Forsake Sin and Come Unto Christ

Our journey unto the fullness of Jesus Christ is made alive in us, as we awaken to and forsake everything within us that is not Christlike. After laying all that is not Christlike on the altar before God, we come unto Christ to receive a fullness of his light, truth, and power to do good (i.e. his righteousness). By forsaking our sins and offering up our whole soul and will to God, as a righteous offering, Jesus Christ can then lead us to become like him in every aspect of our lives.

He is called the Master, because he descended below all things and then ascended above all things to gain a fulness of light and knowledge (power) over every form of evil. He can succor us in our path to gain power over every form of evil—insomuch that we can accomplish God's purposes for us. This is salvation!

My Grandfather was a wrestling coach, and helped to develop a wrestling dynasty in a small Idaho community. Great coaches come to know the sport wrestling intimately before they become coaches. Before became a coach he first faced countless opponents and their various styles of wrestling, and as he faced, wrestled with, and learned to defeat the array of attacks and defenses of other wrestlers, to gain victory over each opponent, he ascended not only to attain a perfect record, but to become a true master in the sport of wrestling. As such, he was prepared to coach and mentor other wrestlers.

Coming unto the fulness of Christ is similar to the journey a young athlete goes through with a master coach. Before becoming our Savior, Jesus suffered all things that other men experience in the flesh, and overcame every form of evil, without suffering a single loss to the powers of darkness. While evil spirits had power to tempt Jesus to do evil, Jesus never succumbed to temptation. Rather, he received from the Father power to overcome each form of evil that opposed him and thereby crushed evil’s head.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (i.e. the master) for all who want to become, even as he is! What devoted wrestler wouldn’t want the greatest of all wrestlers to be his coach? Likewise, what person who desires to do only good would not want Jesus Christ’s to succor, lead, and guide them in the path of righteousness, and to receive his knowledge and power over the evil that seeks to lead them to wander from the path of righteousness?

Jesus compels no one to become like him, yet all who follow him and offer up their whole soul and will to him, and who yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and who are meek, humble, patient, full of love, and willing to submit to all things which the Lord sees fit to inflict upon them, even as a child doth submit himself to a loving father—all such ascend to learn what Jesus knows and to do the things that He does. These are they who gain victory over every form of evil and receive the power to trample all enemies of righteousness under their feet.

How do we offer up our whole soul and will to God? The following bible story of Jacob and Esau helps us to better understand what is required to give one’s whole soul and will to God, in order to be led by Him out from all darkness into the fulness of his glory (i.e Intelligence).

When Esau came to his brother Jacob, after a fruitless hunting expedition, Esau said to Jacob, “I am at the point to die (from hunger),” and he asked Jacob for some bread and a pottage of lentils. Even though Esau was at the point to die—Jacob refused to share his food, except in exchange for Esau’s birthright.

Jacob did not do unto Esau in this instance, even as he would have had Esau do unto him if the circumstances had been reversed. This was not the only time Jacob failed to follow the law of the prophets in his dealings with Esau, his elder brother. In addition to obtaining Esau’s birthright, Jacob coveted the “first blessing, which was a blessing given anciently to the oldest son from his father.

This blessing included the right to leadership over the family and final say in all decisions regarding the family (where they lived, what they did for a living, and so forth). When Isaac was waxing old, the time came for him to pronounce the first blessing upon his oldest son (Esau), and he asked Esau to go hunting and to kill an animal and prepare savory meat for him, just the way he loved it. Isaac would then eat of the savory meal until his soul was satisfied, and afterwards he would pronounce the first blessing upon Esau’s head.

However, not long Esau departed to go hunting, Jacob came into the tent of his father, who was blind. Jacob’s mother had prepared savory meat just the way her husband loved it, and helped Jacob prepare a hairy disguise to wear, which would fool his blind father into believing that Jacob was Esau, for Jacob was not a hairy man and Esau was.

Jacob entered the tent of his father Isaac, pretending to be Esau and brought savory meat to Isaac. Isaac asked Jacob to come near him and he hug him and smelled him, and touched the hairy skin of a goat that was upon Jacob, and believed him to be Esau.

Isaac then ate the savory meat before him, until his soul was satisfied. Then, because Jacob successfully deceived his blind father, and caused Isaac to believe that he was Esau, after the meal was over Isaac laid his hands upon Jacob’s head, and pronounced upon Jacob the first blessing.  Jacob then left the tent of his father.

Not long afterwards, Esau brought savory meat into the tent of his father, who was full and no longer hungry. Only then did Issac learn that he had been deceived by Jacob. He told Esau that the first blessing had been given to Jacob, but he would give what blessing he could to Esau, and he did so.

Esau was filled with anger toward Jacob, and because Jacob first took advantage of Esau’s dire circumstances to obtain the birthright, and later deceived his father to obtain the first blessing, Esau declared that “Jacob was truly named” and swore an oath to kill. What did Esau mean by declaring that Jacob was truly named?

In ancient Israel, the “first-given name” was not given at birth, but was given after a person’s character was known. The name Jacob means “One who bites another’s heel, or usurps, supplants, undermines, and deceives to get what he wants.” Jacob’s first given name was symbolic of the natural man, which Jacob still gave heed to at this time in his life, in order to gain an advantage over Esau.

We learn from this story, and what follows, that everyone—including future prophets—must overcome the natural man before they can be made pure, holy, and spiritually begotten, in Christ, and receive a “new name.” These are they who love and serve one another and who do unto others, only as they would have others do unto them. Thus they live the law that all prophets come to live by.

Jacob’s natural man choices led Esau to swear an oath to kill him, which Esau would have done had Jacob not fled from the land of his inheritance to dwell under the protection of Laban, his mother’s brother. During the 20 years that followed, while working for his uncle Laban, the Lord qualified Jacob to become a pure and holy prophet in Israel, one who would follow the law of the prophets forever more.

For wages agreed upon while working for his uncle, Jacob received two of Laban’s daughters to wife, as well as servants and herds of livestock. However, Laban deceived Jacob and changed his wages seven times during those 20 years.

For example, after Jacob labored seven years to receive his beloved Rachael to wife, Laban disguised his daughter Leah, causing Jacob to believe at the wedding feast, that Leah was Rachael, who Jacob loved with his whole soul. Jacob was angered by Laban's deception, much like his brother Esau who was angered by Jacob’s deception that cost him the first blessing.

Laban also changed his agreement regarding the livestock Jacob was to receive as wages for tending Laban’s cattle and other animals from year to year. Only through revelatory dreams, where the Lord taught Jacob what to do to prosper in the face of his Uncle’s deceptions, was Jacob able to acquire herds of various livestock for his 20 years of labors.

Through the things Jacob suffered by Laban’s unjust actions, Jacob’s eyes were opened and he was given insights through hard experiences regarding his injustices toward Esau. Jacob came to understand personally why Esau wanted to kill him, or why a divide existed between them.

After 20 years of serving in Laban’s household and gaining the experiences he needed to become a great leader of his people, the Lord then commanded Jacob to return home to the land of his inheritance. Jacob immediately prepared for departure and commenced his return journey home, without saying a word to Laban—bringing with him his wives, children, servants, and livestock.

Then Laban, with several other men, came after Jacob  with the intent to bring him and all that he possessed back to Laban's home. He called Jacob a robber, and was prepared to prevent Jacob from returning to the land of his inheritance.

However, Jacob confronted his Father in law with the truth regarding the changing of his wages seven times, and how it was the Lord that prospered him, and not any kind of injustice. Jacob's confrontation occurred before the men whom Laban rode wtih. His uncle knew that Jacob’s words were true, and after a search for a stolen item did not result in finding any evidence against Jacob, Laban was shamed before the men who came with him to get Jacob, and afterwards allowed Jacob to go in peace.

Not long after his encounter with his uncle in the dessert, Jacob learned that Esau, with 400 horsemen, was traveling across the desert to intercept and kill Jacob and his family. After learning this, Jacob created a “just plan” that he hoped would lead to a peaceful reconciliation with Esau. Jacob then gave his servants instructions and set his plan of reconciliation in motion.

During the night that followed, instead of sleeping, Jacob wrestled mightily with an angel of the Lord until daybreak—seeking for the Lord’s blessing to be upon his plan of reconciliation with his brother Esau. Jacob knew that if Esau would not accept his attempt to reconcile, that Jacob and his entire family would be killed by Esau and his 400 horsemen.

Because his plan was a righteous one, it was accepted and blessed by the Lord. Thus, Jacob successfully laid claim upon the needed blessing, and when morning was come, Jacob was fully prepared to meet Esau, with an assurance that his reconciliation would be successful. This mighty wrestle before the Lord is symbolic of mighty wrestles all men must go through, as we put off the natural man, and successfully surrender our whole soul and will to God.

What was Jacob’s plan of reconciliation? The night before Jacob’s mighty wrestle, he directed his servants to divide his caravan into seven separate divisions. The first division was to contain servants and cattle; the second, servants and camels; the third, servants and asses; and so forth—with the last of seven divisions contained his family and family servants. He then sent the first six divisions ahead of him.

Each division was separated by several miles in the dessert during the nighttime. Jacob foresaw that during the day that would follow their night’s work, the dust caused by each division of his caravan would lead Esau to stop to investigate each preceding division, in the order that he came upon them. Thus, before coming upon the last division, which contained Jacob and his wives and children, the stage would be set for a successful reconciliation with Esau.

As hoped, Esau stopped to inquire concerning the first division of Jacob’s caravan that Esau came across in the desert. When Esau and his horsemen came upon the first division of the caravan, they stopped and asked, “To whom do these servants and cattle belong?” Jacob’s servant replied,  “These are a gift to the mighty Lord Esau, from his humble servant Jacob.” This saying gave Esau and his horsemen pause to consider if this was the same unjust brother that took advantage of Esau 20 years previously?

Esau and his horseman then rode on further, until they came upon the second division of Jacob’s caravan, which included more servants and livestock. Esau asked a servant in the second division of the caravan, who owned the caravan? Again, the reply was, “These are a gift for the mighty Lord Esau from his humble servant Jacob.”

This pattern repeated itself, until Esau came upon the last division of the caravan, which contained Jacob, his wives, and his children. By the time Esau found Jacob, his heart was changed toward him, and instead of killing Jacob, he questioned him to learn more.

Jacob told Esau that all that went before him was a peace offering. Peace offerings were made by one who sought to reconcile with another person, for an injustice or injustices formerly committed against that person. Esau declared that it wasn’t necessary, but Jacob insisted that Esau receive the full peace offering, so that their covenant of peace would be forever established between them by law. Esau’s heart was changed by Jacob’s actions and he and Jacob reconciled their differences and entered into a binding covenant of peace.

Such covenants were made before witnesses, and they were binding under the law and were also a matter of great honor, so long as each party kept their covenant promises. And with 400 of Esau’s horseman to witness him accepting Jacob’s peace offering and their covenant of peace, Esau’s horsemen were also bound to honor the terms of peace agreed upon.

During his 20 years of service, while facing the results of Laban’s unjust decisions, Jacob grew in stature before God and men. He learned how to put his full trust in the Lord, rather than in men, or the arm of flesh. Giving away one’s wealth to establish peace is nothing to men of God who have come to know through personal experience, that the Lord prospers all who trust him and keep their covenants with him and their fellowmen.

Jacob obeyed the Lord’s command to return to his homeland and knew that whatsoever he needed in order to do God’s will would be given to him, as he carried out the Lord’s purposes. The key to our own successful journey in our individual redemptive pathways is to learn the Lord’s will in our lives, and to then be about doing our Father’s business.

In this path we are commanded to ask for and receive whatsoever things that we need in order to do God’s will. The Lord commands all men to walk justly and in love and peace with their fellowmen, and to ask in faith for every blessing they need to accomplish God’s will from day to day. During the 20 years of service to his father in law, Jacob learned the ways and mind of the Lord, and in so doing, he learned how to prevail in the Lord’s righteous ways, rather than in the unrighteous ways of the natural man.

Thus, the Lord gave unto Jacob a “New Name,” and called him “Israel,” which is translated to mean, “One who prevails in the Lord’s just, loving, and peaceable ways—with both God and men.”

Jacob’s “first given name” was symbolic of the natural man that was in him in his early years. In contrast, his “new name,” “Israel,” was symbolic of having wrestled mightily before the Lord to become a spiritually begotten man. All who become spiritually begotten, receive power to successfully apply the Lord’s just, loving, and peaceable ways to each circumstance in their lives.

All such people cease to justify doing anything to another, which they would not want another to do to them. The Lord does not compel anyone to become sanctified and made pure and holy. Rather, he allows and invites all men, including future prophets of Israel, to learn how to walk justly and in love and peace with their fellowmen, never doing to another, what they would not want done to themselves.

We each have the choice to learn to walk justly and in love and peace with all men, through obedience to the Master, or through the things which we suffer. When we offer up our whole soul and will to God to follow Jesus Christ and to do the things he does—God sends to us the further light and knowledge, and all other forms of grace that we need to become like him. Thus, we come to see all things as he sees them, and to think as he thinks, and to feel, say, do, and act as Jesus would if he were in our shoes.


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