Let’s consider this verse for a moment, Hebrews 2:11, “For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one [Father]; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren”. There appears to be believers who our Lord is ashamed of! Do you really care to know? Let’s look at why He is not ashamed of some of His brethren!
He is not ashamed of those who are being sanctified (not just saved). Note this verse in Hebrews 12:14, “pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.” Real salvation begins the growing process of being sanctified because the Holy Spirit of God resides in our spirit. There are those who claim salvation but there is not a real change in their life. So what is this “being sanctified” that causes the Lord to be proud of us and not ashamed?
Real salvation begins the process of being sanctified (set apart for our Lord alone) and the fruit of the spirit will be evident! Another evidence of being sanctified is we will have little to do with the world’s enticements that we may have enjoyed previously. A few of these are listening to music that entices the flesh, watching movies or reading books that contain violence and immorality, being insensitive to hearing God’s name being used as a swear word and participating in immoral acts which oppose the word of God.
There will be clear indications that you are God’s possession by how you act and think. If we truly are God’s possession then our new nature will begin to hate what God hates because He lives in us! Psalm 5:5, “the boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity”. Psalm 97:10, “you who love the Lord, hate evil…”!
Review Hebrews 2:11 again – He is not ashamed of those who are growing in sanctification (being set apart to his heart and his ways). As a newborn spiritual baby you will automatically have this attitude in your heart that the Apostle Peter spoke of in 1 Peter 2:1-3, “Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” If you had the above spiritual attitude when you came to Christ and still have it, that is evidence He truly possesses you!
AND NOW I HOPE YOU ARE FILLED WITH A DEEP DESIRE TO SPIRITUALLY UNDERSTAND WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART WHAT THE FOLLOWING QUESTION ASKS!
So what does it mean to be God’s own possession? We can all give several answers to that question that may only reflect our personal belief, but what I’d like to do today is allow Scripture to give us God’s description. I challenge, no, I beg you, to take time to read not only the verse scriptures in this devotion, but read the before and after chapter. Check the cross references listed for the referenced verses and then through both prayer and worship wait on the Lord to begin to open up further understanding.
I have loved to study the scriptures for years, not for the knowledge but because they reveal the heart of God and allows the Holy Spirit to teach me what I could never understand relying on my own ability. It has truly changed my life and it can also change yours! As the years have passed, God has been able to build upon His foundation deeper understanding of each scripture. I admit I get very excited every time I receive greater revelation of the Word, but it’s not about the knowledge that I’m receiving, but because, again, it draws me closer to the heart of God to understand His intense love for me and His intense desire for me to understand His SPIRITUAL standards of love for me to please Him. He possesses me as His bride and I possess Him living inside of me.
Hopefully I don’t lose anyone at this point, but there are from our Lord definite “spiritual standards” or “positive” changes/transformations that occur in us that truly reflect His life in us. What are the characteristics of His life He desires to see in us, His new possession? Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Beware that as soon as spiritual standards/positive changes transformation is heard, many will jump on the bandwagon strongly declaring that the Old Testament laws do not apply to us. While the sacrificial laws for the temple do not apply now, they will most definitely apply to us in the New Heaven and Earth. In Matthew 5:17 Jesus stated, "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.” Read that scripture again. I believe most believers are totally confused when it comes to the Old Testament (covenant) laws because the Levitical priests and religious leaders added many “laws” to what God had given. I am not referring to those laws when I speak of the Mosaic Law. The New Testament proclaims that we are children of Abraham. Are you aware that before the laws were given to Moses, hundreds of years before they were given to Abraham? In Genesis 26:4-5 God is speaking to Isaac these words, "I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws."
If we are going to be truly set apart for the Lord then we will lovingly obey our God to accomplish this ongoing sanctification. Here is an important question to ponder. Do you believe that the Ten Commandments apply to believers today?
The following chart identifies references to the 10 Commandments in both the Old and New Testaments to help us in discerning the truth.
Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7
Matthew 4:10; Luke 4:8; Revelation 14:7
Exodus 20:4-6; Deuteronomy 5:8-10
Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-20; Ephesians 5:5
Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11
Matthew 5:33-37; 1 Timothy 6:1; James 2:7
Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15
Luke 4:16; 23:55-56; Acts 17:1-2; 18:4; Hebrews 4:9; 1 John 2:6
Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16
Matthew 15:4-9; 19:19; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; Romans 1:29-30; Ephesians 6:1-3
Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17
Matthew 5:21-22; 19:18; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; Romans 1:29-30; 13:9
Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18
Matthew 5:27-28; 19:18; Mark 10:11-12, 19; Luke 16:18; 18:20; Romans 7:2-3;13:9
Exodus 20:15; Deuteronomy 5:19
Matthew 19:18; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; Romans 13:9; Ephesians 4:28; 1 Peter 4:15; Revelation 9:21
Exodus 20:16; Deuteronomy 5:20
Matthew 19:18; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; Acts 5:3-4; Romans 13:9; Ephesians 4:25
Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21
Luke 12:15; Romans 1:29; 7:7; 13:9; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21;Ephesians 5:3, 5
As stated above, even before God gave Moses the Mosiac Law it was ALREADY established. Let’s look at Genesis. God literally created Adam and Eve in the image of Himself, Jesus and the Holy Spirit! He breathed into them His breath! He had provided for all their needs prior to creating them. Then He would walk daily with them in the garden. There was no sin in the world until Adam and Eve ate of the fruit on the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Their disobedience created a separation from God and, as we all know, there have been great consequences ever since. However, did you ever pay attention to the wording in Genesis 4 where Cain’s anger against his brother was solely because God was pleased with Abel’s offering and not his? Look at verses 6-7 with me, “Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.’" Cain chose to not respond to God's warning and committed murder. How did God respond? He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.” (Genesis 4:10) God then proceeded to state the consequences of Cain’s sin. Cain’s reaction was much like you would hear from someone day, Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is too great to bear!” (Genesis 4:13) I believe we see clearly in the Word that if one is being sanctified by the Lord, the response would more appropriately be godly sorrow which leads to repentance! What I hear in verse 13 is a victim mentality that says he hasn’t accepted responsibility for his actions. I use this as an example for us to see the opposite of what is pleasing to God.
So what is our response to God? That question is as important today in our covenant with the Lord, as it was in the Old Testament and it is the foundation of our faith. It has ALWAYS been the foundation of our faith from the beginning of time.
What do the Ten Commandments really convey? Are they just a list of do’s and dont’s? I challenge you to read Exodus 19 and 20 and really open your heart to hear the Holy Spirit. All scripture is inspired by God, or in other words, God breathed His word through man to record. All of scripture reveals the character of God. One cannot read the scripture and not feel God’s heartbeat, His love, His desire, His intentions, and yes, His holiness.
Because God is holy and pure I am still amazed every day that He would choose to have a relationship with me because in my flesh I am not holy and pure. But when I read God’s Word the Holy Spirit speaks to me and brings conviction of where my life is out of alignment with the holiness of God. And I am so thankful! I love the Lord so much that I never want to hurt Him, I desire to please Him and to be a vessel for His use while on this earth. This temporal world is not my home but it is the only opportunity I have to be available to God so He can reveal Himself through me to others.
In Exodus 19 and 20 we are given a great description of what God’s presence was like when He left His heavenly habitat to reveal Himself not only to speak with Moses, but to speak with the Israelites. There was great thunder and there was fire on the mountain and the earth shook greatly. Wow! Can you imagine? How would you respond? I’m reminded of the twenty-four elders in the book of Revelation. Every time they were in the presence of the Almighty they fell on their faces in worship.
But what was the response of the Israelites? Oh how my heart trembles at hearing these words! Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.” (Exodus 20:19) They rejected God! This is exactly why they spent 40 years walking in circles in the desert until all of the adults that came out of Egypt died! They didn’t believe God’s promises of living in the new land. They didn’t want to be in relationship with Him. They actually wanted to return to Egypt – the place where they were hated and many had died!
But some of you may be saying, but wait, they did say they WOULD listen to Moses repeat what God said. Let me ask you a question, and please answer it honestly. How did that work out for them? It didn’t! And it is the same for you and me today. If you are thinking that you are saved by the fact that you attend church and hear a sermon, you are greatly mistaken. You may even believe there is a God. You may even believe that Jesus was crucified. You may even believe that history proves He did rise from the dead and there were many witnesses.
But do you have a PERSONAL relationship with Jesus Christ? In John 3, John the Baptist really gives us a great definition of what this relationship looks like. “He must increase, but I must decrease. He who comes from above is above all, he who is of the earth is from the earth and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. What He has seen and heard, of that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. He who has received His testimony has set his seal to this, that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:30-36) (To obey requires declarations from God’s word to obey! Did you know that there are 1050 declarations in the New Testament to know what and how to obey which are pleasing to the Lord? Many of those are from the Old Testament!) (f you would like a copy of these scriptures please contact me through this website with your name and email address and I will email you file listing the Scripture references.)
Now let’s backtrack a little. In Genesis 12:1-3 we are told, Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” And Abraham went. He heard God speak, he listened to understand what God said, and then he responded in obedience. Not perfect obedience but he believed what God said and obeyed. As I already stated, there is a big difference in just believing in Jesus as Savior – that is only the beginning and having an intense desire to obey. The Holy Spirit is within you and will cause the desire for obedience if we have a true salvation.
Pay very close attention to this verse in Romans 14:9 on why Jesus died for you, “For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” He died to be your Lord not just your Savior! God is good. The scriptures tell us Jesus is God the Son – He is the epitome of absolute goodness and so as Lord He wants to bless you with all the goodness He is. The requirement is to lovingly obey Him as your Lord!
The writer of Hebrews gives us a very succinct understanding of the walk Abraham had with the Lord God and why the Lord was pleased with him. “By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:8-10)
God made covenant with Abraham. The Lord God progressively revealed His character to Abraham as they journeyed together. Read Genesis 15, read it as if it is the first time you have ever read it, let the Holy Spirit speak. I believe verse 6 is a very key verse. “Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6) Let’s look at two very key words in this passage. The first is “believed”. Believe is an action word (and it is also in the new covenant and means the same thing) which means to hold firm, to build upon (his relationship), to nurture (that relationship so that it grows; invest in), to establish trust that God was a pillar of strength and stability. The second word is righteousness. God is righteous. This word “righteousness” describes the attitude and actions God had and expected His people to maintain, to walk in integrity and blameless conduct. This is absolutely no different than it is for us today! “but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” (1 Peter 1:15-16)
You may be thinking how impossible that is, we cannot walk in blameless conduct, and you are right. It is only through our “belief” (go over the definition above for believed) that the blood shed on the cross by Jesus Christ, the “blameless, perfect One, that we can be saved. But for those in the Old Testament, their belief in the Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, (not just believing only but acting on His character as) Provider, Healer, All Sufficient One, it was counted to them as righteousness. These patriarchs also were prophetic in that God used their lives as demonstrations of the coming Messiah! Were they perfect? No, they sinned. But they repented and turned from their sin back to God. They knew they were nothing in themselves, but with God anything was possible! This is what strongly indicates that we are His possession – when we sin we have godly sorrow and turn from it!
What else indicates that we are the Lord’s possession? Love and obedience, it cannot be separated. What did Jesus teach to His disciples? (This is you and me, we cannot say this was only to the disciples who were with Him when He walked on earth.) Jesus often spoke of the unbelief the people, the priests, the Pharisees, etc. had in God, therefore they couldn’t believe in Him. Why? Because they were envious of Him (Mark 15:10). They were jealous of Him because so many people were following Him. Were they possessed by God? No! They would not obey Him. Note these two verses carefully, John 8:31-32 So Jesus was saying to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word [continually obeying My teachings and living in accordance with them, then] you are truly My disciples. And you will know the truth [regarding salvation], and the truth will set you free [from the penalty of sin].” (AMP)
Please hear what the Spirit is saying. Today, as even then, we need to be spiritually alert, especially regarding those who are “leaders”. They may be priests, rabbis, pastors, teachers, etc., but they are men, so they must be tested to see if they are of God, to see if God really possesses them. A title doesn’t make them righteous or truthful! Remember the words of Jesus to the Apostle John in the book of Revelation? He repeated these words often, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
There doesn’t appear to be a great multitude who were saved in the Old Testament but I believe that many of those who were saved are not the ones in the public eye, even though we have been greatly blessed by meeting many of them in the scriptures and being taught how to live a righteous life. We learned from the prophets and the great men and women of scripture that our relationship with the Lord does not depend on our circumstances, our jobs, our occupations, or our dwelling place. It is through a living out of relationship daily that creates intimacy and sanctifies. But for the majority who are nameless, they are the hidden ones, the Mary’s sitting at the feet of Jesus. We do find several hidden in the scriptures (both old and new covenants) if we take the time to read the Word. We also find a wonderful passage in Malachi which gives me great encouragement. “Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name.” (Malachi 3:16) There is nothing that is unknown to God! Look how much He loved being lovingly remembered and talked about! It is obvious they were possessed by the Lord!
Below I’ve listed a few of the covenant promises for you. They are not inclusive by any means. While this devotion is shorter than most, I believe it is supposed to be so you can continue it and find the “pearl of great price”. “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44) I believe it is as true for us today as it was for Jesus. He gave everything to purchase His bride, there was no price too high, He paid for us with His own life, shed His blood and became the Passover Lamb that we might live in Him. He would not only be our Savior, but more importantly, our Lord! “For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” (Romans 14:9)
Deuteronomy 4:20 "But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession, as today.”
Deuteronomy 7:6; 14:2 "For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”
Psalm 135:4 “For the LORD has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His own possession.”
Malachi 3:17 "And they will be Mine," says the LORD of hosts, "on the day that I prepare [My] own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him."
Ephesians 1:14 “who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of [God's own] possession, to the praise of His glory.”
Titus 2:14 “who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”
1 Peter 2:9 “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR [God's] OWN POSSESSION, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”
I close this devotion with another thought I challenge you today to take seriously. There is a GREAT APOSTASY (false teachings) being taught in our churches today that Israel is not important, that they are not God’s chosen people and that they have no right to the land. Scripture is clear and consistent that beginning with the Abrahamic promise and ending with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the Mount of Olives and then the New Heavens and New Earth descending upon Jerusalem, that promise never stopped. Remember, God is the same yesterday, today and forevermore! (Hebrews 13:8)
There will be many, both Jew and Gentile, saved during the Tribulation. And as terrible as those days will be, the Jews will be blessed by having 144,000 being witnesses to all the earth in those last days to bring as many to repentance as will believe. God called them His own possession from days of old and has never changed His mind. Remember the words the Lord spoke to Abraham and Isaac that those who bless them will be blessed, but those who curse them will be cursed. (Genesis 12:1-3) Are you truly aligned with the mind of God? “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Abba Father, I marvel at Your unending love. Everything You do is with the intent of bringing mankind to repentance, to a saving knowledge of You and Your Son Jesus Christ! Open the eyes of the hearts of those who truly believe and draw them closer to You so that they will be Your witnesses in the short time we have left on this earth. I pray for the lost, that their eyes and ears will be opened to hear and to turn to You from idols and repent and be saved! Thank You for Your love and for the humbling opportunity to be a voice in the wilderness in this desert land. I love You with all my heart! All this I pray in the blessed name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah! Amen.