Sea Of Flesh

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 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”. 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.




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. ( 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! I 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 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, put on Jesus, and continue to walk that path of life;

Romans 13:11 – 14 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 first 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. Paul also exhorts Christians to put off the works of darkness, and the lust of the flesh – we must come out of the sea of flesh. 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 Paul 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, 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;

I 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. As he reached the door of Smith’s house, Smith nudged the paper out of Lester Sumrall’s arm and told him something like “We won’t need that in here”. He did not condemn or berate Sumrall for having the newspaper, but it would not 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!

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?