"WHEN YOU ARE CONVERTED"
Jesus Christ said to Peter, "When you are converted, strengthen the brethren," Luke 22:32. How would you react to that statement if Christ made that statement to you today? Would you be offended and react by telling Him, "He didn't really know what He was talking about," especially if Christ made this statement through one of His servants?" Would you proceed to prove to Him that you are converted by the fact that you have repented of your sins, and presently you are a commandment keeper, and that you have been baptized and you do believe, and have accepted Christ as your Savior? You would also add that you have been given God's Holy Spirit, and because of all this, you would answer "yes," you are converted.
Peter too had repented, and without question, was a commandment keeper. Peter too, had been baptized, and confessed with his mouth that Jesus was the Son of the Living God, had given up his occupation, and had been with Christ during His entire 3 1/2 year ministry, and had even partaken of Christ's first, New Covenant, Passover Service. And it was right after that Passover service that Christ made that statement to Peter, ---" When you are converted, strengthen the brethren." Four days after Christ's suffering, and death, and shortly after His resurrection, Christ appeared before the disciples and gave to them the Holy Spirit. Read it in John 20:22! Even after receiving the Holy Spirit of God, still the disciples were not converted to be motivated, to be led by the Power of God's Spirit, and to do the work of God, because Peter and the other disciples returned to fishing for fish, instead of fishing for men, John 21:3.
Christ continued to reappear before the disciples, and on His third appearance, asked Peter, "Do you Simon Peter love these (fellow disciples) more than me?" Christ was asking Peter, as well as the other disciples, did they love each other, and their fellowship more, than loving Jesus Christ. Christ went on to make the same statement about loving Him 2 more times, to emphasize to Peter the need for him, and the other disciples to do His work. The work being, that if they really loved Christ, who had laid down His life for them, they would feed His lambs and sheep. Christ then promised His disciples that they would receive power at Pentecost, to be totally converted to doing His work, of feeding His sheep. How, by going before His sheep and teaching them about Jesus Christ as Savior, and what His sheep must do to receive Christ as their Savior. A true servant loving Christ, will feed His sheep all of His salvation message, of how they can be saved by first repenting of their sins. Then they would explain to them how they must be converted, to a heart that is led and directed by the power of God's Spirit, and that they must have God's Spirit, and mature in His Spirit, to be truly converted. This is feeding Christ's sheep, done by a servant that loves Christ.
Peter, throughout the whole ministry of Christ, and even up to just a few days before Pentecost, believed that Christ's whole, focused purpose and message for His coming, was to restore and set up the Kingdom of God, with Christ as King on earth at that time, and to restore Israel. Read it in Acts 1:6. "Their understood, to be good news message," was in error as Christ explains in Acts 1:7-8. But then, they were still unconverted, even though they had received God's Holy Spirit, as brought out in John 20:22. Their understanding and "their" believed, good news was not the focused Message, and Gospel and work of Jesus Christ. Christ's work is to find and save His lost sheep, and to love His lambs and sheep, by feeding them food that brings about their repentance, and to provide them with spiritual messages, where they would never hunger and never thirst. The bread of Christ was the food, His word, that would strengthen them, to help them to become fully converted, fully developed and formed in Christ, to having Jesus Christ live in them, through the Power of God's Holy Spirit.
What is the meaning of conversion? Conversion means according to the Greek word-epistrephe (1995) of Strong's Greek dictionary; to convert, and in the English dictionary convert means; to change into another form, substance, or condition. In God's Word convert means; to change the heart from the ways of the flesh to a heart that is changed, to be filled with the ways of the spirit, and powered by His Spirit.
If Peter was not converted to really love Christ, by feeding His sheep until he was given the Power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, then today, where do the babes of Christ stand on being converted, to having Christ live in them, and having a desire to do His work? Are you really converted? Are you motivated by the Power of Christ in you? Will Christ at His coming to deliver His church, say to you, "I don't know you," or "I know you not," as being the words He has already foretold He will say to a large number of people, professing to be His disciples? Mat. 25:11---"Afterward came also the other virgins (foolish church brethren), saying Lord, Lord, open (the way) to us, v 12, But He answered, and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not." In plain words, they had not really been converted to have Christ living in them, through the Power of His Holy Spirit. Yes, they were babes of Christ, but foolish babes, that had not developed, by being born again, and led by His Spirit. These foolish virgins are chruch brethren, who had repented, are comandment keepers, had been baptized, and had earlier received the gift or token of God's Spirit, but were still not converted, much like Peter before he came to be led by the power of God's Holy Spirit.
They were just not all that interested in being at His work of helping the progress, or advancement of Christ's work, His true work of finding and feeding His lost sheep, sheep of Christ who are hungry for spiritual meat, but not being fed; sheep of Christ who are thirsty, needing the watering, the flowing of God's Spirit in them, so they could develop and mature spiritually, but were not being directed to the river of life for conversion; lambs of Christ who are strangers, new in the faith and needing a lighted path to Christ, but were turned to the arm and strength of a man or turned away; sheep who are naked, needing the truth, the righteous clothing of Jesus Christ, and how true righteounsess is gotten, so they could be warmed and encouraged and loved by Christ; sheep who are sick, needing help and instructions of how they could be healed and restored to health, physically, mentally, and spritually, but were not helped; in prison and bondage to sin and needing information, instruction and love of how to be freed from the slavery of sin, and the flesh, but were not sought out and helped. The sheep of Christ wewe in need of real, spiritual nourishment, but the pastors were too busy loving their fellowship in the flesh of men, rather than having a spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ, and teaching the sheep how they too could have that relationship with the true Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
Paul said in his speaking to the brethren in Corinth that he "spoke to them not because they were of the spirit, but because they were still carnal, still of the flesh, still babes in Christ." Jesus Christ, who was started in them, had not developed and matured in them. Paul said he had to feed them with the milk, because they were not able to accept the meat of the Word, that envying, and strife, and divisions were still among them, because they were still carnal, fleshly, I Cor. 3: 1-3. They were still following men, and not being led by Christ in them, verse 4. God says in Rom.8:6, for any brethren "to be carnal minded, (fleshly minded) is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."
Why will the remnant of the church, who profess to keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ, be rejected, and not be led by Christ to a place of safety and protection in the wilderness, Rev. 12:17? To be rejected by Christ at this moment, will represent that one is not converted to having Christ living in them. This is the same thing as Christ saying to a person, "when you are converted," meaning they are not converted, and they have not been born again, by having Him living in them, through His Holy Spirit.
Paul continues to make the same statement to those confessing to be saints in II Cor. 13:5, by saying to them, "Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know you not your ownselves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except (or if not) you are reprobates." A reprobate is one rejected, unapproved, worthless, a castaway. God calls such professed, Christ followers, reprobate silver in Jer. 6:30,---"Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord has rejected them!"
Is Christ in you?
What does it mean for Christ to be in you? A believer must be spiritually converted, from walking by the flesh, to be converted to works of walking, and living by the Spirit of God. Jesus Christ can only live in a person by, and through the Spirit of God! Christ cannot live and grow in a believer whose mind and heart is totally wrapped up in the flesh. Whereas, your life and time is given to worrying, fretting and consumed about all the cares, pursuits and plans for the self, the family, your little empire, and your church, as a social club. Jesus Christ says in John 12:25, ---"He that loves his life shall lose it, and he that hates his life (crucifying the deeds or works of the flesh) in this world shall keep it unto life eternal."
True believers that desire, and pray to do God's work, and be His workmanship, are making the way for Christ to live in them, through the Power of His Holy Spirit. They are believers more converned about the things of the Spirit, than the things of one's carnal-fleshly life. They know what is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and can, with a good understanding, explain and teach it to others. They are, or are working zealously, at becoming spiritually converted, and can explain to others what it means to be converted, to be born again, which still is a mystery to most church brethren.
They continually study God's law, His 10 commandments, and fear to break any one of them, and because of this, can explain the entire meaning of each one of God's commandments, and are themselves, obeying all of them. God's 10 commandments are written in their hearts. They know how, and why keeping God's 10 commandments pertain to repentanace, and why they relate to salvation, and how one is spiritually justified by Christ's sacrifice. Believers that have Christ living in them, are persons that understand the difference between a sinner and a saint, and he is living his life as a saint, and not as a sinner.
These are the basics of Christ's teachings and doctrines, that a wise virgin has established in his or her heart, providing the place for Christ to dwell there, and Christ will dwell there. All of this is based on the humbleness of the believer, to have a child-like heart, in order to be converted to the Spirit, and to grow in the knowledge and understanding of the teaching, concerning how one is led by the Spirit of God. In plain words, the wise virgin has been laying up the spiritual things in God's Kingdom, and has not concerned himself with storing up treasures here upon the earth.
What about the confessed believers who Christ does not know, and in whose heart Christ does not dwell? This person's heart dwells mainly on all the things of his body, his flesh and the social club of his churches' fellowship. This Christless believer spends nearly all of his time and energy in thinking, worrying, working and pleasing himself, his family, working and planning for his retirement and physical future. His life in the flesh, consists of putting greater demand upon his physical life than on the spiritual, and he sees no need, or desire, to change their roles in his, or her life. Christ is on the outside of their heart desiring entrance, but He is continually refused and rejected admission into their heart, Rev. 3:19-20. The fear of being rejected at Christ's return is not a real concern to them, as the Scripture foretells will come to pass. Profesed to be church people, foolish without question, believe Christ will not reject them, and are totally self-deceived about their Christian life.
When Christ prayed to the Father, asking Him if there was some other way, other than the pain and suffering and excruciating death that He would have to endure, in order that they could work out salvation for man, and He understood the answer to be, that there was no other way. The same is true with every believer desiring eternal life, they must repent and become converted, to be led by God's Spirit, in order to be accepted by Jesus Christ. What will it take to convince people? Will it take the firey trial of the worldwide, great tribulation that is coming upon the whole world????!!!!!For your comments and questions our e-mail address and many more articles can be accessed at our homepage website http://www.donimon.org/light.index.html