Chapter 6: God’s Love and Mercy Towards the Jews


Before we look at the rest of the signs pertaining to the rebuilding of the 3rd Temple, most of which are very specific, let’s deal with the question of God’s promises to Israel. God’s promises are certain. On the one hand we will see references to all Israel being saved and yet there are other references that say a remnant will be saved. If you are among the “remnant” that has remained faithful, in the eyes of God, you are assured of eternal salvation. Listen to God’s Word regarding the remnant.

Isaiah 10:21-22 (NKJ)

21 The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God.
22 For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, a remnant of them will return; the destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness.

Ezra 9:8 (NKJ)

8 “And now for a little while grace has been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage. (NKJ)

Ezra 9:15 (NKJ)

15 “O LORD God of Israel, You are righteous, for we are left as a remnant, as it is this day. Here we are before You, in our guilt, though no one can stand before You because of this!”

Isaiah 11:10-11 (NKJ)

10 “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious.”
11 It shall come to pass in that day that the LORD shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left, from Assyria and Egypt, from Pathros and Cush, from Elam and Shinar, from Hamath and the islands of the sea.

Isaiah 11:16 (NKJ)

16 There will be a highway for the remnant of His people who will be left from Assyria, as it was for Israel in the day that he came up from the land of Egypt.

Isaiah 28:5 (NKJ)

5 In that day the LORD of hosts will be for a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty to the remnant of His people,

Isaiah 46:3-4 (NKJ)

3 “Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been upheld by Me from birth, who have been carried from the womb:
4 Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

Jeremiah 23:1-8 (NKJ)

1 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the LORD.
2 Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the LORD.
3 “But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
4 “I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the LORD.
5 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
6 In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
7 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “that they shall no longer say, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’
8 “but, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ And they shall dwell in their own land.”

Jeremiah 31:7 (NKJ)

7 For thus says the LORD: “Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘O LORD, save Your people, the remnant of Israel!’

Ezekiel 6:7-8 (NKJ)

7 “The slain shall fall in your midst, and you shall know that I am the LORD.
8 “Yet I will leave a remnant, so that you may have some who escape the sword among the nations, when you are scattered through the countries.

Ezekiel 11:13-21 (NKJ)

13 Now it happened, while I was prophesying, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then I fell on my face and cried with a loud voice, and said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Will You make a complete end of the remnant of Israel?”
14 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
15 “Son of man, your brethren, your relatives, your countrymen, and all the house of Israel in its entirety, are those about whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘Get far away from the LORD; this land has been given to us as a possession.’
16 “Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.”‘
17 “Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”‘
18 “And they will go there, and they will take away all its detestable things and all its abominations from there.
19 “Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh,
20 “that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God.
21 “But as for those whose hearts follow the desire for their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord GOD.

Ezekiel 14:22 (NKJ)

22 “Yet behold, there shall be left in it a remnant who will be brought out, both sons and daughters; surely they will come out to you, and you will see their ways and their doings. Then you will be comforted concerning the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, indeed all that I have brought upon it.

Joel 2:32 (NKJ)

32 And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the remnant whom the LORD calls.

Amos 5:14-15 (NKJ)

14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live; so the LORD God of hosts will be with you, as you have spoken.
15 Hate evil, love good; establish justice in the gate. It may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

Micah 2:12 (NKJ)

12 “I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold, like a flock in the midst of their pasture; they shall make a loud noise because of so many people.

Micah 5:2-3 (NKJ)

2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”
3 Therefore He shall give them up, until the time that she who is in labor has given birth; then the remnant of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel.

Micah 5:7-8 (NKJ)

7 Then the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples, like dew from the LORD, like showers on the grass, that tarry for no man nor wait for the sons of men.
8 And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion among flocks of sheep, who, if he passes through, both treads down and tears in pieces, and none can deliver.

Micah 7:18-19 (NKJ)

18 Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.
19 He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.

Zechariah 8:12-15 (NKJ)

12 ‘For the seed shall be prosperous, the vine shall give its fruit, the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew– I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these.
13 And it shall come to pass that just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you, and you shall be a blessing. Do not fear, let your hands be strong.’
14 “For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Just as I determined to punish you when your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘And I would not relent,
15 So again in these days I am determined to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear.

Romans 11:2-5 (NKJ)

2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying,
3 “Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life?”
4 But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”
5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

I offered extensive quotations on the issue of the “remnant being saved,” because it is a very significant issue. Are you part of the remnant? Only God knows the answer but you either have comfort and peace in your relationship with Him or you do not.

The question arises, who will, in the end, judge you? Who will decide if you are part of the remnant? We know that the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are one, yet function in different ways. We know that sinners, uncleansed, will not enter into the Holy Presence of God, our Father. How then can you and I as sinners be in His presence? We are cleansed by the redeeming Blood of Jesus. There is only one way to stand in the presence of the Father. Our sins must be atoned for. It is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who will judge us because He is the one who took your sins and mine upon Himself. Listen to the Scriptures as this issue is addressed.

John 5:22-27 (NKJ)

22 “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son,
23 “that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
25 “Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.
26 “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself,
27 “and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.

Matthew 16:27 (NKJ)

27 “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

Matthew 25:31-46 (NKJ)

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
32 “All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
33 “And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
36 ‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
38 ‘When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?
39 ‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
40 “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;
43 ‘I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’
45 “Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’
46 “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

2 Corinthians 5:6-10 (NKJ)

6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.
7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Even though Jesus will judge us, the Word frequently makes it clear that mercy triumphs over judgment.

Zechariah 3:8-9 (NKJ)

8 ‘Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, you and your companions who sit before you, for they are a wondrous sign; for behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.
9 For behold, the stone that I have laid before Joshua: upon the stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave its inscription,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

Zechariah 8:14-15 (NKJ)

14 “For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Just as I determined to punish you when your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘And I would not relent,
15 So again in these days I am determined to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear.

Perhaps the one thing that stands out in the Scriptures regarding God’s love and mercy for Israel is His determination to do good to Jerusalem. His will is for Israel to glorify His name and to be glorified and His will can not be resisted by any force, anywhere. God is determined to good to Jerusalem.

Micah 7:18-20 (NKJ)

18 Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.
19 He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.
20 You will give truth to Jacob and mercy to Abraham, which You have sworn to our fathers from days of old.

Zechariah 10:6-8 (NKJ)

6 “I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph. I will bring them back, because I have mercy on them. They shall be as though I had not cast them aside; for I am the LORD their God, and I will hear them.
7 Those of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as if with wine. Yes, their children shall see it and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the LORD.
8 I will whistle for them and gather them, for I will redeem them; and they shall increase as they once increased.

In these next verses, Isaiah is talking about a 3-year period, in which the remnant that escaped shall survive, having taken root downward and born fruit upward. If this is referring to the last 3½ years of the tribulation, it appears that within a 6-month period following the cessation of the newly commenced Temple rites, a remnant will flee, survive and serve the Lord.

Isaiah 37:30-32 (NKJ)

30 “This shall be a sign to you: you shall eat this year such as grows of itself, and the second year what springs from the same; also in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them.
31 And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.
32 For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and those who escape from Mount Zion. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

In many places, the Bible indicates that “all” of the Jews will be saved and restored to righteousness. This is a difficult teaching, not because it isn’t good news, but because it must be contrasted with the many verses where the sins of Israel (and every one else!) have greatly grieved your Lord and mine. Listen to a precise point regarding Israel’s salvation.

Romans 11:25-27 (NKJ)

25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”

Judgment clearly belongs to the Lord, and no reader of this book doubts his or her own sin. The scriptures tell us that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Referencing and emphasis hardly seems necessary whether we are speaking of King David or of ourselves. The fact of our sin is undisputed. We live with it daily. It is the righteousness of God, which we seek. Read on.

Isaiah 45:22-25 (NKJ)

22 “Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
23 I have sworn by Myself; the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath.
24 He shall say, ‘Surely in the LORD I have righteousness and strength. To Him men shall come, and all shall be ashamed who are incensed against Him.
25 In the LORD all the descendants of Israel shall be justified, and shall glory.’ “

Notice that it says “all the descendants of Israel shall be justified.” Yet earlier, we read of the remnant that will be saved. Which is it? First, only God knows the answer to that question and the uncertainty of our individual circumstance with God should bring us to a position where we seek certainty. Jeremiah lamented, perhaps more than any other prophet, over Israel’s stubbornness and sin. Could these verses be directed to you personally? The Word is truth and placing it in your heart will help you strengthen your sense of resolve to serve Him.

Jeremiah 6:16-19 (NKJ)

16 Thus says the LORD: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 Also, I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
18 Therefore hear, you nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them.
19 Hear, O earth! Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people– the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not heeded My words, nor My law, but rejected it.

Here Samuel scolds Saul, for his sins and the sins of the people.

1 Samuel 15:22-23 (NKJ)

22 Then Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he also has rejected you from being king.”

If, for some reason, you are not among the remnant that will be saved, then it looks like judgment awaits. But what is the remnant? Is it that small proportion of Israel’s people, who have in fact placed their love and trust in God? Is it that portion of Israel that has not rejected the Word, and what is rejection except turning one’s back on what God wants to tell you?

You know yourself whether you love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and whether you are obedient to His laws. You can see from those saints in history what constitutes real love and obedience. Are you part of the remnant? Will you endure the great tribulation and remain faithful to God? If so, you and all those who have died, in the faith, blessed of God, will reign together with the Messiah, Jesus Christ during the Millennium, the Kingdom Age, that time in history in which the promises of God to the faithful of Israel will be fulfilled.

Who is included in the remnant? First, let us agree again that not one of us knows, except where God has already revealed it, such as those persons listed in Hebrews, chapter 11. That list includes Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samuel, David and many others. But we do not truly know about God’s judgment of others except where He has revealed it. God teaches us that only He knows the hearts and minds of men.

1 Chronicles 28:9 (NKJ)

9 “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.

It is a fact that God knows your heart and understands all the intent of your thoughts, but that is why you ought to be reading the Bible instead of this book. God wants to feed you “directly,” every day. God’s Word “interacts” with you. As you listen, you learn.

Man can not improve upon what God has revealed nor stand between God and other men. Your faith must be in God and in no other and you must love Him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. I would guess that the kind of love stated here would dictate a sense of urgency in your heart that would drive you to prayer and to the study of His Word. What possible excuse will we be able to offer regarding our lack of familiarity with the Word or of our spirit being distanced from His Spirit?

Listen to this wonderful quote:

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NKJ)

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

If the scriptures are the truth, most of the world has their priorities completely upside down. The Word is far down the list of those things to which men dedicate their time and their lives. Are you certain that you are residing in the presence and peace of God, right now and forever?

Many of those who know they are outside of God’s will for their lives are gambling that death will be the end. They think that somehow, their failure to seek and to serve God will result in death, period. According to the scriptures, physical death will not be the end. It is the beginning of eternity, to be spent either in His Presence or outside His Presence. The motivation behind this book is that it serves as a warning first and a “pointer” second.

The warning is clear enough. Prophecy says that when the Temple is rebuilt, the clock will start running. It appears that only those, whose faith is so strong that they would rather die than accept the mark of the beast, will enter the Kingdom. Do you have that kind of faith?

The “pointer” is to fulfilled prophecy, which when attended to, will take you to the foot of the Cross. You have already learned how God desires obedience and mercy not sacrifice. Here Micah teaches you one of the most important concepts in the Old Testament. Read carefully.

Micah 6:1-16 (NKJ)

1 Hear now what the LORD says: “Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice.
2 Hear, O you mountains, the LORD’S complaint, and you strong foundations of the earth; for the LORD has a complaint against His people, and He will contend with Israel.
3 “O My people, what have I done to you? And how have I wearied you? Testify against Me.
4 For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, I redeemed you from the house of bondage; and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
5 O My people, remember now what Balak king of Moab counseled, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him, from Acacia Grove to Gilgal, that you may know the righteousness of the LORD.”
6 With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
9 The LORD’S voice cries to the city– wisdom shall see Your name: “Hear the Rod! Who has appointed it?
10 Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the short measure that is an abomination?
11 Shall I count pure those with the wicked scales, and with the bag of deceitful weights?
12 For her rich men are full of violence, her inhabitants have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
13 “Therefore I will also make you sick by striking you, by making you desolate because of your sins.
14 You shall eat, but not be satisfied; hunger shall be in your midst. You may carry some away, but shall not save them; and what you do rescue I will give over to the sword.
15 “You shall sow, but not reap; you shall tread the olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil; and make sweet wine, but not drink wine.
16 For the statutes of Omri are kept; all the works of Ahab’s house are done; and you walk in their counsels, that I may make you a desolation, and your inhabitants a hissing. Therefore you shall bear the reproach of My people.”

As hard as it is to read of the judgment that will be brought upon man for failing to honor and obey God, the “solution” lies before you. You can not redeem yourself with burnt offerings, rivers of oil nor by giving the fruit of your body, your firstborn, as an offering to cover the sin of your soul. How then can you be redeemed? Even the life of your precious child, the supreme sacrifice cannot redeem you. But unlike Abraham, you are not asked to give your most precious lamb, your child to God, as an act of obedience.

Doesn’t it strike you as ironic that God, in fact, told you in many Messianic prophecies that His Son would come and redeem you? How else can your sins be forgiven if the blood of bulls and goats won’t redeem you? It is only by the shed blood of the perfect Lamb of God, His only begotten Son, promised beforehand, that you and I can be cleansed, forgiven and redeemed. Jesus, the Christ, atoned for our personal, individual sins.

The sin described in verses 10-16 is not atypical of your sin and mine. We need to repent and God’s mercy awaits. The fact that God continues to extend His Hand to us, even in our sin, by offering us access to the heart and mind of the Messiah, in us, is grace that defies logic. It is simply a gift, an undeserved gift. It makes no sense to mankind, at all, that a simple confession of faith offered in humility and contrition and a promise to repent can reverse a lifetime of sin. Yet that is the deal! Choose today whom you will serve, Satan, the flesh, or God, in Spirit and Truth.

If you are struggling with that decision, go off to a private, quiet place, be alone with God and pray for His guidance, His strength, and His peace. Everything you see around you is perishing, including your flesh. Only the spirit, the Spirit in you survives. Your spirit will survive. But where will it reside?

I much prefer the Holy Scriptures to anything I have to say, for every thought I have is from Him, or at least I pray that is so. How else could one be so bold? Certainly not in their own righteousness! Read these verses carefully. The Bible is full of this kind of revelation. You must start reading it with a sense of urgency, never before felt. Redeem the time while there is time.

Romans 8:26-28 (NKJ)

26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

1 Corinthians 2:14-16 (NKJ)

14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Philippians 2:1-11 (NKJ)

1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,
2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

As to the tendency we all have to think we have “arrived” and that we “know,” the following excerpt from a presentation by Paul to the Philippians makes it very clear that the “journey” for all of life is one of “seeking, not apprehending.” Apprehension awaits, but not while we reside in the flesh.

Philippians 3:8-15 (NKJ)

8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.

As Paul, we seek to apprehend perfection, but until we are there, it remains a lifelong pursuit. The process is called sanctification . . .


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