Parable of the Sower
Parable of the Ten Virgins
Eighth Chapter of Romans
Living in Common
Book of Life
In this paper we are going to discuss various subjects including parables, the meaning of "flesh" in the New Testament, Christian's Warfare, Miracles, justification, and so forth.
nm771 >> Turn to the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:1-8. This parable is also explained in Mark 4:3-25 and Luke 8:5-18. Here are pictured four groups of people who are being called or invited to the kingdom of God. Jesus explains this parable in Matthew starting in verse 19: "when any one hears the word of the kingdom, and understands it not, then comes the wicked one, and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side."
nm772 >> This first group hears about the kingdom of God but really does not perceive or understand the significance of the words being spoken about the kingdom. Why don't they understand? "Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes unto me [Christ]" (John 6:45). Christ said that those who have heard and have learned do come to him. What is meant by having heard and learned? As Matthew 13:14-17 and other verses throughout the Bible show, there are people who hear physically, but not Spiritually. Those who hear physically the word about the kingdom, but do not understand Spiritually are those not chosen by God and are not being called by God's Spirit at the time they hear about the kingdom. (But they will understand later.) "We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God [does not have the Spirit] hears not us. Hereby know we the Spirit of truth [if they hear], and the spirit of error [if they do not hear, Spiritually]" (1John 4:6).
nm773 >> "But he that received the seed [the word, Mark 4:14, 15] into stony places [stones are dead things], the same is he that hears the word, and immediately with joy receives it; Yet has he no root [Christ is the true root, Rev 22:16] in himself, but endures for a while: for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, by and by he is offended" (Mat 13:20-21).
nm774 >> This second group hears physically the word (seed) about the kingdom of God, the New Age, but the word comes into a stony heart. Even though these see physically the importance of the kingdom of God and take the word of this kingdom with great joy at first, they do not endure because they have not the Spirit or root of Christ which is of course God's Spirit since all in the Body (Church) have one kind of Spirit (1Cor 12:13). These can't endure the tribulation because they haven't God's Spirit that allows one to overcome (1John 5:4). "They [those without the Spirit] went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but that they might be made manifest [by their act of going out] that they were not all of us" (1John 2:19).
nm775 >> "He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hears the word [physically]; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful" (Mat 13:22).
nm776 >> The third group is being called or invited to the kingdom of God, and they hear physically, but the cares of the world choke the word of the New Age and they do not produce the fruit. As shown in the paper, "Prove Paper" [NM 10], those who are indeed real Christians do produce much fruit. Thus, this is one proof that this third group who are being called are not really Christian. The third group is the group of people who are being called, but they are not of the chosen (Mat 22:14). Another proof that this third group isn't made up of Christians is that they let the cares of the world interfere with the word of the kingdom of God. One of the tests of being a true Christian is whether one hates the world's wrong ways (1John 2:15). In fact how could a Christian let the cares of the world get in their way when they are supposed to hate their very life in the world? (John 12:25)
nm777 >> The fourth group are the real Christians, the called, chosen, and predestinated. "But he that received seed into the good ground is he that hears [Spiritually] the word, and understands it; which also bears fruit [John 15:5, 8, 16], and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty" (Mat 13:23).
nm778 >> The parable of the ten virgins is in Matthew 25:1-12: "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten virgins." The word "virgin" means, one put aside. This Spiritually speaks of the set-apart ("holy") people, the Christians (see Rev. 14:4).
nm779 >> "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten virgins [Christians], who took their lamps." The word "lamp" is Spiritually speaking about God's word, "your word a lamp unto my feet" (Psa. 119:105).
nm780 >> "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten virgins [Christians], who took their lamps [God's word] and went out to meet the bridegroom." The word "bridegroom" is Spiritually speaking about Jesus Christ (see Rev 19:7).
nm781 >> "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten virgins [Christians], who took their lamps [God's word] and went out to meet the bridegroom [Jesus Christ]. And five of them were wise [with the Spirit], and five were foolish [without the Spirit]. When they took their lamps [God's word], the foolish ones [non-Spiritual] did not take oil [the Spirit, see 1John 2:20,27; 2Cor. 1:21] with them. But the wise took oil [the Spirit] in their vessels [bodies, see Rom. 9:21-23; 1Thes 4:4; Acts 9:15] with their lamps [God's word]. And as the bridegroom [J.C.] delayed, they all nodded and went to sleep. And in the middle of the night there was a cry, Look, the bridegroom [J.C.] is coming! Go out to meet him. Then all those virgins [Christians, with and without the Spirit] rose up and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish ones said to the wise, share your oil [Spirit] with us, for our lamps are going out. But the wise [with Spirit] answered and said, lest there should not be enough for us and for you. But rather go to those who sell, and buy oil for yourselves. But as they went away to buy, the bridegroom [J.C.] came. And those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast. And the door was shut. And afterwards the other virgins [without the Spirit] also came, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us! But he [J.C.] answered and said, truly I say to you, I do not know you."
nm782 >> In context of the verses around Matthew 25:1-12, where it is speaking of the end of the old age, we can see here that the virgins of this parable are Christians, waiting for the kingdom of God, those with the Spirit (oil) and those without the Spirit. Since those with the Spirit are the only true Christians, then the five virgins (Christians) with the oil (Spirit) are the ones that truly belong to Christ and will be in his kingdom. But the others who call themselves Christians, yet do not have the oil (Spirit), are not known by Christ and will not be in his kingdom during the 1000 year age.
nm783 >> This paper like others again tells us that the only true Christian is the one with the Spirit of God, the New Mind. This parable also prophesies that just before Jesus Christ's return, one-half of those in the group with the Real Christians will not have the oil - the Spirit.
nm784 >> How does Paul use the word "flesh" in his scriptures? Notice that "the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. And these are contrary to one another" (Gal. 5:17). The Spirit and flesh are contrary to each other. What does this mean?
nm785 >> Paul is speaking to Christians and he says: "But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit if the Spirit of God dwells in you" (Rom 8:9). Real Christians are "not in the flesh" when they have the Spirit of God in them, or that is, the New Mind in them.
nm786 >> Those who have the Spirit are real Christians or sons of God: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God ... you received a spirit of adoption in which we cry, Abba, Father. The very Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God" (Rom 8:14-16). Those who have the Spirit are the children of God, or sons of God, or the real Christians. Remember the Spirit is contrary or against the flesh (Gal 5:17), and Christians are not "in the flesh" (Rom 8:9).
nm787 >> Notice, "that is, the children of the flesh are not the ones who are the children of God" (Rom 9:8). Those called the children of the flesh, those of the flesh, those in the flesh, are not Christians. They are not the New Age people because they do not have the Spirit of the New Age, the New Mind (Rom 8:14-16).
nm788 >> Those of the Spirit are contrary to those of the flesh because one group has the Spirit of God that leads them toward the ways of God (Rom 8:14,6; Gal. 5:22-23). But the other group of the flesh does not have the Spirit of God, thus they follow in the ways of confusion (note Gal 5:19-21). The group of the flesh only has the other-mind, that old mind with the twisted spirit, in their minds misleading them. But the children of God have the Spirit of God, the New Mind, which is stronger than the other spirit in them (1John 4:4), and the New Spirit leads them to overcoming wrong (1John 5:4). Yet the children of God, because they still have the spirit of error in them in this the old age will sometimes still make mistakes. Therefore Christians or the New Age people are not completely out of the flesh, or the ways of the flesh. They are fighting the good warfare in their minds (see "Warfare Paper" [NM 18]). They will only be completely outside the ways of the flesh when they are in the New Age.
nm789 >> Thus Galatians 5:17 is dual: First, it speaks of the "flesh" that is still in Christians, and it says that the Spirit is contrary and against the ways of the flesh. And second, it speaks of the people of the flesh, those without the Spirit of God, and says they are contrary to those of the Spirit.
nm790 >> "There is therefore, now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit" (Rom 8:1).
Those in Christ, those with the Spirit or New Mind, have no condemnation. That is, they do not die for the thousand year judgement, but live in the kingdom of God during the thousand years (see "Reward for Christians Paper" [NM 11]).
nm791 >> "For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus set me free from the law of sin and of death" (Rom 8:2).
Through Jesus Christ we are dead to the law of sin and Satan (Rom 6:10), and we are set free from this law of bondage (Rom 8:15) or the law of sin and death.
nm792 >> "For what the law was not able to do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, in sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and about sin condemned sin in the flesh" (Rom 8:3).
Jesus came and overcame the present world which is the spiritual enemy's world (see John 16:33). Jesus judged the prince of the world (the other spirit) (John 16:11). The law of Moses was weak because those of the flesh, those without the Spirit of God, could not keep the law correctly. Thus, the law became for them (the flesh) the starting point for Satan (the other-mind) to mislead them. Thus, the law of Moses to the flesh, those without the Spirit, was a law of sin.
nm793 >> "In order that the righteous demand of the law should be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit" (Rom. 8:4).
Those of the Spiritual law of God, of God's Spirit, have performed the requirement of the law through Jesus Christ (see "Freedom & Law Paper" [NM 17]).
nm794 >> "For they that are according to the flesh set their mind on the things of the flesh, and they who are according to the Spirit on the things of the Spirit" (Rom 8:5).
The Spiritual walk according to the ways of the Spirit as opposed to the others who walk according to the ways of the flesh.
nm795 >> "For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace" (Rom 8:6).
Those with the New Mind, those with the Spirit of God, think on life and peace as opposed to the others with their thoughts dwelling on death and destruction.
nm796 >> "Because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards God, for it is not subject to the law of God, for neither can it be" (Rom 8:7).
The mind of the flesh is the mind that does not have the Spirit of God, the New Mind. The mind of the flesh has continuous flash-thoughts on death, fear, destruction, confusion, etc. Because of this, the mind of the flesh is an enemy against the ways of God. The mind of the flesh isn't subject to the flash-thoughts of the New Mind. The New Mind gives flash-thoughts of life, trust, peace, truth, etc. The old mind, the mind of the flesh, is not subject to the good thoughts of the New Mind.
nm797 >> "And they that are in the flesh are not able to please God" (Rom 8:8).
This does not mean that Christians (New Age people) who live in a fleshly body can't please God. The way to make sense out of this verse is to take it in context with chapter eight as a whole and with Romans 7:5. That is, "they that are in the flesh" are not real Christians.
nm798 >> "But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit if the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, he is not His" (Rom 8:9).
Real Christians are not "in the flesh." That is, they are not "in the flesh" in the way that Paul uses the expression. Real Christians are in the Spirit.
nm799 >> "But if Christ is in you, the body indeed is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him who raised up Jesus from among the dead dwells in you, he who raised up the Christ from among the dead will also make your death-doomed bodies live because of His Spirit that dwells in you. So, then, brothers we are not debtors to the flesh to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if you by the Spirit put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God" (Rom 8:10-14).
Notice the "if" or the hypothetical statement in verse 13. Paul is saying that if you do the work of the flesh you are proving you do not have the Spirit because the Spirit does produce good works as John 15 and 1John manifest over and over again. When one does the works of the flesh he is proving he does not have the Spirit. One does good works: (1) to prove he has the Spirit and thus to prove that he will be saved or freed from the confusion; and (2) because when you have the Spirit you like to do good.
nm800 >> What kind of war should real Christian's fight? "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God" (2Cor 10:3, 4).
nm801 >> Christian's warfare is not a war of flesh and blood; their weapons are not those of the flesh. The Bible calls the Christian's warfare: "a good warfare" (1Tim 1:18).
nm802 >> Christians are called and asked to "fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on aeonian life, whereunto you art also called, and has professed a good profession before many witnesses" (1Tim 6:12).
nm803 >> Not only were Christians called (invited), but they were chosen to fight the good warfare: "You therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who has chosen him to be a soldier" (2Tim 2: 3-4).
nm804 >> In verse 5 it adds importantly: "if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully." No Christian will be crowned (with life, James 1:12) except if he fights lawfully. This means by God's laws not man-made laws, for it is speaking about God's soldiers, not soldiers of the world's nations. One of the laws of God tells man not to kill. God's soldiers do not kill, they fight lawfully. How can Christians win without killing? We need to know what kind of war Christians are fighting to answer this question.
nm805 >> What kind of war are Christians fighting? Who are the Christians fighting?: "because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour" (1Pet 5:8). "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in heavenlies" (Eph 6:12). It is Satan and his spiritual angels that real Christians are fighting against. In fact the word Satan means: enemy. Further, Christians are warring against Satan's law in man's mind, the law of sin (see Rom 7:22-25).
nm806 >> Christian's have two spiritual qualities in their minds - God's Spirit (the New Mind) and a satanic one (the other-mind). Christians are fighting against the satanic one, yet it is not the human-Christian who is really fighting, but God's Spirit in the Christian's mind which is doing the spiritual fighting against the satanic spirit or mind (see "Other Mind Paper" [NM 21]).
nm807 >> How does a Christian overcome or subdue this enemy inside his mind? One overcomes by resisting through their Spiritual power (the New Mind) the other-mind in their head (note James 4:7). One must resist the suggestive power of this other-mind or other spirit. One suggestive power of this spiritual quality is envy: "the spirit that dwells in us lusts to envy" (James 4:5). But how does a Christian resist this other-mind or other spiritual power?
nm808 >> "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may stand against the wiles of the devil" (Eph 6:10-11).
nm809 >> What is the armor of God? "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith ... and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always" (Eph 6:14-18, see 1Thes 5:8). Thus, the armor of God consists of such qualities as faith, righteousness, the good news of peace, salvation, the word of God, and prayers. All these qualities come from, or work best with, God's Spirit. Only real Christians have God's Spirit.
nm810 >> Winner, God's Spirit. We should know that God's Spirit in real Christians' minds will win: "You are of God, little children; and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you [God's Spirit], than he that is in the world [the other spirit]" (1John 4:4). God's Spirit is stronger in Christians, than their other spirit in their minds; thus, God is able to overcome.
nm811 >> "For all that is begotten of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes, our Faith" (1John 5:4). Thus, those begotten with God's Spirit will overcome by their faith which is a manifestation of God's Spirit (see Gal 5:22 & Eph 2:8). In other words, those who have God's Spirit, the New Mind, will have the Faith that will give victory. Christians will overcome as their example Jesus Christ did: "I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). Christians were called and chosen to conform to the image of Christ, thus, to overcome (see Rom 8:28-30 & "Predestination Paper" [NM 8]).
nm812 >> Christians are fighting the good warfare and have the armor of God and God's Spirit to fight the spiritual war. Since God's Spirit is greater in power than the adversary's spirit in man's mind, and since with "the holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption [Eph 4:30]," then we know that Christians as individuals will win the good warfare, if they truly have God's Spirit in them, and thus are real Christians (Rom 8:11).
nm813 >> Many look upon the book of Revelation's account of the New Jerusalem that comes out of heaven as being a physical entity only. But God tells us to look to the higher meaning (Phil 3:18-19; Col 3:1-2). The truth of the matter is that the Bible is dual and this prophecy in Revelation speaks of a Spiritual Jerusalem.
nm814 >> In Revelation 21:2 & 10 we read, "and I John saw the holy city out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband .... And he carried me in spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. Having the glory of God: and her light like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal." The chapter goes on to describe it in fuller detail.
nm815 >> But now let's turn to Revelation 3:12. Here Jesus Christ is speaking to the Philadelphia Church. "Behold I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man take your crown. Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name."
nm816 >> We see here that Christ will make the overcomers pillars in the temple of God. Now of course this does not mean being made a stone - what kind of a reward would that be to be made a dead, stone pillar? No this pillar is a spiritual pillar in the spiritual temple of God. But then it says he will never go out of the temple. Again if this verse was a physical temple what kind of reward would that be, to be confined to a temple forever? No, again it speaks of a spiritual temple.
nm817 >> Paul speaking to Christians said, "you are the temple of the living God" (2Cor 6:16). And again, "for through him [Christ] we have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together grows into a Holy temple in the Lord. In whom you also are built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit" (Eph 2:18-22). And again in 1Peter 2:5, "you also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house." So the temple spoken about in Revelation 3:12 is a spiritual one - the Christians who overcome. And as there is a spiritual temple, so too is there a spiritual Jerusalem.
nm818 >> Now we see in 1Peter 2:5 that it speaks of living stones that build-up to a spiritual house or temple. Peter calls the Christians, lively stones. Now turn to Malachi 3:16-17: "then they that feared the Lord spoke often one to another: and the Lord listened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my JEWELS; and I will spare them, as a man spares his own son that serves him."
nm819 >> With these two scriptures; and Malachi 3:3; Isaiah 54:11-13; Revelation 4:3; Ezek 28:13; and Isaiah 28:16 (Zion is the Church, Heb 12:22) taken in their context, we can conclude that the precious stones of Revelation 21:11, 19-21 are simply telling the reader that the new Jerusalem is Spiritual, for precious stones are symbolic of spiritual things. This Spiritual Jerusalem is the Church, for one proof that New Jerusalem is God's Church is revealed in Revelation 21:2, 9. New Jerusalem here is spoken of as a bride of the Lamb. Revelation 19:7-9 proves that the bride of the Lamb is the Church.
nm820 >> For another proof note Hebrews 12:22 where it calls the Church "the city of the living God, THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM." And in Galatians 4:26 it calls Jerusalem the "Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all." Notice also the woman of Revelation 12:1 is clothed with the sun, and upon her head are twelve stars. Now we know that women are symbolic of the Church (Eph 5:22-25). And we know that the symbolic meaning of being clothed with the sun is to be clothed with the Spirit because (1) God is light (1John 1:5); (2) Christ the God is clothed with light (Mat 17:2; Psa 104:2) that makes him shine as the sun (Mark 9:3; Rev 1:16); and God is spirit (John 4:24). Thus, when one is clothed with light he is clothed with the Spirit (see Isa 30:1). The woman of Revelation 12:1 is God's Church.
nm821 >> What are the twelve stars on her head? Stars are symbolic of angels (Rev 1:20). Notice the description of New Jerusalem - "and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel" (Rev 21:12). Thus, the stars or angels on the woman's (Church's) head are a tie-in with New Jerusalem (the Church) and its twelve angels of the tribes of Israel.
nm822 >> But for a final proof that the New Jerusalem is the Church of God let's return to Revelation 3:12. Jesus speaking to the Church says he will write on them the Name of the God, and the name of God's city - New Jerusalem. They will have the Name of the God and New Jerusalem. Now we see God's Church in Revelation 14:1 having Christ's Name written on their foreheads. New Jerusalem is the Church of God, either resurrected (Born of God), or, taken typically, those begotten of God (see "Begotten, Born Paper" [NM 5]).
These verses and others indicate that we do what is right even if it may appear to others as evil. The verse, "abstain from all appearance of evil" (1Thes 5:22), is a bad translation from the Greek, it should read: "abstain from every form of evil."
Thus, one must be in the Name of Christ in order for one to perform miracles, for miracles are performed through his name or through the power of being in his Name.
nm827 >> Faith (true faith with the Spirit) is required in those for whom the miracles are performed.
Note: Those before the Pentecost did not have the Spirit, thus their "faith" was physical only, as were the miracles only physical: no one was spiritually healed before the Pentecostal events.
nm828 >> Some signs that follow them that believe, thus those who have Faith of the Spirit, thus those who are in Christ's Name are as follows:
nm829 >> In most cases the healer of a person touches the person being healed (for example Mat 8:15). Sometimes the healer indirectly heals the other person by sending pieces of cloth that he has touched to them, or the person to be healed touches the healer in Faith and then is healed (Acts 19:11-12; Mat 9:20-22; 14:36).
nm830 >> In James 5:14 it speaks about anointing the sick with oil in the name of the Lord. Does this mean olive oil? Do we in the Spiritual Church, who worship God Spiritually (John 4:23-24), pour oil over those we are healing. No, we look to the higher sense of olive oil, the Spirit of God is the higher oil (cf 1John 2:20, 27; 1Sam 16:13). The elders of the Church anoint with the Spiritual oil - God's Spirit. It is God's Spirit that heals, not olive oil.
nm831 >> It should be noted here that we are healed according to our Faith to be healed. Further we are given the measure of Faith to be healed. Sometimes this measure of Faith will not be given to us to be healed, for God does things that are, in the final analysis, best for us (Rom 8:28). If someone is sick, and dies because he didn't have the measure of Faith to be healed, then if he had the Spirit, it was best that he died. He is taken from the evil (note Isa 57:1); and thus we should be glad for he has run his race, and he is precious in God's eyes (Psa 116:15). But even though we should be glad that one has died from the wrongness of this world, we will be sad, for we will miss him. Yet we know he is away from the world's madness, thus we are glad for him.
nm832 >> What does justification or being justified mean? In the Greek, which the New Testament was written in, the word translated justify means: to become right; to make right or just. In the inspired language justify means that those persons justified have been made right or just. Even the original meaning of the English word "justify" meant to make just. The English word has evolved to mean acquittal of past blame, but the word justify in its inspired language means to make right or just. The word itself says nothing about how one is made right or just. Just because a word through misuse has evolved to mean something does not mean we are to use its evolved meaning. "Justify" means to make right or just. We must ascertain how one is made just by the context the word is used in.
nm833 >> "Therefore having been justified by faith" (Rom 5:1). People are justified by faith. Again, "we conclude that a man is justified by faith" (Rom 3:28). People are justified by faith as the following verses also conclude: Gal. 2:16; 3:24; Rom 3:30; 4:5.
nm834 >> People are justified by faith. But what kind of faith is the Bible speaking about? The true faith is the faith of the Spirit (1Cor. 12:9; 2Cor. 4:13; Gal. 5:22). "People are justified in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God" (1Cor. 6:11). You are justified when you are in the Name of Christ and when you are in the Spirit of God. When one has the Spirit they are in the Name of Christ (see the "Baptism Paper" [NM 4]). When you are in the Spirit you have the true Spiritual faith. When you have this faith you are justified. What all this means is that when you have the Spirit of God you are justified, you are made right. You are made right because you have been given the good Spirit, the right Spirit, and with it you have the New Mind of love and harmony. With the New Mind you have been made right. You have put on the New Mind.
nm836 >> In the Bible Spiritually speaking, when the rich are mentioned derogatorily, it signifies the children of the enemy; when the poor are mentioned positively, it signifies the children of the Spirit.
nm838 >> The word "pray" from the Hebrew and Greek text of the Bible means: to ask; to wish for; to meditate; to pour out. Praying to God is pouring out of ones's self to God, and asking for something, or meditating about things, ideas, or ideals to God: it is communicating with God.
nm839 >> All over the world today you see people "praying" to God. They get on their knees to pray; they lay flat on their faces to pray; they flog themselves to pray; they do penitence when praying; they squint their eyes and twist their faces when praying, the more they squint their eyes and twist their faces the more they think God will respond. What are they saying when they pray in this manner? Does the all powerful God need this kind of praying? The all knowing and all powerful God can read minds; He knows things you need before you ask for them (Mat 6:8). Is God like some kings of the old age who had a need for people to kneel before them, and to speak glowing words to them? Does God need our glowing words to help uphold His confidence in Himself? Does God need us to beg for help, when He knows we need His help? We are His children. Will He allow us to destroy ourselves permanently if we do not pray while squinting our eyes, twisting our faces, and flogging our bodies? Christ prayed in a physical way to teach us the Spiritual way of praying (John 11:41-42; etc.). There is a Spiritual way to pray.
nm840 >> In the physical or typical meaning of the Bible we learn the following. We should admit our wrongs to him (Lev 5:5; Num 5:6-7; 1Sam 12:10; Psa 32:3, 5; Psa 51:3, 4; etc.). We should thank him for the present good and the coming Good (Phil 4:6; Acts 27:35; 1Cor 10:30-31; etc.). When we pray we should meditate on his Word (Joshua 1:8; Psa 1:2; 19:14; 104:34; 119:15-16; etc.). Prayer brings one closer to God, for it establishes a bond, or a relationship with him. Prayer is talking to God, is communicating with God. We can speak to God as if he is our friend (John 15:14-15).
nm841 >> We ask only what God wills or wishes (Mat 26:39 & 1John 5:14). We can't receive what God has not prepared for us (Mat 20:20-23). We can find out about God's will through his Word, the Bible. So, in order to know what to ask for, we must know the Bible. To know the Bible we must read and study it. We should pray for the good of all, for others, and for us, not selfishly (Job 42:10; 1Kings 3:9-14; Mat 6:9-13). If we pray for ourselves it should be for strength to endure the world (Psa 31:3; 4:1), for wisdom to help others (1Kings 3:9-12), to overcome our weakness (Rom 12:21), and so forth. We do not pray for decaying physical wealth, for we know life is not the abundance of the things which we possess (Luke 12:15), for in this age wealth only brings worry and trials (Eccl 5:10-13; Mark 10:30). When we pray for physical things it is for what we need, such as our daily bread or food (Mat 6:11; Acts 2:44-46; 4:34-37).
nm842 >> God hears the prayer of those who do his will, who are thus in the Spirit; He hears them always (1John 5:14; 3:22; John 9:31; 11:42).
nm843 >> The True God fulfills our prayer only if it is in harmony with the final Good. The good God does not fulfill prayer of harm to others, for we are to give good for evil, not evil for evil (Rom 12:14, 17). Many prayers in harmony with the word of God will ultimately be fulfilled beginning at Christ's return to the physical world (Psa 102:2, 13; Luke 14:14; Psa 17:15; Isa 25:9). The whole book of Psalms in its higher or Spiritual meaning, projects to us that most Christian's hope and prayer will be fulfilled beginning at God's return to earth. God answers our prayer if we have the Faith to believe he will fulfill our asking (James 1:5-7; Mark 11:24). This Faith comes from the Spirit of God (Gal 5:22). This Faith is given by measure (Rom 12:3, 6). Therefore we believe enough to receive an answer only when we have the given Faith to believe.
nm844 >> In Summary. God answers prayer only when it is for the good, when it is within the rules of creation, when it is for the best of the person according to the predestinated plans for that person (Rom 8:28).
nm845 >> Daniel prayed three times a day (Dan. 6:10), David prayed three times a day (Psa 55:17), some prayed seven times a day (Psa 119:164), but Christ said to pray always (Luke 18:1), and Paul also said to pray without ceasing (1Thes 5:17). We should pray always (Eph 6:18). The Spirit in Christians in a sense enables them to be a continual prayer (Rom 8:26;Heb 13:15-16; Rom 12:1). Because praying to God is communicating with God and because we love God, Christians consciously will pray often. Since prayer is talking to God, one can "talk" to God almost anywhere, and in any position (Luke 23:46; Luke 22:41; Psa 4:4; Neh 8:6; etc.). We should not pray just to be seen (Mat 6:5), for we can pray secretly (Mat 6:6) within our minds anywhere and at any time. This is not to say that praying in public is wrong. Jesus prayed openly in front of some people in order to teach them (John 11:41-42). We should not use worthless repetitions (Mat 6:7), but pray with all our hearts (Luke 22:44; Ho 7:14; James 5:17).
nm846 >> Praying is not magical or repetitious (Mat 6:7). Praying is merely talking to God, rightly. Thus, talking within his will or wish. Therefore talking with God about the good, for the good, and thanking him for the good now, and for the Good to come. God is not ritualistic. There is no set position in which to pray. There are no set words to say. We pray with almost any words as long as they convey the meaning of what we want to talk with God about. There are no set number of minutes that we must pray to him. We think on the good, and talk about the good always with him everywhere within our minds. At times it may be easier to concentrate when we go to a spot in private and pray or communicate with Him (note Mark 1:35). Sometimes we might need to communicate all night as Christ did at times (Luke 6:12).
nm847 >> In the Old Testament they prayed to the Father, to the YHWH, the BeComingOne, also called Jehovah or Yehowah by some. Jesus taught the manner in which you should pray (Mat 6:9-13; 26:39). But near the end of his ministry Jesus told us that we could ask (pray) in his name, "that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (John 14:13-14; 15:16; 16:23-26). Why did Jesus say that? Because Jesus was about to be given all God's power (Mat John 16:15; Mat 28:18), He would be going into the glory of the God (13:31-32), He would be given God's Name (John 17:11), which is Christ's New Name (Rev 3:12). God's name was shown to Moses in the Old Testament. God's Name is YHWH or the BeComingOne, or the "One (who) Will-Be" (See GP 1). "And whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (John 14:13). Jesus will not relay these prayers to the Father (John 16:26). Why? Because Jesus is now in a sense the Father (Isa 9:6; see GP 5: ∂ gp487), sitting as the very right side of God (Acts 2:34). The Spirit for Christians, predestinated before the creation (NM 8), is now given through Jesus (John 20:22; Act 2:33). Thus, He is now in a sense our Spiritual Father (Isa 9:6). He has the Name of God; He represents the God, who will fill all in all (Note 1Cor 15:28; GP 6). , for He will fill all in all (Eph 1:10, 23; GP 6), but now, not all that will be in Christ, is in Christ (Heb 2:8; see God Papers, GP 5). Who do we pray to? We pray to Jesus, for the Father has glorified Himself in Jesus. Our God, who is the "Will-Be-One" (YHWH) is now represented by Jesus Christ, the Right Hand of the God, who will fill all in all (see the God Papers).
Prayer's Higher Meaning. With the New Mind: we pray always; we are always in contact with God because we are ONE in the Spirit of God, which is the Spirit of Christ, which is the Spirit of Christians. God does not need anyone to get down on their knees to Him, squinting their eyes, and doing penitence to get his attention. God is not a monster, or a pretentious king. God is/will-be a friend to all. In our minds we pray to God (Jesus was called: "my lord and my God") at any time, any where, because we are in the Spirit, and in contact or communication with God through His Spirit, which is the Spirit of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - the one same Spirit who is in all who will-be in Him (GP 6:gp483).
nm849 >> What is the book of life? Whose names are in the book? The key to this truth is in Revelation 13:8. In the King James Version this verse reads: "and all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [the beast], whose names are not written in the book of life of the lamb slain from the foundation of the world." So we see that all will worship the beast except those names written in the book of life of the lamb, Jesus Christ.
nm850 >> This verse says that those written in the book of life were written into the book of the lamb (Jesus) who was as good as slain [Greek verb, perfect] before the foundation of the earth. This is confirmed in Revelation 17:8, "and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast." Thus, the book of life has names written in it since the foundation of the earth. But those who worship the beast haven't got their names in this book. Who are those with their names in the book of life?
nm851 >> Those with their names in the book of life are Christians according to Paul: "and I entreat you also, true yoke-fellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow laborers, whose names are in the book of life" (Phil 4:3). Thus, we see that the Christian's names are written in the book of life. And in Hebrews 12:23 we see that "the general assembly and church of the first-born" are written in heaven. Also in Luke 10:20 the seventy that were sent out two at a time were told to "rejoice because your names are written in heaven." Thus, we see that the followers of Christ have their names written in heaven. Being written in heaven is being written in the book of life.
nm852 >> In 2Timothy 1:9 (in its Greek text) we see that those called were called "before the times of eons." And in Ephesians 1:4 we read "according as he has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy." Further, in Revelation 3:5 we read in Jesus Christ's message to the Sardis church: "he that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment: and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life." Surely, we can conclude from this that it is the true Christians, the called, chosen, and predestinated, who are the ones written in the book of life from and even before the world's foundation.
nm853 >> Now here comes good news for real Christians. Notice in Revelation 3:5 Jesus says: "I will not blot out his name out of the book of life ... he that overcomes." True Christians are written in the book of life before the world began, and here Jesus said he would not blot out their names if they overcame. Please turn to Hebrews 10:39. There we see Paul speaking to true Christians and saying: "But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." And in 1John 5:4 we read, "for whatsoever is begotten of God overcomes the world." The reason for this is "because greater is he that is in you [the Spirit of God], than he that is in the world [the spirit of confusion]" (1John 4:4). God has predestinated real Christians "to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be first born among many brethren" (Rom 8:29).
nm854 >> In Revelation 20:12 we read about the day of judgment: "and I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books [of the Bible] were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books [of the Bible], according to their works." Comparing this with verse 15 and other verses, we see that those of the "dead" during the day of judgement have not their names yet in the book of life. But they are to be put into the book of life when they are resurrected from their 1000 year judgment into the day of atonement (see, "Thousand Years and Beyond"). For all will be saved eventually as God clearly tells those who take God's word as truth.
nm855 >> Go back to Revelation 13:8 and 17:8 and see that those who worshiped the beast were not in the book, for as we have shown above only those in the church of the first-born (Christians) are in the book of life now. Thus, those who worship the beast will, after the day of judgment, be put into the book.
nm856 >> In Revelation 21:27, after describing the New Jerusalem it reads: "and there shall in no way enter into it any thing that defiles, neither works abomination, or a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." So we see that no one can enter New Jerusalem except those written in the book of life (see "New Jerusalem Paper" [NM 18]). One must remember here, that all are under sin (Rom 3:9) and all have sinned (1John 1:8) except Christ (Heb 4:15). Thus, those who are written into the book of life have or will die to sin (Rom 6:10). The Christians are to die to sin through Spiritual baptism. The others will have died to sin by the time the millennium is through, then they too will be added to the book of life.
nm857 >> One last proof that real children of God are those now written in the book of life is in Daniel 12:1. Here it says that "at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the book [of life] ... " The time setting of this verse is at Jesus Christ the Messiah's return.
nm858 >> This book of life is the very "book of remembrance" (Mal 3:16-17).