Are you perfect, yet? Have you achieved all of the myriad of performances that religion has told us we must, to be acceptable to God? Have you done all that is required to make it into Heaven? If not, this article might help. And if you have, this article might help. Perfection may not be what religion has told us.
Are You Perfect Yet?
This is, truly, an exciting day. It is, of course, The Day of the LORD, and we can agree on that, I am sure. But the day that we are living and growing and maturing in is unique. I don't believe that there has been a time in the history of man that can compare with the opportune situation that the Body of CHRIST finds itself in. We are becoming ever more aware of the indwelling Presence of Holy Spirit, and HIS Presence in us is changing us from Glory to Glory, and we can almost see our Spiritual Maturity grow from day to Day. And as we are being changed from our glory to HIS Glory, we are able to see, with Spiritual understanding, where we have been Spiritually; we get glimpses of where we are going to be allowed to go Spiritually; and, alas, we also see where we currently are Spiritually. Or, where we think we are, considering our limited Spiritual visibility.
With having said that, let me suggest to you that when we look back to where we think we previously were in our Spiritual growth, we can probably accept the idea that where we thought we were at that level is also where we find ourselves at this level. Confusing? Let me try to communicate that idea differently. What I am trying to say is where you are now is also where you were then; whenever then was. The change that we think we see is not in time or position or level of maturity. What I am suggesting is that you haven't changed at all. The only change, in my opinion, is that CHRIST (the anointing of God Spirit) in you is allowing you to see more clearly. Your Spiritual vision is becoming more alive. In this exciting opportunity, CHRIST is expanding our ability to 'see'. CHRIST is Our Father's Life in us, by HIS Spirit. Spirit of God in you makes you HIS Body. CHRIST, in HIS Body, has never changed. "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever." [Heb.13:8]
What has changed, or I should say is changing, is the Spiritual visibility of we who are coming to know that we are HIS Body. You are CHRIST in bodily form. I hope you won't be offended by hearing that. But I am no longer going to side-step religious taboos. I intend to diligently agree with Scripture. And Scripture declares, no demands, that you understand that we are the Body of CHRIST. We are God's physical presence, and we do injustice to creation and to all of mankind (adam) by refusing to accept and acknowledge our anointed appointment.
"Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of CHRIST, let us go on unto to perfection,...". [Heb. 6:1] KJV.
The Body of CHRIST has historically been preached to, and has accepted, the carnal and pentecostal idea that we are just "...old sinners, brother, saved by grace. But one day, in the sweet by and by,...". You know the lines as well as I. We have all, at one time or another, been pacified by the idea that some day, over yonder in glory, we'll all be walking streets of gold, and sing around the clock. We took consolation in not having to be responsible for what we perceived as Spiritual shortcomings because we were waiting for Jesus to come back and whip all the bad people into shape, and then we could be the "perfect" people that we all knew that GOD was demanding us to be. Please hear me. I do not mock and despise that level of understanding. But now I see that CHRIST in HIS Body is allowing HIS Body to see, and we are seeing things that sometimes cause me to shudder and tremble. I sometimes 'see' things Spiritually that are "...unlawful to speak of". And one of those concepts that I am beginning to 'see' has to do with our perfection.
I, like those who have gone before us, have struggled with the notion that I could be considered perfect. If you knew me like I know me, you would agree with me that the idea that Alan could or would ever be considered perfect is just ridiculous. It ain't possible, man, to 'perfect' anything with that many flaws. There is just not enough time to repair and undo all of the mistakes and miscues that this individual has perpetrated. But; that was before Father showed me the meaning and understanding of the Hebrew word we have translated 'perfect'.
"When Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram and said, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be perfect." [Gen. 17:1] KJV
I have said, many times, that the person we know as Abram/Abraham of Scripture would not be allowed to partake in most of today's church congregations. I am more convinced than ever that unless Abram/Abraham repented of all his sin, and "got saved" and baptized, he would be shunned and avoided as one of the heathen. Oh, we give him lip service as "...the father of our faith". But just take an honest look at how the man lived. He had slaves. He made and sold idols. He was a fornicator, by any stretch of the imagination. And if I decided that GOD had told me to sacrifice my firstborn son, Matthew, on an altar, how many of you would really believe that I had heard from GOD. I don't think my wife would fall for that line. If you saw me in the grocery store with my wife and my concubine, and my legitimate son and my bastard son, how many of you would go out of your way to greet me in the market place? I am not trying to be humorous. I am very serious. Don't forget. GOD changes not! The rules and guidelines that we think are appropriate and acceptable to GOD today, also have to be the rules and guidelines that were appropriate and acceptable before GOD to Abram.
And yet we read in Gen. 17:1 that GOD appeared to Abram and told him to "...walk before me and be perfect". And so I had to ask myself, and GOD, what do you mean by "perfect"? And as always, when I ask Father a question about HIS Word, HE always answers me by HIS Word. The Hebrew word that has been translated "perfect" in Gen. 17:1 is pronounced 'TAH-MEEM'. The word is #8549 in Strong's Concordance. The word is used as a noun in the plural. And interestingly enough, the word 'TAH-MEEM' in no way implies 'perfection' in the way that we think of 'perfection' in the context of our religious ideas. When I think of something being 'perfect', I think of being 'without blemish; sinless; without error in any form; of not having any room for improvement'. But the Hebrew word 'TAH-MEEM' doesn't seem to imply that at all. Actually, the word is used to describe a situation where one has completely expended all of his resources. The word 'TAH-MEEM' is used to indicate a plural condition of being bankrupt where my own abilities and resources are concerned. The word is also used to describe when a day is fully gone; a whole day.[Josh.10:13] Also, in Lev. 23:15 we read "And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed." NKJV
Or in other words, "...seven Sabbaths shall be 'TAH-MEEM' (completely used up and spent).
All Hebrew words are formed from verbs made up of three letters, or consonants. So now let's take a look at the three-letter root verb that gives us the noun, or state of being we now know as TAH-MEEM. In Strong's Concordance, we find the verb #8552 is the root word that gives us TAH-MEEM. Remember, TAH-MEEM is plural, and is a state of being; a noun describing our position or condition. The verb, however, is TAH-MAM, and it is used to describe the activity of, or being about the business of, completing a task. In Brother Strong's Concordance, he defines the verb this way: "to complete, in a good or bad sense, literally or figuratively; to accomplish; to cease; to consume completely." There is more, but I think you get the idea I am trying to convey. To 'TAH-MAM' is to completely and utterly consume your resources. To 'TAH-MAM' is to divest yourself of any and all of your own reserves. To 'TAH-MAM' is to fully expend all of your own goods. When you are busying yourself by eliminating all your reserves, your are said to be 'TAH-MAM'. And when all of those reserves have been expended and spent, then you are in the state of being known as 'TAH-MEEM'. And when you are'TAH-MEEM', then you are totally helpless, and solely reliant on GOD. I hope this is starting to make sense to you.
Let's look at some of the ways 'TAH-MAM', Strong's #8552, has been translated into our English Bible. In Gen. 47:15 "So when the money failed (TAH-MAM) in the land of Egypt,..." Gen. 47:18 "When that year had ended (TAH-MAM)...", and also "...how that our money is spent (TAH-MAM). Jer.24:10 is a more vivid illustration: "And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence among them till they are consumed (TAH-MAM)...". This is, obviously, only a fraction of the references you can turn to. I only wanted to show you the idea that has intrigued me. And now, let us try to put this into perspective so that we may benefit Spiritually from these physical examples. We're having our Spiritual eyes enlightened.
God told Abram to "...walk before me (literally, 'in My Face') and be 'perfect' (TAH-MEEM). Nowhere in Scripture do we find GOD giving Abram a list of rules and set of guidlines to follow for the purpose of achieving 'perfection'. So how, then, is Abram to 'TAH-MEEM' in GOD's FACE without 'doing' anything? Let me say that Abram was to do a great deal before he was to be known as Abraham. Or rather I should say there was to be a great deal done to Abram before he was to be known as Abraham. But Abram was not to necessarily 'do' anything. It was more the idea of 'not doing' that was to be his defining characteristic. Abram was to stop trusting in Abram, and completely divest himself of any attempts to be righteous before GOD. Why? Because, "... all of our righteousnesses (yes, the word is plural) are as filthy rags,". [Isaiah 64:6] Or more literally, "...our righteousnesses are as menstrual cloths,". I hope that doesn't shock you beyond the point of hearing this message. But GOD is very graphic and blunt about how HE sees our efforts to be clean and acceptable by our religious activities. You never have been, and never will be, able to make yourself any more or less righteous in GOD's FACE. It was never your assignment. HE has reserved that responsibility for HIMSELF. Your assignment- and my assignment, for I am really preaching to me- is for us to "...believe GOD", as Abram did, and have righteousness applied to us by believing what GOD has already said about us. "Abraham believed GOD, and it was accounted to him as righteousness".[Rom.4:6]
I know of no more foundational Scripture. For you and I to be 'TAH-MEEM', like Father Abraham, is for you and I to cease and desist in any and all efforts of our own to clean ourselves up in Our Father's FACE. If you have had small children, you can imagine the results of allowing your two-year old to give himself a bath after playing in the dirt and mud. The end result would be worse than the beginning. I am very fond of saying "Only GOD can do what only GOD can do." Or in other words, if the task requires that GOD do it, then let GOD do it. And if GOD said that HE has done what HE said HE would do, and only GOD can do it, then accept it as done. That is called the 'trying (testing) of our faith'.
In Gen. 6:9 we read "...Noah was a just man, perfect (TAH-MEEM) in his generations. Noah walked with GOD." I believe that to walk with GOD you must realize that you have nothing to offer to GOD but yourself. To give all of yourself to GOD, and to keep nothing in reserve, is to be TAH-MEEM. When you trust GOD, and GOD alone, and you no longer put any trust into your own abilities and resources to please God, then GOD says you are to HIM 'TAH-MEEM'. What a testimony. And in Psalm 84:11 we read: "...no good does HE withhold from them that walk uprightly", or walk (TAH-MEEM). "O, LORD of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in YOU". [Ps. 84:12]
To be in the attitude and position of having all of your own resources and talents consumed is to be TAH-MEEM. To be TAH-MEEM is to hold back nothing of yourself in reserve. To be TAH-MEEM is to yield all that you are to GOD, trusting HIM as your Father who loves you beyond your ability to understand that love. And to be TAH-MEEM, I believe, is to accept that my Father, who loves me more that I can comprehend, also loves me to the degree that HE is not willing that any part of me that does not reflect and speak of HIS NATURE (NAME) be allowed to remain. All that I am must be yielded to HIM that HE may consume that which is not of HIM. Our GOD is a consuming Fire, and HE does and will consume that which is not of HIM. Any part that I refuse to release to HIM is a part HE will consume with the purging fire which is HIMSELF. And as I am willing to allow HIM, in HIS Love, to consume (TAH-MAM) that in me which is not of HIM, then my position of perfection (TAH-MEEM) in Father's FACE matures. When GOD spoke to Abram and told him to "...walk before me," GOD was saying literally, " Walk in my FACE"; or may I say it this way? Walk knowing that GOD is beholding you, and you walk beholding GOD". I also like to say it this way. Every place you walk, walk as beholding the FACE of GOD. See GOD in every person you come into contact with, and as you see them as the FACE of GOD, you will respond to them as the FACE of GOD. What a radical concept! That I would LOVE everyone as GOD LOVES me. Hmmmmmm!
I believe that GOD allowed Abram to be TAH-MEEM in proportion to Abram's understanding. I believe that GOD allowed Abram to give all of himself in the proportion that he understood. And as Abram's understanding increased, his opportunities to allow himself to be consumed by GOD's Presence also increased. Our Father is not an unruly taskmaster. HE seeks from us only that which HE has allowed us to see. And as HE elevates our understanding and vision of HIM, HE also requires that we yield to HIM those characteristics in our actions that are not a manifestation of HIMSELF. There is no question in my mind that Noah was declared TAH-MEEM in proportion to his understanding. "To him to whom much is given, much will also be required". [Luke 12:48] And the Greek word translated 'required' in Luke 12:48 would be better translated "to be sought from". To him to whom much is given, then much is sought from him. Our Father is trying to get us to see that as HE has given much to us, HE now seeks to find that much in us. HE is seeking for HIS Son. And HE is seeking HIS Son in me and in you. GOD seeks HIMSELF in me and you. Wow! In Psalm 82 HE calls us ELOHIM. Selah.
We do have an assignment, as I said before. We do have a task. But it is an assignment to trust the goodness of Our Father, and believe that HE has already done what HE has said that HE has already done. In the crucifixion, death, burial and Resurrection of Our LORD Jesus CHRIST, Our Father has completed the task HE assigned HIMSELF on the behalf of adam (man). GOD TAH-MAM HIMSELF that HIS creation would be TAH-MEEM. Can you hear that? GOD, Our Father, gave up all of HIMSELF for the end goal of having you and I understand that HE gave HIMSELF up for us that HE would be in us. And HE is now seeking for HIMSELF in us. In Exodus and Leviticus, we read that Passover lambs, and rams and bulls and goats, were to be offered "...without spot and blemish (TAH-MEEM)". I believe it might be more clearly understood if we could see that the sacrificial offerings were offered to GOD TAH-MEEM; that the offerings were offered completely, holding nothing back. To hold nothing back and to yield all to GOD for HIS perfecting is to be TAH-MEEM. I believe it is accurate to say "...the Lamb of GOD which takes away the sin of the world" was a Lamb without spot and blemish because HE held nothing back. HE gave all to HIS Father. I believe that the LAMB of GOD was willing to be exposed to the consuming Fire of GOD, desiring that if there was anything in HIM (which we now know there was not) that was not of HIS Father, HE desired that it be purged by the all-consuming Fire of GOD that consumes all that is not of GOD. GOD seeks that quality in HIS Son. HE now calls you and I HIS Son. If GOD calls you HIS Son, I certainly do not want to deny that you are HIS Son. If GOD calls me HIS Son, I am not going to argue with HIM. My assignment is to accept what GOD has already said about you and me. Our assignment- our appointment and opportunity- is to agree with GOD and say the Amen. Amen means "I see what you say and I agree with what you say". Join with me in agreeing with what Our Father has said in calling us HIS Son. HE only has one Son, and that Son is CHRIST (Anointed with the Spirit of God). And as we accept our role as HIS Son, which I believe is truly Tabernacles, you and I will find more and easier opportunities to yield to HIM those things that HE shows us that are not of HIS NATURE. When I am stubborn and stiff-necked and am not willing to yield to HIM those things that need to be consumed by HIS Consuming Fire, then I experience the "heat" and frustrations of this world. It is then that I can find no rest. So, "Today, if you will hear HIS voice, do not harden your hearts as in your rebellion". [Ps.95:7-8]
Enter HIS rest by holding nothing back. Go all the way with your Father. Be TAH-MEEM!
Shalom and Shalom! Alan