Where do we go from here? At this point, maybe you feel you've been down every road, wanting to learn and experience what it means to be a strong Christian, hoping to arrive at a place of power and sustaining peace. Having simply depended on Jesus, there's been moments when His presence was so near to you, while the emptiness of clinging to dogma and/or performing rituals lingers on. Could it be some of the ideas we've followed are more of a hindrance or distraction than they are a help when it comes to being close to God? Let's see what the Apostle Paul has to say about spiritual understanding in his Epistle to the Colossians as he is leading up to uncovering a great mystery.
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul begins his communication with "the saints... at Colosse", which was a city of significance on the Lycus River in Asia Minor, regarding trade and commerce. It isn't certain he ever visited them personally, unless it was on his third missionary journey. Most likely, this Epistle was written while Paul was a prisoner in Rome. Colossians is the 'sister Epistle' to the one written to the Ephesians, penned around the same time and both delivered by Tychicus.
Paul was "an apostle of Jesus Christ", Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #652 a delegate... ambassador... he that is sent. An apostle was appointed by and sent with the king's authority to carry out his interests within his royal subjects in regards to the kingdom. More particularly, an apostle of Christ was an eye witness giving firsthand account of the resurrected Jesus and writing the New Testament, while organizing churches or assemblies of believers. This is what the Apostle Paul did "by the will" or for the pleasure "of God". It wasn't only "the will of God" that "Paul" was "an apostle" called personally "of Jesus Christ" on the road to Damascus in Acts chapter 9, but also that this Epistle be written to them. He was accompanied by "Timotheus" who we know as Timothy "our brother".
To be designated as "saints" is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #40 to be sacred... pure... blameless... (most) holy. Being justified in God's sight through the blood of Christ in general, all Israelites are therefore saints, having the Spirit of God as well (Isaiah 45:25; Romans 11:26). In a practical, experiential sense, only those who show forth fruits by closely following Christ are considered "saints and faithful brethren" among one another, which is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #80 adelphos from delphos that is, the womb. This then draws the connection to whites only being "brethren" with one another, being physically born in accordance with God's Law of Kind After Kind. Being a faithful brother then begins with a consciousness of the genetic connection to your white brethren, then continues by seeking to be full of faith and becoming trustworthy in the work of the kingdom. Paul's intent in writing this will become more apparent, as his words continue leading up to the manifestation of the mystery later in this Epistle.
3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, 5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Those who have humbled themselves and been converted long to be more conscious of the priorities we have as Christians. A consistent feature of the Pauline Epistles is his opening with thanksgiving. Like Paul we should always look for opportunities to express our "thanks to God". WE ARE TO BE THANKFUL FOR ALL THINGS. He then commends them for their "faith in Christ Jesus," and their "love" for one another. Our reputation is to be built upon faith and that of love, ever-increasing in the hope we have in Christ. This all flows from a deepening awareness of our God, as we are enriched by "the word of the truth of the gospel". Faith and love must continue to become much higher priorities in Identity circles today, rather than foolishly being mischaracterized as reading too much into the Scriptures. It is beyond ridiculous to criticize any Christian for believing in God or loving your brethren too much. Paul certainly wasn't critical in that way. He thought of it as a great testimony to hear of others' faith in Christ and so should we. FAITH IS OUR CONNECTION TO GOD IN KNOWING AND DOING HIS PERFECT WILL. He then commends them for "the love which ye have to all the saints". Faith and love go hand in hand from those who have a kingdom consciousness.
Paul will give the purpose for this "hope" from above "which is laid up for you in heaven". Any genuine hope the saints and faithful brethren have comes from God. There is no hope in this world to be found; either in cerebrial dogmas, or in external forms of religion, even if it's called 'Christianity'. THE CHRISTIANITY CHRIST AND THE APOSTLES TAUGHT COMES FROM WITHIN US. If we continue to look outside ourselves for ways to find and follow God, we are blindly going from one side of the ditch to the other, which Christ said is the result of nothing more than following spiritually ignorant guides. There is a blessed hope from above which is expressed thru "the word of the truth of the gospel". They had "heard" it "before", but were about to have it repeated and further expounded upon throughout this Epistle.
We are to be filled with the "hope" of great things to come or kingdom expectancy which "God our Father" has in store for us, explained "in the word of the truth of the gospel", "of our Lord Jesus Christ". What He has "laid up for you in heaven" you will never attain thru any vain, external means, only through faith in Christ. This term "word" here is logos, which we've discussed before. It is instilled, creative power within our race- kingdom consciousness (John 1:1; James 1:18).
Due to the evidence Paul recognized in them of true conversion, exhibited thru their faith, hope, and love, he knew they were mature enough to handle the truth of this amazing mystery he was about to deliver:
6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: 7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; 8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
Even in your own experience, look at how more and more truth "is come unto you", sent from the kingdom of God. Now what's expected is for you to "bringeth forth fruit" in proportion with what you've "learned". For the number one "fruit" a good pastor looks for to develop in his people is their expression of "love in the Spirit". Regardless of how much one thinks of himself because of the truth he thinks he knows, if he ain't got love, he is nothing (I Corinthians 13:2). For "the grace of God" provides the balance we need to deliver the "truth" to others the right way. Love also prevents us from becoming all puffed up.
What it kind of comes down to is, do other people (whom you consider good Christians) appreciate and enjoy your company? We're not just talking about people who claim to believe the right things, yet are still hateful, full of fear, and highly critical of others. We are referring to those who are at least seeking a balance, who "bringeth forth fruit". You can tell, "Epaphras" genuinely appreciated just being able to be around these fine Christian people.
THE GOSPEL HAS COME TO US TO PRODUCE RESULTS. By "the grace of God" to be "a faithful minister of Christ" it takes more than just a head full of knowledge but "love in the Spirit", as we want the Gospel to continue to spread throughout "all the world" to our white brethren today. Kingdom consciousness is understanding that God expects you to personally produce something for His honor and glory. The purpose of "truth" is to make us more conscious of what already exists within each child of God- His Spirit. You cannot add anything to the truth as it reveals to you Who Christ is and Who we are in Him.
There are alot of ideas of what it means to be faithful. To be "faithful" in our text doesn't mean just showing up, but is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #4103 to be trustworthy... trustful... sure. The Book of Acts expounds upon the "fruit" faithful ministers brought forth from the preaching of the Gospel of Christ. GOD IS LOVE AND LOVE IS A FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT. Genuine "love" for one another comes from "the Spirit" of God within us. It is something Epaphras was proud to brag on them about and is well pleasing to God. To hear of others' love in the Spirit is a tremendous compliment while bringing great glory to God. This is what really matters and what we ought to be talking about. It should be what we want to follow and want to be said about us as well.
9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
When you consider those who are humble and sincere in following Christ, allow it to enter your heart to pray God's best for them. Pray that they "might be filled with the knowledge of his will", becoming fully functional in the Spirit, and less dependent upon men. For the Two Seedline message is just the beginning, the milk of the Word, enabling us to see the kingdom of God to identify who we can preach to. Since it is God's will for us to come to the knowledge of the truth, we should want to be rich "in all wisdom and spiritual understanding", becoming more kingdom conscious (I Timothy 2:4). Like Paul, who did "not cease to pray" for these saints at Colosse, we are "to desire" for those we know, to make Christ their highest priority as well.
IT IS GOD'S WILL FOR YOU TO HAVE WISDOM AND SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING. Since the essence of Adamic man is spiritual, it makes sense "to desire" a greater "spiritual understanding" which is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #4152 pneumatikos meaning- non-carnal... supernatural, regenerate. Spiros Zodhiates says it's "from pneuma #4151 opposite of psuchikos #5591, an animalistic man, man with his sinful propensities ruling him, sarkikos #4559 carnal man." As you are probably recognizing in your own life, you can only go so far on Bible facts and historical knowledge. Our Father not only wants us to think on another level, but to function effectively and supernaturally in His Spirit. Therefore there is indeed this spiritual element to the Scriptures which we are to "be filled with" continually regardless of naysayers. CHRISTIANITY ISN'T JUST THINKING BUT BEING. Kingdom consciousness puts spiritual understanding to practice in your daily life (I Corinthians 2:9-16; I Peter 2:5). Why is it God wants us to possess "all wisdom and spiritual understanding"?
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
Again, God wants to bring results forth, in and through our lives. He wants us to have spiritual understanding because we have much to live up to as Christians. Who are you "pleasing" with your life? If you think it's "the Lord" then take a closer look at your "walk" or daily life and know for sure. WHAT IT ALL COMES DOWN TO IS HOW YOU ARE LIVING EACH DAY FOR CHRIST. Kingdom consciousness is wanting to "walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing", living moment by moment with the expectation that you are entering the kingdom of God. Therefore your priorty is to always "be fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God". Is it your priority to produce good fruit with your life as you continue to grow? God provides all we need to make the most of every opportunity and to do it with the right attitude.
Again, this is the purpose God has for teaching us the truth. Not just so we have all the right answers, but for us to live righteously, to "walk worthy of the Lord", following only in His footsteps. We've already seen that being occupied with faith, hope, and love is "all pleasing" unto God, bearing the fruit of the Spirit. He wants us to be "fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God", experientially. WE LEARN NOT ONLY BY READING, LISTENING, AND STUDYING, BUT BY BEING AND DOING. Increasing in the knowledge of God comes through knowing you are "pleasing" Him and "being fruitful in every good work" by acting on what you learn. It's not going to happen just through knowledge itself. There are some things you just can't learn from a book or someone else; you must experience them thru walking with God by faith.
Besides, with so great a salvation, wouldn't you expect there to be a certain standard for us to uphold? This "all pleasing" is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #699 from #700 which is aresko... through the idea of exciting emotion, as we learned in Hebrews chapter 11. Here we have it once again, how putting our feelings into serving God is essential to our faith, which is the only way to please Him. To be "fruitful" is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #2592 which is fertile (lit. or fig.)... bear, bring forth... fruit. Here we see spiritual fruit is actually more in reference to reproduction. This emphasizes the impact we can have on others beyond the actual "good work" itself. It's "being fruitful in every good work" which encourages others to want to produce good for God as well. To "walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing" is not only doing the right thing, but putting "all" your heart into it with love, broadcasting the contagious affects of the fruit of the Spirit to others.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting God's blessings for yourself and others. Here we see He provides everything we need to walk worthy of Him, to perform His perfect will. How can we fail when we are "Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power"?! There's nothing we have to fear in light of this assurance. We can endure anything with "all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness" available to us. How do we know these things are true? Because everything God gives us, including power, patience, and longsuffering, even joy, are other-worldy, just a part of our kingdom consciousness which brings about glory to Him. Our Father will strengthen us with "all might"- all the power we need to get the job done. In fact, the purpose of God strengthening us is so we will be patient and have the joy we need.
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
None of this would even be possible without "the Father". Let us never forget, while He wants our faith, He deserves our "thanks", especially for our awareness of Him and the knowledge of what He is doing. Our life is about learning His ways and then doing His work. Here we recognize something "the Father" performed "which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance". When this impacts us within, we are no longer under "the power of darkness". We must be personally "delivered" and "translated" by God. There is so much He has done which is worthy of us "Giving thanks unto the Father" for, "as the saints in light". Since He delivers us from the power of darkness, that means His is a kingdom of light. Kingdom consciousness then is about walking in light.
Obviously there are those "saints" who are "in light" and those who are not. There's no way you could be one of the "saints in light" and still remain under "the power of darkness" as so many of our brethren still are; what makes the difference? Kingdom consciousness. You have Israelites who are full of darkness- fear, worry, jealousy, doubts, greed, and deceit. But thanks be to God "Who hath... translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son", God's people can be full of light- faith, hope, love, mercy, patience, and truth. Only those who have been converted understand the difference. To be "translated" is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #3179 methistano, which is to transfer... carry away. Talk about a change! Since we know to be translated isn't referring to being carried away physically or changing locations, it is a drastic change of self-awareness, of the attitude and mind- arriving at a place of kingdom consciousness. This describes not only when we become aware that we are part of something much greater, or that we are from somewhere else other than this world, but we personally realize we are someone else on the inside. As this outlook takes over, your desires begin to change, as you are no longer the same person you once were in your mind. THE INNER MAN (MORE AND MORE) MAKES HIS PRESENCE KNOWN, WANTING TO COME OUT. As we continue throughout this Epistle, Paul helps us to better understand what all this really means.
This is a clear definition of conversion from the Divine perspective; becoming conscious of God's kingdom within you. Next Paul will carry us into getting more familiar with Jesus, Who He was, His Deity, and what He accomplished on our behalf. Before this first chapter closes, you will be made aware of a great mystery.