Monthly Archives: July 2011

Three Deeds

THREE DEEDS

 

Read all of Genesis 23. In about 2017 BCE, which is about 4,000 years ago, long before anyone heard of a Palestinian, Abraham, at age 137, purchased the field of Ephron, the Hittite, for four hundred shekels of silver, in order to have a place in Canaan to bury his wife, Sarah. Genesis 23:14-20, “And Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him, 15“My lord, listen to me; the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver. What is that between you and me? So bury your dead.” 16And Abraham listened to Ephron; and Abraham weighed out the silver for Ephron which he had named in the hearing of the sons of Heth (the Hittites), four hundred shekels of silver, currency of the merchants.

17So the field of Ephron which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field and the cave which was in it, and all the trees that were in the field, which were within all the surrounding borders, were deeded 18to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the sons of Heth, before all who went in at the gate of his city.

19And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah, before Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20So the field and the cave that is in it were deeded to Abraham by the sons of Heth (the Hittites) as property for a burial place.” Abraham, the grandfather of Israel, owned land in Israel long before anyone heard of a Palestinian.

 

Read all of Genesis 33. Jacob, at about 94 years of age, in about 1900 BCE, which is about 3,900 years ago, bought land in Israel and settled near the city of Shechem (Nablus). Genesis 33:17-20, “And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, built himself a house, and made booths for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth (Booths).

18Then Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padan Aram; and he pitched his tent before the city. 19And he bought the parcel of land, where he had pitched his tent, from the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for one hundred pieces of money. 20Then he erected an altar there and called it El Elohe Israel (Yahweh, the Mighty One of Israel).” Jacob, the father of the 12 tribes of Israel owned land in Israel long before anyone heard of a Palestinian.

 

Read all of 2 Samuel 24. In about 1035 BCE, in his 39th year as King of Israel, King David, at about age 69, bought the future Temple Mount (in Jerusalem) for 50 shekels of silver. This occurred at the end of the plague sent by Yahweh for David’s rebellion in performing an illegal census of Israel’s troops, about 3,000 years before anyone heard of a Palestinian. 2 Samuel 24:18-25, “And Gad came that day to David and said to him, “Go up, erect an altar to Yahweh on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19So David, according to the word of Gad, went up as Yahweh commanded. 20Now Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants coming toward him. So Araunah went out and bowed before the king with his face to the ground.

21Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”

And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, to build an altar to Yahweh, that the plague may be withdrawn from the people.”

22Now Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up whatever seems good to him. Look, here are oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing implements and the yokes of the oxen for wood. 23All these, O king, Araunah has given to the king.”

And Araunah said to the king, “May Yahweh your Mighty One accept you.”

24Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to Yahweh my Mighty One with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25And David built there an altar to Yahweh, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So Yahweh heeded the prayers for the land, and the plague was withdrawn from Israel.” David built an altar to Yahweh, the Mighty One of Israel, on the future TEMPLE MOUNT, a long time before anyone heard of a Palestinian.

 

Over a period of about 565 years, from the days of Joshua, when Israel captured Jericho, through the days of King David, Israel conquered their Promised Land, given to them by Divine Decree, through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses. Go back and reread the great promises that Yahweh made to Israel regarding who gets HIS LAND! Three Hebrew men, Abraham, Jacob, and David, bought and personally owned land in Israel thousands of years before anyone heard of a Palestinian. Yahweh owns all the earth and gives it to whom He wills. Because of their willful ignorance of human history and rebellion against Divine Law, the foolish nations surrounding Israel today, and the nations of the UN, are about to get a serious end-time lesson in Yahweh’s Real Estate Law. Mess with the Master, die like the rest. By the way, where’s the Palestinian deed?

 

Gene Benjamin II

July 31, 2011 CE

Yahweh Owns It – Yahweh Divides It

YAHWEH OWNS IT – YAHWEH DIVIDES IT

 

Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning the Mighty Ones (Yahweh and Yeshua) created the heavens and the earth.” (emphasis mine throughout)

 

Psalm 24:1-2, “The earth is Yahweh’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. 2For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters.”

 

Leviticus 25:23, “The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me.”

 

Yahweh owns the earth and the Land of Israel by right of creation. He has the right and the power to give it to whomever He wishes.

 

Ezekiel 47:13-23, “Thus says Sovereign Yahweh: “These are the borders by which you shall divide the land as an inheritance among the twelve tribes of Israel. Joseph shall have two portions. 14You shall inherit it equally with one another; for I raised My hand in an oath to give it to your fathers, and this land shall fall to you as your inheritance.

15“This shall be the border of the land on the north: from the Great (Mediterranean) Sea, by the road to Hethlon, as one goes to Zedad, 16Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim (which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath), to Hazar Hatticon (which is on the border of Hauran). 17Thus the boundary shall be from the Sea to Hazar enan, the border of Damascus; and as for the north, northward, it is the border of Hamath. This is the north side.

18“On the east side you shall mark out the border from between Hauran and Damascus, and between Gilead and the land of Israel, along the Jordan, and along the eastern side of the sea. This is the east side.

19“The south side, toward the South, shall be from Tamar to the waters of Meribah by Kadesh, along the brook to the Great Sea. This is the south side, toward the South.

20“The west side shall be the Great (Mediterranean) Sea, from the southern boundary until one comes to a point opposite Hamath. This is the west side.

21“Thus you shall divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. 22It shall be that you will divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves, and for the strangers who dwell among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. 23And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give him his inheritance,” says Sovereign Yahweh.”

 

Ezekiel 48, “Now these are the names of the tribes: From the northern border along the road to Hethlon at the entrance of Hamath, to Hazar enan, the border of Damascus northward, in the direction of Hamath, there shall be one section for Dan from its east to its west side; 2by the border of Dan, from the east side to the west, one section for Asher; 3by the border of Asher, from the east side to the west, one section for Naphtali; 4by the border of Naphtali, from the east side to the west, one section for Manasseh; 5by the border of Manasseh, from the east side to the west, one section for Ephraim; 6by the border of Ephraim, from the east side to the west, one section for Reuben; 7by the border of Reuben, from the east side to the west, one section for Judah; 8by the border of Judah, from the east side to the west, shall be the district which you shall set apart, twenty-five thousand cubits in width, and in length the same as one of the other portions, from the east side to the west, with the sanctuary in the center.

9“The district that you shall set apart for Yahweh shall be twenty-five thousand cubits in length and ten thousand in width. 10To these—to the priests—the holy district shall belong: on the north twenty-five thousand cubits in length, on the west ten thousand in width, on the east ten thousand in width, and on the south twenty-five thousand in length. The sanctuary of Yahweh shall be in the center. 11It shall be for the priests of the sons of Zadok, who are sanctified, who have kept My charge, who did not go astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray. 12And this district of land that is set apart shall be to them a thing most holy by the border of the Levites.

13“Opposite the border of the priests, the Levites shall have an area twenty-five thousand cubits in length and ten thousand in width; its entire length shall be twenty-five thousand and its width ten thousand. 14And they shall not sell or exchange any of it; they may not alienate this best part of the land, for it is holy to Yahweh.

15“The five thousand cubits in width that remain, along the edge of the twenty-five thousand, shall be for general use by the city, for dwellings and common-land; and the city shall be in the center. 16These shall be its measurements: the north side four thousand five hundred cubits, the south side four thousand five hundred, the east side four thousand five hundred, and the west side four thousand five hundred. 17The common-land of the city shall be: to the north two hundred and fifty cubits, to the south two hundred and fifty, to the east two hundred and fifty, and to the west two hundred and fifty. 18The rest of the length, alongside the district of the holy section, shall be ten thousand cubits to the east and ten thousand to the west. It shall be adjacent to the district of the holy section, and its produce shall be food for the workers of the city. 19The workers of the city, from all the tribes of Israel, shall cultivate it. 20The entire district shall be twenty-five thousand cubits by twenty-five thousand cubits, foursquare. You shall set apart the holy district with the property of the city.

21The rest shall belong to the prince (the leader of the Kingdom of Israel, past, present, and future), on one side and on the other of the holy district and of the city’s property, next to the twenty-five thousand cubits of the holy district as far as the eastern border, and westward next to the twenty-five thousand as far as the western border, adjacent to the tribal portions; it shall belong to the prince. It shall be the holy district, and the sanctuary of the temple shall be in the center. 22Moreover, apart from the possession of the Levites and the possession of the city which are in the midst of what belongs to the prince, the area between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin shall belong to the prince.

23“As for the rest of the tribes, from the east side to the west, Benjamin shall have one section; 24by the border of Benjamin, from the east side to the west, Simeon shall have one section; 25by the border of Simeon, from the east side to the west, Issachar shall have one section; 26by the border of Issachar, from the east side to the west, Zebulun shall have one section; 27by the border of Zebulun, from the east side to the west, Gad shall have one section; 28by the border of Gad, on the south side, toward the South, the border shall be from Tamar to the waters of Meribah by Kadesh, along the brook to the Great Sea. 29This is the land which you shall divide by lot as an inheritance among the tribes of Israel, and these are their portions,” says Sovereign Yahweh.

30“These are the exits of the city. On the north side, measuring four thousand five hundred cubits 31(the gates of the city shall be named after the tribes of Israel), the three gates northward: one gate for Reuben, one gate for Judah, and one gate for Levi; 32on the east side, four thousand five hundred cubits, three gates: one gate for Joseph, one gate for Benjamin, and one gate for Dan; 33on the south side, measuring four thousand five hundred cubits, three gates: one gate for Simeon, one gate for Issachar, and one gate for Zebulun; 34on the west side, four thousand five hundred cubits with their three gates: one gate for Gad, one gate for Asher, and one gate for Naphtali. 35All the way around shall be eighteen thousand cubits; and the name of the city from that day shall be: YAHWEH IS THERE.”

 

Ezekiel 36:3-5, “therefore prophesy, and say, ‘Thus says Sovereign Yahweh: “Because they made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you are taken up by the lips of talkers and slandered by the people”—4therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of Sovereign Yahweh! Thus says Sovereign Yahweh to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, the valleys, the desolate wastes, and the cities that have been forsaken, which became plunder and mockery to the rest of the nations all around—5therefore thus says Sovereign Yahweh: “Surely I have spoken in My burning jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave My land to themselves as a possession, with wholehearted joy and spiteful minds, in order to plunder its open country.”’”

 

Yahweh owns the Land of Israel, which includes all the old borders described in the Scriptures, NOT the modern State of Israel borders, and certainly NOT the pre-1967 borders. Notice that in Ezekiel 47 and 48, not one parcel of land was allotted to an Ishmaelite, not one parcel of land was allotted to an Arab, not one parcel was given to a single Muslim. Ezekiel received these instructions 1,200 years before Islam existed!! Notice that Yahweh made room for those strangers who wish to live in peace among the Israelites; they can actually receive an inheritance within the borders of Israel! Did you know that the Arabs, the Muslims, as citizens of the modern State of Israel, experience the most freedom of any Muslims in the entire world? Yahweh made a way for Muslims to reside in Israel, but not if they are going to terrorize and harass Israeli citizens. Israel’s enemies will be crushed, but that is not the thrust of this post.

 

What I want you to understand today is that no human, or human civil government, on the face of this planet is authorized to divide up Israel, let alone the City of Jerusalem, except Israelis. When any nation, including the United States of America, tries to divide up Israel or Jerusalem, that nation commits national suicide. Men write books documenting how that each time America makes a decision against Israel, we receive almost immediate punishment by Yahweh, usually through natural disasters. There are no coincidences in life. Yahweh watches over His people and His property. He is the only Owner, all humans are tenants.

 

Zechariah 12, “The burden of the word of Yahweh against Israel. Thus says Yahweh, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: 2“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. 3And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. 4In that day,” says Yahweh, “I will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider with madness; I will open My eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. 5And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in Yahweh of hosts, their Mighty One.’ 6In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left, but Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place—Jerusalem.

7“Yahweh will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall not become greater than that of Judah. 8In that day Yahweh will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like the Almighty, like the Angel of Yahweh before them. 9It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

10“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced (end time reference to Israel recognizing Yeshua). Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. 11In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; 13the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; 14all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.”

 

I fully believe that if America, or any nation on earth who is currently opposing Israel, were to repent of their actions and turn back to Yahweh and His commandments, we could be saved. BUT, do you see any hint of any repentance in America? Hollywood continues to mock Yahweh, Yeshua, and all of Christianity. Our politicians continue to make foolish decisions regarding Israel. We continue to abort our future. We allow homosexuals to run our government and churches. The media cut Yahweh out of everything, including the Pledge of Allegiance. I see no evidence that America, or any other nation on earth, is anywhere near a spirit of repentance. Humans hate Yahweh and His ways. Unless Yahweh drags us into His Kingdom, no one makes it. John 6:43, “Yeshua therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. 44No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws (Greek: drags) him; and I will raise him up at the last day.”” Without the grace of Yahweh, no man enters into His Kingdom. The United Nations of this world are running headlong away from Yahweh, not to Yahweh.

 

The decisions America makes over the next couple months could have eternal implications for many of its citizens. The Scriptural evidence indicates that America will not survive the tribulation period. Revelation 18 describes America’s prophesied judgment and demise. Verse 21b, “Thus with violence the great city Babylon (America) shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore.” That is a sad prophecy for the former greatest nation in human history. The Scriptures are true and the only way this will not come to pass is for America to repent, from the greatest person, to the least man in the gutter. The Scriptures cannot be broken, so you tell me what are America’s chances for survival.

 

I told you before that all merchant vessels coming into New York Harbor see the water tower for the city of BABYLON, New York. When America burns, will that be the anchor from where the seaman of Revelation 18:17-18 watch? “For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.’ Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance 18and cried out when they SAW the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like this great city?’” (emphasis mine throughout)

 

The good news is that AFTER all this tragedy and calamity befalls the nations of the earth, Yeshua will return to establish His righteous government, seated on His throne in Jerusalem. The hard part is enduring to that end, but you can do it through the power of the Holy Spirit living inside you!! That health, wealth and prosperity gospel will do you no good in the days ahead, only trust in and obedience to Yahweh and Yeshua will give you enduring power to live through what is coming upon the face of the whole earth. Few there be that find it. . .

 

Yahweh’s WARNING: don’t poke Him in His eye: Zechariah 2:8-9, “For thus says Yahweh of hosts: “He sent Me (Yeshua, speaking as Yahweh) after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye. 9For surely I will shake My hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants. Then you will know that Yahweh of hosts has sent Me (Yeshua).”

 

It’s a thing most holy,

 

Gene Benjamin II

June 29, 2011 CE

 

Master

Master

By Rev. J. A. Kintz

original unedited text

I. The Call of Jesus

*RESPONSE TO HIS CALL

Matt 4:18-22

18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

19 And he smith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.

22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

The call of Jesus comes, and is at once followed by obedience to the call—dropping all to follow Him. We see here the act of obeying by the disciples—the faith to answer the call, comes with the call. It is Jesus—Jesus Himself—who is calling, so the obedient response to the call shows us the absolute authority of Jesus as Jesus. The road to faith and to salvation, is obedience to the call of Jesus to follow Him into discipleship. These men dropped their lives and obediently answered the call of Jesus; there was no explanation to them, they knew not where they were going, nor what they would do when they got there; Their old lives are left behind, with all the consequences of them, left behind as well. The disciple is called out of his whole life of security, and into a life of temporal insecurity; there are now no goals, no methods, no reasoning—there is only the call of Jesus into the relative unknown, and that call is obeyed. The disciple is called into bondage into Jesus Christ and to Him alone, and to Him above all else, and everyone else. It is now Jesus and He alone that matters—everything and everyone else is forsaken. This is a call of complete detachment from all that is in the life of the disciple, and complete and total attachment to the Person of Jesus. See here the complete and total obedience—the disciple does not lay down the conditions of his discipleship to Jesus—i.e.—“I need to go talk to my family, friends, and pastor”—-there is only the call, and the call accepts only a single minded obedient response—to leave and lay down one’s life, and enter into the walk of discipleship at the call and direction of Jesus.

The call can be compared with the beginning of creation in that man without Jesus is truly “without form, and void” just as the earth was before Jesus said “let there be light.” So our heavenly Father speaks into the soul of man “let there be light”, and the Light of the world, Jesus, stands at the door and knocks. Jesus graces the soul to open the door and the sup begins, as does the “new creation.” And, as the earth started to bring forth her fruit following Jesus’ command, so do our regenerated souls.

Mere theological assent to this call of Jesus is not faith. Jesus is calling so as to effect complete moral change, a change brought about by His indwelling us– the Lord our Righteousness, the Wisdom and Power of Jesus. Salvation is more than a warrant to get us off the hook on judgment day. The call of Jesus comes with Power, not only in word, and when the call of Power is answered, He who is Power enters and abides. If there is no moral change, the judicial transaction required, has not taken place. After all, it is the Holy Spirit that comes to abide, and His perfect holiness is synonymous with moral purity which is absolutely necessary to validate true conversion. And the fact that the Holy Spirit is Jesus (2 Cor. 3: 17), tells us infinite and perfect moral purity has entered our spirits—for Jesus is holiness Himself.

Jesus’ word proclaims us free, but it is His Power that actually effects freedom. The Truth that sets one free has as His foundation perfect moral content which delightfully enslaves the spirit of its surrendered recipient, who is then started on the road of transformation. Inward gaze is transferred from self to Jesus who has entered the spirit, and this is the turning point in the call of Jesus: Life motive is changed. Though we still sin, we are no longer enslaved to it, and though ego still surfaces its glory is gone in the presence and Person of Jesus.

There are many branches on the tree of sin to be sure, but the root of that tree is “self” and it is in that root that the Cross must do its deadly work. Thus with the ax laid to self, we pursue Jesus with our whole heart, we, in this pursuit, are turned from self and the other idols that serve it, to serve the living and true God through the resurrected and exalted Jesus who lives in us. It is no longer “me” but “Thee”–Jesus’ call is to save us from ourselves and our sin, and the intention of the call is effectual to total deliverance–chains truly break as He reveals to the heart that we are in fact loved and accepted in heaven through His Blood. This begins the process of the healing of the will. By His Spirit we move toward total union with Him, and in this move our will is united with His. This is not mere consent on our part, but grace doing His wondrous work, to where the human will desires to become the will of Jesus. It is here we must pause to count the cost. If we choose to go on, we are then freed from being men pleasers to becoming Jesus pleasers and we are started on the road to being equipped by Him for ministry. It is here we keep in mind that Jesus, by His own Blood, entered in once into the holy place–not for Himself but for us. We go in by His Blood, not for ourselves, but for others. Greater love hath no man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends. Laying down one’s life for his friends, is nothing more than total surrender to Jesus…..it is also nothing less.

The surrendered heart will perceive that Jesus is out to conquer us–body, mind, and soul. Jesus prevailed on Calvary in weakness; so us, for in our weakness only, is His strength made perfect. This conquering is unto salvation and ministry, working both in the temporal and the eternal. The more we are conquered by Jesus, the more of the temporal we are saved from and the more of the eternal we are given to. The more the soul is conquered by Jesus the closer it moves to Him and the farther it moves from the world–the nearness and distance being commensurate with each other. This conquering comes in the form of a breaking, where Jesus sovereignly erases our resistance and minimizes our strength–man’s hope and strength in his dying flesh must be shattered–the bread did not multiply until it “He” broke it. We must remember that it pleased God to bruise Jesus (Isa. 53); He learned obedience by the things He suffered (Heb. 5: 8), so us…..Such must needs be that the life of Jesus may resurrect in our mortal bodies. The completeness of that resurrection will parallel the territory conquered. The blessing and favor of Jesus will also be in proportion to the territory conquered.

The Cross that has saved us must also slay us and we must be willing to bear the reproach of it–death is the appointed way to Life, and we must remember that a resurrection of joy unspeakable and full of glory, awaits those who accept Grace, and pick up that cross in absolute, life-long surrender to Jesus.

Our struggle will continually be fought against the backdrop of the world.

The “world” is subject to its prince, and in reality is unregenerate human nature wherever it is found, whether it be at the corner bar or the corner church. Its life’s work is to loosen our grip on our cross. What we are up against is the spirit of the world–we loath liquor, gambling, and other manifestations of the spirit of the world, but we need to keep in mind it is the spirit of this world that we battle. The Pharisees are a good case in point–To bolster the word of Jesus, they defied His teachings; to persecute Jesus, they behaved like the devil; they bribed men to lie in defense of the truth. See the fierceness of this spirit, as it is still rampant and growing, despite putting to death the Son of God two thousand years ago–see it as Disciple men and women vie for power and position in the church…….see them hungering and thirsting for the honor which comes of men…….See the hard terms of the Gospel of Jesus watered down; see the prince who is the spirit of this world taking multitudes for company into Hell for eternity…….see the very sins that energized the hammer of the Cross.

John 3:27:

John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

When Jesus has called, our response must be positive and sure, lest we delay response and decision, and make Jesus stand again before the judgment seat of man. The call to salvation and ministry is completely of Jesus–no man can come to Jesus unless it is given him by God our Father (Jn. 6: 65); And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of Jesus, as was Aaron (Heb 5:4).Our acceptance of the call is a response to an action instituted by Jesus. It is Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of the faith unto salvation and service–it is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing (Jn. 6: 33). The hand of faith must reach out and seize the Arm of Mercy when it beckons.

 

 

 

 

*THREE WOULD-BE DISCIPLES

Luke 9:57-62

57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.

58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of Jesus.

61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.

62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of Jesus.

The first disciple offers his services to Jesus, without being called by Jesus; Jesus cautions him that he does not know what he is in for. Notice here that when Jesus called in our previous scripture, the men dropped their nets and their lives, and followed; they didn’t know what they were in for either, but it didn’t matter—-the unknown journey of the call has no consequence, because the grace to obey the call was in the call itself; in our current scripture, we see a man volunteering to discipleship with Jesus; Jesus knows that He and many of the disciples He calls, will end up crucified, and the way to that crucifixion will be one of suffering, shame, and rejection; perceiving this man could not handle it—the call of Jesus was not there, so the faith and grace to obey were not there—Jesus refuses his offer. See the difference between volunteering to discipleship, and being called to it. Discipleship is not an offer we make to Jesus, but an offer He makes to us. The command to discipleship goes hand in hand with belief—the two are inseparable. It is the heart that must be brought and surrendered to both.

The second would-be disciple in our scripture, wants to go bury his father before answering the call of Jesus—many have much to do to put off Jesus when He calls. By burying his father, the man would fulfill the commands of the law; but Jesus has fulfilled the law for all He calls, so he tells the man to let the dead bury their dead—absolutely nothing can be allowed to come between Jesus and the man He has called—not even the law itself.

The third man lays down his own terms for moving into discipleship. “Let me first”—I will follow you after I have gotten my house in order. In other words, I will dictate to you Jesus, how I will answer the call and how I will serve; again, see the difference between this man and the men who straightaway dropped their nets or left their lives, and immediately answered the call without comment or question. Our third man shows a double-mind—he will prove unstable for he ignores the authority of Jesus in the call, and lays down conditions for answering it. There can be absolutely no conditions in our response to the call of Jesus—such conditions put up a wall between the would-be disciple and Jesus, thwarting single-minded obedience. The call is to the plow of the harvest of souls at the direction of Jesus, and to that call there must be absolute obedience, and absolutely no questioning. Once the call to the plow is answered. There is absolutely no looking back. There is only Jesus, and what He is saying your duty is for the day. It is here that your joy will start its journey to fullness.

Mark 2:14

And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.

“Follow me.” This call cuts the would-be disciple off from his previous life; To stay focused on the previous life will make obedience and thus discipleship, impossible. Matthew left his tax desk, and Peter his nets—immediately and without question, and followed Jesus. See Jesus here as our Creator, re-creating lives. When we leave the previous life, faith is needed, and becomes possible. In the previous life, most of what we needed, we knew how and where to get, thus true faith was really not needed—we could provide for ourselves; in answering the call, we are thrust into total adherence to the Person of Jesus, most of the time not knowing where we will get what we need, only knowing—by the faith He gives in His call—that it will be provided by Him. The only way to our heavenly Father, is total obedience, love, and dedication to His Son. The faith that Jesus gives, rises, and follows Him. His call frees the disciple from all earthly ties, and binds him to Jesus alone. Faith thus graces the perceived risk in answering the call, and the disciple is brought into a life where Jesus, and faith in Jesus is all he has. We can only learn what obedience to Jesus is, by undertaking it—we can only learn obedience by obeying; Single minded obedience is the only Way to the Truth, and thus the only way to Life; any other way is a wide, broad road, and many there be that go therein—their vehicle being their doubting and their questions about the call; it is the heart that drops the net at the command of He who knows the heart; the first step of disobedience is balking at the command to drop it, and this balking brings disfavor from Jesus who is calling:

John 2:23-25

23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.

24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,

25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

When the rich young man refused to sell all he had and give it to the poor at the command of Jesus (Mt. 19: 16-22), it was a sin of disobedience; he doubts and starts reflecting on his perceived life of obedience to the commandments—he started reasoning with Jesus as to why he was ok in the sight of God. But when Jesus Himself—Jesus—commanded him to sell all his possessions and give the money to the poor, the rich young man turned and walked away in disobedience. Jesus did not go after him and soften His command; He let the young man go and did not commit Himself to the man (Jn. 2: 23-25).

Belief in Jesus is proved by taking the first step of obedience to His call into discipleship; that first step that leads to Jesus Himself and all He commands for becoming a disciple of His:

Luke 14:33

“……whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple……”

The first step is to come to Jesus, and ask Him to grace you to obey this command, a command that is designed to free the heart and the life from all that isn’t Him. Obedience takes its first step when a would-be disciple drops his or her net—immediately—and resolves by grace, not to pick it up again. This simple act of obedience to Jesus, puts the disciple in a situation where true faith can be born; true faith is thus sustained by staying in this position forever. For therein is the righteousness of Jesus revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Rom 1:17); this faith is not mere belief that Jesus is who He says He is; this faith comes straight from His hand when obedience is undertaken to make Him not only Savior, but Lord of every aspect of life. Only those who obey Jesus truly believe in Him—

He is the Author of salvation to those who obey Him. (Hebrews 5:9); The first step then is coming to Jesus to be graced to totally lay down one’s life to His direction and His service. There is no gray area here; It is in our total heart pursuit and apprehension of Jesus that we find He graces us to forsake all but Him. Voluntary deprivation of the temporal life is the means used by discipleship to work at the command of Jesus, to execute the will of Jesus. When we have resolved to take this step, opposition will come from all quarters. We must diligently pursue Jesus that He might grace us not to abandon what He has started in us. The twelve dropped all they had, immediately and followed. The call is still the same. If we doubt, or if we stop to reflect on the call, we will find ourselves in disobedience to it, and back under sin’s dominion. It is when we keep on posing questions about the call that we find ourselves escaping the call, and falling into disobedience.

The scarred Hands, the Side’s hole, and the Bloody Brow, await our decision—single minded obedience unto true discipleship, salvation, total and absolute submission to Jesus and His service, or, compromise unto judgment and condemnation.

*REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE ETERNAL

John 17:3

“…..and this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent……”

Greek:

life– zoe- (dzo-ay’);

a) used of the absolute fullness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God, and through him both to the hypostatic “logos” and to Jesus in whom the “logos” put on human nature

b) life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Jesus, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last forever.

eternal– aionios-(ahee-o’-nee-os);;

1) without beginning and end, what has always been and always will be

know– ginosko (ghin-oce’-ko);

1) to learn to know, to come to know, to get a knowledge by perception, to feel, to become known; to experience; 2) to know, to understand, to perceive, to have knowledge of;

In this verse, Jesus employs all the words in their strictest signification. First–“Jesus”–because He is the Savior who saves people from themselves and their sin, and frees them from being a slave to sin. Second–“Christ”–because He has the measureless fullness of the Holy Ghost, for the exercise of all His saving offices (Isa. 61: 1-3: Lk. 4: 18).

Here, Jesus implicates Himself as God with the Father, for knowledge of God, along with a creature, could not be eternal life, and such an association of the one with the other would be inconceivable. Thus, the “Life eternal” of which He here speaks, and which He says it is His proper office to confer, is no merely conscious, unending existence, but a life whose most distinguishing characteristic is acquaintance with the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with Jesus Himself as the Way to the Father, the Truth–the source of all that is truth–and the Life, For He is the Resurrection and the Life. To know the Father is to know Jesus as Savior and Lord, Mediator, Redeemer; without knowing Jesus, their is no knowing the Father–the perfect unity of the Trinity allows revelation of our Father through Jesus if Jesus is our Savior and Lord. The Justice of God demands that we know Jesus as Redeemer–and that the only way to eternal life is through Him–more accurately, life eternal lies in the believing knowledge of Jesus and God our Father; As we walk with them, we begin experiencing to a point, what that life is–it is by knowledge of Him that has called us–2 Pet. 1: 3; the fruit of this believing knowledge will be communion with Him, love for Him, obedience, faith, and trust in Him, and our total devotion to Him. The Father draws men to a relationship with the Son (Jn. 6: 44), that the Son may then reveal the Father and relationship with Him (Lk. 10: 22). This relationship is knowing both of Them–being in union and one Spirit with them, and this is life eternal–on that day we shall all look as individuals on that Face–some will have their faith confirmed by their sight and the knowledge it brings; others will be condemned by their sight and will perish because of the lack of knowledge it reveals:

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him (God) that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. (I Jn 5:20).

And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (I Jn 2:3-4)

Repentance

Repentance signifies “to change one’s mind or purpose,” always, in the NT, involving a change for the better, an amendment, and always, except in (Luke 17:3, 4), of “repentance” from sin. The word is found in the Synoptic Gospels (in Luke, nine times), in Acts five times, in Revelation twelve times, eight in the messages to the churches, (2:5) (twice), (16,21) (twice), RV, “she willeth not to repent” (2nd part); (3:3,19) (the only churches in those chapters which contain no exhortation in this respect are those at Smyrna and Philadelphia); elsewhere only in (2 Cor. 12:21).

In the OT, “repentance” with reference to sin is not so prominent as that change of mind or purpose, out of pity for those who have been affected by one’s action, or in whom the results of the action have not fulfilled expectations, a “repentance” attributed both to God and to man, e. g., (Gen. 6:6; Exod. 32:14) (that this does not imply anything contrary to God’s immutability, but that the aspect of His mind is changed toward an object that has itself changed,

In the NT the subject chiefly has reference to “repentance” from sin, and this change of mind involves both a turning from sin and a turning to God. The parable of the Prodigal Son (Lk. 15: 11-32) is an outstanding illustration of this. Jesus began His ministry with a call to “repentance,” (Matt. 4:17), but the call is addressed, not as in the OT to the nation, but to the individual. In the Gospel of John, as distinct from the Synoptic Gospels, referred to above, “repentance” is not mentioned, even in connection with John the Baptist’s preaching; in John’s gospel and 1st epistle the effects are stressed, e. g., in the new birth, and, generally, in the active turning from sin to God by the exercise of faith (John 3:3; 9:38; 1 John 1:9), as in the NT in general.

Repentance is a turning away from sin, disobedience, and rebellion and a turning to Jesus (Matt. 9:13; Luke 5:32). In a more general sense, repentance means a change of mind and heart toward Jesus, a feeling of remorse or regret for past conduct (Matt. 27:3), and completely reversing that past conduct and moving into absolute obedience to Jesus. True repentance is a “godly sorrow” for sin, an act of turning around and going in the opposite direction, making Jesus not only Savior, but Lord. This type of repentance leads to a fundamental change in a person’s relationship to God, and it’s abiding is evidence that our Father has given grace to come to Jesus and make Him Savior and Lord. Repentance is a gift from our Father:

In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. 2 Tim 2:25-26

In the Old Testament the classic case of repentance is that of King David, after Nathan the prophet accused him of killing Uriah the Hittite and committing adultery with Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba. David’s prayer of repentance for this sin is found in Psalm 51.

In the New Testament the keynote of John the Baptist’s preaching was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2). To the multitudes he declared, “Bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Matt. 3:8; Luke 3:8). When Jesus began His ministry, He took up John’s preaching of the message of repentance, expanding the message to include the good news of salvation: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel” (Matt. 4:17; Mark 1:15).

In Jesus’ preaching of the kingdom of God is seen the truth that repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin: by repentance, one turns away from sin; by faith, one turns toward God in accepting the Lord Jesus Christ, making Him Savior and Lord. Such a twofold turning, or conversion, is necessary for entrance into the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 18:3). “Unless you repent,” said Jesus, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3,5). “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10).

After Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, His disciples continued His message of repentance and faith (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 20:21; 26:20). Repentance is a turning from wickedness and dead works (Acts 8:22; Heb. 6:1) toward God and His glory (Acts 20:21; Rev. 16:9) to and through Jesus; it is eternal life (Acts 11:18), and a knowledge of the truth (2 Tim. 2:25). Repentance is associated with prayer (1 Kin. 8:47), belief (Mark 1:15), baptism (Acts 2:38), and conversion (Acts 3:19) and is accompanied by humility (Matt. 11:21). Repentance is God’s will and pleasure (Luke 15:7-10; 2 Pet. 3:9), as well as His command (Mark 6:12; Acts 17:30). It is a gift of His sovereign love (Acts 5:31; 11:18; Rom. 2:4; 2 Tim. 2:25), without which we cannot be saved (Luke 13:3).

Mark 1:4-5

4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

Baptism is the seal of repentance. Repentance, Faith, Holiness,, and new Obedience are to be its fruits. It is to be symbolic of the washing of the soul with the Blood of Jesus and the death of the old man, followed by the resurrection of the New. John baptized unto repentance–the washing as an outward sign……Jesus baptizes with the Holy Ghost and fire–impartation of the inward Agent–the Holy Spirit–Which effects in us, all that Jesus did for us; whose chief aim is to burn away all that is contrary, effecting the resurrection of Jesus in our mortal flesh. Fire makes all it burns, like itself, symbolic of the Lord as a consuming fire, making all He consumes, like Himself.

Matt 3:7-11

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8 Bring forth therefore fruit meet for repentance:

9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance………..

Holiness is the fruit of repentance. Complete moral change worked by the Holy Spirit is the evidence of repentance unto salvation. Repentance is the link which connects confession to the cleansing effected by the Blood of Jesus. The fruit of Godly sorrow and shame is guilt………….The fruit of Godly repentance has the sorrow, shame, and guilt washed from it. It is His Blood that lifts the head.

The ceremonial law required many washings or baptisms; John’s baptism made way for the remedial law of Jesus: repentance and faith unto salvation.

“We have Abraham to our father” (Vs 9)–Church membership does not entitle one to the advantages of the Covenant. “God is able of these stones to raise up children of Abraham ” (Vs 10)–The inference here is that the people John is addressing are as hard as the stones–the stones need no repentance, and God could immediately raise them into the twelve tribes of Israel (These stones are the ones Joshua set up for a memorial–Josh. 4: 20); The people are as hard as stones and do need repentance, but claim access to the throne by being the seed of Abraham. There is a plea here for these people (the trees), to see the ax poised to be laid to their root–certain death, for without the root, the tree will die–if they do not produce fruit meet for repentance–we must realize the day of our visitation and take eternal advantage of it. The gift unto the fruit is being offered by God–Today if ye hear His voice–if you will not hear His voice and seize the gift unto fruit that is meet, the ax shall meet you, be laid to your root and you laid to the fire–barren trees are dead and are fit for nothing but firewood. The fact that the root of the tree is hewn down speaks of eternal judgment, for if the root is taken, the tree will bud no more. The message here is one of utmost urgency and seriousness for– “Behold, I come Quickly”. (Rev. 3:11; 22: 7, 12, 20) Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited. (Jer 6:8)

The fruit of true repentance shall be as wheat–valuable and able to be put to a multitude of use; the fruit of lip-service repentance shall be as chaff–of no use, easily carried about by the wind, and readily burnable. The Law exists to reveal the evil done by man from Adam-on….it reveals the need and glory of the remedy Jesus provides, contained in the mercy of God. Revelation of this “schoolmaster” is given to bring us to Jesus.

Like faith, Repentance without works, is dead…..Like faith, repentance finds its Authorship in the Lord. It is still now as it was then: the way of the Lord is prepared by repentance and the humbling of one’s self before Him. True repentance is not being sorry for sin and then persisting in it. It is a one-hundred and eighty degree turn from it:

“There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. ” (Luke 13:1-5)

Great sufferers are not necessarily great sinners………Many meet the furnace for repentance and purification, not consummation. The fact that Jesus uses two incidents and mentions the lack of repentance with perishing twice, shows the great importance He places on it. We all deserve to perish as they did–have our blood mingled with our sacrifices– but while we are still living and breathing, there is the opportunity to seize the Lord’s gift of repentance.

Jesus is saying the men that perished are not an example of divine vengeance, as the people imagined. What He is saying is that unless a man repent, he shall perish in a way just as awful as the Galilaens and on those whom the tower fell. In short, there is a terrible future for those who refuse His gift of repentance. What the Master is telling us here is to hear and fear—examine ourselves and repent, lest we also perish.

All this is not said with threatening motive, for Jesus came to save the world, not to condemn it. It is said here twice, because the roaring lion is ever in our midst, and the justice of God will make way for his devouring the unrepentant. Here is the urgency of the Master’s call to repentance, for eternity is but one step away and who knows when Providence will allow for that step? We must come to grips with the fact that few there are that find and enter in by the straight gate and narrow way: that multitudes have chosen the wide gate–the broad way–have not repented and walked in the will of God, but have rather walked after their own thoughts into the horror of eternal destruction. We must realize that there is Wrath to come, and that wrath is justified in the rejection of grace offered to repent and be in union with the living Jesus. One must know that this wrath is in part directed at

sin, but in a larger part directed toward he who rejects history’s heaviest Price for that sin.

Repentance is necessary, but must be viewed for what it really is–the vehicle that opens the door to more of the Person. Even repentance will beckon merit and therefore must be viewed as not an end unto itself, but a perpetual, necessary part of the process. Repentance in and of itself can be a killer, for many do view it as an end in itself, stopping the flesh-killing process when confession is made and repentance proclaimed, but not fully undertaken. True repentance reverses the action being repented of–this is faith with works, in action. While sin must be considered, when it is, the Blood of Jesus must also be considered. Many focus on sin, confession, and repentance, but there is no release, no freedom, as the false perception of guilt remains. The evil one has slipped into the midst. The Blood of Mercy is seldom counted in this phase of the walk, and as a result, confusion enters. This confusion comes wearing the garb of penitence and contrition, and moves toward self pity as its resting place. It is the evil one who blinds to His Blood and the power of it, and when the eye of the heart sees only penitence as its end, that eye has been made ready for the blindfold. Keeping the Blood of Jesus in focus, will destroy self condemnation, guilt, and confusion, if the heart is His:

History would tell us that multitudes that have gone before us have rejected this Gospel of repentance and faith, and that hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. (Isa 5:14). Even our loving God, complete with His infinite love and longsuffering, must turn to justifiable wrath, as Jesus continually stands before the judgment seat of man, only to be rejected again and again. Who knows when the measure for a man will be filled and the dam of wrath break upon him?

“O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?” (Jer 4:14)

“…..The time is fulfilled,and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel………….”

Mark 1:15

II. Life: Obedience to Jesus

Obedience to God is to be found in Jesus and in Jesus only; I cannot obey God apart from Jesus—“apart from me you can do nothing” says the Master. Obedience is the very nature of Jesus, a fact validated by His Blood. Pride is the ultimate enemy of obedience, for pride is the foundation of the love of self and the gratification of self; when such is sought, the fear of men’s faces is the fruit, for in our pursuit of keeping our ‘self’ gratified, we find gratification’s measuring stick in the hand of men’s approval or disapproval. Self-preservation is always deceptively measured by other men’s response to it. It was Adam’s pride and his love for himself that prompted his move into obedience; his desire to please Eve only consummated the sin. The resurrection of the patience of Jesus in us, goes a long way in showing us how obedient to Him we are; Adam used these keys to open the doors of disobedience and we are still using them. But He who shuts that no man can open and opens that no man can shut, namely Jesus, is the Key to the door of obedience. Jesus Himself is the porter of the door that opens to obedience to God. We enter the door of disobedience by Adam, and we enter the door of obedience by Jesus—no one can come to our Father but by the Master. If this door is not entered, salvation is not secured; He who does not enter the sheepfold by this door, has deceived himself if he believes he has entered. Such a man is a thief and a robber, for in his disobedience, he seeks to enter the sheepfold by climbing in some other way—there is a way that seems right to a man, that will end in death—that way is disobedience, steeped in presumption.

It was the love for our Father, and His will for our salvation, that animated Jesus’ obedience, all the way to the Cross. Faith’s heart and vision is obedience to the Master. The glory of God lights the road of obedience. Patience is the Blood of obedience, love is the marrow of patience—we cannot lose one without losing the other. Either you have them both or you have neither. Our obedience will be in proportion to the resurrection of Jesus in us, for obedience to God is the very Person of Jesus, nothing more, nothing less. It is His resurrection in us that spawns self-contempt, and the move into obedience to Him, the meat of which, is the will of God, the fruit of which is loss of life for Jesus’ sake. Jesus endured self-affliction at the hands of men to carry out His obedience to God. Jesus’ life shows us the road of obedience to God is paved with the bricks of suffering. Jesus knows it is the narrow road that leads to life, for it is the road he traveled Himself. And it was in the traveling of that road that He opened it to us, becoming the Way, being the Truth of suffering obedience, that leads to Life. Self love is outer darkness that hides the door of obedience, but makes visible the door of disobedience, by concealing and harboring pride, which is the nourishment of disobedience to God. It is self-love that calls evil good and it is pride that calls good, evil., all under the canopy of outer darkness, deceptively seen in the light of presumption.

*SCRIPTURAL WITNESS

The Old Testament Conception: Obedience to God

It was the one important relationship which must not be broken by disobedience. While sometimes this relationship between Yahweh and His people may have been formal and cold, nevertheless obedience to God was the one strong tie which held the people close to God. The significant spiritual relation is expressed by Samuel when he asks the question, “Hath Yahweh (God) as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Yahweh? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams” (1 Sam 15:22). It was the condition without which no right relation might be sustained to Yahweh. This is most clearly stated in the relation between Abraham and Yahweh when he is assured “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice” (Gen 22:18).

In prophetic utterances, future blessing and prosperity were conditioned upon obedience: “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land” (Isa 1:19). After surveying the glories of the Messianic kingdom, the prophet assures the people that “this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of Yahweh your God” (Zec 6:15). On the other hand misfortune, calamity, distress and famine are due to their disobedience and distrust of Yahweh.

This obedience or disobedience was usually related to the specific commands of Yahweh as contained in the law, yet they conceived of God as giving commands by other means. Note especially the rebuke of Samuel to Saul: “Because thou obeyest not the voice of Yahweh, …. therefore hath Yahweh done this thing unto thee this day” (1 Sam 28:18).

[One of the most important names for God in the Old Testament is Yahweh, or Jehovah, from the verb “to be,” meaning simply but profoundly, “I am who I am,” and “I will be who I will be.” The four-letter Hebrew word YHWH was the name by which God revealed Himself to Moses in the burning bush (Ex. 3:14). This bush was a vivid symbol of the inexhaustible dynamism of God who burns like a fire with love and righteousness, yet remains the same and never diminishes. Some English translations of the Bible translate the word as Jehovah, while others use Yahweh.]

The New Testament Conception: Obedience to Jesus

In the New Testament a higher spiritual and moral relation is sustained than in the Old Testament. The importance of obedience is just as greatly emphasized. Jesus Himself is its one great illustration of obedience. He “humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross” (Phil 2:8). By obedience to Him we are through Him made partakers of His salvation (Heb 5:9). This act is a supreme test of faith in Jesus. Indeed, it is so vitally related that they are in some cases almost synonymous. “Obedience of faith” is a combination used by Paul to express this idea (Rom 1:5). Peter designates believers in Jesus as “children of obedience” (1 Pet 1:14). Thus it is seen that the test of fellowship with Yahweh in the Old Testament is obedience. The bond of union with Jesus in the New Testament is obedience through faith, by which they become identified and the believer becomes fit for discipleship. There cannot be faith without obedience to Jesus. Disobedience is really an attitude of the mind and finds its essence in a heart of unbelief and unfaithfulness (1 Pet 2:7-8; Eph 2:2; 5:6; Col 3:6). In the latter three references “children (sons) of disobedience” are mentioned, as if one should become the very offspring of such an unhappy and unholy state of mind. The classic phrase–I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision (Acts 26: 19)—the apostle is saying he was not disobedient to the commands of Jesus when he was dropped to the Damascus road by the Lord; he continued to minister in direction given him by perceptions from Jesus as he carried out his ministry:

19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. Mark 16:19-20

So then, obedience here can be defined as carrying out the word and will of God, at the direction of Jesus— the word ‘obey’ is related to the idea of hearing the Lord, and lining up what we think we hear, with the written word, acknowledging Him, and then doing it. Obedience is a positive, active response to what a person believes God wants them to do. God summons people to active obedience to His revelation. Man’s failure to obey God results in judgment. In the Old Testament covenant between God and man, obedience was the basis for knowing God’s blessing and favor (Ex. 19:5; 24:1-8). Samuel emphasized that God’s pleasure was not in sacrifice but in obedience (1 Sam. 15:22). Even the promise of a new covenant emphasized obedience as God’s gift (Jer. 31:33).

In the New Testament, the obedience of Jesus stands in contrast to the disobedience of Adam; the obedience of Jesus’ disciples stands in contrast to the disobedience of the unbelieving Jews and others. The disobedience of Adam brought death, but the perfect obedience of Christ brought grace, righteousness, and life (Rom. 5:12-21). This righteousness and eternal life is available only to those who walk in obedience to Jesus: And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him (Heb 5:9). Obedience to Jesus is thus the link between redemption and salvation.

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*OBEDIENCE: JESUS NOT ONLY SAVIOR, BUT LORD

Luke 6:46

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Jesus challenged the rich young man in chapter I (Mt. 19: 16-22), to accept a life of voluntary poverty by selling all he had and giving the money to the poor; as we saw, the rich young man walked away from Jesus in disobedience to the command of Jesus. Contrast that to the call of each of the Twelve—they dropped whatever they were doing and followed Jesus–immediately; There are many things that stood in their way, but they obeyed Jesus without question—their only response, was to follow Him. In the call of Jesus, they somehow seized the grace to obey, which is in the call. When we reason out the call, satan gets in and uses everything at his disposal—including scripture– to keep us from obeying the call of Jesus. We must understand, that compromising the call, also compromises our fellowship with Jesus, for if we are in disobedience, we are in sin, and if we are in sin, we need to confess it, repent of it, and obey Jesus. We must literally take Jesus at His word—He always means just what He says, and says just what He means. Obedience to His commands will strip us of everything but Him, and put us in a position of relying only on Him—a position where true faith is possible. The disciple thus finds himself in temporal insecurity—although he is temporally and eternally secure in his obedience to Jesus.

Obedience to the call of Jesus brings total liberty from all there is in life—but Him; It brings us to the simplicity that is ours in Jesus (2 Cor. 11: 3). Relationship and intimacy with Jesus is validated by complete and absolute obedience to Him, as He explains here:

John 14:15-16, 21-23

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;

21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

23 If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

All that is in the world and in us, is to be overcome anew daily through our intimacy and relationship with Jesus. It is in our obedience to love Him with heart, mind, body, and soul, that true grace is bestowed upon us and we truly overcome in, through, and by Jesus. He thus fulfills the law through us, as we come to the realization that the word of Jesus proclaims us crucified with Him, even though we live, yet not us, but it is Jesus who is indwelling us and resurrecting in us (Gal. 2: 20). It is through our absolute surrender to Him, and our absolute seeking of Him, that grace works self-denial and the laying down of the life in us; For we are dead, and our lives are hid with Jesus in our Father, and it is Jesus who is manifesting in our mortal flesh, for only He can fulfill His commands—He always graces us to do what He commands us to do. When we find ourselves graced to obey the commands of Jesus, we must give all the glory to Jesus, for He is grace upon grace in us, wanting and fulfilling only the will of our Father. We see by our Scripture in John that if we love Jesus, His commandments will be kept—by grace He keeps them through us; if this happens, the Spirit of Jesus has been given to us; the office of the holy Spirit is to show us Jesus in all His commandments, His beauty, and His glory—in short, all that Jesus is, and all that He has done, and, what He is doing and telling us to do. Jesus manifests Himself to us by His Spirit, and it is by the Spirit of Jesus that our Father, and Jesus, come into us and make their abode in us. The whole word of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, summons us to follow Jesus—to seek His face, to love Him, to walk with Him, sacrifice our lives for Him and to Him, to minister at His direction only, and to make our obedience to Him, absolute. We must always remember that obedience is not perfection, but is a heart that is completely and absolutely committed to Jesus and the will of Jesus. We must also remember that obedience to the call of Jesus does not lie within our own power. We must not choose our path of ministry by selecting Scripture that seems to fit us; we must be called—and it is the Blood of Jesus that summons all; few are chosen because few really are willing to let Jesus unfold their ministry, and few really are willing to pay the cost of that ministry, for it costs all that you have—both inside and out.

*SELF-THE FIRST LINE ENEMY AGAINST OBEDIENCE TO JESUS

John 5: 41, 43-44

41 I receive not honour from men.

43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

44 How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?

The allusion made by Jesus here is most definitely to false prophets (VS 43); They speak what people want to hear, not what God is saying to them. But the biggest false prophet the would-be disciple has to deal with, is the false prophet within one’s self. For the would-be disciple, obedience is a single-minded issue—that is, it is his whole meat, his whole sustenance; It is when we come to our hearts in our own name—seeking to gratify that which is in us that is of the flesh and not Godly—that we reject Jesus and fall into disobedience to Him– I am come in my Father’s name, and you receive me not. If another shall come in his own name, him you will receive (VS 43). The would-be

disciple becomes false when he comes to himself in his own name, seeking to gratify his flesh by bearing witness of himself—publicizing his attributes in the name of Jesus, being deceived into thinking that those attributes will draw men to Jesus; such a man has fallen victim to the very hypocrisy Jesus warns about for while he claims with his talents to be attempting to draw men to Jesus, his heart is really looking for the honor of men, instead of the honor that comes from God (VS 44). Jesus says here that such men cannot believe for they seek the face and approval of men—they are men pleasers, not God pleasers, giving testimony of themselves while proclaiming Jesus, and Jesus Himself says they have been deceived and their witness is not true: If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true (Jn 5: 31); they have shunned He who is the Truth, and have bought into themselves. Jesus charges such men with pride and vain-glory, and unbelief (VS 44): This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. Matt 15:8.

Compromise of any kind in this area, can be eternally fatal: Ye did run well; who did

hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of Him that calleth you.

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (Gal 5:7-9). Men will be enticed to inject themselves into their ministry effort, and as the apostle explains here, a little, will go a long way—all the way; the whole lump will be full of pride and hypocrisy, if a little leaven is let in through compromise—-i.e. any hint of honoring self.

The worship of self involves a heart of ambition that seeks the honor of men; Jesus despises such honor: I receive not honor from men (VS 41); It is the proud man’s heart to throw honor upon others only that it may rebound upon himself. Idolizing men

and their self-published talents and desiring to be idolized by them and their praises, are pieces of idolatry that are absolutely contrary to Jesus, who He is, and what He stands for. Men who harbor such desires are clothed in the garments the Pharisees left behind: If I honor myself, my honor is nothing (Jn 8: 54).

Obedience to Jesus, sacrifice of self

Matt 10:39

He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Obedience/obey: ‘hupakouo’ (Greek); “to listen, attend” (as in (Acts 12:13), and so, “to submit, to obey,” is used of “obedience” (a) to God, (Heb. 5:9; 11:8); (b) to Jesus, by natural elements, (Matt. 8:27; Mark 1:27; 4:41; Luke 8:25); (c) to disciples of Jesus, (Luke 17:6); (d) to the faith, (Acts 6:7); the gospel, (Rom. 10:16; 2 Thes. 1:8).

John 5: 44

How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?

John 12:26

If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.

This honor that comes from God comes when we truly submit to make a lifetime pursuit of Jesus and total heart obedience to Him, and nothing or no one else—especially ourselves:

He is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter; who praise is not of men, but of God (Rom. 2:29); Circumcision of the heart, is a total cutting away of self, all that is in the world– the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—a complete and total forsaking of these things resulting when we absolutely submit and abandon ourselves to the love of and obedience to, Jesus. This scripture tells us we cannot believe if we seek the honor of men.

How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only? (Jn 5: 44)

The difficulty of truly believing, thus truly obeying, arises from ourselves and our own corruption; The seeking of the approval and honor of men is an absolute stumbling block to saving, believing, faith in Jesus; How can they believe who make the praise and applause of men their aim and their idol? When true persecution comes that shatters their image of their talents, most will flee Jesus to save man’s applause and perception of those talents.

The call of Jesus is specifically individual—every man, every woman, must discern and respond—face to face as it were—to the call of Jesus. Even though there is one body, that body is made up of individuals, and though each individual benefits from the body, each individual still answers the call of Jesus, and follows Him in obedience, alone.

 

 

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (Rom 6: 16). If we yield ourselves to ourselves, we have yielded to unrighteousness; if we lose ourselves in our total pursuit and obedience to Jesus, we have moved into the obedience that proves our righteousness is Jesus Himself for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage (2 Pet 2:19). Many proclaim and preach Jesus, while being in bondage to themselves. The word of Jesus in the areas here-in mentioned, proves Jesus is not Lord of such a life, but self is. Obedience is also mandated in the fulfillment of God’s claims or commands–

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous (Rom 5:19)—again, this righteousness of Jesus is imparted to us—its path to us, is the path of obedience to Him: And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him (Heb 5:9).

All that lies at the door of your conscience must be taken captive by the Master. If I do not love Him, I am but a banging gong and a tinkling cymbal–and it is obedience that proves my love for Him“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me……..” John 14:21.

Again, obedience is not perfection, it is consistent trying out of love for Him. It is in our trying, succeeding, and failing that grace abounds and aids; The purest desires to do good are not with fruit but by obedience. Any desire not surrendered to Jesus detracts from the peace, presence and Person of Jesus in our lives, and gives the enemy an opening to harass; It is not faith in His work, but faith in Him and His Blood that saves, delivers, heals, and sustains peace and obedience. The salvation of the creature is the Creator Himself, working and flowing through the creature; If we choose discipleship, Jesus will open everything to us that we need to believe –we shall know the Truth of everything we need to understand, and the Truth will then set us free, and we shall be free indeed—free to obey Him.

It is obedience that grips firmly the shield of faith before God, in which we ward off all unbelief or any thought of turning back; obedience is the Spiritual sword that is always drawn and lays low every selfish longing and desire; the iron breastplate of Meekness and Patience through obedience, wards off every insult, every jab and missile; obedience is the protective prayer which is our saving helmet. We do not stand with our feet close together, but one foot is always advancing toward obedient service, while the other stays firmly planted in its pursuit of Jesus. Our obedience lays the sword to the members of our flesh, as the mind is transformed by the Master;

Obedience brings the submission that will not allow the demons to scatter distrust in the face of the reprimand of our Godly superiors. To allow such distrust to get in, is to fall, for whatever is not of the obedience of faith, is sin.

Obedience is unquestioned movement, death freely accepted, a simple life, danger faced without worry, an unprepared defense before God, fearlessness before death, the burial place of the will, and the resurrection of Lowliness and Humility. Obedience buries us with Jesus in baptism, crucifies us though we live—working us into a corpse that does not strive or debate, or, negotiate at the table of the enemy. Obedience is our willing surrender to slavery. Obedience to Jesus is total self-mistrust up to our dying day—in all matters, even what we perceive to be good. Obedience graces us not to mistake the pool of pride for the sea of service, the harbor of men’s honor for heaven’s approval; It is obedience that graces us to pass the death sentence on ourselves.

III. Count the Cost

Luke 14:25-35

25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,

26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,

30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?

32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?

35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Before response is made, prayer must be made about the cost involved. We must not expect to pay nothing for what cost God, everything. It is the written word of God that gives us witness of what the cost will be; as we look at the twelve, we must realize that the cost for them will be the cost for us—everything. We must know this going in; long deliberate prayer is usually not associated with counting the cost, it is usually a means to try to get the Lord to some how let us off the hook in paying it. The cost is there—it is written.

To respond with the whole heart, and pursue total consummation by the Lord Jesus, means several points need to be made about such a life. First any notion about a vague, romantic type Spiritual life, must be abandoned. Those seeking Spiritual experience must be ready to face Reality and Truth and what it will cost to realize the experience. The Lord by His Spirit will truly demand to be Lord of your whole life. You must be willing to have your personality taken over by Another who will expect unquestioning obedience in everything. Self-sins will not be tolerated in your life, although they may be tolerated in many lives around you–but as for you, there will be no self-pity, self- seeking, self-defense, self-glorification–you are a dead man and you will not be allowed to seek that which is dead, among the Living. The direction of your life will be taken away from you. You will find the Lord in sharp opposition to the comforts of the world and the fleshy flexibility in the attitudes of Christianity. He is a jealous God–and that for your good. He will test you, discipline you, and chasten and scourge you for the sake of your soul and ministry. He will strip you of fence-sitting pleasures enjoyed by many other Christians. Your flesh will cry, and the accuser will rail against you. You will enjoy the solemn privilege of suffering injustice and not being able to open your mouth about it, that you may take your part in filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Jesus. As they beat you, you will pray for them. But you will see Jesus, and will be enfolded in Him in such a manner inconceivable to you at the start of this journey. You will enjoy a fellowship and an intimacy with Him that is available to all, but enjoyed by few because of the narrowness of the way, and the straightness of the gate, and the cost of the walk. If all this sounds severe, remember, the true character of the Cross is not one of spiritual compromise–the Way of the Cross is not an easy way, but it is the only Way to the crown.

“………When thou saidst, “Seek ye my face, my heart said unto thee Thy face, LORD, will I seek…….” Psalm 27: 8

I may, by the grace of God, become a teacher; but until my life is completely and absolutely laid down to Jesus, I will never Truly learn.

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*IT WILL COST YOU EVERYTHING

Luke 14: 25-35

25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,

These great multitudes were made up now of enemies as well as friends. Curiosity doubtless attracted many; the fame of the Teacher had gone through the length and breadth of the land. The end, the Master well knew, was very near, and, in the full view of his own self-sacrifice, the higher and tougher were the claims he made upon those who professed to be his followers. He was anxious now, at the end, clearly to make it known to all these multitudes what serving Him really signified — entire sacrifice of self and all that caters to self; a real, not a poetic or sentimental, taking up the cross (ver.27). Even His own chosen disciples were yet a long way from apprehending the terrible meaning of this cross He spoke of, and which to him now bore so ghastly a significance. It was this great throng that continued to gather around Him, proving His growing popularity, that prompted the following verses—Jesus, as He was then, is now, very popular among many who claim to be His followers; in the next several verses He lays down the parameters for those who would be His true disciples, separating the true disciples from the mere followers and believers.

26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

The circumstances under which these words were spoken will explain the strength of the language used. Jesus says that He came “not to send peace on earth, but a sword,” by which he meant that the first effect of the introduction of His truth would be (as He said) to set the members of the same family at variance against one another, and to make a man’s foes to be “they of his own household” (Matthew 10:34-36). By honoring

and acknowledging Him as the Messiah of the Jews and as the Redeemer of mankind, His disciples would see their own families coming against them; they would be obliged to act as if they hated them (even though they don’t—the direction and commands of Jesus must be obeyed, and many times, family feelings and agendas must be ignored, leaving the families feeling hated, or, not loved as much as they believe they should be).

Disciples have to hate their own lives as well, for they take a step which removes all comfort and sensual pleasure from it, and make it valueless if not miserable. On the relation of Jesus Christ and His gospel to the families of disciples, Jesus:

I. DISALLOWS PARENTAL TYRANNY. Such total and unquestioning authority as

the Roman law gave to the parent over the child is not sanctioned, but strictly condemned, by Jesus. No human being is wise enough or good enough to exercise such control over the disciple; and to yield such control is to deny the responsibility which Jesus has laid upon us, and which cannot be delegated to parents or anyone else.

II. DISALLOWS MANIPULATION AT THE HANDS OF ONE’S CHILDREN.

Any human in the life of the disciple must not be elevated above his or her rightful level, which is always below the relationship with Jesus and His commands.

III. RESERVES ABSOLUTE OBEDIENCE FOR JESUS ALONE.

Disciples most times have to choose between their attachment to the earthly parent and their obligations to Jesus. Then the words of Jesus have a literal application; then the disciple has to pass through the most severe and trying of all conflicts; he has to weigh one authority against another—Jesus against the family.; he will by his decision usually please Jesus, but hurt or anger the family. The Lord who created him (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16); who redeemed him with His own Blood; who sought and found and restored him; who has made him an heir of eternal life; — this Lord Jesus, who has been upholding him by His power, and who is the one Hope and Refuge of his soul, has claims upon his obedience to which even those of a human parent are utterly unequal. And when the choice has to be made, as it sometimes has even here and now, there can be

but one course which the disciple recognizes as right; it is to choose the side and the

service of Jesus; meekly bearing the heavy cross of family severance, yet loving a family that believes he no longer loves them.

The Lord’s teaching throughout, in parable and in direct saying, pressed home to his followers that no home love, no earthly affection, must ever come into competition with our love for and obedience to, Him. All we are, all we have, apart from Jesus, will constantly come into conflict with Him; all that a true disciple has, must be sacrificed to the calling and cause of Jesus. If home life comes in conflict with our duty, home life and those in it, must be sacrificed. We must not water down what discipleship means to Jesus, and His definition of it. The cost of truly following Jesus, is everything. Period. No compromise of any kind, in any area. Before deciding if we want to attach ourselves to Jesus in discipleship, we must be prepared to make a full and absolute surrender of our will in all areas—He will make His will our will out of such surrender. Our lives are totally and absolutely sacrificed for Jesus and His ministry and service.

27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. Satan has crept in our midst, coming to kill, steal, and in this instance, as always, to divide. He divides by stealing the cross from an unaware and most times presumptuous saint. This is always done under the watchful eyes of God, but when we violate God’s word, and give way to doing anything to get what we want, satan will gain access.

The cup offered us by God contains our cross–But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? Mark 10:38. The cross that is commanded of us by Jesus, is the same cross that was commanded of Jesus by our Father—the cross is absolute—there is no arguing with it—the true cross does not compromise—it kills—slowly perhaps, but nonetheless, when its job is done, death is complete and he or she who hangs on it is silenced for good. We are completely alive when first hung upon it, and completely dead when we are finally taken from it. The cross we are appointed slays us in proportion to our obedience to Jesus.

This cross loses its deadly and glorious power in our lives, when we change it from a thing of death, to a thing of privilege. In such a swap, the will of God is no longer the Blood of life and the fruit of our cross; in such a swap, the Blood of Life becomes a means to blessing the flesh and pursing and gaining one’s own way at any cost. The cross of the disciple disappears in the swap, while the cross of Jesus remains, but has been changed to suit the fleshy self-willed ‘benefactors’ of His sacrifice. When this swap is made, the true power of the cross disappears, and religion and ritual take its place, with the would-be disciple seeking his own agenda and his own blessing in the name of the cross. The cross that you may hang around your neck or put as an ornament in your ear, becomes nothing but an empty emblem, if it is not a sign of your crucifixion with Him. Millions who do so today, believe in its magic, but know nothing of its power.

Eph 2:14-16

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

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Not ignoring all the wonderful and sacrificial symbolisms of the Cross of Jesus, we move by them into the area of what His Cross accomplishes in our lives. Revelation of the Cross and He who hung on it, right away graces:

1)OBEDIENCE: “Follow me”—they straight away dropped their nets, their tax manuals and whatever else, and followed. It is Jesus who calls, and when He calls, there is no deliberation about current circumstance—a person immediately follows, walking into a life heretofore unknown. Any objection to the call—ie, I have business to clear up, family to see, etc., shows that he who is called is dictating the terms of his call to Jesus. The 12, dropped their lives immediately and followed; in the example of the three would-be disciples that Jesus gives us in Luke 9, shows one who volunteers, one who is called but wants to bury his dad, and one who is called, but wants to bid farewell to friends and family, and take care of current circumstances; Jesus refuses the volunteer’s offer; tells the second man to let the dead bury their dead—you go—NOW—and preach the gospel, and the third is told to go preach, Jesus saying He who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God—in other words, when He calls, the response must be immediate and uncompromising obedience—if it is not, there will be problems when a person finally decides to heed the call. This is what the Cross of Jesus does—it slayed Him, it slays us—immediately when He calls—it kills all but Him in the life; if you receive such a call and compromise it, don’t expect us to use you here. True discipleship is graced to tolerate nothing that comes between the called and the Caller

The Cross is the instrument that cuts the called off from all previous existence; if we stay where we are, and try to work the call into our present circumstance, God will not endorse it. Through the Cross, He who created us, recreates us, and our response to that recreation must be immediate and without compromise. The true call of Jesus, frees the called from all earthly ties, immediately—and binds the person solely to Jesus. The call plunges one from security into seemingly absolute insecurity—all life now centers on He who is invisible. It is in this weakness that the strength of Jesus starts to be realized. Thus the called is placed in the position of believing Jesus, for all else that might be believed in, has been taken. This is the beginning of the road to apostolic faith. Many try to create this situation, but can’t; doesn’t mean they are not called to minister—it means the call to the apostolic road is not there—the evidence being that a man starts to do the external things—he concentrates on the law, he attends many church meetings and seminars, he samples many ministries, he welcomes a multitude of voices into his life—all in search of what automatically comes when Jesus truly calls. Such people would fall under the first disciple category in Luke 9—they volunteer for the apostolic road, but Jesus refuses; they must then find what He is saying about where He wants them, instead of continuing the direction of their ministry calling in vain: 1 Cor 12:28-30

Jesus, uses His cross through His call, to cut off the old existence—it is the internal that is changed, though the external may, for sometime remain the same; I may have a multitude of things to do in my circumstance, but when Jesus calls, I am graced immediately to answer, and in responding immediately to Him, I can be assured that all I was doing, will be taken care of—we must not object in any way to the call, and we must not tie up what we perceive to be the “loosed ends of our lives’—they will be tied up by the Lord, when we obediently answer His call.

SO, IT IS THE CROSS THAT JESUS USES TO OFFEND YOU THROUGH HIS CALL—WE ARE OFFENDED BY ITS SEVERITY, BY ITS COMMANDS, AND BY WHAT IT REQUIRES OF US, AND THIS IS WHAT JESUS IS DOING WHEN HE SWEEPS THROUGH THIS MISSION OR ANY OTHER PLACE, IN POWER. HE IS NOT TELLING US TO DEAL WITH OUR ISSUES THEN COME TO HIM; HE IS CALLING US TO COME TO HIM, BE TOTALLY OBEDIENT TO HIM, AND LET HIM WORK THE WILL OF GOD IN OUR CIRCUMSTANCES; WE NO LONGER SET UP OUR OWN AGENDA TO DEAL WITH OUR LIVES—WE RATHER WALK THE PATH THAT HE HAS LAID FOR US, AND LET HIM BRING ABOUT THE CIRCUMSTANCE TO DEAL WITH WHAT HE DECIDES NEEDS DEALT WITH, IN OUR LIVES. BUT IN ORDER TO ATTACH OURSELVES TOTALLY TO HIM—WE MUST DROP ALL—EVERY CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCE—AND BE OBEDIENT AND COME TO HIM, UNDERSTANDING THAT IT IS HE WHO HAS DETERMINED THE TIME OF THE CALL AND IT IS HE WHO WILL DEAL WITH OUR PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCE WHEN HE CALLS. WE THUS GET INTO THE RELIANCE AND OBEDIENCE MODE, BY GRACE, IMMEDIATELY. THE 12 HAD ALL THE ISSUES WE HAVE WHEN THEY WERE CALLED, YET WE DON’T SEE THEM DEALING WITH THEM—WE SEE THEM RESPONDING TO THE CALL IMMEDIATELY.

Vers. 28-30.— For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

Vers. 31, 32. — Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand! Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

It is not improbable that this simile was derived from the history of the time. The. first of these two little similes rather points to the building up of the disciple’s life in the

heart and life. The second is an image of the warfare which’ every disciple

man must wage against the world, its passions, and its lusts. If we cannot

brace ourselves up to the sacrifice necessary for the completion of the building up of the life we know is Jesus Himself; if we shrink from the cost involved in the warfare against sin and evil — a warfare which will only end with Life — better for us not to begin the building or risk the war. It will be a wretched alternative, but still it will be best for us to make our submission at once to the world and its prince; at least, by so doing we

shall avoid the scandal and the shame of not finishing the discipleship which we undertook, only to forsake. This is the spirit with which Jesus’ warriors must undertake the hard, stern warfare against an evil and corrupt world, otherwise it is better to not enter discipleship. The shadow of the cross permanently lays across all Jesus says here; thus the shadow of the cross lays permanently across the life of the disciple.

Ver. 33. — So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all

that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

We are told earlier in this Luke passage to “count the cost,” and here, we find the cost is everything–all that we are and all that we have. This is not a mandate to rule against the heart concerning possessions–this is a command to “forsake all you have.” Period. It is the move into discipleship that frees a man from bondage to his possessions, himself, his passions, his desires, and his dead works. It is discipleship that teaches the liberty of worldly poverty. Worldly poverty is not something we voluntarily undertake—it is the fruit of the total laying down of the life to Jesus, and His ministry. When the will of God and the heart of Jesus for His people become the only concern, all else passes away. Lazarus is forever laying at the gate—how dare we step over him to our gratification?

There were great multitudes present when Jesus spoke this challenging word, and many left because of it, just as they do today; Jesus presents to them here, the hardest truth of discipleship–everything but Him must be forsaken. No matter how His message has now been watered down to a seeker sensitive world, here its flesh-shattering reality remains in its absolute starkness and purity. When He spoke this word, as with many others, he knew men would be offended and would desert Him. That did not stop Him from speaking it. We would do well to remember that teaching watered-down Scripture produces watered-down disciples. Such teaching unwittingly and deceptively prohibits the exercising of the senses to discern the differences between good and evil; and when carried to its extreme, such teaching will, in fact, call one the other.

Jesus would have us make the true way of discipleship known to men, there-by challenging them to accept or reject the Truth. They must be taught that they will not wrestle against flesh and blood; that the battle does most times truly seem like we are outnumbered 2-1, that hardness will come and must be endured; discipleship– a closer and deeper walk with Him, is a walk of death, for Jesus commands that we pick up our cross daily–a sure sign of our crucifixion: a man must lose his life to truly find it; we must not forget that on that Day, many shall seek to enter in and shall not be able. Let us not be numbered among them.

Vers. 34, 35. — Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned! It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out.

Here “salt” stands for the spirit of self-sacrifice, self-renunciation. When in a man, or in a nation, or in a Church, that salt is savourless, then that spirit is dead; there is no hope remaining for the man, for the people, or the Church. The lesson was a general one–— it was meant to sink into each listener’s heart; but the Master’s sad gaze was fixed, as He spoke the somber truth, on the people of Israel whom he loved, and on the temple of Jerusalem where his glory-presence used to dwell. Men cast it out–Were it not for the self-sacrifice of souls, the world would become utterly corrupt. Only by the martyr-band, whose pure self-sacrifice was unmistakable, has the world been kept from utter selfishness and corresponding corruption and destruction. It was mindful of this martyr-spirit which his gospel ensures, that Jesus told His servants they were “the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). Suppose that Jesus’ servants make a lip-service-profession of self-sacrifice, and do not carry out the spirit of their Master, then they become but savorless salt, which can only be trodden underfoot of men on the highway, where nothing is meant to grow. In other words, the disciples who are not genuine are sure to be fruitless. They are trodden down by a world whom they have vainly tried to deceive.

* ‘CROSS’ DISSERTATION

Noun:

stauros ^4716^ denotes, primarily, “an upright pale or stake.” On such, criminals were nailed for execution.

The method of execution was borrowed by the Greeks and Romans from the Phoenicians. The stauros denotes (a) “the cross, or stake itself,” e. g., (Matt. 27:32); (b) “the crucifixion suffered,” e. g., (1 Cor. 1:17-18), where “the word of the cross,” stands for the gospel; (Gal. 5:11), where crucifixion is metaphorically used of the renunciation of all that is contrary to Jesus, which characterizes the true disciple’s life; (Gal.6:12,14; Eph. 2:16; Phil. 3:18).

The judicial custom by which the condemned person carried his stake to the place of execution, was applied by the Lord to those sufferings by which His faithful followers were to express their fellowship with Him, e. g., (Matt. 10:38, Luke 14: 27).

Verbs.

stauroo– signifies (a) “the act of crucifixion,” e. g., (Matt. 20:19); (b) metaphorically, “the putting off of the flesh with its passions and lusts,” a condition fulfilled in the case of those who are truly “disciples of Jesus,” (Gal. 5:24);

sustauroo– “to crucify with” (sufor,” sun, “with”), is used (a) of actual “crucifixion” in company with another, (Matt. 27:44; Mark 15:32; John 19:32); (b) metaphorically, of spiritual identification with Jesus in His death, (Rom. 6:6), and (Gal. 2:20).

anastauroo– used in (Heb. 6:6) of Hebrew apostates, who as merely nominal disciples of Jesus, in turning back to Judaism, were thereby virtually guilty of “crucifying” Jesus again.

prospegnumi–“to fix or fasten to anything”– used of the crucifixion”

of Jesus.

These descriptions of the cross are taken from the original Greek language in the New Testament; these words reveal to us what a ‘cross’ really means. When Jesus calls us to pick up our cross, we are in essence, picking up His—it is a call to crucifixion, a complete and total loss of our lives that we might live unto God; no one ever enjoyed a cross—the cross that saves me, must also slay me. We must beware that we do not pick up the cross that is popular in the church these days—a golden cross that says “Jesus has died, let’s see what we’ve won;” The cross of Jesus does not guarantee health, wealth, prosperity, or popularity; the cross of Jesus guarantees that we will inherit salvation, if we pick it up, and are crucified with Him, walking in obedience to Jesus in executing the will of God until we die.

It is the cross that slays the old man, that the new man—Jesus Himself, might resurrect in our mortal flesh; the real cross, enforces all that Jesus commands; beware of modern teaching that says the cross of Jesus simply sends us in a different direction—in other words, it caters to the wants and whims of the world that it might win the world; The cross that Jesus refers to is a symbol of death—not a guarantee that now we can receive God’s ‘blessings’ to gratify our fleshy desires. The cross that Jesus refers to, takes one’s life, violently, and slowly, yet abruptly. When Jesus picked up his cross and headed toward Golgatha, He didn’t look back, nor was He coming back—He was on His way to die; His cross and the cross we are appointed to, does not compromise anything, and it spares nothing—death is agonizing, painful, and complete—the cross makes no deals with anyone, it only kills the flesh—that is all it knows how to do, and it does it completely, without one shred remaining—and when its work is finished, its victim is no more. We are saved through our death on our cross—-without this death, there can be no resurrection of Jesus in us—the born again experience is impossible.without this cross.

This cross stands between the ways of God and the ways of men—it does not justify the ways of men before God; This cross does not accommodate the world, it divides the world quickly and powerfully, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit of the world , and of the joints and marrow; this cross cares nothing about the thoughts and intents of the world, it only serves to discern and reveal the heart of the world. This cross brings not compromise to the world, but rather brings it ultimatum—“accept me, embrace He who hung on me, hang on me yourself and die, if you hope to live.” The life of salvation springs from death on this cross—yours and mine; It is the acceptance of this cross, the picking up of it unto the obedience of Jesus and the will of God, that commutes the eternal death sentence against us. We no longer seek to come to terms with God, we come to Life on His terms, with nothing covered, nothing defended—we consent ourselves to this death, our sin being our worthiness for it. The cross that crucified Jesus, now crucifies us; it is the power of the resurrection of Jesus in us that raises us to newness of Life.

“………O cross, most welcome and longed for. with a willing mind, joyfully and desirously I come to you, being the scholar of Him which did hang on you, because I have always been your lover and yearned to embrace you…….”

 

The Apostle Andrew upon seeing

the cross he was to be crucified

upon at Patrae, in Achaia.

 

 

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

 

*EVIDENCE YOU HAVE A GRIP ON YOUR CROSS

The dominant desire in your life is Jesus in all things; The want and desire of Him becomes sufficient by grace to literally control every aspect of your life. Holiness unto God rather than happiness unto self, becomes your lifestyle—you would rather be holy than happy. Holiness is the purpose behind our redemption—that we may be transformed into His likeness—into Him. Evidence that your cross is doing this? “let your communication be yea, yea, or nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” Mt. 5: 37; “I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you.” Mt. 5: 44; “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and, come and follow me.” Mt. 5: 37, 44, 48. “When ye pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking.” Mt. 6: 7; If ye love me, keep my commandments, John 14: 15

You are willing to suffer dishonor or loss that Jesus and His commands be honored. Any undertaking which means glory for God is automatically undertaken—there is no debate—the choice has been made even before the matter becomes an issue. God’s glory through Jesus and at His direction, is your life motivator.

You must remember that your cross is defined as adversity that comes to you as a result of obeying Jesus. You take this cross up voluntarily when you decide to become a disciple of His, and be in absolute obedience to Him. When you consistently choose to love and obey Jesus, your cross will consistently come.

When you decide you will let God determine your length of days on this earth, you have picked up your cross. Somehow we have been duped into believing that to live this temporal life is gain, and to die and be with the Lord, is loss. But it is written—“for me to live is Jesus and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1: 21)

You have picked up your cross when you would rather be useful than noticed; you would rather serve than be served.

If you live in much conflict and interference, chances are you are picking up your cross regularly. If your life follows the true teachings of Jesus, and not much of the current church teaching which just makes the world a more attractive place, your cross will find you. The cross to which Jesus assigns us means death. It stands for a violent end to your and my flesh. This cross neither compromises nor spares, anything. It does not befriend its victim as man would have us believe, providing health and wealth; it instead slays its victim—the life is lost—totally for the sake of Jesus—that it might be found for the sake of Jesus. It is the cross that separates the ways of man and the ways of God. Our cross offers life as the fruit of death.

Except and corn of wheat—you, me,–fall to the ground in death—our cross– we will bear no fruit. We first repent and forsake our sin, the cross does its deadly work, and we pursue Jesus with all our being; it is in this pursuit that we find self increasingly denied.

*THE COST

Every man loves his own life, no man ever yet hated it; and we cannot be Jesus’ disciples if we do not love Him more than our own lives. When tribulation and persecution arise because of the word and ministry, then we will find which we love more—Jesus or our lives:

Then Jesus said to His disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matt 16:24-25

He shows by these words that, to will to come after Jesus and to follow Him, springs from no ordinary manly courage, and that it is in the draw of our Father to Jesus that we find ourselves denied, as we drop our nets and follow Him. And the man denies himself who wipes out by his absolute pursuit of Jesus, his own former life which had been spent in wickedness; he who was once an idolater and fornicator with the world, seeks the face of Jesus with his whole heart, thus opening the Way for the sacrificial life; On this account let every thought and every purpose and every word and every action

become the fruit of our apprehending Jesus and He us; a testimony about Jesus and in Jesus—when our words and actions become perpetual testimonies for and about Jesus, it denies our testimonies about ourselves; for I am persuaded that every action of the person who consumes Jesus, is a testimony to Jesus, and that abstinence from sin is a denial of self, leading him after Jesus. And such an one is crucified with Jesus, and takes up his own cross, and follows Him. It is our resolution to grip our cross and follow Jesus that crucifies life as we knew it—we lose it for His sake; but in the losing of that life, we find He who is Life; we will find that the cross loses its deadly power in our lives, when we change it from a thing of death, to a thing of privilege. In such a swap, the will of God is no longer the Blood of life; in such a swap, the Blood of Life becomes a means to blessing the flesh and pursing and gaining one’s own way at any cost. The cross of the believer disappears in the swap, while the cross of Jesus remains, but has been changed to suit the benefactors of His sacrifice. When the swap is made, the true power of the cross disappears, and religion and ritual take its place, with the believer seeking his own agenda and blessing in the name of the cross. The cross that you may hang around your neck or put as an ornament in your ear, becomes nothing but an empty emblem, if it is not a sign of your crucifixion with Him. Millions who do so today, believe in its magic, but know nothing of its power.

Reference to the Saying of Paul About Crucifixion with Jesus.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I Gal 2:20

Moreover in regard to the saying, “Let him deny himself,” the saying of Paul who denied himself seems appropriate, “Yet I live, and yet no longer I but Jesus liveth in me (Gal. 2: 20); “”I live, yet no longer I,” was the voice of one denying himself, as of one who had laid aside his own life and taken in himself resurrection and the life of Jesus, in order that Jesus might live in him as Righteousness, and as Wisdom, and as Sanctification, and as Peace, and as the Power of God, who worketh all things in him. Self denial is the fruit of picking up the cross Jesus has designated for you. Self denial is not something you can accomplish yourself, but is the work of grace, orchestrated by the Master Himself. Again, it comes when we truly say yes to His call, drop our entire lives, and become totally and absolutely obedient and submissive to Him.

The Son of God was crucified, being hanged on a tree, in order that all who die unto sin may die to it, in no other way than by the way of the cross—the cross slays the old man within me, making way for the resurrection of the new Man within me; the new Man has as His only meat, obedience to the word and will of God, forsaking absolutely all else. Wherefore they will say, “I have been crucified with Jesus,” and, “Far be it from me to glory save in the cross of the Lord, through which the world has been crucified unto me and I unto the world.” Each of those who have been crucified with Jesus gains power over principalities and the powers, and makes a show of them and triumphs over them in the cross, Jesus resurrecting in their mortal flesh, and performing the ministry of deliverance and healing, Himself.

The Loss of Life; And the Saving of It.

Matt 10:38-39

38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

A man loves his own life, and thinking that the present life is good, ends carefully his own life with a view to living in the flesh, being afraid to die; possibly believing that through death he will lose all—still not convinced of the words of the Master; this man, by the very willing to temporally save his own life will lose it eternally, placing it outside of the borders of the true Spiritual walk, living instead in the carnal. But if any one despises this present life because of the word of Jesus, which has persuaded him to strive even unto death for the Master, loses his own life, surrendering it for the sake of the will of God and service to Him unto death, this man saves his life eternally. If any one, who has grasped what salvation really is, wishes to gain the salvation of his own life, let this man lose it temporally and he will find it eternally. God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Gal 6:14.

If we are bent on saving our lives–our will, our disposition toward others, our ungodly behaviors, we shall surely lose our lives, for to be bent on saving them is a walk in the flesh and no flesh will gory in His presence; Note here that Jesus is speaking to all within hearing range, not just the disciples; The original language for ‘deny’ here is to ‘reject’; All natural affection must be put away–Jesus pleased not Himself; Our cross must be taken willingly, that is, we must take the trials and afflictions as coming from the hand of God, and only the Resurrection and the Life can take them in such a manner. Our Father seeks those who will worship Him in Spirit and Truth–the flesh profiteth nothing–it must be nailed to the cross; again, God gave us flesh so we would have something to sacrifice.

It was God who empowered Jesus to pick up His cross, and Jesus will empower us to pick up ours; We have talked about our response to reproach being a measure of the Resurrection and Life manifesting in us; We must remember: Jesus has done what He wants us to do, and He is what He wants us to be; We must not chose the way of the world–the perversion of our own nature; all ways of judging, regarding, thinking, loving–all things related to our emotional being, must flow from He who lives in us; The Law of the Resurrection and Life in us, is the will of our Father–that is all, it is nothing more nor is it nothing less; What is acceptable by the times is at definite enmity with God; We must not seek this self denial for the flesh will gladly deceive us into thinking we have conquered ourselves; this then gives way to the pride of self-conquest, and the demon is unleashed; True self denial can be successfully worked by Jesus alone, that is why we seek Him and nothing else–if our life’s pursuit is Jesus and we find intimacy with Him, self-denial will be among the many Kingdom fruits that will manifest; when we put ourselves up to self-denial, we are playing God, and the self-satisfaction that develops will prove a foundation for much sin; We must not become law-givers to ourselves; we thus become one who commands, not one who obeys; We must avoid putting burdens on ourselves, for when we do, we are serving self, not letting Jesus subdue it; We must remember, we are not our own schoolmasters; Our resolution must be to let Jesus work in us and through us all the time, for denying self is nothing more than yielding all to Him–it is also nothing less;

Remember: God gave us self, so it could be sacrificed; self gives us something to offer, just as Jesus offered Himself; Jesus will grace you to a point where only the will of God will matter–Jesus will see to it that the self be not its own minister and master; The will becomes motionless unless put into gear by Him; Consciousness of unworthiness will not cloud motivation; Jesus thus powers and orders our entire lives–friend, family, brother, sister, will be put in their rightful place; We forego our reception, that at any cost, His will be done; True Joy becomes the Life of the Son and the will of the Father–we must seek Him who never sought His own; we must see self only as our consciousness, our awareness of life; I t is not our being; Our life is hid with Jesus, in God from whom it came, and where it is returning.

In our total resolution to pursue and apprehend Jesus, and be apprehended by Him, the sheer test of it and the shattering of self, will be our response to reproach and persecution.

4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

As we grow in our lives of daily worship at His feet, we will find that grace moves the cross to do its deadly, painful work on us, exacting the cost of discipleship. Jesus demands that we take up our cross, and come after Him—it is in the whole-life seeking of Him that we pick up our cross and it crucifies us that He might live within us; we are to be crucified with Him, letting the Resurrection and the Life come alive in our mortal flesh, that we might live unto the will of our Father by the faith of our Savior and Lord. And we do not serve a Master who did not do all that He commands us. Whatever discipleship costs you, you will come to learn, it is worth it. I tell you of a truth: Jesus gave His life for us; discipleship demands that we give our lives for Him. We notice that this hard speech of the Master did draw unto him all the publicans and sinners to hear Him. There is something in a man that hates discipline but at the same time desires it. That desire is the draw of God to Jesus.

“The disciple must live in this world as though the soul was already in heaven and the body rotting in the grave” (St. Francis de Sales). There was much unreasoning, possibly not a little sentimental enthusiasm, among the people who crowded round Jesus in these last months of his work. The stern, uncompromising picture of what ought to be the life of his real disciples, was painted especially with a view of getting rid of these useless, purposeless people, who thought they wanted to be disciples on Jesus’ terms—but most, as many do today, wanted to be Jesus’ disciples on their own terms.. The way of the cross, which he was about to tread, was no pathway for the lukewarm.

1. At the entrance into discipleship. There is no room for any compromise here. When God calls us to Himself, when Jesus invites us to come unto Him, Should not our response be immediate, instantaneous? There is no step any man can take which is comparable in importance with that which is taken when a human soul obeys Jesus and enters the kingdom of God: on that decision hang eternal issues. Let men, therefore, diligently and reverently count the cost until they understand what it means to have a living faith in Jesus Christ, to enter his Spiritual kingdom, and become one of his disciples and lay their lives absolutely and completely down in obedience to Him; let them understand, among other things, that it means the willing and full surrender of themselves to the Saviour Himself, with all that such surrender involves, which means forsaking all they are and have (ver. 33).

2. At the entrance on a public profession of Jesus. Here is a

visible “Church” which we are invited to join, taking upon ourselves the

Disciple name, and openly avowing our attachment to our Lord; thus

honoring Him before men. This is a step to be taken deliberately. Before

taking it, a man should certainly ask himself whether he is prepared to act

in accordance with the profession of Jesus everywhere, in all circles and in every

sphere; not only where he will be encouraged to do the right, but where he

will be solicited to do the wrong thing; not only in the midst of friendly

influences, but in the throng of dangerous temptations. But while these things

are to be carefully taken into account, we must always remember that it is Jesus who is calling us into discipleship, and if we answer the call, we enter the walk of death with Him—He is our Guide and Master and is always with us, directing, comforting, chastising and encouraging. If we go forth in the Person and Strength of Jesus

to do that which He commands, we may confidently count on Him; and with Him resurrecting in us, we shall not be moved from the path of obedience, integrity and consistency. Look the facts in the face, but include all the facts; and do not forget that among these is the faithful Friend who calls us.

At all times, when we are thinking of the disciples’ work, we must carefully consider our desire for the Person of Jesus—who He is, what He has done, what He requires, and trust in where He might lead. The idea of cross-bearing is often interpreted as if it simply meant enduring those “crosses” to which happen to all in life. But much more is meant than this. In the Revised Version it is put, “Whosoever doth not bear his own cross.” Now, as Jesus carried his cross to die upon, so must we take our lives in our hands, and be ready at any moment to sacrifice them for Jesus. He was crucified for us: are we ready to be crucified for Him, or to die in any other way He wishes? It is the ‘martyr-spirit’

which Jesus here insists upon. He is surely worthy of such self-sacrifice.

 

*******

*ADDENDUM

The cross that satan offers us is the golden cross that says rise up and play, for Jesus has died and all shall be well. This cross brings life without interference from He who died for that life. This cross lives for its own, refusing to lay down its life for spouse, friend or foe. This cross says pick up the vodka bottle daily if you choose—after all, you have accepted Jesus, so all shall be well. This cross says your body is your own—you make the consequence-free decision to kill the child within you. This cross says that Jesus makes no demands on you, He died only to bless you, and your blessing should be the sole focus of your life. This cross says leave the homeless, the raped, and beaten—God will care for them; you get to the church and be with God’s people, serving happily with them, in peace and tranquility. This cross offers the world on a religious level—whatever the world wants, this cross tailors the gospel to meet the want and improve upon it. This cross does not slay us, it picks us up and carries us in whatever direction we are heading, saving a man’s self respect and anything else that caters to self. This cross says take the scripture and run with it in faith that God will jump through the hoop when we speak, and we shall have what we ask, for Jesus has died and all is there just for the asking and taking if we but believe. This cross puts a spin on the word of God so it will conform to the world and thus become acceptable to the world. This cross does not offend, but offers temporal safety and prosperity in the name of He who was beaten, spit on and had the hair plucked from His face.

This cross misses the whole point of its existence and its meaning. The old rugged true cross is a symbol of death—it stands for a very painful ending to the life of a man. Yet Jesus tells us that if we cannot pick it up daily, we cannot be His disciple. The old rugged cross spares nothing or no one. It is designed to slay a man once and for all, and those who pick it up, don’t look back, lest they be found unworthy of it or unfit for it. God uses the old rugged cross to slay the old rugged man, and raise him into a newness of life—the resurrection of Jesus in him. We live because we first die, and then are resurrected in He who is the resurrection. There are no friendly or safe parallels drawn between the ways of God and the ways of man. Salvation is not the raising of the old life to a higher level—it is death of the old man, that the highest level of Life might manifest in the carcass—a corn of wheat must fall to the ground and die before it will reproduce.

The old rugged cross is not a public relations piece, and we are not here to promote good will between the gospel and the world; we are here to pierce the world with the gospel, and this piercing will create pain and conflict, unless of course we choose the cross without cost. Our message is not one of diplomacy, but one of ultimatum. God is a killer—He does not offer to improve our lives, but to take them, and by the death of them, make them His own. The life offered by God comes only out of death. It stands on the other side of the cross, not before it peering blessingly happily at it. The cross is the rod we must pass under to gain this Life of which we speak. Instead of giving lip service to our vileness and then claiming blessing, we must agree with God and His death sentence upon us, forsake our sin, and then ourselves. We defend nor excuse nothing of us or in us. We do not seek to compromise with God over His Son—the rule has been laid by the hand of God, and we must adhere to Him for He is the rule. The scriptures warning the suffering of those who undertake a life with Jesus are too numerous to mention; but they are not preached—they went out the church door with the old rugged cross. Satan has duped millions into believing all they have to do is believe; ‘believe’ in the original language is much more than just believing. It is a trusting adherence to the Person of Jesus that the believer be transformed into the Resurrection and the Life. The demons believe, and you’ll not see any of them receiving reward or salvation on that day.

The cross that Jesus hung on awaits us that we might hang on it; that the life of sacrifice that He teaches and gives, might become our very own. His cross graces us to work unto eternity and His glory, as opposed to the self-centered, temporal blessing seeking many say it stands for. The cross that slayed Him will slay us, and the power that raised Him will raise us into newness of He who is the Resurrection and the Life within us.

It is a willing, grace-filled grip on the old rugged cross, that will bring the power of the early church.

 

Seek and set out your daily time to be alone with Jesus—time for the written word, much time for the Living Word. Leave curiosities alone. Contemplate such matters as bring sorrow to the heart rather than matters that merely occupy and thus possess the mind. If you withdraw yourself from unnecessary meetings and the like, you will find enough time that is suitable for the Person and presence of Jesus to occupy your whole life.

It is best to avoid the idle company of men wherever possible and choose to worship the Lord and serve Him out of retirement and rest. “As often as I have been among men,” said one writer, “I have returned less a man.” We often find this to be true when we take part in long conversations. It is easier to be silent altogether than not to speak too much. To stay at home is easier than to be sufficiently on guard while away. Anyone, then, who aims to live the inner and spiritual life must go apart regularly, with Jesus, from the crowd. Its hard to carry your cross in a crowd.

Holy silence is the foundation of holiness in speaking. It is out of our absolute submission to Jesus that the anointing to minister and serve is born. Security is the fruit of our fear of God and reverence for Him.

Temporal security is never promised by Jesus, but temporal tribulation is. The afflictions of the righteous keep them from succumbing to manifold temptations. The resolution to detach self from all that is contrary to Jesus, is the aid of grace. It is in silent contrition that the still, small voice is heard. What we lose to the world, Jesus fills in our prayer chamber, in silence before Him. The shadow of the Almighty falls over the feet of Jesus, and if that is where you reside, it will fall over you.

The hidden secrets of scripture are revealed in solitude and silence at the feet of Jesus; it is there that the Sacrifice is revealed and holy tears thus shed, washing, bathing and cleansing the soul unto inexpressible love and gratitude for He who is the Sacrifice. Anything short of Him muddies the conscience and the heart—the pursuit of carnal joy always ends in unholy sadness. To see all that is in and of the world is to see nothing, for all that is there is at enmity with God—vain glory must be left to those who are vain. It is the flint of your forehead that will carry out your obedience at the direction of Jesus, unto the will of our Father; the flint is found, and the forehead set and sustained, at the feet of Jesus.

IV. Knowing Jesus

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

John 17:3

“……..I never knew you, Depart from me, ye that work iniquity……”

Matthew 7: 23

1 Corinthians 2:2

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

One of the first questions you must ask yourself is do you really know the Lord as He is or do you know Him as many teachers and preachers have presented Him to you? If God would have me share anything of Him, He would first let it become my scriptural experience, for if all I can share with you are my opinions and my interpretation of His word, I might as well be a banging gong–I must know and experience Him to effectively share Him, and you must too. We must have personal witness to the inspiration of Scripture–it must become our living reality; It is this experience of Him that is the sheer evidence of faith; the faith that He gives me becomes mine through the experience He gives when I do what He tells me to do–Abraham went out not knowing where he was going, but he went with nothing but God’s word and God as his guide; it is this experience that moves faith from the head to the heart, and there it must rule and reign in order for obedience to become reality and experience ; thus my life then proves my faith, because I come to know Him through the grace to obey Him; and I come to know Him for myself–it is no longer what man has taught, but it is what the Spirit of God reveals to me about Jesus, that sustains my hunger and thirst; I hunger and thirst not for His presence or His gifts, but for Him. What I walk and what I teach must become one, for I must be the same before men as before God. My faith rules my experience–faith is never based upon experience, faith is based on Jesus and Him only, but faith will spring from the experience and walk He gives. I need to know Jesus to effectively share Him with you, for I must share what I know to be true, not only because I have read it, but because, by grace, I have lived it. My sin has been revealed to me, as has the Sacrifice for that sin; I choose to obey, confess and repent and move on to seek His face– the one consuming goal of my life; and by grace, Jesus imparts faith to me and the simplicity of living the gospel becomes His gift to me.

Faith is not me mustering enough of what I perceive to be belief, so that God will do what I want Him to; Faith is knowing, accepting, and trusting that the revealed will of God is the very best answer for any situation or person, though it may seem totally contrary; People are consistently inquiring as to how they can increase their faith; Ask and it shall be given you, for everyone that asks, receives (Mt.7: 8); Ask if you dare–”Lord, increase my faith” (Lk. 17: 5); The faith to move mountains comes through much tribulation, for if there is no mountain, there is no need for faith; It must needs be if I am by grace, to reach the point where the faith of Jesus becomes my own. Its when we know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, and are made conformable unto His death, that we begin to perceive His faith–the life thus lived in the flesh then starts to live by the faith of the Son of God. This is the crucified life, hidden with Jesus in our Father. It is this dead life that lives unto God, that truly walks out salvation with fear and trembling, and walks into life eternal, and experiences the nearness of its Redemption. I am graced by my God to know and obey my Master, and I move from the natural to the spiritual, from the temporal to the eternal, from death to life. It is here I must reside.

We must remember— faith’s testimony is, how it came about; Lord increase our faith–that request will most surely see God put you in a circumstance where faith is needed; faith, like all the other virtues is the fruit of my intimacy with Jesus; He gives the faith to start me on the way to life eternal, then provides life in a way that brings about growth in that faith, service to God, and thus, glory to God. My Father is working my Savior in me, and I must work Him out proportionally–I must seize Jesus, for the heart of my affection is the will of God and His glory, to be done through my beloved Master. My sanctification here proves to be my death, that the life of Jesus might pour forth out of my corpse as I move among the people, doing the will of God at the Master’s direction. The Son of God must be the walk of the sons of God; It’s that simple. The wise and the prudent will add complication of theology and doctrine to it, but the hallmark of true revelation is that babes can digest it– O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Matt 11:2; not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, or noble are called (1 Cor. 1: 26).

Are we full of knowledge about Him, but unaware that His desire is to resurrect in us by His Spirit? (Gal.2: 20). We can take all we have learned about Jesus, all that the Bible says about Him, all that preachers and teachers have shown us, and, we can cut it all away; if we do this, and the Person of Jesus remains, then we are coming to know Him. But if we take away the word and the teaching, and we become lost because of its absence, we have not yet entered where God would have us enter.

John 5:39-40

39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

We must not search the scriptures endlessly that we may pride ourselves on scriptural knowledge—the head can be jammed with the word of God, and the heart still remain empty—it is possible to be scripturally affluent, and still miss the Person of Jesus. We are to diligently search God’s word for sure, but if we stop there, we will miss the Person who towers above the word.

There is much theory, much doctrine and much opinion, but the only question our Father would have for us, is “have you left all to follow Jesus?” Are you letting God have His own way with you through Jesus? Is your thought life consumed with Jesus? Are you following where He leads, learning one on one lessons from Him because you love Him enough to take time to spend with Him? To the man or woman who totally gives themselves to Jesus, every bit of faith, every belief needed, will come at exactly the right time. In order to have our Father’s doctrine, we must have the Person of Jesus be real to us. We cannot know Jesus, as He would be to us as individuals, by putting any faith in theory about Him. It is not faith in the atonement that saves us—it is faith in the Person of Jesus—the living Jesus—that brings us to an experiential knowledge of Him, making the scriptures about Him, our experience and reality. In short, it is not faith in all Jesus has done, it is faith in He who has done it all. And faith in Him, is the experiential knowledge of Him—this is eternal life—to Know Him.

It is the living Jesus that bids us to drop our nets and follow Him—there is no debate here, just obedience. It is leaving the trust in men, money, doctrines, opinions, and all else that can sway your life, into a conscious summoning of Him and an awareness of Him, every second. Having left all, all that is left is obedience to Him. Period. This is true freedom, for all that is of concern to you, is Jesus. This is where you are graced into obeying—“take no thought for your life”– what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? Matt 6: 25,27; this is the beginning of loving the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, body and soul.

The reason that so many who believe about Jesus rather than in Him get the comfort they do is that, touching the hem of His garment, they cannot help believing a little in the live man inside the garment. The hem of His garment is near the ground, where multitudes are treading in much confusion. We must awake and arise from the dead of our theology, that says learn as much as we can about Him, and then try to act like Him—try to imitate Him—“what would Jesus do/” becomes the motto of those who reside at the hem of His garment.

To do His commands at His command, is to enter into intimacy with Him—saving faith is obedience, and obedience is saving faith. Obedience to Him spawns trust in Him, and brings forth the provision needed to complete your mission. This obedience is not perfection, but it is a heart of total effort for Him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*OUR NUMBER ONE DUTY: MINISTRY TO JESUS

One thing is needful

Luke 10:38-42

38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.

39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Verse 39: Martha had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

She worshipped Him, and heard his word. It seems, our Lord Jesus, as soon as He came into Martha’s house, even before entertainment was made for Him, addressed himself to His great work of preaching the gospel. He presently took the chair with a serious tone, for Mary sat to hear Him, which shows us her submission to Him as He was teaching her. Mary, having heard Jesus preach and teach, was obviously greatly drawn to Him—she sat at His feet and loved on Him and listened to Him.

She sat to hear, which denotes a close attention. Notice here that this is a decision on her part—she is choosing to sit at the feet of Jesus and receive all that He delivered. She sat at his feet by choice—we must make the e same choice; Our sitting at Jesus’ feet, when we hear his word, signifies a readiness to receive Him and what He has to say; it is a submission and entire resignation of ourselves to His indwelling and His guidance that we might fulfill the will of our Father. We sit at His feet daily and get filled with Him, and it is out of this relationship with Him that we are able to minister Him to others. Martha, meanwhile, characterizes many Christians—running about, worrying about what might get done and what might not, but never worry whether or not enough time is being spent at the feet of Jesus. Martha was too concerned about many things that really weren’t essential to getting the will of God done; she was not concerned about sitting at the feet of Jesus, but about all the domestic chores that had to be done—that was the reason why she was not where Mary was—sitting at Jesus’ feet, to love on Him and hear his word.

The fact that she was wanting to do the best to serve her guests is not the issue; the fact is, that she was just distracted from the Person of Jesus by it. She was worried about much serving when she should have been with her sister, sitting at Jesus’ feet to love on Him and hear his word. Even church service can be a distraction from our spending time alone with Jesus. The complaint which Martha made to Jesus against her sister Mary, for not assisting her, upon this occasion, in the business of the house (v. 40): “Lord, dost thou not care that my sister, who is concerned as well as I in having things done well, has left me to serve alone? This complaint of Martha’s may be considered as a discovery of her worldliness: it was the language of her zeal for activity.

Notice also, that those who carry out much church activity, are sometimes critical of those whom they perceive as not doing enough. Martha, being angry with her sister, appealed to Jesus, and would have him say that she did well to be angry. The cares, which he cast upon us, we may cheerfully cast upon him, but not those which we foolishly draw upon ourselves.

See here Martha trying to discourage Mary’s devotion to Jesus. It is no strange thing for those that love the Lord to meet with hindrances and discouragements from those that may love Him, but are too busy for Him.;

The reproof which Jesus gave to Martha for her inordinate care, (v. 41). She appealed to Him, and he gives judgment against her: “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things, whereas but one thing is needful, and Mary has chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her.”

He scolded her, though he was at this time her guest. She felt that she needed to do all that she perceived needed to be done, yet he publicly reprimanded her for it. As many as Jesus loves he rebukes and chastens. Even those that are dear to Jesus, if any thing be amiss in them, shall be sure to hear of it.

When he reproved her, he called her by her name, Martha; for reproofs are then most likely to do good when they are particular, applied to particular persons and cases. He repeated her name— “Martha, Martha”; He speaks as one in earnest, and deeply concerned for her welfare. Those that are entangled in the cares of this life are not easily disentangled. To them we must call again and again, and we must be careful that as disciples, we not get tangled in the world ourselves. That which he reproved her for was her being careful and troubled about many things. He was not pleased that she should think to please him a big feed and other niceties; there is a certain amount of flesh and sensuality in those things. That which aggravated Martha was the one thing that is needful—sitting at the feet of Jesus. There is need but of one thing—the Master says it Himself, and Mary had chosen to do that one thing which was to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to Him and love on Him. The one thing needful is certainly meant of that which Mary made her choice—sitting at Jesus’ feet, to hear his word. She was troubled about many things, when she should have applied herself to one; godliness unites the heart, which the world had divided. The many things she was troubled about were needless, while the one thing she neglected—sitting at the feet of Jesus—was needful. Martha’s care and work were good in their proper season and place; but now she had something else to do, which was unspeakably more needful, and therefore should be done first; She expected Jesus to have blamed Mary for not doing as she did, but he blamed her for not doing as Mary did; The day will come when Martha will wish she had set where Mary did.

As stated many times, our number one priority is ministry to the Lord; If we are to know Him, we must spend time with Him. If we are to know Him intimately, we must lose our lives to spend our lives with Him. Grace must bring us to a place of serious hungering and thirsting to go into a deeper relationship with the Master. It is the Lord who births this hungering and thirsting, so if you’ve got it, know that it is God working in your soul, that Jesus might resurrect in your mortal flesh and become your all in all. It is by His Spirit that our Savior reveals our Father, and it is by His Spirit that our Father reveals our Savior…….. and we know that life eternal is to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He sent (Jn. 17: 3), and hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whosoever keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected Hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also to walk, even as he walked (1 Jn. 2: 3-6). The Master’s earthly walk is always our barometer; hereby we know that we know Him and we know that grace is abounding on us and Jesus is resurrecting in us–for we are able to obey His commandments, thus He becomes our salvation (Heb. 5: 9).

Gal 2:20

20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.

What Jesus has done for me must now move and operate through me; If my decision for Jesus does not exact moral and ethical change in me, I have not seized grace unto life eternal; and if I suffer not sacrifice and temporal loss as a result of my commitment and obedience to Him, I must check the pulse of my faith; I must not accept Him as Savior today, and make Him my Lord tomorrow–if I have done so, I must repent; if all I do is not determined by Him, I must reassess; If I feel comfortable and at home in the world, I must seek Him for grace to reexamine my perspective. All that He is, I die daily to accept as mine, from His sorrow to His sacrifice, His cause to His cross.

Many believe many things will get them through the most important Gate. Ask some who profess to be disciples and they will tell you that they were saved at some revival meeting years ago, and they will stand on that, though they have lived for the devil all the years since; many will profess infant baptism as their ticket, with very little sign of the Master in their lives since. Many will claim church service and their name in the church register as being synonymous with the Lamb’s Book of Life. Many believe their honest morality will get them off the hook on judgment day. But as Jesus says in our opening Scripture, life eternal is to know Him–as Savior and Lord–and to know the only true God–our Creator and Father, and to know them is to obey them. Obedience to God is grace without measure–it is the sure sign that the Seal of our salvation is working the resurrection of the Master in us.

We will not debate eternal security nor the elements of salvation but rather examine the word of God; for it is facing up to and apprehending by grace, the Truth of that word, that is our greatest security; true grace and mercy seize the word of God for what it truly means, not what convenience and a misperception of grace would have it mean; we must not be left as the rich young ruler–trying to convince our intellect that we have done enough to inherit eternal life, even though our hearts are holding our possessions; we must not be held hostage by a heart divided–Jesus is either our All in All or He is an unknown. To walk away in disobedience to the hard commands of Jesus will bring on the subtlety of hell rejoicing; To substitute presumption for grace that was purchased at history’s Heaviest Price, is utter deception and an offense to the Cross, and the Blood that stains it. To paraphrase the Master’s commands so that they fit the western civilization lifestyle and philosophy is to put us under the penalty for disobedience to those commands. Many with much, step right over Lazarus lying at the gate, to get more, scarcely aware of his existence.

That Jesus desires mercy rather than sacrifice is His clear word. That the road of mercy and grace is narrow and afflicted is also well attested by the word of the Master. Eternal life is a matter of the heart, and obedience to the Lord is the nourishment that keeps salvation’s heart beating–it is obedience that puts the eternal in Life for all those who profess belief.

In many instances today, the devil has taken the hard things of the gospel and substituted his cheap grace; He is believed as a matter of convenience, for to deny the flesh and the intellect is the straightest gate known to man, for it thwarts pride and what man believes he is and all that he has; and it is here that satan is most deceptive; this has happened to the point where many argue that Jesus’ hard words on eternal life are legalistic and actually thwart grace; the devil teaches we can have whatever we want, as long as we keep our heart detached from it; and, we can do whatever we want as long as we make regular confession; but the Master demands not only confession, but repentance, and literal inward and outward detachment from all that is contrary to Him–he who cannot forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple (Lk. 14: 33). Only one who has had much and lost it, can relate the incredible liberty of poverty. You can always tell when satan is preaching Jesus for he preaches Jesus and the gospel of His salvation, as being of no cost to his hearers.

I pursue nothing but Jesus–detachment, self denial, and all the other virtues will manifest in my life proportionate to my death and the resurrection of the Master in me; and that death comes about only as I pursue Jesus with heart, mind, body and soul, not by my fleshy, egotistical attempts at self-denial and service. Find me a person who says his heart is not attached to his possessions and his own glory, and I’ll show you a person who is struggling with the truth. If you don’t believe it, bid the person to sell all he has and then give the proceeds to the poor., so that he has no certain dwelling place nor place to lay his head.

If we are to go forth and make disciples of all nations, we better first let the water out of our gospel here, and teach it in its truth, its simplicity, and its purity and power. Let us be mindful of the fact that it has always been the way of man to reason himself away from true, whole-hearted sacrifice and obedience to God. And let us not forget that disobedience without repentance is eternally fatal, for to live in disobedience renders saving faith impossible. Many will descend into the lake with their presumption in tow.

As we undertake a careful examination of the words of the Master, it is between you and He just what He means and how great a price, the Pearl. Does the road to your crown truly run through your cross?

How Difficult the Way

We not only struggle against the Life, the Life struggles against us, trying to push its way through our lustful flesh; That which Jesus poured out for us, we must now pour out for Him–obedience unto death, lives laid down unto the will of God; His inner nature must manifest through our outer life–we look for the manifestation of the Master in our mortal flesh–death works in us, so that His Life can work through us in the service of His Body which is the church (2Cor. 4: 12). The joy of our lives, our reason for living, must be our God–His Triune Person; we must see Him at every turn and in every thought we own–this is a life hid with Jesus in our Father; We must yield that the Body may find its home in the heart of God.

Anything we have of His, consists in His Being–far and above what we are, it lives and moves in Him; In the trembling fear of walking out life eternal, Grace brings absolute surrender, its fruit being a Faith that is not even aware of its own existence, a Goodness that is God only and has no willful consciousness, and an abhoration of evil that is its very make-up and Nature; its soul sustenance is the three Persons of its God and their will and good pleasure.

It is Jesus who shows us how to lay hold of life eternal. It is with Him that we find where we stand in relation to what is required of us that we might inherit heaven. It is here that the truth must stand starkly alone–we must face ourselves for what we are, and be brutally honest with ourselves as to where we are when it comes to our walk with the Lord. For I say unto you, among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. Luke 7:28

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*’Enter ye in at the strait gate.’

Matt 7:13-14

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

strait–.4728 stenos (sten-os’); narrow from obstacles standing close about.

narrow–2346 thlibo-1) to press (as grapes), to press hard upon;2) a compressed way, narrow straitened, contracted 3) metaphorically, to trouble, to afflict, to distress

One can readily see that by the original Greek words, that the road and the gait Jesus is talking about is the way of suffering and affliction—many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all (Psalm 19: 34); In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. Jn. 16: 33

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

Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding; Our Father calls us to this gate; This is God desiring a response to His drawing us to Jesus; If you are seeking this gate, know your search is of God and you shall surely find this gate if you seek it with your whole heart; God initiates the draw to Jesus, it is up to us to follow; Such determination requires consistent ruling against the heart; The heart covets the comforts of the flesh; Such a heart is divided and cannot stand; The heart knows the right way here, but covets the broad way, for the narrow gate is a great offense to the comfort of the western civilization gospel which has befriended and deceived the heart; The world, flesh, and devil are not to be allies as they are in the gospel of comfort that is preached today. These three enemies have so invaded the church for the sake of not offending anybody, that most cannot now discern the real from the counterfeit.

Luke 13: 24 tells us to “strive” to enter in at this gate, the striving indicating a fair amount of resistance—the world, the flesh (ourselves), and the devil. You would think that resistance would come from the world, flesh and satan; and it does, but only to those who take a stand against those three and against their own lives. This word strive is rendered as ‘contentions with adversaries’. Sounds like there might be a little more to life eternal than just accepting Jesus as Savior then living for one’s self and his religion. There are requirements to keep your footing on this road….but rejoice, all that is required by the Lord is given by Him. On this road you swear not at all, neither by heaven nor by earth; you resist not evil, you surrender your cheek and your cloak; you give freely not expecting return; you love your enemies and you pray for those who persecute you, that you may prove your salvation; Growing into the completeness of your Master will be your lifestyle, and to reach that completeness you might sell all that you have that you may give to the poor. You will travel this road with the yoke of Another upon you; you must feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit the sick and the prisoner; You will forgive all evil and you will bear the evil you forgive; satan will try to kill you–both through honor and dishonor; the poor, the maimed, the blind and the lame will feast at your table that you may have treasure in heaven; the power to walk this road will be in your plow, and your crop will scarcely be tangible for you labor not for perishable meat, but for the invisible meat which endures unto everlasting life, which Jesus shall give you, for you are Sealed by your Father. You will live by dying, gain by losing, rejoice by weeping…….

As you walk this road you will find a roaring lion at nearly every turn; But you shall overcome, for Jesus has overcome; satan will taunt you through heathen and brethren, and he will entice you to ride the “rights of your inheritance” right into hell. He is the author of confusion and presumption in the walk of the disciple, pulling men hard to the easy road and a liberal gospel. We shall know of the striving to enter the straight gate when the heart makes its end, full love and knowledge of the Person of Jesus Christ, and is willing to sacrifice all to achieve that End—for it is then that we discover we truly do not wrestle against flesh and blood although flesh and blood will wrestle against us; If you have thus put on Jesus, you are clothed in the full armor of God, but there will be much hardship you must endure as a good soldier.

The Lord is calling many into this journey in the current wave of restoration and renewal; but the heart in many is left wanting because the moral change that reflects and proves the Person of the Master is come in the flesh, is not evident in many, despite many spending much time on the church floor.

For many, spending time on the floor in the current renewal serves only to boost the religious ego; the fruit of an encounter with the living God should most certainly leave one in a humbled and weakened state, wanting more of the Person of the Lord. Instead, many come up from the rug having somehow become experts in theology, doctrine, and other religious exercises that profit nothing and do nothing but bring vanity to worship, and schisms to the Body; The transaction required for salvation in many instances has not taken place. The simplicity of the straight gate is exchanged for doctrines of devils and the commandments of men, both of which lead to destruction; Most of the so-called prophets of the day spend more time berating pastors and competing with each other than they do waiting on and submitting to God, bringing His pure word in the humility that is Jesus. Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated by such men and women or you will find yourself on the broad road, for the motive of such is the honor of men which always ends in unbelief and subsequent death. As it always has, God’s revelation awaits babes and not the wise and prudent.

Luke also states– ‘for many will seek to enter but shall not be able’–many will have been duped into thinking they have a right to this gate, or to the door mentioned in Luke 13:25–where Jesus will say “I know you not–depart from me ye workers of iniquity” (V25 & 27); we must remember that life eternal is to know Him and we know that we know Him if we keep His commandments; this is why many will be shut out of the kingdom of heaven–they know His commandments but don’t walk with Jesus so they can, by His grace, keep them–they refuse the grace of obedience; many church workers will be among those shut out; it must needs be, for the Scripture cannot lie and it says many will claim working for the Lord casting out demons and prophesying, and even sitting at His table but they will be denied entrance; where are you in relation to this proclamation by the Master? These passages will lift presumption’s grip on all who are truly His.

It is impossible to imagine the tragic depth of sorrow and terror of those who will come to the gates of heaven in great anticipation, only to be denied entrance to the kingdom.

Jesus Himself is the Strait Gate for no one can come to the Father but by Him–he who has the Son has this gate, for He is the only Way to Life; The straight gate is a life of sacrifice, much contrary to the flesh, and obviously commands strict obedience; Its narrowness suggests that it will not be easy for many to pass through; so strive against your fleshy self to do so– let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him travel the narrow road and return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55: 7).

Here Jesus has started a short discourse on the two fates that are open to all men.

Mt. 7,Vs 13b–for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:’

This is literally goats being led to the slaughter; see the deception as those traveling this road find much comfort in lots of company–”it must be the right way, everybody seems to be taking it;” We know that the wickedness of man is great and that every imagination of his heart is only evil continually. Jesus inquires of us–”how can you even believe, you that seek the honor of men instead of the honor of God?” (Jn. 5:44). Many teach much to procure the honor of men, even compromising Jesus when they deem it necessary; the road to honor among men is paved with hell’s bricks, and it is a wide road and many there be that go there-in—-the great and roaring enticer, motivating without being heard, visible everywhere but yet unnoticed, as he leads the march into hell– for how can you believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that comes from God only? Destruction is promised by the Master Himself, yet He goes unheeded. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Many fear they will “lose their lives” for the narrowness of the way of this road–this is one of the great purposes of this road–to cause you to lose your life that you may find it; many spend their whole earthly existence trying to “find themselves”–their lives–on the broad road. Many have bought into the teaching that the Atonement of Jesus wiped out the tribulation of the straight gate and the affliction that is the narrow road; and if there is pain, misery, and self-sacrifice, “we must have missed our turn, or the ever famous–”there’s a door open somewhere” if a disciple is suffering, or, “I perceive there is free masonry in your family history, and Calvary was powerful, but not powerful enough to make that old thing pass away, make you a new creature, and cut you from that old bloodline.” Doors may be open somewhere and there is free masonry in the background of many, but it is the confession of my own sin to God that brings His forgiveness and cleanses me from all unrighteousness, including my great granddaddy’s mason membership–for I became a new creature in Jesus–the old bloodline was cut away by He who wields the double-edged sword from His mouth; Renunciation never cleansed, delivered or saved anybody and never will. It is not merely renouncing but a turning from sin–Godly repentance, a Godly confession of sin, and an eternal cleaving to the Sacrifice for that sin, that delivers, cleanses and saves–that is the simplicity of the Gospel; All of us will die in unconfessed and unrenounced sin–there are multitudes of sins committed by us all that never get confessed and there are multitudes of sins we all commit that we aren’t even aware of; Many popular books on Christian bookstore and seminary shelves contain any number of steps you want to freedom; by putting the ordinances of the law in a place of authority for deliverance from bondage, they are putting God’s people back under the law–all for the author’s notoriety and gain. Many of these books will burn on that day. And how can the authors even believe, for it is the honor of men and their money they seek: There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 14: 12)-–this way is adhering to the doctrine of the commandments of men and of devils who boast themselves in their mischief as they add to and take away from the gospel for notoriety, honor, and gain; For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through their own lust; While they promise liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption, for of whom a man is overcome, of the same he is brought into bondage (2 Pet. 2: 18-19). They follow after the law of righteousness and cannot attain, because they seek righteousness not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law—if we renounce enough we will eventually be clean and the enemy will not touch us. They, like the unbelieving Jews, stumble at the stumbling stone, believing not the completeness of the Work of Jesus, even though many men have declared it unto them; Each man shall be responsible for his own sin–Godly confession and subsequent repentance guarantees God’s forgiveness and God’s cleansing from all unrighteousness; What Jesus has cleansed, we must not call unclean or common, nor lead it through steps of the law in hopes of making it cleaner. It is the Blood of Jesus that breaks the bloodlines of sinful generations, making possible the blessed simplicity of simple heart confession of sin, repentance of that sin, consequent forgiveness and total cleansing of the heart and life, at the hand of the Sacrifice for them. We don’t fulfill every regimen of the law by applying Jesus to every jot and tittle–He applied Himself—totally–and Life eternal, by grace, seizes and walks in the simplicity of faith in the Blood of Jesus…..not the complexity of the law, for it is Jesus who has fulfilled the law and it is Jesus who continues to fulfill the law through us; Don’t be deceived– lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in the Lord Jesus. (2 Cor. 11: 3).

*DOES JESUS REALLY MEAN WHAT HE SAYS?

Satan has convinced many in the church that Jesus, in all His suffering glory, could not have possibly been then, nor can possibly be now, a Savior and Lord who would hold the heart of man accountable; In all our compromising of the Gospel, we put ourselves back under the law, because we have been hindered that we should not obey the truth. A little leaven leavens the whole lump; If Jesus says to us– “sell all you have and give the money to the poor”, we immediately vow to separate our hearts from our possessions, and find a Christian charity to whom we might give a little above our tithe–after all He never means what He says–we must get someone to give us a word as to what He means; this attitude is way too prevalent in the church today, and it will end in death for many.

The deception lies in the grace we have concocted–Jesus doesn’t really mean what He says–He always speaks in grace-full offshoots of literalism– so don’t take Him literally, for all is justified under grace, iniquity included. In the interest of what is perceived as ‘pastoral care,’ sin is patted on the head and tolerated; A man came to me for ministry telling me God was awakening him every morning and telling him to go free the Lord’s people; a sister with whom we were both acquainted, related to me how this man was overpowering her and taking advantage of her sexually; Others around the man thought the Lord truly was asking the man to go free his people–one alleged prophet even trying to convince me . What then? when he was through abusing the woman he was to become a man of God, moving with Jesus to free His people? If the Lord was indeed waking the man up every morning the only thing he was saying to him was “repent or perish.” Much of what goes on consists of–”Lord, Lord, sure I continued willingly in my sin, but I willingly and consistently went through the ritual of confession.” The answer shall surely come: “Unless you repent, you shall likewise perish (Lk. 13: 3-5), or the dreadful: “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Lk. 13: 27)

Jesus’ discourse with his disciples

John 6:60-71

60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?

62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

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

64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

We see here the impact of Jesus’ teachings and His commands; Some are offended and others edified by it; some driven from Him and others brought nearer to Him. To some it was a savor of death unto death; not only to the Jews, who were professed enemies to Him and his doctrine, but even to many of His professing disciples, such as were disciples at large, who were his frequent hearers, and followed him in public. That’s the way it was then, that is the way it is now—many profess Jesus and follow Him publicly, but it is a lip service deal, and when strict obedience is required by Him, they split, saying it can’t be God because its too hard. We have here in these scriptures, the answer to such people. 1. Their murmurings at the doctrine they heard (v. 60): This is a hard saying, who can hear it?

Eat my flesh and drink my Blood—this is what offended them–when they found it a hard saying, if they had asked Jesus to explain it to them, He would have opened it, and their understandings too; for the meek will he teach his way. But, like so many today who want a comfortable God, they were not willing to have Jesus explain His word to them—they move first in presumption—“this is not God,” and then right into disobedience—they walk no more with Him, “Who can hear it?,” they say, just as many who leave the church today, when Jesus gets too difficult for them; they believe they can leave in disobedience, and still be obedient to Him.

Jesus well enough knew their murmurings, v. 61. They thought He could not perceive, but He takes notice not only of the bold and open defiance to Him by daring sinners, but also to carnal professors of His name in the church. And what is disobedience, but carnality?

He knew it in himself, not by any information given Him, but by his own omniscience as God. He knew it not as the prophets, by God’s revelation made to Him (that which the prophets desired to know was sometimes hid from them, as (2 Kin. 4:27)), but by His all-knowing nature as God. He is that essential Word that discerns the thoughts of the heart, (Heb. 4:12-13). Thoughts are words to Jesus; we should therefore take heed not only what we say and do, but what we think.

“Doth this offend you?” Is this a stumbling-block to you?” See how people by their own unwillingness to believe and obey, create offences to themselves: they take offence where there is none given, and even make it where there is nothing to make it of. If you are unwilling to be understood, you ought to be neglected—refusing Jesus at His word, will bring His resistance to your rebellion.

He gives them a hint of his ascension into heaven, as that which would give an irresistible evidence of the truth of his doctrine (v. 62): What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? And what then? If I should tell you of that, surely it would much more offend you. If this be so hard a saying that you cannot hear it, how will you digest it when I tell you of my returning to heaven, whence I came down? Those who stumble at their perceived smaller difficulties of the commands of Jesus, should consider how they will obey when He asks them to do the terribly difficult. When the mysteries of God are opened on that day, we shall see that there was no reason to be offended at anything Jesus said, or commanded us to do.

Jesus then gives them a general key, teaching them that His parables are to be understood spiritually, and not carnally. It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing, v. 63. The word and ordinances of God, if His Spirit works with us and in us, are as food to us; if not, they are as food to a dead man. Even the flesh of Jesus, the Sacrifice for sin, will avail us nothing unless the blessed Spirit quicken our souls, and enforce the powerful influences of his death upon us, till we by his grace are planted together in the likeness of that death. Secondly, The doctrine of eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking His Blood, if it be understood literally, profits nothing, but rather leads us into mistakes and prejudices; but the spiritual sense or meaning of it quickens the soul—“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”

To eat the flesh of Jesus, is a hard saying, but to believe that He died for me, to derive from that, doctrine strength and faith to approach God, is the quickening power of His Spirit. The reason why men dislike Jesus sayings is because they shatter the gratification of the flesh men are seeking. The flesh profits nothing— those that are in the flesh (so some understand it), that are under the power of a carnal mind, profit not by Jesus’ teachings and commands, because the carnal mind is at enmity with God, there-by deadening the spirit of such a mind. but the Spirit quickeneth— those that have the Spirit—are graced with a heart for Jesus given by His Spirit—they are willing to learn of Him and obey through what they learn, no matter how narrow the road. People who find fault with the commands and teachings of Jesus, will sooner or later, find that the fault lies in themselves; it is only to sensual minds that spiritual things are senseless.

Jesus then shows His knowledge of their true hearts—false hearts for Him–even though they called themselves His disciples, v. 64, 65. Who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? (Isa. 53:1). They did not believe his report: “There are some of you who said you would leave all to follow me who yet believe not;” and this was the reason why the word preached did not profit them, because it was not mixed with faith, (Heb. 4:2). They did not believe Him to be the Messiah, or else they would have submitted to the doctrine He preaches. Many today who believe Jesus is the Messiah, pull the same trick; They call Him Savior all the time, but make Him Lord only when the road is broad, the traveling easy. And if some preacher tells them that is not what the word says, and that they need to obey the word, they come up with a multitude of arguments in order to fashion the word of God to fit their lust and their agenda. Such is the pure form of hypocrisy. The profession of hypocrites, before it discovers itself to the world, is naked and open before the eyes of Jesus. He knew from the beginning who they were of the multitudes that followed Him that believed unto obedience, and who should betray Him; Those who desert Jesus when His teaching and commands get too hard, is a certain proof of their constant hypocrisy, and that from the beginning they were really not with Him. The church is steeped with such individuals, but the day of discovery is coming.

The reason why they did not believe his report was because the arm of the Lord was not revealed to them (v. 65): “Therefore said I unto you that no man can come to me, except it be given unto him of my Father,” referring to v. 44. There He had said that none could come to Him, except the Father draw him; here He says, “except it be given him of my Father”, which shows that God draws souls by giving them grace and strength, and a heart to come to Jesus, without which, no man can come. Obedience to Jesus is a gift of our Father, and He will sustain that gift if we don’t murmur when the road gets too hard. Many who fill the pews profess Jesus, but desert Him as not being Him, when He commands them the narrow and the straight.

We then see their final apostasy from Jesus–From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him, v. 66. When we admit into our minds the hard thoughts of the word and commands of Jesus, and entertain disobedience because of their difficulty, we then enter into temptation of suspecting God, and looking back; and, he who looks back because of the hardness of the Way, will eventually, go back. We see here the backsliding of these disciples. Many of them went back to their houses, and families, and business, which they had left to follow Him; went back—to their people, their lives, their ways, and to themselves, the love of which is the root of most disobedience to Jesus. The apostasy of Jesus’ disciples from Him, though really a strange thing, yet has been such a common thing that we need not be surprised at it. Here were many that went back. It is often so; when some backslide many backslide with them; the disease is contagious, for the miserable disobedient flesh always has and always will attract company.

We notice the occasion of the backsliding; ‘From that time,’ from the time that Christ preached this comfortable doctrine, that He is the bread of life, and that those who by faith feed upon Him shall live by Him (which, one would think, should have engaged them to cleave more closely to him)– from that time they withdrew. The corrupt and wicked heart of man often makes that an occasion of offence which should be a matter of the greatest comfort. Jesus foresaw that they would take offence at what He said, and yet He said it. That which is the undoubted word and truth of Jesus must be faithfully delivered, whoever may be offended at it. Men’s lives must be captivated to God’s word, and not God’s word accommodated to men’s lives. This is the place where many false prophets have crept in unawares—they conform the word of God to comfort the flesh—the very thing it is designed to destroy. The fruit of this is always what it is in our current text: men walk no more with Jesus, though they claim they do. People rebel against pastors and church leadership, leaving a church because they are offended when the firmness of the word of God is brought forth. Such people will find pastors giving the truth about them on that day: Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Heb 13:17. Most who leave, say they can serve Jesus somewhere else without such stringent command of obedience to Him. They can’t. For though they change churches, the word of Jesus doesn’t change, and all such people are really looking for, is what the departing disciples in our text are looking for: a Jesus and a gospel that is easy and comfortable, and of no price. In their search, they fall away– It is hard for those who have been once enlightened, and have tasted the good word of God, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, (Heb. 6:4-6).

Though many of the disciples left Jesus because of the hardness of His teaching (Vs 66), many, including the twelve, stayed. Notice the question which He put to the twelve (v. 67): “Will you also go away?” Notice that He said nothing to those who left Him and went back. If the unbelieving depart, let them depart; it was no great loss of those whom He never really had; lightly come, lightly go; but he takes this occasion to speak to the twelve, to confirm them, and by trying their steadfastness– “Will you also go away?” He is saying the same to the multitudes contemplating the difficulty of the disciple’s walk today; “it is at your choice whether you will walk in obedience to me or not; if you will forsake me, now is the time, when so many are doing so: it is an hour of temptation; if you will go back, go now.” Jesus will not attempt to keep someone with Him against their will. Here, Jesus challenges the twelve by not telling them they need to stay, but asking them if they will go. Choose this day and every day whom you will serve. The closer we have been to Jesus and the longer we have been with Him, the more we have been used by Him, the greater will be our sin if we desert him.

The believing reply which Peter, in the name of the rest, made to this question, v. 68, 69. “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” Those who leave Jesus would do well to consider Who they are leaving and to whom they will go, and whether they can expect to find rest and peace any where but in Him. Thou hast the words of eternal life. Jesus having the words of eternal life is the same with His having power to give eternal life to as many as were given Him, (Jn 17:2). He had in the foregoing discourse assured eternal life to His followers—“whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my Blood, hath eternal life and I will raise Him up at the last day (Vs 54); these disciples resolved to focus on Jesus, and in doing so, were able to receive the uncompromising firmness of His teaching; as many do today, the others focused instead upon the hardness of His sayings, and in doing so, were deceived into leaving Him. When we stay totally focused on Jesus, who is our faith, we rise up to a full assurance that He is who He says He is, and that His teachings are to be taken up and fully digested by the soul; We are sure. We have known it by experience; this is eternal knowledge that leads to eternal life, for it leads to our knowing Him, and life eternal is to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent Jn. 17: 3).

We see by Jesus’ reply, that Judas would be symbolic of multitudes down through the centuries who would turn away from Jesus— Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? (v. 70-71). God knows those that are His; And though many times, we do not, by their fruit we shall know them (Mt. 7: 20). Hypocrites and betrayers of Jesus are no better than devils, and in fact will prove to be of the devil on that Day.. Judas not only had a devil, but he was a devil, as Jesus says here. He is a devil, a devil incarnate, a fallen apostle, as the devil a fallen angel. He is Satan, an adversary, an enemy to Jesus. He is Abaddon, and Apollyon, a son of perdition. He was of his father the devil, and did the devil’s business, as did Cain, (1 Jn. 3:12). Those whose bodies were possessed by the devil are usually not called devils (demoniacs, but not devils); but Judas, into whose heart Satan entered, and filled it, is called a devil.

Many that are seeming saints are real devils. Judas cast out devils, and appeared an enemy to the devil’s kingdom, and yet was himself a devil all the while. Notice that Jesus calls him a devil now, long before he visibly carried out the devil’s business by betraying Jesus. There are those who are chosen by Jesus to His service who will eventually prove false to him: I have chosen you to the apostleship, for it is expressly said that Judas was not chosen to eternal life (Jn 13:18), that the scripture might be fulfilled. The same can be said about many in the church of Jesus today—they are apostates and will prove to be so that the scripture about them will be fulfilled: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 1 Tim 4:1-2.

 

Addendum: John 6:60-61

60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?

Many people at this time believed Jesus was the Messiah, and were following Him as He went from village to village; He had just finished His discourse on eating His flesh and drinking His Blood, when these ‘disciples’ decided this saying was the clincher—it coupled with all else He teaches, was just too hard to except—the original language for the word hard here is ‘harsh.’ Ring a bell? It is the crucifixion of the Messiah that makes Him a stumbling block to the Jews; it is the crucified life required by the Messiah, that makes Him a stumbling block to professed disciples. Who can hear Him—they asked? Who can bear what He teaches, for it crucifies lust, passion, and pleasure of our lives; It is an offense to the flesh, and many are very ready to claim Jesus—apart from His cross and teachings. It is much easier to claim learning and never come to a knowledge of the truth, for the Truth is a Person, and He is an offense to all who want a comfortable Gospel; those who think what He teaches and requires is too hard, will make it easy—they will water it down so they can have their lusts and eternal life too. “Jesus doesn’t really mean what he says,” is not spoken in the church, it is just lived. We will find out momentarily, that He really does mean what He says, and that there are demands and commands for walking out salvation. The devil has deceived multitudes into thinking Jesus’ sayings and commands are too hard, or in many cases, too easy. The tragedy is that these people cannot realize that the blessing and liberty they are so desperately seeking, comes on the narrow road in absolute obedience and submission to Jesus, and will come no other way.

6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 1 Pet 2:6-8

Deceived

“Jesus paid it all so we could all rise up and play” is a very prevalent attitude in the church of the western hemisphere; lip-service confession stands alone against judgment day; repentance is as scarce as turning the other cheek. Jesus did pay it all– all that God required of Him; but there is a price to be paid by the disciple, and the disciple must seek the Lord as he counts the cost; the disciple is not above His Master; and the cost is no more than His Master required of Himself—life itself, consecrated for the will of God. For the warning is that God will judge us, everyone according to His ways; we must repent and turn ourselves from our transgressions, so our iniquity will not be our ruin.

We must cast away from us all our transgressions, whereby we have transgressed; and by grace, receive new hearts and a new Spirit: for life eternal is in our hands–why must we will ourselves to die? We know our Father has no pleasure in eternal death, so let us turn ourselves, and live. Repentance must be a perpetual thing, let us bring forth therefore fruits meet for Godly repentance and sorrow, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Jesus is the door, so let us enter in by Him unto life eternal, and go out and find pasture.

Mt 7:14– ‘Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ How many truly ponder the paths of their feet that their ways might be established? Jesus bids us to not turn the right hand nor to the left, and to remove our feet from evil. Why don’t we ask the Lord for the old paths that we might walk in the good way and find rest unto our souls? The word of God promises our affliction–the word narrow in our Scripture here means ‘afflicted’ in the original language. Why are we so moved by affliction when we know we are appointed unto it? Many are called to this road, but few are chosen to walk it. Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, but a remnant shall be saved. This road is the walk of death and few go this way in contrast to the many who choose the broad easy way, which shall end in true spiritual death; the narrow and afflicted road is where we are buried with Him in baptism, raised from the dead by the glory of our Father–this road is where we walk in newness of life, where we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, it is the Highway of Holiness, dotted with the splinters of an old rugged Cross; sin is not served on this road, for to be dead with Him is to live in liberty, freed from sin; We walk this road with Jesus, for if we be dead with Him, we believe that we shall also walk with Him; This road to the gate of heaven is paved with His commandments, mortared by unyielding obedience to Him; it is the highway of holiness and the redeemed shall walk there; the unclean shall not pass over it for they have chosen the broad road and unless they repent they shall perish.

He that finds this road shall lose his life—this is nothing more than a life of total sacrifice; it is also nothing less; this sacrifice of temporal life is necessary for apprehending the eternal; The whole disposition is again, that of the Lord Jesus who gave up His life in heaven and found His life in heaven because of His sacrifice; while our sacrifices are not worthy to be mentioned in the same breath with His, it is the principle and attitude of sacrifice Jesus is expounding on here; satan tempted Jesus with glory in the temporal life; he tempts us to the same end, and because Jesus triumphed and lost His life, we can too–remember, to die is gain–to lose this temporal life is gain–the death of the flesh is gain; The Master never tries to fool anyone–His way is hardship–it is the loss of temporal gain, comfort and glory; discipleship is extreme and demanding, a war that will shatter the flesh and produce affliction and spawn persecution; to be united with Jesus most times will divide you from men; but we must not fear any of those things which we shall suffer: even though satan may be allowed to cast some of us into prison, that we may be tried; there will be much tribulation but if we are faithful unto death, Jesus shall give us a crown of life. Jesus lives by dying and we as His disciples are not above our Master; We must not compromise His word; it is a hard word for those seeking temporal comfort and life; For they are trying to get more by keeping more and giving less, endeavor of which the Scriptures know nothing. They try to find the abundant life by seeking abundance; Jesus says the way to the abundant life is to forsake abundance; they cling ferociously to their lives, He demands total sacrifice of life and we must cleave to Him.

The walk of life eternal is a relatively lonely walk–its hard to carry your cross in a crowd; If you have found the narrow road but are having trouble negotiating it, it is your cross that is blocking your way—You must pick it up, carry it, and make your daily advance. Your cross is heavy, its very name insinuating an extremely agonizing death— but this is death that passes unto Life; the wide road offers no cross save at its end, where it agonizingly slays unto eternal condemnation.

Lord Jesus, I want you. Period. I love your presence and your gifts, but, I want you. And I shall pursue you until I have you in your Fullness. I seek your heart, not your hand. I desire to be chained by the Shackles of my freedom.

Mt 7: 14b–”Few there be that find it”–in contrast to the many who take the broad road to destruction; This statement, straight from the mouth of the Master, ought to strike fear in the heart of every would-be believer; this road must be “found”–there is asking, seeking, and knocking with this road; the other road is broad and easily seen because there are so many on it; presumption passes for grace on this road.

These are some of the strongest words the Master gives us; and He doesn’t greatly elaborate on them to soothe us; There is no gray area here, and if you have been deceived into thinking there is, you must reconsider. Why is it that so few fear He who can cast both body and soul into hell? A major reason is that they have bought into the cheap grace idea, believing all it takes are a few tears, baptism, and a one time confession and maybe a few times on the church floor, to successfully navigate the narrow road. They perform the rituals of religion and live for the enemy. They labor in vain. They will find the door shut.

We must, like the twelve, become part of the message, walking epistles as it were. The unity of the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation is that we pick up our cross and follow Jesus into the will and work of our Father, even unto death, to be raised as the Master was raised, by the glorious Power of our Father that we might worship and praise Him in the beauty of His holiness forever.

If we are to know Him, and know Him temporally unto the eternal, all must be forsaken–there must not be constant battle for the heart, for the heart has but one throne. The scribes will object; not because they lack knowledge, but because their pride negates scriptural experience. Jesus triumphed over death by submitting to it; How can we possibly believe we are above Him?

*Beware of false prophets, scribes, dogs, and the leaven of thePharisees

Mt. 7: 15-20

’Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.’

*Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy (Lk. 12: 1);

*Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts; (Mk. 12: 38-39)

*Beware of dogs (unclean people), beware of evil workers, beware of the concision (circumcision, unnecessary mutilation under grace). (Phil. 3: 2)

*Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Jesus (Col. 2: 8).

Seeing you know these things before, beware lest you also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. Beware of false teachers, for they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand; they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. We know that which bears thorns and briers is rejected, and in the end, shall be burned. But we are persuaded better things of those who love the Lord and His coming and the things that accompany eternal life where-in they walk; We must always remember that God is not unrighteous to forget your works and labors of love done in Jesus, which you have shown toward his name.

We must by grace, persist, and show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:; and be not slothful but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Jesus many times uses the word sheep—sacrificial animals– to describe His own children–here He tells us that the false prophets or teachers will come as His own–Iscariot came in sheep’s clothing; We don’t judge, but we must recognize goats and wolves when we see them parading around as sheep; We test the spirits and we discern by grace; The true prophet will lead to the narrow way of holiness; Beware of those who preach to you the gait is not strait, nor the road narrow that leads to Life. Study the Scriptures of the Old and you will find false prophets everywhere saying peace when there is no peace; These prophets came to the children of Israel in sheep’s clothing, just as they do today. We praise God that the elect, by grace, shall not deceived.

But many in the body are; True sheep hear the voice of the Master and know His voice; false sheep claim to bring the voice of the Master, and every comfort of the flesh with it; you’ll know the true from the counterfeit by the fruits–the counterfeit will entice the flesh into lust, sin, then death; it will rob without conscience and most times without notice, until its too late; many have crept in unawares, desiring to spy out our liberty and bring us into bondage; Presumptuous they are, self willed, seeking gratification at the expense of our faithfulness to the Lord, frustrating grace with the doctrines of men and devils, teaching that old things do not really pass away and all things do not become new in Jesus; their meat is their vomit; We must beware of wells that have not water, which bid us come and drink; and we must beseech the Lord Jesus for discernment, for the fruit of many is extremely deceiving. Here in is our intimacy with Jesus our shield. As the Day approaches, we must lose our lives at His feet.

Beware of false prophets

Those who preach the health and wealth gospel are among these false prophets. When was the last time you heard “glorying in your infirmities” preached? Power is desired, but paying the price for it is left wanting. Those who tell you that you are not prospering because you lack quality faith or are not performing adequately the rules of grace, are also among the false prophets.

Those who tell you that you will prosper more financially if you give more to the church, are also among the false; Is the very God who tells you that the love of money is the root of all evil, going to motivate you to give by promising to heap financial reward on you if you but give your finances to Him? Think about it. That God prospers people financially is not the issue, for all is His and He does at His discretion; but to preach monetary rewards as the motive for Godly giving is wrong. The blessing God gives in any endeavor that He directs, will pull us from the world, not give us means to gain better access to it. We must stop using portfolios to gauge godliness; We give to God because we’re obedient and we love Him and we know it pleases Him; the reward of our giving is to get more experience, knowledge and revelation of Jesus–giving financially shows we trust God as our Provision, and it is designed thus to benefit us spiritually; for an increase in material wealth will increase the comforts of the flesh, and will profit nothing in the end. The Blessing that rains from the windows of heaven is Jesus Himself, and there has not yet been a man born that can hold Him.

Many have prayed for an increase in wealth under the guise of spreading the gospel; but the gospel is spread mainly by trusting and faithful disciples, giving out of their need–sacrificial giving is foundational to the gospel we preach; God honors sacrificial giving with an increase in the things of His Spirit which shall profit us immeasurably, eternally and temporally, severing our ties to the world more cleanly and permanently, giving us Life more abundantly that we may pour the life of the Master into others.

The poor widow gave more than anyone else because she, of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living; you research it and then ask the Lord if she became rich for doing so; was wealth her motive? Jesus gave her the faith to give all she had, planting in her heart not that she would reap financial reward, but that God could be trusted to supply all her needs, even in her poverty. She gave with the faith of Jesus, and with her eyes on Him, she gave all she had.

We give out of our need to prove our trust in and love for God, not that we may receive one hundred fold in return. Where is the faith and trust in such giving? It is not in the Person of God but in His money, and those who marry God for His money are going to be greatly disappointed.

How many people do you know who are tithing and still having financial problems? We have ministered to many. Do you really believe that if the windows of heaven open, wealth will rain down to such an extent that you won’t be able to hold it? Again–Jesus is our motive for all we do that will not go up in smoke on that day, for all we do must be done by the Spirit of God and the office of the Spirit of God is continuing revelation of the Son of God. And when we give, we do it for the same reason we do everything—we are seeking first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness—namely Jesus our Righteousness, and that is all we are seeking.

*Lord, Lord

Matt 7:22-23

22 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?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

“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 (Mt. 7: 21). Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy–Lk 12: 1– goats as well as wolves can come in sheep’s clothing–Jesus now moves to include laity as well as leadership of the church:

Jesus here speaks of those who use His name to make a name for themselves, seeking the honor of men instead of the honor that comes from God They profess that they know God; but in works and in lifestyle, they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate, glorifying themselves. They have lived in the flesh to the lusts of men, instead of to the will of God. For whosoever shall do the will of our Father which is in heaven, the same is the kin of Jesus.

That day is coming–the day of judgment– the day that the lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted. The Lord knows the folly of the false prophets who cause His people to error; some commit adultery and walk in lies, strengthening the hands of evildoers–all without repentance; On that day, they will be fed with wormwood, and will drink the water of gall: for from such prophets is profaneness gone forth into all the land. Jesus will give them the most dreaded of all news–”I never knew you”– I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine, but I know you not; My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows them that are his. And, let every one that names the name of Jesus depart from iniquity. Those who don’t will be commanded to depart from the Master on that day.

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling–carry it out until you pass from death unto life; His power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue; we have exceeding great and precious promises that make us partakers of the divine nature, and allow us to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust; Here again, some of the strongest words in Scripture. Jesus here asserts Himself as judge–notice though, that it is disobedience to the will of God that invokes this Judicial Power; the spirit that works in the sons of disobedience is the spirit that does not know Jesus, it only knows about Him. It is the spirit that will depart into everlasting fire, pulling the sons of disobedience in after it. If all this does not move you to obedience there is probably not much that will. Luke puts it this way: When once the Master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. (13:25,26-27)–It is our Master that shuts a door no man can open–again the vivid depth of agony and travail when presumption attempts to open this particular door and is denied.

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–if we do not the will of the Father, we cannot call the Son ‘Lord.’ ‘Lord, Lord’ –the phrase conjures much in the mind—-mocking expression denoting false love? Iscariot kissed Jesus, just before the guards seized the Master; Lord, Lord—a sinking exclamation, realizing suddenly repentance has come too late? perhaps, but at any rate, the response to the inquiry is the issue here not the address. We notice that performing all kinds of religious duty and making public profession, does not make up for not performing the will of God at the direction of the indwelling Jesus. The heart that seeks its own and the honor of men by abusing Scripture and command, is a heart that is waxed gross; it is a heart that has made the ears dull of hearing, and has closed the eyes; lest at anytime Jesus should heal and convert the heart unto salvation. Those walking in eternal life therefore, must remain steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as we know that our labor is not in vain in the Lord. 1Cor. 15: 58.

Even the good we perceive needs to be done or even good we have done, is not good at all if done contrary to the will of God. It is possible for a man to preach and work, and to save many, while at the same time lose eternal life Himself. 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?- why call me Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?(Lk. 6: 46) Notice here, the three of the greatest services Jesus rendered to man in His ministry are claimed by the false prophets as being done by them in His name–in His name mentioned three times—an insinuation of intimacy with the triune God, which is the very thing Jesus disputes and says they don’t have–”I never knew you”–never. One of the great tragedies here is that these people continued in their false work–nobody stopped them or held them accountable; many in the Body were deceived by them and most probably feared to stop them—many may have even tried; Balaam and Saul prophesied; Satan entered Iscariot, who had many times himself cast out devils in the name of the Lord; The hands of our minds must not belie the hands of our hearts, and we must not use the name of Jesus to make a name for ourselves; Notice the claim is “in the name of Jesus”–see the power of the name, but it is a double-edged power—it delivers in the name of Jesus, but it condemns the deliverer (the minister) in the name of Jesus; here, it opens the door for ministry, but at the same time slays the alleged minister; notice Jesus does not chide them for using His name, but repudiates their insinuation that they had communion and union with Him; note again, the spirit that works in the sons of disobedience can perform miracles in the name of Jesus.

“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Words that are more sobering than these are not to be found…..Anywhere. This time it will not be “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” It will be “Father condemn them for they know what they do.” Let all who name the name of Jesus, depart from iniquity (2 Tim. 2: 19); Lip service only, is eternally fatal. The Lord knows them that are His.

“Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 18:3;

The “converted” here is not so much soul salvation as it is evidence of it; it is accepting grace to open one’s eye to see, ears to hear, and heart to understand that they be healed by the Master unto salvation; It is turning from sin and unbelief to repentance and faith; Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter there-in. Though we be men in understanding, we must be children in disposition toward God. The proof that conversion has taken place is that the born again one now has the disposition of a child toward God. This is why we must continually pursue the manifestation of the Lord Jesus in our mortal flesh–this is what He is saying here–”unless you are transformed into my image–humble as a child when it comes to obeying my Father’s will, you cannot enter.”

These words are said to the disciples and it would seem that Jesus is implying a growth, again pointing to genuine conversion, evidence of the manifestation of Jesus in them that would eventually bring them to a position of child-like humility and trust in God, which would then be evidence of salvation. Most view maturity as growth in virtue and wisdom which it is; but proof of salvation is the Disposition of the virtuous and the wise–the presence and Person of Jesus manifesting in the flesh and life of the disciple. The Lord is saying that there is obvious change that must take place. I must by grace, receive the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus as my experience– in short, I must be taught what it means to posses life eternal and to walk in it now. In this, there can be no presumption or assumption, I must know that I know, for to walk the broad road and expect the crown of the narrow will lead to the much dreaded “depart from me, I never knew you”. It is the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness–Jesus–I seek, and when I find Him I will come to love Righteousness, for Jesus is my Righteousness; and I will find the grace to become as a child; obedience to the will of God will become my meat; and though I shall be an unprofitable servant owing to the price Jesus paid for my profit as His servant, my hunger shall be filled, my thirst quenched, for grace shall have taught me how to obey His commandments and it is in this that I shall come to know Him, and in this I will rejoice for I will come to experience life eternal, for life eternal is knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent.

I must not mistake this–Jesus is not standing at the judgment seat of man awaiting my decision on whether or not to follow Him. Many think that all one has to do is accept Jesus as Savior and they are off the hook on judgment day–and many go through the motions believing just that–they accept Him as Savior and fail to make Him Lord–How chilling is “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Many are led to accept Jesus, with no born-again experience undertaken, no life change effected. This is eternally fatal.

“……. Believe– (pisteuo- used in the New Testament of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul; to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith) on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31–the thrust of this verse is that a person comes to the belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior, the Lord; the individual accepts Him as such, trusting in His Blood to save him, and in doing so, makes Jesus Lord of his life, as well as Savior. In this there is great moral and intellectual, as well as spiritual change. To merely believe is folly–fatal folly at that–ask the trembling demons. Life eternal is more than mere intellectual assent to the fact that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. True Life embraces the Master as it’s All in All. In this, Jesus rises above all that is life to the disciple–He has no rival; All that the life now holds is determined by the Lord of that life. Merely believing on Jesus is but the first step–there is intimacy and union to follow–this must needs be for the will of our Father to be accomplished. It is accepting His cross as our own and with His help, picking up that cross and claiming it as our own.

One of the reasons the issues of Life are to many, confusing, is that they try to read and understand the Bible as they do their favorite novel. And in so doing, the things of the cross become folly and confusion to the carnal mind. The Bible must be read in Spirit and in Truth to be fruitful, for the flesh will profit nothing from it. And it is the flesh that tries to make life eternal a matter of ease and convenience, conforming it to temporal life; life eternal comes hard, with fear, trembling, and taxation on the flesh as well as the spirit. If this saying sounds harsh to you, stop right here and honestly examine your thought life in light of Jesus’ teaching on the heart. Make no mistake, by grace we are saved through faith that the Lord gives; there are no works involved in starting the salvation process, but unless works–the will and purpose of God done through Jesus Christ–become the process and end of salvation, the faith we think is saving us, is a dead counterfeit that is not from God and will not save–the cross is a double-edged sword and its work is deadly, and I must submit to that work to avoid being hewn down by it and cast into the fire; Jesus offers the faith and I must put the impetus on myself to accept it and get into and stay in the mode of making Jesus Savior and Lord, by grace. We must never lose sight of the fact that salvation is the working out of the will of God in a life; Walking with Him, letting Him will and work as He chooses–this is evidence of obedience unto life eternal. The flesh might believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world, but it is spirit only, that can embrace Him as Lord. Saving faith is a gift and is humbly received in response of the soul to a crucified and risen Savior, and that response is perpetually penitent and all embracing, its fruit being life service unto the will of God through He who loves us and washed us from our sins in His own Blood (Rev. 1: 5).

Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3: 17-18.

Knowing and obeying Jesus-essential to knowing and doing the Will of God

The sons and daughters of God are they who are led by the Spirit of God (Rms 8: 14). We would do well to digest this as we work into life eternal, which is finding and doing the will of God. The spiritual man does not initiate his work apart from the direction of Jesus. It has been said many times but it cannot be said enough–God must initiate everything. The Scriptural example from Genesis to Revelation is that it is God who first calls, and it is God who sends. This problem of running ahead of the cloud as it were, is especially prevalent during this time of renewal. Great moves of God spark great dreams of power in His people, and with these dreams, these people “move out in faith” as they put it, only to find no power and much disappointment. Another problem is that waiting on God can become excruciating, and when we can wait no more, we move out, void of His direction. We must acknowledge God before every battle, every undertaking, whether large or small, and He shall then direct our paths.

For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. Isa 64:4.

Abraham had direction from no one but God; Joshua inspires us with his tremendous victories at the leading of the Lord; The apostles were able to give the church a foundation that will last until God ends time–How? By obedience to the Master at the direction of the Spirit of God. To most, God moves extremely slow, and is very thorough, never, seemingly in a hurry. Waiting on God will always test our trust in Him, and we shall reap His will in due season if we faint not: I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. Ps 32:8-9

There is also much ado about “missing God’ or being too ignorant to know when He is working and what He is doing. We must by faith come to some measure of understanding the love of God, and that His love and direction will lend itself to the least learned if the motive is His glory and the glory of Jesus, the eye must be single on Him and the heart must be His.

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

Walking in and working out God’s will and purpose for your life and ministry, is the perpetual fruit of life eternal. Knowing Him unto salvation is the fruit of seeking Him with all your heart. Many believe the will of God is hard to find, and in many cases, the Lord does make it difficult to ascertain. In a lot of these cases, we just cannot stop leaning on our own understanding. God does not always reveal His lofty thoughts and ways to us, for if He did, what would be the need for faith?

Many times after much prayer we expect convenience and ease, but the Lord chooses a much more difficult path, making us surprised by the fiery trial we are in. We then suspect Him, and question His logic and find it extremely hard to give thanks in all things, and end up learning the same lessons over and over again. Faith takes all matters to God and accepts His sovereign decision on those matters. It may get easier or it may get excruciatingly painful, but though He slay me yet will I trust in Him (Job 13: 15). Many believe pain and trial prove they have missed God when just the opposite is true, for it is through much tribulation that we enter the Kingdom of Heaven–Golgatha did not erase the suffering that is discipleship–it opened to the door to more of it. Forasmuch then as Jesus suffered for us in the flesh, we must arm ourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that has suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin. That we no longer should live the rest of our time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but unto the will of God(1 Pet 4: 1-2).. It will always be a matter of heart with God–if Jesus has your heart, God will see to it that His will is worked out in your life: If you buy into the no trial, health-wealth gospel many are spreading, the Scripture guarantees your disappointment. Many of God’s greatest ministers have accomplished God’s greatest glory while undergoing tremendous physical and emotional trial and suffering. Indeed, the Greatest Single Act of all history proves the whole counsel of God; Jesus is our example, and thorough examination of His earthly walk and ministry we see that He never preaches a lack of trial and tribulation, nor does He guarantee health and wealth to those who are His. Expect trials, and endure the hardness of them like a good soldier. Our Father’s aim is to transform us into the likeness of our Savior–to resurrect Jesus in our mortal flesh–we need to digest the fact that the Scripture guarantees that this process shall not be painless; God promises to chasten and scourge every son He receives (Heb. 12: 6). Again, thoroughly examine the earthly walk and ministry of Jesus, and keep His life as your constant barometer. After all, it is His life that is the goal of your transformation. God may decide to bestow wealth and a long happy life on you. He may not. You must be content in either state, for the most important thing in the life of the disciple of Jesus, is the will and glory of the Lord:

Grace must render surrender to the will of God a both complete and absolute resolution of the heart. This is where there can be much tribulation, because God can ask us to do things that can be extremely painful, even though we know them to be His will. There are many things that are contrary to our flesh that God demands our obedience in. Like our walk with God, the working of our will into His is a process–it takes time. We must beseech Him to make us willing. As we immerse ourselves in the Person of Jesus and His word, let us continually ask for grace to completely surrender our wills. As we do, we will find Him working our inward life to where it is constantly immersed in Jesus, who alone is capable of gracing us into doing the will of our Father. This process works us into the continual abiding that is required for our prayers to be according to His will, that they be answered according to His will (Jn. 15: 1-7).

Extreme crisis proves the extreme case here, as the greatest temptation is to take matters into our own hands–it is then that we must again beseech God to help us wait. When all about us are screaming “do something’ or “something has to be done’–it is at this time that we must be intimate enough with the Lord that we can wait on Him and not move till He bids us do so, for these extreme crisis points usually come just before God is ready to move–the sea didn’t open until the Israelites were right up to it. Let us not offer sacrifice (As did Saul) because we fear the Lord is not going to act. Remember–Only God can identify which is the true hour of need. When we do not know what God wants us to do, we must stand until we do know. When circumstances push us into action, we are assured God’s direction if we but acknowledge Him on the path we are going to take. Many, many disciples down through the ages have had to move out without knowing where they were going-it is there we exercise our faith by acknowledging Him in the way we will take (Prov. 3: 5-6), trusting Him to direct our paths. The Lord very seldom, if at all, will open His whole scheme of plans to us.

It will be a Faith Experience

Many in this day of renewal find it hard when God withdraws the awareness of His presence. Make no mistake about it–God will make this deeper walk one of deeper faith, not one of better sight. Temptation always follows great blessing, and the faith received from the Master in the great blessing must be guarded, nurtured and kept, for in the day of spiritual winter, it is the only food that will sustain you. The Psalms many times tell of the blessings of the Lord’s presence and the agony when He removes it. It is then that the flesh and the enemy will rail at you. All this must needs be if we are to develop into overcomers through Jesus, for it is the faith that He imparts that overcomes. It is the spiritual dry times that give us opportunity to move in that faith and the wisdom God has instilled during the times of refreshing. It is in these dry times that we learn to seek the place of low estate, for we must descend if the humility of the Master should resurrect in us, for we must never forget, it is in our weakness that we are made more than conquerors. Many expect to grow into great men and women of faith not realizing that it is not a growing in fleshy strength, but a growing in fleshy weakness. When this fact is realized, many find it too hard to bear, and thus they depart.

God’s will for us is our growth in holiness and our sanctification, and evidence of growth in these things in the life of the disciple, is evidence of salvation. Understand that your salvation is the working and walking out of the will and purpose of God in your life. God has called us apart, and separated us to make us holy. Holiness and our sanctification in Jesus, is the purpose of our redemption–to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus, is above all, a transformation into holiness, and this transformation begins and is sustained into holiness by a life of worship, hearing, and filling, at His feet: We are positionally holy in Jesus, but God obviously desires more than that–He desires that the flesh be put off, and that the resurrection and the life of He who is our holiness take place in our mortal flesh, that Life might work in the body of the Lord, His church. When we develop a lifestyle at the feet of Jesus, the flesh falls off, and we see Him come alive in our crucified bodies. It is the Spirit of Holiness with which we are filled, and if there is no growth by grace of holiness in the life of the disciple, a prayerful look must be taken to see that the transaction that satisfies eternal justice has truly taken place. The Blood of Jesus has opened the highway called “…..the way of holiness…..the redeemed shall walk therein…” Isa. 35: 9-10. This holiness is the total of all the beautiful perfections of God, which begin their manifestations in our lives, when we seek the resurrection of the Master in us, for He is the Beauty of Holiness.

God Does Heal

James 5:14-15

14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

Our Father has endowed many with His Spirit of healing, some being more visible than others. God will do what He wants to do of course, but I know that if I am seeking Jesus, and I need healing, I am more likely to find it at a Benny Hinn crusade or healing service of someone on whom God has bestowed the gift of healing. God is not limited to anything, but He has ordained many with the gift of healing and when they pray for the sick, many of the sick get healed. But even the most visible healing ministries don’t see all the sick healed. I have been to many great crusades and have seen God heal many, many people; we have seen people healed in our own ministry. But we have also had our hearts broken seeing young children with their legs and arms crumpled due to disease, leaving some of these services in the same condition in which they came. Many go home rejoicing, but many go home weeping. Some attend many services before they are healed. Some attend many more services and die of their disease. It all prompts the question– why aren’t all healed? It is the prayer of faith that shall save the sick, and sometimes Jesus just does not give the faith; faith is not trying to muster enough belief to get God to do what we want Him to do, whether it be physical healing or anything else. There are many attempted answers for this but we sooner or later must move into the place where we can flatly state that it wasn’t God’s will that all were healed, and ask Jesus for enough faith to accept that fact, because God is probably not going to tell you or me why many were or were not healed.

*******

ACCEPTING GOD’S WILL

A closer walk with the Lord…..Many want it, but fall short of it for many reasons. Chief among them is failure to count the cost of such a walk. Many have incorrectly assessed just what the true disciple’s walk is. The health-wealth people preach that perfect health and a life without need or want is the disciple’s right to claim because of the atonement. All it takes is for one that appears to be walking with God to get sick and die, or one to go broke, and right away there are charges of an “open door” somewhere in the person’s life. Wealthy godly people go broke; Disciples who walk so close to the Master you can feel Him on them, get sick and die, some of them at a very young age.

Jesus obviously walked closer to God than anyone who ever walked the earth. He must be our barometer. What was His earthly walk like? How was He treated? What impact did He have? Was he wealthy? Was He poor? Was He in good health? Did He waltz through life in the joy that so many people attempt to claim for themselves? Do we enter the Kingdom of Heaven through much tribulation, or is heaven just the glorious capper to a healthy wealthy life because of the atonement? A church prays for days, even months for the cancer stricken 32 year old mother of two young boys. She is the godly wife of a great evangelist, a true man of God who has great impact for the kingdom. She dies. Why? James tells us that the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and many claimed to have the faith to see the woman healed. It is here that many come to the realization that faith is not mustering enough belief that we may stand on promises and manipulate God into doing our will. Faith comes by hearing–when God speaks, Jesus imparts the faith to believe what He says, and what He says then comes to pass. It is the prayer of faith that saves the sick, but if the Master does not impart the faith, the sick go home to be with the Lord–is there any greater healing? Is our perspective on the work and purposes of God so temporal that we forget He is eternal? The great Andrew Murray had a situation where a close friend was dying and much prayer went up for him, but the friend died. Acquaintances of Murray say he was greatly shaken by the incident. There are many such instances and no doubt you know of one or two. If you don’t, live long enough, and you will.

What we are after is the will of God in any and all situations, whether it be in sickness or in health, in poverty or in wealth–it is the will of God that sustains our entire spiritual life. We want the perfect will of our Father, and we must resolve to let Jesus work this disposition in us. All that we regard as blessing is made possible because of the Master’s death and resurrection, and we praise you and thank you for all you have done Jesus, and for all that you are. As our Father works the transformation of our disposition to that of the living, indwelling Jesus, we shall see the desires of our heart becoming the same as His. It is then we are on the road to prayer answered in accordance with the will of our Father. Lord, increase our faith–enable us to accept thy will in each and every situation in our lives–for that is true faith is it not? Accepting the revealed will of God no matter what it holds in its cup, and then trusting and believing that it is the best that can be done in the situation.

I have worked with many people who were devastated because they stood on a number of God’s promises in relation to a given situation, and the Lord did not resolve the situation according to those promises. A woman who was believing for a middle aged family member to be healed of cancer comes to mind. This woman was on the verge of suicide because she said there were many churches in the U.S. and abroad praying for the healing of this family member, who was herself a great woman of God, active in the church most of her life. When God decided not to heal the victim, the woman was devastated. She had stood on thirty some promises of God for the healing, and was so convinced it was going to come to pass, that she tried to raise the victim from the dead in the funeral home. When God would not raise the victim, our woman friend became distraught enough to want to kill herself, and became extremely angry with God–anger that lasted for years.

We all know that circumstances can be extremely hard when God decides not to heal or deliver. We must pursue the Resurrection and the Life of Jesus in our mortal flesh, that we might be consumed with the will of God, and not the adapting of His word to our whims and wishes. This is one of the reasons that in these latter days, many will see their love wax cold; many are offended when their will is not done, as they lay claim to God’s promises walking after their own thoughts instead of His direction and will in any given situation. Again, faith is accepting the will of God in any matter, even though it may be diabolically opposed to our will and our prayers. Manipulating and misapplying Scripture to bring our will to pass will always bring great disappointment and confusion. We ask in faith believing that the will and purpose of God will be accomplished.

Luke 4:25-27

25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;

26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.

27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.

What Jesus is saying here is that God in His infinite love and wisdom decides who He will touch in any given temporal situation, and who He won’t: For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (Ex. 33: 19). If God grants physical healing, it is a temporal, visible thing that most likely will have eternal impact of some kind. We know however that if God does not grant healing, the situation then becomes an eternal thing– for the dying disciple, it becomes eternal healing and eternal glory, as he or she passes from this life to the next, not seeing death. And we are taught that our affliction here is light in the face of all eternity and works an eternal weight of glory, and the eternal is where our heart must always be. Looking and setting the heart upon things unseen is always a difficult job, for we see and know in part.This is where we must beseech the Master to increase our faith, that we might be able to accept the revealed will of God without His explanation for it. God sent Elijah to the Sidonian woman, and Namaan the Syrian did go to Elisha –the Israelites in their disobedience and thanklessness, were ignored. And while disobedience is one reason many would-be disciples are not blessed of God, many disciples who walk closely with Him seem to reap sorrow upon sorrow. And when they do, the Christian world wonders why the blessing was “missed.”

One major problem is that many people equate the word blessing with gain, whether it be physical or material. On the day of judgment, many will be surprised at the temporal calamity that results in eternal gain for many. In this life, our only guarantee is eternal life, if we be found in Jesus, and true blessing is defined as the will of God accomplished in the life of a sinner because of the Life, Death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The ability to rejoice in fiery trials comes when God’s will is accomplished by our Master through us. Temporal life can evolve into hell on earth for any given disciple–we need not look at the martyred disciples down through the ages to prove it, although such a look would humble us, and show us our lack of true spirituality; We need only look around us in our churches……many are bursting at the seams with godly, hurting people. Mercy is both the foundation and the fruit of confession and repentance, and reaches its height in the Master’s eternal healing of souls, not so much in the temporal, physical healing of the body.

Set Your Face

And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem… Luke 9:51.

The original language in this verse tells us that the time mentioned here is the time that Jesus should ascend into heaven–his suffering and death is overlooked here, showing us His eyes and heart were on the glory following His upcoming suffering and death, and they were not worthy of being compared to the glory He would enter into. There is a great lesson here for us, as to our disposition towards suffering and death. Jesus will work Himself into us in such a way that He will lead us through the process to get us to this place, where our heart is more set on the will of our Father and our eternal home, than anything temporal–including suffering and death. He set His face for Jerusalem–towards they who killed the prophets–towards they who would now kill more than a prophet. Jesus set His face toward the place He would die–He set His face to do the revealed will of God, He set His face to get a grip on His cup and His cross. This is the disposition God would have all of His children posses, and it is possible for all His children, for all are indwelt with Jesus Himself, the only one capable of this disposition. And if we are truly crucified with Him and He truly lives in us, then we have entered the process of forsaking all that we have that we might become true, biblical disciples.

*INTIMACY WITH JESUS

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Gal. 2: 20.

As you grow in your walk with the Lord, sooner or later you will come to the point where you will have to decide the extent you want to move into intimacy and union with Him; There will come a point when God will see just how serious you are about your commitment to Him. There will come a point when Gal. 2: 20–your crucifixion–will be opened to you; you will come to the knowledge that God has a cross with your name on it, and unless you resolve to pick it up and die on it daily, there will be no increase in your intimacy with the Master. Few really realize what it means to pick up one’s cross–it means many things to be sure, but one thing it does mean is a slow, steady, daily death of your flesh, your will and your life as you know it, and this death must happen, though it must not be pursued; there is but one pursuit and that is Jesus, and it is He who must work the death walk in you; we pursue nothing else for the pursuit of anything else indicates a divided heart–the place of wanting nothing comes when grace imparts a desire to want nothing but God. Even self-denial must not be pursued for it falls under the doctrine of works, leading to pride in itself–I may find myself keeping score on the number of times I deny myself so that others may be blessed; in other words, my focus becomes my abstinence, not the will of God and the needs of others; self denial, like any other virtue, must flow from the resurrected Jesus within me, and He must get the praise and glory for it.

As earlier stated, I must not reason “what would Jesus do?” I must be intimate enough with Him to let Him ‘do’ through me–it is He who must respond, not my fleshy perception of what He might think or do in any given situation. In some situations it is obvious what Jesus would do or how He would respond. In many others it is not, and I dare not let my old man’s intellect get into the habit of trying to reason the Master’s response. The more intimate I become with Him the more I see His desired response through me. Don’t be fooled–growth in sanctification is not necessarily becoming mystical, pastoral and passive, although these may be from time to time, a part of it. Growth in sanctification is the daily apprehension of Jesus, being apprehended by Him, and witnessing the resurrection of Him in your mortal flesh–it is your awareness that He is daily increasing in you, and you are daily decreasing in Him (Jn 3: 30). The daily living, intimate experience of death walking with Jesus, is a wait on our Father–He must do the work by His Spirit, for your life is hid with Jesus in God, and our Father is continually transforming those who are willing, into the likeness of His Son; Just as Jesus sacrificed His flesh, so must the disciple sacrifice his or hers; It is through our conforming death that we see the Resurrection of Jesus in us–no death– no resurrection–its that simple. Jesus must live His life increasingly and without hindrance in you, working the will of our Father.

Paul would serve us as the Scripture’s chief example of seeing the life of Jesus lived through a man; Many seek to be called “apostle:” few realize the cost of bearing such an inscription. There is in Paul an intense and insatiable desire for the Lord Jesus–this would indicate a gift of the Holy Spirit in considerable measure. Paul became so consumed with and by Jesus that the very life of Jesus was continually manifesting in him. Evidence is the fruit of his ministry. Only Jesus could do the things Paul accomplished. If we let our Father transform us, we will come to intimately know Jesus and the power of his resurrection, as well as the fellowship of his sufferings; and we shall be made conformable unto his death. We will then by grace, seize grace, knowing we are forgiven and accepted, put a shoulder to the plow and not look back. Our sufferings must be the sufferings of Jesus, our labors, Jesus working through us, effecting God’s will in our ministry, effecting the death of flesh, that the manifestation of the life of Jesus in us would be real, bearing fruit; We as Paul, must experience the fact thatc Grace is the strength of our calling and ministry. Paul was put in a position where he had to depend on Grace to supply his every need; But he realized grace for what it is–unconditional love forever faithful in giving unconditional favor that the Lord be glorified—he did not merely believe this, he experienced it, and that’s why 2000 years later the church continues to thrive on his words–he was so open to the Lord that God wrote much of the New Testament through him.

Just as Jesus revealed our Father in His earthly walk, our Father works to reveal Jesus in us and through us now, as He did with the early church. Grace upon grace brings the obedience and love that can only come from the manifestation of Jesus; He came, and He died that we might have the liberty to choose Life–Him–and have Him more abundantly by His Spirit for He is the Spirit of Life. It is the weakness of His death and the power of His resurrection that our Father wills to work in us. All the theology in the world is but dung if Jesus does not resurrect in us. If we have faith beyond our salvation, let it be in the faithfulness of our Father to resurrect our Savior in our mortal flesh–let us look for Jesus always, everywhere, especially in our selves. This will allow our Father to develop the dependence on Him that is vital to the ministry of Jesus through us. Our liberty is our license and freedom to love and obey Him, and to cast all on Him, that our Father’s will be done in our lives and ministries, as it is in heaven. And our Father’s will is our being transformed into the likeness of His Son–it is not our flesh conforming to the likeness of what we perceive of Him in Scripture. We must spend much time at His feet for that is the one thing that is needed to let our Father work in us both to will and do of His good pleasure; for we know that it pleases God to reveal His Son in us, the hope of glory, that He would be mighty in us toward those who are without.

In order to enter fully into union with the Trinity, one must be able to witness to the truth and power of the Gospel–one has to experience it, not just read about it, to truly know it and impart it to others. We must come to the point where grace takes us from being Saul (OT) to being Paul in our experience with the Lord Jesus. We must not dwell on the magnitude of our sin and its former dominion over us, but we must be experientially aware of these things to fully know from where Jesus has brought us, and that He has become our dwelling place. God will give us a view of the grossness of our sin, and when we see it, it will motivate us to the walk of death to which we are called. This grossness of ourselves and our sin will always be with us as a reminder of the grace that is upon us—but it will not dominate us and we will not keep focused on it. God is no respecter of persons, and to offer Jesus to those without, we must be led to see ourselves for what we were when we accepted Him as Savior and Lord, and apart from Him what we still are and will always be this side of the grave. We must beseech our Father to give us revelation and heart knowledge of our state without Jesus and even the state of our flesh with Him; for when we know flesh as our own, we will despise it, we will loathe it, because we will know that God hates it. No matter how big the ministry or how powerful the giftings, we must never lose sight of the fact that we are unprofitable servants–saved sinners, and that grace is the only difference between us and our fellow man who has not yet seized it, for such were we aforetime. Our Father must work this Disposition in us, for it is He who will use it to keep us in the low estate of the contriteness and humility of the Master, needed to minister Him in power; if we consent to His working, we will find that we are on the road to that power in ministry. But even though we are ever mindful of our sinful state, again, we do not dwell on it–we dwell on and pursue nothing but Jesus.

As we stated earlier, care must be taken here to not excessively delve into one’s own corruption, for condemnation is the fruit of such over-delving and renders one useless because the enemy will confuse and convict on the magnitude of our sins. The Holy Spirit will convict enough to lead us into Godly sorrow, confession, and repentance, and He will always point us to the Sacrifice for those sins, and it is on Jesus we will then dwell, not our sins.

It is enough to confess our sins and repent out of Godly sorrow for them–the Holy Spirit will give us heart knowledge of our forgiveness and cleansing and He will work repentance into the heart that is His and move us on into ministry that Jesus might be glorified- Be leery of anyone who spends an inordinate amount of time on sin. Many old things have passed away in many new creatures, only to be dug up again by ministers and laity according to the doctrines they’ve devised by demonic influence and fleshy efforts to satisfy their intellects and egos, and sell their books. We have worked with many, many people who have been taken through so much of their sin and the sins of their generations, that their lives in Jesus have literally fallen apart. Why? Because satan has enticed a minister or lay-minister with the false notion that there is an endless amount of ground to cover before the Blood of Jesus becomes sufficient enough to cleanse and renew; intellectual flesh has been drawn away to satisfy its ego and negate the simplicity of the Gospel and the power of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Renunciation never cleansed anybody and no one has ever been forgiven by God because he or she renounced his or her sin. It is confession of sin–acknowledging that we are continual sinners in need of a continual cleansing by the Blood of Jesus, which continually flows from Calvary’s mountain; God is looking for the heart that walks and lives in this disposition; it is this simple: confess, repent, and put your shoulder to the plow; confess, repent, and keep your shoulder to the plow. If anyone then bids you to look back, bid them good-bye. If your salvation and your total cleansing and forgiveness depends on your confession of all your sin, and formal renunciation of all your evil ways, then you are dirty and bound for hell. There is no way anyone can confess all their sin–we all commit sins that we don’t even know about, and multitudes have died without confessing such sin. Many lead people through confession of generational sins that aren’t even there, telling them–”its better to be safe than sorry”–such doctrine of man greatly offends the total work of cross, and puts those who teach it and those who do it, dangerously close to being under the law and condemnation: In Jesus, either old things are passed away or they aren’t; either all things become new or they don’t; either the saved become new creatures or they don’t. It is the heart attitude toward Jesus that God honors or dishonors; it is going before Him on your face and telling Him you are a sinner and that you acknowledge all your sin, and that you repent from it. It is this confession that brings the Blood of Mercy pouring over you and cleansing you from all that is unrighteous. How powerful is His Blood? Is it powerful enough that it needs nothing added to it to cleanse and save? Those who have added their commandments and their doctrines to the totally complete work of Calvary, will some day answer to He who hung there. We would all do well to catch the Master’s teaching in relating the story of the Pharisee and the Publican:

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Luke 18:10-14.

The Pharisee lauded himself to God because of his religious, lawful exercises, just as many preachers and teachers do today; the Publican acknowledged himself a sinner, not worthy to lift his head before God, evidence that the Master was alive and well in him for the kind of contrition that God honors is impossible apart from Jesus, and apart from Jesus there is no justification. Again, if you acknowledge to the Lord that you are a sinner in need of continual cleansing from the Blood of Jesus, and you confess your sin at the direction of the Lord, repent of that sin, and are in a heart attitude of perpetual confession, repentance and cleansing, the Truth is in you, and you are free from your forefathers indeed. Our Father is interested in our hearts, and when heart confession of sin and godly sorrow for it is confessed and God’s gift of repentance and cleansing in Jesus is seized, that heart is honored by our Father, and its holder is justified. Playing excessive guessing games with generational sin and delving into our corruption to excess, serves only to sell worthless books, exalt false prophets and their doctrine, and, entertain and entice the enemy and offend the Cross. It is by grace that old things are passed away, and it is the Blood of Mercy and Grace that effects the new creature. Again How powerful is the Blood of Jesus to you? Powerful enough to blot out the handwriting of the ordinances that were against us?

Simplicity

According to your faith, be it unto you–Keep it simple–our Father is after a full resurrection of the Master in us, and thus is looking to work absolute surrender–where even the chief of sinners can become the mightiest of ministers because of grace that has worked an insatiable love for the Master and who He is and for what He has done. This grace works the weakness necessary for overcoming the evil one. The deeper you walk with God, the simpler your walk should get. Remember, that Jesus now dwells in you–He is there, and is the power of God in you, by His Spirit, for the Lord is the Spirit Don’t restrict the movement of Jesus in your life to your perception of Him or of that movement, for there is much we do not understand about Him; when you ask Him to come in and be the Lord and Savior of your life, He comes in His fullness, and in comprehending what we can of that, remember the disposition that animated Him to Calvary–He died to come into us in His fullness, that His sacrifice might be reflected in our lives. He thus moves into your soul and becomes the heart of your soul, even the soul of your soul. It is here that He gets hold of you, and by grace you abide and get hold of Him; And as this process is graced, shaped and nurtured by our Father, we move ever closer to total union with Him–we move into the awareness that we have become one Spirit with Him, this awareness then begins to reveal the glory of our Father in the face of our Savior, for the soul of our Father which is His Son, has filled us by His Spirit, and by His Spirit we now experience the reality that our Redeemer lives…….in us. And we look forward to that Day, when “Lord, Lord” shall become our sight.

V. HOLINESS

*Scriptural History

Old Testament

God has dedicated Israel as His people. They are “holy” by their relationship to the “holy” God. All of the people are in a sense “holy,” as members of the covenant community, irrespective of their faith and obedience: “And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?” (Num. 16:3). God’s intent was to use this “holy” nation as a “holy,” royal priesthood amongst the nations (Exod. 19:6). Based on the intimate nature of the relationship, God expected His people to live up to His “holy” expectations and, thus, to demonstrate that they were a “holy nation”: “And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine” (Lev. 20:26).

The priests were chosen to officiate at the Holy Place of the tabernacle temple. Because of their function as intermediaries between God and Israel and because of their proximity to the temple, they were dedicated by God to the office of priest: “They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be holy. They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God. Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shall be holy unto thee: for I the Lord, which sanctify you, am holy” (Lev. 21:6-8). Aaron as the high priest was “the holy one of the Lord (Ps. 106:16).

The Old Testament clearly and emphatically teaches that God is “holy.” He is “the Holy One of Israel” (Isa. 1:4), the “holy God” (Isa. 5:16), and “the Holy One” (Isa. 40:25). His name is “Holy”: “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isa. 57:15). The negative statement, “There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none besides thee: neither is there any rock like our God” (1 Sam. 2:2), explains that He is most “holy” and that no one is as “holy” as He is. Also the angels in the heavenly entourage are “holy”: “And the valley of my mountains shall be stopped up, for the valley of the mountains shall touch the side of it; and you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord your God will come, and all the holy ones with him” (Zech. 14:5), REVISED STANDARD VERSION. The seraphim proclaimed to each other the holiness of God: “And one cried unto another, and said, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isa. 6:3).

B. Verb.

qadesh ^6942^ (Strong’s number), or qadash ^6942^, “to be holy; to sanctify.” This verb, which occurs 175 times, can mean “to be holy” (Exod. 29:37; Lev. 6:18) or “to sanctify”: “Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place” (2 Chr. 29:5).

C. Nouns.

qodesh ^6944^, “holiness; holy thing; sanctuary.” This noun occurs 469 times with the meanings: “holiness” (Exod. 15:11); “holy thing” (Num. 4:15); and “sanctuary” (Exod. 36:4).

Another noun, qadesh, means “temple-prosti- tute” or “sodomite”: “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel” (Deut. 23:17). The noun is found 11 times.

New Testament

A. Nouns.

1. hagiasmos ^38^, translated “holiness” in the KJV of (Rom. 6:19,22; 1 Thes. 4:7; 1 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 12:14), is always rendered “sanctification” in the RV. It signifies (a) separation to God, (1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Thes. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2); (b) the resultant state, the conduct befitting those so separated, (1 Thes. 4:3,4, 7), and the four other places mentioned above. “Sanctification” is thus the state predetermined by God for believers, into which in grace He calls them, and in which they begin their Disciple course and so pursue it. Hence they are called “disciples.”

Note: The corresponding verb hagiazo denotes “to set apart to God.”

2. hagiosune ^42^ denotes the manifestation of the quality of “holiness” in personal conduct; (a) it is used in (Rom. 1:4), of the absolute “holiness” of Christ in the days of His flesh, which distinguished Him from all merely human beings; this (which is indicated in the phrase “the spirit of holiness”) and (in vindication of it) His resurrection from the dead, marked Him out as (He was “declared to be”) the Son of God; (b) believers are to be “perfecting holiness in the fear of God,” (2 Cor. 7:1), i. e., bringing “holiness” to its predestined end, whereby (c) they may be found “unblameable in holiness” in the Second Coming of Jesus (1 Thes. 3:13).

“In each place character is in view, perfect in the case of the Lord Jesus, growing toward perfection in the case of the disciple. Here the exercise of love is declared to be the means God uses to develop likeness to Jesus in His children. The sentence may be paraphrased thus:- The Lord enable you more and more to spend your lives in the ministry to others, in order that He may so establish you in Discipleship character now, that you may be vindicated from every charge that might possibly be brought against you at the Judgment-seat of Jesus; ‘cf. (1 John 4:16,17).”

3. hagiotes ^41^, “sanctity,” the abstract quality of “holiness,” is used (a) of God, (Heb. 12:10); (b) of the manifestation of it in the conduct of the apostle Paul and his fellow laborers, (2 Cor. 1:12)

4. hosiotes ^3742^ is to be distinguished from No. 3, as denoting that quality of “holiness” which is manifested in those who have regard equally to grace and truth; it involves a right relation to God; it is used in (Luke 1:75) and (Eph. 4:24), and in each place is associated with righteousness.

B. Adjectives.

1. hagios ^40^, akin to A, Nos. 1 and 2, which are from the same root as hagnos (found in hazo, “to venerate”), fundamentally signifies “separated” (among the Greeks, dedicated to the gods), and hence, in Scripture in its moral and spiritual significance, separated from sin and therefore consecrated to God, sacred.

(a) It is predicated of God (as the absolutely “Holy” One, in His purity, majesty and glory): of the Father, e. g., (Luke 1:49; John 17:11; 1 Pet. 1:15,16; Rev. 4:8; 6:10); of the Son, e. g., (Luke 1:35; Acts 3:14; 4:27,30; 1 John 2:20); of the Spirit, e. g., (Matt. 1:18) and frequently in all the Gospels, Acts, Romans, 1 and 2 Cor., Eph., 1 Thes.; also in (2 Tim. 1:14; Titus 3:5; 1 Pet. 1:12; 2 Pet. 1:21; Jude 20).

(b) It is used of men and things in so far as they are devoted to God. Indeed the quality, as attributed to God, is often presented in a way which involves divine demands upon the conduct of believers. These are called hagioi, “disciples,” i. e., “sanctified” or “holy” ones.

This disciplehood is not an attainment, it is a state into which God in grace calls men; yet believers are called to sanctify themselves (consistently with their calling, (2 Tim. 1:9)), cleansing themselves from all defilement, forsaking sin, living a “holy” manner of life, (1 Pet. 1:15; 2 Pet. 3:11), and experiencing fellowship with God in His holiness. The disciples are thus figuratively spoken of as “a holy temple”, (1 Cor. 3:17) (a local church); (Eph. 2:21) (the whole Church), cp. (5:27); “a holy priesthood,” (1 Pet. 2:5); “a holy nation,” (2:9).

2. hosios ^3741^, akin to A, No. 4, signifies “religiously right, holy,” as opposed to what is unrighteous or polluted. It is commonly associated with righteousness (see A, No. 4). It is used “of God, (Rev. 15:4; 16:5); and of the body of the Lord Jesus, (Acts 2:27; 13:35), citations from (Ps. 16:10), Sept.; (Heb. 7:26); and of certain promises made to David, which could be fulfilled only in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, (Acts 13:34). In (1 Tim. 2:8) and (Titus 1:8), it is used of the character of Disciples…. In the Sept., hosios frequently represents the Hebrew word chasid, which varies in meaning between `holy’ and `gracious,’ or `merciful; ‘cf. (Ps. 16:10) with (145:17).”

C. Adverb.

hagiazo ^37^, “to hallow, sanctify,” in the passive voice, “to be made holy, be sanctified,” is translated “let him be made holy” in (Rev. 22:11), the aorist or point tense expressing the definiteness and completeness of the divine act; elsewhere it is rendered by the verb “to sanctify.” Moral and ethical wholeness or perfection; freedom from moral evil. Holiness is one of the essential elements of God’s nature required of His people. Holiness may also be rendered “sanctification” or “Godliness.” The word holy denotes that which is “sanctified” or “set apart” for God’s service.

God instructed Moses to “consecrate Aaron and his sons” (Ex. 29:9) to the priesthood. The children of Israel were admonished to “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Ex. 20:8). The “Holy of Holies” (or “Holiest of All”) was the most sacred place in the desert tabernacle and in the Temple at Jerusalem (Ex. 26:33; Heb. 9:1-9). Elisha was called a “holy man of God” (2 Kin. 4:9). Herod feared John the Baptist, “knowing that he was a just and holy man” (Mark 6:20).

While holy is sometimes used in a ceremonial sense, the main use is to describe God’s righteous nature or the ethical righteousness demanded of His followers (Is. 1:10-14; Matt. 12:7). Originating in God’s nature, holiness is a unique quality of His character. The Bible emphasizes this divine attribute. “Who is like you, O Lord?” (Ex. 15:11). “There is none holy like the Lord” (1 Sam. 2:2). “Who shall not fear You, O Lord… For You alone are holy” (Rev. 15:4). God’s high expectations of His people flow out of His own holy nature: “You shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:6); “sanctify yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 20:7).

Jesus is the very personification of holiness; He reinforces God’s demands for holiness by insisting that His disciples must have a higher quality of righteousness than that of the scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 5:20). Like the prophets Amos and Hosea, Jesus appealed for more than ceremonial holiness: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice” (Hos. 6:6; Matt. 12:7).

The theme of sanctification, or growing into the likeness of Jesus, and being consecrated for His use, is prominent throughout the Bible. Like Jesus, the apostles taught that sanctification, or true holiness, expressed itself in patient and loving service while awaiting the Lord’s return. Peter urged the suffering Disciples of the Roman Empire to follow God’s example of holiness in their trials: “As He who has called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” (1 Pet. 1:15).

Paul’s prayer for the disciples at Thessalonica is timeless in its application to the church and individual believers: “And may the Lord make you increase in love and abound in love… so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His disciples” (1 Thes. 3:12-13).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*BE YE HOLY

“But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy”

(l Pet. 1: 15-16).

We are called according to His purpose; our life on earth is to be the reflection of His purpose for us in eternity. God has not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness–1 Thes. 4:7; Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it–5:24. He hath chosen us in Him, that we should be holy and without blame–Eph. 1:4……Through the sanctification of the Spirit–1 Pet. 1:2. The call is unto holiness–salvation through sanctification. God places holiness first in His call; we must place it first in our response; we must come to agreement with Him on this.

Our calling is before and above everything else: holiness–To be in His image and likeness, is to be consumed with His Presence and his Person, for He alone is holy. The Glory of His holiness is His person–His presence. Holiness is not something we can attain. It is imparted as the Spirit of Holiness gains possession of us. It is only by His power that the call to be holy will be effectual–He calls the things that are not as though they were, and by His Spirit they shall be.

The voice from the plains of Mamre is the same: be ye holy. The voice from the bush has not changed: be ye holy; the voice from Calvary silently pleads: be ye holy. He reveals His holiness to impart it to us. We must ask Him to reveal it. He will. We are born again: this time unto holiness. Holiness is found in the life at His feet.

“For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” (1 Thessalonians 4:7).

His Glory Is His holiness…in Jesus, so ours. It is the person of Jesus that is God’s provision for our holiness. To dwell in the secret place–His presence–is to dwell in Holiness. Holy: God Himself must open the depths of the word for us. It is the Spirit of Holiness that reveals the Lord Jesus: “I am holy; Be ye holy; Ye are holy in Jesus.”

God will reveal to us the unholiness of our nature. This revelation comes in His holy presence. It is the humility of Jesus in us that is the beauty of holiness. Holiness is the divineness of my position in Jesus.

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HOLINESS WILL BRING REVELATION

And when the Lord saw that Moses turned aside to see, God called him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And He said draw not nigh hither; put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground….and Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God” (Ex. 3: 4-6).

The ground was holy because God was there. It is the presence of God that makes holy. Only in connection with the Sabbath is the word holy mentioned in Genesis. Only with the calling of Moses is it mentioned in Exodus. After having in the flood exhibited His righteous judgment against sin, He calls Abraham to be the father of a chosen people. And as the foundation of all God’s dealings with that people, He teaches Abraham and his seed first of all the lesson of childlike trust–trust in Him as the Almighty, with whom nothing is too wonderful, and trust in Him as the Faithful One, whose oath could not be broken.

With the growth of Israel to a people we see the revelation advancing to a new stage. The simplicity of childhood gives way to the waywardness of youth, and God must now interfere with the discipline and restriction of law. Having gained a right to a place in their confidence as the God of their fathers, He prepares them for a further revelation. Of the God of Abraham the chief attribute was that He was the Almighty One; of the God of Israel, Jehovah, that He is the Holy One, the God of fulfillment and deliverance, the redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

In the burning bush God makes Himself known as dwelling in the midst of the fire; Isaiah 10:17–”the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and the Holy One for a flame.” This fire can either purify or destruct. God’s holiness can come as judgment against sin, destroying the sinner who remains in it, and as mercy, freeing His people from it. Judgment and mercy are the two sides of the flame, and forever go together, but it is His fire of mercy that rejoices over His fire of judgment (James 2:13). His fire consumes and will take and change into His nature, rejecting as smoke and ashes what cannot be assimilated. We must remember that His holiness keeps Him from all that is not divine, and it is this holiness that He imparts to us that allows us union with Him. It is this same holiness that rejects all that will not yield itself to Him.

With Abraham and the Patriarchs, there had been little teaching about sin or redemption; the nearness of God was revealed. The law was then given to convict of sin, that man would see himself as a sinner, with the Spirit instilling a longing for the Holy God to come and make him holy. He will stay within the veil; He will be near to them, but yet at a distance. Moses hid his face when first confronted by God–that is what His holiness does–it produces fear and awe. Moses hiding his face shows us the effect of drawing near to His holiness. But we notice here, that there is further revelation given him by God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exod 3:4-6

4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face;

–Shoes are the means of contact with the world, the means of how the flesh moves about and does its work. We must first realize how unfit we are to do business with the Almighty–no flesh will glory in His presence–put of thy shoes–put off the old man and put on the Lord Jesus. Die to your sin, and you will live unto holiness, for I will indwell you and make you holy. Holiness is that awesome and awful glory that separates God from all there is.

We are blind to just how unholy we are and just how unholy our sin is before a perfectly holy God. In drawing nigh to Him we are brought to the knowledge of our unholiness and all the stripping of us that must be done, a stripping that will settle for nothing less than death of the old man: “thus saith the high and lofty One, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place with Him that is of a contrite and humble Spirit”; That humble and contrite Spirit is the Lord Jesus, and through His Person of contrition, humility, fear and trembling, we shall dwell in the secret place of the Almighty, the place that is above all else, Holy. It is only here that the Holy flame will not kindle upon us–when the Lord Jesus is in us, and we in Him.

The burning bush is the crucified Jesus–crucified but not consumed–resurrected and ascended to the right hand of the Majesty on high; and as the old man dies with Him, we ascend with Him, by His Spirit: we are seated in heavenly places in Jesus; we receive that baptism of fire, which reveals in each of us what it means: I am the one who is holy and I am the only one who can make holy.

We must fear to look upon God, yet we must desire to see Him. To be made in His image, is to be made holy by the indwelling Jesus. The old man is not made holy–he is to be killed–dead, done away with. Our holiness is the New Man and the New Man only. It is here and here only, that mercy overcomes judgment. The fire will consume as much of us as we let it.

Holiness is beyond tongues–it is that place where you are so indwelt by Him that you cannot speak. A place where His holiness brings on that Godly fear, that lets you know there is none beside Him. There cannot be.

The Spirit of the fear of the Lord is the manifestation of the Spirit of Holiness. It is here we will find our comfort. It is the only place in all the experience of man where fear does comfort.

The connection between the fear of the Lord and holiness is witnessed throughout the Scriptures:

Ex. 15:11–Who is like unto thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises.

Ps. 5:7–In thy fear will I worship towards thy holy temple.

Ps. 29:2–Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, fear before Him all the earth.

II Cor. 7:1–Perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord.

There is no fear of the Lord apart from His presence and Person. It is the holiness of His presence and Person that brings the fear of Him–a reverent awe from the Spirit of Holiness who imparts holiness as He gains possession.

Holy fear works out the stillness of soul, which leads it to rest in God–the only place we will find holiness.

*HOLINESS: THE SILENT CRY OF THE BLOOD OF JESUS

“I have redeemed thee…thou art mine….” Isaiah 43:1

“Unto Him that loved us and washed us in His own Blood…” Rev. 1:5

God’s purpose of redemption is possession, and the purpose of possession is likeness to Him who is redeemer and owner. That likeness is holiness. Only redemption leads to holiness. Redemption is not only deliverance from sin and death, it is we being redeemed unto God Himself. It is not enough for us to possess the Holy Spirit, He must possess us. Only holiness brings the joy and assurance of redemption. Holiness is the chief object of redemption. The degree to which Holiness possesses me will be commensurate with what I let His fire consume.

Holiness is what there is of God in us. To us comes the call to be holy, to follow after holiness, to perfect holiness: to be filled with the Spirit of holiness. The whole life must be on His altar: “…..the way of holiness…..the redeemed shall walk therein…” Isa. 35: 9-10. “..Redemption through His Blood…´(Eph. 1:7); His Blood we meet at the threshold of the pathway of holiness. It is the blood of the sacrifice, which the fire of God consumed and yet could not consume. The power of holiness in His Blood is such that the Spirit says “Sanctified by His own Blood”–As long as we only think of the love of God as goodness, we may aim only at being good. We must aim for His presence and His Person and seize them to be holy as He is holy, for by nature we are Egyptians, enemies doomed to destruction; by Grace, Israelites, chosen for redemption.

“…Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Ex. 15:11

The tabernacle is sanctified by His glory (Ex. 29:43)–His glory filled the house: The temple and our bodies. In the holiness of God, His glory is hidden….in the glory of God His holiness is manifested. Holiness is not so much an attribute of God, but rather a comprehensive summary of all His perfections. God’s holiness is a fire that will consume what cannot be purified, and will purify what it does not consume. In me, the fire must consume and destroy. Only as judgment does its work, can mercy fully save.

God’s holiness as glory: God is glorified in the holiness of His people. True holiness always gives glory to God alone. Live to the glory of God: that is holiness. Live a holy life: that will glorify God.

Our holiness as praise: Praise gives glory to God, and is thus an element of holiness. “Thou art holy, that inhabitest the praises of Israel”.

*HOLINESS AND OBEDIENCE

“Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people…ye shall be unto me, an holy nation” (Ex. 19:4-6)

God’s purpose in redemption is holiness. His will is the expression of His holiness; as we do His will we come into contact with His holiness. The link between redemption and holiness is obedience. When his will becomes our will we become holy. Obedience is the path to His presence, therefore it is the path to holiness. Obedience itself is not holiness–it opens the way for the impartation of His presence and His will–His holiness. Obedience brings the revelation and communication of Himself and His blessed nature: His presence.

The will of God must be done–”If ye obey My voice”; “do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God” (Num. 15:40). “I am the Lord which hallow you”– (Lev. 22:32). God wants His will done on earth as it is in heaven. This alone is obedience. We must be ready at any sacrifice. Holiness is not something God imparts to us–it is God imparting Himself to us. Action alone proves my love for Him. Grace progressively restores us to the paths of God’s will through obedience unto holiness. Obedience unto God allows the Spirit of Holiness to build up and clothe the inner man, with the beauty of His Holiness. Obedience is the law of life unto the holiness and power of Almighty God. This obedience is possible through the gift of the Lord Jesus–not by your might, not by your power, but by His Spirit. It is full and complete surrender to Him. Your highest activity becomes one of passive surrender as you sit at His feet, hear His voice, then rise in quietness and confidence to only do His will. This is being led by the Spirit–” I have brought you unto Myself, If you will obey my voice indeed, ye shall be unto Me an holy nation.

The word ‘voice’ is more than the law or a book; it always implies a living person, and communication with Him. This is the secret of obedience: hearing the voice of the exalted Jesus, and then doing what He says. It is a process to be sure, but it matures equally to the amount of time we spend at His feet. This maturity comes when His presence goes with us, leading us minute by minute, hour by hour: the Lord is always before my face: David, Psalm 16:8.

This development of the relationship is something of which you cannot conceive, until it starts to happen. We must wait on Him–blessed are they that wait on the Lord the Psalmist says. The glory of the Lord will start to fill your temple–your Body, mind, soul and spirit–”I will sanctify it by my glory.” It is here the union of will and life is realized. It is here He possesses you and you are holy as He is holy.

In perfect obedience Jesus sanctified Himself, thus becoming my sanctification. This life I live in the flesh becomes a manifestation of He who is perfect and He who alone, is holy. Our meat must be to do His will–it will draw down God’s nourishment for our spirit and soul–His presence. Obedience depends upon hearing His voice. Do not imagine you know the will of God. Pray and wait for the inward teaching of the Spirit. In Jesus, I am declared Holy by His obedience. In Jesus, I become holy by my obedience to the will of God.

His indwelling presence alone makes us holy. Because God dwelt in the camp of the Israelites, it was holy, all uncleanness was to be removed from it. Holiness in the court of the tabernacle was even greater, uncleanness would not be tolerated. The holy place was still holier, because it was closer to where He dwelt. The inner sanctuary–where His presence dwelt on the mercy seat–was the holiest of holies, the holiest of all because God dwelt there: the measure of holiness is its nearness to God–the more of His presence, the more true holiness. Perfect indwelling would be perfect holiness. None is holy nor is there holiness but He. We have only as much holiness as we have of God Himself.

As His indwelling us becomes a matter of longing and faith, the soul will be able to obey the command: “Let them make me a holy place that I may dwell among them.” It is the Father within us, He doeth the work: He hallows me by His revelation of the indwelling Jesus through His Spirit of Holiness, which is my Father. All is typlified by the tabernacle, revealed by the Son, communicated by the Spirit, manifested in His glory.

The tabernacle with its three divisions was, as pictured in other spiritual truths, the image of man’s threefold nature. Our spirit is the holiest of all, where God is meant to dwell, where the Holy Spirit is given. The life of the soul, with its powers of feeling, knowing, and willing, is the holy place. And the outer life of the body, of conduct and action, is the outer court. Faith knows His dwelling place and lives there, serving Him with Holy fear.

 

HOLINESS: SEPARATION AND CONSECRATION

“And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it Holiness to the Lord…And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord.” Exodus 28:36,38.

The center of the revelation of His holy and holy-making presence is found in the person of the high priest, in his double capacity of representing God with man, and man with God. He is the embodiment of the divine holiness in human form, and of human holiness as a divine gift, as far as the dispensation of symbol and shadow could offer and express it. In him God came near to sanctify and bless the people. In him the people came their very nearest to God. The priest was a symbol of the coming Savior, who would make the holiness of God, a portion for His people.

We are positionally holy in Jesus, our great High Priest–He, as our indwelling Savior, makes us holy; As we enter in and abide in the holiness of Jesus, the holiness of Jesus will abide in us. It is here that holiness proves its power. Do not attempt to grasp this with the intellect. Just believe it and look in simplicity to Jesus, trusting Him to bring it to pass–Faithful is He who has called you, He will do it.

“I am the Lord your God, which have separated you from other people….And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine” Lev. 20:24-26.

Separation is not holiness, but the way to it. Though there can be no holiness without separation, separation must lead to holiness. The idea of holiness does include separation, but it is much higher than that. Being set apart to God and consecration to His service are just the beginning.

Not what I am or what I do, or, what I give, makes me holy. God alone is holy, and He–His presence alone–is what makes anything holy. Eight times in Leviticus we read–”Ye shall be holy, for I am holy.” Holiness encompasses all that He is, so to make us holy as He is holy, will obviously be a process. Remember, that is why we are redeemed–the end of redemption is holiness–His holiness. Separation is where possession by Him starts to take place. Holiness is the divine filling without which we remain empty: be filled with the Spirit–the Holy Spirit–for the Spirit is the Lord. This is the purpose of the separation of Israel–”ye shall be unto me an holy nation.”

We find this in the life of the Nazarite (Num. 6). He was to be separated from the life around him, unto the Lord–”all the days of his separation, he is holy unto the Lord.” This separation included three things: temperance–no wine; humiliation–not cutting or shaving his hair; self-sacrifice–not defiling himself for even father or mother on their death. This separation was not from things unlawful, but from things lawful. The Spirit desires a separation that gives up not only what can be proved to be sin, but all that may hinder the full intensity of our surrender into God’s hands to make us holy.

God wants each of us all to Himself that He may give us all Himself–”that ye should be mine.” Remember, separation never has any value in itself…some have used it to become more spiritual than the rest of the body. Division is usually the result. When God separates us unto Himself, He gives us Himself that we may be holy as He is holy, and that we may pass on this sum of perfections for the edification and exhortation of the body. We come apart to God to give to Him and to receive Him; we then come apart from God to give Him to the body.

God separates from all that does not lead us into His holiness and fellowship. The power of separation will work in us as much as we yield ourselves to God. As we yield, He takes possession, and we grow into His holiness–”in quietness and confidence shall be your strength” (Isa. 30:15). We remain separate though together with the Body–the Spirit of holiness seals our separation unto God, as His presence, for The Spirit is the Lord. Though we are individually sealed by the Spirit unto God, we are unified because we all possess the same Spirit: the Spirit of Holiness–the Holy Spirit. It is the conscious presence of God that separates us from the world, though we are in it; it separates us from ourselves and gives us heart knowledge of our crucifixion with Jesus though we live this Life in the flesh. His Life is the Life that lives in my flesh–it is His Life, and His Life separates even more mightily. All we are must become filled with all He is…this begins separation from self; and when God gets true possession of self, separation from the world results; it is through this process we begin to realize we are truly separated…this is the sanctification process that works unto holiness and leads us to dwell in the secret place of the Almighty–the holiness of His presence–holiness that works to edify the Body and glorify the Lord.

Separation from the external is necessary for the internal to be real and strong. All who have forsaken all, have heard and heeded this call of separation–it is the call by the Spirit of Holiness to total self-sacrificing love……when you awaken with this you will truly be satisfied for you will have truly awaken with His likeness. My first responsibility is to minister to Him……it is here He imparts Himself to me, that I might minister Him to the Body.

God’s holiness is what separates Him…….when He gets full possession, it will be what separates me.

God’s Holiness will produce in us:

Restfulness: Gen. 2:3–God sanctified the seventh day and rested.

Humility: Ex. 3:4-6–”Put off thy shoes….the place whereon thou standest is holy ground….”

Surrender: Lev. 11:45–”Ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy”….Isa. 43:1–”I have redeemed thee, thou art mine…”

Adoration: Ex. 15:11–Who is like Thee O Lord?…glorious in holiness.

Obedience: Ex. 19:4-6: ”…If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant………ye shall be unto me ..an holy nation.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ex. 15:11-who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?

1 Chr 16:29–worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

Ps. 96:9; 29:2

2 Chr. 31:20–for in their set office they sanctified themselves in holiness.

Ps. 30:4–give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness..97:12

Ps. 47:8–God sitteth upon the throne of His holiness.

Ps. 48:1–great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our god, in the mountain of His holiness

Ps. 60:6God hath spoken in his holiness.

Ps. 93:5–holiness becometh thine house, o Lord, forever..

Ps. 110:3–thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness

Isa. 35:8-9–a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness……the redeemed shall walk there……

Jer. 23:9–mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; i am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome because of the Lord, and because of the words of His holiness.

Rom. 6:19–yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

2 Cor. 7:1–let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of god.

1 Thes. 4:7–god hath not called us unto uncleanness but unto holiness.

Heb. 12:10–He chastens us for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.

:14–follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which, no man shall see the Lord.

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*HOLINESS UNTO HUMILITY

Humility is defined as a freedom from arrogance that grows out of the recognition that all we have and are comes from God. The Greek philosophers despised humility because it implied inadequacy, lack of dignity, and worthlessness to them. This is not the meaning of humility as defined by the Bible. Jesus is the supreme example of humility (Matt. 11:29; Mark 10:45; John 13:4-17; Phil. 2:5-8), and He is completely adequate and of infinite dignity and worth. Biblical humility is not a belittling of oneself (Matt. 6:16-18; Rom. 12:3), but an exalting or praising of others, especially God and Christ (John 3:30; Phil. 2:3). A humble person, then, focuses more on God and others than on himself.

Biblical humility is also a recognition that by ourselves we are nothing, without dignity and worthless. Yet, because we are created in God’s image and because believers are in Jesus, we have infinite worth and dignity (1 Cor. 4:6-7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). True humility does not produce pride but gratitude. Since God is both our Creator and Redeemer, our existence and righteousness depend on Him (John 15:5; Acts 17:28; Eph. 2:8-10).

HUMILITY

“……I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people which walketh in a way that was not good after their own thoughts……….”

Isa 65:2

Humility is the place of entire surrender and dependence of the created on the Creator. As such, it forms the foundation for the entrance of all the other virtues–the Person of Jesus. Pride is its direct opposite. The difference between the two is as wide as the gulf between Lazarus and the rich man. Evil has its beginning in pride and will end nowhere but in humility. The one is death, the other is Life Himself. It is humility that brought Him from heaven and it is what He brings to earth. It is this humility that gives His death its value. His humility is our salvation, His salvation our humility. His grace can only take root in the soil of humility. Reconciliation of all has in its root, the humility of all. Without it, true reconciliation cannot take place.

Phil 2:5-9

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

It was pride that the serpent injected into the human race in the garden. All of our ambition, selfishness, wars, rumors of wars–all that is destructive to the human race has its roots in pride. Pride is the original sin and it is what made redemption necessary. Jesus is the humility of God embodied in human nature–the Incarnate Humility. And only the Incarnate Humility can save us from ourselves and the root of evil–pride–that permeates all who are Adam’s. Pride is darkness, humility is light, and the kingdoms of the two are at war for the eternal possession of men. Pride is a spirit, and seeks nothing but its father, often to the complete ignorance of its beholder. Pride is the carnal mind that, however unwittingly, seeks the pathway to death. Humility is also a Spirit, who seeks to impart Himself to men to the glory of His Father.

2 Chr 7:14

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Isa 57:15

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

Matt 18:4

4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Matt 23:12

12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

James 4:6

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

1 Pet 5:5

5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

True humility is complete and entire subordination and surrender to the Lord that He may resurrect in His fullness in our mortal flesh, to do of His will and good pleasure, bringing Him the honor and glory due His name:

John 5:19

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise…..”

John 5:30

”I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me……”

John 5:41

“I receive not honour from men……..”

John 6:38

”For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me…….”

John 8:28

”……….I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things…….”

John 8:42

Jesus said unto them, ”If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me………..”

John 8:50

“And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth……………………”

John 14:24

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

The entire book of John gives us the meaning of true humility if we but look at the total submission of Jesus to the Father. He truly became nothing that the Father could be all, and work all in Him–even self defense and vindication was abandoned to the Father. It is in this disposition that He became the ultimate Servant. God was His portion because He chose to possess nothing else. This is the true meaning of the self-denial all seem to be seeking their quest for the anointing–it is not denying myself things so that others may have them–this sort of reasoning tends to focus on the prideful merit of abstinence, rather than the people being blessed and the Lord being glorified. In the kingdom of God, the lowest is the highest. He that humbles himself–that is our duty–shall be exalted–that is God’s duty.

Many will construe the number of religious duties performed, as being a show of humility. The disciples were victims of this. They walked with the Master, loved Him and performed much in the way of duty, but still fell victim to wanting to sit on His right hand and His left. Even at the Supper table on the eve of the crucifixion, there was argument as to who was the greatest. The tone of Jesus’ entire ministry whether He was addressing the disciples, scribes, or Pharisees, was that of humility–total subjection and dedication to the Father. Yet, there was the pride of Who’s the greatest, rearing its head on Passion’s Eve. This is why reformation of the old man will not work. This is why he must be crucified, dead and buried. The contention at the Supper table truly proved that even after being three years with the Master–face to face–the flesh was alive and well, and profiting nothing. Pentecost would prove to be the saving grace, it would be here that He would come to take possession. Is there any better witness than all of Holy Writ after the Gospels, that the Spirit of the meek and lowly Jesus had taken possession of His disciples?

To dwell on Adam opening the human race to the spirit of pride that prevails in it, is moot. It is there, and its told and untold carnage are evident to all. Just as pride came from another, so must humility. There is only One who is of a humble and contrite Spirit, and I must be crucified with that One to see the power of His resurrection grind that spirit of pride to powder. The reality of the Lord Jesus manifesting in our mortal bodies to destroy the works of the enemy, must be our experience–If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.

I Jn 4:20-21

20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Is it not true that humility before God is best reflected as pure and true when it manifests its same form before men? Is not our humility before men proof of our humility before God? It must needs be that it be one in the same, for He is unchangeable, and is not His resurrection in us our only hope of humility? Must not this humility live out as experience in our daily discourse? Does not the daily trivial prove a testing ground for the eternal, bringing to light what Spirit really possesses us? For even Jesus pleased not Himself (Rms. 15: 3a)–He never sought His own will……He emptied Himself and made Himself of no reputation. Any inclination of natural satisfaction was utterly foregone for the will of God, and the sake of the necessities and infirmities of the people. And in His humility, the reproaches of those that reproached God fell on Jesus (Rms. 15: 3b)–here is where the rubber meets the road–this is the true test of humility–when it brings reproach, what is the response? For Jesus, it was to set His face for Jerusalem–the Cross–that these people might be saved from the Hell, which certainly awaited such behavior. When true humility is reproached, intercession for the transgressors will be its fruit. When false humility is reproached, the work of the flesh will be made manifest.

The greatest danger to humility, is not the Pharisee without, though he despise as he might. The greatest danger is the Pharisee within, who strives to self-pity and to self-commendation, and to self exaltation. Let us beware, for as we dwell in the holiest, many times pride is lurking, seeking our destruction…..a haughty spirit is seeking to enter and possess:

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also, in the midst of them Job 1: 6.

Pride can even clothe itself in the garments of praise and repentance.

The publican and the Pharisee both take up residence in the human heart, and as they approach God, we must beware. Not only the words of the Pharisee were condemned, but the spirit behind them as well. This is where we have to be as watchmen. Though the garment be that of the publican and the words of the Pharisee be squelched, the spirit will hover, trying to gain access. This access is much time granted in the area of holiness. It is here that pride can creep in most unawares. Holiness and humility increase together. They are inseparable. One without the other, will perish. Pride is the eye that cannot see Him, the ear that cannot hear His voice, and the heart that cannot understand–all rendering the person unhealable. The knees are of no consequence if the heart is still standing.

John 5:44

44 “…How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only”?

With this statement, the Master makes the obvious connection between humility and faith: pride can make faith impossible. The two are as totally opposite as their authors. And since the Lord Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith, it would appear here that He is reluctant to disperse it in the face of seeking self-exaltation. That the Lord commands us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling is another indication that the very humility of Jesus must be longed for as the deer pants for the water brooks. The living power and faith of God is irreconcilably at variance with pride. Co-habitation is out of the question. Witness the Centurion–”I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof”; witness Jesus’ response to the Centurion–”I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel.” That faith was imparted by the Lord because the Centurion humbled himself before the Lord. When He who is Humility enters and resurrects, His disposition prepares the soul for the life of trust–All that is contrary cannot enter the Kingdom. Salvation is communion with the crucified Jesus in the Spirit of the Cross. Salvation is union with and participation in, the Cross of Jesus. The soul that realizes its emptiness before God, has nothing hindering the resurrection of Faith.

The road to the crown runs through the cross–His, then ours. The resurrection of Humility is the proof and fruit of death. Straight is the gate and narrow is the path of obedience unto death, and thus to life; and that path has been opened by the humility of Jesus……..let us resolve to be among the few that find it.

The life, Person, and presence of Jesus, all bear the marks of death. So must ours, if He is Savior and Lord. Life is won through death. Our vexation is designed to work to our purification and we must surrender to this fact: persecution and the railings and vexations at the hands of men, is pure grace whose design it is, to humble us. The very death mark of Jesus is humility and it was His death that perfected His humility–Unless a corn of wheat dies………The Flesh and Blood of Humility has allowed Meekness to be glorified and enthroned, paving the way into the holiest. Humility surrenders to He who is holding the cup. Let us remember that the Life in us has gone through death and resurrection, and in that Life, we are reckoned dead to sin. The power of that Life is worked by the Holy Spirit through the crucifixion of the flesh and all its contrary desires–it is the Father in us, He must do the work. We must first make a resolution to humble ourselves and pray, and seek His face, turning from our wicked ways. If we are not able, we must be willing to be made willing and able.

Let us not be ignorant of the fact that all we who are baptized into Jesus, have been baptized into His death. If we are to enter into the rest of self and work, we must enter into His grave.

“………For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted………..”

Luke 14:11

Jesus Himself is the proof of this Scripture…….The requirement of the Master here is clear: we are to humble ourselves. As He has descended to us, we must descend–as it were–to Him. When we willingly consent to make Him our All in All, the humility He brings will prove itself before men, as well as before God. There will be no impact by environment–whether it be in the presence of God or man. Humility proves Himself, because He is unchangeable. The exaltation spoken of here is He who only is worthy of exaltation–the risen and glorified Jesus. This verse is a mandate to humble ourselves unto obedience unto death that Jesus may be exalted. It is the place of heart knowledge of His mind in each and every circumstance, no matter how large or small, vexing or uplifting. All is done with one aim in mind: to form us that Jesus will truly resurrect in our mortal flesh. If we resolve to do the one things He asks–humble ourselves, take His yoke upon us– faith will be graced to inherit the promise. Our inherited disposition formed the pride of our will……..our imparted Disposition is His will, for the unspeakable Gift is the expression of His will.

VI. SUFFERING

John 16:33

33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Acts 14:22b

22 ……… we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Ps 34:18-19

18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Jesus.

8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Him,

9 And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Jesus, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

10 That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death;

Philippians 3:7-10

*THE DISCIPLE IS NOT ABOVE HIS MASTER

Matt 10:24

24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

Matt 16:21-25

21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Jesus not only suffered at the hands of men, He was rejected by most men; Such rejection brought about a crucifixion void of the reverence of men; Jesus suffered, and, He was rejected as the Messiah, completing the horror of unbelief that fulfilled the scripture and put Him on the cross. Here, Peter is rebuked by Jesus for trying to lead Him away from the path of suffering and rejection—this shortly after Peter—getting a revelation that was “not of flesh and blood”—confirmed Jesus as the Messiah—Mt. 16: 13-20. We see the same attitude in much of the church today—a Jesus that most certainly suffered, bled, and died for us all, in order that we might inherit the ‘blessing’ of not suffering, but peacefully reaping the fleshy and the spiritual rewards of His Sacrifice. Such belief keeps the church from becoming as its Master—a suffering church; In this kind of deception, such belief puts the church above its Master, being unwilling to accept the worthiness and the grace of being chosen to suffer. Satan has pulled down the blinders upon us and has stolen the cross we are called to bear. In doing so, he has convinced the church that a non-suffering disciple can still be as his Master, identifying himself with Jesus, but at the same time, refusing the cross of Jesus in his own life.

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Jesus here does not force us to come after Him, He says if we are to come after Him, a cross which is designed to crucify us, will be appointed to us. This cross is double-edged—it will save our spirit, but it will painfully crucify our flesh, leaving Jesus and Jesus only, in the balance. So it is in our heeding His call, that the cross He commands of us, slays us, working many things in and out of us, chief among them, total self-denial, and total and absolute focus on Jesus. We do not attempt to deny ourselves—our only pursuit is the Person of Jesus, and complete unity and obedience to Him. There is absolutely nothing or no one else; it is the cross that we choose to pick up that works all of this in us at the command of Jesus, gracing us to a life that is aware and consumed of Jesus, and Him only, that the will of our Father be done on earth as it is in heaven. This cross means crucifixion, and crucifixion is not fun—nobody ever enjoyed a cross, including this one; but this suffering cross is the only path to our suffering Lord and Savior. Any suffering or rejection that does not come as a result of our obedience and adherence to Jesus Himself, will burn on that day. This cross takes its directions from the Master, and it brings suffering and rejection at the hands of men to a disciple, just as it did to our Master. This cross is not incidental suffering that is part of every life—disciple or not. This cross means suffering and rejection as a result of our obedience to Jesus. The cross is there for all who proclaim Jesus—each of us has to pick it up. It is not a cross we look for, but it is a cross that comes from the hand of Jesus upon our entrance into true discipleship and union with Him. This cross enables and graces the disciple to share in the sufferings of Jesus as he lays down His life to Jesus, so that others may be saved, healed and delivered. This cross bids the disciple to bear his portion of the sufferings and rejections of Jesus, to evangelize and to make disciples to the glory of God:

Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: Col 1:24

As we fill up what is behind in the afflictions of Jesus through our suffering and rejection in the process of bringing others to Him, we find ourselves being made conformable to His death: crucified with Him, nevertheless we live, yet not us, but Jesus lives in us—His reception in us and through us will be no different than it was 2000 years ago—ours will become a life of suffering, shame and rejection, but we will see abiding fruit. The call of Jesus is a call to us to come to Him and die. This is the death of the flesh—the old man— that Jesus Himself might resurrect in us. We thus are instructed by the Lord to pick up this cross daily—every day we enter into new temptations that are contrary to Jesus, and every day, this cross graces us to die to all that is contrary to Him that day. It is this daily picking up of this cross that graces us to bear the evil we are constantly forgiving—“Father forgive them for they know not what they do”—this becomes the lifestyle of the disciple. It is the cross of Jesus and His disposition toward it, that moves in us, and motivates us to pick up our own cross, fulfilling His commands regarding those who would trespass against us, thus proving that we are children of our Father which is in heaven:

Matt 5:44-48

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

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

 

1 Pet 4:13-14

13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

*THE SUFFERING SERVANT

Isa 53:1-12

1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

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

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

This prophecy of Isaiah, tells us of the coming Messiah—God’s suffering Servant; The whole of the New Testament confirms the prophecy. We must remember that the stark description of the life of Jesus given here, may become our own when as we mature in discipleship. Who hath believed our report? (Vs 1)—As we know, many believed the Messiah would come as a King in much pomp and circumstance, and, as we also know, He didn’t. Jesus did come as a King, but without the usual credits of a King, He was, for the most part, not believed. It is the same today. Many have watered down His commands and His word, and in their hypocrisy have attempted to fashion themselves a more accommodating and liberal Messiah. Of the many who profess to believe our report, few really embrace it. “Wilt thou be healed?” as Jesus asked the man at the pool, could be asked of many who proclaim they are disciples of Jesus. The unbelieving Jews rested on the Law and the Prophets, but when it came to truly believing the prophets, their rest came to all-out slumber. Jesus came as a root out of dry ground (Vs 2)—He sprang out of the royal family of David, but He came at a time when that family was in scattered ruin. The Israelites gladly accepted water when Moses smote the rock in the wilderness (Ex. 17: 1-7). They would later reject the Living Water, and then they would themselves, smite the Rock. The dry ground in this verse would allude to the lack of a word of prophecy from God for some 400 years; it may also refer to the virgin birth of Jesus; dry ground is obviously not fertile soil—the nation expected the Messiah to come from fertile soil. He had no form nor comeliness—Other kings looked the part, this King would not. Here starts the foundation of the great condescension of the Messiah that runs through the rest of the chapter. He is despised and rejected of men (Vs 3)—all classes of men—true in His day, true in ours. Men reject He who is without form or comeliness. A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief—we don’t often read that He laughed, but we do read that He wept—He offered up prayers with strong crying and tears, Heb. 5: 7; He suffered at the sight of the sins and sickness of man, and, still does—through His servants as He resurrects in them. We hid our faces from Him; He was despised and we esteemed Him not—same story today—we give Him lip service, and try to claim from His crucifixion that which will gratify our flesh. Our hearts esteem His hand, not His heart. Vs 4–Surely He has born our griefs and carried our sorrows—even though He was rejected, he died for the rejecters—the perfectly Obedient, for the disobedient—It is the perfect obedience of Jesus that gives His Blood its value. The transition from despising, to a realization that He bore our griefs and sorrows, shows a gradual discovering of who He is. We see throughout these verses how the prophet identifies himself with the people by interjecting “we” and “our” in appropriate places. This is a key to ministry for us, for most will reject what we bring to them of Jesus, and in this rejection we will find all kinds of suffering. But as Jesus resurrects in us, we will find Him interceding for the transgressors through us. Jesus is acquainted with sorrows and griefs, and He bears that with which He is acquainted. So shall His servants.

The unbelievers esteemed Jesus smitten of God and afflicted—they looked at Him and thought because of His lack of comeliness and His disposition, that He must be some great sinner that God had smitten. This is my body, broken for you—not for my sin, but for yours. How is it that seeing, ye perceive not? The word “stricken” here, is the same Hebrew word used when God afflicted the king with leprosy (2 Kings 15: 5). This would further define the humility of Jesus for He opened not His mouth.

Vs 5–But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. He was pierced—hands, feet and side because of our iniquity—iniquity that had cost us our peace with God. This verse shows us God’s justice served—a satisfying of the righteousness and wrath of God; With Jesus we have peace with God; without Him, chastisement. His stripes—the beatings he bore—healed us—healed our spiritual sickness and, our enmity with God: And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come. (Matt 9:11-13).

Vs 7–He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not his mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his masterMatt 10:25.

In the latter verses of Isaiah 52, we see how high the Messiah would be exalted; in this 53rd chapter, we see how low He must be humbled before His exaltation would be realized.

I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. Isaiah 50: 6

“….Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also…. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also….. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away….” Matthew 5:38-42.

We see here, the Master contrasting His doctrine–turn the other cheek–with that of the Jews–an eye for an eye; The eye for an eye part was a commandment of God to the magistrate, in case o woman with child were struck, and any harm came from it (Ex. 21: 24); in case of damage done to a neighbor (Lev. 24: 20); and in the case of false witness (Deut. 19: 21); God, though, had said to private persons, ‘do not avenge’ (Lev. 19: 18); The Pharisees had interpreted this law of God into a liberty for every private person who had been wronged by another, to exact a satisfaction upon him, provided that he did not exceed this proportion of taking an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, doing no more wrong to another than that other had done to him. The key is the Jewish belief that a smite on the cheek or the taking of one’s coat distracts immensely from an Israelite’s dignity, being the children of Abraham; By laying His doctrine against this, Jesus is saying love and forgiveness must rule; These disgraces were not to be born by the Jews, because of their ancestry–an eye for an eye is the law of retaliation for them.

The coat is called a talith by the Jews–it is above all garments, because it is the outermost garment. In this upper garment were woven in the fringes that were to put them in mind of the law (Num. 15: 38); Hereupon the disgrace was increased together with the wrong, when that was taken away, concerning which they did much boast(”But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,” Matt 23:5);

What Jesus is saying here is do not resist or rise up against an injurious person, as to require the law of retaliation against him–tend to patience under an open injury, and for which there is no pretense; under an injury, if right and equity of the law is applicable, don’t retaliate with the law, but give up what they require–even more if necessary; Paul, in Romans 12: 17-19,21, expounds on what Jesus is teaching here– Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. ‘Give to him that asketh of thee–this is an ancient precept of God–Deut. 15: 7-9.

 

 

 

Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.

For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.” Luke 18:31-33

Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands. Matthew 26:67

And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.

And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. Matthew 27:28-31

I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. Isaiah 50: 6

The prophecy from Isaiah and the fulfillment of it, is one of the strongest attestations to the fact that Jesus set His face to do the will of God and suffer the injuries of men, and that He practiced to perfection, what He preached. Plucking the hair was a punishment saved for the most base of malefactors (Neh. 13: 25). He hid not His face from all reproaches, but rather submitted unto them. Spitting in a man’s face was used in token of contempt and detestation (Num. 12: 14; Job 30: 10); This was literally fulfilled in Jesus, Matthew 26: 67. His example corresponded to His precept (Mt. 5: 39), the way of His calling leading to a painful and shameful condition of humiliation. What was typified in Job (30: 10, 17: 6; 16: 10), and prefigured typically and prophetically in the Psalms of David (Ps. 22: 69: 8;), finds in Jesus its perfect antitypical fulfillment.

Jesus was at the tribunal of His own countrymen in Matthew 26 when they spit in His face and smote Him with the palms of their hands; It was in the hall of the high priest, among His own countrymen that most of the deeds of scorn came upon Him–’He came unto His own and His own received Him not.’ Jesus’ worst foes, were they of His own household–so ours; He fared no better in Herod’s court–Lk, 23: 11; The lash with which He was scourged, was made of the sinews of oxen, which held the hucklebones of sheep with slivers of bone, in order that every blow would further tear; The hearts of His smiters had invented all the cruelty of which they were capable by the time they were finished with Him–all met by Him with no resistance–all this must take us past all to His Person. The sight of it all demands complete adoration and amazement; And as we lay all at the cross let us not stop there–let us remove our shoes and look up, for we surely are treading upon Holy ground; let us tremble as we dare linger in the shadow of His Passion, knowing that it is Almighty God who did hang there.

All this after doing miracles of beneficence rather than of judgment–He did not repeat the plagues of Egypt, for He did not come to smite, but to save–though they spit in their Creator’s face; He did not change the water into blood, He changed it into wine. He did not make the fish stink, but instead made the fish nets overflow; He did not break the staff of bread, but instead multiplied it. Had the people opened their eyes, they would have seen every attribute of God the Father in God the Son. How often Jesus came away to set at our Father’s feet–witness His fruit.

Was not the reception of the apple the same as the spitting in the eye? Is not every sin committed, done in the same spirit of contempt toward Him? Every such act spits in the face of Sovereignty and denies Him supremacy. We are then saying to God that His love would be greater if He would allow us our sinful pleasure. It is Majesty insulted–it is plucking the hair and smoting the head of He who died that such behavior would no longer have dominion. It is often times believing the Gospel, but rejecting the Savior who brings it. Our rags are already filthy, yet we consistently apply them to the carnage we allow. We soon come to prefer our sin over repentance, scoffing at Holy wrath. All this is well symbolized by all that was bore by the Lord Jesus. For which of His works do we stone Him?

It is by the life and the death of Jesus that we are saved–the two can never be divided– He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isa 53:3-5. It was His life of perfect obedience that gives His Blood its value. It is in much presumption regarding the atonement, that the once-saved, always-saved doctrine has arisen–many come crying to the altar, only to leave it convinced that a moment of sorrow for sin, and repeating a few words uttered by a minister, is the means of salvation. Many return to the vomit and mire, dangerously assuming it is well with their souls, as sin regains its dominion. If one ever wonders what God thinks of sin, let that one digest and study Passion’s week, and let that one get a glimpse of His only begotten Son in the culmination of that week, and one will discover that sin truly does have a whore’s forehead (Rev. 17: 5). And let one know that history’s heaviest Price was paid voluntarily–that He willingly hung in our place is Grace immeasurable–He was bound, beaten and killed by the men He had made—- There is not language enough to describe it, nor do it justice. Does not the heart of the soul weep? We must get beyond words— “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing”–And we must answer with Thomas– “My Lord and my God.” We must beseech God to make this our reality.

It is the bravery of our Master’s silence that is hardest conceived–is it not the epitome of a soul who is the possession of patience? No speaking of denial or defense, but a giving of His back and His cheeks; Only He can keep falsehoods from arousing indignation–this is why I must make my life’s aim, Him manifesting in my mortal flesh–does not a lamb skip to the upcoming slaughter the same as he does to the grain feast? The strait gate and the narrow road are both lodged in the valley of humiliation, not in the heights of honor. The perfect path to the crown has been perfectly laid, but few there be that find it. The ultimate Comforter came as a Sufferer;

As we examine the disposition that animated Jesus to the Cross, let us ask–”Shall the disciple be above his Master?” Does not the Scripture tell us we are appointed to suffering? If they called the Master of the house Beelzebub, must they call me “Pastor Sir?” They laughed and scoffed at Him, do I expect their honor? How then can I even believe? They stuck a reed in His hand and He chose not to make it a rod of iron; For His birth, He was loaned a stable, for His burial He borrowed a grave. From whence comes this pride I confess? He is our copy, brother.

Intercession for the Transgressors

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:12.

Then said Jesus, ”Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34.

Jesus made intercession by letting Himself be hung between an angry God and sinful man, for the sake of sinful man, and for the sake of the Love and Will of God. The intercession spoken of in this verse is a reference to Jesus as the Suffering One, not Jesus the Glorified One; We must picture this verse as being written on the cross itself; For it is here that the Messianic idea–buried for centuries–reaches it apex; it is here that the banner of the cross is hoisted over all, raising with it the veil of the Holiest; Here is where the unbelieving Jews stumbled, for their Messiah was not to be One that would travel through shame to glory, They ignore the message of the suffering that darkens the Psalms and the books of Job and Isaiah, which helped picture the groundwork for this the deepest of humiliations. For this suffering would be different–it would be a vicarious, atoning suffering–a Sacrifice for sin. This is where Grace testifies of Faith, seizing this prophecy for its Truth, which cannot be revealed by flesh and blood. This is the pivotal moment in the history of mankind and those who refuse this great salvation shall be condemned by this moment. The Cross and Blood of Jesus must be the barometer for all who would seek to define intercession; to weakly put it in some kind of perspective, Cain, upon being charged by God with Abel’s murder said “My punishment (punishment of iniquity) is greater than I can bear” (Gen. 4: 13)–this is one man trying to bear his sin and the guilt and punishment of it; imagine, if you can, the Son of Man bearing all the world’s sin—intercession for all transgressors of all time defines the burden and horror of Golgotha; This intercession is sufficient for all but efficient only for those who believe.

It is this very intercession–the cross– that is an offense to many, because it condemns all–it wounds the prided ego, telling it that intercession unto salvation is needed; it establishes all of us as transgressors; it draws something in us to take part in it–to pick it up–to become part of the intercession the cross of Jesus has made possible; but the Pharisee within overrules, and we refuse to stand in the gap less we sacrifice mammon and the pride and honor of men. Judas suffered this offense unto suicide;

Jesus’ intercession was one of Blood and that offends–remission requires His blood, and the shedding of it tells me I need to be forgiven; this offends many because they have been deceived into believing that their is a measure of evil that must be filled in them before they really need the cross; These are those that Jesus said He did not come to save– “for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matt 9:13; forgetting that we are justified by faith in His Blood, which bears witness of His intercession.

Many can quote ‘He ever lives to make intercession,’ but few remember that to boldly arrive where He makes the intercession, I must walk through His Blood. I must remember that it is His Person that is the living prayer of intercession, as He sits at the right hand of the majesty on high–It is the Person of Jesus that is our only Plea to God. To claim under the Atonement is both convenient and expedient; Many chose this wide road because the narrow road’s signs are written in His Blood, suggesting a laying down of one’s life–intercession–with the price to be paid much too offensive.

It is the very disposition that lead Jesus to make intercession for the transgressors, that offends the most. To forgive and intercede for he who has trespassed against me, I must bear the trespass; and the degree of that trespass and the nature of the person committing it will be what most times determines my response–I must keep in mind–’they pierced Him–He prayed for them.’ See here mercy outrun malice as it rejoices over judgment.

“Because He hath poured out His soul unto death; He was numbered with the transgressors and He bore the sins of many.’ Jesus prevails in His intercession because of His substitution for the transgressors–it is the completeness of His sacrifice that prevails with God for us. And in this, we must run to Him when we sin–most run away–but we must prevail with God to grace us with the reality of what Jesus has accomplished for us– ”He who cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” We must know that our Father is always drawing us to our Savior. “Father forgive them” is alive and well in the Person of Jesus at the right hand of the Majesty on high. The completeness of His sacrifice continually pleads and prevails for us all. God sees all the accusations of Satan through the Blood of Jesus–our filthy garments are thus removed.

I must, as I study this greatest act of intercession, pray for it to be my experience. The blood of Jesus covers my sin–how can I not forgive those who trespass against me–those whose sins Jesus also bore.

“Father forgive them for they know not what they do;” Jesus did not plead their innocence, but their ignorance, for this is the only place He could find for His compassion to gain a foothold; It may be true that had they known they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory. ‘Father forgive them’ came at the height of His agony; we sometimes refuse to intercede for lack of convenience; It is no small thing when we can call our minds away from our own concerns to bring the concerns of others to God.

Jesus, must be the Author of intercession: Rms 8: 28-29–we don’t know what to pray for–we must be led by the Spirit, who will lead us to pray the will of the Lord.

 

 

The intercession is a battle between the Lord and the enemy, and the battle is the Lord’s; we are merely vessels in the battle, but are instructed to be prepared at all times for the battle–intercession is war: Eph. 6: 10-18; 2 Tim. 2: 1-5, 1 Tim. 6: 12.

Matt 10:25

It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master,

and the servant as his lord.

 

*THE CUP OF SUFFERING

Rom 8:16-18

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

In this we truly “bear one another’s burdens, fulfilling the law of Jesus” (Gal. 6: 2). We bear our cross in absolute obedience to Jesus, and in doing so, are graced to bear the burdens—the sins—of others against us. We overcome the persecution, rejection, and suffering by forgiveness—that forgiveness being Jesus Himself resurrecting in us, enabling and gracing us to forgive from the heart. Forgiving and praying for those who persecute us and despitefully use us—in short, make us suffer because of our allegiance to Jesus—are the marks that are left on us by our cross: We bear the evil we forgive.

24 The disciple is not above his Master, nor the servant above his lord.

25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Matt 10:24-25

If we refuse our cross and refuse to suffer for the sake of our obedience to Jesus, we will lose true fellowship with Him; This cross is designed to grace us to “lose our lives for His sake” in our obedience to Him—we die to ourselves when we pick it up; this death brings us the grace to “find our lives”—this Life, is Jesus Himself, and we truly find Him and intimacy with Him, when we grip this cross and lose our lives to Him and His duty; It is then we step into the life of suffering and rejection:

3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.

4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. 1Thes 3:3-4

2 Cor 12: 9-10

9 And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

The true disciple of Jesus understands that in undertaking discipleship, he has come into union with the suffering Jesus. We overcome the sufferings by forgiving, long suffering, patience, and by bearing them as the cross appointed to us.

Mark 10:37-38

37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.

38 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

For even hereunto were ye called: because Jesus also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps:

Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth:

Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously: 1 Pet 2:21-23

Heb 5:8-9

8 Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which he suffered;

9 And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him;

Matt 26:42

He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

The cup of suffering that was appointed to Jesus passed from Him when He drank of it; Suffering in the will of God and in our obedience to Jesus, passes when we accept it and bear it. This suffering seemingly separates us from God, as He is hard to find as we drink the cup; But it is the suffering itself that proves to be the way to union with Jesus, as we come into fellowship with His sufferings. When we bear the suffering, we find it passing away; The disciple understands that there is still much to be filled up in what is behind in the sufferings of Jesus, so he willingly bears the sufferings of the world that he may indeed save some. The disciple remembers that it is Jesus who bore the burdens of the world, and it is Jesus who holds the disciple up as he suffers at the hands of the world. As the disciple perseveres through suffering, he finds himself growing in union with His suffering Lord; It is the highway of suffering that leads to the crown of righteousness, and it is the highway of holiness and true joy. In all of this we really don’t know where Jesus is leading us, and this fact proves to be the greatest of liberty—Not understanding the mystery of discipleship, is true understanding, for when we are sent by Jesus, not knowing where we are going, it is the faith that He gives that is our vehicle for the trip. Our own understanding becomes null and void, and faith in He who is leading—He who loves us and washed us from our sins in His own Blood (Rev. 1:5)—becomes our walk of life, thus freeing us from the snares of knowledge and comprehension; Abraham went out not knowing where he was going—he went out at the command of God, and left all; knowledge, comprehension, and understanding of the trip, were laid to waste—he made himself free to obey God by trusting God. Such is the way of a man who has consented to picking up the cross that Jesus appoints; the man doesn’t know where the cross will lead, all he knows is that this cross will bid him to die to himself and to the world, that he might live unto God. All of desire for the aspects of life is abandoned, for there is nothing of our own choosing on the road of the cross, save Jesus Himself.

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Matt 10:16-22

16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;

18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.

22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end

When Jesus truly calls and then sends the disciple, there is nothing, including persecution and privation, that will keep him from his duty. “Behold, I send you” (Vs 16)—the disciple is not a person who has decided to undertake walking with Jesus, and then trying to direct Jesus in the way that He should go. The true disciple is not a commander, he is an obeyer, and this obedience is to Jesus alone, who alone sends the disciple on his mission. be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves (Vs 16). We are instructed to be spiritually wise and spiritually harmless. We are confident and certain of one thing in this mission and that is that Jesus has called, He has sent, and He has promised never to forsake us throughout. This is the gospel of simplicity:

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Jesus. (2 Cor 11:3); When Jesus directs and speaks, we move in His wisdom and power when we obey Him and move at His command; The true disciple devours the written word of God, but spends much of his life at the feet of the Living Word—worshipping Him and getting filled by Him for ministry– But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. Acts 6:4; It is the Truth of the Word—both the Living and the written, that exorcizes our senses as to good and evil, and gives us discernment of what the will of God is in our duty. It is the Living and written word that enforces and defines the simplicity of our walk—both are in total unity, and both are with us to grace us to perform our duty. We are thus graced to discern the relationship of the Living and written word to those to whom we are ministering. It is the Holy Ghost who gives us a mouth and a wisdom which all our adversaries will not be able to withstand or to gainsay (deny) Luke 21: 15. As the disciple remains true to the word in his suffering, the word remains true to him. The word is thus validated as we share in the sufferings of Jesus.

It is the lot of the disciple to be hated and blamed for all sorts of family divisions and for fanatically leading men astray. We must not shirk our duty as a result of this persecution—we absolutely must endure until the end comes. Our greatest consolation in suffering because of our obedience to Jesus is the fact that we suffer because He suffered, and as He shares in our sufferings, we share in His through our obedience to Him—there is no true persecution apart from the persecution that comes as a result of our obedience to Jesus:

18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. John 15:18-21

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*Called and appointed to suffering

Jesus tells us to “beware of men for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles”. Mt 10:17-18

We are to beware of men but we are not to fear men, but we are to fear God:

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. Matt 10:28

The power of men over us ceases when we die—the power of our Father over us never ceases. If we continue to fear men, we show we have no fear of God, and if we truly fear God, we will not fear men. It is our fear of God that overcomes our fear of death. The danger for man lies not in the judgment of men, but in the judgment of God. All the disciple is and all he or she has, including circumstance, comes from the hand of God. Suffering, death, and violence at the hands of men, comes also to the disciple from the hand of our Father. The shadow of the Almighty is the habitat of the disciple, therefore we “fear not.”

The length of eternity is set—it is endless; the length of the temporal is also set, but is known only by our Father. Every day this temporal timepiece winds toward its end, while eternity winds toward its beginning. Every day on this earth thus becomes a day of decision and a day of salvation for some, damnation for others. Through the suffering, the privation, the destitution, the disciple becomes like his Master, and as he perseveres through this life of ministry, He finds His Master ever closer as he shares in His sufferings; then the day of death comes, and the disciple finds that his Master is still standing besides Him and supporting Him at the judgment seat. The disciple who is true to Jesus to the end of this life, will find Jesus true to him for eternity. The cross to which we have been appointed is one of suffering, rejection, and shame, but it is also the peace of Jesus in our lives. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son—very comforting words until we come to the realization that the love of God means the cross and discipleship as the only way to Life—He that findeth is life shall lose it, He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it (Mt. 10: 39); I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Rev 1:18—it is in the going to His cross, His death, and His resurrection and ascension, that Jesus takes His own.

3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

7 And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. 2 Cor 1:3-7

Heb 2:9-10

9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Luke 6:22-23

22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.

23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

It is tribulation and affliction that work faith, holiness, and obedience; The Scripture tells us we are appointed to suffering. We overcome suffering by suffering and pursuing the will of God in it, and pressing through it to execute that will. Suffering did not hinder Jesus doing the will of God in His earthly walk and ministry; suffering enabled Him to perform the will of God, for it will be in suffering that we find the grace of Godly obedience—

8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Heb 5:8-9

It is through suffering then, that I am enabled to obey God and walk out His will unto my salvation; It is thus my suffering that becomes my consolation, for the one consolation of my life, is the performing of the will of God in it.

The purpose of this chapter is not to present an argument for a theology of suffering, for the Scriptures are very capable in that area. The purpose of this chapter is to bring to light the Scriptures that appoint God’s children to suffering, and to address the Spirit of sacrifice and suffering that is the foundation of the teaching of Jesus throughout the New Testament. While health and prosperity may or may not be in God’s plan for your life, if you are washed by the Blood of Jesus, be certain that suffering will be an integral part of your walk with Him, for it is in suffering that the disciple’s heart and will are broken, his life then laid down, and every disciple will experience his part in the cross of Jesus and in filling up what is behind in His afflictions. God chastens and scourges every son or daughters He receives. And unless we willingly depart, when He has tested us, we shall come forth as gold. It is in suffering that our glorious Master learned His obedience. Are we to be above Him? The suffering we are talking about here is the suffering that God chooses, not suffering that we choose to put upon ourselves. As Jesus suffered great loss in His affliction, so must we in ours. Suffering is the tool that our Father uses to transform us into the likeness of Jesus; It is suffering, trial, and tribulation that keeps us in a state of humility and also keeps us on our knees. We thus learn patient submissiveness to the will of God– it bears repeating many times that we are to be crucified with Jesus, and He must resurrect in us. Any teaching that is contrary is heresy. We must suffer and die that He might live through us, that His strength might be made perfect in our increasing weakness; and we must glory in this suffering that the power of Jesus might rest upon us, moving us into the disposition of laying our lives down, becoming by grace, obedient unto death at the hands of our appointed cross if necessary. It is in this process that I will realize abiding fruit in the ministry. I must be willing to let God pick my cross, and I must then embrace it willingly, knowing that it is the ultimate grace; It was necessary for Jesus to suffer to enter into His glory; so us. I must do all that is needed to make sure my suffering does not draw attention to me, for if I don’t, I negate the glory of God in it.

Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower, and is cut down: he flees also as a shadow, and continues not (Job 14: 1-2). In the midst of this life, we walk in death.

Appointed to suffering…..Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers the righteous out of them all (Psalm 34: 19). This may be temporal deliverance at times, but the overall theme of this deliverance is eternal; for it is only when we pass from death unto life that we are in fact, delivered from all affliction. The Old Testament shows us that God uses suffering to teach and to purify; the book of Job, many Psalms, Isaiah and many of the minor prophets witness this point. Be not deceived–we do suffer because of our sin,

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. Gal 6:7-9

God does make His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and He does send rain on the just and on the unjust….all of which tells us that man is destined to suffer whether he be of the house of God or not. Reasons for suffering provide the differences in the afflictions of the saved and the unsaved.

Suffering tries the flesh and works the resurrection of He who is Patience, gracing us to glory in our infirmity and rejoice in our tribulation. It will be out of suffering patience that the experience of Jesus will come, and the hope of our resurrection be solidified. It is out of suffering patience that wheat and chaff are many times separated. Forasmuch then as Jesus has suffered for us in the flesh, let us arm ourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin; (1 Pet. 1-4); and the God of all grace, who has called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that we have suffered a while, make us perfect, establish, strengthen, settle us. (1 Pet 5: 10). Many run from the Lord in anger when called to suffer; but we must realize that suffering is an integral part of our intimacy with Jesus, for it is in suffering with Him that we shall reign with Him. We shall not know the power of His resurrection aside from fellowship with His sufferings.

*The Significance of Suffering

There is much redemptive significance in affliction and suffering. The 53rd chapter of Isaiah deals with the suffering Jesus, the Example left to us as witnessed by Peter (1 Pet. 2:21).

Jesus’ sufferings were vicarious (endured for us) and redemptive; It is His cross that shows us how much sorrows and afflictions can work in the way of redemption. But in this we rejoice, inasmuch as we are partakers of Jesus’ sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, we may be glad also with exceeding joy. There is much witness in the New Testament of the trial of the disciples, even by fire; It is this affliction that builds faith and works the weight of glory of the coming after-life. We take fellowship with and joy in His sufferings in that we help fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Jesus in our flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church(Col. 1: 24). Wherein we greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, we are in heaviness through manifold temptations (trials). That the trial of our faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of our Lord Jesus. (1 Pet. 1: 6-7)

It is our disdain for suffering that proves our lack of understanding of God’s love. Suffering is the pruning instrument of God. The glory of God most times evolves out of the suffering furnace of life; Suffering is universal and indiscriminatory–it crosses all lines; history will show that it is in suffering that we unite–it is in our prosperity that we become aloof and we divide.

To undertake a successful discussion of suffering, one must have suffered; suffering is not something one can offer opinions on, for opinions for those who haven’t suffered, prove unbearable to those who are suffering; if we have suffered we can relate somewhat to the pain of those who are suffering, but we can never fully relate to it, for pain impacts all differently; But the common thread that must run through all suffering is the Person of Jesus; suffering lifts us beyond ourselves and unto Him and for this reason we count it all joy, inasmuch as we are partakers of Jesus’ sufferings that when his glory shall be revealed, we may be glad also with exceeding joy; as we are partakers of His sufferings, so shall we be also of the consolation. We must never lose sight of the fact that Jesus gave His life for us–we must give our lives to Him–he who cannot forsake all that he has, cannot be a disciple of Jesus Christ. He who has been graced to forsake all that he has, has been graced to enter the life of sacrifice and suffering.

Though the battle is the Lord’s, we most always should find ourselves in the midst of it; suffering is starkly, scarringly real–lives are forever changed by it; But God has His purpose in it, and it is the purpose and will of God that is always our beginning and our end, whether it be in suffering or prosperity. There is only One who can totally relate to our suffering and it is to Him that we must always turn. Is it possible to count it all joy when we fall into manifold trials? Can we actually come to the place where we petition our Father to allow us to share in the sufferings of Jesus? When we pray for compassion do we realize that it will be founded in suffering? Do we realize the safety of His grace as we suffer? Total rest and peace comes only in Him alone–anything less than Him and we are left wanting, especially in our suffering.

 

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Jesus, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Philippians 1:29

For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us. 2 Cor. 1: 9-10. As Paul so frequently intimates, suffering belongs to the discipline of all who claim to be disciples of Jesus Christ. We read here of this apostle, the man chosen of God to write much of the New Testament, suffering to the point of death; there is an element of a lack of understanding of circumstance here; the suffering was so great and perplexing, he was ready to lay down and die. Scripture here gives no main reason for the suffering, which is many times the case in this life. Paul was continually rejected by the body–he was not a good enough orator; he was accused of dishonesty with church money; he was accused of having an unsound mind and he was preaching the unpopular Truth. He suffered continually physically, and seemingly without a lot of explanation, save the fact that the Lord’s grace is sufficient, His strength made perfect in Paul’s suffering weakness. There is much for us in the depth of Paul’s sufferings for the Gospel, as we see that God truly is no respecter of persons.

The affliction of the disciple is used by God to produce the weight of his future glory. Let us remember this when the Lord calls us to suffering. When we can’t explain our suffering circumstance, let us in faith and trust, cleave to Jesus and His word and share willingly in His sufferings. Its not that all our afflictions are light–as we know, many do bear extreme affliction; the apostle is here saying that in comparison to our coming glory, our afflictions are light. And they do endure but for a moment when compared to the eternal glory they produce. The key to remember here is that it is the affliction that works the glory. The suffering that sin has brought to this life is not to compare with the glory that has been worked by the Blood of Grace and Mercy that will respond to the suffering with an eternal weight of glory at the end of this life. When undergoing suffering and trial, we must keep our eyes on He who is invisible–we must see Him in the midst of the suffering–Moses endured by doing this. Suffering falls under sense–it is temporal; the glory it produces is spiritual –it is eternal. We are appointed to suffering, contrary too much Disciple teaching today. Many who have refused to suffer loss for Jesus in this life, shall most surely suffer loss of reward in the next: He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for the sake of Jesus, shall find it. If there is loss of life, there is suffering.

Dead and Buried with Jesus

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

We are buried with Jesus by baptism into death: that like as He was raised up from the dead by the glory of our Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection. 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. (Rom 6:6)

This planting in the likeness of His death most certainly tells us we are to pick up our cross and die on it daily; Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him; our crucifixion is foretold, and yet we are surprised when God bids us die that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. But the walk of death must needs be, for he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Jesus, we shall also live with Him. It is through the suffering death of the flesh that we come alive unto God, by His Spirit.

Among the reasons for the suffering of Jesus was the fact that the Scriptures concerning Him had to be fulfilled; There are many Scriptures that allude to the suffering of the disciple, and they too, must be fulfilled; Jesus had to pass through suffering and death to glory and life–so we–the foundation of Victory is suffering and sacrifice. Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection allowed for implementation of the New Covenant–God now enters into the heart of man; It is our suffering and the crucifixion of the outward man, that allows the resurrection and manifestation of our Inward Man–it is our suffering, that makes way for the gradual resurrection and manifestation of Jesus in our mortal flesh. He is called the Suffering Servant. Are we as His disciples, above our Master? It was a crown of thorns that raised Jesus to glory–so us. The Scriptures tell us (Heb. 2: 17-18) that Jesus suffered so He could relate to the sufferings of the human race; This is one of the chief reasons God allows the sufferings of the disciples–that they might, by experience, be able to enter into the sufferings of others: Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. The foundation of true spiritual empathy and sympathy is suffering and brokenness. It is in suffering (fear and trembling) that we work out our salvation; Jesus has walked the path we are to walk, ahead of us. We need only to see and examine His walk, to define ours. And we must always remember that it is He who is with us and leading us along that path. It is the very table of the Lord that bids us follow Him in the example He has left us. Let us give thanks in all things, including the sufferings to which we have been appointed.

What glory is it, if, when we be buffeted for our faults, we take it patiently? If when we do well, and suffer for it we take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were we called: because Jesus also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps. (1 Pet. 2: 20-21). Let us understand from the beginning, that we are not looking into suffering because of the evil we’ve done. That suffering explains itself for the most part, Cain’s lot would attest. We are looking into the suffering of the Disciple apart from the evil choices we sometimes make. Yet if any man suffer as a Disciple, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. Jesus was totally innocent yet He suffered totally–for us, not for Himself; We are called into a life of suffering by His example–Greek–hupoergammon–a writing copy set by masters for their pupils; Our Father will lead us as He led Jesus-as sheep to the slaughter–we shall suffer innocently. Suffering is something the church at large has problems dealing with; a cold is caught and there is a prayer chain awaiting to claim healing; in her current mode, the church is inhabited by many who believe that the Atonement won her freedom from suffering, when in reality, it opened the door to more of it. Pain without the Sacrifice of Jesus, is pain with no promise or purpose; when a person is covered by the Blood of Jesus, suffering may become privilege that the Lord may be glorified. Jesus suffered for all of us and left us all an example of suffering to which the Godly life conforms because we are to be crucified with Him. The life laid down will most surely see itself suffering for its friends and its enemies. Contrary to popular belief, Disciples are still lambs, and the Atonement did not negate the slaughter. Those who would follow hard after Jesus will know of filling up what is behind in His afflictions. Those who do not follow hard after Jesus may suffer but will suffer in confusion, trying to wrest a painless life out of a gospel that knows nothing of such an existence. Are we not instructed to not let afflictions move us because we know that we are appointed to such?(1 Thes. 3: 3.). Is it not straight from the mouth of the Master that we will, through much tribulation, enter the kingdom of heaven? Are we not to be killed all the day long, as sheep for the slaughter?

The wicked and the righteous

One source of confusion in the suffering area, is the comparison between the wicked and the Godly. Many, in fact most of the wicked, seem to frolic through life, pretty much getting their way and suffering little when compared to the disciples. To many of the righteous, it seems as if their feet are almost gone; their steps well nigh slipped. Many are envious of the foolish, when they see the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride encompasses them about as a chain; violence covers them as a garment. Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish, increasing in riches, while the disciple suffers and seemingly spends much time in need. Many times in this suffering its seems as if we have had our hearts cleansed in vain, for all the day long we are plagued, and chastened every morning.

This is of much bother to many brethren, but it should not be–Jesus is always our barometer, and if we are truly crucified with Him and He is truly living His life in our mortal flesh, His life will not be any different than it was 2000 years ago–there will be much sorrow, affliction, and oppression, and there will be temporal need. And as we consider the subject, we must see our Father as the One who holds open the furnace door. Many think they are great men or women of God, until they find that furnace door closed behind them. Let us meditate on the life and death of the Master; the end of Job’s discoveries about himself and about our Father as the great Orchestrator of it all. And let us not make the mistake of putting satan on the same level as God. Many speak as the devil is doing this or that, as if God is caught unaware. satan may very well be the author of calamity and suffering, but he does not move without permission from God, so who is really sending the affliction? ”I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” Isaiah 45:7. We must stop kidding ourselves–satan is merely the agent, it is God who is the Author, and that for our good, and God does not try us above the level of which we are able to bear. Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered–are we as disciples above our Master? And how can we as ministers, minister to the afflicted if we ourselves are not surrounded by affliction? Can I say “I know how you feel” when I really don’t because I have not experienced your pain or anything like it? There will be no impact in that statement unless I have walked through a similarly painful experience; then, I may know to some extent how you feel. Pain in this sense then is grace, a gift from God. It is the gift nobody wants. This is the reason for much of the affliction in the body of the Lord today–God would have us afflicted that we would be able to relate to the pain of those who are suffering, and comfort them with the comfort we ourselves have been comforted with– I try to relate to you what grace has purchased for me through my suffering; in fact, anything else I would relate would be just an opinion. But if I can relate to you what God has actually done with me, and apply His words to it, it would show you that Jesus has done a work in my heart and life through suffering, and that will touch you and minister to you, for our suffering Savior will touch it.

Jesus is the Consummate and Perfect Spirituality and His earthly walk was adorned with suffering, not with consolation. Indeed, God is asking many of us–”Have you considered my Servant Jesus?” The constant questioning of the church regarding suffering, and the consistent effort to avoid it, says much about a lack of trust in our Father, and a lack of knowledge of the Truth of the Disciple walk and the written word of God. Our Father very seldom verbally explains Himself when it comes to exactly why we suffer; but the word of truth, rightfully divided, gives us enough insight to nurture faith and trust. We must come to grips with the fact that suffering will mark the life that is living Godly in Christ Jesus.

 

 

 

Suffering Servants

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. Isa 53:7….As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 2 Corinthians 4:11.

Another troubling thing is that many, many people see a suffering brother or sister, and suspect “a door must be open somewhere” or some other such nonsense. As the apostle says, Jesus suffered leaving us an example that we should follow in His steps; oppression, affliction, and untold suffering, were the marks of His earthly walk, and they will be the marks of the life of the true disciple.

For many disciples, the tension lies between the shame of such suffering and the glory of God in it. We as humans tend to lean toward the shame, when unexplained suffering hits. The health-wealth preachers contribute to this attitude. The Scripture commands us to “not be ashamed when we suffer as a disciple”–1 Peter 4: 16. Faith must be purified, and trial and suffering is the way Father does it– It pleased the Lord to bruise Him (Jesus) and put Him to grief–Isa. 53: 10. How much more us? When the flame kindles upon us, when the water keeps rising, when we come face to face with death, when all thy waves and billows pass over us, this is when we learn obedience in walking out our salvation unto the will of God; this is when we look for manifestation of the Master in our mortal flesh, for grace has granted us to an extent, to pick up our cross and follow Him. God’s design is to transform us into the likeness of our suffering Savior, who learned obedience by the things He suffered; the winepress of our souls must be trod, that the new wine of trust be born in us that we may overcome and be given the white stone and eat of the hidden manna and the tree of life.

The Disciple’s reaction to suffering will show much about the seat of his or her true affection. Suffering can make its victim seek nothing but self. The sufferer then tries to muster enough faith for healing, because the prayer of faith saves the sick, and most believe that faith is mustering enough belief to get God to do what we want Him to. And if we can’t muster it, that’s why there is no healing. A score of promises are picked out of God’s word and stood on. Still, though, there is no healing. Ever wonder if this suffering might be appointed by God? Ever consider it a privilege, and contemplate the eternal glory it is working? Many health, wealth and prosperity ministers, would strike Job and Ecclesiastes from the canon if they could. Again, self pity to excess will greatly hinder the death of the flesh, for it is without Spirit, for it is the flesh that produces the “sorrow of the world” that keeps one in pursuit of his life, instead of the loss of it. And we must not forget that the Captain of our salvation was made perfect through sufferings, and through His sufferings, our Father expressed His will for fallen man.

The soul must take her eyes off her affliction, and if she seeks consolation, she will find it when she examines the multitude around her who are suffering at a rate and intensity much more extreme than her own; she then moves in at the direction of the Lord, seeking not her own, but the laying down of her life. When we see this soul undertaking such a route, we know that the Master has resurrected, and suffering that will work an eternal weight of glory has been born by grace. The Lord of the Harvest has been pruning, and fruit overflowing and abiding is about to become reality. The will of God is the only meat of this soul, for Jesus has become the soul of such a soul. Jesus, who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously: 1 Pet 2:23.

He was not overly concerned with anything but the will of God; and though our emphasis is rightly on His finished course, we must never lose sight of His condescension and suffering that made up that course, and His disposition toward affliction and suffering in carrying out the will of God. If we live Godly in Jesus, the sufferings of Jesus will abound in us, and we will do a part in filling up what is behind in His afflictions. But there will be no comparison with the glory worked. Let us not first seek our healing in affliction–let us seek His will and what He wants from us in our suffering.

*God’s Chastening Hand

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

Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them

Heb 12:5-11

It was the suffering of Jesus that perfected the humanity of Jesus. True Godly compassion is always birthed in the furnace. We, as children of God, are brought to glory through the sufferings of Jesus. From His condescension through His crucifixion, Jesus was in the process of sanctifying Himself through sufferings. It is through suffering that we will realize our sanctification. It is suffering that proves the nourishment of faith–with out it, faith would surely die. The writer of our passage in Hebrews tells us God induces our suffering for our profit that we might be partakers of His holiness; A life of progressive suffering works out a life of progressive holiness–we are positionally totally sanctified in Jesus, but, as we undergo Godly suffering, we start the process of conforming to God’s will, and working into sanctification, and, working out salvation. Union with Jesus is out of the question until God makes His will our own. It is the scourging of God that lays the flesh bare. The road to the crown is not a road of consolation but a road of affliction unto holiness. It in the fellowship of Jesus’ sufferings that we experience holiness–it is no longer some unattainable virtue but becomes ours through the grace of bruising at the hand of our Father. It is chastisement at the hand of God that creates a longing for cleansing and repentance, leading us to the Blood of Jesus; It is God’s chastising fire that consumes the flesh, and draws the spirit to Jesus.

The apostle here acknowledges that the Hebrews have suffered much, but they have not yet so fought against sin that their blood was shed. The insinuation here is that there are others who have suffered more in their struggles. There is also a hint that their sufferings were graduating into a more intense struggle; Jesus had tremendous sufferings when He started on His mission for God, but it was the end of the mission that proved to be the greatest suffering; so us. Many labor under the misconception that as they mature in the Lord that they settle into a place of immunity; Again, the earthly walk of Jesus is our example. God has chosen and ordained martyrs down through the ages, and I’ll guarantee you none of them begged for the stake in their early disciple childhood; it is in minute sufferings that we are prepared for greater sufferings, the glory of God and for Him rising proportionately. So we see great grace beckoning great mercy in our suffering. Many times our own blood is required to authenticate our testimony; The apostle exhorts us to not forget the hand of God is in our suffering. When we as disciples, consider our lot in suffering, let us not forget to consider the sufferings of Jesus, who endured the ultimate suffering at the hands of sinners. Compared to what He suffered, our trials and tribulations are small; He didn’t faint, but finished His course; we also, by grace, must not faint, but must finish the will of God in our lives, no matter the magnitude of the suffering in it. We strive against satan and his schemes against us through men, but most of us in our suffering, have not had to resist unto blood. So let us not faint under the chastising hand of God, but in our tribulation and our affliction let us look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of the faith that is the offspring of our suffering. When we partake of His sufferings, we partake of His holiness.

When the will of God is revealed, we are not to kick against the pricks, nor become despondent over our plight. We must seek Jesus for His patience and His perseverance to bear us up under affliction; as we by mercy endure, we find our obedience unto holiness being nurtured by the grace of suffering. It is in affliction that we become stable in Jesus, no more tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Our suffering teaches us to speak the truth in love, and grow up into Jesus in all things. It is suffering that perfects the disciples for the work of the ministry; it is in suffering that we become unified in our Suffering Savior; it is affliction that teaches us not to walk in the vanity of the mind; Holy suffering enlightens our understanding of our Blessed Jesus, blotting out our alienation to the life of God, opening the eyes of our hearts unto faith above reason, which is the gift of the Master. It is this suffering that helps sustain our sanctification unto eternal salvation, keep us from that which is at enmity with God. It is this affliction from the hand of God that yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness.

We are in subjection to and under the authority of, God. Such chastisement and rebuke from the Lord, is a necessary pruning for us unto holiness. Behold, God has refined us, but not with silver; He has chosen us in the furnace of affliction. Such chastening confirms the souls of disciples, and should exhort them to continue in the faith, for it is through much tribulation that we enter into the kingdom of God. As we, by grace endure the chastening of our Father let us remember that He takes us by a way which we know not, along a path we have not known; But He and He alone makes darkness light before us, and, crooked things straight–He will not forsake us as we take the cup of suffering from His hand.

Suffering is an intricate, essential, path in which we walk out our salvation. Let us remember that we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. We should not be so concerned with the road we take as we are with its destination. The chastising hand of God proves our salvation, for as the Scriptures say, without it, we are bastards, not sons. The holiest of disciples it seems, are the most afflicted. It is where the suffering leads–what God’s purpose is in it, to which faith in Him must respond. For if we are sons, the Scripture promises we shall be chastened and scourged, which in the original language means flogged. Again, it pleased God to bruise Jesus, how much more us; and is not such bruising great grace that paves the way for holiness unto the will of God? As the Scripture says, only bastards aren’t chastised–suffering at the hands of God proves our position as His sons–this suffering is evidence of our salvation. Its end is sanctification and holiness. We behold the face of God in Jesus our Righteousness: It is the chastising hand of God that moves us into the satisfaction of awaking with His likeness; It is the chastising hand of God that sprinkles clean water upon us and makes us clean; It is this suffering that renders a stony heart to flesh, making way for newness of heart and spirit; Its fruit is our walking in the statutes of God, keeping His judgments and doing them; it is the chastening hand of God that humbles us, and makes way for our crucifixion and the subsequent resurrection of the Lord Jesus in our mortal flesh, removing spots, wrinkles, and blemishes. It is the Blood of Jesus that makes a way for this grace of suffering and purifies unto Him we, a peculiar people, zealous of good works. It is our sufferings that grace our obedience that we might inherit exceeding great and precious promises; It is our scourging and chastening at the hand of God that opens the way for our partaking of the divine nature, providing escape from the corruption that is in the world through lust.

*Suffering: the call is of God

It is amazing to consider the plight of some in light of suffering. Some seem to go through life knowing nothing of illness and defeat; others seem to be separated for suffering. The difference between the plight of the two has made for much religious discussion. Those whom we call the children of sorrows are many, and no one knows when he or she might become the next such child. Many choose to ignore suffering, believing that if it is ignored, it may go away. It is an awesome and scary thing to be thrust into a life of suffering, and not know if it is going to end or not, because there is no end in sight. It is here as everywhere, that Jesus becomes more than a Friend or Brother. There is no place in our suffering where the Master cannot say “I know how you feel.” There are many amazing things about the Master’s sufferings, and chief among them was the fact that His suffering was voluntary. It’s a fact worthy of contemplation in light of the New Testament Scriptures that tell us to arm ourselves with a like mind.

When a man or woman is told he or she has six months to live, one can only imagine what the pain of the disease is going to be like in its final stages. Jesus knew how and what He was going to suffer, and as the day grew nearer His awareness of the coming suffering seemed to grow much more acute. In Gethsemane, Jesus saw Golgotha, which brought drops of blood from His face. The ultimate perplexion–the consummate cup of suffering held in the hands of complete and perfect Innocence–the Ultimate Holy One hung as the Ultimate Sinner. Many tried to divert Jesus from His God-appointed rounds, much like many do to those who are suffering today. Again, instead of seeking Jesus and the will of God in the situation, they seek healing. Healing is the inheritance of the disciples, and we are instructed to pray for it. And we do, but again, as in all things, we must not be seeking our own, but the will of our Father. And as many know, it has been the will of our Father many times, to not heal, but to rather, take the brother or sister home, which many rightfully call the ultimate healing. When a suffering disciple dies, the prayer of faith has saved the sick, and God will in fact, raise them up on that day.

Not my will but Thine

There is no bigger grace in life than “not my will but Thine be done.” Jesus, in the face of God’s will revealed, submitted Himself to it, and in doing so, overcame death for many. When God reveals His will for our suffering and it is not our prayer, what is our reaction? What might be the fruit of a soul who submits to the revealed will of God, when that will requires suffering and even death? Very few know, because very few give in to such a prospect, but rather fight it ferociously, refusing to believe that death is gain. The Son of Man had to learn obedience through suffering–all sons of God do, and all sons of men who are redeemed children of God arrive at perfection by the path of suffering. So says the Scripture and the Scripture cannot lie.

The cup of suffering many times cannot pass from its victim until it is drunk to the drop. For what is it that attracts a man to His Savior? I dare say it is the suffering of Jesus that breaks the heart of a man so graced. For it is in the suffering of Jesus that His love is perceived. Let us remember that Jesus always chose the will of our Father, and in choosing that will, He suffered immeasurably. We must chose this day, which will we shall serve: O Lord we pray that we may know you, and the power of your resurrection, and the fellowship of your sufferings, and be made conformable unto your death; to the praise of the glory of your marvelous grace in our blessed Jesus. A-men

“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Matt 10:16.

Much can be gained in the explanation of suffering, if we sit down with the Lord and earnestly seek to have His word unlocked. Scripture gives abundant witness that the true disciple of the Lord will see much war before he sees much ground taken; there will be loss before there will be gain, and suffering before the morning joy; We can immerse ourselves in the word of God and that is what we need to do, but our Father will see to it that what we believe and preach will become our testing and battle ground. The overthrow of evil always involves a tremendous war, and there are always casualties. This is the nature of the battle into which the true disciple is sent. Jesus makes no bones or pretenses about it–there will be scourging and there will be pain; such was the lot of the twelve and down through the history of the church we find the lot of the true disciples pretty much the same. People want to hear comfort preached, yet when it is, its fruit becomes the utmost contempt for the hard things of the gospel. History tells us that the comfortable church falls short of the esteem of the heathen and has very little evangelical fruit. The church that consistently undergoes persecution will most times find herself in the will of God, and will see her fruit abiding. Our Father will make sure that the faithful not lose sight of their suffering Savior, and the true church will mirror the sufferings of Jesus, for the true church is appointed to those sufferings. In spite of much modern day teaching, the church will eventually take the form of her suffering Savior; the church, as the disciple, is not above her Master.

When we are sent by Jesus, our end will many times be the end of the early disciples–sheep in the midst of wolves carries with it a connotation of suffering, as does “sheep to the slaughter;” sheep in the midst of wolves are obviously in great and constant danger. Jesus also instructs us to “beware of men”–we may have been graced to have power over devils, but not over men; This instruction is followed by the reason to beware–they will scourge you-those who are used to gain ground for the Kingdom, will be scourged; a study of the Scriptures as well as church history will bear this out. Many in America are not aware, but in other parts of the world, disciples are not only being scourged, they are dying for their faith at the fastest rate in history. Some unto a better resurrection (Heb. 11: 35). Very few in the American church can relate to such a faith and fate. Down through the ages, the true church has been driven by suffering. Absolute surrender and loyalty to Jesus will always produce trouble from men, many times in your own household. Jesus asks His disciples to do no less than He has done; the disciple lives by dying–daily; the true disciple finds, by losing;

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matt 7:13-14

The Master never mislead anybody–He consistently warned of the perils and sufferings of the narrow road; strait is the gate, and narrow (afflicted) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. The road to Life is truly paved with more affliction than consolation. But let us not be amazed nor perplexed, for we know that all the Master teaches has a large measure of self-sacrifice in it; It is amazing how many today teach that Calvary won disciples a life of ease and comfort of the flesh; The flesh is enticed by satan to enter the broad way, and many there be that go there in; the afflicted way leads to eternal life and there are few–as contrasted with the many who take the broad road, that find it–finding it indicates that there is some effort in locating it–the broad way is easily accessed; the narrow way must be found. Jesus warns us to beware of false prophets–those who would tell you they represent God and that the way to heaven is the broad, easy way; they will appear to you in sheep’s clothing–they will appear as sheep in the fold of the Master, because they will appear to have all the attributes of a child of God, but in reality, will be satan’s people (ravening wolves) who have crept in unawares. There are many such prophets alive and working today, just as the false prophets of old: Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing.

Jesus tells us that we will know them by their fruits–their doctrine may be fine, but check the fruit of their work–you’ll find a worm in it.

Thus we have two ways–roads–before us; one is wide, easily traveled and comfortable, with much company, but ends in destruction. Many are leading many down this road under the guise of Christ-centered church leadership; The other is narrow, afflicted, and hard to find, and it will be relatively lonely traveling, but its end is eternal life. Few there be that are finding it. It is the chastising hand of God that leads us to it, for it is the highway of holiness, and it is through our sufferings that holiness is worked.

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Jesus, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for his sake; Philippians 1:29

The first step of entering the strait gate in pursuit of the Master, will produce the fruit of self-denial; self denial is not to be sought, it is the fruit of my pursuit of and relationship with, Jesus Christ. Few accept the fact that a life of crisis follows conversion, but it does. It is affliction and suffering that nurture the power of growing in the knowledge and manifestation of Jesus. Forasmuch then as Jesus hath suffered for us in the flesh, we must arm ourselves with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That we no longer should live the rest of our time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. Though Jesus were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; The example of Jesus and what He suffered always points to the glory and honor of God–the fact that Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered, would lead me to the fact that suffering is an essential part of my sanctification–the disciple is not above his Master; It bears repeating: if it was necessary for Jesus to suffer, how much more us? Jesus was despised and rejected, buffeted and crucified, this is what defeated the enemy in His life and in the lives of those who chose not to reject this great salvation. It is our crucifixion then, that will lead to defeat of the enemy in our lives, and in the lives of those we die for—death must work in us that life might work in the body of the Lord. Haven’t you heard the multitude stand on “taking my chances on judgment day?” This is the great deception that Jesus repelled back into the face of satan, when satan tried to get Him to save Himself and avoid the narrow, afflicted road of suffering to the cross; Jesus’ suffering of course, stands alone; period. The saved and the unsaved suffer in many of the same ways. The sufferings of this life rain alike on the just and the unjust, the difference being that our Father works honor and glory for Himself and His Son through the suffering of the disciples, while transforming them into the likeness of Jesus–there is always Divine purpose in the suffering of the Godly.

All we ever seek is Jesus, and affliction plays a major part in our apprehending Him. We must remember that the purpose of redemption is holiness–the manifestation of Jesus in our mortal flesh; and though we are positionally holy as children of God in Jesus, our Father is in the business of transforming us into the likeness of Jesus, which is perfect holiness; holiness should prove to be the fruit of the life of the suffering disciple. This is presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice–allowing our Father to work our sanctification as He sees fit, and we know His ways by His work with His Son. God is interested not only in our laying down our lives for our friends, but for our enemies as well. This is accomplished mainly by the affliction they bring. As we suffer, let us remember that the resurrected Jesus proves to us that God has accepted the responsibility for our corruption and has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.

It is suffering that breaks the carnal man and allows Jesus to begin His resurrection in him; There is much in the way of defeat if this brokenness has not invaded the life of a disciple in some measure. The chains of the outward man are broken when God leads a soul into suffering–the bread did not multiply until the Lord broke it; Picking up your cross insinuates there will be some blood shed–yours. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Jesus abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Jesus. And whether we be afflicted, it is for the consolation and salvation of others, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer. And our hope is steadfast, knowing, that as we are partakers of the sufferings, so shall we be also of the consolation. 2 Cor. 1: 3-7.

Suffering reminds us that we are in fact, outside the camp, sojourners, strangers in this world, and that we must not cleave to anything of it. Suffering is the veil between self and vanity, and it must not be rent; Suffering rather than consolation, truly seeks the face of God, therefore we must arm ourselves accordingly; Godly suffering will show us the gain that is death, banishing fear in the face if death by our Shield and our exceeding great Reward. Godly suffering not only instructs as to how to seek the kingdom, but the cross; the privilege to reign has in its foundation, the privilege of suffering; Our suffering must become our consolation–for is it not that way with Him? Grace shall work it, for trust is not worked except by the grace that is tribulation.

If I love Him with all my heart, my desire is constant in tribulation and consolation, for I must love Him for who He is, not for what He can do for me. True consolation is to be destitute of all things, for poverty is liberty. In its purest sense, this would be poverty and destitution of self–all done with the mind of an unprofitable servant. This poverty of spirit shall inherit the Kingdom. The weakening flesh strengthens the spirit; Does this not make you ready for your cross? Your cross will carry you if you will carry it: The comfort in tribulation is the tribulation itself. Rejoice. Jesus suffered, died, and arose to enter into His Glory. So shall we.

Suffering unto Sanctification

As our Father transforms us into the likeness of Jesus, and as that transformation slowly takes place we will find ourselves suffering more, just as Jesus did in His earthly walk. As we mature by grace in the Lord, we truly discover there is much sorrow in much knowledge. God allows us to suffer that we may know the pain and heartache of others, that we may comfort them; As we suffer let us seek the face of the Lord, for He is our consolation, and it is that consolation that we bring to others as we lay our lives down; we must experience suffering to be able to relate to suffering. It is when we can say “I know how you feel” because we truly do, that lives are impacted by Jesus. Those who are suffering seek out such people. It is in our suffering that we learn the consolation of the Lord.

Suffering in body teaches patience; Ever notice how humble and Godly most people become under suffering? those who walk with Jesus through suffering, see the Master manifest in them because of the suffering; The gentleness that is Jesus becomes their trademark. In order to be transformed by suffering, we must do as Jesus did–we must submit to it; We must beware–God’s purpose in allowing our suffering is to soften our hearts; many become bitter and hard of heart; even in the worst of sufferings we must bless the name of the Lord and continually praise Him; we must suffer and yet worship; though He slay us, we must yet trust Him; He may decide to put us in such depths of suffering that there is nothing that will help but Him, and He may seemingly be nowhere to be found, the way of escape blocked at every turn; trust in self is shattered; trust in others is meaningless; you are left no choice but to trust in God; the sentence of death is in us, and we must come to grips with that fact inasmuch as we are partakers of the sufferings of Jesus; I speak to you from experience. It is suffering that will make you become as a little child, if you will turn to God and let Him work His purpose in it. You will be brought to the place of absolute surrender to Him–suffering is the way of escape, the liberty you’ve been seeking. We have the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; Paul is saying that God had delivered him before and He will again; we must not be as the Israelites and forget the delivering power of God; He will bring streams out of the rock and furnish a table in the wilderness at the appointed time. Though you may die in the battle, the battle is still the Lord’s; set yourself; stand still; fear not nor be dismayed; you will see the salvation of the Lord: O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee. 2 Chronicles 20: 12

Total submission to God comes no other way but by trial and tribulation. It must needs be. For we are heirs of God, and joint-heirs with the Lord Jesus; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For our hope is steadfast, knowing, that as we are partakers of the sufferings, so shall we be also of the consolation. Our prayer is that we may all come to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.

As Jesus walked in His sufferings to the slaughter, His main concern was not preservation of His ministry, but that the will of God be done. His beginning and His finish, speak for themselves of course. Point is, that Jesus left all things to “He who alone judges righteously” and was not overly concerned with anything but the will of God; and though our emphasis is rightly on His finished course, we must never lose sight of His condescension and suffering that made up that course, and His disposition toward affliction and suffering in carrying out the will of God. If we live Godly in Christ Jesus, the sufferings of Christ Jesus will abound in us, and we will do a part in filling up what is behind in His afflictions. But there will be no comparison with the glory worked. Let us not first seek our healing in affliction–let us seek His will and what He wants from us in our suffering.

We ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: II Thes. 1: 4-5

It is tribulation and affliction then, that work faith, holiness, and obedience; The Scripture tells us we are appointed to suffering. We overcome suffering by suffering– drinking the cup holding it and by pursuing the will of God in it, and pressing through it to execute that will. Suffering did not hinder Jesus doing the will of God in His earthly walk and ministry; suffering enabled Him to perform the will of God, for it will be in suffering that we find the grace of Godly obedience. It is through suffering then, that I am enabled to obey God and walk out His will unto my salvation; It is thus my suffering becomes my consolation, for the one consolation of my life, is the performing of the will of God in it.

*THE SICK

Sickness and health go together; Sickness and pain are a law of the fallen world; the person who experiences the fallenness in this way, is an image of Jesus who bore our sicknesses and our pain; Jesus comes among the sick to bear the law of the fallen world and to fulfill it–“He took our infirmities and bore our diseases” ( Isa. 53: 4; Mt. 8: 17). Jesus saves in that He bears. Healing (including death), shows that Jesus receives and bears the sick in their weakness, a weakness He Himself has borne on the cross; It is as the crucified One that He is the eternal Healer. We see the true state of the world, in the sick. Our health encompasses all our sickness—we are called to a cross, not to health.

The sick inquire about Jesus much more than the well. No proper spiritual care occurs without the offer of forgiveness of sins through Jesus, and bringing Him into the life of the sick in a way that they can relate to Him. Many of the sick resent Jesus, blaming Him for their sickness. The sick must hear of sin, repentance, cleansing forgiveness, and grace. The minister bears witness (in his ministering) that sickness is indeed a sign that God is near, and He is drawing the sick to Jesus.

The minister must be prepared to deal with a lack of patient patience. The pastor must quietly persist in his ministry despite opposition from doctors, nurses, and family.

Give the sick responsibilities to come to Jesus and get intimate with Him; The sick must become worshippers; they must be instructed to intercede for others; prayer will get them through sleepless nights and listless days.

Above all, truth must reside at the sickbed–false comfort should not be given. They need to be assured that above all, they are in God’s hands and it is Jesus who holds the key of death, and it is He who will decide whether to give life in this world or the next–the heart of the sick must be opened to Jesus Himself that revelation faith of the next life be given; Be at peace and let your life rest quietly in God. If you serve communion, get all family members to participate, to keep it in the proper focus. Healing should be Biblically addressed.

The goal of all Spiritual care is the confession that we are sinners and we must come to Jesus to be cleansed of that sin. The invitation to confession is the essence of Christianity; Confession and repentance are the heart of maintenance of the Christian life. Confession silently but decisively proclaims grace, repentance seizes that grace, and both should be carried out daily. Absolution unto liberation transpires when sins are named and confessed and repented of. More importantly, as we approach God, we must as the Publican, have a heart that tells God we are sinners and need our Savior; Mercy and Grace are sought—Mercy and Grace are the Person of Jesus.

THE DEATHBED

This is the last opportunity to speak a Word through which Jesus can make His dwelling in the person; the last opportunity for conversion, confession, or absolution. At the deathbed only proclamation of the gospel, confession, and absolution need transpire. One’s final sighs must lead into the kingdom of God. Death reigns where there is no forgiveness. The pastor should get a moment alone with the person; ask if he or she would like to make a confession and if they are wholly sure of their salvation in Jesus and if they take comfort in that fact; the inquiry should end with absolution for all sins and assurance of the hope of life eternal. Prayers for the dying should be kept short and spoken close to the ear. Ask if the dying person understands that the end is near. The offer of the Sacrament should be made, but not forced–one can die in faith without it.

Luke 12:48. When facing a deathbed where one is in a coma, we must seek God for their salvation. We know that it is God’s will that none should perish:

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. 2 Pet 3:9

We know that if we pray according to His will we have what we ask:

14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. I Jn 5:14-15

We know that Jesus did not come into the world to condemn it, but to save it. And we know that if we abide in Jesus, His saving word abides in us, and we can intercede for souls—even those in a coma—and we shall have what we ask. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15:7

Why else would God send us to them? And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Ezek 22:30. We are at the deathbed because Jesus sent us there—to stand in the gap for the salvation of the sick, whether in a coma or not. We are not talking here of praying for those who have already died. We are talking about the saving grace and mercy of the Lord, who would rather save through intercession, than condemn. Which glorifies the Blood of Jesus more?

Num 14:17-20

17 And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying,

18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

19 Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.

20 And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word.

 

 

John 16:23-24

And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”

VII. satan

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. Isaiah 14:12-15

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 1 Timothy 4:1-2

For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Matt 24:28

The Scripture does not argue the existence of God, nor does it argue the existence of satan. In both cases the existence of each is assumed, and it is the make-up of the person that is revealed. We know that our Father was from the beginning; we know satan showed up in the Garden and that satan was a liar from the beginning. It is up to us to abide on that higher rock called faith, for if we reason, we shall surely be deceived. Many of God’s children have already been deceived, believing that the child of God is immune from the enemy and his wiles. Scripture says otherwise, but again, many drop from faith down to reason, and attempt to reason satan away. There are none more open to deception than these—those who believe they cannot be deceived.

To deny the gospel accounts of satan and his schemes toward the human race, is to make one’s walk a walk of half truth. For if we conveniently deny the witness of Scripture in one area, we are open to water it down in other areas. The fruit of such a walk will have a worm in it at best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*THE NAME OF JESUS—POWER OVER THE ENEMY

Acts 3:1-8

1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.

2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;

3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.

4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.

5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.

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

7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength.

8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and

Vs 4-And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.

The fastening of the eyes let Peter see spiritually—he saw the spirit that was causing the lameness. How do we get this kind of power over the enemy?

Acts 3:16

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

To pray in the name of Jesus, is to ask anything according to His will, in His name, according to His word; “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do” ((Jn 14:13); compare (14:14; 15:16; 16:23)); “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask …. that your joy may be made full” (Jn 16:24), is not merely to add to our prayers (as is so often unthinkingly done): “we ask all in the name of Jesus,” or “through Jesus Christ our Lord,” etc., but to pray or ask as His representatives on earth, in His mission and stead, in His spirit and with His aim, according to what He is revealing; it implies union with Jesus and abiding in Him, and he in us. His name is used for everything which His name covers, everything the thought or feeling of which is aroused in the mind by mentioning, hearing, remembering, the name, that is, for His authority, interests, His will, His commands, His name is synonymous with His Person—it is He doing the asking through us, that the will of God be done on earth as it is in heaven; To see what His name is, we must examine His Person.

His meat is to do the will of Him that sent Him—not use His Father’s name to secure His own will. We must abide in Him and His word must abide in us—His word—His spoken word regarding the situation to which He has sent us. Same thing with the prayer of faith that saves the sick—we are not trying to muster enough faith to manipulate God and get Him to do what we want Him to; if Jesus gives the faith, then the healing takes place. Faith comes by hearing (Rhema—the spoken word of God); We all know those who have been healed, and many who have not in spite of the fact that multitudes are praying for the healing. So what is it to pray and ask in the name of Jesus?

Again, it is being crucified with Him—obedience—and letting Him transform us; it is being buried with Him in baptism—it is His literal resurrection in our mortal flesh, that He might minister through us the will of our Father.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matt 6:33

Discernment:

Matt 13:15-17

15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

We talked last week about the end of the wicked and how absolutely tragic and painful it would be; one fact of bringing the kingdom of God to people, will be the evidence of them rejecting it, mainly by believing that there is no way anyone can go to Hell (VS 15)

We discern the deception they are in, we discern their hearts, we tell them, and yet, they reject it, loving more the things of the flesh and this present life. But as we talk about discernment, understand that first and foremost, spiritual discernment is the knowledge of yourself; do your eyes really see? Do your ears really hear? Does your heart really understand?

Rom 8:5-14

5 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.

6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Jesus, he is none of his.

10 And if Jesus be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Jesus from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

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

These fleshy areas are where we need discernment and the fact that they abound in us, shows us that we are not spending enough time with Jesus and are not yielding to Him. I can make a resolution to let my yea be yea and my nay be nay, and before I know it, I will be speaking all sorts of evil; But if I am consistently communicating with Jesus, I can confess to Him the problem with my tongue and ask Him to grace me to yield to Him in controlling it. This leads to true discernment, which is nothing more that spiritual knowledge resulting from Jesus’ revelation to me in any given matter—the light that is discernment, lights up what is evil in others and in me—it is a solid understanding of the will of God at all times, in all places, in all things; it is an uncorrupted conscience—a heart that is so consumed by Jesus that its silent but prevalent knowledge is of its sinfulness, but its knowledge relating to the ministry is of the overpowering beauty of the Blood of Jesus to conquer and to cleanse; True discernment is found where Jesus has conquered heart, body, and speech. True Spiritual discernment will first tell me of myself and the sins that are trying to rule and reign—gluttony, greed, the honor of men, lust, pride, dejection and anger—all of these things pertain to self, and if my walk is about me and not about Jesus, then discernment will be null and void– These areas that remain outside the care of Jesus, will hinder and halt discernment.

Every demonic upheaval within us arises from three causes: carelessness, pride, or envy/covetousness; These things blow against the wind of the Spirit and will of God. We are the victims of demonic enticement when we let them praise us in our souls, deceiving us into believing that every aspect of our lives is under the control of Jesus. God’s formula is to grace us to discern the evil in ourselves and then take it to Jesus, continually. When this becomes our lifestyle, the Blood of Jesus paves the way for His Blood to cleanse our conscience and remove the corruption. Having identified the corruption within ourselves, and letting Jesus deal with it every day—this is part of picking up your cross daily–we then are more easily able to discern the enemy activity in the lives of others and lead them to Jesus to deal with it—if they are willing.

The enticement is overcome by our zeal for Jesus and the fear of what these sins do to us temporally and eternally; enticement is also overcome by our consistent obedience to Jesus, our self-examination and self abasement—-in short, we must never lose sight of from where we were before Jesus rescued us, and what it takes to complete the lifetime of rescue.

*ASK WHAT YE WILL-THE SECRET OF ABIDING IN JESUS

Romans 8: 13: for if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the flesh, ye shall live. Again something only Jesus can do.

So as we move, live and have our being in the Kingdom, the commands of Jesus should become our fruit, as He is the kingdom to us, and it is Jesus who is living and ministering through us. We have touched much on many of the aspects of the Kingdom—obedience, holiness, self-sacrifice, worship and more, and today we will talk about the foundation of the Kingdom, which is Jesus to be sure, but what we need to explore is the faithfulness of God who established the Kingdom in us by sacrificing His Son. With such a sacrifice, how could our Father not be faithful to those who are faithful to His Son—He who honors me, my Father will honor.

So, what is our first problem when we think of the faithfulness of God—what is the chief obstacle to the faithfulness of God in our lives.

Self—the first line enemy against obedience.

John 5: 41, 43-44

41 I receive not honor from men.

43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

44 How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?

I am come in my Father’s name, and you receive me not. If another shall come in his own name, him you will receive (VS 43). The would-be

disciple becomes false when he comes to himself in his own name, seeking to gratify his flesh by bearing witness of himself—publicizing his attributes in the name of Jesus, being deceived into thinking that those attributes will draw men to Jesus; such a man has fallen victim to the very hypocrisy Jesus warns about for while he claims with his talents to be attempting to draw men to Jesus, his heart is really looking for the honor of men, instead of the honor that comes from God (VS 44). Jesus says here that such men cannot believe for they seek the face and approval of men—they are men pleasers, not God pleasers, giving testimony of themselves while proclaiming Jesus, and Jesus Himself says they have been deceived and their witness is not true: If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true (Jn 5: 31); they have shunned He who is the Truth, and have bought into themselves. Jesus charges such men with pride and vain-glory, and unbelief (VS 44): This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. Matt 15:8. Hypocrisy. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (Gal 5:7-9)–pride. Men will be enticed to inject themselves into their ministry effort, and as the apostle explains here, a little, will go a long way—all the way; the whole lump will be full of pride and hypocrisy, if a little leaven is let in through compromise—-i.e. any hint of honoring self, will negate continual abiding, and thus negate the prayer that sees its fruit. Two things that hinder a man’s continual abiding in Jesus and seeing fruit in his ministry: pride, and hypocrisy.

The worship of self involves a heart of ambition that seeks the honor of men; Jesus despises such honor: I receive not honor from men (VS 41); It is the proud man’s heart to throw honor upon others only that it may rebound upon himself. Idolizing men

and their self-published talents and desiring to be idolized by them and their praises, are pieces of idolatry that are absolutely contrary to Jesus, who He is, and what He stands for. Men who harbor such desires are clothed in the garments the Pharisees left behind: If I honor myself, my honor is nothing (Jn 8: 54)

Obedience to Jesus, sacrifice of self

John 5: 44

How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?

The difficulty of truly believing, thus truly obeying, thus truly abiding, arises from ourselves and our own corruption; The seeking of the approval and honor of men is an absolute stumbling block to saving, believing, faith in Jesus, for such seeking is the meat that pride thrives on, and God opposes such; How can they believe who make the praise and applause of men their aim and their idol? When true persecution comes that shatters their image of their talents, most will flee Jesus to save man’s applause and perception of those talents.

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (Rom 6: 16). If we yield ourselves to ourselves, we have yielded to unrighteousness and have slipped into bondage to ourselves; if we lose ourselves in our total pursuit and obedience to Jesus, we have moved into the obedience that proves our righteousness is Jesus Himself for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage (2 Pet 2:19). Many proclaim and preach Jesus, while being in bondage to themselves.

All that lies at the door of your conscience must be taken captive by the Master. If I do not love Him, I am but a banging gong and a tinkling cymbal–and it is obedience that proves my love for Him“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me……..” John 14:23;

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What is abiding in Jesus; what is His word abiding in you?

John 15:1-8

1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

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

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Abide– not to depart; a) to continue to be present; b) to be held, kept, continually

c) in reference to a state or a condition: to remain as one, not to become another or different; 2) to wait for, to await one

ABIDE

Abide in Me, and I in You–John 15:4

When a new graft is placed in a vine and it abides there, there is a twofold process that takes place. The first is in the wood. The graft shoots its little roots and fibers down into the stem, and the stem grows up into the graft, and what has been called the structural union is effected. The graft abides and becomes one with the vine, and even though the vine were to die, would still be one wood with it. Then there is the second process, in which the sap of the vine enters the new structure, and uses it as a passage through which sap can flow up to show itself in young shoots and leaves and fruit. Here is the vital union. Into the graft which abides in the stock, the stock enters with sap to abide in it.
When Jesus says: “Abide in me, and I in you,” He points to something analogous to this. “Abide in me”: that refers more to that which we have to do. We have to trust and obey, to detach ourselves from all else, to reach out after Him and cling to Him, to sink ourselves into Him. As we do this, through the grace He gives, a character is formed, and a heart prepared for the fuller experience: “I in you,” God strengthens us with might by His Spirit in the inner man, and Jesus dwells in the heart by faith.

Many believers pray and long very earnestly for the filling of the Spirit and the indwelling of Jesus, and wonder that they do not make more progress. The reason is often this, the “I in you” cannot come because the “abide in me” is not maintained. “There is one body and one spirit”; before the Spirit can fill, there must be a body prepared. The graft must have grown into the stem, and be abiding in it before the sap can flow through to bring forth fruit. It is as in lowly obedience we follow Jesus, even in external things, denying ourselves, forsaking the world, and even in the body, seeking to be conformable to Him, as we thus seek to abide in Him, that we shall be able to receive the “I in you.” The work enjoined on us: “Abide in me,” will prepare us for the work undertaken by Him:

“I in you.”  In--The two parts of the injunction have their unity in that central deep-meaning word “in.” There is no deeper word in Scripture. God is in all. God dwells in Jesus. Jesus lives in God. We are in Jesus. Jesus is in us: our life taken up into His; His life received into ours; in a divine reality that words cannot express, we are in Him and He in us. And the words, “Abide in me and I in you,” just tell us to believe it, this divine mystery, and to count upon our God the Husbandman, and Jesus the Vine, to make it divinely true. No thinking or teaching or praying can grasp it; it is a divine mystery of love. As little as we can effect the union can we understand it. Let us just look upon this infinite, divine, omnipotent Vine loving us, holding us, working in us. Let us in the faith of His working abide and rest in Him, ever turning heart and hope to Him alone. And let us count upon Him to fulfill in us the mystery: “Ye in me, and I in you.”

EXCEPT YE ABIDE

As the Branch Cannot Bear Fruit of Itself, Except It Abide In the Vine; No More Can Ye, Except Ye Abide in Me–John 15:4

We know the meaning of the word except. It expresses some indispensable condition, some inevitable law. “The branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine. No more can ye, except ye abide in me.” There is but one way for the branch to bear fruit, there is no other possibility, it must abide in unbroken communion with the vine. Not of itself, but only of the vine, does the fruit come. Jesus had already said: “Abide in me”; Jesus knows so well what a renunciation of self is implied in this: “Abide in me”; how strong and universal the tendency would be to seek to bear fruit by our own efforts; how difficult it would be to get us to believe that actual, continuous abiding in Him is an absolute necessity! He insists upon the truth: Not of itself can the branch bear fruit; except it abide, it cannot bear fruit. “No more can ye, except ye abide in me.”
     If I am to be a true branch, if I am to bear fruit, if I am to be what Jesus as Vine wants me to be, my whole existence must be as exclusively devoted to abiding in Him, as that of

the natural branch is to abiding in its vine.    Abiding is to be an act of the will and the whole heart. Just as there are degrees in seeking and serving God, “not with a perfect heart,” or “with the whole heart,” so there may be degrees in abiding. In regeneration the divine life enters us, but does not all at once master and fill our whole being. This comes as matter of command and obedience. There is unspeakable danger of our not giving ourselves with our whole heart to abide. There is unspeakable danger of our giving ourselves to work for God, and to bear fruit, with but little of the true abiding, the wholehearted losing of ourselves in Jesus and His life. There is unspeakable danger of much work with but little fruit, for lack of this one thing needful. We must allow the words, “not of itself,” “except it abide,” to do their work of searching and exposing, of pruning and cleansing, all that there is of self-will and self-confidence in our life; this will deliver us from this great evil, and so prepare us for His teaching, giving the full meaning of the word in us: “Abide in me, and I in you.”
Jesus desires to call us away from ourselves and our own strength, to Himself and His strength. Let us accept the warning, and turn with great fear and self-distrust to Him to do His work. “Our life is hid with Jesus in God!” That life is a heavenly mystery, hid from the wise even among disciples, and revealed unto babes. The childlike spirit learns that life is given from Heaven every day and every moment to the soul that accepts the teaching: “not of itself,” “except it abide,” and seeks its all in the Vine. Abiding in the Vine then comes to be nothing more nor less than the restful surrender of the soul to let Jesus have all and work all, as completely as in nature the branch knows and seeks nothing but the vine.

IF YE ABIDE

If Ye Abide in Me, and My Words, Abide in You, Ask Whatsoever Ye Will, and it Shall be Done Unto You–John 15:7

If ye abideHere is the difference between the branch of the natural and the branch of the spiritual Vine. The former abides by force of nature: the latter abides, not by force of will, but by Jesus’ power given to the consent of the will. Such is the wonderful provision God has made that, what the power of nature does in the one case, the power of grace will do in the other. The branch can abide in the Vine.
     If ye abide in me…ask whatsoever ye willIf we are to live a true prayer life, with the love and the power and the experience of Jesus marking it, there must be no question about the abiding. And if we abide, there need be no question about the liberty of asking what we will, and the certainty of its being done. There is the one condition: “If ye abide in me.” There must be no hesitation about the possibility or the certainty of it. We must gaze on the Vine and the Husbandman until we have been graced to see only them—this is the secret of continual abiding.
Be wholly occupied with Jesus. Sink the roots of your being in faith and love and obedience deep down into Him. Come away out of every other place to abide at His feet in worship, getting filled by Him, going out and ministering Him at His direction.. Give up everything for the inconceivable privilege of being a branch on earth of the glorified Son of God in Heaven. Let Jesus be first. Let Jesus be all. Do not be occupied with the abiding–be occupied with Jesus. He will hold you, He will keep you abiding in Him. He will abide in you.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you–This He gives as the equivalent of the other expression: “I in you. If my word abides in you”–that is, not only in meditation, in memory, in love, in faith–all these words enter into your will, your being, and constitute your life–if they transform you into His likeness, and you become filled with Him, then ye shall ask what ye will; it shall be done unto you. Your words to God in prayer will be the fruit of your intimacy with Jesus and His words living in you.
Ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you-. Set yourself to be an intercessor for men; a fruit-bearing intercessor, ever calling down more blessing in the way of saving lost souls, and healing and delivering them. The power to do it is found in the abiding at the feet of Jesus in worship, filling, and ministry. It is this process that keeps the abiding in Jesus and His words in us, continual.

WHATSOEVER YE WILL

If Ye Abide in Me, and My Words Abide in You, Ask Whatsoever Ye Will, and it Shall be Done Unto YouJohn 15:7

The Whole place of the branch in the vine is one of unceasing prayer. Without intermission

it is ever calling: “O my vine, send the sap I need to bear Thy fruit.” And its prayers are never unanswered: it asks what it needs, what it will, and it is done.  The healthy life of the believer in Jesus is equally one of unceasing prayer. Consciously or unconsciously, he lives in continual dependence. The Word of his Lord, “You can do nothing,” has taught him that not more unbroken than the continuance of the branch in the vine, must be his asking and receiving. The promise of our text gives us infinite boldness: “Ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

The promise is given in direct connection with fruit-bearing. Limit it to yourself and your own needs, and you rob it of its power; you rob yourself of the power of appropriating it. Jesus was sending these disciples out, and they were ready to give their lives for the world; to them He gave the disposal of the treasures of Heaven. Their prayers would bring the Spirit and the power they needed for their work.
The promise is given in direct connection with the coming of the Spirit. The Spirit is not mentioned in the parable, just as little as the sap of the vine is mentioned. But both are meant all through. In the chapter preceding the parable, our Lord had spoken of the Holy Spirit, in connection with their inner life, being in them, and revealing Himself within them (14:15-23). In the next chapter He speaks of the Holy Spirit in connection with their work, coming to them, convincing the world, and glorifying Him (16:7-14). To avail ourselves of the unlimited prayer commands, we must be men who are filled with the Spirit, and wholly given up to the work and glory of Jesus. The Spirit will lead us into the truth of its meaning and the certainty of its fulfillment.
Let us realize that we can only fulfill our calling to bear much fruit, by giving ourselves to prayer and ministry of the word. In Jesus are hid all the treasures men around us need; But it needs prayer, much prayer, strong believing prayer, to bring these blessings down. And let us equally remember that we cannot appropriate Jesus to men, without a life given up for men. Many try to take the promise, and then look around for what they can ask. This is not the way; but the very opposite. Get the heart burdened with the needs of souls, and the command to save them, and the power will come to carry out the command.
Jesus tells us that if we ask in His name, in virtue of our union with Him, whatsoever it be, it will be done to us. Souls are perishing because there are too many ready to claim Jesus, but not ready to count the cost of apprehending Him. God’s children are feeble because there is too little heart and too much lip, for Jesus. We bear so little fruit because there is so little in the way of relationship with Him. The faith His commands would make us strong to seek Him with our whole hearts; let us not rest till it has entered into our very heart, and drawn us in the power of Jesus to continue and labor and be persistently at His feet, until He carries out His commands through us, in His power. To be a branch means not only bearing fruit on earth, but power in prayer to bring free the captives and bring them to He who is our Liberty. Abiding fully means a life that never leaves the feet of Jesus—in its going out and its coming in.
When we truthfully abide in Him and He in us, what we ask will be according to His will. We know that above everything, Jesus came to die that men might be saved. If we abide and He abides, our intercession will be His intercession, and men will be saved—whether they’re on a deathbed, or a crack house bed—He will save if we are abiding when we ask.

*THE SECRET OF THE LORD ABIDING IN US

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. John 14:21.—make our abode with him—we will come into him and abide in him and with him, and he in us; as a result our word will abide in him and he shall ask what he will and it shall be done for him. Why? Because the grace to keep the commandments of Jesus comes from our intimacy with Him—again, it is a heart of absolute surrender to Him, willing to obey Him at any turn; in this union the intercession of the heavenly sanctuary—namely the intercession of Jesus, becomes the intercession of the disciple, and the prayers are straight from the throne room and they are answered according to what is sought. All that is sought is the salvation of men, and to this end, the Blood of Jesus which sits at the right hand of our Father, becomes the intercessing Agent of the disciple. Notice here that Jesus did not say whoever believes on Him and His name shall have what they ask. This is where the church has been sold a bill of goods. People give a luke warm reception to Jesus and expect anything they want in return. We find here that the secret of He abiding—taking up residence in us and through us continually, is a heart of obedience—obedience is the link between believing and salvation and the link between salvation and abiding.

Again, obedience is not perfection, it is consistent trying out of love for Him. It is in our trying, succeeding, and failing that grace abounds and aids; The purest desires to do good are not with fruit but by obedience. Any desire not surrendered to Jesus detracts from the peace, presence and Person of Jesus in our lives, and gives the enemy an opening to harass; It is not faith in His work, but faith in Him and His Blood that saves, delivers, heals, and sustains peace and obedience. The salvation of the creature is the Creator Himself, working and flowing through the creature; If we choose discipleship, Jesus will open everything to us that we need to believe –we shall know the Truth of everything we need to understand, and the Truth will then set us free, and we shall be free indeed—free to obey Him.

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

Now that we have established the abiding, we must identify the calling of the abiding, which is bearing fruit, in short, intercession. If the word of Jesus abides in us and we abide in Him, our lives will become lives of sacrifice and intercession:

INTERCESSION

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. Jn 15: 8

The meaning of the word is determined by its use in (1 Tim 2:1), “I exhort, therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made for all and men”; where the different kinds of prayers appear to be distinguished.

Whom we are to intercede for, and how this duty is to be performed, comes next to be considered.

1. And first, our intercession must be Universal. “I will, (says the apostle) that prayers, supplications and intercessions be made for all men.” For as God’s mercy is over all his works, as Jesus died to redeem a people out of all nations and languages; so we should pray, that “all men may come to the knowledge of the truth, and be saved.” Pray that all those nations and individuals, who now sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, may have the glorious gospel shine out upon them, as well as upon us. But you need not that any man should teach you this, since ye yourselves are taught of God, and of Jesus Himself, to pray, that His kingdom may come; part of the meaning of which petition is, that “God’s ways may be known upon earth as they are in heaven, and his saving health among all nations.”

2. Next to the praying for all men, we should, according to Paul, pray for Kings—those in authority over government;

3. Thirdly, we ought, in a more special manner, to pray for those, whom “the Holy Ghost hath made Overseers over you.” This is what Paul begs, again and again, of the churches to whom he writes: “Brethren, pray for us;” and again, in Ephesians, “praying always, with all manner of supplication; and for me also, that I may open my mouth boldly, to declare the mystery of the gospel.” And to express his earnestness in this request, and the great importance of their prayers for him, he bids the church “strive, (or, as the original word signifies, be in a agony) together with him in their prayers.” And surely, Paul, a chosen vessel, needed the most importunate prayers of his Christian converts; much more do all ministers of the gospel stand in need of the intercession of their respective flocks.

There is no doubt, much good is frequently withheld from many, by reason of their neglecting to pray for their ministers, and which they would have received, had they prayed for them as they ought. Not to mention, that people often complain of the want of diligent and faithful pastors. But how do they deserve good pastors, who will not earnestly pray to God for such? If we will not pray to the Lord of the harvest, can it be expected he will send forth uncompromising laborers into His harvest?

4. Next to our ministers, Our Friends claim a place in our intercessions; but then we should not content ourselves with praying in general terms for them, but suit our prayers to their particular circumstances, relating to Jesus; When Miriam was afflicted with a leprosy from God, Moses cried and said, “Lord, heal her.” And when the nobleman came to apply to Jesus on behalf of his child, he said, “Lord, my little daughter lieth at the point of death, I pray thee to come and heal her.” In like manner, when our friends are under any afflicting circumstances, we should endeavor to pray for them, with a particular regard to those circumstances, particularly salvation. We should lay his case before God, as Moses did that of the daughters of Zelophehad, and pray, that God, by His Spirit through His Son, may lead him into all truth, and give all seasonable direction. Is he in want? We should pray, that his faith may never fail, and that in God’s due time he may be relieved. And in all other cases, we should not pray for our friends only in generals, but suit our petitions to their particular sufferings and afflictions;

5. As we ought thus to intercede for our friends, so in like manner must we also pray for Our Enemies. “Bless them that curse you, (says Jesus) and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Which commands He enforced in the strongest manner by his own example: in the very agonies and pangs of death, he prayed even for his murderers, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” This, it must needs be confessed, is a difficult duty, yet not impracticable, to those who have renounced the things of this present life, (from an inordinate love of which all enmities arise) and who knowing the terrible woes denounced against those who refuse Jesus, can, out of real pity, and a sense of their danger, pray for those by whom such offenses come.

6. Lastly, we should intercede for all that are any ways afflicted in mind, body, or estate; for all who desire, and stand in need of our prayers, and for all who do not pray for themselves.

*INTERCESSION

Intercessions of Moses: Moses spent much of his life asking God to exercise mercy instead of judgment over his constantly sinning people; For instance, after the Israelites rebelled against the Lord and refused to go into Canaan, God told Moses that He would destroy them and make a greater nation of Moses: Numbers 14: 1-2;Moses then took the matter to the Lord in prayer and pleaded for them—Numbers 14: 13-19—After Moses had interceded for the people, God said “I have pardoned according to thy word”—vs 20;

Intercession in the Gospels: In the New Testament, all prayer necessarily takes a new form from its relation to Our Lord, and in this intercessory prayer He authors and shares. At the outset, Jesus teaches prayer on behalf of those “which despitefully use you” ((Mt 5:44). We breathe a new atmosphere of the higher revelation of love—Jesus requires us to intercede for our enemies; “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” and the fact that the word says He ever lives to make intercession, tells us that He wants His servants to move into a lifestyle of standing in the gap. We talked earlier about us abiding in Jesus and His word abiding in us, and thus having what we ask. As we intercede for dying and living souls, we must understand that we are joining Jesus in His intercession for them, for that is what He does now in the heavenly sanctuary. We know it is the will of God that none should perish, and when we ask Him for a man’s salvation, we know we ask according to His will, and thus we, abiding in Jesus and His word abiding in us, know we have that man’s salvation. Our Father knows what the man needs before we ask, so we avoid vain repetition, and we ask, and we know our request for salvation has been granted; and it is the Blood of Jesus, the Blood that came to save not condemn, that sits at the right hand of the majesty on high; our Father is ever aware of that Blood and the power it is toward His children; it is through the Blood of Jesus that effective intercession is undertaken and made for the salvation of men.

We have said the Holy Spirit never works apart from the Blood of Jesus—He is ever working through it and in it in the hearts of disciples to bring Jesus to them that need Him as their Spiritual Physician; Jesus lives to continually make intercession. Do you think He made intercession for you? Yes he did, and you are saved; Do you think He is making intercession for other lost souls as He did for yours? Yes He is. Will our Father save them? Yes He will—He saved you didn’t He? We, like Moses, ask God to remove judgment from a soul, and that He grant that soul the gift of repentance; He will—we may not live to see it, but it will happen. Pray for 20 years if you want, but unless that prayer’s fervency is birthed in the heavenly sanctuary, it will not avail much; People pray and beat the throneroom floor for much, including the salvation of loved ones; Can we possibly believe that it is this vain repetition that moves the hand of God to save? He knows what we, and those whom we pray for, need, before we ask Him; the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails not because of its frequency, but because the Lord our Righteousness is authoring the prayer—there is no fervency apart from holy fervency—birthed by Jesus, carried out by His Spirit. Sometimes with groanings and utterings that cannot be understood—the scripture says much about travail, but again, if the travail is not authored by Jesus and carried out by His Spirit, it is not biblical travail and it is travail to no avail.

Rom 8:22-23

22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

This is a walking in travail, becoming so focused on Jesus, that the heart lives in sorrow and intense longing for the return of Jesus, and the justification of His Blood by the saving of souls:

John 16:21-23

21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

It is the resurrection of Jesus in us that keeps us in a Spirit of travail, as it were; The fact that He says that nothing in His name shall be refused us, is evidence of us entering into union with Him, and the prayer of the heavenly sanctuary coming from Him, comes, by His Spirit into us and through us, and is answered by our Father; for this to happen, all the teachings of Jesus regarding discipleship have to be heart-accepted and moved into heart ministry—-the fruit of the intercession will be equal to the price paid for it; History’s Heaviest Price was paid to pave the way for it, and to birth it, and author it in the children of God. It is the all forsaking disciple that comes to the revelation that all Jesus teaches, is held together in the Spirit of self sacrifice which animated Him to Calvary, and in turn, animates us to be crucified with Him.

The most selfless intercession of all; He petitioned God on behalf of those who crucified Him (Luke 23:34).—is He still doing it?

But Jesus’ intercessory work did not cease when He returned to heaven. In heaven He intercedes for His church (Heb. 7:25). His Holy Spirit pleads on behalf of the individual disciple (Rom. 8:26-27). Finally, because of their unique relationship to God through Jesus, disciples are urged to intercede for all people (1 Tim. 2:1).

Principles of Intercession

Jesus, through the Holy Spirit must be the Author of intercession: Rms 8: 28-29–we don’t know what to pray for–we must be led by the Spirit, who will lead us to pray the will of the Lord.

The intercession is a battle between the Lord and the enemy, and the battle is the Lord’s; we are merely vessels in the battle, but are instructed to be prepared at all times for the battle–intercession is war: Eph. 6: 10-18; 2 Tim. 2: 1-5, 1 Tim. 6: 12.

This is not a “name it and claim it” game; witness Daniel as he prayed through for fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning the release of the Jews from Babylon; even though his prayer was heard immediately, the angel had to fight the enemy for three weeks to get to him; Daniel had to set himself with sackcloth, ashes, and fasting. Daniel identified himself with the sins of the people–an intercessor will, many times, be put in the place of the people or person he is praying for; (See also Ezra 9 and Nehemiah 1).

The Holy Spirit alone knows the route to take to apply the cross and oust the enemy from the situation; At the direction of Jesus, He guides and performs the entire operation through the servant of the Lord.

We see in the prophets such as Ezekiel, that once the Lord has called one into intercession, it must be carried out to the end, no matter what the cost. Again, the impact of the intercession will be equal to the price paid for it. The Holy Spirit may lead the intercessor into the agony of the person being interceded for. The will of God must be ascertained in each individual case–Jn. 5: 30. The Lord will bear witness when the victory has been achieved; it is then time to step up the praise and worship, which should have been an integral part of the ongoing intercession. Any work of God will be assaulted from inside and out, and perseverance and faith must be sought of the Lord to continue until His will is achieved. Remember, there will be times when the victory has been obtained, but the world and the church will not know it. In fact, in their temporal eyes, it may even appear that all was lost. The intercessor, knowing the truth, submits it all to God in the face of unbelief and doubt that surrounds him. Once the victory is obtained, it must be surrendered to God–no flesh shall glory–victories go immediately to the altar, as does the intercessor.

The path of intercession runs through the cross–true intercession is laying down one’s life–becoming essentially, a living martyr. Intimacy with the Lord is essential, as it is He who will keep the intercessor going, and unite the intercessor with the prayer going on in the heavenly sanctuary. Death works in the intercessor (2 Cor. 1: 9, 4: 12), that “Life” might be found for the situation or person being interceded for. All this is done by the Holy Spirit. If we are not willing, we must be open to being made willing. If not, we are not intercessors. Total commitment to the will of God is essential, as is separation from all that is contrary. Union with the Lord must be wholly entered into. True intercessors are called by God, and many are called, but few are chosen for obvious reasons.

Jesus is the ultimate example. He was numbered with the transgressors, bare the sins of many, interceded for the transgressors, poured out His soul unto death, and tasted death for every man. The pray of the intercessor is effective when he gives his life for the situation or person.

To move into the role of intercession when called, the principles of discipleship apply: one’s life must be laid down completely, and all must be counted as dung that Jesus be won. Unless a corn of wheat dies it shall produce no fruit. Jesus was a victim–so us. The power of intercession is equal to the power that works crucifixion in the intercessor–Gal. 2:20. God will have at least a two-fold purpose in the call of the intercessor–to bless the needy, and to transform the intercessor. We must remember that the Holy Spirit will not bind the strong man on a higher level than He has first had victory in us. An intercessor is bound to obtain the objective, and once he has been commissioned by God, he must persevere until the objective is obtained. He must be willing to have the answer to his intercession come through himself.

Ezek 22:29-31

29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.

30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.

There was no one to plead “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” In order to be a fruitful intercessor, we must get a revelation of the faithfulness of our Father and what the Blood of Jesus means to Him in reference to the souls of men.

Intercession for enemies.

Matt 5:46-48

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

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

Be ye perfect—-be ye of the disposition of Jesus—the disposition of “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”—was that prayer answered, of did God ignore the plea of His dying Son? How glorious is the plea of Stephen for his murderers (Acts 7:60)?As they were stoning him to death, Stephen pleaded with God to “not lay this sin to their charge”—was it answered? Acts 6: 8 tells us Stephen was full of faith and power and did great wonders and miracles among the people—we read that and think it is evidence that Stephen abode in Jesus and the word of Jesus abided in him, which it did; the real evidence of his abiding was not the miracles, but the “lay not this sin to their charge”—there is where the wonder and gift of faith kicked in and there was the evidence of his abiding in Jesus and the word of Jesus coming forth from him—to ask for the salvation of the enemies of God, particularly when they are persecuting you or stoning you, is the highest order of evidence that Jesus is in you as is His word. Paul tells us in first timothy two that intercession is to be made for all men;

Jesus’ intercessory prayer is the highest example and pattern of this form of prayer. His intercessions for His disciples, for His crucifiers, are recorded, and the sacred record rises to the supreme height in the prayer of (Jn 17). In this prayer the following characteristics are to be found:

(1) It is based upon the intimate relation of Jesus to the Father. This gives to such prayer its justification; may it be said, its right. (it is our relationship to Jesus that gives birth to such prayer) (2) It follows the complete fulfillment of His duty. It is not the mere expression of desire, even for others. It is the crown of effort on their behalf. He has revealed God to His disciples—we reveal Jesus and He reveals our Father, to ours; He has given to them God’s word—we give them the words of God; therefore He prays for them (Jn 17:6-7-9), through His servants.

John 17:2 Jesus says He has been given power over all flesh—that includes flesh that is in a coma and dying; and when He sends His servants to the deathbed, He is sending them to save.

‘An holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.’—I Peter 2: 5.

A priest is thus a man who does not at all live for himself—Peter tells us the church is a kingdom of priests.  His or her work is as God’s servant to care for His house, His honor, and His worship, to make known to men His salvation through Jesus Christ.   He lives with men and for men (Heb. 5: 2). The disciple’s work is to find out their sin and need, and to bring it before God, to offer sacrifice and incense in their name, to obtain forgiveness for them by bringing them into intimacy with Jesus.  This is the high calling of every disciple.

We have been redeemed to be in the midst of the perishing millions around us, God’s priests, who in conformity to Jesus, the Great High Priest, are to be the ministers and stewards of the grace of God by ministering Jesus, to all around us, bringing Him to them, and them to Him..

And then there is the walk of the priesthood, in harmony with its work.  As God is holy, so the priest was to be especially holy.  This means not only separated from everything unclean, but holy unto God, being set apart and given up to God for His disposal.

All this is the emblem of what the character of the New Testament priest is to be.  Our priestly power with God depends on our personal life and walk with Jesus.  We must be of them of whose walk on earth Jesus says, ‘They have not defiled their garments.’

In the surrender of what may appear lawful to others in our separation from the world, we must prove that our consecration to be holy to the Lord is whole-hearted and entire.  The bodily perfection of the priest must have its counterpart in our being ‘without spot or blemish;’ ‘the man of God perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works,’ ‘perfect and entire, wanting nothing’ (Lev. 21: 17-21; Eph. 5: 27; James 1: 4). And above all, we consent to give up all inheritance on earth; to forsake all, and like Jesus, to have only God as our portion:  to possess as not possessing, and hold all for God alone: it is this that marks the true priest, the man who only lives unto Jesus and the will of God.

And now the way to the priesthood.  In Aaron God had chosen all his sons to be priests:  each of them was a priest by birth.  And yet he could not enter upon his work without a special act of ordinance—his consecration.  Every child of God is priest in light of his birth, his blood relationship to the Great High Priest; but this is not enough:  he will exercise the power of God, only as he accepts and realizes his consecration.

And so, when the disciple, who had been content to think chiefly of the Blood sprinkled on the mercy-seat as what he needs for pardon, is led to seek full priestly access to God, he feels the need of a fuller and more abiding experience of the power of Jesus’ Blood, as really sprinkling and cleansing the heart from an evil conscience, so that he has ‘no more conscience of sin’ (Heb. x. 2) as cleansing from all sin.  And it is as he gets to experience this, that the consciousness is awakened of his wonderful right of most intimate access to God, and of the full assurance that his intercessions for the souls of men are acceptable, birthed by Jesus according to the will of God, through the Blood of Jesus, and are thus answered.

And as the Blood of Jesus gives the right, the Spirit of Jesus gives the power, and fits for believing intercession.  He breathes into us the priestly Spirit—burning love for God’s honor and the saving of souls.  He makes us so one with Jesus that prayer in His Name is a reality.  He strengthens us to believing, importunate prayer.  The more the disciple is truly filled with Jesus, the more spontaneous will be his giving himself up to the life of priestly intercession by the Spirit of Jesus.  Our Father is seeking priests who can draw near to Him in Spirit and in Truth, who live in obedience and Lordship to Jesus, and by their intercession draw down His grace and mercy on others.  And the world needs, greatly needs, priests who will bear the burden of the perishing ones, and intercede on their behalf.

Are you willing to offer yourself for this holy work?  You know the surrender it demands—nothing less than the forsaking of all, complete and absolute dedication and obedience to Jesus, that the saving purposes of God’s love may be accomplished among men. Be no longer of those who are content if they have salvation, and just do work enough to keep themselves alive in the body.  Let nothing keep you back from giving yourself to be wholly and only priests—nothing else, nothing less than the priests of the Most High God.  The thought of unworthiness, of unfitness, need not keep you back.  In the Blood of Jesus, the objective power of the perfect redemption works in you:  in  the Spirit of Jesus its full subjective personal experience for men to whom you are called, is worked through you, their salvation secured.  The Blood of Jesus and your intimacy with it and abiding in it, provides an infinite worthiness to make His prayer avail in you– heard, and honored, and answered favorably for the souls of men—and in this ye will bear much fruit and our Lord will receive much glory:  His Spirit provides a Jesus-centered, Jesus-focused fitness, teaching you to pray just according to the will of God.  Every priest knew that when he presented a sacrifice according to the law of the sanctuary, it was accepted:  under the covering of Jesus’ Blood and His Spirit you have the assurance that all the wonderful commands of prayer in the Name of Jesus will be fulfilled in you.

Abiding in union with the Great High Priest, ‘you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.’ Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. 1Thes 5:24

Ezekiel 4:1-8

1 Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and pourtray upon it the city, even Jerusalem:

2 And lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it; set the camp also against it, and set battering rams against it round about.

3 Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city: and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel.

4 Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity.

5 For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.

6 And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.

7 Therefore thou shalt set thy face toward the siege of Jerusalem, and thine arm shall be uncovered, and thou shalt prophesy against it.

8 And, behold, I will lay bands upon thee, and thou shalt not turn thee from one side to another, till thou hast ended the days of thy siege.

Isaiah 20:2-5

2 At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.

3 And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;

4 So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.

5 And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their

 

 

 

Jesus empowers

Acts 4:13

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

This scripture literally means they were aware that the Jesus they had killed was still with Peter and John. They had been with Jesus and He was still with them, because they were still with Him—we shall give ourselves to prayer and ministry of the word. This prayer is a coming apart with Jesus, regularly, getting intimate enough with Him, that He becomes your All in All. These men were called to separate themselves from all duty but duty to Jesus—the faith is given for them to make for themselves freer hands and more ample time for being alone with Jesus and then ministering what He gives them. This is the apostolic calling. This is their chief business– “the ministry of reconciliation.” The apostolic Church approves itself. The apostles firmly resisted the temptation to lose themselves in a Martha-service– “caring about many things,” and to become engrossed in it—these men did it for nothing—there were no wages—Jesus was counted on to provide everything they needed to live and carry out their duty. Many want to do it, but cannot if they are not called.

Why does His name lack His power with so many Christians?

John 2:23-25

23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.

24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,

25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

Acts 19:13-17

13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.

14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.

15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

Again it is His Person through us that heals, casts out demons, and saves. And there is a price to be paid for this power—and that price is everything, including your religion and your theology

 

*POWER OVER THE ENEMY

Mark 16:17

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

Ps 91:13-16

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name—eternal life is to know Him—John 17:3—which means to experience Him, to be intimate with Him—this is the meaning of His name in the life of a believer. My sheep hear my voice—remember, sheep in scripture, are sacrificial animals—it is the life of sacrifice to Jesus unto the will of God, that allows his voice to be heard and thus gives His name its power in that life of sacrifice—that I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; Phil 3:10—His resurrection in our mortal flesh will be proportionate to the power of His name in our ministry.

Luke 10:19-20

19 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.

20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and

scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. Jesus here then is speaking to disciples—-forsaking all, picking up your cross daily, loving none more than you love Him, spending your life at His feet; power to tread on serpents and scorpions, devils and malignant spirits, the old serpent: “You shall bruise their heads in my name,” according to the first promise, (Gen. 3:15). You shall tread upon all the power of the enemy, and the kingdom of the Messiah shall be every where set up upon the ruins of the devil’s kingdom. “Nothing shall by any means hurt you—this promise is given in the sense of the eternal, for we know that at least ten of the original twelve, and Paul, were martyred. No power is given to anything or anyone, including scorpions and serpents—demons–except is come from Jesus– And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Matt 28:18

” You may play upon the hole of the asp, for death itself shall not hurt nor destroy,” (Isa. 11:8,19; 25:8). Interesting that most of the disciples Jesus addresses here ended up with their heads cut off or hanging from crosses—nothing shall by any means harm you—that is, eternally.

Vs 20–“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you. that they have been so, and shall be still so. Do not rejoice in this merely as it is the confirmation of your mission. Do not rejoice in this only, or in this chiefly, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven, because you are chosen of God to eternal life, and are the children of God through faith. Jesus, who knows the counsels of God, could tell them that their names were written in heaven, for it is the Lamb’s book of life that they are written in. All disciples of Jesus are through grace, entitled to the inheritance of sons, and have received the adoption of sons, and the Spirit of adoption, which is the earnest of that inheritance and so are enrolled among his family; now this is matter of joy, greater joy than casting out devils. Power to become the children of God is to be valued more than a power to work miracles; for we read of those who did in Jesus’ name cast out devils, as Judas did, and yet will be disowned by Jesus on the great day. But they whose names are written in heaven shall never perish; they are Jesus’ sheep, to whom He will give eternal life. Saving graces are more to be rejoiced in than spiritual gifts; holy love is a more excellent way than speaking with tongues. In this deep, legitimate, joy, men and women of all callings, who in heart-obedience follow the Master, in every age, may share.

*SATAN AT WORK IN THE LIVES OF BELIEVERS

The Scriptures offer abundant evidence of satan at work in the lives of believers. Peter, after making his God-given confession that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the Living God (Mt. 16.13-20), was given the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven by the Lord. It was but a short time later that Jesus used the same words with Peter that He had used with the devil himself (Lk. 4: 8)-”Get thee behind me Satan”–This after Peter rebuked the Lord and tried to divert Him from His appointed mission. The disciples often upset the Lord, yet this was the most stern rebuke any of them received at any time. There was no build-up, no compromising by Jesus-He spared not Peter’s feelings nor did He take the time to patiently correct Him. His answer was sudden and swift–”thou art an offense to me.” This reprimand coming not long after the Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona.” Right after Peter had received direct revelation from God as to who Jesus is, he fell victim to satan. That pattern is rampant among God’s people today. After great blessing, comes great temptation, and we need to see it coming.

We see here Peter, the staunchest of believers, unaware of the wiles of the devil, ignorant of the enemy’s devices, giving in to temptation. This episode teaches volumes, but it would tell us that we must discern the voice and urgings of the enemy, even in times when we are close to the Lord and His presence and power are most evident–we must not only give heed to who is speaking, but also, what is being spoken. The episode shows us the voice of the enemy can come from those who are closest to us, and, most times it is what is being spoken that will tell us who is speaking. For God speaks once, yea twice, yet man does not perceive it; In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then God opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction, that he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.

Peter, in his pride and presumption, is rebuked here by Jesus, seemingly, far more severely than he was for denying Him (yet another time when we see evil spirits at work). The Lord here is not calling Peter satan, but is addressing the spirit that is on him and moving him to speak. This spirit would have deterred the Master from the Cross, plunging all of mankind into the depths of eternal damnation. Mark 8: 33 tells us that Jesus turned and looked on the other disciples after Peter had muttered his mistake. This would appear to be evidence that He may have perceived the same or a similar spirit on them all. This may be the same spirit that prompted Peter to cut off the ear of the soldier taking the Lord (Jn. 18: 10)–again, trying to divert the Lord from His appointed round with the Cross.

In rebuking James and John when they wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume the Samaritans, Jesus told them–”ye know not what spirit ye are of”–Lk. 9: 5-56. Obviously, spirits of violence and revenge, and others, were at work here, and again, the Lord addresses the spirit on the disciples. In John 6: 48-66, many disciples of Jesus went back and walked no more with Him, the Lord telling them–”some of you believe not”–who is it that blinds man to belief? more spirits at work here…….

The spirit of pride is seen on the disciples just before the great Supper, as they argue who among them is the greatest. (Lk. 22: 24)

We see the spirits of pride and ambition on James and John as they seek to sit at the right and left hand of Jesus in glory. (Mk. 10: 35-40) Judas was picked by Jesus; he healed the sick and cast out devils in Jesus’ name, but yet satan entered him when he gave way to the enticement of greed.

”And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” Luke 13:16–this woman was a daughter of Abraham–a believer–under covenant with God, yet satan had bound her 18 years.

Satan hinders Paul–1 Thes. 2: 18— when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came also, and stirred up the people. And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still–all this happened during an earlier trip–satan again working through men hindered Paul–we see Paul’s gift of discernment in operation here for it was earlier the Holy Ghost (Acts 14: 6-7) that hindered his missionary agenda; this time, God allows satan to hinder it.

Paul’s thorn was from an angel of satan, but permission was given through the hand of God–2 Cor. 12; Here God again uses satan as the agent in dealing with one of his children; it is in Paul’s infirmity that he finds the glory of Jesus—-he seeks God for healing, but there is no healing; instead, we have some of the most uplifting words from the Lord Jesus in all of Scripture– ”My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” —how many times do we reach for the phone and the prayer chain when infirmity strikes? and if God doesn’t heal, the poor victim is taken through the whole of his corruption to find the “open door,” because as the health and wealth seducers preach–there is no reason for any disciple to be infirm or sick. Again, many want to move in God’s power, but are deceived in not wanting to pay the price: Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Jesus may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Cor. 12: 9 ). I am not saying we shouldn’t seek God for healing—I am saying it is our inheritance by the Blood of Jesus to freely seek our Father and His will and have that glorious will be done in our lives, whether it be to heal or to pass one from this life to the next. The Blood of Jesus gives us access to the throne and feet of our Father. It does not automatically inject anything into our lives, including healing. What it did do, was allow us to seek the Kingdom of God and His will and His righteousness, and to let Him do of His will and good pleasure from there—we don’t seek healing first, we seek the Healer and His will, and then, by grace, healing may be added unto us……it may not. Again, faith is not mustering enough belief to get God to carry out our will. God’s word says many different things, and I can pluck a verse out of the air and apply it to my situation, but unless God applies it to my situation, my situation will not change–Faith comes by hearing God speak; Jesus authors the faith, and God’s will is then done. All this does not keep me from asking, and this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us: And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1 Jn. 5: 14-15).

Many have fallen victim to the doctrine of devils contrived to “show us what we’ve won” as a result of the Master’s sacrifice. Such an attitude is an offense to the cross and to He who hung on it.

Other examples of satan slipping in on New Testament believers include: Satan getting to the heart of Ananias: But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Acts 5:3.

Hymenaeus and Alexander delivered unto satan because of their blasphemy–1 Tim 1: 19-20; Some Disciples taken captive by satan at his will–2 Tim. 2: 23-26— Pride lifts into the snare of the devil: 2 Tim. 3: 1-7. Demas, a right hand worker of Paul, left him, loving the things of the world more–2 Tim. 4:10. He was enticed by the enemy and drawn away of his own lust. Some Disciples will leave the faith giving way to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils: 1 Tim. 4: 1-2–more on this specific problem later. Some are already turned aside after Satan: 1 Tim. 5: 15; An incestuous Disciple has his flesh delivered unto satan that his spirit might be saved –1 Cor. 5: 1-5; note: – demons have access to a disciple’s flesh, but not his spirit; they get in when we give way to temptation- every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. When lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death–this death is satan personified. The biggest deception here is that all that has to be violated is the intent of doing the sin, not the actual commission of the sin; for example, Jesus says that when a man looks on a woman to lust after her he has committed adultery with her–notice he does not have to physically commit the act to be guilty of the commission of it. Satan continually gets Disciples to believe that “if they haven’t done it, they are not guilty of it’–Jesus says otherwise, and when intent of the heart becomes impure by fantasy and imagination, whether it be pride, sex, covetousness or anything else contrary to God, and remains unconfessed without penitence, the enemy (death–metaphorically, the invasion of darkness) gets in. Look around you and you will see that many among us have stumbled and have fallen, and are broken, and have been snared, and have been taken. The word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken, sifted as wheat………..and now must, to the glory of God, be set free; their eyes opened, turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in us.

“Before I was afflicted, I went astray”–Psalm 119: 67.

 

 

*DECEIVED

satan has brought great deception on the church today, and we will not argue here, nor will we strive to debate various sensitive issues about his existence or impact. We are not here to give glory to evil, but to recognize it for what it is. We work as we always work—according to the word and will of God and how God’s word has shaped our experience in dealing with multitudes bound by the enemy. Jesus said He chose twelve and one was a devil.

We must first believe the Scriptures for what they say on all the issues, not just those of convenience and presumed safety. Our worst problem with satan is not his power, but our own ignorance–he has truly transformed himself into an angel of light—-most don’t believe he still exists let alone has any power; This is the greatest deception he has mustered today; Many refuse to believe that he no longer walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour. Many churches and their members have been sifted as wheat because of their unbelief in the existence and work of the adversary, denying that the enemy even has access to the child of God. Church schisms and splits are at an all time high. Was there a reason Jesus told us to pray to our Father to keep us safe from the evil one?

The attitude is that satan was allowed to tempt Jesus but not the disciple; that satan has repented and is no longer a seed snatcher, but has fulfilled his place in history and is just biding his time till his trip to the lake; everlasting fire is prepared only for the wicked–the devil and his angels already live there; Disciples are not susceptible to fulfill the agenda of the devil; Despite what the word of God says, there is really no devil to give place to; the whole armor of God works great against muggers and mad dogs, but is really needed for no other purpose; The early church wrestled not against flesh and blood but that was then and this is the automatically-protected now; some even preach there is a place of total immunity from the enemy’s attacks—Jesus and the early church were not immune, but we are, for in all things we are disciples above their Master—it all falls somewhere under the Atonement; there is no devil to resist–he fled two thousand years ago; Jesus was manifested to save us from our sin; He died for us, and that is the extent to which He destroyed the works of the devil; Paul was just guilty of misplanning when he said satan hindered him; his thorn in the flesh, the messenger from satan, was just him working too hard and not seeing his doctor regularly; satan lied to God when he told Him he had been going to and fro in the earth, and came from walking up and down in it; many have in fact departed from the faith, but we don’t know why–certainly couldn’t have been seducing spirits because they don’t have access to disciples. Grace overcomes our inconsistency so we are not tempted. satan cannot get an advantage of us, for we know his devices have been obliterated; Jesus knows where the synagogue of satan is so we’re safe. All of the aforementioned is not stated tongue in cheek–the sadness of it all is that most of it is believed by multitudes in the church.

satan has deceived many into thinking that anything that moves supernaturally, is God; There is no testing of the spirits, but rather waiting on them to see what they can amaze with next. Most believe we don’t enter into direct conflict with the enemy in spite of the abundant evidence of Scripture— that we as God’s children do not wrestle against flesh and blood. In years of work in the deliverance ministry, dealing solely with the enemy in the lives of believers, grace has given us experience of the inspiration and meaning of much Scripture relating to the enemy. satan is alive and well in the lives of a large percentage of God’s children, largely through their presumption, ignorance, lust, coveting, and disobedience.

Think for a minute of Eden–no other people had yet been born; Adam and Eve were in paradise and yet whom did they fall to? Same story today. Jesus has sacrificed His life that we may not perish, and that sin shall no longer have dominion over us—and yet who comes tempting, and to whom do many brothers and sisters fall? Without Eden there is no Matthew through Revelation; without Eden, there is no new Jerusalem. satan has his part in our Lord’s glorious Passion.

satan’s deception with Eve was his appealing to her Godly disposition; He does the same through many in the church, making false apostles and deceitful workers, who transform themselves into the apostles of Jesus, though they be messengers of darkness.

This is not to surprise us for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light and his ministers are also transformed as the ministers of righteousness whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Cor. 11: 14-15); The whole world lies in wickedness– the god of this world blinding the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. The point is, we are warned in many places about such men and women who creep in unawares and yet we slumber and sleep in the sin that so easily besets us all. A look at the Master’s addresses to the seven churches in Revelation, finds satan active nearly everywhere; power has been given him to make war on the disciples and the unsaved; disciples who are not wholly committed to Jesus and the will of God, will find satan’s power against them to be equal to their lack of commitment to God. satan loses his grip, but increases his intensity and shrewdness, as we grow in grace and become doers of the word of the Lord at His direction; We start to understand that the wisdom of the world bids us nothing wise at all, knowing now that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. We come to experience the yoke of Jesus and understand that it comes with a bridle for the tongue; in short, these things confirm to us that we are, by grace, moving from deception to truth, from death to Life. But we must always beware of the roaring lion, for he will come at us with the same strategy he came at Eve–he will try to get us to error concerning the things of the Lord; he will appeal to our carnality, by pumping up our spirituality, promising health and wealth if we fulfill certain religious conditions.

The area where the enemy concentrates most of his power is the things of God–the church; Regarding those who refuse salvation, he keeps the blinders on. The carnality of much of the church holds the seat of satan; men and women who are moving in and with Jesus, will see much more clever deception and that deception will become much harder to discern; many false prophets come in the name of Jesus and possessed by spirits of darkness, deceive many; through covetousness they, with feigned words, make merchandise of many disciples. Many are they who come after the working of satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved–the carnal and the unregenerate are easy pickings for the devil;

We must strengthen our weak hands, and confirm our feeble knees in this fight that is growing much more vicious as the Day draws near. We must watch, stand fast in the faith, acquitting ourselves as men, not in the strength of the flesh, but in the weakness of the flesh and the strength of the Spirit of Jesus. Those walking in the Spirit are doing these things, but the carnal are not, and when the trumph sounds, one shall be taken, the other left.

*HOW SATAN WORKS

In the gospels there are 29 references to Satan, in 25 of these, it is Jesus who speaks of satan actually existing as a person. The essence of the Lord’s temptation and details of the conversation in it, seems to have been related directly by Jesus to the disciples for their information and later writings.

his person

He has intellect. It is obvious in his scheming to deceive (2 Corinthians 11:3), and in his communication to other persons (Luke 4:1-12). His emotions are clearly involved in the rebellious desire to oppose God (Isaiah 14:12-17), and conquer Jesus (Luke 4:1-12). We see his will in operation in his determined rebellion against God (Revelation 20:7-9). Satan’s fall may have been caused by his desire to take the place of Jesus at God’s right hand. He knew he could not replace God, but thought the job of Jesus was one he could handle. Pride was the original sin and it was committed by satan.

He was created by God and is included as one created by Jesus, since he is one of the invisible powers that owe their existence to Jesus (Colossians 1:16). He is finite and limited, as are other angels. He is in the cherubim class, which seems to be the

highest classification of angelic beings. Cherubim speak of God’s presence, glory, holiness and sovereignty. They were created for this specific ministry. He was called the anointed cherub, which indicated he had a high station in God’s kingdom. He is described as having had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty, covered by every precious stone (Ezekiel 28:12,13). Michael the archangel respected satan’s authority and dignity when disputing with him over the body of Moses (Jude 8, 9). He is no longer beautiful since he lost his holiness in his fall.

his names

The prince of this world (John 12:31). He rules over all those who are in rebellion to God.

The prince of the power in the air (Ephesians 2:2), operating in a kingdom that centers in the atmosphere of the earth. It includes fallen men and angels.

The god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4), the emphasis is on a system of philosophy or a spirit of the age that expresses

a creature-centered manner of life and religion that rejects

the true God and sets up a counterfeit life and substitute

religion.

The prince of demons-beelzebub–Hebrew~~baa1zebu1~~”“lord of the flies”, or lord of the dwelling. It was the title given to one of the gods of the Philistines, and had been brought over into Judaism as a title of satan. The name Ball-zebub comes from the god of Ekron, a northern city of Ehilistia (2 Kings 1 & 16).

names reflecting character

Lucifer, Isaiah 14:12—‘helel’—Hebrew-his original state as a shining one before he fell.

Satan, Zechariah 3:1; Revelation 12:9, is used 52 times in the Bible. Taken from the Hebrew, it means adversary or opposer, designating this being as a self-proposed rival to God.

Devil, Luke 4:2,13; Revelation 12:9 is used 35 times in Scripture. The Greek diablos, means slanderer, or one who trips up.

Old serpent, Revelation 12:9, old indicates he has been around a long time, all indicates crafty deception.

Great dragon, Revelation 12:3,7,9, is also known as the great red dragon or dragon.

The evil one, John 17:15. Greek ho poneros–refers to one who is intrinsically wicked. The article ho limits the name to a specific person who is well known.

The destroyer, Revelation 9:11. The text tells of grotesque locust-like demons who have as king over them, the angel of the abyss. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek it is Apollyon.

The tempter, Matthew 4:3, I Thessalonians 3:5 enticing men to do evil.

The accuser, Revelation 12:10, of the brethren day and night.

The deceiver, Revelation 12:9; 20:3, author of the deception of the whole world.

Original state and fall of satan

he incurred his own condemnation when he fell (I Timothy 3:6), and enticed perhaps a third of the angels to defect with him (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:4).

Ezekiel 26:12-19

In its context, Ezekiel’s prophecy against the ruler of Tyre contains a veiled description of satan as the true ruler of Tyre and as the god of this world. The king is described as having been a visitor to the garden of Eden, an anointed cherub, and a perfect creature in all his ways until unrighteousness was found in him. Because of his sinful pride, he was cast down from the mountain of God. (See Isaiah 14:13-15.) His wisdom was corrupted by reason of his splendor, contemplating his beauty; “I will be like the most high”-Isaiah 14:14.

The Fall of Angels with him

The angels that fell with satan follow his orders and fight for his cause (Matthew 12:24-26; 25:41; 2 Peter 2:4; Revelation 12:7). As many as one third of the angelic creation may have been seduced into falling with him (Revelation 12:4).

satan’s Present Character and Position

who he is:

He was a murderer from the beginning–John 6:44

He is the father of all lies–John 3:44

He is the accuser of the brethren–Revelation 12:10

He rules a vast army that battles believers–Eph. 6: 10-13 rules a vast army that battles against believers-Ephesians 6:10-13

He is the god of this world–2 Corinthians 4:4

He abides in the heavenlies–Ephesians 6:11-12

He is active on earth–l Peter 5:8

He is limited in activity by God–Job 1: 12; 2:6; John 17: 15;1 John5: 18; is limited in activity by God–Job 1:12; 2:6; John 17:15; 1 John 5:18.

He counterfeits God’s system of truth–Eph. 2: 2; 2 Thes. 2:8-11 counterfeits God’s system of truth–Ephesians 2:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-11.

He and his angels transform themselves into angels of light, promoting false prophecy, false leaders, and false doctrine–2 Cor. 11: 13-15 and his angels transform themselves into angels of light, promoting false prophecy, false leaders and false doctrine–2 Corinthians 11:13-

In relation to the unsaved, Satan is the snatcher of the gospel (Luke 8:12), blinding the mind (2 Corinthians 4:2-4).

In Relation to Believers: Ephesians 6:10-16

We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against his powers and principalities. He stands as our accuser, but Jesus stands as our defender before God. He leads us to doubt God’s glorious attributes (Genesis 3:1-5). He is the author of sexual sin (1 Corinthians 7:5). He also leads us to occupation with this world (1 John 2:15-17; 5:19) He leads us to rely on human strength and wisdom (2 Chronicles 21:1-S; Matthew 16:21-23); to pride in spiritual matters (1 Timothy 3:6); and to discouragement (1 Peter 5:6-10). He incites persecution (Revelation 2:10). He can prevent our service (1 Thessalonians 2:18).

Infiltrating the Church

Satan infiltrates the church:

Through false teachers–2 Cor.ll:13-i5; 2 Pet.2:1-19

Through false disciples–Matthew 13:38-39

Through unforgiveness–2 Corinthians 2:1-11.

 

*DEMONS

The shedhim (Deuteronomy 32:17; Psalm 106:36-37) were real demons, not mere idols according to the Septuagint translation of the term dairnonia. Somewhere around one third of the angelic realm fell with Satan (Ezekiel 28:18; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:4). Jesus commented on Satan leading his host of demons (Matthew 12-22-28). A large part of Jesus’ ministry was, and still is, spent casting them out (Matthew 12:22-29; 15:22-28; Mark 5:1-6) . Jesus gave his disciples power to cast out demons (Matthew 10:1), and viewed His victory over them as over Satan (Luke 10:17-18). He spoke of their reality and power to His disciples in private (Matthew 17:14-20). There area over 100 references to demons in the Bible, most of them in the New Testament.

 

*SERVING SIN=SERVING SATAN

John 8:34-36

34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

35 And the servant abideth not in the house forever: but the Son abideth ever.

36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Many Disciples serve sin while professing Jesus; they wallow in hatred, bitterness, and unforgiveness, covetousness and lust, all the while feeling they are forgiven and saved—but Jesus says otherwise:

Matt 6:14-15

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

If the enemy can get you to walk in unforgiveness, he can successfully open your salvation to question. For if God doesn’t forgive you in this life, you pass into the next, unforgiven, which is sure evidence you do not have the Son of God. Forgiveness, like everything else the Lord commands of us, is given to us by Him; if we try to work forgiveness without Him, we will never be free indeed. Intercession from the heart for the offenders and transgressors, is the sure manifestation of Jesus in us; unforgiveness, most times, is harder to free someone from, than drug or alcohol addictions; if someone truly wants to be free of drugs and alcohol, Jesus will break that thing relatively quickly; but bitterness and unforgiveness, always puts us on the same level as the offender—we must come to realize that we are no better or worse than those who have transgressed against us; we are, as they are; we have offended and transgressed, just as they have. And until we seek Jesus for his gift of forgiveness, we, like Simon the magician, have no part in the matters pertaining to God’s Spirit:

Acts 8:18-24

18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.

22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.

The gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity—bitterness and unforgiveness are sin—they are iniquity; and many who abide now in the house of God, are refusing to deal with these things in their lives, and as Jesus says in our opening Scripture—“the servant abides in the house of God now, but it is the son or daughter of God that shall abide in His house forever;” Many who serve sin and are under its dominion abide in God’s house now, but it is the true son or daughter—those who have turned to Jesus and been freed from sin’s dominion, that will abide in God’s house forever. We cannot serve God and bitterness and unforgiveness—it divides our hearts and divides our persons as the house or temple of God, and the house that is divided shall not stand; it is double mindedness in its most blatant state, and the man or woman who refuses to go to Jesus and deal with it, shall not receive anything of God, including eternal life. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25

So here is where Satan is the most deceptive—he convinces us that we can exist in Jesus, while in the bond of iniquity, but the scripture says otherwise. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth on that day, as many cry Lord, Lord, but are turned away because—though they served in God’s house, they were the servants of iniquity; it is simply amazing how people clutch hatred, anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness; they are first enticed to it when injured; they then give way to it because of their lust for revenge; that lust then conceives all that is contrary to God, and brings forth the sin of unforgiveness and bitterness, and as Jesus says, when sin is the finished product in the life of anyone, including disciples, it brings forth death; it is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, for it rejects the message of the Spirit of God from the heart of God, pertaining to Jesus—it yields to he who was a murderer from the beginning;

Power = Heart for Jesus

To have power over the enemy is more than just believing—as we learned, many believed but Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew what was in their hearts (Jn. 2: 23-25). His name is His Person—to pray in His name is to pray His will and His desire, which will execute the will of God. His name will mean nothing to you or your ministry without His Person; We are sheep among wolves—again, sheep being sacrificial animals—our lives are totally given up to Jesus—we die daily that He might resurrect more and more day by day in us; it is then that His name, His Person, and, our Father, come to make Their abode with us by the Holy Ghost. It is then that He becomes our All in All, and His prayer becomes our prayer, and we thus have what we ask; and it shall be the resurrection of His Person in us that will determine the power we have over the enemy; the promise of power over the enemy is given to disciples—men and women who have forsaken all they have, including all the heresies of what is gained in flesh-satisfying so-called blessings—Jesus is dead lets see what we’ve won. He or she who does not pick up their cross daily, is not worthy of me—hear His words and let Him grace you with ears to hear and eyes to see, and a heart to understand; if we pick not up our cross daily and are not worthy of Him, how do we expect His name to have power in our lives? How do we expect to have power over the enemy? Open your heart and listen now to the Blood of Jesus, for It is ever speaking to us:

*THROWING OUT THE STRONGMAN

Matthew 12:

27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.

28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

In Luke 11: 20, it is ‘the finger of God,’ This latter expression is a figurative way of representing the power of God, while the former tells us the living Personal Agent (Holy Spirit), made use of by the Lord Jesus in every exercise of that power; ”your children” in one way refers to the disciples, who were casting out demons all over the area (Jesus told the twelve in Luke 22:30 that they shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel)–the disciples were Jews, therefore Jesus could speak of them as “your children”–i.e. people of your nation–He is saying “by what means do you think my disciples are casting them out?”; People pretty much accepted their doing it, but accused the Master of being in league with satan; reference could also be made here to the “pupils of the Pharisees” who were so termed after the familiar language of the Old Testament in speaking of the sons of the prophets (1 Ki.20: 35; 2 Ki. 2: 3 etc.); Jesus seems to admit that such works were wrought by them, but I believe His insinuation was that nothing was really cast out–they were not doing exorcisms, they were deluding the people into thinking they were; and if they really were casting them out they must be accused as He was–of being in league with satan– in which case the Pharisees stood self-condemned as He expressed in Lk. 11: 19 and here–”Therefore, they shall be your judges” (their deceit will prove yours). We also read of Jewish exorcists in Acts 19: 13; in Mark 9: 38 we read of a man casting out devils in Jesus’ name and he was not traveling with the disciples. See how the Master takes their argument apart: He first reveals their folly and inconsistency; He then bares the willful rebellion that brought their accusation and the blindness which caused it; He commenced by proving he had no complicity with satan, and ended by inferentially showing that they did. The casting out of devils was an indication of the approach and appearance of the kingdom of God (v. 28); ‘If this expulsion of satan is, and can be, by no other than the Spirit of God, then is his Destroyer already in the midst of you, and that kingdom which is destined to supplant his, is already rising on its ruins.’ Other miracles that Jesus wrought proved him sent of God, but this proved him sent of God to destroy the devil’s kingdom and his works. Now that great promise was evidently fulfilled, that the seed of the woman should break the serpent’s head, (Gen. 3:15). The design of Jesus’ gospel is to spoil the devil’s house, which, as a strong man, he kept in the world; to turn the people from darkness to light, from sin to holiness, from this world to a better, from the power of Satan unto God (Acts 26:18);

Note: The focal point of this exchange is verse 28–”Spirit of God” versus satan, Jesus versus Pharisees, kingdom of God versus kingdom of evil. That a miracle had been performed the Pharisees could not deny. Before their very eyes a blind and dumb man was made to see and speak. Others saw it and glorified God. The Pharisees saw it and blasphemed God. The charge of the Pharisees that Jesus was in league with satan was utterly unreasonable (Mt. 12: 25) –how could Jesus cast out satan if he worked by satan’s power?, and inconsistent with their own premises (vs. 27-30); showing that their ascription of satanic agency to what Jesus did was really only prompted by hostility to His Person. This mode of turning the argument against the arguer was peculiarly Hebraic; introduce the ideas of moral evil, of the concentration of its power in a kingdom of which satan is the representative and ruler, and, of our own inherent sinfulness which heretofore had us as his subjects, and things become much clearer–truly satan cannot cast out satan–rather, satan will not cast out satan; did not Jesus come to engage in mortal conflict with moral evil? Much is made about the meaning of the armor of satan in Luke 11: 22–suffice it to say that satan’s armor was the power of sin and its dominion over us. Much can be gleaned from all this, but it does follow that the work of Jesus is a moral contest waged through the Spirit of God; and it is conceivable that a man may not only try to be passively, but even be actively on the enemy’s side, and this not by merely speaking against Jesus, which might be the outcome of ignorance or unbelief, but by representing as satanic that which was the object of His coming; its essence is this: it prohibits repentance unto salvation– it calls that satanic which is the very Object of repentance. The enemy has perpetrated no greater, nor more grave a deception, for “whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”

29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

Satan has always been bound by the providence and omnipotence of God; the Incarnation would provide a way to put him under the foot of man–at least men willing to sacrifice what it takes to get him there. House here refers to an individual person, or even a nation; spoiling his goods refers to a violent taking as it most always does in Scripture; Bind–1210 deo–deo–(deh’-o); 1) to bind, tie, to fasten

a) to bind, to fasten with chains, to throw into chains

b) metaphorically: 1) Satan is said to bind a woman bent together by means of a demon, as his messenger, taking possession of the woman and preventing her from standing upright

2) to bind, to put under obligation, used of the law, duty etc.

3) to forbid, to prohibit, to declare to be illicit

satan put chains on himself when he decided to tempt Jesus in the wilderness; It was here that the pure humanity of Jesus triumphed, thus binding the enemy that his house would be spoiled; It was the temptation victory that enabled Eternal Justice to send forth His disciples to “cast out demons” (Mk. 3: 14-15; Lk. 9: 1); satan is bound by the finger of God–as Jesus says, He casts out devils by the Finger (Spirit) of God; with the influx of the Kingdom of God on earth, the strongman is bound and overcome by One stronger than he…..there is no reference here or anywhere else to binding a spirit or spirits or satan for that matter–he is already bound for The Perfection of the Incarnation, from the Temptation through the Ascension is what bound satan. — ” Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” John 12:31cast out–1544 ekballo- used of the world, that is, to be deprived of the power and

influence he exercises in the world; to draw out with force, to tear out; with implication of force overcoming opposite force with notion of violence;

Jesus says here the prince of this world shall be cast out–looking ahead to His coming crucifixion, resurrection and ascension– subsequently, Calvary bound satan fully because Jesus had now paid the price fully of man’s sin, and had destroyed its dominion over him–this dominion had been satan’s armor; and by the Power of God through the direction of the Lord Jesus, satan is now at the mercy of the true disciple:

Luke 10:19-20

19 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.

20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

Jesus here is speaking to disciples—those who have forsaken all they have and have lost their lives for His sake; mere believers will find their power over satan wanting.

Jesus (the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world) spoils the goods of satan by removing sin’s dominion over his house (a person’s life)–the spoils are thus divided and a house that had been kept intact by sin cannot stand when the sin is spoiled and no longer controls the house. The doctrine of Jesus teaches us how to construe His miracles, and when He showed how easily and effectually he can cast the devil out of people’s lives and bodies, he encourages all disciples to hope that, whatever power Satan might usurp and exercise in the souls of men, Jesus by his grace can break it: When we truly are born again, and accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, we have been washed from the dominion of sin that satan uses to control our lives–our houses. Jesus will spoil him, for it is He who bound him, 2000 years ago.

30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Matt 12:27-30

Some take this verse concerning the devil; others concerning luke-warm disciples–it could apply to either; at any rate, there obviously is no gray area here as far as Jesus is concerned. Jesus’ errand into the world was to gather, to gather in his harvest, to gather in those whom the Father had given him, (Jn. 11:52; Eph. 1:10). He expects and requires from those who are with Him, that they gather with Him; Hear Him today–”I am gathering…….what are you doing?” One cannot be neutral where Jesus is concerned–either he works by the Spirit of God or the spirit of satan–to ignore Jesus is to reject Him……it is, to scatter at the bidding of the scatterer.

WHEN DEMONS LEAVE

Luke 11: 21-26

21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:

22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

23 He that is not with me is against me:

Strong man armed–satan’s armor is man’s sin and its dominion over him; It is this sin and man’s subjection to it that allows the strong man to keep his house in peace; Stronger than he’–1 Jn. 3: 8–greater is He who is in you; Jesus overcame satan in the temptation and finished the overcoming with His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, thereby taking satan’s armor from him–the power of sin and its dominion over us.

24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.

25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.

26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

Dry places–literally, unwatered, desert, uninhabited places; Rest–

372 anapausis (an-ap’-ow-sis); from 373; intermission; by implication, recreation–the recreation being the destroying of men’s lives. He returns to the house–the heart–to see if it is as he left it-and upon his return he finds no Rival. He finds the house swept and garnished–notice here, sweeping removes visible dirt–scrubbing and washing remove invisible dirt and stains that sweeping won’t get–Jesus said, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me”; the house must be washed–cleansed, or it is none of his. Sweeping takes off only the loose dirt, while the sin that is dear to a man–that which is not seen though it be in his heart– is untouched–and in perfect condition to receive the spirit and seven more: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess”–Matt 23:25. seven is the number of completeness, a seven-fold diabolic force, the wickedness of each one exceeding the previous–the consummate apostate has been described–they enter in–without resistance–and dwell there–permanently; Matthew’s version(12: 43-45) adds–” so shall it be also unto this wicked generation”–implying that the illustration of this parable which that wicked generation was to furnish was but one example of the working of a great general principle–by the ministry of the Baptist, that generation’s heart was turned to the Lord to a large extent; then was their opportunity to receive Jesus and live; but they did not; so they became worse than at the first and soon put their very Deliverer to death; These two parables bear a strong resemblance to each other, but they differ far more widely than they agree. The subject of both is the same–the soul of man changing from the worse to the better. In both the soul is pictured to us as the residence of the devil; in the one parable as his palace, and in the other as his house. In the one parable the strength of the enemy is the prominent idea; in the other his uncleanness. in both parables the soul is delivered from the enemy; it is here the resemblance terminates, and the difference between the two parables comes out. the unclean spirit goes out only to come in again; but the strong man is grappled with and Mastered, and the palace is permanently occupied by the Victor; The one is a temporary, if not a voluntary departure; the other is a total defeat and an absolute resistless expulsion. In the one case the last state of the soul is worse than the first; in the other the last is its best and noblest state. Both are cases of conversion and deliverance; in the one case the conversion is partial and the deliverance aborted–the spirit had left but returned to find no rival–the devil was out, but Jesus was not in; in the other both are thorough and enduring–In this instance, it was the Stronger that put the spirit out, and it was the Stronger who then occupied the palace–this is a lifestyle, where Jesus truly becomes all in all. thus the palace is secured by the Stronger against any threat of future invasion; Where secret sin is allowed to thrive under the guise of a visible profession, conscience is corrupt and the hypocrite many times proves an open apostate–there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, and that man’s last state will most certainly be worse than his first.

*BINDING AND LOOSING

Matt 16:18-19

18 ”And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

The words concerning the rock upon which the church was to be built are evidently taken out of Isaiah 28: 16, which the New Testament, being the interpreter, in very many places does most plainly speak of Jesus–He is the Rock. Thus when Peter, the first of all the disciples to pronounce most clearly the Person of Jesus, and declare the mystery of His incarnation, and confess the deity of Jesus, you would think the minds of the disciples are, with good reason, called back to the words of Isaiah, that they would learn to acknowledge who that Stone was that was set in Sion for a foundation never to be shaken, for He is God. It is in this Spirit that Peter took this surname–not that he should be argued to be that rock, but that he along with many others, would be much employed in the building of the church on that Rock.

on Vs 19: the gates of hell had some prevalence against the Jewish church, but Peter had the key for opening the church to the Gentiles, which he did in the house of Cornelius (Acts 10); Some believe that the keys spoken of by Jesus here were committed to Peter alone, to which we cannot find any basis anywhere in the New Testament; but we rather believe that the power of binding and loosing was given to the other apostles also (Mt. 18: 18)–a power to abolish or confirm what they thought was according to the law of Christ (what Jesus teaches), being led by the Holy Spirit; Hence, they forbade (bound) circumcision to the believers; eating of things offered to idols, of things strangled, and of blood for a time to the Gentiles; and that which they bound on earth was confirmed in heaven. They loosed, that is, allowed purification to Paul and to four other brethren, for the shunning of scandal, Acts 21: 24. Peter was the first to open the faith to the Gentiles and the consorting of Jew and Gentile which heretofore had been prohibited (Bound) was now permitted (loosed); Binding and loosing is a very usual phrase in Jewish schools, spoken of things–not persons or spirits; and in the Jewish writings, these two terms are encountered thousands of times.

Research reveals first that the terms are used in doctrine and in judgments concerning things allowed or not allowed in the Law; Jesus is saying here basically–”whatsoever ye shall bind in the law, that is, forbid, it shall be forbidden, the Divine authority confirming it; and whatsoever ye shall loose, that is, permit, or shall teach, that it is permitted and lawful, shall be lawful and permitted.”

Many wonder about John 20: 23 where Jesus says–”whose sins ye remit, they are remitted to them”–does this fall under binding and loosing? In a logistical sense it does, but it does carry with it a much different order: Here (Mt. 16: 19), as we said earlier, the issue is doctrine; there, the issue is persons; here, lawful or unlawful in the exercise of the law of Christ and the church; there, of persons obstinate or not obstinate–for instance, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, if they would retain and punish the sins of any, a power was delivered unto them of delivering to satan, of punishing with disease or even death itself–Peter to Ananias and Saphira; Paul to Elymas, etc.

Again, these terms, in the common speech of the Jews, at that time, signified to prohibit and permit; to teach or declare a thing to be unlawful was to bind; to be lawful, was to loose.

The apostles had an extraordinary power of this kind; as we said earlier, some things forbidden by the law of Moses were now to be allowed, as the eating of such and such meats; some things allowed there were now to be forbidden, as divorce; and the apostles were empowered to declare this to the world, and men might take it upon their words. When Peter was first taught himself, and then taught others, to call nothing common or unclean, this power was exercised. There is also an ordinary power hereby conveyed to all ministers, to preach the gospel as appointed officers; to tell people, in God’s name, and according to the scriptures, what the Lord requires of them: and they who declare the whole counsel of God, use these keys well, (Acts 20:27). The Jewish New Testament contains a short definition on binding and loosing in its introduction. It says that Jewish leaders had God’s authority to decide what practices should be followed by the Jewish community–Jesus transferred this authority from the Rabbis to His disciples.

WARNINGS

The Lord has graciously given abundant warning to us, and we know the times, and that now it is high time to awake out of our slumber: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. And let us put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. Rom 13:11-14……. that our “Lord, Lord” on that day, might not be turned back on us because of our iniquity and our refusal to repent from our sin. For we know the weapons of our warfare are not carnal–it is time for us to pull down strongholds, cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Jesus Christ–and each must start with himself; having a readiness to avenge all disobedience, by fulfilling our obedience; for false Christs and false prophets have risen, and are showing signs and wonders, seducing many from the simplicity of Jesus into the corruption that is in the world through covetousness and lust. We have not taken heed—thus many men have deceived many in the house of God.

There are many supernatural moves going on in the world today; God is sending much renewal and in some cases revival, and many continue to think that any supernatural happening is from God and need not be tested. This of course, is contrary to the word of God, which requires us to believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby we know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God–that is “Jesus Christ is come in our flesh–not ‘ come in the flesh’, but literally “in your flesh.” During the movement of God on the east coast of the U.S. as well as the Midwest, we have been to many meetings in many churches–not once have we seen anyone test the spirits as power was moving. It is assumed all is of God, which is one of the greatest deceptions satan has put on the church. Its not only in the moves of power, but deception is rampant in teaching in many churches, so much so that if it were possible the very elect would be deceived.

Only the Lord knows how long the apostasy predicted by Paul in 1 Timothy, the fourth chapter, has been going on, and how long it will last–Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. (Vs1,2).

Notice the strength of the language–the Spirit speaks expressly–He’s not mincing words. The unbelieving Jews were the first to give way to the seductive spirits working in the scribes, Pharisees and other sects, to spread various doctrines inspired by devils–namely that Jesus was not the Messiah; Notice here that the apostasy is caused by men of the faith giving heed to seducing spirits–a very interesting situation in that much of the church today (the very time Paul is speaking of here), doesn’t believe that demons have access to the people of the church; again, the greatest deception satan has been allowed to put on the church is the belief that he and his demons don’t exist have no access to the child of God, and even if they did, how could they gain access to the child of God who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit; for we all know “greater is he who is in you, than he who is in the world.” But right here in these two verses in 1 Timothy, we see that the Holy Spirit expressly states that there will be disciples who fall victim to various seductions of demons and their doctrines–despite what many disciples have wrongly divided to the contrary. We have ministered to many in the church who have fallen victim to such seduction.

Let the church examine the whole word of God and not just the parts that cater to her presumed temporal safety, and her delusion of immunity from the evil one. On this side of the grave we are all open to his wiles whether pope or pauper. And every time satan is overcome, Jesus is again once more glorified.

What we can see that is evil is obvious; its what we can’t see that we must scrutinize. Deception is the ultimate irony, for evil is mistaken for good and good for evil; And Paul says this deception will come in the form of doctrine. From whence come most schisms in the church? Are they not a matter of doctrinal difference? Who is ultimately behind them, and who has given heed? Who is the father of denominations and cults? We wrestle not against flesh and blood– who is it that we strive against to enter in at the strait gate? And as we strive for the mastery who robs us of our temperance? Who tempts our lawfulness as we strive for the incorruptible crown?

Jesus has blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Then how and why does satan have access to the disciples and children of the Master, seducing them from the Truth? Most don’t know they are departing from the faith until they have departed–i.e., until it’s too late. When demons push their doctrine it deceives many because they have put their faith in their doctrine and their tenet and not in the Person of Jesus. Deception is then mistaken for growth. Instead of growing in Holy Silence, they strive, and debate, seeking to make their point unto the honor of men. Demons very seldom tempt us with the obvious—they tempt in the areas of the faith, counterfeiting the word of God. This is especially prevalent during the current outpouring of God. Many take all spiritual happenings as being from God, as we said before, without testing the sprits as the Scripture commands. But if you give heed to seducing spirits they’ll convince you they don’t have access to the disciples so why test? Seducing spirits prohibit rightly dividing God’s word, and men succumb to the seduction in their pride and quest for honor.

Another way they have deceived and drawn many away is through education. This dispensation has confused the quantity of Christian education as being the measure of godliness. This was precisely the case when Jesus walked the earth—the more versed in the law a man became, the more Godly he was viewed. Seducing spirits were able to carry this one to the nth degree–many so put their faith in the education of the law, that they didn’t recognize God when He walked among them. In short, they made the Scriptures their God, and missed their Messiah, finally executing Him on differences of doctrine and tenet regarding the law. A person’s education was and still is, taken as the measure of his teaching and gifting, which can be a fatal mistake. In many instances, the church refuses to challenge the educated, even though Scripture be contradicted. These are some of the false teachers that Jesus warns us will arise and over the last two thousand years they have come in abundance after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders; And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, but rather believed the lies of seducing spirits and departed from the faith, unable to truly believe becoming possessed with the honor of men.

In many, education draws away the flesh, the enemy enticing, bringing forth the lust for power unto sin and death. Some are so adept at mixing the truth and the lie, that the very elect are challenged to their utmost to separate the two. Don’t get me wrong here. I fully endorse a Jesus centered seminary education, that teaches crucifixion of the flesh and the resurrection of Jesus in us. But the way of many institutions is to teach the thoughts, doctrines, and tenets of men down through the ages. Many faculty members strive to the honor of men in efforts to outdo their colleagues in the book-publishing race. Satan has deceived many into believing that we have learned all we can learn of the yoke of Jesus on this side of the grave. We are taught to storm the hill and take it for the Lord whether the Lord says to storm the hill or not. Our strength is not in quietness and confidence, but in out shouting each other in prayers of the spirit and strivings over the Word. Many are not taught to listen, they are taught to speak. They are pushed into believing they are to submit to men and women leaders who themselves are not submitted to God, and if they don’t adhere, they are labeled as having problems with authority. We must pray that God overcome the lies of satan, and gives intimate relationship with Jesus to those who are preparing the pastors and leaders of today and tomorrow. It is very difficult to teach intimacy with Jesus, if one does not have that relationship himself.

*PROPHETS

It is always satan’s way to pass off lies as truth. We have never found this more prevalent in the prophetic ministry than now. Many rattle off prayers in what they say is the Spirit, then come across with the interpretation that is the farthest thing from the truth, the demon feeding them, blatantly manifesting himself, secure in his knowledge of the lack of discernment of most. If challenged, these people bristle, complaining that they have been “beaten up and bruised by the church.” Such are crying because they failed to manipulate people by using their alleged prophetic gift. It is the true prophet that is truly abused, not the false. Many speak out of their own spirit—which is expressly forbidden by God; of such bless and walk away, for they cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned; and avoid them, for they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own flesh; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple, their consciences seared with the fires of hell, making them sensitive only to their lust for power and honor, and insensitive to all else. Manipulation through alleged prophecy is one of the most blatant acts of the enemy in the church today. It is outright control, which is outright witchcraft. Prophecy should confirm what God is telling you; it should not manipulate your life and its direction.

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:24

The evidence of false prophecy is unfulfillment, advanced billing and testimony of itself, making its witness untrue; false modesty–hypocrisy– an overfed ego, and a desire for the honor of men—all sure signs of the manifestation of the enemy working to transform himself. Many are aware that the enemy brings down by abuse and beratement; Few remember that he also brings down by backslapping and flattery. God resists such, and leaves them to speak from their own minds, exhaling the lies of seductive spirits and puffed up flesh. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of money and the honor of men. Titus 1: 10-11.

The true prophet will always lift up Jesus and lead you to Him for the Testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10). Our Father will always speak that which will glorify Jesus–not the speaker. Jesus doesn’t say we will know them by their books, but by their fruit. The true prophet will lead you along the straight and narrow way to the beauty of holiness in Jesus–the false will tell you there is more to faith than just Jesus; The pure word of God from the true prophet will remove the spiritual burden, convict, exhort, confirm and cleanse, and will leave the prophet in a humble heap that is sure witness of the resurrection of the Master. We must take the time to test the spirits and see if we are hearing from the God of Truth or the father of all lies. satan has his own bible and it is remarkably similar to our own. We must meditate day and night in this book of the law that God has given, that we may do according to all that is written there-in, then we will prosper and have good success in our recognition and subsequent dealing with satanical seduction in our own lives, and the lives of God’s people. We must study to show ourselves approved unto God, and to prove our election, that we not be deceived— workmen that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth, that we may discern the lie and overcome its father, that we might eat of the tree of life, escape the second death, inherit the white stone, eat of the hidden manna, don the white raiment, and rejoice with joy unspeakable as we hear our Master confess our names before our Father.

Those who fall victim to seducing spirits and depart from the faith, shall not overcome, but shall be overcome; their inheritance be not life, but death. Let us beseech God for discerning the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error.

Let us be not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God let us speak in Jesus. Nor let us handle the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth let us commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

We must gird up the loins of our minds for we know that satan is allowed to come against us, and in many instances, to temporally prevail against us (Dan 7:21). The key word here is temporally, for satan will not eternally prevail over the true children of God. The total victory that Jesus accomplished for us on Calvary is, many times invisible in the apparent temporal defeat of God’s people. The enemy deals in temporal deception, carrying it into eternity–if he can–in the mind of the disciple; Our success or our failure is not ours to gauge–ours is to do the will of God and leave our success and failure to Him, for we seldom know what He is accomplishing in the Spirit realm in our apparent defeat or our apparent victory. After all, the greatest good God accomplished for man was the crucifixion of His Son for the sin of man—-apparent temporal defeat at the time, which sprung forth as the Ultimate Eternal Victory. This is the way our Father works most of the time—-in His will there is much temporal pain which accomplishes much eternal gain. satan is an agent God uses many times to accomplish His will and purpose.

Much of the Christian world today walks in a cockiness towards the devil, not believing that he can do much harm if he even exists anymore at all. Some take just the opposite stand, claiming they are armed and ready to go “demon hunting,” muttering all sorts of derogatory remarks about satan, as if he is nothing to contend with, even Michael the archangel when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. Jude 1:9

Men who move in presumption when dealing with the devil, are men are totally void of knowledge of Scripture and experience of it. They speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

*GRACE FOR THE BATTLE

We thank God that more by grace, are opening their eyes to the Scriptural reality of satan and his army. He has been a major player down through history and becomes a bigger player as history nears its climax.

Jesus has given disciples authority over scorpions and serpents and all the power of the enemy (Lk.10: 19). After working in the deliverance ministry for several years, I can tell you that your power over the enemy will equal your separation from the world and the flesh, and your intimacy with Jesus. Before “greater is he that is in you” becomes your experience and reality, you will undergo many trials, successes, and failures in your fight with the enemy. The bondage that many of God’s children have fallen into is pathetic and most of it has come because they have been deceived into thinking they can sin at will, confess, and be free. Such is not the case, for where repentance is not part of the daily walk, the enemy is gaining ground and deception is gaining foothold in the disciple’s life. As we grow in grace, we need more grace; as our Father nurtures our spiritual growth, he also nurtures testing commensurate with that growth.

When dealing with the enemy we must remember it is not a power issue, for all power on heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus. The war with the enemy is always Truth verses the lie. The deceiver may try to con you into thinking it is a power struggle, but it is written– And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Matt 28:18 God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. Psalm 62: 11; and, it is the Truth that delivers us and sets us free.

Many believe they have full knowledge of the enemy’s workings and agenda. These would be among the most deceived. Many are preaching and teaching lies they believe are truths. We must as the Master says, take heed, that no man deceive us. We must never judge ourselves infallible–we are all open to deception, and he who walks in the spirit is ever aware of this fact. Many of us become so ‘spiritual’ that we obey any spirit we hear, believing we couldn’t possibly hear from anyone but God. The Holy Spirit is the Agent whom Jesus uses to communicate the will of our Father to us. The Holy Spirit has been given to show us Jesus, which is the will of our Father–our transformation into the likeness of Jesus–the resurrection of Jesus in our mortal flesh. Therefore, any spirit giving orders to me must have the glory of Jesus as the motive and end of those orders, and must witness that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. Those orders must glorify God, by leading me to a closer and more intimate relationship with His Son—whether it be through suffering or noT. the Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself, but makes Jesus my life pursuit and instructs me in that pursuit–again it is the Spirit of Truth that shackles me in my chains of Freedom; The spirit of error will make me vainly religious, and may mention Jesus, distorting Scripture and witness about Him, putting me in chains of bondage—when satan preaches Jesus, there is no cost to the hearer. It is the word of God that is the lamp the Holy Spirit uses to guide and enlighten, and to clarify and qualify what I am hearing. satan will work through the word of God, quoting Scripture and other religious duties. We must always be working and moving toward full age, and by reason of constant use, have our senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Heb. 5: 14). And we must understand that there are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them without signification (1 Cor. 14: 10). To discern the voice of the Lord, one must be trained by Him. We must raise our holy nobility and receive the word with all readiness of mind, and search the scriptures daily, to find what is and what is not Truth in the spiritual world. This is especially true when it comes to doctrine, witness the warning in the verse we have built this chapter around. Again, seducing spirits seduce through false teaching and doctrine, and by distorting the word–your doctrine should prove itself in the fruit of your ministry.

When truth moves from mere belief to experience, it will qualify one to teach others; Only God can give this experience unto Truth, that ever moves one closer to full age, who then by reason of use will in fact, have his senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

 

Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, and to day, and forever. Heb 13:8.

……..God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him……. Acts 10:38.

Nearly eighty percent of the miracles Jesus performed during His earthly ministry had to do with casting out demons. The Master also instructed us to pray for deliverance from the evil one. Some though, still believe that the Son of Man ejected the enemy to clear the way for the church and any harassment by him, and that the enemy is still with no power over the church; Jesus Himself stated that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against the church, which would indicate there is some sort of battle going on between the two. And the same Jesus, testifying to John on Patmos, addressed seven churches and the problems satan was causing in them, and promised great reward to those who would overcome it all. It is a sobering fact that satan used a serpent in the Garden, but was able to use a chosen apostle to set up the crucifixion of Jesus. If we don’t understand Jesus’ ministering to the demonized, how do we understand His mission at all? He is unchangeable, yet there are those in His body who refuse this part of His ministry as applicable today. Many say there has to be a ‘balance’–there was no “balance” in His ministry–most of it was spent dealing with the adversary, and it is still true today: the mission of Jesus Christ through His disciples is still healing and saving those oppressed and blinded by the devil. The Greatest among us is still our Minister, and He is still ministering the way He always has, the Scriptures being our witness.

The New Testament method of evangelism includes the healing of the sick and the casting out of demons, and Jesus really made not much distinction, if any, between the two, ushering in the Kingdom of God by overpowering the kingdom of satan. If in making disciples, we are to teach them all Jesus has commanded us, the casting out of demons must be taught. How many denominations or independents do you know that teach such?

Now the serpent was subtler than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. Genesis 3:1-6.

We see here the persistence of the enemy in suggesting we act contrary to God; he will persist until we either throw him out or give in to him. If he can produce apathy in us, he knows we will ignore our duty; if he can produce doubt in us, he knows he can get us to perform his. What truth we receive and don’t digest, he steals; he pulls the Word out of the heart of man, giving saving faith no foundation; He entices the flesh of the strong and weak alike, getting the former in sinful thought and the latter in sinful deed. He undresses the world before our eyes, bringing its most seductive assets to our weakest points of resistance; He induces bodily illness to make sick the mind; he has the wisdom of the angels, the experience of the centuries, and he entices mercilessly the flesh of all, and pulls many–even apostles– into lust, sin, and death—all this against the children of men within the omnipotence of God.

But our heavenly Father is intent on making good of all this evil; Jesus turns what the devil makes weak, into our strength; what makes us poor, into wealth of His Spirit, and turns our infirmity to our glory—these things are the ways of God. God uses the devil to try and test the children of men. satan is as diverse as those he tempts, moving to the very points of their weakness and fall; he enticed Eve’s flesh—by assaulting the word of God, he tempts her to become more like God; He strips Job naked, kills his children, ravages his possessions and turns evil on his body, leaving this righteous man standing starkly alone for all to observe and conject. satan attacks Job’s consecrated lifestyle, accusing him before God as being a man of impure motives. Knowing that he could not deceive Job, he set to physically destroying him, although God instructed him to spare Job’s life-satan’s schemes are still subject to God’s permission.

Evils inflicted by grace, will prove one’s character and the steadfastness of his faith; satan saved what he thought were his sleekest strokes of deception, for Jesus; His suggestions will always lead away from fact and truth about Jesus. During the temptation of Jesus (Mt. 4: 1-11), we had just heard–”This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; then comes–”If thou be the Son of God”–A well-pleased God would not have you starving–food is what I know you need, so turn these stones into bread and eat; Satan does not deny Jesus’ Sonship but admits its reality by enticing Him to prove it. satan will first use our affliction to try to nullify our standing as children of God; how often are we tempted to secure what we perceive we need, when God is saying something else; we are enticed to believe that all we would have to do is fall to unbelief and rebellion, disobey God, and our need would be met. Apparent poverty brings very real temptation, especially when the seducing enemy is trying to teach us that gain is Godliness. satan urges Jesus to use His power to reduce His hunger–enticement to disobey God in the temptation, and to not trust God as Provision–a temptation common to us all. The Scripture tells us Jesus was an hungered after the forty day fast–He was not hungry during the fast–in this we see Him as the only begotten Son of God; He was hungered after the fast–a fact that allows us to see Him as Son of Man–satan tempts Him as man, and in this Jesus overcomes for all men. “It is written”–we see the Living Word using the Written Word–the double edged sword in combat against the enemy–”Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ”, for He alone is the full Armor of God–when Jesus in me touches the word of God through me, the mouth of hell is no longer enlarged. Notice that satan entices Jesus, he does not command Him–he does the same to us, with a Bible in his hand and Scripture in his mouth, trying to get us to “step out” on a written promise of God, without God’s direction—telling us “it is written so it must happen at your command”; He gets us to do this by appealing to our dark circumstances (as he did Jesus), as evidence that God has abandoned us, so we must prove our faith by picking a promise or two and acting on it without the direction of God, or, the will of God revealed. satan will do his best to get us fixed on the visible that the Invisible become of little consequence; satan will constantly appeal to the flesh to fulfill immediately that which must be done by the Spirit of God in God’s timing. As he did in the Garden with Eve, he does in the wilderness with Jesus–he assaults the word of God—in the garden he succeeded–in the wilderness he is defeated.

James 4:7-8

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

8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your

Many can quote you verse 7—resist the devil and he will flee; but it is our drawing nigh unto Jesus, that brings Jesus to us, and intimacy with Him, and it is there that the power to resist the enemy is found, and given. It is at this point that we can make him flee. We think of how long and arduous our resistance must sometimes be, and when he does flee, how long he is gone. He left Jesus “for a season.” This obviously tells us something. Think of the harassment and temptation of Jesus; if one underwent such a test today, the response of many ministers would be–”there has to be a door open somewhere;” Thus a person is taken through his or her past most intricately and extensively, exploring and exhausting the letter of corruption, only to find that after all is renounced and confessed back to the 50th generation, the harassment remains. We have seen this countless times. The whole episode of our Lord’s temptation should settle the issue once and for all–Jesus is without sin and was tried and tempted of satan not only these forty days, but also His whole life and ministry. How can we as sinners–though saved–put ourselves above our Master and expect anything less? Is it really through much tribulation that we enter the Kingdom of heaven, or is that just a part of Scripture that we sweep under the rug in the health, wealth and no devil gospel many are preaching today?

See the difference between the first Adam and the Second, in the outcome of a confrontation with the evil one, —-Adam was tempted in the Garden where all was calm and the beasts were tame; Jesus was tempted in the wilderness where nothing was calm and the beasts were roaring; Adam was tested in a state of plenty, Jesus in necessity and want; Adam fell without objection, even though he had the spoken word of God (how many today think that if God would just audibly speak to them it would be easier to obey?) Jesus triumphed with the Written Word of God.

We have been deceived into believing that there are parts of our corruption that God’s mercy and grace cannot penetrate, without us going through rituals of the law; such conduct is the latter day doctrine of seducing spirits and commandments of men; they teach that though there is grace in Golgatha, there are times when there is not enough, and there then must spring doctrines of man and demon to add to the Blood of Grace and Mercy there-by making it sufficient. What an offense to the Cross of Jesus—-all of our additions and subtractions to “Christ crucified.” The Temptation of Jesus shows us that our lives will have manifold temptations and consolations, and that we will not be tempted above that which we are able to bear; Adam ignored the spoken word of God and failed; Jesus as man, used the written word of God and triumphed. Jesus was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness; Adam found himself flourishing in the beautiful, peaceful Garden. God’s grace proves sufficient in Jesus’ weakness as Man–Jesus conquers in sinless perfection, not by might, not by power, but by the Spirit of God, not giving way to presumption nor despair. The will of God was His only priority. God’s grace proves sufficient in Adam’s failure, by bringing forth the Lord of Glory to bruise the heel of the evil one. Satan leaves Jesus for a season then returns to harass all the way to Calvary. Care to ask the Master which doors were open in His life?

identifying the adversary

satan and his demons battle believers–Eph. 6: 10-13; He was a murderer from the beginning–John 6:44; He is the god of this world–2 Corinthians 4:4; He is limited in activity by God–Job 1: 12; 2:6; John 17: 15;1 John5: 18; He and his angels transform themselves into angels of light, promoting the false and counterfeit–2 Cor. 11: 13-15; He is the father of all lies–John 3:44; He is the accuser of the brethren–Revelation 12:10; He resides in the heavenlies–Ephesians 6:11-12; He is alive and well on earth–l Peter 5:8; He counterfeits God’s the word of God —Eph. 2: 2; 2 Thes. 2:8-11; Satan counterfeits the Truth of God–Ephesians 2:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-11. He blinds the eyes of the unsaved (Luke 8:12), (2 Corinthians 4:2-4). He entices unto sexual sin (1 Corinthians 7:5). He inspires false teachers–2 Cor.ll:13-5;

 

 

 

 

*THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD

Eph 6:10-18

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

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.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all disciples;

We struggle with the opposition of the powers of darkness, and with many enemies who would keep us from Jesus, our Father, and ultimately, heaven. We have enemies to fight against, a captain to fight for, a banner to fight under, and certain rules of war by which we are to govern ourselves. “Finally, my brethren” (v. 10), it yet remains that you apply yourselves to your work and duty as girded soldiers.” We must gird up our Spiritual loins as men and women of God; Though the battle be the Lord’s, it most surely takes its toll on us; Be strong therefore, strong for service, strong for sacrifice, strong for suffering, strong for fighting—it is the faith and courage of Jesus that must manifest in us; The battlefield, whether it be in another’s life or our own, is the heart, and a divided heart will lose not only the battle, but the war as well. Spiritual strength and courage are vital for our spiritual warfare, and this courage and strength are received in our daily worship of Jesus. Be strong in the Lord strong in His strength—again, the impartation of His strength comes commensurate to the time we spend in prayer and worship at His feet; We have no sufficient strength of our own. Our natural courage is as perfect cowardice, and our natural strength as perfect weakness; but all our sufficiency is of God. In his strength we must go forth and go on.

We must be well armed: “Put on the whole armor of God (v. 11), make use of all the weapons of grace for dealing with the temptations and strategies of satan– get and exercise all the discipleship graces, the whole armor, that no part be naked and exposed to the enemy.” Those who would resign to have true grace must aim at all grace, the whole armor. It is called the armor of God, because he both prepares and bestows it. We have no armor of our own that will be armor of proof in a trying time. Nothing will stand us in stead but the armor of God. This armor is prepared for us, but we must put it on; that is, we must develop a lifestyle of time at the feet of Jesus, in worship, and in getting filled—this is where we will grow into the whole Armor of God, for the whole Armor of God is Jesus Christ Himself– put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. Rom 13:14. We must use the grace given us, and draw it out into act and exercise as Jesus directs. We must be completely armed with Jesus-inwardly and outwardly, that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil– that we may be able to overcome, all the devil’s assaults—in our own lives and in the lives of those to whom we minister.

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. 12. The combat for which we are to be prepared is not against ordinary human enemies, not barely against men compounded of flesh and blood, nor against our own corrupt natures singly considered, but against the several ranks of devils, who have a government which they exercise in this world. We battle the most subtle and deceptive enemy there is, who uses wiles and strategies that he has perfected over thousands of years, as v. 11. He has a thousand ways of deceiving divided and unstable souls: he is called a serpent for his subtlety and his ability to camouflage himself in the fabric of life; he is an ancient serpent, experienced in enticing and tempting men and women into the depths of Hell. satan is a powerful enemy, commanding principalities, powers, and rulers. They are numerous, they are vigorous and the most vicious enemy known to man; and he rules in those heathen nations which are yet in darkness. He keeps believers and non-believers alike, in a state of sin and ignorance, deceiving them into believing that all is well.

Satan and his army are the ultimate spiritual wickedness in all places, save heaven. The devil is the most wicked of spirits; and our danger is the greater from he and his demons, because they are unseen, and assault us at all times, especially where we are the least able to discern their activity. Demons blind the unbeliever and provoke the believer to spiritual wickednesses, pride, envy, malice, and more. These enemies are said to be in high places, or in heavenly places, meaning heaven as the air between the earth and the stars, the air being the place from which the devils assault us, being under the direction of the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience– Eph 2:2. Satan strives to prevent our ascent to Jesus, and to obstruct our communion with Jesus by tempting us to sin and then keeping us in it. He assaults us in the things of grace that belong to our souls, and labors to deface the blessed image of Jesus in our hearts.

We must take and put on the whole armor of God, and then stand our ground, and withstand our enemies. Satan is said to stand up against us, (1 Chr. 21:1). When he stands against us, we must stand against him—his kingdom is the kingdom of sin: to stand against Satan is to strive against sin.

Jesus is the Armor we stand in—He is the Armor of God, Armor of light, (Rom. 13:12). Armor of righteousness, (2 Cor. 6:7). The apostle specifies the particulars of this armor, both offensive and defensive. Jesus is the Truth so is our girdle, v. 14. It was prophesied of Him (Isa. 11:5) that righteousness should be the girdle of his loins and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. God desires Truth, that is, Jesus, in the inward parts and He thus makes Jesus His Wisdom to us. This is the strength of our loins; and it girds on and holds in place all other pieces of our armor, and therefore is first mentioned. This is the disciple’s belt—it is Jesus Himself and if we be ungirded with Him, we shall fail in our warfare.

The righteousness of Jesus and our growth in that Righteousness, must be our breastplate. The breastplate secures the vital organs and shelters the heart. It is our Righteousness, and growth in that righteousness (sanctification), that protects the heart.

And our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, v. 15. Shoes, of brass, or the like, were formerly part of the military armor (1 Sam. 17:6): the use of them was to defend the feet against the gall-traps, and sharp sticks, which were laid in the way, to obstruct the marching of the enemy, those who fell upon them being unfit to march. The preparation of the gospel of peace signifies a prepared and resolved frame of heart, to adhere to the gospel and abide by it, and to preach and minister Jesus as the Centerpiece of it, which will enable us to walk with a steady pace in the way of Jesus as he works it through us, notwithstanding the difficulties and dangers that may be in it. It is styled the gospel of peace because it brings all sorts of peace, peace with God, with ourselves, and with one another. It may also be meant of that which prepares for the acceptance of the gospel, namely, repentance. With this our feet must be shod: for by living a life of repentance we are armed against temptations to sin, and the designs of our great enemy.

The faith given by Jesus must be our shield: Above all, or chiefly, taking the shield of faith, v. 16. This is more necessary than any of them. Faith is all in all to us in an hour of temptation, for without faith, it is impossible to please our Father (Heb. 11: 6); The breast-plate secures the heart; but with the shield we are able to turn every way from which the darts of the enemy are coming. This is the victory over the world, even our faith. We are to be fully persuaded of the truth of all God’s promises and threatenings, such a faith being of great use against temptations. Faith, as receiving Jesus and the benefits of redemption, so deriving grace from Him, is like a shield, a sort of universal defense. Picking up our cross daily, knowing that it is Jesus who wills in our lives and ministries, is paramount—for it is our daily cross that is our faith, and we exercise that faith when we pick it up daily.

Our enemy the devil is here called the wicked one. He is wicked himself, and he endeavors to make us wicked. His temptations are called darts, because of their swift and undiscerned flight, and the deep wounds that they give to the soul; fiery darts, by way of allusion to the poisonous darts which inflame the parts which are wounded with them, and are so called, as the serpents with poisonous stings are called fiery serpents. Violent temptations, by which the soul is set on fire of hell, are the darts which satan shoots at us. Faith is the shield with which we must quench these fiery darts, and though his darts hit us, they must be spiritually ineffectual when they do—again, he who has forsaken all he is and has, he who has lost his life for the sake of Jesus—he it is who has thus been graced with the shield of faith.

Salvation must be our helmet (v. 17); that is, hope, which has salvation for its object (1 Thes. 5:8). The helmet secures the head, as does growing in holiness and sanctification, both of which are evidence of salvation; Salvation is the culmination of obedience to Jesus…..without obedience, our heads—i.e. our minds, are left unprotected; and if our minds are unprotected, our hearts are sure to follow.

The word of God is the sword of the Spirit. The sword is a very necessary and useful part of a soldier’s weapons. The word of God is very necessary—both the spoken word and the written word, in order to maintain spiritual warfare and succeed in it. It is called the sword of the Spirit, because it is the Spirit of God who renders it powerful at the command of Jesus; “it is written” is the ideal weapon to repel temptation. Jesus Himself resisted Satan’s temptations with it, (Mt. 4:4,6-7,10). This, being hid in the heart, will preserve from sin (Ps. 119:11), and will mortify and kill those lusts and corruptions that are there.

Prayer must buckle on all the other parts of the disciple’s armor, v. 18. We must join prayer with all these graces, for our defense against these spiritual enemies, imploring help and assistance of God, as the case requires: and we must pray always, and always be in a state of listening for Jesus, and supplicating to Him—“Men must always pray and faint not.” (Lk. 18: 1); our hearts and minds must be in a perpetual state of worship; We must develop a lifestyle of worshipping and listening at the feet of Jesus, that He might continually fill us with Himself—He is the Buckle who holds all together. When God says, “Seek my face”, our hearts must comply, (Ps. 27:8). This we must do with all perseverance. We must abide by prayer, whatever change there may be in our outward circumstances; and we must continue in it as long as we live in the world. We must persevere in our listening to Jesus at His feet; “Here is what I see Jesus, what should I do?”—this must be our life. And we must intercede with supplication, not for ourselves only, but for all disciples, and especially those to whom we minister; for we are members one of another.

*MINISTERING DELIVERANCE

…..and they came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the man who had had the legion of demons…….Mark 5: 15

When a person is abused in any of these areas, evil spirits get in and get involved. Their top priority is to comfort the victim (falsely), and when they do this, anger and unforgiveness is what they inject. While Jesus will remove the spirits that got in as a result of the abuse, He will grace the person with the gift of forgiveness, and then require the person to forgive the abuser. This is a vital area, because as Jesus says, if we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven by our Father (Mt. 6: 14-15); The absolute stubbornness to forgive, may be a work of the flesh, but rest assured, satan is involved, and is making the unforgiveness a compulsion that in some instances cannot be overcome; if he can immerse and keep the person in unforgiveness and anger (the two go hand in hand), he has achieved his goal of stealing the seed of salvation.

Abuse always produces anger, and we have found that sexual abuse can produce rage of enormous proportions. Again, unforgiveness will be a major issue, as will pain and grief. Jesus will bring to light the things that have hurt a person, so that those things can be dealt with—it is Jesus Himself who graces us to bear the evil that has been done to us; the pain is tempered when He graces one to forgive the offender, and graces us to see the offender as He sees him—a sinner, just as the victim is. It is here that we ask Jesus to speak into the spirit of the person, expressing His love for him—we wait until Jesus has done so. This area is critical, for it is here that Jesus will reveal Himself in such a way as to move the person’s attention solely to Him; once this is done, we must build Jesus on it, so that the person is on the road to make Jesus his All in All. When Jesus graces us to love Him with heart, mind, body, and soul, anger and unforgiveness can be effectively dealt with; spirits pushing the anger and unforgiveness can be thrown out, as they lose their grip because Jesus has graced the person to forgive, and to see the abuser in the light of being abused himself. The abused find then they have become part of a chain of abusers.

The main issues are dealing with pain, grief, anger, and unforgiveness, for which Jesus Himself is the Remedy for all. As we speak with the person and deal with these issues, we will see spirits manifest that have gained a foothold because of the sin. Ministering the Person of Jesus into each of these areas, will loosen the grip of the enemy, thus enabling us to throw the spirits out.

 

THE PRAYER

We sit quietly, asking the person to close their eyes, and keep their head up; we focus on the closed eyes, until Jesus moves into the room. As we continue to focus on the eyes, the glory of the Lord will become apparent, and as it does, the face of the person will start distorting; you may see all kinds of things—skulls, horrifying faces and the like; you will be able to distinguish in some instances, what sin the spirit is pushing or, what sin brought him in; sexual abuse always produces a spirit with a very seductive face and sometimes will be accompanied by arousal hitting the minister; anger and rage are always black and dark, and in some cases the spirit will have snarling face; spirits pushing grief or pain, will have tears in their eyes—make no mistake about any of this—these spirits are there to kill eternally; many of them will appear as beautiful angels of light, many of them will appear as the blackness that they are. As you are ministering and they manifest, look them in the eye and tell them to go in Jesus’ name; some will argue, telling you they have a right to be there and you don’t have the power to throw them out; others will go immediately; if you run into one who simply refuses to go, study his face and ask the person about what you see; many times bitterness and unforgiveness need confessed and repentance needs to be undertaken, before you can be graced to throw the spirit out.

Again, I reiterate here—if you don’t spend every day at the feet of Jesus to where He becomes your Life, you will not be able to carry out this ministry; that fact, coupled with a comprehensive study of His word—particularly Matthew through Acts, are absolutely necessary to do this ministry.

Never ask information from the demons as many say you must do—they are the servants of the father of all lies, and they will take you into such confusion, that you will not be able to do the ministry because they have taken it over; many times they will do so through the person you are ministering to; the person will come in, tell you what God told them they must do, then they will ask you to pray for them so they can do it. Never, ever tolerate this approach and never let someone take over the ministry session. If they get in the mode of taking it over and refuse to submit—let them go. Period. They have come for ministry because they are in deception and illusion, as well as many other things; You are the minister, you set the parameters, you call the shots. Period.

Ask the person to close his or her eyes, and tell them you will now wait together for Jesus to come. As the glory of the Lord enters the room, spirits will start manifesting on the person. Remain quiet about what you see, unless as before stated, you get into an area where a spirit absolutely refuses to go. When this happens, take a good look at his face—most times you will be able to tell what he is pushing; for instance, if you see the snarl on his face, you know bitterness and anger are being harbored by the person you are ministering to; don’t tell them you see a spirit of anger or bitterness or unforgiveness on them—simply ask them if they are struggling in any of these areas; if they lie and say they are not, tell them that the Lord is revealing that they are, in fact, struggling in one or more of these areas, and they need to let Jesus deal with them. You don’t have to rebuke the spirits out loud—you can do it quietly, and if confession and repentance have been undertaken, spirits may give you a hard time, but they will go. Prayer of this type can last as short as half an hour, or, can take as long as several hours, depending on the level of evil the person has been involved with. Always remember, we are no match for satan, and the ministry leads us into his arena, where only Jesus can minister successfully.

We have mentioned forgiveness as a stronghold of the enemy; in addition to forgiving offenders, many people must be lead in a prayer to forgive God; many times people blame God for what has happened to them; this area needs confession and repentance, as well as thanksgiving, and a statement of submission and surrender to Jesus, no matter what might happen—“though He slay me yet will I trust in Him”—Job 13: 15. A person may have to be lead in a prayer of forgiveness for themselves—self condemnation and all that goes with it must be confessed and repented of if necessary; Jesus died for us, and in order for us to die for Him, we must see self as it truly is—not condemned, but forgiven, if it be found in Him.

Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.

Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.

Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Ps 107:17-20.

When we are not Christians and are wallowing in our sin, satan may keep an eye on us, but will extend very little effort toward us other than consistent temptation to keep us in our sin. But when we become born again, satan will turn up the heat and God will let him. Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ–that warning is from Peter, and who better to warn Christians about the enemy than a man who had fallen victim to him in the very presence of Jesus several times? Many Christians have no fear and become disobedient in their presumption, fashioning themselves according to their former lusts in their ignorance, passing their time of sojourning here in presumption and deception instead of Godly fear.

“….I will, be thou clean…….

The 27 year old woman sat across from me, literally petrified. She had been in the homosexual lifestyle for about four years and had got out, but the driving compulsion was still there. She had heard about our ministry and like many, felt the Lord wanted her to come, but was very scared in doing so. I had dealt with homosexuals, and Jesus had moved wonderfully and freed many. I will never forget seeing the spirit involved in the gay lifestyle the first time. I looked into a gay man’s eyes, and this huge, black, horrible looking face manifested. In this ministry, there will be many times when you will think you have seen everything, but you will continue to be surprised and amazed at what Jesus will do and what He will allow. I saw the same spirit on virtually every homosexual I ministered to, and the young woman I am talking about now, was no exception. As I looked into her frightened face, I saw the spirit; I felt the Lord direct me to get up and go behind the woman and lay my hands upon her head. I did, which was a great relief for her, getting me out of her face; It took about thirty seconds and Jesus cast out the spirit. I returned to my chair in front of her and there were big tears in her eyes. She had felt the huge, ugly, homosexual spirit slip out of her. My heart instantly broke at the power in tenderness of the Master. I weep every time I think of what Jesus did that afternoon, and how quickly and quietly He did it. Break me a thousand times O Lord of Glory………….

Jesus overcame every enemy, including sin, satan, and death; and it is our abiding in Him that graces us to overcome as He overcomes, for it is of His faith that we overcome the world and everything in it, 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 must be overcome; The picture of our Lord hanging on the Cross, is the picture of history’s Greatest Conquering Hero; “It is finished” is the Consummate Exclamation of Victory; Its utterance brought the glorious face of our God and our Redeemer into our lives as Father and Friend.

“….go and make disciples of all nations. teaching them all I have commanded you…”

Deliverance without discipleship is not biblical. Many get freed by Jesus and don’t know what to do with their new found freedom. Most of them hunger and thirst after righteousness, but the kind of teaching it takes to satisfy such hunger and thirst is not readily available in most churches. Most churches in America don’t require discipleship of their members. Their attendees and members may be believers, but when it comes to the rigors of Jesus centered, Biblical discipleship, it is not found in very many places. Church leaders fear the offense of such strict teaching, failing to realize it is the very thing that most people desire. God commands discipleship and puts the desire for it in our hearts. When we water it down, all we get are watered-down believers. Its time for church leadership across the board to get their churches in the New Testament mode of discipleship, teaching it as the Master does–Make disciples of all people, and we must not forget, He who cannot forsake all he has, cannot be a disciple of the Master. Many church leaders shudder at such words, fearing numerical, financial and building goals will not be met, if we take this discipleship thing too seriously. There are however, many other leaders who are seizing grace and discipling all who come to them, but this number is relatively small compared to the whole of the church. It is those who are watering it down that need worry, because of the times; God is starting to replace the men and women who don’t want to use Biblical principles to manage their flocks. When Jesus’ principles of discipleship are ingrained into His people, the deliverance ministry among them will see a sharp decline. Many must consider their calling and get back to it. We forget that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, nor not many noble are called; yet many spend much time and effort trying to become mighty and noble intellectually. As a result, God is choosing the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, God is choosing, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are, all because there is too much flesh trying to glory in His presence (1 Cor. 1: 26-29), and, not enough Jesus centered ministry being done. It is a grave offense and affront to the cross of Jesus to see so many in His body in the shape they are in.

We know that those delivered, must be discipled, and it must be a lifetime undertaking, which is the commandment of Jesus. We know that demons will continue to entice the flesh into lustful and destructive behavior; they assault the thought life unmercifully; they can control the mind and tongue of many; And as our Scriptural examples show, Christians are not immune from their assaults; We don’t assume any ministry or take the honor of ministry upon ourselves, for it is God who chooses and appoints. For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man takes this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. (Heb. 5: 1-4)

demonic behavior

Demons can cause sickness, and when cast out, healing many times takes place. The deliverance session is a matter of the Truth overcoming the lie, it is never a question of power for the power issue has been decided. Demons can depress the mind, and bring on compulsive, addictive behaviors in all areas of fleshy satisfaction, especially sex and food.

Never minister alone, especially to the opposite sex. And remember, “it is written” is the bottom line against the enemy, but the Person of Jesus is to be our only pursuit outside His word; we don’t chase demons, God will direct us to the people who need the Master to set them free. The top priority of our lives is ministry to the Lord, and out of our ministry to Him, prayer and ministry of the word at His direction. Be leery of the source when faith is asked to serve the flesh; The enemy is very adept at showing good as evil and evil as good; he will try to get your faith to serve anything temporal, there-by minimizing the eternal. When time becomes more important than the eternal, the enemy has gotten in. Discerning evil is not the hardest thing you’ll do–discerning evil’s specific agenda in a life is something only Jesus can do. satan is so constantly changing deceptions, it is hard to get a true picture of him in any given ministry situation. Again, as He is to everything else, the Master is the Answer here.

We as Christians, are warned against deceptions that pervert and subvert the revealed will of God; One of the main ways the enemy accomplishes this is to get us to accumulate and thus rely, on possessions. The strength of the individual lies in his submission to God, not in his social standing or his wealth, two items satan will use to his advantage in your ministry situation. Our business as ministers is to throw the enemy out of the lives of God’s children, and get those children into discipleship, walking on the highway of holiness, the way of which is extremely tight, and very seldom if ever, includes social standing and wealth. Our gospel is unpopular and offensive to the flesh and the world; satan’s gospel caters to the flesh, raises up backslappers, and brings the world as the central focus of the church and the individual. People who have been demonized need the strong, hard truths of the gospel for it is these truths that prove it to be God’s message. We are to make Jesus Savior and Lord, forsake everything, and deny ourselves by picking up our cross–such an insinuation of death is offensive to most, but it is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it must be preached and taught in love–love being the firm seeking and the uncompromising doing of the will of God in any life,

Satan has always been bound by the providence of God; the Incarnation would provide a way to put him under the foot of man–at least men willing to sacrifice what it takes to get him there. satan put chains on himself when he decided to tempt Jesus in the wilderness; It was here that the pure humanity of Jesus triumphed, thus binding the enemy that his house would be spoiled; It was the temptation victory that enabled Eternal Justice to send forth His disciples to “cast out demons” (Mk. 3: 14-15; Lk. 9: 1); the strongman is bound and overcome by One stronger than he….. The Perfection of the Incarnation, from the temptation through the Ascension is what bound satan.

Jesus says that the prince of this world is now cast out–looking ahead to His coming crucifixion; subsequently, Calvary bound satan fully because Jesus had now paid the price fully for man’s sin, and had destroyed its dominion over him–this dominion had been satan’s armor; it was our Lord’s victory as man in the wilderness temptation that paved the way for His disciple’s power over scorpions and serpents, and all the power of the enemy, before His death. Satan is now bound by the Blood of Jesus which rests at the right hand of our Father, in the heavenly sanctuary; therefore we don’t bind him again–we throw him out.

*SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DEMONIC ACTIVITY

Speaking in an unknown language; aversion to Jesus and the things of God;

knowledge of remote things; unnatural strength;

open challenge of authority; withdrawn, anti-social behavior; violence, rage; suicidal tendencies; splits in personality;

variation or alteration of voice; panic or compulsive fear;

unusual set or distorted face; twitching, shaking;

unusual smells, especially urine or feces

Compulsive behavior of any kind, is usually a sign that a demon or demons are working; Also, extreme rage, or anger, a desire to kill—oneself or others—perverse, abusive or excessive sexual or physical activities, are all signs that spirits are at work.

People who have been involved in the occult seem to be the most difficult to deliver; the involvement must be confessed, and a profession of repentance from it made, in order to get at the spirits involved; many who have been in the occult have asked satan to come into their bodies; when this has happened, a greater battle will be involved to get him out. Remember that such deception is involved, that demons will do anything to deceive you into thinking that Jesus cannot help. Some of the manifestations of the occult such as those experienced by former psychics, are very real to them—former satantists and others who have committed spiritual idolatry, will find the going very tough in getting their freedom.

The voice may dramatically change, showing a surfacing of the demon—he may try to talk to you, telling you don’t have enough power to throw him out; don’t converse at the table of the enemy—many ministries endorse getting information from demons, an area we try to stay away from, because all they do is lie; their appearance usually gives them away as to what their stronghold is; many teach that generational sin must be confessed, curses be broken and the like. Always remember, the first step in total deliverance is bringing the person into a relationship with Jesus; when confession of sin is made—confession by the person that he is a sinner and needs a Savior from that sin—and Jesus is asked to come in and abide, and be Lord of the life, that person is then forgiven and totally cleansed. Man has contrived much that has sold many books in regards to all the steps that must be taken in order to be free, but most of it is commandments of men and devils and is completely and totally confusing and will keep you chasing the devil’s tail. When Jesus ministered in the gospels, it was His contact, His word, His power, that freed. There are no long deliverance sessions, no number of steps, no formulas—there is only coming face to face with Jesus Christ, confessing sin and the need for Him and who He is and what He has done, and then letting Him come in and be Lord:

Colossians 2:8-15

8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

9 For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Galatians 3:11-13

11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Don’t get wrapped up in generational sins and curses, soul ties and the like. The Blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness—including curses, generational sin, soul ties and the like; either the Blood of Jesus is sufficient in our confessing and repenting, or it is not; we must ask our Father to show us and give us His heart regarding the Blood of His Son. God tells us that each man will be responsible for his own sin, and to not bring up the generational sin issue as the Israelites did: See Ezekiel 18: 1-4; Jeremiah 31: 29-31; While God may get us to confess specific sins, He is more interested in us confessing that we are sinners and we need Jesus as Savior and Lord because of our total corruption. The cleansing of the Blood of Jesus comes, when we confess with our heart our sins and corruption, and move into intimacy with Jesus, that we might seize the gift of repentance, and that our daily cross may work that repentance in us, daily.

Occult deliverance

Most involved in the deliverance ministry will tell you that those who have given their lives to the occult seem to be the hardest to free, exacting a real toll on the minister and the person receiving the ministry. This whole area is very confusing for us all due to the presence of the enemy and his millennia of experience in it. It impacts Christians and non-Christians alike. Many bring its garbage with them into their walk with God, and the garbage must be gotten out. It is not an area of simplicity, and is further witness to our need for the very simplicity that is our gospel–If Jesus shows up, people are healed and delivered and God’s will is done, no matter the strength of the enemy in the life of the victim. If He doesn’t, we’ve got a real problem.

For us, former psychics have been the hardest, for their former partners are relentless in their harassment and pursuit of those who turn from this popular form of divination. It is satan who provides readings for psychics, and the information given is often accurate, but we must never lose sight of the fact that the motive for giving such foresight is so that killing, stealing and destroying can be accomplished in the life of the receiver. Many who go to psychics believe that they get their knowledge from God. But God will always lead us to faith in Jesus as our future; satan will encourage us to walk by sight, and many Christians open the door for him by seeking a word for every circumstance in their lives. If that word is not to be found, they will turn to things such as the daily horoscope, one of satan’s daily columns in the local newspaper. In doing so they open themselves to an invasion of spirits that will prove to be a problem–again, satan is the author of all psychic phenomena. I once ministered to a military man who was prolific in the marital arts. It was one of the more scary deliverances I have seen. When Jesus would get the session moving, demons on the man would manifest and send him into many marshal arts movements. He came at me several times, but the Lord would drop him each time he would get too close. The man would growl like a lion every time he looked at me. The sessions were pretty scary, but again Jesus proved faithful. The mysteries that encompass and surround martial arts are the trappings of satan..

We are in the final days and evil men and seducers are waxing worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. We must continue in the things which we have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom we have learned them; We know the holy scriptures, which are able to make us wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus, and wise as to the wiles of the evil one. The scripture is given by inspiration of God, and we must use it to make ourselves profitable in doctrine, in reproof, in correction, and for instruction in righteousness, as well as discerning the agenda of the enemy with the help of Jesus; that we may be men and women of God, perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works; we must give all diligence to make our calling and election sure. In dealing with the occult and psychic phenomena, only God can instruct you. You should become thoroughly acquainted with what His word has to say on the subjects, and let Jesus guide you through it all. And when searching Christian bookshelves on this topic or any other, let us be admonished—of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh; and let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is our whole duty; and let us never forget, that when people saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus (Acts 4: 13); and beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. The life of God’s power is begun at the feet of the Master, and is nurtured and sustained there.

In the last chapter (7), we discussed the various examples in Scripture, of spirits impacting the lives of Christians. In spite of an abundance of Scriptural evidence, many still believe that born-again Christians cannot have demons. Again, I am not here to debate or argue. I know what the Scripture says and I know what I have seen, and both agree. If I were satan, the first bit of deception I would try to pull on the church is to get them to believe that I can’t touch it. If I could get Christians to believe that, imagine what havoc I could wreck, and I would never be blamed for it, so I would never be dealt with.

When there is obsessive compulsive behavior in a person, it may have started as being enticed and drawn away by lust in temptation; but rest assured, that if the behavior contrary to God continues, lust will conceive and sin will come forth; and when that sin persists without repentance and confession, it will bring forth death–demons; Do not err, my beloved brethren and let no man deceive you.

 

Acts 10:37-38

37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;

38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Again, we do not look around every corner and under every rock for demons. Our one and only pursuit is Jesus, who has not changed since He walked the earth. As we stated earlier, about 80 percent of Jesus’ ministry was spent casting out demons. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13: 8) still made manifest to destroy the works of the enemy in the lives of His children. That is why we seek Him–only He can do it, we can, of our selves, do nothing. So we never go demon hunting as some profess to do. Those who make such prideful and haughty proclamations are due for a fall into the hands of the enemy, for there is nothing that will bring the presence of the enemy quicker that haughty and prideful flesh. Many false Christs continue to rise up among us, and many continue to fall into their deception, and when they do, evil sprits are there to enter. We must cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, and we will be able to resist the wiles of the devil.

Again, we do not look around every corner and under every rock for demons. Our one and only pursuit is Jesus, who has not changed since He walked the earth. As we stated earlier, about 80 percent of Jesus’ ministry was spent casting out demons. He is still made manifest to destroy the works of the enemy in the lives of His children. That is why we seek Him–only He can do it, we can, of our selves, do nothing. So we never go demon hunting as some profess to do. Those who make such prideful and haughty proclamations are due for a fall into the hands of the enemy, for there is nothing that will bring the presence of the enemy quicker that haughty and prideful flesh. Many false Christs continue to rise up among us, and many continue to fall into their deception, And when they do, evil sprits are there to enter. We must cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, and we will be able to resist the wiles of the devil.

Signs of demons coming out of a person:

Sighing, coughing, belching, shaking, screaming, passing gas, fainting, throwing up, loss of breath, eyes crossing;

Demons inhabit the flesh and there are various pressure points in the flesh where they lay; The area on the very back of the neck is a good place to start—there, and the rest of the back; The back and the belly, along with the throat area, are the places they seem to inhabit most.

Following Prayer

Jesus must be thanked and praised for what He has done; Jesus must be completely and totally lifted to the person; The relationship theme must be given to its fullest extent; The house must be filled (Mt. 12: 44)—hands must be laid on the person receiving ministry, and the filling of the Holy Spirit given, that Jesus Himself may now reside in the person who has been swept clean; The spirits cast out will definitely come back to check out the person; once Jesus has swept and garnished the person, we must lay hands and pray that Jesus fill the person with Himself. This is absolutely essential. The person must be counseled about this and told that from this day forward, Jesus must be called on continually—Jesus must become the lifestyle, biblical discipleship must be entered into for the rest of one’s life. Immersion in the word and time at Jesus’ feet in worship and for filling, must be undertaken everyday, and you the minister, must be available 24-7 to serve the person, and walk them into Jesus.

The person must be instructed to put on the whole armor of God, to fellowship with like minds, and to pray—listening to and worshipping Jesus; The person must also be advised that Jesus wants to use their knowledge and experiences to help others—they must be told that the will of God for them is to minister what they have received, and to minister out of His word which will validate their experience; The life must be totally surrendered and laid down for Jesus, for one thing is needful and we must all choose Him, for He will not be taken from us, nor we plucked from Him, when we absolutely surrender to Him with a heart of absolute obedience..

VIII. The Ministry

“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it;

To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it;

And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star; He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels; Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name; To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

Revelation, chapters 2,3 & 21

GRACE FOR OVERCOMING

Overcoming the world, the flesh, and namely, the devil–those who do so are promised an abundance of eternal blessings by our Lord, as our opening Scripture for this chapter attests.

We have been given the grace through the Blood of Jesus to not let any of the adversaries have dominion over us. It is he who overcomes by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of his testimony, and loves not his life unto the death, that shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. The word ‘overcome’ in the Greek means to subdue, conquer and carry off in victory. He who conquers is what the Master is saying here; and our weapons are such by His Blood, that if we but walk with and obey Him, He will see us through to more than conquering; and we will receive the inheritance of the conqueror of which He speaks. For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 Jn. 5: 4-5). These will be those who did not give way to the honor of men and the seduction of demons; Out of the seven churches, we come to the revelation that only a remnant in them shall be saved, for the Holy Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; But there shall be those who will have known Him that is from the beginning; those who will overcome the wicked one, and know and love the Master, and love and are loved by our Father; there are those who will be strong in the strength that is Jesus, for the Word Himself shall abide in them; It will be those that love not the world, neither the things that are in the world; for if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is seduction 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 will pass away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God shall abide forever (1 Jn. 2: 15-17).

Just how many will survive the great end-time apostasy is unknown. What we do know is that apostasy is a matter of the heart; many are waiting for masses of people to desert the church—many in the church have already deserted Jesus and the church through the heart. Many of God’s children are not overcoming, but have been overcome. There is rampant abuse and sinful indulgence of every kind, everywhere, including the church. We have ministered to homosexuals, crack addicts, heroine addicts, murderers, and victims of abuse of all kinds—in the church. As stated earlier, the height of deception is calling evil, good, and, good, evil, and the Scripture pronounces woe on those who do such. Many Christian women have exercised their freedom of choice, and terminated their pregnancies; This is not a freedom found anywhere in the Scriptures, but yet many fall into the deception that the woman can, in the interest of controlling her own body, abort a fetus. Such action lets spirits invade the woman’s life to the point that many sink to near unredeemable levels of sorrow and guilt. Infanticide is an abomination to God but it is forgivable. We have worked with many women who have suffered the spiritual repercussions of choosing abortion. We do not condemn them, we preach repentance, the forgiveness of God, and the cleansing of the Blood of Jesus and intimacy and fellowship with Him, to them. To those who come with Godly sorrow and repentance, there is forgiveness, cleansing, and restoration, and, many times, a ministry is given to these women to serve and help many sisters making the same woeful choice–those who come to Jesus with their whole heart will be graced to overcome.

People tack politically correct name tags on lifestyles that the Bible strictly prohibits, and in an effort to remain inoffensive and ‘pastoral’, many ministers pat these “alternative lifestyles” on the head, and even let them invade the pulpits of our churches. In our effort to love the sinner and hate his sin, we have come to an age of tolerance and cheap grace not sanctioned by Scripture. Again we see the invasion of the doctrine of demons–we have called evil good, for we have moved from not only justifying the sinner, but in our fear of offending him, the deception that is upon us justifies his sin as well. The bottom line of the gospel of Jesus is repent and live, or persist in your sin and perish, and its time we drove this home into the lives of many who, though they sit in pews every Sunday, are still heading for the White Throne; without Godly repentance, there is no Cloak for sin. This is not a judgment call by man; this is the judgment of the Word of God. Idols dominate the landscape, and are tolerated under the guise of economic progress, art and sophistication, inviting the devil himself and polluting every eye that beholds; heroes wallow in their millions, as they step over Lazarus at the gate of the arena; honest men labor and the slothful pick-up a check; our children are raped and murdered—and they commit rape and murder, as we fight to the death for the letter of filth concerning first amendment rights, ignoring the Spirit of the laws implemented foundationally from the word of God. Greed has permitted practices that spawn diseases fast becoming untreatable and incurable as water and food is poisoned in the name of bigger crops and fatter animals and corporate profits. Gunshots forever echo in the halls of our schools, as our kids, many abused and ignored by parents, look to the violent and lustful screen for direction and entertainment. The fruit of America has been inundated with worms, rotting from the inside out…..we are a nation sorely in need of deliverance, having fallen victim to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, and unless the loins of our pulpits become girded, judgment shall surely sweep us away–the church included. For we know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night, and that judgment will come first to the house of God.

For when they shall say, Peace and safety, such as many are saying now, then sudden destruction shall come upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. You are all the children of light, and the children of the day: you are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch (1Thessalonians 5: 3-6a)–and be sober, be vigilant; because our adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, is walking about, devouring many, and seeking more; resist him steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in our brethren that are in the world. 1 Pet. 5: 8-9). They that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Wherefore, let us comfort ourselves together, and edify one another. 1Thessalonians 5: 7-11

Let us be patient in our suffering, as best as we can, seizing the grace to do so, that after we have suffered a while, our Father of all grace might make us perfect and establish, strengthen, and settle us.

Universal rule of the Kingdom of God:

John 15:5

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

It is not enough for me to tell people where and how satan is in their lives, if I don’t first testify of Jesus—for satan cannot be eradicated but by Jesus, and it is my relationship with Him that puts satan on alert;

I can tell people they need to forgive—they cannot forgive without a relationship with Jesus;

I can tell people to repent, and though they may be able to repent, repentance is a gift of God as the apostle tells us, and apart from Jesus, they cannot sustain repentance.

I can tell people that they need to grow in holiness and sanctification, but apart from an intimate relationship with Jesus, they will not grow in either.

I can tell people to worship God in Spirit and in Truth—apart from a relationship with Jesus, they will worship in vain.

Satan will instruct us, telling us we need to obey the word of God, and many set out to do so—without Jesus.

****I can tell people they need to make a choice—a decision on discipleship—they cannot do it without seeking Jesus first—His call graces discipleship into being—Jesus must speak to them first and foremost, as I lead them to Him—not with the consequences of the Gospel, but with who He is and what He has done—If I by my flesh and blood try to reveal Him to them, spiritual revelation will not come; If I, through the Spirit of God, bring revelation of Jesus to them, they will respond. We must not get the cart before the horse: Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you Mt. 6: 33—all Jesus commands, He gives—-not automatically up front, but through relationship with Him—“apart from me you can do nothing.” (Jn. 15: 5)—this is the all-encompassing rule of the Kingdom of God. The full counsel of God, comes after I relate the full counsel of who Jesus is and what He has done—this is the office and duty of the Holy Spirit; conviction will then come.

*BEHOLD I SEND YOU

Luke 10:1-11

1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.

2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.

3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

4 Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.

5 And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.

6 And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.

7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.

8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:

9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

10 But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,

11 Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come nigh unto you.

 

 

12 But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

14 But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.

15 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.

16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

Ver. 1. Before His face into every city and place, whither He Himself would come—This is a great comfort to this mission of the disciple—he has been sent to pave the way for Jesus.

Ver. 2. Therefore said He unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth laborers into his harvest. We have prayed for laborers and they have come, and they will keep coming—we must continue to pray; many are sitting in comfortable churches are looking to get out and win souls, and do the work of the ministry.

Ver. 3. — Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

What do wolves do to lambs? —He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. Isa 53:6they shall turn on you and shall rend you—it happens in the life of the disciple.

They must set out with an expectation of trouble and persecution: “Behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves; but go your ways, and resolve to make the best of it. Your enemies will be as wolves, bloody and cruel, and ready to pull you to pieces; in their threatenings and revilings, they will be as howling wolves to terrify you; in their persecutions of you, they will be as ravening wolves to tear you. But you must be as lambs, peaceable and patient, though made an easy prey of. It would have been very hard thus to be sent forth as sheep among wolves, if Jesus had not endued them with his Spirit and His courage. These first missionaries were to go forth unarmed and unprovided for. They were to be a type of strange, seemingly weak preachers, before whose simple words and unarmed presence, the great system of paganism was to go down. One of the rare but beautiful traditional sayings of the Lord is referred to the first occasion of his speaking the words of this third verse. Peter is said to have asked him, “But how, then, if the wolves tear the lambs?” And the Lord said, “Let not the lambs fear the wolves, when the lambs are once dead” (these lambs are to live the crucified life in which they die daily, but have no fear of temporal death of the flesh); and then added again the words of Matthew 10:28, “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.”

Ver. 4. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes. And salute no man by the way.

See here the poverty of the true disciple. This especially refers to the length and tediousness of Eastern salutations, often very unreal, and which would consume much valuable time. Men were to see that one absorbing interest possessed them, and that to them was no time given for the ordinary useless amenities of life, but to the preaching of the gospel only.

Ver. 5. Peace be to this house. When we pray for people who are looking for Jesus, His peace which is our peace, falls on them—this is the Kingdom of God coming nigh to them.

Ver. 6. The son of peace. We minister Jesus to them and He moves in them and on them.

Ver. 7. And in the same house remain.… Go not from house to house. Make camp in one place—time is to be spent bringing the Kingdom—not in trifling with the temporal.

Ver. 8. Eat such things as are set before you.

(1) an instruction to be content with whatever their host should set before

them, avoiding even the appearance of caring or wishing for flesh-serving advantages;

Ver. 9. And heal the sick that are therein. These were great powers to confer upon poor weak men — men, too, only in the very dawn of faith — and their naive surprise and joy (see ver. 17) show how little they believed in their possession of such powers, even after their Master’s words announcing to them the gift. This is what we do—we deliver people and they are healed—sometimes physically, but always Spiritually—if they want to be.

10 But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,

11 Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. Matt 7:5-6;——- He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. Matt 10:40

We must announce the judgments of God against those who should reject us and our message: “If you enter into a city, and they do not receive you, if there be none there disposed to hearken to your doctrine, leave them, v. 10. If they will not heed your preaching of me into their lives, don’t you give them warning in their streets.” He orders them to (Lk 9:5) do as he had ordered the apostles to do: “Say to them, not with rage, or scorn, or resentment, but with compassion to their perishing souls, and a holy dread of the judgment day, which they are bringing upon themselves, Even the dust of your city—your life– which cleaves to us, we do wipe off against you, v. 11. From them do not receive anything at all, be not beholden to them. It cost that prophet of the Lord dear who accepted a meal’s meat with a prophet in Bethel, (1 Kin. 13:1-26). Tell them that you will not carry with you the dust and dirt of their lives; let them take it to themselves, for dust they are.” It shall be a witness for Jesus’ ministers that they had been there according to their Master’s order: Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Acts 20:26-27

It shall be a witness against those who refuse to receive Jesus and His word concerning those who are unrepentant and steeped in sin and bondage—“repent ye and believe the gospel,” (Mk. 1: 15) is His command. And we are to tell them and we are to shake their dust from our feet of those we minister to for months who still refuse to heed the message. We are not to compromise or water down the message, and we must warn them to be sure of the message and its impact on their lives—temporally and eternally. It is in our telling them that the kingdom of God is come nigh to them; Here is the plain truth of the gospel—choose this day whom you will serve The gospel is brought to your doors; if you shut your doors against it, your blood is upon your own head. Now that the kingdom of God is come nigh to you, if you will not come up to it, and come into it, your sin will be unforgiven, and your condemnation sure.

Ver. 12. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

Ver. 13. Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

Jesus here starts to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, but the people refused to repent and come to Him. Men will be judged not only for what they have done or failed to do, but their opportunities, their circumstances, their chances in life, will be, before they are judged, strictly taken into account.

Ver. 14. But it shall be more tolerable for Tyro and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. Tyre and Sidon, those representative examples of the luxury and vileness of the great cities of the old pagan world, will, when the dreadful awards are made, be beaten with few stripes, while the cities spoken of here, wilt be beaten with many, because these last listened unrepentant to the word of the gospel, and gazed unmoved at the mighty works of mercy of Jesus; This is one of the passages in the New Testament where the doctrine of degrees in punishment is plainly set forth, and in words which fell from the lips of the Master Himself.

Ver. 15. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell. The present state of the site where this city once lay, is indeed so desolate and miserable that we can scarcely picture to ourselves that it was once a populous, crowded city; some thirty years after this woe had been uttered by Jesus, in the terrible wars in which Rome avenged herself on the Jewish hatred and scorn, this beautiful city was absolutely laid to waste. Jewish historian Josephus, who had been dwelling on the loveliness of the place, described the city as “strewn with wrecks and putrefying bodies.”

16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

We are instructed by Jesus not to cast our pearls before swine, lest they turn on us and rend us; yet we are reminded that we are sent as sheep amongst wolves, and we know what wolves do to sheep. But as sacrificial animals—sheep—we keep going—dumb to the shearer, dumb to the slaughter.

*THE MINISTRY

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him. Acts 10: 38

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and forever. Heb 13:8

The first vital question for the person you are ministering to is “where are you with Jesus and where is He with you?” Jesus is the foundation of all that you are doing, so He must be brought in at the outset, so that He can be allowed to direct you, and you will be open to Him doing the ministry. If the person you are ministering to has no relationship with Jesus, you need to lead the person to the Lord; Mere acceptance of Jesus is not enough; the full counsel regarding confession of sin, and repentance from it, and a lifetime walk of love and obedience to Jesus must be included:

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

21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. 2 Pet 2:20-22

God’s design in favoring them thus was to bring them to repentance and intimacy with Jesus; hey thus frustrate the mercy and grace of God—giving lip service to true repentance, failing to bring forth the fruits meet for it; the doom of those who thus receive the grace of God in vain will be very fearful. They that were thus exalted, not turning to Jesus, will be thrust down to hell, thrust down with disgrace and dishonor. They will thrust in to get into heaven, in the crowd of professors, but in vain; they shall be thrust down, to their everlasting grief and disappointment, into the lowest hell, and hell will be hell indeed to them, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth:

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Rev) 21:8

fearful— deilos (di-los’); timid, i.e. (by implication) faithless:

The cowardly, those who do not acquit themselves as men and women of God because imagination of consequence overtakes their faith; Those who through fear of men, withdraw from the will of God; Those who succumb to the fearful threats of satan, thus ignoring the soverienty of God and His deliverance and salvation.

unbelieving— apistos (ap’-is-tos); actively disbelieving, i.e. without faith in Jesus; (especially, a heathen); not to be trusted; without trust (in God);

Jesus– as to those to whom He sent his ministers: will reckon Himself treated according as His ministers are treated, v. 16. What is done to the minister, is done, as it were, to the Master that sends him–“he that hears you, and regards what you say, hears Me, and honors Me; but, he that despises you does in effect despise me, and shall be reckoned with as having rejected Me; he thus despises Him that sent Me—he despises our Father in heaven.” And they who despise the faithful ministers of Jesus, who hate and persecute them, look scornfully upon them, and turn their backs upon their ministry, will be reckoned with as despisers of God and will not receive acknowledgment from Jesus before our Father on the dreadful day of judgment.

*WHOM DO YOU SAY JESUS IS?

Matt 16:13-17

13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

If we are to effectively minister Jesus to people, we must first know who He is ourselves. This relationship must be established, for it contains all that is vital to ministry. Do you know Jesus as He is, or as others have presented Him to you? It is out of your intimacy with, and your everyday worship of, Jesus, that the anointing for the ministry comes.

Jesus here is moving the disciples to a decision as to who He is to them; Determined now to reveal Himself, He desires to make them express the mistaken views which were rife concerning His Person and is office and mission, and to weigh all they had heard, all they had experienced with Him, and make the decision as to who and what He is to them. He is still asking the same question today, and it is this question that we must put to any we minister to—who and what is Jesus to you—where are you with Jesus, and where is He with you. Up till now, Jesus had not said who He was, but had left all to judge who He is by His works. Notice here He is asking who the people—the common people—say He is; He had already been persecuted by the scribers and Pharisees—the leaders of the church—and was now enquiring what the disciples had heard about Him from the common man.

14 And they said, Some say that you art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

See the differing opinions given by men here; this is an example of the division Jesus causes; the Truth of who He is yough, is a united Truth—it is whole—and to truly know who He is, one must be drawn to Him by our Father, and it is our Father who must then reveal Him; see the flesh and blood answers given here. If we do not cling to Him and love Him for who and what He is, we will find our opinions of Him divided and wavering. Notice that all the men mentioned here had already died and were all great men of God; see these people believing that Jesus is a great man of God, but the inference is, that He is only a man—“a great Prophet.” Herod thought that Jesus was animated by the spirit of John the Baptist (Mt. 14: 1-20); Of the men here mentioned, we can draw two conclusions: that Jesus obviously had a high reputation among the people, but He was not regarded as the Messiah; Thanks to the scribes and Pharisees, He was seen as a forerunner to the true Messiah. People we minister to will have all sorts of varying opinions as to who Jesus is, and what He is to them; to minister Jesus to them, we must first come to the truth as to who He is ourselves—who He is to us. If we have not come to Him and pursued Him by grace, we will not be able to effectively minister Him by grace.

15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

The disciple is closer to Jesus than any others; It is in this closeness, that revelation comes as to who He is; check the various areas of your lives—your time at His feet, your sacrificing for others, your worship, your tithes and offerings, your pride, your lust—it is your witness in these areas that will tell you who you think Jesus is and what He really is to you. To say you love Him and are intimate with Him, and to not give to His work, is hypocrisy—for true love for Him always translates into true obedience to Him. To preach His preachings and teach His teachings, with out walking them out yourself, is hypocrisy of the gravest sort, and again, reveals who He is to you. It was on this inquiry of the twelve, that hung the foundation of the church, and it is this inquiry of the Master today to you and me, and all who proclaim Him that holds the foundation of the church together. The closer you are to Him, the better you can relate to others, who He really is. When we are being raised by God to train and teach others, and to save, heal, and deliver them, we must first come to the awful truth about Jesus, and when coming to that truth we must in no way compromise it. To compromise what He is to us, will compromise what we are able to minister of Him to those to whom we are called.

16 And Simon Peter answered and said, You art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

See the vehement loyalty of Peter here—he silences all hesitation on the part of the other eleven, and declares boldly what must be the conviction of all the Master’s disciples. He boldly speaks out the persuasion the grace of God had wrought in the depths of His soul—He knows that He knows; Imagine trying to debate him over the issue. We must arrive at this point with Jesus—that we know without doubt or compromise, who He is, what He has done, what He requires and commands—we must not strive or debate about it, or negotiate at the table of the table of the enemy about it.

17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

“blessed” as in the blessed Jesus uses in the sermon on the mount—same Greek word, which would really insinuate a benediction, more than a mere confession; Jesus addresses Peter here as “son of Jona”—and does so again when reminding him of his frail human nature in the face of great spiritual privileges: So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. John 21:15; “flesh and blood” is used by Jesus here to express the idea of the natural man, to whom Spiritual things are not discerned. Interesting that Paul also uses the phrase in the 6th chapter of Ephesians when telling us that we “wrestle not against flesh and blood;” It is the grace of God, that He, by His revelation, overcomes our slowness of apprehension, prejudices, education and lack of faith.

Those who refuse to get into union with Jesus will find that their ministries and lives will be conducted according to flesh and blood, not the Spirit of God.

So the first question must be answered, and if the person does not know Jesus, it is your job to introduce them, and lead them to Him; confession of need for Him, confession of the lost sinful state from which only Jesus can rescue, and, entering into an eternal walk of love for Him and obedience to Him, are the steps that need to be taken. If the question of baptism comes up, yes, they must be baptized, whether they were as an infant or not. This will be God’s time for them to receive baptism, and publicly acknowledge their need for and their allegiance to, Jesus.

Once the person has been led to the Lord it is time to start the ministry. There may be several areas of the person’s life that Jesus wants to deal with. You will learn much by asking, and then listening. As you open up the ministry session, listening will be the most important phase—remember it is the One Great Listener, who is resurrecting inside you. Satan works in a deception beyond our comprehension at times, so we must listen to see where the word of God is being violated, what Jesus is saying at the time, and where the enemy has gotten in.

*CRUCIAL AREAS

We all suffer from hurts and abuses of the past; what we must remember, is, that we too have hurt people and have abused them—this fact is of great value when ministering to someone who has been hurt and abused, and it is a valid question to ask them as they stubbornly refuse to forgive their abuser, if, in fact, they have ever hurt or abused anyone. Just about all abusers have been abused; they hurt and act out the anger and rage of that hurt because of the abuse they have suffered. We need to get the abused to see their abusers in that light; the goal of Jesus is to bring them into intimacy with Him, and to let Him fill them with Himself to the point that they are able receive His gift of forgiveness and to say from their heart—“Father forgive them.” Such heart-felt utterance is perfect evidence that Jesus has manifested in the person’s mortal flesh, for there is not one person who can say that from the heart, without Jesus authoring it. Jesus will break any bondage on a person who has seized the grace of a heart for Him—there absolutely must be a turning from sin (repentance), and confession of sin, and the asking of Jesus to come in and be Lord of the life. If people refuse to turn, confess, and repent, then we refuse to minister, but we do counsel them as to what they need to do, as Peter did to Simon the magician when Simon wanted the power of the Holy Spirit:

21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter: for your heart is not right in the sight of God.

22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

Acts 8:23

23 For I perceive that you art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

Acts 8:21-23

The gall of bitterness— A Hebraism for excessive bitterness: gall, wormwood, and such like, are used to express the dreadful effects of sin in the soul; the bitter unwillingness to repent, bitter regret, bitter sufferings, bitter hate, pride, and anger which the sin of an unGodly heart produces. In (Deut. 29:18), idolatry and its consequences are expressed, by having among them a root that beareth GALL and WORMWOOD. And in (Heb. 12:15), some grievous sin is intended, when the apostle warns them, lest any root of BITTERNESS springing up, trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.

Bond of iniquity— An allusion to the mode in which the Romans secured their prisoners, chaining the right hand of the prisoner to the left hand of the soldier who guarded him; as if the apostle had said, You art tied and bound by the chain of your sin; justice hath laid hold upon thee, and you have only a short time before your execution, to see if you wilt repent.

We see Peter here go right to the point—he doesn’t waste pastoral mumblings or the sloppy agape love thing on Simon—he tells him firmly what his problem is and gets right to the point; He doesn’t say—“that’s ok, we’ll just love you through it brother—here, have the Holy Spirit.” Firmness is best when we are dealing with sin in the soul and its consequences regarding this temporal life, and, its subsequent impact on eternity. Simon had a great reputation among the people, and of late a good name too among God’s people, and yet Peter here gives him counsel that brings his character into question. It is rampant in and out of the church today— men and women continuing under the power of sin, and yet they put on a form of godliness and claim Jesus. Hypocrisy is death (Lk. 12: 1), and we must address it when we see it. Remember, we don’t pursue people for ministry, they come to us, and when they come to us, we must be ready to give them the full counsel of God that no man’s blood be on our hands:

Wherefore I take you to record this day that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Acts 20:26-27

We must expose the wolf within, in spite of the sheep’s clothing. What is revealed here in Simon, is the revelation of all those who oppose Jesus; First, They are in the gall of bitterness—which shows their aversion to the commandments of Jesus—“He who loves me obeys my commandments” (Jn 14: 15); that Sin is an abominable thing, which the Lord hates, and sinners are by it made abominable to Him; they are vicious in their own nature, and are void of Jesus dwelling in them. Indwelling sin is a root of bitterness, that bears gall and wormwood, (Deut. 29:18). The faculties are corrupted, and the mind embittered against all Jesus teaches and commands, (Heb. 12:15). It intimates likewise the consequences of sin; the end is bitter as wormwood—it is damnation. Secondly, They are in the bond of iniquity– bound over to the judgment of God by the guilt of sin, having no Cloak for their sin:

21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.

23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also. John 15:21-23

Such are bound under the dominion of Satan by the power of sin, led captive by him at his will- (2Tim. 2: 26). Peter shows Simon that he will come short of the spiritual blessings which he undervalued (v. 21): “You have neither part nor lot in this matter;” you have nothing to do with the gifts of the Holy Ghost, you do not understand them, you are excluded from them, have put a bar in your own door; you cannot receive the Holy Ghost yourself, nor power to confer the Holy Ghost upon others, for your heart is not right in the sight of God; if you think that Jesus is a trade to live by in this world, you have no part nor lot in the eternal life in the other world which the gospel offers.” First, There are many who profess Jesus, and yet have no part in Him:

23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles, which he did.

24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,

25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. John 2:23-25

Secondly, They are those whose hearts are not right in the sight of God, are not animated by a right spirit, nor guided by the hand and word of Jesus, nor directed to His glory.

Peter thus gives Simon Godly counsel, v. 22. Though he was angry with him, yet he did not abandon him; and, though he sees his case as ending in condemnation, yet he does not say—“brother, kneel here, and I’ll pray for you;” he instead, directs Simon to pray to God himself, and seek God for a heart for Jesus, himself.

Peter continues to instruct Simon: He must do his first works. First, He must repent,– must see his error and turn from it,– must change his mind and life,– must be humbled and ashamed for what he has done. His repentance must be immediately undertaken: “Repent of this, acknowledge yourself guilty in this, and be sorry for it, repent, and turn to Jesus.” He must call his sin for what it is– wickedness, his wickedness, the fruit of his own corruption. Those that are in sin’s dominion, must, repent. He must pray to God, must pray that God would give him repentance, and pardon through Jesus upon that repentance. Penitents must pray, which implies a desire toward Jesus, and a confidence in Him as the great Forgiver, Cleanser, and Restorer of Life. Simon, as great a man as he and others think he is, shall not be allowed entrance into the apostles’ communion, upon any other terms than those upon which other sinners are admitted—repentance, prayer, and coming to Jesus as their Savior from their sin, and from here on, as Lord of their lives.

The encouragement of Peter for Simon is this: Go to God, through Jesus, pray, and see if God will give you the gift of repentance and His forgiveness—the gifts of repentance and forgiveness from God, are found in the Gift that is His Son. See here that it is the heart of Simon that Peter deals with; for it is the heart of man that Jesus is always dealing with—(Deut. 10: 16; Rms. 2: 28-29; Col. 2: 11). When Peter here puts a perhaps upon his counsel of going to God and what God might do, the doubt here is of the sincerity of Simon’s repentance, not of his forgiveness by the Lord, if his repentance is sincere.

Simon’s request to them to pray for him, v. 24. As stated earlier, Peter refuses to pray for him, but instead, sends him to the Lord to pray for himself; Simon begged for the prayers of the apostles for him, wishing to have an interest in them, who, he believed, had a good relationship with the Lord, using that to help him. He begged of them to pray for him, but did not pray for himself, as he ought to have done; and, in desiring them to pray for him, his concern is more that the judgments to which he had subjected himself, be prevented—instead of being concerned that Jesus would change his corruption; like Pharaoh, who would have Moses entreat the Lord for him, that he would take away this death only, not that he would take away this sin, this hardness of heart, (Exo. 8:8; 10:17).

Servants of sin in the house of God

John 8:31-36

31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, “If ye continue in my

word, then ye are my disciples indeed.”

32 ”And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

33: They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

34 Jesus answered them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

35 And the servant abideth not in the house forever: but the Son abideth ever.

36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

“If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed”–this is verse 31 and upon this verse rests the remaining part of our text. In order to overcome bondage of any kind, we must continue in His word—both the written, and the spoken. If we spend all our time in the Bible and none at His feet, our head will be filled with Biblical knowledge, but our hearts will never be reached. We must be immersed in the written word to be sure, but we must also be immersed in the Person of Jesus, and He immersed in us, and that can only happen by spending time at His feet—We cannot do without this filling and the intimacy with Him that it brings. So we must abide in Him and His word and Himself must, abide in us.

It is the disciple who is made free–the first word in verse 32 is ‘and’ which joins that verse as building on 31.–it is not enough to just believe–the demons believe and they tremble– Here we see the contrast between a nominal professor who still serves sin but confesses Jesus–one who is lukewarm–and a son–one who’s Faith is alive, testimony given by His works, evidenced by the resurrection of the Master within him- “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me……and you will know them by their fruit……” Jesus here presses on the believing Jews the need for continuance in relationship with Him, and the fact that it is this continuance that verifies His real disciples because they are transformed from being servants of sin, to being servants of God. It is then that they will experimentally know the Truth (Jesus Himself) and be set free and kept free by that relationship. In verse 33 we sense the pride of the Jewish character, insinuating that their seed being of Abraham, was sufficient, and that Jesus could hardly add anything to their standing as Abraham’s children. Many today who are in such belief and bondage would say to us they are seeds of Jesus and His grace, having accepted Him as Savior, but not making Him Lord–how dare we talk about self-sacrifice and obedience–Jesus died so we are free–free from Him and free to sin because He paid it all. The character of the unbelieving Jews here is much the same as the Christians we are talking about; These Jews had been in bondage in Egypt, Babylon, and were currently in bondage to the Romans; yet they refuse to acknowledge their bondage as many Christians do today. Jesus then tells them of their bondage to sin–The slaves of sin rarely grumble at that slavery–it is their slavery to God they grumble at. They do various things for His service He cares nothing about, or try to appease Him by assuming (sometimes with great effort) some yoke Jesus never wore, and in these things they remain slaves not sons.

As our Maker, the Lord designed our survival as dependent on Him, and this is total freedom. Instead of being sons and daughters to Him, most remain slaves to all else and in doing this, they are constantly seeking and arriving at a more complete slavery. As the Scripture says, they appear to be abiding in the house (God’s), but when that Day comes, they will find that they never really abode there at all because they were bondservants to sin, not to the Master, who is the Son that shall abide in the house forever. Much of their problem can be traced to the pursuit of the gods—health and wealth. They seek most intimate relations with much that is contrary, namely riches and well-being, not realizing that the most intimate relationship possible is with Him. Where this is not realized, joy in one’s being is pursued instead of the Life of that being–in short, we look to something of ourselves to rejoice in. There is nothing. This brings one false glory and dominion over him or herself, which he or she rejoices in, but the Spiritual Life will eventually fail because the counterfeit has survived and thus dominating—they seek to appease and satisfy the god of self; the journey by and large then, is made walking after one’s own thoughts and perceptions, as well as the doctrine of demons and of men, seeking mammon, in the name of Jesus. All one has then, one rejoices in as being one’s own–there is no more complete bondage than this. The flesh tempted and thus inspired and drawn away, starving the spirit, cladding it in the grave clothes of vain imagination and service to self. God would have sons and daughters–and He would grace sons and daughters in willing it so, freeing them indeed, from themselves, but making them willing slaves to Jesus. The slave of sin is not an heir, and may, at any time, be expelled from the house–the family of his Master; a son is an heir, privileged with the right of remaining in the family. The latter describing a person who the Son of God–Maker of all things–has made free;

Men love self–flesh–and it resides in outer darkness, for such is its eternal home, as the flesh has no glory. Period:

And this is the condemnation, that Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the Light, neither cometh to the Light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the Light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. John 3:19-21; “How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?” Jn. 5: 44

In the Father’s house are many slaves….not unto Righteousness, but unto self. It is Jesus and He only that can exact freedom from this monster. I choose to pursue His Resurrection and Life in my mortal flesh; I must decide to be consumed with pursuing Him–only then will I decrease and He increase–but I must remember that it is my Father in me, He must do the work–my only part in it is to decide to let Him do it. Then, I become, by grace, servant to all, but slave to none but Jesus in which complete slavery becomes total freedom: “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.”

Jesus died to save us–from self and the eternal darkness Justice demands of it;

The soul, by accepting Jesus in His light and power, is greatly elevated and raised above things of sense and reason, for Faith given by Jesus has total Lordship over both; and the soul can never act with so true a liberty as when it acts under a command of Jesus, for where He is there is liberty.

In summary:

Taken in context and considering His Jewish audience, we see Jesus addressing a world at the crisis point of its spiritual history. By nature, far from Him, they were in bondage. Only if they chose to continue to abide in Him and His Word would they know the Truth (Him) and He would make them free. The result of this knowledge would be moral, and hence that knowledge consisted not in merely believing on Him, but in making His Word and teaching, their dwelling place–abiding in Him (Vs 30-32); But it was this very moral application which they resisted. In this also Jesus had used their own forms of thinking and teaching, only in a much higher sense. For their own tradition had it, that he only was free who labored in the study of the Law. Yet the liberty of which He spoke came not through study of the Law, but from abiding in the Word and the Person of Jesus. Again, this was the very thing they resisted. Thus they ignored the Spiritual, and fell back upon the national application of the Word of Jesus. As this is once more evidential of the Jewish authorship of this Gospel, so also the characteristically Jewish boast, that as the children of Abraham they had never been, and never could be, in real servitude. In their writings we see that ‘All Israel are the children of Kings’ (Shabb. 67a; 128a), and its application even to common life, that as the ‘children of Abraham, not even Solomon’s feast could be too good for them (Baba Mets. 7.1).

Jesus pointed them to another servitude which they knew not, that of sin (Vs 34), and, entering at the same time also on their own ideas, He told them that the continuance in this servitude would also lead to more national bondage and rejection–”the servant abideth not in the house forever;” on the other hand, the Son abode there forever; whom He made free by adoption into His family, they would be free in reality and essentially (Vs 35). Then because of their having ears that would not hear, He turned to their favorite conceit of being Abraham’s seed. They were such by national descent…..But there was a moral descent–and that alone was of real eternal value. The Word of Jesus was what He had “seen” with (before) the Father–not “heard,” for His presence with the Father is eternal. Their deeds were what they had “heard” from their father. And thus He showed them–in answer to their inquiry–that their father could not have been Abraham, so far as Spiritual descent was concerned (Vs 37-40). They had now a glimpse of His meaning, but only to misapply it, according to their Jewish prejudice. Their spiritual descent, they urged, must be of God, since their descent from Abraham was legitimate. But Jesus dispelled even this conceit by showing, that if theirs were spiritual descent from God, then would they not reject His Message, nor seek to kill Him, but seek to recognize Him and love Him (Vs 42).

But they were morally incapable of grasping His Words–and this because of their sinful nature, in short, their pride, evidence of certain manifestation of the evil one, ruling an reigning; an event which Judaism had never taken into account (they were, after all, the chosen people). If the Jews were morally unable to hear His Word and cherished murderous designs, it was because, morally speaking, their descent was of the devil. His argument was unanswerable.

The basic freedom here is deliverance from the guilt of sin, and access without fear to the throne of our Father. Arising out of this freedom come many other freedoms–freedom from legalism–freedom from the letter which kills and freedom to chose Jesus and His Spirit which give Life; Freedom from the Law and freedom of access to God’s grace through Jesus; Freedom to chose Life. The entire 8th chapter here also shows a freedom to ‘do as one would like,’ and is described in various ways: ‘to walk in darkness’ Vs 12; ‘to dwell “below,” in this world’ Vs 23; to be unpleasing to God, Vs 29; to imitate the devil, Vs 44; The end of these types of freedoms is the ultimate bondage–eternal death, Vs 21, 24.

The Way to True Freedom is to abide in His word (Vs 31), and so abide in Him (15: 7); if a person abides in Jesus, Truth of discipleship will be the fruit as the Master resurrects in the mortal flesh of the disciple. A disciple means an apprentice, one who receives instruction from his Master, watches the Master at work, learns by abiding with his Master, and yielding to Him. The true disciple lives, but lives not–it is the Master that lives in Him (Gal. 2: 20). Such a person will then know the Truth–the Truth is Jesus, and hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep his commandments. (1 Jn 2: 3)- and eternal life is to know Him and the only true God (Jn. 17:3)-It is our obedience that proves we know Him, and it is our obedience that proves our salvation, and it is our obedience that brings Complete and True freedom, proving our sonship and evidence that we are not the servants of sin, but are the sons of God, and we shall abide in the house forever. We must give to those whom we minister, the full counsel of God (Acts 20: 27).

*RESOLVING TO OBEY AND MINISTER

Here in lies the secret of ministry–Jesus is still the greatest among us and we must allow Him to be our Minister; but there is a price, and that price is everything. He laid all down for all of us, and His call is no less than that to all of us–we must seize the greatest grace which is to let the Master lift us to our cross that we might die that, Jesus might live to minister through us.

Instead of being indistinguishable from the world, we must be totally detached from it while ministering to it. The degree of help that we might be, will be commensurate to that detachment. The church in many instances has become part of that to which it was sent to tear down. And because of this, God has in many instances, lifted His hand– Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? Did not the Lord, He against whom we have sinned? For they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law. Therefore he hath poured upon them the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart. (Isaiah 42: 24-25).

We must remember the words which were spoken by the early apostles—For we are told that there will be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. They separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But we must continue building ourselves up on our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost; We must keep ourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Jude 1: 17-23

The exciting thing we have noticed is that Jesus is raising up more and more people to move in the prophetic and apostolic anointing–in short, our Father is raising up more and more men and women who are willing to lay down their lives that God’s people might be freed. And in this freeing, we are seeing a multiplication of ministry anointings that might be unprecedented in modern times. Our Father is doing what it is going to take to service the incoming end-times harvest. It is time for all of God’s children to abide at the feet of Jesus that they may find the will of our Father for their duty as the Day approaches. We must always seek the kingdom of God and His Righteousness (Jesus) and His will as we discern His direction for our ministries, For we know He has set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, governments, and diversities of tongues. Though all believers are sent under the Commission, all are not apostles; all are not prophets, all are not teachers and all are not workers of miracles, but all are required in their ministry to the Lord, to beseech Him for His will in ministry calling and responsibility. Some, who have spent their lives in the gravest bondage, have been freed by Jesus and have been given the most powerful ministries in terms of dealing with the enemy in the lives of God’s children.

Strongholds

Strongholds in doctrine and religious philosophy that have been developed by seducing spirits are being pulled down, but the battle is just beginning. The Lord is dealing with the fleshy intellectualism that has for decades, dominated university classrooms worldwide. Such philosophy exalts itself against the knowledge of the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He sent. Such philosophies are preached by principalities and powers, and emanate from spiritual wickedness in the high places of the world. We must put on the whole armor of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles of these seducing spirits—we must be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. We must be able to distinguish the church from the fallen world. We must take the shield of faith, wherewith we shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked—praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for all of us, that utterance may be given us, that we may open our mouths boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, satan was bound at Calvary—we no longer bind him, we enter his house and throw him out.

Deliverance (see also, the end of Chapter 7)

Some deliverance sessions can get very loud, and very messy. Demons will always try to control the ministry session, and discerning their actions is necessary; Perseverance with patience is always needed. Some demons will come out without an argument or struggle, but most will resist and challenge your authority. As stated earlier, we ministered to many coming out of the church of Satan, and saw some very extraordinary things happen. We worked with one man in his late twenties who had been raised in a satanic home. For four hours he went from the chair to the floor and back again, burping, and regurgitating. This man had become a Christian–as a matter of fact he had started seminary. Through various sexual encounters he had become extremely demonized. We worked and worked with this man, and after one four hour session, he lost two inches off his waistline–to “cast out” in the original language means to expel with a notion of violence, excrement from the stomach, and this is precisely what had happened to this man–Like He had done with many, Jesus had changed the entire countenance of the man.

Deliverance can be very stinky and very, very messy, as it was in this case. But, Faithful is He who has called us—Jesus delivers and heals.

Another problem in the ministry is that people think all they have to do is become a believer and they can cast out demons. And though Jesus says deliverance—casting out demons is a sign that shall follow them that believe (Mk. 16), we again must define what it means to ‘believe.’ It is a life-forsaking total adherence to the Person of Jesus—nothing less.

What this presumption of merely believing has done is set many Christians trying to do so without God’s commissioning and direction—it becomes “Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are you”? Many may not wind up naked, but they do wind up wounded (Acts 19: 15-16). We have dealt with many Christians who have been literally scared to death trying to do deliverance when God wasn’t calling them to do it. Some of these people are still sleeping with the lights on and their Bibles in their beds months after their initial ordeal. We have found though, that many get the courage and the power to deal with the enemy, after they have been through deliverance themselves. If God wants a man or woman to enter the ministry of casting out demons, they will not have to seek it; the Lord will bring it. It can be extremely dangerous to try to work deliverance without the calling and direction of Jesus.

The early stages of deliverance ministry can be extremely difficult. Demons will battle you and defy you, and many times it can be a contest of who can outlast whom. They will get you to strive and debate, and will not go, even when you tell them to go in the name of Jesus. It may take several times of getting into these confrontations to raise your faith to the level needed to deal with the spirits God has led you to. Demons bargained with Jesus, asking Him in the case of the Gadarene demoniac, to be sent into a herd of swine. Those who have worked in true deliverance ministry know what I am talking about—they will bargain with you too. One eventually learns to use Jesus’ authority to take command of the demons, and to not debate nor strive with them, but move right to getting them identified if the Lord so directs, and throwing them out. We have found that naming the spirit is only important if Jesus leads in that direction. Any demon is capable of manifesting as anything evil. Early in our ministry we had cast several demons out of a person, and thought we had several more to go, only to find that there was one demon left and he was changing from anger to lust to murder, to whatever he wanted to be. Jesus informed us and through him out. In the Gospel narratives, Jesus most of the time does not name specific spirits–He just calls them “unclean spirits,” and that is the way we deal with most. The way Jesus works with me is, I see the spirit manifest on the person, see its face, and can, by the grace of Jesus, tell most of the time the name of the spirit by that face. Most people come wanting deliverance from a certain spirit they believe is possessing or harassing them. But the key is to consider what they request, but always seek Jesus for He alone knows what is there and what is needed to get rid of it. Many under demonic oppression are not only confused, but are in total deception as to just what the enemy is doing to them and has already done. If you see a spirit of rage or anger, know that most of the time there is underlying hurt–usually the spirit of anger gets in as a response to an abusive or hurtful situation. But many times, a spirit of rage and anger gets a foothold because a person’s pride has been severely wounded. In this case, the spirit will seek revenge on the persecuting party and anyone else that it can jump on. Again, this is not a how-to manual on deliverance. I learned the ministry at the feet of Jesus and that’s where you will learn it if you are called to it.

In their very deception, demons will change faces and personalities—they will appear as one thing and actually be another–we must always beware that we are dealing with the ultimate deceiver when we are working deliverance, and the Truth is the only way deliverance will come about. Again, it is written, all power on heaven and earth has been given to Jesus, so deliverance is never a power issue, lit is always the Truth overcoming the lie.

Intimacy with Jesus is the totally necessary prerequisite for dealing with evil spirits. It takes His discernment to realize what you’re dealing with. And the longer you are in this ministry, the more clever and deceptive the enemy gets. Only Jesus can ever handle him. Know this and know it well. Those whom God uses in this ministry have a life that is spent at the feet of Jesus no matter where they go or when they get there. When Jesus gave authority over scorpions, serpents, and over all the power of the enemy (Lk. 10: 19), He was addressing disciples–men who had forsaken everything they had for the Master. There is a price to pay for the power in deliverance ministry–that price is your life.

Ministry of the Master

There is nothing like the eyes of death–the demon–staring you down, speechless, and with that leer, questioning your authority. This is what they love to do–they will tell you that you don’t have enough power to throw them out; I tell them they are right, for ‘it is written’–all power on heaven and earth has been given to Jesus. Using ‘it is written’ will back down the demon who is trying to work you with the lie and deception. And again, we learn not to strive and debate with them—we need to get them out because there are so many people to deal with and this is a very tiring, draining ministry. Demons may or may not tell the truth, but they are capable of saying things that are true. Some seek information from them, some seek angelic help during the sessions–I never do–I seek no one or nothing but Jesus, and I am in constant touch with Him throughout the session, and, I instruct the person I am ministering to, make sure they are in constant pursuit of Him as well. Angels may show up and usually do, but you must be in communication without ceasing with the Master to make sure you are on His course, and discerning His will in the deliverance for it is His ministry, and only He knows the person you are ministering to and the demons you are trying to throw out. We always wait on the Master, and when He shows up, we know deliverance is coming.

The only things we have found that may delay deliverance are a lack of repentance or forgiveness. Many people harbor bitterness and resentment, and, especially unforgiveness. In fact, that is why many come for ministry–they have tried for years to forgive and have not been able to. We must understand that we cannot forgive–forgiveness, like everything else our Father requires, is a gift from Him and we need to ask Him for it. The same with repentance; as we instruct those who oppose themselves, we must ask our Father to give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, many who are taken captive by him at his will. These two points cannot be argued too strongly, for we have seen the Lord unwilling to deliver until these two areas are taken care of.

We must always remember that as we preach Jesus crucified, that healing and deliverance are part of that gospel; we don’t usually preach before deliverance in one on one ministry, but we do give extensive testimony of Jesus, testimony that the Spirit of God always honors. If we are working deliverance to a group, it is a little different; we do preach Jesus, and instruct under His direction, and then He moves in and does the ministry: “……whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister; And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister; I am among you as He that serveth…” Mk. 10: 43-45; Lk. 22: 27b

Jesus is the greatest among us, and He must be given the rightful place as Minister–if we consistently lift Him up He will draw the victim to Himself; Persistent and consistent testimony of Jesus in deliverance sessions is evidence that the Spirit of Holiness is doing the work, for He is our Father in us, and the work is His.

The deliverance ministry opens one up to much criticism, but it is amazing how many in the body of the Lord have problems that cannot be solved any other way. People will come from denominations that don’t believe in deliverance, or that Christians can be demonized. Many people have dealt with spiritual problems for years, undergoing much prayer and many physicians to no avail. And then they come, and Jesus sets them free.

One thing you realize early in the ministry is that you will not be as successful as the Master was in the Gospels. This will open you up to much criticism. God will deliver people through you wherever and however He sees fit. It might even be in the lobby of an international ministry, as it was with me several times–most of the gospel deliverances performed by the Master were done in public. Point is, you will learn that as Jesus manifests in you, He will grace you to Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

“….the least in the Kingdom….”

People often ask: “how do Christians get demonized?” In the last chapter (7), we talked about many scriptural examples of demonized believers. If we, even as believers, make choices that are contrary to God, we open ourselves to evil spirits. We once worked with a second grade girl who was hitting her classmates and coming close to doing the same with her teacher. The school district was thinking about expelling her, and having her evaluated for possible placement in a home for children with mental problems. We were contacted first, and asked to pray and work with the girl….It turned out that she had been sexually molested by her dad during weekend visits stipulated in a divorce decree. The abuse had taken place a few years earlier, but the spirits that entered were now manifesting as anger, and even rage. Jesus delivered the girl and she was fine—until her Christian mother rented an ‘R’ rated movie, and allowed the girl to sit and watch it with her. She became demonized all over again, and we had to deal with her again. As far as the spirits are concerned, it was a legal situation; In this case, the mother opened her daughter back up to the spirits by letting her witness sexual situations in the movie. We have had people who were unwanted children from the time of conception undergo dramatic deliverance at the hand of Jesus. The drug and alcohol culture has opened more Christians to demonization, than perhaps any other indulgences. People get high and they become promiscuous, slipping into all sorts of deviate behavior; The movie industry has made it possible for people to contaminate themselves with R and X rated movies in the comfort of their own homes. Such behavior not only opens the people to demonization but also opens the home to the invasion of evil spirits. We have been called to exorcise many homes, indwelt by evil spirits because of the sinful behavior that has gone on in the homes.

All kinds of abuse open doors to all kinds of evil spirits, and our society over the last several decades, has been among the most abusive in the world. Many believe that the North American continent, namely the U.S., is the most needful mission field in the world today.

Any time there is trauma of any kind, satan is there to take advantage, fear being the most common problem. Sinful and unrepentant behavior on the part of Christians opens the door for spirits of evil to invade their bodies and lives. Many come for deliverance and then move right back into their sin. Such are much harder to deal with the second and third times around. When Jesus sweeps the house clean, we must be sure that He Himself then takes up residence there. For if we get seven spirits that are more wicked than the ones we through out of a person, going back into the same person, we have a much bigger problem. People coming out of occult and satanic backgrounds are the most difficult to deal with. The sessions are usually very long and painful for the victim and the minister, and the price paid for the deliverance is exacted on the minister much more severely than most other deliverances. Again, this is not a “how-to” manual for deliverance. Observations and facts stated here are based on experience given by Jesus, and authenticated by Scripture. There are some good “how to” authors on deliverance already out there–of all that’s available, we would recommend Don Bashan, and Derek Prince’s books on the subject. These books will help you, but always stay completely open to Jesus–if God is calling you into deliverance ministry, though many principles will be the same as many other deliverance ministries, the Lord will want to establish His own way with you; and always remember—its not so much book-instruction that you need–you need Jesus and a most intimate relationship with Him–He must become your Life if you are to overcome satan in your life and the lives of others.

It’s hoped that some of the principles and situations reiterated here will help and exhort you if God does call.

*THE PHARISEE AND PUBLICAN: PRIDE AND HUMILITY

Luke 18:9-14

9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

No man can confess and renounce all his sin–we have so many sins of omission and commission that it is impossible to confess them all, even if we knew what they all are, which we don’t; and the sins of every generation are the same; we are all guilty of many of the same sins as our forefathers, and God says we cannot blame them for our sin though it be the same as theirs, and we cannot accuse God of visiting their sins on us but each man is responsible for his own– for every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge. In many instances, generational sin is blamed for current sin, which tends to make some feel that if it hadn’t been for the sins of their forefathers, they themselves might be free of sin. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Our forefathers sin is but a shadow of our own, for all we like sheep have gone astray, and neither claiming generational influence or “the devil made me do it,” will fly at the judgment seat of Jesus.

It is the Holiness of the Blood of Jesus that endorses the Attitude of our hearts– sitting at the right hand of our Father. It makes us overcomers because of His gift of our faith in it to forever remove our sin and our enslavement to it. It is the perfect obedience of Jesus that gives His Blood its perfection. It is no longer the blood of bulls and goats being applied, but it is the application of the Blood of God, made when God shed His Blood on Calvary–again, the Power of the Blood of God is not dependent on the use man makes of it. That does not prohibit man from applying it if he so wishes. Under the Old Covenant, the blood of animals was applied, under the New Covenant, the Name of Jesus is applied, for it is the Holiness of His Blood that nourishes and sustains His Name in relation to the working of our Father in the saints–the Spirit of God never works without the Blood of God, for the Spirit of God is in residence in His Blood. The duty of the children of God toward His Blood must now be faith in its perfect Holiness and what it accomplished on its own, irrespective of our application of it. When the accuser of the brethren indicts God’s children, he must now indict through the Blood of God’s Son, and our Father the Holy Spirit in the Blood of His Son, is the Power of His Blood toward them that believe. For by His Blood, Jesus is our peace, He who has broken down the middle wall of partition between us and our Father–having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of two, one new man, so making peace; and that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and has preached peace to we which were afar off, and to them that were nigh (Eph. 2: 14-16). For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father–old things are passed away, and behold, all things become new. We must not get involved in the intricate exploration of our own corruption, for if we do, we will not be fit for the yoke or the plow; We must be very careful when exploring the corruption of those to whom we minister. It has to be done explicitly at the direction of the Lord. We must forget those things, which are behind, and reach forth unto those things, which are before, we must press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing we are otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto us.

Never were all these things made more clear to me than by my ministry to a satanic enforcer-sacrificer pulled from the church of satan by our Father. The man sat across from me, and as I always do, after some testimony as to the glorious Person of Jesus, we sat quietly and waited for the Master to show. He did, and when He did, I saw this man slowly lift his hands to his face; a few seconds later, he looked down at his feet and tears came to his eyes; both his hands and feet had been curled under for several years, with no hope of straightening them out. That morning, this man saw Jesus heal his hands and his feet— as the spirits were removed from him, both hands and both feet, became straight. We had not gone through renunciation, curses, generational sin, or anything else contained in the ordinances that though blotted out, seem to sell a lot of books these days. This was a man of satan, who had come to Jesus, accepted Him as Savior and Lord, confessed his sin and his need for His Savior, repented, and had made his Savior Lord of his life–those who have been forgiven much, love much; When we had started the session, I had first suggested sin confession, and he told me he had spent weeks confessing his transgressions to the Lord, and I believed he had. He said he had undergone extreme repentance. So when the power of God hit him, Jesus healed his hands and feet. Such Glory…..such Grace……My Lord…… We had not been praying for healing, but had started out the session the way we start out all sessions–by seeking the will of our Lord for the life we are ministering to, and seeking the manifestation of the Master to do the ministry. God may want to heal, he may not. We desire and seek but one thing and that is His Person, for if we have Him, we have His will and that is all we want. Period. We have seen many healings, when we haven’t prayed for them; and many times when we have prayed for healing, God has healed; many times He has not. We must seize grace to make “thy will not mine be done” be our very lives—Jesus I want you; Holy and Righteous Father I want you; Holy Spirit of Grace, I love you and worship you, and I want you—-not your gifts or your money or your honor or your glory—–When you said–”Seek My Face,” my heart said unto you, “Your Face Lord, will I seek.”

The Law in the life of the disciple

Matt 5:17

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

I am not come to destroy; emphasizing his statement by repetition. But to fulfil. By establishing the absolute and final meaning of the Law and the Prophets. Christ came not to abolish the Law or the Prophets, but to satisfy them — to bring about in his own Person, and ultimately in the persons of his followers—by His indwelling Spirit– that righteousness of life which fulfills the law; Jesus fulfills the law by living His life through us, therefore the Law—as He says—still stands, and will stand forever. Jesus has unfolded its spiritual essence, its inward perfection. Not even a tittle of the ceremonial law has passed away, if we regard the Mosaic Law as a whole; for the ideas which form its basis, as the distinction between the unclean and the clean, are confirmed by Christ, and contained in the law of holiness which he teaches men.”

 

*MINISTRY DISPOSITION AND RESPONSIBILITY

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20

Acts 20:26-31

26 Wherefore I take you to record this day that I am pure from the blood of all men.

27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Ezekiel 33:2-13

2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:

3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;

4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.

5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.

6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.

7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.

8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

10 Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?

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

12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.

13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteous nesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.

*CONFRONTATION UNTO ACCOUNTABILITY

Titus 1:10-16

10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:

11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.

12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.

13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Titus 2:11-15

11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;

14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

1. We are put under the dispensation of the grace of God, so the gospel is called, (Eph. 3:2). It is grace in respect of the heart of Jesus is in it– the free favor and good-will of God to us through Jesus, not any merit of our own, but unmerited favor because of the Blood of Jesus; Let not sin reign, but yield yourselves unto God; for you are not under the law, but under grace, (Rom. 6:12-14). The love of Jesus constrains us not to live to self, but to Him (2 Cor. 5:14-15); mere belief is of no effect for mere belief without living in obedience to Jesus, is grace is received in vain, for it is not grace at all but is blatant deception.

2. This gospel grace brings salvation (reveals and offers it to sinners and ensures it to disicples)– salvation from sin and wrath, from death and hell. Hence it is called the word of life; it brings to faith, and so to life, the life of holiness now and of happiness hereafter. The law is the ministration of death, but the gospel the ministration of life and peace. This therefore must be received as salvation (its rules minded, its commands obeyed), that the end of it may be obtained which is the salvation of the soul.

3. It has appeared, or shone out more clearly and illustriously than ever before, for it shines through the Blood and Person of Jesus. The old dispensation was comparatively dark and shadowy; this is a clear and shining light; and, as it is now more bright, so more diffused and extensive also. For,

4. It has appeared to all men; not to the Jews only, as the glory of God appeared at mount Sinai to that particular people, and out of the view of all others; but gospel grace is open to all, and all are invited to come and partake of it, Gentiles as well as Jews. The publication of it is free and general: Disciple all nations: Preach the gospel to every creature. The preaching of Jesus Christ, which was kept secret since the world began, now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith—if I claim faith, I must be in obedience to Jesus— (Rom. 16:25-26). The doctrine of grace and salvation by the gospel is for all ranks and conditions of men (slaves and servants, as well as masters), therefore engaging and encouraging all to receive and believe it, and walk in obedience to Jesus, without which, there can be no salvation—Heb. 5: 9.

5. This gospel revelation is to teach, and not by way of information and instruction only, but by way of precept and command, as a sovereign who gives laws to his subjects. It directs what to shun and what to follow, what to avoid and what to do. The gospel is not for speculation only or chiefly, but for the right ordering of life; for it teaches us,

(1.) To abandon sin: Denying ungodliness and worldly lusts; to renounce and have no more to do with these, as we have had: Put off, concerning the former conversation, the old man which is corrupt; that is, the whole body of sins, here distributed into ungodliness and worldly lusts. Thus we are instructed by Jesus to deny ungodliness (hate and put it away); and worldly lusts, all corrupt and vicious desires and affections that prevail in worldly men, and carry out to worldly things the lust of the flesh also, and of the eye, and the pride of life, all sensuality and filthiness, covetous desires and ambition, seeking and valuing more the praise of men than of God—all of these are gradually put aside when we seek Jesus in His fullness, and walk with Him as the Fullness of our hearts; Those that are Christ’s have allowed Him to crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts. The proof of –”Ye must be born again” is a 180 degree turn in behavior—a turn that is life-changing and a turn that abides; it is becoming a soldier, growing in sanctification as Jesus cleanses more and more from all filthiness of flesh and spirit. Thus the gospel first unteaches that which is evil, and then,

(2.) To make conscience of that which is of God: To live soberly, righteously, and Godly; there must be evidence of doing the works of Jesus, as well as resisting evil; in these conjunctly is sincerity proved and salvation validated. We should live soberly with respect to ourselves, in the due control of our appetites and passions, keeping the limits of moderation and temperance, avoiding all inordinate excesses; and righteously towards all men, rendering to all their due, as Jesus directs, according to our ability and their need: this seems a part of justice and righteousness, for we are not born for ourselves alone, and therefore may not live to ourselves only. We are members one of another, and must seek every man another’s wealth—which is to sacrifice ourselves that they may know Him (1 Cor. 10:24; 12:25). And we must be godly towards God, in the duties of his worship and service. Whether you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God, (1 Cor. 10:31). Personal and relative duties must be done in obedience to Jesus’ commands, with due aim at pleasing and honoring Him, from principles of holy love and fear of Him. But there is an express and direct duty also that we owe to God, namely, belief and acknowledgment of His being and perfections, paying Him internal and external worship and homage,– loving, fearing, and trusting in Him,– depending on Him, and devoting ourselves to Him in worship at His feet daily,– observing all those duties and ordinances that He has commanded,– praying to Him, praising Him, and meditating on Him and his word, and doing His works.

This is our walk, looking and coming to God, as he has manifested himself in Jesus; To go to God in any other way, namely, by saints or angels, is blasphemous, and contrary to all that Jesus teaches. All communications from God to us are through his Son, and our returns must also be by His Son. Thus our intimacy and obedience to Jesus is the proof that we are sons and not bastards. God in Jesus we must look at as the Object of our hope and worship. Thus must we exercise ourselves to consume Jesus and let Him consume us. We are the circumcision (who have in truth what was signified by that sacrament) who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. See in how small a compass our duty is comprised; it is put into few words, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, and living soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, continually. There is the world that now is, and that which is to come; the present is the time and place of our work and our trial. We thus then look forward to the glories of heaven, to which a sober, righteous, and sacrificial life is the preparation: Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. The glorious appearing of Jesus will the blessed hope of the disciple, attained; for our joy will be this: to be where He is, and to behold His glory, (Jn. 17:24). Christian dsiciples are marked by this, expecting their Master’s coming (Lk. 12:36), and loving His appearance, (2 Tim. 4:8). Let us then look to this Hope; let our loins be girt, and our lights burning, and ourselves like those who wait for their Lord; the day or hour we know not, but He that shall come will come, and will not tarry, (Heb. 10:37). And when He comes, let Him find us doing that to which He called us.

Titus 2:11-14

Exhortations to various duties

The apostle closes the chapter (as he began it) with a summary direction to Titus upon the whole, in which we have the matter and manner of ministers’ teaching, and a special instruction to Titus in reference to himself.

I. The matter of ministers’ teaching: These thing, namely, those before mentioned: not Jewish fables and traditions, but the truths and duties of the gospel, of avoiding sin, and living soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Ministers in their preaching must keep close to the word of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God, (1 Pet. 4:11), and not the figments and inventions of his own..

II. The manner; by doctrine, and exhortation, and reproof with all authority. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness; (2 Tim. 3:16)–that is, to teach sound doctrine, to convince of sin and refute error, to reform the life, and to carry forward in what the command and directive of Jesus; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works that are to be practiced by himself or to be taught to others. Here is what will furnish for all parts of his duty, and the right discharge of them. “These things speak, or teach; shun not to declare the whole counsel of God.” The great and necessary truths and duties of the gospel, especially, these speak and exhort, and do it with perseverance and earnestness, as well as consistence. Ministers must not be cold and lifeless in delivering heavenly doctrine and precepts, as if they were indifferent things or of little concern; but they must urge them with earnestness suitable to their nature and importance; they must call upon persons to mind and heed, and not be hearers only, deceiving themselves; but doers of the word, that they may be obedient therein. And rebuke–convince and reprove such as contradict or deny the teachings of Jesus, or neglect and do not receive the truth as they should, or retain it in unrighteousness—meaning those who hear it not with such a believing and obedient mind and heart as they ought, but, instead, live in contrary practices, showing themselves stubborn and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate. Rebuke with all authority, coming in the name of Jesus, and armed with his commandments, threatenings, and discipline; We are reprovers in the gate.

“Let no man despise thee; that is, give no occasion to do so, don’t put up with it without reproving it considering that—“he who despiseth, despiseth not man, but God.” Or thus, “Speak and exhort these things, press them upon all, as they may respectively be concerned; with boldness and faithfulness reprove sin, and carefully look to thyself and thy own conduct.” The most effectual way for ministers to secure themselves in the face of much temptation, is to make Jesus a lifestyle—in your going out and your coming in.

“Know those that labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake, (1 Thes. 5:12-13). Mind their teaching, respect their persons, support them in their office, for the salvations of souls, including your own, is at stake.

2 Tim 4:1-5

1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

‘Instant’— ephistemi- a) to stand by, to be present b) to stand over one, to place oneself above 1) used especially of persons coming upon one suddenly

‘Reprove’– elegcho-1) to convict, to refute, to confute

a) generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted

b) by conviction to bring to the light, to expose

2) to find fault with, correct

a) by word:

1) to reprehend severely, to chide, to admonish, to reprove

2) to call to account, to show one his fault, to demand an

explanation

b) by deed:

to chasten, to punish

‘Rebuke’– epitimao- to tax with fault, to berate, to chide, to reprove, to censure severely, to admonish or charge sharply

‘Exhort’– parakaleo-to console, to encourage and strengthen by consolation, to comfort, to receive consolation, to be comforted; f) to instruct, to teach

‘Longsuffering’– makrothumia-1) patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance; forbearance, slowness in avenging wrongs.

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

IX. Duty

Matt 7:21

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.

James 2:14-17

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

*******

Matt 25:31-46

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

As we know, faith without works is a dead faith-it cannot save, for it bears not the fruit of Jesus’ ministry. The Master Himself here describes for us, what will be the fruit of the minister who is walking in intimacy with Him, and is conducting our Father’s business at His direction. This then is a list of the works of Jesus through His people that those people will have committed against that day-Paul says he is confident that Jesus is able to keep that which he-Paul has committed against that day-judgment day;

He who loses his life for Jesus’ sake shall find it-this is the losing of the life-if you are doing these things at the direction of Jesus, I guarantee you will have no time for a life of your own; take no thought for your life-seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all shall be added-Jesus is the righteousness of God to us-if we have sought and found Him and He us, what He espouses here will be the result. No man can serve two masters-you cannot serve Jesus and yourself—the call is to forsake all you have or you cannot be a disciple; the command is to lay down your life for His sake or you will lose it; Remember, ye cannot serve God and mammon-Mammon remember, is a Syriac word that signifies gain-so whatever in this world is, or is accounted by us to be gain, is mammon-“what things I counted as gain for me, I counted as loss for Jesus-why? Because they divide my affection for Him, and, they keep me from fulfilling what is mandated here; mammon is anything then that gets in the way of your carrying out the will of God at the direction of Jesus-He says we must forsake all we have-and again, it is in the forsaking that the naked are clothed, the sick and imprisoned visited, the homeless sheltered, and the hungry fed—count the cost Jesus says-He has told us it will cost us everything.

*Matthew 25:31-46: THE TRUE MINISTRY OF JESUS THROUGH US:

Vs 31: When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

One of the first things we notice is that there is a judgment day to come, when men will either be accepted or rejected, on the basis of their relationship to Jesus-this is where we will find if our faith was alive-Jesus working through us at His command to carry out the will of our Father, or, dead-faith without the works of the Master. 2. The administration of the judgment of the great day is committed to Jesus; for by him God will judge the world (Acts 17:31), and to him all judgment is committed, and therefore the judgment of that day, which is the center of all. Here, as elsewhere, when the last judgment is spoken of, Jesus is called the son of man, because he is to judge the sons of men, being himself of the same nature, and on this day either honor or dishonor will be put on the sons of men. It is this coming that we must keep in mind as we labor-we have picked up our cross, which will be the prerequisite for picking up our crown.

Vs 32: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

All will appear at the judgment seat of Jesus; all of every age of the world, from the beginning to the end of time; all of every place on earth. This scene describes a personal, public, final judgment on all men, according to the treatment they have given to Jesus, and their relationship to Him.

Now for the first time; the two classes—those submitted to Jesus and those who are not, having been mingled all along through history up to this awful moment-even though mingled, they were contrary and divided Spiritually, as Jesus proves with His statements here.

“My sheep hear my voice” Jesus tells us in John 10-remember how sheep are defined-sheep in scripture are a sacrificial animal, and it is those who have laid down their lives-sacrificed them and lost them for the sake of Jesus-that are called His sheep-their lives have been led as a lamb to the slaughter, which Jesus says will be our plight as it was His when He walked the earth.

As the sheep is an emblem of meekness, patience, and submission, it is expressly mentioned as typifying these qualities in the Person of our blessed Lord ((Isa. 53:7; Acts 8:32); etc.), and if we have been graced to the sacrificial position, He will have resurrected sufficiently in us that we might be called sheep. Goats and sheep fed together in Biblical times, but they were folded separately. Unlike their gentle and helpless cousins, goats were independent, willful, and curious. Bible writers sometimes used goats to symbolize irresponsible leadership (Jer. 50:8; Zech. 10:3). So here in our present scripture, the goats represent the unrighteous that could not enter the kingdom of Jesus.

Vs 33:And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

And he shall set the sheep on his right hand– the side of honor (1 Kin. 2:19; Ps. 45:9; 110:1);

But the goats on the left– the side consequently of dishonor.

Vs 34: Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Notice here He did not set the rich on His right hand and the poor on His left-there is a holy deprivation of the things of the world in the blessedness of our Father; these will be those who shunned all that is at enmity with Him; There will be those who pursued it in the name of Jesus—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.

If we spend our lives in the pursuit of material prosperity as the wealth doctrine teaches, our affections will be divided, and we will worry about clothing our own nakedness and keeping it clothed, than we will about God’s people. Prosperity in the kingdom of God is not more material wealth, it is obtaining more of Jesus. And the more we have of Him and He of us, the more certain we are to be numbered among the sheep in our current scripture here, because He will see to it that His people are ministered to through us, and He will see to it that it will be a sacrificial ministry-a life lost for His sake to be found for the sake of the brethren, a life in which all but He is forsaken.

So then, the blessed of our Father are those who have taken the yoke of Jesus upon them; they have shown their love for Him by keeping His commandments; they have lost their lives for His sake, and on this day they shall find them; they have taken the afflicted road, not traveled by many; they have picked up their crosses daily unto the will of God at the direction of the Master. Here is where many will have claimed to have supped with Him, to have cast out demons in His name, to have performed much religious service only to hear “depart from me, ye who worked iniquity, I never knew you.” Contrast that with “come ye blessed of my Father.” The coming day should be a motivator for all to walk out this great salvation in fear and trembling as commanded. Paul said he was sure that Jesus was able to keep what he had committed against that day-“against that day” insinuates that that day will be coming against us all, and only the work of Jesus through us, shall stand the fire of His Spirit on that day. The discourse Jesus is about to undertake regarding the imprisoned, the hungry, the naked and the sick, is evidence that He did manifest in the sheep-it is the evidence of the manifestation of Jesus in our mortal flesh as a result of our love for and intimacy with Him, that will be the proof of our works on that day—he who has the Son and in he whom the Son carried out the will of our Father, will find himself on the right hand of the Son on that day, his works surviving the fire.

Vs 35: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

As we move into these four necessities provided by Jesus, let us not forget that we must first think of them Spiritually; For if we have Jesus and He is ministering through us, these things will be the fruit of His ministry.

First: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: … thirsty, and ye gave me drink: … a stranger, and ye took me in: Again, we must think first of the Spiritual needs here-I was hungry and you gave me meat—for my flesh is meat indeed and my meat is to do the will of He who sent me. We must feed them Jesus, if they are to be fed at all-many feed only to see the receiver drift into hell, because though the empty stomach be a major concern, an empty spirit should be of the utmost concern. The meat of the word, both the written and the Living, must be ministered, and there are many starving for Jesus. So as we fill the stomach, we must also fill the spirit. “thirsty and ye gave me drink”-same thing here-“my Blood is drink indeed.” The following verses define our duty in ministering Jesus to the spirit:

Matt 5:6

Blessed are they, which do hunger, and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

John 4:14

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 6:35

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

John 7:37

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

Rev 7:16-17

They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sunlight on them, nor any heat.

For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

The whole thrust of this entire passage (31-46) is not only the providing of physical needs, but more importantly, of Spiritual needs.

 

 

 

Vs 36: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

We must not only physically clothe the needy, but we must also clothe the naked who are without Jesus-those who are not clothed in Him in heavenly places–

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

For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house, which is from heaven:

If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.

For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 2 Cor 5:1-4

 

When I was naked ye clothed me (Vs 36):

He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Luke 3:11

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. James 2:14-17

Again, faith without works is not faith-the mandates given here by Jesus are evidence of the faith He gives, and when He gives that faith, the grace is also given to seize the faith and do the works which are the will of our Father—namely, provide for temporal and physical needs, but also minister Jesus to them, thereby feeding and clothing their spirit with Him unto salvation.

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? I Jn 3:16-18

“sick, and ye visited me” (Vs 36):

And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.

And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?

But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.

But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Matt 9:10-13

There is much more to visiting the sick than going to a hospital as Jesus proves with this saying-the sick here are those without Him, and anyone who is without Jesus is sick Spiritually. We visit and pray for the sick in body to be sure, but we must always be looking to carry it to Jesus healing the disease of the soul. It is the law of God that proves me sick and guilty-it is thus He who fulfilled the law who heals me from this condition-this is the message we must bring and minister.

“prison, and ye came unto me (Vs 36)”.

In the Spiritual sense, prison is bondage and this may be the most pregnant of all Jesus says here-it is the laying down of our lives that moves us into position to minister Jesus to those in bondage-to their sin, to their addictions, to themselves. This is the mission of our salvation unto the laying down of our lives to Jesus and His work; this is why we are here:

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:1-3

Vs 37-39: Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger and took thee in? or naked and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick or in prison, and came unto thee?

There is a pitiful pleading insinuated here. Those asking here, cut their reply short, as men in haste; when saw we thee hungry, or thirsty, or naked? They care not to repeat the charge, as if conscious of their own guilt, and unable to bear the terrors of the judgment they feel coming.

They had slighted and persecuted the poor, and would not admit that they had slighted and persecuted Jesus in the process; they never intended any affront to Him, nor expected that so great a matter would have been made of it. They imagined it was only a company of poor, weak, silly, and contemptible people, but we find here that it was Jesus whom they persecuted-makes you think of those in the church today who refuse to lift a finger to help those on the street, they too not realizing that it is Jesus they are affronting. What is done against the least of men, Jesus takes as done against Himself. He is reproached and persecuted in them. We must remember in ministering to men and women of low estate, that that is where Jesus got us; even though we know, we must not say to the sinners that he ‘brought it on themselves” (even though they did, just as we did)-their drinking and drugging; such who make such statements need to be reminded of the sewer from which they themselves were brought-sin is sin-some of it might reek a little more than the rest, but we have all fallen short of the glory of God in committing it, and who is anyone in the church or out of it to look at a man on the street or anywhere else for that matter, and say to him, you are too far gone to be rescued by Jesus, you want nothing but drugs, sex, and alcohol, so I will condemn you and not help you. Such attitude is very prevalent in the body of the Lord, and many, as these in our current scripture, will answer for it, the result being much to their surprise—-

Vs 40: And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

The door shut against Me by others was opened by you. ‘– “Ye took Me in.” Apprehended and imprisoned by the enemies of the truth, ye whom the truth had made free sought Me out diligently and found Me; visiting Me in My lonely cell at the risk of your own lives, and cheering My solitude: ye gave Me a coat, because I shivered; and then I felt warm. With cups of cold water ye moistened My parched lips; when famished with hunger ye supplied Me with crusts, and My spirit revived– “YE DID IT UNTO ME.” The surprise expressed is not at their being told that they acted from love to Jesus, but that Jesus Himself was the Personal Object of all their deeds:– that they found Him hungry, and supplied Him with food; that they brought water to Him, and slaked His thirst; that seeing Him naked and shivering, they put warm clothing upon Him, paid Him visits when lying in prison for the truth, and sat by His bedside when laid down with sickness. And herein lies the deception of those with the aforementioned attitudes: they don’t realize that the persecuting attitude toward the poor, is toward Jesus; they profess Him, but yet ignore Him in the faces of His people, and until the final bell sounds, all humans are classified as God’s people. Though their conversion tarry, it may be soon in coming.

Vs 41: Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed— into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, the just shall live by faith.

And the law is not of faith: but, the man that doeth them shall live in them.

Jesus hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: Gal 3:10-13

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matt 7:23

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever. Rev 20:10

The wicked—those who do not prove their salvation by the works of Jesus through them and their relationship with Him- shall go away into everlasting punishment. Sentence will then be executed speedily, and no reprieve granted, nor any time allowed to move in arrest of judgment. The execution of the wicked is first mentioned; for first the tares are gathered and burned. The punishment of the wicked will be an everlasting punishment, for that state is an unalterable state. It can neither be thought that sinners should change their own natures, nor that God should give his grace to change them, when in this world the day of grace was misspent, the Spirit of grace resisted, and the means of grace abuse; the wicked shall be made to go away into that punishment; not that they will go voluntarily, no, they are driven from light into darkness; but it bespeaks an irresistible conviction of guilt, and a final despair of mercy.

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

ADDENDUM

To summarize: here we have the awful separation of the two great classes is to be Jesus’ doing; the word of decision on both– “Ye blessed!” “Ye cursed!” and the word of command to the one, “Come!” to the other, “Depart!”– `To the Kingdom! ‘ `To the flames! ‘– all this is to be His doing. But most astonishing of all, the blissful or blighted eternity of each one of both classes hinges upon the treatment of Him as seen in His people Ye did thus and thus unto Me– Come, ye blessed! Ye did, it not to Me– Depart, ye cursed! ‘ In that “ME” lies an emphasis, the strength of which only the scene itself and its everlasting issues will disclose. There is a very practical character here stamped upon service to Jesus. It is not, `Ye had it, in your hearts, ‘ but `Ye DID it with your hands. ‘ It is the love of Jesus in the heart rushing to the eyes, ears, hands, feet– going in search of Him, hastening to embrace and to cherish Him, as He wanders through this bleak and cheerless world in His persecuted cause and needy people. He casts His entire cause in the earth upon the love of His people. His own poverty was to have an end, but His Church and his disciples in their poverty were to take His place. His personal conflict “finished,” that of His cause, was then only to begin. The whole story of His necessities and endurances from the world was to be repeated in the Church, which was to “fill up that which was behind of the afflictions of Jesus (Col. 1:24). And what condescension is there in identifying Himself with “THE LEAST of His brethren,” holding Himself to be the Person to whom anything whatever is done that is done to the humblest and the worst of them. Nor let it be overlooked, that the assistance to the sick and imprisoned here is not healing and release, which only few could render, but just that which all could bestow– visitation, sympathy, attention and the ministering of Jesus to them.

Jesus also teaches us here that a life of wickedness is not necessary to rejection at the great day. It is enough that, according to the former parable, we do nothing for Jesus; and according to the present one, that we recognize Him not in His cause and people, and do not to them as would be due to Himself. Dare we not continually look for Him in the thin disguises in which He still walks among us– and should we not tremble at the thought of turning Him away from our door, or stepping over Him lying in the street?

It is fitting that we here examine Jesus’ use of the word ‘blessing’ and what it means—“Come ye blessed of my Father” (Vs 34); being blessed of our Father is being drawn by Him, to Jesus; the fulfillment of the just discussed Matthew 25: 31-46, is evidence that Jesus has resurrected in us—He Himself is the blessing—we are blessed because we have been graced to be filled with Him, and this Blessing in turn, does His beautiful work with His people, feeding them, clothing them, visiting them, and taking them in (physically and spiritually) through those who are willing to count and pay the cost of such grace and anointing; Jesus defines the life of such a person in the Beatitudes, in the 5th chapter of Matthew.

In our preceeding discourse, Jesus uses the words “blessed of my Father” (Vs 34)—we must take this time to explore Jesus’ meaning of the word ‘blessed’:

BEATITUDES

Matt 5:3-12

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are they, which do hunger, and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they, which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

The Sermon on the Mount was delivered to the 12 but was heard by the multitude. In the sermon, Jesus sets forth the character and conditions of life pertaining to disciples and the Kingdom; it has been called the Constitution of the Kingdom.

Mt. 5: 3: ‘Blessed’ does not mean gifts from without, but contentment within due to the indwelling of Jesus. ‘Poor’ means deep poverty (Luke 6:20); ‘in spirit’ is a recognition of spiritual poverty such as that of the publican (Lk. 18: 13).

5: 4: ‘Mourn’ is sadness and lament over my own sin and the sins of others; the ‘poor in spirit’ are those who mourn; ‘comforted’ is the verb from which comes the noun “Comforter” (Jn. 14: 16).

5: 5: ‘meek’ is the inner calm of Strength, which is the indwelling Jesus;

5: 6: “hunger and thirst” are primary drives of food and drink; ‘Righteousness’ is personal righteousness that comes from Jesus alone; ‘filled’ is used of feeding and fattening cattle.

5: 7: ‘merciful’ means full of mercy, pity, or compassion; this applies as the law of sowing and reaping.

5: 8: ‘pure in heart’ is inner cleanliness; the unbelieving Jews practiced outer but not inner.

5:9: ‘peacemakers’ as opposed to warmongers; the primary reference is with respect to peace between God and man.

5: 10: ‘persecuted’ here means to pursue with malignity.

5:11: ‘revile’ means to reproach or insult with evil language; ‘falsely is a participle meaning ‘lying’.

5: 12: ‘rejoice’—leap for joy, Lk. 6: 23

The Beatitudes set forth the character and life of the disciple; It is the inner Jesus that is testified to by outer actions; Involved is the contrast between the Messianic kingdom envisioned by the Jews (outer), and the Kingdom as seen through the eyes of Jesus (inner). The Jews mistakenly thought the Messiahs reign would be one of power, pomp, and plenty; In sharp contrast Jesus pictures His reign as one of submission, service an suffering. It is not a matter of conquest, but of Character. Natural man says happy are the rich, powerful, and proud. Jesus says happy are the poor, humble, meek, and hungry. Note the progression in Mt. 5: 3-6: The ‘poor in spirit’ is conscious of his spiritual need, thus, he submits to Jesus—such receives the Kingdom as he submits to the King. Recognizing his weakness he mourns for his own sins and those of others. But He who stands alongside him in forgiveness and strength comforts him. Thus he realizes the inner Strength of meekness. He achieves happiness not in new circumstances, but his happiness alters his circumstances. Thus he inherits the earth. Therefore he hungers and thirsts more and more for a richer experience with Jesus the King, not for himself alone but for all men. In his submission he receives a continuous infilling of the Spirit, who enables him to experience happiness and to share it with others who through his zeal are brought to submit to the King. The disciple’s suffering will come commensurate with his zeal for righteousness as he performs the will of God. In his Godly suffering, the disciple thus becomes part of a glorious succession—the prophets—and the King Himself. Jesus’ description of what is blessing should not escape notice here; much of today’s teaching calls “blessing” an increase in material gain and stature; Jesus here teaches just the opposite.

 

*CONTINUING OUR DUTY IN THE LIVES OF GOD’S PEOPLE

John 2:13-17

13 And the Jews’ Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,

14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;

16 And said unto them that sold doves, take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

What we first want to do here is keep in mind that we will make application of this scripture to the individual, who is the temple of God.

Historically, this cleansing of the temple took place on the day following Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This is the King coming into His palace, the place where His glory is made manifest—the temple of God.

This is the first cleansing performed by Jesus and it comes at the beginning of His ministry; Matthew and Mark record the second cleansing of the temple by Jesus, which takes place at the close of His ministry. We find here the merchandisers and moneychangers, conducting business in the temple; exchanging the various currencies and selling animals of sacrifice. In verse 15 we see Jesus making a scourge of small cords—something He did not do at the second temple cleansing; John here singles out this punitive element in the first public appearance of Jesus—focusing on the force Jesus uses to cleanse the temple—usually it was a stare from His eyes that convicted and prompted action—here it is a whip in His hand. We see Jesus here with a scourge in His hand, a conspicuous method of expressing His indignation and augmenting the force of His command, by an indication that he means to be obeyed right then and there. Notice He pours out there money and overthrows the tables. There is some symbolism in that He has come to overthrow the world system—here He overthrows it in the temple; Again, keep in mind, we are after the symbolism of Jesus overthrowing such things in the temple which is the individual.

See that this is a public display of His anger—there is a lot of “get thee behind me Satan” thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men (Mt. 16: 23). This is a confrontation of Jesus overthrowing Satan in the temple—the ‘get thee behind me satan’ is an angry Jesus overthrowing satan in what was the life and body—the temple of Peter. He uses nearly the same words in rebuking Peter that He had used to satan in the temptation, and justly so, for Peter was acting on behalf of the devil, attempting to subvert the will of God by keeping Jesus from His mission—hence the sharp, public, rebuke of him—Jesus saying—“thou art an offense to me”—the devil in you opposes the will of my Father, and if I let it, it will keep the command of my Father from being performed. It is much the same in the life of the individual—God is patient and long suffering, but sooner or later, that which opposes Him in the life of a disciple will be dealt with in the same manner—why? Because no repentance is shown—the gift of repentance has been offered and refused, probably several times—and satan has gained a foothold by the lack of the disciple not accepting the gift and repenting. This sin that is allowed to dominate, thus stands in the way of Jesus’ resurrection in the disciple, and satan being the enticer and author of it, and the disciple giving way to it, are both covered in the rebuke. Why? Again, because they savor not the things of God, but the things of men and the fruits of their pride, which is usually at the root of the evil. The things of man are dominating the disciple who is the temple of God, and satan must be thrown out, and the man must be rebuked. And it is God who sets up the timing, method, and nature of the rebuke. In both the cleansing of the temple and the rebuking of Peter, Jesus’ response is immediate—He cleansed the temple when He first got sight of what was going on in it; He rebuked Peter as soon as the words got out of Peter’s mouth—there was no pre-meditation of warning, only rebuke.

It is the subtlety of satan, to send temptations to us by the unsuspected hands of our best friends, and especially of ourselves; Thus he assaulted Adam by Eve, Job by his wife, Saul by his ambition, and here Jesus by his beloved Peter. It concerns us therefore not to be ignorant of his devices, but to stand against his wiles and depths, by standing always upon our guard against sin, whoever moves us to it—especially when we move to it ourselves.

Those who have their spiritual senses exercised, will be aware of the voice of Satan, even in a friend, a disciple, a minister that dissuades them from their duty. We must not regard who speaks, so much as what is spoken; we should learn to know the devil’s voice when he speaks in a saint as well as when he speaks in a serpent. Whoever takes us off from our duty, speaks Satan’s language.

We must be free and faithful in reproving those disciples under us in which we see the agenda of satan getting a foothold. We must not compliment, but rebuke—in God’s timing—the activity of the enemy in the disciple when we perceive it’s agenda to mess with the will of God; Proverbs tells us–Faithful are the wounds of a friend– Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: Ps 141:5—It is of greater gain and blessing to be reprimanded by the righteous, than to have our sin coddled by them in the name of love; David is here actually giving permission to faithful admonition at the hand of the righteous, no matter how chastising it might be or seem; When the ungodly smite us it is cruel; when we are smitten by the righteous, it is a faithful wound, one that is from God, and one that will, in the end, cleanse and build. Many Godly men rap hard and they do so because God is rapping hard; they do not merely hint that the devil is in action, but they hammer at him and at the disciple who is his willing victim. When God uses the righteous to smite us, their smiting will produce fruit unto the will of God. We must thank God for His righteous hand, when it smites heavily. As the scripture says, it is the fool who resents God’s rebuke, it is the righteous who try to benefit from it. David tells us that such smiting at the hands of the righteous, shall be as an excellent oil, which shall not break my head. The chastising Oil—the Spirit of God—by which Jesus rebukes, reproofs and corrects, does not break heads; its end rather is to bring about the sweet sense of the presence of Jesus reestablished and made prominent again. This oil does not break the head, but will break the heart. The sufferings of the disciple are, even at the hand of the wicked, sent with the permission of God—a righteous God who inflicts with justice and mercy; The word ‘smite’ here is the same Hebrew word used for the stroke of the hammer pounding iron into shape; Faithful rebuke or reproof at the hands of a godly, loving minister, is in fact a token of his love for the disciple—for how many in the name of pastoral love refuse to do it even when God moves them to? It is their love for God and their obedience to Him as well as their love for the disciple that the reproving action comes forward—in this it is faithful and shall not come back void. Such wounding, is in reality, healing at the hand of God, for that is the design of Jesus in bringing it. Proverbs 9: 8 tells us that if we rebuke a wise man, (and it is God doing it), he will love the rebuker. We must always be more ready to examine ourselves than to examine others. The nail of rebuke or reproof must be well oiled in God’s will before it is driven home;

If David could say of his enemy that cursed him,–“let him alone, for God hath bidden him to curse”, we can even more safely say it when reproved by the righteous minister of God. And as the apostle says of the ministers of God—“God does entreat His people by them, so persuade yourselves that God does reprove you by them.” The danger here of course is ministers which are constantly in a state of serious rebuking and reproofing—that, obviously is not the rebuke or reproof of God.

When we perceive the activity of satan in the life of a disciple, we must wait for God’s timing in addressing it—it must for sure, be resisted with abhorrence, and not parleyed with.

We see Peter’s motivation out of a heart of kindness—He didn’t want Jesus to die; we see the moneychangers in an act of presumption—believing our Father assents to the carrying on of the things of men in His temple. In both instances, the perpetrators were standing in the way of the will of God, much the same as the enemy entices the disciple to act in a way that would also hamper the will of God.

Jesus is working out our salvation, and His heart is set so much to it that though He be patient, there will come a time when He will deal sternly with it—

Indeed, if the scripture proves us bastards, then we are illegitimate children—children who are not saved, but are servants that may abide in God’s house for now, but in the end it will be proven that such a man is not a son who will abide in the house forever;

In fact, to be allowed to go on in sin without a rebuke is a sad sign of alienation from God; such are bastards, not sons. They may call him Father, because born in and serving in the pale of the church, they have been accustom to it, but I submit to you, that eternally they will find that they are the spurious offspring of another father, not of God.

Peter was not so sharply reproved for denying his Master to complete his sufferings as he was for caring for the things of men instead of the will of God.

See why He called Peter Satan, when he suggested this to him; because, whatever stood in the way of our salvation, he looked upon as coming from the devil, who is a sworn enemy to it. The same satan that afterward entered into Judas, maliciously to destroy Jesus in his undertaking, here prompted Peter plausibly to divert Him from it. We see here that disciples most definitely are angels of light—we also see here how subtly satan can move in, and in the disciple, disguise himself as an angel of light.

Those that obstruct the will of God—either knowingly or unknowingly as Peter did– must be looked upon as an offence to us. When we see satan manifesting ever so subtly in the lives of those under us, it must be dealt with that that life will perform the will of God as Jesus does it through him—it is our meat and drink to do the will of God; Those that hinder us from doing or suffering for God, when we are called to it, whatever they are in other things in that they are Satins, adversaries to us—Jesus tells the church of Pergomos in the second chapter of revelation:

I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

We know that satan dwells among us, and we must constantly be watching for where he might dwell in the agenda and life of each of us. It is the discernment out of our intimacy with Jesus, that will grace us to see where satan is dwelling among us, and it is the same discernment and intimacy that will move us to deal with it in God’s time. We must not fall into resolution to be any certain way or of any certain disposition; we must be at the second by second beck and call of Jesus, performing the will of God as He works it through us and in us.

So Jesus takes a scourge of cords and drives man and beast alike out of the temple; when necessary, He does the same to us—remember, whom He loves He chastens, and He scourges every son he receives. And don’t think that is so harsh—remember the verse in Hebrews—Ye have not yet resisted unto blood striving against sin; Your trials have not yet reached the point of dying in the war as many of your brethren have, who have followed Jesus to the end of their lives-those lives ending in martyrdom.

And finally, verse 17— And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. The disciples, at the hand of God, were reminded of Psalm69: 9; It is in this Psalm that it is prophesied, that as Jesus approaches the climax of His sorrows, a holy zeal for God’s house will ultimately consume Him—eat Him up; and there is a reproach and agony for Him and any servant of God on which such grace rests. And the reason Jesus purges and scourges us His temple? Because it is our Father’s house. And, (a.) Therefore he has authority to purge it, for he is faithful, as a Son over his own house. (Heb. 3:5-6). He therefore has a zeal for the purging of it: “It is my Father’s house, and therefore I cannot bear to see it profaned, and him dishonored.” Note, If God be our Father in heaven, and it be therefore our desire that his name may be sanctified, it cannot but be our grief to see it polluted in our lives. Jesus’ purging the temple thus may justly be reckoned among his wonderful works. When corruption is too plain to be justified; sinners’ own consciences are reformers’ best friends; yet that was not all, there was a divine power put forth herein, a power over the spirits of men; and in this non-resistance of theirs that scripture was fulfilled (Mal. 3:2-3), Who shall stand when he appeareth?

Here is the remark which his disciples made upon it (v. 17): They remembered that it was written, The Zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. They were somewhat surprised at first to see Him to whom they were directed as the Lamb of God in such a heat, and Him whom they believed to be the King of Israel take such indignation upon Himself and dispersing it to others. but one scripture came to their thoughts, which taught them to reconcile this action both with the meekness of the Lamb of God and with the majesty of the King of Israel; for David, speaking of the Messiah, takes notice of his zeal for God’s house, as so great that it even ate him up, it made him forget himself, (Ps. 69:9). Observe,

The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. David was in this a type of Christ in that he was zealous for God’s house, (Ps. 132:2-3). What he did for it was with all his might; see (1 Chr. 29:2). The latter part of that verse (Ps. 69:9) is applied to Jesus (Rom. 15:3), as the former part of it here. All the graces that were to be found among the Old-Testament saints were eminently in Jesus, and particularly this of zeal for the house of God, and in them, as they were patterns to us, so they were types of him. Observe,

(1.) Jesus is zealously affected to the house of God, His church and the individuals that make up that church: He died for it all, and is always jealous for its welfare.

(2.) this zeal did even eat Him up; it made Him humble Himself, and spend Himself, and expose Himself. My zeal has consumed me, (Ps. 119:139). Zeal for the house of God forbids us to consult our own ease, and safety, when they come in competition with our duty and service to Jesus, and sometimes carries on our souls in our duty so far and so fast that our bodies cannot keep pace with them, and makes us as deaf as our Master was to those who suggested, “Spare thyself.” The grievances here redressed might seem but small, and such as should have been ignored; but such was in the zeal of Jesus that he could not bear even those that sold and bought in the temple. He feels the same way about corruption in we who are His temple.

 

 

 

 

*THE WALK OF DUTY

In the world ye shall have tribulation; be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Jn. 16:33

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. 2 Tim 2:3-4Many conclude that when the Christian undergoes extreme, constant, suffering, he has lost favor with God; here, the apostle shows that we are in fact, called to such sufferings (1 Thes. 3: 3). How blessed is the Christian life that bears no suffering?

Ministry Tribulation–2 Cor. 4: 8-18:

We are troubled on every side (satan), yet not distressed (Jesus); we are perplexed (satan, but not in despair (Jesus);

troubled—2346 (Strong’s number) thlibo-Greek:

1) to press (as grapes), to press hard upon

2) a compressed way, narrow straitened, contracted

3) metaphorically, to trouble, to afflict, to distress

distressed–4729 stenochoreo-

1) to be in a narrow place

2) to straiten, to compress, to cramp, to reduce to straits, to be sorely straitened in spirit

perplexed–639 aporeo-

1) to be without resources, to be in straits, to be left wanting, to be embarrassed, to be in doubt, not to know which way to turn

2) to be at a loss with oneself, to be in doubt

3) not to know how to decide or what to do, to be perplexed

despair–1820 exaporeomai-

to be utterly at loss, to be utterly destitute of measures or resources, to renounce all hope.

This verse points to much inward distress caused by men and the spirits on them that come against the disciple in his or her ministry; this is the wrestling with powers and principalities in general; This will cause much concern over current and future events happening in the life of the minister. The contrasts witness of the faithfulness of the Lord, even though we experience these things, we have the knowledge that God is in control, and through these trials and tribulations, God makes His faithfulness and sovereignty, our experience and reality. Faith comes through tribulation, no other way.

Persecuted (satan), but not forsaken (Jesus); cast down (satan), but not destroyed (Jesus);

Persecuted–1377 dioko-

1) to make to run or flee, to put to flight, to drive away

2) to run swiftly in order to catch a person or thing, to run after

a) to press on: figuratively, used of one who in a race runs swiftly to reach the goal

b) to pursue (in a hostile manner)

3) in any way whatever to harass, to trouble, to molest one

b) to be mistreated, to suffer persecution on account of something

foraken–1459 egkataleipo-

1) to abandon, to desert

a) to leave in straits, to leave helpless

b) totally abandoned, utterly forsaken

2) to leave behind among, to leave surviving

cast down–2598 kataballo-

1) to cast down, to throw to the ground, to prostrate

destroyed–622 apollumi-

a) to put out of the way entirely, to abolish, to put an end to ruin

b) to render useless; c) to kill

10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

This is a continual dying re-enacted in my body: having in it the marks of His sufferings (2 Cor. 1:5), I bear about, wheresoever I go, the image of the suffering Jesus, whose sojourn in the flesh was a continual dying, of which the consummation was His crucifixion (2 Cor. 4:11; 1:5): cf. (1 Cor. 15:31). It is the rejoicing in the infirmities of our bodies that works the power of Jesus in us. We bear much of the evil we forgive and much of the warfare that we encounter in ministry; such warfare most times tortures the flesh, making it tired, often times sleepless, and many times sick.

bearing about–4064 periphero-

1) to carry round, to bear about everywhere with one 2) to carry here and there

3) to be driven,

dying–3500 nekrosis-

1) putting to death, killing; being put to death

3) the dead state, to utter sluggishness;

used of bodily members and organs; “The dying” is literally, `the being made a corpse. ‘ Such Paul regarded his body, yet a corpse which shares in the life-giving resurrection-power of Christ.

That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body– rather, `may be. ‘ “Jesus” is often repeated, as Paul, amidst sufferings, peculiarly felt its sweetness. In (2 Cor. 4:11) the same words occur, with the variation, “in our mortal flesh.” The fact of a corpse-like body being sustained amidst such trials manifests that “the (resurrection) life also,” as well as the dying “of Jesus,” exists in us (Phil. 3:10). I thus bear about in my own person an image of the risen and living, as well as of the suffering Savior.

life–2222 zoe-

used of the absolute fullness of life; what the apostle is saying is that as we die daily, Jesus resurrects and lives more fully in us daily; this dying can come in many forms, but it must come from the hand of our Father; it may come as sickness, fatigue, persecution, and many other things that shatter the flesh.

be made manifest–

5319 phaneroo-

to make actual and visible, realized; to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown, to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way.

We see here the reality of the perishing of the outward man that the inward Man will manifest; We also see here the working of being buried with Jesus in baptism, that He might resurrect in us—literally. The old man is not reformed but is put to death by the trials and tribulations mentioned in these verses; it is the dying of our flesh—our bodies—that allows the Lord Jesus to manifest; the death of Jesus is manifested in the perishing of our outward man; as the outward man is put through the process of death, the life of Jesus (the inner Man) is made manifest proportionally. This will then produce more trial and tribulation—when Jesus manifests, His reception will be no different than it was 2000 years ago. His life as witnessed by Scripture, is a true barometer for evidence of His very life manifesting in us.

11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

We which live— in the power of Jesus’ “life” in us, in our whole man, body as well as spirit (Rom. 8:10-11);, (2 Cor. 4:10): cf. (2 Cor. 5:15). Paul regards his preservation amidst so many exposures to “death,” by which Stephen and James were cut off, as a standing miracle (2 Cor. 11:23). We minister at the direction of and for the sake of, Jesus; we sustain much in the way of warfare, persecution, and bodily sickness in doing so. In the repercussions of ministry, we are continually delivered unto death—demons—we battle them for the lives to whom we are sent; this battle, though it be the Lord’s, takes a physical toll on us.

Delivered unto— not by chance: by the ordering of our Father, who shows `the excellency of His power’ (2 Cor. 4:7) in delivering unto DEATH His disciples, that He may manifest LIFE also in their dying flesh. It is in the minister’s dying flesh that the resurrection and life of Jesus is made manifest.

death—2288 thanatos-

1) the death of the body; the power of death

The aches and pains, the sluggishness—all the backlash of ministry—all the being delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake that the life of Jesus be made manifest in us. We are ‘always delivered”—this tells us all of the aforementioned affliction is not coming by chance—it has been ordained and appointed by God—1 Thes. 3:3.

It is in our affliction and suffering that we realize that all our flesh conceives as oppression and affliction, our spirit should perceive as glory. The life of Jesus—the Road to the crown—is adorned with the life described in these verses; the life of health and wealth that nourishes and comforts the flesh, is nowhere to be found.

So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

The “death” of Jesus, manifested in the continual `perishing of our outward man’ (2 Cor. 4:16), works in our flesh, and is the means of working spiritual “life” in the Body of the Lord, His Church.

13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

Greek, `BUT having, ‘ etc.– i. e., notwithstanding our trials, we having, etc. The same spirit of faith, according as it … Compare (Rom. 8:15). The same living faith worked by the Holy Spirit on our “spirit:” stronger than “faith.” Though “death worketh in us, but life in you” (2 Cor. 4:12), yet, as we have the same spirit of faith as you, we therefore (believingly) look for the same eternal life as you and speak as we believe. ‘According to what is written I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak’– namely, without fear, amidst `afflictions’ and `deaths’ (2 Cor. 4:17).

14 Knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

Knowing— by faith (2 Cor. 5:1). Shall raise up us also— at the resurrection (1 Cor. 6:13-14). Present us– vividly picturing the judgment before the eyes (Jude 1:24).With you (2 Cor. 1:14; 1 Thes 2:19-20; 3:13).

15 For all things are for your sakes that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

For— confirming the “with you” (2 Cor. 4:14), and “life … worketh in you” (2 Cor. 4:12). All things– whether the afflictions and labors of us ministers (2 Cor. 4:8-11). or your prosperity (2 Cor. 4:12; 1 Cor. 3:21-22; 4:8-13). For your sakes (2 Tim. 2:10). Abundant grace …– rather, `that grace (the grace which preserves us in trials, and works life in you) being made more abundant by the greater number of those who receive it, may cause your thanksgiving to abound—it is a life of thanksgiving that makes the way for more grace to come from Jesus, therefore giving more glory to our Father.

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

We faint not—in spite of the sufferings of the ministry, we press through at the direction of Jesus, keeping our shoulder to His plow, for we shall reap in due season, if we faint not—Gal. 6:9. Outward man – the flesh—as previously stated, when a man or woman undertakes discipleship, it absolutely shatters the flesh, continually. Perish– `is wasting away by afflictions.

Inward man—Jesus Himself (2 Cor. 4:11, Gal. 2: 20), `manifests the life of Jesus. ‘

Is renewed—As we die in the flesh daily, Jesus manifests more in us, daily; i.e.— ‘with fresh “grace” (2 Cor. 4:15), and “faith” (2 Cor. 4:13), and hope (2 Cor. 4:17-18; Rom. 12:; Col. 3:10; Titus 3:5).

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

Which is but for a moment, [to (grk 3588) parautika (grk 3910)]– `which is but for the present passing moment. ‘ Compare (Matt. 11:30); also, “now for a season … in heaviness” (1 Pet. 1:6). The contrast is between this and the “ETERNAL … glory.” Also, `the lightness of affliction’ (`burden is not expressed after `light’: the Greek is `the light of affliction’) contrasts beautifully with the `weight of the glory. ‘ In other words, the works produced by saving faith, are glorious in themselves as they are the works of our Father and our Master in us. As we grow in intimacy with Jesus, and intimacy with the death of our flesh, we see the Master resurrecting stronger in it.—this is our temporal reward. As we move toward the literal death of the body, we should be more and more transformed into His likeness, so that death will be the consummation of God’s work in us—death thus becoming a full manifestation of Jesus in us, which will be our great Reward. What could possibly be added to this? There is a longing for Jesus that God puts in us. It is this longing for Jesus that transforms our obedience into greater longing and intimacy—the more we get of Jesus, the more we want of Him.

Worketh– rather, `worketh out. ‘—it is the magnitude of the afflictions in ministry, that work the magnitude of the minister’s eternal glory;

A far more exceeding —The glory exceeds beyond all measure the affliction, but it is the affliction that works the weight of glory.

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

We mind not the things seen, whether we be suffering or abounding; but the ‘things’ of the Kingdom of God which we have entered, and in which we now live, move, and have our being; We minister He who is invisible to those who are, visible.

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

2 Tim 2:3-4

3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

4 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.

Endurance of hardship is a gift of discernment—the man who has it will know where it comes from, will not be afraid of its pain or its toil, nor will he run from his duty; for his discernment has gifted him to see Jesus in His fullness for what He is and who He is, and such faith/sight is the uncompromising constitution of the true disciple. It is of such stuff that martyrs are born and graced. Every thought is brought into captivity because Jesus has become the only thought. Discerning and reacting to thoughts is absolutely vital to birthing ministry discernment. It is one thing to pray for rescue from bad thoughts, another to stand up against them, and another will to despise and ignore them.

In the first instance—praying for rescue—“O God come and help me.’ Ps. 69: 2—shows a man who has Jesus in his life but has not yet been graced to the power of His Blood in the thought realm—in short, he may realize where the thought is coming from—satan—rebuke satan and the thought, only to find them both return a short time later.

In the second instance—the man who stands up against these thoughts—Ps. 118: 42 comes to mind: “I will speak a word of contradiction to those who reproach me”—this man shows that he, like the first, is insufficiently prepared to deal with the thoughts, and like the first, he is really praying for rescue from the thoughts by standing against them and rebuking them; satan and the thoughts are again overcome, usually for a little while and then they are back.

There is a third instance, and this is the kingdom prescription for the thought life—I was silent and didn’t open my mouth nor the mouth of my mind, I put a guard on my mouth when he who reproached me, was before me (OR MY MIND); this third man has reached the point of seeing Jesus and Jesus only—Jesus has become the Life of his thought life and his mind, therefore he ignores the onslaught, keeping the heart of the mind focused on Jesus and Jesus only. Such a disciple ignores the onslaught—“I have not turn aside from my contemplation of you”—Ps 118:51;

12 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee. 2 Chr 20:12

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

Such a disciple will be graced to ignore the taunts of the enemy in his mind, being more preoccupied with Jesus than with the taunts; The intangible cannot be contained by the tangible—demons vs the mind; but the intangible demons can be contained by He who is both tangible and intangible, visible yet invisible. The mind that has progressed to the ignoring of the taunts is a mind that worships the Lord in Spirit and in Truth, ALL THE TIME—worship, communion, and union with Jesus is the only meat of such a mind—and our Father seeks such minds that He might grace to worship Him through total and life consuming preoccupation with Jesus. Having traveled the road necessary to realize such grace, such a one has had his or her senses exercised; if you are traveling the road to this destination, overcoming yourself, is the most absolute and essential step.

*SUFFERING JESUS, SUFFERING MINISTER

2 Cor 6:4-10

4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions(2347 thlipsis -1) a pressing, a pressing together, pressure; 2) metaphorically, oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits) , in necessities(318 anagke- 1-necessity, imposed either by the circumstances, or by law of duty regarding to one’s advantage, custom, argument; 2) calamity, distress, straits);

in distresses(4730 stenochoria-1) narrowness of place, a narrow place 2) metaphorically, dire calamity, extreme affliction); We are first and foremost, ministers to God; we are then ministers of the Church; much patience here is the enduring of evil. afflictions as used here, is a general term, encompassing anything that wears out or taxes heavily our spirit, mind, and/or body. Necessities as used here signify any bodily need such as food, clothing, shelter etc.; Distress here signifies a need of counsel–both from Jesus, and from other leadership members.

5 In stripes(4127 plege1) a blow, a stripe, a wound; 2) a public calamity, a heavy affliction, a plague) , in imprisonments, in tumults, (181 akatastasia: instability, a state of disorder, disturbance, confusion); tumults as used here, would signify gossip or sedition at the hands of heathen or Christian; in labors(2873 kopos-1) a beating 2) a beating of the breast with grief, sorrow3) labor trouble; to cause one trouble, to make work for him b) intense labor united with trouble and toil);

in watchings(70 agrupnia- sleeplessness, watching); in fastings3521 nesteia- a fasting, fast a) a voluntary, as a religious exercise b) a fasting caused by want or poverty; fastings are disciplines to keep the flesh under subjection to the Spirit.

6 By pureness(54 hagnotes – purity, chastity, uprightness of life); Pureness as used here, is the general rectitude of heart and ways; knowledge here is the correct apprehension of the things of Jesus as revealed by the Spirit–without this knowledge, there can be no purity-Pr. 19:2. As the end of the verse states, all of this is done at the direction of Jesus, by the Holy Spirit in us. by knowledge(1108 gnosis-a the general knowledge of Christian religion b) the deeper more perfect and enlarged knowledge of this religion, such as belongs to the more advanced c) especially of things lawful and unlawful for Christians d) moral wisdom, such as is seen in right living); by long-suffering(3115 makrothumia- patience-1, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance 2) patience, forbearance, long-suffering, slowness in avenging wrongs);

by kindness(5544 chrestotes-1 moral goodness, integrity; 2) benignity, kindness); by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned- (505 anupokritos- ndisguised, sincere);

7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

Word of Truth–both the Living and the Written. By the power of God–the resurrected Jesus who is to us the Wisdom and Power of God (1Cor. 1: 24); The Armor of Righteousness–again, Put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Rms. 13: 14);

8 By honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;

Whether we receive honor or dishonor, we do not depart from our integrity. all in this verse will be spoken of the true minister of God at one time or another. People say we deceive when we tell them Christians can be demonized; the scores of Christians who come to us for deliverance, validate the scripture in our ministry.

9 As unknown(50 agnoeo-1 to be ignorant, not to know; 2) not to understand, unknown; 3) to err or sin through mistake, to be wrong; not recognized or known by many; and yet well known 1921 epiginosko- to know, that is, to perceive; to know, that is, to understand); known and understood by many; as dying(599 apothnesko-to die; to perish by means of something; used of the natural death of man); the daily death worked in the flesh by submission to Jesus and by His subsequent ministry through us; and, behold, we live; as chastened(3811 paideuo- used of God; to chasten by the affliction of evils and calamities; to be instructed, to be taught, or to learn; to chastise with blows, to scourge; used of a father punishing his son); and not killed; Dying daily, yet living to serve daily; the walk of death that the Life of Jesus might manifest in our mortal bodies.

10 As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; sorrowful because of the affliction of the m ministry and hardness of men’s hearts; rejoicing because of the intimacy with Jesus, and the fellowship of His sufferings; as poor 4434 ptochos- (1) reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms 2) destitute of wealth, influence, position, honor a) lowly, afflicted, poor, needy, helpless, powerless to accomplish an end; 3) lacking in anything, as respects their spirit; destitute of wealth of learning and intellectual culture which the schools afford (men of this class most readily give themselves up to Christ’s teaching and proved them selves fitted to lay hold of the heavenly treasure); yet making many rich(4148 ploutizo-1) used of spiritual riches); as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. We are as well satisfied with what little we have, as those in the world are with their abundance; in possessing nothing, nothing possesses me. In Jesus, I possess everything I need to carry out the will of God for my ministry.

It is the lot of faithful ministers often to be reduced to great difficulties, and to stand in need of much patience.; those who would approve themselves to Jesus must approve themselves faithful in trouble as well as in peace, not only in doing the work of God diligently, but also in bearing the will of God patiently. There is no piety without purity. A care to keep ourselves unspotted from the world is necessary in order to our acceptance with God. Knowledge was another principle; and zeal without this is but madness. As Jesus resurrects in us, we should find ourselves more and more, acting with long-suffering and kindness, being not easily provoked, but bearing with the hardness of men’s hearts, and hard treatment from their hands; He acted under the influence of the Holy Ghost, from the noble principle of unfeigned love, according to the rule of the word of truth, under the supports and assistances of the power of God, having on the Armor of righteousness—Jesus Himself—a consciousness of Jesus’ righteousness and holiness , which is the best defense against the temptations of prosperity on the right hand, and of adversity on the left.

The disciple must expect to meet with many alterations of his circumstances and conditions in the ministry; disciples will experience honor and dishonor, good report and evil report: good men in this world must expect to meet with some dishonor and reproaches, to balance their honor and esteem; and we stand in need of the grace of God to arm us against the temptations of honor on the one hand, so as to bear good report without pride, and of dishonor on the other hand, so as to bear reproaches without impatience or retaliation. The disciple will be rejected by many, accepted by comparatively few; by some he will be counted as a deceiver, and run down as such; by others as true, preaching the gospel of truth, and men who were true to the trust reposed in them.

The disciple will be slighted by the men of the world as unknown, basically the scum of the earth, not worth taking notice of; he will be chastened; He will be despised as poor, because of his poverty in this world; and yet he will make many rich, by preaching the unsearchable riches of Jesus, and ministering Him to them. The disciple will not have much material wealth, if any–and silver and gold has he none, yet he possesses all things: he has nothing in this world, because he is not of this world, nor is this world his home. He has nothing in himself,, but possesses all things in Jesus. Such a paradox is a disciple’s life

Jesus suffered the horror of Golgatha for me–God will allow me to go through many troubling experiences, for others. God works and moves with each of us that our experiences in life–good and bad–will be to the profit of others. God allows hardship and trouble that we may be able to endure for others, thus comforting them with the comfort of God we obtained through our own tribulation. Graces and mercies that God bestows on us are in turn to be bestowed on others, as the resurrected Jesus ministers through us by His Spirit, the Comforter. Jesus, as the sufferer of all of man’s afflictions, is thus qualified to be our Comforter in them all–Jesus told Paul that his persecution of the early church saints was the persecution of Jesus Himself–sufferings, whether endured by Jesus Himself or by His church, are all the “Sufferings of Christ.” (Mt. 25: 40, 45; John 4: 17-21).Jesus calls His people’s sufferings His own because of the sympathy, and the mystical union between Him and His people (Rom. 8: 17; 1 Cor. 4: 10; Heb. 2: 17-18). Notice in 2 Cor. 1: 5, that the sufferings (plural), are many, but the Consolation (though singular), overcomes all.

 

*OUR NUMBER ONE DUTY: MINISTRY TO JESUS

Luke 10:38-42

38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.

39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Verse 39: Martha had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

She worshipped Him, and heard his word. It seems, our Lord Jesus, as soon as he came into Martha’s house, even before entertainment was made for him, addressed himself to his great work of preaching the gospel. He presently took the chair with a serious tone, for Mary sat to hear him, which shows us her submission to Him as He was teaching her. Mary, having heard Jesus preach and teach, was obviously greatly drawn to Him—she sat at His feet and loved on Him and listened to Him.

She sat to hear, which denotes a close attention. Notice here that this is a decision on her part—she is choosing to sit at the feet of Jesus and receive all that He delivered. She sat at his feet by choice—we must make the e same choice; Our sitting at Jesus’ feet, when we hear his word, signifies a readiness to receive Him and what He has to say; it is a submission and entire resignation of ourselves to His indwelling and His guidance that we might fulfill the will of our Father. We sit at His feet daily and get filled with Him, and it is out of this relationship with Him that we are able to minister Him to others. Martha, meanwhile, characterizes many Christians—running about, worrying about what might get done and what might not, but never worry whether or not enough time is being spent at the feet of Jesus. Martha was too concerned about many things that really weren’t essential to getting the will of God done; she was not concerned about sitting at the feet of Jesus, but about all the domestic chores that had to be done—that was the reason why she was not where Mary was—sitting at Jesus’ feet, to love on Him and hear his word.

The fact that she was wanting to do the best to serve her guests is not the issue; the fact is, that she was just distracted from the Person of Jesus by it. She was worried about much serving when she should have been with her sister, sitting at Jesus’ feet to love on Him and hear his word. Even church service can be a distraction from our spending time alone with Jesus.

The complaint which Martha made to Jesus against her sister Mary, for not assisting her, upon this occasion, in the business of the house (v. 40): “Lord, dost thou not care that my sister, who is concerned as well as I in having things done well, has left me to serve alone?

This complaint of Martha’s may be considered as a discovery of her worldliness: it was the language of her zeal for activity.

Notice also, that those who carry out much church activity, are sometimes critical of those whom they perceive as not doing enough. Martha, being angry with her sister, appealed to Jesus, and would have him say that she did well to be angry. The cares, which he cast upon us, we may cheerfully cast upon him, but not those which we foolishly draw upon ourselves.

See here Martha trying to discourage Mary’s devotion to Jesus. It is no strange thing for those that love the Lord to meet with hindrances and discouragements from those that may love Him, but are too busy for Him.;

The reproof which Jesus gave to Martha for her inordinate care, v. 41. She appealed to him, and he gives judgment against her: “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things, whereas but one thing is needful, and Mary has chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her.”

He scolded her, though he was at this time her guest. She felt that she needed to do all that she perceived needed to be done, yet he publicly reprimanded her for it. Note, As many as Jesus loves he rebukes and chastens. Even those that are dear to Jesus, if any thing be amiss in them, shall be sure to hear of it.

When he reproved her, he called her by her name, Martha; for reproofs are then most likely to do good when they are particular, applied to particular persons and cases. He repeated her name— “Martha, Martha”; he speaks as one in earnest, and deeply concerned for her welfare. Those that are entangled in the cares of this life are not easily disentangled. To them we must call again and again, and we must be careful that as disciples, we not get tangled in the world ourselves.

That which he reproved her for was her being careful and troubled about many things. He was not pleased that she should think to please him a big feed and other niceties; there is a certain amount of flesh and sensuality in those things.

That which aggravated Martha was the one thing that is needful—sitting at the feet of Jesus. There is need but of one thing—the Master says it Himself, and Mary had chosen to do that one thing which was to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to Him and love on Him. The one thing needful is certainly meant of that which Mary made her choice—sitting at Jesus’ feet, to hear his word. She was troubled about many things, when she should have applied herself to one; godliness unites the heart, which the world had divided. The many things she was troubled about were needless, while the one thing she neglected—sitting at the feet of Jesus—was needful. Martha’s care and work were good in their proper season and place; but now she had something else to do, which was unspeakably more needful, and therefore should be done first; She expected Jesus to have blamed Mary for not doing as she did, but he blamed her for not doing as Mary did; The day will come when Martha will wish she had set where Mary did.

 

*REPENT OR PERISH: THE PARABLE OF THE UNFRUITFUL FIG TREE

Luke 13:1-9

1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?

3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?

5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?

8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:

9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

This parable is intended to enforce that word of warning immediately going before, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish; except you be reformed, you will be ruined, as the barren tree, except it bring forth fruit, will be cut down.”

Those who repent, and bring forth fruit, will find them honored of our Father, for who can bring forth fruit but he or she that honors the Son and obeys Him? but the body of the nation continued impenitent and unfruitful, and ruin without remedy came upon them; about forty years after they were cut down, and cast into the fire, as John Baptist had told them (Mt. 3:10—And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees; therefore, every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.), which saying of his this parable enlarges upon.

Luke 13:6

He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

….meaning Israel as the visible witness for God in the world; but generally, all persons within the pale of the visible Church of God—those who profess Jesus. This is a warning to all who do profess Jesus—here, without the intercession of the Gardener of the vineyard (Jesus Himself), the tree would have been cut down and burned long ago even with that, the tree—the person—is now on his last trial; We will see the mercy of Jesus in letting the tree go another year before it is hewn down—mercy rejoices over judgment—James 2: 13; But here, judgment will win out over mercy, even though grace and mercy are to be given over a whole year.

[Planted in his vineyard]– a spot selected for its fertility, separated from the surrounding fields, and cultivated with special care, with a view solely to fruit—this is grace upon grace to produce fruit at the direction of Jesus, the Gardener in this case;

And he came and sought fruit thereon– a heart turned to God, the fruits of righteousness, a laying down of the life to Jesus, thus bringing forth abiding fruit to the Kingdom in obedience to Him. Compare (Matt. 21:33-34), and (Isa. 5:2). “He looked that it should bring forth fruit:” He has a right to it, and will require it.

And found none–The owner’s expectation from it: He came, and sought fruit thereon, and he had reason to expect it. He did not send, but came himself, intimating his desire to find fruit. Our Father requires and expects fruit from those that have a place in his vineyard—those who are saved and nourished by the Blood of Jesus—-ye shall know them by their fruit. This is faith which worketh by love—faith that is given by Jesus in response to our love for Him which is proven by our obedience to Him. Leaves will not serve, crying, Lord, Lord; blossoms will not serve, beginning well and promising to do the will of God, but being disobedient; there must be fruit. Many envision themselves in the vineyard, but do nothing to employ their grace to His glory—faith without works is dead—and it is deadly—it is hewn down and cast into the fire in the end

Luke 13:7

Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?

Some expositors see in this period of three years an allusion to the storied past of Hebrew life, and in the number 3 discern the three marked epochs, each lasting several centuries, of the high priests, judges, and kings. This, however, is a very doubtful reference, owing to the impossibility of separating the first two periods of the rule of high priests and judges, as these interchange and overlap each other. Another school of interpreters sees a reference to the three years of the public ministry of Jesus. A better reference would be God’s successive calls to Israel by the Law, the prophets, and by Christ. It is, however, safer, in this and m many of the Lord’s parables, not to press every little detail which was necessary for the completion of the picture. Here the period of three years in which the Lord of the vineyard came seeking fruit, represents by the number 3 the

symbol of complete-ness — a period of full opportunity given to the tree to have become fruitful and productive—in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? better rendered, why doth it make the ground useless? It is an unproductive tree, and occupies the place which another and a fertile tree might fill.

How many times for at least three years has God come to many of us, seeking fruit, but has found none, or next to none, or worse than none?

This fig-tree did not only not bring forth fruit, but did hurt; it cumbered the ground; it took up the room of a fruitful tree, and was injurious to all about it. See the doom passed upon it; Cut it down. He says this to the dresser of the vineyard, to Jesus, to whom all judgment is committed, to the ministers who are in his name to declare this doom. Nothing can be expected concerning barren trees than that they should be cut down. As the unfruitful vineyard is dismantled, and thrown open to the common (Isa. 5:5-6), so the unfruitful trees in the vineyard are cast out of it, and wither, (Jn. 15:6). It is cut down by the judgments of God, especially spiritual judgments, such as false prophets who fleece the flock of God. It is cut down by death, and cast into the fire of hell; and with good reason, for why cumbers it the ground?

 

Luke 13:8

And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:

The last year — the year of grace they who listened to him then were living in. It was the last summons to repentance, the final reminder to the old covenant people that to their high privileges as the chosen race there were duties attached. They prided themselves on the privileges, they utterly forgot the duties. The period represented by this last year included the preaching of John the Baptist, the public ministry of Jesus Christ, and the forty years of apostolic teaching

which followed the Crucifixion and Resurrection. The last chance was given, but in the Vinedresser’s prayer to the Lord of the vineyard there is scarcely a ray of hope. The history of the world supplies the sequel to this parable-story.

See here the intercession of Jesus; He ever lives, interceding. Ministers are intercessors; they that dress the vineyard should intercede for it; those we preach to we should pray for, for we must give ourselves to the word of God and to prayer. See what it is he prays for, and that is a reprieve: Lord, let it alone this year also. He does not pray, “Lord, let it never be cut down,” but, “Lord, give it one more chance—it is better to error on the side of mercy; we owe it to Jesus, the great Intercessor, that barren trees are not cut down immediately: had it not been for his interposition, the whole world had been cut down, upon the sin of Adam; but he said, Lord, let it alone; and it is he that upholds all things. We are encouraged to pray to God for the merciful reprieve of barren fig-trees: “Lord, let them alone; continue them yet awhile in their probation; bear with them a little longer, and wait to be gracious.” Thus must we stand in the gap, to turn away the wrath of God. Reprieves of mercy are but for a time; Let it alone this year also, a short time, but a sufficient time to make trial. When God has suffered with us long, we may hope he will bear yet a little longer, but we cannot expect he should bear always.

How he promises to improve this tree if reprieve be obtained: Till I shall dig about it, and dung it–“I will give him the full counsel of God, and in the end his blood will be on his own hands”—as I give him the full counsel, I will minister to him to help him fulfill it.

Unfruitful professors of Jesus, if after long unfruitfulness they will repent, and amend, and bring forth fruit, shall find all is well. God will be pleased, for he will be praised; ministers’ hands will be strengthened, and such penitents will be their joy here and their crown hereafter; there will be joy in heaven for it; the ground will be no longer cumbered, but bettered, the vineyard beautified, and the good trees in it made better. As for the tree itself, it is well for it; it shall not only not be cut down, but it shall receive blessing from God (Heb. 6:7); it shall be purged, and shall bring forth more fruit, for our Father is its husbandman (Jn. 15:2); and it shall at last be transplanted from the vineyard on earth to the paradise above.

But he adds, If not, then after that thou shalt cut it down. Observe here, that, though God bear long, He will not bear always with unfruitful professors; His patience will have an end, and, if it be abused, will give way to that wrath which will have no end. Barren trees will certainly be cut down at last, and cast into the fire.

The longer God has waited, and the more cost he has been spent upon them, the greater will their destruction be: to be cut down after that, after all these expectations from it, these debates concerning it, this concern for it, will be sad indeed, and will aggravate the condemnation.

Those that now intercede for barren trees, and take pains with them, if they persist in their unfruitfulness will be even content to see them cut down, and will not have one word more to say for them.

Luke 13:9

And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

And if it bear fruit, well– all then will yet be right;

And if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down—it will be cast into the fire; the end of the unfruitful, shall be utter destruction.

ADDENDUM

Why would the tree be cut down?

Except ye repent ye shall perish. Luke 13: 5

Depart from me, ye who work iniquity. Mt 7 : 23

Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter, for thy heart is not right in the sight of God

Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Acts 8:21-24

Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:34-36

But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

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

For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 6:17-23

10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;

14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 2 Pet 2:10-19

 

How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another,

and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?

John 5:44

To be within the Church of the living God through the Blood of Jesus Christ, is a high privilege, and involves a solemn responsibility. The owner of the vineyard, having planted a fig tree in it, “came and sought fruit thereon;” for in the natural course of things fruit, in such a case, was to be expected. But when does God come, seeking fruit from men thus privileged? Not at the day of judgment; for though He will come and demand it then, the parable represents the tree as still in the ground after the lord of the vineyard has come seeking fruit, and as allowed to remain with a view to further trial. It is now, therefore, or during our present state, that God is coming seeking fruit from us. Are we favored with a Christian education and example? He comes, saying, `Any fruit? ‘ Have we been placed under a faithful, rousing ministry of the Gospel? He comes, asking, `What fruit? ‘ Have we been visited with crushing trials, fitted to bring down pride, and soften the heart, and give the commandments of Jesus an entrance they never had before? He comes, demanding the fruit. Concerning multitudes in the church today, the report must still be– “and found none.”

The Lord, we see, notes the length of time that men continue fruitless under the means of spiritual grace. “Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none.” “O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved: how long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?” “Wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be?” “It is time to Seek the Lord, until He come and rain righteousness upon you,” (Prov. 1:22; Jer. 4:14; 13:27; Hos. 10:12).

To be cut down is the justifiable end of all the fruitless: “Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?” As if they were a burden to the earth that bears them, to the place they fill, deforming the beauty and hindering the fruitfulness of God’s vineyard. They are borne with, but with a certain impatience and indignation. And even when the fruitless are borne with, it is because of the Intercessory Blood of Jesus; it is worthy of notice that the respite sought in the parable was not another three years, but just “one year.” As in the natural culture, this would be sufficient to determine whether any fruit was to be gotten out of the tree at all, so in the spiritual husbandry, the thing intended is just one sufficient trial more. And surely it is a loud call to immediate repentance when one has any good reason to think that he is on his last trial.

Genuine repentance, however late, avails to save: “If it bear fruit (well);” and only if not, was it to be cut down. The case of the thief on the cross decides this for all time and for every soul. There is not a sinner out of hell– though the most hardened, the furthest gone, the nearest to the flames– but if he only begin to bear fruit, if he do but turn to God with all his heart in the Blood of Jesus, it will deliver him from going down to the pit, it will stay the hand of justice, it will secure his eternal salvation. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thought, and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, and He will abundantly pardon.” Isa. 55: 7; “As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that he should turn from his way and live. Turn ye, turn ye, why will ye die, O house of Israel?” Ezek. 33: 11

The final perdition of such as, after the utmost limits of divine forbearance, are found fruitless, will be preeminently and confessedly just: “If not, after that thou shalt cut it down.” It is the Intercessor Himself that says this. Mercy Himself, who before pleaded for mercy, now demands, the execution. “He that, being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Prov. 29:1). Be wise now, therefore, O ye fruitless; be instructed, ye foolish and unwise: Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him! Beware lest that come upon you which is spoken of by the prophet, “Because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness anymore, until I have caused my fury to rest upon thee” (Ezek. 24:13).

X. THE COMMANDMENTS OF JESUS

 

John 14: 21-24

21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

23 Jesus answered and said unto him, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him………

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

Matt 7:24-27

24 “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

John 8:31-32

31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, ” If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

John 8:51

51 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.”

Luke 6:46

46 “…and why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

Matt 4:17–REPENTENCE

17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Matt 9:12-13

12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick…………

13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

 

Matt 4:19–FOLLOW HIM

19 And he saith unto them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Matt 7:12-14

12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Matt 5:16–WORK TO BRING HIM GLORY

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

Matt 5:23-25–ANGER AND RECONCILIATION

23 “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.”

Matt 5:27-28–ADULTERY

27 “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Matt 5:33-48–OATHS, AVENGE NOT, GIVE TO WHOM ASKS, BLESS THEM THAT CURSE YOU

33 “Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:

35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King……….

36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black……

37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil……………………

38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also……..

40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also……………

41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain………

42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away…………

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy…

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust……….

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.( Matt 19:21–Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.”

Matt 6:1-21–GIVE TO THE NEEDY, PRAYER, FASTING, LAYING UP TREASURE, SEEK THE KINGDOM OF GOD, WORRY

1 ”Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven………….

2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward…………….

3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly……………..

5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward……………………………..

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly………………………….

7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking……………………………..

8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him………….

9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name:

10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven……

11 Give us this day our daily bread…..

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors………

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen……………………………………………………….

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses…………..

16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly…………….

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Matt 7:1-14–JUDGE NOT, ASK-SEEK-KNOCK, DO UNTO OTHERS, ENTER AT THE STRAIT GATE

1 “Judge not, that ye be not judged…………………………………..

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again………

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye…….

6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you……………

7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened………………………………………….

9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets……..

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Matt 7:15-23--BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS, DO GOD’S WILL

15 ”Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they a11re ravening wolves…………….

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit……………………..

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit:

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire…..

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them………………

21 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………………………….

22 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?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Matt 9:36-38–PRAY FOR LABORERS

36 ”But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd……………….

37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;

38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest……………………….”

 

 

 

 

Matt 10:26-39–FEAR NOT, LOVE OF THE LORD, TAKE UP YOUR CROSS, CONFESSING THE LORD, EXPECT A SWORD, LOSE YOUR LIFE

26 “Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known………………..

27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops……………….

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………………

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father…………..

30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered:

31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows……

32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven…………

33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven……………………………..

34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword: 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law………………

36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household………………………………

37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;

38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me…..

39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

Matt 11:28-30–COME UNTO HIM, TAKE HIS YOKE UPON YOU

28 ”Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest:

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls……..

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

 

Luke 12: 1-5–HYPOCRICY

Luke 12:1-5

1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.

3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.

5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Matt 16:24-26–DENYING SELF

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me;

25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it……..

26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Matt 18:15-17-SIN AND FORGIVENESS

15 ”Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother………………

16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established……………

17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”

Matt 20:22-27–GREATNESS AND SERVANCY

22 But Jesus answered and said, ”Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able…………….

23 And he saith unto them, ”Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.”

24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.

25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, ”Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them……

26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:”

Matt 22:21–SECULAR GOVERNMENT

21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, ”Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”

Matt 22:37-40-THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT

37 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……..

38 This is the first and great commandment……..

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself…….

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets……………………”

Matt 23:8-12–CALL NO MAN ON EARTH YOUR FATHER; BE NOT CALLED RABBI

8 ”But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Jesus; and all ye are brethren;

9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven;

10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Jesus……..

11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant…..

12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”

Matt 24:42-47–WATCH FOR HIS COMING–BEING FAITHFUL IN SERVICE TILL HE COMES

42 ”Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come……

43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up……

44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh…..

45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?

46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing…..

47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.”

Matt 25:33-36-FEED THE HUNGRY, CLOTHE THE NAKED, VISIT THE PRISONER

33 ”And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”

Matt 26:26-28-THE LORD’S SUPPER

26 ”And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body……

27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Matt 26:41–WATCH AND PRAY

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

 

Matt 28:18-20–THE GREAT COMMISSION

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth…….

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

Mark 11:22-26–FAITH–FORGIVENESS—HIS FAITH IN PRAYER

22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, “Have faith in God.”

23 ”For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith…..

24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them……

25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses…….

26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses…..”

Mark 12:38-40–BEWARE OF THE PRAISE OF MEN

38 And he said unto them in his doctrine, ”Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces,

39 And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts:

40 Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.”

Mark 16:15–PREACH THE GOSPEL

15 And he said unto them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Luke 6:36-38–SHOW MERCY, JUDGE NOT, GIVE

36 ”Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again…………………………………

Luke 9:62–DON’T LOOK BACK

62 And Jesus said unto him, ”No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Luke 10:38-42–SPEND MUCH TIME AT HIS FEET

38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.

39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, ”Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Luke 14:12-14-BRING POOR STRANGERS TO YOUR TABLE

12 Then said he also to him that bade him, ”When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee………

13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:

14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.”

John 3:1-7-YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN

1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

3 Jesus answered and said unto him, ”Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

5 Jesus answered, ”Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God……………

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit……

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”

John 6:27–LABOR FOR THE ETERNAL, NOT THE TEMPORAL

27 “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.”

John 7:18–SPEAK OF THE LORD, NOT OF YOURSELF

18 “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.”

John 11:43-44–FREE THE CAPTIVES

43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, ”Lazarus, come forth.”

44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, ”Loose him, and let him go.”

John 12:24-26–BE CRUCIFIED WITH HIM THAT FRUIT MAY COME

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

25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal…………

26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour………”

John 15:1-17–ABIDE IN JESUS, LET HIM AND HIS WORDS ABIDE IN YOU, CONTINUE IN HIS LOVE, LAY DOWN YOUR LIFE, LOVE ONE ANOTHER

1 ”I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman…………………

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit…………….

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you…………..

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

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing……

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned………………….

7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you………………..

8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples…..

9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love……………….

10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love……………………

11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full……………………

12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you……………

13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends………………

14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you……………

15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you……………………

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

17 These things I command you, that ye love one another……………………….”

 

A Way to Return to the Way

Cleaning The Feculent Mantle Of Rib′ i Yәho•shu′ a

Restoring Authentic—Har Sin•ai′ Tor•âh′ 

From the website:  http://www.netzarim.co.il in Raanana, Israel

Quoted from a page on their website: “To be a follower of the authentic and historical Ribi Yәhoshua requires that you follow his teachings and pray like him. The Christian must ask himself or herself, “How did it happen that Christianity is so alien to his history as a Pharisee rabbi, his people the Pharisee (today’s Orthodox) Jews, Pharisee-Orthodox synagogues in which he prayed and taught, the Hebrew language in which he prayed and everything Judaic—Tor•âh′  and Ha•lâkh•âh′ —that he taught and held most precious? Why is Christianity so dissimilar to the Judaism of Rib′ i Yәho•shu′ a and so similar to Roman Hellenist idolatry???

One can only understand this historical Jew within the setting and constraints of first-century Torah and religious first-century Jews. Thanks to the recent scholarship of Prof. Elisha Qimron, Dead Sea Scroll 4Q MMT has, for the first time in nearly 2,000 years, vividly and clearly set forth these constraints. Only within the environment described in MMT does the contrast demonstrated by the late Oxford historian James Parkes (The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue), between first-century pro-Torah Judaism — taught by Rib′ i Yәho•shu′ a — and post-135 C.E. antinomian Roman Hellenist Displacement Theology — the birth of Christianity, come into sharp focus.

4Q MMT was written no later than the 1 century B.C.E., at least 6 centuries before Tal•mud′  was compiled (5th century C.E.). “First of all, one should note that MMT is a written halakhic text from the Second Temple period. As has been pointed out, the Pharisees at that time maintained the principle of not writing down halakhot, believing that the Torah was the only written law, and that it had been transmitted from Sinai together with an oral law; henceforth no prophet would have the authority to introduce any halakhic innovation” (Qimron, Elisha, Discoveries in the Judaean Desert • X, Qumran Cave 4 • V, Miqsat Ma’ase ha-Torah (“Some Halakhah of the Torah), Oxford, 1994, p. 132).

“This [MMT] scroll will undoubtedly stand in the centre of all future discussion of the halakha and identity of the sect and the history of the halakha in general” (Ya’akov Sussmann, Qimron, p. 185).

Ha•lâkh•âh′, the Quintessence of all 1st Century Jews

“In practice, the Pharisees clashed over the observance of the temple laws with the descendants of the Sadducean high priests in Jerusalem, and not with the separatist sects who had left the city and settled in the desert” (Ya’akov Sussmann, Qimron, p. 195).

“Observance of the Torah’s laws and the milieu of the halakha were the central factor in Jewish life during this period. The assertion that ‘there was no factor, force or event which made so significant an impression on the history of the Jewish people, molded its life and forged its character, as the halakha’, is particularly appropriate about the Second Temple period, not only with respect to the Pharisees, but also about their opponents, who scrupulously observed the law according to the Sadducean tradition. Not only observance of the Torah’s commandments, but also preoccupation with the proper interpretation of the law in its most minute details, stood in the center of their spiritual world. The halakhic minutiae, concepts, and terms of the talmudic sages that we find in the Mishna of the later Tannaim and which occasionally appear to the result of late, abstract rabbinic speculation, actually have their roots in this period; they now come alive in front of our eyes as a concrete historical reality, in contemporary documents stemming from Hasmonean times. The people toiled over the halakha and meditated upon it; they clashed over it and divided because of it. Extremists who refrained from joining members of the other camp, refusing to associate with them and ‘rely upon them’, ‘separated from the majority of the people’ until they were almost completely forgotten” (Ya’akov Sussmann, Qimron, p. 197).

This was the world into which the 1st-century C.E. Jew from BeitLëkh′ ëm was born, educated, earned the Pharisee sәmikh•âh′  of Rib′ i from the BeitDin hâ-Jâ•dol′ —for being a learned and Tor•âh′ -correct Pharisee—and was killed by Roman occupiers who considered his Royal Lineage in BeitDâ•wid′  to be a political threat to Caesar and the Roman Empire.

Whoever ardently desires to find and follow the authentic Rib′ i Yәho•shu′ a must shed all contaminations of the idolatrous 135 C.E. Roman-Hellenist apostasy and adopt, instead, the documented and demonstrated authentic teachings of Rib′ i Yәho•shu′ aTorâh, uncompromised and untainted. However, today‘s Christian Jew or gentile Christian cannot recognize and follow the authentic Rib′ i Yәho•shu′ a without first recognizing that what he or she now follows is apostate, counterfeit, anti-Torâh — and intractably antithetical to the authentic teachings of pro-Tor•âh′  Rib′ i Yәho•shu′ a.

The question, therefore, is not whether we meet your expectations but rather whether you will remold yourself to the well-documented and demonstrated authentic teachings of Rib′ i Yәho•shu′ aTorâh.

The restoration of Israel in 1948 signaled the beginning of bringing down the curtain on the great apostasy begun in 135 C.E., known as the ‘Times of the Gentiles.‘ Authentic followers of historical Rib′ i Yәho•shu′ aJews and non-Jews — will find in the Nәtzarim of Israel the exclusive opportunity to live, pray and function in the legitimate Jewish community and Torâh-observance — like Rib′ i Yәho•shu′ a and his original Jewish followers in the legitimate religious Jewish community in Israel who were called the Nәtzarim (Hellenized to “Nazarenes”).” End Quote . . .

I encourage you all to check out the above Netzarim (Nazarene) website. Their Way may be our way of making Aliyah to the Promised Land of Israel, eventually. They are accepted by and recognized by the local Orthodox Jews and Synagogues as a legitimate sect of Judaism, in Israel. THEY ARE CONSIDERED TO BE JEWS YET THEY ARE ALLOWED TO BELIEVE IN AND FOLLOW MESSIAH!! They are heavy into the written Torah, and we know that Yeshua is our living Torah, the living Word of Yahweh. They provide a straight strait path for the Christian who desires to truly follow the path of Yeshua HaMashiach, even allowing the Christian believer to eventually integrate fully into the local Jewish synagogue.

 

Yeshua said it clear enough:

 

Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” NKJV

 

Matthew 5:17, “Don’t suppose that I came to do away with the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to do away with them, but to give them their full meaning.” Contemporary English Version

 

Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I have come to do away with the Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets. I have not come to do away with them, but to make their teachings come true.” Good News Bible

 

 Mat 5:17  אל־תדמו כי באתי להפר את־התורה או את־דברי הנביאים לא באתי להפר כי אם־למלאת׃

Hebrew New Testament

 

As long as we have food, water and electricity, I’ll be spending more time on their website. The just shall live by faith and faith produces good works. Netzarim appears to be a good work with Yeshua.

 

Blessings,

 

Gene Benjamin II

July 27, 2011 CE

Five Words That Broke My Heart

FIVE WORDS THAT BROKE MY HEART

 

I opened my Scriptures this morning for my Bible reading and prayer time, or quiet time, as some call it, I opened to James 1. What came immediately to my mind was that I know James, he’s my brother. I only read the first five words of James 1 which says, “James, a bondservant of Yahweh.” That’s what the New Kings James Version says, but this is what I saw, “Gene, a bondservant of Yahweh.” My heart broke, tears exploded in my eyes, I could read no more. I just cried silently, since my wife was still sleeping, my heart bursting in pain. The silent cry, you’ve been there. All I’ve ever wanted was to be useful to my Creator, to be His servant, His slave, His son, to be a pot in the Master’s hand, molded for His use, not mine. When I saw those words, “Gene, a bondservant of Yahweh”, I was done reading, I was done in as a human being, I was finished with myself before Him. All I could do was sob and try to breathe. I love Him, and now I know again that He loves me.

 

As I slowly regained my composure, all I could do was intercede for my wife, her children and extended family, for our nation and world. The world as we know it is unraveling before our eyes. America may or may not make it over the next few weeks and months. Yahweh is looking for an American heart of repentance as a nation. I don’t see it, maybe Yahweh can see it, but all I see is a stiff-necked people, similar to what Yahweh described ancient Israel to be. We are finished folks, without repentance and turning back to Yahweh and Yeshua for salvation from ourselves.

 

Think about it people, just on the abortion issue alone we deserve total annihilation, just on the homosexual issue alone we deserve total destruction, just on the issue of corrupt government alone we deserve to be wiped out, just on the issue of a corrupt and violent populace alone we deserve the death penalty, not to mention corrupt businesses, churches, and families. What about immorality? Let’s not even go there. What about the issue of our drug culture? I mean legal and illegal drugs, we’re a drug-crazed society, to the point that it is mentioned in the Book of Revelation, not once but twice, as one of the sins of the people that THEY DO NOT REPENT OF right up to the moment Yeshua touches down on the Mount of Olives. Revelation 9:21, “And they did not repent of their murders or their (drugs or drug sorceries) sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.” Revelation 18:23b, “For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your (drug) sorcery all the nations were deceived.” Of course Revelation 18 is talking about the destruction of mystery Babylon, which many, including myself, believe to be America.

 

The pharmaceutical industry is driven by demons of witchcraft. Galatians 5:19-21, “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20idolatry, (drug) sorcery (witchcraft in the KJV, same Greek word, pharmakeia), hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of Yahweh.” Harry Potter does not have the corner on this witchcraft market, the drug industry beat him to it by many decades.

 

The revealed Messiah continues in Revelation 2:18-23, “‘These things says the Son of Yahweh, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: 19“I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. 20Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 22Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. 23I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.” The Church is not immune from Yeshua’s discipline, in fact, she’s first in line. There is salvation for no one, unless they repent, that includes me and you.

 

Once we do repent, we open the door for the fruit of the Spirit to take over our lives, Galatians 5:22-26, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24And those who are Messiah’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” There is hope for America’s future, there is hope for the world’s future, but it will only come through repentance from sin and faith toward Yeshua. As the King would say die to self now, or die to Me later, be crucified to self today, or be crucified to Me on Judgment Day. I would say fry now or fry later, turn now or barbeque later. Our choice is simple, die now to live, or live to self now and die. Choose life by death to self now. It may sound backwards, but our world is upside down from Yahweh’s Kingdom. No carnal flesh minded person will boast in His presence. When Yahweh shows up, we only see how filthy and sinful we are. When Yahweh shows up, His holy fire burns sin out of us by the Blood of Yeshua. When Yahweh shows up we receive judgment and mercy, you want both, for both are from His grace. Only the pure in heart will see Yahweh. He is holy, so we must become holy to live in His presence. That means death to you, me, and this world. Only through this death to self do you gain life to Him, by Him, in Him.

 

Gene Benjamin II

July 25, 2011 CE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six Returns of Yeshua

SIX RETURNS OF YESHUA

 

In Revelation chapters 1 through 3 we see Yeshua’s messages to the seven churches in John’s day. Then . . .

 

RETURN # 1 – Revelation 1:7, “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.”

 

In Revelation chapters 4 through 6 we see a Judgment Scene in Heaven. Then . . .

 

RETURN # 2 – Revelation 6:12-17, “I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?””

 

In Revelation chapters 7 through 11 we see a sealing time for the 144,000 Messianic disciple preachers and a great multitude. Then . . .

 

RETURN # 3 – Revelation 11:15-18, “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Master and of His Messiah, and He shall reign forever and ever!” 16And the twenty-four elders who sat before Yahweh on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped Yahweh, 17saying:

“We give You thanks, O Sovereign Yahweh Almighty,

The One who is and who was and who is to come,

    Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.

18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,

And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,

And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great,

And should destroy those who destroy the earth.””

In Revelation chapters 12 through 14 we see Yahweh’s Bride threatened but protected and saved. Also, we see the winepress of Yahweh’s wrath. Then . . .

 

RETURN # 4 – Revelation 14:14-20, “Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. 15And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

17Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

18And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.” 19So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of Yahweh. 20And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.”

 

In Revelation chapters 15 through 16 we see the seven last plagues: the Vials of wrath. Then . . .

 

RETURN # 5 – Revelation 16:15-21, “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” 16And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. 17Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. 19Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before Yahweh, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. 20Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed Yahweh because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.”

In Revelation chapters 17 through 19, we see Yahweh’s wrath upon the wicked trinity – the Beast, the Dragon, and the False Prophet. Then . . .

 

RETURN # 6 – Revelation 19:11-21, “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of Yahweh. 14And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty Yahweh. 16And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND MASTER OF MASTERS.

17Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great Yahweh, 18that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”

19And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.”

 

In Revelation chapters 20 through 22, after the close of the Sanctuary door, after Messiah has returned, after Judgment Day has taken place, after Yeshua has been crowned King of the Universe, we see the first 1,000 years of eternity stretch out before the saints of the Kingdom.

 

Of course we understand that Yeshua does not return six different times, but Revelation repeats and enlarges on the end-time Judgment Day scenario. What becomes clear from reading Revelation and being blessed by its revelation, is that Yeshua is coming back soon, in wrath to settle His score with Satan. The Devil’s days are numbered, the saints’ days are just beginning. The foolish nations will be dealt with, the Rod of Iron will be established, forever. Take it to the bank.

 

Gene Benjamin II

July 24, 2011 CE

 

 

 

 

Whores to Brides Metamorphosis

Whores to Brides Metamorphosis

 

Ezekiel 23, “The word of Yahweh came again to me, saying:

2  “Son of man, there were two women (Judah and Ephraim),

The daughters of one mother (Israel).

3  They committed harlotry in Egypt,

They committed harlotry in their youth;

Their breasts were there embraced,

Their virgin bosom was there pressed.

4  Their names: Oholah (means: her own tabernacle) the elder and Oholibah (means: my tabernacle is in her) her sister;

They were Mine,

And they bore sons and daughters.

As for their names,

Samaria (representing Ephraim, the lost 10 tribes) is Oholah, and Jerusalem (representing Judah and Benjamin) is Oholibah.

5  “Oholah played the harlot even though she was Mine;

And she lusted for her lovers, the neighboring Assyrians (migrated to Germany),

6  Who were clothed in purple,

Captains and rulers,

All of them desirable young men,

Horsemen riding on horses.

7  Thus she committed her harlotry with them,

All of them choice men of Assyria (Germany);

And with all for whom she lusted,

With all their idols, she defiled herself.

8  She has never given up her harlotry brought from Egypt,

For in her youth they had lain with her,

Pressed her virgin bosom,

And poured out their immorality upon her.

9  “Therefore I have delivered her

Into the hand of her lovers,

Into the hand of the Assyrians (now Germans),

For whom she lusted.

10 They uncovered her nakedness,

Took away her sons and daughters,

And slew her with the sword;

She became a byword among women,

For they had executed judgment on her.

11“Now although her sister Oholibah saw this, she became more corrupt in her lust than she, and in her harlotry more corrupt than her sister’s harlotry.

12 “She lusted for the neighboring Assyrians (now Germans),

Captains and rulers,

Clothed most gorgeously,

Horsemen riding on horses,

All of them desirable young men.

13 Then I saw that she was defiled;

Both took the same way.

14 But she increased her harlotry;

She looked at men portrayed on the wall,

Images of Chaldeans portrayed in vermilion,

15 Girded with belts around their waists,

Flowing turbans on their heads,

All of them looking like captains,

In the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea,

The land of their nativity.

16 As soon as her eyes saw them,

She lusted for them

And sent messengers to them in Chaldea.

17 “Then the Babylonians (sons of Babel) came to her, into the bed of love,

And they defiled her with their immorality;

So she was defiled by them, and alienated herself from them.

18 She revealed her harlotry and uncovered her nakedness.

Then I alienated Myself from her,

As I had alienated Myself from her sister.

19 “Yet she multiplied her harlotry

In calling to remembrance the days of her youth,

When she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt.

20 For she lusted for her paramours,

Whose flesh is like the flesh of donkeys,

And whose issue is like the issue of horses.

21 Thus you called to remembrance the lewdness of your youth,

When the Egyptians pressed your bosom

Because of your youthful breasts.

22“Therefore, Oholibah, thus says Sovereign Yahweh:

‘Behold, I will stir up your lovers against you,

From whom you have alienated yourself,

And I will bring them against you from every side:

23 The Babylonians,

All the Chaldeans,

Pekod, Shoa, Koa,

All the Assyrians (now Germans) with them,

All of them desirable young men,

Governors and rulers,

Captains and men of renown,

All of them riding on horses.

24 And they shall come against you

With chariots, wagons, and war-horses,

With a horde of people.

They shall array against you

Buckler, shield, and helmet all around.

‘I will delegate judgment to them,

And they shall judge you according to their judgments.

25 I will set My jealousy against you,

And they shall deal furiously with you;

They shall remove your nose and your ears,

And your remnant shall fall by the sword;

They shall take your sons and your daughters,

And your remnant shall be devoured by fire.

26 They shall also strip you of your clothes

And take away your beautiful jewelry. (Remember, this happened again in World War II.)

27 ‘Thus I will make you cease your lewdness and your harlotry

Brought from the land of Egypt,

So that you will not lift your eyes to them,

Nor remember Egypt anymore.’

28“For thus says Sovereign Yahweh: ‘Surely I will deliver you into the hand of those you hate, into the hand of those from whom you alienated yourself. 29They will deal hatefully with you, take away all you have worked for, and leave you naked and bare. The nakedness of your harlotry shall be uncovered, both your lewdness and your harlotry. 30I will do these things to you because you have gone as a harlot after the Gentiles, because you have become defiled by their idols. 31You have walked in the way of your sister; therefore I will put her cup in your hand.’

32“Thus says Sovereign Yahweh:

‘You shall drink of your sister’s cup,

The deep and wide one;

You shall be laughed to scorn

And held in derision;

It contains much.

33 You will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow,

The cup of horror and desolation,

The cup of your sister Samaria (Ephraim).

34 You shall drink and drain it,

You shall break its shards,

And tear at your own breasts;

For I have spoken,’

Says Sovereign Yahweh.

35“Therefore thus says Sovereign Yahweh:

‘Because you have forgotten Me and cast Me behind your back,

Therefore you shall bear the penalty

Of your lewdness and your harlotry.’”

36Yahweh also said to me: “Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Then declare to them their abominations. 37For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. They have committed adultery with their idols, and even sacrificed their sons whom they bore to Me, passing them through the fire, to devour them. 38Moreover they have done this to Me: They have defiled My sanctuary on the same day and profaned My Sabbaths. 39For after they had slain their children for their idols, on the same day they came into My sanctuary to profane it; and indeed thus they have done in the midst of My house.

40“Furthermore you sent for men to come from afar, to whom a messenger was sent; and there they came. And you washed yourself for them, painted your eyes, and adorned yourself with ornaments. 41You sat on a stately couch, with a table prepared before it, on which you had set My incense and My oil. 42The sound of a carefree multitude was with her, and Sabeans were brought from the wilderness with men of the common sort, who put bracelets on their wrists and beautiful crowns on their heads. 43Then I said concerning her who had grown old in adulteries, ‘Will they commit harlotry with her now, and she with them?44Yet they went in to her, as men go in to a woman who plays the harlot; thus they went in to Oholah and Oholibah, the lewd women. 45But righteous men will judge them after the manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women who shed blood, because they are adulteresses, and blood is on their hands.

46“For thus says Sovereign Yahweh: ‘Bring up an assembly against them, give them up to trouble and plunder. 47The assembly shall stone them with stones and execute them with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn their houses with fire. 48Thus I will cause lewdness to cease from the land, that all women (includes the Church today) may be taught not to practice your lewdness. 49They shall repay you for your lewdness, and you shall pay for your idolatrous sins. Then you shall know that I am Sovereign Yahweh.’””

 

Do you realize that if you have been grafted in to the natural tree of Israel, this passage in Ezekiel 23 may be speaking to you? Are you embracing Islam (Chrislam) in your church? Are you embracing homosexual church leadership? Are you embracing witchcraft through the Harry Potter evil books and movies? Do you embrace birth control and abortion? Do you encourage the breakdown of the family? Do you rebel against your parents, or encourage others to rebel against their parents? Do you profane the Sabbath? Do you profane Yahweh’s sanctuary (your body)? If so, you are also committing spiritual adultery against Yahweh. Notice two judgments in Ezekiel 23. One, in verse 24, the adulteresses’ enemies will judge them, and also in verse 45 righteous men will judge them. Matthew 19:28, “So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory (after His Second Coming), you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Yeshua’s righteous apostles, those who have followed Him and not man’s traditions and corruptions, will judge all the tribes of Israel, that will include the grafted in ekklesia.

 

It’s obvious from Biblical history that Yahweh’s uses Israel’s enemies to punish her, to bring her to her knees before Yahweh. We may see this happen again real soon. The Palestinians and Iran and the entire world of Islam want Israel dead, that includes Christians. I believe we will soon see the final discipline of Israel. Yahweh is working circumstances to bring the lost sheep of the house of Israel into His fold. These events will usher in the tribulation period. If the Church is raptured before the tribulation begins, great, if not, get ready for a wild ride. The Book of Revelation makes it clear that all twelve tribes will be preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom during the tribulation.

 

Yahweh intends to cleanse His Land of His enemies and sin. Judgment Day is intended to prepare earth for the holy presence of Yeshua and Yahweh. Wickedness will cease on planet Earth for 1,000 years. The Church will be purged and cleansed. Without holiness, no one sees the Lord. The Church must be changed from mortal to immortal, purified. Do you read real news? The Orthodox Jews still persecute Messianic Jews and Christians in modern Israel. It looks like the Pharisees against Yeshua’s disciples all over again. This will have to change. Yahweh only has one Church, His body. The two stick whores will be converted and joined together in righteousness and holiness as the Bride of Messiah. Ezekiel 37:19-23, “say to them, ‘Thus says Sovereign Yahweh: “Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.”’ 20And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes. 21“Then say to them, ‘Thus says Sovereign Yahweh: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king (Yeshua) shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. 23They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their Mighty One.”

 

Verse 29 shows the anti-semitism that is again rising across our globe. Yeshua stated this would happen in Matthew 10:22, “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” He continues in verse 26, “Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.” The Church cannot hide its harlotry, its adulterous affairs are being broadcast to the world today. The Church is, unfortunately for her, reflecting the character of the world, instead of Yeshua’s character. Our sin must be exposed, so Yahweh can cleanse us of it. Hate speech or no, we must continue to expose the darkness of Satan’s lies. Not one sin, not one sinner will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. There is only One door into Yahweh’s Kingdom, and that is Yeshua. Going through Him means death to your self and your flesh on your very own execution stake. Salvation is a free offer to you, but discipleship will cost you everything. Yeshua comes into your life to take your life, to replace your old you with His life living through you.

 

Yeshua wants you healthy; if He blesses you with wealth, that’s wonderful, as long as you use it for the Kingdom, but health, wealth, and prosperity are not the focus of the Kingdom. Yeshua is the Kingdom. He is our focus; He is our Peace. Only seek Him, not health, wealth, peace and prosperity. We are called to suffering and affliction, to service His hurting body. As you die to your self, He resurrects in you, so you can serve the rest of His body. You are not saved for you, you’re saved for Him, to serve His people. Colossians 1:24, “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Messiah, for the sake of His body, which is the church.”

 

Pray the Church repents of her whoredoms and returns to her calling as the Bride of Messiah. Look for and love the Master’s appearing. Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, that He will return today!

 

Blessings,

 

Gene Benjamin II

July 23, 2011 CE

 

 

Sukkot: Food for Thought

SUKKOT: FOOD FOR THOUGHT

By Avi ben Mordechai

No doubt, Sukkot in Jerusalem is a special time for huge numbers of folks. People come here from all walks of life, theology, and ideology; some making personal religious pilgrimages while others are here for some other undefined reasons. Perhaps for some, “just because” it feels right.

For me and my beloved wife Dina, Sukkot is a reminder of a spiritual principle; that our life in this physical world is much like that of dwelling in temporal tents, in a sense, as nomadic desert dwellers.  Indeed, the Almighty, Eternal One of Israel has given us Sukkot to remind us that we are just “passing through” in life and that we should not get too attached to all of the physicality that this world often wants to hand to us on a silver platter, essentially tempting each of us to get comfortable with this life as we know it. The general philosophy of most people is this: if you really want to make your way in this world, you have to do it yourself, or as my step-mother used to say, “Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.” However, life and success is not about “pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps,” as the old saying goes. Rather, the object lesson of the sukkah is to show us that we are all living in earthly tents and that we rely on the Creator and Master of Heaven and Earth to give us our daily bread; to teach us that we can’t be successful without Him; that we should store up treasure in heaven and not on earth; that we need Him for all of our daily sustenance, whether the package is perceived as large or small; that life is fragile and vulnerable to all the elements that surround us; that if we are going to learn anything about what real life is all about, then we should remember that the sukkah is about the temporal aspects of life as we seek to dwell in the glory of the Almighty. Interestingly, I think Sha’ul (Paul) put it best by saying the following:

For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from Elohim, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven; inasmuch as we, having put it on, shall not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed, but to be clothed, in order that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is Elohim, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. (2 Corinthians 5:1-5)

I am certain that I could go on to write an entire chapter of thought on these awesome words. However, allow me briefly to focus on the last statement in verse 5:

Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is Elohim, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.

If we were to look at this in Hebrew, the term “pledge” is “Mashkon.” In modern Hebrew, a mortgage is called a Mashkanta.” However, what I want you to notice is that both words from the ancient Hebrew world and the modern Hebrew world are both derived from the Hebrew root Sheen Kaf Nun; a root that gives us the word “Shechinah” or the dwelling presence of the Spirit, which was shown to all Israel in the Mishkan; that is, the Holy House (i.e., “Temple”) that was called by His Name. This is the pledge that Sha’ul (Paul) was (is) speaking of; a pledge that promises us – all Israel, that the in-dwelling Shechinah (presence) of the Spirit was never meant to only dwell in the Mishkan of the Holy House of ancient days. The presence of the Spirit of the Holy One was also meant to dwell within each of us; in our Mishkan or Holy House – the body. The in-dwelling Spirit of YHWH’s presence (Shechinah) is Abba’s “promise to pay” (Mashkon) His obligation (Mashkanta) to the descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, on the condition that we enter into His contract through the Torah of Moshe and through the Torah of Yeshua, the prophet like Moshe (Deuteronomy 18:15-19, “Yahweh your Mighty One will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, 16according to all you desired of Yahweh your Mighty One in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of Yahweh my Mighty One, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’ 17“And Yahweh said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. 18I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.”).  In short, Sha’ul (Paul) is doing a rather brilliant play on words in Hebrew, helping us to understand that there is a spiritual connection between the Tent (Mishkan), the Spirit (Shechinah), and a pledge (Mashkon), which is nothing short of what we would call today a mortgage (Mashkanta) – a document of obligation that says, “I promise to pay.”  Thus, the Spirit of YHWH has been given to each of us as a down-payment of His promise and obligation to pay His balance in full to all Israel. Therefore, let us walk in the Spirit and identify ourselves with the promise of the Father that He will deliver on His good Word. Of course, this leads us to one more thought: the connection between the Word and the Sukkot (Tabernacles) that we dwelt in, when we traversed through the desert for forty years!

In Hebrew, the term “desert” does not mean what most think it means; a dry, uninhabitable place. Not so in Hebrew. The term “desert” is from the Hebew word midbar, which is from the Hebrew root Dalet Bet Resh. You may recognize this from the term “WORD.” That’s right; the Word of God is related to the desert. Why? Because it was in our ancient desert wanderings where we truly learned to depend on the Word of God for 40 years. It was His Word that saved us; delivered us; took care of us; blessed us; disciplined us; gave us our daily sustenance. You see, in ancient Israel (and yes, even in modern Israel) the midbar (“desert”) is a place for grazing sheep. Shepherds know that sheep are not grazed in the cities; they are put out to pasture, to graze in the midbar – the desert. This obviously means that there is good food to eat in the desert but that it doesn’t grow from being planted and cultivated by man. Desert food grows from the blessings of YHWH, who brings the desert its rains in their proper time. Of course, we are like sheep (Ezekiel 34:30-31, “Thus they shall know that I, Yahweh their Mighty One, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are My people,” says Sovereign Yahweh.’” 31“You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your Mighty One,” says Sovereign Yahweh.” and 36:10-12, “I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. 11I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am Yahweh. 12Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, My people Israel; they shall take possession of you, and you shall be their inheritance; no more shall you bereave them of children.””). Our desert food is the Word and our desert dwelling was and remains in the sukkah of the Word. However, we must be ever so careful to pay attention to false shepherds “out there” who regularly fleece the sheep; who take their food for themselves; who foul the good desert waters with their feet; who run the sheep around in circles on the mountains (a quite-literal reading of Jeremiah 50:6 in Hebrew, “My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray; they have turned them away on the mountains. They have gone from mountain to hill; they have forgotten their resting place.”).

My friends, this is what the festival of Sukkot is all about: following the true shepherd to the waters of the Word; feeding on the Word in the desert; walking in the Spirit of the Holy One; living in temporary shelters to remind ourselves that we too, through our own physical bodies, that we are just living in temporary structures designed to be a dwelling place for the regenerated spirit that He truly wants to freely give to each of us (Ezekiel 36:24-27, “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”).

We know that Jerusalem below is not a true and exact copy of what is in the Heavens. Jerusalem below is secular and its collective population is focused on seeking after the ways of the world and its ideology. Nonetheless, as a collective body of true Israel, we are a people of the Book – the manifest Torah of Moshe and thus, we are living, breathing copies of Jerusalem above; at least, we are supposed to be. However, in this life we know that things are not always as they appear. We are a spiritual people trying to live in a physical world and naturally; there will be conflicts and battles to overcome as we fight the good fight against the flesh and against the world. But in the end, the battle will be overcome and the declared victory will go to YHWH, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, who has given to each of us the pledge of the Ruach HaKodesh – the Spirit of the Holy One, so that we can each learn to trust in the Word and rely on YHWH to teach us that any religion of man is a religion of death. The true faith is manifest as we learn to walk in the Spirit and listen to the Spirit as it guides us in the ways of Torat Moshe (the Torah of Moses) by that still small voice, saying, “go this way; go that way; do this; do that; follow this path; don’t go here, go here; apply these words this way, not that way….”

But we must learn not to think of Torat Moshe simply as the Law given by a certain historical man within the context of Israelite history. Rather, we should look to the meaning of Moshe’s name, given in Exodus 2:10, when Pharaoh’s daughter said “for I drew him out of the water.” In a sense, we have all been drawn out of the lower waters of this world (born out of the amniotic fluid of mother), and we must learn to prepare our hearts to be born from the waters above, by the in-dwelling of that still small voice of the Spirit, that leads us through the midbar (wilderness), through the trials and tribulations of life, in our temporary dwellings, our body-vessels. Torat Moshe (the written Torah of Moses) was (and remains) the divine conduit for the Upper Waters of truth. This is where we must truly start our lives all over again and become “born from above” (Yochanan 3:7, “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’”; Galatians 4:26, “but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.”). This is the true essence of the Renewed Covenant that Yeshua re-inaugurated for us, to fulfill that which was spoken of in Exodus 20:19-20, “Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not Yahweh speak with us, lest we die.” 20And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for Yahweh has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.””; a truth that the prophet Yirmeyahu expanded on, saying in the Name of YHWH, “for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest.” (Jeremiah 31:34). It is not that just a select few have special divine knowledge and are selectively chosen to pass some of it along to the masses. We all have access to the whole truth of the Torah and we should all actively seek that knowledge for the purpose of serving one-another, not ruling over one-another. There is no reason to tolerate man-made “power-grabs” in the Kingdom of Elohim.

This year, in Jerusalem 2011, at the divine festival of Sukkot, we will take one more itty bitty baby step towards learning to live in this true faith of the Renewed Covenant and we shall do it by collectively gathering together in Jerusalem below, to manifest the reality of the Divine Torah as it lives in the Jerusalem above. We invite you to come and join us and together, we can take this journey! We’ll dwell in our own privately constructed group sukkah (not rabbinically certified); we’ll take our meals together; we’ll tour the land and learn the Bible on-location together; we’ll come to understand and appreciate each other; we’ll seek the good of one another in the bond of shalom. These things and so much more! Please, come join us. If you cannot make it to Jerusalem this year, 2011, then at the very least, try to come together with others that may be gathering for Sukkot celebrations in your country, state, city, or locality.

Shalom and Blessings from the soon-to-be City of the Great King

Avinoam ben Mordechai

Jerusalem

The Day Is Coming

The Day is Coming

 

Zechariah 14:1-4, “Behold, the day of Yahweh is coming,

And your spoil will be divided in your midst.

2  For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem;

The city shall be taken,

The houses rifled,

And the women ravished.

Half of the city shall go into captivity,

But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

3  Then Yahweh will go forth

And fight against those nations,

As He fights in the day of battle.

4  And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,

Which faces Jerusalem on the east.

And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,

From east to west,

Making a very large valley;

Half of the mountain shall move toward the north

And half of it toward the south.”

 

I’ve been telling people for years that the Judgment Day of Yahweh is coming upon the face of the whole earth. Yahweh has an appointment set on His divine calendar that He intends to keep. That day has been scheduled from the foundation of the world age. That day described by Zechariah is the return of Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus Christ, His Second Coming, when He will establish His Kingdom over this world’s nations. Notice whose will it is for the nations to come and fight against Jerusalem, “I will”. Yahweh intends to spank Jerusalem and the modern State of Israel, made up primarily of the tribe of Judah, the Jews, one last time. I did not make this up, Yahweh said it through Zechariah the prophet, hundreds of years before Yeshua incarnated to His earthly life as the Son of man.

 

Zechariah describes here what Daniel saw in vision many years before in Daniel 2:31-35, “You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. 32This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”

 

Daniel describes Yeshua’s Second Coming. Yeshua is the Stone, the chief Cornerstone, once rejected, soon to come and destroy all the nations of the earth simultaneously, His Kingdom being the mountain that then fills the whole earth. You have to be spiritually blind not to see what is about to happen in the Middle East and around the globe. We’ve seen the earthquakes and nasty weather, signs in heaven and wars and rumors of wars. The world will soon be consumed in war. The famines and disease are increasing, soon we will see food and energy wars that will increase famine and disease even more. Few humans will survive what is coming before Yeshua returns, not to mention what happens when He returns. 2 Thessalonians 2:5-12, “Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6And now you know what is restraining, that he (the Antimessiah) may be revealed in his own time. 7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (Looks like Holy Spirit leaves with us in the Rapture.) 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Master will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this reason Yahweh will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

 

Make no mistake, the line in the spiritual sand is being drawn daily. Yeshua knows who are His and who His enemies are. Duh, He is our omniscient omnipotent King. So, what should we do until we are raptured or resurrected? 1 Corinthians 1:4-9, “I thank my Mighty One always concerning you for the grace of Yahweh which was given to you by Messiah Yeshua, 5that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, 6even as the testimony of Messiah was confirmed in you, 7so that you come short in no gift (charismati), eagerly waiting for the (Book of) revelation of our Master Yeshua Mashiach, 8who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Master Yeshua Mashiach. 9Yahweh is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Yeshua Mashiach our Master.” Romans 1:7-11, “To all who are in Rome, beloved of Yahweh, called to be saints: Grace (charis) to you and peace from Yahweh our Father and the Master Yeshua Mashiach. 8First, I thank my Mighty One through Yeshua Mashiach for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 9For Yahweh is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, 10making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of Yahweh to come to you. 11For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift (charisma), so that you may be established” What should we do until the end? Exercise our gifts in the Master. Deliver some, heal some, feed some, clothe some, house some, give drink to some. You cannot learn the gifts by study or research, they are imparted, often by the laying on of hands. They are supernatural gifts from Yahweh for use in changing natural circumstances. Once you have received the impartation of these gifts, you can’t get away from them, for Romans 11:29 says, “For the gifts (charismata) and the calling of Yahweh are irrevocable.”

 

1 Corinthians 9:19-23, “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Torah, as under the Torah, that I might win those who are under the Torah; 21to those who are without Torah, as without Torah (not being without Torah toward Yahweh, but under Torah toward Messiah), that I might win those who are without Torah; 22to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.” Romans 11:13b-15, “I magnify my ministry, 14if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” Yahweh may have rejected Israel, Jews, Judah, for a time, but when Hebrews turn to Yeshua, look out, life in the Kingdom has come upon you.

 

Our dying daily is so Yeshua can minister His life through us to His people. 1 Cor. 15:31, “I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Messiah Yeshua our Master, I die daily.” Galatians 2:17-21, ““But if, while we seek to be justified by Messiah, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Messiah therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! 18For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19For I through the Torah died to the Torah that I might live to Yahweh. 20I have been crucified with Messiah; it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of Yahweh, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace (charin) of Yahweh; for if righteousness comes through the Torah, then Messiah died in vain.”” Luke 9:23-27, “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his execution stake daily, and follow Me. 24For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels. 27But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of Yahweh.””

 

The Day of Yahweh is coming; the Day of Yeshua is coming, and when He comes, you don’t want to be ashamed when standing before Him. So, serve Him today by serving His people, then later He will serve you. Luke 12:35-40, “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; 36and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. 37Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. 38And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 40Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

 

Not growing weary in well-doing,

 

Gene Benjamin II

July 21, 2011 CE

Not Much Delay Left

Not Much Delay Left

 

 

Hebrews 10:37-38, “For yet a little while (two days or two thousand years), and Hewho is coming will come and will nottarry (take time, linger, delay). 38Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”

 

Revelation 10:5-7, “The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven 6and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay (of time or an interval of time) no longer, 7but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of Yahweh would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.”

 

2 Peter 3:8, “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with Yahweh one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

 

We were commanded by Yeshua to be clock watchers, but really now, two thousand years (2 days) since Yeshua walked the dusty roads of Israel is about enough delay isn’t it? We do not dare charge Yeshua with anything, but we can certainly petition our King to hurry. If He is going to do the pre-tribulation rapture thing, then we should be lifting off any second now. Yeshua has made covenants and promises to His people; He has obligations to fulfill. We love His appearing, we desire His Kingdom to be established on this planet. We long for the day when we will crown Him on earth as our King of kings and Master of masters. Coronation Day will be the culmination of 2,000 years of Church work, which some call the daily, which may soon be taken away from us, as described in the little book of Daniel.

 

Hosea 6:1-3, “Come, and let us return to Yahweh;

For He has torn, but He will heal us;

He has stricken, but He will bind us up.

2  After two days He will revive us;

On the third day He will raise us up,

That we may live in His sight.

3  Let us know,

Let us pursue the knowledge of Yahweh.

His going forth is established as the morning;

He will come to us like the rain,

    Like the latter and former rain to the earth.”

 

Over the decades of waiting for Yeshua to return to earth, I’ve heard, used, and even sang songs with the phrase Maranatha, come Master Yeshua! I always thought the phrase was in Revelation 22:20, but actually, the word maranatha is used only once in the New Testament, found in 1 Cor. 16:22, “If any man love not the Master Yeshua HaMashiach, let him be Anathema (banned or excommunicated) Maranatha (our Master has come).” The term maranatha was used by our early church brethren speaking of the approaching divine judgment; it became a common church greeting. It’s a great end-time word. Yeshua’s Second Coming is a sure thing. It’s rapture/resurrection for His people, it’s judgment for His enemies. The judgment part is encapsulated in the exclamation – Maranatha!

 

The 21 judgments of the Great Tribulation are not intended for Yahweh’s people, but for the impenitent, the rebellious sinner. It just makes sense for the Church to be raptured before the horrendous judgments befall this dying planet.

 

I see Iran shot down one of our spy planes. That could and should be a trigger to make us attack Iran, but we aren’t that aggressive in America anymore. I keep seeing the statement that Iran is at war with us, but are we at war with them? We should be. It may take a lot more than a shot down spy plane to launch the war found in Daniel 8. If Yeshua delays much longer, America and Great Britain may not have the military capability to launch any war, against Iran, or anyone else. Great Britain’s navy is virtually no more. I read last week that virtually every ship in the U.S. Navy is out to sea with at least one major system not functioning, from an engine, to combat systems, to missile systems, you name it. Where does that DOD budget go, if not to keep up our combat readiness? That’s a question you should be asking your Congressmen and Senators. This ain’t your father’s or grandfather’s military machine anymore. We haven’t won a skirmish or war since World War II. We might win a battle against Iran, if we do it soon, maybe before they gain nuclear capability, but in the end we lose the war. After the little battle that crushes the ram of Islam, Daniel states in 8:8, “Therefore the male goat (from the West) grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven.” That large horn represents our presidency, our federal civil government. Broken will, broken morally, broken financially, broken militarily, broken families, broken businesses, broken vision; the West is not the West we used to be. Soon, the West will be unrecognizable to us older folks.

 

So, in your watching and praying, continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, but don’t forget to pray for America and the former British Empire nations. Many of Yahweh’s people have lost their way, but we know we’re going up/out/over/into the Kingdom . . . soon. Keep oil in your lamps. Build yourself up in your most holy faith. Pray in the Spirit. Prepare for martyrdom and to meet your Maker.

 

Bless you all,

 

Gene Benjamin II

July 20, 2011 CE