”, you are a powerful person that is how God made you. You are not designed to be a victim but a victor. “Power” means ability and mighty workings (dunamis). Such power is designed to overcome boundaries and restrictions. Just as the glorious Jesus has no limitations His power in you recognises no boundaries (huperballo). “From God not from us” so it is not dependant on our feelings. Its present, but will we let it out, or hold it back? God Manifests His Glory via broken vessels – our assignment is to leak the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord. The more Satan (by demonically inspired circumstances smashes our jar the more good stuff comes out!) The more we allow God to break our jars the more good comes out - Gideon’s jars released light when broken Women’s jar releases anointing oil.

What is this treasure? Glory is an attribute of God and the atmosphere that surrounds Him in heaven. We reflect Glory shining on us (Get on the mountain with God) and we radiate Glory (we need to get coals from the altar of God) from within ourselves. In 2Cor 4:6 the light of the knowledge of the gory of the Lord. 3:18 “ever increasing Glory”. In 3:18 it is called “the Lords Glory”. In 3:11 it is the “Glory that lasts”. In 3:10 it’s called “surpassing Glory”. In 3:8 “the ministry of the spirit made more glorious”. All mankind has sinned and fallen short of Gods Glory but you are not all mankind! You have a higher calling and existence, you don’t fall short of Glory you release it into the world! Hab 2:14.

You are not a poor, pitiful, weak, drab, struggling people; just hanging on trying to avoid being victims of our psycho environments and neighbours. We are sons and daughters of the King. We are called to rule & reign in our environments, just as Jesus does in heaven we are to bring it to earth. We have glory power and triumph imputed to us in our spiritual DNA. We are designed to be the “Head and not the tail” Our template is in Heaven the Lord Jesus and we will be like him!! What is the unique representation of Glory that you carry out into the world? Christ in us the Hope of glory what are you hoping for

5: Jesus Gods Last Word

“The future belongs to those who can project the best hope” What’s yours? For any journey you need to know the destination before you can plan you route. What you put into your “Sat Nav” will determine where you end up and what you see on the journey! A wrong end point for Gods project will lead to wrong expectations amongst his people and this will lead to wrong behaviours. Rev 11:15 end point is the total domination of the earth by a heavenly invasion. This invasion is called the Kingdom of God. So what is the end of all things to look like and how do we get there? (Lady who criticised my preaching about revival because did I not know that in the end the faith was going to grow cold etc) What are our expectations of the end times?

There are two threads of Biblical history: there is a downward spiral thread; faith of many will grow cold great darkness will cover the earth the anti Christ is coming and the church is a desperate remnant hanging on for life etc. Then there is an upward spiral thread: great revival harvest, glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea, the Christ is coming for his victorious bride who is without spot blemish or wrinkle. Both are true it is just that one is truer than the other! Both can operate simultaneously in a nation/community/individual. Which are we going to major on? Why do we major on Satan and his plans – what we believe about the end times affects everything we do and the way we live now! The negative view leads to a “Church as the life boat” mentality (in this view increasing evil actually becomes the will of God which is of course impossible)The Kingdom coming view sees everything up for grabs and we have a job to do which is to bring in the Kingdom and redeem the cultures and planet.

Act 1:9-11 as He went (into the clouds) so he will return. All Christians agree that Jesus is coming back again but why, what for, and what will it be like for us who are around at the end? What are the factors determining Jesus’ return? (There is no fixed timetable except the Fathers heart that as many people as possible get to spend eternity with Him 2Pt 2:8-9). He is coming back for a matured and beautiful Bride called the church Eps 5:27 & Rev 21:2. He will return when the commission to “disciple” nations has been demonstrated Mt 28:18. He’s coming back when there can be representatives of every tribe tongue & nation (ethane) in heaven Rev 7:9. Only when the gospel of the Kingdom has been preached to every creature Mt 24:14 can He return.

What will Jesus return be like? Jesus will return but not in the same way as He first came. He came in humility hidden and secretly. He will return in power might and for all to see Rev 19:11 f. Not in secret as some thought. 2Thes 2:1-2 there is no secret rapture theory in scripture. 1Thes 4:13-14 He will come back with all those believers who have died. The dead will rise to meet Jesus as he comes down. As the Lord of Life comes close resurrection power raises the believers so they have bodies and existence like Jesus resurrection body 1Cor 15:22-27. Then we who are still alive will be caught up and meet him too. 1Thes 4:15-17 then we all come back down to earth for the final judgments and completion of the Kingdom of Heaven. This “caught up” is called the Parousia and its an illustration from Greek life – when a King of a city had been away on a long Journey and was seen to be coming home the people of the city would rush out to meet him and cheer back into his domain. We will also be changed. 1Cor15:15-54.

What will Jesus return achieve? With his first coming Jesus inaugurated the Kingdom (kicked off the game) and His second coming consummates the kingdom (full time whistle). So what will happen? Jesus will bring everything into the Kingdom and under The Fathers control: Jesus started the kingdom we have carried it on till the only improvement can be the presence of the King (We baked the cake according to Jesus recipe, second coming is the icing on the cake and Jesus is the cherry on the icing!) Rev 5:10 & 11:15

He will bring Judgment & separation between Kingdom and non Kingdom things: if people, systems and spiritual beings have not already bowed to the King and started to participate in the Kingdom they will not want t be subjected to it now. So they have no part in it. This separation is a fruit of their choices over a life time. Any judgment of God is always based on full and accurate information Rev 20:11-15 & 21:7-8,

Upon His return Jesus will restore and renew all creation: “I will make everything new” Rev21:5. Must the old creation be removed in order to have the new heaven and new earth? 2Pt 3:13 two words for new: neos means brand new, just come into being fresh, like a baby kainos means new and improved, restored, updated with new qualities. In 2Pt 3:13 Peter uses kainos to speak of the new heaven and earth. It means new and improved arising out of the old not brand new. 2Pt 3:10 Peter does not seem to have a problem with fire. For him it seems a good thing not a threat. (Fire was used to purify – fire that burns but does not destroy is a common OT theme starting with the Burning Bush, Jer 9:7 and Zech 13:9 The idea was that fire could burn up the dross leaving the remainder pure and fit for Gods service.) Some things get destroyed in the process; ungodly men in v7 and the elemental spirits in v10 but the rest. The believers, the planet and the cultures on it go through a purification time. Peter is basing his teaching on the day of the lord on ideas in the prophet Malachi (Mal 3:3f). The Lord acts as a silver smith; in the crucible dross burns off, pure silver coalesces in a ball and reflects the face of the refiner. God is restoring his image in the creation by a process of purification which will reach its climax on the day Jesus returns to make everything perfect

Then He will release the new heaven into the new earth: Rev 21:1 & 21:3-4 God will come and make his dwelling with man again and they shall live together as in the beginning - Eden restored. A new humanity is created that will dwell with God forever in intimate heart connection. The image of God perfectly restored in His creation. Truly it is now “Finished”! Truly we have a great hope!

pg. 13 July 2010

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