Archive for July 2009

Paul Severed to: Celestial Enlightenment

July 11, 2009

Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness (I Thessalonians 5:5).

Webster’s definition of “horizon” continues,

the eastern is that wherein the sun and stars rise; the western, that wherein they set

The horizon is also associated with the contrasts of day and night, light and darkness. Paul was separated from the darkness of this Adamic world and brought into the glorious light of God’s full revelation of righteousness.

By revelation from God, Paul opened up new divinely-appointed horizons for mankind. God’s masterful plan for mankind was fully revealed through His servant, Paul. We, like Paul, have been cut off from our former horizon, from our former sphere – or hemisphere. God has horizoned us out from our former identity and horizoned us into full identity in Christ – in a circumference of a new life – in the circumference of a loving Father and His concerns.

We now see God in a whole new way; in an entirely different sphere. We, in turn, see ourselves and all those around us in a completely fresh, vibrant light – Sonlight to be precise.

For God, Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 4:6).

Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His Own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, Who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (II Timothy 1:9-10).

Giving thanks unto the Father, Who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son (Colossians 1:12-13).

We, along with Paul, have been “separated unto the gospel of God.” We have been horizoned-off unto His glorious world-wide, all-inclusive, good news!

Now, along with Paul, we have also been entrusted with this early enlightenment, of which all mankind will one day partake. We are just the beginning of God’s horizoned-off ones!

… The true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world (John 1:9).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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Paul Severed to: The Celestial Sphere

July 9, 2009

… I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision (Acts 26:19).

Webster’s definition of “horizon” continues,

which divides the visible part of the sphere from the invisible

Paul also had his eyes opened by God to the invisible – “things which are not seen.” His sights were severed from the visible, earthly sphere and set on the invisible, heavenly realm of his calling – “things above.”

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal (II Corinthians 4:18).

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-2).

That Paul had been so separated to the celestial sphere can be easily seen by looking at the Ephesian collage of the “heavenly places:”

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ … Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places … And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus … To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God … 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 heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3, 20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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Paul Severed to: The Sacred Secret

July 8, 2009

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God (Romans 1:1 KJV).

Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, a called apostle, severed for the evangel of God (Romans 1:1 CLT).

As we have seen, Paul has told us in the first verse of the book of Romans that he had been horizoned-off by and for God.

Following the first part of Webster’s definition of the word “horizon” – “… dividing the world into two parts or hemispheres …” – We can see that Paul was cut-off from his former horizon, from his old sphere of life – from his past hemisphere – from his human point of view; but that is not all!

God not only separated him out from his former life, He positioned him in the circumference of a new life – the celestial circumference of Almighty God and His concerns. He was horizoned-off from something to something!

Continuing to follow Webster’s course, let us see the next part of his definition of the word “horizon”:

… the upper hemisphere which is visible, and the lower which is hid …

Paul had his eyes moved from the horizon of the visible by divine revelation. He now saw the hidden things of God and was divinely commissioned to be the spokesman of them.

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:8-9).

Paul was severed to God’s Sacred Secret.

Paul was severed to Christ and His “unsearchable riches.” These riches were “untraceable” in previous revelation. God revealed through Paul the riches of Christ that were before unknown.

Paul was severed to the “fellowship of the mystery;” to God’s glorious, secret administration; unprophesied, unheard of before.

How that by revelation He made known unto me [Paul] the mystery (Ephesians 3:3).

Paul was severed to that which had been “hid in God,” truths that over the course of all time – “from the beginning of the world,”from the eons” – had been concealed in God Himself, were now being made know to and through Paul.

Paul was “horizoned-off” from so many things of earthly value: ritual, relationship, respectability, race, religion, reputation, and self-righteousness. He was “severed” to the Secret-Evangel, God’s Mystery-Good News! Romans 1:1:

Separated unto the gospel of God (KJV).
Severed for the evangel of God (Concordant).
Separated to God’s glad tidings (Darby).
Separated to the good news of God (Young).
Set apart for glad tidings of God (Diaglot).
Separated unto the glad-message of God (Rotherham).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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Paul Severed from: Righteousness

July 8, 2009

Blameless (Philippians 3:7)

Self-righteousness was at the heart of Paul’s past pride. He had rested in his good moral character. He took pride in his list of “do-and-don’t” performance. Paul could match his “self-righteous” lifestyle with anyone.

Paul started the catalog of his past pride with these words,

Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more (Philippians 3:4).

What was Paul’s conclusion to his great superiority in the national religious system of Israel? Paul counted it “refuse.” What caused the change in Paul’s value system, a change that would cause him to view his own “righteousness” as “loss”? It was the living person of the Lord Jesus Christ, the entrance of a different kind of “righteousness” – “the righteousness of God”! The Lord Jesus Christ had become his righteousness (I Corinthians 1:30). Through Him he had been declared righteous (Romans 3:24).

Paul, Apostle to the nations, knew all to well the vanity and struggle of religion and service to it. Paul had staked his outcome on his own good moral character and good religious deeds.

Paul was severed from his self-righteousness – the “righteousness” that came by the law of Moses. The Jew’s religion, in this regard, was no different from any other religion: it had no Person who can impart life. The Lord Jesus Christ did not come to establish a religion but to bring life. Religion is man’s striving after God. Jesus brought God to man. Paul rested in that. We only need to rest in that too.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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Paul Severed from: Reputation

July 7, 2009

Zeal (Philippians 3:6)

Paul was a true zealot. He practiced exactly what he believed. A majority of Israelites rejected their Messiah, but where was their action? Paul had been moving up the religious, political and social ladder and had developed quite a reputation – one that far exceeded those of his opponents – “Concerning zeal, persecuting the church.”

Reputation had been something of great value to Paul, until he met Christ. Many men can never let go of their reputation, of their long history of “honorable” activity – how others view them, what others think of them is very important – but, sadly, reputation keeps them in bondage from being able to move on in the wonderful things of God.

Reputation is such a subtle tool used by the Adversary to keep men “in check.” It will keep them from learning, progressing and growing, because first they will have to admit to having been wrong, and then proceed to correctinhg their errors.

Some men are so filled with the pride of their past zeal that they will live in the past, self-proclaiming their former accomplishments. They will proudly speak of their many years of never having changed. “I have taught the same thing for 40 years! I have never changed my message!” Sadly in their pride of zealous reputation, they do not realize that this speaks of a life of stagnation in the human quagmire of status and repute. That others are impressed is of such great value to them.

Paul looked back too, but that he might count it “dung” (i.e., waste).

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ (Philippians 3:7-8)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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Paul Severed from: Religion

July 6, 2009

Pharisee (Philippians 3:5)

Paul had been an orthodox Jew. He was a Pharisee, and had opposed the creed of the Sadducees. He was an extremely religious “fundamentalist.” He was a religionist to the hilt.

… After the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee (Acts 26:5).

For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion … (Galatians 1:13).

And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers (Galatians 1:14).

The etymology of our English word “religion” is “to bind” (Noah Webster), as “to bind strongly – from the same source as ligament … a bondage” (Partridge).

James Strong defines the Greek word as “ceremonial observance … ceremonious in worship” (Strong’s Greek Lexicon #2356, #2357).

Scripture uses the term “religion” in reference to (or in the context of) Israel’s Kingdom program and never to the Body of Christ. When Paul spoke of “forgetting those things which are behind” (Philippians 3:13) he was referring to his religion, which he counted “waste” (:8)!

If there had ever been a “religion” to hold onto, it would have been “the Jew’s religion,” the only “religion” ever ordained by God; but Paul even counted this “loss for Christ.”

All religion is bondage; Paul embraced true freedom – freedom from religion. Thus Paul wrote to the believer,

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1).

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (II Corinthians 3:17).

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father (Romans 8:15).

Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh (Colossians 2:20-23).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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Paul Severed from: Race

July 5, 2009

“Hebrew of the Hebrews” (Philippians 3:5)

“Hebrew” means to “cross over.” The word is first found in Genesis 14:13. This is an “allusion to Abraham’s immigration from the other side of the Euphrates … The title Hebrew is therefore their title of separation …” (Bullinger’s Lexicon).

With Abraham, God started a new race of people. Paul had viewed himself not only as a “Hebrew,” but as a “real” Hebrew, i.e., a “Hebrew of the Hebrews.” Like we use the phrase “a man’s man,” so Paul had been “a Hebrew’s Hebrew!” He was associated with the faction among the Jews which maintained, even under Roman domination, their peculiar “Jewishness.” Some Hebrews in Paul’s day had given up their language and customs for the Gentile (Greek and Roman) culture. Paul, however, had been a racial “separatist of the separatists.”

If anyone ever had the right to be proud of their race, it would have been a Hebrew. Paul had been hyper-semitic; but the Lord Jesus Christ changed all this! Paul later told the men of Athens:

“… He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth …” (Acts 17:25-26).

Paul had been severed from racial pride and counted his “Hebrew of the Hebrews” status as “loss for Christ.”

It is strange how Adam’s descendants each think that the kinsmen of their race are somehow superior to that of other races. This often is shamefully true even of believers. Yet if there was any place on earth that this should not be true it is with members of the Body of Christ.

“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another … Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another” (Romans 12:5, 10).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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