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JANUARY 1, 2008

Joint Heirs


While studying in Titus, there rose up a verse that captured my thinking and moved so powerfully in my spirit, I knew it must be the topic of discussion for the New Year newsletter and perhaps beyond.
Titus 3:4-7
4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. NKJV
So profound is this writing of Paul, that upon examination, one is overwhelmed at its depth. The whole of this passage issues from the great heart of God, the Father, and His Son. "But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared," is a phrase which wraps John 3:16 in a perspective that is both grand and lovely. One's heart melts before it.

This regal statement is qualified by a huge reservation, "not by works of righteousness which we have done." Here, Paul wants every reader to understand that man and man's deeds and his mighty religious and pious works had nothing whatever to do with becoming an heir of God.

He simply stated, "HE saved US." If it had come with no further explanation, such would have been enough. Paul wanted us to know how becoming an heir was accomplished… "through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit."

Oh! The precious Holy Spirit was poured out-abundantly, through His Son and Heir. The Holy Spirit inheritance flowed to His new sons and heirs.

With this, Paul identified himself as fellow among all the present and future heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, "Having been justified by His grace (favor) WE should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."

"We should become heirs" is the phrase which bears repeating over and again until it sinks deep within our hearts, and we realize implicitly who we must become. We must become an Heir. Having understood the position, it is up to the saints to embrace it with their very being. (Sons, we are, who have inheritance. We are those to whom all the treasures old and new [Song of Solomon] belong.)

Plot of the evil one:

The plot of the evil one has always been against the "heir of the kingdom." Two references that bear this out are found in the Old Testament: 2 Kings 11:1-3 and 2 Chronicles 22:10. Even though they address the same incident, the message is clear.
2 Chronicles 22:10
Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal heirs of the house of Judah.
Royal heirs are in the sights of principalities and powers. Look into the New Testament and discover how this is true in the assault against Jesus.
Matthew 21:38ff "But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.' 39 "So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?" 41 They said to Him, "He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons." 42 Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures:

'The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the LORD's doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes'?

43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. 44 And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder." NKJV
So important is this passage that it is recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. (Gentiles were given an open door in this passage. The church was born in these verses. The whole of organized religion fell on these utterances.) What one does with the Heir and His inheritance (co-heirs) is the key to judgment and shows in which kingdom one resides.
1 John 3:8
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son (Heir/ child) of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Jesus' purpose was to destroy the destroyer who targets the heirs of God, seeking to "seize his inheritance." If the heir has no inheritance, then what is he heir to? Bless God, when one recognizes the propensity of this issue, things will change in his or her life. Priorities will change. There will rise up on the inside of the heir a fierceness to protect that which has been given to him or her.

Somewhere, somehow, 2008 will be the year when the true heirs will be heard. Their cry will be that of Lamentations.
Lamentations 5:1-2
Remember, O LORD, what has come upon us; Look, and behold our reproach! 2 Our inheritance has been turned over to aliens.
The outrage of thousands of the heirs of God is summed in this passage.

Even Our Father has pinpointed this exact regime.
Jeremiah 16:18
And first I will repay double for their iniquity and their sin, because they have defiled My land; they have filled My inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable and abominable idols.
Psalms 106:40 Therefore the wrath of the LORD was kindled against His people, So that He abhorred His own inheritance.
Yes, we belong to the Lord and we are His inheritance. We came to Him through the death of His Son. What a marvelous circle this has become, a family circle, in which all share in each other. It's a family thing. 2008 will be the year for the family of God. Fellowship will blossom among the heirs. Exploits will be made by the heirs. Joy from heaven will fill the heirs! Why? The fulfillment of this passage will set it off.
Psalms 94:14-15
For the LORD will not cast off His people, Nor will He forsake His inheritance. 15 But judgment will return to righteousness, And all the upright in heart will follow it.
Look at what David declared:
Psalms 37:18-19
The LORD knows the days of the upright, And their inheritance shall be forever. 19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
Regardless of the "circumstances" for this new year, the heirs have a promise that those of religion cannot share.

Hear again the declaration of David,
Psalms 16:5
O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
Heirs, it's a Family Thing:
It is time for the heirs to assert themselves by receiving their portion in Him and confessing to the world they are the Sons of God. The entirety of Christendom must know that we are born again, Spirit filled, anointed sons, who share, as family, with their elder brother and joint heir, Jesus. Simplicity yields itself to the complexity of this relationship though. Many riverlets of protection and promise find their headwater in the life of the heir. Scripture is soaked with their presence.

Venture to the N.T. and discover a basic passage about Jesus and His inheritance.
Hebrews 1:1-4
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
This passage gives a concise account of the life and actions of Jesus, all while attributing His excellence to inheritance. One interpretive transfer has to happen to all of us. We must recognize that we have our excellence the very same way. The whole spectrum of being an heir is in the understanding that inheritance has done its work. We have been appointed to be "heir of all things." We have obtained a more excellent name, by inheritance. It is not by works of righteousness but through His blood that we are "joint heirs" with Christ! It is time to "step up" to the position we have inherited!

Sonship and family are integrated.

It's a family thing. The Father can distribute His resources anyway He pleases, even to Prodigals who squander, then return. One can be sure of this facet, however, when the Prodigal returned, he was more than satisfied to hear every word of His father, to sit for a meal at the table of plenty and to appreciate just a clean robe-let alone a dazzling ring. Restoration is like that, and our God is in the restoration business.
Galatians 4:7
Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
"Heir of God" sounds so wonderful when contrasted with the whimsical constructs of the modern church. Our God is restoring nobility to His people. Paul asserted he was beaten and mistreated but he had not lost sense of his nobility in Christ. It was nobility that was nailed to the cross. The heir possesses a nobleness that has been lost, trampled by both church and the political arena.

An heir claims the nobleness of his Father. He does not have to "work" or "earn" his title. He can claim the resources of another without labor. That is exactly the picture of the children of Israel in the Promised Land. They represented the picture of heirship to a world filled with idolatry.
Exodus 15:17-18 reports:
You will bring them in and plant them
In the mountain of Your inheritance,
In the place, O LORD, which You have made
For Your own dwelling,
The sanctuary, O LORD, which Your hands have established.
18 "The LORD shall reign forever and ever."
Such is the essence of Solomon's Song, the picture of the bride, who by marriage comes into the family as a joint heir.
Colossians 1:9-18
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
Qualified to be Heirs:
Oh hear that saint of the Lord, you are "qualified to be partaker of the inheritance of the saints in the light." If you are ever asked, "Who made you a saint?" Tell them, "My Father qualified me and not only that, my inheritance is in the 'saint pool.'" "Not only that, I am of the seed of Abraham and a recipient of his promises as well."
Galatians 3:26-29 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
You and I were "in" Abraham as he, by faith, claimed his promise. We are "in" Christ Jesus, who by faith claimed His promise.
Hebrews 11:9-10
( In Abraham's body were all the heirs ) By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Yes, Paul stood in the gap and dared to proclaim to his countrymen that Jewish exclusivity never existed. The plan of the ages had always been to incorporate all nationalities into the inheritance. It was the power of Paul's calling that gave him this special inheritance:
Acts 26:17-18
I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.' (made holy by faith in Jesus…)
Then, Paul could write with deftness this passage:
Ephesians 3:4-7
you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, 7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.
Just listen to the ring of it, "Fellow heirs." How sweet is that sound in our ears. Trying to fellowship in the discord of this generation, I find no better solace than to know that my true fellowship is among the "heirs." That is the difference, isn't it? Not all who proclaim Christianity are qualified, but they can be. Once the message of inheritance through Jesus Christ softens their hard hearts (whether or not they lose their elder brother resentment) the fact remains, "I am an heir and so are you."
I am a companion of all those who fear You, and of those who keep Your word.
Psalms 119:63
Note: Review the derivation of the word, HEIR.
kleronomos (klay-ron-om'-os); from NT:2819 and the base of NT:3551 (in its original sense of partitioning, i.e. [reflexively] getting by apportionment); a sharer by lot, i.e. inheritor (literally or figuratively); by implication, a possessor: KJV - heir.
Please keep "possessor" in mind for next months Bible Study.

Until Next Month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD

From the Mailbag:

Sharlene, Houston:
I just read your news letter this morning, what a delight. Totally delicious, sweet, like honey from the honeycomb. Ps 19:10 Like a warm blanket, a covering of love and promise to his beloved. Wonderful teaching, thank you.

PR, Oklahoma:
Thank you again for such a needed Word to the remnant. What a blessing these messages are. I always find joy in passing them along to others.

Chris S, Texas
Thank you for being obedient enough to the Father to write what He tells you and speak what He whispers in your ears. It blesses those of us who hear and read it so much. We love you.

Ray, South Carolina (excerpt from more detailed email):
…... all coming to the surface. Amen on the "can hear the crunching sound".

I think most so called Christian leaders have forgotten what Jesus said.

John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

It is amazing to me how many of these so called Christian leaders are taking the Gospel and conforming it to this world. I find it hard to believe that they are born from above. Yet, I know there is such a deception taking place that as stated in scripture.

Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Nalley, from South Carolina:
Dear Brother,
This would be wonderful. We need your sound teaching. God will bless you in this endeavor.

Jo B., a Subscriber
Dear Ones-in-Christ,
Wow!! Just got back online yesterday, Nov. 30, and opened up my e-mails this morning, Dec. 1, and here is the wonderful newsletter from Zadok Publications. What a confirmation!! This past week I had written a letter to my children and grandchildren and in it was so much of the same things you wrote about. Especially about LOVE and serving one another. It tells me the Holy Spirit is zeroing in on those who are seeking Him and bringing us onto the same page.

Your article is most encouraging and it is the Word of God, the Living Word. For years I have been waiting to hear someone in the Body step out and call for each member to be obedient to the practice that the early church followed and that by considering nothing that they owned as their own but shared so no one was in need. Praise God for you, Brother Oliver!!

In recent months the Holy Spirit has been bringing to me the Word that Jesus spoke about loving one another as I HAVE loved you. Letting Him have His way in my life is so exciting to share His love in word and deed and to witness the response of those that I can touch. ALL praise to our Father and His Son, our Savior and Lord, and soon, very soon, coming Bridegroom and King. He already is coming to those who open their hearts to receive and let His Great Love manifest in and through us.

Recommendation from P.R.:
(George Warnock is a powerful writer, I have all his works in my library, cro)

By clicking on this link you should be able to listen to a message by bro Warnock that I believe will really stir your heart (it has mine). I just listened to "Cranbrook Fellowship - middle portion of message with song."

Note: If this link does not automatically bring up the website, you may copy it into your browser address line.

From the Mission Field:

Missionaries Larry and Marla Johnson wish to thank the many of you who have sent contributions to their ministry as a direct result of reading these reports. (We add our Blessing and Thanks as well, cro)

"We wrote you last month about our proposed Christmas Project at the Feeding Centers and we were overwhelmed with your response. Thanks to you we will be able to make this a very memorable Christmas for so very many….about 500 in fact! Together, with your help we will be able to give each family all of the ingredients for a very special Christmas Eve meal. We were able to include all they need to make their traditional tamale Christmas dinner even with hot chocolate, coffee, cake, atol, and beans. In addition to the food we are able to include a toy for each child ages 1-12. We have little toy cars and Barbie dolls and stuffed animals for the littlest ones. We have placed a blanket in each basket, and yes it does get cold in Chiquimula especially in the mountains! But wait, that isn't even all! We also are giving each child in our feeding centers a brand new pair of shoes! Boots for the boys to work in the fields and little shoes for the girls. It was quite a trick to measure nearly 1000 muddy little feet, but with Karla, Brandy, Ana, and Mundo's help we got it all done! This way each child will get just the right size!

So, we want to thank all of our ministry partners…..YOU….for digging deep this Christmas and making it a special Christmas for 5 villages-180 families-500 people! Almost everything is at the ministry center and is being divided up into specific family gift bags with the appropriate size shoes and gender toys! It will all be delivered to all 5 villages no later than 8am Christmas Eve morning. Please pray for our teams as they deliver these special packages and minister the love and power of God to the precious Chorti people. We are asking God for a manifestation of the power and love of God as we pray for each family. We ask now that you pray with us, pray that God touch each one, heal the sick ones, encourage the sad ones and show Himself strong to all."

(These folks have built more than two churches a month in 2007 along with feeding stations and pastors residences…all by faith…Bless them with prayer and offerings.)

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