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Copyright © 2018 by Stephen S. Biko
Published in Kenya All rights reserved
Email: [email protected]
No part of this book may be reproduced including photocopying without the permission of the publisher, with the exception of
brief excerpts in magazines, articles, reviews etc.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Scripture quotations marked (Amp) are from the NIV and Amplified Side–by-Side Bible published by Zondervan Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49530 USA
I dedicate this book to the Head of the church, our
LORD JESUS CHRIST and to the wonderful HOLY
SPIRIT who has inspired me to put down in writing, the
unsearchable riches of Christ that introduces in us the
hunger and thirst to understand the breadth and the
depth of Life that has been lavishly bestowed on us.
We have come to the “last days” and if we are to have a part in the
new Jerusalem, we must have relentless thirst for the impartation
of the righteousness and holiness of GOD on a practical level. Time
was when decisions could be made over a longer period of time, but
today important decisions are made in split seconds. If our
decisions are to be what we shall want them to be, we must know
of a surety what we believe and why. All of Christ’s unsearchable
riches are the endless spiritual blessings with which the Father has
blessed us in the heavenlies and in Christ (Eph.1:3). The
outstanding aspects of Christ’s riches reveals that the content and
the structure of the gospel of GOD are the incomparably rich Christ
as our righteousness, life and faith for the accomplishment of His
eternal economy. Rom.1:17 is the key to unlocking the treasure
house of Christ. It is the key word concerning the incomparably rich
Christ as the structure and the content of the gospel of GOD. When
we pay attention to the words, righteous, life and faith in Rom.1:17,
The righteous shall have life and live by faith. GOD dispenses
Himself to His chosen people through the procedure of His
righteousness and by the appropriation and substantiation of faith
in His believers.
We who were once mere sinners are now “the righteous” because
we have been justified by GOD (Rom.3:24). Christ is the
righteousness of GOD to us, as the procedure of GOD’s salvation,
to satisfy GOD’s judicial requirements for our justification. Christ
is the life of GOD to us to carry out the purpose of GOD’s salvation
within us so that we can be saved in out spirit by regeneration, in
our souls by transformation, and in our body by glorification.
Finally, Christ is the faith of GOD to us for our realization and
appropriation of the riches of His Person as our righteousness.
Thus, the unsearchable riches of Christ is the content and structure
as well as the extract and essence of the entire gospel of GOD.
Rom.1:17 is quoted from Habakkuk 2:4. The name Habakkuk
means “embracing” or “clinging to” which shows us in a condensed
form the highest peak of divine revelation. GOD embraced us by
becoming a man for our judicial redemption and reconciliation to
Him so that we might cling to Him and become His children in life
and nature.
“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that
he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an
appointed time, but at the end it will speak, and it
will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it, because it
will surely come. It will not tarry.” (Hab.2:2-3)
The LORD told Habakkuk to write the vision and render it plainly
on tablets, so that even he who runs by, may read it. On the other
hand, we need to see this great vision and proclaim it to others, so
that even if they are running by, they will not miss it. On the other
hand, when all us see this great vision, we will be burdened to run
and proclaim it. We have to inscribe this vision of the saving Christ
on the tablets of men’s hearts to make them living letters of Christ
for all to read. (2 Cor.3:3). The vision seen by Habakkuk was “for
the appointed time” There was an appointed time for this vision to
be opened up and proclaimed. Today is the appointed time, at the
end of this age, for this vision to be released and proclaimed. We
want to be one with the LORD so that we can be like Paul in his
faithfulness to live and proclaim this vision, thus declaring, “I was
not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” (Acts.26:19).
Hebrews 10:37 say, “For yet a little while, and he who is coming
will come and will not tarry” This is a quotation from Habakkuk.
Habakkuk says that the vision “is yet for the appointed time” and
that, “it will surely come; it will not delay.” However, in the New
Testament, an addition is made that brings more clarification, it
says, “He who is coming will come and will not tarry.” This is a
reference to the LORD Himself! This vision is actually the person
of Christ.
The vision that Habakkuk saw is also the vision of GOD’s judgment
on mankind (Hab.2:5-20). Under GOD’s judgment, all sinners,
whether Jews or Gentiles, are destined to die. (Rom.6:23). How can
sinners escape GOD’s judgment and be saved eternally? There
must be faith in the LORD Christ and a zeal for the appropriation
of His righteousness in the regenerate soul. There must be a
discovery of the riches of Christ within the spiritual landscape, that
discovery is essentially the wisdom of GOD. This is a New
Testament gospel in an Old Testament prophetic book.
Hypostasis of Christ 55
Divine Predisposition
“Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you - the sure mercies of David.”
- Isa.55:3
he moment of spiritual regeneration is never an end in itself,
but rather a means to an end. There is a niche or a place in
the process of this regeneration that GOD surely intends
every regenerated soul to come to. Within the vast spiritual
landscape, this place is singled out as the most essential ground
that every believer must stand on, to concretize his or her
Christianity. An expedition to this place is punctuated by the call
highlighted in Isaiah.55:3 and GOD starts this conversation by
saying, “HO! Every one that thirsts, come to the waters…” (cf.
Isa.55:1). Then later, He now says, “…and your soul shall live…”
(Isa.55:3). That means our souls shall live if only we come to the
waters, which again underscores the need for thirst. Therefore, this
call implies gravity since in it is the substance of redemption.
This call is essentially a solemn invitation to everyone who is
thirsty to come to a place where there is complete satisfaction. That
is, where there is joy unspeakable and full of glory and peace that
surpasses all human understanding. This is where there is
satisfaction on GOD’s favor and salvation, regardless of your
outward condition. David describes the intensity with which we
ought to approach this place. He said, “O GOD, You are my God;
early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs
for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water….to
see Your power and Your glory…” (Ps.63:1-2). David wrote this
psalm while he was in the wilderness of Judah and it paints a grim
picture of a dire situation and he brings the connotation of this dire
situation to himself; he likens the despondent situation of the
wilderness to what his soul experiences. Thence, he says, “…my
soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You…” Meaning, he longed
for a spiritual renewal brought about by the power and the glory of
GOD. Again, somewhere he uses the analogy of a desert condition
that is fraught with distress to indicate the intensity of dryness and
thirst in such a manner that, that desert seems to literally cry out
for water so to speak. He uses that condition to describe the
yearning of his soul. He said, “I spread out my hands to You; my
soul longs for You like a thirty land.” (Ps.143:6).
He emphasizes this aspect further when he says, “One thing I
have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in
the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the
beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.” (Ps.27:4).
David is here expressing the desire of his poor soul which is to
always dwell in the presence of GOD to behold His beauty.
in the spiritual landscape, he was so enraptured with the
experience of profound satisfaction that he desired to live there
forever. He could say. “…that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life…” He wanted to stay there forever! Like
David, we must express this thirst, zeal and zest for GOD because
the beauty of the LORD is only realized by it and when our
preoccupation is to learn His ways, that is, to know and partake of
His righteousness and to experience His favor, then this desire to
dwell in His mighty presence will not go unfulfilled. He says,
“Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of
salvation.” (Isa.12:3) and in another place, He reiterates this as,
“For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul
with goodness.” (Ps.107:9).
However, the key point here is “thirst” because this is what
underpins our Christianity such that, without this thirst, we remain
dry. This thirst is not in vain since there is fulfillment and joy in the
end. There is a definite promise attached to it! “Blessed are those
who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be
filled.” (Matt.5:6). Thirst for GOD coveys us to a place of
fulfillment or complete satisfaction in the Holy Spirit. The contrast
of thirst breeds dryness which is typifies death, but GOD
emphasizes that He will pour water only upon who is thirsty. He
says, “For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods
upon the dry ground…” (Isa.44:3). Because man of himself is as
the dry and barren land, GOD promises that He will moisten him
with the waters of His Holy Spirit. Water is the emblem of the Holy
Spirit; as water refreshes, cleanses, and makes the earth fruitful, so
do the Spirit of GOD influences the soul.
This gift of the Holy Spirit is the great blessing, the plentiful
pouring out of which GOD kept for the latter days. Where GOD
gives His Spirit, He will give all other blessings. Hereby shall be a
great increase of the church. Christ in His capacity as the Wisdom
of GOD says, “…Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will
make my words known to you.” (Prov.1:23). This is a promise
only to those who thirst for Him, who have a zeal for His
righteousness and are on fire for Him.
There was an Ethiopian eunuch, a man of great authority under
Candace queen of the Ethiopians who had come to Jerusalem to
worship the LORD, and while on his chariot returning, he read the
scriptures in the book of Isaiah.53:7-8 but his soul was troubled
because he could not understand what he was reading (cf.
Acts.8:26-39). His soul yearned, was filled with thirst to
understand the part of scripture he read and owing to his thirst, the
Holy Spirit swiftly responded by sending His servant, Philip who
opened up the scriptures for him and he understood and believed
that Jesus Christ is the Son of GOD and was baptized. At this, he
went on his way rejoicing (cf. vs.39). The centre of attention in this
whole event is the fact that if we dare to wholeheartedly desire to
be ever endowed with spiritual things, such that our souls are
marked with unrest until the thirst is quenched. Then GOD will
reveal Himself when He opens up our eyes to perceive and ears to
understand. How can we ever know the ways of GOD without His
Spirit? Dryness pervades a soul that is only complacent with the
born-again experience and is not thirsty for more of GOD. The
Christian is dry but is not aware! He wallows in his worldly success;
he is wealthy and rich, he has all that he would need.
These are the things that he came to GOD to seek and found
them (cf. Eccl.6:2) but GOD silently brings to his attention the
depth of his deficiency. He says, “I know your works, that you
are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So
then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I
will vomit you out of My mouth.” (Rev.3:15-16). How
heartrending! The LORD Jesus Christ is here drawing out a
comparison of hydrology situation in Laodicea to explain the
spiritual condition of the church there. Hierapolis was a place
nearby to Laodicea and its hot waters were known for its medicinal
qualities, whereas Colossae was known for its cold, pure water.
Laodicea was forced to receive water by aqueduct or a conduit from
other areas such as Hierapolis and by the time that water arrived at
Laodicea, it was lukewarm and provoked nausea. So, the works of
the Laodicean church were as worthless as the city’s lukewarm
water, the church there lacked genuine faith.
When the church there thought that she is one of the bona-fide
or unquestionable beneficiaries of GOD’s blessings, the LORD
startles her with a dispirited report that highlights her spiritual
tepidness which enlists her to be spewed out. In His estimation, the
LORD swiftly prehends her thought process and reports, “Because
you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of
nothing’ - and do not know that you are wretched, miserable,
poor, blind, and naked.” (vs. 17). This latter report characterizes
dryness in a soul, a soul that superficially displays somewhat the
blessings of GOD yet so sick. It is a report that brings to our
attention the element of pretentious spiritual complacency which
typifies a lack of thirst for GOD.
The LORD nudges the lethargic and complacent soul that has no
spiritual value to awake out of sleep and beckons him to come to
the waters, but He elaborates and puts it this way, “I counsel you
to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich;
and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame
of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes
with eye salve, that you may see.” (vs.18). This is the work of the
Holy Spirit upon a soul that thirsts, so the LORD tenders an ideal
counsel that requires us to resolve to completely surrender to Him.
This invitation radiates the thought expressed in Isa.55:3 where
GOD says, “Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul
shall live…” Again, this implies the LORD’s invitation in John.7:37-
38 in which He said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and
drink. He who believes in Me, as the scripture has said, out of
his heart will flow rivers of living water.” This is a call that is
so specific as is suggested by “If” which subordinates a happening
to a condition. That, whenever you thirst, come to Him and your
thirst shall be quenched. Therefore, this is an appeal to only those
who have a spiritual enthusiasm, that is, they who cleave to, trust
in or rely on GOD!
The city of Laodicea was famous for its wealth, its bankers, its
medical school, its popular eye-salve, and its textile industry. This
made the church there to keep abreast with these developments to
denote true blessedness but spiritually, they were poor, blind and
naked. True wealth is found only in GOD’s grace and bestowed by
the Holy Spirit and that bestowal foremost cleanses, and then
refreshes and then brings fruitfulness. Therefore, the LORD’s
counsel in Rev.3:18 presents a dichotomy between true blessedness
and the prevailing ideology in the Laodicean church.
The church had no spiritual value so the LORD advises them to
buy of Him gold tried in the fire that they may be spiritually rich,
they had no virtue so He implores them to clothe themselves in
white garment to cover the shame of their nakedness and lastly,
they had no vision so He presents to them an opportunity to anoint
their eyes with eye-salve that they may see. He urges the church at
Laodicea and likewise we, to repent of our lack of spiritual
enthusiasm and understanding. The undisputed credibility of our
Christianity lies in our quest for GOD and moreover, we wouldn’t
want to miss out on that life-time opportunity of GOD’s relentless
call to come to the waters. Heedlessness to this call, especially now
that we have found out that GOD is appealing only to those who are
thirsty would right away make us of no spiritual value. But we must
be the poor in spirit who always yearn for GOD. We cannot do
without Him for He is our life and He is all we have. The level of
intensity of that desire for GOD is properly represented in Ps.42:1.
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for
You, O God.” These are they who are humble, who rate themselves
insignificant and therefore, submit to the will of GOD.
We must have known that GOD in His elaborate plan of
redemption delivers us from the dwelling place of sin, the realm of
darkness and brings us to His Cross and since He loves to hide (cf.
Isa.45:15), He leaves us there at the Cross and goes beyond to a
place of Wisdom or Truth so that we may seek Him and definitely
find Him as He has promised (cf.Matt.7:7). The LORD Jesus Christ
is neither on the cross nor in the tomb for He is risen and is seated
at the right hand of the Majesty on high (cf. Eph.1:20). The
deliverance from darkness to the cross is intended to create an
opportunity of hunger and thirst in our souls for Him.
Henceforth, we yearn for more of Him, more of His goodness
and as we press toward the mark for the prize of high calling of
GOD (cf. Phil.3:14), we get deeper into the light and its intensity
upon us increases which gradually wears out sin. Then we become
locked in the place of Wisdom or Truth.
This is the place where the LORD encouraged the new Jewish
converts to come to. He told them, “…If you abide in My word,
you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn.8:31-32). This is a place
where the holiness and righteousness of GOD is realized and it
owes its relevance up to date. In our quest for the excellency of the
knowledge of Christ, we must come to such a wonderful place in
our spiritual landscape and experience that glorious joy in the
Spirit and chorus with Paul the apostle saying, “I have been
crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives
in me;…

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