All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
July 20, 2012
HANDS FOR JESUS
HANDS FOR JESUS
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In 1 John 3:8b it says, "...For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." What is the works of the devil that the Son of God came to destroy? It is sin. In 1 John 3:8a it says, "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning." There are two opposing forces within this universe, "the Son of God," and "the devil." Today there is a battle going on in the spirit realm, a battle between the forces of Satan and "the sons of God." The "sons of God" are those who are in Christ, born again of the Spirit (John 3:5-7) and led by the Spirit. Romans 8:14 tells us, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
The battle is not in heaven where the Son of God sits on the throne with His Father (Rev. 2:21). The devil is not in heaven (Luke 19:18). Those who are sons of God are here on earth, and the devil is here on earth, the battle is taking place here on earth. It is here on earth where the sons of God face the works of the devil daily. Romans 8:17-23 tells us that "the whole world is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God." The whole world (that is, nature and all physical beings) became subject to the devil when man sinned and permitted the devil to use him to do his works.
When sin manifests in the life of an individual, it is a work of the devil. The person committing the sin has permitted himself to obey the spirits of darkness (spirits of this world). We see an example of this in Matthew 16:21-24. It tells us, "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...Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee...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...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."
Peter did the speaking, therefore Peter permitted the devil to use him to do his works. The cause of the problem was Satan, therefore, Jesus addressed both Peter and Satan. Then Jesus spoke to His disciples, instructing them on how they can overcome the works of Satan. Jesus said, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
From the time of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, men have followed the devil by the thoughts in their minds. Yet, when those who are righteous submit themselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (by the power of the Holy Spirit) He will manifest in their life and destroy the works of the devil. Man cannot destroy the works of the devil by his own ability, but, "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4). The power to destroy the works of the devil is given to the sons of God by Jesus (the Word of God), and then by the Holy Spirit "the anointing within us."
The first manifestation of the works of the devil is seen in Genesis, Chapter three, when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They submitted themselves unto the temptation of the devil, and sinned against God. The next recorded incident of sin in the Bible is that of Cain, the first born son of Adam and Eve. In 1 John 3:12 it says, "Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous." Why was Cain said to be of the wicked one? Because he submitted himself to obey the thoughts the devil put in his mind. Genesis 4:5-7 says, "But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell...And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?...If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him."
The "door" the LORD was referring to was Cain's mind, "the entrance to his soul." Thoughts of sin are constantly coming to the minds of people, the children of God as well as the children of the devil. We have a choice, we can receive the thoughts or we can reject the thoughts that come to our minds. The LORD said to Cain, "...thou shalt rule over him." But Cain did not rule over the thoughts, and he slew his brother Able. Romans 6:16 tells us, "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?" Cain became a servant to the devil when he did not reject the thoughts that came to his mind.
Sin is the manifestation of the works of the devil in the lives of individuals. Righteousness is the manifestation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God in the life of an individual. Sin and righteousness are opposites of each other, righteousness destroys sin, sin destroys people. "...For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8b). Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16,17 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life...For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."
How was God going to save all who will come to Jesus Christ? Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God...Not of works, lest any man should boast..."
How can God save people by grace through faith? God imputes righteousness upon all that believe His Word. We see an example of this in the life of Abraham. Genesis 15:6 says, "And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." Romans 4:3, referring to Genesis 15:6 says, "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness."
Now, let us see what Romans 3 tells us about sin and righteousness. Romans 3:10-26 says, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one...There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God...They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one...Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips...Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness...Their feet are swift to shed blood...Destruction and misery are in their ways...And the way of peace have they not known...There is no fear of God before their eyes...Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God...Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin...But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets...Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference...For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God...Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus...Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God...To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."
Christians need to understand that it is because of the Cross, and the blood of Jesus Christ that we have peace with God. When we believe the Word of God concerning His Son and our relationship with Him we are declared righteous, because we are in Him who is righteous, and the justifier of all who believe.
Satan comes against our minds, constantly, just like he did to Cain (Gen. 4:7). He is at the door of our soul, trying to get us to obey him. We must rule over the thoughts of our minds that do not agree with the Word of God concerning us, as children of God.
How can we overcome the works of the devil in our minds, that we may have victory in this life, and in the world to come? We must spend all the time we can in praying and studying the Word of God. In Luke 18:1 it says, "And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint." Today, the most effective praying is "praying in the Spirit;" also called "praying in the Holy Ghost" (Eph. 6:18, Jude 1:20). Then in 2 Timothy 2:15 it says, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Satan destroys us through a lack of knowledge among the Christians. Just as it is written in Hosea 4:6a, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..."
Satan is a master at deception. He attacks Christians from all sides. When we think we have him defeated in one area, he attacks in another. There are two major areas in our lives where Satan attacks to render us ineffective as sons of God. The first area is to get us to think more highly of ourselves than we ought (Rom. 12:3). Too often Christians forget that "in somuch as Jesus died for one, He died for all..." One of the greatest sins in the life of a Christian is to think themselves better than the worst of all sinners. Sin is sin, and all sin is unrighteousness. "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one" (Rom. 3:10). When we look at another individual, whether sinner or saint, and think we are more righteous than they are, we are deceived, and being destroyed for a lack of knowledge of the Word of God. No, of ourselves we are not more righteous than the worst of sinners. Righteousness is imputed upon all who believe, not because of works, but because they believe, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God...Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8,9).
We see the manifestation of the works of the devil in the lives of individuals, but if we do our job, and minister grace to them, they can be a saint, forgiven, cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. It is our high-mindedness that prevents the power of God from working in the lives of others.
The second area where Christians are destroyed for a lack of knowledge is in the area of their position in Christ. Many times we need a better understanding of the Word of God, that we may walk therein. Many Christians become accusers of the brethren, helping Satan, unknowingly, because of a lack of knowledge.
Let me explain something that can set Christians free, if they will accept the Word of God as their source of information. The Bible says, "the just shall live by faith!" (Hab. 2:4, Rom. 1:17, Gal. 3:11, Heb. 10:38), and 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, "(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)" If we are to do the will of God, and live according to the Word of God we cannot walk by sight (that which we see, hear, feel, smell, or taste). The Word of God does not agree with our natural understanding. Our natural mind does not understand spiritual things. In 1 Corinthians 2:14 it says, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." It takes faith to walk with God. Hebrews 10:38 says, "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." Faith is not based upon the words of men, but upon the Word of God. Jesus Christ, the Son of God is "the Word of God."
If we are to walk with God, we must come into agreement with the Word of God "by faith in the Word of God," which is "faith in Jesus Christ." Jesus said in John 15:5, "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." Everything in our life, every breath we take is dependent upon Jesus Christ, the Word of God manifesting in our flesh. Without Jesus Christ, we can do nothing.
John 1:1-4,10,14 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...The same was in the beginning with God...All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made...In him was life; and the life was the light of men...He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not...And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
Our natural mind cannot understand how that the Word of God could become flesh. It cannot understand that the Word of God is God, and was God from the beginning. Our natural mind cannot understand how that a man, Jesus, "the Son of Man," could also be God with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Our natural mind cannot understand how that Jesus, a Man, who lived on this earth just like others, and then died on the Cross of Calvary, was buried, then rose again from the dead could be God Himself in the flesh of mankind. Our mind cannot understand how God could become man, then die and become the One who sits at the right hand of God the Father with all power and authority, not only in this world, but also in the world to come.
Our natural mind cannot understand spiritual things, pertaining to God and the power of the Word of God in our lives. Yet, it is by His Word and His power that all things exist. It is by His Word that we have all things. The Son of God, "the Word of God," is our connection with God. It is by God's Son, and His Word that we have the confidence to come to God for everything we have need of.
Yet, Satan tries to deceive us by circumstance, by the working of the natural mind, in which he injects thoughts to try to control our lives. His thoughts are contrary to the thoughts of the LORD. Therefore, we must reject his thoughts and live by the Word of God in every area of our lives.
Satan still tries to deceive us, even after we have received the LORD and become born again into the family of God; then even after we receive the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues; thoughts of losing our position is Christ come over and over again. We need a better understanding of the Word of God, in both the literal written Word, and type and shadow from the Old Testament; that we may stand in the day of temptation.
Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might...Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil...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...Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand...Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness...And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace...Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked...And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God...Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints."
To use our "sword of the Spirit," which is the Word of God, we must have some knowledge of what the Word of God says concerning us. Jesus said in John 14:15,16, "If ye love me, keep my commandments...And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever."
In Ephesians 4:30 it says, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Once we receive the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues, we are sealed until the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit will not leave us, nor forsake us. He is in us, and will remain in us until the day of redemption...
Some men ask, when is the day of redemption? The day of redemption could be the last day we are alive in our bodies on this earth. Redemption, means "when that which is in part is redeemed for the full amount of which the part payment was for." When we were born again we were born of incorruptible seed, which is the Word of God (1 Peter 2:23). This seed, was the beginning of our new life in Christ Jesus, which is eternal life. When our redemption is complete, when we are fully redeemed we will be in heaven for eternity. Our day of redemption could be the day we receive our immortal body, and our incorruptible soul complete in heaven. The last day that is counted in our lives is the day we leave this earth; the day our soul leaves this physical body and does not return. That day we will experience the first death, the death of the natural body of flesh and blood. There are no days, weeks, months, or years in eternity. Eternity is forever. There is no end to eternity. When we leave this earth we go to one of two places, either we go to be with the LORD or we go to be with the devil; there is no other place for us to go. Those who go to be with the LORD will not experience the second death. But, those who do not go to be with the LORD will experience the second death. Revelation, Chapter twenty and twenty-one teaches that there are two deaths and two resurrections. Revelation 20:5 says, "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection." Insomuch as there is a first resurrection, there must also be a second. Then Revelation 20:6 says, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." Insomuch as there is a second death, there must also be a first death. Revelation 20:14 says, "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." By this we know that the second death is for those who are cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15 says, "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." By this we know that all who are not in Christ Jesus will experience the second death.
Yet we also see other information concerning eternal life and the second death in Revelation 21:3,4, which says, "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God...And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
For those who will not experience the second death, death shall have no power over them. All things will be beautiful; in the presence of the LORD. Yet, there are those who will experience the second death, according to Revelation 21:8, which says, "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."
We must remember all of those listed in verse 8, are those who are listening to the wrong voice, the voice of the wicked one; the same voice that Cain listened to in Genesis 4:5-8. The LORD said to Cain in Genesis 4:7, "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him." We must not listen to any voice that will lead us to become among those listed in Revelation 21:8.
The LORD has done great things for those who will come to Him, and receive Him as LORD. The LORD Himself, and God the Father come and make their abode within us (John 14:23). And if we keep His commandments, He sends us the Holy Spirit to be with us until the day of redemption (John 14:15-17, Eph. 4:30). By His Spirit dwelling in us, we are able to follow Him all the days of our life. We have the power to resist the devil, and He will flee. James 1:2-4 says, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations...Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience...But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
Then verse 12 says, "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." Temptations do come to everyone who is a Christian. Everyone is tempted by the devil. Yet, we do not have to yield to the temptation like Cain, the brother of Abel did in Genesis Chapter four. James 4:7, tells us what to do when we are tempted. It says, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
We must keep in mind certain Scriptures, such as when the LORD said, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you...Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also...At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you" (John 14:18-20).
When Jesus made this statement to His disciples, He was not talking about some day in the way distant future; He was talking about three days later, when He and God the Father came and made their abode in them. On the same day that Jesus arose again from the dead, He breathed on His disciples and said, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost" (John 20:22). That same day, they were born again of the Spirit, and they became children of God, with the Father and the Son dwelling in them. This is the same in every Christian's life, when we are born again of the Spirit, God the Father and the Son take up their abode in us. And Jesus said, "...lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matt. 28:20).
Of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments...And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever" (John 14:15,16).
We must be careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:30 says, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Yet, do not let Satan deceive you into thinking you have committed the unpardonable sin of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 12:32, where He said, "And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." Satan is a liar, and the father of lies (John 8:44). Remember what the apostle John said, "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth...But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin...If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us...If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness...If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us" (1 John 1:6-10).
Let us walk in the light, as He is in the light and maintain our fellowship with the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Remember, "insomuch as Jesus died for one, He died for all," that includes every born again Christian. His Blood is for our sake, that we might be set free of all the works of the devil. The power of the Word of God is much greater than the works of the devil.
When Jesus came to John the Baptist to be baptized, "John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?" (Matt. 3:14). John did not understand the righteousness of God. Therefore, "Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness...." (Matt. 3:15).
John the Baptist did not understand the righteousness of God, but for us of the New Covenant, Romans 3:21-26 says, "But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets...Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference...For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God...Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus...Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God...To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."
Our righteousness is not based upon anything we did or did not do. It is only based upon what Jesus did for us; and that we believe the Word of God concerning what Jesus did for us. It is important to notice in Romans 3:22, it says, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ..." The righteousness of God is "by faith of Jesus," not by our faith. It is His faith, not our faith that declares His righteousness in place of our righteousness. Jesus said to John the Baptist, "we must fulfill all righteousness." It is Jesus' righteousness that is imputed upon us. When it comes to righteousness, God the Father looks at Jesus' righteousness and declares us righteousness when we believe the Word of God concerning what is written in Romans 3:21-26. Jesus is "the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." We are justified by what Jesus did, not by what we did or did not do.
Righteous means "equal in character or act with God," just as Jesus is equal in character with God the Father. Therefore, Jesus calls us brethren. In Hebrews 2:11 it says, "For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." Our righteousness is of God, not of ourselves. Look at the following verses: Romans 1:17, "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." Romans 3:5,6, "But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)...God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?" Romans 3:21,22, "But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets...Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference." Romans 10:3, "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." James 1:20, "For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." 2 Peter 1:1, "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."
It is all God's righteousness, not our righteousness. It is imputed upon us who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ through the Word of God concerning "His righteousness." Always remember, it is not our righteousness but His righteousness that makes us righteous before God the Father. Always remember, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin; ALL SIN, includes any sins we have committed even up until the very last second of our life. All past and all present sins, "...if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).
Romans 8:34, says, "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." If Jesus is making intercession for us, why would He condemn us? He will not condemn us if we overcome the world. 1 John 5:5 says, "Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" It is our believing on the Son of God, that causes us to receive the righteousness of God which is "by Jesus Christ," who makes intercession for us.
Righteousness makes us in right standing with God, just as much as it made Jesus in right standing with God the Father. Being in right standing with God, we have fellowship with the Father and the Son. The apostle John wrote in 1 John 1:3, "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."
Fellowship with the Father and the Son is very important. It is through fellowship with the Father and the Son that we can come boldly unto the throne of grace and receive answers to our prayers. Hebrews 4:16 says, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 13:6 says, "So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."
Christians need to come "boldly" before God and "boldly" before the devil; making our request known unto God and demanding that Satan have no power in our lives. We must be bold in the things that the Word of God declares we are to do. Wimpy, self-pity Christians will not receive answers to their prayers, neither will the devil flee when we do not come boldly, and demand that the devil flee. Satan does not flee from those who do not know their rights, or their righteousness in Christ Jesus.
When we stand firm on the Word of God, Satan will flee. But those who come with doubt or unbelief will not obtain that which they demand of the devil. The devil is a "devil," he doesn't scare easily, but he knows he must obey those who know "they are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus." Being in right-standing with the Father, Satan must obey the words we speak with authority, boldly stating our position in Christ, and demanding his obedience to our commands.
When we speak boldly, "In the name of Jesus, Satan's power is broken," his power is broken and therefore, he has no power over the circumstance for which we break his power. It is the name of Jesus, and the blood of Jesus that breaks the power of Satan in our lives and in the lives of others to which we have to do. Boldness in righteousness is what gets the job done. Wimpy, begging Christians never get results. It is those who know their right-standing and authority that gets the job done.
If you are born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit, then you are made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. If you have sinned, all you have to do is confess your sins before God, and "...he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Being cleansed from all unrighteousness, go boldly before the spirits of this world, breaking their powers over you and your life. With their powers broken, receive that which is rightly yours according to the Word of God. It will be granted to you by your Father, for whatsoever is the Father's is the LORD'S, and whatsoever is the LORD'S is yours, if you claim it to be so "according to the Word of God."
Jesus, speaking of the Holy Spirit, said in John 16:15, "All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you." Why would He show it to you if He did not want you to have it? In James 1:17 it says, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." If James 1:17, is true, then when the Holy Spirit shows us those things that are Jesus' and the Father's He could not be tempting us. If showing us the things that belong to the Father and the Son is not temptation, why is it then, Jesus said the Holy Spirit would show us these things yet He would not be tempting us?
Why would He show us those things? Because they belong to us "by inheritance." The world uses the same system. If your father and mother dies and you are the only child, you may be called into "probate court" that they may read to you the will of your late father and mother. In reading the will, they will declare to you all that your father and mother owned as yours. It all belongs to you, because you inherit all that was left when they died.
Now that's good as far as what your father and mother owned; it is all yours. But what about your father's position in this world. What if your father was a king? What happens when a king dies? Let us take for example from King David. Now, King David was not always king. He began as a shepherd boy, tending his fathers flocks (1 Sam. 16:11). He was anointed to be king by Samuel while still a boy; while King Saul was still alive. In 1 Samuel 16:12,13 it says, "And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he...Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah."
David received the anointing to be king at that time (1 Sam. 16:13). This anointing was not of man, but it was of the LORD. At about the age of fifteen, David became King Saul's armorbearer (1 Sam. 16:21). When an evil spirit came upon King Saul, David played the harp and the evil spirit left Saul. At about the age of seventeen, David slew Goliath (1 Sam. 17:50). For years, David was pursued by King Saul and his men, but David always prevailed and escaped. When David was about the age of thirty, King Saul died in battle (1 Sam. 31:4). David was anointed King over Judah; "And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, That the men of Jabeshgilead were they that buried Saul" (2 Sam. 2:4). About two years later, David was anointed King over Israel (the remaining ten tribes); "So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel" (2 Sam. 5:3). "David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years" (2 Sam. 5:4). King David fought many battles with the enemies during his reign as king. At about 70 years old, King David died; "So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David" (1 Kings 2:10).
Now, 1 Chronicles 29:20-22 tells us, "And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD your God. And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the LORD, and the king...And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings unto the LORD, on the morrow after that day, even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel...And did eat and drink before the LORD on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him unto the LORD to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be priest." In 1 Kings 2:12, it says, "Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly."
What did Solomon have to do to inherit the throne of his father, King David? Nothing, basically. He only had to be the son of King David by birth. He was born into the family; David was his father and Bethsheba was his mother. Because Solomon was the son of King David, when David died Solomon inherited David's kingdom (his kingship over all twelve tribes of Israel). Not only did Solomon inherit the kingship, but all the riches and honor. In 1 Chronicles 29:28, it says, "And he (King David) died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead."
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea of Mary His mother (Luke 2:1-7), he became the step-Son of Joseph, of the kingship line of King David (Matt. 1:6-16). When Joseph, Jesus' step-father died Jesus became king of the thirteenth generation from the carrying away into Babylon. At about the age of thirty, Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power to destroy the works of the devil. Luke 4:17-19 tells us, "And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written...The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised...To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
Acts 10:38 says, "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." Note: healing does not only include physical healing of our bodies, but it also includes mental healing of our souls. Many times, people who had evil spirits were bought to Jesus for healing, and He cast out the devils by the Spirit of God (Mark 9:14-28, Matt. 12:28).
Why was the Spirit of the LORD upon Jesus? Why did God anoint Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power? It was for the work of the ministry, to establish His kingdom. Jesus began to call His twelve disciples, while He went around casting out devils, healing the sick, raising the dead, etc. In establishing His kingdom, Mark 1:14,15 says, "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God...And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel."
Jesus was the Son of God, Who came in the flesh as the Son of Man (John 1:1-3,14). As the Son of Man, Jesus had authority on earth (dominion power). He lived thirty-years as the Son of Man, and Son of God while His step-father was alive. Then Jesus was anointed King and went about establishing His kingdom here on earth.
For three and one-half years, Jesus, Who was anointed as king, established His kingdom by destroying the works of the devil, and receiving unto Himself disciples (followers). Then, as the Son of Man, Jesus went to the cross. There He defeated Satan by death; for sin and death had no power over Him.
In 1 Peter 3:18, it says, " For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit." Colossians 2:11-15 says, "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...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...And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses...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...And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it."
Hebrews 2:9-18 says, "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man...For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings...For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren...Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee...And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me...Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil...And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage...For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham...Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people...For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted."
By this we can see, as king of the thirteenth generation from the carrying away into Babylon, Jesus defeated the devil, put him to open shame, took away the keys of hell and death (Rev. 1:17,18), and now we are heirs to His kingship here on earth.
Again, John 16:13-15 says, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come...He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you...All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you."
God does not tempt us with evil, therefore whatsoever the Holy Spirit shows us that belongs to the Father or the Son is for our benefit, that we may have them.
It is our righteousness in Christ Jesus that makes us able to be partakers of all that belongs to Jesus. We have inherited all that Jesus had on this earth, being children of God, and heirs according to the covenant. When Jesus died on the Cross, all that belonged to Jesus on this earth became our inheritance.
Hebrews 9:15-17 tells us, "And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance...For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator... For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth."
Jesus is the One who died and left us an inheritance, because of His death. It is an eternal inheritance. It includes all that belonged to Jesus while He was here on earth, as well as all that belonged to Jesus as the Son of God. Therefore, being we also are sons of God in Christ Jesus we receive His inheritance. We are heirs of Jesus, being He is our brother, and He died, leaving us all He had.
Jesus was without sin at the time He died on the Cross, therefore, we inherited His position of righteousness (being without sin) before God the Father. Satan has nothing on us because of our inheritance. All that Jesus' Father has was His, therefore, whatsoever was Jesus' now belongs to us by inheritance.
Understanding righteousness and understanding inheritance should set us free of all demonic activity in our lives, and in the lives of others to whom we have to do. The same power and authority that Jesus walked in during His thirty three and one-half years as the Son of Man, belongs to us. We inherited it when He died on the Cross for us. Everything Jesus had as the Son of Man, we have as sons of God.
Sons of God are those who are led by the Spirit of God, not those who are led by their own will. Therefore, we must learn how the Holy Spirit leads and guides us, just as He lead and guided Jesus. Romans 8:16,17 says, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God...And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."
Children of God are heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ. Galatians 4:1,2, tells us, "Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all...But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father."
Even though all who are children of God are heirs, and joint-heirs with Christ, only those who are sons of God (mature in Christ) will walk in the power and authority that Jesus walked in. Why? Because the Father looks at His children to see if they are mature before He gives them the power that is rightfully theirs to use and not abuse.
Maturity in Christ brings possession of all that is ours by inheritance. Maturity includes "doing His will, not our will." Maturity means "being led by the Holy Spirit" not other spirits. Maturity means "doing the will of God as Jesus did the will of God." Jesus walked as a Son of God, mature in the things that belonged to Him, given to Him by the Father.
Jesus said of Himself, "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 5:30). That is maturity, knowing what we can do and what we cannot do. There are certain things we cannot do, and there are certain things we can do. Therefore, by not doing our own will, we can do the will of God the Father. Our will gets in the way of the will of God the Father, therefore, we must set our will aside to do the will of God the Father.
Many Christians understand Ephesians 2:8,9, which says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God...Not of works, lest any man should boast."
But, how many understand why it is by grace? Why does God save us by grace through faith, and not of ourselves?
To begin with, being saved and becoming born again are two different things, which many teach as the same. To be saved is to be delivered and/or protected. People of the Old Testament times were saved, they were delivered and protected by the LORD many times throughout the years before Jesus came in the flesh. Noah and his household were saved at the time of the flood. In 1 Peter 3:20 it says, "Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water." It says, "eight souls were saved."
God has always been saving souls. He did it in the Old Testament times and He is still doing it today. When a soul is saved, it is delivered and protected from whatsoever is trying to destroy it. Take for example the children of Israel at the time of Moses. A multitude of people were saved, delivered and protected as they came out of Egypt. Yet, they would not mix faith with the Word of the LORD that promised them they could enter into the land of Canaan (Heb. 3:19). Therefore, those over twenty years old could not enter in. They were saved from the Egyptians but later they died in the wilderness. To be saved, we must put faith in that which God has promised, or we could loose our salvation.
But, being born again is not the same thing. When a person is born again they become children of God through the new birth. They are not just saved, but they are born into the family of God by a new birth. The new birth is not a birth in the natural realm but a spiritual birth, born of the Spirit of God (John 3:6) and the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23). This new birth is not a work of men, but a work of God (John 1:13). Whereby, God the Father adopts us unto Himself through Jesus Christ, His Son (Eph. 1:4-6). We are adopted out of this world into the kingdom of God's Son (Col. 1:13).
Therefore, we are no longer of this world, but heaven is our home and God is our true Father. Jesus is our Savior, but He is also our Brother, for our Father and Jesus' Father are the same person. Through the new birth we become related to God, being that God the Father is our true Father.
The name "Jesus" pertains to the Son of Man, that came into this world born of a woman and of the Spirit of God. Therefore, Jesus became a man, the Son of Man; having a body of flesh and bones. He lived on this earth as a man. Yet, He was still the Son of God, while He lived as the Son of Man, born of a woman.
When Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary, everything that was His as the Son of Man was left behind. He took nothing of this world with Him. Just as any other person who dies on this earth; they take nothing of this earth with them. All their belongings, all their possessions, all of their power as kings or rulers, everything that belonged to them stays here on earth and they leave for their final destination.
Just as a king, when he dies, his throne is passed on to his son. All his power as a king is left to another, one of his sons. That is what happened when Jesus died on the Cross. His power as a king was passed on to His brothers and sisters. They received "by inheritance" all that Jesus had, His kingship, His power, His authority to reign here on earth.
Now, because of Jesus' death, we become heirs of His. Because we are children of God through the new birth, we inherit all that was His. By inheritance, we receive power to do the will of God here on earth, the same power that Jesus had while He was here on earth.
That power comes to us in different ways. It comes to us by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that was upon Jesus is also upon us (if we will receive Him). This anointing is what destroys the works of the devil. It wasn't Jesus that cast out devils by His own power. The devils were cast out by the Spirit of God, that Jesus was anointed with (Matt. 12:28). Now, as heirs of Jesus, we can receive the same anointing of the same Holy Spirit that Jesus had. By this anointing we can cast out devils, heal the sick, raise the dead, and set a liberty all those who are oppressed by the devil (Luke 4:18,19, Acts 10:38). This anointing is given to all who are heirs to the throne of the King who died. Jesus, as king over all kingdoms of this world died, and we have inherited His kingship in this world. Therefore, we have the same power Jesus had, for we are kings and priest unto God in His stead. Revelation 1:6 says, "And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
We are God's representatives here on earth in Jesus place. We have receive dominion, and power, and authority to act for God on this earth as long as we live on this earth. Our kingship will remain as long as we remain faithful to God.
By inheritance, we are who we are. Not that we did anything of ourselves to earn it, it was not what we did, but what Jesus did as the Son of God and the Son of Man while He was here on earth. We received all that belonged to Him "by inheritance." Therefore, we can be delivered and protected by God, not because of any good works that we did, and not because of any bad works that we did, but only because of our inheritance as children of God. Romans 8:16,17 tells us, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God...And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."
We are children of God, through the new birth, not just because we were saved like Noah, but because we received Jesus Christ as LORD and are born again of the Spirit and the Word. Then, being children of God, we are heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ. Joint-heirs, means, we are heirs along with Christ and all the other children of God who are in Christ. We are not more important than they, and they are not more important then we are. We are joint-heirs with them, to do the will of God the Father here on earth. We have the power, and we have the authority, it is given us, not because we earned it, not because we are greater than any other on this earth, but because of our inheritance.
We inherited all that Jesus purchased for us. As a King, and God's representative, while Jesus was here on earth; He paid the price for our salvation from the works of the devil. By His obedience, He suffered the shame, the beatings, and was crucified, (put to death on the cross). By His stripes we are healed. "It is by inheritance; He paid the price for us." Our healing is by inheritance, and so is our salvation from sins. For by His blood on the cross, He paid the price for us. He did this while He was still alive, in this world, as the Son of Man. As a Man, Jesus paid the price for our salvation, our deliverance from sickness and disease, our deliverance from sin and the works of the devil.
What is yours "by inheritance" is rightfully yours, for it is your inheritance among the saints, "those who are in Christ." Now, it is up to you, will you take what is yours and live unto God as Jesus did? Will you receive your inheritance and go on and do the works that Jesus did? Jesus said to His disciples in John 14:12, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." Why did Jesus say, "because I go unto my Father"? Because when He went to His Father, He left us His power, His possessions, everything that was His was left for us, as heirs and joint-heirs with Christ. We can do the works that Jesus did, because we inherited all that was His when He went to be with His Father (by way of death).
He died, that we might inherit all that He had, "eternal life, power and authority as sons of God here on earth." As sons of God, we can do whatsoever God says we can do. It is up to us, for it only works through faith, not of ourselves but by grace. Grace is given to us as sons of God by inheritance.
When you inherit something from someone who died, it is rightfully yours and you have full rights to use it. You have the same rights as Jesus had when He was here on earth. Therefore, by inheritance receive from God that which is yours, health, power and authority over all the works of the devil.
Learn these important facts of truth, and speak them out of your mouth, that it gets down into your heart, for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God:
I'm the righteousness of God in Christ,
I'm a new creature in Him,
I'm a partaker of His divine nature,
On me He will not impute sin.
As He is, so am I in this world,
I am seated with Him in heavenly places,
I have authority, power, and victory,
Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world,
I am born of the Spirit, washed in His blood,
Satan has no power over me.
For those who are not born again of the Spirit and the Word, these do not apply. You must be born again to claim the righteousness of Jesus Christ as your own. You must be born again to inherit the promises and possessions of Jesus Christ.
So, what must we do to become born again? We must receive Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior of our lives. When we receive Him into our lives we become born again. If you are not positive you are born again of the Spirit, you can be today. If you will receive Jesus Christ as your LORD and Savior, He will receive you into everlasting life.
From you heart, pray a prayer like this:
"LORD Jesus, I know that You are the Son of God. I know that You died on the cross for me. I know that God raised You from the dead.
Jesus, forgive me of all my sins, wash me clean in Your blood; that I may be the righteousness of God in You. Thank You, Jesus!
Jesus, I ask You to come into my life? Live Your life in me! Let Your will be done in me! Let the will of God be done in my life as it was in Your life. I surrender my life to You, Jesus!
You lead me by Your Spirit and I will follow to the best of my ability. I will live for You all the days of my life, as You lead me by Your Spirit.
I receive You now, as my LORD, and SAVIOR for all eternity.
To walk in the authority and power that is yours as a child of God, you need the power of the Holy Spirit that is yours through the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said to His disciples in Acts 1:5, "For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." Then in Acts 1:8, Jesus said, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
You too, can be baptized with the Holy Spirit, walk in power and speak in other tongues as the Spirit gives you utterance.
Say a prayer like this, believing in your heart what God has promised you in His Word.
"Jesus, You said in Mark 16:17, that in Your name I can cast out devils.
Satan, in the name of Jesus, I cast you out of my mind. You have no authority over my mind. My mind is clear of all demonic oppression in Jesus' name.
Father, according to Your Word in Luke 11:13, You promised me the Holy Spirit if I ask. Father, I am now asking You to give me the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. I receive the Holy Spirit from You now, in Jesus' name."
What is a covenant? A covenant is a declaration signed and sealed between two or more parties, stating the conditions of the covenant. Some covenants are called "blood covenants." That means, they are sealed with blood. The purpose being, that it demands the death of anyone who would break the covenant. Leviticus 17:11 says, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."
Now, we have such a covenant with the LORD through Abraham. The LORD made a covenant between Himself and the seed of Abraham. Genesis 17:1,2,7, says, "And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect...And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly...And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee."
Then in Galatians 3:16 it says, "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." Therefore, the blood covenant between Abraham and the LORD was specifically for those who are in Christ. Galatians 3:29 says, "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." If anyone is in Christ, then they are heirs of the blood covenant made with Abraham. Abraham died, and his position with the LORD is a part or our inheritance.
Yet, the blood covenant is slightly different than heirs and joint-heirs with Christ. For the blood covenant included the protection of God upon all who are in covenant. The greater power (God), made covenant with the lesser power (Abraham and his seed). By a blood covenant, the greater power swears by an oath to make available all His power to the lesser power, "if it is need." Thereby, also the lesser power swears by an oath to make available all he has to the greater power "if it is needed."
Under our blood covenant, we can come boldly before the throne of grace and make our request known. Hebrews 4:16 says, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Being in covenant with God through Jesus Christ, Jesus said in John 14:13,14, "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son...If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it."
Who do we ask? Jesus is talking about the Father, which was in Him doing the works (John 14:19). So, under our blood covenant, we ask the Father in Jesus name! Now, covenant relationship with the Father gives us the right to ask the Father for help in time of need. Even children of God, not yet matured unto "sons of God," can operate in covenant relationship.
But, our inheritance, as "sons of God" places us in a position of "authority and power" over the devil. We don't have to pray to the Father in Jesus name. We already have the power and authority over the devil. It is ours by inheritance. We can demand the defeated foe (the devil) to release unto us all that is rightfully ours by inheritance.
Jesus, as the Son of God, became Man. As the Son of Man, Jesus had authority over the devil "by the anointing," which He received of the Father at the age of thirty. By "this same anointing" which we receive with the baptism in the Holy Spirit, we have authority over all the works of the devil. We can bind his powers with the keys of heaven (Matt. 16:19), and the keys of hell and death (Rev. 1:18), which Jesus took from the devil when He defeated Him. Matthew 16:19 says, "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." In Luke 10:19, Jesus said, "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."
By covenant we pray to the Father in Jesus' name and He will answer our prayer. Yet, all the power that Jesus had here on earth, we inherit it as sons of God. By inheritance as sons of God we can demand of Satan all that belongs to us and he must give it to us. It is rightfully ours by inheritance. Satan must obey our demands when we demand in faith, knowing and believing it is ours by inheritance.
There are all kinds of truth revealed in the Scriptures. Yet, most important is to understand what Jesus said to Thomas in John 14:6, He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Until we know Jesus, we will not know that truth, for "Jesus is the Truth." The world does not know the Truth, and they cannot until they receive the Truth into their hearts and become born again of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
I love what God has done that we might know the Truth. When Jesus was here in the flesh as the Son of Man, the world crucified Him, because they did not know the Truth. When Jesus stood before Pilate in John 18:37, it says, "Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." Jesus was saying to Pilate and to you and I at the same time, "I came into the world that the world should know the Truth; I am the Truth, I came that you may know Me." What it is really saying in John 18:37, is that God would not trust such an important message of "what is truth?" to anyone else except "the Truth Himself." God could have sent an angel to bare witness to the Truth, like He sent Gabriel to Zacharias and Mary (Luke 1:11, 26). God could have sent a prophet, like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, or any of the others. But God did not leave such an important message in the hands of another, He sent "the Truth Himself" to bare witness of Himself.
The Words that Jesus spoke are Truth, for He is the Truth Himself, doing the speaking. When we know the Truth, we will be free. In John 8:31,32, it says, "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed...And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Continuing in His Word includes two things. Daily, reading, studying, and meditating in His Word in the Bible. Secondly, it means letting the Word of God come alive in your daily life, for the Word of God is "alive and powerful, and it will divide between the soul and spirit" (Heb. 4:12), that you will know that which is from God and that which is from man. By the Word of God abiding in us, we will know the Truth, and the Truth will set us free.
How does Truth and righteousness work together? Righteousness comes by the faith of Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:22). He is our righteousness (to them that believe the Truth). Therefore, the Word of God says in 1 John 3:7, "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous." "Those who live righteous are righteous, those who are righteous, live righteous..."
First we must become born again of the Word and the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:23, John 3:3,5,6), then we can enter into the kingdom of God. Jesus said in John 3:3, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." That means we need to become born again "before" we can understand the kingdom of God. Then in John 3:5, Jesus said, "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." Here Jesus said, the new birth must come "before" you can enter into the kingdom of God. That would indicate that the new birth is not all there is to entering into the kingdom of God. There is more to it then just being born again, there is an entering into the kingdom of God "after the new birth." Many do not understand this, because of the teachings of men. But the truth of God will be known to those who continue in the Words of Jesus. His Words always agree with the whole Bible, especially the New Testament.
His righteousness is unto and upon all them that believe the Truth. The truth will make us free. Now look at the kingdom of God, what is it? Romans 14:17 says, "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." To enter in and live in the kingdom of God, we must have "His righteousness." Our righteousness is of no avail. If we have His righteousness then we will live righteously, that is, in right standing with God according to His Word. By living righteously according to His Word, we will have peace. This peace is not the peace the world gives, but His peace. Jesus said in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." There is a peace that comes from within, not like the world gives, but a peace that comes from God.
I always tell others, do not do anything unless you have peace in your spirit. For the peace of God within your spirit is a guide as to what the Holy Spirit is doing in your life. If your mind wants to do one thing and the Holy Spirit wants you to do something else, you will not have peace in your spirit. If your mind tries to lead you in a wrong direction, you will not have peace in your spirit. If there is something ahead of you that could cause you a situation that is not good for you, you will not have peace in your spirit. You do not always know what the future is, but the Holy Spirit within you does. Let me give you an example:
Years ago, I had purchased a beautiful used van. Everything was working great. We loved that van, for it had been our desire for many years to have a van like it. We only had this van for less then a year. Then one time, my wife wanted to go about 350 miles away to be at a certain place on a certain day. In the natural, it was fine. There was nothing wrong in the natural in going to be there at that time. But the Holy Spirit knows what is in the future, and the things that Satan has planned to destroy in our lives.
For about a week, almost constantly I did not have peace in my spirit about going. Many times I said to my wife, I don't think we should go, there is something in me that makes me uneasy about going. Yet, my wife kept saying, "there is nothing wrong about going, there is no reason why we cannot go." Yet, inside of me, there was no peace about going.
Even on the last day, before we left, I said, "I don't think we should go." Yet, I gave in to my wife, and we went anyway. Almost all the way I was praying in the Spirit. I just could not stop praying in the Spirit. I did not know why I could not stop, but something was keeping me praying in the Spirit. I recall, my wife saying to me at one time, "can't you talk to me?" I had to tell her "I have to keep praying in the Spirit, I just cannot stop now to talk to you." After traveling about 300 miles, we were on a straight road with the cruse control set at 55 miles per hour. Coming from the opposite direction (toward us) was a pickup truck. When this truck got about 50 yards from us it started to come right toward us, crossing the center line, heading straight at us. I quickly, turned the steering wheel toward the right side of the road, to try and get out of his way. When I got off the pavement on the gravel the pickup truck hit my left side, just enough to push the back of my van off the gravel toward a deep ditch along the road. I knew at that time, if I tried to turn back toward the road, the van would roll over in the ditch. So, I turned the steering wheel to go into the ditch, thinking, once I was at the bottom of the ditch I could turn again and come out of the ditch back on the road. But, I did not know, there was a farmers driveway across the ditch just at that point. The van hit the driveway head-on, jumped into the air and landed on the other side of the driveway. The back wheels on the driveway and the front wheels in the ditch on the other side.
My wife was injured, by her stomach pushing up under her rib-cage from the sudden jumping of the vain over the driveway. The van was declared "a total loss," and there we were, about 50 miles from where we were going, with no car, and my wife injured.
Why did this happen? Why could it not have been prevented? Two things: First, it would not have happened if I had listened to the witness in my spirit and not gone at that time. It could have been prevented if I would have obeyed the witness in my spirit. The Holy Spirit knows what is in the future, and He is working all things together for our good, if we love God and are called for His purpose (Rom. 8:28). Yet, the Holy Spirit will not force anyone to obey the witness He gives us in our spirit. His part is to lead us, guide us, teach us, and comfort us. From there on, it is up to us to obey Him, according to the Word of God and the witness in our spirit. The Word and the Spirit must agree (1 John 5:8).
Secondly, when we enter the kingdom (reign) of God in our lives, we enter according to "His righteousness," not our righteousness. We can say, "there's nothing wrong with doing what we want to do," but that is not all there is to the kingdom of God, "just believing that something is right or wrong according to our thoughts" according to what we think. In Isaiah 55:8,9 we are told; "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD...For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
In Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25 it tells us, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Twice this exact statement is written in the Proverbs. In the days of the law of Moses, it was stated that in the mouth of two or three witnesses a thing shall be established This first became established as a part of the law of Moses in Deuteronomy 17:6. Yet, Jesus, understanding the true meaning of the law made mention of this in John 8:17, making it clear that it does not only apply to specific situations such as in Deuteronomy 17:6; but also to a witness between Himself and His Father. This alone tells us, "we must have a witness between ourselves and the Holy Spirit within us;" otherwise we are not being led by the Holy Spirit, but rather are walking after the flesh (Rom. 8:5-8). If we walk after the flesh we are walking contrary to the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:17 says, "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." Even if the thing we want to do seems like there is nothing wrong with it, we are still walking after the flesh if we do not take heed to the leading of the Spirit within us. Romans 8:1 tells us, "there is condemnation to those who walk after the flesh."
We didn't know what the Holy Spirit had planned for us the day we left. There could have been a very important matter He wanted us involved in somewhere else that day. There may have been a person in desperate need of someone to talk to them "by the leading of the Holy Spirit" that day. The Holy Spirit needs a vessel He can use many times in the lives of others. If we put our desires before His desires (our will before His will), we are walking after the flesh and not after the Spirit.
Jesus set the example for those who will become sons of God in these last days. Jesus said, "of Himself, He can do nothing" (John 5:30), "He came, not to do His own will, but the will of God the Father" (John 6:38), "He does nothing lest it is shown Him of His Father" (John 5:19), "He speaks only that which is given to Him of His Father" (John 8:38, 12:49).
It does not make any difference if what we think is ok or not. It is not what we think that counts. It is what the Holy Spirit thinks that counts. If we go by our thoughts and not His thoughts we are walking after the flesh and not after the Holy Spirit. This is contrary to the reign of God in our lives.
If we do not have peace in our inward being, there is something wrong. The Holy Spirit knows what is wrong, but we do not necessarily know. It is not important if we know what the Holy Spirit knows or not. What is important is that we are led by the Holy Spirit and not by our natural minds. Our natural mind is a part of the flesh, to walk after the flesh is contrary to the will of God for Christians. God does not always reveal everything to us, and it is not for us to know everything the Holy Spirit knows. It is for us to obey the Holy Spirit by the witness in our inward being, and not grieve the Holy Spirit by disobeying Him (Eph. 4:30). Obedience to the Holy Spirit from within us is much more important than knowing why He is leading us or guiding us in a direction different than our thoughts. (For more information on the subject of the leading of the Holy Spirit, order the book "This New Life" by Merle E. Koepke).
It is the leading of the Holy Spirit, Who is working in us to will and to do His good pleasure that is important. Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." What was His good pleasure concerning that trip with the van? We do not know if there was something else the Holy Spirit would have had us do that day or not. But we do know, it was not His good pleasure that we disobey His leading and let the devil destroy our van and cause injury to my wife, that she had to go to a hospital.
God is for us, not against us (Rom. 8:30). The Holy Spirit did His part by warning me for almost a week in advance, yet I did not take the warning by the unrest in my spirit. If there is not peace in our spirit we should not do that which we intended to do. Never do anything without peace in your spirit. The Holy Spirit is called the Comforter, who will give you peace in your spirit (John 14:26,27).
The peace will come because of the righteousness we receive by believing on our LORD Jesus Christ, and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. By it, we have righteousness, peace and joy. Where does the joy come from? It comes when you know the Holy Spirit is working in your life. You know you are doing what the LORD had planned for you to do. The joy comes because His will is being done. It is not our will He is interested in. It is His will, which is the will of God the Father.
Jesus said in 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." The joy comes when we are not doing our will but His will. When we enter the kingdom of God, we will enter by His righteousness, flowing in the peace that He gives us, and we will have joy doing His will and not our will.
It is the Truth, according to the Word of God, that will set us free of anything that is not of God. When we walk in Truth, we will experience the reign of God in our lives. Every day, we should have peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, for this "righteousness, peace and joy is in the Holy Spirit." Without the leading, guiding, teaching, and comforting of the Holy Spirit, we will not have peace and joy.
Jesus, Who is the Word of God, will set us free. As we continue in His Word, we will know the Truth and the Truth will set us free.
In Hebrews 6:20, it says "Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." Why was Jesus made a high priest after the order of Melchisedec? Who was Melchisedec? Hebrew 7:1, tells us, "For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him." Melchisedec was the king of Salem. He was also a priest of the most high God (Which is God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).
Here we need wisdom. For Melchisedec was the king of Salem. If we look back at Genesis 14, we will see that there were a number of kings over a number of cities. For instance, there was "Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations." These four kings made war with "Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar." Thereby, Melchisedec was also a king over what is called Salem. Which most likely is a city, commonly accepted as what was called Jerusalem later (Psa. 76:1,2). Many of the kings of cities and the surrounding area were also the priests of that area. That is, they were the chief spiritual leader of the city. This seems to be the case with Melchisedec. He was literally the king and priest of Salem at the time when the wars broke out between the kings of these other cities, which included Sodom and Gomorrah, where Lot dwelt.
Hebrews 7:2 says, "To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace." Notice, it says "first being by interpretation." The meaning of names many times identified the result of their future. For instance, the name "Abraham" means "father of a multitude." That was not Abraham's name in the beginning, his name was Abram, meaning "high father." The LORD changed Abram's name to Abraham because of his obedience to the LORD. Another name that identifies the future is the name "Joshua" which means, "Jehovah is his help, or Jehovah is Salvation." This also was not Joshua's name in the beginning. His name was "Oshea," he was the son of "Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim." Oshea, means "help." His name was changed from "help," to "Jehovah is his help, or Jehovah is Salvation." This is the same name given to Jesus by God, as told to Mary and Joseph (Luke 1:31, Matt. 1:21).
Now the name "Melchisedec" means "king of righteousness," therefore Hebrews 7:2 starts off saying, "to whom..." To whom means "to Melchisedec, Abraham gave a tenth." Names are very important, for when their meaning is understood, they tell the future (or prophecy of future events). Therefore, names must be interpreted as to their meaning before full revelation can come forth.
That means, when in says in Hebrew 7:2, "first being by interpretation," that which is said is not what it means, but it must be interpreted to be understood. Take for instance, when a person speaks in tongues, it cannot be spiritually understood unless it is interpreted. Therefore, Melchisedec was king of Salem, and he was a priest of God; but in the spiritual interpretation of Melchisedec, he is a "forerunner" of Jesus. He is the one who came before Jesus as one to prepare the way for the future coming of Jesus. Like John the Baptist was also a forerunner of Jesus, one who came to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus.
Now, everything spoken about Melchisedec following Hebrews 7:1 is an interpretation of Jesus, not the literal Melchisedec, king of Salem who met Abraham. Melchisedec had parents, he was a king, and he was a priest unto God. The interpretation, using Melchisedec as the forerunner, starts with "King of righteousness." Jesus is our King of righteousness, not Melchisedec. King of Salem is interpreted "King of peace." The word Salem in the Hebrew means "peace." Melchisedec was king of Salem (peace), by interpretation. "Jesus is our King of peace." Hebrews 7:3 goes on with the interpretation, saying, "Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually." Jesus, before He came into this world, was without an earthly father, without an earthly mother, without any earthly descent, neither having any beginning of days or end of life. Jesus was made in the likeness of man, yet He was the Son of God, and abides before God as our High Priest forever. Jesus' priesthood continues forever, seen that He still lives, and will live forever. When a priest took office he became priest as long as he lived. Aaron was High Priest until he died. Even though Jesus died on the cross, He also rose again on the third day, and He still lives forever. Therefore, His priesthood continues forever.
Through the interpretation of Hebrews 7:1,2, using Melchisedec as the forerunner of Jesus, we see Jesus as High Priest forever before God on behalf of all of God's children.
What is the purpose of a priest? His purpose is to make sacrifices for the sins of the people, that they would be accepted by God the Father. Aaron was the high priest at the time of Moses in the wilderness. Aaron's duty was to make sacrifice for the sins of the children of Israel. When Aaron, and the other priest' made sacrifice for the sins of the people, their fellowship with God was restored. Their sins were covered by the blood of the sacrifice, and God did not look upon their sins, instead He looked at the blood of the sacrifice. This was a type and shadow of the blood of Jesus, which was to come.
Today, we have the blood of Jesus, which was shed once, "for all eternity," an everlasting blood to take away the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). Now that the true High Priest has come, and shed His blood for an everlasting covenant with God the Father, we have a High Priest after the interpretation of Melchisedec, king of Righteousness.
Using the type and shadow of things to come, what happened when Aaron and the other priest made atonement for the sins of the people? The word atonement comes from a Hebrew root word "kaphar," meaning, "to cover; figuratively, to expiate or condone, to placate or cancel." To make an atonement means, "to cleanse, disannul, forgive, be merciful, pacify, pardon, purge away, put off, make reconciliation." When the priest made atonement for the people, their sins were no longer looked upon by God, even though they were only covered by the blood of the sacrifices.
In 1 John 2:1,2, it says, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous...And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
Today, Jesus is our advocate, the One who stands before God the Father on our behalf. He is the propitiation for our sins. The word "propitiation" and the word "atonement" mean the same. His blood cleanses us from all sin, not just covers us but cleanses us. Because His blood is eternal, it cleanses us daily, not only the sins of our past before we were born again, but even the sins we commit after we are born again. That is explained in 1 John 1:7-10, saying, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin...If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us...If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness...If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
Why is Jesus a High Priest after the order of Melchisedec? By interpretation, He is a Priest forever, by His sacrifice and His blood we have forgiveness of sins past, present, and future. Therefore, in Hebrews 8:6-12, it says, "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises...For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second...For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah...Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord...For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people...And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest...For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."
Notice that "their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." Yet, this follows that which is stated in the verses before this. What comes before this last statement in verse 12? Verse 10, tells us, "He will put His laws in our minds, and write them in our hearts." Notice, He did not say we had to do this. God said He was going to do it. What does that mean to us? That means that religion, or religious people who think they can do it will fail. Those who think they can make "themselves righteous" will fail. Their righteousness is as filthy rags, it is of no value to God. It means that those who, of their ability try to live their lives according to the law, or the letter of the law will fail. For whatsoever is of God is not of man, and whatsoever is of man is not of God.
If the LORD does not put His laws in our minds and write them in our hearts, it will only be religion, man's way of perfecting himself. It will be man's righteousness, not the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. By the law, no one could be justified, it was only a schoolmaster, to bring us to Christ (Acts 13:38,39; Gal. 3:24).
The last part of verse 10, explains how the LORD was going to put His laws in our minds and write them in our hearts, it says, "I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people." How can the LORD be a God unto us, and we be a people unto Him? First, we must understand what it means to be a God unto someone. The word "God" in the Greek is "theos," meaning, "a deity; the supreme Divinity." The word "deity, or divinity" means "one of supreme supernatural powers."
If the LORD is to be a God unto us, it must be "by His supreme supernatural powers." Therefore, it is not by our power, not by our might, but by His Spirit (Zech. 4:6). How can the LORD, by His supreme supernatural powers put His laws in our minds? First, it all begins with our receiving Jesus Christ as LORD, not just as Savior. When we make Jesus LORD in our lives, we give Him the authority to change our thinking, our thoughts, our ways by His supernatural power.
Let's take a look at this first. As an example, in my life; when I asked the LORD to come into my life and take over for me, for I could not continue to live as I was living (I became born again of the Spirit and the Word). A true experience of the new birth should produce some type of change in a persons life. For instance, if you take away a stony heart of man and give him a new heart of flesh (Ezek. 36:26), and take the old spirit of man out of a man and put a new spirit within him (Ezek. 36:26, 2 Cor. 5:17), there should be a change in that person.
Another example; if you were to take a bottle of dirty water, empty out the water and fill it with pure clean water, that bottle should show some sort of change, especially if everything that was in the bottle is taken out. Out of that bottle should come pure clean water, not old dirty water. Why is it? Because what is in the bottle is what should come out of the bottle.
When I received Jesus as LORD, my thinking changed drastically. Before I was born again I was trying to make enough money to buy at least three apartment houses, and have them paid for by the time I was fifty-five years old. Then I thought I could retire and live off the income of those apartment houses. At the age of forty-five, when I received Jesus as LORD (I was born again), I already owned two duplexes. I had at one time owned three, but I had to sell one to pay bills. Things were already going the wrong direction as far as I could see. My plans were failing, and I needed someone to help me, for I could not do what I wanted to do of my own ability. Other things were going wrong in my life and I was unable to change them. That is why I called upon Jesus to take over my life, and be the LORD of my life. That night (the night I was born again), I prayed to the LORD almost all night, crying out to Him, LORD, I can't go on like this, I need You to take over my life, and be my LORD. You take over for me, and I will live for You. I prayed like that over and over that night.
The next day, I noticed there was a change in my thinking. I could not keep my mind on making money to buy houses. All I could think of was, Jesus, I love You, I want to study Your Word. Every chance I got, I was reading the Bible. I could not concentrate upon making money, all I could think about was "reading the Bible." I would take my Bible to work and read for hours, before I was able to force myself to get to work. (I owned my own business at the time, therefore I did not have anyone to tell me I couldn't read my Bible when I was supposed to be working).
Usually, I read my Bible until noon, then after lunch I would get to work. I tried many times to concentrate on working to earn money to buy more property, but I could not keep my mind on those things. All I wanted to do was read my Bible, and talk to people about Jesus.
I was a religious person for most of my life. I started reading my Bible religiously at about the age of sixteen. I met with pastors of my denomination quite frequently from the age of eighteen until forty-five. I was a Sunday School teacher, a council member, etc. from the age of eighteen until about the age of forty-two. At the age of forty-two things began to get so bad in my self-righteous life that I changed churches and did not join the church council. Within three years I had already sold one house, and was going backwards in everything (so it seemed). That's when I called upon the LORD to take over my life.
Now, that I asked the LORD to take over my life, there was such a change in my thinking I could not understand myself. Why couldn't I think the way I use to think? Why couldn't I continue to do what I wanted to do all those years? It took some time for me to find out what happened to me the night I prayed for the LORD to take over my life. Then I understood that, when a person is born again they become a new creature in Christ, the old one is passed away and a new one is put in it's place (2 Cor. 5:17) Then I began to realize that my thinking would naturally change also.
Many Christians have had similar experiences. Not always noticing the change the very next day, but they do notice a change in their thinking. One person told me over and over again during about a six month period, "the LORD is changing my life, I don't do the things I use to do, I don't have any desire to do them." One time he said to me, "I use to drink beer and alcohol, but now I don't even like the taste of it." Another time he said to me, "one day, an old friend of mine asked me for a cigarette, I gave him a cigarette, and then I said to him, here, take the whole pack" then he said, "I said, Jesus, I don't want to smoke any more." He said, from that day on he never even had a desire to smoke cigarettes any more. Later on, he said to me, "Merle, I don't understand it, I listen to cassette tapes of the Bible and pray in the Spirit in the morning and tears come to my eyes. I'm an old man, I never cry."
When the LORD puts His laws in our minds our thinking changes. Our thoughts begin to line up with His thoughts, our ways begin to become His ways. If we tried to do it of ourselves, it would not last, but if the LORD makes the changes, they last.
It's the desire to study His Word and pray that causes the changes in our thinking. He puts the desire in our hearts and in our minds. As we yield to His leading by His Spirit, changes take place in our lives, and He becomes our God and we become His people. He becomes the supreme supernatural authority in our lives. It's not by our power, and not by our might, but by His Spirit that these changes take place in our hearts and in our minds.
Now the spirits of this world are still around, still trying to bring us back under the law, whereby they can get us to live by our righteousness, not His righteousness. Therefore, we need the help of the Holy Spirit to teach us from the Word of God, the truths contained therein. We need to understand Jesus as our High Priest. We must live by His righteousness, not our righteousness.
Yet, most important of all is that we understand the Holy Spirit; for He is our Helper, Guide, Comforter, and Teacher, sent by Jesus and the Father for us here on earth. He is the anointing that we receive when we are baptized with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. We need to get to know the Holy Spirit so well, that we do not follow any other spirits, or people who follow other spirits.
The ways of the Holy Spirit are not the ways of man. They are totally different from the ways of man. The ways of the Holy Spirit are heavenly minded, not earthly minded. The ways of the Holy Spirit are supernatural, not natural like the ways of the world. The Holy Spirit does not put money before the Word of God. He does not operate by money, He operates by His supernatural power. Money is used, just like food is used for our bodies. But it's not the money that the Holy Spirit is interested in, it is the power of God. It's not the food that the Holy Spirit is interested in it is the power of God. The Holy Spirit's main interest is in the manifestation of the power of God according to the Word of God. He never operates outside of the Word of God.
What about sin in our lives, what do we do about it? Sin must be overcome, but if we try to do it by ourselves without the help of the Holy Spirit it will not last. Whatsoever we do of our ability is only temporal. It's like a spring, you can stretch it into the position you want it. But, if you ever let go, it will go back to where it was originally. The change must take place within us by the power of the Holy Spirit helping us overcome sin.
Romans 8:13 says "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." The deeds of the flesh, which is sin in the flesh must be mortified; that is, put to death "through the Spirit." The Holy Spirit must help us overcome sin in the flesh. In Hebrew 4:6,8 it tells us, "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened...If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance..." What does that mean? The Holy Spirit is the One who will reprove the world because of sin (John 16:8). What does it mean by the world? All who live according to the world's system, that is, from their natural mind of the flesh. The Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of repentance." Unless the Holy Spirit leads someone to repent, they cannot repent. Repent, means "change." Without the Holy Spirit a person cannot change. Without the Holy Spirit no one can come to Jesus, or to God. Jesus said, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:44). How does the Father draw a person? By the Holy Spirit! If the Holy Spirit is not working in a persons life, whatsoever they do will not be of any avail. It is worthless as far as God is concerned. God is not interested in what we do of our own ability, He is interested in what He can do by His Holy Spirit working through His Word. Repentance can only come by man cooperating with the Holy Spirit according to the Word of God.
We must mortify the deeds of the flesh, which is, "sin in the flesh" (Rom. 7:23). But, it must be done through the Holy Spirit, by Him working in us from within our inward being. We are a new creature in Christ, if we are born of the Spirit and the Word. But, we still have sin in the flesh, and it must be overcome by the Holy Spirit working with us, not by our ability alone. Religion and religious acts will not overcome sin in the flesh. Jesus already overcome sin in the flesh for us, now we must believe the Word of God concerning what Jesus did on the cross for us. Then, through the Spirit, we overcome the devil, the author of sin; by the Word of God working in us.
Without the Word we cannot overcome sin in the flesh. Without the Holy Spirit we cannot overcome sin in the flesh. But, with the Word and the Holy Spirit we can put to death sin in the flesh. Thanks be to Jesus who overcame sin for us. Romans 8:2-4 says, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death...For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh...That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
Therefore, if we walk after the Spirit we will have peace and life. But if we walk after the flesh, and try to overcome sin in the flesh ourselves, it will not work. Life and peace come by a work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We must learn how the Holy Spirit works in our lives.