Tag Archives: the hope that is in you

The evidence of things not seen

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1)


The evidence of our senses.

“I saw it with my own eyes.“ This is the statement a person who knows that something is real. An eyewitness to an accident or to a crime testifies the truth of the event by declaring the evidence what he or she has seen. In a court a witness will swear for the truth of the events that he described as the evidence of his own eyes and it is taken as truth. What we see with own eyes is the evidence of its reality. The same is true about other senses: we know something is real if we smell it, hear it tasted or touch it. The chief quest of history is to point to the evidence of events in the past to prove the veracity of historical accounts. Primary evidence is the holy grail of the historian. The scientist cannot state that the theory is true without showing the evidence that support his claims. The evidence of our senses gives us a consistent and true account of the world our bodies inhabit. We can reasonably expect that the Sun will rise tomorrow and that grass will still be green next week, and not red or purple, because the evidence of our experience tells us that this is the truth.

The domain of the spirit

However here is another world, an enduring eternal world which the body of man rejected at the Fall; where God dwells, which our human senses do not naturally perceive and which scientific evidence can no more grasp than a hand made of fog could can clutch a stone, and which even the measurement of time cannot encompass: the world of the spirit. The truths of this world cannot be grasped by the senses with which we engage with the natural world. And yet if our spirits have been born again and we’ve been raised up into the eternal domain of the spirit, I think it is possible to say that our spirits also have a sense of their own, and that sense is faith. If spiritual things are spiritually discerned, faith is the sense that does the discerning.

Without faith we cannot please God. Righteousness dwells in Heaven, and without faith we cannot see Heaven, neither can we perceive the truth of righteousness. When we are born again of the Spirit our spirit is born with its sense of faith, which is why even faith is a gift of God (Eph 2:8): our natural bodies do not possess it. And just as a human baby is born with senses that function, so the spiritual baby is born with faith in its heart. In the new birth, the battery is included.

Our Living Hope

Peter writes: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Pe 1:3). Through the perception of faith our living hope comes alive in the person of Jesus: hope for the present manifestation of supernatural realities, and hope for the future realisation of our incorruptible Kingdom inheritance. And so (we are) “kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last Time. In this you greatly rejoice.“ (1 Pe 1:5)

Faith is not a belief system: it is substance; it is evidence. Because Jesus had the faith of God so he could see what the Father was doing even though it was still unseen in the material realm. (John 5:19). Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for. This hope is not the “maybe, someday” hope of the English language, but a certainty of something yet to happen- more like the destination of a journey being travelled than the possibility of one not yet embarked on. All of Jesus’s miracles were hoped for as certainties before they were manifested: since He had this faith as evidence of what the Father was doing, he was able to “do also in like manner.”

Seeds of faith

So faith is not generated by how we think: it informs and shapes how we think. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned (1 Cor 2:14): our flesh cannot have faith, although it can be changed by it. Faith is not an extension of the imagination, but when faith is operating our imaginations can be the screen upon which the Father can project impressions of what He is doing, just as He did for Jesus. We cannot grow our own grains of mustard seed: they have to be received in the Spirit realm. We don’t need extra or bigger grains for bigger miracles: if we have faith we can see what the Father is doing and we can do likewise, whether He is moving mountains, mending hearts, healing bodies or releasing resources; and when we see with our faith what He is doing, we can receive the substance of faith as a seed that we plant in the material realm. We know that we will see on Earth what we have seen in Heaven.

In Jesus all the promises of God are Yes and Amen, but if we want to live in the victorious Christian life that all those promises lay before us, I think we need to perceive each one as a spiritual reality grasped with our own personal faith-sense as “evidence of things hoped for”, and plant our feet on their substance, step by step, knowing that they have been “set in a broad place.” (Psalm 31:8) We cannot walk in the truths of the word just because we know them or can read them: they have to be revealed to us in the Spirit, by faith.

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). In these days of uncertainty there is nothing more important than staying in the presence of God so that we can hear Him speak seeds of faith into our hearts. Because when we can see what the Father is doing, we have the evidence of His light shining on the path that He is calling us to walk, however dark or confusing the world around us may seem.

Seated in Heavenly Places

“In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them.” (Zechariah 12:8)

“His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which we have been given exceedingly great and precious promises, that we may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Pe 1:3-4)

Who do you see in the mirror?


When speaking of the Word of God, the apostle James wrote: “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. (James 1: 23-23) The question is, what kind of people are we, who have been born from above to “conform to the image of Christ” (Romans 8:29) Who do we see when we look in the mirror of the Word? We are the spiritual house of David that Jesus is building by the Holy Spirit (1 Pe 2:5). The prophet Zechariah doesn’t mince his words: he says that we will be “like God.” Peter says that through God’s “great and precious promises” we are “partakers of the divine nature.” Yet you don’t have to spend more than a few seconds with me to know that I am clearly not like God at all. What’s gone wrong?

Nothing, because you are seeing my flesh and not my spirit. I have already looked at our spiritual identities in “We shall be like Him,” and it seems to me that the evidence of Scripture is this: in the heavenly places where we are seated, we are like Him already, because we are already seated in the atmosphere of His glory, where nothing can dwell that is less than perfect.

Here are a few details of who we are in Christ that Scripture has sketched in for us:

“Those whom he justified he also glorified.”  (Romans 8 28-29)
“And the glory which You gave Me I have given them” (John 17:22)

We have come to “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.” (Heb 12:23)

We are “crowned with glory and honour.” (Psalm 8:5)

We have places to walk in the courts of Heaven (Zech 3:7)

We can be “joyful in glory” and have the honour of “executing God’s written judgement” on the Nations (Psalm 149: 5-9).

We “Worship God in the Beauty of holiness” (Psalm 96:9)

All of these descriptions of the Saints – and there are plenty more – can only relate to our walk in the Spirit: since the flesh wars against the spirit nothing of our carnal nature can have any part in them. From the moment we are born again to the time when we join the Lord in Heaven we mature as Christians, “grow(ing) up  in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—” (Eph 5:15) as the Holy Spirit bears the fruit of Christ in our lives. But the question I am aiming at is this: is a baby Christian on Earth also a baby Christian in Heaven?

I think the answer has to be “No.” There is no passage of time in Heaven, where a year is as a thousand days, where the God who created time has reigned since before time began and where we are seated as His children together with His Son. If there is no duration in Heaven, there can also be no maturation: what we are in the Spirit is what we were created to be, as are the angels, the seraphim, the 24 elders and all the other members of the Heavenly host. I think we “grow up in all things into Him who is the head” (Eph 4:15) as, step by step, faith to faith, and obedient moment by obedient moment, we put to death our carnal natures and allow our spirits and not our flesh to do the walking.

Paul exhorts the Philippians to “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life.” (Phil 2: 14-16)

The “crooked and perverse generation” is the generation of the First Adam (See “away in a manger” for more on this). As we let the dead shell of that same carnal nature fall away, the light of Christ’s Spirit that is one with ours shines more and more strongly and brings His light into the darkness, while His Word executes His will on Earth. The process of maturing as Christians is becoming on Earth who we already are in Heaven, and in doing so becoming the answers to the Lord’s prayer: “Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” The correct translation of the Greek tenses in Matthew 18:18 is this: “Truly I say to you, whatever you shall bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on the earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” Everything was finished at Calvary: as we grow in the Spirit we are always reaching into Heavenly places for a completed work.

Pauls prayer for the Ephesians was

“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places…” (Eph 1:17-20)

It is often said that Jesus is the “bridge” from earth to Heaven. The bridge from Heaven to Earth is the Holy Spirit: the baptism in the Holy Spirit gives us all we need of Heaven’s equipping for our earthly works – “the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe.” The more that we can see in the mirror of God’s word who we really are, the more the eyes of our understanding will be enlightened, and the greater will be the works (John 14:12) that we will do.

The accuser of the brethren has been cast down.

 “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.” (Rev. 12:10)

We have been raised with Christ and are seated with Him in Heavenly places. We know that those heavenly places are vast beyond any notion of human measure, and we also know from Ephesians 6:12 that somewhere “up” there “the principalities and powers of this present darkness” are doing battle against the will of God and the saints of the Lamb. But Ephesians 1:21 gives us some detail about where, in those heavenly places, Christ is seated. He is seated “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” And not only is Christ seated there, but we are too:

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph 2: 4-6)

We have been raised to those same heavenly places above the same principalities and powers, by the love and mercy of God, to be seated there together with Him. And while we have been lifted up there, Satan, the “Accuser of the brethren,” has been cast down:

 “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.” (Rev. 12:10)

If you have been born again – and you almost certainly have been, or you wouldn’t be reading this – you know this as a fact, and it’s always good to remind ourselves of the scripture where that truth is declared. But I think many of us – me included, for sure – can take a massive stride forward in our walk of faith if we live every day in the knowledge that any accusing words coming into our minds originate from the devil, and that when we walk free of the accusations of the enemy we can walk in salvation, strength, the kingdom of our God and the power of His Christ. It’s what Revelation 12:2 says. Accusing is what the devil and his fallen angels do. And now that they have been cast down, and “there was no place found for them in Heaven any longer,” (Rev. 12:8) their desire is always to bring us down with them. Whether we are accusing ourselves, or accusing others; whatever the accusation and wherever there is a pointing finger, we can be sure that the voice doesn’t come from heaven, because there is nowhere in Heaven that accusation has a place.

By contrast, we read the following in Revelation 4: 1-2 “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.’ Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.” In the book of Zechariah, the prophet writes five times that he “raised his eyes” to see what the Spirit was revealing. If we too “raise our eyes” we also can sometimes catch a glimpse of what God is doing. Jesus has opened a door in Heaven and has given us access to where we can look in the Spirit to the One who is seated on the throne. And if we keep looking, we can see ourselves seated there as well.

Zephaniah said this:
“The LORD has taken away your judgments,
He has cast out your enemy.
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
You shall see disaster no more.”
(Zeph 3:15)

The accuser can have nothing more to say to us, because the Lord has taken away our judgements. Even in our trials we can “count it all joy” (James 1:2) because of the enduring fruit that is borne by the testing of our faith. So when we look up to where we are seated and praise the One whose great love lifted us there, we are not only encouraging ourselves and giving Him glory, but by the very stance that we take we are doing battle with the enemy of our souls.

The psalmist knew this battle well:

“As with a breaking of my bones,
My enemies reproach me,
While they say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.
(Psalm 42: 10-11)

Our praise to God is always an act of war.

I enjoy Premier League football and occasionally go to watch matches. One day we had tickets for an away game: it was the last game of the season, and our opponents on that day were in a relegation battle with their bitter rivals from the same city. Normally all attention is on the game taking place in the stadium, but on this occasion the home fans were far more interested in the score from their rivals’ game as it flashed up on their mobile phones than what was happening on the pitch in front of them. When it was obvious that the rival team had lost and would be relegated, the following chant reverberated round the stadium: “We’re staying up; you’re going down! We’re staying up; you’re going down!”

When the enemy whispers his accusations in our ear, we just have to remember one refrain, adapted slightly from the football chant: “We’re staying up; you’re staying down!”

Away in a Manger

“O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you?” (Luke 9: 41)

If you have been fortunate enough to have done some international travel, you will probably have experienced a bit of culture shock when moving between different cultural norms. Attitudes to considerations such as punctuality, work ethic, loyalty, hospitality, debt and much more can vary between nations, and can be quite difficult to adjust to while we are away from home. But while the tinsel of “civilized behaviour” can be draped across – or pulled off – any number of different practices depending on where they are performed, the common strands of acceptability are still enough to enable, say, an American Indian, an English nobleman, and an Maori tribesman to recognise and accept each other as members of the Human family. Moving between them might be a bit awkward at times, but the obstacles aren’t insurmountable. However there are two societies where the gulf between the cultures  is so enormous that the consequence is all-out war, and that is the culture of Heaven and the culture of the world.

Jesus said: “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.” (John 8:23). He refers a few times to “this generation,” notably in Matthew 24:34, when He is talking about the events of the last days: “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” The word used in Greek is just ‘what it says on the tin’ – a line of descent from common ancestry. There are differing interpretations of the text, but  I think that the “generation” that Jesus refers to is, quite simply, the generation of Adam that is born of the flesh. It is the generation that will finally pass away when He ”makes all things new.” Until then, there are two generations in the world: the generation of the first Adam, born from below; and the generation of the second Adam, born (again) from above, born of the Spirit, alive in Christ. Faith is from Above. It can only be received and exercised in the Spirit, which is why the generation of the first Adam is faithless. The Greek word diastrepho, translated as “perverse,” means diverted from the right path and specifically opposing the saving plan and purposes of God. The flesh has been perverse since the first Adam perverted it in the garden of Eden.

God said “Let there be…” and there was. The universe was created by the Word of God (Hebrews 11:3), and that word became flesh in the Incarnation. The Son of Man Himself is the perfect and complete expression of faith. The faith by which Love of God brings creation and its redemption into existence is the very atmosphere of Heaven. Jesus left that atmosphere behind to dwell among us, in a culture that was totally and fundamentally in opposition to everything that He was. When we consider the lowly conditions of the Lord’s birth we traditionally see a great disparity between the surroundings that one would expect for the baby King of Kings and the environment of the stable. But the distance between these two extremes is just a pinprick when compared with the great gulf that exists between the world “below” and the world “above.” It wouldn’t be surprising if there were times when all He wanted was to go back home.

What about us? We are born from Above; we are no longer “of the world” any more than He is (John 17:16). In Christ, we have “places to walk” among those who stand in the courts of Heaven, (Zech 3:7) where we are also seated. (Eph 2:6) As descendants of the second Adam, we are also “conformed to His image” (Romans 8:29) and therefore restored to the image of God as we were originally created. Spiritual things can only be spiritually discerned, yet we so often fall into the snare of trying to understand our spiritual heritage through the clouded eyes of the flesh, and grapple with the impossibility of trying to reconcile our self-image as creatures of this earth (below) with the idea of our inheritance in Heavenly places (above). But as I wrote in my last article (we shall be like Him), not only will we be like Him when He returns, but we already are like Him in the Spirit.

As I have quoted in that article, John writes: we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2). The apostle goes on to say this, in verse three: “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (1 John 3:3). I strongly believe that Jesus is calling His bride today to purify herself. Do we settle for the norms of the “faithless and perverse generation” that we live among? Or are we straining our spiritual lungs to breathe in the pure atmosphere of faith, in which the Word of God can bring about the purposes of Heaven? Do we seek the Kingdom of God above all else? Are our lives an incarnation of Love? Do we hunger for the bread of Heaven? Do we thirst for the living water of the Holy Spirit and cry out with the sons of Korah:

“As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God
?  (Psalm 42:1-2)

I wonder how many times Jesus prayed these verses Himself when He was alone on the mountain with His Father.

We are no longer of “this generation” because we have been born from Above, but we dwell among those who are, with the King’s work to do, for as long as the King wants to keep us on Earth. So as long as we remain here, let’s remember who we are and where we come from; because until we leave this tent for our permanent residence we too are away in a manger.

We Shall Be Like Him

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2) 

I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,… and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band… And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” (Rev 1: 12, 13, 17, 18)

John, the author of the Book of Revelation, was the “disciple that Jesus loved.” He was the one who rested his head on the chest of Jesus at the last supper; he walked with Him for three years; he saw Him on the cross, he saw Him after the resurrection, he saw Him ascend to Heaven and he even saw Him transfigured on the mountain. What John saw on those occasions was the Son of Man in a form that his eyes could behold and his brain could – at least to a degree at the transfiguration – comprehend. And then John saw Him again, on the Isle of Patmos. He saw the same Jesus, but with His glory undimmed, and he fell at His feet “as one dead.” Whether or not he recognised the Jesus that he had seen on the Earth is not clear, but what is clear is that he responds to Him on an entirely different level.

I think it’s clear that John saw the glorified Jesus “as He is” while he was in the Spirit on Patmos. When Jesus went from Earth to Heaven he went in his earthly form; but when He comes from Heaven to Earth we can expect Him to be much as He appeared to John on Patmos: “One like the Son of Man.” John’s vision gives us an image of the Risen Lord in His heavenly glory, and his epistle tells us that when He returns we will be like Him too. So we read these verses, and look forward in our minds to the time in the future when they are fulfilled. Maybe we dwell for a few moments on the thought that one day ‘we will be like Jesus,’ then move on in our devotions or whatever we are doing. But do we ever think of ourselves as being like Him now?

Yet we, His brothers and sisters, are seated with Him in heavenly places. What are we wearing as spiritual beings in the courts of Heaven? Jeans and jumpers? Or maybe we too have shining robes and sashes of gold round our chests. Do we have bad hair and tired eyes? Or do we too have hair as white as wool and eyes as flames of fire? John says clearly that “we will be like Him” when Jesus returns, and Paul uses similar language when he looks forward to that long-awaited time: “The creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.” (Romans 8:19)  What seems inescapable to me is that what we will be on Earth then – when “this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality-” (1 Cor 15:53) is what our immortal spirits are in heavenly places now. Like actors on a stage waiting for the curtain to be pulled back, the children of God – you and I – who will be “revealed” when Jesus returns are already seated in heavenly places today, waiting for the time to come when we will reign with Him on Earth. (Rev 5:10)

If we are praying in the Spirit, worshipping in the Spirit, and walking in the Spirit, we need to see ourselves in the Spirit as well. We talk and teach about knowing “who we are in Christ,” and being clothed in “robes of righteousness,” so when we see our spirit selves in the heavenly mirror of the Word of God, what is the image that we behold? Our spiritual DNA is the same as the Christ who revealed Himself to John. He is our brother. We have the same Father. Is it too fanciful to believe that in Heavenly places, where our immortal spirits, “the spirits of the righteous made perfect” (Heb 12:23) by His blood, are seated with Him, serving as kings and priests to our God (Rev 1:6) we may have similar eyes as well?

We have His name. We have His Spirit. We have His word. It’s time we looked at Jesus as He is now and recognised ourselves in Him, because I think that many of us would fall on our faces, just as John did before our older brother, if we saw with the eyes of the flesh who we really are in the Spirit. But once we had told ourselves not to be afraid because we too were dead – we died with Christ – and now  we are alive for evermore, we would be much less troubled by the temptations and trials of this passing mortal realm, and our faith would be on another level.

“Awake, awake!
Put on your strength, O Zion;
Put on your beautiful garments,
O Jerusalem, the holy city!
(Isaiah 52:1)

Living in Hope

Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.” (2 Peter 3: 11-14)


What is the foundation for our lifestyle? The passage above tells us to base how we live on the promise of Christ’s return, and the new Heaven and a new Earth that his return will bring. Gods righteousness is a gift of his grace which we receive by faith: no man or woman alive can be righteous in the sight of God without being cleansed, frequently, by the blood of Christ. As John says: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.…” (1 John 1:8) At the same time this does not absolve us from making every effort (what Peter calls being diligent) to live godly lives, to always seek holiness in our lifestyle; to walk in the peace of knowing that we are free of the spots and blemishes of sin.

We don’t live like this because of rules or doctrine that tell us to; we live like this in preparation for what awaits us. We live godly lives because our focus is on his promise of new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness reigns. This, our eternal destiny, is our hope, and “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.” (Heb 6:19) Life in the world is built on what has been established in the past. Life in the Spirit, like the lives of the “heroes of faith” listed in Hebrews 11, springs from a vision of what is promised for the future.

Psalm 119 verse 123 says “My eyes strain to see your deliverance, to see the truth of your promise fulfilled.” The promise of perfection, of deliverance from every “blemish” of our mortality, is not given to us so that we can “hang on in there” in the knowledge that it will all be better one day, but as a focus and foundation for godliness in our daily lives as we allow Him to purify our hearts. We ‘strain our eyes’ to see where we are headed, as, to use Peter’s terms, we ‘look for and hasten the coming of the day of God.’ Like a grappling hook that we have anchored in a far-off rock, we pull ourselves along the rope that holds us, towards the destiny that it promises.

Jesus is in the business of sanctifying His bride, so that “He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph 5:27) The previous verse says he does this “with the washing of water by the word.” Paul refers to the Galatians as “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you.” The purpose of the Ministry gifts listed in Ephesians 4 is that “we all come …to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph 4:16) Leonardo Da Vinci said that his famous statue of David was always there inside the granite; he just chiselled away the superfluous rock until it appeared. So it is with the Word of God when we allow it to align our lives with God’s template of holiness: it cleanses us of our imperfections until the “perfect man” emerges in the image of Christ.

This age is going to end; Jesus will be returning for His spotless bride, and she will live with Him on a new earth, where righteousness reigns under a new heaven; and before that there will be a great and final harvest of souls. Jesus says to the Church today, whether it is in Wildwood, Wigan or Wichitaw: “Be holy as I am holy. Let me prepare you, because I am coming soon. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

If we live now according to the hope that is in us, we will be ready for Him when He comes; and because we will be walking in step with His Spirit will have a great harvest to bring with us as His wedding gift.