The Master's Walk
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Book Form Building The Child Of God

THE MASTER’S WALK Introduction

Building The Child Of God

The following scripture is rarely read or preached, but it should be memorized and be a rallying cry or spiritual call for each and every Christian to grow in Jesus;

I John 2:6  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

The Apostle John exhorts here that if we claim to abide in Jesus, our walk should become like His. That is not just in doing what we believe is good and right, but in knowing Him, and seeking the depths and fullness of His walk. Abiding in Him is letting Him establish that walk in us. We are dedicated to allowing God to show us the failings in our personal walk and bringing us to a closer walk with Jesus. We then want to share what we have found with others. Our hope is that others might see the same short-comings, or recognize their own failings, and also come to a closer walk with Him. As God has revealed His word to prune and change us, much of what God has given has been written down, and we pray will help to build the child of God.

The Word tells us that Enoch walked with God and God took him (Genesis 5:24). In Genesis 6:9 it tells us Noah walked with God. What can this mean, walking with God?

Mere man never seems to totally find the Master’s walk. Peter reached it on the water for a few seconds, but when the flesh arose, Peter fell. The flesh, and pride, and unbelief will not allow us to reach this walk. What does God require of you?

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?

Humbleness and humility will allow us to grow in faith and Spirit. How can we walk humbly with God? We must be in agreement with Him;        

          Amos 3:3  Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

He is righteous, holy, and perfect, and will never stoop to agree with you and your flesh. We must have His mind, and learn to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). We must let the Spirit be our guide in our walk;

Galatians 5:16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

While the path of our spiritual walk may be slightly different for each individual, we must receive the promises and the divine nature through the knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ;

II Peter 1:2 – 4  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 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.

We will never fully understand the divine power, but through it, and the exceeding great and precious promises, we may have life, and be partakers of the divine nature, and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. It is then Jesus can begin building our spiritual walk. Humbleness and obedience are all that we provide. The paving stones of II Peter are then needed to build the walk of a child of God;

II Peter 1:5 – 9  And beside 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. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

We cannot leave out any of these stones in the path, or our walkway will stop. It is similar to building a brick wall; if any bricks are left out in a row, it is difficult to build the next row on top of it. We must remember from the above scripture that it is His walk we are trying to have, and not our own;

I John 2:6  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

The Apostle John tells each of us through the Spirit that if we abide in Jesus, we ought to walk as Jesus did, The Master’s Walk. He will begin to establish his walk in us if we come, and yield to Him in humbleness and in total obedience;

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.

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.

Take His yoke upon you, walk in faith and obedience; you will do the things that please Him, and He will be with you. However, armed with humbleness and yieldedness, we are still not totally prepared to go. Who would plan to build a physical house without a foundation or the necessary building materials? Would you go to build without tools; hammer, saw, tape measure? God is our sufficiency, and He will equip and enable you to do His will in building your spiritual temple, and then you can find the Master’s walk.

There will be times of instruction in righteousness by the Spirit and the Word, and comfort, encouragement, joy, peace, and rejoicing. But there will also be times of reproof, correction, and chastisement, when we fail or wander astray from the path He has for us. Remember in the correction and chastisement that God loves you, and is treating you as a son, desiring that you might walk in His ways and partake of His holiness (Hebrews 12:5 – 12).

On this line I have felt led to share a testimony of what happened when the web page The Master’s Walk was formed. God had given The Sea of Flesh to me over several years, and had then prompted me to complete it and post it. I had lost my job, and was looking for work to support my family, but the time off gave ample time to complete what God led me to write.

Then I purchased the web domain and site, but could not understand how to post to the site. I procrastinated, telling God I did not know the technology and could not do it. I asked Him to provide someone to set it up, but God expected me to do it. During all this time I remained unemployed, and had to close my 401K, as well as borrow, to meet financial needs. Several open doors for work opportunities slammed shut. I was unemployed for eleven months.
 
God woke me at 4 a.m. on March 25, 2010 with an urgency that the site must be posted with what seemed an “or else”. I again reminded him that I couldn't, but because of the urgency and fear, I returned to the computer to try. If you read the above again you can see that up to that point there had been way too much “I”.

When entering the hosting site again it was amazing to find they had just provided new software to create a web page that was very user friendly. By early that afternoon the page was posted. By 7 p.m. that same night an e-mail and phone call came from an unexpected source that resulted in a job! Often an obedience check is needed if you are not producing for God. Hopefully this edifies and exhorts those God intends it for.

While the immediate thought was that the job was a reward for finally being obedient, it was actually more steps in the path and walk of being made by God. The job separated me from home, and unto God, during the week, and resulted in me having more time with God. The distractions and complacencies of home were gone, and God began to prepare and build, and open the word for me like “I” had never known!

“I” had read previously of a man who said he had read the Bible through a hundred times, and God each time revealed new truths to him. “I” made it a goal, and over time had established a habit that had me reading the Bible through in just over fifteen weeks and then starting over. I was finishing my fortieth time through the Bible when God told me to stop doing that; stop receiving the way “I” determined, and let Him put the Word in as He wanted. The obedience of changing allowed Him to open my spiritual eyes and ears to the Word, and remove more of the “I” that was entrenched in me. What this taught is that humbleness is a lifelong process. “I” would have said “I” was a humble person before all these changes God made in me.

As another testimony, there was concern at one point that “I” would become prideful after some of the word and messages God had given me to post. The glory is all his, so I asked Him to help me become more humble. It was as if the windows of heaven closed. The Word of God is often like a layer cake, and He will reveal more and more to you as you get in the Word. However, while “I” kept reading, and still remained in the Word, “I” received nothing for several weeks. There was nothing new in the word; nothing new revealed to me; nothing to write. God was showing me it is never the man, but the Jesus in the man, and being led of the Spirit. After some time the one page of word and notes that existed of what He had previously been giving (Of the Earth, Earthy) was read again. It's truths brought awe of what God had given! Natural man cannot spiritually see to author the things of God, but the Spirit can provide as it is written down; this was so humbling! We must understand that He is our sufficiency; our part is only obedience. May God strengthen and teach you obedience!

Are You “Puzzled” Spiritually?

Driving on my nearly five hour commute to work one week, the thought came about how often my spiritual walk felt like putting together a thousand piece puzzle. While there were feelings of great blessing in many areas spiritually, there were always areas where I never seemed to have it together and felt failure (the enemy condemning) because of it. God began giving me comparisons;

  • None of the pieces seem to match at the start.
  • When only a few pieces are in place it doesn’t look like much.
  • There are many choices and decisions, but only one is correct for each place.
  • Try, try, try again.
  • Patience, persistence, and perseverance are required.
  • It is much easier if you have help (and God is always ready to give it when we ask).
  • The more of the final picture that you can see, the more blessed and satisfied you feel.
  • It often gets easier as you near completion, since you have fewer choices when God is in control.
  • How many get frustrated, quit, and throw it back before they are done.
  • Realize that you are the puzzle. No matter what stage of completion you are at, you, the puzzle, are still no taller than the first piece. Be humble and give God the glory for what He has done in you.
  • Never try to stand yourself up for man to see, this is pride, and, like trying to stand up a puzzle, your pieces will fall apart. Remain a humble work of God and let only Him look down on what you have become. Your reward in heaven will be great.

WORD “PUZZLE”

In the case of the below helps, God also formed the pieces of this puzzle first, and then put them together as He saw fit. After having written and posted on the web page a number of things God had given to write, and with several still in writing, God prompted them to be ordered, and to give some of the reasons for them; for instance, what they can show or teach you, and why they should be read in the prescribed order. There is no replacement for the Word of God; … faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). The truths that God has shown with the following give the glue between scriptures to help build the child of God. If we will seek Him in the Spirit, they are help in putting the pieces of the puzzle together for us. We must follow and obey God and receive in His due order to be the man or woman of God.

Sea of Flesh Upon posting the Sea of Flesh, the thought occurred to check if anyone else had posted using that phrase. It was shocking to have the search engine indicate it had 39,500,000 hits! Due to the language in the some of the first ten hits shown by the search engine it was obviously prudent to look no further. But it brings up an interesting observation; if the world and the enemy acknowledge the Sea of Flesh, why doesn't the church? The Sea Of Flesh should be your first reading, and should be re-read frequently to help remove sin and get closer to God. It will help you recognize where you are in your walk, seeing sin and iniquity for what they are. It will help you recognize your enemies, and that you cannot change your spiritual condition. It will help you recognize and receive that God is your sufficiency, and you cannot enter or remain in the spiritual walk He has for you without Him. It will also help you see the battle within, and start you on a path to having the mind of Christ. It is not necessarily written to take you to your destination, but to realize where you are, and your need to get out of your present condition. It is a road map of sorts; it is not the means or mode of transportation, but just points you in the right direction.

It also is an initial call to spiritual obedience; in the physical it is similar to the military, where men are taught to obey totally, trained and prepared to fight, and equipped for the task they are assigned. God wants to work this in us spiritually, but we are controlled by our complacency and our flesh. Make a decision to fully enter the spiritual walk and warfare.

This is the first reading, because the natural man cannot receive the things of God. We need to come out of things that prevent our receiving in the Spirit. Do not be deceived that you are not in the sea of flesh; after being with Jesus for several years Peter still began to sink on the water due to doubt, fear, and lack of faith.  As you read this, please allow God to reach your heart and give you a greater desire for righteousness, consecration, sanctification, holiness and ultimately perfection.

Spiritual Buoyancy was given that we might better recognize and utilize the spiritual call and conviction that God uses to reach those in the sea of flesh. Allow God to equip and use you to lift the lost.

How Big Is Your God should help you realize the omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, and love of Almighty God. Stop limiting God by the things you have been taught or believe, and gain a greater fear of Him. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10), and you will begin to understand that God, His knowledge, His power, His presence, and His love and mercy, are infinite. Your wisdom and knowledge will be increased, and you will be better prepared for the trials you face. If we allow Almighty God to be our sufficiency, how can we fail?

Misplaced Grace, or Grace To is intended to help you realize that grace is not limited to salvation, but extends to all the gifts God has for you. Grace is available to give you an overcoming life as God enables and equips you to every purpose and calling He has for you, if you will accept it in obedience.

The churches over time have forgotten the depth of grace available, and have limited it to only salvation. May God enable you to take to heart the promises He has for you. Let him provide grace to make you a child of God.

Disobedience is written to help you see and understand the consequences of your disobedience, and help you see how the enemy separates you from your spiritual walk. God wants you separated unto Him, and not touching the unclean thing.

Vile Affections, if you will receive it, will let you see that everything people believe, or try to get you to accept, is not truth. In this day of calling good evil, and calling evil good, we need to begin letting God order our lives, or we will fail. Jesus is the truth; let the Spirit be your guide, and come totally out of the sea of flesh. We frequently are spiritually deaf and blind, due to our lack of knowledge of sin, and Satan's use of our ignorance against us. We should not be ignorant of his devices. Seek the truth, and walk therein. This word explores Romans 1:25 - 28.

Of The Earth, Earthy will help you see that after you have left the Sea of Flesh there are still changes necessary to find the walk God has for you. It will help you understand that, if you allow God to, He will exchange your iniquities for his blessings. It will help you on the path of righteousness, unto holiness, and then to remain on the path to perfection. Ultimately, it is a call to move out of the physical and into the spiritual.

The Fountain Of Two Calves encourages you to see your need to be set apart for God, and dependent on God to establish and prepare you. It gives a scriptural foundation for your necessary walk, and having the mind of Christ, and should give a greater understanding of the spiritual fountain of life. All our needs and sufficiency are met in Him.

But The High Places is intended to let you see where you are sidetracked in your walk. As Christians we can often follow a misguided spirituality, and do not see that we have missed God’s holy habitation. Did you ever wonder what “spiritual wickedness in high places” could be, as read in Ephesians 6:12? Or how there could be filthiness of spirit as noted in II Corinthians 7:1? Remove those things and find a closer walk with God. Having read the scriptures many times about each of the kings having left the high places in Jerusalem, this time God opened a different perspective of the spiritual parallel for us. We constantly allow the enemy to use our flesh and circumstances to involve us in things that hinder our walk with God. May you begin to find and eliminate them, and find God's holy habitation!

The Anointing Calls You will help you recognize areas of your life where God is anointing you to His service, and will exhort you to open yourself in obedience to God, to fulfill His calling on your life. It is a call to action for God, rather than the complacency we often walk in.

Where Is The Lord God Of Elijah is also a call to action for God. While the prior word calls you to obedience that improves your walk, this is a call to take up the mantle God has for you, take His walk for you, and be a blessing and a glory to God. It was after of the loss of a loved one who had been a mighty servant of God that God gave this word and calling. Please consider the man or woman of God that you knew who has gone on to be with God as you read this. Take up their mantle and be the man or woman of God yourself.

Kingdom Living – Paul’s Example looks at the example of Paul and Silas in jail to see the possibilities that exist spiritually when the kingdom is not affected by the trials and physical circumstances of life. Let the King establish the kingdom in you, and the hindrances and persecution and pain you face will not move you.

Forward to the Sea Of Flesh

As one goes deeper and deeper into a body of water it gets darker and darker, since the light penetrates less. It is the same with our hearing; as we go under water the sound becomes muffled, and as we go deeper the sound eventually disappears. The spiritual parallel is our walk in the flesh, and its resulting sin. The deeper one goes into the flesh and sin the more they lose their spiritual sight and hearing, until they are spiritually blind and deaf. This loss of seeing and hearing became the issue with Israel as spoken to the prophet in Isaiah 6:9, 10. Just as Israel could not see their legalism, hatred, and spiritual blindness, we too often do not see how much we justify our flesh and allow the devil to use us.

Our prayer and desire in making the Sea of Flesh available is that churches, pastors and individuals will realize their current spiritual condition, and that they would be led to repentance and seeking the face of God in these troubling times. It is offered as a tool to let you see the extent your flesh is stopping you from fulfilling your calling.

Copywrite planned

Introduction to the Sea of Flesh

One evening at bedtime I was discussing the wickedness of the day’s world news with my wife and the Lord spoke three words to me, “sea of flesh”. I could not recall any scripture with that specific phrase in the Bible, but did recall that there were prophetic references in Daniel (7:3) and Revelation (13:1) where evil beasts came up out of the sea. I also recalled that God will “… cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” I later noted the “… dragon that is in the sea” in Isaiah 27:1. Knowing that God spoke this for a reason, I endeavored to study this. I began by using a Strong’s Concordance to find and list scriptures related to the sea and flesh.

However, as I reviewed scripture, the verses that appear to most confirm the “sea of flesh” have none of the words in that phrase;

Revelation 17:1  And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

Revelation 17:15  And he said unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

The “many waters” in this spiritual word are then strangers, races, tribes, classes, and languages of mankind, or flesh.

As I studied and reviewed the list of scriptures, God added related topics (with additional scriptures) about our position, our condition, and our answer in God. I wound up with three full pages of notes for what I thought might be a Bible study or teaching opportunity. After weeks of waiting for a Bible study opportunity that did not appear, I felt compelled of God to go further and establish this written text. I purposed to give as little commentary as I could while giving as much scripture as God provides. It is imperative that we hear from God, and not man. I have always been a literalist in relation to the word of God, cringing when I hear “quotes” from the Bible that are not there. After years of having this reaction to hearing about “… the sea of forgetfulness …” I was advised that several scriptures had to be combined to obtain it. Other than the foundation of Micah 7:19, I cannot tell you what those scriptures are. I pray that the study “Sea of flesh” is complete enough to follow and provide the foundation of what God has given.

Over time I have realized how presumptuous I was in thinking God needed me to share this with others. This presumptuousness, pride, or self-assurance can leave us squarely in the following scripture;

I Timothy 1:7  Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

Frequently the word God gives us is for us first! God was extending his mercy in showing me my failed, flesh-controlled life. While everything God was giving me was full of spiritual truth, my lack of humbleness and my daily walk in the flesh was preventing me from receiving it. In His enduring mercy God was showing me the failings in my flesh; my position, my condition, and my answer in God, and I could not perceive it!

As I studied the sea of flesh, the lost condition not just of the sinners of the world, or of “churched” individuals, but of church congregations and even entire denominations became very apparent. Why does one congregation flourish in the Spirit of God, while many languish near closing their doors? While some still espouse a full Gospel, and continue to hold out the full list of gifts and promises of the Spirit, have they abandoned the full Gospel message? Are they stopping at justification, and failing to seek the righteousness, consecration, and sanctification that are available through the leading of the Spirit, and that lead to holiness? Are we satisfied with temporary ventures into the realm of the Spirit, and then returning to our walk in the flesh? Paul addressed this with the church at Galatia;

Galatians 3:1-3  O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Galatians 4:9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

While we have a desire in our spirit to see the Spirit move and to see the power of God in our midst, by remaining and walking in the sea of flesh we hinder receiving those promises;

Galatians 5:17  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

The “sea of flesh” should also give us a different perspective of Jesus calling to Peter and Andrew;

Matthew 4:19  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

If we know Elders who can recall the fullness of the Spirit operating in the church we are fortunate. Many churches have been “fishing” in the sea of flesh and leaving those they have caught on a stringer (or in the wet well of the boat) for so long that it is all that they know. We are giving them programs and rules (the Letter) and telling them not to return to the depths of sin (the sea of flesh) that they have been brought from (and remain in) but leaving them in the sea of flesh. The schools (quantity) of fish on the stringer are what have been valued to the church! It is in this precarious, unprepared, condition that entire congregations, including the pastors and teachers, attempt to live. We must return to an understanding that our overcoming is only in God;

II Corinthians 3:4-6  And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God, Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Several years ago we heard a word from God in our church in which he said in part “You say you struggle to serve me, it is no struggle to serve me, let not your heart be divided…” We cannot remain in the sea of flesh, trusting in self, walking in, or with, our past iniquity and expect to be overcoming. In this condition we come with a divided heart reserving to ourselves our desired sins, and walk with a continual struggle in the flesh. Humbleness, self-denial, prayer, and total obedience will lead us to an easy walk with God.

As I got deeper into this study God began showing me many things that were present in my flesh that were stopping me from receiving the promises He has for me. I must repent and pray through my anger, complacency, and the pride that always arises with the flesh. I must also remove the diversions/distractions the enemy places in my life to stop me from being productive for God (for me, secular television, sports, the newspaper, etc. were all just time-eaters that fed my flesh). In this wicked world we live in anyone with ears to hear can receive a closer walk with God by considering our ways.

After several months of attempting to eliminate things from my life and feeling chastisement for my failures, I realized that trying not to walk in the flesh does not equate with walking in the Spirit. Humbling ourselves and opening ourselves to God and a walk in the Spirit allows us to rely on His sufficiency and life, not ours. Yielding is much simpler than trying to fight the war ourselves and failing.

I can identify with Amos saying he was a “… herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit” (Amos 7:14). I am an engineer, and feel like I am spiritually “dense”. It has been over three years God has been giving me this word, due to my hindrances in the flesh. I thank God that He is showing me the failings in my flesh that were preventing me from receiving, and pray He will continue this work, so that I may receive the promises He has for me, and so He will be glorified. I trust He will help me overcome and obey Him. At the same time, I am making this study available for use and edification. I pray God will open spiritual eyes and ears to these truths in His word.

Throughout the study the scripture references will be in bold, and the actual scriptures in bold italics. Underlining of the scriptures has been used for emphasis.

 

THE MASTER’S WALK

or

THE SEA OF FLESH

 

Physical Example - The Creation

Let us begin with The Beginning, and establish a rudimentary (basic) understanding of what God created. When God created all things they were initially made undefiled, as evidenced by the repeated phrase “… and God saw that it was good.”

Creation of the Sea

Genesis 1:2   And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

For future use in our study we need to grasp two key facts here, 1. darkness was upon the face of the deep, and 2. the spirit of God did not move through, of, with, or in the waters, but upon the face of the waters.

Verses 6 through 8 of Genesis, Chapter 1, record the creation of the firmament (Heaven), and dividing of the waters under the firmament from the waters above the firmament. Verses 9 and 10 then record;

Genesis 1:9, 10  And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

We see through these scriptures that the seas are waters that are under the heaven or firmament, and are separated from the earth or dry land. These were therefore the physical waters of the planet (Do not be confused about the waters being “… gathered together unto one place …” The flood of Genesis chapters 6 through 8, as well as the dividing of the land in Genesis 10:25 and I Chronicles 1:19 later changed the face of the earth).

Creation of Flesh

While Genesis 1: 26 – 28 describes the general creation and dominion of man, Chapter 2 is more specific about how man was created, as well as the creation of woman;

Genesis 2:7  And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

(Please note that man became a living soul – the significance will be discussed later)

Genesis 2:23, 24  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Again, when God first created man he was perfect and undefiled in body, soul, and spirit.

Defilement of Flesh (and Land)

The spiritual fall of Adam (man) in the Garden is recorded in Genesis chapter 3. By the time of Genesis chapter 6 the wicked condition of man/flesh before the flood is recorded;

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.

Genesis 6:12, 13  And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold I will destroy them with the earth.

We can see later in scripture (when the Israelites prepare to go into the Promised Land) that when flesh, or men, are defiled the land also is defiled. In Chapter 18 of Leviticus God is giving the law relative to various sins of fornication, and then gives the current condition of the inhabitants of the land, and the result of their sin;

Leviticus 18:24, 25  Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.

It is easy to look at the world today and compare it to “… as in the days of Noah”, due to the wickedness abounding. But one gets a different perspective when we consider that the … land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. With each earthquake, fire, hurricane, tornado, flood, or tsunami, and their increasing frequency, the earth acknowledges the increasing wickedness of man. Likewise in Isaiah Chapter 24 this defilement of the earth is stated;

Isaiah 24:3 – 6  The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word. The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.

This scripture again notes that the earth is defiled, and declares that the inhabitants will be burned, and few left (a remnant). It is this promise Peter warns us of, and encourages us to be prepared and looking for new heavens and earth;

2 Peter 3: 5 – 14  For this they willingly were ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 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. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

This scripture further expounds the destruction of the earth that Isaiah had told of, and calls us unto godliness and righteousness, that we might receive the promise of the world to come.

Destruction of the Earth (Flesh)

And so, after God saw the wickedness of man before the flood, He used the waters to destroy the earth and all flesh that was on it;

Genesis 6: 17  And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

Genesis 7: 21 – 23  And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

God spoke everything into existence, and he could have reversed that. However, as man defiled the land, God used the creation to remove man. Scripture prophesies that this will occur again, as man has remained wicked and defiled the creation. The creation being subject to vanity and corruption is also noted in Romans Chapter 8, and we see that the creation shall be delivered:

Romans 8: 19 – 22  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

Scripture does not specifically attribute defilement to the seas for their use in destroying the earth. However, when Ezekiel speaks of the waters that issue from the threshold of the temple we see that the waters of the sea are in need of healing;

Ezekiel 47:8  Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.

Scientists tell us that up to 80% of the worlds fresh water is contained in the polar ice caps (An ice cap is defined as a thick permanent covering of ice and snow on land). In their need to explain how this occurred scientists have theorized that ice caps were formed from layers of snow that were compressed together over millions of years, as the bottom layers hardened into ice. The thickest parts of the ice cap in Antarctica dip approximately 2 miles below sea level. (http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2000/HannaBerenblit.shtml this hyperlink has been removed; perhaps they too have reached a greater level of belief!) It takes too much empty faith for me to believe that!

The waters were perfect when God created the earth. When the polar caps first froze they were still fresh water, and thus that fresh water could remain so today, unmixed with the remaining waters that were defiled after the flood! Scripture records that Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt. Deuteronomy 29:23 attributes salt as an end product of destruction such as Sodom and Gomorrah.  Jesus tells us we are the salt of the earth (and it can lose its savour). It is much easier for me to believe that the destruction of all flesh salted the water after the flood!

The Flesh Remains Wicked/Evil

The flood did not resolve man’s problem with the flesh. Our failed condition that separates us from God is acknowledged in numerous scriptures, including:

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.

I Corinthians 1:26 – 29  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.

Galatians 5:19 – 21  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of 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.

Our flesh and our sin separate us from God, due to the flesh remaining wicked or evil.

Darkness and Wickedness Comparison

Now, back to the darkness we said we would return to discuss. There are a number of scriptures in the Bible that relate darkness with evil or wickedness, such as;

I Samuel 2:9  He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.

Proverbs 4:19  The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Luke 11:34  The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.

As one goes deeper and deeper into a body of water it gets darker and darker, since the light penetrates less. And so it is with sin; the deeper one goes into sin the darker it becomes as they lose more and more of their spiritual sight.

It is this darkness, evil, or sin that God will not look upon when we walk in it;

Habakkuk 1:13  Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: …

Through these various scriptures we can see the relationship of darkness to sin, or evil. We can also begin to see the relationship of darkness and the depths of the sea.

Amos 9:3  … and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them:

In accordance with this God provides that the depths of the sea will receive sin;

Micah 7:19  He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Thank God for his mercy in providing a way to reconcile us to Him! And yet the scripture notes that our fleshly sins and iniquities wind up in the sea. There is nothing that we can do, but He will; turn again … have compassion … subdue our iniquities … and … cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Spiritual Comparing: Sea and Flesh

Having now laid this foundation we need to begin comparing the spiritual truths in God’s word with physical examples about the sea and flesh.

In Isaiah, people and nations are compared to the sound of waters;

Isaiah 17:12, 13  Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.

This word says woe to these people and nations, and that God would rebuke them. It is apparent then that they are accounted as wicked in this comparison. Later in Isaiah, the wicked are compared to the troubled sea;

Isaiah 57:20  But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

In Revelation the waters are equated with mankind (flesh);

Revelation 17:1  And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

Revelation 17:15  And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

In verse 5 of the 17th Chapter of Revelation the whore is called “… BABYLON THE GREAT…”, and in verse 18 “… the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which ruleth over the kings of the earth.” In Jeremiah 51, at verse 13 Babylon is accounted as “Oh thou that dwellest upon many waters, …” and at verse 42 “The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered by the multitude of the waves thereof.” Babylon is then a port city on waters that spiritually “… are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” (the sea of flesh!) I had always believed Peter was speaking of Jerusalem in I Peter 5:13 when he wrote “The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you …”, but questioned the fact that Jerusalem was not a port city. By spiritually being on the sea of flesh she is a port city! Is the defiled Jerusalem spiritually called Babylon?

Later in Revelation, when the great white throne judgment is spoken of, the sea is noted to give up the dead which were in it;

Revelation 20:12 – 13  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

If this scripture is read physically, one thinks of those drowned, shipwrecked, or buried at sea. That would be very exclusory, omitting many peoples who do not fit into those three places mentioned. It could also include saints who had prepared themselves, and had garments without spot or wrinkle! Can you now see that this is a spiritual word, and refers to the sea of humanity, or flesh? If we are to avoid the great white throne judgment we must come out of the sea of flesh.

Slightly further in Revelation we find that the sea will be no more;

Revelation 21:1  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

What sea is being referred to in this scripture? By acknowledging the following several scriptures, the sea that was no more must be the sea of flesh. Ezekiel spoke of the vision he was given of the waters that issued from under the threshold, and we saw this scripture above that spoke of the healing of the sea;

Ezekiel 47:8  Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.

After speaking of the need of the sea to be healed, the man that shewed Ezekiel the great vision confirms that the sea is healed of salt, as shown in the following scriptures;

Ezekiel 47:9 – 11  And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many. But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt.

Revelation 22 speaks of the river of life coming out from the throne;

Revelation 22:1, 2  And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruits every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

If the sea Ezekiel spoke of is to be healed by the waters that come from under the throne, also noted in holy Jerusalem in the above scripture, then that sea still exists. The sea that was no more must refer to the sea of flesh. When we consider the verses in the preceding Chapters in Revelation, and realize that the beast, the false prophet, the devil, and those in the sea whose names were not written in the book of life are in the lake of fire, it is obvious why there is no more sea.

Before the end of the sea of flesh, many will be converted. Part of this is spoken of by Isaiah. After he foretold of the Redeemer coming at the end of chapter 59, he speaks of the light shining, darkness on the earth, and then the coming to light, and conversion of the sea;

Isaiah 60:1 – 5  Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.

These scriptures speak of coming out of darkness to seek the light, and of the abundance of the sea being converted. They will be converted from darkness to light; come out of the sea of flesh!

While it is important to show the scriptural comparisons of evil, darkness, wickedness, and sin to the sea, it is also needful to show that the good things of God cannot be compared with them. Considering the following scriptures in Job (his words, not those of his failed friends), it can be found that wisdom, understanding, and the fear of God cannot be found in the depth or the sea;

Job 28:12  But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?

Job 28:14  The depth saith, it is not in me: and the sea saith, it is not with me.

Job 28:28  And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

Please consider; why was it scripturally necessary to establish that wisdom cannot be found in the depth and the sea? In fact, wisdom will not begin until we have the fear of God;

Proverbs 9:10  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

If we desire wisdom then, we must come out of the depth and the sea and gain the fear of God. But what is the fear of the Lord?

Proverbs 8:13  The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward mouth, do I hate.

So then the more we hate the things of the flesh, the more we will fear God and grow in wisdom and understanding. Our failed, fleshly, walk stops us from receiving spiritually. We are blind until we receive the fear of the Lord, and cannot see the spiritual battle or recognize the enemy.

Recognizing the Enemy

We are all familiar with the old adage ‘I can’t see the forest for the trees’; in this case it may be ‘I can’t see the water for the sea’. By our hardness, due to our walk in the flesh, we do not see the extent of the wickedness around us. Most of us have read of the Israelites in the Old Testament and wondered how they were so ignorant. It was not mere ignorance, but spiritual blindness, which is the same thing that occurs today.

It is not surprising that we do not see what is occurring around us; we cannot see that we are in the sea. Jesus addressed the lack of spiritual vision of the scribes and Pharisees;

Matthew 23:23, 24  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Jesus further said they had cleaned the outside of the cup, but within was extortion, excess, uncleanness, hypocrisy and iniquity. Isaiah also wrote of this distorting of good and evil;

Isaiah 5:20 - 23  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!

Today the world has a demand for political correctness, yet cannot see the evil and murder of abortion, since it has been declared ‘legal’. The world demands diversity and tolerance, but has no tolerance for calling homosexuality the sin that it is.

Because we do not see the warfare, the church today does not recognize the enemy. How did we reach a time when denominations are condoning and ordaining homosexuals? How can we have well known ministers state that they will not preach sin to their congregation? As with the Israelites, how did we reach a time when the doors of the House of God are shut (on Sunday night or mid-week services)? By eliminating the standard of holiness the churches are being pulled deeper and deeper into the sea of flesh. God’s standards have not moved! We are not on a sliding scale;

II Corinthians 10:12, 13  For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.

The enemy, Satan, has used our fleshly nature to attempt to change the standard or rule which God has given us. Even if we recognize the standard, we cannot obey the “letter” of the law. We are in a spiritual battle that we attribute to the physical, and to those around us, not realizing that individuals are only serving their master.

Ephesians 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

It is not your spouse, your parent, your child, a friend, or any others that we battle against or that we think are trying to hurt us when conflict arises. The enemy uses these individuals as part of the spiritual warfare that has continued through the ages. Satan will place hate in our heart if we let him; but victory in this spiritual battle is only the next repentance and salvation away. Our call in the battle is to love the individual, pray, and obey. Do we recognize the battle of the ages?

King David yielded to temptation and failed in the matter of Bathsheba. He then compounded it to the point of having Uriah the Hittite killed (II Samuel 11). His iniquity and sin affected the whole nation by its consequences, but when David repents he does not acknowledge this;

Psalms 51:4  Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Many times I read this verse and could not understand how David could say “against thee only have I sinned”. What about Uriah? What about David’s family, etc.? We see through physical eyes, while David in his repentance is acknowledging the spiritual battle. “Us and them” never matters, only us and Him. We are each only a speck in the aspect of time and the battle, how much less so in the eternal? And yet we (our souls) are the point of the spiritual battle to God. Do we want to serve the demons of Satan’s army, or the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?

God created man as a living soul; when Adam and Eve disobeyed, they died spiritually. Your soul is eternal and is the purpose for Spiritual warfare. Many attribute our spirit as part of our eternal being, but the following two scriptures establish that our soul will spend eternity in heaven or hell, but our spirit returns to God;

Matthew 10:28  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Ecclesiastes 12:7  Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

God the Father sent Jesus to reconcile us to Him. Jesus walked a sinless life, suffered persecution unto the death of the cross, and was resurrected for us. Our soul is invaluable to God, but we must come to saving faith in Jesus to receive; our choices determine where we are with God. We must now walk the Master’s Walk, fully anticipating His soon return. Consider some of the examples in scripture of those walking in faith and expecting Jesus coming; Eve knew  from the promises and was expecting a man from the Lord (Genesis 4:1); Lamech knew and was expecting a man to deliver them from the curse when Noah was born (Genesis 5:29); Abraham knew  and it was imputed unto him for righteousness (Romans 4:18 – 22); the Simeon of the New Testament knew and embraced his own death after seeing Jesus (Luke 2:25 – 32).

Do you live for the moment? A total walk in the flesh will result in living for the moment, with no faith, no consideration of consequences, and no ability to see the spiritual battle. Perhaps you are living for an upcoming event you desire to participate in, or maybe you have enough vision that you are preparing for retirement. God wants us to have a vision for the ages. Faith sees the spiritual consequences, and prepares for eternity;

Ecclesiastes 12: 13, 14  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

This scripture establishes the whole duty of man. We have already seen from Proverbs 8:13 and 9:10 that the fear of God is to hate evil, and that the fear of God is also the beginning of wisdom. Truly fearing God will result in an increase in our faith, and a desire to keep His commandments. It is our duty to walk in faith;

Luke 17:5 – 10  And the Apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

Here is further confirmation that faith is our duty, and not for us to be exalted in. Despite this, when Jesus speaks of the unjust judge He finishes with this statement;

Luke 18:8  Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

If you get a vision for faith you will see it in the walk of many minor individuals in the Bible. Let us consider Tamar, the daughter-in-law of Judah (Genesis 38:1 – 30). Judah had three sons from a Canaanite woman he had married. Tamar was chosen by Judah to be wife to his eldest son, and to carry on the lineage of a tribe of Israel. The eldest son was wicked, and the Lord slew him; Judah then gave Tamar to his second son, who refused to carry on his brother’s seed, and the Lord slew him also. Tamar, at the request of Judah, was then faithful in her father’s house waiting for the third son to grow up. Judah feared that the third son would die also. Tamar, by an elaborate ruse, becomes the mother of Judah’s children and at the same time removes the wicked Canaanite blood from the lineage of Jesus! She was not a harlot, as many would suppose; in verse 26 Judah acknowledges she had been more righteous than he. Can you see her faith to fulfill her call?

Hebrews 11 is full of individuals who walked in faith although they may not have seen the promises fulfilled. We must have faith in God, and it will result in a desire to please God if we understand the spiritual consequences;

Hebrews 11:6  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.

The flesh is against the spirit, and cannot receive these things; neither will the flesh be diligent in faith. Faith and obedience must be active, and will result in your faith growing;

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.

These things will equip us for spiritual warfare. We do not provide or secure any of these good things to our faith of ourselves, but we can allow them in the spirit. Our flesh will always oppose our growth in these things. We must come out of the sea of flesh.

When we respond in the flesh during conflict, we also can become a tool of the enemy. God gives us an answer for these times;

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Many of us have been taught to use Jesus rebuke in the wilderness “… get thee behind me, Satan …” when confronted by the devil in our personal walk, but we still do not recognize him in most of our spiritual warfare. That is why we are exhorted to watch;

I Peter 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

In our review of the sea of flesh, perhaps this metaphor would be a shark, swimming about, seeking whom he may devour. Satan understands being a fisher of men, and is constantly trying to pull or keep us in his realm, the sea of flesh;

Habakkuk 1:13 – 15  … wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he? And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them? They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad. Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous. Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?

Satan is always about devouring the righteous and stealing your soul; yet we do not see him or recognize our failures, due to our flesh justifying itself. How are we being sober and vigilant?  And if we fail to recognize him in his open, aggressive actions, how can we expect to recognize his subtlety in the spirit;

II Corinthians 11: 13, 14  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.

Our Pastor frequently recounts how his mother would call him Lucifer when he was sinning, and notes the depth of rebuke it was to him. However, she did it not just to reprimand him, but she recognized the enemy who was controlling him! The gift of discernment is also lacking in the church today due to our walk in the flesh. We must begin to recognize the external spiritual battle, but the greater battle is within.

The Enemy Within

The prophet Jeremiah prophesied extensively about the failure and punishment of the chosen people, the children of Israel. He was not speaking of the heathen in Jeremiah 11:8, which says in part; “Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the imagination of their evil heart: …” The spiritual parallel for us is that choices remain after salvation, and we must find the faith and ability to hear God and obey Him or we will fail in the flesh. Chapter 12, verse 12 says in part “… no flesh shall have peace.” In Chapter 17 he speaks of the condition of all of our hearts;

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

That wicked, deceitful, heart is in each of us, and it is not within us to change it. Isaiah, through the spirit, says it well;

Isaiah 64:6  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Our worst enemy is within; and we have no strength against that enemy.

Judges 21:25  In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

This scripture described the rule in Israel before the time of kings; and it spiritually describes mans walk in the flesh, doing that which is right in our own eyes. John describes these things;

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 forever.

When we were in our sin and the depths of the sea of flesh, the things of the world were in us, and were all we knew.  By grace we have now been reconciled to God.  And now that we have subjected ourselves to the King of kings and Lord of lords we must come out of that walk, hear His word, and do it. Only God is able to provide the strength we need against the enemy within;

II Corinthians 3:4-6  And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God, Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

We must learn to trust in God to be our strength and sufficiency. It is only through the Spirit that we can come out of the sea of flesh. He will make us able ministers if we will walk in the Spirit, hearing His commands and obeying them. There is no place to be uplifted with pride, when it is God who has been our sufficiency;

Luke 10:17 – 20  And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject to 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.

When the seventy rejoice that the devils are subject to them, Jesus reminds them that that power and protection had been given to them; they should rather rejoice that they had yielded to God, and their names were written in heaven.

Have you ever tried to hear under water? The water deadens the sound and makes it difficult to hear. Similarly, if you are constantly around a high decibel environment it can cause physical deafness. The spiritual parallel is that being in the sea of flesh will dull spiritual hearing and seeing.

Spiritual Seeing and Hearing

There are numerous scriptures that note having eyes but not seeing, and having ears but not hearing (just a few; Isaiah 6:10, Jeremiah 5:21, Ezekiel 12:2, Mark 8:18). The flesh cannot receive spiritual things;

I Corinthians 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

We cannot receive spiritual sight and hearing in the flesh; we must walk in the Spirit, and humbly ask God to open our eyes and ears.

II Corinthians 10:4 is a well known scripture emphasizing spiritual weaponry to Christians for hope in times of difficulty, to increase our faith. However, the full context of the scripture is seldom discussed;

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.

These scriptures describe the spiritual war within. We cannot cast down someone else’s imaginations, control someone else’s flesh or pride that exalts itself against God, or bring their thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. This battle within is ours, and must be won through God and His weapons. In a physical body the arms and legs do not have their own mind; they obey the brain, or head. That is the significance of the Word saying Jesus is the head; as members of the body we cannot have our own mind or imagination and be obedient. The fleshly desires must be subdued;

Romans 6:6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

This scripture does not merely say that our old man is crucified; we have no power to fight that battle, but our old man is crucified “… with him …”, and He will provide the spiritual strength and power if we let Him. He walked victorious in this life, and will enable us if we obey Him;

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.

Jesus did not want to face death, but fought that battle through his prayers in the garden. He came from the garden in total obedience and in spiritual strength we do not fully understand. Though He was the heir, the son of promise, the scriptures tell us He learned obedience, and was made perfect, and fulfilled His calling as a high priest. Revelation 1:6 and 5:10 tell us that God hath made us priests and kings; we must learn obedience to fulfill that calling. He will provide us that same strength to overcome if we obey Him.

Galatians 5:24  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

In this verse the word “are” defines ownership; have you allowed Jesus to completely own you? It is a necessary fact, for if we are walking in the flesh, we will not be able to crucify the flesh. Over the years when I have considered the following verse it has seemed nearly impossible to accomplish;

Philippians 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

How can we possibly accomplish this? after all, if you but watch the news it is not possible to abide in these things. If we are walking in the flesh it is impossible. But if we allow God to have the preeminence, the Spirit will not dwell on evil thoughts. We must come out of the sea of flesh, and in humbleness and yielding He will enable us and give us an easy walk! Due to our complacency we fail to reach this walk. Complacency will enter if we allow our flesh to prevent us from seeing the goal or reward.

Recognize and Respect the Reward

What is the motivation of warfare? Warfare is only entered into to keep or take something desired; there must be a reward or why fight? Eternal life and heaven are held up to us as the reward we fight for in spiritual warfare, but we do not grasp the value of them. The enemy has given us a fear of God taught by the precept of man (Isaiah 29:13, 14), and thus distorted our view of the reward, by lack of wisdom. We need to gain a true fear of God, and ask God to give us wisdom to see and respect the true reward.

Many Christians are complacent from not understanding or respecting the reward God has for us. For instance, the false doctrine of once saved, always saved has resulted in much complacency. If we believe the reward was somehow “earned” at salvation, why fight the battle? It is apparent however, from Exodus 32:32, 33, Deuteronomy 29:19, 20, and Revelation 3:5 that your name can be blotted out of the Book of Life. Hebrews 6:4 – 6 shows us that individuals who have attained to a much higher position than the church knows today can fall.

When we believe and repent we are cleansed, justified, and placed in right standing with God. Only through Jesus can we receive this promise.  Romans 6:1 – 4 tells us then that we “… also should walk in newness of life.” We are not at a destination, but at a new beginning in Christ Jesus. We must come out of complacency, and continue to walk that path of life;

Romans 13:11, 12  And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

If our salvation is nearer than when we believed, then it is a future destination, and not a past milestone. After telling Christians to cast off the works of darkness, and put on light, Paul also exhorts to put on Jesus, and defeat the lust of the flesh (we must come out of the sea of flesh),;

Romans 13:13, 14  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. 

Our walk must be in actively seeking Him, not complacency. Returning to the reward, another scripture that speaks of the promise and reward being before us is in Hebrews;

Hebrews 10:35 – 39  Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Moses chose to walk the path he did because he could see the greater reward;

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 recompence of the reward.

We must have the faith to see the recompence of the reward spoken of in the scriptures above, but we must also understand the reward.  Heaven could be expounded on by discussing some of the physical things noted in scripture; gates of pearl and the street being of gold (Revelation 21:21). We could talk of the many mansions (John 14:2). Or we could talk about eating of the hidden manna (Revelation 2:17). God has prepared all these good things in His love for us. Many want heaven because they fear the alternative, hell.

The reward is not in what is in heaven, but who is there. The reward is in the relationship, as seen in Jesus’ promise;

John 14:2, 3  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

God’s love for us is beyond our comprehension (Ephesians 3:19), and He holds up His part of the relationship.

I Corinthians 2:9, 10  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Have you ever loved someone else (a spouse, your sibling, or your child) so much you cannot bear being separated from them? That you always want the best for them, and try to please them? If the object of our love is not external, then it will be in our flesh, or our self, and we are then constantly trying to please our flesh. Our part of the relationship is in the greatest two commandments;

Matthew 22:37 – 39  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

The greater our love for God, the greater our desire to please him will be. The “things” of the world will become less and less to us. So it is with heaven – the “things” are given to us, but the refreshing will come from his presence;

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;

We need to pray and ask God to restore the full vision and respect of the reward to the church. As it is restored we will see people better motivated to come out of their fleshly walk. Do you truly love God? Let Him open the promises to you, and lead you out of the sea of flesh.

Come Out Of the Water, Sea Of Flesh

Most people believe that swimming is physically pleasurable, but we cannot live without air, and must surface to breathe. Perhaps you believe you can swim or float on your back well enough to get air, but the shark is ever present in the sea. There will also be others who can pull you down, and return you to spiritual death. We must come out of the sea of flesh!

I Corinthians 10:11, 12  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Since the things that happened in the Old Testament are for our ensamples, let us consider several of them. First Solomon;

I Kings 6:37 – 7:1  In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the Lord laid, in the month Zif: And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it. BUT Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished all his house.

These may seem odd scriptures to use, but bear with me. Solomon was blessed in wisdom and favor to build the “Magnifical” house of the Lord. God appeared to him twice, and promised to give him riches and honour and if he would walk as David, lengthen his days. Yet Solomon did not continue in this favor, BUT built his own house.

Moses, by instruction of God, had told the Israelites what their king was to be and to observe;

Deuteronomy 17:15 – 17  Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over  thee, which is not thy brother. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.

Solomon did not obey this word, causing the people to return to Egypt for horses (I Kings 10:28), multiplying wives to himself (I Kings 11:1 – 3) who turned his heart away (I Kings 11:4), and multiplying silver and gold to himself (I Kings 9:26 – 28, 10:27). Although God had blessed him in all things, Solomon was still in the flesh building his own house. What is the spiritual example to us?

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.

You are the temple. Are you going to build the temple, or continue to build your own house? We have been bought with a price, and everything we have, including our time is God’s.

Haggai 1:4 – 9  Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. 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.

He will abundantly bless and keep us as we yield all to Him. Let us find a closer walk with God as He calls us.

Continuing a bit further in a look at Solomon, the gift of wisdom did not declare Solomon’s obedience or righteousness in building his house. Similarly the gift or anointing God has given you does not declare your obedience;

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

The gifts and calling God gives us are just that; gifts. They are separate from our actions, and do not justify how we are living. The enemy will try to convince you that you must be walking right if you can still operate in the anointing; it does not justify you, you still need to come out of the sea of flesh. Many of the gifts of the Spirit are not operating in churches today. Why, since God has not changed? Perhaps God wants you operating in those gifts, but you have allowed the enemy to convince you that you are justified where you are.

Let us consider the man of God, Moses. Acts 7:23 – 25 tells us that Moses knew at age 40 that he would deliver the children of God. But it was not God’s time, nor was Moses yet the man that God could use to lead his children out. Moses had to spend 40 years becoming the meekest man who lived (Numbers 12:3), with a reliance on God only (not self or flesh), before God used him. Yet after all this, and having received the calling of God to deliver the children, the Lord sought to kill Moses;

Exodus 4:24 – 26  And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.

Despite Moses meekness, despite his encounter with God at the burning bush, despite his actual hearing from God, despite his calling of God to deliver the children of God, Moses was in disobedience over his failing to circumcise his son, and the Lord sought to kill him. He could not fully enter into the call or the promises until he obeyed. There is a spiritual example here for us; disobedience or the flesh can stop what you are called to do for God, or even kill your anointing at times.

While we do not see the calling that was on their lives, let us consider the example of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1 – 11. They wanted the blessings and credit given to those who provided for others, yet wanted to keep part of the money for their selves. In doing this they lied to the Holy Ghost, and thus fell down dead. What is the spiritual example for us? Have you spiritually declared you have given all to God, yet by the flesh held back part of the price? You have been bought with an inestimable price; God has valued you beyond our ability to comprehend it, yet we continue to walk after the flesh.

We must come out of the fleshly things that prevent our growing in God. Even little things can misguide us and stop our growth in the spirit;

Amos 5:4 – 6  For thus saith the Lord unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live: But seek not Beth-el, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Beth-el shall come to nought. Seek the Lord, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Beth-el.

What are you seeking? It is easy to begin seeking without asking God first. A good example is the prosperity doctrine so prevalent in the church today. People have begun to seek prosperity, and left off seeking God first. God will bless you abundantly as you obey and seek Him, but the prosperity doctrine is addressed in I Timothy;

I Timothy 6:5, 6  Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.

God does not want us to come to a belief and knowledge of him only to remain in the sea of flesh. Yes, we are promising and purposing not to return to the depths of sin we have known and been delivered from. But by remaining in the flesh we are like the children of Israel who failed to destroy the inhabitants of the land, and the inhabitants became a snare to them (Exodus 23:23 - 33, Deuteronomy 7, Joshua 23, Judges 2:1 - 3). We are allowing the minor things of the flesh to be snares to us, minimize our sanctification, and possibly allow the enemy to send us back to the depths of sin.

Galatians 3:1-3  O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

If we are faithful, God will provide the living waters that issue from the temple for us to swim in (Ezekiel 47:5). Why then do we continue to return to the things of the flesh?

Galatians 4:9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

We cannot be a good soldier and be in bondage. If the enemy has us imprisoned with things of the flesh we will not be prepared for the battle. Jesus has paid the price for our deliverance throughout our lives if we will receive it;

Ephesians 4:7, 8  But unto everyone of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ, Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

Jesus has delivered us from bondage, if we accept that deliverance, and come out of our walk in the flesh.

In the first verse of II Corinthians chapter 6 the Apostle Paul, through the leading of the Holy Ghost, exhorts the Corinthians “… that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” He then exhorts through verse 13 as to the needful walk to approve ourselves. Then from verse 14 through the first half of verse 16 Paul charges them to not be unequally yoked with unbelief and sin;

II Corinthians 6: 14 – 16  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God;

These scriptures go beyond the external issues and also reach to the internal struggle we have allowed to continue. These comparisons are also not always as stark contrasts as we read them. If we or other believers are walking in the flesh, we too can fall within these limits. That is how young people can be convinced that someone is the object of their affection, when Satan intends them as the object of their affliction. We must let God order our steps.

 From that point in verse 16 through the end of the chapter God speaks directly;

II Corinthians 6: 16 – 18  … as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God and they shall be my people. 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.

Have we come out from among them to be separate? Are we touching the unclean thing? Are we fully following the example of Philippians 4:8 in even our thoughts? God will completely deliver us from our failures if we allow Him to, and we can have failures in spirit, as the next verse in II Corinthians establishes;

II Corinthians 7:1  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.

Even if we overcome the flesh, it is obvious then that we can have a filthiness of spirit, and should cleanse ourselves from it in the fear of God. God expects us to walk a separated life; in the world, but not partaking of the sin of the world; and God is the enabler, it is not of ourselves. Paul further states this in I Timothy:

I Timothy 2:12 – 14  And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

Paul recognizes who and what he was, and also recognizes who enables him through grace. His ministry, and his righteousness are attributed to God, through grace. Our calling, or choice, then is to seek for the things of Christ to be active in our lives. Paul gives the steps to achieve this to the church at Colosse;

Colossians 3:1 – 4  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Our instruction in the word is to have a spiritual walk, not fleshly. Paul discusses this in further depth with the Colossians, telling them the things they must come out of;

Colossians 3:5 – 7  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

With these sins removed, we have been brought from the depths, and are in shallow water. But we have not come out of the flesh. In the shallow water we can be pulled out by waves, tide, or rip currents. That is how so many media ministers have failed miserably over the years; they remained in the sea of flesh. Regardless of doctrinal differences, that is how the Catholic church could have the vast sodomy/pedophile scandal. These all remained in the sea of flesh. Peter denied the Lord three times, still in the sea of flesh. Paul continues and gives the further needed actions;

Colossians 3:8 – 11  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Paul lists these particular items as they were the specific need of deliverance in Colosse; you can add those that are still a hindrance to you; pride? or complacency? or disobedience? We must remove these items to then receive the fullness of what God has for us;

Colossians 3:12 – 17  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

As we put off the things of the flesh we receive deliverance from the attack of the enemy, and allow God to make our fruit large, and our harvest great in Him. It is only through putting off the flesh that His righteousness can show through us.

Righteousness Fulfilled

I had always been somewhat puzzled by Jesus baptism, since He was without sin, and the church emphasizes the washing away of sin with baptism. Jesus said of baptism “… for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.  My perspective changed somewhat as I considered the sea of flesh study.

Matthew 3: 13 – 17  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. 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.

When Jesus went up straightway out of the water the heavens were opened unto Him! We fulfill righteousness when we come out of the walk in the flesh, and allow Him to work righteousness in us through the Spirit. If we return to the flesh we stop this work. We will only be able to walk in the fullness of the Spirit in the subduing of the flesh. We must come out of the sea of flesh.

Help Me Jump Into The Boat

As I considered what God was giving me I began to ask and plead with God “help me jump into the boat”, and “teach me to jump into the boat”, realizing my inability to reach the places and walk in the Spirit that I saw scripturally in the early church.

It was an encouragement, or fleece, to me to then see, out of the blue, a network news program showing Asian Carp jumping into boats on the upper Mississippi River.

Do We Have A Joshua Or Moses Attitude?

After a month or two I reconsidered what I had seen on the news, and remembered that the fishermen were rushing around trying to catch the large carp that had jumped in their boats and throw them back into the river. After all they were just carp!

How much of that has occurred in the church over the past century, as those who began experiencing the fullness of the Spirit were thrown back or hindered by church leadership as not worthy or prepared? It brought to remembrance the concerns Joshua had in Numbers chapter 11 when Eldad and Medad prophesied in the camp.

Numbers 11: 27, 28  And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.

Joshua, the servant of Moses, becomes concerned that individuals are being seen in Moses position. The response of Moses, the meekest servant of God, is an example the church must achieve;

Numbers 11: 29  And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!

While the church must be vigilant to assure that people’s actions and words are scriptural and led of God, we should never be a hindrance to God’s moving in an individual’s life. Another good Biblical example of this is Ruth the Moabitess. Deuteronomy 23:3 and Nehemiah 13:1 record that the Moabite shall not enter into the congregation to their tenth generation, but Ruth is in the lineage of Jesus! How is this possible? In Ruth 1:15-17 it records the decision and total commitment Ruth made that “… thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God …” even to death. At that point Ruth was no longer a Moabite, but spiritually a Jew – she had come out of the sin of her physical people, and received in the spiritual.

How Can We Jump Into The Boat?

As I have studied this God is giving me an understanding of our need to return to repentance. We need to make the total commitment of Ruth, and stop reserving iniquity or withholding obedience. Those iniquities that we did not give up at salvation will prevent us from reaching the fullness of the Spirit, as noted previously in I Corinthians 1: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. All of the issues of the flesh noted previously will stop or hinder our continued walk in God. There can be no agreement between the Spirit and the flesh. This is especially well noted in Galatians chapter 5;

Galatians 5: 16, 17  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

As time went on I realized I was asking God for a crutch, or an easy way out. “Jumping into the boat” only opens a new set of problems. Boats can be easily sunk by wind, storms, waves, tsunami, glaciers, whales, etc. Jesus walking on the water (The Master’s Walk) was a spiritual example of where God wants us, moving on the face of the waters (sea of flesh) with Him. I believe Jesus only got in the boat because the disciples did not have enough faith to get out of it! Oh, Lord let me find your easy yoke, and not what appears to be an easy way to the flesh. God gave the prayer of Psalm 69 for this need of coming out of the sea of flesh;

Psalm 69:13 – 16  But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God. In the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me. Hear me, O Lord; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.

If we are in Him, God will deliver according to Psalm 18;

Psalm 18:15 – 17  Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me.

As with the apostle Paul (II Corinthians 12:9), He will be strength for us in our times of weakness.

Spiritual Parallels

Let us now sidestep for a moment into the spiritual realm of God, where there is complete agreement;

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.

In a court of law greater weight is given to the record than the witness. These verses speak of total unity in both. The Father, the Word (Jesus), and the Holy Ghost are in perfect unity. Yes they may each be described differently in scripture (with a small sample following). God the Father is omniscient (I Kings 8:39, Job 38 – 41), omnipresent (Psalm 139:7 – 12), and omnipotent (Revelation 19:6). God the Word (Jesus) is the author of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), the author of our salvation (Hebrews 5:9), our advocate with the Father (I John 2:1), and our redeemer (Isaiah 49:26, Galatians 3:13, 14). God the Holy Spirit is our teacher (John 14:26), our comforter (John 14:16 – 18), and our power (Acts 1:8, I Thessalonians 1:5). They have such unity that the scripture says they are one. This is the reason the previously discussed scriptures in II Corinthians 6 spend so much time telling us not to be unequally yoked. Our flesh will hinder or prevent spiritual agreement in our lives.

Jesus said in John 3:3  …” Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Let’s look at the physical birth for a moment. From conception we remain in water in the womb until we come to the birth. We then pass through the blood at birth, and take the breath of life in the physical. So it is in being born spiritually; we must come out of the water (sea of flesh), pass through the blood of Jesus that atones for our sin, and breathe in the spirit. That is the only way the agreement of I John 5: 8 will truly work in spirit, as the waters we are in cannot be defiled. We must come out of the sea of flesh!

What could it mean to come out of the sea of flesh? While God will reveal this to each of us as we allow Him to, let us look at several examples. The first is the example of Isaiah in Isaiah chapter 6. In verses 1 through 4, Isaiah sees a tremendous vision of the Lord (John 12: 35 – 41 confirms it is Jesus);

Isaiah 6:1 – 4  In the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

If an individual saw this vision today he would be invited to churches all over, and probably hit the Christian talk show circuit. After all, he must be the “Man of God” if he was important enough to be shown this from God! His entire ministry could be based on this, and prosperity or fortune sought. I have capitalized the M in “man of God” to emphasize the exalting that goes on today. What we are is the filth and degradation we were before God changed us – all the Glory is His, and we cannot touch it.

However, Isaiah is not exalted over the vision, but becomes smaller, realizing his personal failed condition, as well as that of the people;

Isaiah 6: 5  Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the lord of hosts.

By his words …Woe is me … it is apparent he realizes he cannot fix his condition. Although Isaiah is a prophet of the Lord and is already seeing amazing visions from God he now recognizes, considers, and speaks the problems in his life. God does not leave him in this condition;

Isaiah 6: 6, 7  Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

(This scripture brings us to a question that is frequently asked, seldom answered, and not understood; what is the difference between the iniquity taken away from Isaiah and the sin purged? We all have a desire to go to heaven, and are willing at salvation to have our past sins purged. However, the perversity and evil in our hearts remains unless we give it to be taken away. We can have iniquity in our hearts that we never succumb to the temptation of, but it is still there. No one else may see it manifested (shown) as sin, but it is there nevertheless. Iniquity is the perversity and propensity to sin that God says is passed from the fathers to the sons; while the sins are not. If your parent was an alcoholic/incontinent/abusive, an individual needs to consider if this is also their iniquity.)

It is in this cleansed condition that Isaiah is then able to receive a greater calling;

Isaiah 6: 8  Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

It is here that Isaiah is spiritually returned to his vision in verse 1; with Jesus on the throne of Isaiah’s heart, Jesus’ train, His glory and majesty, can fill Isaiah’s temple!

This is a perfect example of the meaning of the scriptures that say whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. In our flesh it seems a paradox, but it is a spiritual truth that the way up is always down. Humbleness, repentance, and obedience will lead us to a higher position spiritually with God. Additionally, as with Isaiah, when God calls us to “… come up higher”, there will frequently be things we must give up to go higher. This is similar to what the children of Israel were told;

          Exodus 23:29, 30  I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the        land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little         and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.

God delivers a new Christian from their past sin when they repent and accept Jesus as the savior of their soul. However, He does not immediately convict of everything. God brings them to a closer walk with Him little by little in dress, actions, thought, and word. Why do we think this process ends? Repentance should be a lifelong commitment, but we allow the enemy to defeat us with concerns of shame or rebuke, being more concerned with what man thinks than our walk with God (see John 12:42, 43). We also hold onto iniquities because of our fleshly desires. This leaves us building partitions or walls that leave us with a divided heart, or as Solomon, building our own house. We must come to a new place for repentance in our lives, as God calls. We should be constantly increasing in hearing and obedience, and God does not require more of you than you are capable of.

Luke 12:47,48  And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

The second example I wanted to discuss is also a good example of the difference between iniquity and sin. As I discussed this study with my Father-In-Law, he recounted to me an occurrence in his life. He had always had a problem with anger and was trying to overcome it after he got saved. He had an individual rail on him excessively, and he had never been one to allow this, always being quick to respond. In this instance he did not respond (it was not openly shown as sin), but afterwards he became madder and madder. He was so concerned with the anger that he went to the altar the next time he was at church and prayed it through. He said when he got up from the altar he felt as if someone had taken a scrub brush and scrubbed him clean on the inside!

God will take our iniquities, but only if we give them up. It is this need of deliverance or cleansing that is not being taught in churches today, and we do not see the fullness of the Spirit because of it. We are bound by what we can physically see as sin, but stopped from true sanctification by the continual battle in the flesh against iniquity. We frequently blame the enemy for repeated thoughts and temptations, when it is our failure to give the iniquity to God that is the problem! Until we overcome the fleshly battle, we cannot fully enter spiritual warfare.

Embrace the Warfare (Battle)

As previously noted, most of the church today has become complacent, and is not prepared for spiritual warfare. Paul exhorted Timothy to be a good soldier;

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.

How are you pleasing God, who chose you to be a soldier? We cannot, unless we come out of the sea of flesh, and cease to be entangled with the things of the flesh. Just as the old phrase says “there are no atheists in fox holes”, there are no TVs, no movies, no fleshly pleasures. This is the war within, as we yield to God’s control, and not our own.

When you take a secular job, what does your job consist of? Do you write your own job description, or set your own responsibilities? Do you refuse to do certain tasks for one reason or another? No, we do what our employer wants us to, or get fired and look for another job. We must learn to also obey God in everything;

Matthew 7:21 – 23  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

We must learn to hear and do the works of God. Rebellion, stubbornness, or simply disobedience is sin, and separate us from God. What is the example Jesus gave as He walked on earth?

John 8:28, 29  Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know 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.

The church needs a new “Pentecost” tarrying, but we are not prepared for it. We must come out of the sea of flesh, and return to repentance. From the example of the prophet Isaiah, this repentance/preparation is not first for the congregation, but for the ministers. If you see complacency in your life you may need to return to spiritual boot camp. As a soldier in boot camp is trained to shed excess flesh and gain muscle, so it is in the spirit. We must quit entangling ourselves with the affairs of life, shed the things of the flesh, and prepare to embrace the warfare.

Let us use another Old Testament example;

I Kings 18:30 – 39  And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name: And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.

Elijah was not responsible for the consuming fire, but was obedient to repair the altar that was broken down. Is the altar of your heart broken down? What have you allowed in your heart or life that is hindering your walk with God? Can you come out of the sea of flesh, and like Isaiah find a place of repentance that God can use you in a greater way? The glory was not in rebuilding the altar; the people did not see a physical manifestation of God.

Elijah was not responsible for the consuming fire, but was obedient to prepare the sacrifice. How have you sacrificed to be the man or woman of God? Are you walking in complacency due to things of the flesh? The glory was not in preparing the sacrifice; the people did not see a physical manifestation of God.

Elijah was not responsible for the consuming fire, but was prepared to glorify God with watering the sacrifice. Logic would not have us trying to start a fire with wet kindling; but Elijah heard from God, and obeyed God. Are we hearing and obeying the voice of God? How are we defeating pride, and giving God the glory for everything He uses us in? Can we find a place of humbleness, self-denial, prayer, and worshipping and acknowledging God for who He is? The glory was not in watering the sacrifice; the people did not see a physical manifestation of God.

Elijah was not responsible for the consuming fire, but was obedient to pray “… at the time…” and acknowledge God; acknowledge that he was God’s servant; and acknowledge that all the things he had done were at God’s word. Nothing was done at Elijah’s will, and he readily gives God the honour for it. Are we truly hearing the voice of God, obeying it, and honouring Him for it? With Elijah obeying God, but out of the limelight or glory, God answered.

The people had spent most of the day looking for a manifestation of who the true God was. This occurred when “… the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, …” The manifestation and the glory were in the consuming fire, and the people then truly recognized God, and fell on their faces. If we can find the total obedience and servanthood of Elijah, hearing and doing the things God calls us to, the fire of the Holy Ghost will fall in our lives. Elijah was not exalted, and did not touch the glory, but we see in the next verse that as Elijah continued in the warfare, the people then followed the servant of God.

I Kings 18:40  And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

Elijah’s response and actions here are an excellent example of the verse included above from II Corinthians;

II Corinthians 10:6  And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

With the people returned to God, Elijah is quick to revenge their disobedience, when their obedience was fulfilled. This is necessary to keep us from returning to the bondage we were delivered from. God has given me a hatred of the sin I used to love, to the point where my teeth grind when encountering those sins. Whether it is the Isaiah feeling of cleanness we receive at salvation, or the scrubbed clean feeling inside of giving up an iniquity, or the hatred of sin, we did not receive these of self. This is only God given, and only if we will receive it with each disobedience that we give up. We need to give up all, not in a partial or diminished measure, to receive and continue a walk of victory in God (The Master’s Walk).

We are frequently exhorted with Romans 12:1 and 2 to change our walk, but very seldom do we consider the verses before and after with them;

Romans 11:36 – 12:3  For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 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. 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.

So we see that … of him, and to him, and through him, are all things. And it is because of this that the word says “… to whom be glory for ever.” God is our answer and sufficiency in all things. We know that our righteousness is as filthy rags, so it is only “… by the mercies of God …” that we can become the living sacrifice. The words “living” and “sacrifice” are a contrast in terms, because the sacrifice is always killed. In order to be the living sacrifice we must allow Him to crucify the flesh continually. When we truly realize that it is only through Him and His sufficiency, we should have no issue with thinking too highly of ourselves!

It does not seem too glamorous to say our battle position is lifeguard, pulling men out of the sea of flesh, or even a fisherman;

Matthew 4:19  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

It is a sad commentary on the church today that it is bound in the sea of flesh. Too often we are just playing catch with a life saver, that round, donut-shaped, flotation device. We cannot pull them out, and they cannot pull us out, if we both are in the sea of flesh ourselves. It is not total deliverance if we are left in our prior condition, but with a flotation device. We must come out of the sea of flesh.

In addition, we often fish at random, trying to find “where they’re biting”. We need to fish where there are fish;

John 21:5, 6  Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.

We need to fish where God tells us to; He knows the fish He wants us to catch. It doesn’t matter if we are sent to only one Ethiopian eunuch as Philip was (Acts 8:26 – 40), or to a city of 120,000 as Jonah was. Jonah ran from his calling, and instead of catching a whopper, the whopper caught him; God still sent him to Nineveh and they repented in sack cloth and ashes.

God will also prepare and equip us if we allow him to. In the first instance that Jesus told Peter, James, and John where to fish their net brake (Luke 5:4 – 10), but in this instance, after spending three and a half years with Jesus, their equipment did not fail;

John 21:10, 11  Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all that there were so many, yet was not the net broken.

Fishing as an occupation must be learned or you could starve to death. With Jesus the learning curve can be made short. We must learn to hear and obey, and our learning and equipping will occur through the Word of God (Jesus).

Our Weapon; The Word Of God

After establishing the spiritual warfare in verse 12 of Ephesians Chapter 6, Paul exhorts to put on spiritual armour, and in the last part of verse 17 provides our spiritual weapon; “… and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” Jesus told the disciples to take up the sword, and we need to as well.

Smith Wigglesworth said there were four principles we need to maintain; 1. Read the Word of God, 2. Consume the Word of God until it consumes you, 3. Believe the Word of God, and 4. Act on the Word of God. After reading his principles, I frequently wondered what the Word of God “consuming” you meant. I knew the Word says God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). Jeremiah speaks of a fire he could not stop;

Jeremiah 20:9  Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

As I pondered being consumed by the Word, I did not realize “I” was not yet prepared to receive that. I had too many things preventing me from understanding it.

As previously noted, the natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit;

I Corinthians 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

We were each that natural man, and had no means to change our condition, except the Father draw us, and we were born again. Then and only then can we receive, and we should be greatly humbled, and rejoice and worship God for the things that are freely given us;

! Corinthians 2:12, 13  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

To the depth that we remain in the flesh we will be unable to receive the things of the Spirit;

Romans 8:5 – 8  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 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.

There is also then the reverse of how dark it becomes as you go deeper in the sea; as you come out of the depths it will get lighter, and your spiritual vision will increase or return. However, it is not just a matter of reading the Bible, but also studying it;

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.

We also need to ask the Spirit to reveal it to us. The word must be quickened to our spirit;

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.

The anointed word of God is for the Day, Hour, and specific church or individual. God did not say the same thing to all seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3. If the word is given at the wrong time, or to the wrong people, it will not have its intended effect.

          Proverbs 25:11  A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

When we come out of the sea of flesh we must hear and obey God; and God provides our spiritual sustenance;

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.

Let us consider the physical example of the manna provided to the children of Israel;

Exodus 16:14 – 16  And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat. This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.

Exodus 16: 19, 20  And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.

The spiritual example for us is that God wants us in his word daily, and God does not feed his children with leftovers. The word (sustenance) He provides is to be collected every day, and studied (eaten) that day. Absent the leading of the Spirit, a misinterpreted word can also hinder our receiving (breed worms and stink).

I experienced some of this as I wrote the Sea of Flesh. When God would open a scripture to me I would scribble down notes of what He had provided. I would then store the notes in a stack with the others I had written, waiting for God to order the words. God let me know I was not waiting on Him, but I was to write it as He led. When I returned to my notes I frequently had to seek Him to regain/open the anointed word He had given.

Magazines used to have small pieces of paper that if you scratched it would let you smell a sample fragrance. The church today is trying to live with a “scratch and sniff” anointing. They want to come into the services, hear an anointed word, rejoice, and then return to their walk in the flesh. God does not intend this to suffice. We are spiritually starving ourselves if we do not follow the example He has given, and get in His word every day.

John 6:48 – 51  I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

The fathers ate of the physical manna and are dead. We have the word, the bread of life, if we will receive it; not in the letter of the written word, but in the spirit of the word, as the Spirit gives us the knowledge of it.

John 6:53 – 58  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

Jesus is the bread of life, and the sustenance God has provided. We need to eat of it every day. The Word is Truth (John 17:17), Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6); Jesus is the Word (John 1:1 – 5, 14). These can be used interchangeably, and can become so spiritually awesome to you that the Word, the Truth, and Jesus consume or possess you! Oh, to be possessed in this way! This cannot fully occur while the flesh, or things of the world, consumes you.

It is told of Smith Wigglesworth that he was opening his home to Lester Sumrall, who was carrying a newspaper. At the door of Smith’s house, Smith said “Throw it away! Throw it away!  You can’t come in here, you can’t come in here!” He did not condemn or berate Sumrall for having the newspaper, but he said it was full of lies, and only truth would be part of Smith Wigglesworth’s life. He, and by his choice his home, were consumed by the Word of God! We need to reach the level of holiness that we can hear what God has called us to. However, we cannot hold our wife, our children or others to the standard or call God has specifically given us. God will call them to His purpose as well; your calling will only create strife.

As noted previously, Revelation 2:11 promises that those who overcome will eat of the hidden manna. Paul spoke of having limited knowledge that would be made complete;

I Corinthians 13:9 – 12  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

God has blessed us with spiritual blessings in His Word, opening to us an ability (through Him) to act, speak, and do the things that please Him. Yet Paul speaks of the promise of an even greater knowledge and blessing God has for us in eternity. Do you desire to eat the hidden manna?

Continuing the Warfare (Battle)

We will never reach a point in this life where we have arrived and can quit the Spiritual warfare. Paul acknowledged this;

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 unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Forget your past failures, and the successes that are not your own; look forward to what God has before you, and always have respect unto the recompence of the reward;

Galatians 6:7 – 9  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Have you become weary in your walk with Jesus? Hebrews Chapter 4 speaks of the rest that was available, yet rejected of the children of Israel by unbelief. Hebrews then speaks of our promised rest;

Hebrews 4:9, 10  There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

When God ceased from His perfect work He rested the seventh day. He also provided a rest for us if we come out of the sea of flesh and cease from our own filthy works. All of the struggle can be given up and true rest entered into if we yield and let Him pull us out of the sea of flesh. This will give us the ability, as Paul, to die daily;

I Corinthians 15:31  I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

We read “die daily” and struggle with how to do it – we don’t have to! When we reach the ability to yield to God and die daily to self we will find an easy walk with Jesus, and enter into His rest;

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.

Do you remember the load that was lifted off you when you repented and gave your heart to Jesus? There remaineth a further rest in Jesus if we will only learn of Him. If we are to be Christ-like we must also, through the Spirit, be meek and lowly in heart.

Why do we walk as though we have already learned everything about Jesus? The Apostle Paul, for all the faith, miracles, healings – operating in all the gifts of the Spirit, records a desire to know Him more;

Philippians 3:10  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death;

Paul not only expresses that desire to know Him more, Paul also, despite all the miracles and healings, expresses a desire to know the power of His resurrection. Despite all the beatings, the stoning, the imprisonments, the ship wrecks, and the trials, Paul expresses a desire to know the fellowship of His sufferings. These things motivated Paul to a continuing walk in the Spirit. We need this same motivation; come out of the sea of flesh and receive!

While most of us remain on the slow path of internal warfare against the flesh, if we can fully and humbly submit to God’s will, control, and sufficiency we will find the path to complete victory He intends for us.

Ultimate Victory

Have you ever tried to mix oil and water? Stirring, shaking, even blending will not work; the oil and water will separate again with the oil on top. So it is with the Spirit and flesh. We struggle with a constant conflict in our members due to this daily battle between spirit and flesh. That is why the word speaks of crucifying the flesh, or dying daily. Most of us are on this continual path of struggle against the flesh to attain the things of the Spirit.

But an ultimate victory is possible; coming out of the sea of flesh, with humbleness, prayer, supplication, and complete and total yielding to God will bring you past that battle, and allow Him to equip you for Spiritual warfare. If you can receive it and remain a servant, not having your own fleshly walk, He will bring you past the struggle.

After receiving an understanding of the sea of flesh, you will get a new understanding of the following scripture in Habakkuk;

Habakkuk 3:8  Was the Lord displeased against the rivers? was thine anger against the rivers? was thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thine horses and thy chariots of salvation?

Before hearing of the sea of flesh, did you wonder why God had anger against the rivers, or wrath against the sea? Why would He need “… chariots of salvation …” against the sea? God is opening His word in these last days. Please read Habakkuk 3 again and ask God to open it to you. Verse 15 says;

Habakkuk 3:15  Thou didst walk through the sea with thine horses, through the heap of great waters.

The Lord does not go into the sea in this scripture, but through the parted waters, as a heap. Similarly, as Moses led the children of Israel through the heaps of waters at the Red Sea, the Spirit will lead you through the heaps of the sea of flesh. If only we can find this walk, we will truly find the place where nothing hinders or defeats us, and we will walk in high places, as Habakkuk notes;

Habakkuk 3:17 – 19  Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

God is calling you to these high places in Him. What will you yield or give up to receive them? God’s mercy and grace are enduring and uplifting if we will seek Him.

Spiritual Buoyancy

Buoyancy is the physical 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 principle applies to both floating and submerged objects. It explains not only the buoyancy of ships and other vessels in water but also the rise of a balloon in the air and the apparent loss of weight of objects underwater. For example, if a one cubic foot piece of rock that weighs 150 pounds is placed in water (62.4 pounds per cubic foot), it would displace one cubic foot of water, and would seem to weigh 87.6 pounds (150 – 62.4) underwater. To find whether an object will actually float in a given fluid, both weight and volume must be considered; that is, the relative density, or weight per unit of volume, of the body compared to the fluid determines the buoyant force. If the body is less dense than the fluid it will float. For instance, while the steel in the hull of a ship is much denser than water, we must also consider the volume of air contained within the hull. If this average density is lighter than water it floats. If the body is denser than the fluid, it will sink. Have you ever filled something with rocks so it will submerge? Also, have you ever tried to move a heavy object underwater? It seems much lighter than it actually is. 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, there is a spiritual buoyancy. We can look at a person and say that they have become so wicked they could never be saved; the depths of sin they have reached are far too great for them to come out of. Their sin is figuratively the rocks that made their vessel sink. But Almighty God has provided the buoyancy of spirit that increases with the added weights and sin. God has provided that force or tendency to spiritually float in each of us. We must seek God to lift the individual 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 difficult, no it is impossible, in the physical to lift them out of the sea. The church today has stopped at this point of lifting souls to shallow water, apparently thinking that having less weight and sin is enough.

It is only in and through Jesus that they can 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. This removing of sin is the feeling of cleanness, the lifting of weights or burdens, and the spiritual difference an individual feels at true salvation. Their relative spiritual density 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!

Let us consider a scriptural example of this spiritual buoyancy;

Acts 26:24 – 28  And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. But he said, I am not mad, most notable Festus; bur speak forth the words of truth and soberness. For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

With the Holy Ghost discernment that was on Paul, he can state of Agrippa I know that thou believest. The words of truth spoken by Paul had raised King Agrippa to the point of making a decision; but Paul does not have the ability to lift him out of the sea of flesh: Agrippa had to choose the way, Jesus, to come out of the sea, and did not. We see that conviction also was on Festus by his loud rejection. Paul then spoke by the Spirit of that spiritual lifting by the anointing of God being available to all that were around him;

Acts 26:29  And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except for these bonds.

We can also see this previously in Felix;

Acts 24:24, 25  And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.

Felix has been lifted to the point of decision, and rather than rejection, delays the decision by saying not now. For examples of making positive decisions we could look at the 3000 souls on the Day of Pentecost; ... what shall we do? Or we could look at Paul on the road to Damascus. But let us look again at an Old Testament example; in Isaiah 6:1 – 4 Isaiah sees a tremendous vision of the Lord Jesus and His glory, and is lifted to the point of repentance;

Isaiah 6:5  Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.

While the Jews of that day had to rely on their sins being rolled back each year by the atonement, looking forward in time to the promise to come, Isaiah receives probably the first true, full, redemption;

Isaiah 6:6, 7  Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

In the Old Testament the altar was the place of burning the sin sacrifice, and spiritually we should remember that our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). With his vision of the Lord Jesus (… for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts), spiritual buoyancy brings Isaiah to full repentance; he then received the purging and removal of the sin and iniquity. The church today must realize that our God given purpose and obligation is to lift souls through spiritual buoyancy from the depths of sin, and hardness of heart, from the sea of flesh; so that they can be reached for and by Jesus. But the redemptive work is only in God, who will instantly burn out the sin, and remove the weights if they truly repent.

We could move on to many other spiritual parallels of physical laws from this point; for instance the burning of water creates steam, with its lighter weight, and the greater power possibilities through steam pressure. But God is not calling us to try to figure it all out, or think through the spiritual possibilities to the extent of these parallels of physical things; we are to only understand the limitless power and possibilities with the Almighty God, and allow Him to work through us the power of the Holy Ghost!

How Big Is Your God?

And

God Created The Heavens

How many have heard the phrase “My God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and counted it as a level of the wealth of God? How many have been told God doesn’t do those things (insert the item of your choosing) any more, and accepted it? We limit God and our faith when, in our heart, we limit His abilities in any way. Many have a belief that heaven is the “place” God lives. This belief reduces the glory and greatness of Almighty God. For you to have faith to move mountains, you must truly believe God is big enough to move mountains. (Psalm 50:10 includes God saying He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. It is only one of several things He mentioned, ending with … the world is mine, and the fullness thereof. The word cattle does not refer to just domesticated animals if you research the original Hebrew word (Strong’s number 929), and is also translated beast. The Hebrew word used here as hills (Strong’s number 2042) is also translated mountain.)

To better understand how big God is we need to know the omnipresence of God; Solomon said it well when praying at the temple;

 

II Chronicles 6:18  But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!

Understand that heaven cannot contain God! God is bigger than heaven! The prophet Jeremiah spoke the words of God regarding his omnipresence, and also his omniscience;

Jeremiah 23:23, 24  Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.

You cannot hide from God, and God says He fills heaven and earth; God sees everything, and God is everywhere! The apostle Paul stated to the Athenians this very thing;

Acts 17:27, 28  That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Paul acknowledges that we are in God at all times, knowing that He fills heaven and earth. Isaiah 57:15 begins For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity … God inhabits eternity, and does not know time as we do. The things that we see physically are all time related; time is finite, restricted, bound, or limited. Man’s lifespan is about 70 years. There are often things that must be done in a certain time or the opportunity is lost. An object can occupy a location for a while, and then be replaced with something else; this is the dimension of “time”. Whether scientists believe in the Big Bang Theory or not, they generally all believe the universe had a beginning in time, and is also expanding in area. From Genesis we know the beginning of the universe;

            Genesis 1:1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

God was not in heaven, as if it were His home, but He created it. It had a beginning in time, and space. Additionally, we are told that God stretched out the heavens;

Isaiah 42:5  Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it, he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:

Long before science had the ability to tell us that the universe was expanding, God was telling his servants that He stretched out or spread the heavens (see also Job 9:8, Psalm 104:2, Isaiah 44:24 and 45:12, Jeremiah 10:12 and 51:15, Zechariah 12:1)! I love the word stretched, since it speaks of being outside of the object! Therefore, despite the vastness of space that we do not fully comprehend, the universe is finite in area! But God is on the outside of it stretching it out! As Jesus told the disciples of things to come, He also told us that Heaven and earth shall pass away;

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

As there was a beginning, there will be an end of the things that we see and know. We are further reminded by the Apostle John of God’s eternal existence, of the things God created, and then told that time itself will end;

Revelation 10:5 – 7  And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

God is not bound by time or space, but inhabits eternity! Can you see that God is not in the universe, but the universe is in God?! God is infinite! While preparing How Big Is Your God, God spoke to me the word pervasive. This was unsure, due to other “perv” words with bad meanings, but a dictionary definition was immediately sought. Pervasive means existing in, or spreading through, every part of something. Ephesians 4:6 speaks of God being in all;

Ephesians 4:4 – 6  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

God is not pervasive in something, but in everything! Pervasive describes God’s presence well. Not recalling the word pervasive as being from the Bible, it was checked, and the dictionary said the word dated to about 1750 in English, which is after the King James Bible was written. In fact, since He is beyond time and space, a bigger, better word than pervasive should be created! That is how God can speak of things that have not happened in time yet, He sees it all at once;

Isaiah 46: 9, 10  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:

Now let us consider the love of God;

I John 4:8  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

If God is love, and God is pervasive in heaven and earth, the love of God is pervasive! It is everywhere and in all things! Please get a different understanding then of the following scripture;

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.

Since the love of God is everywhere, you cannot be separated from it! And that love is in Christ Jesus! If we could only understand this! That is how the apostle Paul could say that the love of God passes knowledge;

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 fullness of God.

When first reading this scripture after God showed me His love was pervasive, the immensity of His love was so awesome that the full depth of these scriptures was not seen. By faith Christ can dwell in our hearts; we are then immediately rooted and grounded in love by His presence. As we begin to comprehend and know His love, which we will never have a full knowledge of, we … might be filled with all the fullness of God. To be filled with the fullness of God we must begin with faith; and then the more rooted and grounded in love we become the more we can be filled with His fullness! Let the desire of your heart be to know His love.

I had been studying on the Spirit, mainly in chapters 14 through 17 of John, where Jesus was teaching and preparing the disciples of things to come. While thinking on the “puzzle” of my walk, “I” considered the times in the past where “I” heard the minister preach of things that could hinder your walk with God, and the despair in knowing “I” could not give it up (the Super Bowl was a good example). “I” wondered how to now reach out to people facing that same circumstance, and God said You cannot now bear it. I immediately knew it was scripture, and began searching to find it. Was it Paul’s writing? It was amazing to find it in the chapters “I” had been studying;

John 16:12  I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

While the Apostles had been with Jesus through years of His ministry, seeing and doing miracles, seeing Jesus faith in action, His righteousness, His love, and His glory, He was telling them that there were many things He needed to say to them, but they could not bear them then. The Spirit of truth will provide the guidance we need if we can hear;

John 16:13  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Our greatest problem today is we do not hear the Spirit due to the things of the flesh that consume our time. This leaves us in a condition of not being able to bear many things Jesus would have us know. While the Apostles may not have had the same bombarding of temptations and the time eaters of sports, television, movies, jobs, shopping, eating, and reading that are present today, as a result they had more time for ministering. We are starting out far behind in this race, and must catch up. As we face the things we cannot now bear, we need to realize that the love of God is always there for us. The love of God was there when we were yet sinners;

Romans 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Walk in the knowledge of His love, and ask God to give you grace for the walk. Begin to give up the things you can bear; hear and obey, God will bless and keep you in your walk. Do not let the enemy condemn you or stop you from repenting or seeking God. The enemy will attack you for the things you have not been able to change, trying to defeat you by convincing you that your failure is final. Your sin is only final when God says so;

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

God sees your heart, and scripture tells us His mercy endures forever. Not just in the times of attack from the enemy, but always remember that Jesus is your advocate;

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.

The word translated advocate here is the Greek word parakletos. It is also translated as the Comforter when used by Jesus in John chapters 14 through 16. The word means intercessor and consoler. Jesus is interceding for us with the Father, and has sent the Spirit to console and guide us personally. We also know from scripture that God is faithful, and will always provide a way for you;

I Corinthians 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able: but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Change what you can bear, yield what you can yield, and let God establish you in it. Then return to God for more that you can bear. God will change you such that friends and family do not understand;

I Peter 4:4  Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 

We are a generation with only minimal time for God, desiring our spirituality to be quick and painless. Stay on the continual path forward spiritually; hear and obey; when you stop or go back the snares will beset you. You are responsible for what you hear and know;

Luke 12:47, 48 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

The enemy may be attacking you even now, as you have read this scripture on your responsibility to the will of God; remember the love of God, and that you have an advocate with the Father. Do not listen to the enemy; if you are hearing the enemy, you will have greater difficulty hearing God.  Keep seeking God and repenting, so He may establish you. Over time we can grow in God, and allow God to so establish His love and mercy in us, that we can help others overcome;

Galatians 6:1, 2   Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

It is easy to also let the enemy convince you that you are doing well spiritually and don’t need church or fellowship at a certain time. That place of doing well spiritually is where God wants you, so you can meet the needs of others! Go and be a blessing and glory to God.

We saw above in Isaiah 42:5 that God gives spirit to those that walk in the earth. We touched briefly above on the Spirit, that God has also promised that He will give us;

Acts 2:16 – 18  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

We can see in the scriptures that speak of the gifts of the Spirit (I Corinthians 12:4 – 13), that … all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. We can see then that the Spirit is also pervasive in the church of God! If you cannot feel, hear, or see the things of the Spirit you need to check where you are at. We can also see again … it is the same God which worketh all in all. We understand inventor’s rights (patent), or property rights, but God has Creator’s rights, or ownership of it all;

Deuteronomy 10:14  Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.

Isaiah 66:1  THUS saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? And where is the place of my rest?

If heaven is only His throne, and earth His footstool, how big is God? Stop limiting your faith with the things you have heard of man; God has included specific scriptures in the Word to tell us of His love, His omnipresence, His omniscience, and His omnipotence. Accept this truth in faith, and yield to Him; your walk will be in exceeding abundance.

We have seen that God encompasses everything, that God knows everything, that we cannot hide from God, and that we only have life, breath, and spirit by Him. How much greater should we have awe and fear of Him? And yet, He is preparing a place for us if we choose Him;

Isaiah 66:22 – 24  For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Where will you choose to abide of the choices in the above scripture? You will never be able to avoid the God who encompasses it all; choose life. How big is your God? When you gain an understanding in heart of the true omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, and love of God that the above verses show you, that is how big your faith can become. That faith will be rooted and grounded in love, that you may be filled with His fullness. Seek His face, and find an abiding, overcoming walk of faith!

MISPLACED GRACE

Where has the grace of God to serve gone? Why have we so quickly misplaced, or failed to receive, the free gift of the grace of God He has for us? The church today is not seeing the miracles, healings, and spiritual gifts God has for us because we have limited the grace of God to only salvation. The following verse tells us of the early church that … great grace was upon them all;

Acts 4:33  And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

How often have you read the epistles and mistakenly considered that the request for grace to the church at the start of the epistles contained a mere greeting? Consider Romans 1:7, I Corinthians 1:3-8, II Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, Philippians 1:2, Colossians 1:2, I Thessalonians 1:1, II Thessalonians 1:2, I Timothy 1:2, II Timothy 1:2, Titus 1:4, Philemon 1:3, Hebrews 4:16, I Peter 1:2, II Peter 1:2, II John 1:3, and Revelation 1:4. In each of these the Apostles seek for grace to be given to each recipient of the epistle. An almost equal list can be found at the end of each of these epistles seeking grace be upon them. These epistles are written to churches or individuals who have walked with God, and are not calls to salvation. It is true that grace came by Jesus;

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

But where in this scripture does it limit the gift of grace to only reconciling us to the Father? In fact the Word says of Jesus as a child;

Luke 1:80  And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

Jesus had no need of salvation, but the Word says the grace of God was upon Him! There is grace for all spiritual needs, if we will seek Him for it. Let us take an opportunity to look at the gifts of grace in the GRACE TO section.

GRACE TO …

Save

Grace to save through faith in Jesus is the accepted purpose of grace to the church today. Several scriptures can, of course, be used to establish this, including;

Ephesians 2:8, 9  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

When there was a dispute among the early church as to whether the Gentiles must be circumcised and keep the law, Peter expounded the following;

Acts 15:11  But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

Paul then expounds as to how death came upon man, and that the grace by Jesus abounds to life;

Romans 5:13 – 17  (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one unto condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

Romans 5:20, 21  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Grace to save is the greatest miracle in our lives, but grace does not end there. Please note the gift of righteousness above, which will allow grace to reign, as you consider each of the additional graces.

Deliver/Heal

We each know what was in us, resulting in our failures and bondage to sin. After we have come to a saving faith in Jesus, where do we now get the deliverance from the sin we once yielded to? We know from Isaiah 53:5 that … with his stripes we are healed, but what part does grace have? We need to come to the throne of grace to be delivered;

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.

God will not only help in time of need, he will build us up, and prepare us for an inheritance;

Acts 20:32  And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them that are sanctified.

His grace building us up will prepare us to be delivered and overcome in the trials we will face.

Overcome

Knowing that our righteousness is as filthy rags, how can we serve God acceptably, or be blameless? Our overcoming is by His grace extended to us;

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.

I Corinthians 1:4 – 8   I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace for speaking, grace for knowledge, and grace for the testimony of Jesus are freely yours, that you may be blameless. Beware of the enemy, that you are not found without grace, and can overcome;

I Peter 5:8 – 10  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Know that the enemy will persecute, but regardless of what the enemy tries to afflict you with, the grace of God can … make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. It is by this preparation that He brings you to His calling.

Minister

In Paul’s first epistle to Timothy he acknowledges that his ministry is through Christ Jesus and the abundance of grace;

I Timothy 1:12 – 14  And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

The grace of God made Paul spiritually a wise masterbuilder;

I Corinthians 3:10  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

You must take heed, be vigilant, and be seeking the grace of God to effectively build for God. Paul also acknowledges in the following scripture that … I am what I am … by the grace of God;

I Corinthians 15:10  But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Paul acknowledges in these scriptures that he had become an apostle only by the grace of God. We know Paul was abundant in working for the Lord; in travels, in preaching, in power, in writing. Yet when Paul states that he laboured more abundantly than all the other apostles, he humbly notes it was not of himself, but by the grace of God which was with me. With his knowledge of this, and just before Paul tells Timothy to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ, he begins by exhorting Timothy to be strong in grace;

II Timothy 2:1  Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

This availability of grace is lacking in ministers today because they do not understand the depth of this grace, do not seek it, and do not receive after the due order. Paul humbly gives the glory to God, and this humbling of self must be present to walk in his grace;

James 4:6  But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

I Peter 5:5, 6  Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

If you humble yourself in obedience to Him His grace can work through you. You need to recognize what He has done for you and give the glory to God. There can be nothing of reliance on self if you want the grace and full power of God to work in your ministry;

II Corinthians 12:9  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.

In whatever God calls you to, seek his grace for sufficiency for the task. Scripture provides that by the grace given to us will we find our gifts;

Romans 12:6 – 8  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

Ask For Grace

The Apostles sought at the beginning and end of their epistles for grace to be on those who read the epistle. We also know (II Timothy 3:16) that all scripture is given by inspiration of God. Therefore the Apostles were inspired of God to seek for that gift of grace for the reader! We each need to be seeking for the grace of God to be on us, and all those around us!

In reading II Corinthians 8, verses 1 – 6 speak of grace for giving. Verse 7 then speaks of abounding in many things, and exhorts to …abound in this grace also. By stating this grace also, it is apparent there is grace for each gift mentioned. Please consider the verse;

II Corinthians 8:7  Therefore as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.

There is grace for everything! There is grace for faith. There is grace for utterance and knowledge. There is grace for all diligence. There is grace for love. If we begin with requesting grace for … all diligence… we will go a long way to victory when we receive. For if we find diligence we will find the ability to receive for the other gifts of grace. If you have difficulty receiving these promises from this scripture, please consider the following verse from the ninth chapter;

II Corinthians 9:8  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you may have all sufficiency in all things, and may abound to every good work. Please seek and find this grace of humbly asking for these things to be given to you and your church. And we might find the promises and gifts freely available from God to each one;

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.

We focus on the sure promises of God in this scripture, but our walk and our victory is in the two small words at the end … by us. It is in total obedience and grace that we give Him glory.

TOTAL OBEDIENCE, OR IT IS DISOBEDIENCE

We recently reviewed the disobedience of David and the consequences of his sin in our Church. It has given us cause to look at what it takes to become a new man, and what it takes to remain a new man. In this case we will look first at King Saul;

I Samuel 10:1 – 6  Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance? When thou art departed from me to day, then thou shalt find two men by Rachel’s sepulchre in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say unto thee, The asses which thou wentest to seek are found: and, lo, thy father hath left the care of the asses, and sorroweth for you, saying, What shall I do for my son? Then shalt thou go on forward from thence, and thou shalt come to the plain of Tabor, and there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Bethel, one carrying three kids, and another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine: And they will salute thee, and give thee two loaves of bread; which thou shalt receive of their hands. After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy: And the spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.

Saul was chosen and blessed of God, but he had a set path he had to follow in obedience to become a new man. It was not his decision, nor was it in his control. In our spiritual parallel, the path is simple, and through Jesus, to be reconciled to God, and to be a new man;

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;

We also have a new beginning, a fresh slate, free from the guilt of our past. The word says we become a new creature. Saul then had instructions given to him to follow;

I Samuel 10:7, 8  And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee. And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down unto thee, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come to thee, and shew thee what thou shalt do.

These instructions were given to prepare him to receive further instructions! There is a preparing walk for us as well, leading us to the point where we can receive further instruction. The story of King Saul’s change is a great story, but one I had always avoided because of his later failures.  How could he be a good example? But I Corinthians 10:11 – 12 tell us that the things in the Old Testament happened not only for examples, but for our admonition. Alas, Saul failed to follow the instructions he was given;

I Samuel 13:7 – 14  And some of the Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him. And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.

As new Christians, and until recently, we did not understand why Saul was wrong when all he did was offer a sacrifice. But as we have grown spiritually we know now that we will never find God’s habitation in our place, in our way, or in our walk (more in a later message, But the High Places …); we must do it God’s way. With God’s ways and thoughts so far above ours (Isaiah 55:6 – 11), why do we choose to settle for less? It is because of our spiritual blindness, and our “hearing” the physical things of our flesh.

Saul had to obey to become the new man, and also had to obey to remain the new man. The truth and example and admonition for us is that we also must obey after God makes us a new creature. The path of sanctification is the way we remain a new creature. Failing to follow the path God gives us brings us to spiritual blindness and being spiritually deaf. Saul was given further instructions;

I Samuel 15:2 – 3  Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

But Saul could not “see” his failures, and so he also failed in this matter;

I Samuel 15:13 – 23  And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord. And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the Lord hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel? And the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord? And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

Besides the obvious example of disobedience we need to see three other things in these scriptures. First, from the phrase “ When thou wast little in thine own sight …” we see that pride has entered into Saul; pride will always set you up for a fall. Samuel reminds Saul that it was the Lord who anointed Him King. Never get lifted up in flesh by what God does in, or for, you, but give Him the glory. Secondly, Saul says they saved of the spoil to offer sacrifices “… unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal.” Saul is still trying to find atonement in the place of his past failure. Thirdly, the difference between Saul and David in their disobedience is that Saul’s response is about excuses and blame, and then sacrifice for it; David’s response is immediately repentance. It is frequently taught that there was a difference in their sins; their response when confronted shows the difference in heart, which God looks on. Isaiah spoke this path well;

Isaiah 1:16 – 20  Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

It would be really easy from here to find a revival message of repentance for the Church, but let us explore a bit further. God’s calling to us is not conditional;

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 have heard this verse in our ears, but have we heard it in heart? Have we obeyed it? Are we separating ourselves from the world? Can we spiritually see where we are walking? We cannot abide in a full spiritual walk without total obedience; we must hear and obey God. Compare to the Israelites when coming to the promised land;

Judges 2:1 – 5  And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you. And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this? Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you. And it came to pass, when the angel of the Lord spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept. And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there unto the Lord.

The Israelites had been given instructions that would have allowed them to remain in the walk with God that He intended, instead they let evil remain. What have we let remain? We may have taken the obvious out of our lives, but what about the things we see for entertainment? Are we listening to the enemy, as Eve did, when Satan says “You won’t die”? He uses it to blind and deafen you. Look only at the Ten Commandments, and see how often you watch them being broken. Do we see and get a different perspective of … spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12), or cleansing from filthiness of the spirit (II Corinthians 7:1)? The gods of Hollywood will lead you to lose rather than gain spirituality; we are told in Ephesians;

Ephesians 5:11 – 12  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

I had been working out of town, and was home on a recent Friday morning (trash day). My wife had left a note on the handle of the refrigerator “take out trash”. I was out of the habit, and she knew I would forget. How do we get so out of the habit spiritually? God had told Abraham that his seed would be oppressed 400 years and then be delivered. It was passed to Isaac, and to Jacob, and to Joseph (who told them they would go out of Egypt and slavery, and commanded them to take his bones with them). Yet when the time came, the people could not see for their bondage, their work, watering their crops like herbs; the leeks and garlick, and onions. They were out of the spiritual habit.

We are much the same today; Revival or Camp Meeting uplift us and open our eyes, then we go home and begin a gradual eroding of our spiritual walk. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. How would the church today compare to the church in Jesus day? Jesus told them they had to exceed the “church” of that day;

Matthew 5:20  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

When Jesus is speaking of the last days, he says;

Matthew 24:22  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

It will be so bad that even the elect could not overcome if those days continued! How much more do we need the preparing of obedience to overcome in these days? We must seek, hear, and obey the Lord, and separate ourselves from the flesh.

Let us go back and look at “… be ye separate …” a little closer. In Numbers 8:14 God gave commandment to separate the Levites to service. In Acts 13:2 God said “… Separate me Barnabas and Saul …” and then used them mightily. When Jacob and Moses (Genesis 49:26 and Deuteronomy 33:16) speak the blessing for the tribe of Joseph, he is blessed for being separate from his brothers. Joseph was able to deliver his brethren only because of his separation, and recognizes it spiritually! Joseph was also blessed for it.

The greatest example of separation, of course, is Jesus; and it records that separation well in Hebrews;

Hebrews 7:25 – 28  Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

Because of His separation from sin, Jesus could deliver us from our sin (disobedience).

Will you find total obedience to overcome, and to separate yourself, and deliver those God has called you to deliver? God is again calling the remnant that will do as He bids them.

VILE AFFECTIONS

As we live day by day, month by month, and year by year it is easy to miss the gradual changes that have occurred around us. The world is waxing worse and worse as sin abounds;

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

Wickedness has abounded so much that the church has abandoned the righteousness of God and is often accepting man’s moving standard of sin. Realizing that men are becoming worse, have you recognized the following?

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.

When in history has there been a time that these verses describe better than today? Everywhere there are people worshipping the earth and its creation more than God. While conservation and protection of the environment should be important, the extremes we see of valuing the earth more than people are misguided. For what some say is abuse to an animal we are sending people to prison, while unborn babies have been killed by the millions. In the name of the earth people are vandalizing, burning, and bombing; protesting to restore the earth to what they perceive to be its past glory. Many are calling for world population control by genocidal means. Because of this, the Word says God gave them up to uncleanness, and dishonouring their own bodies. Fornication, adultery, and all manner of excesses are rampant. Then, in verse 26, the Word says they were given to vile affections;

Romans 1:26  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

What are vile affections? The Greek word translated for vile is number 819 in the Strong’s concordance, atimia. It means infamy, i.e. comparative indignity, disgrace. The word for affections is number 3806 in the Strong’s, pathos, which means (properly) suffering, i.e. (subjectively) a passion (especially concupiscence). Thus it means infamous and disgraceful suffering and/or passion.

We also need to take a closer look at the meaning of the phrase “… women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:” The key English words, their numbers from the Strong’s concordance, the corresponding Greek words, and their definitions are shown in the table below. While each of these will give you a clearer understanding of the scripture, the emphasis here is on the word “against”.

   Key words from Romans 1:26;

          Change 3337, metallasso; to exchange

          Natural 5446, phusikos; “physical”, i.e. (by impl.) instinctive

Use 5540, chresis; employment, i.e. (spec.) sexual intercourse (as an occupation of the body)

Against 3844, para; prop. near, i.e. (with gen.) from beside (lit. or fig.) (with dat.) at (or in) the vicinity of (obj. or sub.), (with acc.) to the proximity with (local [espec. beyond or opposed to] or causal (on account of)

Nature 5449, phusis; growth, (by germination or expansion), i.e. (by impl.) natural production (lineal descent), by extens. A genus or sort, fig. native disposition, constitution or usage

In today’s world of sports and politics we see the word “against” and think opposite to. We have lost some of the definition; if we say “against the wall”, we mean as close as you can get to it. The Greek word para is predominately that meaning; it is more a synonym than an antonym. It means something is close to, or almost the same as, another thing; it is a close second. So in our scriptures the women changed the natural instinctive action into that which is close to it. We will not discuss what the many actions could be, because the Word of God says that it is a shame to even speak of them;

Ephesians 5:11 – 12  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

We will not, therefore, get into discussions of the possibilities, other than to say that the actions are so rampant today that the actions are no longer in secret. Because of the wickedness of these individuals (verse 28 later says they become reprobate), these actions have been accepted by the populace, and have even deceived some of the Godly, due to their lack of knowledge. It is the actions that are vile affections, or sin, and they will never be justified or excused by God, even in marriage. If you have not become reprobate, God will deliver you if you repent.

It doesn’t matter the reason; whether for birth control, or if the enemy has deceived you that those actions can let you remain pure, or if you have a fleshly lust; the actions are vile affections. If you have been involved in any vile affections, repent and let God deliver you. Teach your daughters that these actions are sin, and they should not do them. Start early with your sons teaching them righteousness and truth, or the world will deceive them in these actions.

Bill Clinton, a brilliant and well liked man in the worldly, in his fleshly lust and spiritual ignorance, did much despite unto the people, and especially to our youth. They have been told that only the natural is “sex”, somehow trying to justify away the sin. It would not have mattered if it was his wife, the action he was involved in still would have been a vile affection.

Sin did not stop there, but men used those vile affections to further pervert their ways;

Romans 1:27  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

“Likewise” in verse 27 means men used the actions of the women in verse 26. The verse literally says that men used those same actions of the women in verse 26 to become homosexuals. It does not work in reverse, as some say, and imply that the women in verse 26 are homosexuals. Let us try an example; I invested money; likewise Warren Buffet invested money and made billions; does it mean I am a billionaire? Of course it does not.

The verses do bring up an interesting point; as Adam followed Eve into sin, these men followed the lead of these women. Ladies, you have power you do not realize; strive to become a Godly woman, and see the lives you effect!

God has been leading me to even stop watching the news, but prior to that I recently saw a young contributor on a major Fox News program state that the younger generation was “enlightened” and tolerant about people’s personal choices. She has no clue that she is spiritually blind, and has been deceived by the enemy, Satan, to walk in sin and iniquity. We are losing an entire generation because, in the name of “political correctness”, we refused to stand against sin. Forty to fifty years ago the sodomy statutes were in force nearly everywhere; today many people do not know what a sodomite is. The discussions today about same-sex marriage are only occurring because we long ago have stopped calling vile affections and homosexuality the sin that they are.

You do not have to be, and should not be, militant to take a stand for truth. Send this paper to Christian friends; print this paper and post it somewhere anonymously; be prepared to give an answer when/if the matter comes up; let the truth be your guide when you vote (and not other reasons); love the individual, but hate the sin that the enemy has bound them in. The reprobate will be militant, and will fight you, but be a spiritual warrior and stand for the truth. Do not involve yourself in the worldly, earthly life, but seek to enter the spiritual, that you do not find yourself an enemy of God.

Of The Earth, Earthy

Genesis 1:1, 2  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

What a message there is in the two words “…God created …”! However, that is not the topic of this message, but the earth is. The word says the earth was without form and void; the meanings from the Hebrew words include; for form, to lie waste, desolate, a desert, a worthless thing, and for void, to be empty, a vacuity, an undistinguishable ruin.

In addition, the scripture says darkness was on the face of the deep. Too often today we associate “the deep” only with the sea; but how many of you have been in a cave or mine and experienced the darkness? Have you ever been in the darkness of a valley in the morning, with a mountain to the east, and wondered how long it would take the light to get over the mountain? The Bible tells us that the Egyptians experienced darkness that could be felt in the plagues.

In a spiritual parallel, you were the earth. You were without form and void; darkness was upon the face of your deep, your heart. Paul compares Adam to the earth in I Corinthians, and differentiates him from Jesus;

I Corinthians 15:47, 48  The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

Paul had gone further in comparing this difference in bodies;

I Corinthians 15:39, 40  All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

Man was bound in his condition; as the earth he remained earthy, and could not change to see, or experience, the glory of the heavenly or celestial. As the earth, you could not receive in that condition;

I Corinthians 2: 14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

I Corinthians 15:50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Just as the earth was, you spiritually were a desert; waste, desolate, worthless, and empty; life had no meaning, and you were helpless and without hope. But you were not worthless to God; He created you, and you are His;

Psalm 24:1  The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

So the spirit of God moved on you, as His spirit moved on the face of the physical earth, drawing you toward Him. Then God provided the light on the physical earth;

Genesis 1:3, 4  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

God also provided, and was, the light in the spiritual. And the light was shining on you, but in the darkness of your earth you still did not comprehend it;

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

The Word was in the beginning; Jesus is the Word, the life, the light, the truth, the only way. But as the scriptures said, the natural man could not receive, and could not comprehend the light. The Word says the earth was dry land; it could not produce of itself. But God again spoke;

Genesis 1:11  And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

In our waste, barren, condition in the natural we were the earth, and could not produce in the spiritual. But God provided a new beginning, and a way for us to produce. When scripture speaks of Jesus in Isaiah 53, He is then the firstfruit to our desert;

Isaiah 53:2  For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

The word translated ground in this scripture is the same Hebrew word used for earth in Genesis. The meaning of the word dry is; to parch, aridity, concretely a desert. We spiritually, the earth, were a desert; a root cannot grow out of dry ground without water, yet God provided The Way. Jesus can come into our heart as the Father draws us. If you can see your desert condition, repent of your sins, yield your life to Jesus and begin to receive in the spiritual. There is an immediate change that can transform you from darkness into light. But we need to go on from this point, for this message is to the church also.

Newness of Life

When you received Jesus in faith, and knew Him, God filled your emptiness with His Spirit, and gave you hope. You became a new creature;

II Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.

Then God began to form you, and shape you; He planted the Word in you, and began to expect you to be fruitful. The … root out of dry ground …will change you, as much as you allow Him to. When you receive Jesus, and obey Him, you will also begin to receive the things of the Spirit;

John 14:15 – 17  If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

And the Spirit of truth will teach and comfort you;

John 14:26, 27  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

The Comforter will testify, and also lead you to witness;

John 15:26, 27  But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

The Comforter will also convict, or reprove the world;

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 the Father and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

 The Spirit will also guide you, show things to come, and glorify Jesus;

John 16:13, 14  Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth , is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

All these things are available to us, so why are we failing spiritually?

Desert Places That Remain

All the above promise of the Spirit is available to you if you obey, and some may reach this point in their walk with God; but there is a greater walk that you are called to. Let us return to you, the earth. The physical earth has fruitful plains, rain forests, and yes, deserts. In the spiritual earth, you are the same. Even after you are saved you will have deserts in parts of your life, if you do not yield your iniquities to allow God to change them. Every part you hold back can remain empty and void until you give it to Him. That is how we can be puzzled at the great spirituality in an individual that is contrasted by his failures; you have seen his desert. We cannot be judgmental, for we have our desert places as well. Hearing and yielding to fleshly desires will allow these deserts to remain in you.

Do not concentrate on the areas in which you are flourishing, but recognize the areas where you fail and give them to God. When you truly give your iniquities to Him, and obey Him, God can then turn your desert into fruitfulness, and cause it to blossom, and your life will glorify God;

Isaiah 35:1, 2  The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.

Then the parts that are weak can be strengthened and changed (and the Comforter is available to us);

Isaiah 35: 3 – 7  Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

If we obey completely, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, can lead you to The way of holiness;

Isaiah 35:8 – 10 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

What is The way of holiness? Too often we do not understand or receive the difference between righteousness, holiness, and Godliness. In the Strong’s, the definition for righteousness (1343) is; equity (of character or act); specially Christian justification. We are to walk in righteousness, but we can still have failings due to our flesh. In that condition we cannot be fully holy. The Strong’s definition for holy (40) is; sacred (physically pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially consecrated). Perhaps it over-simplifies the definition, but holiness is righteousness to perfection. The path of righteousness is the way to holiness;

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 to righteousness unto holiness.

Why do we need to find holiness? You cannot see God without it;

Hebrews 12: 14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Why do we need to go beyond righteousness and find holiness? Because holiness is an attribute of God that we must have to show Godliness;

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.

Jesus carried that calling a step further;

Matthew 5:48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

We have all heard the excuses “nobody is perfect” or “only one person was perfect”; these are used to justify our failings. Jesus has told you to be perfect. Jesus perfection did not come without cost;

Hebrews 5:7 – 9  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.

These scriptures tell us that the man Jesus feared death as we do. He sought God effectually and fervently about it, and was heard. But though He was the Son, the child of promise, the heir of everything, He learned obedience and went to the cross for you and me. His obedience made Him perfect, and Jesus now is the author of our eternal salvation if we will now obey Him.

It is true that “I” cannot be perfect; our walk cannot be of self and our own wisdom or we will fail; our perfection is in obedience to God, and relying on His sufficiency. We are no longer on the path of do and don’t, but the path of humble obedience that leads to holiness and perfection;

Hebrews 6:1  THEREFORE leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

To be perfect we must follow Him, for He is always right;

Deuteronomy 32:4  He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

Hopefully we have gained a greater depth of understanding that the spiritual is not in the natural. The heavenly is not in, or of, the earthly. Therefore coming out of the sea of flesh will not be spiritual if we linger in the earthly. Most of us know our desert places; we will not get victory in the physical, or in self. Give your desert, your prodigal ways, to Jesus, and walk in dependence on His provision and sufficiency, and you will find overcoming!

THE FOUNTAIN OF TWO CALVES

There have been many sermons preached from the prodigal son story in Luke 15; many on the prodigal son, on his father, or on his unforgiving brother. But Brother David Owens preached tremendously on the fatted calf recently. The fatted calf had been prepared for the day of salvation – he was stalled, or kept in, and not allowed to roam free, run, and play. The fatted calf is dependent on its owner, and is fed of the best of the grain, and sufficient water is brought to it, to prepare it for the hour. A pastured calf can run and play, but relies on itself, and must be constantly foraging for its own grass, and going to find the water. Brother Owens preached that if we forsake the entertainment and playing of the world, and fill ourselves with the things of God we can be a “fatted calf” ready for His use.

In Malachi chapter 4 verses 1 through 3 we are told of the future burning of the earth, and deliverance of those who fear God, much as II Peter 3:7 – 13, or Isaiah 24:1 – 6. But look at the end of verse 2;

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 as 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 verse tells us those that fear His name we will be as calves of the stall; when that time occurs we must be dependent on Him for everything. Only in dependence on God will men find deliverance in that day. But as Brother Owens told us, God can use your sacrifice for His service now if you will allow yourself to be “stalled”, dependent on Him, and prepared for His use. God will give you spiritual food and drink that is priceless;

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.

We have heard that if you eat Chinese food you will be hungry again in an hour. But all physical food and water are similar; it cannot sustain you for very long, your flesh will call you to eat and drink again to keep you alive. God speaks through the prophet of spiritual food, and God then calls us to hear Him, eat and live. Our spiritual food comes through the senses we have ignored, and we are blind and deaf spiritually. Allow yourself to be “stalled”, and fed spiritually with the best food; Jesus, the Word of God, the Bread of Life;

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

John 6:47 – 51  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.   

The Word will give you life if you will go to Him for it, and seek it in the Spirit! Will you also drink from rivers of living water until they flow out of you?

John 7:37 – 39  In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 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 Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Let us narrow our focus here to these living waters. Have you been blessed by someone else’s ministry and tried to “catch” and use some of their living water? God uses the minister or evangelist to revive you, not to sustain you. Living waters are not meant to be caught, but to flow. It is a cistern that cannot possibly hold what God has prepared for you;

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.

Living waters are not meant to be contained, but should flow into and out of you! God has the fountain of living waters; why do we look elsewhere or settle for less? We are foraging if we look elsewhere. The fatted calf is dependent on Him! You only need to be a humble, yielded, believing vessel to receive! Stop being satisfied with a drink that will not sustain you! When John is given the vision of the new Jerusalem in Revelation 21, God speaks of the fountain;

Revelation 21:6  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

We are speaking of spiritual thirst; we need spiritual vision and hearing to know it. Ask God to give you hearing and vision for these things. Place yourself in the position of relying and depending totally on Him and you will begin to find greater depths of what He has prepared for you. John goes on to speak of the river proceeding from the throne in Revelation 22:1, 2. In Joel 3:18, Joel calls it a fountain that comes from the house of the Lord. But for our purposes we want to look at Ezekiel’s account of the waters that issued from the house. In Ezekiel 47:1 – 8 he describes the vision of these waters and the river that they become. He then is told of the healing and life that the waters provide;

Ezekiel 47:8 – 11  Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many. But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt.

The word translated liveth in these verses means alive; life or a living thing. But the words translated live speak of future; to live, to revive. The fountain from the throne becomes the river of living waters. It will cause your deserts to blossom, and heal your waters.

Having read these verses many times, as it was read through recently I felt prompted to see what the places Engedi and Eneglaim meant. Ezekiel was seeing a vision, not natural places; so what do these places mean in the spiritual? Their definitions from the Strong’s are as follows;

Engedi, 5872, Eyn Gediy, from 5869 and 1423; fountain of a kid

Eneglaim, 5882, Eyn Eglayim, from 5869 and the dual of 5695; fountain of two calves

Why does it say two calves and not the whole herd? These calves must be stalled! Under the law the kid of the goats speaks of atonement, and the calves speak of sacrifice. Between the fountain of atonement and the fountain of sacrifice there will be much fishing according to the scriptures. Will you be a fisher of men? Will you be “stalled” and dependent on Him? This is how you must prepare for the call God has for you. The fountain of living waters will make you a living sacrifice. This fountain will provide everything you need to sacrifice your service unto God. Will you be a living sacrifice for God?

Romans 12:1, 2  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 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.

To fully become this living sacrifice we must be stalled first. Find a dependence on God for your spiritual needs. God has our fountain if we will be “stalled” for His use! The fountain of life, the fountain of righteousness, the fountain of word, the fountain of knowledge, the fountain of wisdom, the fountain of faith, the fountain of healing, the fountain of miracles, the fountain of all of the gifts of the Spirit!  The fountain of love, joy, and peace, the fountain of all the fruits of the Spirit is in Him! In Him you will find the fountain of your anointing! You will lack for nothing that is necessary for the calling God has for you. The only thing that can shut off this fountain is – you, and we do it frequently with our flesh. We are speaking here of the fullness of the Spirit, not just a sometimes walk in the Spirit. Repent of this failing; find total yieldedness to God and you will not be asking who you will witness to, or what you will preach, or where your anointing went. The fountain will be constantly flowing!

We are exhorted to cast down imaginations and bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (II Corinthians 10:5); we are exhorted to have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). We seek this in mind, and try fervently to accomplish it, not fully grasping that it is only in Spirit;

I Corinthians 2:11  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

I Corinthians 2:14 – 16  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

If the fountain is constantly flowing in you the Spirit will be in control and you will have the mind of Christ! This is newness of life (Romans 6:4) and being transformed by the renewing of your mind, and only then can we know the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. It doesn’t matter if we understand it, let it flow! We cannot know God’s ways;

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.

Hebrews speaks of the patriarch looking for a city, and yes, we should be looking for a city, but let God establish the city in you now! Let the kingdom come;

Luke 17:20, 21  And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

God wants to establish His kingdom in you! Give Him the throne of your heart!  Be His temple;

I Corinthians 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

All these things are possible when you will be stalled for Him. Do not allow being lead astray by your flesh, the temptations that continuously confront you, or the … spiritual wickedness in high places … that the devil will try to mislead you with. Let God be on the throne of your heart, and then the fountain will flow from your temple or house of the Lord! Pray, and seek His face for these things now!

BUT THE HIGH PLACES …

Deuteronomy 12:2 – 7  Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. Ye shall not do so unto the Lord your God. But unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come: And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks: And there ye shall eat before the Lord your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the Lord thy God hath blessed thee.

Please remember the phrase … unto his habitation … for our later edification. God called the Israelites to utterly destroy the places where the prior inhabitants had served their gods, and called them unto a place of worship of His choosing; He told them this again in verses 11 and 14 of Chapter 12. They were called to a walk of obedience. We need to look beyond seeing how they failed, and consider how they continued to walk therein after their failure.

Let us start by again considering the spiritual disobedience and failures of King Saul: he failed to wait for Samuel to come and offer sacrifice at Gilgal (I Samuel 10:8, and I Samuel 13:8 – 14); he failed to utterly destroy the Amalekites and their livestock as ordered by God (I Samuel 15:2, 3, and I Samuel 15:9 – 23); he sought out the witch of Endor and disquieted Samuel (I Samuel 28: 6 – 19). God replaced Saul with a man after His own heart, King David. But his son Solomon, although beloved of God, failed;

Nehemiah 13:26  Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.

Nehemiah recognizes the sin of the king, and purposes to not repeat his failures. Solomon failed of all the things Moses commanded that the kings of Israel should heed and obey in Deuteronomy 17:16 – 20. This is recorded in I Kings 11:1 – 10, but for our purposes in this study we only want to look at a consequence of his sin;

I Kings 11:7  Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.

Rehoboam, son of Solomon, compounded this failure of Solomon, as recorded in I Kings 14;

I Kings 14:22, 23  And Judah did evil in the sight of the Lord, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done. For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree.

We see then that Solomon and Rehoboam in their sin did re-establish the practices of the nations that were cast out before the children of Israel. Now let us consider some of the “good” kings that followed.

King Asa began to restore the walk God intended, but did not complete it, in that the high places were not removed;

I Kings 15:11 – 14  And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, as did David his father. And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron. But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa’s heart was perfect with the Lord all his days.

King Jehoshaphat continued in the ways of his father Asa, but again did not complete the work. We will return for a closer look at Jehoshaphat, but for now;

I Kings 22:43  And he walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the Lord: nevertheless the high places were not taken away; for the people offered and burnt incense yet in the high places.

King Jehoash also let the high places remain;

II Kings 12:2, 3  And Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all the days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him. But the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.

King Amaziah did as his father, also leaving the high places;

II Kings 14:3, 4  And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, yet not like David his father: he did according to all things as Joash his father did. Howbeit the high places were not taken away: as yet the people did sacrifice and burnt incense on the high places.

King Azariah did according to his father, and again left the high places;

II Kings 15:3, 4  And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done; Save that the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burnt incense still on the high places.

We could continue with King Jotham, but surely this is enough to see the pattern. The Israelites had a form of worship and sacrifice, but not after the due order; God had commanded that they were to worship Him in the place that He chose. Why did many of these things in the Old Testament happen? They are for examples, and our admonition;

I Corinthians 10:11, 12  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

What is the spiritual parallel here for us? The kings and Israelites could not find complete worship or righteousness without obedience. King Jehoshaphat came so close. In II Chronicles it records of him;

II Chronicles 17:6  And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah.

From all appearances it seems that the scripture is in conflict with I Kings, but it is not. Jehoshaphat removed the high places out of Judah, but not out of Jerusalem;

II Chronicles 20:32, 33  And he walked in the way of Asa his father, and departed not from it, doing that which was right in the sight of the Lord. Howbeit the high places were not taken away: for as yet the people had not prepared their hearts unto the God of their fathers.

Jehoshaphat had a desire to do what was right, and took away the places in Judah that were keeping the people from coming to Jerusalem to worship. However, he could not spiritually see that the high places in Jerusalem were just as wrong. The Israelites had mistakenly believed that Jerusalem was the “place” that God had chosen, not realizing that while it was the city God chose, it only contained the place God chose; the temple. This false understanding of the “place” continued through the generations, as evidenced by the Samaritan woman at the well;

John 4:20  Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

When the Samaritan woman says “ye say“ she is referring to the Israelites, who looked down on the Samaritans, and told them that the city Jerusalem was the place to worship. The Word above in II Chronicles 20:33 tells us it was because the people had not prepared their hearts; how are you coming to worship? Are you coming with only head knowledge that it is the right thing to do? Are you coming in the pride of flesh only? Are you coming in sin or disobedience while still expecting the blessings of God? We come to a church building anticipating it to be the “place”. Or we come in body, soul, and mind expecting to bring the “place” with us. These physical things have then become our Jerusalem in the spiritual. We have unprepared hearts, just as the Jews did. The “heart” is a physical word used for a spiritual “place”; the word “heart” is only a term that helps us understand the spiritual parallel.  Jesus answer to the woman at the well has been hidden from us due to the blindness of our hearts;

John 4:21 – 24  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

We need to find the walk of humbleness and obedience that lets God enable us to recognize and overcome the high places in our lives;

II Corinthians 10:5, 6  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.

All those things that exalt self prevent you from reaching the prepared heart, the place where God has chosen for you to worship and serve Him;

Psalms 34:18, 19  The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

You may say “God has not called me to such and such things.” Your answer is “Yet”. You and your heart are not prepared to receive them “yet”. But God in his mercy will guide us to the place;

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.

God is calling us to prepare ourselves, to come to His holy habitation. We cannot find His holy habitation in our place, the walk of our choosing. He wants to guide us so that we, as in Monica’s promise … are in the place, yea, that the miracle will be performed, saith the Lord Jesus Christ. The “place” is spiritual, not physical.

Jehoshaphat had achieved a closer walk with God when he tore down the high places in Judah. He could have seen a greater walk with God if he had torn down the high places in Jerusalem. What or where are our high places? the things that hinder a closer walk and worship of Him. It could be places you go, or things you watch; it is not just the depths of sin we recognize. James tells us it can be the things we don’t do;

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

The word knoweth here is a spiritual word. Would it be good for you to sell everything and go to be a missionary? If God did not call and send you, you would be an abject failure. Reverend Buckner says it very well when he says, “You hear and you do.” Let God open your spiritual ears, hear Him, and obey. He will show you your high places to remove.

But as we come to the door of the Temple we should not let our walk stop there. We should never stop our desire for a closer place of worship with Him. Let God show you your high places; destroy them and come to the outer court, and then to the altar. Do not remain there; Jesus has rent the veil from the top to the bottom, and given us the ability to enter the holy of holies. Let God show you again your high places, cast them down and come to the mercy seat, the “place” of His holy habitation in the physical example of the temple. At each time you hear and do, God will bless you and give you much greater gifts than what you have given up.

During a study of the high places the following scriptures in Romans were read again;

Romans 12:1, 2  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 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.

It is … by the mercies of God … that he shows you how to be the living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable. It is our … reasonable service. God is the renewer of our minds, and we should allow Him to transform us, and show us what is good, and acceptable, and perfect. You hear and you do!  By stating therefore with the start of the verses, we are told that it is because of what is in the end of the prior chapter. Chapter 11 tells us of the omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence of God;

Romans 11:33 – 36  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.

With the knowledge, power, honor, and holiness of God, why are we seeking to find Him in our ways? Present yourself wholly to God and He will direct you!

Luke provides the following words of Jesus regarding the kingdom of God;

Luke 17:20, 21  And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

It seems a paradox to say that the kingdom is within us, since we know our sin and iniquity can separate us 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.

But the kingdom of God is a spiritual place, not a physical place. The place of God’s choosing is to be on the throne of your heart, ruling and reigning totally. That cannot occur when you are bound by the physical, and the high places of your choosing;

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.

When we cast down our high places and let God have full reign we will then receive the fullness 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.

Give up the walk of your choosing, ignore the calls of your flesh for the things of nought, cast down the high places that God reveals to you, and you will walk in the fullness of His blessing and calling for you, and in the anointing to accomplish His will in you.

THE ANOINTING CALLS YOU

Isaiah 10:27  And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

While this scripture speaks of the bondage of the children of Israel, it speaks spiritually of our bondage to sin and Satan. Because our yoke can be destroyed by the anointing, we need to explore and come to a deeper understanding of the anointing. The anointing is only in the sovereignty of God, and we can see this scripturally by the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah regarding Cyrus;

II Chronicles 36:22, 23  Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.

The Word tells us that God stirred up Cyrus to perform the word spoken by Jeremiah. Isaiah further states this in prophesying of the anointing and blessings of God that would come on Cyrus first, in order for him to be in place to perform God’s will. These first three verses tell us that by God’s foretelling of Cyrus, and his blessings upon him, Cyrus would know God;

Isaiah 45:1 - 3  Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

God further says that Cyrus was called by name to also confirm to Jacob and Israel that it is God alone;

Isaiah 45:4 – 7  For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

God is literally saying that he foretold of Cyrus, named him, anointed him, and used him so that all will know that He is the Lord, and there is no other! If you allow God to anoint this word to your ears, the rest of the chapter will also bless you with a greater knowledge and understanding of God, but our emphasis here is on the anointing.

The prophet Samuel was told by God that a man would be sent to him to be anointed;

I Samuel 9:16  To-morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me.

From what God told Samuel we can know that the lost asses and every step that Saul took in looking for them was ordered of God. Saul did not know where or at what time he was to come to Samuel, nor did he even know he was “sent” to Samuel; even the asses had to have been controlled of God to order the events He told Samuel of. Chapter 10 then records the anointing;

I Samuel 10:1  Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?

In verses 2 through 5 Samuel told Saul of the things that would occur to him that day, to give Saul confirmation of his calling. Verses 6 and 7 continue that prophecy;

I Samuel 10:6, 7  And the spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee.

In addition to giving him the confirmation of the items Samuel foretold would happen, God changed Saul into another man, and equipped him for what God had for him to do. King Saul was chosen and anointed of God for a time, a place, and a purpose. Each of us has a calling to a time, a place, and a purpose;

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

The calling and gifts God has for you do not change. However, we must search for, find, and obey this calling. Although he had seen and experienced all the confirming signs, and had been turned into another man, at first Saul hid from his calling (I Samuel 10:21 – 23). As king, Saul came to acknowledge the time and place of his calling, but refused to fully obey God and His purposes. His failings were many, and are admonitions to us today.

God then sought a man after His own heart. Samuel was sent to Jesse to anoint one of his sons. Jesse sent his sons one by one: seven brothers came as Jesse sent them, but none of them were anointed. Neither Jesse nor Samuel knew who would be chosen. Then David was called;

I Samuel 16:12, 13  And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

What if David had walked in the anointing and the spirit that was on him, but failed or refused to become king? His end would have been no better than King Saul’s. But David is described scripturally as a man after God’s own heart (I Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22).

David was a man who acknowledged God’s deliverance (I Samuel 17:37) and the blessings of the anointing (read the Psalms). David recognized and respected the anointing so much that he would not touch King Saul (I Samuel 24:6, 10, I Samuel 26:9, 11, 23). David honored the word God purposed about Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob. David spoke what was known, but not in recorded scripture to that point in time; “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” It later was recorded in scripture (I Chronicles 16:22, Psalm 105:15). We need to heed this still today; God will deal with His anointed, we should never rise against them without direct instruction from God (for instance Nathan the prophet, II Samuel 12:1 – 12). But let us get back to our look at the anointing.

Spiritually there is an anointing to sing; an anointing to speak; to pray; to teach; to preach; to be a prophet. It is frankly easy to question whether God has called us. However, you are called (or chosen) by the anointing, and then the anointing calls you. In other words, the anointing is evidence of your calling, while you may not yet know when or where God wants you to go.

Paul (Saul) is a good example of this. We hear frequently of Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, and his calling in Damascus. God told him … how great things he must suffer. Paul records in the Book of Galatians that he did not learn the gospel from man, but he learned by the revelation of Jesus. Later in the book of Acts (11:22 – 26) Barnabas and Saul assembled and taught in Antioch for a full year, and were so successful the disciples were first called Christians there. Despite all their preparation, their diligence, and their success in the Lord, they did not yet have their specific calling. Despite being listed among the prophets and teachers in Acts 13:1 they had not received their calling. They were prepared and walking in obedience, diligence, and in faith. Paul later says he laboured more abundantly than all the apostles. Paul and Barnabas had prepared and were ready to receive the call;

Acts 13:2  As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

The Holy Ghost is now telling them of the specific work they had been called for! Everything up to that point was in preparation and in being diligent in the things of God. Paul chose to please God after God chose him! Jesus plainly speaks of it being His choosing;

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.

The definition for the word ordained used here says; to place, properly in a passive or horizontal posture. It is a place, like Jesus, of being meek and humble in heart.

Paul was chosen, ordained, and then brought forth fruit. That fruit remains so much so that the word speaks of it at Antioch and through the rest of the book of Acts. Your fruit should also remain; how diligent have you been to see God glorified by your life and fruit? Don’t wait for the calling, be fruitful and glorify God.

If you have the anointing, you are called, and God has a purpose you must find in total obedience if you want to walk with Him;

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.

It is only in full obedience that you can be faithful; will you hear and obey? We have now covered that your calling is without repentance; that you have not chosen Him but He has chosen you; and that you must be faithful. What are we waiting for? Lay aside every weight and sin, and run the race that is set before you!

The best example of following the call of the anointing is, of course, Jesus. The book of Acts records His anointing, and what He did with it;

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.

Why was God with Him? Was it only because of His anointing? That didn’t work for King Saul, or for Satan (Ezekiel 28:13 – 19). It didn’t work for Eli or his sons (I Samuel 2:27 – 36). The answer to having God with you is in obedience;

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.

By saying ... he that sent me … Jesus acknowledges His calling. He then speaks of His obedience in doing always the things that please God. The book of Hebrews further confirms Jesus love for good, and the things of God, when speaking of the Son;

Hebrews 1:9  Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Jesus was anointed … above thy fellows, because He loved righteousness and hated iniquity. The depth, strength, and the availability of your anointing will depend on your sanctification and holiness. If you want a greater anointing give up the weights and sins that so easily beset you!

We can also find a difference that was observed in Jesus, due to the anointing, in scripture. In Luke 4 it records;

Luke 4:16  And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

Jesus went into the synagogue on the Sabbath, stood, and read; the Word tells us it was His custom to do so. This was not a new occurrence.  But this time the people see a difference;

Luke 4:17 – 20 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

After Jesus read the scriptures, the eyes of all were fastened on Him. The anointing that was on Him made it so. As He continued to speak the people wondered at the anointed words, and questioned if it is the same man;

Luke 4:21 – 22  And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?

A similar occurrence is told of Smith Wigglesworth. Hearing him preach for the first time under the anointing his wife said, That’s not my Smith! Do not be surprised when people see the difference in you due to the anointing – the anointing calls you.

But Jesus calling did not end with the preaching, healings, miracles, or power; His calling took him to the purpose God sent Him for, to reconcile us to the Father by the cross. All of the miracles and healings that Jesus did were not enough to have delivered us; His obedience had to take Him to the cross;

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.

Brother B. H. Clendennen said it well when he talked of Psalm 2:8, where it says Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance …; it meant Jesus had to die for them.  Jesus learned obedience and it took Him all the way to the cross.  Hebrews 5:9 then requires us to obey Him! A “sometimes” obedience to the anointing can leave you with the failure of King Saul.

What does that speak to us? There are promises we can walk in, just as Jesus did;

II Corinthians 1:20 – 22  For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God: Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

The promises of God are there for us; true, just, and sure in our God, if we will find a walk in righteousness and hate iniquity. Allow Him to work that promise in your life; let Him establish, anoint, and seal you, and then answer your calling in the earnest of the Spirit He has given! Walk in faith that He will keep you and be strength for you;

Psalm 20:6, 7  Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

Now if we recognize that the anointing is given by God; the anointing stays on you; the anointing will teach you if you will allow it; then we must also know that we must abide in Him;

I John 2:27 – 29  But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

Do you choose to continue the path to destruction, or the path to righteousness? We must serve one master or the other; choose to walk with Jesus. We began with a yoke, so let us end with a yoke; take upon you that which Jesus exhorts;

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.

We must find that place of being ordained to His purpose, learn of Him, and walk in obedience. God will provide everything else we need, and allow us to enter into His rest.

WHERE IS THE LORD GOD OF ELIJAH?

Hebrews 9:27 tells us that it is appointed unto man once to die. None of us can avoid it or stop it, so why should we fear, or let it keep you from serving or ministering for God? We are told in II Kings that Elisha was sick to death, yet we see him still ministering;

II Kings 13:14, 15  Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows.

We see from the comment of Joash (the exact words of Elisha as he watched Elijah taken) that he expected Elisha to go up as Elijah did. The children who taunted Elisha “go up thou bald head” (II Kings 2:23) also expected Elisha to be taken up. But it was not to be for Elisha; we cannot change the sovereignty of God. Yet on his deathbed, we see Elisha ministering and leading the king to shoot the arrow of the Lord’s deliverance for Israel (verses 16 – 19).

A Godly woman, a dear sister and minister in the lord, Sister Jean Allmon, has passed. While we had expected her to be there for Monica’s miracle, and to go in the rapture, it was not to be. It was her time to go and be with the Lord, and now it is time to reflect on her legacy. Sister Allmon was a woman of tremendous faith, compassion, works, and prayer. Yet it is not in spite of these things, but because of them, that she was a mighty warrior in this spiritual battle. As with Elisha, when faced with her illness she still saw the needs of others, and prayed for and ministered to them.

Even after his death, we see Elisha still ministering;

II Kings 13:20, 21  And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.

Elisha is not the only individual that the Word speaks about ministering after death, Able is testified of in Hebrews;

Hebrews 11:4  By faith Able offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

We are told in II Peter 1:20, 21 that the word was spoken by holy men moved by the Holy Ghost. Therefore God himself truly testifies of Able! While the ministering after death of Able and Elisha are again physical examples (I Corinthians 10:11), they confirm the spiritual possibilities of what Jesus said in John 12:24;

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.

Satan has used men to pervert the natural things of God, and so it is with fruit or grain; men have learned to ferment it, make alcohol, and stop its ability to multiple, bringing it to a failed end and a failed use. When you leave this world will you have prepared spiritually, as Jesus did, to die, germinate, and bring forth fruit? Or are you just going to ferment? What will you leave after you?

There is an obedience required to “fall into the ground”, and more obedience necessary to “die”. To each is given spirit and faith; your obedience will determine your use of them, or whether you will fail to reach the spiritual walk God has for you.

Let us now go back to the beginnings of Elisha and see his calling and his response;

I Kings 19:16, 17  And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.

From the scriptures we can see that Elisha was from a wealthy family, owning enough land in the fertile Jordan valley at Abelmeholah that they needed, and owned, twelve yoke of oxen to plow it. Elisha was in charge of that operation;

I Kings 19:19  So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.

When Elijah cast his mantle on Elisha, the word tells us Elisha ran after Elijah;

I Kings 19:20  And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me , I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee?

Some have preached that Elisha was given another chance to refuse the call, but from this scripture it appears his mind is made up; he will say goodbye to his parents and … I will follow thee. The next verse speaks to the depth of his commitment;

I Kings 19:21  And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah and ministered unto him.

By slaying a yoke of oxen and boiling them … with the instruments of the oxen, Elisha has forsaken the job; there is no need to keep them there just in case it does not work out. Elisha will not hold onto, or hold back, anything. What things of the flesh are you holding on to, and refusing to make a total commitment? Are you holding onto sports, entertainment, food, a good job, or just having things in your own way or time? Elisha’s commitment was total and he then … went after Elijah and ministered unto him.

Elisha was in a time of preparing, and that preparation was as a servant to Elijah. It is in obedience that we may find and fulfill our calling. His servitude is noted later to Jehoshaphat, that he “ … poured water on the hands of Elijah.” When the time of the fulfillment of Elisha’s calling as a prophet came, his desire was evident;

II Kings 2:1, 2  And  it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.

II Kings 2:4  And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho.

II Kings 2:6  And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the Lord hath sent me to Jordan.  And he said, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on.

Here we see the depth of the servitude Elisha has for Elijah. There are only a few instances in scripture where we see this type of devotion in following an individual; Ruth with Naomi for example. The greatest is Jesus with the Father; … I do always those things that please him. Will we find the depth of commitment and walk that Elisha had in our spiritual lives?

In reading the chapter it is apparent that the sons of the prophets at Bethel (verse 3), the sons of the prophets at Jericho (verse 5), Elisha (verses 3 and 5), and Elijah (verse 9) all know that Elijah would be taken away. Elisha does not want to be parted from Elijah, and declares he will not leave him on two things that he knows to be true: the first exhibits his faith; that the Lord lives, and the second that the soul of Elijah lives. Elijah then parts the waters to be where God has called him to;

II Kings 2:8  And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.

Elisha has seen and respects the life and walk of Elijah, and he knows it to be true. But again we cannot change the things that God purposes, so Elisha has to choose what he can;

II Kings 2:9, 10  And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.

Elisha has such a respect for the spirit of Elijah that he desires and asks for a double portion of it! He is asking for seconds before having the first portion! With the response of Elijah can you imagine Elisha afraid to blink for fear he might miss the promise! Do we have this depth of respect unto the things of God? Elisha is prepared and “… in the place …” that the Lord chose for him. Despite the preparation and the promise, there were actions and faith required from Elisha;

II Kings 2:11 – 14  And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. And he took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.

Elisha had to see Elijah taken up from him; take up the mantle; had to return to the river; and had to smite the waters with the mantle, as Elijah had, before God showed him that the promise had taken place. When Elisha spoke, it was not with a question of if, or where, God is, but with a declaration of the promise! It was a declaration of faith.

Why did the mantle fall from Elijah? It was not by chance, but an example and admonition to all generations, that they may be called by this example. We must stand in the promises, and take up the mantle of those who have gone before us.

Are you warming a pew with the question Where is the Lord God? God wants you declaring, Where is the Lord God of Sister Allmon? Where is the Lord God of Sister Schoonover? Where is the Lord God of Brother B. H. Clendenenn? These all prepared, sought God, walked in faith, and ministered; and then passed prepared to die and bring forth much fruit. Are we going to ferment as the enemy purposes? or will we germinate, and take up their mantle?

You don’t have to be a son, daughter, or grandchild to take up the mantle. It has now been over eleven years since Sister Schoonover quoted John 12:24 to us and passed. Take up the mantle and bring forth fruit! Do you have enough desire to ask for a double portion of anointing? Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Our flesh keeps us from desiring, receiving, and walking in the things of God.

There is another point to recognize here. When Elisha saw Elijah go up … he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. This is the example of giving up self, or flesh, and the things of the past. It is fully and truly taking on the mantle of Elijah. The old man is gone, and Elisha has answered the call of God. God gave him the desires of his heart. It is this change that is spoken of in II Corinthians, that we only hear to be a salvation scripture;

II Corinthians 5:17 – 21  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; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 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 cannot fulfill the calling walking in our flesh, or returning to the things or pleasures we enjoy. The flesh will leave us spiritually deaf and blind. These scriptures declare that the ministry of reconciliation is given and committed unto us! Will you be an ambassador for Christ? Will you be made the righteousness of God in him? Be obedient to the Lord; hear and do. Take up the mantle and become the child of God He wants you to be!

KINGDOM LIVING

Paul’s Example

While working on many of the exhortations God was giving, He gave notes to discuss regarding Paul’s walk, and specifically his imprisonment in Acts 16. While what God had given was worked on, openings were sought to fit it into several of the prior writings; Of The Earth, Earthy, or But The High Places, even back to the Sea Of Flesh, since it seemed to apply in places to each one. God then gave the beginnings of God Created The Heavens, but there was no release to include it in any of them. As God continued to open the scriptures more, and more notes accumulated, where to include it was sought. Eventually it went on like a light bulb, it belongs as a standalone topic; a glimpse of the results that are possible for a humble, obedient, yielded man full of grace and the Spirit of God.

When Paul was approached by Jesus at Damascus, he was shown … how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. In several epistles Paul notes some of the many things he suffered, but most notably in II Corinthians 11:23 – 28. For this topic we only want to look at one occurrence, being jailed at Philippi;

Acts 16:22 – 24  And the multitude rose up against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

Please try to get a greater understanding of what happened to them by the words used; their clothes were rent off, they were beaten with many stripes, they were cast into prison, thrust into the inner prison, their feet fast in the stocks. How often do we complain or grumble because someone has said something to or about us? What was the response of Paul and Silas? They did not just rejoice, they went into ministry;

Acts 16:25  And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

How could Paul and Silas do this? First, while their bodies were negatively affected by the physical treatment, they were positively affected by it spiritually;

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.

While the outward man was suffering on the path of perishing, the inward man was being renewed by the Spirit; they chose to walk in that renewing and rejoiced. Paul and Silas could rejoice because the persecution worked in them a … far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Secondly, they had cast off the works of darkness, and put on Jesus;

Romans 13:12 – 14  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.

Once they had put on Jesus they were in the kingdom, and the kingdom was in them! The King of the kingdom must be in charge, and will lead to spiritual victory. While the physical war raged around them, the spiritual invasion had already begun in the prisoners, and was about to reach the jailer!

Acts 16:26  And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

Have you ever speculated what you would have done after the doors were opened and their bands loosed? An angel had delivered Peter from prison similar to this, and the devil will always try to counterfeit what God does. In this case the devil wanted them out of there, to stop what they were doing! But Paul and Silas were hearing from God, and continued the spiritual battle;

Acts 16:27 – 30  And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved.

The jailer’s life was in Paul’s hands, both physically, and now spiritually; yet it was not Paul, but the Jesus that was in Paul! The King of kings worked through His servant to reach the jailer. By the total obedience of His servants the jailer and his family were conquered in the spiritual warfare!

How did Paul reach this place in his walk where he was not moved by the physical battle? He had already fought and won the war within, as he told the Corinthians;

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.

Because Paul had fully put on Jesus he did not have thoughts of the physical pain, or of the individuals who did this to him. Since he had brought those thoughts into the obedience of Christ, he could respond in Jesus manner! We need to understand that when you are still fighting a spiritual war within, you will find it much more difficult to fight without. How can we “invade” another country when we have not taken our own?

While we probably will not face the physical suffering that Paul did, we do not have this depth of obedience to overcome the small things we do suffer. We must see our need to complete the battle within. We cannot achieve what God wants us to if we cannot defeat our self.

Do you now spiritually see the possibilities if you win this battle and find total obedience to Christ Jesus? After all that he did Paul did not believe he had attained perfection;

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.

It is easy to read this as a call to come up higher with God, but there is also a call to a continuing walk. Muscles atrophy if they are not trained regularly; joints stiffen if not used; our brain is less acute if not kept sharp by use. It is the same in the spiritual, if you do not use it you begin to lose it, and the flesh can again take over. That is why Paul says in another place, I die daily; he continued to keep the Spirit in charge, overcoming the flesh. Paul had such a respect and desire for the high calling in Christ Jesus, that he says I press toward the mark. Never leave your training, but, as Paul, keep your eyes and ears on the goal.

And yet God has even greater things for us if we continue to seek Him, and walk the walk of obedience;

Philippians 3:10, 11  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

Paul uses the future tense here; I may, and I might. We have already seen that Paul said he had not yet attained, and so he strove for greater things in Christ; both here, and in the resurrection, which will be greater than anything we have known. He also speaks of the knowledge that we shall be given then;

I Corinthians 13:12  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Oh, the prizes that await if we are faithful and obedient! Incorruption, immortality, knowledge, to eat of the hidden manna; all are to be ours, but the greatest thing will be to be with Jesus. Check yourself into spiritual boot camp; build yourself up on your most holy faith; allow God to build you as His child, and then continue to prepare and battle as God directs.

 


Book Form Building The Child Of God
Are You Puzzled Spiritually?
Word Puzzle
Sea of Flesh
Sea of Flesh Forward, Introduction
Sea of Flesh Scriptural Basis
Sea of Flesh Recognizing the Enemy
Sea of Flesh Come Out of the Sea
Sea of Flesh Embrace the Warfare
How Big Is Your God?
Misplaced Grace
Great Grace
Grace to ...
Ask for Grace
Disobedience
Vile Affections
Strong's Key for Vile Affections Romans 1:26
Of The Earth, Earthy
Fountain Of Two Calves
But the High Places
The Anointing Calls You
Where is the Lord God of Elijah
Kingdom Living - Paul's Example
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