“Our life is a story of transition. We are always leaving one chapter behind while moving on to the next.”
Transition is a living word and an indispensable part of our everyday lives.
For it speaks of change, usually change for the better; better growth, new opportunities and transition is the golden key to that change.
We will all have seasons of change and transition is the vehicle that takes us to that place of change.
Transition goes hand in hand with real change, for we can’t have one without the other.
Without transition, a change is just the rearrangement of the furniture.
Unless transition happens, change will not really work.
A transition can be difficult and sometimes scary for us, for it brings in the fear of the unknown.
Often it is hard to stop something that we’ve been comfortable in. But that can often leave an open door to stagnation.
And if not dealt with through transition and change, it can leave us in a very vulnerable place.
So sometimes, God brings times of transition into our lives to create much needed transformational change.
The Bible teaches us that our spiritual growth into maturity has just about everything to do with transformation [Romans 12:1-2].
And this journey of transformation is so synonymous with the transition and change that God brings into our lives.
A lot of people resist transition and therefore never allow themselves to enjoy who they are.
“Embrace the change”, is always a healthy challenging advice.
No matter what it is, once we do, we can learn about the new world we’re in and take advantage of it.
It is when we are in transition that we are most completely alive.
When shifts and transitions in life shake us to the core, see that as a sign of greatness that’s about to occur.
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
For many of us, we haven’t exactly handled our lives the way we could have and we have our reasons no doubt.
However, it has been well said that, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
“Everything that has a beginning must have an end and at the end of it all it’s the end that really matters”.
LIFE INDEED IS ONE BIG TRANSITION!
No Longer Innocent
After the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, God could not deal with him according to his innocence anymore.
So things had to change, for man wasn’t innocent any longer.
Sin had entered, causing a separation between God and man and things weren’t going to be rosy any longer.
The curse had set in and now it was to be by, “the sweat of his brow”.
We were all in the loins of Adam at creation.
So when Adam fell, we fell. And when God lost man, He did not just lose Adam, but He lost us all.
That is the entire human race right down to this very day including you and I, being six thousand years later.
But in order to restore and keep fellowship going with man, God instituted the first blood sacrifice in [Genesis 3:21].
This judicial act of God was not just symbolic, but it was prophetic too.
For the shed blood of animals could never obtain eternal redemption.
It was a temporary make-shift arrangement, which the Bible calls “a shadow” [Hebrews 10:1].
And we know that a shadow is not the real thing.
A day would come when God, in the Person of the Son, would shed His Own Divine Blood for total redemption of mankind.
The Bible calls it, “the fullness of time” [Galatians 4:4-5].
And this “fullness of time” took place when God, took on flesh in Jesus Christ, and was born on a starry night in Bethlehem.
The total fullness of God dwelt in Jesus Christ ‘bodily’, making Him fully man and fully God [Colossians 2:9].
Jesus Christ is the very tangible ‘image’ of the invisible God [Colossians 1:15].
The Four Gospels
As we come out from the Old Testament into the four Gospels accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Israel is still under the Law.
After God called out Abraham, and the nation of Israel came into existence, God placed them under the Mosaic Law.
By the time Jesus Christ comes on the scene to minister to the nation, the law is still fully operational.
The temple with its animal sacrifices for men’s sins are still going on in full swing.
Josephus, a well-known historian of those days claimed that about a million animals were being sacrificed every year.
Though it may sound like a stretch, the point is that what Israel received at Mount Sinai through Moses was still very much in place.
So even as Jesus Christ comes on the scene, nothing has changed and it was not supposed to either.
In fact, when Jesus healed a man of his leprosy in [Matthew 8:1-4], He didn’t just send him on his way.
He told him to go to the appointed temple priest and make the necessary sacrifice according to Moses.
Jesus Christ was here to fulfill the Law and not to break or bypass it [Matthew 5:17].
These tell us that the four gospel accounts are really are very much a part and an extension of the Old Testament.
For years, many of us have been wrongly taught and believed that the four gospels were a transition from the old to the new.
And that is not the case by any means, not by a distance.
Christ A Minister Of Israel
How clearly Paul tells us in [Romans 15:8] that “Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision (Israel) for the truth of God”.
And what exactly was this ‘truth of God’ that Christ came for?
“To confirm (establish) the promises made unto the fathers”, which God first made to Abraham in [Genesis 12:1-3].
God promised Abraham a nation of people, and that He would put them in a geographic area of land.
And then at the appropriate time He would bring them their King, their Government and their Kingdom.
And Israel, as a kingdom of priests, would then take God’s salvation out to the rest of the nations.
Look how Luke tells us this same thing in [Luke 1:71-73]:
“That we (Israel) should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us”.
“To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant”.
“The oath which He (God) sware to our father Abraham”.
And so, here was Jesus Christ, right on schedule according to all that was promised and spoken.
Every ‘jot and tittle’ was in place.
But as it turned out, it was not to be at this time.
Rejected And Crucified
Israel, out of the hardness of their hearts and unbelief, rejected their foretold Messiah, Redeemer and King.
“We will not have this man to reign over us” [Luke 19:14].
And so having falsely charged him as being a criminal, they got the Romans authorities (Gentiles) to crucify him.
The Romans, though very strict as far as their own laws were concerned, never meddled in the religious affairs of the Jews.
They had no problem with the Jews putting their own fellow Jews even to death.
So, when we look at it, the crucifixion of Christ was a joint affair involving both Jews and Gentiles.
And this was also in prophetic fulfillment of [Psalms 2:2].
Luke also mentions that Jesus Christ would be delivered to the Gentiles to be spitefully entreated, scourged and put to death [Luke 18:32-33].
Raised From The Dead
Be it known unto you all, you people of Israel, Jesus Christ, Whom you crucified, God has raised from the dead” [Acts 4:10].
This was the consistent message of Peter and the apostles to Israel in the early chapters of Acts.
After being raised from from the dead, Jesus Christ spent forty days discussing the Kingdom of God with His disciples.
The offer to set up the Kingdom on earth was still valid, even as Christ Jesus made His ascension back to heaven [Acts 3:17-21].
Though Israel crucified their foretold Messiah, God had not withdrawn the offer, for it was done in their ignorance.
If the nation could yet still believe that the One they crucified was their Messiah, they could have their promised Kingdom.
But Israel as a nation, apart from a tiny percentage, persisted with their unbelief.
This unbelief of Israel came to total fruition seven years after Pentecost when they brutally stoned Stephen to death.
God now sets Israel aside for a season and will pick up where He left off with them at some point in the future.
Things had to reach the place where they reached for the hidden mystery of change to begin.
That which was secret and kept hidden in the mind of God since the world began.
The Great Transition Begins
As we come out of the four Gospel accounts and into the Book of Acts, it is here that the Great Transition begins.
Temple worship with all its practices according to the Law of Moses is still in operation.
No one has been told to stop it.
The disciples had been told to wait in Jerusalem to be empowered from above with the promised Holy Spirit [Acts 1:8].
This was their final instruction from the Lord as He ascended back to heaven in Glory.
What happened when the Jesus Christ left and the Holy Spirit came?
As Jesus Christ ascended up to heaven, the transition of power went from the Lord to the Holy Spirit Who descended down from heaven.
Subsequently, the disciples waiting in the upper room in Jerusalem could then be empowered.
And empowered they were with visible manifestations, for “the Jews require a sign” [1 Corinthians 1:22].
The Jews wouldn’t believe anything without a sign.
The Extended Arm Of Christ
The Disciples of Christ were empowered for one sole purpose, which was to be the extended arm of Christ Jesus.
They were to carry on where Jesus left off, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom accompanied with signs, wonders and miracles.
Israel as a nation, which meant every single Jew without exception had to be saved.
Without salvation, there was no question of the Kingdom being set up, and so it was conditional.
And without national salvation, how were they to go to the uttermost parts of the earth?
How can you have an unsaved nation saving other nations?
According to Jesus Christ both would fall into the ditch of hell [Matthew 15:14].
A Strong Reminder
This serves us a strong reminder to be watchful as to who and what we are listening to.
It is so easy to get carried away by every wind of doctrine these days.
We don’t want to feel good, we want to know that we are safe! We want the TRUTH!
Do not be afraid to ask questions and do not settle for an unclear answer. It must come from God’s Inerrant Word!
Hence we all should give ourselves to the study of the Word, rightly dividing the Word of Truth [2 Timothy 2:15].
We are living in those days where we must know both what the Bible says and also what it ‘does not say’.
There is so much out there which the Bible does not say!
SO, how were the nation of Israel to be saved now after rejecting and crucifying their Messiah, Redeemer and King?
By still believing that the One they crucified was indeed the Christ, the promised Messiah. And this was to be followed by water baptism for the remission of sins [Acts 2:36-38].
“God had now raised Christ, whom they killed, from the dead”, was the apostles message to the nation of Israel for next seven years.
Surely they could now believe! But did they? And we know the answer to that.
Remember what Jesus said in the story in [Luke 16:31]?
“If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead”.
The bottom line is that, “Faith must come by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” [Romans 10:17].
Click [HERE] for PART #002 of THE GREAT TRANSITION