All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
March 18, 2008 Update August 27, 2013
IN THE SPIRIT
HANDS FOR JESUS
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BORN OF THE SPIRIT
In John 3:6, Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." Christians need to understand what this means. Many Christians are still being destroyed for a lack of knowledge. They still live like the world lives, not knowing what Jesus was talking about when He said, "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
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." There are two subjects in this statement, (1) "born of water and of the Spirit." (2) "entering into the kingdom of God."
When Jesus said "born of water," He was talking about being born of "the Word." The Apostle John used the word "hudor" symbolically and figuratively many times (John 3:5, 4:14, 7:38 1 John 5:6,8; Re 22:1). In 1 Peter 1:23, it says, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." To enter the kingdom of God we must first be born of the flesh, then be "born again" of the Word and the Spirit. Notice in John 3:5, Jesus did not say "born again of water." We must first be born once of the flesh, then we must be born again of the Word and the Spirit. Our first birth must be born of the flesh, and our second birth must be born of the Word and the Spirit. Therefore, Jesus said, "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again" (John 3:7). This is all necessary for us to enter into the kingdom of God. Without first being born of the flesh, we cannot become born again of the Word and the Spirit. Without being "born again" of the Word and the Spirit, we cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
When we are born of the flesh, we become human beings, with a body of flesh and bones. We are "a living soul" in a physical body of flesh and bones. We also have a spirit given to us by God, whereby God can communicate with us. Job 32:8 says, "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." The natural man, born of the flesh, is not a spirit, but there is "a spirit in man." When the LORD God created man, he became a living soul (Gen. 2:7). In 1 Corinthians 15:45-47 it says,
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
By this we can see, "Adam was not spiritual." When we were born of the flesh, we were natural, "not spiritual."
Why did Jesus say, "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again" (John 3:7)? Because, to enter into the kingdom of God we must "become spiritual." In 1 Corinthians 15:50, the apostle Paul wrote, "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." Therefore, unless we are born again of the Spirit, we cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
If we want to mature in the LORD and live in this life the way God has planned for us, we cannot believe the teachings of men that do not agree with the Word of God, such as what it says in Genesis 2:7 and 1 Corinthians 15:45-47. God's Word is Truth and it stands forever.
As a natural human being, we are a living soul and we have a spirit "within us." It's like a bottle of water. The water in the bottle is not the bottle, and the bottle is not the water. In Zechariah 12:1 it tells us the LORD "formed the spirit within man." If the spirit of man is in him, then he is not the spirit. Natural man is a living soul, with a body and a spirit within him.
It is important to understand what it says in Proverbs 20:27. It says, "The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly." God uses our spirit to communicate with us. God works from our spirit, not our flesh. The flesh is one thing and the spirit is another thing. They are two different parts of the natural man.
Those of this world who are not born again are still in the flesh. They are still in the first Adam. They are not spiritual. They have a spirit within them, but they are not spiritual.
"Christians," who are "born again" are spiritual. In the spirit, we are "one Spirit with the LORD" (1 Cor. 6:17). Our life is hid with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). In 2 Corinthians 5:17, it says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." We are a new creature in Christ. We were in the flesh, but now, being born again of the Spirit, "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his" (Rom. 8:9).
Christians need to understand "who they are in Christ," otherwise they will still be defeated in this life by a lack of knowledge. In Christ, God is our Father. God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all dwell in our spirit. We are God's creation, created in Christ Jesus for all eternity. We are no longer in Adam, but we are in Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:22 it says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." We have eternal life, in Christ Jesus (John 5:24). This eternal life is one life with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is the very life of God living in us. The Apostle Paul wrote, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Gal. 2:20). The life we live in the Spirit is not our life, it is Christ's life living in us. It is not by our power, but by His Spirit that we live.
Once we are born again of the Spirit, we are no longer in the flesh, but in the Spirit. Therefore, we are new creatures in Christ. We are spiritual, just as Christ is spiritual. Yet, we must understand "spiritual things are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:13,14).
To understand spiritual things, we need the help of the Holy Spirit, to give us spiritual discernment, to discern those things that pertain to our position in Christ, and how to live in the spirit. As we learn, we must make changes in the way we live.
Romans 12:2 says, "be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." As long as Christians continue to be conformed to this world, they will be defeated in their spiritual lives, therefore, we must be transformed by the Word of God and the Spirit of God to live as God wants us to live.
Romans 8:14 says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." There are many Children of God in this world. They are born again of the Spirit. They are in Christ. But, they are still children and not sons of God. Romans 8:19 says, "the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." The world, and even the creatures of the world are still waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. The sons of God are those who are led by the Spirit of God.
The children of God, are still under tutors or teachers, until they mature in the things of the Spirit. Galatians 4:1,2 says,
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.
Once we are born again of the Spirit, we are children of God. But, until we learn to be led by the Spirit, we will not become sons of God. As long as we are conformed to this world, we will only be children of God, under tutors, learning the ways of the Spirit.
Let's, grow up in Christ. Let's become mature in the things of the Spirit that we can be led by the Spirit and not by the mind of the flesh. We must understand, the Holy Spirit only leads by the Word of God, not by spiritual experiences. There are many spirits in this world, but only one Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit never goes outside of the Word of God. The Holy Spirit never goes contrary to the Word of God. The Word of God always comes first, then the Holy Spirit moves and manifests according to the Word of God.
THE SPIRITUAL MAN
In the New Testament there are two lives mentioned. There is the natural life, born of the flesh, called "psuche" in the Greek. Then there is the spiritual life, born of the Spirit, called "Zoe" in the Greek.
It is unfortunate that most Christians only read their English versions of the Bible. In the English versions, the word "life" is used the same as if there was only "one life." This is not true, and Christians should know the difference between the two lives (spirit life and soul life) mentioned in the Bible. Sometimes the Greek word "psuche" is translated "life," other times it is translated "soul." These two mean the same thing, by this many Christians are not understanding what the Word of God is trying to tell us. They think they are two different things. Yet, that is not always true. "Psuche" is soul life, the life of the flesh. Many do not understand, that when the word "psuche" is translated life, it is speaking of the living soul of man.
Besides that, the Greek word "zoe" is also translated "life." "Zoe" is spirit life. Without knowing the difference between "psuche and zoe," when the word life is used in the English translations, many Christians do not know what the Word of God is trying to tell them. This lack of knowledge causes many Christians to get the wrong idea of what the Word of God is teaching.
If we are to study the Word of God, it is important to know what it is saying, and many times the English translations do not give us the correct information. Therefore, it is important to use a good interlinear Bible to know when it is speaking of "soul life or spirit life," "natural life or spiritual life."
To mature in the LORD, we must understand "spirit life (zoe)." There is a big difference between spirit life and natural life. In John 10:10,11, Jesus said,
I am come that they might have life (zoe), and that they might have it more abundantly.
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life (psuche) for the sheep.
John 10:10 tells us, Jesus came that we might have "spirit life," the very life of God within us. John 10:11 tells us, Jesus died in the flesh "psuche" (soul life) to make it possible for us to have "spirit life." In 1 Peter 3:18 it says, Jesus was "put to death in the flesh." Jesus didn't die spiritually, as some teach. He gave his "soul life," His life of the flesh, for us.
The name "Jesus" pertains to His humanity "psuche" (soul life). The name "Christ" pertains to His Deity, "zoe" (spirit life). Because that Jesus defeated the devil in His soul life, "God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name." (Phil. 2:9-11). Jesus, as a Man, through death of the flesh defeated the devil for us. As Christ, He gives us "spiritual life" (zoe), in Him; that is "in Christ." When the Bible talks about Jesus as "the Son of God," it is speaking of Who He was before He came into this world, born of Mary, and Who He still is in His Deity.
Being born again of the Spirit, we have "spirit life." Have you ever noticed in the Bible, it hardly ever talks about Christians being in Jesus? Only once in the King James Version, does it refer to Christians being in Jesus. That is in 1 Thessalonians 4:4 where it says, "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." A number of times it refers to being in Jesus Christ, this signifying that Jesus "as a man in the flesh" defeated Satan for us, and is now reigning in the Spirit as Christ.
Most of the time the Bible talks about Christians being "in Christ," or in "His Son" Why? In Jesus was "psuche," soul life. In Christ is "zoe," spirit life. Jesus had both, "psuche" and "zoe." In Christ, we have "zoe" and are "One Spirit with the LORD" (1 Cor. 6:17). As Christians, still having a body of flesh and bones, we have both "psuche" and "zoe."
Now look at 2 Corinthians 5:17, which says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." The reason most Christians cannot understand this verse is because they try to understand it in their natural mind. Spiritual things are not naturally understood, but rather spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14). God is always NOW, and many times His Word is speaking according to eternal time, not earthly time. Therefore, we could say this verse is partly literal and partly prophetic. That is, NOW we have a new spirit, and before God is through with us, this corruptible will have put on incorruption, and this mortal will have put on immortality, and we will be totally changed into the image of Jesus Christ. This is all explained in 1 Corinthians 15:44-57.
As we study 1 Corinthians 15:44-57 we will notice some very important things. Already in 1 Corinthians 15:35 it says, "But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?" So to answer that question verses 44 through 57 explain:
(1) In verse 44 it tells us, "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." Christians have two bodies, a natural body of flesh and bones and a spiritual body, which is in Christ.
(2) In verse 45 it says, "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit." We came into this world born of the flesh, a living soul, in Adam. But, then came Jesus, who was spiritual, giving us spiritual life in Christ.
(3) In verse 46 it tells us, "Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual." Adam was not spiritual, but Jesus was spiritual.
(4) In verse 47 it explains "The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven." In our life also, we are first earthly, then we become heavenly, "in Christ" Jesus.
(5) In verse 48 it goes on to explain, "As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly." People are either earthly or they are heavenly, depending upon whether they are "in Adam" or "in Christ."
(6) In verse 49 it is speaking a process, from the new birth to living in heaven, saying, "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." Our total image will not be complete until that which follows in verses 50 through 54 takes place.
(7) Verse 50 starts to explain the process, saying, "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." We cannot enter into the kingdom of God until we are first "born again of the Spirit" (John 3:7). Those who are not born again cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:6). Even though our minds are still corrupted, and our physical bodies are still mortal, being that our spirit is a new creature "in Christ," we can enter into the kingdom of God while still on this earth.
(8) Now look at verse 51, it explains the completion, saying, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed." The time will come when we will be completely changed.
(9) Verse 52 goes on to explain, saying, "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." This change is explained in the following verses.
(10) Verse 53, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
(11) Verse 54, "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."
(12) Verse 55, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"
(13) Then Verse 56 tells us, "The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law."
(14) Verse 57 is the praise report that sums up all the way from verse 35 through 56. It says, "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." Our victory over sin and death is not in what we did, but in what God did for us in Christ Jesus. He is our victory. He is our Savior.
Yet, there is much more to our new life in the Spirit. That is, when we were born again of the Spirit, our new life began with the Word of God. We were alive in the flesh of man. But, when we became born again, it all started with a seed, which is the Word of God. In 1 Peter 1:23 it says, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." In this body of flesh, God planted His Word, and it must grow and mature to become like Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This all happened according to the prophecy of Ezekiel 36:26, which says, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh."
Before we are born again, we have a spirit given to us by the LORD. Job tells us, "there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding" (Job 32:8). God uses that spirit to draw us to Jesus. Jesus said in John 6:44, "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." God uses our spirit to give us understanding, while He draws us to Jesus, to receive Him as LORD and Savior. God's Word enters our heart, and we become born again of the Word by an operation of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we are born again of the Spirit and the Word. When we receive the Word of God, our heart changes from knowing about God, to knowing Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior. We receive a new heart of flesh. That is, a heart that is no longer called a stony heart, but a heart that loves the LORD.
At the same time, God gives us a new spirit. That Spirit is joined "One Spirit with the LORD." The Spirit of Christ takes up His residence within us, and we are translated from the flesh to the Spirit (Rom. 8:9). God delivers us from the powers of darkness and translates us into the kingdom of His Son (Col. 1:13). At that point in time, our first stage of "a complete new creature" has taken place in our lives. In the spirit, we are complete, but in the flesh and in the soul there are still things that must take place. "This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Cor. 15:53). That will happen as it is written in 1 Corinthians 15:51-57.
What many Christians do not understand is that sometimes God speaks "those things that be not as though they were" (Rom. 4:17). Sometimes God is speaking literally, and sometimes God is speaking prophetically. Prophetic speaking is speaking of a future happening. Whereas, literal speaking is NOW. The Bible says, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2). NOW we are the sons of God, but we don't understand all things yet, but when everything is complete we will understand, "when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is"
In spirit life, we have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in us. We are one spirit with the LORD in Christ. This is not a life separate from the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We are joined together in one spirit. The Father is in us (John 14:20, 17:21, Eph. 4:6, etc.). The Son is in us (John 14:20, 17:21, 2 Cor. 5:17, 1 John 5:12, etc.). The Holy Spirit is in us (John 14:17, 1 John 4:13, etc.). Therefore, the complete Godhead dwells in us (Col. 2:9,10).
Jesus said, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world" (John 17:16). Christians are not of this world. Our new spirit came down from heaven when we were born of the Spirit. When we leave this world, we will go back to heaven where our new spirit came from. We will be forever with the LORD (1 Thess. 4:17).
We need to understand what the apostle Paul is writing about when he says, "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day" (2 Cor. 4:16). We still have an "outward man," the old man of the flesh. But, we are a new Creature in Christ, that is "the inward man," which is renewed day by day. In Romans 6:6, it says, "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." The "old man" is the man of the flesh that is crucified with Christ. The old man, pertains to that which we were before we were born again of the Spirit. This "old man" is the man of the flesh that must die, that the new creature in Christ can live. In Ephesians 4:22; & Colossians 3:9 the outward man is called the "old man." In Romans 7:22 and 2 Corinthians 4:16 Paul calls the new creature in Christ the "inward man." In Ephesians 3:16, Paul calls the new creature in Christ "the inner man." In Ephesians 4:24 and Colossians 3:9 Paul calls the new creature in Christ "the new man." In 1 Peter 3:4, Peter calls the new creature in Christ, "the hidden man of the heart."
There are many references in the New Testament of who we are in Christ through the new birth. Our "old man" of the flesh is mortal and corruptible. "This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Cor.15:53). This new creature in Christ is born again of incorruptible seed, which is the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23).
We still have the old man of the flesh with us. But we are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit (Rom. 8:9). Being that the old man, our outward man of the flesh is still with us, we still have problems with the flesh. In Romans 7:15-23 Paul wrote,
For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Then the apostle Paul, after mentioning his problem with sin in Chapter 7:15-23 wrote in verses 24,25,
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
There is an answer to sin in the flesh, that answer is what Jesus did for us on the Cross.
Concerning the answer, the apostle Paul wrote somewhat the same thing that John wrote in 1 John 1:8, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." We must confess our sins and be cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. Look at verses 9 and 10, it says,
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.
The apostle Paul confessed that there was sin in the flesh. But the answer to this problem of sin in the flesh is given in Romans, Chapter 8, saying,
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
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.
Once we are born again of the Spirit, we are a new creature in Christ. Old things are passed away and all things are new (prophetically speaking). For we are in Christ, with a new spirit, but at this time our old body of flesh and our corrupted mind are still with us. Yet, God has declared it as complete, and we need to agree with the Word of God not our reasoning or intellectual understanding.
Jesus finished the work He came to do on the Cross of Calvary. Now, it's up to us to agree with the Word of God and take our place in the body of Christ as sons and daughters of God in Christ Jesus. In Christ, there is no sin, sickness, or disease. When we take our position "in Christ," that God has declared, we should walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. We should walk in the newness of life that has been given us by God in Christ Jesus. We should live righteous as He is righteous. We should cast down all imaginations and everything that exalts itself against the Word of God.
If we live by the Word of God, and not the world's system, which we came out of when we were born again of the Spirit, we can overcome everything that is not pleasing to God in our lives. Every sickness, every disease every sin must leave our lives in Christ Jesus. We have been set free, but to maintain this freedom in Christ, we must walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. We should live by the Word and walk after the Spirit and Satan will have no place in our lives. It is possible, God said it is, and we must take the Word of God, and live by it.
We already have eternal life in Christ Jesus. It's the same life we will have for all eternity with God. We must learn how to live in this new life in the Spirit. We learn by studying the Word of God and being taught by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our Helper, Guide, Comforter, Teacher, and He Leads us in the way of "righteousness peace and joy" (Rom. 14:17).
BY RENEWING THE MIND
Transformed, means "to be changed from the inside out." In order to be transformed, we must renew our mind on the Word of God.
We should start from the beginning and continue on until we mature in the knowledge of God and who we are in Christ. In the meantime, while here on earth, we must learn who we are "in Christ" and how to live in the spirit. It is important to understand that spiritual things are not naturally discerned (1 Cor. 2:14). Therefore, the New Covenant tells us, "The just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:17, Gal. 3:11, Heb. 10:38). To live by faith, we must believe the Word of God in our heart and speak the Word of God out of our mouth (Rom. 10:9,10). We cannot let our natural mind, (reasoning, thinking, circumstances, fear, or anything) cause us to doubt the Word of God.
We must learn how to live by faith. We learn the same way we learn other things, by doing it over and over until it becomes normal for us to live by faith. The first thing we need to do is to understand the Word of God. The spiritual man lives by the Word of God, but the natural man lives by natural foods. Therefore Jesus, quoting from Deuteronomy 8:3, said to the devil in Matthew 4:4, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
It is important that we have faith in God and in His Word. That we totally and completely trust in and rely upon His Word. The Bible teaches that God is faithful to all who will believe His Word. When we understand that God is our Father, and we are His children, we must put all our confidence in His Word.
To help build our faith we need to understand Isaiah 40:8, which says, "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever." God has given us His Word, and it will not change. Numbers 23:19 says, "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"
Hebrews 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Jesus said in Mark 11:22, "Have faith in God."
It is much easier to increase our faith in God when we see throughout the Scriptures that God is faithful, and He keeps His Word. We see this in many areas of the Old Testament. In Isaiah 44:6-8 the LORD makes it clear, "He is God and there is none other, He is the beginning (the first) and the last." There are many other similar references throughout the Bible. In Isaiah 44:24 it says, "Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself." See also Isaiah 41:4, 48:12. In Revelation 1:8,17, 22:13, the LORD also makes similar statements, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty" (Rev. 1:8). From one end of the Bible to the other, God is faithful. He keeps His Word.
We see in the Old Testament "that" the LORD always kept His Word. We also see "how" the LORD keeps His Word. He promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that He would bring the children of Israel out of Egypt and into the promised land. Then in Exodus we see the LORD speaking to Moses concerning His promise. In Exodus 3:13 it says, "And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?" The LORD answered Moses, saying, "I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you" (Ex. 3:14). God is always "I AM." He is always GOD. He is always present. He always operates in the NOW. He is eternal, and controls eternity. There is no time with God. Everything God is and has, is always NOW!
When we come to God, we must believe that He is God, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6). God always operates in the NOW! What we need NOW, God will supply NOW. What Moses needed, the LORD supplied when he needed it. When Moses needed a miracle before Pharaoh (ten times), the LORD supplied the supernatural miracles. When the children of Israel were before the Red Sea and Pharaoh and his army was behind them, the LORD performed a miracle and opened the Red Sea.
It was a miracle that the LORD provided a cloud over the children of Israel every day for forty-years. He also provided a flame of fire every night for forty-years. The LORD also provided manna and quail for forty-years in the wilderness. None of this was done by natural means, but it was all supernatural manifestations of the LORD.
The LORD is GOD! He operates in the supernatural realm of the spirit, bringing into manifestation that which is needed in the natural. Why did the LORD feed the children of Israel with manna for forty-years? It tells us in Deuteronomy 8:3, saying, "he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live."
As children of God, born of the Spirit, we must learn "to live by every Word that proceeded out of the mouth of the LORD our God." We are not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, to live by the Word of God.
We live by Words spoken from our heart out of our mouth (Rom. 10:10). We speak those things which be not as though they were (Rom. 4:17).
The things of God are foolishness to the natural man. He cannot understand them, for they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14). The religious people will condemn those who walk with God. They will accuse them of lying, when they speak those things which be not as though they were. The world will laugh at us, but we will see the manifestation of the Word of God when we do what the Word of God tells us to do.
Even Christians who walk after the flesh will think we are lying when we speak those things which be not as thought they were. But, when we understand spiritual things, we know that, "that which we speak already exists in the spirit." All we are doing is causing it to appear in the natural. It's not that it does not exist. It's only that we don't see it in the natural at the time.
As Children of God, born of the Spirit, we live and move in the realm of the spirit, doing those things as God does them. When the earth was created, it already existed in the spirit realm, God only spoke it into existence into the natural realm. Look what it says in Hebrews 11:3, "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." The word "Worlds" is "aion" in the Greek, "meaning the world that is now!" This world that is now, is temporal, it will be destroyed by fire and there will be a new heavens and a new earth (1 Peter 3:12,13, Rev. 21:1). When God spoke His Word, all things came into existence in the natural, yet they already existed in the spirit before God spoke.
Everything we have need of already exists in the spiritual realm, in God, in His Kingdom. All we need to do is speak them into existence into the natural realm. As we speak the Word of God out of our mouth from within our heart, the Holy Spirit brings into manifestation that which we speak.
Christians do not belong operating in the natural realm the way the world operates. We belong operating in the spiritual realm the way God operates.
Look at what is called "The LORD'S Prayer" in Matthew 6:9-13. In verse 10 it says, to pray, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." Everything we have need of on earth is already in heaven. All we are praying for is that those things in heaven manifest on earth. The manifestation of those things we have need of comes by the reign of God.
When Jesus was asked by Pilate "Art thou the King of the Jews?" Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world..." His kingdom did not originate in this world. His kingdom is in heaven, and it is coming down to this earth. Everything in the kingdom of God is already in heaven. Jesus said we should pray that it comes down from heaven to this earth. Whatsoever we have need of is already in heaven, waiting for us to call it down to this earth.
Where did the manna come from in the wilderness? It came down from heaven. It was already in heaven, waiting for the time appointed, to come down and feed the children of Israel. Where did the fishes and barley loves come from when Jesus prayed to feed four and five thousand men, plus women and children? It came down from heaven after Jesus prayed.
What is it that Christians have need of today? Pray, that it comes down from heaven, it's already there in the spiritual realm, now pray that it manifest in the natural realm. Like God, "we call those things that be not as though they were" (Rom. 4:17).
What about calling those things that be not as though they were? Look at Joshua 6:2. It says, "And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour." What was the LORD telling Joshua? He was saying, look into the spirit realm and see. He said, "See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour." According to the LORD, it was already done in the spirit realm. In the spirit realm the battle was already over. Seeing in the spirit realm, the LORD said, this is how it's going to happen:
And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.
And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.
And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him (Joshua 6:3-5).
The LORD was telling Joshua to look into the realm of the spirit and see, "it's already done," then do what you see in the realm of the spirit, and it will come to pass.
Look also at Joshua 8:1. It says, "And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land." The LORD said, look into the spirit realm and "see," "it's already done"! Then the LORD said, "And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush for the city behind it."
When Christians look into the spirit realm and see "it's already done," then they can put their faith into action and it will manifest in the natural realm. The important thing is to see "it's already done" in the spirit realm, then act upon it and it will manifest.
Sometimes the LORD uses His Word to show us things in the spirit realm. In Isaiah 43:25 the LORD said, "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." How and when did the LORD blot out the transgressions of the children of Israel? Why did the LORD say, He will not remember their sins? It actually took place on the Cross. But, in the spirit realm it was already done from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:8 says, "...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." It was already done when the LORD spoke to the children of Israel in Isaiah 43:25. If they could see it in the spirit realm they could do as the LORD said in Isaiah 43:26, that is, "Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified." They could have been "justified," by what Jesus did on the Cross, but not by the Law of Moses. No one could be justified by the works of the Law (Acts 13:38,39; Rom. 3:20).
The important thing is, when we can see "it's already done" in the spirit realm, we can have faith to speak it into the natural realm. When we look at the Cross, we should see all our sins washed away by the blood. We should see all our sicknesses and diseases nailed to the cross. We should see ourselves made whole, by the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary.
A LIFE OF ABUNDANCE
God is a God of abundance. In John 10:10 Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life (Zoe), and that they might have it more abundantly." Our spiritual life should be a life of abundance. Look at the manna in the wilderness. The LORD supplied more than enough for all of the children of Israel. They could take all they needed and there was plenty left. If they took too much, and some remained until the next day it stank, and was full of worms (Ex. 16:20).
Look at the times Jesus fed the five-thousand men plus women and children with five loaves and two fishes. After they had eaten, they took up twelve baskets of food remaining (Matt. 14:17-21). Look also at the time Jesus fed four-thousand men plus women and children with seven loaves and a few fishes. After they had eaten, they took up seven baskets of food remaining (Matt. 15:34-38). God is a God of abundance, more than enough of whatsoever we need.
Life in the spirit is an abundant life. When you can see it in the spirit, you know you have the things you are seeking. Jesus could see into the spirit realm, giving Him faith to believe that what He said would come to pass. Look at Luke 5:4-8;
Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
Peter was a fisherman. Peter knew how to catch fish. But, operating in the natural, Peter fished all night and caught nothing. Jesus could see in the spirit realm, and could see the fishes waiting to be taken in the net when His faith was applied to what He saw. Using His faith, Jesus said "Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught." Peter, reasoning in his mind said, "Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing." Here we can see the difference between operating in the natural mind and operating in the spirit. The natural mind does not agree with the spiritual mind. But, when Peter decided to trust in the LORD, he did what Jesus said to do. "And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake." In the realm of the spirit there is an abundance, not just enough to get along.
This same thing happened a second time in John 21. In verse 3 it says, "Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing." Peter was a fisherman in his days before he began to follow Jesus. He knew how to catch fish. But that night they caught nothing. In the morning, Jesus stood on the shore and "saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No" (John 21:5). Then Jesus "said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes." (John 21:6). In verse 11, it says, "Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken."
When you can see into the spirit realm, you know what to do and how to do it. Jesus knew that if they would cast the net on the right side of the ship they would catch an abundant supply of fish. In the natural, we can toil all night and get nothing. In the spiritual, we can see "it's already done," and we can have whatsoever we have need of.
Now look at what the apostle Paul said to the church at Ephesus in Chapter four. "This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind" (Eph. 4:17). No longer walk after the natural mind, but after the spirit.
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Eph. 4:22-24).
Paul then said, "Neither give place to the devil" (Eph. 4:27). When we walk after the old man, we give place for the devil. When we walk after the spirit, we give place for God to work in our lives.
Now look at what Paul said to do. "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth" (Eph. 4:28). When we walk after the spirit, and work with our hands, we will have an abundance, more than enough for ourselves, but an abundance that we have to give to those that have a need. God is a God of abundance!
Let's look at how Jesus operated in the realm of the Spirit, calling those things that be not as though they were. Jesus said in John 5:19, "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." Jesus saw things in the spirit before He did them. In John 8:28 Jesus said, "I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things." Some things Jesus did according to what the Father taught Him. In John 14:10 Jesus said, "I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." When Jesus spoke the Word, it was the Father that did the works.
All of this shows us that Jesus did nothing until He first had received information from His Father. Sometimes "He heard" from His Father. Sometimes "He saw" in the spirit what He was to do. Sometimes He did what "He was taught" to do by His Father.
Look at what happened when Jesus was told that Lazarus was sick in John 11:3. In John 11:4, Jesus said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby."
Jesus already knew what was going to happen in the future (four days later). Jesus did not let the devil steal His revelation from Him.
When Martha came to Him, because Lazarus had already died, Jesus said to her "Thy brother shall rise again" (John 11:23). There was no doubt in Jesus' mind that Lazarus would be raised again from the dead.
When Jesus prayed to the Father, there was no doubt in His prayer. In John 11:41,42 it says, "Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me....And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me." There was no doubt in Jesus' prayer. He knew "in the spirit" what was going to happen. He had known it for four days. Yet, He still had to do what He knew to do.
Just like with Joshua in Joshua 6:2-5, Joshua knew the walls would come down, but he had to march around the city for six days, then on the seventh day the walls would come down. Jesus knew Lazarus would come forth, but He had to first wait until it was time, then speak the Word, and Lazarus came forth!
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
As we search the Scriptures concerning "the Kingdom of God," we find that it is the reign of God, or the government of God. If we understand "the Kingdom of God" properly, it is not a democracy where the people have a say in what is done. But rather, it is like a "monarchy." In a monarchy, the king is the absolute authority and everyone else is subject to the king. Yet, it is a government, whereby there are many others within the government to carry out the orders of the King.
To better understand the kingdom of God, we need to understand how the Kingdom operates. Jesus is the King of the kingdom of God. Yet, in heaven there is one who is greater than Jesus, that is the Father (John 14:28). The Kingdom of God has its throne in heaven (John 18:36). Everything is done in heaven exactly as the Word says.
Being that the Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom, operating in the spirit realm by God, Who is Spirit; we cannot see the Kingdom of God with our natural eyes. We can only know it exists by a revelation of the Holy Spirit, for spiritual things are not naturally discerned (1 Cor. 2:14).
Therefore, even though the words of Jesus are true, when He said, "...behold, the kingdom of God is within you." it is still in heaven also. The Kingdom of God was in Jesus Himself when He ministered for three and one-half years on this earth. Yet, the kingdom of God is not of this world.
Once we understand, the Kingdom of God is a heavenly kingdom, which extends its operation down onto this earth, then we can better understand the Kingdom of God. First, understand that the Kingdom of God is within us, that is, Christ dwells in us and we in Him. Then also, in Christ "dwells the fulness of the Godhead, and we are complete in Him" (Col. 2:9,10).
Jesus is Christ. He became Christ when He was anointed with the Holy Spirit following His baptism by John the Baptist. The name "Christ" means "the anointed One." The name Jesus, pertains to His humanity. The name Christ pertains to His deity.
In Jesus' humanity, He was the King of the thirteenth generation after the carrying away into Babylon (Matt. 1:17). When Jesus became Christ, He was anointed as King of the fourteenth generation from the carrying away into Babylon. He was anointed while still King of the thirteenth generation, but did not reign as King of the fourteenth generation until after He arose again from the dead.
When the thirteenth generation King (Jesus) died, the fourteenth generation King (Christ) began to reign. He now reigns from heaven, where He sits upon His throne along with His Father (Rev. 3:21). The Kingdom of God shall overtake all other kingdoms, and it shall reign forever and ever (Rev. 11:15).
What about now? How is the Kingdom of reigning now? How did the Kingdom of God come? When we understand that Jesus is "the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending," we can see that all things where complete from the foundation of the world. What God does now, He has been doing from the foundation of the world. What God will do in the future He has been doing from the foundation of the world. God has never changed, and will not change (Mal. 3:8).
The Kingdom of God is a spiritual Kingdom, not a natural kingdom. Therefore, the Kingdom of God operates in the spiritual realm and manifests that which exists now in the natural realm.
Let us see some examples to understand the Kingdom of God. In Matthew 14:17-21, when Jesus fed the five-thousand men, plus women and children, it says, "...and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude" (Matt. 14:19). Why was Jesus looking up to heaven when He blessed and brake the loves? The abundance of fishes and loves that He needed "already existed in the spiritual realm" in heaven. Jesus saw in the spiritual realm and knew where they were coming from. As He looked up, while He blessed them, He was calling them down from heaven to manifest in the natural realm.
The Kingdom of God was in Jesus. The fulness of the Godhead was complete in Jesus at that time. But the fishes and loves Jesus needed was already in heaven, waiting for Jesus to call those things which be not as though they were (Rom. 4:17). As Jesus blessed them they multiplied and there was an abundance of fishes and loves to feed the people.
Because that all things were finished from the foundation of the world, we don't need to look only at what Jesus did. This was happening already in the Old Testament. In 1 Kings 17, we see Elijah operating in the same spiritual realm, the same way. Elijah said to the widow woman, "For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth" (1 Kings 17:14). How did Elijah know that the meal and oil would not run out? He received His information from the LORD in the spiritual realm. He spoke that which already existed in heaven into existence in the natural realm here on earth.
Now look at Elisha in 2 Kings 5. When Naaman, the leper came to Elisha, He was expecting to see a miracle as Elisha prayed over him. But, Elisha didn't even come out to meet Naaman. Instead, he sent Gehazi, his servant to tell Naaman, "Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean" (2 Kings 5:10). Elisha received his information from the LORD in the spiritual realm. Elisha knew that Naaman would be cleansed when he obeyed the Word of the LORD as it was spoken.
When we understand the Kingdom of God, we also understand that the words spoken by Elisha, and Jesus were not their words, or their idea, it was the Word of the LORD spoken out of their mouth. It was actually, God speaking, not man. Because Elisha received his information from the LORD, he spoke the words the LORD put in his mouth. When Naaman obeyed the words spoken by Elisha, he was cleansed of his leprosy.
In 2 Kings 6, the king of Syira sent an army to capture Elisha. When his servant looked and saw the army surrounding them, he came to Elisha and said, "Alas, my master! how shall we do?" (2 Kings 6:15). Elisha, seeing in the spirit realm said to him "Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them" (2 Kings 6:16). When his servant still did not understand, Elisha said, "LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see" (2 Kings 6:17).
These things were happening all through the Old Testament. God has not changed. We must change! We must operate in the spiritual realm, seeing in the spirit those things that God has planned for us from the foundation of the world.
We need to understand that they already exist in the spiritual realm. They are already in heaven waiting for us to call those things that be not as though they were (Rom. 4:17).
Jesus said, "...behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21). What Jesus is saying, is "the reign of God is within you." God reigns in your life from within you. God's will is done in your life from within you. God's will for each individual's life is not the same, but the operation of the Kingdom of God is the same in every individual. From within your spirit, God reigns in your life.
It's important that we understand that God is not a respecter of persons. The Kingdom of God operates by the anointing of individual people for individual service. Yet, for the Kingdom of God to operate it needs all sorts of anointings operating in individuals. Therefore, there are nine gifts of the Spirit mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. There are also five anointings of ministries mentioned in Ephesians 4:11. These anointings operate at different times in different individuals. But, it is the same God who distributes these anointings "as He wills."
The Kingdom of God is within every individual that God calls and equips. When a person is equipped with an anointing, then they can operate in the anointing God had planned for them. As an example, God only needed one Moses to lead the Children of Israel out of Egypt. Today, God anoints each individual to do that which He calls them to do. This anointing is the Kingdom of God in operation here on earth.
This anointing only operates according to the Word of God, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Being that the Kingdom of God is like a monarchy, the anointing comes from God. It's not here to do the will of man, but the will of God. It's God giving the anointing and God manifesting according to the anointing He has given.
The anointing is a spiritual anointing, not a natural or physical anointing. Therefore, the anointing must have a spiritual beginning, coming from God, not man. Yet, the anointing is within you. The Kingdom of God is within you. Along with the anointing comes the ability to see into the spiritual realm that which God desires to do on earth.
We do not always see in the spiritual realm with our eyes, but we receive the information from the spiritual realm. It can come by "revelation," that is, by God revealing to us what His intentions are. We could receive a "word of knowledge," a "word of wisdom," or "discerning of spirits." We could receive a knowing in our spirit, a knowing that comes from our spirit, given to us by God. All of these are ways the Kingdom of God works within us.
AMBASSADOR'S FOR CHRIST
In 2 Corinthians 5:20 it says, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." What does it mean by an "ambassador"? The word ambassador means, "a special representative; the highest-ranking diplomatic representative appointed by one country or government to represent it in another country." We can get a better understanding of what an ambassador is when we look at Jesus Christ. He was an ambassador, sent by the Father into this world to represent the Father in this world. He was a sent One, He did not come of Himself, the Father sent Him (John 5:30,36,37,6:30,39,40, 44,57, etc.).
In John 17:18, Jesus said, "As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world." Again in John 20:21, Jesus said, "as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." This identifies us as an ambassador, sent by Jesus Christ into this world to represent God on this earth. From the kingdom of heaven, we have been sent to the kingdoms of this world to represent God on this earth. The government that sent us is the kingdom of heaven, where Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the LORD of Lords. In John 17:16, Jesus said, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." We are born again, from above, and are sent into this world by Jesus.
We need to understand ambassadors, and embassies. An embassy is a place in another country that an ambassador lives. The property, and everything else upon it, is in the control of the country which set up its embassy in that country. The ambassador owns nothing, it all belongs to the country that sent him. The ambassador does not supply his own needs, the country that sent him supplies all his needs. The ambassador does not purchase property, or own anything in the country he is an ambassador to. He lives in that country, but all his needs are supplied by the country that sent him.
An ambassador's position is to gather information from the country where his embassy is, and relay it back to the country he represents. All decisions, as to what to do in that country, are left up to the country he represents, "the country that sent him."
As ambassadors for Christ, we are not to love the world, nor the things that are in the world (1 John 2:15,16). But, we are to pray that the will of God be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10). We are to bring to God's attention all that is happening that needs to be taken care of. All demonic activity that needs to be destroyed. Remember, Psalm 115:16 says, "The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD'S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men." Whatsoever the devil has tried to take away from the children of men, needs to be made known to God in heaven. When we hear from God, we need to act upon it and destroy the works of the devil here on earth.
It's through prayer, speaking to God, and commanding the devil that whatsoever he has stolen is restored to the children of men. The earth does not belong to the devil. It belongs to the children of men (Psa. 115:6). The devil is an intruder, trespassing where he has no rights. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But the kingdom of God is come to take back all that the devil has stolen from the children of men. When you understand this, you will understand why God will heal everyone, even those who are not his children by the new birth.
We are ambassadors for Christ, to call down from heaven all the power of God that is needed to destroy the works of the devil. We are to call down from heaven the power to take back all the devil has stolen from the children of men. We are to be witnesses to Christ, to bring to God those who do not know God. We are "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me (Jesus Christ)" (Acts 26:18).
DOING THE WORKS
In John 14:12, Jesus said, "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." First Jesus said, we should do the works He did. But, this would only happen because He went to be with His Father. Why did Jesus say, "because I go unto my Father"? Jesus had already said, it was not Him doing the works, but His Father in Him that did the works (John 14:10). But, Jesus did not stop talking at verse 12. In verse 16, Jesus said, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever." After Jesus went to the Father, He prayed and the Father sent the same Holy Spirit that Jesus was anointed with to do the same works Jesus did. In John 14:17, Jesus explained, "for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." When the Holy Spirit is "in you" the power of God is in you to do the works that Jesus did. The Holy Spirit will work in you the same way He worked in Jesus, doing the same works that Jesus did.
So how do we do the works that Jesus did? God has a way of doing things and God never changes. Therefore, we need to see in the Scriptures how to do the works that Jesus did. Wherever we look in the Bible, we will see the same principle; God begins, we respond, and God finishes. It's always God's idea, not ours. We learn to flow with what God wants to do, not what we want to do.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Man had nothing to say about the creation of this earth. In the end God will destroy this earth with fire and there will be a new heavens and a new earth. Man has nothing to say about what God did and what God is going to do. This principle follows all throughout the Bible. We are now living in the New Covenant times. In the New Covenant the LORD is building His Church. He didn't say we were to build His Church, He said He was going to build His Church (Matt. 16:18). When God prophesied something in the Bible, it revealed what God was going to do. The Covenant the LORD made with Abraham was a covenant where the LORD told Abraham what He was going to do. The Birth of Jesus Christ was prophesied according to what God was going to do. Everything prophesied points to what God is going to do.
Look at what Jesus said about Himself, and the works He was doing. In John 5:30 Jesus said, "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." First Jesus said, "I can of mine own self do nothing..." That already eliminates the idea that we can of ourselves do anything. Then Jesus said, "as I hear, I judge." Yet, we must understand what Jesus is talking about when He says "as I hear, I judge." He's not talking about what He hears in the natural. He doesn't judge by what He hears in the natural. Look at John 8:15, what Jesus said about Himself, how He judges. Jesus said, "Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man." When it comes to judging after the flesh, Jesus said "I don't judge after the flesh." But Jesus then explained how He judges, saying, "And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me" (John 8:16). In John 5:30, Jesus said, "my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."
To do the works that Jesus did, hearing the voice of God is one important part of the ministry. There are very few times that a Christian will hear the audible voice of God. But when you do, it can change every circumstance that the devil comes against you with. Let's take one example in the life of Jesus. In the Gospels, it tells us of the beginning of Jesus' ministry, following His baptism by John the Baptist. In Matthew 3:16,17 it says,
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Jesus heard the audible voice of God, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
If you will notice, Chapter 4 follows that by saying,
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread (Matt. 4:1-3).
When the devil came to Jesus, he came to tempt Him. The first thing he tried to tempt Jesus with was to test Him "If thou be the Son of God." Along with everything else Jesus knew about Himself, He also had heard the audible voice of God just forty-days earlier, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." When you hear the voice of God, you know, beyond all doubt, what God said is truth. The audible voice of God will help you maintain your walk with God. It will give you assurance that God will back up His Word with whatsoever you need to overcome the devil.
Jesus had no doubt that He was the Son of God. As the Son of God, Jesus relied upon the Holy Spirit for everything He had need of. At the time, when the tempter came to Him, Jesus knew He needed the Word of God to defeat the devil. Therefore, He did not consider His hunger, after fasting forty-days. But, He spoke the Word of God concerning Himself, considering both His natural life and His life in the spirit. Knowing His spiritual life was more important than His natural life, also knowing in the spiritual realm, He had power over the natural realm; Jesus said to the devil, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4).
To do the works that Jesus did, we must understand, quoting the Word of God to the devil will cause him to leave. The devil cannot win when a son of God quotes the Word of God with "revelation" knowledge. Jesus had heard the audible voice of God forty-days earlier. Jesus knew He was the Son of God. Jesus also knew the Scriptures concerning how a Son of God lives in this world. "Not by bread along, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."
Even though Jesus heard the audible voice of God, He did not let that voice cause any pride to arise in Him. He let that audible voice help Him to turn to the Word of God, as a Son of God, doing the works of God the way God planned for His Son's to do the works.
To do the works that Jesus did, we must also "do nothing of ourselves." When we do something, we should first "hear from our Father, then do only the will of the Father." Let us follow that with another statement Jesus made in John 5:19. Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." Notice again Jesus said, "The Son can do nothing of himself." Then Jesus added, "but what he seeth the Father do..." When Jesus said, "he seeth the Father do," that implies that Jesus saw something. It does not say Jesus saw with His natural eyes. It seems to imply that Jesus had a vision, or saw into the spirit realm. Either of these are not things people do in the natural. They are spiritual operations of God. Jesus finished His statement in John 5:19 by saying, "for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." Whatsoever the Father does is the Father's will, therefore, whatsoever Jesus did, was the will of the Father.
In John 8:28, Jesus said, "I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things." Therefore, we can see that Jesus did only those things that His Father taught Him. In another place Jesus said, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God" (John 6:45). In John 16:13 Jesus said, "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." Jesus also said in John 14:26, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." The apostle John wrote in 1 John 2:27, "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." If we are to do the works that Jesus did then we also should be taught by God, how to do the works that Jesus did.
Then in John 14:10 Jesus explained about the works that He was doing saying "the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." That is the way it should be with us also. It should be God in us doing the works. We are only vessels for God to use on this earth to do His will.
Look at what Jesus said about our coming to God in the first place. In John 6:44, 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." The first of importance is that it was not our idea to come to Jesus. It was the Father's idea that we should become born again of the Spirit into His family. Praise God! That's the way all things happen for those who belong to Jesus. Abraham didn't call God. God called Abraham. Moses didn't ask the LORD to make him the one to lead the Children of Israel out of Egypt. The LORD chose Moses. Joshua didn't ask for his position to lead the Children of Israel into the promised land. The LORD chose him.
Wherever you look in the Bible, it's always, the LORD or God who chose us, we didn't choose Him. In Ephesians 1:4 it says, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." He chose us before the foundation of the world. Isn't that wonderful? But, now look at the last part of John 6:44, "and I will raise him up at the last day." That's even better, for we know when He raises us up on the last day, we will be forever with Him in heaven. It was all God's idea, not ours. To do the works Jesus did, it must be God's idea, not ours. He starts it, we obey, and He finishes it.
Look at what it says in John 1:13 about our new birth. "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." It was God all the way, from the start to the finish. It had nothing to do with the will of the flesh, the will of man or the blood. God chose us, and when we responded God made us a new creature in Christ Jesus!
Look at what it says about our works in Ephesians 2:8. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." It was all by grace, not of our works. God didn't look at our works, He looked at His grace and chose us, and saved us for Himself. Not that we should not do anything, but "we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10). How are we going to do those good works? The same way Jesus did the good works He did, not by our power, not by our might, but by His Spirit!
Look at what it says about our justification in Romans 3:24, "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." The Law of Moses could not justify us. All our works of the flesh could not justify us. The only way we could be justified is by faith in what Jesus did for us.
Not only did He justify us, but He also sanctified us. Look at what it says in Hebrews 10:10, "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." Everyone who is sanctified is sanctified by what Jesus Christ did for us. Then Hebrews 10:14 says, "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."
It's not what we did. It's what God did for us. It's not what we do. It's what God does through us.
Look at what it says about those who are Christians. In John 15:16 Jesus said, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." It's not our idea to do the works. It was Jesus' idea. He chose us and ordained us. The word "ordained," means "set us in a position;" which implies a relaxed position. That means, in doing what Jesus ordained us to do we should not be anxious for anything, waiting upon Him for everything we have need of. The important thing to understand is that we didn't choose Him, He chose us. But look at the second part, because He chose us, and ordained us, "whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." Whatsoever covers a lot of territory. Because it is God that starts everything and we only respond to what God starts, then He finishes what He started, that we can do the works that Jesus did, the same way Jesus did them.
FROM THE NATURAL
TO THE SPIRITUAL
When we were in the flesh, we were natural. But, if we are born of the Spirit, we are no longer in the flesh, but in the Spirit (Rom. 8:9). The natural man does not understand spiritual things, for they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14).
Romans 8:9 tells us, "ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Being we are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, we are new creatures in Christ. The word "Christ" means "anointed." Being in the anointed, we should mature and become like Christ, the Anointed One. We begin by receiving the Holy Spirit and the power. Jesus said, "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" (Acts 1:8). This power comes with the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4,5, 2:4).
Those who are baptized in the Holy Spirit should be experiencing the anointing. The anointing is not to destroy, but to be witnesses unto Jesus. The works that Jesus did, we should do also.
Many Christians, who have the baptism in the Holy Spirit, still do not experience the power. Mostly, because they do not understand spiritual things the way they should. They see, hear, and know about spiritual things, but they do not experience them themselves.
We must learn how to shift from the natural to the spiritual. We must learn how to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. So let us see how this is done.
The Bible tells in Romans 12:2, "be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." God wants His Children walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh. By renewing our mind on the Word of God we can go from "information" to "revelation." The written Word of God is "information." It is God's Word written in the Bible for our "information."
Information is wonderful. The more information we have, the better off we will be. Yet, the information alone will not help us if we do not have "revelation." There are many people in the world today, calling themselves Christians, but not even born again of the Spirit. They have Bibles, and they have information, but it is not revelation to them. They use the Word of God to promote their religious beliefs, but the power of God is not working in their lives.
Then, there are a lot of Christians, who read their Bibles and get a lot of information, but they still do not have "revelation." Therefore, the power of God does not manifest in their lives. Christians must go from "information" to "revelation."
How do we go from "information" to "revelation"? We must meditate upon the Word of God day and night (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2). As we continue to meditate upon the Word it can turn from "logos" to "rhema." From the written Word to the living Word. In Romans 10:17 it says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word (rhema) of God." As we continue to meditate, day and night upon the written Word of God it will become alive (rhema) to us. It is the "living Word of God that makes alive." In John 6:63 Jesus said, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words (rhema) that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life (zoe)." There are two things we should notice about what Jesus said, the Words He speaks are "rhema." We should also notice the life that Jesus is talking about is "spiritual life" (zoe).
As we meditate upon the written Word of God, it will become "rhema" (alive) and it will produce "spiritual food, life (zoe)." This "rhema," coming from the written Word of God will give us "revelation" from "information."
When we get "revelation" from "information" we go from the natural to the spiritual. The eyes of our understanding are enlightened, and we can see into the spiritual realm. When we see into the spiritual realm, we will have faith to live by. "For the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:17).
Let us first take an example from the Old Testament, then we can better understand how that "revelation" and "seeing in the spirit" can help us. We are spiritual, once we are born again of the Spirit (John 3:6). Being that we are in the Spirit and not in the flesh, we need to learn how to live in the Spirit and not in the flesh.
In 2 Kings 6, it tells us of Elisha, when the king of Syria sent "horses, and chariots, and a great host," of soldiers to take Elisha captive, "they came by night, and compassed the city about" (2 Kings 6:14). "And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?" (2 Kings 6:15). Here was Elisha's servant. He was still operating in the natural. He saw the horses and chariots, and the great company of soldiers. In the natural, he didn't know what to do. He came to Elisha and said, "Alas, my master! how shall we do?"
Gehazi, had information but he didn't have revelation. Elisha had revelation, as well as seeing in the spirit. Elisha said to Gehazi, "Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them" (2 Kings 6:15). When you have revelation there is no fear. There is nothing to be concerned about in the natural. In the spiritual realm everything is under control. God is in control and if God be for us, who can be against us?
Gehazi did not have the anointing that Elisha had. He was only a servant. Elisha was anointed. Then "Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha" (2 Kings 6:16). Elisha had revelation, and he prayed the LORD would give Gehazi spiritual sight to see what he saw. "And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha" (2 Kings 6:17).
Elisha also had revelation of what the LORD wanted to do with the Syrian army. Knowing the plan of the LORD, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, "Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha" (2 Kings 6:18). Then Elisha led them to the king of Samaria. When the King of Samaria asked Elisha if he should smite them, Elisha "answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master" (2 Kings 6:22). This is a type and shadow of a New Covenant prophet. The LORD said to James and John, when they wanted to call down fire on the Samaritans "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of....For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them" (Luke 9:55,56). When we get "revelation" from "information" we see things the way the LORD sees them. Information can cause us to become religious. But "revelation" will bring us to doing the will of God, not our will.
We start with "information," then we advance to "revelation." Then the LORD may open our "spiritual eyes to see what He sees in the spirit realm." When we have all three, then we can do the works that Jesus did, the way Jesus did them. Not of our ability, but by His Spirit!
Christians today seem to be working so hard to do what they say God called them to do. They make all kinds of plans on how to do what God called them to do. Yet, Jesus said in Matthew 6:25, "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on..." In verse 32, Jesus said, "your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things." After explaining this, He said, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:33).
If God knows what we have need of, and God is going to add to us, everything we have need of; why so much planning and working to get what we think we need? Partly, it's because most Christians don't understand what it means by "seek ye first the kingdom of God..." Many think they have already entered into the kingdom of God when they were born again.
Either those who think they have already entered into the kingdom of God don't understand what the LORD is talking about, or they have not actually entered in. But, there is an answer, and the Word of God is true. We can enter into the kingdom of God, and God will add to us all we have need of.
It seems, many Christians have a lot of "information" from the Word of God, but they are lacking something that it takes to make it work for them. It could be that they are lacking "revelation."
Christians need revelation from information. Information without revelation will not produce the manifestation of God. Let us see how to get revelation, and what it will do for us.
One day verses 22 and 23 of 1 Samuel 15 came to me. It says,
And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
Notice that the subject of these verses is "obeying the voice of the LORD." To obey is better than sacrifice.
The important thing is obedience. In Hebrews 5:8 it talks about Jesus, saying, "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered." Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered. Suffered usually means "by painful experience." Jesus didn't learn by what happened on the cross. He learned by what happened from His birth on.
Let's just refresh ourselves on what happened in the early years of Jesus' life. His mother became pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit, and was told by the Angel, His name shall be called JESUS (Luke 1:31). The name JESUS is from the Hebrew name JOSHUA, meaning "Jehovah is Salvation." Before Jesus was born, an angel spoke to Joseph concerning Mary's pregnancy, saying, "she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins" (Matt. 1:21). And it happened as Isaiah had prophesied, Jesus was born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14). He was born in Bethlehem of Judea (Micah 5:2). Before He was two years old, wise men came to Him, worshiped Him, and gave gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh as prophesied in Isaiah 60:6 (Matt. 2:11).
Now, by the time Jesus was two years old, all this had happened, just as the Scriptures had prophesied. Therefore, as Mary and Joseph told Jesus of these things, He would become aware of how God had planned things from the beginning. Not only would Jesus have heard it from His mother and stepfather, but Mary was also related to Zacharias, who was a priest, having access to the scrolls of the Old Testament. Thereby, making it easy for Jesus to study the Scriptures, and find out what the Scriptures said about Him. You will notice that, already at the age of twelve, Jesus was "in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions" (Luke 2:46). And it says, "And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers" (Luke 2:47).
So how did Jesus learn by obedience? He learned from His mother, His stepfather, from the doctors of the Law, and from the Scriptures. It takes obedience and suffering to learn what God says about someone. It takes a lot of time, which many people do not want to spend searching the Scriptures, praying, and studying; instead of playing and enjoying the things of this world. Most of the people are more interested in the world and the things of the world then they are in what the Word of God says concerning themselves.
As Jesus continued studying the Scriptures, He knew the Law, He knew the will of God for Him as well as everyone born into this world. He knew from the Scriptures that He would become the Savior of the world. He knew He would have to endure the Cross, and raise again from the dead. Therefore, it says in Hebrews 12:2, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." By, Jesus knowing and understanding God's plan for His life here on earth, it was a joy for Him to take upon Himself all our sins and iniquities, our sicknesses and diseases and die in our place.
Why was it a joy for Jesus to do that? Because Jesus had more than "information" from the Word of God, He also had "revelation," from the Word of God, given Him by the Holy Spirit. When someone has "information" and "revelation," they can endure anything in between. Revelation, is knowing the end from the beginning.
These words came to me one day, "Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter." That's speaking of revelation! When the Holy Spirit shows you things to come, that's revelation that will surpass all information. When you have "revelation" of the end, you can endure everything between now and the end. No matter what happens, you know the end. When the Holy Spirit shows you the end result, faith will take over and "faith overcomes the world" (1 John 5:4).
The Holy Spirit wants Christians to come up higher, to go from information to revelation; whereby we can walk by faith and not by sight! When we have revelation of the end result, we can believe beyond the circumstances.
Getting revelation from information involves staying with the Word of God until the manifestation comes. It's waiting upon the LORD for the end results, not getting ahead of God. Not trying to bring to pass that which God wants to bring to pass. God doesn't want you to do it. He wants to do it through you. He gives you the information, and He wants to bring it to pass.
Revelation produces faith. Faith brings the manifestation. Information without the revelation fails. But information with revelation produces faith and faith brings the manifestation. Romans 10:17 says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Revelation comes by hearing and hearing. It's a continuous hearing of information until the revelation comes. When the revelation comes the Word of God becomes alive. When the Word becomes alive within your spirit, you know that you know you have whatsoever the Word promised.
This works in every area of our lives. Whatsoever we have need of, it comes once we receive the revelation from the information. As an example, the Scripture says, "by whose stripes ye were healed" (1 Peter 2:24). If we continuously hear the Word of God concerning "by whose stripes ye were healed," it will get down into our heart. Then, with the heart we believe we "are already healed." When we believe with our heart that we "are already healed," we confess it with our mouth and the manifestation comes. But, if all we have is information from the Word of God, that "by whose stripes ye were healed," confessing it from our mouth does not produce immediate results. We first must go from information to revelation, then, when we have it in our heart, and confess it with our mouth, we get immediate results. Romans 10:10 says, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
Meditating upon the Word of God, hearing and hearing it until it gets into our heart, brings "revelation." Revelation brings confession. Confession brings manifestation. This does not rule out continually "confessing." Confession brings hearing, and hearing brings revelation, and then, when it's in our heart, our confession brings deliverance. Therefore, Hebrews 10:23 says, "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised.)" The word "profession," and "confession" mean the same thing.
How do we get "revelation" from "information"? We continue to hear the Word, or meditate upon the Word until it becomes alive in us. When it becomes alive, revelation comes that gets the Word into our heart. Then with the heart we believe and with the mouth we confess and God rewards us for our faith.
This is not just for healing. It is for everything we have need of in our lives. Whatsoever we need, if we first get the "information" from the written Word of God, then meditate upon it, hearing and hearing unit we get the "revelation." When we get the revelation, faith arises, then when we speak those things that be not as though they were and they come to pass.
We've already talked about living in the Spirit and not after the flesh. Spirit life is an abundant life, not just a barely get along life. God doesn't think the way man thinks. Abundance to God is just as easy as a little. God knows how to supply whatsoever we need, abundantly. God is not limited as to what He can do. There are no limits to God.
Let me give an example from a testimony of a pastor. This pastor knows how to get information, and then revelation, then act upon the revelation in faith. Although he was still in the learning stages, he told of a time he and his wife needed a car. They wanted to buy a good car. Not a new car, but a good car that would give them good service. They went to a dealership to look for a good used car. At the dealership, the salesman said to them, if you can wait until Saturday, we're going to have an auction here. You will be able to get a better deal at that auction.
They left and went home and kept in the Word and prayer. Seeking the LORD to help them get a good car. When Saturday came, they went to the auction at that dealership. The salesman told them, "now go and find the car you want, and stand by it. When the auctioneer comes to you, tell him what you will give for the car." They looked around and saw a car, in good condition. The price on the car was $11,500. They stood by the car, while waiting for the auctioneer to come to them. While waiting they kept in prayer, asking the LORD how much to offer for the car. While waiting and praying this pastor picked up in his spirit $2,200. He did have a struggle in his mind about the amount. The price was marked $11,500 and he was hearing $2,200.
When the auctioneer came to the car he asked "what will you give for this car"? It was hard for him to say, $2,200 so he quickly said $3,000. The auctioneer said, "it's yours"! After he said that this pastor said to himself, what a fool, I could have had it for $2,200.
God is a God of abundance. God doesn't look at things the way man looks at things. God's Word says, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth" (Mark 9:23). Once we get the answer from the LORD, then it's up to us to believe. If we will believe God, spirit life is a life of abundance, not just enough to get along.
First, we need information, then we need revelation. Then we ask and believe, and God does the rest. It's not up to us to cause the manifestation. God causes the manifestation, after we have done our part. When we live in the spirit, we should also walk in the spirit. Life in the spirit is an abundant life (John 10:10).
There was a time when I needed a newer vehicle. I had about 235,000 miles on my vehicle. It didn't pass emission's test. So, I decided not to try to get it to pass, but instead get a newer vehicle. I called around that evening and found out that I could expect to pay about $3,500 for a vehicle like I wanted.
The next day, I stopped at one dealership and they didn't have the type of vehicle I wanted. The next dealership I went to had just the vehicle I wanted. When I first talked to the salesman, he showed me the vehicle. He started up the engine and it ran great, almost so quiet you could not hear it running from inside the vehicle. Everything on the vehicle looked great. The price on the window was $6,900.
The salesman looked at my vehicle and said, "What if I could get you that vehicle for $5,000 and yours in trade?" I didn't try to get him to come down, I only said, "I'm not in a hurry, I have a lot of time before I need to buy a vehicle, I'll just keep looking." Right away, he said, "What if I could get it for you for $4,500, would you take it?" Again, I said, "I'm not in a hurry, this is the first vehicle I saw that is what I want." Right away, he said, "What about if I could get it for you for $4,000 and your vehicle, then would you buy it?" Once again, I said, "I'll just keep looking around, I don't have to be in a hurry to buy one." Then he said, "What if I could get it for you for $3,500 and your vehicle, then would you buy it?" I then said, "If you can get it for me for $3,500 and my vehicle, you'll twist my arm and I'll buy it." He said, "let's try it. I'll make out the papers and take them to the office. If they agree, then the vehicle is yours." He made out the papers and within ten minutes he was back. He said, "You can have the vehicle for $3,500 and your's in trade, it's your vehicle." I went and cleaned out my vehicle and got the money and was back within about an hour or so. The vehicle is great, and still going great.
First we need information, then we need revelation, then we have faith to believe and the LORD works out the details for us. We don't have to try to chisel and bargain for a deal. When you know how much you should pay, just let the LORD work out the deal. God is well able to work all things together for your good (Rom. 8:28).
Getting back to "revelation." Revelation is more important than "information." When God moves in our lives, it happens by revelation, not just information. Many Christians have made the mistake of operating by "information," without "revelation." Let me give you an example: A pastor was trying to get a child delivered from a demonic spirit. The child had a condition the world calls "epileptic seizures." Christians have "information," knowing these are caused by demonic activity. Knowing what others have taught, he started by trying to bind the spirits over the child. For quite some time, he prayed and tried to bind the spirits without results. Finely, for some reason of other, the pastor sat on the child to hold him down while binding the spirits. The child suffocated and died. The pastor received about 2 and a half years in prison for the death of the child.
When Christians act upon information only, it doesn't work. We must have "revelation" along with the information. God supplies "information," so that He can give us "revelation," to do what He desires to do. But, acting upon "information" only, many times leaves us acting without God, on our own.
There seems to be more Christians acting upon "information" only, than there are acting on "revelation." Yet, being that God is God, and we cannot control what God wants to do, when He desires to do something, sometimes we can receive "revelation" without having prior "information."
When Peter said to Jesus in Matthew 16:16, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," he had "revelation," without first having "information." Peter did not have any information to go by, all He had was "revelation."
Because that Peter had "revelation" without "information" we see that this is the ultimate plan of God for everyone. God gives us "information," but God operates through people by "revelation." The church of Jesus Christ will be built by the LORD, by "revelation," not "information" only. Information is very important, but "revelation" is more important than information.
I like a testimony I heard of a man who knew the voice of God, when God spoke to him. God told this individual to go to the airport and get a ticket to go to India. He had "information," and he thought he had "revelation," also. He went to the airport without any money to buy a ticket, knowing God sent him. While in the line to get a ticket, he waited until he was the next person to get a ticket. But, he had no money and no one came to give him a ticket. He got upset with God, and got out of line. He went into the men's room, there he cried out to God, "God, why did You do this to me? I don't have any money, and I don't have a ticket. What are You trying to do to me?" God spoke to him and said, "Get out of this men's room"! When he stepped out of the men's room he was in the airport in New Delhi India.
Revelation is always more important than "information." God moves in our lives by "revelation," even if we don't have complete "information." Many times we receive a word of knowledge, without previous information. A word of knowledge is "revelation," first, whereby we can receive "information." Like with Peter in Matthew 16:16, we could say, Peter received a word of knowledge, first, then Jesus gave him "information" later.
Always keep in mind, God gives us "information," but God operates by "revelation." We must not be in a hurry when we receive "information," but meditate upon the information until we receive "revelation." Then, when we have "revelation," we know we are in the perfect will of God, at the right time.
WHY SOME HAVE INFORMATION
BUT NOT REVELATION
There are many Christians today, getting their information from other sources, other than the Word of God. Some rely upon what they hear from others calling themselves pastors, teachers, etc. Some get their information from translations of Bibles that are a result of man's ideas of what the Bible should say, rather than what it actually said in the Hebrew, Chaldean, and Greek, "the original manuscripts." Others get their information from what they have heard others teach. Yet, the Bible teaches, we should be getting our information from the Word of God, not the words of men. It also teaches that our information should be confirmed, or witnessed by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14, 1 John 2:27, 5:8).
The Bible reveals why some men fail and why some men succeed. Take the example of the apostle Paul. Paul, (who was Saul in the beginning) was well educated in the Scriptures. He learned under Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, who had a reputation among all the people. Thereby, Paul knew the Scriptures by intellectual knowledge, but not by revelation. Paul was doing the opposite of what the LORD wanted him to do. He was persecuting Christians.
On the way to Damascus, the LORD said, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" (Acts 9:4). Why did the LORD say that? Paul had a lot of information, but not revelation. Once Paul understood he was going against the LORD, He changed his ways (was converted to believing the LORD) and later became an apostle (sent one). Paul received "revelation" on the way to Damascus, and "revelation" from the LORD gives us faith.
Paul had information from the written Word of God, but not "revelation" from the Holy Spirit. Once he got "revelation" from the LORD, he had faith to continue his course unto the end. You will notice that Paul seems to have received more "revelation" from God than any of the other writers of the New Testament.
Christians need "information" from the Word of God. Jesus first got "information," then He got "revelation." Paul first got "information," then he got "revelation." Everyone who comes to the LORD and serves Him, will first get "information," and then it's up to them to get "revelation." Revelation comes from the Holy Spirit as He bears a witness to the Word of God.
In Romans 1:17 it tells us, "the just shall live by faith." Then in Romans 10:17 it says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word (rhema) of God." Did you notice it mentions hearing twice?! It doesn't come by just hearing once. It comes when we meditate day and night on the Word of God. As we continue to meditate on the Word of God, it becomes alive, a living word. We get "revelation" by meditating day and night on the written Word of God. When we keep hearing and hearing the Word it will become "rhema" (a living Word) to us.
The Word of God that Christians need the most is the "rhema." Look at what Jesus said in John 6:63, "It is the spirit that quickeneth (makes alive); the flesh profiteth nothing: the words (rhema) that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." When we meditate on the written Word, the Holy Spirit brings the living Word to us. It becomes "revelation," not just information. The flesh does not profit but the new creature in Christ does profit.
Christians need "revelation" from the Holy Spirit. This revelation will give them faith to believe and receive. Faith comes when we have revelation of what the Word of God says. Those who do not have revelation do not act upon the Word of God. By not acting upon the Word of God, nothing happens. They can speak words, but nothing happens. Their words are not empowered by the Holy Spirit. They are like "idle" words spoken without authority.
When Christians have "revelation" from the Holy Spirit, they can speak words with authority and the manifestation comes. It's like someone trying to direct traffic on a busy street corner. If a bystander steps out into the intersection and tries to direct traffic, he could get run down. But, if a policeman steps out in the intersection and starts to direct traffic, the drivers of the cars obey him. Why? Because the policeman knows he has authority, he has revelation of his position as a policeman.
When Christians get revelation of their position in the body of Christ, and know their authority, then when they speak the demons listen and obey. It's like the seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19:14,16. They tried to cast out a demon in the name of Jesus as the apostle Paul did. They did not have "revelation" from the Holy Spirit, and he did not come out, but overtook them instead.
When Christians go around doing things because they saw others do it, they usually fail. But, when they receive revelation from the Holy Spirit it works every time. God never fails us, when the Holy Spirit gives revelation. We have a knowing within us that overcomes whatsoever is without. As it says in 1 John 4:4, "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." It's important to have "information" that "greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." But if it is going to do us any good, we must also have "revelation" that, "greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
HOW TO PREPARE
FOR THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY
We know that it is not we who should be doing the works, but God working in us and through us. How, then do we prepare for this work?
The first thing to understand is that, it is not of the flesh, but of the Spirit. It is not to be a natural operation from our mind, but a spiritual operation from our spirit. It is not something we can understand in the natural, but we need spiritual understanding.
How can we get this spiritual understanding? What should we do once we are born again of the Spirit? In Psalm 37:3-5 it tells us how God works in our lives and what we must do. It starts by saying, "Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed" (Psa. 37:3). We must first learn to "trust in the LORD, and do good." These two go together, trusting in the LORD and doing good. If we do that, we will see God supplying all our needs according to His working within us.
We need to be spending as much time as possible, studying the Bible, and praying. The more time we spend studying the Bible and praying the more God will reveal to us from His Word.
Then Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Here is where many Christians have failed, not knowing what the Spirit of God is saying. The word "delight" in the Hebrew means, "make yourself soft and pliable," that is, ready to do whatsoever the Spirit of God leads you to do. But the biggest mistake most Christians make, is in what they think the LORD is saying by "and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." It doesn't say, He will give you your desires. It says, "He will put His desires in your heart." It's not what you want to do. It's what He wants you to do.
Once the LORD puts His desires in your heart, then verse 5 follows, saying, "Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." If you are soft and pliable, and you know the desires the LORD has put in your heart, then "Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." By this it will be God doing His will in your life, not you doing what you think God wants you to do.
All of this lines up with what Jesus said about Himself. He didn't do His will, He did only the will of the Father. It wasn't Him doing the works. It was the Father in Him doing the works.
We must learn how God works, by His Spirit. We must learn to know what is of God and what is of the flesh. We learn these things by trusting in the LORD and doing only that which pleases the Father. We learn also that by praying in the Spirit. We receive revelation from the Word, of the mysteries of God (1 Cor. 14:2). God reveals things to us while we are praying in unknown tongues. Our faith is built up while praying in the Holy Spirit (Jude 1:20).
Once we have prepared ourselves for the work of the ministry, then we must continue to trust in the LORD as we do the work of the ministry. In doing the will of the Father, we must do it the way the Father says to do it, not the way man does it.
The religions of the world gather together all they can convince to join them to worship their gods. They advertise in all sorts of ways. They raise money in all sorts of ways. Then they build for themselves places of worship, using the same means that the world uses, setting up rules and regulations.
This is not the way the LORD builds His Church. We need to follow the LORD'S way, doing the will of the Father as He has told us in His Word. We must keep in mind, we are not told to do things by our power, not by our might, but by His Spirit (Zech. 4:6). The work of the ministry is to be done by those who are in the Kingdom of God.
In the Kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit is the One that directs all things here on earth. You will notice in Acts 1:1,2 it tells us the LORD put the Holy Spirit in charge of all things after He ascended to be at the right hand of the Father. It was the Holy Spirit who chose Paul and Barnabas, and sent them out in Acts 13:2. It was the Holy Spirit that forbid them preach in Asia (Acts 16:6). It was the Holy Spirit that suffered them not to go to Bithynia (Acts 16:7).
You will notice that it is the Holy Spirit that controls all the gifts of the Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. The Holy Spirit also sets them in their position in the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:28).
We also will notice that no one comes to Jesus, lest the Father draws them (John 6:44,65). The new birth is a work of God, not of man (John 1:13). The baptism in the Holy Spirit is by the LORD, or by the Father (Matt. 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:33,14:16). The anointing is the Holy Spirit working in us (1 John 2:27), just as Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38). In Acts 2:47 we see it is the LORD that adds to the Church such that should be saved.
When we understand these things, then we can know how to do the work of the ministry. As we look in the Old Testament, we see types and shadows of how to do the work of the ministry. Those who are called to the ministry are similar to Abraham, who was called by the LORD. Abraham didn't choose the LORD, the LORD chose Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3, Acts 7:2,3). Those called into the ministry in the New Covenant were chosen by the LORD, they didn't choose Him, He chose them (John 15:16).
One thing of importance concerning Abraham is, He tried to obey the LORD. He didn't try to do things himself, even though he failed at times, he was quick to do that which the LORD told him to do. That is an important type and shadow for those in the ministry.
Another type and shadow from the life of Abraham is that in Genesis 13:17, the LORD said to Abraham, "Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee." In Deuteronomy 11:24 the LORD repeated His promise to Moses, saying, "Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be." Again, in Joshua 1:3, the LORD made the same promise to Joshua, saying "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses." Then in Psalm 2:8, we have a promise of the LORD, when He said, "Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession."
It is the will of God that none should be lost. Therefore, we are to inherit into the body of Christ all the heathen, those who are not born again. They are our inheritance. As an inheritance, they are not something we use, misuse, or abuse. They are to become our brothers and sisters in the LORD.
How do we accomplish this? We walk throughout the land, claiming our inheritance, "the heathen into the body of Christ." We pray them in, not trying to trick them into saying a sinner's prayer, but pray them in.
A pastor friend of mine told me that when he was pasturing a certain church, he lived about four blocks away. Many times he would walk back and forth from his home to his church. As he walked by the homes between the church and his house he would pray, "LORD, I claim this family into the kingdom of God." Then he would say, "Holy Spirit, I release You to minister to this family, and draw them into the family of God." Then he would add to that, "Holy Spirit, bring them to join my church, and become members of my church." He would pray over each house every time he walked by.
He told me, it took a few years, but every family between his house and the church ended up coming to his church and joining. He never went house to house to witness to them, he just prayed over each house as he walked by. The Holy Spirit brought them into his church.
I recall the testimony of a woman who was a witch for Satan. She worked her way up to one of the highest position Satan has to offer. She even had a child of her own that she sacrificed to Satan. She led in many Satanic activities.
Then the LORD sent a woman from another State, who came and walked around the block where this witch lived for forty-days. Every day, praying in the Spirit and binding the powers of darkness. She claimed this witch into the kingdom of God. She asked the Holy Spirit to bring her in.
After forty-days, this witch said she was sick and thought she was going to die. She would go into her prayer closet where she always prayed and spoke to her spirit guides, but she could not contact the evil spirit realm. In final desperation, the day she thought she would die, she called on the LORD. Following that she contacted some Christians that were praying for her deliverance. She received the LORD, and after a few years of fellowship with other Christians, she entered the ministry, bringing many into the kingdom of God.
Through prayer and taking the authority we have as Christians, we can call upon the Holy Spirit to minister to the lost and bring them in. The Holy Spirit is always ready to do the will of God in our lives when we ask Him.
We pray according to the will of God, that the Holy Spirit will draw them to Jesus, and they receive Him as their LORD and Savior. We pray, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10). We pray that the LORD will add to the Church, daily, such as should be saved (Acts 2:47). We pray, "the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest" (Matt. 9:38).
The Bible says. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16). In 1 John 5:14,15 it says,
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
When we pray according to the will of God, He will answer our prayer. We will see the unsaved come into the body of Christ. We will see the will of God being done in our lives.
Yet, we must remember, do it the way the Word tells us, not the way the world does things. Don't do what you see others do, thinking it will work for you also, the way it worked for them. We must first "hear from God," "see in the spirit" or have "revelation" from the Holy Spirit. When we "hear from God," "see in the spirit" or have "revelation" from the Holy Spirit, we know within ourselves it will be done! It's that knowing within ourselves that "it will be done" that gives us the faith to do the works that Jesus did.
There are some who have tried to do what the pastor I mentioned did. They went about speaking over houses, calling on the Holy Spirit to bring them into their church and nothing ever happened! Why, because they were like a parrot, speaking what they heard others speak, doing what they heard others did. The Holy Spirit is not in on that! We must first hear from the Holy Spirit, then do what He says!
If we will meditate upon the Word of God, and pray in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit will "speak to us," let us "see into the spirit realm," or give us "revelation," as to what to do and how to do it. Then, when we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, it will be done. Yet, we know, that if we meditate upon what the Bible teaches, with knowledge of what the Spirit of God has done in the lives of others, it will help us to receive "revelation" on how to do what the Spirit wants us to do, and when to do it.
It's important that we first get the "information," then wait, and meditate upon that information until we get the "revelation." Once we get the "revelation," then we can apply our faith and see the manifestation. We must be careful, not to do what Abraham did in Genesis 16. Abraham already had "information" in Genesis 15, that his heir would be his child, not his servant. But, Abraham did not have "revelation" as to how God was going to give Abraham a child. Without "revelation" from God, Abraham harkened to the voice of Sarah and had a child with Hagar.
That is a good example of what can happen when Christians try to do the work of the ministry without first getting "revelation" from God on how to do what God called them to do. They may have "information" that God did call them into the ministry. But, before they go to do the work of the ministry, they also need "revelation" from God concerning "how to do what God called them to do."
Abraham listened to Sarah, and had a son with Hagar. The result of that operation of the flesh, caused Abraham much difficulty. It also was the cause of many problems for Christians today. Not that the descendants of Ishmael are not good people. It is not the descendants of Ishmael, it is the spirit that tries to control the descendants of Ishmael. There are many Christians today that are descendants of Ishmael. They are loved by God just as much as any other Christians are. It's the spirits of this world that work through those descendants of Ishmael that do not receive the LORD, and become born again of the Spirit.
Had Abraham waited until he got the "revelation" that Sarah would be the mother of his son, the whole situation of the descendants of Ishmael would not have happened. Those who are called into the ministry need first "information" then "revelation," before they start doing the work of the ministry that they have been called to.
Let's take another example from the Bible. In 2 Chronicles 16:1 it tells us, "In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah, and built Ramah, to the intent that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah." King Asa knew it was the will of God that the children of Israel would go up to Jerusalem three times a year to worship. Asa had information concerning the will of God, but he did not have revelation. Therefore, Asa made a league with Benhadad king of Syria (a type of the world system), to break his league with Baasha, king of Israel, and join Asa to fight against Baasha. With this league, King Asa did stop King Baasha from building the walls to prevent the children of Israel from coming to Jerusalem to worship.
What King Asa did, was he acted upon "information" but did not seek "revelation" from the LORD. Therefore, "at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand" (2 Chron. 16:7). Acting upon "information" without revelation can cause more problems for those in the ministry. In verse 9 it tells us, "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars."
It is wisdom to wait upon the LORD for "revelation" before acting upon "information." There are many ways in which God can use to give you the "revelation" you need. For more than a year, I knew the LORD called me into the ministry. But I did not start in the work of the ministry until the LORD used an evangelist to confirm, when I should start the work the LORD called me to. Even then, I first went to Bible School for two years, before I started the work of the ministry.
When it was reveled me to start the ministry work, I was at a meeting in another State. At about the middle of the service, the evangelist looked toward me and said, "There is somebody right in here (pointing toward me), you have a ministry. You're involved in a business of some type around a lot of electronics and tubes." He then said, "But you have a ministry also, and you have been praying for God to open the doors for your ministry part of your life. I want to say 'Merle.'" Pointing toward me, he said, "is there anybody right in here named Merle?" I knew within myself he was talking to me, so I stood up. He then said, "Brother Merle, I want you to walk up here. God is going to let you start your ministry by laying hands on this man" (another person who came up to receive healing from a tumor on his stomach).
Then he asked me, "Brother Merle, have I ever talked to you before?" I answered, "No, you haven't." Then he asked, "Do you work around a lot of electronics and tubes and wires and so forth?" I answered, "Yes, I've been in the Television business for 12 years." He asked, "Is this your first time here?" I answered, "Yes it is."
Following that, the evangelist said, "Brother Merle, God says as long as you live, you are going to speak the words of Spirit and life. Your ministry is just starting. The word of wisdom, gift of knowledge, and discerning of spirits."
As I walked back to my seat (I was about thirty feet from the evangelist and about thirty feet from my seat), I heard the audible voice of God, saying, "And out of your hands shall flow the power of healing as you lay them upon the sick."
When you hear the audible voice of God, and know it's God and not another voice, you can be sure He will bring it to pass. Following that day, almost every person I laid my hands upon and prayed for them got healed. It didn't make any difference what kind of sickness or disease they had. I heard the voice of God speak that to me. Not only did I hear it, but five other people with me heard it. When God speaks, He speaks in the NOW, and He lives in the NOW. Therefore, when the Spirit of God leads, I know that when I lay my hands upon those that believe they will recover.
To do the work of the ministry, we must not be doing things just because we saw others do it. It must come from our spirit, where it is the Holy Spirit within us, giving us the "revelation" or whatever is needed at the time to do the works that Jesus did.
In your life here on earth you should always be conscience of the fact that you are born again of the Spirit. God is your Father. Heaven is your home. You are an ambassador for Christ. You are not here to do your will of the flesh, but the will of God operating in the realm of the Spirit. Your days on this earth are limited, but your life in heaven is forever.
THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH
As Christians, the new covenant is based upon faith, not works of the flesh. Therefore, we must understand how "true faith" works.
In Romans 4:18, it speaks of the faith of Abraham, who is called the father of all who live by faith. It says, "Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be."
There is a lot taught about faith. But the only true faith that will endure until the end is the faith it is in God. Jesus said in Mark 11:22, "Have faith in God." Only what God has said He would do, not what we want God to do. Whenever we put our faith in what we can do, it will fail. When it's what we want to do, there may seem to be some results for a short time, but in the final outcome it will fail.
As Christians, we must overcome the causes of doubt and unbelief, and operate in the "God kind of Faith," the faith that comes from God and works through us. That is the only kind of faith that God honors. It is His faith operating through us.
Abraham did not put faith in anything he could do. He based all his faith upon that which the LORD said to him. First, Abraham had "information." In Genesis 15:4, the LORD gave His Word to Abraham, that his heir would be his own son, not his servant. As we follow the life of Abraham, we see, he had "information," that he would be the father of a child. Yet, walking in the natural, and not in the Spirit, in Genesis 16, Abraham listened to Sarah, and had a child with Hagar. Abraham did not wait until he got "revelation" from the LORD on the "information" he had.
But, the LORD is faithful. In Genesis 17, God spoke to Abraham and told him that Sarah would have a child, and he shall be the heir that the LORD promised Abraham already in Genesis 15. Now, Abraham was able to get some "revelation" from the "information" he received years before. In Genesis 18, the LORD appeared to Abraham and said to him, "At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son" (Gen. 18:14). Now, Abraham could apply his faith, without doubt. Romans 4:20,21 says,
He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
Notice that there was a long time between the time Abraham first received the "information" (Gen. 15) and the time of the manifestation (Gen. 21). Even before the manifestation could come, Abraham had to stand in faith "according to that which was promised" (Rom. 4:18).
Everything concerning the birth of Isaac, was based upon a work of God in the spiritual realm, not a work of Abraham in the natural realm. It was not what Abraham could do by his own ability, but what God did by His ability. All Abraham did was obey the LORD, according to the Word he received of the LORD.
If we study the Scriptures closely, the birth of Isaac was already declared done in the realm of the spirit from the foundation of the world. What God had planned from the foundation of the world came to pass at the appointed time in the life of Abraham and Sarah.
Therefore, when we look at faith, we must look at God's plan for our lives from the foundation of the world. Then look at the promises that we have been given, according to His Word and His Will. Then we have "information," to meditate upon. Once we receive "revelation" from the "information" we can then get the faith into our heart, believe, and "speak those things that be not as though they were" and God will bring it to pass.
Always remember, everything that will happen on this earth is according to what God planned from the foundation of the world. This is God's creation, not ours. It is God's will that will be done, not ours. If we first seek His Will, then follow His plan, like Jesus did; we will have the victory which comes by faith.
That which is done in the flesh cannot take the place of God's will, and God's plan for our lives. True faith comes from God. God begins, and God finishes. All we do is what the Word of God tells us to do.
Christians are born again of the Spirit. We are new creatures in Christ. Now, it's up to us to learn how to "walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh" (Rom. 8:1).
To walk after the Spirit, we must walk by faith and please God. How can we please God? Hebrews 11:6 tells us, "without faith it is impossible to please him..." That being the case, why not find out how to live by faith, for it says in Hebrews 10:38, "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him."
Christians must learn what it means by living by faith and pleasing God? Sometimes we seem to make things so difficult, when God has made them simple. Yet, the reason they seem so difficult to us, is that we still want to walk after the flesh and not after the Spirit.
Another reason it seems so hard to walk after the Spirit rather than after the flesh is, most Christians don't understand what it means by the flesh and the spirit. The flesh is that which we were born into this world with when we first became a human being. Jesus explained in John 3:6, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." When we were born into this world, we were born of the flesh. That included, our bodies, our mind, our intellect, reasoning, will, emotions, and etc. As a human being, we were flesh. We lived according to the flesh, for we did not know any other way to live. Everything we did, was according to the flesh.
But, when we were born again of the Spirit, we became spirit in Christ Jesus. The difference being, we were in Adam and once we were born again we are then in Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:22 it makes the distinction, saying, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
Because of a lot of bad teaching within the body of Christ, many do not understand, they were in the flesh, but now they are in the Spirit. Romans 8:9 says, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Does this mean that we are "a spirit"? No, it does not. It means we were "in Adam," and now we are "in Christ." We are still "a living soul," just as we were in the beginning. But we are no longer in the flesh, but in the Spirit. We were "in Adam" and now we are "in Christ."
Before we were born again, we lived by the words of men. We were taught by people. In the beginning we were taught by our parents. Then many of us went to some type of school, and we learned the things of this world. We learned to live like the people of the world live.
Now that we are born again of the Spirit, we should live by the Word of God. If we continue to live by the words of men, we will continue to live by the flesh and walk after the flesh. But if we live by the Word of God we will live by the Spirit, and not by the flesh.
That is the main difference between walking after the flesh or walking after the Spirit. To walk after the Spirit we must live by the Word of God. The Word of God always comes before the words of men. The Spirit always comes before the flesh. The Spirit has creative powers, but the flesh does not. The Spirit causes the natural things to come into existence, but the flesh only enjoys the natural things.
Why did Jesus say,
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal (Matt. 6:19,20)?
Mainly, because treasures in heaven last for eternity, whereas the treasures on earth are only temporal. When we leave this earth, we leave everything behind. But, when we go to heaven, we enjoy those things in heaven that God has prepared for us.
There are rewards in heaven for the things we did for God here on earth. Those are the treasures Jesus was speaking of in Matthew 6:20. When we help someone turn from walking after the flesh to walking after the Spirit, we lay up treasures in heaven. When we pray for someone and God answers our prayer, we are laying up treasures in heaven. When we teach the truth from the Word of God and others receive that truth, we lay up treasures in heaven.
Spiritual things operate by words spoken. It's the words we speak that add to our account in heaven. When we command healing in someone's body and they get healed, that's words spoken, that will lay up treasurers in heaven. When we praise God for all the good things He has done, that's words spoken, and they lay up treasures for us in heaven. When we repent and confess our sins, that's words spoken and they lay up treasures for us in heaven.
Whenever we do the will of the Father, that's laying up treasures for us in heaven. When we live by faith, it pleases God and that's laying up treasures for us in heaven. Whatever we do that pleases the Father, lays up treasures for us in heaven.
On the other side, whatsoever we do after the flesh will not profit us in heaven. The flesh is of this world, the Spirit is from heaven. The flesh must die that the spirit can live. When we do our will, we are walking after the flesh. When we do the will of God, we are walking after the Spirit.
When we sow to the flesh, we will reap corruption. When we sow to the Spirit, we will reap life everlasting (Gal. 6:8). If we love the world and the things of this world, we cannot please God (1 John 2:15,16). We need to focus our attention on things above not on the things of this earth (Col. 3:1,2).
BELIEVE IN GOD
Many people say, "I believe God." But, what they are truly saying is "I believe there is a god." Their concept of God is very much human related. That is, they know there is a god, and they acknowledge something or someone as god.
Then there are many, who call themselves Christians, they have Bibles, and they go to church. They say, "I believe God," but what they are saying is "I believe God exists, and I believe what I read in the Bible concerning God." But, what they read is mostly history, they really do not "believe in God," they only believe the history of God. Most of these call themselves Christians because someone told them about God, and they joined a religious order or denomination that teaches from the Bible their theology. Yet, they have not received Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior. They have accepted the teachings of some religious group that says, because they were baptized in water in some way or other they are Christians.
Then there are those who are truly born again. They have made the commitment to receive Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior into their lives. They confess, "I believe in God," but in essence they are really saying, "I believe God." They do believe God, insomuch as they are born again into the family of God and God is their Father. But from that part on, they still live like the world lives, waiting for the return of the LORD to make things right. That again is not "believing in God," that is only believing what God said according to what they believe He said.
We can even go further, to those who are truly born again, and filled with the Holy Spirit, and have seen miracles. They have experienced the power of God in their lives, and God has used them to help others also. But, the bottom line is they do "believe God," but they are lacking in their "believing in God."
Believing in God and believing God are still two different things. Many of those who believe God, confess Jesus as LORD and Savior, are baptized in the Holy Spirit, have been used of God in many supernatural ways, but when it comes to the trials and temptations of this life they turn to man for help. They have all sorts of ways to look to people for help. They seem to have brought God down to the level of man, rather than bringing man up to the level of God.
"Believing in God," consists of believing God as our source and supply of everything we need. Not that He cannot use certain natural means to supply our needs, but that He is the One that will supply our needs, not us.
When we get into this category, we must understand God, and His Word, and the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. God has a plan for this world, and for each one of us who are His children. His plan coincides with the life and teachings of Jesus. Whenever we deviate from what Jesus taught by word and example, we go back down to believing "God is," but not believing "in God."
Everyone has failed to "believe in God," at times when they should have. Jesus is the only one who never failed to "believe in God." Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness (Rom. 4:3). But there were times when Abraham did not "believe in God," when it would have been better if he had.
In Genesis 12:10, it tells us, "And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land." Abraham was a man that "believed God," but when this famine came, Abraham took it upon himself to go into Egypt and sojourn there. While in Egypt, Abraham was afraid for his life, therefore he told Sarah to tell them she was his sister. Once Pharaoh found out, he sent Abraham, Sarah, and all he had away, out of his country.
Did you know that the famine was still there? There was still a famine in the land, but now Abraham had to "believe in God," to supply all his needs during the remainder the famine. There is a difference between believing God, and "believing in God." Had Abraham been "believing in God," he would not have had to go to Egypt, and he would not have had to tell Pharaoh that Sarah was his sister. Had Abraham "believed in God," all his needs would have been met, even though there was a famine in the land.
There was another time that Abraham lied about Sarah being his sister, and didn't "believe in God." In Genesis 20, Abraham went and dwelt in Gerar. He feared for his life, and told Sarah to tell them she was his sister. "But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife" (Gen. 20:3). The end result was for Abraham's good, but had Abraham "believed in God," he would not have had to tell them Sarah was his sister.
There are many other examples throughout the Bible of those who "believed God," but did not "believe in God." In Mark 11:22, the King James Version tells us that Jesus said, "Have faith in God." Having faith "in God," is "believing in God." Having faith in any other system, or way to get our needs met is not "believing in God," but another system.
There is a difference between believing God and "believing in God." If we would believe in God, then He will handle all our situations, and work all things together for our good. But when we only believe God, and do things our way, that is not "believing in God."
Let's take another example of some others who have "believed in God," rather than just believed God. In Daniel 3:15, king Nebuchadnezzar, threatened to throw three Hebrew children into a burning fiery furnace, if they did not bow down and worship an image he had made. These three Hebrew children answered, saying,
O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Their answer was very clear. "our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king." There was no question in their minds, their God "is able" and "will deliver" them. In addition they said, "but if you do not throw us in, we still will not bow down and worship the golden image." This is the difference between believing God, and "believing in God." They believed in God and would not change their commitment to God regardless of what anyone else said or did. They "believed in God" to deliver them, and did not rely upon any other means or system to remain alive and serve God.
There are many other examples of people who have "believed in God," when they needed Him. They didn't try to find another way, or another system to help them in the time of need.
What about Christians today, do we believe God and find other ways to do what we say God called us to do? Or do we truly "believe in God" when circumstances arise? Every day, circumstances arise in our lives, how do we handle them?
The LORD is looking for those who will "believe in God," and not just believe God. Once we believed God and received Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior, we became children of God. Now, as children of God, do we "believe in God," or only believe God?
If we find ourselves only "believing God," and not always "believing in God," what should we do? We must first get our minds renewed on the Word of God that we can prove that which is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Until we get our minds renewed on the Word of God, we will fail to stand when we need to stand.
There are a number of things we must understand from the Word of God.
1. We must understand who we are in Christ.
2. We must understand who God is, especially as our Father.
3. Then we must understand what God can and will do.
4. Then we must understand what we can do through Christ who dwells in us.
It's not a matter of what we want to do, it's a matter of what God wants to do through us.
1. "In Christ" we are a new creature. We were natural people living in the flesh. But, now we are spiritual children of God living in the Spirit of Christ. We used to operate in this world according to the flesh. But we are no longer to operate according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit of God which dwells in us.
We are not of this world. We are born again from above. This is not our home. Our home is in heaven, where God is in control of everything. We are not in control, but God is in control, and we are only here to be used of God to carry out His plans.
Keeping in mind, we already have eternal life, and this is the same life we will live in heaven once we leave this earth. We begin here on earth and continue on throughout all eternity as children of God, born again of the Word and the Spirit. We must get our eyes off this world and the things of this world and on God and His desire for us while we are still here on earth.
2. As born again children of God, God is our true Father. God calls Himself our Father so that we can understand our position in this world. Little children are not told to do things on their own, but look to their Father for all they have need of. Children of God must come to the understanding, they are to learn how to live in this life from their Father, not from the world. We don't have baby sitters. We have a Father to teach us through His Word.
God the Father wants to be in control of everything we do, not just the few things we think we need God for. Jesus said, "My Father is greater than I" (John 14:28). Jesus also said, "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise" (John 5:19). We don't belong doing things which we have not received a witness from our Father. Then, we also do not belong doing anything of ourselves. We are to be vessels of honor for the Father's use.
3. We must come to the understanding, this is God's creation, not ours. God is the creator and it is God is who decides what should be done and how it should be done. Keeping in mind, there is nothing too hard for God, and He is never too late. What the Bible tells us He has done in the past in nothing compared to what He can do now, if we will "believe in God." God works in the "supernatural realm," man works in the natural realm. We should be expecting God to work supernaturally in our lives, as we keep our attention on His will.
4. Keep in mind, we are not of this world, therefore we walk after the Spirit, not after the flesh. Heaven is our home and the supernatural realm of the Spirit is where we live and move and have our being. God is in us, and we are dead to ourselves, and "our life is hid with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3). "Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4).
There is no need to try to do things of ourselves, for God is well able to sustain us in every circumstance. His power is greater than any other. There is none that can withstand God. Satan is no match for God, he is subject to everything God does and can't do anything unless the LORD permits him (Job 1:6-12, 2:1-7).
If we keep our eyes upon the LORD and His will for our lives, we will not fail. We must not let the devil get our eyes off the LORD. It is easy to get bold in the wrong way and say, "Nothing is impossible to them that believe," and then try doing it ourselves without the direction of the LORD. This is Satan's deception, and many have fallen into that trap.
We must keep a balance in everything we do. Keeping in mind, God is the creator and He is also our Father. We are not of this world, but we are in this world for one thing, to do the will of God the Father.
The Bible is our weapon against the enemy, it contains the Word of God, which is "the sword of the Spirit" (Eph. 6:17). It's a weapon we use to battle "spiritual forces," as we stand in defense as to who we are in Christ. It's not to be used to gain worldly possessions, but to do the work the LORD has called us to do. It's listed as a part of our defensive weapons, more so than an offensive weapon. We do not need an offensive weapon when God is our source and we are only doing God's will. There is nothing too hard for the LORD. The offence is His part. When we are doing His will there is very little we will need to do, only that which helps us overcome our flesh. It is not us doing the works, it is God in us doing the works.
The best way to overcome our flesh is to understand completely the main reasons we are here on earth, is to do the will of God, not our will of the flesh. Then study the Word of God, the Scriptures that will help us to overcome the world by faith. Not faith in what we can do, but faith in God in what He said He would do.
Let's take an example from the book of Joshua. We need to study the Word, and not just read it. The name "Joshua" was given to Oshea the son of Nun for a purpose. It is the same name that was given to Jesus, and means the same. Joshua is the Hebrew name for our English name Jesus. As a type and shadow of things in the natural, we have Jesus to lead us into the promises of God in the spiritual.
Understanding, we are not of this world, but in this world to do the will of God. We operate in the realm of the spirit, not in the realm of the natural. In doing so, we must understand, the LORD told Joshua to operate in the realm of the spirit also, so that what happened in the natural was a result of what took place in the Spiritual. It's still the same for us today, God never changed.
Look at what the LORD said to Joshua after telling him to go in and possess the land! "There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee" (Joshua 1:5). The same applies to us, if we will diligently do all that the LORD instructed us to do. The LORD told us the same thing, saying, "observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen" (Matt. 28:20). Then in Mark 16:15,16, Jesus said,.
Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
The word "saved" mean "delivered and protected." No matter where He sends us, and no matter what He tells us to do, "He is with us," and we will be "delivered and protected." God will deliver and protect us by His supernatural power. We do not need to look for another way. He will lead us and guide us by His Spirit, which no man can stand against.
In Joshua 1:6, the LORD said, "Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them." We are not to look for land in this world. That is not our inheritance. But, we are to preach the gospel to every nation, for they are our inheritance. We are not in a battle of flesh and blood, but a battle for souls into the kingdom of God for all eternity. Our inheritance is the heathen, those who do not know the LORD. "Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession" (Psalm 2:8).
How are we to accomplish this? To Joshua, the LORD said, "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success" (Joshua 1:8). We are not under the law, but under grace. John 1:17 says, "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." The Word of God should not stop coming out of our mouth, but keep it before us day and night, that we should observe to do all that it tells us in the "New Covenant." We should present the truth of the Gospel to the whole world that they also can come into the kingdom of God and be "delivered and protected" in this world.
The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:2, "For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." It's not what we did, or what we can do. It's what God did for us in Christ Jesus on the Cross of Calvary. What we do in the flesh, is not pleasing to God. It's what God can do through us in the Spirit that is pleasing to God.
It's not how perfect we can make ourselves. It's how God can perfect us, by His Word and His Spirit. Perfection does not come by what we do. It comes by what we permit God to do in us.
Look at what it says in Hebrews 13:20,21
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
God wants to perfect us in Christ Jesus. Therefore, Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
Keep in mind, "God is for us, not against us." Therefore, being born again of the Spirit, it says,
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth (Col. 3:1,2).
Remember, it is not what we do, it's what God can do through us. We already have eternal life in Christ Jesus, now let us not forget who we are in Christ, and why we are still here on this earth.
"Believe in God," not just believe God! Believe what God can and will do, if we will put Him first in our lives. It's not just believing He is God, but He is also well able to work all things together for our good. Hebrews 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." It's not just believing He is God, but believing He will do whatsoever we ask.
It's not just believing He will do whatsoever we ask, but that He will do it "supernaturally." Believe He will open the Red Sea that we can walk across on dry land. Believe that He will give us manna from heaven every morning, not that some baker will come with a truck and give us some bread.
Our believing should be in GOD, not just His ability to get someone else to meet our needs. God is a "supernatural" God. God can and will operate in the "supernatural" realm of the Spirit for us, if we will believe "that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." It is not any more difficult for God to open the Red Sea than it is for Him to convince someone else to bring some food and place it at our doorstep.
What kind of a God do we have? One that has to operate in the natural realm, or do we truly have a GOD that can do all things? The Bible says, "there is nothing too hard for God!" (Jer. 32:17). That means, the supernatural is not any harder for God than the natural. If you want to please God, then you must get rid of all doubt and unbelief and believe God for the "supernatural," not just the natural.
We must be honest with ourselves. Satan is a god, and he does operate in the supernatural. Satan is able to put thoughts in the minds of people that they will do them. Satan can cause money and other things to come to those who ask "amiss" (James 4:3), thereby, deceiving them to think it's God and lead them in false operations of the spirit. Therefore, don't believe every manifestation of the spirits, but try the spirits if they be of God (1 John 4:1).
Someone told me one time that God caused someone to crash their car into the front of their house, and as a result they received enough money from the insurance to repair the house plus enough to pay off the mortgage. I think we should try the spirits if they be of God. God is not out causing damage to benefit His Children. We have a New Covenant. The Old Covenant is passed away (Heb. 8:13). God does not have to cause destruction to help someone gain material things.
As Christians, let's believe God is a good God, not one that goes around destroying others property to bless His children. Try the spirits, if they be of God. God is LOVE. Love does not destroy for personal gain. Read the Thirteenth Chapter of 1 Corinthians and see what Love is. Remember, God is Love, and God honors faith, and faith works by love (Gal. 5:6).
God is a "supernatural" God, and there is nothing too hard for God. Therefore, when we come to God, believe that He will operate in the "supernatural" realm to cause whatsoever you have need of to appear. If you have need of something, it's already in heaven waiting for you to ask in faith. Believe God with your heart, not your head. With all your heart, believe that God is GOD, and He will reward you "supernaturally" when you ask.
Most Christians today have gotten to the point that they do not believe God operates in the "supernatural," anymore, only in the natural. This is not pleasing to God. God is pleased when we believe He is GOD, and He will do whatsoever we ask in faith. Who will "believe in God," not just believe God?
We have many Christians today, thinking because they are Christians, others should send them money to live on while they do what they say God called them to do. They don't go to God for what they have need of. Instead, they go to others in the body of Christ, asking them to help them. That's not what the Bible teaches. They have turned the Scriptures around to benefit themselves. The Scripture does say, "Give, and it shall be given unto you..." (Luke 6:38). What that Scripture is talking about is, if you give, "God" will cause others to give unto you. It does not say, "ask others to give to you"!
Whatsoever we have need of, "ask God," and He will supply all we have need of according to His ability. If He wants to use someone else to give to us, that's up to God. We are to ask God, and let Him decide how He is going to meet our needs. Men, trying to use the Scriptures for their advantage, take the Word of God and imply it says something else rather than what it actually meant. That is a work of the devil in the minds of people.
Christians must learn to always, look to God for their needs, not take Scripture and make it say what they want it to say. That's not God, that's the devil working through the minds of people. They use Scripture to get others to do what they want them to do to their advantage. It would be far better to ask God instead. God is well able to take care of His Children, if they will come to Him and believe He "is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
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