All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.

May 26, 2003/October 1, 2014



LOVE

THE

LORD





Published For:

HANDS FOR JESUS





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2003 by Merle E. Koepke

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LOVE THE LORD

WITH THE HEART





In Mark 12:30, Jesus said, "thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." Being this is a commandment of the LORD, we should understand what it means. There are four different parts of our being that is mentioned here, the heart, the soul, the mind, and all our strength. Each one must be a part of our love for the LORD our God. If one part is missing, or not doing what it should do our total obedience to this commandment will be weakened. As some say, "a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link." The commitment to obey this commandment is only as committed as the weakest of these four things. We can love the LORD with all our heart, but if our soul, and mind do not love Him our love for Him is very weak.



Yet the Scriptures teach us that God is Love. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Not only that, but Romans 5:8 says, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."



What was our condition before God sent His Son, and exhibited and extended His love toward us? Ephesians 2:12 tells us, "at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world." When God looked at man, Romans 3:12 says, "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."



Yet, God is LOVE. God is merciful, and not willing that any should perish. Therefore, already in Ezekiel 36:26, the LORD said, "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."



God has done this for those who are born again of the Word and the Spirit. God gave us a new heart and a new spirit. Yet, that does not eliminate the commandment that Jesus said is the First Commandment (Mark 12:30). This commandment is still effective today for everyone who is born again of the Word and the Spirit. Therefore, we must understand what Jesus meant when He said, "thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength..."



Now, we must not let the teachings of men tell us what this says. Jesus said, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God..." (John 6:45). God does not contradict Himself, and does not change, neither does He change His Word. Don't let men tell you that man's heart and man's spirit are the same thing. That is false teaching, and not true according to the Scriptures. We need to understand the difference between the heart and the Spirit of man, to understand what it means to "love the LORD thy God with all our heart."



Let us first start by understanding the heart of man. Using the Hebrew word for heart in Ezekiel 36:26, (where both the words heart and spirit are in the same verse), the heart means, "the will and even the intellect; the center of anything." By this we can see that to love the LORD our God with all our heart involves "our will and intellect." It is not something God does in us or for us without our having anything to do with it. We must purpose within ourselves that we will love the LORD our God. God is not going to do it for us. Our will and intellect are involved. We can choose "not to" love the LORD our God and we will not love the LORD our God. Or we can choose "to love" the LORD our God and we will love God. Yet, this choice involves our intellect, our mind, our willingness to do something about loving God.



It seems the Holy Spirit had Mark place things in order of importance in verse 30, for He placed the heart before our mind, soul, and strength. The heart is the most important of all four of these when it comes to loving the LORD our God.



God is LOVE. Look what God has done for us in the new birth. Ezekiel says, "He gave us a new heart, a heart of flesh." Many will split hairs about what God means by a heart of flesh, but the important thing is that God did give us a new heart, the center of our being, of our will and our intellect. The psalmist cried out in Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." Mankind needed a new heart, not a stony heart.



A stony heart is one the seeks it's own, and does not concern itself about the needs of others. Those with a stony heart will help others as long as they get what they want. A person with a stony heart can never become united with others as one. The LORD said through Adam in Genesis 2:24, "a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."This cannot happen where there is a stony heart. Two people can live together, but if either one has a stony heart the other one will have to submit to their desires. It's a case of one rules and the other submits. That is not "two shall be one."



Christians must have a new heart of flesh, a heart that God can work with to change the person to become like Jesus; to bare the image of the only begotten Son of God (1 Cor. 15:49). God must change the heart of a Christian, otherwise they will still be like natural men, where there is envy, strife, and divisions (1 Cor. 3:3). It was necessary that God would give us a new heart, a heart that He could work with, a heart that He could teach. As the Scriptures had said, "they shall all be taught of God."



How can God teach us? He teaches us by His Word and His Spirit. The Spirit bares witness with the Word of God within us. God will help those who seek Him for help. But those who do not seek Him may never know the love of God for them. Those who do not seek God will go through life and die, never knowing the Love of God for them. God is not far from anyone. He is omnipresent, (everywhere, all the time). Therefore, He is not far from anyone at anytime. If they will seek Him they will find Him.



Once a person receives Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior, God dwells in them, working in them to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). Yet, man still has a free will and intellect. The conditions of a man's heart (including Spirit-filled Christians), is still determined by their will and intellect. Therefore, Jesus did a lot of teaching about man's heart.



The first and most important teaching of Jesus concerning man's heart is their love for the LORD our God in His first commandment (Mark 12:30). Two other areas of Jesus' teachings on the heart of men include, the issues of life and believing. Jesus taught that "out of the heart flows the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23 tells us, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Jesus also taught, believing with the heart "and shall not doubt in his heart" (Mark 11:23).



When Christians understand that the heart and the spirit of man are not the same, then they can pray for the help of God as the Psalmist prayed, saying, "Create in me a clean heart, O God..." (Psa.51:10). For, Jesus said, "for without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5). We must keep our heart with all diligence, but we cannot do it of ourselves, we need the help of God. We must guard our heart from all evil, yet we cannot do it without the help of God and His Word.



Those who do not let the Spirit of God teach them from the Word of God, will go through life, wavering, to and fro. James said,

let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:6-8).



We either "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding" (Prov. 3:5), or we trust in our own ability by our will and intellect. Our heart must be involved, and controlled by our will and intellect. By our will and intellect, we trust in the LORD our God and lean not unto our own understanding.



When we lean unto our own understanding, we open the door for the spirits of this world to come in and lead us in other directions. The Holy Spirit has no control where we do not give Him control. We must, of our own free will, give the Holy Spirit control in our lives. He operates by the Word of God, according to all that is written. The Spirit and the Word agree (1 John 5:7).



Praise God! For those who are born again, for they have a new spirit (Ezek. 36:26). God has given us a new spirit, whereby God dwells in us. With God dwelling in us, we have constant help in time of need. He is always there, always ready to help us in time of need.



Yet, Christians need to understand that just being born again is not sufficient in itself for life here on earth. Here on earth we need the working of the Holy Spirit within us. We need constant communication with God from within our spirit. Therefore, besides God giving us a new spirit He also desires to put His Holy Spirit within us. Ezekiel 36:27 says, "And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." For all those who truly love the LORD our God, they need the baptism in the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues. With this speaking in tongues, the Holy Spirit within us can reveal the secret mysteries of God to us. In 1 Corinthians 14:2 it says, "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries."



Without God, without a new heart and a new spirit, and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we are no match for the spirits of this world. Unless, from our heart we love the LORD our God, we are no different than those who do not know God.



Therefore, Jesus said, in the first commandment, that the most important one of the four is that we "love the LORD our God with all our heart..." But, that is not enough, just to love Him with our heart. We must also love Him "with all our soul."



The soul of man is who we are in this world. We are a living soul, we have a body and a spirit given to us by God. But we are a living soul (Gen. 2:7, 1 Cor. 15:44,45). We came into this world as a living soul, in a body of flesh. Therefore, when the LORD tells us to "love the LORD our God with all our soul," He is telling us to love Him with everything that belongs to us. Yet, our soul is where our intellect, our reasoning, our understanding of things exists. The soul of man is called "psuche" in the Greek, or psychic in English. It has the ability to perceive, and understand things in the natural and in the spiritual. It is subject to both the natural realm and the spiritual realm. It contacts and draws information from both the natural realm and the spiritual realm.



In the natural realm we learn natural things, such as reading, writing, communications with others. We learn things about this world and the ways of the world.



In the spiritual realm, our minds are constantly receiving information from the spirits of this world. They had control of our minds from our birth on (Eph. 2:2). They want to continue to control everything we do and everything we believe. They force themselves upon us by constantly putting thoughts into our minds. They use all kinds of ways to convince us to do their will. Their intention is to keep us from any type of relationship or fellowship with God.



The spirits of this world are under the control of Satan. He uses them to deceive and destroy anyone and everyone he can. His purpose is rebellion against God, and to cause Christians to turn away from God. He uses all sorts of counterfeit operations, knowing that man's soul is his primary source of operation. By corrupting the souls of people, Satan has an advantage over those who do not submit to the LORD.



If we love the LORD our God with all our soul, Satan will not have any place in our lives. If we turn to loving the world and the things of this world, the love of God will not be in us (1 John 2:15,16). Therefore, it is important that we love the LORD our God with all our soul.



The mind of man is the decision making part of man's soul. With our mind we decide right from wrong, good from bad, righteousness or sin. The decisions of our minds lead to the forming of the ways of our heart.



Our minds change constantly. We must do something with each thought that comes to our minds (2 Cor. 10:5). Our minds are subject to the thoughts and intents of our heart, our will, and our soul. Our mind controls our emotions, feelings, senses and all our natural functions. The mind is dependant upon the soul and the heart. But, our mind, in conjunction with our will can change our heart, and cause our soul to become lost, that is, outside of the will of God.



Because of the operations of the devil in our minds, we must renew our minds on the Word of God (Rom. 12:2). The Word of God and the world system do not operate the same way. God has His system, which operates by faith in God. God should be the source of all that we have need of. Being God, and the creator of all things, He is able to do exceedingly above all that we may ask or think. Satan is only a created being. Although he has powers beyond that of man, his power is limited by God. As Children of God, we have all the power of God available to us, if we need it. We have a covenant with God, sealed by the blood of Jesus Christ, to assure us that God is for us and not against us.



Satan uses force, deceit, manipulation, counterfeit operations, etc. to cause us to serve him and not serve God. Satan has no love, although he tries to present himself as such. His end result is destruction, and eternal separation from God. Hell is the end for Satan and all who serve him. Heaven is the end for God and all that serve Him.



With our mind we choose who we will serve, God or Satan? Our mind has many functions. It draws information from many sources, and determines which source it will follow.



Therefore, if we love the LORD our God will all our mind, we will reject any and all of Satan's operations. We will learn to trust in the LORD in everything and lean not unto our own understanding.



Whenever Satan is injecting thoughts in our minds we do not have total peace. Sometimes there seems to be peace in our mind, but along with the thoughts will come questions and times of dispar. There is only one way to have total peace, and that is to keep our minds on the LORD. Isaiah 26:3 says, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."



The Gospel of Mark included loving the LORD our God with all our strength. Matthews recording of what Jesus said did not include our strength. Yet, if you understand the force that Satan uses against mankind to get them to serve him, we can understand that everything we have must be fully and completely surrendered to God. We must withstand the enemy with all that we have. Ephesians 6 tells us to put on the whole armor of God. In 1 Timothy 6:12, it tells us to "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life..."



There is always a battle going on in our mind and soul. We must fight the devil with all that we have, and lay hold unto the eternal life we have received from God. If we give place for the devil, he will control what we do.



Keeping the commandments of the LORD are very important to maintaining our relationship and fellowship with God. We must "seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God" (Col. 3:1). Yet, if we don't seek them with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength our seeking will be without hope. To seek them with hope, we must, "Set your (our) affection on things above, not on things on the earth" (Col. 3:2).



This life here on earth is only for a short time (James 4:14). During our time on earth, we must be willing to deny ourselves and follow Jesus (Mark 8:34). He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). Without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).



The devil never stops trying to deceive us and lead us away from the LOVE of God. Therefore, when Jesus gave us our first commandment, it was for our good that we do all we can, with our heart, mind, soul, and strength to obey this commandment. The first commandment of the New Covenant is for our good. It is not to make things difficult, or to bring hardship upon those who love God.



Where our heart is, there is where our affections will be. We serve who we love the most.

GUARD YOUR HEART





Our heart is still the most important of all four things mentioned in Mark 12:30. In Proverbs 3:1 it says, "My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments." When our heart keeps the LORD'S commandments, then we have peace with God. But when we do not guard our heart, Satan can enter in and bring us into destruction. Remember Judas Iscariot, the devil entered into his heart and caused him to betray Jesus.



Judas Iscariot was not a murderer, or a Satan worshipper. Judas walked with Jesus three and one-half years. Judas was with Jesus wherever He went from His baptism until His taken to be tried and crucified. Judas had the same opportunity to follow Jesus as the other eleven disciples. He was among those who went into the cities, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, healing the sick, casting out devils, etc. Judas Iscariot had every opportunity to follow Jesus as did John and Peter.



Judas Iscariot did not guard his heart. Judas Iscariot was a thief. He stole from the offerings given to the LORD. He heard the teachings of Jesus. He knew what to do and what not to do. But, he did not guard his heart, that Satan could not come in. Judas left the door open for the spirits of the devil to entice and tempt him for three and one-half years. At any time, Judas could have repented and walked with Jesus, but he did not guard his heart. In John 13:2 it says, "the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him." The devil put it in Judas' heart to betray the LORD. Luke wrote, "Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot..." (Luke 22:3). John 13:27 says, "And after the sop Satan entered into him..."



It's one thing to be tempted by the devil; that everyone experiences. We experience thoughts constantly from the satanic realm. But, if we do not guard our heart, and we permit these thoughts to linger, the end result could be where Satan himself will enter into our lives. Satan could have complete control if we let him enter our heart. When Satan enters a person's heart they become totally subject to the devil.



In Proverbs 4:4 it says, "Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live." Our eternal life is greatly dependant upon what we do about the thoughts and intents of our heart. In Proverbs 12:20 it tells us, "Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy." Proverbs 14:33 says, "Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding..." Proverbs 15:14 says, "The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness."



In Proverbs 19:21 it tells us, "There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand." Proverbs 20:5 tells us, "Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out." Proverbs 23:12 says, "Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge." Then in Proverbs 23:7 it reminds us, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..."



Throughout the Bible, the heart is mentioned as one of the most important parts of man. It is the center of our being, the center of all that we have. The LORD has given us instructions in His Word, guard our heart, for out of it flows the issues of life. If we don't guard our heart, Satan can enter in and cause destruction and every evil intent.



Why Some Christians Die.





As we study the Word of God we can plainly see why Christians die. Death is known to come by some part of the human body not functioning properly. Yet, the reason it does not function properly is revealed in the Scriptures.



In Romans 5:12 it tells us, "as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin..." Sin is the cause of death. Sin entered the human race in the garden of Eden. From Adam on mankind has sin and death reigning in their physical bodies.



In Ezekiel we are given the Word of God on sin. Ezekiel 18:4 says, "Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die." Then in Ezekiel 18:20 it says, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him."



There is only one answer to the problem of death, and that answer is the Word of God. Jesus is the Word of God, He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). Through Jesus' death on the Cross, He overcame death for everyone who will believe the Word of God. Through death, Jesus defeated death when He rose again three days later. He showed Himself alive to many, more than five hundred at one time (1 Cor. 15:6).



Jesus is the Word of God, and He is the Son of God. He is also the Creator and the Redeemer. Those who do not know Him as the Word of God, the Son of God, the Creator, and the Redeemer will find themselves facing death with no hope. We must know Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life if we want to live and not die.



When sin entered into the world it brought along with it sickness and disease, murder, killing, and destruction. The master behind all sickness and disease, murder, killing, and destruction is Satan, the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4).



We have a choice, if we follow the ways of this world, we will experience sickness, disease, murder, killing, and destruction. Galatians 6:7,8 are written to Christians. It says,

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.



If we follow the Word of God we can overcome the world and inherit eternal life in heaven.



There are many Christians who will disagree with the above statements, simply because they do not know the Truth as it is revealed in the Word of God. Yet, if they will set their hearts to follow Jesus, and live according to the Word of God they can overcome.



Behind every symptom of sickness or disease is the working of demonic forces. That doesn't mean, every time you sneeze you have to cast out a demon. Demons are not always dealt with by casting them out. You must get rid of the problem that allowed them to come in before you can get rid of them. The problem that allowed them to come in is sin.



Sin is of two types. There are sins committed by going against the Word of God, and there are sins committed by not doing what the Word of God tells us to do. In other words, there are sins of commission and sins of omission.



The Bible teaches that we must be doers of the Word and not just hearers only. When Christians do not want to put away sin in their lives they have a major problem. That is, they will experience sickness, disease, and destruction in some form or other.



But God is merciful, and longsuffering, not willing that any should perish. In Ezekiel 18:30-32, the LORD tells us,

Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.

Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.



The LORD is not for sickness, disease, destruction or death. The LORD is merciful, and He is the Redeemer. Yet, He will not pervert judgment. Job 34:11,12 says,

For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways.

Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.



If we do not repent and turn back to Him, death will be the end result. The LORD is not for death, He is for life.



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." In Isaiah 44:22 the LORD said, "I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee." The LORD is the Redeemer. He has done His part to redeem us and set us free. But there is something we must do also.



Just before the LORD was taken up into heaven after His death and resurrection He said to His disciples in Luke 24:47, "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations." Remission of sins comes after repentance. Only through remission of sins can we be free of sin and death.



All sickness, disease, killing, and destruction are works of the devil. The only way to be free of these is to repent and do what the Word of God tells us to do. Those who are not "doers of the Word" will not experience deliverance from the works of the devil.



Yes, the Bible says, "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." Grace is a provision by which we can return to God and receive deliverance and protection. Repentance is "changing our ways, back to God." If we do not change back to God, Grace will not benefit us. Grace is here, but not that we can continue to live in sin.



There are many who will pull Scripture verses from one place or another to prove their doctrine that the above statements about grace are not true. They will find Scripture verses that they claim prove that sin is not the cause of sickness and disease. This comes from their lack of knowledge of the Word of God.



It is not always the sins a person commits against the LORD that are openings for the forces of Satan to enter. The greatest sin of all is "not believing on the name of the LORD Jesus Christ" (John 3:18). Many do not believe on the name of the LORD Jesus Christ because they have not heard the truth concerning our LORD. Romans 10:13-17 says,

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.



How can they call upon the name of the LORD if they have not heard that Jesus Christ is the LORD and our Savior?



Before Jesus came preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God, no one was teaching the people to call upon the name of the LORD. They were teaching the law, which could not justify anyone (Acts 13:39). Jesus said, "All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers" (John 10:8).



When people are not being taught the truth Satan has an advantage over them. Jesus did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. He came to destroy the works of the devil, and set people free (John 8:36).



The name "Jesus," is a carryover from the Hebrew name "Joshua," meaning "Jehovah is salvation." The Bible teaches that there is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12). Therefore, we have such incidents as the man born blind, recorded in John 9:1-38. Jesus' disciples asked Him, "Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?"(John 9:3). Jesus' answer was, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him" (John 9:3). Does that mean sin was not the cause of this man being born blind? No, the sin that caused this man to be born blind came in the garden of Eden. Blindness came as a result of sin and death that entered mankind.



Was there sin in this man's life? Yes, the sin was that "he did not know the LORD, that he could believe upon Him," according to John 3:17,18. In John 9:35 it tells us, "Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" Deliverance from sin and the works of the devil can only come by believing on the Son of God. The man said, "Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?" (John 9:36). Jesus said unto him, "Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee" (John 9:37).In verse 38 it tells us, "And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him."



Sin is in the world, and the greatest sin is "not believing on the name of Jesus." That blind man did not believe on the name of Jesus. When Jesus and His disciples met him, he was blind, not knowing that Jesus came into this world to destroy the works of the devil.



Not everyone is born blind, but multitudes of people are born with deformities in their bodies. This is a work of the devil even from their mother's womb.



In Jesus' answer to His disciples question, He said, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him" (John 9:3). The works of God that should be manifest in him, and in everyone alive today, is that they know the Son of God, who the Father sent into the world to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). What did Jesus do by healing the blind man? He showed forth the works of God in this man's life. God is not for death, God is for life!



Wherever there is any sickness or disease, killing, or destruction, there is a work of the devil. Jesus came to save lives, not to destroy (Luke 9:56).



There are sins of commission and sins of omission. Many Spirit-filled Christians believe they have kept all the laws, therefore there is no reason they should have sickness or disease in their bodies. They forget about the sins of omission that are just as much sin as the others. They are like the man who came to Jesus in Matthew 19:16-20. He said, "All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?" (Matt. 19:20). But, Jesus' answer was, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me" (Matt. 19:21).



Many Christians love the world and the things of this world more than they love the LORD. They want to hold on to the things of this world rather than follow Jesus. That is also, sin, sins of omission; doing their own will rather than the will of God.



Many Christians live a righteous life concerning what not to do, but they omit the things they should do. They are good hearers of the Word, but not doers of the Word. Therefore, there is still sin in their lives. James 4:17 says, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."



Sin, no matter what kind of sin, opens the door for Satan to attack with sickness, disease, killing, and destruction. To receive deliverance they must close the door to sin, and they will receive deliverance in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Once they close the door to sin, they are in a position to receive deliverance. The devil has no power over those who are doers of the Word and not just hearers only.

Righteousness Conscience



Once a person becomes born again into the family of God, Satan uses all kinds of means to cause a Christian to become "sin conscience." The Law of Moses is one of the tools he uses.



The Law is not bad, it is good. For it reveals the works of the devil, and helps us to know what is of God and what is of the devil. It is called "a school master," or a teacher, that we may know those things that are of the devil, or of God.



Yet, the Law has another purpose, to reveal to us that by the works of the Law no one can be justified. That every person will come to the knowledge that without God we are lost and without hope in this world. Romans 3:19 says, "that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." We are all guilty, and there is none that can boast. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). Who are we to condemn another, we are just as guilty as they.



Once Christians learn to trust in the LORD with all their heart and lean not unto their own understanding, they will be in a position to be set free of all the works of the devil.



Christians today, are not willing to lay down their lives and trust in the LORD and the Word of God. Christians today, continue to commit fornication with the world. They trust in the world system rather than in the LORD.



Many are sickly, and many have died because they trusted in the worlds medical system, the doctors, hospitals, and medication rather then trusting in the power of the Word of God to set them free of sickness and disease. Most of the Christians in the United States have medical insurance, and hospital insurance to be used whenever they are attacked by the spirits of this world with physical ailments. The first thing they turn to is the medical system, rather than to the LORD. They call the doctor, rather than call upon the name of the LORD.



The LORD looks at the heart of Christians, and sees that they trust in the medical system (which is not according to His Word). There is no place in the Scriptures where it tells Christians to go to doctors and hospitals when they need healing for their bodies. Yet, nearly all of those in the ministry in the United States have medical insurance, and trust in the doctors and hospitals.



Some of these get healed by the power of God, for the Spirit of God searches the hearts of men and knows the will of God for them. We could say, for some of them, what they do, they do it by ignorance. Someone told them there is nothing wrong with going to the doctors or hospitals when they are sick. King Asa did that also, when he had a disease in his feet. He died and they buried him (2 Chron. 16:12-14).



By the grace and mercy of God, some Christians are healed while under the care of a doctor, or in a hospital. God is love and not willing that any should perish. But, God has a good and acceptable and perfect will, and that is that we be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Rom. 12:2).



Sin is in the world. It came upon mankind in the garden of Eden. Romans 5:12 tells us, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." But, Romans 5:17 also tells us, "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." Even though sin does dwell in our flesh, we do not have to walk after the flesh. We have a choice to walk after the flesh or the Spirit.



The Apostle Paul said in Romans 7:20-23,

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.



But Paul did not stop in Chapter 7, he continued with the answer to sin in 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 (Rom. 8:1-4).



Christians have a choice. They can walk after the flesh and reap corruption, sickness, disease, etc. or they can walk after the Spirit and reap everlasting life. Christians can choose who they will serve, God or the world. Romans 6:16 says, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"



God is not willing that any should perish. Sin is in the world, it is even in our flesh. But we do not have to yield to the temptations of the spirits of this world. We can walk after the Spirit of God and not the spirits of this world.



Christians should become "righteousness conscience" not "sin conscience." We do remain "conscience of sin," that we do not yield to it's temptations. But we walk in the newness of life, and live by the Word of God, not the words of men. We must love the LORD our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and lean not unto our own understanding. When Satan tempts us with sin, we should "call upon the name of the LORD and be saved," which means "delivered and protected" from the works of the devil.

GOD'S PROMISES



In 2 Peter 1:2-4, the apostle Peter wrote,

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.



God is Love. Therefore, He loves us and desires that we also love Him. The first commandment that Jesus gave us is that we "Love the LORD our God..." Why? Because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).



Our love for God and keeping His commandments brings exceedingly great and precious promises to us. God is for us, not against us (Rom. 8:31). One of God's great and precious promises is found in Romans 8:28, where it says, "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."



If God cannot work all things together for our good, then He is not God. "For with God all things are possible" (Matt. 19:26). Yet, there are many Christians today who do not believe God can work all things together for their good. So, they go about trying to work out their own situations, without the help of God, thinking they are able to make all things work out for themselves.



When God makes a promise, He makes it according to His ability, not according to our ability. The promise God made in Romans 8:28 is based upon grace, just like all the other promises in the New Testament. Grace, not that we can continue to live in sin, but that we can receive from God according to our inheritance in Christ Jesus. If Christians would understand what God is saying to them in Romans 8:28, their whole life would change and all things would work out for their good.



Notice in Romans 8:28, just as in Mark 12:30, the promise is based upon our love for God. It says in Romans 8:28, "all things work together for good to them that love God..." A part of the promise is based upon "them that love God." If we love God, we will keep His commandments. If we keep His commandments, He will work all things together for our good. It's that simple. It's not complicated, "for with God nothing is impossible!"



Why is it that there are so many Christians who are not free, when Jesus said, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (John 8:36). Did Jesus set us free? If He did, then why are we not free?



Why are there so many Christians with sickness and disease in their bodies, when the Scriptures says, "Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses" (Matt. 8:17). And, 1 Peter 2:24 it says, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."



If we study closely, Romans 8, we will find the answer to many questions Christians have concerning God's promises and their lives. The promise God made in Romans 8:28 has a lot to do with what He started to tells us already in Romans 8:1-4. It says,

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.



This promise of God is only for those who walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. Yet, very few Christians understand what it means to "walk after the Spirit." There is so little teaching within the body of Christ on what it means to walk after the Spirit, that multitudes live out their lives walking after the flesh. Multitudes of Christians, calling themselves pastors, evangelists, teachers, prophets, and even apostles are still walking after the flesh. They do not know what it means to "walk after the Spirit."



God is well able to make all things work together for the good of those who love God, and keep His commandments, if they will walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. God has the ability to do all things, and nothing is impossible with God. Most Christians do not understand this to the degree that they are willing to trust in the LORD our God with all their heart and lean not unto their own understanding.



Most Christians have a difficult time with the second commandment that Jesus gave in Mark 12:31. The reason they have such a hard time with it is they haven't understood the first commandment. They do not understand the ability of God to work all things together for their good. Therefore, they have a problem loving their neighbor as themselves.



Many Christians have a hard time trusting their neighbor, and therefore their love for their neighbor is lacking. The reason they don't trust their neighbor is that they don't trust that God will work all things together for their good. By this, they usually look out for themselves first, and give to their neighbor only that which they can get along without. Their giving is limited to what they have after they take out for themselves what they desire. This does not agree with the principles of God. The Scripture says, "Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth" (1 Cor. 10:24). What this means is that we should be sure our neighbor's needs are taken care of before we seek our own needs. God will supply all our needs if we will become a supply for our neighbors who do not know the ability of God to supply their needs. Once they know the ability of God to supply their needs, they will have no need for you to supply them. God is well able to supply their needs through you, if you will trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding.



This does not mean Christians should be the source of supply for those who are not walking with God. This does not mean Christians should be the source of supply for those who are not children of God. Jesus said, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. 15:24). We can better understand why Jesus said this to this Canaanite woman when we understand that she was not born an Israelite (she was not the seed of Abraham by birth). Therefore, being not an Israelite by birth, she would not be in covenant with the LORD by birth. The only way she could become in covenant with the LORD was "by faith," believing on the LORD Jesus Christ, as the One sent by the Father to save the lost. But, as we look at the next verse, it says, "Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me" (Matt. 15:25). By this she became as a proselyte (a foreigner who accepted the Jewish religion, one who believed in the LORD). She became accepted the way Rahab the harlot became accepted (Joshua 2:). Rahab was also a Canaanite; because of her faith she became accepted as an Israelite, and in the end she became the great-grandmother of King David.



Jesus then tried this woman's faith, and when He knew her faith was true, He said to her, "O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt..." (Matt. 15:28). According to the way Jesus tried this Canaanite woman's faith we can see, first a person must become born again into the family of God before we are to be their source of supply of their needs (except for those born into our household).



Satan deceives Christians by using the concept that, if you are a Christian you must give to everyone who asks. Jesus didn't teach that, He said, "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you" (Matt. 7:6). If you are living holy before God, then that which you have is holy, "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs." The dogs and swine include those who are not born again into the family of God.



Even Christians who refuse to walk with God are eliminated from you becoming their source of supply. We do not disown them, or reject them as though they were not a Christian, but we do not become a source of supply of their needs. In 1 Corinthians 5:11 says, "now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat." Most of the Christians coming to you, expecting you to be their source of supply of their needs are "an extortioner," from such, do not give to them.



Extortion is like other sins. A person can be a liar; that is, one that does not tell the truth, whether it be a great lie or what some call, a little lie; it's still a lie. An extortioner is one that gets money by any false means or implied authority which is not according to Scripture. An extortioner can be someone who gets money by extraction of two high a price, or one who uses the worlds legal system to receive from another that which is not rightly theirs according to the Scriptures. The Scripture teaches that everyone should labor with their hands that they have to give to those who have not (Eph. 4:28). This does not imply that all who are called into the ministry by the LORD must labor with their hands. Tithes are to be used to support those who the LORD calls into the ministry. But the abuse of the use of the tithe by those in the ministry is also extortion.



Scripture also teaches that those who do not provide for themselves and those of their household are worse than an infidel. In 2 Thess. 3:10 it says, "that if any would not work, neither should he eat." The words "if any" does not mean just men; it includes both men and women, male or female. In 1 Timothy 5:8 it clearly states, "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." The words "his own" does not imply male. It has nothing to do with sex. This word in the Greek is "idios," used many times throughout the Scriptures pertaining to an individual, male or female. Galatians 6:5 says "For every man shall bear his own (idios) burden."



Everyone is responsible to God to do their part in providing for themselves and those of their household. When one person expects someone else to provide for them they have no faith in God and God is not pleased with their attitude. Everyone, male and female, are responsible for their own provisions and the providing for those of their household. Anyone, male or female, who does not provide for themselves and those of their household are worse than an infidel; they are an extortioner.



This includes those who say they have a right to receive from others because they are in the ministry. If anyone is called into the ministry by the LORD Jesus Christ, He will supply all their needs, as well as the needs of those of their household. His supply of their needs is not by "extortion," using false implications, and deceitful tactics as the world uses.



There are many in the body of Christ who have left the faith, and gone to the worlds way of raising money for themselves, implying it is of the LORD. If the LORD calls someone into the ministry, He will supply their needs by His power, not by the power of their mind, or by controlling spirits. Through the prophet Zechariah, the LORD spoke, saying, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts" (Zech. 4:6). Where there is "no way," the LORD will make a way. Where there is "no hope" the LORD will supply. What is impossible with man is possible with God..



The Scripture says, "the just shall live by faith"! Where there is a lack of faith, there are all kinds of spirits working, many of them implying, it is of God. These are all lying spirits, working counterfeit operations within those who yield to their operations.



GOD'S PLAN WORKS



God has a plan for all within the body of Christ. His plan is that we all be led by the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit leads someone, He always bares witness with both individuals, "in their spirit" at the same time.



The Holy Spirit is God! All things are possible with God! The Holy Spirit indwells every born again Christian. From within their spirit, the Holy Spirit makes known the will of God. There is no need for anyone to say to another Christian, "God told me to tell you.........." The Holy Spirit is God, and is well able to reveal to everyone involved, whatsoever they need to know. In 1 John 2:27 it tells us, "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." When we abide in the Holy Spirit we do not need anyone to come to us and say, "God told me to tell you....." God is in us, and will reveal to us everything we need to know.



Satan uses a counterfeit operation from the minds of people (including the minds of Christians), to control other people. God, working from within us, is the big difference between the Old Covenant (which had a fault) and our New Covenant (which has better promises) (Heb. 8:8-12).



Hebrews 8:10 says, "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people." God will put His laws in our minds and write them in our hearts. This is a very important part of the New Covenant.



Whatever God does in man is done from man's spirit, not man's mind. Job 32:8 says, "there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." God works from our spirit, not our mind. From our spirit, God puts His laws in our minds. At the same time He is putting His laws in our minds, He is also writing them in our hearts. Jesus taught that "out of the heart flows the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23 tells us, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." The important issues of our lives are written in our heart. God writes them in our heart, that our life is changed to be like Jesus (1 Cor. 15:49).



Therefore, the Scripture says, "they shall be all taught of God" (John 6:44). Isaiah 54:13 says, "And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children." Peace will come to those who love the LORD with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. God will cause them to walk in His statues. Ezekiel 36:27 says, "And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." The Holy Spirit is known throughout the Scriptures as "the Spirit of Peace." One of the fruit of the Holy Spirit that He produces in our hearts is peace (Gal. 5:22). The reign of God "the Holy Spirt in our lives" is "righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Rom. 14:17). He always reigns in the lives of Christians in "righteousness, and peace, and joy." The Holy Spirit does not come to condemn Christians, but to set them free...



The plan of God is always, "not by our power, not by our might, but by His Spirit dwelling within us." God is for us, and not against us. He sent His Holy Spirit to be our Helper, Guide, Comforter, and Teacher to lead us in the ways of "righteousness, peace, and joy." The Holy Spirit works from within our spirit, to will and do His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).



God's ways are much better than man's ways. Hebrews 8:11 says, "And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest." God will make known everything we need to know, from within our spirit. We do not need that any man should teach us the things of God, for 1 John 2:27 says, "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." The "Him" that we must abide in is the Holy Spirit.



We do not need people who operate from their natural mind to tell us about God. For God is in us to teach us the ways of God, the will of God, and those things that be of God. If we draw our information from our spirit where God dwells, we will know the truth, and we will be free (John 8:32).



Satan has come into the churches and manifest with his counterfeit spiritual operations (operating from the minds of people, not from their spirit). This deception has grown widely throughout the churches. It is not of God, it is Satanic.



God dwells in Christians to reproduce the life of Christ in them. That they be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of their mind (Rom. 12:2). Their minds must be renewed, that they learn to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh (Rom. 8:1-8).



When the Holy Spirit is working in us, He works from our spirit. When Satan uses counterfeit operations, he operates from our mind. Counterfeit operations are very similar to the work of God. In Exodus 7:9-12, when Aaron cast Moses' rod before Pharaoh it turned into a serpent. If you can imagine what took place in Pharaoh's mind, being the ruler over Egypt, he could have been saying, "that's nothing, my sorcerers and magicians can do the same thing."

Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.

For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents... (Ex. 7:11,12)



Counterfeit operations of the devil are almost identical to the true manifestations of God. Pharaoh, not knowing the LORD as God over this creation didn't see any difference between what Moses and Aaron did and what his magicians did.



Then Moses and Aaron smote the waters in the river and they turned to blood (Ex. 7:20,21). "And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the LORD had said" (Ex. 7:22). The counterfeit operations of the magicians was so much like the real manifestation of God that Pharaoh just hardened his heart and walked away. Counterfeit manifestations of the devil are so much like the true manifestations of God that many people will believe the counterfeit just as well as the true.



"And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt" (Ex. 8:6). By the power of God, real live frogs came up and covered the land. "And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt" (Ex. 8:7). The magicians did the same as Aaron, and real live frogs multiplied throughout the land of Egypt. There were so many frogs "they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank" (Ex. 8:14).



It's sad that so many Christians do not believe the devil has power. In Job 1:16, it says, a messenger came to Job and said, "The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee." Some people think that everything that happens supernaturally is of God. It was not God that sent that fire down from heaven, it was Satan. Then another messenger came to Job and said, "behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee" (Job 1:19) What caused that great wind from the wilderness? It wasn't the LORD, it wasn't God, it was the devil. Satan has power to kill and destroy. In Job 1, Satan killed Job's seven sons and three daughters when the house they were in fell upon them. The Bible tells us the last enemy to be destroyed is death (1 Cor. 15:26). In Hebrews 2:14 it tells us the devil has the power of death.



Yet, we must understand, Satan has no power to destroy, except what the LORD permits him to do. In Job 1, the destruction Satan caused upon Job's children and property only came after the LORD permitted him to destroy. In Job 2, Satan put sickness upon Job, the LORD did not do it. Yet, Satan could not put sickness upon Job until the LORD permitted him to do it.



Many don't believe that Satan has power and can duplicate the manifestations of God. In Joshua 10:11, "the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword." Yet, in Job 1, it was the devil that brought down fire from heaven. When many see or hear of a supernatural manifestation they think it must be God...



Pharaoh and his magicians were operating from their natural mind. In their natural mind, they were convinced that their god could cause supernatural manifestations just as the LORD. Because of manifestations by the magicians, Pharaoh would not believe Moses and Aaron.



This is happening today, in many churches throughout the world. Christians, operating from their natural mind are causing many supernatural manifestation to appear. Because there is such a minor difference between the manifestations of the devil and true manifestations of the Holy Spirit, many Christians are being deceived.



But, we don't have to be deceived for God is in us, baring witness with our spirit, those things which are of God. We know if it is God or not, by a witness in our spirit.



There are many Christians who have dreams and visions, and because Joel prophesied "it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions" (Joel 2:28), many Christians think if they have a dream or vision it's from God. Just because the Word of God tells us some will have visions and others will have dreams, it doesn't mean it's God that is giving them to them. Not every vision or dream came from God. Many visions and dreams come from the devil. We must learn to receive revelation from our spirit, by the Holy Spirit within us, to know if it is of God or not.



The same thing applies to prophecy. Many Christians are prophesying from their minds, and think it's God. Many Christians tap into the spirit realm and receive information about other people, and believe "because it seems to be true it's from God." Satan is a counterfeiter, and knows how to reveal things from the spirit realm to those who operate from their mind. There are many "mind controlling spirits" operating within the churches today. If Christians do not know the difference between what comes from their spirit and what comes from their mind they will be deceived.



God has a perfect plan for those who will follow it. God's plan is that from our spirit the Holy Spirit will reveal to us that which we receive from God. Satan's counterfeit plan is from our mind, Satan reveals things to us that look like it is God.



Some Christians hear voices. Now, God does speak in an audible voice at times. Three times in the Gospels it is mentioned that they heard a voice, implying it came from heaven. Yet, Satan also speaks with an audible voice at times. Many Christians have heard both, the audible voice of God and the audible voice of the devil. Just because there is an audible voice from somewhere in the spirit realm, it doesn't mean it's God. From within our spirit, we will know if it's God or not. Not from our mind, but from our spirit where the Holy Spirit dwells.



Satan has many counterfeit operations, which operate in the supernatural. We must learn to receive information from our spirit and not our natural mind. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13). God does not work from our mind, He works from our spirit. Jesus said, "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38). Our head and our belly are a long distance apart, and we should not be confused as to where the information is coming from.



THE FLESH OR THE SPIRIT





In Romans 8:1 it tells us, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." What about those in Christ who walk after the flesh?



Many do not understand the difference between the flesh and the spirit. To walk after the Spirit, we must walk according to that which comes from our spirit, where the Holy Spirit dwells in us. We must learn to receive revelation from our spirit, from the Holy Spirit within our spirit. In Job 32:8 it makes it very clear; revelation comes from our spirit. It says, "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." In 1 Corinthians 2:14 it says, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."



The flesh is a part of our body and soul combination. We still have a body and we still have a soul. These two working together make up what is called the flesh. In Galatians 5:17 it says, "the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." In 2 Corinthians 10:3 it says, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh." Why not? Verse four says, "(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.)"



We still have our natural mind. The same mind we were born into this world with as a child. Now, it's up to us to do something about our natural mind. 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." Now, God does not have three wills. God never makes a mistake, and has no alternatives; that is, there is only one way to salvation, and there never was another, and never will be another. We can only be saved by grace through faith. There is no other way. Our sins can only be washed away by the blood of Jesus, there is no other way. Our total redemption can only come by Jesus, there is no other way.



Therefore, God does not have three different wills (one that is good, one that is acceptable, and one that is perfect). God only has one will and that will is good, acceptable, and perfect. You cannot add anything to the will of God and make it any less than perfect, or make it any better than perfect. Those who teach that, are operating from their natural mind, which cannot receive the true revelation from God. For the natural mind must be renewed, to receive information from our spirit, where the Holy Spirit dwells, to teach us all things. The Holy Spirit is our teacher, and He teaches us from our spirit, not our mind.



Christians who operate in spiritual things from their natural minds are still babes in Christ. They need to mature in the LORD and became sons of God, not just children of God. A child does the things children do, but those who are mature in Christ are led by the Spirit of God. The Apostle Paul called those who are immature, babes in Christ (1 Cor. 3:1-5). In Hebrews 5:12-14 it tells us,

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.



Many who think they are called of God to be ministers go about teaching the doctrines of men. And many Christians flock to hear their teachings, not knowing the Scriptures. They use the Word of God deceitfully, to gain their own desires of their own minds. The Apostle Paul made many references to this happening in the last days. Jude wrote a whole epistle on this subject.



Teaching from the natural mind is not the will of God. Yet, many do not know how to receive their information from their spirit, therefore they go about teaching the doctrines of men.



There are many in the body of Christ prophesying from their natural mind, believing it is of God. The Bible does not teach that at all. To prophecy means, "to speak under inspiration." All true prophecy must come from a persons spirit, not their mind. It must come from the Holy Spirit, not from man. Every true prophecy must be by the unction of the Holy Spirit within us, and not of our natural ability. As it says in Job 32:8, "there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding."



Peter said, "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen" (1 Peter 4:11). True prophecy must come by the Holy Spirit giving us the utterance, not from our natural mind.



In 1 Corinthians 14:1 it says, "Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy." What does it mean by "that ye may prophesy"? It means, that we all may speak by the unction of the Holy Spirit within us. That is, that we all speak from our spirit, not our natural mind, by the revelation of God, not by man's wisdom. Our speaking should be by the Spirit of God giving us wisdom, knowledge, and understanding from within our spirit where the Holy Spirit dwells in us.



Our mind must be renewed, that we learn to speak by the Spirit of God within us, and give no place for the devil. Satan operates from the natural minds of people, God operates from our spirit.



One of the greatest deceptions in the last days will come from those who prophecy falsely. Jesus said, "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many" (Matt. 24:11).



There are many within the body of Christ that are teaching others how to prophesy from their natural mind. They teach others how to focus their mind on another person, then draw from the spirit realm information about that individual that could not be known in the natural. They use this information to convince the person, that it is God they heard from, for no other person knew what they revealed.



I had an experience one time, where a person calling himself a prophet was ministering in a church I attended. While we were having praise and worship, this person walked up and down the isle looking at different people in attendance.



Before he began to minister he made the statement, the reason he was walking up and down the isles was to see who the LORD would have him minister to. Then he prophesied to a number of those in attendance. After some time he came to me and said, "the LORD is saying to you, don't concern yourself about the money you have coming, you will receive a check." At first I did not understand what he was talking about, but the Bible says,

And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?

When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him (Deu. 18:21,22).



If there is any question in your heart as to that which a person calling himself a prophet said, wait and see if it comes to pass. The thing that happened was, the same day I had done some work for someone but didn't get paid that day. The person who writes thechecks was not there when I delivered the work to them. So, the secretary told me to come back the next morning and she would have a check for me. Now, I had been doing jobs for this person for a few years. He always paid me when I delivered the job to him. That day, it so happened that he wasn't there to write the check when I delivered the job.



I went back the next morning and he gave me the check for the job I had done the day before. There was no question in my mind as to whether I would get paid or not. I had no doubt that when I went back that morning I would get paid.



But I did have a question about the prophecy that evening. Why would the LORD have him tell me not to worry about a check I already knew I would get? Why would the LORD have some prophet say to me, "the LORD is saying to you, don't concern yourself about the money you have coming, you will receive a check"? Didn't the LORD know that I was not concerned or worried about getting paid the next day? Doesn't the Spirit of God search our hearts and minds and know what we are concerned about and what we are not concerned about?



There is something fishy about those kinds of prophecies. I was not concerned about it, why would the LORD tell me not to be concerned? My question is, where did this so called prophet get his information from? Secondly, why did he need to walk up and down the isles seeking who the LORD would have him minister to? The Bible teaches, all true prophecy comes from the spirit of man, not from his mind. The Holy Spirit reveals the knowledge of God when He wills, and does not need man going around trying to find out what God is going to do in the future.



There are a number of Spirit-filled Christians going around calling themselves prophets, teaching others how to receive information from the spirit realm with their minds. There is no place in the Bible that it tells Christians they should operate in spiritual operations from their minds.



Balaam was a great prophet. Every prophesy he gave came to pass. Balaam made some mistakes in his walk with the LORD in the beginning of his being used by the LORD as a prophet. Balaam, in the beginning did go to seek enchantments, but, when he learned how to let the LORD "put the words in his mouth." He stopped going to enchantments and set himself to trust in the LORD (Numb. 24:1).



Balaam's downfall was not his prophecies, but his personal life. This is the downfall of many Christians today. According to Mark 4:14-20, Jesus said, Satan stops them from continuing on with the LORD. Their personal lives get into the wages of unrighteousness, where "the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word" (Mark 4:19).



Peter, speaking of Baalam, wrote "Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness" (2 Peter 2:15). There are many Spirit-filled Christians in the ministry today who love the wages of unrighteousness. Jesus said in Revelation 2:14, "But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication."



When a prophet teaches Christians to prophecy from their minds, there are a lot of questions concerning "where does the Scriptures tell us to do that"? When King Saul no longer heard from God, he went to the witch of Endor, that operated by supernatural spiritual powers from her mind. It says, she had a familiar spirit. A familiar spirit is a demonic spirit operating in the psychic realm, whereby the natural mind can receive information from the spirits of this world. There is no place in the Bible that it tells us the witch of Endor got her information from the LORD. She was a witch, not a prophet of God. The Bible teaches strongly against the use of mind power to tap into the spirit realm.



Anyone who uses psychic powers to receive information from the spirit realm are not hearing from God. Christians should turn away from anyone, prophet, priest, or king included, that uses psychic powers to receive information about another person.



My experience with the working of the Holy Spirit is that, what we receive from the Holy Spirit comes to us when the Holy Spirit determines we need to know. He doesn't go around showing us what He is going to do ahead of time. Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 10:19, "when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak." In the same hour, you need to say something, God will give you the words to speak. A similar thing happened to Peter in Matthew 16:16,17,

Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.



Peter didn't think about what he was saying, the words just come out of his mouth, but the unction of the Holy Spirit. From Peter's spirit, the Holy Spirit gave Peter the revelation, which he spoke forth. That is how the Holy Spirit works, not according to man's knowledge but according to the wisdom and knowledge of God. We find many examples of this throughout the Bible. A similar thing happened to Peter in Acts 10:9-21. Peter did not understand the vision he saw while in a trance while on the house top praying. But, first the Spirit of God revealed to him certain things concerning the Gentiles.

While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.

Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.



The Holy Spirit reveals to us what we need to know when we need to know it. The Holy Spirit knew that the angel appeared to Cornelius and told him to send men to Joppa, to get Peter. It was the next day that Cornelius sent the men. The Holy Spirit waited until the men Cornelius sent were already at the house before He told Peter to go down and let them in. He doesn't need to tell us ahead of time, He controls time. He is always on-time, never too early and never too late. He is not a man that He should lie, neither does He need to come down to man's understanding to reveal to us what He intends to do.



What most Christians do not understand is that this world is infested with many spirits, operating in the spirit realm, giving out information that is not naturally known to man. These spirit have been around for a long time. They follow individuals for years, knowing everything about that individual, from their birth on. These spirits know their father and mother, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. They know their birthday, and every other day in their lives that others don't normally know. They know every lie they have told, they know things about others they have come in contact with. They are operating under "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2), the spirit that controls all who do not place their lives into the control of the LORD.



In the Old Testament they are called "familiar spirits" (1 Sam. 28:3-9). They operate in the minds of those who permit them, those who seek their operations. They reveal to those who seek them, any information they need to deceive and draw people into their control.



Those who seek these spirits of this world for information usually end up losing the help of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit no longer guides and leads them. They have chosen the ways of the spirits of this world over the ways of God.



The Holy Spirit never operates according to man's will. Man cannot prophecy by the anointing of the Holy Spirit at any time he desires. The Holy Spirit controls the operations of the Holy Spirit, not man. The Holy Spirit manifests according to His Will, not man's will. The Holy Spirit does not tell people when and where He is going to manifest. "The secret things belong to the LORD" therefore, it is not man that determines when and where the Holy Spirit will manifest, it is the LORD.



Many false prophets have gone throughout the world, saying, "come here for God will reveal unto you many things"! They say, God will do this and that for you if you will come where they are going to be at a certain time. Beware, this is not of God, but of man. Jesus said,

Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.



The word "Christ" used in these verses is "Christios," meaning, "anointed." When someone comes around saying, "I am anointed, or the anointing is here or there, "don't go"!



Christians need to understand the true anointing and the false anointing. Jesus never went around saying, "Come here, or go there, for I am anointed"! No, if you are anointed, God will being people to you, you don't need to try to bring them, they come as the Holy Spirit draws them. Those who have to advertize their anointing are not being led by the Holy Spirit, they are being led by their natural mind. Other spirits are working in their minds to raise them up.



Over ninety percent of those going around saying to others, "God told me to tell you....." are speaking from their minds, and God is not in on it. God works from our spirit, individually, and ministers to each individual, individually, according to the will of God, not the will of man. Wherever Jesus went, the Holy Spirit led Him. Everything Jesus did, the Holy Spirit led Him. Romans 8:14 says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." This is not saying, those who are led by spirits in there minds are sons of God.



In John, 5:1-9, Jesus went up to Jerusalem to the temple. He entered through the gate by the sheep market, past the pool called Bethesda. There were there five porches of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. Jesus went to one man, and the man was healed. What about the others, why didn't Jesus heal them all?



Jesus said in John 5:30, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." Jesus did nothing of Himself. Everything Jesus did, He was led by the Spirit of God. Could Jesus have healed others at the pool of Bethesda? No, Jesus could not heal anyone of Himself, it had to be the Holy Spirit manifesting the power to heal, "as the Spirit wills" (1 Cor. 12:11).



In John 8, Jesus was tempted by the Scribes and Pharisees concerning a woman they caught in the act of adultery. When they tempted Him with their question, Jesus did not answer them until He heard from the Holy Spirit. It says,

But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her (John 8:6,7).



Jesus waited until He heard from God before He would answer. In John 8:28, Jesus said, "I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things." In John 14:10, Jesus said, "the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." Jesus relied upon the Father and the Holy Spirit, He did nothing of Himself. He set the example for us today!



There is no place in the Scripture that it tells Christians they can operate in the gifts of the Spirit "as they will." Always, it is to be the will of God not the will of man.



The Holy Spirit never makes a mistake, but those who operate in spiritual things from their mind make many mistakes. One time there was a person "calling himself a prophet," who came to town, to minister at a number of churches. Before he came to town he made arrangements with a number of Churches to be at their church on certain days. He had his schedule all set up in advance, where he would be on each day. He sent out mailings to many Christians, telling them to come where he would be at a specific day and time.



One of those meetings was scheduled at a small church on a Thursday evening. One person said to me, "God told me I must go to this meeting where this prophet is to be." I did not have a witness in my spirit to go. I even felt an uneasiness in my spirit about it. So, to be obedient to the Holy Spirit rather than to please a person, I said, "I don't feel God wants me to go." She said, "well God told me I must go and you should take me." I then had to go according to my spirit and not my mind, and I said, "If God told you that you must go then you'll have to find another way to get there, I'm not going." So, she left on her own and went to the meeting place. But when she got there the place was dark and all locked up. She went and called someone else who she knew and asked them what happened to the meeting. She was told that he canceled that meeting and went to another church about 75 miles away. The church he went to had a larger congregation, and a greater opportunity for him to minister.



Now, the question is, if God set up the meeting in the first place, why was it canceled? Why did God change His mind and cancel a meeting at a small church and send this prophet to another "larger church" 75 miles away? Second question. Why did God tell this woman she had to be at that small church that Thursday even to receiver from this prophet, when he wasn't there? Didn't God know he wasn't there? What's wrong with this god so many Christians are hearing from, is He confused, doesn't He know what's happening? Or is it that there are multitudes of Christians following other spirits thinking it's God.



God never makes a mistake. God doesn't set up meetings and then cancel them. God doesn't tell someone to go someplace and then change His mind. God knows the beginning from the end and never, never, makes a mistake. God is not a man that He should lie. Christians need to learn how to know the truth from their spirit and be led by the Holy Spirit, not the natural mind. The Spirit of God works from our spirit, not our natural mind. He reveals things to us from our spirit. He does not need man's wisdom, He has His own wisdom, which He makes available to those who seek Him. James said, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him" (James 1:5). God's wisdom is much better than man's wisdom. If we seek God, and ask Him for wisdom He will give us "Godly wisdom," whereby we can know those things that be from God and discern those things that are not of God.



Don't get yourself messed up in this "God told me," stuff. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13). He is not working in you so you can do your own will of the flesh, but that He can do His will through you!

THE WORKING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT





The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit works from within us, from within our spirit to lead, guide, teach, comfort, and help us in everything we do. The ways of the Spirit of God are not the same as the ways of the spirits of this world. In Hebrews 8:10, it says, "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts." Notice, this is a part of our Covenant, and in this covenant the LORD said, "I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts." There is a difference between what we do and what the LORD does. He did not say "we must put His laws in our minds," He said, He was going to do it. He didn't say we must teach each other His laws, but, He said "I will put my laws into their mind..." If He is going to "put" then in our minds, it's not a learning process for us, it's an "automatic knowing." We know His laws, by Him putting them in our minds. When the Holy Spirit puts something in your mind, it is there "automatically," with no effort on your part. It comes "automatically, by revelation of the Holy Spirit." It's revealed to us by the Holy Spirit without our having any idea what He is doing until He does it. It's an operation of the Holy Spirit not an operation of man.



Not only is the LORD going to put them in our minds, He also said He will "write them in their hearts." He didn't say we have to write them in our hearts, but He said "He was going do it for us." This does not totally agree with some of the teachings going on in the churches today. We have all kinds of people trying to teach people "how to prophesy"! There are questions concerning some of these teachings in light of what the Word of God says. Do they agree with the Scriptures?



When I was born again of the Word and the Spirit in 1979, I knew nothing of the working of the Holy Spirit. Even though the Holy Spirit had been working in my life from a child. I knew, within myself, that God was working in my life, but I didn't know how He was working in my life. I had many experiences of God working in my life, but no one I talked to knew what I was talking about.



After I was born again there was a desire in my heart to seek the baptism in the Holy Spirit, but I did not know anyone who knew what to do. Most of the people I knew in the religious areas didn't know anything about the baptism in the Holy Spirit, some of them even taught against speaking in tongues. After receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit, I slowly began to understand how the Holy Spirit works within us.



It still took a long time for me to become familiar with how God works from our spirit. I found myself speaking without knowing what I was going to say until I heard the words come our of my mouth. I would answer peoples questions without thinking, and when I heard what I answered I found it to be according to the written Word of God. I began to recognize that what was coming out of my mouth did not come from my mind, it came from deep within by belly, up through my throat, and out of my mouth.



Shortly after receiving the Holy Spirit I went to Bible School, thinking I needed to learn how to be led by the Spirit and do the work of the ministry. In Bible School as well as with others who thought they knew how to hear from God, I became confused to a degree. I would hear someone say "God told me...." I would ask them, "how did God tell you that?" Their answer sometimes was, "God always talks to me, I know His voice, and I follow Him." Well, that didn't help me any, I still didn't know how God talks to them.



Many times when I would ask others "How did God tell you that?" They would not explain anything, only indicating that they knew the voice of God. Once in a while I would find someone who would explain how God told them something. One person said, "God told me....." When I asked her how God told her that, she went into great detail, explaining every thing. That helped me a lot. This happened in connection with the selling of my business so I could attend Bible School. There seemed to be some spiritual activity trying to hinder the sale of the business. So we were at my place of business taking inventory. After a few hours we had what I felt was enough information for the buyer. During prayer, this woman said to me, "God said, by noon tomorrow the business will be sold, you will receive a check." The next day, the buyer came to take inventory with me. I showed him the inventory we took the night before, and he said to me, "that's fine, I'll have my secretary write up the papers," and he left the building. As he was going out of the door I noticed the clock on the wall was exactly 12:00 noon. The following week, the banker gave me a check for the amount we agreed upon that day.



I asked the woman, "how did God tell you what you said that night"? She told me, "while we were praying she saw a vision of a man sitting across a table from me, handing me a check, the clock on the wall was 12 O'clock." Then, she said, "out of her mouth came the works she spoke. She did not think about what she was saying, the works just came as she spoke." Everything she said came to pass. When God says something, He is accurate, and never misses even on one jot or tittle.



For years, there were times when I would know something, I could not explain how I knew, but I did know. When I checked out what I knew within me it was always accurate. It was never something I studied out or learned of my own doing, it was just an "instant knowing." How did I know, I didn't know how I knew, but I knew and was positive of what I knew. I had no question of what I knew, but being so different than studying and learning, I would check it out to see if it was true. It was always accurate, it never failed to be true.



Some people go around acting like that God speaks to them with an audible voice on a regular basis. I only know of God speaking to me with an audible voice one time in 24 years. That time, when I heard the audible voice of God there were five other people with me, they all heard the same voice, the same words, and they were at least forty-feet from me at the time.



God does speak with an audible voice at times, but usually, God "puts His information in your mind, and writes it in your heart." It's automatic, without any effort on your part. It's a knowing, without any way of explaining how you know.



By rights, this is not "the voice" of God as some call it. It is the Holy Spirit revealing to you things you do not know in the natural. It is "revelation from God."



This revelation from the Holy Spirit comes from your spirit, not your mind. In 1 Corinthians 2:14 it tells us, "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." The natural man includes all who operate from their natural mind Spirit-filled Christians as well. In 1 Corinthians 2:11 it says, "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." If we are to know anything that is of God, the Spirit of God must reveal it to us, from our spirit.



This revelation from God does not come because we decide we want to receive it from God. It comes to us by the Holy Spirit whenever the Holy Spirit decides to give it to us. In my life, I spend a lot of time studying, reading, and listening to the Word of God. Once in a while, while studying, reading, or listening to the Word of God I will get some revelation from my spirit. But, most of the time it will be when I am doing something else, having nothing to do with praying, studying, reading, or hearing the Word of God. I could be working with my hands at some job, when all of a sudden a verse of Scripture will come to me out of my spirit. It comes with a positive knowing, a revelation. It surprises me, and I want stop what I am doing and get my Bible and see if it is truly what the Bible says. This can happen anytime of the day, no matter what I am doing. It usually comes when I have no idea it is coming and not thinking about that particular subject at all.



There are many things that we have learned from men, from the teachings of men over the years that are not according to the Word of God. We heard them taught by men who we respected at one time as great men of God. The Holy Spirit gives us revelation from our spirit that we may stop believing what we were taught by men and know the truth from the Scriptures. One incident happened while I was running a machine. All of a sudden, without any warning or any idea what was about to come from my spirit, this came to me. "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth..." I knew that was John 3:8, but I was always taught that Jesus was referring to the Holy Spirit. When I checked it out, the last part of that verse says, "so is every one that is born of the Spirit."



Why did I go so many years believing what men teach? Why did I not know Jesus was talking about people who are born of the Spirit? As I looked up this verse and saw that last part, I knew that the Holy Spirit was revealing something to me for a purpose. If Christians want to live like the world lives, they will be just like the rest of the world, making plans for their future, setting up all their own agenda, determining to do what they want to do. That is not so for those who are led by the Spirit of God. He will decide where they go, when they go, and what they will do.



If we do not deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit cannot use us. Those who make their own plans according to their own wisdom, knowledge, and understanding will miss the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit cannot lead those who don't what to give up their lives to follow Him. When they let the Holy Spirit lead them, they will not be in control of their lives, the Holy Spirit will be.



There was another time, while I was working on a job, not praying, or reading the Word, or studying; that these words come to me, "God is Spirit." It took me by surprise, being my mind was not on anything concerning "God is Spirit." Yet, many times when these revelations come to me the Holy Spirit also brings to remembrance things I have been taught by the Word and things I have been taught by man. I knew this was referring to John 4:24.



I knew for years that many have been teaching a doctrine that "man is a spirit" and has a soul and a body. I knew for years that, that teaching does not agree with the Scriptures. According to Genesis 2:7 and 1 Corinthians 15:45-47, man was created a living soul, and has a body formed of the dust of the earth, and a spirit given to him by God. I knew for years, those who taught that doctrine got their idea that "man is a spirit," from the way the King James Bible is worded in John 4:24, which says, "God is a Spirit."



When the words "God is Spirit," came to me that day, I stopped doing what I was doing and went to my Bible. In checking it out in the Greek, and I saw that the words "is a" were added by the translators when translating from Greek to English. They are not a part of the original Greek writings. After seeing that, I looked at the New King James Version, it translated that to "God is Spirit."



The difference is, God is not a created being, He is the Creator of all beings. The Creator is not "a spirit," He "is Spirit." All spirits are created beings, but God is the Creator of all spirits. Spirits are limited as by their position and power. God is not limited to His position or His power. God is omnipresent, everywhere at all times. Spirits are not omnipresent.



The Holy Spirit is our helper and teacher. He reveals things to us from the Word of God that we can know the truth, and walk with God in truth. If we continue to believe the teachings of men we will never come to maturity in Christ. God cannot use us to the fullness He desires if we hang on to man's doctrines and teachings. We must be taught and lead by the Holy Spirit from within our spirit if we are to do the will of God.



The Holy Spirit never reveals anything to anyone unless it is important. He doesn't play games, or give our bad advice. Some times when I receive revelation from the Holy Spirit it comes because of something I had been reading or studying in the past, or some past experience. But it usually doesn't come while I am studying or reading, it comes all of a sudden when I am doing something else.



There was a time when I attended a meeting where a husband and wife were ministering. After the teaching and praying for the sick, the man said to those attending, "if anyone want's to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, come up, especially the children." When a group had come up he said, "I am going to speak in tongues just so you know what it sounds like." Then he began to speak in tongues. While he was speaking in tongues a woman came from way in the back of the room, hurrying to talk to him. He stopped speaking in tongues to see what she wanted. She said to him, "I speak fluent Hebrew, my husband and I are Jews, you were speaking to me in Hebrew, saying, this is the last time you will have an opportunity to receive Jesus as your LORD and Savior, go now and receive Him." Later that evening she told the person ministering, "when she heard him speaking in Hebrew, her husband and son who were with her only heard him speaking in tongues. They all three speak Hebrew, but she was the only one who heard the speaker speak to her in Hebrew." Yet, all the time the speaker did not know what he was saying was the Holy Spirit speaking to this particular woman. He thought in his mind, he was only demonstrating what it sounds like when a person speaks in unknown tongues.



A few months later, out of my spirit came these words, "they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."That is Acts 2:4. When I looked up Acts 2:4 and searched out the meaning of the word "tongues," it is not called a language, it is only an utterance from the tongue. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit used in our personal communication with God (1 Cor. 14:4). Or it is also used as a ministry gift to be interpreted by the Holy Spirit for the benefit of others (1 Cor. 12:10). The ministry gifts are, "as the Spirit wills," whenever He so desires. Therefore, we can speak in unknown tongues whenever we desire, but the ministry gift of tongues only operates "as the Holy Spirit wills."



Shortly after I understood this, I mentioned to the pastor of my church that it was revealed to me that, in Acts 2:4, those who spoke in tongues did not speak in other languages, they spoke in tongues and the Holy Spirit gave the interpretation to all those He choose, who knew other languages. There were some there at the time who only heard the speaking in tongues and therefore they "mocking said, These men are full of new wine" (Acts 2:13). The pastor then told me, just the week before he had given a tongue in church and then he gave the interpretation. Following the service two different women came up to him and told him, his interpretation was exact, for they heard the interpretation in English at the same time they heard the tongue. They heard both, the tongue and the interpretation at the same time. Now, there were about 200 people in church that day, and they all speak English, but these two women were the only ones that said they heard the interpretation in English while he was speaking in tongues, before he gave the interpretation.



This is evidence that the Holy Spirit controls who speaks in tongues and who hears the interpretation in their own language. Why certain people are chosen by the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues, we do not know. Why the Holy Spirit only chouses to use certain individuals we do not know, but one thing is for sure, it is the Holy Spirit who is in control of the gifts of the Spirit, not people. The gifts operate as the Holy Spirit wills, not as man wills.



There are many people who try to operate in the gifts of the Spirit as they want to. This is not of God, it is of the wrong spirit. No one should ever use the name of God for their own personal benefit. No one should ever use the name of God to control another person. These things are strictly spoken against in the Old Testament. The LORD will not hold anyone guiltless for the use of His name in vain.



The Holy Spirit indwells us for the purpose of being our helper, guide, comforter, teacher, and to lead us in righteousness, not in any operations of other spirits. He is our teacher, and He teaches us from our spirit, not from our mind.





THE GREATEST IS LOVE



Going back to Mark 12:30, Jesus started the first commandment by saying, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God..." Love is the most important part of all the commandments of God. In 1 Corinthians 13:13, it says, "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love" (NKJV). This "love" it talks about is "agape" in the Greek.



Those who study their Bibles with their natural minds do not understand this love. This love does not operate from our natural mind, it operates from our spirit. This "love" is the love of God that "is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 5:5). This "love" is "a fruit of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22). It does not operate as the natural mind wills, but as the Spirit wills. It does not operate from our natural mind, it operates from our spirit. It is empowered by the Holy Spirit within us, not by our power, but by His power.



When we try to do our own will of the flesh, this "agape" of God does not operate. From the flesh we operate in a similar type of love called "phileo" in the Greek. Peter was confused by this love when Jesus asked him in John 21:15, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?" It took a long time for Peter to realize that Jesus was not talking about "phileo," but rather "agape," using the Greek word "agapao."



If you go back to Mark 12:30, you will notice that Jesus said of the first commandment, "thou shalt love (agapao) the Lord thy God..." Jesus is not talking about the natural love of man, referred to in the Greek as "phileo." In the first commandment, Jesus is talking about loving the LORD our God with "the love of God which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 5:5). This is "the fruit of the Holy Spirit" that He reproduces in us (Gal. 5:22).



God is not telling Christians to serve Him with their natural minds. For He has already told us in 1 Corinthians 2:14,"the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." God has already told us, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts" (Zech. 4:6). Jesus said, "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38). We receive from God, from our spirit, not from our natural mind.



Our natural mind is a part of the flesh. In Galatians 5:17 it tells us, "the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." When it says, "ye cannot do the things that ye would," it is saying, "you cannot do your own will of the flesh." Jesus said in Luke 9:23 "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." We cannot follow Jesus operating from our natural mind.



To follow Jesus, we must learn the difference between our natural mind and our spirit. We must learn by obedience, the same way Jesus learned as a child. Hebrews 5:8 says, "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered." Already at the age of twelve, Jesus was about His Father's business (Luke 2:49). By the time Jesus was thirty years old, He learned by obedience to live by the Word of God. When He was tempted of the devil in the wilderness, He 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).



The Bible teaches that, "the life of the flesh is in the blood, but the life of the spirit is in the Word of God" (Lev. 17:11, Matt. 4:4). Christians are not taught of God to live by the natural mind, but rather "by the Word of God." The natural mind must be renewed so it is no longer conformed to this world, but rather transformed by the Word of God (Rom. 12:2).



Agape operates from the spirit of man, therefore, Jesus said, "thou shalt love (agapao) the Lord thy God..." (Mark 12:30). We are not taught to "phileo" the LORD our God, but to "agapao" the LORD our God. This can only be done by the help of the Holy Spirit from within our spirit. It cannot be done from our natural mind of the flesh.



Agape always obeys the LORD. It is a love of obedience to His commandments. Jesus said, "If ye love (agapao) me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). Christians cannot "agapao" the LORD our God without keeping His commandments. In 1 John 2:3 it says, "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments." If we truly know Him as LORD and Savior, we will automatically keep His commandments. In 1 John 2:5 it says, "whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him." The keeping of His commandments is not our doing, it is a work of the Holy Spirit within us. We cannot, of our own ability, keep His commandments. It can only be done by the "agape" of God abiding in us.



When we walk after the flesh, we will mind the things of the flesh, but when we walk after the Spirit, we will mind the things of the Spirit (Rom. 8:1-8). "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Rom. 8:6).

TRUST IN THE LORD





In Proverbs 3:5 it says, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." How can we do this when our minds have been established upon the worlds system of believing according to what we have been taught over the years?



Basically, we cannot "trust in the LORD and lean not unto our own understanding" of our own ability. We need the power of God to accomplish this. Even though Proverbs 3:5 tells us what to do, it doesn't tell us how to do it. The only way we can trust in the LORD is by trusting in His Word.



The Word of God is Truth, a truth the world does not know. For us to change from that which we have been taught by the world system to God's Word, we must follow Psalm 37:3-5, which says,

Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give (nathan) thee the desires of thine heart.

Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.



Many have not understood these verses because of a misunderstanding of the Hebrew word "nathan." This Hebrew word is a root word, with wide applications; primarily used "to put or make." By this, when it says "he shall give (nathan) thee the desires of thine heart," it is saying, "the LORD will put His desires in your heart." Therefore, the whole context of these verses is dependant upon what the LORD does according to your response. It is not based upon what you desire at all. It is based upon the desire of the LORD.



If we will trust in the LORD and do good, the LORD will cause us to dwell in the land and have all of our needs met. In Matthew 6:25, the LORD said, "...Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?" Why would the LORD tell us something like that if He did not have something better for us to do than thinking about these things? If the LORD tells us not to think about our life "what we should eat, what we should drink, and what we should wear," how are we to live? The world has taught us from a child on, to think about our life, what we eat, what we drink, what we wear. Now, the LORD is saying, don't do it that way. Why? Because He has a better plan.



Then in Matthew 6, the LORD used a few examples, "the birds of the air, the lilies of the field." Then the LORD said, "O ye of little faith" (Matt. 6:30) where is your faith? Do you not know that you are worth more to your Father in heaven then the birds of the air and the lilies of the field? Then the LORD included this wonderful statement that should increase our faith, saying, "Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you...?" (Matt. 6:30). Besides all this, the LORD made this bold statement;

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.



Why would the LORD remind us that our Father knows what we have need of, if God didn't want to take care of us even better than He takes care of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field? God wants to do a great work in our lives, but He cannot, if we go around doing our own will of the flesh!



That is why in Psalm 37:3-5 the LORD is saying, "Delight thyself in the LORD..." (Psa. 37:4). What does He mean by "delight"? The word delight in the Hebrew is "anag" meaning "to be soft or pliable." By this it means, "to be in a position where you are willing to change your ways for the LORD'S ways." We must be willing to do His will and set aside "our will of the flesh." Once we are willing to set aside "our will of the flesh," then the LORD can put His will in our heart.



In 2 Chronicles 16:9 it says, "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..." The LORD is looking for those who will do His will, not their will. If our heart is perfect toward the LORD, then He will put "His desires" in our heart, that He may bring "His desires" to pass in our lives.



Once our heart is made "soft and pliable" by our willingness to "set our will aside" and do His will, according to that which He puts in our heart; then if we "Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring (His desires) to pass."



What will the LORD bring to pass? "His will, that He put in our heart." Not our will of the flesh, but His will. Are we willing to set "our will of the flesh" aside to do the will of the LORD, that He will put in our heart?



Many have not noticed that it is the LORD who created all things, and all things were created by Him and for Him. In John 1:3 it tells us, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." If the LORD made all things, then why should we not look to the LORD for all things, including the desires of our heart? In Colossians 1:16 it says, "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him."



This is an age old problem; "people wanting to do their own will of the flesh," and wanting to be Christians at the same time. A true Christians is a person who is joined one-spirit with the LORD, and led by the Spirit of God from within their spirit, not by their natural mind.



There are two opposing forces in Christians, the will of God and the will of the flesh. Therefore, we could ask the same type of questions the Holy Spirit asked in 2 Corinthians 6:14-16;

(1) what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?

(2) what communion hath light with darkness?

(3) what concord hath Christ with Belial?

(4) what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

(5) what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?

(6) "what agreement can our will of the flesh have with the will of God?"



The answer to (6) is, none whatsoever! God has a will for our lives, and the flesh has a will for our lives, yet these are contrary to each other. In Galatians 5:17 it says, "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." Because the flesh wars against the Holy Spirit we cannot do the things that we want to do. If we try to do our will of the flesh, Galatians 6:8 tells, "... he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."



When will we understand? God is for us, not against us (Rom. 8:31). When will we realize? God will work all things together for our good "if we would do His will and not our will of the flesh."



What is His will? First of all; it is that, "He is not willing that any should perish, but that all come unto the knowledge of the truth which is in Christ Jesus." His will is that we all inherit eternal life with Him in heaven!



If the Bible is true, than all things were created by Jesus and for Jesus! Therefore, we need to come to Jesus for all that we have need of. It's our own will of the flesh that keeps us from coming to Jesus. Once we understand the love and grace of the gospel of Christ, then we can shift over to looking to Jesus for everything we have need of.



Let us "Trust in the LORD with all [our] heart; and lean not unto [our] own understanding" (Prov. 3:5). Let the LORD put His desires in our heart, and let Him bring them to pass. Put it all upon Jesus, and He will perform that which He has promised in His Word. It's not what we can do, it's what He can do through us. All our righteousness, our desires of the flesh, our will of the flesh must be set aside, then Jesus can work a work in us that will not fail, not in this life or in the life to come.



Look at the Cross of Calvary, where Jesus defeated Satan and all his demons for us. Look at the shame He bore, look at the persecution He took for us. He was beaten with thirty-nine stripes, His body was almost beyond recognition according to the prophets. Yet, He did it for us, that by His stripes we are healed (Isa. 53:5, Matt. 8:17, 2 Peter 2:24). He shed His precious blood; that by His death, He might deliver us from death. All our sins are laid upon Him. He took upon Himself the likeness of man, so that we could take upon ourselves the likeness of God. That, as He is so are we in this world. Therefore 1 John 4:17 says, "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." We are, who we are in Christ, because He made us to be like Him. Not because of what we did, but because of what He did for us.



Therefore, "by grace we are saved; not of ourselves, but by what Jesus did for us." How long will we go around refusing to believe the gospel; which is, the good news preached to us throughout the Scriptures? The Scriptures declare that Jesus died for us and arose again from the dead; defeating Satan and all his demons; making an open show of them, triumphing over them for us (Col. 2:14,15). Jesus did it all for us! When will we believe the gospel (Good News)?



It's not what we did, it's what He did for us! "For he (God) hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Cor. 5:21). How can we be made the righteousness of God in Him? It can only come by believing the gospel, the good news of what He did for us. Romans 3:23 says, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe..." Will we believe the good news? If we will, we will be made the righteousness of God in Christ. We will "know the things that are freely given to us of God" (1 Cor. 2:12).



Why did Jesus go to the Cross? He went because He loved us. He went that we could be free of sin, death, and all the works of the devil. Will we receive the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus that sets us free of our own will, that we can do the will of God here on earth?



Whose will is more important, your will of the flesh or His will of the Spirit? You decide, which you will prefer, it's all up to you.



Now, for the tribulations which go along with believing; how do I believe? How can I receive that which Jesus already purchased for me? Many say it is simple, "just believe"! But, how can I "just believe?"



We must set aside all that which pertains to the flesh, the natural mind, and overcome the thoughts that come to our minds by reason of much use. We must "...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" (Rom. 12:2). Over and over, hour after hour, we must insist that the Word of God is true, and it cannot fail. Against hope, we must believe in hope, until we are fully persuaded that God's Word is true. When we are fully persuaded, we will experience the fullness of the Cross working for us. We can walk in victory, if we will believe in the Cross of Calvary. That which Jesus did for us, because He loves us.



Healing is ours. Forgiveness of sins is ours. All because of what Jesus did for us on Calvary. He did it for us that we might be free of all sickness and disease, all infirmities of the body and mind. Why? That we can do His Will here on earth, and then spend eternity with Him in heaven forever and ever. Praise the LORD! For He is worthy to be praised!



In 2 Corinthians 10:5 it says, "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." The weapons the devil uses are thoughts that come to our minds; called "fiery darts" in Ephesians 6:16. Thoughts, that we must cast down, completely destroy, and never let them take hold in our lives or our minds. His righteousness, not our righteousness. His stripes for our healing. His blood for our sins. It's all His and not ours, not our righteousness, not our good works, not our good deeds; but it is "what He did for us." He did it for us; for you and me, not just for a few, but for everyone who will believe.



We must over and over again, look at the Cross of Calvary, where Jesus did it all for us. Before He was nailed to the Cross, He took upon Himself all our sicknesses and diseases, all our infirmities (our weaknesses). He did it that we might live in health all the days of our lives. Then on the Cross He took upon Himself all our sins and iniquities, that by death, He swallowed up death in victory. No more sickness, no more disease, no infirmities, no sin, no iniquities, no death; "it's all because of Jesus." It's all because of the Cross of Calvary. Praise be to the LORD! For, He reigns forever and ever. Amen.

WHO'S WILL





In Matthew 6:5,6, Jesus was talking to a multitude on the subject of prayer, saying, "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward." In Jesus' teaching there are some important things to consider. One is "don't stand where you can be seen making long prayers." If you want your prayers answered, then pray according to the will of God.



A second thing about Jesus' teaching in Matthew, is what Jesus said in verse 7 it says, "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." It's ok to ask once, but from then on don't use "vain repetitions." "Vain," means "worthless, or of no value." What is worthless or of no value? Those things that are not of the will of God, but rather the will of the flesh. To God they are worthless.



Then in verse 8, Jesus said, "Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." Jesus literally said, you don't always have to pray for the things you have need of; your Father already knows you have need of those things. Isn't it sad, how many Christians go around telling God what things they think they have need of, and God already knows.



How would you feel if someone kept coming to you telling you something you already know. Over and over repeating what you already know. Some Christians would get very upset if others would continue over and over telling them something they already knew.



That doesn't go to say you cannot tell God what you need, but you should know that God does not have a short memory, therefore, if you tell Him once He will not forget. That is why in Matthew 6:8, it says "God knows before you ask." If He already knows, then you don't have to keep repeating it over and over.



In Matthew 6:9,13 Jesus taught a multitude on the subject of prayer. This teaching came by the Holy Spirit speaking through Jesus on the mountain. At that time it was the Holy Spirit that inspired Jesus to teach on prayer.



In Luke 11:1 it says, "And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples." This time, Jesus' disciples asked Him to teach them to pray. These disciples had been with Jesus long enough to know that Jesus knew how to pray to the Father and get results; that is, "get answers to His prayers." So they ask Jesus to teach them to pray. Then in verse 2, it says, "And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth." There is something very important about the way Jesus started out His prayer. We should come to our Father in respect for Who He is.



Then, Jesus is saying, "when you pray, get down to the necessary things, and don't waste your time or your Fathers time on worthless prayers."



After addressing the Father in a proper manor, then get down to His will, not your will of the flesh. God is not interested in listening to your prayers that are not according to His will. Therefore, pray, "Thy will be done," not "my will" be done.



There are many Christians praying "their will of the flesh." They are wasting God's time and their time. James 4:2 says, "Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not." First, our motives are wrong, and the method we use to obtain the desires of the flesh are wrong. Therefore, even the things we have need of are not there. Why? Because we do not ask according to the will of God; we're to tied up doing our own will of the flesh, according to the natural mind. Most of the time we leave God out of everything we do. Yet, if we would ask God according to His will we would have the desires in which we ask for. 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.



We don't need to keep begging God for anything, just ask once, according to His will and we know we will receive according to what we ask.



James 4:3 says, "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." The reason we do not receive from God is because "our motives and attitudes are wrong." God is still God, and He will do "His will" on earth, not our will of the flesh.



The thing Christians don't understand is that God is obligated to answer all the prayers that are according to His Word, and His Word is His will (1 John 5:14,15). He is not obligated to answer any prayers that are contrary to His Word.



Sometimes we will get answers to prayers that are not according to His Word or His will. Therefore, we must be careful what we ask God for, that is not according to His will. The Children of Israel in Numbers 14 murmured and complained to Moses and Aaron so much that the LORD did according to their murmurings and complaining.



What's happening when Christians pray their will and not God's will? First we must understand, if we are not doing the will of the Father, we are doing someone else's will, either our will of the flesh or the will of someone else. Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." If you study the Scriptures close enough you will find that there are only two masters on this earth, the LORD and the devil. Either we are serving one or the other. We do not have the ability to serve ourselves, or anyone else without serving God or the devil at the same time. In Ephesians 2:2,3, it says,

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.



Everyone born into this world, lived according to the way the world lives. No matter who they are, they did live "according to the prince of the power of the air," and that prince is the devil. By his spirits, he controls the thoughts of people who are not born again. It takes the power of God working in our lives to bring our thoughts in agreement with the Word of God.



When we became born again of the Spirit (John 3:6), it was a work of the Holy Spirit not a work of the flesh (John 1:13). We didn't choose Jesus, He chose us (John 15:16). No one can come to Jesus, unless the Father draws him by His Holy Spirit (John 6:44). No one can come to the Father except by coming through Jesus (John 14:6). "Jesus is the Word of God and we must come through the Word of God; according to the Word of God."



Until God moves in our lives, we are serving the devil and don't know it. The LORD is in control of everything that happens on this earth, and without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).



What Christians do not understand is that; even after they are born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit, they can easily be led astray by the prince of the powers of the air, and become disobedient to God. Therefore, the last part of Ephesians 2:2 tells us that the same devil that had control in our lives before we were born again is the same "spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." You cannot be disobedient to the LORD unless you are born again. If you are not born again you do not belong to the LORD (Rom. 8:9). You can only be disobedient to the one to whom you belong.



The "children of disobedience" are those who are born again and listen to and obey the devil, that is "another voice," other than the voice of God. The voice of God always agrees with the written Word of God. It never disagrees with the written Word of God. That is how we know if the voice is of God or not; if it does not agree with the written Word it is not of God. Jesus said, "And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers" (John 10:5).



Before the disciples were born again and filled with the Holy Spirit, they were still of this world. The voice of the prince of the power of the air was still controlling their lives. As an example, Matthew 16:22 says, "Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee." Peter was acting according to the flesh. Therefore he was not doing God's will, he was doing the will of the devil. In other words, Peter was not serving God, he was serving the devil.



In Romans 6:16, it says, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" We serve one or the other in everything we do. Therefore, we must become like Jesus and do not do our own will of the flesh; but rather do only the will of God the Father (John 5:30).



Jesus rebuked both Satan and Peter, for Satan was the instigator, but Peter did the will of Satan. Some Christians do not understand that when they commit themselves to doing the will of another person, they are in fact saying LORD, I cannot do Your will because I have to do someone else's will instead. That may sound a little off, but that is what is happening widely in the body of Christ. Christians are helping other Christians obtain their "worldly desires," the desires for the things of this world, when they should be in prayer and studying the Word of God.



While they are helping some other Christians obtain their desires of the flesh, the same Christians they are helping, are taking advantage of them to obtain their own worldly pleasures. As an example: I helped a Christian friend of mine repair his car. I did it to help him save money on the cost of repair. While I was helping him, I neglected my prayer time and study time. At the same time, this Christian friend I helped to save money on the repair of his car, spent a lot of money on going out to lunch with other Christian friends. The money I saved him, he spent trying to make himself look prosperous by buying lunch for others. This is a trick of the devil, to get Christians out of the will of God, into doing their will of the flesh.



The sad part of a lot of this is, when the LORD impresses upon them to spend time with Him in the Word and in prayer, they say within themselves, I don't have time to pray and study because I have made a commitment with another Christian to help them. So, they forsake the LORD to help some other Christian gain worldly pleasures, to prosper in worldly things, and the will of God is not done in their lives. They are serving another master and don't know it.



There are only two masters, the LORD or the devil. When Christians give up their prayer time and study time to help someone obtain their worldly goals, they are saying to the LORD, this other person is more important than You, LORD. I must serve them instead of serving YOU! How ridiculous can Christians get, telling the LORD this other person is more important then He is.



Sometimes Christians try to justify their helping some other Christian do something that will only give them a better position in this world, saying, LORD, they asked me first. This is not true; for the LORD asked them first. He had it written in the Bible years ago, long before anyone living today was even born.



When a person asks the LORD to help them, the LORD is faithful and does whatsoever they ask according to His Word. But when the LORD asks us to pray and study the Word, we say "I don't have time." I have to do this and that and when I get that done it will be too late to pray and study. It's always, putting the LORD second, or even last in our lives. Always putting those who love the world and the things of this world first, before the LORD.

Our flesh is contrary to the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:17). When we try to do the will of the flesh, we are sowing into corruption. Galatians 6:7,8 says,

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.



Every person mentioned in the Bible that did not do according to the will of God reaped corruption. They were defeated in their lives, and many of them are not highly spoken of later, after they did the will of the flesh. One example is Balaam, mentioned in 2 Peter 2:15,16, Rev. 2:14). Balaam was a true prophet. Some of his prophecies set a standard for others following his time. In Numbers 23:19, Balaam said, "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?" In Titus 1:2, it says, " In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began." In Hebrews 6:18, it says, "That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us."



Yet, Balaam walked in the flesh and "taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. Solomon was the wisest king of all the kings, yet he walked after the flesh and the LORD warned him twice not to marry those heathen wives; yet he disobeyed the LORD and brought in a lot of heathen worship.



Many Christians today, who seem to be super-spiritual are walking after the flesh, and will in the end reaping corruption for what they did. When Christians hear voices and think it is God talking to them, very often they are deceived in what they believe. These same Christians go around prophesying to others about all the great things God is going to do in someone's life. The majority of these prophecies are false; for they do not line up with the will of God, but rather the will of the flesh. Those who believe these prophecies end up being misled into greater error. Some of them never do get back into the will of God for their lives. Their lives are all messed up and they cannot even think straight.



Others try to control other Christians with their prophecies, and both end up out of the will of God for their lives. It's one thing to know the will of God for your life, but even greater is to do the will of God; and not be a people pleaser. Many pastors are giving wrong advice to their members, simply because they do not want to hurt their feelings. In the end, their wrong advice causes more problems than if they had not given any advice in the first place. No advice is many times better than wrong advice.



AT THE CROSS



WHY THE CROSS?



In the beginning, the LORD God created all things. All things were created by Him and for Him, and without Him nothing was created that was created (John 1:1-3,10, Col. 1:16,17, etc.). Jesus is the LORD God, in the Old Testament, and He is also "the Word of God" in the New Testament. All things were created by Him and for Him, the Father and the Holy Spirit working through Him (John 1:14, Heb. 1:2,3, etc.).



In the beginning the earth was without form, water covered it completely, there was no dry land for darkness was over everything that God had created (darkness; means, "no light, and the works of Satan"). Satan and his demons were here, they were cast out of the third heaven, down to the earth for their rebellion against God (Ezek. 28:11-19, Isa. 14:12-20). For six days, the Father and the Holy Spirit worked through the Son (the Word of God) in creating all things that were created. On the sixth day, the LORD God created man, male and female in His own likeness and His own image (Gen. 1:26,27, 2:7, 21,22). Eve was formed of the rib of Adam on the sixth day, therefore, the creation of man, male and female, was completed on the sixth day.



The LORD God gave man "male and female," dominion over the works of His hands. Man was given a free will, to choose whatsoever he would do. He could eat of every tree of the garden, including the tree of Life, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It was man's choice, which trees he would eat the fruit thereof (Gen. 2:16). "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die {die, die; two deaths}" (Gen. 2:17). The first death man would experience is physical death of the body of flesh and bones (Gen. 5:5, Rom. 5:12, 1 Cor. 15:51). The second death would be eternal death in the lake of fire with Satan and his demons (Rev. 20:5,6,14,15).



Because of the Cross, Jesus defeated Satan and overcame the two deaths for all "who are in Christ," all others will spend eternity in hell with the devil and his followers. In 1 Corinthians 15:22, it says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." Revelation 20:14,15 says,

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.



Adam and Eve (of their own free will) did eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and sin and death enter into mankind, and passed upon everyone except Jesus, the Son of God. Romans 5:12 says, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Mortality (the process of physical death) and corruption (the works of sin) was passed upon everyone who was born of the flesh (John 3:6). Physical death and eternal death were resident within everyone born of natural parents from our birth on. Jesus, the Son of God, was not born of natural parents, for God was His Father, and Mary was his mother. Jesus was not born of the will of man, or of the flesh, or of the blood of man; but of God (John 1:13).. The Holy Spirit came upon Mary and she became pregnant with the Son of God (Jesus) (Luke 1:35).



According to one of the Jewish calenders, their new year begins in late September, or early October, depending upon the day of "the new moon;" this goes all the way back to the sixth day of creation when man was first formed of the dust of the ground. When man was first formed of the dust of the ground; "man became a living soul," with a body of flesh and bones. Genesis 2:7, 23 says,

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.



Jesus, who is the Son of God, "creator of heaven and earth" (Col. 1:16), was born in the flesh on the Jewish new year 4 BC. He lived as the Son of Mary, the step-Son of Joseph for thirty-three and one-half years. Then He died on the Cross of Calvary, on the (New) beginning of years for the Jewish nation as instructed in Exodus 12. In Exodus 12:1,2 it says,

And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,

This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.



That month, the month of Abib, on the tenth day they took a Lamb without blemish, and keep it until the fourteenth day of the month. On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month of Abib, they killed the Lamb, put the blood of the Lamb over the door posts of the houses where they were in; then they roasted the Lamb with fire; eat the flesh of the Lamb with unleavened bread; with their loins girded, their shoes on their feet, and their staff in their hand; for it was the LORD'S Passover.



The exact day that the LORD was speaking of in Exodus was the day that the LORD passed over Egypt and killed the firstborn of every man, and animal. The following day, the children of Israel were set free of the bondage and slavery of Pharaoh and the Egyptians.



This Passover for the children of Israel was a type and shadow of the Cross of Calvary. The day that the LORD defeated Satan and his demons, and us free of the sin and death that entered into mankind in the garden of Eden.



This was to be the beginning of years for the children of Israel, a new life with the LORD God as their God. If they would obey His voice, He would supply all their needs according to His grace and mercy. This is a type and shadow of what was to come for all who are in Christ: if they will obey the LORD, He will supply all their needs according to "His ability." Jesus said,

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:25,32,33).



Our first birth into this world "born of the flesh," coincides with the forming of man of the dust of the ground. It also coincides with the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born in the flesh to set us free of all the works of the devil.



Our new birth, "born again of the Word and the Spirit" coincides with Jesus' death and resurrection. This is a new beginning for us. Like the Passover in Exodus was a new beginning for the Children of Israel, it became the first month of their new year. Our new birth becomes the first month of our new life in Christ Jesus. We are new creatures in Christ. We are born of the Word and the Spirit. Heaven becomes our home and God becomes our Father. A whole new life, a whole new way of living comes into us. "We are born of God."



We still have our old body of flesh and bones. We still have our living soul, but we have a new spirit, and are translated into that new spirit (Col. 1:13, Rom. 8:9). God dwells with us, in our new spirit. His purpose for being in us, is to bring us into agreement with His Word. To teach us the ways of God, not the ways of the world. To bring us to maturity in Christ, that we can do the will of God the Father.



We were born in the flesh of "the will of man" (John 1:13). But the will of God is greater, and they that do the will of God will inherit eternal life in heaven. Jesus said, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 7:21). Why the Cross? That we can overcome the world, and do the will of God while we are still here on earth, having physical bodies, and a living soul. The Cross is for our remembrance of what Jesus did for us, in setting us free of the works of the devil.



WHAT WAS THE WILL OF GOD?



In the beginning, God had a plan for mankind, that is male and female. The LORD God created man, male and female to be a type and shadow of the LORD and the Church "His body" (Eph. 5:32). Adam was first formed, then Eve was taken out of Adam's body to be His help meet (Gen. 2:7,18,22-24).



The LORD is the Son of God, Who was with the Father from the beginning. "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand" (John 3:35). "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son" (John 5:22). The LORD loves man, who He created in His own image and likeness, and has left it up to man to judge himself, lest he be judged (1 Cor. 11:31).



Adam and Eve had a free will, to choose who they would obey, the LORD and eat of the tree of Life; or the devil and eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. To obey the LORD, it is necessary to be a doer of the Word, not just a hearer only. Adam and Eve heard the Word of the LORD concerning the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but they did not do the will of God. Instead, they submitted themselves to the voice of another and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.



The Cross of Calvary, where Jesus defeated Satan for us made it all possible for us to "obey the Word of God," and be doers of the Word and not just hearers only. James 1:22 says, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."If we are hearers only, and not doers of the Word, we deceive ourselves and become religious, walking after the flesh and not after the Spirit (Rom. 8:1-8).



When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, sin and deaths entered mankind. "Deaths," both mortality (physical death of the flesh), and eternal death (of body and soul) in hell came through corruption of the soul of man. Corruption is that which allows Satan and his demons to put thoughts in our minds to go against the Word of God. This corruption must be overcome in order for us to do the will of God. Through corruption (the will of the flesh), we cannot do the will of God. The flesh (being corrupted), is contrary to the Spirit of God (Gal. 5:17). Therefore, we cannot do our own will; we must do the will of God, led by the Holy Spirit.



Romans 8:14 says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Only those who are led by the Spirit of God can do the will of God. The New King James Version in , John 4:24 says, "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." The Holy Spirit must be involved in our worship. We must live and move by the power of the Spirit of God in our lives. To do this, we must live by faith, for the Scripture says, "the just shall live by faith" (Hab. 2:4, Rom. 1:17, Gal. 3:11, Heb 10:38). We cannot, "of our own ability" overcome the works of the devil. We must overcome by faith. In 1 John 5:4 it says, "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." Faith only works when we believe the Word of God against all natural understanding. Proverbs 3:5 says, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." Isaiah 55:8,9 says,

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.



Our thoughts will not agree with the Cross of Calvary, where Jesus paid the price for our redemption. Jesus defeated the devil and his demons, and purchased our redemption with His own body and blood. Yet, our human understanding cannot perceive or understand the plan of God nor the work of God on Calvary.



Our minds must be renewed on the Word of God, that by reason of much use we believe and speak "those things which be not as though they were" (Rom. 4:17-21). We must be "...fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform" (Rom. 4:21). As Jesus said to His disciples, "...With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible" (Mark 10:27). With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can speak those things that be not as though they were. It's the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon the words that we speak that destroys the works of the devil.



Eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is "man, living according to his own understanding," this causes us to become religious, living by rules and regulations adopted by men as a standard for proper lifestyles. This does not save us, neither could the law of Moses save us. Acts 13:38,39 says,

Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.



If we do not believe in the Cross of Calvary, the power of God cannot work through us to help us. It says in Luke 4:17-19,

And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.



In John 17:15-18, Jesus said,

I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.



As the Father sent Jesus into the world according to Isaiah 61:1,2, which Jesus read from in Luke 4:18,19, we cannot do what we have been called to do, "unless we understand the Cross of Calvary." What happened on the Cross? Why it happened? And especially, for who did Jesus die?



He died for you and me, along with everyone else who will believe the gospel. The gospel is the "good news" of what God has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ on the Cross.



It's easy to believe what was done on the Cross was done for the disciples that followed Jesus, like Peter and John, who went about healing the sick, casting out devils, raising the dead, etc. But, what about ourselves, the Cross was for us also. What Jesus did on the Cross was for you too, not just for others. You must believe the Cross, believe the Word of God, the gospel, "the good news" of the Cross.





WITHOUT GOD

WE CANNOT BELIEVE



Satan has blinded the minds of many Christians, that they do not believe the gospel, the good news. In 2 Corinthians 4:3,4 it says,

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.



Christians all over the world have their minds blinded by the devil through the teachings of religious men, who do not teach the Cross of Calvary as "the good news for mankind." 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." If we do not understand the Cross, we will easily become deceived into believing another gospel, which is not the gospel Jesus preached, nor the gospel that Paul preached. In Galatians 1:8-10 Paul wrote;

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.



Many Christians preach another gospel that they may please men, that they may built their own church or ministry. They become people pleasers, and do not preach the Cross, for if they preach the Cross, they could not control their people to their liking. The Cross will set them free, and they will follow Jesus, not some religious person who calls himself a pastor or some other name or title.



Preaching the Cross will do for others what happened to the man possessed with a legion of demons in Mark 5. After Jesus cast the demons out, it says, "And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid." When the gospel is preached, people are delivered from all sorts of demonic spirits and religious spirits, that try to control their lives. The religious people become afraid of those who are set free, for those who are set free are in their right mind...



No one born into this world is in their right mind. We are born in corruption, our thinking does not agree with the Word of God. Religious people operate by the tree of knowledge of good and evil and help the devil condemn those who believe the Cross.



We must come to the Cross to be saved (Acts 4:12). We must come to the Cross to be delivered (Rom. 10:9,10). We must come to the Cross to walk in the light as He is in the light (1 John 1:7). We must come to the Cross to experience justification and redemption (Rom. 3:21-24).



It's at the Cross where we will see the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ that can set us free of all demonic operations in our lives. We should be like the apostle Paul and "know nothing but the Cross, which sets us free to follow Jesus all the days of our lives."





SEEING PEOPLE

THROUGH THE EYES OF GOD



Too often, when we see people we come to conclusions concerning their lives, we judge them according to our standards, what we think they should do or not do. If they don't line up with our thinking we condemn them for being what we think they are.



Our thoughts are not the LORD'S thoughts, and our ways are not the LORD'S ways (Isa. 55:8,9). We need to see people the way the LORD sees people. If they don't meet our expectations we should remember the Cross. Jesus already paid the price for their deliverance, their sanctification, their justification, their righteousness, etc. It's not what we see today in the life of another that counts, it's what God has done on the Cross that can change their lives to be what God wants them to be. Our judging them will only hinder the work of God in their lives. We should not be a hindrance to what God wants to do, but rather be a blessing by coming against the works of the devil in their lives.



Many Christians have adopted the ways of the world as a standard for Christian living. They have not followed the plan of God from the foundation of the world.



The plan of God works beautifully, if we will follow it according to the Word of God, not according to the world's system. In the eyes of God, the Word of God is "for us," not against us. If we will receive Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior, not just as Savior; we will experience the power of God working in our lives to set us free of all sorts of bondage's that keep us from living the abundant life Jesus came for us to have.



Religious teachings and our own minds, keep us from experiencing the abundant life Jesus came for us to have. The abundant life is not the life we had before we were born again. That life was called "psuche" in the Greek. That is natural life, the life of natural man. The abundant life Jesus came to give us is called "Zoe" in the Greek. It is the very life of God living in us and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit. This abundant life becomes a life of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17). "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13). If we permit God to work in us to do His good pleasure, then Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." When we know all things are working together for our good, and God is working in us to do His good pleasure we can live the abundant life that Jesus came for us to have.



This abundant life is not possible without the Cross. It was what happened on the Cross that made it all possible. Jesus did it all for us, for you and me. It's now our choice, of our own free will, will we choose to live according to the Word of God or the words of men?