Daily Bread

By Dr. Mark Spitsbergen, ThD, MS

There is only One Who possesses it, and He alone has the power to impart it.

Holiness of heart and life is not the perfection of human nature, but the holiness of the divine nature dwelling within. (Days of Heaven on Earth: Devotional, June 27
by A.B. Simpson)

There is a realm of divine life and power that no religion can touch. It surpasses all that men can understand about their existence. It has been mislabeled, misunderstood, and taken hostage by the religious ideologies of men and their concepts of God and the divine. With all of the misunderstanding and false representation, still there is a realm so majestic and glorious that belongs only to the true and living God. He alone possesses it and expresses the splendor of all that it has to offer. Holiness belongs to God alone, and He desires to impart His holiness and teach the ways of holiness to anyone who will receive what He alone can give. To begin this journey with God, which is so wonderful that only eternity can fully reveal it, one must be born again!

Never before has a generation been faced with such an overwhelming force of wickedness and ungodliness. If there has ever been a time in the history of the church when the revelation of the beauty of holiness, the value of sanctification, and the protection of consecration has been needed, it is now. The power of God’s holiness is a glory that cannot be penetrated by darkness. It is at the heart of the fellowship that has been given to us through the new birth. It is His shield about us, and our ability to stand against all the wiles of our enemy. It is the essence of what the Holy Spirit brings to us, and the sum total of what He teaches, and leads and guides us to do. It must become our battle cry and song of deliverance to a generation that would otherwise be overrun by the rising tide of demonic forces.

In many instances, holiness has been more defined by the “holiness movements” than by what the Bible says about holiness. As with every doctrine in the Bible, there is the revelation that God has given of Himself, and there is the revelation that man has of the revelation that God has given of Himself. God’s holiness is equivalent to God’s nature. When we were born of God, we were given His nature and His holiness. What we should be certain of is that the doctrine of holiness is as important as the doctrine of justification. There have been those who have mistaken holiness for legalism, but nothing could be further from the truth. Legalism is in the category of earning a place with God. The holiness of God could never be earned, for no man would ever be deserving of it. It can only come to us by way of God’s mercy. Holiness is given to those who belong to God, and through it we are given the opportunity to learn and grow up into every dimension of the goodness of God’s divine life.

Holiness can only be understood by the revelation that God has given of Himself. God is holy, and holiness is defined by everything that He is. The sum total of His life is holiness. The many-splendored majesty of holiness is observed in the love of God, His goodness, and His truth. Everything that describes God is a definition of His holiness. Any time that God acts or is observed in the Bible, we are allowed to view His holiness and the attributes and behaviors that flow from holiness. We may say “God is love,” but we can speak even more broadly of who God is when we say “God is holy” (1 John 4:8, 1 Peter 1:15-16). As the essence of God is holiness, the essence of holiness is love.

Man lost his holiness through sin, and therefore lost his communion with God. As a result, man was cast out of the paradise of God. Man was to remain separated from God until holiness was once again returned to Him. God in His goodness supplied a gift of holiness that allowed Him to dwell in the midst of His covenant people in the Old Testament. However, through the grace that came by Jesus Christ, God restored holiness to man, and a way back into the holiest place with God (Hebrews 9:8, 10:19). We who had become alienated from God by wicked works, who were once far removed from God, are now allowed to approach unto Him. We are brought near by the blood of Christ Jesus, which removed every sin that separated us from His holiness (Colossians 1:21-22, Ephesians 2:13). Through the offering of the blood of Jesus, we were made holy (Hebrews 10:10, 19, 29). Through the new birth, we were recreated in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24). By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, oneness was established between the redeemed and God (John 6:56, 14:23, Ephesians 2:18, Titus 3:5 ). We are now able to understand all of the sacrifices and offerings in the Old Testament through Christ Jesus. The sacrifices and offerings of the Old Testament are like looking at the shadow rather than the very image, and testified of these good things that have now come to us through Christ Jesus (Hebrews 10:1).

The washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit is one act of grace realized in the new birth (John 3:3-6, Romans 8:9, 1 Corinthians 6:11, Titus 3:5). Salvation brought to us the gift of holiness, which Peter referred to as the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). The understanding of these things is not discovered in the theological ideas of men, but in the nature of Christ Jesus granted to us in the new birth. God who is rich in mercy, for the great love with which He has loved us, created us entirely new in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17-18). The new creation is holy, and Jesus Christ who purchased it for us is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30). If we allow the divine nature of God, which by definition is holiness, to be expressed through us, then we will walk in righteousness (Romans 6:19-20). The fruits of holiness are righteousness, which is shown again and again to be the opposite of sin (Romans 6:22, 1 John 3:7-8).

Everything that is in relationship with God is holy, for holiness is essential to any interaction with God. In fact, originally, everything in creation was holy because it belonged to God. Holiness was only lost because of a rebellion against God. Yet still, those who have remained faithful behold Him and marvel at the goodness of His holiness. The seraphim still cry holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory (Isaiah 6:3)! God, who is the Author of life, created everything to live forever in the splendor and majesty of His holiness. It is there in His holiness that He is exalted, and wherever holiness is found, God is the source of that holiness (Psalm 99:5). Wherever God is, His presence communicates His holiness, and whatever is touched by His presence becomes Holy.

In the Old Testament, men were permitted different degrees of “nearness” to God. The conditions of their approach and proximity were strictly defined by God, and each according to the mercy and grace that God gave them to stand before Him (Exodus 19:12, 33:19). The person in the Old Testament who is most identified with the holiness of God, who was also allowed to approach to God and stand closer to Him than any other, was Moses. Even the High Priest, who alone was given the special anointing to enter into the Holy of Holies, was not allowed to commune with God as Moses did (Numbers 12:5-8). If men who were unauthorized attempted to take upon themselves the right to approach unto God, they found themselves violating the holy things of God and the consequences were grave (2 Chronicles 26:16-23, 1 Samuel 13:9-14). Even if they were authorized and empowered to approach unto God, if they did not observe the strict conditions set forth by God, judgment would fall (Leviticus 10:1-2).

Nested in the doctrine of holiness is the concept of sanctification, which for the most part means “to be made holy.” The gift of holiness should never be taken for granted, but instead valued as one of the most amazing opportunities entrusted to those who belong to God. The Holy Spirit indwells those who are born again with the Spirit of holiness. Through the working of His mighty power, we grow and mature as we yield ourselves to being led and developed by the Holy Spirit. However, the same neglect that was witnessed in Israel can also ruin our lives. Many in Israel did not allow the gift of holiness to result in their spiritual growth and maturity, a neglect which has also been repeated today in the church. God gave us the gift of holiness that we might grow and mature in holiness so that the whole of our lives would be conformed to the image of the Son.

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1 Juan 2:19 – Salieron de nosotros, pero no eran de nosotros; porque si hubiesen sido de nosotros, habrían permanecido con nosotros; pero salieron para que se manifestase que no todos son de nosotros.

La traición y la comunión rota es el sello distintivo de rechazar a Jesús. Judas era, por supuesto, el modelo de esta confianza quebrantada. También podemos decir que Satanás, que también es llamado el Diablo, hizo algo similar cuando se rebeló contra Dios. Todo el mundo siempre tiene una razón legítima de por qué pueden llevar una ofensa y no caminar en el amor y la sumisión; Pero con Dios y su iglesia, es una manifestación del corazón.

Uno de los temas principales de la Primera Epístola de Juan es el amor de los hermanos y la comunión que resulta de estar en Cristo. Juan toma la posición temprana en esta Epístola de que la comunión con los santos es una prueba de redención y de comunión con Dios: "Si andamos en la luz como Él está en la luz, entonces tenemos comunión unos con otros y la sangre de Jesucristo, su Hijo, nos limpia de todo pecado" (1 Juan 1:7). La comunión que tenemos con el Padre, el Hijo y el Espíritu Santo se compara con la comunión que tenemos con los que son engendrados de Dios (1 Juan 3:17; 4:12, 20; 5:2). Si un individuo no tiene comunión con Dios, entonces no puede tener comunión con los que son engendrados de Dios; y por el contrario, si no hay comunión con los hermanos, entonces se está manifestando que no hay comunión con Dios (sin tener en cuenta lo que una persona cree o dice).

La Primera Epístola de Juan provee las pruebas de compañerismo para distinguir entre los que son de Dios y los que son engañadores. La característica principal que Juan da de aquellos que han nacido de Dios es el amor que tienen entre sí, y el compromiso que tienen de dar sus vidas el uno por el otro (1 Juan 4: 7-8, 16, Juan 13:35).

¡Ama a Dios, ama a los hermanos!

Pastor Mark Spitsbergen

1 Juan 2:18 - Hijitos, ya es el último tiempo; y según vosotros oísteis que el anticristo viene, así ahora han surgido muchos anticristos; por esto conocemos que es el último tiempo.

Parte 2 – El Espíritu del Anticristo

El espíritu anticristo ha luchado contra la Unción y los ungidos desde el principio del hombre (Génesis 3:1-6). El espíritu anticristo de Satanás ha perseguido la Unción sin importar dónde se encuentre. Cuando Cristo Jesús nació, el ataque de Herodes contra cada niño menor de tres años de edad fue el ataque despiadado por Satanás para destruir al Ungido. Después de la resurrección de Jesús, la iglesia pasó por una de sus mayores luchas cuando los santos de Dios fueron perseguidos, cazados y asesinados. Los poderes de las tinieblas no han cesado. Ese mismo ataque continúa en contra de las doctrinas de Dios y de todos aquellos ungidos con el Espíritu Santo. Lo triste es que estos ataques se encuentran dentro de las filas de aquellos que dicen ser la iglesia y conocer a Cristo Jesús. No debemos ignorar los artimañas de Satanás. Debemos reconocer que estamos en guerra, y en esta lucha, contra las fuerzas del infierno. Debemos ser fortalecidos por el Espíritu del Señor para que podamos ser fuertes para la lucha (Efesios 6:10-12). A Satanás no le gustaría nada más que borrar de la tierra cualquier testimonio de Jesucristo que es suministrado por el Espíritu Santo. Cuando el poder del Espíritu Santo es revelado, nada puede ser de mayor provocación al reino de Satanás. El enfoque principal del espíritu anticristo es eliminar todas las cosas que pertenecen a Cristo del corazón y la vida de los hombres. Los ataques del espíritu del anticristo trabajan junto al misterio de la iniquidad (2 Tesalonicenses 2:7).

Así como el espíritu del infierno tentó, e incluso mintió contra la verdad en el pasado, así hoy en día los hombres se ven bombardeados con mentiras y compromisos que los dejan vulnerables al pecado y a la iniquidad. Cuando leemos de los reinos de la bestia de Daniel 7 y 8, y de Apocalipsis 12, 13 y 17, se nos permite tener una visión del asalto satánico que está en contra de nosotros ahora. Debemos entender que la ira del espíritu anticristo sólo continuará empeorando a medida que el día del Señor se acerca, hasta que finalmente se revelará al "hombre de pecado", que resumirá todo lo que es anticristo (2 Tesalonicenses 2:3-4, 8-12). El 'anticristo' es referido como 'el hombre de perdición' o 'el que está lleno de iniquidad'. Está lleno de maldad y terror. Él es todo lo que Satanás puede revelar de su carácter en un solo hombre. Él se levanta en un tiempo cuando la transgresión está llena, cuando el pecado y la iniquidad no pueden empeorar (Daniel 8:23; Mateo 24:12). Regocijémonos, pues, porque ahora vivimos en la era de la iglesia; y si somos vigilantes y sobrios, derrotaremos los poderes de las tinieblas dondequiera que intenten oponernos porque: mayor es Él que está en nosotros, que él que está en el mundo. (1 Juan 4:4)

¡Alégrate, vigila y vive la vida de Jesús!

Pastor Mark Spitsbergen

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