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Book Form Building The man Of God

BUILDING THE man OF GOD

Or

Seeking the Seven Thousand

In Building the Child of God we were encouraged to recognize our condition, our position, and our answer in God. We then endeavored to begin putting off the things of the flesh, remove the hindrances to our walking with God, recognize the enemy and our calling, and come to spiritual warfare. That walk does not end there, but the child must continue growing to an adult, and prepare to live a fruitful life in the spiritual, pleasing unto God. To be fruitful our walk must be supplemented by continued putting off of the flesh, growing in recognition and spiritual understanding of God’s will and plan, putting on the spiritual things that are pleasing to Him, and truly knowing God. This is spoken of to the saints at Colosse;

Colossians 1:9, 10  For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

There is a progression then listed in Colossians 3; from mortifying the flesh and sin in verse 5, to putting off the wicked emotions and the old man in verses 8 and 9, then putting on the new man after the image of Him that created in verse 10, putting on the fruit of the Spirit in verses 12 and 13, to putting on charity, the love of God, in verse 14, and allowing God to rule in our hearts in verses 15 through 17; this is ultimately putting on the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the continuing path of building the man of God, which is only possible through humbly, obediently, hearing God and doing His commands as He equips and enables us. Our first step is in finding and fleeing to Him as our strength and refuge, that He may enable us to overcome in this walk. Faith, hope, and charity are abiding, but will only be found in Him; begin to seek refuge in God.

Refugees In Jesus

How deeply have you considered Hebrews 6:18?

Hebrews 6:18  That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

If you have dismissed this scripture as too difficult you may be missing one of the most elemental things you need. If you have studied it, how often have you contemplated this scripture trying to determine the … two immutable things? or have stood upon the promise that it is impossible for God to lie? or have desired to lay hold upon the hope? But how many have considered our refugee status?

Being a refugee is not an easy life, but often involves affliction. The cities of refuge in the Old Testament were for men to flee from the avenger of blood. Their deliverance and protection was upon the people of the city of refuge. There was no promise of an easy or blessed life for someone forced to flee there. They were separated from everything they owned or desired, and from family, but death awaited them outside the city.

Refugees that we see in the news today, often fleeing war or famine, live in squalor, often in tent cities by the hundreds of thousands. But they have been delivered from the sure death that awaited them at home. They have fled to see their needs and protection rest on the people, city, or country of the refugee camp. Supplies are often provided by many countries, but are usually insufficient to meet all the needs.

In this exhortation from this verse, we are considering spiritual refuge. We must have refuge from the sin and iniquity of our past, which was a sure death. But we also must flee the things of the flesh that lead to failure and death. It is an absolute necessity for you to give up the things of the flesh and this world to lay hold of the hope set before you;

I John 2:15 – 17  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Spiritually there is a slow sure death in the things of the world. Hear God, give up your love for the things of the world, and flee. Seek refuge in God, and in fleeing to God we seek His deliverance and protection;

Deuteronomy 33:27  The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.

Psalm 46:1  GOD is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Why would scripture declare Him as our refuge if it were not necessary? Have you fled for refuge? God will be your comfort, protect you from the enemy, be your strength, and your help in trouble. We have all heard people say, God is in control. God’s control for our life is where He is invited, or rather, where He has planned for you to be. If the control of God was everywhere, there would be nothing to need refuge or deliverance from. If you read and receive the following verses from Revelation, you will understand that while God is reigning in the committed, obedient, Christian’s life now, He will reign everywhere some day in the future;

Revelation 11:15 – 17 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

There is a complete reign and control of God in His power that is to come. But until then we must flee from the things of the world and to Him for refuge. Contrast this fact with Abraham and Lot. Abraham fled for refuge from Haran, obeying God and waiting for the promises;

Hebrews 6:13 – 15  For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

In fleeing for refuge, and in patient endurance, Abraham received all the promises. Lot could not see for the things of this world, and moved into, rather than flee from, Sodom. Lot and his family had to be led by the hand to get them to leave Sodom, and they lost everything. Lot’s wife still sought those things, looking back. Jesus exhorted/warned us with this remembrance; Luke 17:32  Remember Lot’s wife. Flee for refuge to Jesus!

Refugees become totally dependent on their benefactors; if we flee for refuge to God we should accept complete dependence on Him. Why would we believe that God would give us or tell us things that might harm us? God does not change, giving good one time and evil at another. Every good and perfect gift is from God;

James 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

When we flee to God for refuge we will not only have the protection of Deuteronomy 33:27 or Psalm 46:1, but also the blessings of His provision! When Israel fled for refuge from Egypt, … the Lord went before them … in a pillar of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21, 22) and they followed it. The presence and refuge of God was where the cloud or fire was! God then gave them bread from heaven;

Exodus 16:4  Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.

The manna always fell near the camp where the presence of God, their refuge, was. We could stray here and talk about Jesus, … the bread of life … from heaven in John 6, and stress the need for a certain rate of the Word every day, but let us stay on topic; that He is our refuge. The children of Israel could not stray and leave His presence and refuge and still find the manna following them in their walk in the flesh; the manna was with God. Similarly His provision is there for us if we flee the things of life and turn to Him. By the Holy Ghost He will be a comfort from the fear. He will meet our every need, so why do we continue to be led of our flesh? Our deliverance is not in our hope and remaining in our flesh, but our deliverance is in our refuge, in fleeing from the things of the flesh. Have you made Him your refuge? There is no lack in fleeing to His refuge. All His promises are sure in Him if we will walk with Him.

Consider the two immutable things promised to Abraham (Hebrews 6:14 above); … surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. This promise came because he did not withhold his son, but offered him to God in obeying God’s voice;

Genesis 22:18  And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Abraham heard, obeyed, patiently endured for the promise, and received it. Will you obey and endure for your promises? Hebrews 6:17 mentions the … heirs of promise … in relation to the immutability and oath of God made to Abraham, and then in verse 18 that our consolation and hope is in those two immutable things from verse 14; … surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. Will you, as Abraham, be an heir of promise, a joint heir with Jesus (Romans 8:16, 17)? If you will believe, hear, obey, and endure, these two immutable promises are yours also!

By deception, our lust, and the things of the world the enemy tries to keep you from fleeing and receiving refuge, and the hope that is our consolation. He is not obvious in his ways;

II Corinthians 11:12 – 15  But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Understand the truth of spiritual warfare; Satan desires to be as God and only has lies, deceit, and lust as his weapons. Jesus said the devil is the father of that;

John 8:42 – 44 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Since the spiritual poisoning and murder of Eve and Adam in the garden, the devil has been lying to men. Do you look for the truth in everything? Our refuge is in the truth (Jesus). It is by lust, deceit, and lies that the devil seeks to pervert the godly, and when successful he uses them to pervert others;

II Timothy 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

These are the seducers Stanley Frodsham was told by God to warn us of in his 1965 prophesy. As David said in Psalm 51, … thou desirest truth in the inward parts ... God wants the truth to be such a part of us that we can know the deception when it arises. An example of this occurred in our early walk with God, as He was telling us by the Spirit not to listen when a pastor was speaking certain things. It was soon found the pastor was in adultery, lust, anger, etc. and was removed. Let the Spirit be your guide, and you will be a child of God (Romans 8:14).

We have read Jude 4 – 19 and seen those who … crept in unawaresas distant or somewhere else. They are all around, being used of the enemy to deceive others. Go back and read these verses today in the context of this word. What has the enemy deceived you in? Have you made lies your refuge by the lust of your flesh? There is sure death in that path;

Isaiah 28:14 – 17  Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.

Who is that tried and precious corner stone, that sure foundation? Jesus; The Way, The Truth, The Life, The Light, The Word of God. We need to repent and flee for refuge to the truth. Fully realizing Him as our refuge will give us a dependence on Him that will further humble us. Remind yourself again that your sufficiency is only in Him;

II Corinthians 3:5  Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.

It is only in Jesus that we can be overcoming. Keep your eyes and ears open to the truth, for the truth is your refuge. Let us flee for refuge, that we may find “in” God His power, His protection, His provision, His deliverance, His blessings, His multiplying, His healing, His glory, and His honour in this evil day.

Refuge In The Control Of God

There are many who declare the control of God, and it is misunderstood. It is easy to be discomfited by the 26 dead including many children in a school shooting, or the dead in the hurricanes, tsunamis, warfare, or 9-11. It is easy for men to wonder in these types of instances, Where was the Almighty God, if He was in control? We must understand what is meant when men say God is in control.

God created you as a free moral agent, but the temptation of Eve left us such that a better description is a free immoral agent. All of your life, in literally everything that you do, you are choosing a Lord. With the right decision in each and every thing you do, you declare Jesus to be Lord. In each sin or iniquity you are making Satan your master. Who will you choose? And who will you believe? Your refuge, your deliverance, your protection, and your provision will be dependent on your answer. Your decisions determine whether you will walk in the spiritual realm of, and with, God, or in the physical or false spiritual realm of Satan. If your decisions are made in the fleshly lusts, or in lack of faith you have put yourself in the hands of man without God, you are separating yourself from God (Isaiah 59:1, 2), and placing yourself in Satan’s realm and attack.

God is calling unto us to come to Him, repent, completely obey Him, and let Him be our refuge; it is here we can find God’s control. This control is complete when we make Jesus the head, and give Him the preeminence in everything;

Colossians 1:18, 19  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence, For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

The importance of Him being the head is that the members of the body do not or should not have a mind of their own. In a natural body, without the head to command the arm, for instance, the arm cannot perform any function. Anything less than giving Him full preeminence will result in our mind and our fleshly nature leaving us with a level of unbelief. That is what is further spoken in these scriptures; in Him shall all fulness dwell; our fleshly nature will not give Him all, and obey Him. That is the importance that Jesus put on spiritual fasting and prayer in Matthew 17:21; it allows us to find a spiritual unity and yielding and obedience that we cannot find in the flesh. This can also be seen in the description of the kingdom;

Romans 14:17  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

The kingdom of God is not a combination or mix of these things, carnal and spiritual, but it is righteousness, peace, and joy: we must also realize that it is only in, and under, the full authority and control of the Holy Ghost. Being full of the Holy Ghost is how Jesus could say He had meat to eat, spiritual food, that the disciples did not know;

John 4:31 – 34  In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him aught to eat? Jesus said unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

While in mind we believe we understand the above scriptures, begin to hear and receive in heart the depth spiritually of the preeminence and fulness of the Lord in all. Let us try to expound our understanding, to find the need for us to overcome our flesh, to find total obedience, and to give Him the complete and total preeminence in all matters. Jesus was feasting on manna, the spiritual food, the will of God, and doing His work. It is here you will find the control of God, the spiritual provision, protection, and deliverance of Almighty God.

Let us first consider several who had divine deliverance or protection under the control of God in scripture. Because he was the man of God, Elisha had a mountain full of horses and chariots of fire protecting him when the Syrians surrounded him (II Kings 6:15 – 17). For their stand for righteousness and truth, in declaring and worshipping only the true God, the three Hebrew children were delivered from the fiery furnace by the Lord (Daniel 3). Daniel, a man listed as one of the three righteous in Ezekiel 14, had the protection of Almighty God, who closed the mouth of the lions (Daniel 6:21, 22). But please note that each one of these men still had to face the attack of the enemy! It was only in their righteousness, stand, and faith and trust in God that His control was found and they were delivered.

Let us also consider the multitude of people who failed although they had seen many miraculous things in the deliverance and provision of God. Are you grumbling and complaining, or unbelieving, in the blessings that God has given you? Consider the children of Israel;

Hebrews 3:7 – 12  Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To-day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

Hebrews 3:19  So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Please note that … they have not known my ways. They had no hearing and doing, the obedience to His voice, but they erred through the lust of their hearts, which left them in unbelief. Just prior to these verses, we are exhorted to stand in our confidence and hope, and not to fail as the children of Israel did;

Hebrews 3:5, 6  And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Will you be the House of Christ? You must stedfastly believe, and hold fast and firm the hope unto the end; there is an ease of this if we have the fulness of the Holy Ghost.

Continuing to read in Hebrews 3 and 4 of the rest of God, and the omniscience of God, through Hebrews 4:13, you will find in verse 10 that we must give up our ways;

Hebrews 4:10, 11  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

The rest of Hebrews 4 is a spiritual rest; our physical example of the Sabbath day, and resting from our labor, has a spiritual parallel in stopping our ways and thoughts, and yielding our walk for His. It is in the hearing and doing that we find His rest. His rest is not something that we just have, but we must enter into it in belief and faith in Him, and in complete obedience to Him. Do not be deceived that you are always under the protection of God if you are walking in your sin or unbelief.

Many stand on, and rely in, the scriptures that Satan could not afflict Job without the permission of God. How many of you can be described as Job: … a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God and escheweth evil? It was in this relationship with God that Job had his reliance, and he walked in righteousness; the realm of God. Let us look at where Satan was allowed to attack Job;

Job 1:12  And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.

The physical things that Job had, including his health later, were what Satan was allowed, and had the power, to attack Job with. Those things are in his realm, and that is where he tries to drive you that he might defeat you. The Sabeans, the Chaldeans, the fire, the wind, and the boils were all in his realm and power to afflict Job. Where did Job’s knowledge and choice and personal stand leave him?

Job 23:10  But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

Job acknowledges the trial and fire he was going through, but makes his decision and chooses to continue to stand for, and with, God and maintains his integrity. None of us have faced anything like Job, but in the afflictions and attacks that we do face, many contemplate running or quitting; it is only in remaining in righteous relationship with God that you are assured His control, and Job came forth as gold.

That is where Paul and Silas were at in the prison at Philippi; they were in the kingdom, and refusing to fall to the realm of Satan. The beatings, stocks, and earthquake were all in the realm of Satan, but they remained in spiritual warfare in the kingdom, and captured many for Jesus.

Look at the temptation of Jesus; all the things that Satan used (food, power, wealth, and authority) tried to bring Jesus into the devil’s realm. His authority in the physical things is mentioned;

Luke 4:6  And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

As with most things, there is only a glimmer of truth to the things the father of lies says when his mouth opens; he is only in authority when in his realm. But scripture tells us the … the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just (Proverbs 13:22), so we know again that the spiritual will overcome even in the physical things of the devil’s realm.

In the prophecy delivered by Stanley Frodsham in 1965, Jesus acknowledged that He first suffered the temptation, and then the persecution. This is the difference in the oppression of the devil, and the spiritual warfare. Oppression occurs when the devil has some measure of authority over you through your sin or flesh. If the devil cannot defeat you with the temptation, he will then resort to the persecution; recognize through God each one when the attack comes. Those mentioned in deliverance above, Elisha, the three Hebrew children, and Daniel, had all stood fast through temptation and reached the point of persecution. It might appear that the Hebrew children could have been in temptation, but that had been settled long before. Nebuchadnezzar used the oppression of his rule to force all others in his kingdom to worship the image he had set up, but the three Hebrew children had a greater ruler, and stood fast faced with persecution. We must stand fast in the persecution as well!

In relation to the attack of the enemy, I love how Corrie Ten Boom acknowledged that she held onto the physical things lightly, otherwise it hurt when God pries your fingers off. Our victory is only in the realm of God, and overcoming the attack of the enemy, who is trying to return you to his realm. God desires you to have the kingdom before the things. If we continually walk in the flesh we risk a devil’s hell.

Jesus must be the head of the body, or we will be spiritually paralyzed. We must be led of the Spirit to be a son of God; Romans 8:14. We must come out of the devil’s realm and flesh, and be separate, to be received and be His sons and daughters;

II Corinthians 6:17, 18  Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Understand that it is only in the righteous, overcoming, life that He receives you, and you receive His promises. Hear the calling of God in this scripture … come outbe ye separatetouch not the unclean thing … God is a God of judgment, and judgment is beginning in His house that we might again be the light to counter the darkness. I can hear Brother Shoots in his wilderness sermon shouting of God, I want to make a people, I want to make a people, I want to make a people! In the days before Jesus came, God was desiring to prepare His people;

Luke 1:17  And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Repetition of Righteousness: Spiritual Boot Camp

Military boot camp prepares a people to go to war through repetition of hearing and obedience, so that the soldier is immediate and complete in their actions; it becomes second nature to them. Spiritual boot camp prepares a people to hear and do: where is your spiritual obedience? Years ago God gave me a dream where He spoke to me “Repetition of Righteousness”, and in my dream there was such an indescribable depth of joy and peace in His blessing that rejoicing and worship for the promise flowed. After waking the thought was that the phrase must not have been remembered correctly, since it was not remembered from scripture. God has been sought many times to renew that dream, and God is answering. Your spiritual boot camp, your spiritual preparation, is in repetition of righteousness, hearing and doing, hearing and doing, hearing and doing. There can be no stopping to feed your flesh, or be complacent. The cadence of military boot camp is your left, right, left, right. In spiritual boot camp our cadence is do right, do right, do right, do right, as we hear God and obey. As God repeats some of the same scriptures to you over and over again in these exhortations it is to establish you in His righteousness; the scriptures often add to the prior truths and purpose;

II Timothy 3:16, 17  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

In your daily walk receive the scriptures again as preparing you; the Repetition of Righteousness. Look in each scripture for additional truth and God will reveal more truth as you become better established and prepared to bear it.

Military boot camp breaks the will of the men and teaches them to obey, that they might work as a unit. God also commands an order of things where our flesh is subdued and Jesus is given complete preeminence, rule, and reign, that in him may all fulness dwell (Colossians 1:18, 19 above). Your ability to walk in the control of God is in finding obedience to His commands, and He is the enabler if you will volunteer to be a soldier and let Him bring you through boot camp. God always has a prepared remnant, as He told Elijah;

I Kings 19:18  Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

These seven thousand did not overcome by their own random act and will, but the word says they were kept and established by God … I have left me … These seven thousand were committed to Almighty God through His preeminence and control. They did not change the world only because they did not have the Holy Ghost to lead and guide. What is our excuse? In Romans 11, after speaking of the seven thousand, Paul says Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. Let Him lead you through spiritual boot camp.

In these last days God is again desiring to prepare a people, and for us to be established under His control;

Hebrews 8:10  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

Please note in these scriptures that it is with God’s laws in their mind and heart that they will be to Him a people. It is in that place where we can love God and accept His will and purpose;

Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Please note in this verse that it does not say that all things work for good to everyone, but to those who love God, and will receive His calling! Verses 29 and 30 then discuss the predestination, and calling, and justifying, and glorifying of those that God foreknew. We then come to the results of the control and refuge of God Almighty;

Romans 8:31  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

It is here, being of God, and in the will, and purpose, and refuge of God, that we can overcome every persecution and attack of the enemy, knowing that God is greater than anything we face;

I John 4:4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Receive in heart the knowledge of the calling and purpose of God; come out of the world and things of the flesh, and desire to walk therein, that you might also receive the refuge and control of Almighty God! The preparation of military boot camp does not start with a marathon run, but with calisthenics and jogging. Let us begin spiritual boot camp with some spiritual calisthenics, and seek the knowledge of God.

THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, AND OF JESUS OUR LORD

If you love someone, you try to know them better, and try to do or give them things that you know will bless or please them. Do you truly know and love God? Let us take a moment to consider the knowledge of God; if you look for it, you will be amazed at how many scriptures speak of the knowledge of God. Several of the prophets speak of the knowledge of the Lord: Isaiah speaks of the earth being full of that knowledge;

Isaiah 11:9  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

If the knowledge of the Lord will one day fill the earth, should we desire for it to fill us now? Habakkuk spake of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord filling the earth;

Habakkuk 2:14  For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

Have you looked at the things God created, and in knowledge marveled at His glory? Some cannot see the glory in His creation. God has told us that not just the knowledge of it, but His glory itself will fill the earth;

Numbers 14:20, 21  And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word: But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.

The knowledge of God will give us the knowledge of His glory. And again, if the earth will one day be filled with that knowledge, why not desire that in us now? In the book of Hosea the prophet tells us our having the knowledge of God is more important to God than what we offer to him;

Hosea 6:6  For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Do you want to please Him? Increase in the knowledge of Him. Having the knowledge of God will let you awake to righteousness;

I Corinthians 15:34  Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

If we do not have the knowledge of God we will be asleep spiritually and be unable to see our sin. It was noted in a prior encouragement that a very simple definition of holiness could be righteousness to perfection. It is plainly stated in Hebrews 12:14 that without holiness we shall not see the Lord. Does this give you a desire for more righteousness, grace, and peace? Then you should desire to know Him more, whereby you may receive these things;

II Peter 1:1, 2  Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

If these blessings of God are ours … through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord …we should have a greater desire to know Him! As the book of II Peter closes, Peter again relates our growth in grace with our growth in the knowledge of God;

II Peter 3:18  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Peter exhorts them (and us) to grow in the knowledge of Jesus; the Word is inspired by God, so God is exhorting us to know Jesus more. There is great promise in knowing Him. Where, or how, do we find or receive the promises of God? By His divine power and our knowledge of Him;

II Peter 1:3, 4  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

The corruption, the lust of the world, that the knowledge of God and the divine nature will allow us to escape, was noted in I John;

I John 2:15 – 17  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

We must overcome these things, and our overcoming is in hearing and doing His will. We can do this only by the knowledge of God, and being partaker of the divine nature. His divine power has given us all that is needed, including His … exceeding great and precious promises

How do we “know” Him? The depth of that knowledge is not usually something that just comes on you. We do not require or expect a first grade student to do calculus. It would only be confusion to them. They are taught numbers, addition, and subtraction, in later years multiplication, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry before they can learn calculus. Their schooling also includes other subjects at the same time; reading, writing, English, history, and social studies. If we desire to be heirs, we need to allow ourselves to be put in school;

Galatians 4:1, 2  NOW I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.

II Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Get on the path of knowing Him. You cannot receive it by being the lazy, complacent student. God does not want you waiting to cram before the test. Allow Him to begin pouring the knowledge of God into you by His Spirit and you will see and begin to receive the things Peter spoke of, and become the sons of God;

Romans 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

 As you walk the path of knowing God, realize that if you feel confusion you are not hearing the Spirit, or have misplaced your learning or walk;

 I Corinthians 14:33  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

The enemy will always attempt to confuse you, hinder you, or stop you and prevent your growth in the knowledge of God. Seek God, and He will open the word as you are able to bear it. Remember and understand that you may need to grow in other areas of knowledge to receive the specific area you are having difficulty with. The knowledge of God will begin by increasing our belief, or faith, in Him;

Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

God wants us to then add to our faith;

II Peter 1:5 - 7  And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

How many of you knew that these verses end in … the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ? Our perception is that the knowledge of God is a specific area of learning, but all of these areas of spiritual growth help us learn of Him. The Word also tells us that the end of this progressive walk is charity (love), and the following tells us that love is a must to know God;

I John 4:7, 8  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

You could and should spend the rest of your life learning of the depth of the love of God. The knowledge of God can only lead you on that path, since … God is love. However, this topic is prepared so that you understand the need to know God, so you can purpose to spend the rest of your life in that pursuit. Let us stay on topic for now.

The first two verses of Hebrews chapter 12 are very well known, quoted, and preached, but let us get a different perspective of the third verse;

Hebrews 12:3  For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

God wants us to consider Jesus and what he endured under great contradiction. In the Strong’s Concordance the word translated “consider” here means to estimate, or figuratively contemplate. It is a step in knowing Him!  And if we do not consider Him, the verse says we can be wearied and faint in mind. Up to this point it has appeared to many that the knowledge of God is optional, or only for those in ministry. We cannot endure or be overcoming without the knowledge of God! What are some of the things we would attribute to being … wearied and faint in your minds? Are you stressed? Consider Him! Are you anxious? Consider Him!  Persecuted? Consider Him! Treated wrongly? Consider Him!  Facing a financial crisis? Consider Him!  Is your faith wavering? Consider Him! Is the enemy attacking you? Consider Him! Is your prayer life or your anointing lacking? Consider Him! How many times have you read or heard these verses and not received this very simple call? Consider Him! Now let us go back to the first two verses;

Hebrews 12:1, 2  WHEREFORE seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The first verse has been preached many times calling Christians to eliminate sin from their lives. How often have we tried to lay aside our weights and sins by our self and failed? If the weights and sins so easily beset us, they will not be easily overcome in the flesh. However, these two verses are separated only by a comma; it is one sentence.  In the Strong’s Concordance the Greek word “looking” in verse 2 means to consider attentively. It is only through considering Him that we can lay aside our hindrances and be established in faith. In Him is our sufficiency to lay aside the weight and sin. Consider Him! Jesus made it very plain in Matthew 11, but our reading emphasis is often on His rest and the easy yoke;

Matthew 11:28 – 30  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

In taking this yoke we are encouraged to learn of Him, and his humbleness. Do you truly know Jesus? Consider Him! On the path to perfectness we need to come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of Jesus. These two things are tied to each other in the following scripture. Our limited knowledge of Him does not let us go on unto perfectness, or His fullness;

Ephesians 4:13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

The apostle Paul had cast off the desire for the things of this life, and notes his desire to know Him and to attain the next life;

Philippians 3:8 – 11  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

Paul calls the knowledge of Jesus excellency, and notes that his righteousness is from that knowledge. He then lists the things that he wants to know. Have you read these as separate and distinct in the past? Realize now they are dependent on our knowing Him. We cannot fully know the power of His resurrection, or the fellowship of His suffering, or be conformable to His death without knowing Him. We cannot attain to the resurrection without knowing Him. The depth of our knowledge of Jesus will determine the depth of our knowledge of each of these things. We must have the knowledge of God.

It is only through His shining in our darkness that we can have light for the knowledge of His glory;

II Corinthians 4:6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

As God spoke the light into the creation, He will allow it to spiritually shine in your heart if you continually repent and seek Him. We need to allow this light, this knowledge, to shine in our hearts, or we could fall. Falling into sin after you know Jesus will leave you in a worse state than before;

II Peter 2:20  For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

Be diligent in hearing and doing and He will keep you on your path forward in Him. To walk worthy and pleasing we will be filled with the knowledge of His will, act and be fruitful in it, and will then increase our knowledge of Him;

Colossians 1:9, 10  For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

We need to know His will, and do it, and we will increase in the knowledge of Him. “Hear” and “do”, as Brother Buckner says, and there are two parts to that. As mentioned in the past, the church in Arnold collectively is strong on hearing, the Topeka church on doing. They are not as deep in the Word, but they are to be commended for being so active in the Rescue Mission, women’s prison, help programs, etc. But with either part left out, hearing or doing, we limit ourselves. If we do not know His will we cannot accomplish it, no matter how many outreach programs we take part in through our own will. If we know His will and do not accomplish it we are no better off; in each instance we will not reach the depth of the increase in the knowledge of Him that He has for us.

The enemy will try to trap you in unrighteousness or the flesh and send you to his high places, … spiritual wickedness in high places. If we are negligent in either hearing or doing we will miss the mark and be asleep spiritually. We must worship and serve Him in spirit and in truth, Awake to righteousness.

Sister Schoonover talked about seeing a food distribution program for the poor from the basement of the church in Arnold when things were really bad. What has been done about it in 14 years? Another lady is quoted as seeing the pews of the church full. How will that happen? Only by hearing and doing!

The verses above from Colossians tell us to have knowledge of His will. These things must come in His timing and plan, what do we need to do? God is more and more impressing on me the following scripture;

Micah 6:8  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

To do justly speaks of righteousness; mercy will bring us to love and compassion for the poor, fatherless and widows; how can we walk humbly with God? Only by hearing and doing! Smith Wigglesworth quoted someone as saying that to really serve God we need to have our “I” knocked out. If we do not walk humbly we will not receive the depth of the promises God has for us.

With this scripture from Micah, does God inquire these things of us? Does He desire these things of us? The Word says he requires these things! The word translated “require” is number 1875 in the Strong’s, darash; daw-rash’. It means: properly to tread or frequent; usually to follow (in pursuit or search); by implication to seek or ask; specifically to worship.

Treading or frequenting speaks of walking, and being in a place regularly. Following also speaks of our walk, but the definition says in pursuit or search. In pursuit speaks of an urgency or hurriedness, and of diligence in doing so. Search speaks of diligence in trying to find something. Even with seeking there is often some walking necessary. God requires of us a spiritual walk with Him. The last part of the definition is that it is worship. God expects our worship to be in doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with Him! Grasp and understand this thought from the parts of the definition; your spiritual walk is your worship. Unless your walk is with a pure heart your worship, your testimony, your praise, and your singing are empty to God, as spoken by the prophet Isaiah, and repeated by Jesus;

Matthew 15:7 – 9  Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

In Hosea 6:6 above we saw that God desires mercy and the knowledge of Him more than sacrifices. Amos 3:3 says Can two walk together, except they be agreed? You must know Him to be in agreement with Him and walk humbly with God; and you will be a witness to those around you.

Walking humbly with God describes our continual going on in the Spirit. It is not a run, which can wear you down. It is not a ride, counting on others to provide the energy, preparation, and diligence for you. It is not a drive, where you take control until problems are encountered, and then ask God to correct things. Consider the following verses;

Psalms 1:1, 2  BLESSED is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

If we stand, or sit, or allow our walk to stray from the humble path with God we will fail. We are often encouraged of the benefits of walking for our physical health, and it is the same in the spiritual. It is easy, and restful, if we will walk humbly with God, and God is always there for us. Please note the delight in the law of the Lord, and the meditating in verse 2; again we see the need for the knowledge of God.

How have you approached your spiritual walk? Is your worship a once per week thing or is it a continual witness? Is your spiritual food (the Word) a summer picnic or a continual feast? Is your spiritual walk a vacation or a vocation?

Ephesians 4:1 – 3  I THEREFORE, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

This vocation that is your calling will not be the drudgery of a job; Jesus will reward your diligence in Him: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me … and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Lay aside every weight and the sin that doth so easily beset you. Consider Him! Press in with a greater desire for more knowledge of Him; He will meet you and graciously reward you with what you desire!

Jesus: The Way, Truth, Life, Light, and Word

It is not possible in this short exhortation to teach the depth of the knowledge of Jesus that God wants us to have. The apostle John wrote the following;

John 21:25  And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, If they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Therefore, we are only endeavoring to start you out on the path, and help you to desire, and begin receiving, the understanding of the truth as God gives it to you. God wants you to have the knowledge of Jesus in your heart, as the apostle Paul wrote;

II Corinthians 3:2, 3  Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

To be His epistle, we must dig deeper into the scriptures about Jesus than just the foundation of the knowledge of salvation. We must also receive the knowledge of Jesus in our heart, not just in mind; this is only through … the Spirit of the living God. Let us begin by deeper consideration of the following scripture;

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

We recognize this scripture of salvation in Jesus, but have we fully considered its parts? What is your depth of knowledge that He is the way? Do you fully know Him as the truth? Do you understand the life that is in Him, the light of men? Let the Spirit open your heart as you lightly explore each of these, to start you on the path of knowing Jesus in a greater depth.

The Way

Our flesh and sin separated us from God, as noted in numerous scriptures (Isaiah 59:1, 2, Romans 8:8, I Corinthians 1:29, Galatians 5:19 – 21). There was no path, no road, no bridge, or no good deed that could atone for our sin and bring us to God. Jesus reconciled us and made the way;

II Corinthians 5:17, 18  Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

With no means for us to reach God, Jesus became the way of reconciliation to God. Beyond reconciliation, we need to understand that Jesus is the way to a closer walk with God. Jesus also has made the way into the holiest;

Mark 15:37, 38  And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.

Hebrews 9:8  The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

Hebrews 10:19 – 22  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

The holiest place represents the holy habitation of God, and Jesus made the way into it. He has prepared for us a mansion with God, why would we live as though we are homeless? He will lead and guide you in His mercy, as in the physical example of the Israelites leaving Egypt;

Exodus 15:13  Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.

Jesus has redeemed us, and will lead and guide us to His holy habitation, for He knows, and is, the way. By this Jesus also gives us the way to the throne of grace;

Hebrews 4:15, 16  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

If you desire to be perfect, look to Jesus as the way to everything spiritual. How many knew that even the truth is a way? Peter speaks of false prophets speaking evil of that way;

II Peter 2:2  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

To know the way of truth, let us look at Jesus, the truth.

The Truth

As with the way being tied to the truth, each of these items in Jesus statement tie to other items. We know that He is the truth. He also stated that the Word is truth;

John 8:31, 32  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 17:17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Knowing that Jesus is the truth, and the Word is truth, should be easy to relate if we consider that Jesus is the Word;

John 1:1 – 3  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

We have come full circle back to the truth, and can now consider that the truth came by Jesus;

John 1:17  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Have you read this and wondered where grace and truth were at prior to His coming? He is, was, and created in this world, grace and truth with everything else, as noted above in John 1:3! Prior to His coming in the flesh grace and truth could be seen in His creation;

Romans 1:20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Sin causes a blindness that prevents us from seeing or perceiving the things of God, but they are clearly there! Although we were physically alive, we were spiritually dead, needing spiritual food;

Deuteronomy 8:3  And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.

Jesus, the Word, the truth, is our spiritual food that brings us to life;

John 6:35  And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

This brings us to consider the need we have to receive and to know the life that is in Him.

The Life

John 6:51  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

John 1:4, 5  In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

As we now consider the life, we see in the above scripture that it also relates to spiritual light. John tells us that God is light;

I John 1:5  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Jesus tells us again that He is the light, and also the light of life;

John 8:12  Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Following Jesus will keep us in the light, His light! If we fail to follow Him we will get further from the light, and darkness and condemnation will begin returning;

John 3:19 – 21  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Jesus is the truth, and the light; it is Jesus that we come to as we receive and do the truth. How much do you let the light shine into your darkness? It is not an all or none level, but the light is variable as we allow it. While it is imperative to stay on topic, in the Word, the consideration of Jesus, we will stray for a moment to consider an object lesson God gave in an apartment in Topeka. The partially open door of a room had “stripes” of light, or shadow, on it. God led to consider this. Just inside the door, and adjoining the connecting wall was a strip light with four bulbs. All four bulbs shone on the first stripe on the door, and it was bright white. In a very short distance the wall blocked the light from the first bulb, and less light hit the door, leaving a slightly darker appearance, or shadow. As each additional light was blocked or obscured by the wall, each succeeding stripe became correspondingly darker. This is similar to our spiritual walk; the walls of sin, the walls of iniquity, the walls of flesh, the walls of complacency, or the walls of unbelief that we build up or leave in our heart will obscure the light we can see or receive. In our flesh we loved darkness rather than light. Consider yourself; what walls have you left or built that are preventing your spiritual vision, the light of life? Have you given your flesh, to die daily? The strength of our spiritual vision depends on our removing the walls. If we do the truth, we will come to the light, as noted in John 3:21 above. It is in the fullness of His light that the blessings and gifts of God are then available;

James 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

God then brought further consideration of the shadows on the door; there were actually five: the fifth and least level of light was the reflection of the light from the walls of the room. This is where God wants us to return His blessings, in reflecting His light to others. We did not provide the light ourselves, but reflect His light – give Him the glory for it! There are many levels of this reflection, but God’s desire is that we progress to become a mirror, not a wall, that we might be a perfect reflection, or in His image! In the fullness of this, God wants to establish His kingdom within you, and be the light source from His throne on your heart. Without Jesus this was never possible, for He is … the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father except by me. They should not see you, but the Jesus in you, and the God you serve;

Matthew 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Your light does not come from your source, but from God, and it should only glorify Him. As God commanded the light to appear in the creation, let Him shine the light, Jesus, in your spiritual creation, and grow in the knowledge of Him;

II Corinthians 4:6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

After God brings you to a greater knowledge of Jesus as … the way, the truth, and the life, begin to let Him lead you to other knowledge of Jesus. Perhaps His love;

Ephesians 3:19  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

We pray this exhortation has brought you to consider Him in a greater way. We will never have the full knowledge of Him in this life, as evidenced by the apostle John’s declaration… the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Get on the path of knowing and yielding your all unto Him; the blessing and multiplying and gifts will be great unto you.

Shiloh

In recently reading of the failures of Eli, Hophni, and Phineas, the forsaking of Shiloh was considered;     

Psalm 78:58 – 61  For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images. When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel: So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men; And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy's hand.

As you consider this, it is easy to wonder why churches today would use the name Shiloh for their building or congregation. However, the name Shiloh was first the name for the Messiah, the expected Christ;

Genesis 49:10 – 12  The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.

Jacob was speaking the blessings over his sons, and also prophesied of the expected promise (since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden) of Shiloh’s coming, and the gathering of the people to Him. The word Shiloh is 7886 in the Strong’s; Shiyloh, shee-lo’; from 7951; tranquil; Shiloh, an epithet of the Messiah. Checking an English dictionary, the word tranquil means ‘in an enduring state of unagitated quietness.’ Can you see the mercy of God in this enduring state?

We can easily grasp the gathering of the people to Him, but what else can be received from these scriptures? Jacob spoke this much ignored prophecy; how can it bring us to a greater knowledge of Jesus? For instance, in John 15 Jesus tells us that He is the vine, and we must understand that He is not just any vine, but ... the choice vine;

John 15:4, 5  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Before moving on in our search of Shiloh, let us consider these scriptures a little deeper. In any translation some of the meaning can be diminished through language. We see the word ‘binding’ and think of being tied up to, like to an old west hitching post. The Hebrew word (681 in the Strong’s) is from 680 in the Strong’s in the sense of joining. It means a side; and as a preposition, near. Binding is not forced, or tying up, and it is not at hands or arms length, but is near and joined to. Foal (5895) is from 5782 in the sense of raising, i.e. bearing a burden. It is properly a young ass just broken to a load, hence an ass colt, translated here as foal. Vine (1612) means a vine (as twining), especially the grape. Have you become joined to, near, and twined with the vine, Jesus? Are you broken to and bearing the load He has for you? His yoke is easy, and His burden is light, Matthew 11:30.

The second comparison of binding the colt to the choice vine in this prophecy of Jacob adds to the attributes. The word ass’s (860) says it is probably from the same as 386 in the sense of patience. It means a female ass, from its docility. Colt (1121) is a son in the widest sense, as a builder of the family name. It is of a literal or figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality, or condition, etc. We, the USA, used to be a nation declaring and building the name of Jesus. Choice vine (8321) is a vine stock, properly one yielding purple grapes, the richest variety. Are you patiently yielded and bound to the one and only vine, Jesus? Are you building His name?

Also, have you considered in these scriptures, what is the difference between garments and clothes? Garment, 3830 in the Strong’s, means a garment (literally or figuratively), and by implication (euphemism) a wife. Clothes in the Hebrew (5497) means covering, i.e. clothing. The word garment is a euphemism for wife; have you considered the washing and preparation and regeneration needed for the marriage of the Lamb? The scripture says … he washed his garments. It is by His washing, His blood, His atonement that we are reconciled and can become righteous. The righteousness of the saints is then the clean, white, wedding gown;

Revelation 19:7, 8  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

There will be no sin, and nothing unclean at that marriage. It says Shiloh did the washing: are you allowing Jesus to cleanse and change you; are you growing in righteousness?

Moses also spoke of Him that was to come;    

Deuteronomy 18:15  The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

Deuteronomy 18:18, 19  I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

Acts 3:22, 23  For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

From Moses there was a constant looking forward to the anointed one, the Messiah, the Christ. In the scripture from Acts, Peter was reminding them of the prophecy of Moses, and telling them of Jesus. All of the above scriptures tell us that we must hear Him. On the Mount of Transfiguration God Himself told us to hear Jesus;

Matthew 17:5  While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

God had spoken through the prophets of our need to hear Jesus, but here we find God himself commanding us to … hear ye him. Will you hear Him? What greater calling could there be? In John 8:29 Jesus said … I do always those things that please him. Always pleasing the Father also resulted in Jesus saying several times in scripture that the words he spoke were from the Father;

John 12:50  And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

John 14:24  He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

John 17:8  For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

All of these scriptures tell us that the words He spoke were not His, but God’s. This was prophesied through Moses in Deuteronomy 18:18 (above); I … will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. Jesus allowed God to provide the words that He spoke, and God desires to create the fruit of your lips;

Isaiah 57:19  I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him.

The Hebrew word for create (1254 in Strong’s) means absolutely to create; qualified it means to cut down (a wood), select, feed (as formative processes). If you will be obedient and allow Him to purge, and lead, and direct your words and actions, God will create the fruit of your lips! There is peace, and healing, if we find this obedience to His creative work in us! Alternatively, from the prophecy of Moses in the above scriptures, if you will not hear Him, you will be destroyed! Again, John told us that all the lust of the world will pass away, but if you are part of the doing remnant, you will abide for ever;

John 2:15 – 17  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

As we hear and know God in a greater measure, there is also a greater call to obedience and to doing His will and His purpose in walking with God. These will require a spiritual obedience and walk, with nothing of the natural or fleshly man. It is not in man’s wisdom, but only in God’s wisdom and in spiritual hearing (I Corinthians 2:4 – 16) that the Holy Ghost can fully be to you your teacher, comforter, guide, and the Spirit of truth, because these things are not received in the natural (I Corinthians 2:14). Seek God, and ask Him to enable you to find the spiritual walk and path in Him that He has for you, hearing and doing His will and purpose.

Before leaving this exhortation of Shiloh, let us look again at part of the verses we started with from Psalm 78; … he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men. If you will see it, the Lord Jesus was Shiloh, the tabernacle or tent that God placed among men. When He took on Him the sins of the world at the cross, God forsook His tabernacle. Psalm 22 also prophesied of this forsaking, and Jesus spoke it from the cross;

Matthew 27:46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

God … delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy's hand. But in His resurrection from the grave Jesus … led captivity captive (Psalm 68:18, Ephesians 4:8) and … gave gifts unto men. Do you see that all of these scriptures and the physical historical reference of the tabernacle when it was at Shiloh tie together in the spiritual prophecy of Shiloh, the Lord Jesus Christ? These are not separate and conflicting, but speak of the fulness and gifts and promises of the prophecy of Shiloh, the Lion of Judah, the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.


In the Name of Jesus

The name of Jesus has healing, deliverance, life, truth; He is King of kings and Lord of lords, the Almighty. He is the way, the truth, and the life. His very name was chosen because He would save from sin;

Matthew 1:21  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

We cannot fully and completely describe, fathom, or perceive the depth of the power in His name. And yet, when we hear the phrase “In the name of Jesus” we often misplace the needed emphasis in the phrase; we must be “in” Jesus for the desired thing to occur. The seven sons of Sceva tried to use the name Jesus and were soundly defeated because they were not “in” Him (Acts 19:13 – 17). Look at the Gentiles in the following scripture to understand the emphasis;

Matthew 12:21  And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

The statement in the sentence is not that all Gentiles trust in Him, and the emphasis is not His name. But the trust is only in, and with, those who are in Him, in His name. Consider the following scriptures;

Matthew 18:19, 20  Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

The seven sons of Sceva were certainly more than two or three, and were … gathered together … to use the name Jesus, but they were not “in” Him. As a result, He was not in their midst. The two or three must be “in” Him. The agreement of two or three that is mentioned is not only in mind or word, but “in” Jesus in heart. Read the phrase “as touching”; if it were removed the sentence would not read the same. As touching has a heart element, a spiritual aspect to it. There is a depth of being in Jesus, being in faith in Him, that we need to understand in the church today.

Acts 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Peter gives the initial element needed to be in Him; repentance. It is the beginning of being “in” Him; justification. The further step of baptism is going further “in” Him. These steps must continue on the path of sanctification. By being “in” Him the gift of the Holy Ghost is available to us. But we must get beyond the mind knowledge of what being “in” Him is, and receive Him in our heart. We must live “in” Him, and dwell “in” Him.

The account of the man at the gate Beautiful also shows an example of being in Him.

Acts 3:6  Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

Peter acknowledges giving what he has, the knowledge and faith in the power of the name. If Peter were not in Him, he would not have boldly stepped out in this faith. Multitudes of people were changed by the healing of this man; desire to be “in” Him in such a way! Peter then acknowledges to all the people in the temple the part faith played in the healing;

Acts 3:16  And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

Peter spoke to the people that were marveling at the miracle of the necessary faith they needed. Being in Him is the element of faith; how deep will you go in this faith? Peter spoke slightly differently to the rulers he was called before;

Acts 4:10  Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

Imagine being condemned and taken to task for a miracle. Peter recognizes, and still boldly declares, … Be it known unto you all. Speaking to the ungodly Peter now says “by” the name instead of “in”. Why did Peter add Nazareth with the name of Jesus? It specifically brings home the man, and not just His deity as God. It recognizes His life, His walk, His perfection although in the fleshly body. Peter then notes the price Jesus paid, and the life that is again in Him. There is no recognition of Peter or John in his statement, but only the glory due unto Jesus, the performer of the miracle. This recognizes and shows being “in” Him, and the power that is in His name.

This emphasis on the word “in” should not in any way diminish or limit your faith of the name Jesus, but should increase it. The depth of your knowledge, relationship, and faith in Him will determine the depth of power you have with Him. We know that He can, but we do not see that He will, because of our needing to be more “in” Him, and empty of flesh. As noted previously, the natural man, or flesh, cannot discern spiritually the things of God (I Corinthians 2:14). Understanding this should draw you to seek Him in a deeper, greater way as you understand the power available “in” His name. We must get beyond being “in” the flesh to find victories “in” His name;

Romans 8:7, 8  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

We see here the difference in the physical word flesh, and the carnal nature of the flesh. Enoch was in the physical flesh, yet he pleased God, and God took him. Let us look for a moment to the example of Jesus; while He took on the flesh of a man, He was not “in” the flesh;

John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

          I Corinthians 1:29  That no flesh should glory in his presence.

We see that Jesus was not “in” the flesh carnally, because they beheld His glory. He walked in the power of the Spirit to accomplish the things he did, and He acknowledged being “in” the Father;

John 14:10, 11  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake.

Jesus acknowledges that it was the Father in Him that did the works! How can we expect to do any differently without being “in” Him? Read of His temptation in the wilderness, and realize that He … was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. He was the perfect, unblemished, sacrifice to reconcile us to the Father. Until He reconciled us, we could not be “in” the Father because of our sin. Consider His overcoming in the following verses;

Hebrews 5:7 – 10  Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

Verse 7 tells of His prayer in the garden, and we see Jesus battling the frailty of the physical flesh that we all know. In Luke it says His prayer was so intense He … sweat as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. He had a fear of death, and was heard of God, but overcame to fulfill the will of God. Though He was the heir, the owner of everything, the word says He … learned obedience by the things which He suffered. By His obedience He was made perfect, and released those who would be “in” Him from their bondage and captivity to the flesh. We then must obey Him.

Returning to John 14, we can then see the possibilities;

John 14:12 – 14  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name I will do it.

We have the possibility/ability to do greater things because Jesus went to the Father. Why is that? Because He will do it! When he became a man He gave up the use of the power of being God, and He walked in the Spirit. By going to the Father He has taken up His deity again, and all power is available “in” His name. Brother Clendennen said we are to be an empty possibility. He also said we were only created to be an habitation of God. We can not do these things if we are … in the flesh. This is how and why Jesus said He was in the Father and the Father in Him; He was empty of the carnal nature and had become the habitation of the Father. Our faith and belief in Him, and humbleness and obedience open the door to great things! Desire to be “in” Jesus in a greater way! It is here that “His name” has the way, the truth, the life, and power, and honor, and glory that we cannot imagine if we are not in Him. As we see in the many examples of the lives of the apostles, His name avails all of these things when we walk or abide “in” Him;

John 15:4, 5  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

May you so abide in Him, and He in you, that the name of Jesus bears much fruit in you, because you are “in” Him! To do so we must be brought out of the flesh, and into the Spirit.

Out Of And Into

Or

That He Might Bring Us In

While the Bible should be our constantly repeated text, with the inerrancy of God our guide, God recently provided opportunity to read Andrew Murray’s The Deeper Christian Life, with a central theme of the fullness of the Spirit. The text for Chapter 4, Out of and Into, has become a calling;

Deuteronomy 6:23  And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers.

Brother Murray (1828 – 1917), called by some a forerunner of Pentecostalism, wrote that we are not brought out that we might live in carnality or failure, but it is our blessed privilege to be filled with the Spirit. The clarity of this path continues to increase and bless with each reading of what he wrote.

The week following, God opened a door to attend part of a Camp Meeting in Doniphan, with the topics also on the fullness of the Spirit. On Wednesday night, September 12, 2012, Brother Hayes preached that we are not full of the Spirit, and do not see the possible miracles, because of our unbelief.

On Thursday morning, Brother Buckner gave a tremendous object lesson on receiving deliverance from the oppression of the enemy. Brother Buckner had one man represent the prosecution as the “accuser of the brethren”, Satan, and another represent the defense. Oral argument and accusation will continue indefinitely as long as we continue to listen to the accuser, but if we rest our case and take it to the Judge, the God of mercy, all argument can end as He resolves the case! Allowing God to resolve the conflict will allow us to be brought further into the will and purpose and fullness of Almighty God.

The morning service then was on letting our sound be heard, and as Brother Graham preached, God led that we must be full of the Spirit and anointing for our sound to be truly and fully heard. God continued to lead that we must find a greater walk with Him than we have ever known. Part of a scripture on their sound being heard in all the earth was recalled, and later found after some very familiar scriptures in Romans 10:14 – 17;

Romans 10:18  But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

Brother Wallis then preached in the afternoon on not being able to give what we don’t have. This led to consider that Brother Murray, for all his purpose to walk in relationship with God through fullness of the Spirit and holiness, could only describe, and lead people to, the fullness of the Spirit that he knew. God is calling us to a walk in the Spirit we have never known! God does not want us seeking and limiting Him by what someone else has told us, but earnestly seek Him for the best gifts! God gives us the earnest of the Spirit (Ephesians 1:14, II Corinthians 1:20 – 22) that we might know of the kingdom! The following scripture resonated in many of the messages, and blessed many who had taken their case to the Judge of Mercy;

Romans 14:17  For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

The knowledge of the kingdom, our inheritance, is in our earnest, the Spirit! During these services God reminded me of the river from the throne in Ezekiel’s vision, where there was water to the ankles, then knees, loins, and finally waters to swim in, and led that we should stop wading in the Spirit and get in deeper water. Brother Meyers then preached the night service and closed with discussing the water from the throne with peace like a river! If we will find the fulness of the Spirit, God will let the rivers of living water flow from His throne in our heart! Others will see the earnest of the Spirit, by the anointing of the Spirit your sound will be heard, and they will begin wading!

Consider Brother Murray’s text; when God brought the children of Israel out there were over 600,000 men, plus the women and children; Exodus 12:38 calls it a mixed multitude. There has been much speculation that there were nearly three million people that came out. When God brought them out he let them find favor with the Egyptians, and they spoiled them when they left (Exodus 12:35, 36). This wealth God brought them out with, and the condition of the people, is remembered in Psalm 105;

Psalm 105:37  He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble among their tribes.

God brought them out with health and wealth! He miraculously led them through the Red Sea and destroyed the following Egyptians! He provided the cloud by day and fire by night to guide them! He gave them manna to sustain them, and water from the rock for their thirst! God did not bring them out in a limited way! In Deuteronomy 6:23 above Moses is reminding them that God brought them out in order to bring them into the land promised to their fathers. In all of the blessings, in all of the protection, in all of the abundance, in all of the miracles that God provided, there was greater promise ahead if they would fully obey Him!

In a discussion of God bringing them in, we could review examples like the walls of Jericho falling miraculously. But the example of Numbers 31 is such a great account of the provision of God if He is obeyed completely. God sent the children of Israel to avenge Him against the Midianites, for the wickedness that the Midianites had led the children of Israel into. Each tribe sent 1,000 men, for a total army of 12,000 men. Numbers 31:32 – 35 describes the booty, or spoils, they returned with: 675,000 sheep, 72,000 cattle, 61,000 asses, and 32,000 virgin girls. It is again only speculation of the number of men, women, and sons that were destroyed in the battle, but only the virgin daughters totally 32,000! In spite of the vast numbers of the Midianites, Numbers 31:49 records that not one man of the children of Israel was lost in the battle! This is the fullness of promise God had for them in entering the land if they would only follow Him completely!

However, in disobedience, complacency, and/or satisfaction with what God did provide them, the children of Israel did not obtain the fullness of the land God had promised to Abraham. In Joshua 13:1 – 6 the Lord told Joshua of all the land they had not yet possessed from Egypt through Lebanon; His promise for them was much greater than they were prepared to receive!

What is the spiritual example for us? If we were truly repentant, Jesus, the Lord, the Lamb of God, delivered us from our sin and the oppression of the enemy, and did not do it in a limited way: we were miraculously given a cleanness and newness of life. But He brought you out that He might bring you in! The King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Lamb of God, the God of mercy, the Judge if you will, does not intend for you to stop short of the depth of the Spirit He has provided, due to your disobedience, complacency, and satisfaction with what God did provide. He wants to bring us into the fullness of the Spirit in a depth none of us have ever known. On the day of Pentecost the 120 in the Upper Room were obeying and tarrying for something they had never known! Recognize and cast aside your disobedience and the flesh; overcome your complacency; find dissatisfaction with the level of your current walk, and desire and pray that God will give you the greater promise! He will meet you and provide the love and blessing and rest of promise: and will bring you to the kingdom; righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost!

The accord, or unity, of Acts 2 was not collectively with a man or with men, but with the Almighty God. We do not necessarily have to have this corporately or collectively. But if any man will overcome the flesh and humbly find, by sanctification of the Spirit, the purity, righteousness, and holiness, and the mind of Christ, and will but ask, God will start a revival through that individual. ASK GOD FOR THAT WHICH YOU HAVE NEVER KNOWN!

Jericho March: Bringing Down The Walls

During a consideration of what it will be like after Monica’s miracle, her early life was remembered. She loved for us to hold her hands and let her feet touch the floor; she would high step in trying to walk, and sheer joy would be on her face! A full, infectious smile and deep laughter would often engulf everything and everyone around her. Oh, how happy she will be when her miracle allows her to get up and walk! Uncontainable joy, happiness, and laughter will again engulf everything and everyone around her! But the thought occurred; how will we ever get her to sit still through church? After these many years that she has been bound we cannot stop the pure joy that she will feel. We should get in behind her and have what churches used to call a Jericho March! Let us consider the physical occurrence at Jericho;

Joshua 6:1 – 5  NOW Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out and none came in. And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go around the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.

Each day and each time that the children of Israel marched around the walls of Jericho they were weakening the walls, but also showing their obedience and diligence in following the purpose and plan of God. The children of Israel had to hear and follow the pattern of God completely. The seven days and the seven times on the seventh day represent the repetition of our battle; they could not quit, not after the first time or even after the twelfth time, and see the promise totally fulfilled. Neither can we quit hearing and obeying, or we will not receive the fullness of the promises of God. A Jericho march was to the church physically declaring the continuation of the spiritual battle. It is spiritually similar to the physical example of the sacrifices in the Old Testament;

Hebrews 10:3  But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

The Jericho march acknowledges the spiritual necessity to change, and declares to God the willingness to change. The church today must repent and return to the spiritual battle in hearing and obeying God, and not walk in the complacency and repetition of the pattern of man.

Then God led to consider: what will be the promise or purpose we will be marching for? There must be a purpose for the march - to bring down the walls we have built or allowed in our walk! If we have a divided heart, hanging onto things of the flesh, we will not be able to conquer as God desires for us to. As in the scriptures about Jericho … none came in, the walls prevent the spiritual walk we have been called to. If our flesh is in control, we only leave a minimal, partitioned, area for God. God will not dwell in the cubicle of your choosing!

Let us return to further consider the spiritual object lesson God gave of the apartment door that had “stripes” of light, or shadow, on it. We were discussing The Light, Jesus, at that time and did not go into depth on the walls that can block the light. To refresh our memory; inside the door, and adjoining the connecting wall, was a strip light with four bulbs. All four bulbs shone fully on the first stripe on the door, and it was very bright. In a very short distance the wall blocked the light from the first bulb, and then each additional light. As each was blocked or obscured by the wall, each succeeding stripe became correspondingly darker. There was a fifth level of darkness that received only the reflection of the light from the walls of the room.

After some time God led to understand that if something is used to block even the reflection of light from the walls another level of darkness can be seen. This is similar to our prior walk in our sin; that darkness or absence of light is where we were spiritually; we did not even recognize or comprehend The Light shining in those around us. Our salvation allowed us to begin seeing the light. But after coming to a saving knowledge of God there remain walls that obstruct the light; the walls of sin, the walls of iniquity, the walls of flesh, the walls of complacency, or the walls of unbelief that we build up or leave in our heart will obscure the amount of light we can see or receive. We continue through life turning at those walls, following the former paths; a maze of not finding the blessing and purpose God has for our lives. Let us consider a few examples, to allow you to examine your own life for walls.

Profligacy: Prodigal Of The Things Of God

Upon waking one morning in Topeka, Kansas in 2011, God spoke one word; profligate. If it will help, a synonym for profligate is to be prodigal. The word profligate is not in the Bible because it was not in the English language prior to the King James Bible being translated; how many know the word prodigal is not used in the Prodigal Son story in Luke 15? There are two general secular definitions for the word profligate. The first is dissipation; to be a spendthrift, or wasteful, of the things you have been given. It is intemperate living, with excessive spending, drinking, and acts of self-indulgence. The second definition is licentious; marked by a disregard for strict rules of correctness, lacking legal or moral restraints, especially disregarding sexual restraints. It is the end result of the dissipation, with the ends justifies the means living, and where the lusts of the world have overcome all propriety.

Profligacy is progressive, and can lead to greater sin. It is similar to a physical itch; if you scratch it, the itch will become worse, and then must be scratched again. If you have had chicken pox, poison ivy, or hemorrhoids you can certainly understand the need for relief. If the scratching continues it may bleed or become infected. Profligacy and sin are the same as the itch in their tendency to become worse and worse.

If you want words to search that are in the Bible, synonyms for dissipation and licentious include concupiscent, corrupt or corruption, lascivious, lewd, lust or lustful, perverse or perversion, and wanton.

Profligacy will throw up walls that stop our spiritual growth. Let us first digress for a moment to consider the fleshly matter, and then consider spiritual profligacy. How do ministers of God fail or fall into adultery? Profligacy has run rampant in their lives, and they have disregarded all propriety. I never got to hear it from Sister Schoonover, but I love the analogy “thoughts will fly through, but don’t let them make a nest in your head”. In the previously used scriptures John warned us of these things;

I John 2:15 – 17  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Being profligate is often the result of lust for the things of the world. This lust comes in the forms noted. The lust of the flesh is desiring or craving the thing experienced by touch, hearing, smelling, or tasting. The lust of the eyes is desiring the thing that can be seen or known; you may “see” it in your mind without the thing actually being there, hence also fantasy or daydreaming. The pride of life is resting in an empty assurance of the physical things of life and disregarding the spiritual. Do you live as though job, home, or family are your assurance, and miss the enduring mercy, love, and refuge of Almighty God?

Before considering ourselves, let us consider some scriptural examples of lust or profligacy. In Genesis 13:10,11 it records that Lot … lifted up his eyes, and beheld  the plain of Jordan and made his choice based on an empty assurance in the earthly things that he could see, the pride of life. As a result he wound up vexing his righteous soul in Sodom (II Peter 2:6 – 8). Abraham was satisfied with the physical leftovers, looking to the spiritual promises, and was blessed and multiplied. If you hear the call of God to a greater walk with Him, and do not believe you can do it, or bear it, recognize that it is the assurance of your life that is holding you back.

In Genesis 38:15, 16, Tamar, in a ruse, put herself in the path of Judah after the death of his wife. While Judah saw what he thought to be a harlot, his lust in this case was solely for physical gratification of the flesh. The lust of the flesh can be so deceptive it can convince us that that particular lust is acceptable. Although Ephesians 5:12 says we should not even speak of the wicked, evil, things done in secret, today they are openly flaunted on the Internet, in the news, and by individuals who have no shame. Do you allow yourself to be affected or even partaking of these things in any way?

In the man Achan (Joshua 7:20, 21) we see a true lust of the eyes in desiring the things God said were to be destroyed in Jericho. It brought him and all he had to destruction. Do you lust after the wealth or fame the world is offering to try to separate you from God?

King David fell prey to the lust of the eyes in II Samuel 11:2 – 4, and the lust of the flesh resulted, and it conceived the sins that followed. If only Bathsheba had been ugly. While David repented and was forgiven, the consequences of his lust followed him the rest of his days. If King David, recorded scripturally as a man after God’s own heart, could fail to see or recognize the attack of the enemy when it came, what are you failing to see that is leaving consequences in your life?

King Solomon was told of the promises of God by his father David, and warned of the consequences if he turned from God (I Chronicles 28:6 – 9). God also appeared unto Solomon twice and warned him of the consequences of turning away from Him (I Kings 9:2 – 9). Despite this, Solomon was in profligacy with 1,000 women, and apparently could not be satiated; for they turned his heart from God (I Kings 11:1 – 10). What small things is the world using to turn your heart from God?

The children of Israel failed in lust, idolatry, fornication, tempting, and murmuring, and we are told that … these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition (I Corinthians 10:5 – 14). What do all these accounts speak to you? Are you seeing and desiring fleshly lusts; spouse, wealth, fame, fantasy, illicit thoughts and actions, or even the latest invention? While we feel many of the physical things and fleshly desires we have are “needs”, how did people live without them a hundred years ago? Consider air conditioning; does the assurance of life prevent you from going, or doing what God commands, where air conditioning is not available? It is a comfort of life. Are you comfortable in your sin? If you are, you will not change it; the world has placed these things in your path to keep you in sin. Hebrews 11:6 says … he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Profligacy stops or hinders your diligence in seeking the true wealth, the spiritual wealth, that God has purposed and provided for you. God brings you to conviction to change you; will you ask Him to show you the things that are preventing you from true wealth?

Without going to the possible depth of the illicit thoughts or fantasies, you can allow your mind to be consumed with thoughts of a donut or a certain food when you are not hungry. The mind left to nest in sin will often manifest in sin. Beyond that, it does not matter if you are not physically doing the lust of your mind, the enemy has distracted and occupied you in the thought of lust for that food, or whatever sin he can trap you with! Is the enemy bringing your mind to wander now?  If the thought is not righteous, it is sin;

          I John 5:17  All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

So we see that the thought of the donut may not be unto death, but is it keeping you from seeking God, or from hearing, or doing the righteous? As the Prodigal Son, are you straying with the inheritance and squandering an opportunity for, or with, God? The enemy is crafty in drawing you away and separating you from a closer walk with God; will you recognize it, and give up the lust of your flesh and your daydreaming? If not, lust will conceive sin;

James 1:14, 15  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

So we see that the lust must be defeated at the beginning, or it will manifest in sin, and just as an itch, the sin will grow worse. When it has reached the point that you have given up your will to the lust and sin; that is how it begins to compound and grow much worse. Our overcoming is in turning unto God; as Brother Clendennen said, You willed to do it, and you can will not to do it, if you belong to God. Unfortunately many continue on the escalating path of failure;

James 4:1 – 3  FROM whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

These verses describe the fleshly lust to have that consumes the individual in a war for things. You must begin to see and recognize the profligacy to defeat it;

James 4:4  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

It is spiritual adultery to turn to friendship with the world rather than the one who loved you and bought you with an inestimable price! Being a friend is not a sometimes thing, but a commitment; are you committed to God or your lust? What is in your heart? Jesus told us of the lust being in the heart in the beatitudes;

Matthew 5:27, 28  Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Often thoughts are not manifested in sins that others can see, but the iniquity is already in the heart. The example Jesus gave is to the extent of adultery, and many would say I haven’t done that, but it applies to any lust that you have for the things of the world. Job, a man listed as one of the three righteous in Ezekiel 14, said he made a commitment to not do this;

Job 31:1  I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?

Job said the word “maid” here, but you could insert whatever thing that you lust for. Job had made a commitment to not be entangled with lust, and kept his heart;

Proverbs 4:23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Job had an understanding of the lust of the eyes, and the part that the heart has in this lust;

Job 31:7  If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands;

This righteous man’s understanding reached even to the knowledge that sin and lust prevent the blessings;

Job 31:12  For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.

Job had compassion for his servant’s, and his humbleness reached to the knowledge that one God created us all;

Job 31:15  Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?

The lust of the heart does not consider others, but self. Job, in his righteousness, knew that God loved others as well (Job 31:13, 14, 16 – 23). Let us consider deeper the root of lust and profligacy; the heart. In Noah’s time, before the flood, the Word says;

Genesis 6:5  And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Our lust is the imagination of the heart, and will be wicked from within ourselves. The prophet Jeremiah repeatedly (eight different verses, examples are below) spoke of men walking after the imagination of their evil hearts;

Jeremiah 7:23, 24  But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.

Jeremiah 11:7, 8  For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice. Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did them not.

We do not think that … imagination of their evil heart speaks of ourselves, but that evil heart is in every one of us;

Jeremiah 17:9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Knowing that your heart is deceitful and wicked, the base for your lust (the imagination of your evil heart), begin to seek God; your answer, your deliverance, and your refuge is in the three simple words in the above Jeremiah scriptures, Obey my voice. While that evil heart and lust is present, we do not have to walk after the temptation of it. Jesus was our example in overcoming;

Hebrews 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Know in your temptation that the Lord Jesus has already been tempted and overcome; repent and His grace will be sufficient for you if you will accept it, and allow Him to bring you through. We read … in all points tempted … as being to the depths or extremes of temptation, but realize it is the little foxes that spoil the vine;

Luke 16:10 – 13  He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mam-mon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mam-mon. 

God is not asking us to be faithful in only that which is great, but in everything! Your overcoming is in those three words from the Jeremiah scriptures: Obey my voice. Jesus was led of the Spirit and walked in complete obedience to the Father; as a result the Father was always with Him;

John 8:29  And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

While we say we have allowed Jesus in our heart, if we continue to allow the lust we have not given all of our heart; the deceit, wickedness, and evil will not be gone until you give in to God. Yielding completely and obeying Him is the only way to receive total deliverance from the lust. Allow God to open your understanding; the lust and friendship of the world is the spiritual adultery spoken of in James 4:4 above. Having looked to our High Priest, Jesus Christ, as our example, realize that you are called to be a priest (Revelation 1:6, 5:10). What are we commanded? Malachi was given the following;

Malachi 2:1, 2  AND now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.

Where are the blessings of miracles, healings, faith, love, joy, peace; all the gifts and fruit of the Spirit in our lives? Our profligacy or lust, and our lack of hearing and doing, have stopped or prevented our receiving the blessings; the spiritual truth of our procuring the curse to ourselves.

Anything that is a love for the things of the flesh or world can become sin to us. While working in Topeka, God let me know if I thought or daydreamed about being home with my wife, I was being wasteful of the time He had given to spend with Him! If your mind is on fleshly things you will not be able to have the mind of Christ. What does the word tell us?

          I Timothy 6:8  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

This verse does not say to divest yourself of everything else, but to be content with what you do have. Paul expounded this thought to the Philippians;

Philippians 4:11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

That is to say that having a spouse, home, cars, technology, or wealth is not necessarily wrong, but the desire or lust to have them is of the flesh and will hinder or stop your spiritual growth.

I Timothy 6:9  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

Underlining was not effective with this scripture, because so much of it would have to be underlined! The lust of the heart for the things of the world will leave walls in your spiritual life that can destroy you if you do not recognize and remove them. This was the lust of the prodigal son when he said, … Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. (Luke 15:12) The thoughts of his heart resulted in the actions, failing, and falling that followed. Do not fall prey to the prosperity doctrine, and miss out on the spiritual wealth that God has for you! Find the simple call of God that can deliver from the lust of the heart and flesh; Obey my voice.

While most can now recognize the walls of sin and iniquity, let us also consider spiritual profligacy. Are you wasting the spiritual wealth that God is giving you? When the anointing is spent on the Word and His servant, do you fail to hear it? Even if we do hear it, if we fail to do it we have been profligate or prodigal with the anointing spent. Even if the evangelist stirs and revives your soul and spirit, does it only change you for a short time, and in a few weeks you are back to the same old life? With a play on words, it is “hear” and gone. You were bought with a great price; God owns you, and you are His temple. God wants you in, and to be, His holy habitation, but by coming unprepared, and with our minds on other things, we are spiritually profligate. God told Ezekiel of this fact;

Ezekiel 33:31, 32  And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.

The hearing must be followed with the doing! If we hear the evangelist or preacher and fail to obey God we are prodigal. If we fail to do, a wall of sin can be thrown up to us;

James 4:17  Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

After we hear, we must do. If you would consider it, although they were not yet filled with the Spirit, the disciples were spiritually profligate in the garden, when they were told to watch;

Matthew 26:40, 41  And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Does this give you a greater understanding of the need to be faithful in that which is least? Men who had been with the Lord Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, for three and a half years of ministry, seeing miracles and hearing the truth, could not stand and watch for one hour! Their sufficiency was not in them, and it is not in us; He, the Lord Jesus, must dwell in us. Due only to their inability to stay awake and their failure to watch and pray the disciples were upbraided for the weakness of their flesh. Have you been deceived by the devil or your heart to believe that you do not have the same failed fleshly nature?  You are not sufficient of yourself, but your sufficiency is of God (II Corinthians 3:5). God’s grace is sufficient for you (II Corinthians 12:9) if you will accept it. The keeping power of God is available for every person, unless they reach the point where … God gave them over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1:28). The very fact that God can give them over speaks of His keeping nature that is available for you, except you reach that depth of sin. Consider again the omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, and love of God; He is your refuge, your sufficiency, and your overcoming if you yield totally to Him.

The enemy uses your profligacy to try to destroy you; recognize this and allow God to secure you by defeating your flesh, and walk victorious with Him;

II Corinthians 10:3 – 6  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

This scripture does not say bringing every thought captive, but captive to the obedience; captive to righteous, obedient thinking and doing. This is thinking that is not of self, but led of the Spirit. Jesus, after being led of the Spirit into the wilderness and being tempted, afterward hungered (Matthew 4:2, Luke 4:2). But he did not let His hunger reach to the point of lust in the temptation. On the cross He said … I thirst. But realize that despite the fleshly need of His body in each instance He did not let it vary Him from His purpose, and He completed the will of God. His thoughts were captive to the leading of the Spirit.

This remains the warfare within, and we must fight. Daniel is also listed as one of the three righteous in Ezekiel 14, and we see him always walking for God. But look at his heart;

Daniel 10:12  Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

Although listed as one of the three righteous, Daniel had enough heart and desire for God that he recognized shortcomings and chastened himself! If we can find a humble, yielded, servant’s heart, and seek to chasten ourselves, God will hear and answer. Get on the path of finding true and complete obedience.

Malachi 4:5, 6 foretold of the coming of John the Baptist to turn the hearts of the people back and prepare for the coming of Jesus. He was a preacher of righteousness and repentance; let us look at what he preached in Luke 3:7 – 14. In verses 7 through 9 John preached of sin and judgment. When the people asked him what to do, he spoke to them of righteousness, telling them in verse 11 to give or share. In verses 12 through 14 he told the publicans and soldiers not to be covetous or take more than they were entitled to. Sin, judgment, and righteousness; what does that lead us to? These things were not just for His coming, but for His coming in; coming fully into our heart and life. We are called to repentance and to receive justification at salvation. The path of sanctification must follow for us, or we miss out on the blessings.  The Comforter is sent for these things;

John 16:7 – 11  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

Allow the Spirit to reprove you and bring you through the path of sanctification and out of your profligacy; with righteousness unto holiness you will find the blessings of God, and be prepared for His greater coming in;

Romans 6:19  I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity ; even so now yield your members servants of righteousness unto holiness.

Let us also consider some of the general examples of walls of complacency and unbelief on a congregational level. Without arguing the validity of doctrine, does the doctrine allow men to make … provision for the flesh (Romans 13:14)? As Jesus overturned the man-made doctrine of the Pharisees by healing on the Sabbath, let Him be your guide on doctrine. If a church does not believe in the fullness or baptism in the Spirit there is a wall of unbelief that will not let the church or individuals go beyond that point. If the church doctrine believes there is no place for women in ministry there is a wall of unbelief that will prevent receiving the fullness of what God has for individuals, or for the entire body. If a church is dogmatic about the doctrine of eternal salvation it will propagate walls of complacency in people that they have no need to go further in God. If the church doctrine does not believe in the continuing five-fold ministry and calling of Ephesians 4:11 or of the gifts and ministries of I Corinthians 12: 28 – 31 it will result in both walls of unbelief and complacency. There are also doctrines of man that twist the scriptures and result in bizarre beliefs, again preventing the fullness of the light of God.

These doctrinal walls of man are keeping us from receiving all things spiritual; being used of God, full of the Spirit, operating in the gifts, increasing in the fruit of the Spirit: if we allow Him to be King and ruler on the throne of our heart we will receive the promise of being chosen and faithful, and our calling and anointing will be greater. In Genesis 15:1 Abram was told … Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward. We must grasp this promise and allow Him to shield us from our failures.

In my own personal walk my practice of reading the bible through in a continuous, and sequential manner had established a wall. While my reading had me completing the Bible in just over fifteen weeks, and then starting over, God wanted me hearing from Him, obeying, and growing spiritually. It was not optimal while reading, for instance, the “begats” in I Chronicles. While you are in the word it will always edify and build you, but you cannot grow spiritually at the same pace as when you are hearing and receiving from The Word, Jesus.

Scripturally you can find doctrinal walls in the early church. The early church did not believe that salvation and the Spirit were available to the Gentiles. God had to break down this doctrinal wall;

Acts 10:45  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 11:18  When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

Seeing this example that was in the early church, you deceive yourself if you say you have no walls hindering your growth spiritually. Consider yourself; what walls have you left or built that are preventing your spiritual vision? How much is the light shining into your darkness? You have no ability in the flesh to break down these walls. It is only in spirit that you can begin overcoming these walls. If you have difficulty, God will bring the walls down, but we must be willing for the walls to be removed, and then prepared and obedient to do the “marching” or walking. As with the wall between Jew and Gentile, God can break down these inner walls if you give it to Him;

Ephesians 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

A greater witness to us is Jesus removing of the veil. Jesus physical life and works were not enough for us; it was in His death that he reconciled us and made it possible for us to, as Brother B. H. Clendennen said, “move beyond the conventional boundaries of religion”. We need to move beyond the boundaries of man-made doctrine: march off the map and find the place of God’s holy habitation that Jesus has opened for us;

Matthew 27:50, 51  Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

By His death he not only reconciled us to God, but He gave us the ability to enter into the holiest;

Hebrews 10:19, 20  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

Jesus removed the veil (or wall, if you will) and gave us the ability to enter the holy habitation of God! Why would we stop before receiving it? Stopping will throw up a wall of sin or complacency. Let us consider some examples of stopping short. Terah, the father of Abraham, started out for the Promised Land and stopped;

Genesis 11:31, 32  And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.

Terah began the journey to Canaan, but was stopped, and dwelt in Haran. Scripture does not tell us why he stopped (what was his wall?), but if he had continued his journey would we be saying father Terah instead of father Abraham? Where have you or will you stop marching? after repentance? after baptism? after teaching or some other work for God? after reaching a level of knowledge, wisdom, or faith? after you experience the anointing? We should never stop, but continue marching forward as God leads throughout our life. There will be no place where you have “arrived”, and received all that God has to give. The apostle Paul was still seeking … that I may know him … and says he had not attained;

Philippians 3:12  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Paul notes that he continues to follow after! In writing to Timothy, Paul notes that Demas had loved the world and left him;

II Timothy 4:10  For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

If you should fail in your walk, do not let the enemy defeat you; repent and return to obedient marching! Peter denied the Lord thrice, yet he repented and returned, and in the power of the Spirit we see thousands saved in Acts chapters 2 and 3. Remember that it is in the fullness of His light, with the walls broken down, that the blessings and gifts of God are then available;

James 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Allow God to shine His light on your walls, and ask Him for the vision to see them! Then march around the walls in obedience and allow Him to break them down: your reward will be … exceeding great. In the fullness of this, God wants to establish His kingdom within you, destroy the walls, and be the light source from His throne on your heart.

Does this give a greater understanding of a Jericho March? Ask God, and He will graciously answer you. There will be times when it does not seem He is answering, but be patient; after time, if you remain diligent and obediently marching, you will look back and see that He answered, the walls were removed, and His promises were fulfilled. Find the hunger, desire, and diligence to let God break down your walls; then begin marching when He shows them to you. The hearing, and obedience, and marching will bring victories, and may help hasten the miracle for someone like Monica!


Touch Not The Unclean Thing

Brother Burt Clendennen noted after hearing in English what his wife was praying in tongues when he was dying of a heart attack; that the Acts chapter 2 miracle, or promise, or victory is in the hearing! Brother Clendennen also spoke of the American that heard the two preachers in England, and said of the first, Parker, that he was the greatest preacher he ever heard, and of Spurgeon that it was the greatest Christ he ever heard; the hearing is what is important.

Jeremiah spoke of the people walking after the imagination of their evil hearts and not hearing. Ezekiel spoke of hearing and not doing;

Ezekiel 33:31, 32  And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.

So hearing the anointing on the preacher of the Word is not as important as everyone hearing the Word spiritually and receiving, as God gives it to you, and to do it! God has brought us out; begin hearing and doing, that He might bring us in.

How many of you have read, heard, and received strengthening from Jericho March? The church has been profligate or prodigal in not hearing, and then in not doing. We are often hindered by the distractions that the enemy places in our life and stopped from prayer, the Word, from ministry, etc. It is good if we can come into a service and feel the presence of God in a greater way, but we are not reaching the fulness that God wants us in. We should be walking in His abiding presence, bring Him with us, and feel no difference or change in that presence. We should be constantly “in” Him, in His presence, and that is the constancy we must be seeking in our prayer lives as well. What doth hinder me?

In the scriptures in Acts 14 after Paul’s being stoned and left for dead, Paul returned to all the places from whence the persecution and attack came. What was his message? To confirm and exhort, and we see confirmation of the persecutions that the godly will suffer;

Acts 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

It might be easy to attribute this to Paul’s being full of the Holy Ghost, but if being full of the Holy Ghost is the only ability that is needed to overcome tribulation, why would the Spirit have led Jesus into the wilderness to spend 40 days fasting and tempted of the devil? There is first the battle against the carnal nature that must be won, to be equipped for the spiritual battle. In the Stanley Frodsham prophecy, Jesus notes that He first suffered the temptation, and then the persecution. It will be no different in our lives.

The Jericho March acknowledges the spiritual need to change, and declares to God the willingness to change. But the church today must repent and return to the spiritual battle, and in hearing and obeying God. We need to recognize the hindrances and not walk in the sin, and complacency, and repetition of the flesh;

II Corinthians 6:17, 18  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

We are exhorted here to come out and be separate, and not remain part of the former things we walked in. The children of Israel came out of Egypt and were separate, remaining in their “base camp” if you will, and not dispersing into the world. Have you become a base camp Christian? The secular definition of a base camp is a location to provide supplies, rest, shelter, and communications for exploring, reconnaissance, fighting, hunting, or climbing. God will be our all in all if we base our selves in Him, trusting and following His guidance completely. It is only with and through Him that we can truly find and climb our spiritual Mt. Everest, or find and conquer our spiritual Promised Land. If we trust and walk with Him, God promises to receive us, and be our Father; it is only this way that we become His sons and daughters. Our exploring, fighting, or climbing must be “in” Him.

For the children of Israel their base camp was frequently moving at the direction of God, following the cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. The camp moved only when God directed. Do you allow God to guide you and move your base camp? Or can you see that your base camp has become fixed in repetition, complacency, or the flesh? The children of Israel followed God, remained separate, and received the provision of God (manna, quails, water from the rock, deliverance in battle). But they not only touched the unclean, but brought it into the camp! Their lack of faith and their wickedness kept them from the Promised Land for 40 years!

In the first verse of II Corinthians chapter 7 we are told there is filthiness of spirit as well as the flesh. You may be purposing to walk in cleanness, but have you really learned what is unclean? We often do not even recognize the uncleanness and carnal nature of our flesh. With the scriptures we have often visited, John warned us of the things of the world;

I John 2:15 – 17  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

The lust for the things of the world will leave walls in your spiritual life that can destroy you if you do not recognize and remove them. We see in the last sentence of these scriptures confirmation of the consuming fire that will cause the earth to pass away, but if you are in the will of God you will abide the fire. If not, the things of the world will be as the thorns in the parable of the sower;

Matthew 13:22  He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

Has the care of this world choked your spiritual walk? Peter also exhorted to avoid the lust of the flesh;

I Peter 2:11, 12  Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

 Peter declares that the unclean things of fleshly lusts war against your soul! Let us consider further examples of some of the unclean things in the law;

Leviticus 5:1  And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity.

Have you read this in the past and wondered how a person could be sinning just by hearing swearing; because who could tell exactly when someone would do it? This scripture is one that is the basis in our courts for requiring people to testify if they are a witness. You can be punished for obstruction of justice or contempt of court if you do not testify (except against yourself or your spouse). Under the law the people of God were not to allow wickedness in their midst. Growing up in the 1960s, the FCC controlled the airwaves with an iron hand; there was no foul language, no insinuation, and if a married couple were shown in their bedroom they would have twin beds. Many people in those days would rise up and stand against allowing movies to be shown in their town as being pornographic. Those movies would be considered mild today. You are not to accept it, hide it, or ignore it, but you must stand against the wickedness. Do you stand against the swearing, lust, or wickedness, or do you just accept it as commonplace? What is our spiritual message in the physical example of the law?

Leviticus 5:2 – 4  Or if a soul touch any unclean thing, whether it be a carcase of an unclean beast, or a carcase of unclean cattle, or the carcase of unclean creeping things, and it be hidden from him; he also shall be unclean, and guilty. Or if he touch the uncleanness of man, whatsoever uncleanness it be that a man shall be defiled withal, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty. Or if he swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty in one of these.

Grasp the spiritual truth of the unclean things of these scriptures; in Jesus’ parable He mentioned ... the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches ... instead of unclean carcases. Our founding fathers fought and established our government to gain freedom of religion and worship. It has now become freedom of flesh. The wickedness has become so prevalent that the carnal or flesh is embedded and entrenched in the church! You can become jaded or blind to the sin. There is wisdom, patience, and perseverance needed to overcome in these things. What does God expect from us? Consider the following;

Malachi 1:11  For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.

God expects a pure offering, that will make His name great among the lost. How is His name great? He is made great in the fear of God, in the love, honor, and glory given to Him. Consider what the contrast is in the next scriptures;

Malachi 1:12 – 14  But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted: and the fruit thereof, even his meat is contemptible. Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord. But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.

If you are doing the things in these scriptures you have lost the regard for the blessings of God, you have lost some of your fear and love of God, you have lost the regard that gives Him honor and glory. You have it in your ability to give God your best and fail to do so. What have you done with your witness? II Timothy 3:1 – 5 tell us what it will be like in these last days. As with the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19 – 21, we need to know and avoid all of these unclean things, but let us consider just one of them. In verse 4 Paul wrote … lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God … Where is your priority? Every time you stick your nose into the unrighteousness of man or the flesh you snuff at the things of God. Are you accepting and ignoring of the uncleanness of swearing, homosexuality, adultery, fornication, hatred, lasciviousness, idolatry, etc. that the world offers as entertainment? Are you walking close to it and rubbing elbows with it? The Word says to Abstain from all appearance of evil (I Thessalonians 5:22). It does not just say abstain from evil, but from ... all appearance ... of it! What does the word abstain mean to you?

The scripture also mentioned weariness. Are you weary with serving God? It is again losing respect for His blessings;

Malachi 3:14  Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?

Do you think it has been vain to serve God? If the blessings cannot be felt in your life consider the walls you have allowed that are stopping and hindering your place in Him. The promises are yours if you endure;

Galatians 6:9  And let us not be weary in welldoing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

The scriptures below are not written about the heathen. They are written about those who have turned away from God’s calling, supported the wicked, and done evil. The choices are yours; what will you choose?

Isaiah 65:11 – 14  But ye are they that forsake the Lord, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering to that number. Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did that wherein I delighted not. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed: Behold my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.

Look at the things that those that are unprepared will suffer; hunger, thirst, shame, sorrow of heart, and vexation of spirit. Can you relate them to the Laodicean church? These things are in our midst right now! Again consider Lot; the word says he vexed his righteous soul in Sodom. Are you walking as half-way Christians? Are you, as the scriptures above, walking with or supporting the wicked? You can become a partaker by association;

II John 9 – 11  Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Are you allowing these things in your life by your choices? Wouldn’t you rather eat, drink, rejoice, and sing for joy of heart with the servants of God? Hear God and repent, remove the unclean from everything you partake of and obey Him: the promises of God will be yours.

The 40 days of Jesus temptation began preparing Him for His calling. Take forty days without the bombarding of Satan’s entertainment; seek God and look for the changes God will make in your life. You will find yourself praying more, or possibly adding a Bible study, or fellowshipping more with God’s people. Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh! And we know that to be led by the Spirit will make you a son;

Romans 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

What was the promise if we will make ourselves separate and touch not the unclean thing? II Corinthians 6:18 above promises if we will do these things, God ... will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Hear God and allow Him to begin purging the things of your flesh, and he will receive you.

Jesus: Removing The Flesh

Listening to Brother Clendennen pray prior to his preaching on CD, he asked God to bless the hearing and the receiving: aren’t those the same thing? God lead me to consider the following two scriptures;

Acts 17:21  (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)

While it is a blessing that we are hearing the word of God as never before, are we as the Athenians, and moving on to the next new thing? The scriptures we have used several times show they would not move beyond the hearing to the receiving, and changing their lives;

Ezekiel 33: 31, 32  And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.

Let us now understand the need for the receiving into our hearts and lives. When our heart goes after covetousness, it is walking in the lust of our flesh, and cannot receive. May we reach beyond our flesh from the hearing, to the receiving and doing. God has now brought us out, and we need to obey and also allow Him to bring us in.

Going through battles at work that never seemed to resolve, and not getting the desired answers in prayer or studying the word, frustration led to a desire to just quit. My wife was asked to pray with me, but then advised to not pray for the physical problem or attack, but for me, that “I” would get out of the way and let God resolve them. On Wednesday morning the week of Camp meeting, God led to fast several days and see what He would do. Immediately thoughts of Monica’s miracle, or receiving more from God at Camp were expected. Everything that was needed at work to be able to go to Camp on Friday fell into place, and there was an expectation. Then on Thursday evening Camp was cancelled; what did God mean? On Friday morning, while reading Jesus: the Way Truth Life Light Word again, God gave a different emphasis in the following scripture;

John 6:51  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Jesus gave His flesh spiritually to live a sinless life, and then gave Himself physically to reconcile us to the Father. Jesus gave his flesh for our lives, and if we will serve Him, we must begin giving our flesh as well; Paul said, I die daily (I Corinthians 15:31). It is in dying to the flesh that Jesus can live within us. As Brother Clendennen said, He’s not going to share your vessel with your sin or flesh.

I John 1:5  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

John 8:12  Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

John 3:19 – 21  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Immediately after that hearing, during reading a draft of Jericho March, God gave a closer look at the first verse;

          Joshua 6:1  NOW Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children           of Israel: none went out and none came in.

This is spiritually similar with us today; the enemy has blinded the hearts of the lost, so they will not hear the children. There are walls around the lost, as it was with us; there is no receiving. But it is by our continual obedient marching, walking in the truth and Spirit, and not in the flesh, that we are a silent witness of God. They will begin to see the difference in your life. As you walk (or march) around the lost, living for God, you are weakening the walls they have built up, that the walls can come down when God leads you to spiritually shout! Consider this further; the walls you have left in your life are preventing you from being that triumphant witness for your spouse, your parents, your children, friends, enemies, or acquaintances. We must give our flesh to walk in His light. It is only in full obedience that the walls are sure to come down.

Why weren’t these truths seen before? because of the fleshly nature. The fast that God had led me to began breaking the bonds of the flesh, and giving greater spiritual vision. God then had me again consider the Isaiah 58:6 fast;

          Isaiah 58:6  Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of           wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free,   and that ye break every yoke?

My perception had become over the years that this fast was not of food, but to do things for others, removing their affliction or bondage, and not considering ourselves. Now God showed it is a true fast, and that the fast it is not to afflict your self, but to give internal victory over the flesh. As the flesh is removed, the spirit can increase, and humbleness and obedience can abound. Our bands of wickedness can be loosed, our heavy burdens taken, our oppression removed, our yoke of sin broken. We must defeat the internal hindrances to be able to receive spiritually, and then truly help others.

These new truths were a tremendous blessing, and more than worth the price. The anticipation of what God would do after the fast lead me to endeavor to receive it. Consider Moses in Hebrews 11:24 – 26. It says Moses chose affliction with the people of God rather than the pleasures of sin, because he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.

Can you have respect unto the recompense of the reward? Or will you just continue to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh? Our spiritual deafness runs as deep as our flesh; we are so under the flesh we do not even perceive the lust when it comes. Learn to listen for your flesh and instantly say NO! It is this fast that has great recompense of reward!

Listening to “What It Means To Pray Through” from Brother Clendennen most morning and evenings while commuting had probably been 50 times; but hearing again another nugget was heard; give up our thinking and thoughts. Giving up our flesh will achieve this also; humbleness and obedience will begin to abound. Ask God to help with your respect of the reward, and your receiving. Hear and receive the following truth;

          I Peter 1:7  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of       gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise          and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

As your faith is tried with fire, rejoice with the promises ahead if you overcome! Pay the price that is without money:

          Isaiah 55:1 – 3  Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he      that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk   without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that    which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken       diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul     shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure       mercies of David.

There is no monetary compensation that will remove your fleshly, carnal nature; but removing the flesh will allow you to buy spiritual food and drink that is without price! Jesus has given His flesh for you, and it is only in removing the flesh that we can find a greater depth of the promises in these scriptures. The living bread and living waters are only ours through the Lord Jesus Christ! This is the only true and spiritual “soul food”, as noted in these verses. The carnal nature leaves us spending money and labour for that which will not satisfy you. Hear Him, and diligently, earnestly seek to remove your flesh and come to Him, and you will begin receiving these promises, blessings, and multiplying.

Brokenness

In Removing The Flesh above it was noted that Jesus gave His flesh spiritually to live a sinless life, and then gave His flesh physically to reconcile us to the Father. Jesus gave his flesh, and we must begin giving our flesh as well; as Paul said (I Corinthians 15:31) ... I die daily. It is in dying to the flesh that Jesus can live within us. Light and darkness do not mix; God is not going to share your vessel with your sin or flesh, as noted previously in the following scriptures;

I John 1:5  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

John 8:12  Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

John 3:19 – 21  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

We should now go beyond the limited understanding of removing the flesh, and find the obedience that comes with brokenness, and gives us the light of life, Jesus.

Brother Clendennen in one of his messages spoke of understanding the meekness of Moses, and talked about horses that were so meek they obeyed totally, and he related it to being “tamed”. He said only the tamed will rule in heaven. We understand the concept of what he is saying, but the choice of the word tame is much too broad. Brother Allmon has a cat at the farm that comes every morning to eat, but you cannot get within about five feet of that cat, and you cannot touch it, it is wild. But even if you could tame that cat, would it obey anything you command? Would it fetch anything, or do tricks? Cats have a mind of their own, and do not obey. With wild horses, or horses in general, we say they have to be broken, not tamed, and so it is with us. Our flesh, and it’s own will, must be broken for our light to truly shine. Meekness will be the result of that brokenness.

Please read and grasp the next point. Because the word flesh is used for the physical body as well as our fleshly nature, we equate the two, and believe they are one and the same; they are not. We try to control our physical bodies, and thus miss the spiritual warfare against the fleshly nature. Watchman Nee in Release of the Spirit used different terminology: the inner man being the spirit, the outer man the flesh or fleshly nature, and the outermost man the body. If the fleshly nature and fleshly body were the same, the spirit could not abide and come out, for darkness and light do not mix; the fleshly nature is what must be removed.

God gave an example of this in a recent fast, where it was purposed to fast solid food, but drink liquids; tea, milk, juice, etc. to avoid the foam that forms in the mouth and aggravates so much while fasting. During the fast it was reminded that Jesus did not have those liquids during his wilderness fast, so those liquids were stopped immediately to the dissatisfaction of the flesh. The greater breaking of the flesh was a blessing! The next day the foam returned, but then it was given that the fast was not to afflict the body, but to break the flesh!  The liquids were allowed without chastisement. If the fleshly nature is removed, the body then becomes the vessel that accomplishes only the will of the spirit, or inner man. We see from the Word that God can divide the body and fleshly nature;

Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

As this was read God lead to compare the sword to a laser, and its speed and ability to cut with precision. Until the last fifty years there was nothing significant to compare the sharpness of a sword to. But realize that God’s omniscience, God’s omnipotence are as high as the heavens are above the earth, and so much greater than man’s invention! His grace is sufficient for us, and He will meet our need; we must allow Him to remove our fleshly nature.

For an additional example of the difference between body and flesh, God again gave another look at Jericho;

Joshua 6:1  NOW Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out and none came in.

While it was shut up, Jericho was impenetrable from within or without; while the children of Israel could not get in, the inhabitants of Jericho also could not get out. Consider this further; the ensample is that the city is the body or outermost man. The outer man, the fleshly nature, is then the wall that prevents the inner man, the spiritual man, from coming out. The church today is living like it is in a dome, in the repetition and pattern of man within those walls, and failing to shine, or reach out, or be seen. As the children of Israel had to obey completely for the physical walls of Jericho to come down, we must follow God’s leading and direction completely for the walls, our fleshly nature, to come down. We must give up our fleshly nature to walk in His light. It is only in full obedience and humbleness that the fleshly nature can be broken and removed. We must then be that city on a hill:

Matthew 5:14  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Brother Clendennen said if we are told to let our light shine, the possibility is that we are not. It does not say this city was built on a hill, but set on a hill; scripture tells us of the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven, and several times scriptures tell of the fountain or river of living waters that come from under the throne. It tells us of the rivers of living water that will flow from within us. This cannot happen while our inner man is walled in!

I would love to move from here back to the Sea of Flesh. The Sea of Flesh can be confirmed scripturally by Revelation 17:15, and Isaiah 60:5. The living waters can and will heal that sea, as seen in Ezekiel 48. Our call is to overcome the flesh and allow those living waters to flow to and heal others. But the direction God led for this exhortation is to understand brokenness and the promises it brings. Let us begin with seeing ourselves or our potential in the scriptures from II Corinthians 4:6 – 5:9;

II Corinthians 4:6, 7  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

As with the physical creation, God has shined the light in our hearts, to give us the knowledge of Him and His glory. But we can have a treasure in these earthen vessels that is hid, and cannot be seen due to the fleshly nature. The emphasis here is not on the earthen vessel, but on the contents, the treasure. We must see the two parts, and not consider them as one. Jesus, the treasure in a field, the pearl of great price, is in you, let Him be seen! We must see this in the spiritual, not the physical. Another quote of a Brother Clendennen message was recently found; There must be a manifestation of light to counter a manifestation of darkness. The world is becoming more and more wicked because the church has stopped manifesting the light, the Lord Jesus Christ, to counter the darkness!

 

God told us in our church years ago to ask Him to open our eyes and ears. Spiritual vision and hearing will allow us to see and understand that only brokenness will allow you to walk in the scriptures that follow;

 

II Corinthians 4:8, 9  We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

How can we overcome as Paul notes in these verses? By brokenness and the Spirit we can be inwardly unshaken, but the need is for the outward, fleshly man to be destroyed, so the inward, the spirit, can be seen as in verses 10 and 11;

II Corinthians 4:10, 11  Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

The word manifest means shown. If He is to be shown, or seen, in our body or mortal flesh, this dying does not speak of physical death, but to spiritual life; we must be broken and die in the flesh for this to occur!

II Corinthians 4:12 – 15  So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

The death to the flesh that was in Paul is allowing the life and light of Jesus to be shown, and the living waters to reach unto them! The scripture that is referenced, I believed, and therefore have I spoken ... is from Psalm 116:10. Psalm 116 speaks of the gracious, righteous, and merciful God who will hear and deliver, and the servanthood that should result from that deliverance. When we die to the flesh God can raise us up in the spiritual! And again in the above scriptures we come to the abundant grace, which will result in the glory of God shining. Continuing on;

II Corinthians 4:16  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

The outward man perishing is not speaking of the body aging, but the fleshly nature, and this perishing is not physical death; though the outward man faints, or falls, or perishes to the spiritual, it is broken, but the inward man is renewed that it might then be seen at all times! That is how the troubles of verses 8 and 9 can seem light;

II Corinthians 4:17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

Our light affliction works to break us, and crucify the fleshly nature in us, that His glory may exceed! This will allow the spiritual sight and hearing to be opened, and allow us to see and receive spiritual things, not the carnal;

II Corinthians 4:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

We are not to look at the physical or temporal, but at the eternal. This is spiritual seeing, spiritual hearing, and then doing! The breaking of our flesh removes the temporal and works the eternal in us;

 

II Corinthians 5:1  For we know that, if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

If, and only if, this clay pot, this earthly vessel is dissolved, we have a temple made of God! We must hunger and desire to the point of groaning to be clothed with the eternal in this life!

II Corinthians 5:2 – 5:4  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

If this mortality spoken of is the physical death, how could we be seen naked? This clothing upon can be seen in the spiritual in this life as well! This temple built of God can be seen and glorifies God the occupant, and not the building! Change me God, take the filthy, take the fleshly nature, and give me a spiritual garment, so that the life and light of Jesus might shine! Enable us, Lord, through the next verse;

II Corinthians 5:5  Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

He that hath wrought us has given the earnest of the Spirit now in this life; the Spirit is given now in this life that we might overcome and manifest Him for others also; it is not just for us in eternity!

II Corinthians 5:6, 7  Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (for we walk by faith, not by sight:

There is a confidence, a knowing and believing here in the spiritual; a walking by faith as those in Hebrews 11, who saw the promises afar off in the spiritual, but could not yet receive or touch them;

II Corinthians 5:8, 9  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

While we are desiring to be with Jesus and God, there is a labouring for Him now, that we may be accepted. This labour must be in brokenness of the fleshly nature, and in total obedience, for it to be accepted! We know from Romans 8:5 – 8 that our carnal or fleshly nature cannot please God.

Let us go back now and look again at 4:10;

II Corinthians 4:10  Alway bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

If it is in the body, it is not in eternity, but now in this life for us, and can be shown in us! Let your light shine!      This can only occur in the breaking of the flesh. In David’s prayer of repentance he notes this breaking;

Psalm 51:17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

God desires this repentance and brokenness, and will revive us in heart and spirit in it;

Isaiah 57:15  For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

The question then is how do we accomplish the breaking and removing of our fleshly nature? Do you see in the above two scriptures that it is only by seeking God in spirit through repentance and prayer, and allowing Him to work in us the needed reviving? We have too often spent our time and mind in a physical fight against the body, not seeing or understanding that there is a spiritual and heart fight against the fleshly nature that can be won through brokenness and yielding all to the One who can revive us.

There is a progression of growth in understanding of the Word; God gave me the physical comparison of a metal can. Over time the can has progressed in its materials from tin to aluminum to coated aluminum as men learned to maximize the life of the can. In addition, men learned to optimize the size, volume, and contents of the can. By calculus men learned to maximize the shape of the can and minimize the necessary materials and cost of the can. By the Spirit and overcoming the flesh we eliminate that which will rust and decay; and can allow Him to shape us, and mold us through the Word into the optimum that God wants us to be. The Word of God is full of truth and promises, but we are treating it like we have a seven layer cake, but we are only tasting the frosting over and over again. We must be diligent in seeking God and breaking our fleshly nature, and God will do the revealing and reviving in our hearts and lives. You cannot fully know the Word mentally, or without brokenness of the fleshly nature, but must know it spiritually through the revealing by the Spirit of God.         

Hear and receive greater depth in the truth of the following scripture;

I Peter 1:7  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

From Romans 12:3 we know that every man has been given the measure of faith, but many never act on, or in, faith. So it is not your level of faith that is more precious than gold, but the trial of your faith. We are being tried, and as your faith is tried with fire, rejoice with the promises ahead as you overcome! As you overcome in faith, know that your faith is becoming pleasing to God (Hebrews 11:6), and more precious than gold.

Faithful hearing and doing will bring you beyond the things of nought, and provide these blessings of God! Removing your flesh cannot be accomplished through your flesh, it is only in Him; God performs the change in our life if and when we yield:

Ezekiel 36:25 – 27  Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

The price that Jesus paid on the cross is the price of these changes in you, for He is the way. We must then allow Him to bring us out of the flesh, and allow Him to quicken us through the spirit and life;

John 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

The depth of our overcoming and deliverance will be found in the depth of our yielding to Him, and complete reliance on Him;

John 15:4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

It is often difficult to grasp these spiritual truths unless we consider a physical example God has provided. The early morning of Monday, August 6, 2012, while seeking where to be in the Word, “Exodus” was heard, and while turning, “Chapter 3”. It is easy to question your hearing if you have already spent considerable time on a portion of scripture, and that questioning arose until reaching verses 19 and 20;

Exodus 3:19, 20  And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand. And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.

At that point God revealed that the spiritual parallel is that your flesh, your outer man, is your spiritual Egypt, and is oppressing and enslaving your spirit, the inner man. Can you see that you are oppressed by your flesh and kept from the promises of God? God will stretch out His hand and smite your Egypt with wonders until your flesh will let the inner man go free.

God could have forced Pharaoh and the Egyptians to let the children of Israel go, but it only happened when they were broken and said for the children to go. It is the same with our flesh; God does not force us to do His will, but has given us freedom to choose. When we receive salvation through Jesus God gives us a new heart and spirit within (Ezekiel 36:25, 26 above). Understand that the sins of your past are gone at salvation, but the iniquity, the propensity to sin which is the flesh and outer man, are still present. As with Pharaoh (Exodus 5:2), the flesh and outer man says “I know not the Lord, neither will I let the inner man go free”. God begins to plague the outer man with His wonders until it breaks the outer man to let the new man go free. There is a process from deliverance, through breaking, and proving, until you can battle and become conquering, and can reach the living. There will be afflictions, trials, and temptations while God breaks the outer man. God does not then send you immediately into spiritual battle, but to spiritual boot camp;

Exodus 13:17  And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:

How many of you have seen a particular overcoming or spiritual victory in an individual and said in yourself that you could not do it, and returned to your old ways? God does not put more on you than you can bear. You will first go through the wilderness while God chastens and removes the chaff, and then refines out the dross. Yield and let Him remove your flesh; do not hear the things of nought and the flesh and turn back.

Just as Pharaoh and Egypt pursued the children of Israel, know that your flesh will pursue and try to again enslave the new man, the inner man, and return the soul from life to death spiritually. If we will diligently follow the leading of the Spirit we will eventually see the flesh, as the Egyptians, dead on the sea shore (Exodus 14:30). This can only occur when we reach the walk of Paul in … I die daily.

Look now at the continual path for the children of Israel: God broke Pharaoh and let them go; He instructed them how to leave with wealth from the Egyptians; He delivered them miraculously at the Red Sea; He fought the battle against Pharaoh’s chariots, and the children did not have to lift a finger; He provided water numerous times; He fed them with manna and quail; He led the children of Israel with the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. We could follow this through to the Promised Land: the defeats of Midian, Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan; crossing the parted Jordan River; the fall of the walls of Jericho. At each instance where they followed God completely they received complete victory. With whatever level of reliance they had on their selves or man they failed to some degree.

That will be the same in the spiritual battle. As God did not expect the Israelites to fight the Egyptians, he does not send you defenseless, but will go before you. He will provide the Spirit to tutor, and lead, and guide (Ezekiel 36:27 above) ... I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes ... Recognize the spiritual warfare within, and begin yielding to God and His promises can be yours as Jesus, the carpenter, begins to frame you in His image!

Framed By The Word Of God

Hebrews 11:3  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

It is through faith that we can receive understanding of the creation of all that we see and know. God created and framed these physical things, but there is a spiritual parallel for us to find in faith. As we have discussed in The Sea of Flesh, and in Of The Earth, Earthy, we were created without form and void; as it was with the earth, darkness was upon our hearts, and God moved on us. God desires us to be separated from the sea, or flesh, but not to remain in the earth. God wants to frame us spiritually by the Word, and allow us to walk in the heavenly in this life, and has provided all we need. Why do we, in flesh, reject his call to the things of the Spirit?

Isaiah 29:16  Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

We must understand that God will prune, purge, and frame us only as and when we seek Him, and allow Him to. As He promised the Jews before they went to Babylon, so shall it be for us;

Jeremiah 29:11 – 14  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with your whole heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

When we find Him in a greater way, we receive more knowledge of who and what we are in the flesh, and that only by His grace can we be delivered, and spiritually become the temple that He desires us to be. If we have fallen into sin, we have become spiritually captive; we cannot completely return to the place that we were without Him. If we repent and seek Him as these scriptures declare, God will bring us again to the place where we were carried away captive. God has called us to a heavenly walk, and will then frame and build us;

Ephesians 2:19 – 22  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Hebrews 3:1 tells us Christ Jesus is the Apostle and High Priest of our profession. He is also King of kings, and Lord of lords, the head of the body; and if we are built and framed on that chief corner stone, we can become an habitation of God, as spoken in the above scripture. In Matthew 3:9 John the Baptist said God is able to raise up children of Abraham from the stones. With what we now know about DNA this generation should have a greater physical understanding of this scripture than any other throughout history. Knowing that Almighty God can make a child of Abraham from stones, realize what He can do with you! We need to be spiritual stones (I Peter 2:4 – 9) to be part of His building. To be …fitly framed … we must be in His image. But what is that image? It is not for us to determine, or decide; we must be like Him in all respects to become …an habitation of God … Smith Wigglesworth spoke of looking for translation; we should be looking and seeking to be “in His image” that we could be translated. We were not made to be in the image of our own choosing; we were not made to be in an image of pride; we were not made to be in an image of the flesh; and we were not made to be in the enemy’s image. We were made to be “in His image”. That is why the knowledge of God is important; you must know Him to become like Him!

Colossians 3:10  And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

The change that is made in you is after the knowledge of Him; you cannot become a new man in the same filthy, defiled, old, vessel. That is why there is a necessity to have your flesh removed. Put on the new man ... is to clothe yourself anew. You are renewed by the knowledge of Him, and will be called to be in His image.

In The Image Of God

We were not made to be only after His likeness or resemblance, but to be also in His image or representation;

Genesis 1:26, 27  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

In reading the Sermon on the Mount recently it was noticed in Matthew 5:9 that the peacemakers would be … called the children of God. In verses 44 and 45 it says love your enemies … that ye may be the children of your Father. This is further declared in Romans;

Romans 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

In our understanding of the example of the creation we only grasp being in the image in the flesh or physical. Men have declared a resemblance of children to their father in many ways: for instance, he looks like his daddy; or he’s the spitting image of his daddy; or he has his father’s (choose a part of the face or body). But it is also noted in many attributes: he’s a chip off the old block; or the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Hopefully these are positive things, noting that the parents raised him right. These things can be seen and declared in a child at any point in life, and are always a reflection on the parent. God wants us to be like that spiritually;

Matthew 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Are you a son of God? Do people see your older brother in you? When looking at you, do they see Jesus or the kingdom in you, and glorify God? As in the physical creation plan of Genesis, God wants us in the image of his Son spiritually;

Romans 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

If God has determined that we should be … conformed to the image of his Son … what is that image? The first two chapters (and nearly the whole book) in Hebrews speak of the image, nature, and position of Christ Jesus. This is seen in the following verses;

Hebrews 1:1 – 4  GOD, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 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 on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

An express image is an exact copy or representation! He is the heir of all things, and made so much better than the angels. By … upholding all things by the word of his power, and by purging our sins, He … sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. He has provided the example for us that we can become an express image. Do you want to be a joint-heir? Here is the need; to be in His image we must be led of the Spirit and suffer with Him;

Romans 8:16, 17  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together.

To fully become in His image we must also have the mind of Christ. Hebrews speaks also of His nature or character;

Hebrews 1:8, 9  But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Because He loved righteousness and hated iniquity His anointing was greater. If we desire a greater anointing we must follow or seek His example, and love righteousness! We must remove the iniquity we are compassed by, replacing it with the witness that Jesus is, and the cloud of witnesses we have been given as examples.

Despite His exalted position, He is not lifted in pride; … for I am meek and lowly in heart (Matthew 11:29). God the Father speaks glowingly of the Son, and the Spirit. Jesus spoke in awe and reverence of the Father and of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit leads and guides us into all truth of the Father and Son. There is perfect unity in them, but no pride.

Contrast the above walk, humble, anointed, righteousness loving, iniquity hating, with that of those who refuse to accept the knowledge of God;

Romans 1:18 – 20  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Do you convince yourself that the things you do or allow are godly or righteous? That can leave you in ungodliness, holding the truth in unrighteousness. Seek His face and ask Him to reveal the truth (the knowledge of Jesus) to you. But these have gone beyond and further defiled their selves;

Romans 1:21 – 23  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

By spiritual blindness they cannot see, or refuse to see, the fullness and glory and perfection of Almighty God. We were born with a sin nature (iniquity), already needing to be reconciled to God by Jesus, but we were not already in the sin. When it says … vain in their imaginations … and Professing themselves to be wise … it is apparent the besetting sin of pride has taken over. They have chosen to reject God and be an image unto their selves. Romans 1:24 says God gave them up to uncleanness;

Romans 1:24, 25  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Please consider carefully the word dishonour in these scriptures. You were created in the image of God Almighty! While we must also be careful to not become vain, we should never put anything in, or on, our body to dishonour God! You were bought with a price, you are the temple of the Holy Ghost, you are God’s;

I Corinthians 6:19, 20  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body; and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Ask God to give you a greater understanding in these scriptures; how awesome is it that you are a spiritual temple? It is only of God that we are made the temple. You have the Holy Ghost only of God, and you are no longer your own. Consider Jesus and the great price he paid for you; glorify God, putting the purity and holiness of the temple, which you are, to be foremost. What will help us hold together our temple in this holiness? God also provides the nails or mortar;

Colossians 3:14  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Love is the bond, or glue, that holds the newness of our walk together. There can be no perfectness without it. Would you build a piece of furniture without glue, screws, or wedges? How long would it hold together or last? Scripture tells us … the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:5) Love (charity) will last. Additionally, God is love; if we are to be in His image we must dwell in love;

I John 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

What better way to be spiritually in His image than to have Him dwell in us? Let the kingdom come; … for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:21) Let the King have the throne of your heart; fear Him, hear Him, and obey Him and He will bless and keep you and mold you in His image!

It is so inadequate to only speak of the things mentioned; removing sin and iniquity, walking humbly, and walking in the love of God. Can a branch bear fruit of itself? Remember how big God is; the omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of the Almighty. How can we be in His image? After the simple things of removing self and the flesh, it is only in putting on Jesus that we can serve God and be in His image.

Romans 13:14  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Jesus is the King of kings, and Lord of lords; yet we are to be conformed to His image. He is the way, the only way, that this can be accomplished in our lives;

John 15:4 – 8  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

We began above with our need to put on the new man, and be in Jesus image, and discussed the image, nature, and position of Jesus. We reviewed some of the general things that must be removed from our lives to be in His image. We saw the need to walk in humbleness and love. Now know and remember that you cannot accomplish it without being in Him; Abide in me, and I in you … for without me ye can do nothing. We must be in Him to overcome our fleshly nature; put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ. Yield to Him, and let Him mold you in His image! That is the only way that you will bear fruit on your vine. That fruit will allow the Father to be glorified, as previously noted above in Matthew 5:16!

If you are having difficulty grasping these spiritual truths you are not alone. When Nicodemus first came to Jesus he could not understand, as evidenced by the Lord’s response;

John 3:10  Jesus answered and said unto him, Art though a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

Nicodemus was thinking physically, not spiritually, when Jesus spoke of being born again. We must see and receive the light, the life, the truth, and the way in spirit to begin understanding the truth spiritually;

John 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

The natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit (I Corinthians 2:14); we must be led of the Spirit to receive the things of God (I Corinthians 2:10 – 13). Yield and let the Spirit be your guide into all truth and you can begin the road to being truly … conformed to the image of his Son … As you do the path to being spiritually fruitful will open to you;

John 12:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

We have grasped the physical concept of this scripture, but spiritually we must die to self to be … conformed to the image of his Son … We will then bring forth fruit to God. Allow Him to frame you and bring you to His image; the blessings of God will be yours, and you will glorify God as you walk with Him.

The Spirit Is Indeed Willing

When Jesus was preparing by prayer and supplication in the garden, and came to the disciples sleeping, He spoke the following words recorded in Matthew to them;

Matthew 26:41  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.

Jesus was speaking to them of the spiritual warfare or struggle within each of us, and the spirit referred to has a small “s”, since the Holy Spirit had not yet been given. Jesus told them that the spirit God had given them is indeed willing, but is hindered by the flesh; they were told to pray not to enter into temptation.

In Andrew Murray’s The Deeper Christian Life, he declares the following in relation to the spiritual battle; “Do not ask, can I be kept from sinning, if I keep close to Him? but ask, can I be kept from sinning, if He always keeps close to me? and you see at once how safe it is to trust Him.” If you are trying to keep close to Him you are trusting in yourself to be able to do it. If we are seeking Him to keep us, He will be your refuge, your deliverer, your protection, your provision if you flee to Him. We must flee from the things of the flesh, and to Him, that He may frame us in His image.

After God spoke the chilling and alarming words below to us; how many of them have been remembered? How much have they been considered, prayed about, or yielded to? Is He yet in your heart?

SEPTEMBER 30, 2012

MESSAGE AND INTERPRETATION

FOR I AM THE LORD THY GOD AND I WOULD SAY UNTO THEE THIS DAY, I AM SORELY DISPLEASED WITH MY PEOPLE. FOR THOU HAST NOT TURNED TO ME AT ALL.

THINE EYES ARE UPON THE WORLD, THINE EYES ARE UPON EVERY WHICH THING BUT ME. EVEN THOU HAD PREPARED FOR ME TO SPEAK AND WAS LOOKING AT THE SPEAKER AND NOT UNTO THY GOD.

I AM DISPLEASED WITH THEE FOR I AM NOT IN THY HEART ANY MORE THAN IN THE HEATHEN. TURN UNTO ME OR I WILL CUT THEE OFF THIS DAY.

I AM THE LORD THY GOD AND NONE OTHER. I HAVE CREATED THY LIFE, I HAVE CREATED THY PATHS, WALK YE THEREIN. WALK YE AS THE WAY OF MY SON JESUS CHRIST, AND LIVE IN HIM AND DWELL IN HIM.

God, through the Spirit, was speaking expressly to us of that fleshly and worldly desire that is in us and controls us, and that we must overcome;

James 4:4  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Have you been the enemy of God and not even realized it? The Holy Spirit is also indeed willing that we turn from the world unto God, and will be your guide if you will hear. A message preached many years ago on rubbing elbows with the world comes to mind; we often are unconsciously doing this and do not spiritually see or hear the hindrances, or recognize the consequences. God, in His mercy, has continued to deal with us, chastening us, wooing us, drawing us unto repentance and the preparation needed to serve Him; God is not providing anything in writing this current exhortation to add to that work. What we are to do is to look deeper at what He confirms at the closing that He has done for us; I HAVE CREATED THY LIFE, I HAVE CREATED THY PATHS, WALK YE THEREIN. WALK YE AS THE WAY OF MY SON JESUS CHRIST, AND LIVE IN HIM AND DWELL IN HIM.

We think that we have heard this and understand it, but we have only begun to receive what God is telling us. We know that God’s ways and God’s thoughts are as far as the heavens are above the earth than ours. We need to allow God to reveal these promises to us. God, in His omnipotence, in His omniscience, in His omnipresence, in His mercy and pervasive love that fills the earth, has created your life, both physically and now spiritually. That is awesome! If we believe in, and are seeking, the will of God, why do we think our creation and our walk, or paths, were random? Do you think Almighty God, whose ways and thoughts are so far above ours, allows random to occur and then orders it afterward? God created your life, and also your paths! The only thing left undecided is whether you will choose to walk with and for Him, and serve Him. God does not take away your free will, and is now exhorting us to walk in His paths He created for us. Let us consider even closer the scripture that already confirms these facts to us, although we have not fully comprehended it;

Romans 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

God not only foreknew and created you, He created or predestined your path! How many of us are even finding a glimmer of it? God’s predestined path for you is righteousness, and holiness, and fulness of the Spirit unto perfection, that you might be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ! He desires for you to follow Jesus to become His child, one of the brethren, a joint-heir. We know from Ezekiel 33:11I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked … and from II Peter 3:9 not willing that any should perish … that God’s will is that we repent and live; turning unto holiness is turning to His paths for you. This should give a greater understanding of Romans 8:28, and the working of your path and His purpose; He created your paths, and they are for your good. This is the will and purpose of God for you, and if you will become humble and obedient unto it, He will perform it in you;

Romans 8:30, 31  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

The path God created for you, and is calling you to, is a walk of perfection! God will be your sufficiency, and enable you to perform it; grasp these promises for you. The gifts God gives are not random in scope, nature, or recipient; the gifts of God are specific and unchanging;

Romans 11:29  For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

The gifts that the unchanging God has for you are good, and perfect, and purposed for you;

James 1:17  Every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

God, in His omnipotence, in His omniscience, in His omnipresence, in His mercy and pervasive love that fills the earth, has also created a good and perfect path for you. A number of additional scriptures confirm this, including;

Psalm 37:23  The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

Isaiah 30:21  And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

Ephesians 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

God exhorts us to live in Jesus Christ, and dwell in Jesus Christ; it is here that we can also receive the two immutable promises, that in blessing He will bless us, and in multiplying He will multiply us. This is the path He has for us, and leads to the fulness of the Holy Ghost we have talked of, and prayed, and sought God for! We cannot find this perfect path when we are walking as an enemy of God, but only in the forsaking of our path for His path. If he has predestined, and called, and justified you to the path He has for you, and you have heard and fully answered and yielded to Him, He will then send you;

John 20:21  Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

We are sent as Jesus was sent; to hear, to speak, and to do the will of the Father; to do always the things that please Him. If He has sent you, you can receive the Spirit the same that Jesus did;

John 3:34  For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

If the Spirit is not given in a limited measure, it is in the fulness of the Spirit; and it is ours if we find the walk of Jesus Christ! Again, we cannot find this walk or path and fulness of the Spirit in a life of enmity to God. Jesus said we would do greater things; that is not possible if we are not walking as He did, in the fulness of the Spirit. Jesus has chosen and ordained you;

John 15:16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

There is nothing random, or perchance, or happenstance in the life and path that the infinite, Almighty God has created for you. The question is whether you will walk in enmity to Him, or seek Him to work His paths in you. The Spirit is indeed willing!

The Flesh Is Weak

God has given multiple messages in our church that He is sorely displeased with His people and sheep. He also said He created our life and created our path, walk ye therein. Let us consider this further that we might know and change that which is displeasing.

Scripturally, what can we see that displeased the Lord? In Numbers 11:1 God was displeased with the complaining of the people. Do you have an unhappy, dissatisfied, complaining disposition? God has provided all you need for happiness if you will turn everything to Him. Psalm 60:1 records that God was displeased, but does not definitively establish why. Habakkuk 3:8 records His displeasure with the rivers and sea (is that the sea of flesh?), and says that He would ride … chariots of salvation … but again is not specific what the displeasure was. Isaiah 59:15 records that truth faileth, and that the Lord was displeased that there was no judgment. In Zechariah we see two instances of His being displeased. We will look at the second one first, where the Lord is displeased with the heathen for further afflicting Judah;

Zechariah 1:14 – 15  So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.

God had judged Jerusalem and sent into captivity Judah, but the heathen had increased the affliction. Our President and our government had best be careful in their dealings with Israel, lest the Lord be displeased with them. The other reference in Zechariah was of the displeasing of the fathers;

Zechariah 1:2 – 4  The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers. Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD.

While we knew that the evil ways and evil doings displeased the Lord, please note also that they, the fathers, did not hear or hearken, the hearing and the doing!  We need to grasp the spiritual needs in hearing and doing, or we displease God. The spiritual need brings us to consider Jesus being displeased;

Mark 10:13, 14  And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Jesus acknowledges here that God is also concerned with the children, and notes those in the kingdom of God will be similar. With God’s ways and thoughts so much higher than ours, we are as little children in comparison, and must yield and learn of Him, and receive the guidance and comfort of the Spirit.

This brings us to the church today; why is the Lord sorely displeased with His people? Our main text will come from Isaiah 28. God is not displeased for your trips to the altar, or for your time in the Word, or operating in the anointing, or ministering to the needs of the people, but rather in your lack in these areas. God has been your strength for each of those things;

Isaiah 28:5, 6  In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.

To those engaged in spiritual warfare the Lord shall be a crown of glory and beauty, the spirit of judgment, and the strength of the remnant. He is everything we need, but as the children of Israel we reject Him due to our flesh;

Isaiah 28:7, 8  But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.

The Word says these have stumbled through drunkenness, but how have we erred? What is our failure, what is our sin or iniquity? Is it spiritual adultery or fornication, failing to hear and do the call of God? Is it complacency causing the same deafness? Is it unbelief? Or is it just a fleshly, carnal, nature? The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak. The following scriptures again encompass most of the possibilities;

I John 2:15 – 17  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

James 4:4  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Are you the enemy of God? Anything that removes His preeminence is against the things of God:

Colossians 1:18, 19  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

Jesus is the head, the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; in all things He must be given the preeminence. All of the worldly, carnal, fleshly, things mentioned above remove His preeminence. That is what is mentioned in Isaiah 28:7 and 8; they had erred and removed the preeminence of God. The scripture above says that in Jesus will all fulness dwell; will you dwell in Him? Our overcoming of the weak flesh is so simple if we find a life of dwelling in Him. Do you understand that He is unchanging?

Malachi 3:6  For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Praise God that He is unchanging, for His mercy endureth for ever. This should not bring complacency, but the fear of God; He has called you to steadfastness and obedience. The unchanging nature of the Lord is also recorded in the following scripture;

Hebrews 13:8  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

If we are to be conformed to His image, or have His mind these will also be our traits. We know from John 1:1 that; IN the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Do you have a heart knowledge that He is the Word, the … bread of life? Knowledge, doctrine, and life come through Him spiritually. That is what is further spoken in the next verses in Isaiah 28 if we will hear it;

Isaiah 28:9 – 13  Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

There is another depth of understanding in these words. There is a spiritual language to be heard in the first part of … precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; but they received only the natural, or letter of the words, as noted in the second part. We know from II Corinthians 3:6for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. This caused them to … go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. The depth of your knowledge, and the understanding of doctrine, are dependent on your being weaned from the natural, and receiving the spiritual. The scripture … To whom he said … tells us that He was speaking to them, but do you understand that Jesus is the rest for the weary, and the refreshing? But they did not hear. God has now spoken to us of our displeasing Him with stammering lips and another tongue, will we hear? We need to allow God to quicken us, and the message to us;

Romans 4:17  (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

God desires us to let Him quicken us to the spiritual, and not remain in the letter. Let us look at the natural of Isaiah 28:10, and ask God to quicken it to us in the spiritual; the word precept is number 6673 in the Strong’s Hebrew dictionary, and means an injunction. It is translated commandment or precept. Injunctive relief in our courts goes even beyond judgment, and demands an action. God is demanding complete obedience on our part to His commands, but it must be in the spiritual, not trying to do it in the natural. Our heart and understanding must be quickened and opened to the spiritual truth in this word. Humbleness and yielding to the Spirit will bring us to spiritual obedience, and bring us into the paths He created for us, His plan. Consider again the following scriptures;

Psalm 37:23  The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

Isaiah 30:21  And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

Romans 11:29  For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

Ephesians 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

God has told us He created our life and our paths, and commanded us to walk in them; we need to look beyond the natural and receive that word by the Spirit. We briefly discussed that He predestined our path. Let us consider it further, and allow God to quicken it to us;

Ephesians 1:3 – 6  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

He chose us and purposed that we may be holy and without blame, and that, through Jesus, we might be adopted! Our walking that path can, and will, only occur as we walk as, with, and for Jesus;

Romans 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

The path of perfection for you, if you will truly repent and allow God to work it in you, is to be conformed to the image of Jesus. God does not leave this as a random possibility, but calls us unto it;

Romans 8:30, 31  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

God has created you, has created your paths, and He also calls you; He called your name. Are you spiritually hard of hearing and cannot hear God calling your name? Or are you hearing but refusing to fear Him and yield to the call? Are you choosing the life of enmity to God and thus refusing to be conformed to the image of His Son? There is a price to be paid for choosing enmity to God;

Isaiah 66:4  I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

Why would you leave yourself on the side against the Almighty God? Hearken and fear God and let Him go before you and let Him be your rereward; who can be against Him?

Why is it important that we be conformed to the image of His Son? In Matthew 3:17, 12:18, 17:5, in Mark 1:11, and in Luke 3:22 the Word says He is … well pleased … with His Son. Do you want to please rather than displease God? God, in His omnipotence, in His omniscience, in His omnipresence, in His pervasive love and mercy that fills the earth exhorted us to live in Jesus Christ, and dwell in Jesus Christ; this is the path to the fulness of the Holy Ghost we have talked, and prayed, and sought God for! But this path is the walk of spiritual perfection; we must personally repent and turn to a walk of holiness;

II Corinthians 6:17 – 7:1  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. HAVING therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Have you heard the phrase ‘You can’t get there from here’? We cannot and will not find revival, the blessings of God, and the fulness of the Spirit again walking in the sin and iniquity the world is in today. There is a perfectness that we are called to, a righteousness unto holiness. Have you noticed the number of times in the above scriptures that God gave judgment? Most of the Isaiah scriptures above mentioned judgment. In the late 1800s men preached judgment (Charles Finney, Charles Spurgeon, D.L. Moody, Andrew Murray, Smith Wigglesworth; a very long list could be made). As noted in Isaiah 30:18 the Lord is a God of judgment … We also know from Isaiah 61:8 that … I the Lord love judgment Judgment must be preached to bring men to repentance and turning from their wickedness. These men diligently sought God for a greater relationship with Him, and preached righteousness unto holiness, bringing in revival. This revival came from personal spiritual warfare, not collective warfare. We cannot have a ‘move with the herd’ mentality, but must look within, and allow God to purge things from our lives. They desired to come out, and be ye separate; they desired to cleanse ourselves as noted in the above scriptures. This hunger for a greater walk with God brought the church to repent and seek holiness, and led to the Spirit being poured out in Topeka and at Azusa Street, and to the world.

Then over the years men began to veer from preaching judgment. Around the world in the 1920s people legislated Prohibition, but it was not successful because men loved darkness rather than light. Over the decades the watering down has continued until now the preaching is of healing and prosperity, and men are calling evil good and good evil; telling people their sin is acceptable in the eyes of God. As with the Israelites there is again no spiritual hearing and doing. Why has God chosen to upbraid us and tell us He is displeased? He must start at His house;

I Peter 4:17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

In the 1965 prophecy that God used Stanley Frodsham to deliver, God again noted that judgment would begin at His house, and He called us to great diligence in our walk with Him. He promised revival to prepare and enable us for the darkness ahead. We must wholly commit ourselves to spiritual warfare, and allow Him to bring us through spiritual boot camp;

II Corinthians 10:3 – 6  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

While we have heard these scriptures over and over in the call to come out of the flesh, are we grasping them in the call to the Spirit? This is internal, personal, spiritual warfare. Giving up our imaginations, and our personal aspirations and fleshly desires that war … against the knowledge of God, will only be accomplished through the Spirit; it is God who pulls down the strongholds if we let Him. It is by the Spirit that every thought can be brought to obedience; we must quit operating in the natural. It is only here in the Spirit that we can truly begin hearing the calling; there is a high calling, a holy calling in the paths God created for you;

Philippians 3:14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

II Timothy 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

I Thessalonians 2:12  That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

Will you hear His voice calling your name? Will you believe and answer these high and holy callings unto His kingdom and glory? If you will, the Spirit can flow and you will please God;

Hebrews 13:15, 16  By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

The word translated lips in the above scripture is number 5491 in the Greek from Strong’s, and means; a lip (as a pouring place); figuratively a margin (of water). It is translated as lip or shore. Do not limit your understanding to still consider the word lips as part of the face, but as a container with a brim to pour out a substance. The sacrifice of praise, or giving thanks, or to communicate, in these scriptures should not be considered as only verbal, but spiritual and in doing. Look deeper to gain a spiritual understanding; in John 7:38 Jesus said … out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. Our thoughts (for instance, hunger or thirst for righteousness or the word, or humble, contrite prayer) or our actions (feeding and clothing the poor, for example) are probably more pleasing to God than our words: He knows our heart. In Isaiah, God tells us how we receive this fruit;

Isaiah 57:19  I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him.

The Hebrew word used create here is number 1254 in the Strong’s; bara, baw-raw’; a primitive root; (absolutely) to create; (qualified) to cut down (a wood), select, feed (as formative processes): as we desire and yield, God is purging, and changing, and providing that we may be vessels unto His honor and glory. He created your path!

My personal desire has been to see and marvel at the physical things God created, and not to spend time with the people, who have been corrupted. While looking at a proposed highway job in the mountains of Kentucky I was awed, and said to Him, God, the things you have created are so beautiful! And He said The people I created are beautiful too, but they are being destroyed by the enemy. We must now grasp that God created their life, He created their paths, He predestined them to be conformed to the image of His Son. Do we love them enough to tell them? This is the beginning of our fruit inspection, is His love in us to this depth? We do not put His love within, but it is in our openness to the Holy Ghost;

Romans 5:5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Can you grasp the spiritual aspect of these needs? When God spoke to us that He is no more in our heart than in the heathen, we did not understand, and we felt it was for someone else, since He surely was in our heart. If we do not have the love of the people He created, He is not fully in our heart. If He is in our heart as He intends, His love will show through us, sowing that love to the lost, whom He loves as much as He did us.

Look again at a couple of scriptures from above;

I Peter 4:17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

If God is first dealing with you in the house of God, He has not yet judged them that are without, but is asking you who will deal with them? There is a calling to you to deal with them if you will hear it! If you will not, you will fall into … them that obey not the gospel of God.

Ephesians 1:4 – 5  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

When we first looked at these scriptures we put ourselves in the position of adoption, but God predestined and is calling you to the path of helping with the adoption process! Begin hearing and doing! Let His love be shed abroad! Give up your weak, carnal, fleshly nature, and through the Spirit become a holy, obedient, soldier for the Lord Jesus Christ! If we become … holy and without blame before him in love, He will use us in His plan. Let God give you a love for the “they” of the world;

Romans 10:14, 15  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

This scripture has been used almost exclusively in the church today as a fund raising message, calling us to ‘send’ the evangelist or missionary, but it is a call to action for all believers. In verse 8 we see that … The word is nigh thee, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; we need to let it come forth;

Romans 10:16 – 18  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went out into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

Who hath believed? They must hear the Word of God to have faith, and it should come from us. Let your sound be heard! Stop blocking the flow of the fountain of life, the rivers of living waters, with your flesh, sin, iniquity, or complacency! Come out of the weakness of the flesh, yield to the Spirit, and let God purge and mold and shape you in His love, His plan, and in His image!

God Has A Plan

(Finding The Will Of God)

We have now seen that God has a plan for our lives if we will receive it. Our refuge in God is in being in that plan. In a previous writing, How Big Is Your God, in Building The Child Of God, we considered how immense and powerful God was to create the heavens and earth, and all the physical things that we see and know. We discussed that God could see the end from the beginning; now let us consider that He not only knows what will happen, but He is ordering those events, through the few servants who will obey Him, to bring His purpose or plan to pass;

Isaiah 14:24  The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:

If we understand that God could speak the order of creation, why do we limit His ability to bless us by not understanding the spiritual purpose and control He has? What He has spoken and purposed will come to pass with or without us;

Isaiah 46:9 – 11  Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

God will use whoever or whatever is necessary to fulfill his plan, including the heathen and ungodly; let us review several Biblical examples. First let us review some examples of armies fulfilling the will and plan of God;

Jeremiah 37:6 – 10  Then came the word of the Lord unto the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say to the king of Judah, that sent you unto me to inquire of me; Behold, Pharaoh’s army, which is come forth to help you, shall return to Egypt into their own land. And the Chaldeans shall come again, and fight against this city, and take it, and burn it with fire. Thus saith the Lord; Deceive not yourselves, saying, The Chaldeans shall surely depart from us: for they shall not depart. For though ye had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained but wounded men among them, yet should they rise up every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire.

Through Jeremiah the people were told that the Chaldeans would take the city Jerusalem and burn it, no matter how much they fought, or how apparently defeated and wounded the Chaldeans were. The plan of God occurs no matter how dire the conditions seem!

Read I Kings 20:1 – 30. This is a similar occurrence where the prophet told wicked king Ahab that God would deliver a great multitude into his hand, although Israel had only 7,000 men! Verse 13 tells us this was done so that … thou shalt know that I am the Lord.

Let us also look at some individuals used in the plan of God. In The Anointing Calls You we discussed Cyrus, king of Persia. We read Isaiah 45, and saw that God anointed him and ordered everything in his life so he was in place to send the Jews back to build Jerusalem and the temple. We were looking at the anointing then, and did not consider the sovereignty of God at the end of Chapter 44;

Isaiah 44:24 – 28  Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up the rivers: That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.

God tells us of His omnipotence in both the physical and spiritual things, and tells us he confirms and performs the things spoken by His servants and messengers (they are speaking His will and plan!). God, through His messenger Isaiah, literally foretold of Cyrus, naming him, and telling what Cyrus would do in God’s plan. God foretold of Cyrus and used him so that all will know that he is the Lord, and there is no other!

Even if we do not understand it, receive it, or prepare to walk in it, God has a plan for our life. Consider Queen Esther; she did not see or realize her calling, or why she was in the position she was. Mordecai had faith to know God would in some way deliver the Jews, and could see the possible plan of God in Esther’s life;

Esther 4:13, 14  Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Look further at Mordecai, who went in sackcloth with ashes and fasted, mourned, and cried out over the commandment to destroy the Jews. Mordecai had a heart for the children of God, and faith to know God would provide the deliverance, but did not know how God would deliver them. But God had already been at work in his life. By allowing Mordecai to have previously secured the life of the king, God had prepared the blessing and direction for the plan for his life in fulfilling God’s purpose! Mordecai could see the possibilities of the Queen fulfilling the plan of God, but did not recognize his own part in that plan. While Queen Esther was obeying and preparing to petition the king, God had already worked in Mordecai’s behalf in reminding the king of what Mordecai had done. By stepping out in faith Esther changed the fate of the Jews and finished opening the door of the blessing God had prepared to fulfill His will in the life of Mordecai, and His purpose and plan in delivering the Jews!

Next let us look at Saul (the apostle Paul) who was walking in his own knowledge of life and religion, persecuting the church, as Jesus foretold in John 16:2whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. Jesus met him on the road to Damascus, and Paul was immediately brought to consider the plan and will of God;

Acts 9:6  And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

By his words Paul made a choice, and became a captive to the will and plan of God. Even Ananias questioned the will of God, but Jesus told him Paul was chosen;

Acts 9:15, 16  But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

Paul gives us an excellent example, it is not important how many; God works with the one, or the few, who will answer the call;

          Romans 11:29  For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

Paul travelled, evangelized, and taught and established the church throughout much of the known world. Then, from captivity, he wrote epistles that have strengthened, taught, and established many in the generations to come. These epistles Paul wrote did not come from the man Paul; … but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (II Peter 1:21) The will and plan of God was performed in His humble, yielded servant.

At each trial, or suffering, or imprisonment such as Paul faced, how many of you would be looking for the eternal purpose of God in the occurrence? When Paul was praying and singing praises to God, beaten, bleeding, and in stocks in the jail at Philippi, do you think Paul knew the earthquake was coming? But he knew that … all things work together for good to them who love God … (Romans 8:28), and was looking for what God would do! Most of us would have to admit we would be grumbling and complaining, and miss the spiritual plan of God.

What does God purpose for you? If we will believe, receive, and obey Him, the promise of His will is that we become sons of God;

John 1:12, 13  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Romans 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

It is never about exalting you, but about exalting Him and fulfilling His will. God does not share glory to exalt another, as Satan has thought/sought to do:

Isaiah 42:8  I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Give up your pride for His promises; love Him and walk spiritually in His will and purpose, and He will richly bless and keep you.

Romans 8:27 – 31  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Are you living according to your purposes? Verse 26 says … we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us … The Spirit is in perfect unity with the Father, and intercedes for us according to the will of God. Verse 28 then says … called according to his purpose. If, as we have seen above, everything God purposes will come to pass, our faith should stand strong in If God be for us, who can be against us? It is only “in” His will that this promise is ours: Our purpose must die, and we must seek and accept His calling, purpose, and grace for our lives. We are called with an holy calling;

II Timothy 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Timothy is told that the holy calling is according to God’s purpose, and that it was … given us in Christ Jesus before the world began ... We must know then that it was ordained as part of the plan of God. Accept the calling, and His purpose and grace for you, and you begin to find His will and His plan. Do not be conformed to the world ( … be conformed to the image of His Son … ) but be transformed by the renewing of your mind to find His perfect will;

Romans 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Let us now consider what we know by scripture to be the general will of God. God wants all to come to Him, repent, and live;

II Peter 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Ezekiel 33:11  Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

It is only in the enduring mercy of God that men are given repeated opportunity to know and turn to Him, but there is a day coming when that will end. In Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 we read of Jesus telling his disciples of things to come (the fulfillment of the plan of God). He also tells them even He does not know the exact time;

Mark 13:31, 32  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Here we see the difference between the will of God and the plan of God. It is His will that you repent, are saved, accept His holy calling, and are part of His plan; but He does not force you. But His plan must, and will, be accomplished in His timing with or without you! We do not know the depth or details of His plan, so how do we walk?

          II Corinthians 5:7  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

If we walk in faith, totally yielded and obedient to Him, and seeking His will in all things, we will always be in the plan of God. We can find this in the example of Jesus walk;

John 6:38 – 40  For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

This scripture shows that the will of God is that those that have belief, or faith, “in” Him will be kept and receive eternal life. Jesus was always about the will of the Father;

John 8:28, 29  Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

If we have a true, actionable faith in the plan and will of God we will be about pleasing Him, and only doing His will. We then can, and will, receive the promises if we diligently walk in this faith. The knowledge of His will, and abiding faith to accomplish His will, puts the believer on the path of being … conformed to the image of his Son.

In Jesus prayer in the garden we see the frailty of His body in asking for the cup to pass from Him. Yet He … for the joy that was set before him endured the cross … (Hebrews 12:2); which joy was our salvation. He looked beyond the affliction and completely fulfilled the will, and thus the plan, of God in His walk here. We need to overcome affliction and walk for, and with, Him in seeking the things that are eternal;

II Corinthians 4:16 – 18  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Allow God to work in you a vision or faith for the eternal. Submit and walk humbly with Him. It is only that true, spiritual, sight that can receive the plan of God for your life. While the plan for each person will be different and specific, the general plan of God is shown in what man calls the great commission. Let us look at it in Matthew, Mark, and Luke;

Matthew 28:18 – 20  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Mark 16:15 – 18  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Luke 24:45 – 49  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

We grasp in the physical, and in our minds, the call here, but we often miss it in the spiritual; the command is to … tarry … until ye be endued with power from on high. If we do … these signs shall follow them that believe …Do you see the signs following? It is only in obedience, in hearing and doing, that we can fulfill the will and plan of God. To understand the difference here we only need to consider the prior example of Saul (the apostle Paul). Scripture tells us he had some of the best of man’s education and theology;

Acts 22:3  I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

For all of this fleshly knowledge Paul was working absolutely contrary to the purpose of God;

Acts 22:4  And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

Paul already had a mind and desire for the things of God; the scripture says he was zealous, but due to the lack of seeing or hearing, or the leading of the Spirit, he could not accomplish anything for God, and rather worked against the plan of God. Jesus met Paul on the road to Damascus and changed his direction, giving him seeing eyes, and hearing ears, and the leading of the Spirit. Where is your zeal? It is often the lack of desire and purpose that leaves us languishing in complacency and failure. We cannot see or hear spiritually due to our being unprepared, and our walk in the flesh. Pray, fast, and ask God to give you a hunger and desire for Him. If you can desire it, God will bring you past the things of your flesh, and bless you in His calling, and in fulfilling your part in His will and plan.

As we know from Isaiah 55:8 – 11, Gods ways and thoughts are as high as the heavens are above the earth than ours, and His word will prosper in that which He sends it to. We cannot even begin to grasp the depth or fulness of His plan. Our part and calling in His eternal plan is to walk in faith, yielded, hearing, and doing when He calls unto us. Find this place of faith, that He may use you as He purposes in His high and holy calling!

God Given Faith

Please remember the puzzles that you have put together; there is always that piece or part of the puzzle that is the anchor needed to begin establishing what you will build off of. You hunt for it over and over until it is pieced together, since it is often critical to defining the shape, or to allow building the uniformly colored pieces off of it. It is just so with this topic, Faith. Frequent reading of Smith Wigglesworth’s sermon God Given Faith has been such an anchor for me, so that is the title used here as well. All of the topics to this point build off the level of your faith, and you will find it interspersed through many of the exhortations. However, to this point God had not given or led to write a specific topic teaching on faith. Perhaps the topic of faith is similar to the only trait that is greater, the love of God (I Corinthians 13:13). If the love of God is everywhere, and faith is so integral and critical to all growth, perhaps they are a hidden part and anchor of every topic. God is now calling to look deeper at our faith.

Many have looked at the example of Enoch being taken by God, and desired to have a walk of righteousness, goodness, obedience, and holiness, that they might be taken. And all these things will be a part, since … without holiness no man shall see the Lord. But we must understand that Enoch had reached the point where he pleased God, and that pleasing was in his faith;

Hebrews 11:5, 6  By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

It does not say that by righteousness or holiness Enoch was translated, but By faith. We know that All scripture is given by inspiration of God … so God spoke in the above scriptures. Enoch had such faith that he pleased God and God translated him. He wants us to let our faith grow that we may please Him, and it is … impossible to please him … if we do not! Get on this path of growing your faith; pray and fast and seek His face for the abundance of faith.

Jesus spoke to the disciples of their unbelief, the great possibilities of their faith, and the preparation needed for faith;

Matthew 17:20, 21  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

We have always heard this scripture taught or preached as speaking of having faith the size of the grain of mustard seed. We have been taught that such a small amount of faith as a mustard seed can move mountains. However, we know that every man has been given faith;

Romans 12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

God has given faith to every man by measure; that is how you can know that each and every one has the potential to reach the level of faith Jesus spoke of in Matthew 17:20. It does not tell us what God is using for the measure, but every man has been given that measure. It is not a question of whether we have faith, but rather our use of what we do have! It is not acquiring something from without, but releasing what is within! Jesus told them they could not cast the devil out because of their unbelief, and also because of unpreparedness (lack of … prayer and fasting)!

Listening to an F. F. Bosworth sermon from 1954, he said that a seed has the power in itself to grow into a plant. God let me begin to truly hear this. When the scripture says … as a grain of mustard seed, if it means like the faith of the mustard seed we get a different meaning. The seed does not have means to question or doubt the ability to grow into a plant, but just grows when it is planted and watered. The mustard seed has no unbelief, but simply does what it has the possibility to do. Jesus told the disciples that they (and we also) could simply do what they had the possibility to do if they would release their faith in God! In Matthew 19:26 Jesus told the disciples that with God all things are possible.  Jesus also spoke of other spiritual parallels to a seed;

John 12:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

While a seed is stored it remains dormant. Seeds can be stored for years unchanged. The preparing that is necessary for the seed is to fall into the ground and die. Grasp the spiritual parallel and realize that you must get your faith off the shelf for it to become active! Begin to pray and fast, and seek God that you may find the ability of your faith. Then, after the seed dies, it grows and bears:

Mark 4:28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

This is as our faith should grow. We should not look at the size of the mustard seed (or our faith), but consider the ability of the mustard seed, and the knowing what it can and will become. Every one of us have within us the God given power and ability of faith to dry up the fig tree, uproot the sycamore tree, or move the mountain! Recognize or realize the possibilities of your faith, and do not walk in doubt or unbelief! Prayer and fasting are part of abiding in Him, and can activate our faith to its fullest.

Our faith must be grounded in Him, for He is ... the way, the truth, and the life. We must ... believe that he is, and also that He ... is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Know that His desire is for you to release your faith in Him to its fullest.

The only question then, is what we will do with the faith we have been given. If we have not become mountain movers with our faith, we are under-achievers. We should not think highly of ourselves (Romans 12:3 above), because faith was given to us and we have failed to fulfill it to all of God’s given purpose. Smith Wigglesworth would probably have said “It is all there!” Smith also said, “There is a process on this line.” His meaning was that there is a progression to growing our faith. From the scripture above, … first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. Our faith can and should be exactly what Jesus said it should. We must plant, water, and nurture our faith to its full growth!

In Exodus 4:31 we see that the people worshipped when they heard that God would deliver them from their affliction. There is joy in hearing of the promise, but then they murmured and complained as they were brought through greater affliction (gathering the straw) to gain the promise. After they were delivered from Egypt with great wealth, after they were brought through the Red Sea on dry ground, after they saw the death of the Egyptians, they still complained repeatedly in their unbelief in the wilderness. Although the men of Israel that were brought out of Egypt saw God miraculously provide water, quails, and manna they did not believe God to provide the victories, or to receive the promised land, and as a result did not get to go into it. Our example is that we cannot stop and allow our heart to be hardened on the path of our faith;

Hebrews 3:7 – 11  Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To-day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)

We know from scripture that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God’s ways higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8, 9). Ask God to open your spiritual eyes and ears to walk in His ways. What will you then do with the measure of faith you have been given? It will determine your destiny, as well as your destination;

Revelation 21:7, 8  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

There are choices to be made with stark alternatives. Will you believe God that he will bring good out of your affliction? That is your promise if you love Him;

Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

It is easy to know this scripture in mind, and still grumble in the afflictions. Receive the truth of the above scripture in heart, and find joy;

James 1:2, 3  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

Be joyful in knowing that God, in the affliction and persecution of the enemy, will prune, and purge, and shape you in His image that you can inherit all things! When the devil is ready to say gotcha, we should rise up in spirit and say thanks! We cannot leave the general topic of faith, to study the specific gift of faith, without showing the source, The Word;

Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Get in the Word as you seek Him in faith; the blessings will be great! Realize also that there is a gift of faith to be sought or desired (I Corinthians 12:31).

The Gift of Faith

Beyond the growth in faith available to each of us, there is an achieving of faith at a higher level that is a God given gift. It is manifested or given by the Spirit as He will, to profit and edify the entire body of Christ;

I Corinthians 12:7 – 11  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

These gifts are spiritual, and given only as the Spirit wills. While we are to earnestly seek the best gifts, these gifts are only available if and when God, through the Spirit, allows. In the church today we have far too much flesh prohibiting our operating in the Spirit. To earnestly seek the gifts of the Spirit will result in a greater walk of faith and holiness, that we can be a vessel God can use.

Monica and the Promises of God

Perhaps you have noted in an encouragement or two a reference to Monica and her promise. Monica Carter was born with cerebral palsy due to her mother having cytomegalovirus when she was pregnant. There are many things that could occur, and it seems Monica got all of them. The cytomegalovirus resulted in shrinking in the brain, with lesions. Monica is immobile, and cannot control her arms. Monica’s vision is impaired, and she has frequent seizures. Even the enamel on her teeth was damaged and came off. Monica was twenty six years old as this was written. The devil has tried numerous times to kill her.

The promise of God has been proclaimed for Monica since she was a baby. A godly woman came one morning to a church Monica was at as a baby, and testified that God would not let her go to her own church that day, but sent her there. The woman said God had given her a dream of a baby he was going to heal, and that baby was on the back row. It was Monica.

Since that time there have been many who have testified of visions and promises God had given of her healing. The best blessing was an interpretation that was partially recorded one Sunday morning in March of 1998. The tape was not started on time, and the first two words were not caught on the tape, “Doubts and”. The following includes the remaining text;

(Doubts and) … fears have filled the hearts of the mother and of the dad. Yea, but I speak a word unto thee this day as King of kings and Lord of lords; I speak a word unto thee this day, and I say unto thee, look unto Me because I, the Lord thy God, will move all of the doubt and all of the fear from the heart and from the mind, saith the Lord; and you shall be able to see the miracle working hand of the Almighty God even upon this child saith the Lord. It’s nigh at hand, it’s close saith the Lord. Yea, but the doubts and the fears must be removed, and you shall see the miracle come forth saith God; and you shall see this child made whole through the Name and the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ; and ye shall know that I am the God of Miracles.

Prepare yourselves saith the Lord, yea, because this story, yea, shall go abroad saith the Lord. Yea, and it shall spread forth the news of the miracle working God. Yea so, so prepare thyself to see it done saith the Lord because I speak a word of encouragement unto thee this morning, that you are in the place, yea, that the miracle will be performed saith the Lord Jesus Christ.

This word was such a blessing because it came from the Lord Jesus Christ, and was so specific. From Hebrews 12:2 we know Jesus to be the author and finisher of our faith! God has promised that He will remove the doubt and fear that the miracle could be seen. This is a promise of the gift of faith! Monica’s miracle will be for the glory, and honour, and praise, and worship of Almighty God, the God of miracles! It will … spread forth the news of the miracle working God. It will activate faith and belief in the hearts of many individuals.

But please note that even in the above promise there is some preparing required! We must find righteousness unto holiness. To fully do that we must die to our flesh and the lust thereof. This is not just in our actions or deeds, but in what we allow ourselves to live in. Scripture tells us that Lot vexed his righteous soul in the sin he was around in Sodom;

II Peter 2:7, 8  And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

It does not say that the wicked vexed Lot’s soul, but that he did so by dwelling among them, and seeing and hearing their wickedness. The word vexed in verse 8 is number 928 in the Strong’s Greek Dictionary, and means; to torture. Lot literally tortured his own soul himself by his choices. Are you dwelling in or around the wicked by choice? Have you placed yourself among the wicked or ungodly in business? Are you allowing the enemy to torture your soul by the sin you watch in movies or on TV? You can become so spiritually blind and deaf that you cannot receive the promises of God;

II Corinthians 1:20  For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

His promises are true and sure, but there can be no glory when we are in our iniquity or flesh. We are to glorify him with our walk, in His promises. That cannot and will not occur in your flesh. With your whole heart begin to seek Him for a greater walk in righteousness and faith. Hear His voice and humbly obey; your faith will strengthen as you build your faith with spiritual things, as encouraged in II Peter 1:5 – 8. Then begin to earnestly seek Him for the best gifts!

Gird Up The Loins Of Your Mind

Years ago a preacher spoke on the physical example of horses. Horses that are to be worked are not left to run free on the open range. If they are left to run free, when you need them you can’t find them; if you do find them you can’t catch them; and if you catch them you can’t work them. They are out of the habit of being worked, and must be retrained or prepared again to be of much use. Please consider; where is your mind? Is it mismanaged and left to run free on the open range? How far have you strayed from the path, purpose, and plan of God for your life? Are the things of this world or your flesh occupying your mind? If they are, you will need retraining to be prepared when God calls you to spiritual warfare, or to a new purpose;

II Corinthians 10:3 – 6  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Mind games such as Sudoku are often prescribed as an activity to keep people’s minds sharp. God had led me to give up these games as unproductive, and spend the time in the Word with Him. Recently my wife challenged me to try Sudoku again to see if I was faster than her. Not feeling conviction about it, an attempt was made. Since my mind was not prepared for that purpose it drew a total blank, and the puzzle took over twenty minutes for me to complete. The computer said that most people were faster than me; my mind was unprepared to the task. THIS IS NOT to advocate for playing mind games that do not matter, since there is no purpose to find. The purpose here is to exhort you to prepare your mind spiritually, by studying, praying and hearing God, and to prepare for the things, plan, and purpose of God, which spiritually also involve the heart! There is no doubt that God worked in this occurrence, to give this example for us to prepare to serve Him. Look at the preparation needed to keep you;

Proverbs 4:20 – 23  My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Look at the actions listed in these scriptures that are needed to keep you in this life. If we do not walk in these ways the enemy can get a foothold and try to defeat you. There is a constant requirement on our part, and a diligence needed in doing so. Our very life may depend on it.

Girding up of the loins, as we see written in the Bible, was preparation needed to allow one to work or run. Garments were tied or belted up to prevent them from restricting movement or causing a fall. Today we would understand this physical example as wearing a belt or suspenders to keep from having to hold onto or pull up our pants frequently. We are exhorted in I Peter, with this metaphor, of the need to prepare our minds;

I Peter 1:13 – 16  Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

The spiritual purpose of girding up our minds in this scripture, the work or run if you will, is to be holy! There is a preparation, and obedience, and training needed to remove our former lusts and be holy. It is not something that can be turned on when it is needed or desired. In the physical the most successful athletes are not those with the most raw talent, but those who have diligently prepared and are the most competitive or driven to succeed. That is also the spiritual importance of pressing in. We cannot find holiness living in our former lusts. We must be diligent and prepared to receive the promises. Do you want peace? Be diligent in mind and faith;

Isaiah 26:3  Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Proper, diligent, preparation is needed to bring the desired result. Jesus used the comparison of a yoke to encourage us in Matthew 11:29; Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  Jesus did not just wait for chance to happen and react to it, but He prepared for it. Let us ... consider Him and the preparations He made. At twelve years old He already was preparing;

Luke 2:46 – 49  And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

This was not a “sometimes” occurrence; as Jesus grew in stature, he also grew in wisdom and in favor, as noted in verse 52;

Luke 2:52  And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

Baptism was also on the path of preparation for Jesus, although John the Baptist forbad Him;

Matthew 3:13 – 15  Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered Him.

John, full of the Holy Ghost, noted his need to be baptized of Jesus. But Jesus told him (and us) that baptism was needed to fulfill all righteousness. It should be on your path to holiness. Having also made this preparation, Jesus was then filled with the Spirit;

Matthew 3:16, 17  And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

In Matthew 4:1 we then see Jesus led of the Spirit into the wilderness to fast forty days and be extremely tempted of the devil, again preparing for ministry. Please note how each of these things work meekness, humbleness, yieldedness, and obedience of mind.

Later, after coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus cast the devil out of a child, and was asked of his disciples why they could not cast him out. Besides their unbelief, Jesus noted the following preparation that had been necessary;

          Matthew 17:21  Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Sadly those of you who use an NIV Bible will not be given this step of preparation: the scripture was removed in “translation”.

The further use and need for prayer in preparation is exemplified by Jesus prayer in the garden. While Luke’s account shows the depth of His passion, Hebrews notes the fleshly fears, the obedience His preparation brought, and the perfection;

Hebrews 5:7 – 10  Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

While Jesus was the heir of all, this scripture tells us that He learned obedience. Jesus had a servant’s heart and mind because He always prepared for it; He was a constant worker for and seeker of God, so God was with Him;

John 8:29  And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

Jesus had a mind for God, and the fruit of the Spirit was always present with Him. We are exhorted to have the same mind;

Philippians 2:5 – 8  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Having The Mind Of Christ

Everything mentioned of Jesus in His preparation, and in the scripture above is a reducing of self, and increasing of God. Jesus did not seek fame, fortune, or glory, but ... made himself of no reputation. He did not make Himself King or ruler, but ... took upon him the form of a servant. While we were made in the likeness of God and can look up to the hope we have in God, Jesus, as a servant, ... was made in the likeness of men. Though Jesus had given up His deity and was ... found in fashion as a man, He made Himself even lower and ... humbled himself. He did not walk in obedience to the desire of His flesh, but in hearing and doing ... became obedient unto death. The spiritual truth is that we must be abased to be exalted. Because of these things that Jesus did He was exalted, or as the next scripture starts, “wherefore”;

Philippians 2:9, 10  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Due to Jesus obedience of mind He was made perfect (Hebrews 5:9 above), and the name of Jesus now has healing, salvation, deliverance, refuge, life, truth; He is King of kings and Lord of lords, the Almighty. He is the way, the truth, and the life, the light of the world.

Jesus walked in the power of the Spirit to accomplish the things he did, but He also acknowledged being “in” the Father;

John 14:10, 11  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake.

Jesus acknowledged that it was the Father in Him that did the works! This also is the mind of Christ! Can we expect to do any of these things without being “in” Him? If we have the mind of Christ there will be no conflict in purpose, because God’s will has become our will; there will be complete unity. We will have the same mind. There are a number of scriptures that exhort us to be of one mind; some of them follow;

Romans 12:16  Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

I Corinthians 1:10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

II Corinthians 13:11  Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

Philippians 1:27  Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Philippians 2:2  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

We cannot find the same mind in our flesh, for it lusts against the Spirit (Galatians 5:17). We cannot strive to achieve His mind by ourselves, but we must yield and let Him give it to us. We are exhorted to; Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (Philippians 2:5 above). “Let” requires an action of yielding on our part. We will not find the full unity of God without the humbleness and obedience of yielding our all to God.  The unity of God is noted in the following scriptures;

I John 5:7, 8  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

It was amazing to find that noted scholars have been arguing for centuries of the validity of the… three that bear record in heaven … of  I John 5:7. They have argued so long it has been given a name, the Comma Johanneum. The apparent argument is in whether the phrase was added or omitted from early copying of scripture, to defend either a Unitarian or Trinitarian belief of God. The enemy has propagated an argument in the church to prevent unity and furtherance of the Gospel, to the saving of souls;

I Timothy 1:4 – 7  Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

If these men had achieved the mind of Christ there would be no dispute, but in unity with Christ all would hear, and do, and edify. Having one mind is not something we can figure out, but in humbleness of mind we just yield to it. May the desire for the mind of Christ work this humbleness and obedience in you. Go to spiritual boot camp, so that you may yield completely, and be totally obedient to His will and His leading;

I Peter 4:11  If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

As we put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and are obedient through and to Him, we will speak and do the things that glorify God. The more obedient and yielded you become, the more the words and purpose and plan of God can be shown in your life. The flesh and our purpose work against the things of God.

We know that the physical things God created often have or show a spiritual parallel. Let us consider the physical example of water pressure. Unless something has been implemented to correct or alter it, the water pressure is always lower on the upper floor of a two story house. Why? because gravity affects the pressure. This is similar spiritually; the lower you are humbled or abased, the higher the spiritual pressure or blessings. The higher you are exalted, the lower the spiritual blessings.

Have you considered water towers? They are not just for storage, but are engineered to be at an elevation to provide the proper pressure. That is why a water district in a flat area may have a high tank that looks like a giant golf ball on a tee, while a hilly area has a cylindrical tank at ground level on one of the high points. The towers are designed to provide a certain head pressure, or difference in elevation, to achieve the desired water pressure, all based on the use of gravity. When you open the valve at the base of the tower, water pressure is provided to the lines. When you open the faucet in your house you receive water under pressure. The physical things of the earth have a spiritual parallel, and there is a spiritual gravity and pressure to also consider;

Isaiah 55:8, 9  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Do you get a different picture of God now as your High Tower?

II Samuel 22:2, 3  And he said, The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.

His ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours that a fountain, a river of life, is available if we are humble and totally obedient. God is a limitless source if we prepare to receive. These thoughts are not immediately available to you, but, as in the physical example of a tower, you must open the valve and faucet to receive. Prayer, studying the Word, walking a holy life, yielding, and diligently seeking His face are how we open these things in the spiritual. This is what you are exhorted to do to begin having the mind of Christ!

God does not want us opening and closing the faucet as we feel we have a need, but to keep our spiritual water system ever open; He wants us to be a continual fountain of God. He desires rivers to flow from you;

John 7:38, 39  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

The level of our belief or faith determines the volume of flow of the Spirit. This is not just your level of belief that God can, but that God always works through a vessel. Brother Clendennen preached that In Exodus 3 Moses believed that God could deliver the children of Israel, but could not believe that God could deliver them through him. Moses had become so meek that he was already the empty possibility Brother Clendennen spoke of, but he had to believe that God could do it through him! Where are the servants today that have the rivers flowing out of them? Looking at this scripture, you must believe that Jesus can work through you for the Spirit to flow! Knowing this, and having total humbleness, yieldedness, and obedience can then allow you to find the mind of Christ, and allow the rivers of living water to flow from you.

Many today in the physical have become dependent on calculators or computers for simple math computations. The electronic device is faster and more accurate than doing it in their own head. Why do we have such difficulty being totally dependent on God, since; as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. God wants us to become dependent on Him! Let us look back at the scripture that we started with in Girding Up The Loins Of Your Mind;

II Corinthians 10:3 – 6  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Ours weapons are mighty … through God …, and not in ourselves; our bringing every thought to the obedience of Christ will bring us to dependence on Him, and humbleness of spirit will bring us to the mind of Christ;

I Corinthians 2:16  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

We know from Isaiah 55:8, 9 above that we cannot know His mind that we might be instructed by Him, but in obedience we can have His mind. This is similar to the example of the body; your arm does not have a mind of its own, but moves and responds when the mind commands. That is why Jesus is called the Head of the body; we can have His mind without acquiring His knowledge. It is only by defeating our fleshly nature and mind, and in obedience to Him, that we can have … the mind of Christ.

ALL THAT WILL LIVE GODLY IN CHRIST JESUS SHALL SUFFER PERSECUTION

While working out of town my prayers at the start of the commute were usually with specifics to protect my wife and children, our home, our vehicles, etc. from all evil, wickedness, sickness, disease, injury, or accident. My wife called and woke me after 2 am on January 10, 2012 and in our discussion mentioned that she found another golf ball in the yard. This left my mind racing; we have several holes in our siding from prior golf balls that we do not know who is hitting, and two broken windows, neither of which we could afford to fix. Thoughts also went to the roof damaged by hail, the water damage at several spots in the house, and our daughter’s car totaled in an accident the prior week. While thinking on these things Isolena Gaither singing “My God delivers again, again” was rolling through my head. With my mind racing on these things, sleep left me. My diligence in properly praying for the protection of God was questioned, and an attempt was made to try to get the song out of my head. After finally falling asleep with my Bible beside me, awaking led me to see Hebrews 2:10perfect through sufferings.

The devil fights our lives, possessions, and finances to keep us from giving, but tight finances keep us seeking God as our provider, and help us to avoid or to reduce the spiritual complacency. We also would not know Him as deliverer without the need to be delivered. These concerns are such light affliction when we consider the full scripture and what Jesus suffered;

Hebrews 2:9, 10  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Jesus suffering brought Him to glory and honour and to perfection; He will bring us to glory if we will be stedfast in Him. The scripture on all who will live godly suffering persecution was then remembered, and sought. Faithfulness will allow you to walk through the warfare victorious: consider Paul;

II Timothy 3:10 – 12  But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Paul notes that despite everything that he suffered … out of them all the Lord delivered me. Stop seeking God to deliver your things, and praise Him for delivering you! We are being weaned off the milk of the word, and the warfare and attack of the enemy can be seen in the afflictions and trials the enemy is putting us through. Seek God for deliverance, but stand steadfast in the promises of God regardless of the perceived outcome. God will then remove things that hinder you and bring you to a greater walk. Jesus sought God in the garden to be delivered from death; by His obedience He was perfected;

Hebrews 5:7 – 10  Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

Many believe that God did not answer Jesus’ petition to be delivered from death, but Jesus was gloriously delivered from death by the resurrection! He was not delivered from the physical pain, but … was heard in that he feared; and delivered spiritually to a glorified life and body. By His obedience and … by the grace of God, (Hebrews 2:9 above) He came to … taste death for every man.  And by His resurrection He was … made perfect, and is the … author of eternal salvation … for us if we will but obey Him. Understand that all of these things are part of spiritual warfare. In our weakness, in our frailty, in our distress, our suffering, our persecution; His grace is sufficient for us if we will accept and embrace it;

II Corinthians 12:9, 10  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

In your weakness; it’s He! Find joy in your affliction, and even in chastisement, knowing Jesus is greater than all you face. Do not be defeated by an “I can’t” attitude, but realize you do not begin at these perfect places in God. The Apostles were told that they were not yet prepared for everything;

John 16:12  I have yet many things to say to you, but ye cannot bear them now.

The Apostles were still in preparing, and had need of the Holy Ghost! They all fled when Jesus was taken. But look at the victories after He finished preparing them! Volunteer for spiritual boot camp, and allow God to bring you through the things you can bear, then prepare for the next thing God has for you. Brother Clendennen said when he joined the Marines and went through boot camp, that they were automating him to obey without question. The Marine motto is Semper Fidelis, Always Faithful. God wants us to hear and automatically obey in spiritual warfare as well, and there is a training and preparation that are necessary. He wants to put iron in your soul, that you will be faithful. A walk of faithfullness will be absolutely necessary for you to be part of the last day battle;

Revelation 17:14  These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

To be part of that battle we must be found faithful! Your fleshly, carnal nature cannot be faithful to the commandments of God. We have considered the scripture on making provision for the flesh several times lately;

Romans 13:14  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

But consider that our victory and overcoming is in the other part of the scripture, putting on Jesus!

The I Kings 19 account of Elijah on the mount of God records him hearing a still small voice. Let us get one more scripture of what God said to Elijah for our use in this exhortation;

I Kings 19:18  Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

When Elijah lamented that he was the only one left, God told him that He had a remnant. Those seven thousand men are not mentioned individually in the bible. They are not named, famous or exalted in any way. They were just humble, diligent, servants of God in a time of great affliction, persecution, and vexing of their souls. God has always, and will always, have a remnant that will completely, totally, and faithfully serve Him, for He will enable them to do so.

Years ago God gave me a dream of me walking, with my wife following in the car driving very slowly. She was cursing me (not foul language, but mad and speaking ill), with the kids in the car, and trying to get me to get in. This was very troubling to me, and provoked much thought. Why wasn’t I driving the car? Because walking humbly with God describes our continual going on in the Spirit. It is not a run, which can wear you down. It is not a ride, waiting or counting on others to provide the energy, preparation, and diligence. It is not a drive, where you take control until problems arise, and then ask God to correct things. The Word relates our serving Him to a walk. We are often encouraged of the benefits of walking for our physical health, and it is the same in the spiritual. It is easy, and restful, if we will walk humbly with God, and God is always there for us.

Further considering the dream brought the thought that my wife’s anointing is so great, but she is not fully embracing it; as Jesus told the disciples … the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41) The initial thought was that God was telling me to go on for Him, and that she would follow reluctantly, and achieve things for Him. But I now do not believe the dream was only about my wife, or me. God is again looking for seven thousand spiritually hard-headed, steadfast men and women who will not bow the knee to the gods of materialism or Hollywood. Seven thousand who will stand firm, and not sell out to, or for, wealth, fame, greed, or entertainment. Seven thousand men and women who will overcome sin and the lust of the world. Seven thousand children who will again stand for Him against all attack and persecution of the enemy, and in doing so strengthen others to be overcoming, and ultimately bring them to their own personal calling. Seven thousand that will hear the … author of eternal salvation … and say, Yes Lord; hearing and totally obeying despite their circumstances. Seven thousand who do not need fame or recognition, but only the blessing of serving God. Can you receive the call to this walk?

A physical example of this might be Hur. In Exodus 17, Joshua had been sent to fight Amalek, and Moses stood on the hill holding up the rod of God. As long as Moses held up the rod Israel prevailed; but the spirit is willing and the flesh weak. When he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. Scripture accounts that Hur (and Aaron) held up the arms of Moses, the man of God, in the time of great affliction and persecution against Israel. Very little else is known about Hur. Will you be so humble, yielded, and consecrated to God that you can just hold up someone else in their time of calling and need?

All of the above is not to say that we cannot or should not be moved by our persecution. The early church expanded by persecution;

Acts 11:19  Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

Men have a phrase that they use when they want to say that something is a long shot; it is ‘one in a million’. We are told today that there are now 7 billion people on the earth, so 7000 men of God will be one man for each million people; God is looking for some men and women that are willing to be ‘one in a million’! These must be totally yielded, humble, obedient, and unconcerned with personal exaltation, only exalting their God. As with the 7000 men in Ahab’s army that God used to defeat a vastly larger and much more superior army, He will take the seven thousand that will endure for Him and begin changing the spiritual warfare. Find the humble, yielded, obedient, diligent, walk with Him and start changing the lives around you. Many will fall along the way; Ask Him to begin and complete this walk with Him in you. For an example, let us consider at length the battle of Ahab’s army;

I Kings 20:1 – 7  And Benhadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it. And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Benhadad, Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine. And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine, and all that I have. And the messengers came again, and said, Thus speaketh Benhadad, saying, Although I have sent unto thee, saying, Thou shalt deliver me thy silver, and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy children; Yet I will send my servants unto thee to morrow about this time, and they shall search thine house, and the houses of thy servants; and it shall be, that whatsoever is pleasant in thine eyes, they shall put it in their hand, and take it away. Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and said, Mark, I pray you, and see how this man seeketh mischief: for he sent unto me for my wives, and for my children, and for my silver, and for my gold; and I denied him not.

Silver and gold are not spent, but are an indication of level of wealth. Ahab was willing to give up much more than part of his wealth to avoid the war. But he did not want to give up … whatsoever is pleasant in thine eyes. Are we sitting in complacency and allowing the enemy to have our spouse, our children, and our wealth? What spiritual blessings are we missing because of our inactivity and complacency? Are we content to be left alone with our worldly things and our pseudo life? We are called from worldly things to the battle;

I John 2:15 – 17  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

II Timothy 2:3, 4  Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

God is looking for those who have not bowed to the world, the enemy of God. To be part of the kingdom of God, or the army of God, you cannot be a friend of the world, but must desire the spiritual blessings;

Romans 14:17  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

It is not about food or things! Things will distract you from God’s plan for you. We need to get in the Spirit, and walk with Him in victory. Give the devil a black eye by looking beyond the physical attack and seeing the spiritual battle. Take up arms, and do not murmur or complain (I Corinthians 10:10, Philippians 2:14, Jude 16). Do not be found avoiding the battle, but fight the devil at every attack through the Lord.

Returning to Ahab and I Kings, I like what people today would call trash talking in verses 10 and 11;

I Kings 20:10, 11  And Benhadad sent unto him, and said, The gods do so unto me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people that follow me. And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.

If the devil tells you what he will do to you, or who all he has with him, in the spiritual battle remind Him that you serve the King of kings! God told Ahab through the prophet what was to come;

I Kings 20:13 – 15  And, behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord. And Ahab said, By whom? And he said, Thus saith the Lord, Even by the young men of the princes of the provinces. Then he said, Who shall order the battle? And he answered, Thou. Then he numbered the young men of the princes of the provinces, and they were two hundred and thirty two: and after them he numbered all the people, even all the children of Israel, being seven thousand.

Ahab was told of things that appear impossible in the physical, but obeys the prophet completely in preparing for the battle. The word records that the result was … a great slaughter;

I Kings 20:19 – 22  So these young men of the princes of the provinces came out of the city, and the army which followed them. And they slew every one his man: and the Syrians fled; and Israel pursued them: and Benhadad the king of Syria escaped on an horse with the horsemen. And the king of Israel went out, and smote the horses and chariots, and slew the Syrians with a great slaughter. And the prophet came to the king of Israel, and said unto him, Go, strengthen thyself, and mark, and see what thou doest: for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee.

Know of a surety that the devil will come back as well. If he cannot defeat you with temptation he will bring persecution, but he will not quit; will you be a quitter? The Syrians are recorded in the next verses as saying God was the god of the hills, and that they would win in the plain, and they prepared to return;

I Kings 20:26 – 30  And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Benhadad numbered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel. And the children of Israel were numbered, and were all present, and went against them: and the children of Israel pitched before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians filled the country. And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, The Lord is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the Lord. And they pitched one over against the other seven days. And so it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined: and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day. But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; and there a wall fell upon twenty and seven thousand of the men that were left. And Benhadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber.

Again, in total obedience Ahab is given utter victory by God; God even takes out 27,000 men by the falling of a wall. But please note that God said he would deliver all this great multitude. The Syrians then seek surrender and mercy;

I Kings 20:31, 32  And his servants said unto him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: let us, I pray thee, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: peradventure he will save thy life. So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, Thy servant Benhadad saith, I pray thee, let me live. And he said, Is he yet alive? he is my brother.

Despite seeing the devastating victory God had given, Ahab strays from the instructions and plan of God, and spares Benhadad and his remaining army. Ahab was judged for this disobedience;

I Kings 20:41 – 43  And he hasted, and took the ashes away from his face; and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets. And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people. And the king of Israel went to his house heavy and displeased, and came to Samaria.

At what point will you quit and feel you have enough victory? If the devil tells you he will leave you alone? Will you quit if you see looming persecution, and avoid it? Many will fall along the way. You are a soldier of the Lord, and you are not your own; you are bought with a price, and it is not your decision if or when to stop. You must hear and obey, and you must be found faithful. At the end of World War II, Patton advised that Russia was undersupplied and vulnerable, and could be defeated in a few days, or else we would have to deal with them in the future. Politicians prevailed, and the cold war followed, with many nations afflicted under communism. After Desert Storm, Norman Schwarzkopf advised that they should go on to Baghdad and take out Saddam Hussein, or he would have to be fought again. He was told our objectives had been met. History has proven him correct. There also will never be a time in the spiritual warfare where it is up to us to decide to maintain the status quo. The devil will not quit, and we must obey our King and continue the fight in total obedience. Let God be your guide in everything you do; He loves you, and His love is pervasive in the earth. By His grace we are kept and delivered. Can any of these things the enemy attacks us with move us from the love of God?

Romans 8:35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

While you can fail to acknowledge His presence as you walk through these troubles, trials, and tribulations, God’s love is always there, and He is patiently waiting for you to seek Him to be delivered and strengthened. Always remember that nothing can separate us from the love of God;

Romans 8:38, 39  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God loves us and desires the best for us; walk in the knowledge of His love as you face the attack of the enemy, and … endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Do not be dismayed if or when you feel chastened of failure in the battle:

Revelation 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Know that the Lord loves you, and corrects as you are His child. It is the working of all things for your good.

A weekly commute to Topeka was used to consider Brother Buckner’s message on consume and consummate, and a realization came that everything will be consumed in one way or the other; consumed into the kingdom of God, or consumed by the fire of God. These two contrasts can be seen in scripture;

Malachi 4:1 – 3  For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.

This scripture does not speak of two different times, or two different places. When the fire comes the children of God will be delivered and have the provision of Almighty God, as the Hebrew children did in the fiery furnace. The flame of the fire slew those that cast the children into the furnace (Daniel 3:22). The wicked will be burned around you as you walk for God, and will be ashes under your feet. But this is true now in this life for us each day: the attacks of the enemy are defeated and, regardless of what the world considers to be consuming fires around us, we can walk in victory through seeking God.

Look above these scriptures to Malachi 3:16 – 18. Are you in the book of remembrance mentioned here? Fear and serve God, and be spared and delivered! Look further up at Malachi 3:1 – 6. Will you allow Him to refine you? There is a choice you must make, and He is mercifully waiting;

Malachi 3:6  For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

It is the enduring mercy of God that we are not consumed. Remember also that He provided salvation! Our part is only in a little enduring; ... endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Stand, and be one of the seven thousand (those who will be ‘one in a million’) unflinching soldiers that God is seeking to abide for, and in, Him!

Only Melted Gold Is Minted

A quote that Smith Wigglesworth was fond of is; “Only melted gold is minted”. He believed that the trials, or fires, you are brought through in life bring you to a greater walk with God. Monica surely will be a double-eagle. There are several scriptures that speak of this refining, including;

Zechariah 13:9  And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.

God says He will bring them through the fire, as the three Hebrew children in Daniel were brought through. As with the Hebrew children, there should be no delivering of self, but a trusting and relying on Him to bring you through. We are not sufficient for our self, but His grace is sufficient in our weakness. In the book of Malachi He is like a refiner’s fire;

Malachi 3:2, 3  But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.

Isaiah 64:6 says all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. We have no sufficiency or ability from our self to change that, but His refining and purging our failures brings us to the point where we can be purified, and offer a true offering in righteousness. As it is with refining gold, it is during the trial by fire that God can purge and purify you, and the dross can be removed from your life. If we never go through trial or affliction, we never lose the dross! Once pure, and melted, gold can be shaped into whatever is desired; it is only at this point spiritually that you can be an offering in righteousness, and God can make you the soldier He wants you to be. Hence “only melted gold is minted”. It is only after our preparation by God that we can offer and be a pure sacrifice or offering to God.

While it is a physical example in the Old Testament, there is a spiritual parallel for us in the following verses;

Numbers 31:21 – 23  And Eleazar the priest said unto the men of war which went to the battle, This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord commanded Moses; Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead, Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water.

As the physical things were required to go through the fire to be purified, realize that our trials bring us through the spiritual fire to purify and prepare us to be a vessel unto His honor. The following has been mentioned previously, but bears repeating until it is rooted deep in our heart and soul. We have considered previously Brother Buckner’s message and some scriptures on consume and consummate, and realized that everything will be consumed in one way or the other; consumed into the kingdom of God, or consumed by the fire of God. These two contrasts can be seen in Malachi 4:1 – 3. We looked above that scripture to Malachi 3:16 – 18. Do you want to be in the book of remembrance mentioned? Fear and serve God, and be delivered! Look further at the verses around those used above, to Malachi 3:1 – 6. Will you allow Him to refine you? There is a choice you must make, and He is mercifully waiting;

Malachi 3:6  For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

It is the enduring mercy of God that we are not consumed. Remember also that He provided salvation! Only what is sure and steadfast will abide the fire, and it will come forth clean. Under the law, the water of separation then made it pure – is the water of separation spiritually like baptism, and then baptism of the Spirit for us? Remember what Jesus said … thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness There is a pureness, a holiness that we are called to, and this will only fully come through our being refined; a spiritual boot camp for His soldiers. If we can abide the fire, our walk of trials will purge the dross, and sanctify and bring us to holiness, so we may see the Lord;

Hebrews 12:14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

All that we need to bring us to this holiness is in God. Our being able to continue serving Him acceptably is by His grace;

Hebrews 12:28, 29 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.

Although scripture tells us Lot had a righteous soul, he had to come out of Sodom because he could not abide the fire. Even after coming out they could not look back; Lot’s wife did, and it was not just a historical event. There is a spiritual parallel that Jesus exhorts us about;

Luke 17:32  Remember Lot’s wife.

There can be no turning back if you are to be refined, and come forth as pure gold. In the refining process the gold is not mixed with the dross again to start the process over; once it is refined the gold will be used for an intended purpose, and will never be returned to the natural, impure, raw state the gold began in. We must follow God wholly, and faithfully, without holding back. When we are tried we are to abide the fire, and be clean; we should then rejoice in what God is working in us;

I Peter 1:6, 7  Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

While at the ironing board at about 6 am one morning, parts of several scriptures came in quick order; first, But none of these things move me …, and then … but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind …, followed by For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. This was an immediate blessing, knowing that God was encouraging to not be affected by the things of this life. But a study of these verses has expounded the blessing, realizing they cover all areas of time: future, past, and present. The first is in Acts;

Acts 20:24  But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

This verse speaks of Paul’s reaction to future events. God does not want us on a roller coaster ride spiritually. In the verses before, Paul says he is going to Jerusalem bound in the spirit, and that the Holy Ghost witnesses that he will have bonds and affliction. Why are we moved by the minor road blocks the devil has placed, and that we see ahead? Step out and fulfill the plan of God for you, knowing he is bigger than anything you face. In II Corinthians 1:8 Paul said that when they were in Asia at one point in his walk … we despaired even of life … Recognize that at that point in Paul’s walk he could not bear it, but now, at the point of this scripture in Acts, his walk and ministry are more important even than life to him. You cannot bear it now, but God will provide the ability to bear each thing he brings you to, in your walk with Him. Fully trust Him and allow Him to refine you through the things you see ahead.

God then brings us to forget the things that are behind us;

Philippians 3:13, 14  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Have you allowed the enemy to condemn you for the things of your past? Do you try to do good to atone for sins of your past? If you do you are figuratively bound by the provisions of the law;

Hebrews 10:3  But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sin every year.

Why would you go back repeatedly to pay again for something that was already paid for? Jesus completely paid the price for those sins if you will walk sanctified in faith: put them behind you;

Hebrews 10:12 – 14  But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

As you are tried by fire, impurities will be purged from you that you might be as pure gold. Why would you continually try to purge again the old dross, or sin? Jesus wants you to move ahead in Him to become the soldier He wants you to be. Let the refining fire of Christ forever purge this dross from you. Walk in assurance that Jesus has saved you from who you were, and move forward to battles and victories with Him.

Have you had victories in Jesus in your past? They are for His glory; you need to forget what is behind, realizing Jesus brought you from great sin and by His grace enabled you to accomplish them. Seek the next greater thing in the plan of God for you. Paul mentioned the … high calling; the word calling in the Greek means an invitation. Paul had not reached his highest invitation, and certainly none of us have. In asking God to show us what His calling for us is, we miss that it will always be increasing. When God removes the doubt and fear we will have faith to move heaven and earth; why should we settle for a lesser or reduced calling today? Do not let the past stop you from moving ahead in God; let Him purge your failings, and then seek His path and plan for you.

We also have the problems of today that Paul calls … light affliction;

II Corinthians 4:16 – 18  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things that are seen are temporal; but the things that are not seen are eternal.

The apostle had reached the place with God where all the great trials he had faced could be declared light affliction. Looking back from these verses we see the issues of life he is talking about;

II Corinthians 4:7 – 10  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

We have faced nothing similar to the trials of Paul, yet we are bound and hindered by the momentary things of life. It does not matter if the compressor on your car is out; it does not matter if someone has broken your windows; it does not matter if vandals have damaged your house; it does not matter if legal fees have mounted; it does not matter if you have faced 26 years with your handicapped daughter, waiting for the promise of God. Allow God to give you a vision for the eternal things that are not seen, and He will bring you to overcome that which you face in the temporary things. Life is short, and we do not know what tomorrow will bring;

James 4:14  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a time, and then vanisheth away.

What of the eternal things that are promised in the scriptures above? It is not possible for the natural man to comprehend the wonderful things God has prepared for His servants;

I Corinthians 2:9  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

In the Old Testament Ahab was confronted by Ben-hadad, thirty two kings, and a great multitude, while the children of Israel numbered only 7,000. Yet God told Ahab He would provide a miracle in trying to change wicked Ahab;

I Kings 20:13  And, behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.

God plainly stated that this miracle would happen so Ahab would … know that I am the Lord. Although given this prophecy, and great deliverance, Ahab refused in spirit to be changed or refined by the trial and victory. There came a prophecy of Monica, and God said … and ye shall know that I am the God of Miracles. In our unbelief we were no better than Ahab, but God is removing the doubt and fear and delivering this promise into our hands. What will we do with it, and for Him? We must be willing, obedient, yielded, prepared vessels and soldiers or we will fail as Ahab did. What will you do with it or for Him? Jesus said in the prophecy … this story shall go abroad … and spread forth the news of the miracle working God. Are you prepared to spread the news? Let Him refine you, that you are prepared to receive and share the promise that is to all;

Acts 2:39  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

When Peter said these words he was speaking of the Holy Ghost, but the spreading of the news of the miracle working God is also … to all that are afar off. Grasp the promise, realize the eternal things are what will last; go out and fulfill his plan for you to His glory;

II Corinthians 2:20  For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

Just after being saved God gave the following poem that exhorts to overcome the minor issues of life that our flesh cannot abide;

When life seems dull and dreary,

and things just don’t work out,

lift your hands toward heaven,

lift your voice and shout,

Glory! Halleluiah!

Praise be to His name,

I’m in love with Jesus,

I’m so glad He came.

 

The trials of life will become dimmer,

As you walk along the way,

Sweet victory will be yours,

As you overcome today.

 

Be not weary in well doing,

Share Jesus as you can,

Overcome and be victorious,

As you fulfill God’s plan.

 

Walk with God in a humble, yielded, joyful spirit as the refining of the consuming fire of our God brings you through every attack of the enemy, and enables and equips you as a soldier for the next battle. Let the grace of God be your sufficiency as you are brought to the place of being a pure offering unto Him, that can be shaped into the plan of God!

 

 

PRESS IN

Waking one morning in January of 2011, I was despaired about why I was receiving so slowly spiritually, and sought God about it. He said Press in. Now a new task and questions posed itself; what does it mean to press in, and how do we achieve it? A study of the words translated “press” followed.

For each instance of the word translated press in the King James (New Testament) the scriptures will be included, followed by the Strong’s Number, Greek word, and definition.

Mark 3:10  For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues.

1968. epepipto, ep-ee-pip’-to; from 1909 and 4098; to embrace (with affection), or seize (with more or less violence; lit. or fig.)

The churches are full of people who embrace their concept of God with affection, so if this is the pressing, why aren’t we seeing the depth of spiritual walk? Those who had plagues that were seizing Jesus, sought and desired a physical thing, their healing. Oh, to have this desire for the spiritual things! This pressing would not necessarily result in a greater spiritual walk. Let us press on to press in.

Mark 2:4  And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

Mark 5:27  When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.

Mark 5:30  And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?

Luke 8:19  Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press.

Luke 19:3  And he sought to see Jesus who he was: and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.

3793. ochlos, okh’-los; a der. of 2192 (mean. a vehicle); a throng (as borne along); by impl. the rabble; by extens. a class of people; fig. a riot

If a throng was all that was needed, the large churches that do not preach against sin would have many more living in victory. Rioting surely does not result in humbleness or righteousness. This cannot be the pressing required to grow as God desires us to spiritually.

Luke 5:1  AND it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,

1945. epikeimai, ep-ik’-i-mahee; from 1909 and 2749; to rest upon (lit. or fig.)

Is this the needed pressing? The people have a desire for the Word, and are resting upon Him for it. Ezekiel 33:30 – 33 speaks of people desiring to hear the word, but not changing their lives. How often do we see this in churches, where people rely on the pastor for the Word one or two times per week? There must be a greater depth to the pressing.

Luke 6:38  Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

4085. piezo, pee-ed’-zo; another form for 4084; to pack

The word “give” has been read and preached as monetary in this scripture, and the scripture was almost excluded here for that reason. But giving extends to everything; love, time, joy, peace, faith. With the same measure that you give will you receive from men; throw away your teaspoon, and find a big scoop shovel! Also know this, God gives exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think; you cannot out give God, and you are laying up great treasure if you allow God to establish His will and plan in you. Press in to receive and share Jesus more! And yet, if we are operating in self or flesh our giving will be limited spiritually: we need to find a greater pressing to reach the depths in God.

Luke 8:45  And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

598. apothlibo, ap-oth-lee’-bo; from 575 and 2346; to crowd from (every side)

This crowding is similar to the prior throng, and does not result in our receiving. We need a greater spiritual pressing.

Acts 18:5  And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.

4912. sunecho, soon-ekh’-o; from 4862 and 2192; to hold together, i.e. to compress (the ears, with a crowd or siege) or arrest (a prisoner); fig. to compel, perplex, afflict, preoccupy

Paul was pressed, or compelled to let out what he had, the testimony of Jesus. But this was not an adding to what he had. This pressing will be how God uses you after you are prepared. The pressing we need will result in our gaining more of Jesus.

II Corinthians 1:8  For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

916. bareo, bar-eh’-o; from 926; to weigh down (fig.)

While being weighed down can have some spiritual benefit, it is not the seeking that will let us grow in Him. It is again a pressing that God can use you in, and you can be a witness to who He is. But we need to find Him in a greater way.

Luke 16:16  The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

Matthew 11:12  And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

971. biazo, bee-ad’-zo; from 970; to force, i.e. (reflex.) to crowd oneself (into), or (pass.) to be seized

The Matthew scripture is included because the word translated violence is the same Greek word translated presseth in the Luke scripture. We are getting somewhere now! Surely seeking the kingdom and heaven are a pressing we need, and it is not a passive pressing, as the scripture notes the violent take it by force. This speaks of a desire and diligence that are necessary, but what is our motive? How many are in church seeking heaven to avoid hell? Have you heard someone say “I just want to make it”? This will not necessarily result in a greater spiritual walk. We need to not only diligently pursue where we are going, but allow Him to make us who He wants us to be as a soldier for Him. We must have that desire and diligence for a greater relationship with God. Our walk should glorify Him as we press for the goal. We must be hearing from God and doing what he commands us, not just seeking for our purposes.

And now we come to the first scripture that probably comes to mind about pressing; Paul’s pressing in Philippians;

Philippians 3:12 – 14  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

1377. dioko, dee-o’-ko; a prim. (and caus.) form of a prim. verb dio (to flee; comp. the base of 1169 and 1249); to pursue (lit. or fig.); by impl. to persecute

In the above scriptures the words follow and press are translated from the same Greek word, meaning to pursue. Pursue means to go after something. After some months of trying to find how to press in, it is apparent there was too much emphasis on the action (Press) and not on the goal (in). The pressing is not something you seek, but something you do! If we get such a hunger and desire for the goal in our soul that we must have it, pressing will be the obvious result. This pressing will not be prevented or stopped by seeing the obstacles. What is our goal? Do you desire to be the man you think you should be, or the soldier He has called you to be?

As you read through verses 8 through 11 in Philippians 3 you see many goals for Paul; the knowledge of Christ Jesus, winning and being found in Christ, the righteousness of God, the power of his resurrection, the fellowship of Christ’s suffering, being made conformable to his death, and attaining the resurrection. But in verse 14, Paul (and God by inspiring His servant to write it) sums it all up into … the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. His mark or goal was the prize of the high calling. What is a high calling?

The word “calling” is translated from the Greek word klesis, number 2821 in the Strong’s. It simply means an invitation (figuratively). We are invited to accomplish the will of God, and be part of His plan. Can you receive this as your goal? Or will you be hindered by complacency, or by the obstacles? Paul exhorted Timothy to reach beyond the obstacles to the calling;

II Timothy 1:8 - 11  Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

Timothy is reminded of his obstacles, and told not to be hindered by them; not being ashamed of the testimony of Jesus; or being ashamed of Paul, His prisoner; not being stopped by the afflictions but a partaker of them, in the power of God. Timothy is also told that when we are saved we are called; and that calling is according to God’s purpose and grace, not anything of our works. It was always there for us from the beginning, and is now shown by Jesus and the victories He provided. It is by these things that Paul notes that he was appointed, or called … a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. In noting these things Paul exhorts Timothy to seek the holy calling. Do you have fleshly goals in life? wealth, fame, a vehicle, a house, a boat, or sports? Even food can become a goal to be sought. Any other goal we have can compete with or hinder our seeking the spiritual goal.

As you begin to press in examine yourself and see if there are hindrances holding you back. Seek God for His high and holy calling to be present in you, and then press in to receive it. If we are sidetracked, refuse the call, or are complacent God will provide another means of completing His plan, and we risk an eternity in hell. We must press toward the high calling to receive it.

Smith Wigglesworth said we will not receive anything if we seek it on earth, we must pray into the heavens. To press in, to find our full calling, and to see and receive what God has for us, we must seek the presence of God. If we seek Him with all our heart, He will be found of us;

Jeremiah 29:11 – 14  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

While these verses were given to Jeremiah regarding the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, we know from I Corinthians 10:11 that the things that happened to them were for … ensamples: and they are written for our admonition. What are you captive to? What or where has it driven you to? The return path is simple and easy; search for His presence … with all your heart … and He will be found of you. He will bring you back to the place where you were carried away captive. How often are we as the seed that fell among thorns (Matthew 13:22), and … the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word ... and prevent us from seeking with all our heart? Give up these things, and seek Him further and He will begin to establish your path and walk: Press in, and find the presence and power of Almighty God.


In The Power Of God, Not You

Brother Clendennen properly noted that God told him that we cannot make God bigger than He is. God had allowed me to see in the past that He is pervasive, everywhere, and that He stretched out the heavens, meaning to me that the universe was in God and that God had His hands on the heavens, stretching it. But recently God showed me that even in this “I” (any time “I” gets involved it seems to be negative) had limited Him;

Isaiah 48:13  Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.

My spirit rejoiced with the thought that God stretched the heavens with only one hand! My testimony was that God was twice as big as “I” previously thought! Then God led me to consider that the word “span” has nothing to do with stretching out. A span is the unit of measure of a hand width as we have come to know it! The heavens, or universe are in the hand of God! With the “ed” on the end, it means God’s right hand spanned, or reached beyond, the heavens! After some months, upon being led to check the Hebrew word in the Strong’s, 2946, it was found that the full meaning includes to flatten out or extend; scientists have told us the universe is relatively flat looking, and elongated! It also means dandling on the palms, which means the universe does not reach to the full width of God’s hand, but only His palm! Upon finishing the original revelation, God led me to consider the closing statement; ... when I call unto them, they stand up together. By His voice the heavens would stand up together! God could call them to dance if He wanted! This scripture should bring you to further consider the power of Almighty God! God has been leading to study and prepare to write about His power, but His power is so immense we can never comprehend a speck of it, so we will narrow our scope to the power of God in you.

Let us first consider the great need to study the power of God. The apostle Paul noted that his words and preaching were in the Spirit and power of God;

I Corinthians 2:4  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

There are many ministers today preaching man’s wisdom, and multitudes are flocking to hear them; Paul notes that the preaching of man’s wisdom can be … enticing. But any individual man’s wisdom is not much higher, or his thoughts or ways much higher, than any other mans. The word tells us (Isaiah 55:6 – 12) that God’s ways and thoughts are as far as the heavens are above the earth higher than ours, and His words will meet our needs and change our existence. If this alone is not enough to convince you of the need to consider God’s power, realize that the above verse ends with a colon, and consider the verse that follows it;

I Corinthians 2:5  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Our faith must stand in the power of God! Faith that is not based in the power of God will leave you in unbelief! The prophet Isaiah wrote of the results of this incomplete faith;

Isaiah 29:13, 14  Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

Faith that is based in the wisdom and understanding of men will perish, or be hid. Are you drawing near to God, honoring Him with your praise and worship, but your heart is far from Him? Do you still love the things of the world? Was the fear of God taught to you by men? The wisdom of men also results in the sin of pride. If you experienced true, full salvation you know that feeling of weights and burdens being lifted off, or the cleanness that you felt. That is not possible with men, but only in the power of God! We need more of Jesus! Repent and ask: God will begin to again establish you in Him.

Due to working very late one night, instead of leaving the alarm set at 4, it was reset to 6. Waking up several times between 4 and 6, the last at 5:51, arising quickly at 6 was easy. While walking downstairs to get in the Word, and pondering why the frequent waking, Deep calleth unto deep … was given to me. Since a page of notes had been started on seeking Him in the morning, knowing about that calling in the morning was important;

Psalms 42:7  Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

Deep, in this scripture, is number 8415 in the Strong’s; an abyss (as a surging mass of water); the deep (the main sea, or the subterranean water-supply). Calleth, number 7121, means to call out (properly address by name). Noise, number 6963, means to call aloud; a voice or sound. Waterspouts, number 6794, is the only use of the word in the King James Bible. It’s definition said it was from an unused root perhaps meaning to be hollow; a culvert. Oh, to be empty or hollow for His use! So we spiritually have ‘living waters call to living waters by the noise of the fountain of life through empty vessels’! Being empty is not enough if your vessel is closed; a culvert in construction must be open on both ends for the waters to flow. God wants the fountain of living waters to flow from you, not be stored or hoarded for your future use. God spoke through the Prophet Jeremiah of this;

Jeremiah 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

God instructs us of these two evils; let His living waters flow continually. After culverts are installed, over time they can also begin to accumulate sediment and restrict their flow; have you allowed the flesh, pride, your job, home, finances, spouse, or entertainment to clog your vessel and restrict the flow? In large storms the end of culverts can also be blocked by debris; has a trouble or trial stopped or prevented your being used? The Spirit must be allowed to flow at all times for us to fulfill the will of God for our lives and His purpose. Do you feel like you are going through a spiritual drought? God gives the early and latter rain; if the Spirit is not flowing we are not allowing Him to move.

A list of scriptures on the fountain of life or living waters was started, but the song “God Walks the Dark Hills” kept rolling through my head. It is not in scripture, but looking up dark mountains humbled me;

Jeremiah 13:15 – 17  Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness. But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive.

As you grow in the knowledge of God, His power, and the working of the living waters in you, realize that He has spoken; there is nothing for us to be proud about, but it is only in Him that we can be His voice; Give glory to the Lord your God … In His sovereign will, purpose, and plan He has spoken to you, and you had nothing to do with the spiritual receiving. Will you refuse and have Him withdraw from you, and weep for your pride? The spiritual blessing of being given and receiving so much additional depth of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge of deep calleth unto deep was so great that the humbling was necessary with it: it is nothing of self, but the Word is revealed as we yield and hear. If, in pride, you touch the glory you have hindered the ability of those that God reaches through your words to be humble and obedient. You will also find that your path is darkened. Do you have a desire to be one of the remnant? The seven thousand God reserves will be humble; know that the only way to be one of them is in humbleness; ask God for it. Jesus is the light, and without Him our feet will stumble in darkness. Our ability and sufficiency is only in Him (II Corinthians 3:5). Have you failed in this walk and allowed pride to enter? God is merciful, and will restore if we repent and return to Him;

Jeremiah 15:19  Therefore thus saith the Lord, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them.

If you are a totally obedient, empty vessel, deep calleth unto deep through you, and by the fountain of life you are His voice calling unto the lost and dying! It is nothing of us, but we are to be humble, obedient, empty vessels speaking only as God leads, and drawing lost souls to also become that same voice through another humble, obedient, empty conduit. This can only occur in the power of God through the Holy Ghost;

John 7:38, 39  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Will you allow that living water to flow? As an aside, in the physical flood of Genesis, it says that beside the rain, the fountains of the great deep were broken up; when God opens the fountains of the spiritual deep through empty vessels, deep calleth unto deep, and we will see great revival and the flood of righteousness that God gave Brother Buckner a vision of, and spoke through him about. It is only the power of God that can provide this blessing!

Continuing to look at how the power of God works in and through individuals consider this further example; a plant provides sustenance and strength to its branches, and the ability to bear fruit; without the plant the branch cannot bear fruit, and could wither and die. Jesus used this physical example for the spiritual need for us to abide in, and rely on, Him;

John 15:4 – 7  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

If you abide fully in the vine, the power will flow through you, and you will be fruitful. When Jesus says If my words abide in you, He is not speaking of the words resting in the mind, or intellect, or wisdom of man, which can result in pride, but the abiding is in the vine, in the Lord Jesus Christ within us. Consider what Jesus said to the seventy;

Luke 10:17 – 20  And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

Many miss in these scriptures that Jesus is speaking to them of pride, that caused Satan to fall from heaven. Jesus tells them that He gives the power, it has nothing to do with us individually. It is not of you, by you, or in you physically, but only through you spiritually as an empty vessel or conduit. Our rejoicing must be in the giver of the power, not in our use of the power itself. It is not in the words or actions, but in our abiding in Jesus, and his words abiding in us (John 15:7 above). As in deep calleth unto deep above, there is nothing that is just in us, but in the power that works through us. That is what Paul is speaking of in the following verse;

I Corinthians 4:20  For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

If we allow our understanding to remain in word only, we rest on man’s wisdom, and cannot gain a full and complete understanding of the kingdom. We must understand that our knowledge of the kingdom cannot rest in the carnality of the wisdom of man, but must be in the power of God. Scripture plainly tells us that the kingdom is not in the carnal, but in the Spirit;

Romans 14:17  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

If you do not have the righteousness, and peace, and joy you desire, realize you must find it in the Spirit. Perhaps Paul expounds it best in the following scripture;

I Thessalonians 1:5  For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

In the Spirit, and in the power of God, there will be a noticeable difference in man that is not possible in the carnal. This change is noted scripturally in Jesus after He returned from being tempted;

Luke 4:13, 14  And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

By the power of the Spirit there is a difference seen in Jesus that results in a fame of Him. This anointing and working of the Spirit and power is further noted in Acts;

Acts 10:38  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

The church today has languished in the pride and wisdom of man for so long that they are not hearing, or perceiving, or receiving the knowledge of the power of God. Where will your faith stand? If it is not in the power of God, your attempts to give Him glory will be inadequate. Break the flesh; in humbleness yield completely to God and the Spirit, seek His presence and the power of God will show in and through you, and will glorify Him.

In The Presence Of God

We have explored that God is in control when and where He is invited, or rather where you are called or supposed to be. We have seen that our refuge is in God, not in our flesh, and that in praying and seeking Him with all our heart He will be found. How do you go somewhere, or find someone, you have not fully found before? God will be found in and by the Word, Jesus, and our seeking Him with all our heart. But how often are we walking in flesh, and thus missing the promises of God. God is omnipresent, so you cannot hide from or avoid God;

Psalm 139:7  Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

Why would a person want to flee from the presence of God? The answer can be seen in Adam and Eve;

Genesis 3:8  And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.

As a child will hide from a parent when they have done something wrong, fearing the consequences, your sin causes you to hide from the presence of God. While Adam and Eve said they hid because they were naked, they had already sewn fig leaves and covered themselves in verse 7. Their nakedness ran much deeper than their exposed skin. Their sin could not be hid;

Hebrews 4:13  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

When Adam and Eve sinned they had a spiritual nakedness that they were ashamed of. It is in that condition that we should flee for refuge, and run to God, and not from Him;

I John 2:1, 2  My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Unfortunately our nakedness often causes us to flee from Him. While we can ignorantly believe that this running from God is only for or related to the depths of sin, it will occur to whatever level of the flesh, pride, or unbelief that we are walking in, and will leave us susceptible to the same hiding or departing from His presence. Look again at the children of Israel, who saw all the miracles and promises and power of Almighty God;

Hebrews 3:7 – 12  Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To-day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

This hiding or departing from the presence of God occurred with Adam and Eve. What was the root of the sin of Adam and Eve? Genesis 3:6 begins And when the woman saw The covetousness and lust of her sight and desire for the things she saw were the iniquity that led to the sin. We must understand what the apostle John tells us of the things of the world;

I John 2:16, 17  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

This lust, lasciviousness, and pride will separate you from God;

Isaiah 59:1, 2  BEHOLD, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

The desire for sinners to hide from the presence of God is also shown in Revelation;

Revelation 6:15 – 17  And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

What will happen in the great day of His wrath, or in His presence? There are a number of scriptures that tell of the result of His presence: just a few;

Ezekiel 38:19, 20  For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.

Nahum 1:5, 6  The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.

Hebrews 12:18 – 21  For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)

These verses in Hebrews speak of the account in Exodus 20 where God spoke from the mountain, and the people saw the effect in the physical things. While the people showed the fear of God at that time, it did not manifest in their lives. Because of their unbelief and disobedience, God said he would not go up in their midst;

Exodus 33:2, 3  And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.

As the physical things of the earth will not abide the presence of God, nor can the flesh or sin;

I Corinthians 1:29  That no flesh should glory in his presence.

We cannot be in the glory of His presence while in our sin, or flesh. We have looked previously at the difference between consummate and consume; everything will be consumed in one way or the other; consummated into the kingdom of God, or consumed by the fire of God. These two contrasts were shown in Malachi 4:1 – 3. In Malachi 3:16 – 18 we  also saw the need to be in the book of remembrance. Fear and serve God, and be delivered! We also looked at Malachi 3:1 – 6 and the need to be refined as gold. There are choices you must make, and He is mercifully waiting;

Malachi 3:6  For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

It is the enduring mercy of God that we are not consumed. Always remember also that Jesus paid the price for your salvation, and Jesus is the light, life, truth, and the only way to God; it was not of anything you did, or personally can do! Without following the path to the fullness of His presence, there is only destruction for you. This is shown again in the following scriptures, contrasted by the promises to those who believe and obey;

II Thessalonians 1:6 – 10  Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

The promises to the saints in the above are; His recompense to the wicked; rest for the troubled; and glorifying and admiring Jesus. Let us transition from the destruction of the wicked and consider more of the promises of being in His presence;

I Chronicles 16:27  Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.

The above verse is in the middle of a wonderful psalm of David in I Chronicles 16:8 – 36. The later verses record the earth and fields rejoicing, and in verse 33 that the trees sing out at His presence (Isaiah 61:3 says we may be called trees of righteousness; will you sing out and rejoice at His presence?). There is joy in His presence;

Psalm 16:11  Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Do you want to experience that joy continually? Walk in righteousness;

Psalm 140:13  Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

We are called to obedience and righteousness; remember His commandments and promises;

Deuteronomy 4:23, 24  Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee. For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

The words used in both the Hebrew (6440) and Greek (4383, 1799) that are translated to English as presence also are translated as face. When a scripture reads to seek the face of God, it is often the same original text word as presence. While seeking God to let me find His presence in the way that Smith Wigglesworth mentions when he was given faith that could not be shaken, God let me know that Moses was not seeking for his presence or the call when He sought Moses with the burning bush. Neither was Saul (the apostle Paul) seeking for it when he was encountered by Jesus on the road to Damascus. Samuel did not even know the voice of God when he was first called. Not one knew, Samuel, Jesse, or David, that it was David that was called, but … the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. (I Samuel 16:13) The calling for each of these men was only by the sovereign will of God, and as a result none of them touched the glory of God manifested in their lives. The man of God should be prepared by his walk, and not by his desire. The man of God is enabled by God through faith, and will find it in righteousness, holiness, humbleness, heart, and receiving God’s calling, not by just seeking what he desires and believes his calling should be.

Let us consider for a moment the man who encountered the presence of God at the burning bush. Scripture tells us that Moses knew his calling at 40 years old;

Acts 7:22 – 25  And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.

Here we begin to see the spirituality of Moses; the scripture does not say Moses would deliver them, but God would deliver them … by his hand. We can also see in these scriptures that Moses calling was not in his timing or by his means; the calling is always when and how God purposes. Abraham had been told that his seed would be afflicted four hundred years (Genesis 15:13), and that time had not yet been fulfilled. In addition, God miraculously delivered them without the uprising Moses thought necessary.

We can also read in scripture that Moses had a faith and vision and desire for the things of God, rather than sin;

Hebrews 11:24 – 26  By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.

How many would leave a life of wealth and splendor to be associated with the slaves? In the flesh it is not possible, but what was working in Moses? The next verse holds a truth about Moses we often miss;

Hebrews 11:27  By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

Moses did not quit and leave town fearing Pharaoh. The word endured is number 2594 in the Strong’s, and means; to be strong, i.e. (figuratively) steadfast (patient). The word seeing in this verse is number 3708 in the Strong’s, and means; to stare at, i.e. to discern clearly; by extension to attend to; by Hebrew to experience; passively to appear. The man Moses knew and experienced the invisible God, and as a result was enduring and faithful in that experience. The scripture also begins with By faith; the implication, or declaration, is that he was led of God to leave Egypt.

When Moses reached Midian, we can read that it is still in his heart to deliver the oppressed; he delivered the daughters of the priest of Midian from the shepherds (Exodus 2:16 – 20). The priest of Midian told his daughters to call Moses to eat, and in verse 21 we see that Moses was … content to dwell with the man. He spent the next 40 years as guest and then son-in-law to the priest of Midian. We do not know much about Moses father-in-law, but we see in Exodus 18 of Jethro’s rejoicing over the deliverance of the children of Israel by God, his offering sacrifice to God, and his offering wise counsel. We also can understand from Numbers 12:3 that during the time Moses stayed with Jethro he became the meekest man on the earth. If you will see it, Moses was as a “stalled” calf for forty years being prepared to fulfill God’s will in God’s time. That preparation included the meekness and humbleness most of us never seek or find.

The day that Moses experienced the burning bush may have started like over 14,000 before it, but before it ended God called a prepared man to use for His purpose, at His time, and in His means;

Exodus 3:3, 4  And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

Please note that Moses was called when God purposed; your calling belongs to God, why would He leave the means, place, or timing up to you? Also see the progression of Moses’ experiencing the presence of God from his faith in seeing the invisible, to the encounter at the burning bush. Moses afterwards experienced the presence of God as only Jesus (and perhaps Steven) has;

Exodus 33:13, 14  Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

Moses answered the call and it put him on the path to the presence of God Almighty. We need to be prepared and answer the call, but not allow it to misplace our seeking. It can become a high place in your walk, if you leave off seeking God Himself, or if you desire or seek a calling that is not to be yours. We should search for the calling of God, but not seek unto a specific call. Seek God and His presence; the calling is in His means, place, time, and purpose, not ours.

          Romans 11:29  For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

The Greek word translated here as without repentance means irrevocable. The gifts and calling are as unchanging as God is.

James and John sought to change the calling of God, as their mother sought Jesus to let them sit on His right and left hand in His kingdom. What was the answer?

Matthew 20:23  And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

We cannot change the calling of God; if we try we will be as Jonah, running from the presence of God. Embrace His calling and allow Him to bless you in it, and in His presence. The churches are full of people who do not understand the need to walk righteously. But there is a walk of righteousness unto holiness that is necessary for us to feel His presence.

I Peter 1:15, 16  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Hebrews 12:14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

If God can be felt in our worship or church service, we become satisfied, and justify ourselves by believing that we are in the presence of God. Scripture tells us He inhabits the praise of his people, and He is in our midst when we gather in His name;

Psalm 22:3  But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

Matthew 18:20  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

But there is a greater place of being in His presence. Contrast the above scriptures in Hebrews of the physical presence of God at Mount Sinai with those that follow;

Hebrews 12:22 – 24  But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Able.

These scriptures speak of the place Jesus said He is preparing, and the things that will be there, most notably including Him (John 14:2, 3). If we look at other scriptures we will find that there will be no more hunger, thirst, or tears (Revelation 7:15 – 17); no death, sorrow, crying, or pain (Revelation 21:3, 4); no curse or night (Revelation 22:3 – 5). There will be no more of the vexation of the things of the flesh or enemy.

It is easy to think that this presence of God is future, or in heaven. But God does not want us waiting to feel His presence in church, or ultimately in heaven. God wants us, as Moses did, to experience His abiding presence now; we have the added opportunity to put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14), to sup with Him (Revelation 3:20), to allow Him to establish his kingdom within (Luke 17:20, 21).

Let us consider Stephen, who Acts 6:5 introduces us to as … Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost. Stephen was chosen with others to perform a business purpose and allow the apostles to concentrate on prayer and ministry of the word. But Stephen excelled to the point he is noted beyond the others chosen;

Acts 6:8  And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

Stephen was not exceptional for who he was, but for who he served. He was a believing, obedient, yielded man who had put on the Lord Jesus. He had the kingdom within. He had the presence of God with him. Consider the account of him as he began to make his defense;

Acts 6:15  And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

As we have previously seen in the account of the anointing that was on Jesus commanding the attention of all, so it is with Stephen; … all … looking stedfastly on him. As with Moses, where being in the presence of God made his face shine, the presence of God was seen on the face of Stephen.

As you first read his defense in chapter 7 it appears to be historical, but look closer and you will realize it is spiritual and convicting. While they had claimed Moses in their accusation of Stephen (Acts 6:14), he reminds them that Moses prophesied of Jesus. He reminds them that their forefathers rejected both Moses and God. He reminds them of the false gods that had been taken up. He closes by telling them of their stiffnecked and uncircumcised heart and ears in resisting the Holy Ghost, that the forefathers had killed the prophets, and that they had killed Jesus. Stephen, not figuratively, but literally preached himself to death. As they were convicted and gnashed on him with their teeth, Stephen, in the presence of God and in the fulness of the Spirit, still has his face set on the presence of God. He sees into heaven, speaks additional conviction, and seals his fate (and completes his calling);

Acts 7:55 – 57  But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,

There are many who do not see anything accomplished in the death of Stephen. How many could he have reached if he had lived? How many could Jesus have reached if he hadn’t died? He reached out to them all, each and every one, by His death! The death of Stephen fanned the hatred and persecution of the revival fires in Jerusalem to spread revival throughout the world;

Acts 8:1  And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

The church had been basking in the joy of the daily accord in Jerusalem, and was missing the great commission, Go ye into all the world. With the persecution of Saul on the church it was established;

Acts 8:3, 4 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

We see then how Stephen’s death had a part in the spreading of the gospel to the world.  In Acts 11:19  it says Now they that were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen … We can also follow how his death motivated Saul (Paul) later; how Paul was moved by his past persecution of the church; how he grew to the point of forgetting those things which are behind; and ultimately to having the mind of Christ. Have you considered that since Paul was a witness to Stephen’s steadfastness in the Spirit and presence of God unto death, Stephen may have been an additional example (besides Jesus) that brought Paul to the point where his life was not important to him (Acts 20:24)? Even the epistles that God led Paul to write, that we rely on and that are our teachers today, might be partially attributed to the presence of God that was on Stephen in that day. Can you find the desire for a greater presence of God?

It is possible through exegesis, hermeneutics, etc. for scholars to write volumes on the topic of the presence of God. But the presence of God is to be experienced, not just read about. Ask God that you may be in His presence. As you can read of and see the changes through the life of Paul, God will meet you and begin changing you. Let Him be your tutor and guide, so that you will not be hindered or led astray by the doctrine of man. The apostle Paul acknowledges this path for his life;

Galatians 1:11, 12  But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

The psalmist wrote of this path in the verse that was used previously to show the joy in His presence;

Psalm 16:11  Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

God created your life, and created your path. Seek God and allow Him to establish you in that path. The path of God for you begins with repentance, that you may abide the consuming fire of God, and experience His presence and the refreshing;

Acts 3:19  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

Find true repentance and conversion, begin a steadfast, continual walk of seeking and finding God, and the refreshing that comes from His presence will be yours! Then continue to seek Him in obedience, and climb the mountain for more of His presence.

Come Let Us Go Up To The

Mountain Of The Lord

The prophet Moses was at the mountain of God, Horeb, when God met him with the burning bush (Exodus 3:1 – 5). Moses was called to bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt, and further promised that when he brought them out he would serve God on that mountain (Exodus 3:7 – 12). Moses was then called by God to climb mountains numerous times to be with God;

Exodus 19:20  And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.

Exodus 24:12, 13  And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.

Exodus 34:1, 2  And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest. And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount.

Deuteronomy 32:48 – 50  And the Lord spake unto Moses that selfsame day, saying, Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession: And die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people: 

Let us grasp the parallel that there will be spiritual climbing necessary to hear and find the calling and promises of God, and to fully enter His presence. Will you be a spiritual mountain climber? Also note from Exodus 34 that if we are not respectful and careful with the things God has given us we will have a more difficult task in replacing them, and will have to again climb the spiritual mountain, carrying tables this time, and again present ourselves to God.

Abraham was also called to the mountain to offer Isaac;

Genesis 22:2  And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

God told Abraham that He would show him which mountain; do not go where you choose, the ram was prepared on this mountain, in this place, for this time. What if Abraham had chosen the mountain himself? We must find the blessing and promises in Him;

II Corinthians 1:20  For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

When Elijah was discouraged and despaired of life, the angel prepared him for the journey to the mountain of God. From Horeb, the mount of God, God shewed him wind, earthquake, and fire, and spake in a still small voice (I Kings 19:4 – 18). Elijah declared he was the only one left, but God told him that He had left Himself a remnant of seven thousand who had not bowed the knee to Baal. Paul spoke of this occurrence, and of a continuing remnant of God;

Romans 11:2 – 5  God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God to him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

It is easy to become discouraged today by the stalwart ministers who have not come to Camp, and appear to have gone out from “us”. The remnant in each of the occurrences noted above were the elite of their day, but only so by the keeping power of God. As these were each called, and went up into the mountain, God is calling a righteous people to stand in His presence and learn of Him. We must desire His ways, and His paths. These were able to come before God because of their meek and righteous walk with God. Have you allowed God to build you to a place of humbleness, righteousness unto holiness, and meekness that you can be called the man of God? Without holiness no man shall see the Lord. Do you have a desire to serve Him completely, and be one of the remnant, the seven thousand of God?

Men have a saying they use when they want to declare something is a long shot, it is “one in a million”. When the Census Bureau recently declared that there were now over seven billion people alive on the planet, God prompted to consider the math; seven billion divided by seven thousand is a million: God is looking for some people willing to be “one in a million”. If you want to hear, or know, or be part, of the present day seven thousand, you will go up to the mount of God, the presence of God, and seek His face, His way, and His path.

That seeking is also the spiritual parallel of the physical word spoken by the prophet Haggai;

Haggai 1:7, 8  Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord.

After Cyrus, under the call and anointing of God, had sent the children of Israel back to rebuild the temple, the enemy had hindered the work. The prophet Haggai is led to tell the people why they are not blessed; they had left off building the house of God. Consider your ways: are you missing your spiritual blessings because you are in your own house, and have stopped building His temple? How can we tell when we are falling short? All have sinned and come short;

          Romans 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

If coming short of the glory of God is our standard, every one of us must repent every day! Reaching that standard is only possible if we are empty of flesh, full of God, and led of the Spirit. The house of this flesh must be destroyed, or your temple will be destroyed;

I Corinthians 3:16, 17  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

In the physical, the wealth of the children was deteriorating because they had not built His temple. This is true in the spiritual as well; if we refuse to build the temple, then our house, our health, our wealth, our spiritual wellbeing can be deteriorated; it is only the enduring mercy of God that allows us the time to repent and turn to Him.

In Haggai 2:18, 19 the people were told they would be blessed from the day the foundation of the temple was laid: that is also true if we lay the foundation of our spiritual temple, which must be the Lord Jesus Christ;

I Corinthians 3:11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus.

Jesus must be our foundation, and we must build upon that foundation. Haggai asked the people what the first house had been like;

Haggai 2:3  Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do you see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?

Realize that the Lord Jesus Christ is the first spiritual house; consider His glory, and realize we are nothing in comparison. We are called, and must be seeking to have a temple in that image, and that is only possible in the presence of God;

Romans 8:29, 30  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

To please and glorify God we must be conformed to the image of Jesus, that is why we are told that this flesh must die; we cannot build on the foundation of our flesh. All things must become new;

II Corinthians 5:16, 17  Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

How do we build this temple? Haggai was led to tell us to go up to the mountain; we must go and seek the face, the presence, of God. But we are also told to … bring wood and build the house, that He might take pleasure in it, and be glorified (as it declares He will do in us as spoken above in Romans 8:30). The Hebrew word translated wood in Haggai is the same word used for trees in Isaiah 61:3; that we … might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. Righteousness is the spiritual wood we must bring back from the mountain; Isaiah 64:6 says our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; we cannot build on the righteousness of our flesh, but must bring back and build with the righteousness of God. Coming to Camp is similar to climbing the mountain of God; we should not come expecting to be revived to the place where we have been, but to go to greater places in God, we cannot carry back our righteousness and accomplish this. It is only with these spiritual building materials that God will be glorified. Jesus is described as a righteous Branch;

Jeremiah 23:5, 6  Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Jeremiah 33:15, 16  In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness.

That righteous branch is THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. We must build with the righteousness of God to glorify Him, and we will only receive this righteousness by going up to the mountain of God, spiritually seeking His face that He might bring us past our fleshly failures. This is the additional element that is needed that is often ignored from I Chronicles 7:14; it is not just humbling ourselves and praying, but we must seek His face and turn from our wicked ways.

Jesus took several disciples with Him to the mountain, that He might encounter God;

Matthew 17:1, 2  And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

As an example of the spiritual aspect and requirement of climbing the mountain, the face of Jesus … did shine as the sun, and it is easy for us to justify this occurring because it was Jesus, but this is also similar to that recorded of Moses mountaintop experience. It is also recorded of Stephen in Acts 6:15, that they saw his face … as it had been the face of an angel. The disciples made the same climb, and were in the same place, but not with the same preparation or expectation; as a result, they did not receive or experience the same spiritual walk. How many of you would go mountain climbing unprepared? But that is exactly how we seek God, and as a result do not reach the summit, or find the fulness of God. The lack of the power of God, and the lack of the gifts and fruit of the Spirit, in the church today are the result of unpreparedness.

Have you ever wondered what occurred before the six days in this scripture, what initiated that period of time? Matthew and Mark state … after six days, but in Luke’s account he says … about eight days after these sayings … referring to Jesus saying that some of the disciples would see the kingdom before they taste death. While some consider this a conflict in the scriptures, the grammar of these phrases is that the subject of the second phrase is the sayings, while the subject of the first phrase is the six days. In seeking God about it He showed that the six days did not occur after something, but that the six days are the time of Jesus preparation! What saith the scripture? Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work: (Exodus 20:9). The proof of this preparation is shown not only in the lack of the disciples receiving on the mountain as Jesus did, but in Jesus response after coming down and casting the devil out of the lunatic boy;

          Matthew 17:21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by fasting and prayer.

This scripture very plainly acknowledges that Jesus had been fasting and praying! Again consider that the lack of the power of God and working of the Spirit in the church today are the result of unpreparedness! If you desire to be ‘one in a million’ for God this depth of preparation will be required. This is spiritually climbing the mountain of God.

Please note also that they were taken to an high mountain apart; there is a separation from the things of the world necessary to receive the things of God. It is only after the preparation and the separation that true rest can be entered into in this life!

The following scriptural accounts by two prophets are very similar, and contain sufficient truths to study weeks, months, or years on;

Isaiah 2:2 – 5  And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it.  And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Micah 4:1 – 4  BUT in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and the people shall flow into it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth out of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.

These scriptures plainly say the prophecy will occur in the last days. The prophet Joel prophesied of the pouring out of the Spirit, and then Peter said on the day of Pentecost that … this is that, speaking of the Spirit being poured out in the last days. These confirm that we are in the last days. We can receive the Isaiah and Micah scriptures as speaking of the millennial reign, but we should also receive them as a spiritual word for our walk today. As with Jesus and Moses we need to go up to the mountain of the Lord, the house of God, the house of the God of Jacob. Please understand that there is a made up mind in these prophecies, … Come, and let us go up. Do we discuss going to camp with someone and allow the enemy to give us reasons why not? Or do we approach them with a made up mind and encourage them to come with us? 

This mountain is the place of receiving, the place of instruction in His ways, the place of hearing of His paths for you. God has told us that He created our lives and our paths, and exhorted us to walk therein, and walk as His Son, Jesus Christ. We must have spiritually seeing eyes and spiritually hearing ears to receive His direction. But we are exhorted in I Corinthians 6:19, II Corinthians 6:16, and Hebrews 3:6 that we are the temple or house of God! God wants to establish us, His house, in the top of the mountains!

While we still have the righteousness of Isaiah 61:3 in our thoughts, let us consider Isaiah 2:2 – 5 and Micah 4:1 – 4 further. While God is judging and rebuking and planting among the people, what can it mean to us today to beat our … swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks? After all, our spiritual weapon, the sword, is the Word;

Ephesians 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Hebrews also compares the Word to a sword;

Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

But please consider in the above verse that each of the things divided by the Word relate to the internal: our struggle with the flesh demands this weapon, for the flesh must be killed, and die, daily. A sword or spear are weapons of mass destruction; intended for use against the enemy, but how often the church has wielded the word of God as a weapon against the lost, those they are trying to reach, or with members who are experiencing difficulty, to their detriment. A plowshare is also a cutting tool, but it is used to plant; and a pruninghook is a cutting tool or implement used for husbandry or harvest. Isaiah 61:3 also notes that we are … the planting of the Lord; God will use us to plant, nurture, and profit the individuals who are in trials if we will be pliable, and allow ourselves to be beaten into an instrument of planting or harvest! We must be humble, obedient, yielded, vessels, hearing and doing as God leads, when we deal with the lost or straying. A recent message was heard that said “you don’t have to tell them they are lost and going to hell, they already know it”, love them enough to reach them. God does not desire to destroy men (Ezekiel 33:11, Jeremiah 29:11 – 14), but to plant, establish, prune, or harvest. To confirm this we need only look at the full context of the verses with Isaiah 61:3;

Isaiah 61:1 – 3  THE spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

This prophecy of Jesus was read by Him, and fulfilled, in Luke 4:17 – 22. Jesus, the Word of God; the root out of dry ground; the vine; the lamb of sacrifice and atonement for our sin; the way, the truth, and the life; our advocate with the Father; in His love and compassion, and for our spiritual blessing, did not destroy, but met all the spiritual need for each person. If we are to be conformed to His image we must give up our righteous indignation with the sinner, stop bludgeoning them with our sword or spear, love them to His purpose, and then be an instrument or tool of planting or harvest in His hands. It is only in His presence, and in His image, with Jesus and the kingdom within, that we can fulfill this and glorify Him.

Being a tool or instrument of planting extends also to the depths of your prayer. Consider Jesus prayer for Peter;

Luke 22:31, 32  And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Jesus had the spiritual vision to see the need to pray for Peter, that his faith would not fail when he did. How many of you had a praying parent or grandparent pleading to God for your soul, whose prayer was a buoyant force that kept you until you were delivered from your time of sin, sorrow, or trouble? That depth of prayer availeth much; will you now be that implement in the Lord’s hand? In unbelief the church today has stopped praying with the same depth of expecting deliverance. Pray for the lost, hold them up to God, pray for their protection and deliverance. Admonish your children, but when they are grown revert to love and prayer. That is how you can begin being a buoyant force in the hand of God.

Beyond Buoyancy

In Building the Child of God, we discussed spiritual buoyancy, that tendency to float when in the sea of flesh, and its comparison to physical buoyancy. Physical buoyancy is the principle that an object placed in a fluid is buoyed up, or supported, by a force equal to the weight of the displaced fluid. The force of buoyancy remains on an object no matter the depth, and makes it much easier to lift or move the object under the water. However, when trying to lift it out of the water the objects original gravitational weight will return. This fact of buoyancy is called Archimedes Principle. As with the Archimedes Principle in the physical, know that spiritual buoyancy is a truth.

We can look at a person and say that they are too wicked to ever be saved; the depths of sin they have reached are far too great for them to come out of. But Almighty God has provided the buoyancy of spirit that increases with the added volume of our weight and sin. God has provided that force or tendency to spiritually float in each of us. We must seek God to lift individuals to the place where they could be removed from the sea of flesh. While it is easy with the spiritual buoyancy to lift them up through the water, the weight of sin and flesh make it impossible to lift them out of the sea. The church today is stopping at lifting souls to shallow water, apparently thinking that having less depth of weight and sin is enough. We must grasp the spiritual truth that the man of God must be prepared by God to lead the lost to Jesus, and out of their lost condition. Our obedience is a requirement to be used, and to be the instrument of planting that the Lord desires of us.

While re-reading Spiritual Buoyancy God reminded of the scriptures below for a physical example of the spiritual possibilities. In this exhortation we want to look beyond buoyancy; let us consider first the physical example;

II Kings 6:5 – 7  But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed. And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim. Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it. .

We look at these few verses of scripture only as a historical account of one of the miracles God performed through the prophet, the man of God, but there is a depth of spiritual truth and promise that we must seek. We do not grasp the value of the axe head, because we live in the days of mass production; they are readily available, and relatively cheap. In those days much labor was necessary by a blacksmith to make the axe head, and it was rare and very valuable. The borrower was also responsible for returning the axe head or replacing it. For those reasons this occurrence was very dismaying to the man, who went to Elisha.  Elisha asked where it fell; it had to be addressed where it fell, and had to be sought where it was lost. When the man of God knew where it was he did something that is not expected in the natural, cutting down a stick and casting it in. This resulted in an unnatural effect, the iron swam. While reading the scriptures God lead to consider its parts as another physical example of a spiritual parallel, so a consideration of parts of the scriptures is required.

To best understand in today’s world the value of a rare item we would consider an old coin, or a painting. There is always that single coin or painting that had the highest price ever paid for one when it was sold. In relation to the word borrowed, God said we are not our own, but we have been bought with a price (I Corinthians 6:19, 20). The souls of men are borrowed, if you will, and were purchased with the greatest price ever paid for anything, the sacrifice and atonement and redemption of the King of kings and Lord of lords, our Lord Jesus Christ. We need to get a greater depth of understanding of the value of a soul to God. We also are on borrowed time; allow God to make the most use of it.

Where fell it? God wants us to consider where that lost soul is at, and be prepared under His leading, and in His love, to speak or reach out as He guides. God will know and will use you to reach to that one where they fell, if you will be guided by Him.

The word cast as used in this scripture means to throw out, down, or away. Are you a fisher of men? If you are this definition of cast should gain greater meaning for you. In considering the word cast, the scripture in Ecclesiastes (11:1); Cast your bread upon the waters … came to mind. Here the word cast means to send away, for, or out. Send out your spiritual bread, the Word of God, the living bread, onto the sea of flesh: it does not return unto God void (Isaiah 55:11) but … shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Can we be empty vessels prepared to send out the word as He purposes?

In the Hebrew language the word used for stick in the above verse is number 6086 in the Strong’s, and means a tree (from the firmness); hence wood, (plural sticks). As noted previously, Isaiah 61:3 says we might be called … trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. There is a preparation and progression in becoming this tree of righteousness from the planting, to a seedling, to a sapling, to a tree. God wants us to become so planted and established by Him in righteousness that we might be like trees planted by the waters;

Psalm 1:3  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

It would be easy with the comparison of a tree for us to justify becoming fixed in our present location of being used. But consider the willow tree in the natural; if a branch is cut off, kept moist, and planted, the branch will form or take complete new roots, and then grow to a new tree where it has been planted. The Lord Jesus Christ himself is described in scripture as a Branch;

Isaiah 11:1 – 5  AND there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

Allow Jesus to take root in you, and flow with the fountain of life; then allow Him to cast you as a stick into the sea of flesh. There is often no life in the place where He casts you, but by Jesus, the fountain of life in you, He will, as a root out of a dry ground (Isaiah 53:2), take root where he casts you. Allow Him to work beyond buoyancy in that people, much as the stick Elisha cast in the natural. Allow the Lord Jesus as the fountain of life to flow through you and bring people to the surface of the sea of flesh; and God will put out His hand and take them to Him. Let Him use you so that those people may become rooted and established. Then let Him, as a branch, cast you again as He sees fit.

With the prior discussion of spiritual buoyancy we discussed that it is only in and through Jesus that individuals may be lifted out and reconciled to God, for He, Jesus, is the way. The weight and sin must be removed through true repentance and turning to Jesus, and the removing of sin is the feeling of cleanness, the lifting of weights or burdens, and the spiritual difference an individual feels at true salvation; the change in relative spiritual density the individual feels is, or has become, less than that of the sea of flesh. This immediate, total, reversal of spiritual density is one of the greatest miracles of the Lord God Almighty!

But now realize that besides the way there are two other parts of John 14:6 that Jesus is, and the importance of them; He is … the truth and the life. The righteousness that results with the truth, and the spiritual life that He gives us, are necessary not only for us to be used, but also for those He reaches to become sanctified and established. Note in the scriptures above of the trees of righteousness and being planted by the rivers of water. Vital wood that was recently living is lighter than water and will remain above the surface, but have you ever seen a piece of wood that has become waterlogged and begins to submerge? Embrace … the truth and the life, and allow Him to establish you and those He sends you to!  If any of the spiritual parts that Jesus is, or gives, are missing the failures of men will begin to waterlog both the cast branch, and those who receive beyond buoyancy. We must go in the anointing and fullness of the Spirit;

Acts 10:38  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

We must follow the example of Jesus, walking in the anointing and power, and God will be with us. Jesus also gave us these truths as a comparison to a vine, but we did not previously hear the fulness of these truths in its parts;

John 15:4, 5  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in Him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

The ability to thrive and bear fruit is dependent on your abiding in Him, for without Him … ye can do nothing. We are also given the result of failing to abide in Him;

John 15:6, 7  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Have you ever read this scripture and wondered why branches are cast forth? If you are not abiding in Him you will wither. We must abide in Jesus, the vine, the root out of a dry ground, flowing with the fountain of life, to be a branch that can be cast for His purpose. Allow Him as the the way, the truth, and the life to work in you that which He purposes. If you abide in Him you will not wither, but will grow, abide, and bear fruit.

To this point this exhortation has been to individuals, but the Word also addresses this in the congregation;

Psalm 80:8 - 12  Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it. Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land. The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars. She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river. Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her?

Israel, the vine brought out of Egypt was planted, took deep root, and filled the land. Figuratively she prospered, and sent out to the lost and strangers, the sea of flesh. The description is of a vibrant people, obeying and blessed of Almighty God. But we know that Israel had allowed unrighteousness and the sin of the heathen to remain, and a little leaven leavened the whole lump. In pride Israel also became exclusive, and then became such as had need of a branch of salvation to quicken her, and turn her back again. The church today must realize that our commandment and God given purpose and obligation is to lift souls through spiritual buoyancy from the depths of sin, and hardness of heart, so that they can be reached. We each were brought from that condition, and in the love of God we must remember and be His hand extended to others. The church must send out her prepared branches to the lost and dying world. But we also must always remember in humbleness that the redemptive work is only in God, who will, by the fountain of life, allow the branches to take root and flourish; that they may grow to become a vine also prepared to cast its branches. If this pattern stops due to sin, complacency, or failure to remain humble and connected to the vine, we will fall, as Israel did.

We also need to consider the branches, the individuals who have roots and love and desire to be with the local church they have been sent from. They desire to return, to feel the love, and continue to be the blessing they had previously been to that people. But consider the Apostle Paul, who in love continued to write, pray for, minister from afar, and also send workers to minister to those churches that he, through the Spirit, had planted and caused to take root. He had a love and longing for them, but continued to be a branch, and allow God to take root at each new location that the Lord cast him. That was the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost which was given to him (Romans 5:5). Paul later mentioned the seven thousand;

Romans 11:2 – 4  God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.

Elijah was told that by the divine choice and keeping power of God there were seven thousand who had not succumbed to the wickedness of Baal worship. While the persecution of the enemy will be difficult at times, and at times you may, as Elijah, feel alone, and desire to go home, or back to your home church, know that you are not alone;

Romans 11:5  Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Election here is 1589 in the Strong’s, (divine) selection (abstractly or concretely). His grace was sufficient for Paul, and His grace will be sufficient for you, and will keep you, if you will stand stedfast in faith and belief in Him. God has not changed, and that same divine keeping power is present today if you will be a tree of righteousness for Him; God will still have seven thousand reserved for Him; men who will be ‘one in a million’ for God. Know in this wicked time that there is also a remnant remaining only by the divine selection and grace of God! Know and rejoice that God has divinely selected you, and will keep and enable you, if you will stand and obey with the remnant! You are not alone, and while you can keep contact with the people of your past, who have been a blessing to you, soldier on for the Lord Jesus Christ. You are called and chosen, now be faithful and obedient with the remnant of God!

If you continue to read through Romans 11, you will see that the fall of the children of Israel through spiritual blindness and deafness was the riches of the Gentiles spiritually. Paul speaks of the grafting in of wild branches to be holy with the root (the root out of a dry ground). We cannot speak in pride against the branches; we are all dependent on the root. In studying of the branches it was noted that there are 26 different words in the Hebrew, and three in the Greek, translated branch. We have also seen that Jesus is scripturally called The Branch. Know that there are many kinds of branches, and God’s will is to graft them in and use them to reach the lost. But how will He reach them? Please allow God to give you a greater understanding of the need, calling, and will of God in the scriptures in the chapter just before Paul speaking of the remnant;

Romans 10:14, 15  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

There are many who have sought the righteousness of God and have laid down their sin, anger, hatred, uncleanness, etc. at the altar. But how many have laid down their will at the altar before seeking the will of God? You cannot be properly called, sent, or be part of the seven thousand with your will remaining intact. It will limit your belief, hearing, and obedience;

Romans 10:16 – 18  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

With your will cast out, and the kingdom (Righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost) within, your sound will be heard. To any lesser level of yielding you will, as the children of Israel, diminish your ability to be heard, or to minister for Him;

Romans 10:19 – 21  But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation will I anger you. But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. But to Israel he saith, All day long have I stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

Will you hear and obey? Or will you fall into the disobedient and gainsaying? The word translated disobedient means to disbelieve (willfully and perversely). Gainsaying means to dispute, refuse. God says He stretched forth His hands all day long unto them; the love and enduring mercy of God. But they would not believe and refused Him: God also spoke of this in Psalm 95, repeated in Hebrews;

Hebrews 3:7 – 12  Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To-day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

Where did this evil heart of unbelief come from? How do we avoid it? God does not leave us to guess;

Hebrews 3:13  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To-day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

The love of the world, and its lust and deceitful sin, will harden your heart, and make you the enemy of God. It will leave you in unbelief with those in the provocation;

          Hebrews 3:19  So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Unbelief, or the lack of faith, is the place many Christians walk in and do not even realize it. Where has the power of God gone from our churches? After speaking the parable of the unjust judge (Luke 18:1 – 8) Jesus ended with Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Where is our faith? Why has the church lost the ability to speak it and have it become so? The truth has been hidden from our hearts by our unbelief;

Galatians 5:6  For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

We have completely missed that our faith is fueled or activated by love, the love of God! What is the most defining characteristic of God and the Lord Jesus Christ; love. Consider again Jesus as The Branch: the word branch can also describe a flowing stream. Jesus flows with life, light, truth, and this love: He has declared that … rivers of living water shall flow from the believer. How often the scriptures tell us Jesus was … moved with compassion … for others. I John 4:8 and 4:16 tell us that … God is love. How can we fully find or walk in His love? By the Holy Ghost;

Romans 5:5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Have you allowed the Holy Ghost to shed the love of God abroad in your heart? The greater you are filled with the love of God, the greater your faith … worketh by love. Ask God to shed His love abroad in you! He will dwell in you, and become rooted;

Ephesians 3:17 – 19  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

We cannot be … filled with all the fulness of God … without the love of God! By whatever degree you limit the love of God in your heart and life you limit your ability to have His fulness. It is only here in the fulness of God that the … greater works than these shall he do … of John 14:12 are possible. Your faith … worketh by love!  Can you see and hear this truth? We know from Romans 8:35 – 39 that nothing can … separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Let God fill you with that love, and walk in a level, and action, of faith you have never known.

God also gave the promise of being a partaker of Christ;

Hebrews 3:14  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

Is your confidence unwavering, stedfast, and unmovable? What is your confidence in? It cannot be in you;

II Corinthians 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

We have come full circle, back to the greatest price ever paid for anything, and it was paid that you might be … made the righteousness of God in him. Do you see spiritually how the election of grace works? You can only be ‘one in a million’ because He paid the price and made you so, but you must stand in faith that He has done it, exercise your faith by love, and you can be a partaker! It is nothing of self, but a humble yieldedness to His will, and a diligence in standing for Him;

II Peter 1:10  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.

We are to only obey and understand the limitless possibilities with the Almighty God, and allow Him, in humbleness and obedience, to work through us the power of the Holy Ghost! Will you yield in total humbleness and allow Him to make you one of the seven thousand, and cast you where he can reach others? Why is that important? Let us look at the triumphal entry of Jesus to Jerusalem;

Mark 11:7 – 10  And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

These physical branches were not noted as distinct in any way, but were used to prepare the way before Jesus coming to Jerusalem. Jesus is coming again! Will you allow Him to cast you as a branch to prepare and herald His coming? You must allow Him to cast you as a branch or you will never fully be the man of God.

The Apostles were known and honored of men, and only 17 were specifically named as apostles in the Bible. The seven thousand are not known or named, but humble, yielded vessels reserved by God. Can you receive this call to only glorify God?

 


Book Form Building The man Of God
Building The man Of God Introduction
Refugees In Jesus
Refuge In The Control Of God
Repetition Of Righteousness
The Knowledge Od God And Of Jesus Our Lord
Jesus: The Way, Truth, Life, Light, And Word
Shiloh
In The Name Of Jesus
Out Of And Into
Jericho March: Bringing Down The Walls
Profligacy: Prodigal Of The Things Of God
Touch Not The Unclean Thing
Jesus: Removing The Flesh
Brokenness
Framed By The Word Of God
In The Image Of God
The Spirit Is Indeed Willing
The Flesh Is Weak
God Has A Plan (Finding The Will Of God)
God Given Faith
The Gift Of Faith
Gird Up The Loins Of Your Mind
Having The Mind Of Christ
All That Will Live Godly In Christ Jesus Shall Suffer Persecution
Only Melted Gold Is Minted
Press In
In The Power Of God, Not You
In The Presence Of God
Come Let Us Go Up To The Mountain Of The Lord
Beyond Buoyancy
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