The Doctrine of Christ no 40
“The Life of Christ no. 3”
Putting on Christ
Brian Kocourek, Pastor
December 30th, 2011
This evening I would like to take a short message concerning the Life of Christ in the Believer and to begin let’s open our Bibles to the Book of Colossians and we will read the entire 3rd chapter for our text.
Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection (your sentiment, your opinion) on things above, not on things on the earth.
Now, before we go any further, I hope you can see what the Apostle Paul is telling us here. He is saying, if you have risen with Christ, then your attitude, your affection, even your opinions ought to be centered on the heavenly and not on what this earth can afford you. After all he says in verse 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid (covered) with Christ in God. (In other words, being your life is covered by the blood of Jesus Christ, and is covered with Christ in God, then it has entered into a relationship of rest. That is exactly what the Greek word means there. That you life being covered with Christ is hid in God, it is at rest tucked away and has entered into a state of rest in God.)
Then Paul says, 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Now, the words “When Christ” is used, it speaks of a hypothetical time, not knowing for certain when that time will be, but when that times does come, and so he is not so interested in the time as what will be produced at that time. And that is where we have erred in our approach to the doctrine. We have placed more importance on the doctrine itself than on what the doctrine is to produce in us.
We preach on the Parousia of Christ as though the mere knowledge of knowing God has come is the great thing, when the great thing is what God brings with Him when He does Come or Appear on the scene.
Now, granted it is a great thing to know that He is here, but it is an even greater thing to receive what He brings with His very presence. After all, the Scripture tells us that He descends with a Shout. Now, if the mere fact that he is here is the important thing for us to know, then there is no need for what He brings with Him which is the Shout.
So Parousia in itself although it is good to know, yet what good will it do if you are unaware of it. Let me explain it to you this way. We know God is here, right? Yet there are close to seven billion people who are living right now who are totally unaware of this Great Parousia presence. Am I not right on this?
So tell me, what good is His parousia doing for these nearly seven billion people.
Now, we know that in order for us to receive what He came to bring us which is immortality, we know we first had to know He is here. Right? So there had to be an Epiphanaea, a shining forth, the miracles, and supernatural manifestations of Divine Presence that would make the world to see that it could be none other than God Himself Who is on the scene.
Now, ask yourself this question. Why? Why did God Shine forth, epiphanaea Himself to let us know that He is here? And the answer is that we might see Him as He is. Because the Scripture tells us that in seeing Him as He truly is, we become what we truly are.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
Notice there is something we do when we see Him as He truly is. We begin to purify ourselves even as He is pure. Now, what does that mean? And how can that be accomplished? Simply put, “we are washed in the washing of water by the word.” That’s Ephesians 5:26 and if it says we purify ourselves, we know David told us hw a young man cleanses Himself, he said in Psalms 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
So God comes down but had there been no ministry with healing in His Wings, no healing campaign, no shining forth, no Epiphanaea, then there would be no one to know that He was here and why he was here.
In god’s Only Provided place of Worship br. Branham said, PP. 263 The headstone crying what? "Grace! Grace!" Passed from death and creed, into a living Word of the living God. God's only provided plan for His age, His sons in the Word age quickened by the Spirit like a spark that's lit off of something to make it alive; and seated now in heavenly places (in present tense), already alive and subject to every promise in the Word.
In order for you to understand what he is saying here, he is telling us that there are certain promises that God has laid down such as laws of sowing and reaping which if you sow, you shall also reap. But there are also others promises in the Bible such as "If a man regard iniquity in his heart the Lord will not hear his prayer." Now these are not the same thing. One is a law that if you sow you shall also reap what you sow. But the other doesn't specifically have to do with sowing at all. He said that one day our relationship with Him will be such that before we even ask, He will answer. So in this case your prayers and requests will be answered even before you have done any ground work and any such sowing. In other words, it will be “God working in you to will and to do.” But on the other hand, based upon the law of sowing and reaping a man could sow and sow and sow and he shall reap even if none of His prayers are ever answered.
That is why the wicked seem to do so well so often. It is not that God blesses them, but simply that God is honoring His own law that He set forth. And if the wicked really put forth the effort to sow, then they will get a return on their invested time. But let's face it, their sowing is but for a season and so shall their reaping bring forth only for a season. But what Brother Branham is talking about here goes far beyond just a seasonal thing. He is talking about a relationship that is Eternal. That is In Christ, and that when this age gets kicked into gear it will last for ever. And that is why he said, this processing of being quickened takes us to the place of becoming. In other words, it makes us "Alive and subject to every promise in the Word". Not just some of the promises that apply to whosoever, But specifically a group in which EVERY promise applies to and there are over 800 promises contained in This Book called the Bible that apply to you and me and every one of them we are subjected too because of a special relationship which we have with our Heavenly Father Who has come down to give us our desires.
Just look at the hundreds of promises that alone are to come to pass in this last day. A Parousia of Christ, and Epiphanaea, an Apocalypses, a Phaneroo, A Doxa and Parrhesia, etc. That bring the Elect into a Transformation of the Inner man first, and then the outer man next. A gathering together of the Elect, a change in our bodies and a catching away. And this is just part of the many blessings that were promised for this hour, not to mention the Grace that is bestowed upon us and the change from Church to Bride etc.
The Scripture speaks of those from other ages who did not receive these promises yet, because they without us can not be made perfect. So we see that we are a very special people in a very special time to receive a very special promise of a very special blessing. Now we could go on for hours and get more into detail of what these Promises are but we don't have time this evening.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, because I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things because I put away childish thinking. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Now, again we do not know from the scripture when this is to take place, but we know what to expect when it does take place. And so as I said, it is not the Parousia itself that is so important for us to know as though we are to talk about it until something comes out of our talk. Now, it is what the Parousia brings with it. First a shining forth to let us know it is happening, he is Here.
Secondly, when He has gotten our attention, he unfolds Himself, or unveils Himself, That is the Apokolupsis, or the revealing of Christ. Now, we know that come via a man declaring to us what is going on.
The Apostle Paul said in Acts 13:41 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I will work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you. So this work, this Epiphanaea will be the work fo God in our midst but will be declared by a man.
Then as this man declares the Mighty God unveiled among us, we will begin to see God phaneroo Himself, that means to declare in His true identity. In other Words, we will see God identified by His own Characteristics. A greater than Solomon who is Here. The Presence of God unrecognized by others, but we will be “hearing, recognizing and finally acting upon the Word of God.
There must be something beyond that which catches the people attention. For if God only wanted to catch the people attention and then once He had their attention, He did nothing, what sense would that make. So there is a purpose behind This epiphanaea. He has attracted the attention of His elect for a purpose. And what is that purpose. That's what we want to know.
So, we see that we start with a parousia which in order to be known there must also be an Epiphanaea or shining forth, right? Then once the attention has been focussed, we begin to see Christ openly declare Himself. He Apocalypses or reveals Himself. How? By manifesting Himself in His true character, which is His
Phaneroo. This phaneroo does something to the Elect.
We see in Colossians 3:4 it says, “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."
So when Christ manifests Himself in His true Character, it does something to His Elect that allows them to manifest themselves in their True character. And what is our character? Well, if He is our Life, then we will manifest what He manifests.
I John 3:2 "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. "
So then the seeing Him as He is does something to us that causes us to be like Him. Thus allowing us to truly manifest who we really are for the first time in these lives of ours. It changes our opinion to His opinion, our thoughts become His thoughts. Our Doxa becomes His Doxa.
EPHESIANS.1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
This enlightening brings us into a relationship as sons in which we develop a Ginosko or an intimate relationship with our Father. A relationship which we do not remember having with Him before the foundations of the world because we have bypassed our theophanies, which is our spirit body or our celestial body. But as this Ginosko develops into full maturity, it brings us into an assurance or a confidence which gives us great boldness of faith which is called parrhesia.
This parrhesia is a state of condition in which we know our place in Him and are not afraid to express it outwardly. We hold to His Word regardless, because we understand the immutability of His Word.
It is impossible for Him not to fulfill His Word. The very purpose of there even being a Word is that in the beginning God was Eternal Thought. But He wanted to fulfill Himself and give Himself reason of being. So He began to express Himself in order to
This then was the Word forming and coming forth into view. God fulfilling Himself. But it did not stop just in the Word form. That Word that was spoken was not ever meant to remain as Word alone. It was meant to come into a form of manifestation. It would not be complete and God could not be fulfilled unless His Word were to come into a completed state which is manifested in Flesh or material substance.
That is what we are focusing on today. If God gave a promise, then that Word is still evolving or coming forth and can not stop until it has come into realization or manifestation. In other words, God's Word with skin on it.
In the beginning God said, Let there be light. It may have taken a million billion years, but one day that Word became flesh or manifested and there was light.
So too, we see in this Hour that God said He would return to earth as the Son of Man. we have seen the fulfillment of that Word. If God said it, it's got to happen. That's what I want us to see this morning.
There are other promises that are meant for this hour and one of them is that He has come down to gather a Bride. Well, if you can see that He has come down, then is not this scripture in the processing of being completed. Is it not in the process of becoming Word or promise manifested. Is it not becoming the Word of God made flesh?
Do you see Him manifested in His Word in this Hour? Did you recognize that Word when it was tabernacling in a body of flesh? His prophet? Are you being gathered to it? To the same message that attracted the prophet? Is it changing your DOXA, your opinion? Is your opinion becoming His opinion?
Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: 12That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, 14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise
Now, in getting back to our text in Colossians 3: let’s pick up at verse 5.
Notice, once we have been quickened together with Christ and have been made alive in Christ, and our Life is hid with Christ in God, then he says in Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore(in other words, kill off or deaden) your members which are upon the earth; (and then he names the things we must die off to) fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. And so not only are we to die to these absolutely evil things, but we are to keep on dying until we have put off the following as well: 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy,(that means speaking evil against someone) filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Now, listen to what he is saying here. He is telling us to be renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: So as Paul said that the ministry of the five-fold is to bring us to unity of The Faith, and since there is only one faith and one Lord, the Unity of The Faith is the Faith of that One Lord. And then he tells us that once we have come together in the Unity of The Faith, he also tells us we must have the knowledge of the Son of God in order for us to grow up unto Him in all things. So without the declaration of who he is and what he is, in other words, the Great Shout which gives us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, then once we have this knowledge of the son of God we may conform to that kno0wledge.
Then after telling us what to put off, he tells us what to put on. And if he is telling us what to put off and what to put on, is he not dressing us in something? He is dressing us in the Word. 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. (maturity) 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Identified Christ of all ages 64-0409 P:23 I just passed my birthday last Monday, and I was fifty-five years old. And you know, the Branham family never did ask me to join the family. I was born a Branham. And that's how we're Christians. We're just born a Christian by the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we are Christians by birth. That makes us new creatures. In our old nature we could never be Christians. That's the reason today we have so many calling themselves Christians, and living any kind of a life. They've never experienced that born again, that something that changes you, that takes the life out, like pulling the blood out of a man that's got a certain type of blood, and putting another type in him. It's pulling the old life out of the man, and injecting the Life of Christ in the believer. Then he becomes a new creation. He's a new creature.
And what is that garment that we put on? Paul tells us in Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Now, back to Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. 18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. 21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. 22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye service, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: 23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
Now, knowing what the scriptures teach us here, it should produce the image of the son of God in us. And that is what brother Branham desired to see in the church, the bride.
Handwriting on the wall 58-0618 P:42 Now notice. Instead of the women putting on their clothes and acting like ladies, look the way they did. Instead of men coming back to church and serving God, what are they doing? Out, carousing, running around, drinking, smoking, all kinds of nonsense; care no more about God, and know no more about Him, than a Hottentot would know about an Egyptian knight, and yet they claim to be Christians. If you're a Christian, you'll live like it. The fruits of the Spirit will follow you. If the Life of Christ in you, you'll live the Life of Christ. You go to a pumpkin vine, you find pumpkins. You go to a grape vine, you find grapes. Jesus said, "I am the Vine; you're the branches." And we come to the church and what do we find? "My denomination is better than yours." "We're not cooperating in that meeting." Oh, my. Arguing, fussing, stewing, that's not Christ. Certainly it isn't.
Jesus Christ the same 58-0312 P:31 If a Christian church is the branch that's in Christ, they'll do the works of Christ and bear the Life of Christ. "By their fruits you shall know them." Now, then the way that He is today, He's here in the form of the Holy Spirit, working through His Church, performing the same things that He did there. That makes Him the same yesterday, today, and forever. His Life, the Life that was in Christ, which was God, produced the kind of a life that He lived then, that same Life comes into His churches, His church members, since they have been purged by His Blood and given the Holy Spirit access to work through them, bears the same fruit that He bore. So therefore, the world can see then that Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Life 58-0512 P:8 Now, the
Christian church should have real character then. And if the Life of Christ is in the
Rapture the 65-1204 P:54 Then how do we get into this Body? I Corinthians 12, "By one Spirit we're all baptized into this Body," by one Holy Spirit baptism. And that... If you want to put that down, it's I Corinthians 12:13: "And by one Spirit we are all baptized..." And the Spirit is the Life of Christ (is that right?), the Life of Christ. And the life of any seed, which He was the Word Seed, brings the seed to life. You get it? If that life is laying in the seed and this baptism of the Holy Spirit comes upon it, it's bound to bring that seed life.
Return and Jubilee 62-1122 P:39 Before it can be a body of human beings... Before I could act as a human, before I could walk like a human, before I could talk like a human, I have to be born a human. How would've knot on a tree know how I acted? How could he ever say, "I don't act like that." The only way he could be that would be to be born like me. That's the way organization is dead, drawed people away, because it went after a creed. But in order to be a son of God you've got to be borned of the Spirit of God, then you become Christ-like and do the works of Christ; then you're not funny to them people. A human acting like a human's not funny. And a Christian acting like a Christian, born of the same Spirit... You see the Pentecostal group at the beginning, that same Pentecostal group acts the same way if it's born of the same Spirit, 'cause it's born. That's why, today, that people doesn't understand the church. And the church has begin to grow cold and formal, getting after creeds and things and leaving off the following of the Holy Spirit. All right.
Let us pray