All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
November 12, 2000
HANDS FOR JESUS
HANDS FOR JESUS
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MILWAUKEE, WI 53218-0655
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2000 by Merle E. Koepke
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THIS NEW LIFE
Before the world was created, God had a plan. God loved His Son (Jesus). God's Son was His delight (Prov. 8:30). God the Father taught His Son all things before the foundation of this world (Prov. 8:23-27). Jesus was the Word (Logos) of God from the beginning (John 1:1). All things in this creation were created by the Word (Logos), the Father and the Holy Spirit working in and through the Word (Logos).
Jesus, being the Word (Logos) created all things. Colossians 1:16 tells us, "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." John 1:3 tells us, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."
In Jesus, is eternal life (Zoe), He is the life (Zoe) of man (John 1:4). In John 10:10, Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life (Zoe), and that they might have it more abundantly." Jesus, the Creator of heaven and earth, Who is from eternity past, came into this world that we might have life (Zoe) and have it abundantly. First He created us, then He came that we might have life (Zoe).
Zoe is not the same life (psuche) we have in the flesh. It is not the life of man, but the very life (Zoe) of God. Jesus came to give us a life (Zoe) that is much greater and much better than the life (psuche) we have in the flesh. This Zoe is the very life of God, that lives and moves and has it's being in God.
This book is written mainly for those who are born again of the Spirit and the Word of God. If you are truly born again you will have a witness in your spirit, knowing that you are born again. In 1 John 5:10, it says, "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself..." The Spirit of God must bare witness with your spirit that you are a child of God. Romans 8:16 says, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." If you do not have this witness in your spirit, you can. Jesus came that you might have eternal life. In 1 John 5:11,12, it says,
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
It is important that you become born again. Jesus said in John 3:6,7,
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
When Jesus says we must do something, we should pay close attention to what He said, and do it. Yet, many do not know how to become born again. In John 1:10-12, it says,
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
So, what must we do to become born again? We must receive Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior of our lives. When we receive Him into our lives we become born again. If you are not positive you are born again of the Spirit, you can be today. If you will receive Jesus Christ as your LORD and Savior, He will receive you into everlasting life.
From you heart, pray a prayer like this:
"LORD Jesus, I know that You are the Son of God. I know that You died on the cross for me. I know that God raised You from the dead.
Jesus, forgive me of all my sins, wash me clean in Your blood; that I may be the righteousness of God in You. Thank You, Jesus!
Jesus, I ask You to come into my life? Live Your life in me! Let Your will be done in me! Let the will of God be done in my life as it was in Your life. I surrender my life to You, Jesus!
You lead me by Your Spirit and I will follow to the best of my ability. I will live for You all the days of my life, as You lead me by Your Spirit.
I receive You now, as my LORD, and SAVIOR for all eternity. I will be with You here on earth, and I will be with You in heaven, forever and ever. I will give You all the Glory, it is for You that I will live forever. Amen."
If you know you were born again at one time, but have drifted away from following the LORD, and have gone back to the ways of the world. You too, can return to the LORD Jesus Christ, and He will receive you, just as though you never left. Just confess your sins to Him and say a prayer like the one above from your heart, and He will receive you back just as before. He said, He will never forsake you!
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." We are a new creature in Christ, the Word of God declares it to be true. It is not easy to understand in our natural mind for the things of God are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14). Yet, as you study the Scriptures with the intention of getting to know the Truth, the Truth will set you free of a lot of religious thinking, and teachings of men. God wants you to know the Truth, and be free of all doctrines of men. Let me give you an illustration of this new life in Christ Jesus, that we have of God.
When you were born into this world of your natural parents, you were born of the flesh. That is, it was by the will of your natural parents that you were born of flesh and bones, and the life of your flesh is in your blood (Lev. 17:11). Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh..." (John 3:6). At the time of your birth (before you took your first breath, you were connected to your mother by a cord, called an umbilical cord. Through this cord the life of your flesh came from your mother. Your life was dependent upon your mother. Your blood flowed from her body into your body, and the life of your flesh was in her blood and your blood. It is the blood that keeps your flesh alive. Leviticus 17:11 says, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood..." Before the umbilical cord was cut, your life was completely dependent upon your mother. But, once that cord was cut, your life was your life and her life was her life. Your life is no longer dependent upon your mother, but upon the blood that flows through your veins.
But, this new life in Christ is not so... You are a new creature "in Christ." You are not separated from Christ, you are "in Christ." You share His life and He shares your life. The very same life that the Father has in Himself, He gave to His Son to have in Himself (John 5:26). This same life that the Son has in Himself, He gave to you to have in yourself (John 10:10). You and Jesus are One...! You share the same life (Zoe), the very life of God Himself. As long as you remain in Christ, you have the very life of God in you.
Your new life in Christ does not live by natural food, it lives by the Word of God. "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 life of the flesh is in the blood, whereas the life of the spirit is in the Word of God." No matter what happens to this body of flesh and bones, your new life in Christ is not in the flesh, but in the spirit (Rom. 8:9). Acts 17:28 says, "For in him we live, and move, and have our being..." When your body of flesh and bones dies on this earth, you will leave this earth in your new spirit and go to be with Jesus forever.
Don't be deceived by the teachings of men, saying, you are a spirit, and you have a body, and you have a soul. The Scriptures are true, and they cannot be broken. It says in Genesis 2:7, man became a living soul. It says in 1 Corinthians 15:45, "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit." When it says, "And so it is written," that means it cannot be changed, it is absolutely true, for the Scriptures cannot be broken (John 10:35). It is easier to understand this simply by reading what the Scripture says, in the context it is stated. In Job 32:8, it says, "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." Zechariah 12:1 says, "The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him." If the spirit of man "is in man," then man and his spirit are not the same thing. Take for example, a glass of water. The water is in the glass, yet, the glass is not the water and the water is not the glass, they are two different things. One is in the other, therefore, the spirit of man is "in man" just as the Scriptures declare. Man is a living soul, and man's spirit is within him.
Man's soul is made up of spirit, it is the breath (n@shamah) of God. Job 33:4 says, "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life." The soul of man is "spirit," but it is not "the spirit" of man.
When we were born into this world, our soul was in our flesh. Our soul was not our flesh, but it was in the flesh, like the water is in the glass, but the water is not the glass. In Romans 7:5, it says, "For when we were in the flesh..." We were at one time in the flesh, but we are no longer in the flesh once we are born again of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. For Romans 8:9 says, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." In the new birth, we are translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son (Col. 1:13). We are still a living soul, but we have changed positions, we were in the flesh which came all the way down from Adam, but now we are in the Spirit, with came down from heaven. It's like a person who travels from one place to another in an automobile. While traveling they are in the car. Then when they get out of the car and go into a building, they are no longer in the car, but in the building. They are not the car and they are not the building, they are still a living soul which changed positions from the car to the building.
We are a new creature in Christ, and heaven is our home, earth is only our temporal dwelling place until we go to be with Jesus forever, in our new spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:44).
Our life in the spirit is not as dependent upon what we did in the flesh as it is dependent upon the Word of God. God has given us His Word, and if will walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh, we will be with Jesus for all eternity. God is pleased when we walk by faith and not by sight, when we walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. Jesus is well able to hold those who walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. Knowing who we are in Christ should help us to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. See Romans 8:1-9. For, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Rom. 8:1).
God loved His Son, and desired to have more sons and daughters, just like His Son with Him forever and ever in eternity. Jesus said in John 5:26, "For as the Father hath life (Zoe) in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life (Zoe) in himself." In John 3:16, Jesus said, "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 (Zoe)." In John 5:24, Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word (logos), and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life (Zoe), and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life (Zoe)."
Even though God's plan for man was from before the foundation of the world, it took until Jesus came in the flesh, then died on the Cross and rose again from the dead before it could be revealed to man. For almost four-thousand years the LORD was revealing the plan of God to the world, yet they were not seeing the truth.
Jesus came in the flesh, born of a woman and the Holy Spirit. He lived about thirty-three and one-half years then died on the Cross that the plan of God could be fulfilled. Romans 8:29 says, "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." Jesus had to be the firstborn of many brethren. Jesus had to defeat death that we could have life (Zoe). All mankind was dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1). "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one" (Rom. 3:10). Not one person on this earth was righteous. Jesus, the Son of God, who created all things was the only truly righteous person since Adam and Eve.
How could God succeed in getting multitudes of people in heaven for all eternity when there were no righteous people living on this earth? First God had to make known His plan throughout the Old Testament. How that justification, sanctification, and righteousness would come by faith, not by works. The Law was used as a school master to show us that by works alone, no one could be saved.
Then Jesus came to show us the way. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). Even after Jesus died and rose again, no one really knew the Way. For it was a mystery, hidden for ages (1 Cor. 2:7). "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (1 Cor. 2:9).
Even today, nearly two-thousand years after the Cross, very few people know the mystery of the plan of God from the foundation of the world. For, even though we have the Scriptures, and we can study, day and night, we still may never completely understand the plan of God from the foundation of the world. For His plan is only revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. In 1 Corinthians 2:12 it says, "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."
The apostle Paul received a revelation, greater than any of the other apostles, yet he could not teach spiritual things to the churches because they were still carnal. In 1 Corinthians 3:1 Paul wrote, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ." How many today are still carnal, babes in Christ? How many still think they can prefect themselves in the flesh? How many still teach the commandments of men as a way to make us perfect and acceptable before God?
Eye has not seen, neither has ear heard the things God has prepared for His people (1 Cor. 2:9). Yet, the Scripture reveals that the plan of God was complete from the foundation of the world. In Revelation 13:8, we see that "the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world." In Genesis 5:24, we see that Enoch walked with God, and God took him. "He was translated and never saw death" (Heb. 11:5). In spite of all that happened in this world over the ages, God's plan is still in effect today.
God's plan was available to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. God's plan is eternal life; the tree of life was in the garden for Adam and Eve to freely eat the fruit thereof (Gen. 2:9,16). Today the Tree of Life is still here for anyone to eat the fruit thereof. Yet very few even know how to eat of the Tree of Life.
Many have ignored the Tree, others have tasted the fruit thereof and turned away to follow after spirits. But this was known by God from the foundation of the world, and revealed by His New Testament prophets and apostles for our benefit. Jesus said, "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life (Zoe), and few there be that find it" (Matt. 7:14). Let us not be ignorant of the mysteries of God, but let us eat of the Tree of Life that we might live forever with Jesus, our LORD.
How do we eat of the Tree of Life (Zoe)? In all truth, Jesus is the Tree of Life (Zoe) (John 6:51-58, 14:6) "which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Rev. 2:7). The first thing we must do is become born again of the Spirit and the Word (Logos). John 3:6 tells us, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." We were born into this world of the flesh; now we must be born again of the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that caused Mary to become pregnant with Jesus, giving Him a body of flesh, must cause a new spiritual birth within us. Through a work of the Holy Spirit within us, we become born again of the Word (Logos) of God. In 1 Peter 1:23, it says, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word (logos) of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."
The seed that is planted in us by the Holy Spirit becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus. In 2 Corinthians. 5:17, it says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." We do not become a spirit, we remain a living soul, but we receive a new spirit and a new heart (Ezek. 36:26). We also receive a new spiritual body, leaving us with a natural body and a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:44). It is this new spiritual body that enables us to enter into heaven, this is the body we are raised up in (1 Cor. 15:44).
All of this is of God, and not of man; our new birth, our new spirit, our new heart, our new spiritual body; it is not of our doing, but of God (John 1:13). All we do is receive Jesus Christ as LORD of our life, and God does the rest. Our physical bodies are made of the dust of the earth. In this dust of the earth a new seed of life (Zoe) is planted. And we have both, natural (psuchikos) life and spiritual (Zoe) life. We are still a living soul (psuche), but we are translated from the powers of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son (Col. 1:13). We are no longer in the flesh but in the spirit (Rom. 8:9). Our new life (Zoe) is in the Word (Logos), in Christ Jesus; and now we must eat of the Tree of Life and live forever unto God.
Jesus said in John 15:5 "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." Without Jesus, we can do nothing. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). In Him, we must live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). We must live by Him and for Him in everything we do. He is the source of all life, soul life and spirit life. To live and not die, we must abide in Him.
What God is doing in our lives is His perfect will and good pleasure. Philippians 1:6 says "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." God began a good work in our lives the day we were born again of the Spirit. From that day forth, God will continue to do a work in our lives. Philippians 2:13 says, " For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." God is working in us, by the power of His Holy Spirit to do His good pleasure. God never starts anything He does not intend to continue and bring to completion.
Everything that God does in our lives is God doing it, not man. We cannot add anything to what God is doing in our lives; all we can do is be obedient to His will for us. Pray when we know we should pray. Witness when we know we should witness. Speak when we know we should speak. And keep quiet when we should keep quiet.
Many times, thoughts come to our minds. Sometimes they may be from God, but most of the time they are not from God. For God works from our spirit, not our mind. Therefore, 2 Corinthians 10:5 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." Many thoughts come to our minds that exalt themselves against the Word of God. They must be cast down, completely destroyed that they never come back to our remembrance.
When it is God putting thoughts in our minds from our spirit, the thought comes from within, not from without. It is a "knowing," not just a thought. It is something we know, but don't know how we know. It doesn't come from natural learning, or study. It just comes, without any pre-existent intent or thought. You know, but you don't understand how you know.
Many times in my life, even before I was born again of the Spirit I received thoughts from God within. A knowing, without any previous knowledge, or any explanation of how I knew. I just knew. One time I was driving my car in town, about 25 miles per hour. It just started to rain and freeze on the road. I was very careful in my driving, watching the other cars ahead of me and behind me. I was coming to a corner and watched the car in front of me turn the corner. It had no problem, traveling about the same speed as I was. Yet, as I came near the corner (about fifty yards away) I noticed a telephone pole straight ahead of me on the corner. At that instant of time, I knew within myself, that my car was not going to turn when I turned the steering wheel. I knew the brakes would do no good, and my car would hit the telephone pole just to the right of the left headlight. The car would bounce back from the pole, and the car behind me (about 25 yards behind) would also strike my car in the rear and drive it into the pole a second time. I knew that when that happened the steering wheel would be driven into the drivers seat, and if I were in the car at that time, I would be crushed between the seat and the steering wheel. I also knew, that "at the exact moment the car hit the telephone pole and bounced back, I had to pull the handle on the drivers side door, and jump out of the car before the car behind me hit my car in the rear and drove it into the pole the second time."
At that precise moment, I pulled the door handle and jumped from the car. The driver of the car that hit my car from the rear didn't realize that I purposely jumped from the car. He came, thinking I was thrown from the car and wanted to know if I was hurt. I didn't have a scratch on me, no injury whatsoever.
How did I know what was going to happen before anything happened? How did I know what to do at that precise moment? It was a knowing, without thinking. I believe it was God, for the natural man does not know these things naturally. I don't believe the devil would have given me that information, for he is not out to save my life but destroy it.
Why would God, even before I was born again, save my life, and keep me from being injured in an automobile accident? Because God loves us. God has a plan for our lives here on earth. God wants to use us to declare His love, grace, and mercy to the world. That the world may know the love of God and His plan for their lives. God is for life, not death. Satan is for death, not life. These two are opposites of each other.
When we receive in our minds a knowing, without any previous explanation, it's like "a word of knowledge" a gift of the Holy Spirit that operates as the Spirit wills. When things like this happen in your life, praise the LORD for He is watching over you. He has a plan for your life, in the future, and it is not His desire that you leave this earth before your time.
Another time, I was changing the main circuit box in my home, from one 60 amp service to two 100 amp services. The power was still on from the meter. All the wires were in place, even the main entrance wires, yet the screws to tighten the wires to the terminals were not tight. I was tightening the screws when, all of a sudden I knew that the screw driver was going to slip off the screw and touch the ground at the same time it was still in contact with the power. I knew, without thinking, I had to let go of the screw driver at that precise moment. I no more than left go of the screw driver and the electricity arcked like a welder and burned the end off the screw driver. Yet, I did not get hurt. How did I know at that precise moment what to do? It was instantly, "I knew" and did what I knew, and I was safe. It's "a knowing," without previous knowledge, an instant knowing, I believe, it is given to us by the Holy Spirit for our protection. God is for life, not death. God has a plan for our lives, to declare the love of God to the world.
There are numerous times in my life when I had a knowing, without any previous knowledge of what was about to happen, and just what to do to prevent myself from being hurt or killed. God is for us, and not against us, to do His perfect will (Rom. 8:31, Phil. 2:13). God has a plan for our lives, and He will do all He can that we fulfill that plan.
Many times in my life, thoughts come to my mind (as the world says "out of a clear blue sky"). These thoughts many times are complete Scripture verses, word for word, yet I am not even thinking about that subject at the time. Yet, they draw me to something I did not have full knowledge of previously. If I look them up in the Bible I will always find them to be "word for word," and then all things come together to understand the meaning and the reason for receiving that information.
One time I had been up studying and praying for over 24 hours, when I felt I should lay down and get some rest. Before I laid down I turned on my cassette tape player, playing a Bible tape. The tape started in Acts 17:1. By the time it got to verses 26 and 27, I jumped up in bed and said within myself, "that's why the LORD created man in the beginning, that he would seek the LORD and find Him though He is not far from anyone of us!" What I heard from the tape was,
And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us (Acts 17:26,27).
Immediately, I got up and wrote a small pocket book, before I laid down again. I did not get tired, but continued to write until I had all the information in the book (about 12 hours later). How could I be refreshed, and stay up for about thirty-six hours without sleep? It had to be something the Holy Spirit did, for that is not natural. God wants to teach us from the Scriptures, to know His will, and to know Him.
Many times, while I am teaching the Word, words will come out of my mouth that I had no idea of what I was going to say. It was almost the same as if someone else said them, for I had no previous thought of what I said. Then, when I check it out in the Scriptures it is accurate and agrees completely with the Bible from Genesis to the end of Revelation. It is something I did not know, but instantly, I knew it was true even at the time I spoke it. I only had to check it out later, for the Word teaches us to "prove all things, and hold fast to that which is good" (1 Thes. 5:21). God is still giving revelation to His children that they may know the truth and the truth will set them free. Like a parent teaches a child the ways of this life, God, by His Spirit will teach you the ways of God, that you may declare His love to the world.
God had a plan for your life before the foundation of the world. His plans are for all eternity, and you were a part of His great plan. You just happened to come alone at this time in His creation. Many centuries ago there was a man by the name of Enoch, the seventh from Adam. God had a plan for his life from the foundation of the world, and he did what God had planned for him and God received him up into glory for all eternity. We can do the same in our lives. Enoch walked with God three-hundred years and God took him. We don't know how many years we should walk with God here on this earth before God will receive us up into glory, but we know, God is for us and not against us (Rom. 8:30). If God be for us, nothing should be able to stop us from fulfilling what God has planned for us.
As long as we keep our hearts and minds upon Jesus, and God's plan for our lives we cannot fail. Hebrews 7:25 says, "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." It is Jesus, the Creator of all things that will save us from the works of the devil whenever we are tempted. He is well able to save us to the uttermost, for He is LORD over this creation. All principalities, powers, dominion, etc. are subject to Jesus. His name is above every name, in heaven, on earth, and beneath the earth (Phil. 2:9). There is no power in heaven, on earth, or beneath the earth greater than the power of God. We are securer in Him. It is only when we go our way, and pay no attention to Jesus, that we encounter situations out of our control.
Many within the body of Christ are being destroyed for a lack of knowledge of the power of God and the will of God for their lives. We need not be among them, for revelation knowledge is available to us at all times according the will of God from the foundation of the world.
This new life is not just the life of God within us. It is God Himself working in us to will and do His good pleasure. It is a completely new way of living, for it is God's way of living not man's way. God does not live by bread (Matt. 4:4), God lives by His Word. The natural man lives by bread (food) which keeps our flesh alive. But the new creature in Christ does not live by bread (food) it lives by the Word of God.
Just like Jesus had two lives, when we become born again of the Word and the Spirit we have two lives. We have Zoe (the life of God), and we have psuche (the life of natural man). Jesus said in John 10:10,11,
I am come that they might have life (Zoe), and that they might have it more abundantly.
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life (psuche) for the sheep.
Therefore, Jesus had both (Zoe) spirit life (the life of God) and (psuche) soul life (the life of man). Jesus walked in the flesh (psuchikos, natural man), but He did not live after the flesh. Jesus had a body of flesh, like we have, but He was not controlled by the thoughts of His natural mind. In Jesus' Spirit was the very life of God. Within Jesus' Spirit was another man, the Son of God. In His Spirit was another mind, similar the mind of the flesh, but not in thought, for it was "the mind of Christ," not the mind of man. The mind of Christ is heavenly minded, willing and obedient to the Word of God and the will of God at all times.
By the mind of Christ, Jesus submitted Himself to the Cross, for it was the will of God for Him to do so. Even though, the mind of the flesh resisted the Cross, Jesus brought His natural mind under subjection to the will of God and willingly, with joy in His Spirit, submitted Himself to be crucified in the flesh (the natural man put to death). In 1 Peter 3:18 it says, "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened (made alive) by the Spirit (Holy Spirit)." Jesus did not die spiritually, as some falsely teach. His soul and body were submitted to death, that He might taste death for every man (Heb. 2:9). Jesus swallowed up death in victory (1 Cor. 15:54,55) for everyone who will come to Him that they might have life (Zoe) and live unto God in the spirit (Rom. 8:1,2; 1 Peter 4:6). That, the whole family of God, in heaven and on earth (Eph. 3:15) could be one in Him.
Jesus did this for us, that we could live unto Him for all eternity, not just after we leave this earth, but even now, while we are still alive in the flesh; we can walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Rom. 8:1). If we walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh, we will not experience any condemnation; not in this life or when we leave this earth for eternity. We have no fear of physical death for death is swallowed up in victory by our LORD and Savior. Romans 8:11 says, "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." We have the Spirit of God dwelling in us, and He will make our mortal bodies immortal, and death will have no power over us. In 1Corinthians 15:50-54, it says,
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
All of this is a work of God in our lives. We did nothing to earn it, of even deserve it. It is by grace that we are saved, and not of ourselves, it is a gift of God to those who love Him (Eph. 2:8,9). God is working in our lives to do His good will and His pleasure. All we must do is believe His Word (Logos), and walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh (Rom. 8:1). "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6).
What does it mean "walk after the Spirit, and not after the flesh"? The flesh is the psuchikos (the natural man) whereas the Holy Spirit is in the new creature in Christ (the inward man). In Romans 7:5, Paul says, "For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death." When we were in the flesh... That was before we were born again of the Spirit and the Word. For in Romans 8:9, he writes, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." We are no longer in the flesh but in the spirit, if the Holy Spirit dwells in us. If we are in Christ, then we are new creatures, not the some as we were before we were born again. We are a new creation, the very life of God dwells in us. We are children of God, created in His likeness and image.
In Romans 7:22, Paul wrote, "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man." The inward man is the new creature in Christ. The Holy Spirit is working within us to strengthen us "in the inward man." Ephesians 3:16 says, "That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man." God is perfecting that which concerns Him. God loves the inward man, that which is of the Spirit and not of the flesh. God made us a new creature with eternal life, and now He is working from our spirit to strengthen us in the inner man. That we can faithfully walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh.
If we walk after the flesh we will die, but if we walk after the Spirit we will experience life and peace. Romans 8:7 says, "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life (Zoe) and peace." This life Paul is speaking of is "Zoe" the God kind of life, not "pusche" soul life. This is the same life Jesus spoke of in John 10:10, saying "I am come that they might have life (Zoe), and that they might have it more abundantly." It is not a life of abundance of worldly things and pleasures, but a life of abundance of peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Rom. 14:17).
When you have peace and joy in your inner man, nothing on the outside of you matters. No matter what is happening around you, you are not in the least bit concerned for the peace and joy inside of you goes beyond all natural understanding.
We delight in the law of God after the inward man. It's a joy to do the will of God, the desire for the things of the flesh are not there. Those things that do not please God do not please us either. For we delight in the law of God which is written in our hearts and minds (Heb. 8:10).
Peter, in writing to the women said, "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." (1 Peter 3:4). The inward man; Peter called it "the hidden man of the heart." We are a new creature in Christ, inwardly, not outwardly, not of the flesh, but of the Spirit. When we walk after the Spirit in the inward man, we are being led by the Holy Spirit which dwells within us. We delight in doing the will of God, and none of His commandments are grievous. It's a joy to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh.
This new creature in Christ is even more than most Christians understand. It is a whole new creature, similar to our outward man of the flesh, but different in operation and purpose. In Romans 1:9, Paul said, "For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son..." He didn't say he serves God with his outward man, nor did he say he serves God from his mind. He said "he serves God with his spirit." Our spirit is a new spirit, that we receive from God when we become born again of the Spirit and the Word. This new spirit is mentioned in Ezekiel 36:26, saying, "...a new spirit will I put within you..." and Jesus mentions it in John 3:6 saying, "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
We don't serve God with our mind of the flesh, the natural man. We serve God with our new created spirit, from our inward man, the hidden man of the heart. Paul, speaking of himself said, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Gal. 2:20). It is not Paul, the outward man that lives, but Christ that lives in Paul. Paul said, he doesn't live by his own will or own power but by Christ Who lives within him.
The inward man is a work of God, not of man. It is created by God, born of incorruptible seed, which is the Word of God, strengthened by the Holy Spirit, perfected by God, set apart for service to God in this life and the worlds to come. The inward man is not limited to the physical world like the outward man of the flesh. God can use this inward man anyplace, anytime He so desires. With, or without our natural knowledge.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5:3, "For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present..." Paul was not there in the natural body of flesh and bones, but he was there in the spirit. In Colossians 2:5, Paul said, "For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ." They may not have seen him, but he was there with them, joying and beholding their order and the stedfastness of their faith. In 2 Corinthians 12:3,4 Paul wrote,
And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
Paul did not know whether he was in the body or out of the body, but he did know that he was caught up into the third heavens. The spiritual body of man can be anywhere with or without our knowing. This spiritual body is a part of our new creature in Christ Jesus. Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." How could that be? What if there were two or three gathered together in His name in Jerusalem and at the same time two or three gathered together in His name in New York, how could He be there? Jesus' spiritual body is not limited to space, or distance. It is spirit, and it can be anywhere at anytime without His physical body being there. Paul said, he was not there in Corinth and Galatia in the natural, but he was there in the spirit.
There are reports all over the world of people being places in the spirit and not in the natural. The spirit man leaves the natural man, and then later returns again. Sometimes the natural man knows nothing about what happened, and other times the natural man is not doing anything else at the time the spirit man leaves and returns. I had such an experience myself back in 1979. I was sitting on my sofa in my livingroom, watching television, when all of a sudden I saw myself standing in the clouds above, looking down at the world below. During this time, while looking down I saw the properties I owned, the business I operated, other people doing things. I saw people in the Olympics, diving from a very high tower and trying to hit a certain spot in the pool below, that they might receive a metal and recognition for their accomplishments. During this time, while still standing in the clouds above the earth, a light shown down on me from heaven and a voice said, "All this will pass away, the only thing that will matter is your relationship to Me."
During this time, while I was up in the clouds, my youngest son came into the house. He asked me for the keys to my automobile, that he might get my tools to work on his bicycle. Yet, as he asked me, he said I would not respond, he couldn't wake me. So, knowing I would not care, he took the keys out of my pocket, and went and opened my automobile, took out the tools, then locked the door and brought the keys back. Again he tried to talk to me, but I wouldn't respond. So he put the keys back in my pocket and went out to work on his bicycle. When I came back to myself in the natural, I looked out the window and saw my two boys using my tools to work on their bicycles. I called to them and asked them how they got the keys to my automobile. My youngest son told me what he did, and that I would not respond to him both times.
I believe my inward man left my body and while I was up in the clouds above the earth, my outward man did not respond to the natural things of this life. I told this to a number of pastors I knew and none of them could explain it to me, until I met a Pentecostal Pastor who understood spiritual experiences. Why would God give me such an experience? God does not want us to be ignorant of spiritual things. God wants us to know, there should be only one thing of importance to us while we are here on earth, and that is our relationship with Him. Through the new birth, we become children of God. From that day on, God is our Father, the LORD is our Savior, Redeemer, the LORD of our life. The Holy Spirit is our Helper, Guide, Comforter, and Teacher. Through the new birth, we have eternal life, and God will do all He can to keep us from evil, that we may be with Him for eternity.
I know a man who was ministering with his wife in a country over seas. God has used this couple multitudes of times in ministering healing to others all over the world. While they were holding a meeting in this certain country, certain individuals came up to them and said, "It's good to see you back, last year when you were here many of us received healing for our bodies"! Their response was, "This is the first time we were in this part of the world, we were never here before this." They said, "Yes you were, we were healed, and it was the two of you who prayed for us." This caused questions in the minds of this man and his wife. So they asked, "can you recall the date, when we were here"? And they gave them the date and time of the meetings when they were healed. After checking back on their schedules for the previous years, it was verified, that at the time these people said they were there, they were half-way around the world ministering in another country. Their schedule proved, in the natural, in their natural bodies they were never in that part of the world before. What happened? Why did someone say they were there, when they know they weren't?
Some time later the LORD showed them how this could be. This man said he was laying on his bed praising the LORD, when all of a sudden he saw his spiritual body rise up above the bed. He looked down and saw his natural body lying on the bed, then he looked up from his natural body and saw his spiritual body above him. He said, his natural body and his spiritual body both looked identical to each other. He couldn't tell the difference between the two. This was not the first time the LORD took him out of his natural body into another place. But it was the first time he saw both his natural body and his spiritual body at the same time. Then he understood, how he could be ministering in one country in the natural body and in another country in his spiritual body at the same time. God does not want us to be ignorant of spiritual things (1 Cor. 12:1).
Recently, I met another man, who travels around the world preaching the gospel. When I mentioned the above incident, he said to me, "I had a similar experience, I saw my body about seven feet above me. I looked down at my physical body and saw it, then I looked up at my spiritual body and saw it. I did this a number of times, looking back and forth between the two."
This same man told me of another person, who said, "while he was praying one day the Holy Spirit said to him `I'm going to take you to a certain country and certain city.'" The man thought in his mind, that's good, but when? Many months later this man was in that particular country and city when the people come to him and told him how that he had been there months ago and held five meetings, five nights in a row. God did great things during those meetings, and they were glad to see him back again. After getting the information from these individuals he found out that they said he was there the very same day the Holy Spirit said to him, "He was taking him to this certain country and certain city." Here he was waiting for the Holy Spirit to bring to pass that which He had spoken to him, while all the time it had already taken place, starting the same day the Holy Spirit spoke to him.
When the Holy Spirit says "He is going to do something," we do not have to try to help the Holy Spirit out, just let Him do whatsoever He said He will do. To many Christians are trying to do God's work for Him. God wants to do His own will, using us as His vessels. God works through our new creature in Christ, the inward man. The outward man, may or may not even know what is happening with the inward man. It's all God, and His will, not our will of the flesh.
There is a report of a pastor in Soul Korea. He was in a small town trying to establish a new church in a certain city. The chief spiritual leader over the town did not like him there preaching Jesus to his people. Therefore, after trying different ways to convince him to leave, and he still wouldn't leave; the chief spiritual leader challenged this pastor, saying, if your Jesus is greater than our god, then there is a woman, bedridden at a certain location in the town. If your Jesus can heal her, then I will leave this town and you can remain. But, if your Jesus doesn't heal her by a certain day, then I will come with all the towns people and kill you.
Every day this pastor went to this woman's house to pray with her, but she did not want any prayer, and she did not want anything to do with Jesus. He still kept going to the woman's house, and she kept telling him to leave her alone and not pray for her.
The evening before the last day this pastor had a night vision. He saw a serpent come into his bedroom, stuck it's head up ready to strike. He spoke the name of Jesus against the serpent with no avail. He pled the blood of Jesus over himself and nothing stopped the serpent from coming closer. Then the Holy Spirit started giving him Scriptures to quote over the serpent. Each time he quoted a Scripture verse the serpent sunk down a little. Over and over he kept quoting Scriptures over the serpent, and finely the serpent lay on the floor. He got out of bed and crushed the serpents head with his foot.
Early that morning he heard a lot of noise and looked out the door. He saw a lot of people coming down the street toward his house. His first thought was that the chief spiritual leader had gotten all the towns people together and were coming to get him. But he noticed there was a woman leading the group. She was saying something but he couldn't make out what she was saying. When she got closer to him he heard her saying something like this, "we want your Jesus, we want your Jesus!" Then she said to him "don't you remember me, I'm the woman you were praying for. You came into my house last night and prayed for me and I got healed." He said to her, "no, I wasn't in your house last night, I was here in my house all night." She said, "I know you were there, I saw you, you came in and laid hands upon me and I was healed." "Can't you see, I am healed." "We want your Jesus, we want your Jesus!"
As a result of that night, the chief spiritual leader of the town left the town and they tore down his altar and place of worship and built a church in the same place. God can use your new created spiritual body to take you places anywhere in the world to minister to others. Your new spiritual body belongs to God. The new you, that new creature belongs to God. He made you a new creature in Christ. You belong to Him, and He is God over all creation. What God does is God's business, and we should always be in a position for God to use us as He desires.
There are many testimonies of Christians being used of God in other locations all over the world, yet they did not go there in their natural body of flesh and bones, but they were there in the spirit. God also uses people in visions and dreams to help others, especially those of the family of God.
The apostle John was in the spirit on the Lord's day. While in the spirit, receiving revelation, he said, "And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Rev. 19:10). Again in Revelation 22:9 it says, "Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God." In both of these incidents John thought these were angels, but they said they were fellow servants of the prophets, who have gone before us. God used Moses and Elijah to minster to Jesus on the mount of transfiguration. These are all a part of the family of God, even though they are no longer in their bodies of flesh and bones, they are still a part of the family. Eternity is forever, eternal life is forever. We belong to God's family, it makes no difference if we are in the flesh or in the spirit, God can still use us for His glory.
I had an incident in my life many years ago. My father had died a year or so before this, and I was in a situation that was more serious than I thought. I kinda knew what was being planed against me, but I kept putting it off, not paying any attention to it. One night, "in a dream" my father came to me and said, "there is trouble ahead, you must do a certain thing right away." I knew it was my father (who had died a year or so before this), appearing to me in a dream, and I obeyed him the very next day. After I did what my father told me to do, I found out how serious the situation was, and all the devils plans were brought to nothing. Nothing could be done by those who Satan used to plan his evil. Why would God use someone in a vision or dream to tell us something of importance? Because God for us, not against us. God will do many things that do not agree with our natural thinking, nor will it agree with the religious people of today, who wants to put God in a box. God is still God, the LORD Jesus Christ is still LORD, and this is their creation. They can and will do their good pleasure, whether we understand it or not.
If we are born again of the Spirit and the Word, we are a part of the whole family of God, in heaven and on earth. We are a new creature, in Christ Jesus. We belong to God, we are His and He can use us whenever and wherever He chooses.
If we walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh (Rom. 8:1), we will experience the power of God working in our lives more then we think He will. He dwells in us and He is working in us to do His good pleasure. The more we yield ourselves over to God the more He can use us. The more time we spend studying His Word and praying in the Spirit the more God will use us.
It's when we decide we want to do our own will of the natural man, the man of the flesh, then God looks for someone else within the body of Christ to use for His glory. It's "setting our affections on things above, not on things on the earth," that make things easier for God to use us. In Colossians 3:1,2, it says,
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
God wants to use you and me to do His good pleasure here on earth. But God is not interested in us doing our own will, He wants to do His will in our lives. Satan tries to duplicate the operations of God for his purpose, to lead people astray from the power and will of God. Satan gets Christians to go off seeking spiritual experiences. They are more interested in spiritual experiences than the will of God. Their will is to have spiritual experiences, thinking it is of God. Satan is right there to give them supernatural spiritual experiences. By this, Satan can draw the children of God away from the Holy Spirit to do the devils work instead of that which God has planned for them. Those who seek spiritual experiences are usually deceived by the demonic spirits. They prophecy, and their prophecies never come to pass. They hear voices and the voices lead them away from the will of God for their lives. They see things in the spirit realm, and think it is God, when it is not God. Some even get into talking to spirits in the spirit realm, thinking they are talking to God or some angel sent by God. They are deceived and don't know it. Some speak to angels, they even know their angels name. This could easily be demonic, for we are not told to seek spirits, or seek to talk to spirits. Angels are spirits, but they are only sent by God to minister to those who are heirs of salvation, not hold two way conversations with people on a regular basis. Those who talk to angels or spirits on a regular basis could be deceived and don't know it.
If we are to stay true to God in every area of our lives, it must be God planning our lives, God working in our lives, and God doing His will in our lives. God did not call us to do His thing our way. God wants to do His own will in our lives, not our will. The number one key to walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh is to study the Word of God and pray in the Spirit. Let God direct every area of our lives. Our will is not His will.
How do we know if it is God, or another spirit? One important thing is that God is Love (Agape). Love never forces, or compels someone to do something they do not want to. Therefore, God never forces or compels His children to do something they do not want to do. To many, they do not understand the ability of God. They do not understand that God has ways to doing things people cannot do.
God is three persons in One, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Son of God does nothing of Himself, He only does the will of God the Father. By this, it is always the Father's will that is being done in heaven. The Son of God is the Word of God. God the Father does everything by His Word, and through His Word. He gives His Word and His Word never fails. The Holy Spirit never speaks of Himself, He only speaks that which He hears of the Father, or the Son. The Holy Spirit never does anything out side of God's Word. Therefore, the Word and the Spirit work together, never alone. The Word does not work without the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit never works outside the Word.
The ability of God goes beyond all human imagination, for the Word is the Creator of all things, including our mind, soul, heart, spirit, body, etc. Every part of our human nature is subject to God at all times. God can use any part of our human nature anytime He so desires (with, or without our permission). He is the potter, we are the clay. The potter can do whatsoever He desires with His clay.
Among those who are born again of the Spirit and the Word, God works from within their spirit, to perfect that which pertains to Him, our new created being. The Holy Spirit within us is only One Person. He is in all of God's children at all times everywhere and anywhere they may be. The Holy Spirit knows the end from the beginning. He knows the past, the present, and the future of every born again Christian at all times. Being, He is God, with all power and ability He never causes confusion, strife, divisions, etc. for they are works of the devil (James 3:14-16).
When God works in a persons life, it is God and not man. God works by His power, and He does not need any other power to work by. God is for us, and not against us (Rom. 8:31). God the Holy Spirit, being one Person, never causes any question as to what He is doing. When God is working we do not question what He is doing. Sometimes we marvel, or cannot believe in our natural mind what is happening, but God is always in control.
Let me give you an example of God working in my life first, then it will be easier to understand. There was a woman in our Sunday School classes who had a situation with finances. Her teen-age daughter normally did babysitting on a regular basis. She also made a lot of long distance telephone calls. She always paid them from her babysitting money. But, during the month of December, the grand-mother of the child came to stay for a whole month, so she did not have any income for that month. Yet, she still made a lot of long distance telephone calls.
After mentioning how faith works a number of times in Sunday School, this woman put her faith to work. The telephone company had given her notice, if her bill was not paid by Tuesday, the phone would be shut off. On Monday morning she told her daughter, "before you go to school call the phone company and tell them I will be in on Tuesday and pay the bill in full." Her daughter asked her, "where are you going to get the money from"? She answered, "Merle is going to loan me the money." Her daughter said, "did you ask him"? She said, "No, I prayed and God is going to answer my prayer."
That day she called me at work and asked, "would you loan me some money"? Before I could think in my mind the words came out of my mouth "Yes, I will." Now that was God, it wasn't me, I didn't have time to think before I answered her question. Then I asked her, "where are you at"? She said, "I'm at work." I said, " what time do you get out of work"? She said, "at 5:00pm." I said to her, "I'll be here until 6:00pm, stop by and I will loan you the money." I didn't think about what I was saying, the words just came out of my mouth. After we got off the phone, my mind started to think about what I said, but from within me came a positive response to my mind "don't worry, God knows what He is doing." At one time during the day the thought come to me, "what if she wants to borrow $1,000, I don't have that much money." But, immediately, from within me came the response, "don't worry about it." God never gives us anything to worry about, He always has everything under control.
When she stopped in after her work, she said to me, "you will loan me the money, won't you"? Without thinking I said, "sure." Them she said, "but you don't know why I need the money." Without thinking I said, "It doesn't matter why you need it." Then she said, "your don't ever know how much I need." Without thinking I said, "It doesn't matter."
Then she told me; she had this telephone bill that had to be paid by the next day. I asked her "how much money do you need," and she said she was short by $135.00. Then I asked her, "how long before your next payday?" She said, "Thursday." I said, "Then let me give you $150.00 so you will have some money for food until Thursday."
When God is working, all things work together for the good of them that love God, who are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28), He will do things His way, not always according to our understanding. Why is it that God could get me to respond to her without me even thinking about what I was saying? When I was born again, I prayed to the LORD, "LORD, You come into my life, and be LORD of my life." A that time I authorized the LORD to use me whenever and wherever He so desired. He is still LORD of my life, and He still has me do things without thinking. Words come out of my mouth without me knowing what I am going to say, until after I hear myself say them. That's how God works through His children to help others within the body of Christ.
Satan works the opposite. Satan puts thoughts in peoples minds first, then tries to get them to speak them out of their mouth for his purpose. With God, the words come first, and the thoughts come last. With Satan the thoughts come first and the words come last. When it's Satan, you end up speaking the thoughts that come to your mind, after you receive the thoughts, not before.
Satan works from our mind, where God works from our spirit. That is why, God can have us speak before we think, where Satan must get us to think before we speak. Satan always puts thoughts in peoples minds, trying to get them to do what he wants them to do. He tries to be like God, but cannot be God.
It is wonderful to understand how God works, and how we can yield over to God and let Him do His will in our lives. Many times, we get real religious, thinking we are doing God some great service, while it is only the flesh wanting attention.
But, God has made His will known throughout the Scriptures. He made one thing clear in Zechariah 4:6, saying, "Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts." Now it is important to understand spiritual things. For what was said in the natural in the Old Testament could be prophecy for us in the New Testament.
Zerubbabel was governor at the end of the seventy-years of captivity. He was the son of Salathiel, who was the son of Jechonias. Jechonias was king of Judah at the time they were taken into captivity. Zerubbabel would have been king, had they not gone into captivity. But, he still held the position of governor while in captivity.
The name Zerubbabel means "called out of babel." Babel is the beginning of man made religious organizations. It began in Genesis 11:4-9, when the people tried to make a name for themselves by building a tower to reach into heaven. God confounded their language, and from that time on it was called Babel.
At the time of Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, the LORD called him to rebuild the temple. The children of Judah were at the end of the Babylonian captivity. The temple is where God dwells, and teaches His people from, sometimes called Zion.
Prophetically speaking, the LORD was saying to those in religious organizations today, "Not by your power, not by your might, but by My Spirit, I will rebuild My temple in your body, and from within you, I will teach you by My Spirit to know the LORD and to serve Him with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength." The LORD is speaking prophetically, saying, "I have called you, I have ordained you, you have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, that you should go forth and bare fruit in My name. It is not what you can do of your ability, but what the LORD will do of His ability, by His Spirit working in you to do His good pleasure."
God wants to work in our lives by the power of His Holy Spirit, not by our religious works of the flesh. In Amos 3:3, it says, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Did you notice, this is not a statement, but rather a question? When the LORD asks a question, He also gives us the answer. Just like in Malachi 3:8, where is says, "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings." Here the LORD asked two questions, and then gave the answer to the questions. In Amos 3:3, the LORD continued to ask questions until verse seven. There He said, "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." This applied to the people of the Old Testament literally, He did make His secrets known to His people by His servants the prophets. But for us today, the LORD makes His secrets known to His servants directly from their spirit, just like He did with the prophets of Old. Today, you do not have to be a prophet to know the secrets of the LORD, for the mysteries of God are revealed to us as we pray in our unknown tongue (1 Cor. 14:2).
In Amos 3:8, the LORD continued to answer the question, of how can to walk together lest they agree. He said, "the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?" When we understand what prophecy is, and how it comes, then we will understand how the LORD will make His secrets known to His servants, His children.
In Job 32:8, the prophet Elihu gave this revelation, "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." All prophecy comes from man's spirit, not his mind. The Holy Spirit speaks from man's spirit by inspiration. Man does not know what he is going to say before the words come out of his mouth. For it is not man giving the utterance, it is God. Sometimes, if man does not respond to the Holy Spirit, it can become physically noticeable. Elihu explained his condition in Job 32:17-22, saying,
I said, I will answer also my part, I also will shew mine opinion.
For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me.
Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles.
I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer.
Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.
For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.
When the LORD wants someone to prophecy and they try to hold it back it could become as though they were having stomach pains, like travailing in child birth, or like food poisoning after eating bad food. You cannot hold it back, you must release it by opening your mouth and speaking it out. That is what the LORD is saying in Amos 3:8, "When the LORD wants you to prophecy, who can hold it back?" You cannot hold it back, it must be spoken out.
Yet, there is another part of prophecy that is not a well known or taught among the Christians today, that is when the LORD puts words in you mouth and you speak them without having any previous knowledge or thought of what you are saying. Take for instance what Peter said in Matthew 16:13-17. The LORD asked His disciples "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?" Some answered this and some answered that, them Peter spoke up and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to Peter, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." Jesus said, "Peter, the words that came out of your mouth did not come from you mind, it is not something you knew of yourself. Those words came from your spirit by the Holy Spirit, they were revealed to you by My Father which is in heaven." This is prophecy, speaking by the Spirit of God within you. Not from your mind, but from your spirit. In Amos 3:8, the LORD is saying, "If the Holy Spirit wants to speak from your spirit, words you have no knowledge of, who can prevent Him from doing His will, from your spirit?"
The answer to Amos 3:3 is, When the Holy Spirit is working in the lives of two people, He will always cause them to be in agreement. "They will agree, for the Holy Spirit will cause them to agree." There is another statement made in Ezekiel concerning the Holy Spirit causing us to agree. That is in Ezekiel 36:27, it 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." It says, "the Holy Spirit within us will cause us to walk in the LORD'S statutes and keep His judgments." It will not be us doing our will, but God doing His will in our lives. God's will, will be done on earth, with or without our help.
How can God cause us to walk in His statues and keep His judgments. God never forces anyone to do anything. Everything must be by man having a willing heart, then God responds. When the LORD wanted Moses to build the tabernacle in the wilderness, He instructed Moses in every detail. He also said in Exodus 35:5, "Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass..." Then in verse 21 it says, "And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD'S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments." Remember, in Zechariah 6:4, it says, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts." How did the children of Israel get their hearts stirred up? It said, "whom his spirit made willing." Proverbs 20:27 tells us, "The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly." Job 32:8 tells us "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." The Holy Spirit works from man's spirit causing him to be willing to do the will of God (Phil. 2:13). When a person is willing to do the will of God it is because the Holy Spirit caused them to be willing. If they are not willing, the Holy Spirit is not at work in their heart. This applies to all areas of our lives, especially of Christians.
Today, the will of God is done by God the Holy Spirit using human vessels to speak from their spirits the Words of God that change people's lives and destroy the works of the devil. Will you let God use you to speak forth the Words He puts in your mouth? Are you willing to die to self, that God can use you?
Let us take another view of how God works in our lives to do His good pleasure. In Ephesians 4:1-3, it says,
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
How can we keep the unity of the Spirit? Of our ability it will not work. For it is talking about keeping the unity of the Holy Spirit. We are to "keep in union with the Holy Spirit." It is the Holy Spirit that will teach us, guide us, help us, and comfort us. It is the Holy Spirit that is working in us to will and to do His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). It is an operation of the Holy Spirit "as the Spirit wills" (1 Cor. 12:11). All things are done by God the Holy Spirit, all we are, are vessels that the Holy Spirit can use for His purpose.
It is knowing how the Holy Spirit works that will enable us to "keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." In Hebrew 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: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people." What does it mean by "my laws"? A law is not just a set of rules of do this and not do that. A law is an order to things that cause everything to work together for the good of all concerned. We have what is called "laws of nature," whereby we have four seasons, spring, summer, fall, and winter. There is one for planting and another for harvesting, divided by times of preparation. These laws of nature are for the good of all who live in these climates.
Therefore, the laws of God that are "put in our minds, and written in our hearts" are for our good, that God can "work all things together for the good of them that love God" (Rom. 8:28). God is for us, not against us (Rom. 8:30), working all things together for our good.
The unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4:3), is not man doing God's thing, it is God working in us to do His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). The Holy Spirit puts His laws (thoughts) in our minds, and writes His ways in our hearts (Heb. 8:10). The Holy Spirit keeps "the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" by causing two to agree together as one. The Holy Spirit is One Spirit, and always gives two or more people the same information at the same time, that they keep the unity in the bond of peace. O' that Christians would only understand the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
I love how the Holy Spirit works among those who love the LORD and yield over to the Holy Spirit. I was at a meeting one time when there were almost two thousand Spirit filled Christians in attendance. By the instructions of the Holy Spirit, one brother started to play the piano and we all started to sin a well known gospel song. We sang about two verses, then the Holy Spirit moved the assembly and we all started to sing in the Spirit (not in English). I listened with my right ear and everyone on my right side was in tune, singing the same syllables, in tune with what was coming out of my mouth. Then I listened with my left ear and it was the same. Everyone was in tune while singing in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit was in control of everyone's voice as they sang in the Spirit.
When the Holy Spirit writes His laws in our minds, our thoughts agree with others around us. There is no confusion, division, envy, or strife; for the Holy Spirit does not cause these works of the devil. I get a thought in my mind, and I say to another Christian, let's do this or let's do that and they say, "that is exactly what I thought we should do." How can two Christians get the exact same thought at the exact same time? If it agrees with the Word of God, it most likely is a work of the Holy Spirit, working all things together for the good of them that love God (Rom. 8:28).
I have gone into a church service and everyone seemed to be in agreement. How can everyone be agreement? It's the Holy Spirit working in and among those who love the LORD. There is never disagreement, division, envy, or strife when the Holy Spirit is in control. He always works all things together for the good of them that love God.
You can know if the Holy Spirit is at work in your life if you pay attention to "how do others react to your suggestions, how do they respond to you, when you make a statement concerning what you feel the two of you should do. Do they respond "immediately" with, that is exactly what I feel we should do? If their response is not "immediate" and in agreement, the Holy Spirit is not in on what it said. If the Holy Spirit is in agreement, He will bring the others in agreement with you. It is not always that you are right, but you will know if you are in tune with "the unity of the Holy Spirit" by their response.
O' what a joy to walk in unity of the Holy Spirit, but what a disaster to be out of the will of God, and walking contrary to the Word of God. God's Word is given as a guideline to follow, to know what is of God and what is not. His commandments are not grievous, but edifying and for our good, that we know the ways of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If we live contrary to His Word, we will experience condemnation. But, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Rom. 8:1).
To walk after the Spirit is to walk in agreement with the Word of God, and follow the instructions given to us in the gospels and epistles of the New Covenant. The Holy Spirit works with us, and in us to do His good pleasure.
Satan uses people to do his dirty work. He uses false operations of the spirit realm to try to get Christians do work for him. Satan wants to control other people's lives by using Christians to do his dirty work. He puts thoughts in people's minds to say "God told me to tell you"! But God never said a word to them, it was the devil.
One day a certain woman called me and said, "Brother Merle, what should I do, God told me I am to marry a certain man, but he doesn't pay any attention to me. I go wherever he is, but he doesn't pay any attention to me." I could have told her right out, that was not God speaking to her. But I tired to be nice to her and I told her, "If God told you to marry him, then let God work out all the details, don't try to do for God what He said He would do." "God, never makes a mistake, He knows the end from the beginning, just be sure it was God that told you that." Many years have gone by, and the man she said God told her to marry is still single, serving God, and has no interest in getting married.
That was the devil! What was the devil trying to do? He was trying to get these two people married, so he could have control in their lives. Not that God has anything against marriage...marriage was God's idea in the beginning. But, God doesn't want someone else telling His children who they should marry. He wants to tell them Himself, He doesn't need the devils help.
If God wants two people to marry, He puts the same desire in the hearts of both people. He doesn't tell one and not the other. He doesn't try to control our lives by using someone else to tell us what He wants us to do. We ought to have enough understanding of God's Word to know if it is God or not. If we do what others say, "God said we should do," we become their servants, not God's servant. When we become their servant, they become our master (Rom. 6:16). We should keep the LORD as our master, and not the devil, working through someone else.
God always, always, puts the same desire in both peoples hearts, not just in one. If both people don't have the same desire in their heart, then it was not God, it was another spirit. God is God, and He does not have a problem speaking to His children, in whom He dwells. God is working in them, from their spirit, the devil is working from outside on their minds. If God is in you, and He is not able to talk to you, then He is not God... Nothing is impossible for God...
When God tells someone He wants them to marry someone, then they ought to have enough knowledge and understanding of God to know that He will also tell the other person. I know a couple who met while attending group meetings with other pastors. God spoke to the man and told him he should marry this woman. This woman already had it in her heart to marry this man, but never said anything to him about marriage or that she even considered it. God had already put the desire in her heart. All the man said to the woman was that God spoke to him about getting married. (God had given the man all the details, the date, the church, the pastor, everything). The woman said, "what did God say to you"? He said to her, "you go talk to God yourself, let Him tell you what He said to me." A day or so later she said to him, "God told me we should get married," and God gave her the exact same date, time, church, pastors name, etc.. They have been happily married for many years.
If God wants two people to do something, He is well able to tell them both the same thing. He doesn't need someone else to do His job. God always puts the same desire in the hearts of both people, before He tells them they should get married. When God's children go around trying to get someone to do what they want them to do, most of the time God in not in on it, it's the devil!
I know of another couple who God brought together, for His purpose. This man was in his late teens and he had a desire in his heart to preach the gospel in other nations. He went to the higher up officials of the denomination he belonged to and got permission to go on a mission trip to another country over seas.
During the time he was getting permission to go on this mission trip he met a young woman of the same denomination. He only went with her a few times. Then he said to her something like this, "I'm planning on going on a mission trip to another nation to preach the gospel, would you like to marry me and go along"? Immediately, the woman said "Yes"! It wasn't a matter of first I must pray about it. It wasn't a question of did she want to go along and preach the gospel. She already had that desire in her heart, it was just a few words spoken by this man that gave her the opportunity to respond to the desire God put in her heart.
Her desire was to preach the gospel too, just as much as it was this man's desire. God put that desire in both their hearts. That desire in the hearts of these two individuals was so great that God used them for many years preaching the gospel together in many nations.
Just to show you how God works by putting the same desire in their hearts, let me tell you what happened following that. The two of them went to another country over seas. There they tried to preach to those who did not use the Bible, but instead used the Koran. When the Bible was mentioned, they pulled out their Koran, and this couple could get no place with them. They failed to accomplish what they went out to do.
They returned to the United States, disappointed. Shortly after they attended a tent meeting of an evangelist who God was using to do great miracles, people were being healed, blind eyes opened, the lame in wheel chairs were coming out walking, etc. This man watched the evangelist as he prayed for the sick and spoke the Word of God over them. He said, "I can do that"! For a few weeks he and his wife attended these tent meetings, observing what that evangelist was doing and how he did it. All it was, was faith and speaking the Word of God over the condition.
Shortly after that this man was laying on his bed one morning, his wife had already left the bedroom when Jesus appeared to him at the foot of his bed. The LORD said to him, I want you to go to the nations of the world, to places were there is no electricity, not running water, etc.
To him, it seemed that it would be no place for his wife and children to go. He went and told his wife that Jesus appeared to him and wanted him to go to these third-world countries and preach the gospel. Immediately his wife said, "I want to go too." He tried to tell her, it was no place for her to go and raise children. But she insisted she wanted to go also. Then he said to her, if you want to go then you talk to the LORD about it.
She started to pray to the LORD, "LORD, I want to go too, I want to go with my husband and preach the gospel also." Shortly after that the LORD appeared to her also. When He did, at first, the LORD offered to give her the best homes to live in, the best schools for her children and take care of her, if she would let Him use her husband to preach in these remote nations of the world. But, she insisted to the LORD, "I want to go with my husband and preach the gospel too"! The LORD then said to her, "You can go also."
This couple have been among some of the greatest evangelists in our age. Their ministry is known world wide. And their children are also preaching the gospel to the nations. They both walked with the LORD in such harmony and power that multitudes, uncountable numbers were healed and mighty miracles were done by the LORD wherever they went. Their hearts desire was that which the LORD put in their heart, and signs and wonders followed them.
They served the LORD together for over a half-century. When this man's wife died, it is said, she had taught so many people how to believe God and His Word that they prayed for her to come back from the dead. Then she died a second time, and they prayed her back again. But, she then said to them, "don't pray me back, I want to go to be with Jesus"! Then she died the third time and left to go to be with Jesus.
God will give us the desires of our heart, and work out all the details, if we will trust in the LORD and do good, delight in His will, and desire to do His will, then let Him bring that desire "He puts in our heart" to pass. Just, love the LORD with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. He is God, and He is well able to do exceedingly above all that you can ask or think in your mind. Let God find the right husband or wife for you, if you desire to be married. Don't try to talk someone into marrying you, and get the wrong partner for life, the outcome will be worse than if you had never married. God cares about your future more than you do, He knows who is best for you and how to bring the two of you together, "without the help of those who think it is their job to help someone else find a mate."
Most of the personal prophecies going around in the body of Christ today are not of God. Other spirits are trying to manipulate and control the lives of others. They operate according to the flesh, and not according to the Spirit. If God wants you to do something, He doesn't leave you with any question, He makes His will known to your inner being. You know, it's not a matter of "I'll have to pray about it, or I have to wait for an answer." Those who have to pray about God's will for their lives don't know the will of God and need to study His Word and find out what He will is. If there is not an immediate response, forget it, most likely God is not in on it.
There are many marriages today among Christians that have failed, because someone said, "God said we should get married." These marriages usually only last a short time, and then they find out they each have a different purpose for being married. The purpose for their marriage was not right from the beginning. God's purpose and plan is from the foundation of the world, and when it is followed in never fails.
Because of poor teaching within the body of Christ by those who live after the flesh and not after the Spirit, many do not understand what God is saying in 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 thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
In this Psalm it says, "he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." When we read this with our natural mind of the flesh, we think of things of the flesh. The flesh loves the world and the things of this world. But the spirit of man loves God and the things of God. Galatians 5:17 tells us, "the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other." God never said He would give you the desires of the flesh... But God did say in Galatians 5:8, "he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption." Is God trying to help us reap corruption? No, God is for us to reap blessings, those spiritual blessings that He promised us, which pertain to life (Zoe) and Godliness.
Therefore, what Psalm 37:3-5 is telling us is that, if we will first "Trust in the LORD with all our heart, our mind, our soul, and our strength," He will supply all our needs, physical and spiritual. Then, if we will delight (become soft and pliable) in the LORD'S will for our lives, "He will put His desires in our heart." If we then commit our ways unto the LORD, and do His will and not our will (John 5:30), He will bring to pass that desire He put into our hearts.
Everything we do, should be the will of God, not the will of man. Every desire of our heart should come from God, and God will bring them to pass. It should be God's will being done in our lives, not our will. It begins with God and ends with God. All we are is the clay, He is Potter. All true ministry work should be, God's desire in our hearts, to do His will, His way. Psalm 127:1 says, "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." Everything we do of our own ability, is vanity, it is of no value to God; it will pass away. When we leave this earth to go to be with the LORD for eternity, we will take nothing with us but our living soul. Everything else will be left behind. That which we permit the LORD to use us for, the desires of our heart that He put there will be remembered forever by God. They are the treasures stored up in heaven in our account (Matt. 6:20). Every time we set our will aside and do His will, we store up treasures in heaven.
God is not interested in our desires of the flesh, He is interested in our love (agape) for Him, and our willingness to lay our lives down to do His will. If God were to give every Christian the desires of their mind, the things of this world that the flesh desires, this world would be just like it was in the time of Noah. The flesh, and the outward man desires the things of this world, but our new creature in Christ, the inward man, seeks the things of God.
Our inward man loves the LORD so much it wants to spend eternity with Him. There is a love for God in our inward man that our outward man cannot understand. If we would bring our outward man into subjection to our inward man the things of this world would not mean anything to us. Sometimes even marriage would not be important for some, for our desire would be to please the LORD, not a husband or wife. The apostle Paul made this statement in 1 Corinthians 7:32-34,
But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.
There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
The desires that the LORD puts in your heart are the desires to please the LORD in every area of your life. Yet, marriage on earth is a part of God's plan for man and woman on this earth; not every man and every woman, but those that have a desire for marriage. For there are some who were born from their mothers womb with no desire to marry. There are some who have of their own choice determined to please God rather then a husband or wife.
It is this second group that Satan attacks, trying to get them to marry some, anyone he can, that they turn their desires to please a man or woman instead of pleasing God. Why are there so many Christians going around saying, "God told me we should get married"? And another group of Christians saying, "God told me to tell you, you should marry so and so"? Sex is the primary way sin and death are transferred from one individual to another. If Satan can get two people involved in sex, he has a avenue to destroy future generations.
It was through sex between Adam and Eve that sin and death passed upon everyone, worldwide. 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." Now, Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil before Adam did. Eve was in the transgression just a much as Adam was. In 1 Timothy 2:14 it tells us, "And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." It wasn't that Eve did not sin. But the sin of Adam passed on to all generations "through the blood line," male to male unto all generations. Through marriage, people become involved sexually. Through sex spirits transfer from generation to generation.
Yet, it doesn't have to be only through the blood line. The transfer of spirits can take place by contact only, sex or no sex. Physical contact makes it possible for spirits to transfer from one person to another. Through sexual relations many different spirits transfer from one person to another. AIDS is one example. AIDS started with people having wrong motives for sex. The AIDS spirit then was able to transfer from one person to another. Yet, it is not limited just to the act of sex, or even just the two people involved. Women who come sexually in contact with men who have an AIDS virus (spirit) can have children born with an AIDS virus (spirit), the child having never become involved itself with another person. Why is it? Because spirits transfer wherever sin is involved and they can remain dormant for years and then manifest. One person can be the carrier of spirits to other people without showing any sign of the spirit. Women can carry the spirits of one man to another man without showing any sign of the spirit they carry. Not just AIDS, but many other spirits.
Now, there are all kinds of spirits that operate in this world. Spirits control two areas of human life, physical and mental. It's the mental area Satan is most interested in. The mental attitude of one individual in a marriage affects the whole marriage. If Satan can influence one person who has an attitude which does not agree with another person to marry, he can cause the other person to change their attitude (especially toward serving the LORD). Many good Christians who have a call of God on their lives to preach the gospel got married to the wrong mate, and the plan of God for their life was interrupted by the influence of the person they married. We all know many people like this, before they got married they loved the LORD and wanted to do His will, but their marriage changed things, and they now have other interests. This is a work of spirits, Satan being the master behind all such operations. This was the problem in Genesis 6:1,2. Those who were at one time led by the Spirit of God, did not let the Holy Spirit find a mate for them, but instead chose for themselves those who they desired (based upon outward appearances, not inward).
Spirits transfer thoughts in the spirit realm from one soul (psuche) to another. If they can continue to inject their thoughts into an individuals mind they gain control of that individuals mind, and his or her actions. Marriage gives the evil spirits more time to inject thoughts that will eventually control the action of an individual. King Ahab was married to Jezebel. Even though Ahab humbled himself before the LORD he could not keep a commitment to the LORD as long as he was married to Jezebel. The spirits that worked through Jezebel controlled Ahab.
If Satan can influence a man or woman as to who they should marry he can control their future, and even persuade them to reject the LORD, or the leading of the Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:1,2). That is why we hear so many Christians who think themselves spiritual saying "God told me to tell you...." They think they are hearing from God, but it is not God, it's another spirit. God knows how to talk to His children Himself, and doesn't need the devils help. Isaiah 54:13 declares "And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children." In 1 John 2:26,27 it says,
These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
There are many within the body of Christ who Satan uses to seduce others saying "God told me to tell you"! But the anointing within you will bare witness with that which the LORD is saying to you. If you do not have an immediate witness within yourself, it most likely is not of God but another spirit..
If someone comes to you and says, "God told me to tell you who you should marry" and your immediate response is not "Yes," then, most likely it is not God. God makes His will known to each individual from within their new created spirit. The desire of God is already in each child of God, it's only a matter of each individual knowing the will of God for their lives. And, most important, knowing that God will make His will known to them from inside their human spirit, not from outside by some other voice.
When God reveals something to one of His Children, it is usually "a positive, knowing," within the person. A knowing that cannot be explained. You know beyond all doubt, yet you cannot explain how you know. That is the way God makes His will known to His Children.
Satan does all he can to get our eyes on the flesh, and the things of this world, and off of the LORD and eternal life (Zoe). Colossians 3:1,2 reminds us,
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
God is more interested in our inward man and obtaining eternal life with Him in heaven than He is in our outward man of the flesh and our desires for this world and the things of this world. In 1 John 2:15-17 it says,
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
God would not tell us this, if it were not important. These are the areas of life (psuche) in the flesh that the serpent tempted Eve with in the garden of Eden. These are the same areas of our natural life (psuche) that Satan tempts all Christians with. These are the temptations we must overcome.
If you are born again, you are a new creature in Christ Jesus. Let us get a good look at this new creature in Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 the King James Bible says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Another translation says, "So there is a new creation when any man is in Christ. The old life has passed away, behold, the new is come" (MNT). Another translation says, "Whosoever, then is in Christ, is a new creation...." (Con.). Another translation says, "Therefore, if any one is in union with Christ, he is a new being...." (TCNT.). Another translation says, "For if a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether...." (Phi.). Which ever translation you use, you will find they all agree. We are a new creature in Christ, the old creature is passed away or "passing away." The same words in the Greek translated "passed away" have also been used in the future tense, such as in Matthew 24:35, where Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away (pareelthen), but my words shall not pass away (pareelthen)." The same applies to the words, "are become new." This same Greek word is used in Matthew 5:45, which says, "That ye may be (pareelthen) the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." The words "ye may be" are translated from the same Greek word "pareelthen." What bases would we have to say, it could mean future tense? Look at Hebrews 2:8,9, which says,
Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
Satan is defeated. Jesus defeated him on the cross of Calvary for everyone who is in Christ. Yet, we see Satan working in the lives of those who are born again of the Spirit. Does that mean that Satan is not defeated? Does that mean that Jesus did not do what the Bibles says He did on Calvary? No, that means the work Jesus came to do "is finished" "is complete" yet, because we see with our natural eyes and hear with our natural ears, etc. we do not understand who we are in Christ. We are what the Word of God declares. We must renew our minds on the Word of God and walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. The new creature in Christ is the inward man, while the old man, the outward man is still around to cause us to walk after the flesh.
When we put off the outward man of the flesh (die), they will bury our bodies, and they will turn to dust. But the new creature in Christ will go to be with Jesus, forever and ever. For Jesus said in John 5:24, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." This new birth passed us from death unto life (Zoe). In John 6:40, Jesus said, "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." When we leave this earth for the last time, because we have eternal life, we will be with the LORD forever, He will raise us up on that last day and we will be forever with the LORD. The outward man is perishing, but the inward man is renewed day by day (2 Cor. 4:16).
What does this mean to us. God does not see us as we see ourselves, "in the flesh." We are still worldly minded, minding the things of this earth, whereas God is interested in us as a heavenly creatures, spending eternity with Him.
God cannot have fellowship with sin, so God did away with your sins on the Cross of Calvary. Now He did this before you were born, before you did anything good or bad, you were not even born in the flesh yet, when God nailed your sins to the Cross, and washed them away with the blood of the Lamb.
Now, sin brought with it death, physical death , of the flesh, and spiritual death of the soul. 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." Before we were born into this world, sin and death were already in our bloodline from Adam on down throughout all the ages. This new birth brought to us a New Creature in Christ, who destroyed sin in the flesh on the Cross of Calvary.
Now God doesn't see you as a sinner, He sees the new you as a saint in Christ Jesus. You are a new creature, created in righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:24). Sin and death were dealt with on the Cross, so that you could live unto God in true holiness and righteousness. God has a plan for your life, and only you can prevent God from fulfilling that plan. If you will believe the gospel, the good news of what God has done for you on the Cross of Calvary, a peace and joy will come into your heart and you will desire to be with Jesus all day long, every day of your life.
There is nothing in your new created being that is not pleasing to God. It's not who you are that counts it's who you love and obey. If you love Jesus and all He is to you, He will take away all the desires that are not pleasing to God. He is "the Almighty God," the Creator of all things. He is well able to change your life to be like Him in everything you do.
Is there still sin in your outward man of the flesh? God says there is. In 1 John 1:8, it says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." What are we to do about the sin in our flesh? "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). Then, 1 John 1:9 also tells us, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
The apostle Paul said in Romans 7:15, "For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I." Then Paul said,
Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin
There is 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 (Rom. 7:16-8:2).
We all have the same problem, there is none without sin in the flesh, but praise God for Jesus, for He hath made us free of the law of sin and death, that we could walk after the Spirit by the inward man, and not after the flesh by the outward man.
If you are born again of the Spirit and the Word, then you are already created in true righteousness and holiness. In 1 Corinthians 6:11 it says, "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." Before you were born again, you were among those who got involved in the sins of the flesh. But now you are washed in the blood of Jesus, you are sanctified, you are justified in the name of the LORD Jesus, and this is all done by the Holy Spirit, not your doing. You are His habitation. He is your LORD and you are His very own. You belong to Him, and He loves you. He loves you, the inward man, the new creature in Christ. He doesn't love sin in the flesh, therefore He condemned sin in the flesh that you could live unto Him in true holiness.
You are born again in righteousness and holy before God in the inward man, but the outward man is still in this world where Satan attacks the children of God. Jesus said in John 16:33, "... In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." When you have righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17), nothing in this world can disturb you. No matter what happens, the joy of the LORD is your strength.
Look at the inward man from another view... There are people living today who do not have certain physical parts of their body to do certain things, yet they continue to do them. For instance, I know a man who has no vocal cords in his throat yet he can speak and sing just a good as you and I. This is not just something that happens once in a while, but it has been that way for many years. Years ago he was in an automobile accident and as a result his face and throat were damaged. The doctors were able to do a certain amount through surgery, but they were not able to restore his vocal cords. For years now he has been going around the world preaching the gospel with no vocal cords.
How is this possible? The inward man has the ability to speak without vocal cords. The inward man is born of the Spirit, and "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). God is God, and well able to do things supernaturally. By the power of God, by the Spirit of God, this man can speak without vocal cords. It is not the outward man that is doing the speaking, it is the inward man that is doing the speaking.
In Matthew 13:10,11 it says,
And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
The LORD does not want us to be ignorant of spiritual things. He wants us to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God. How God does His will here on earth through His children. In answer to the disciples question, Jesus quoted what was spoken by Isaiah. Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 13:13-15,
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
"There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body" (1 Cor. 15:44). It is from this man's spirit, through man's spiritual body that the Holy Spirit operates. Not as man wills, but as God wills. If we make ourselves available to the Holy Spirit, and let Him do His will in our lives, we can and should operate from our new created inward man, not our old natural man of the flesh.
There are two kinds of people in the world today, there are those whose spiritual eyes are darkened, and their spiritual ears are dull of hearing, because their heart is waxed gross. These will not understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God. But those who heart is right, the Holy Spirit will at times open there spiritual ears to hear, and their spiritual eyes to see. When He does this the gifts of the Spirit can operate, not in the natural way, but through the inward man; they will see into the spirit realm things they cannot see with their natural eyes. They may see demonic spirits, or they may see physical needs of others.
I know a man who said, he went to a meeting and when looking at woman close to him, it was as if he had x-ray eyes. He saw someone's hip socket. The socket had a dark substance all around the ball joint. He started to pray and said, "Oh, God, oh God --what is this? Do You want me to pray for this woman? What in the world do You want me to do?" Then he leaned toward the elderly woman and said, "Ma'am, you have trouble with your hip." All of a sudden the word came "arthritis," and he said, "It's arthritis in your right hip!" She studied him for a long moment and then said, "That's what the doctor tells me, young man." He got excited and said "Glory to God!" The woman looked at him and said, "Well, I beg your pardon!" He said to her, "Oh, I mean, God wants to heal you, Ma'am. May I pray for you?" She thought he meant sometime later, but as he looked down at her he saw that one leg was almost six inches shorter than the other. He thought "Oh, no, this is horrible!" He got down and closed his eyes and shouted, "In the name of Jesus...!" and then continued to pray. God healed her instantly.
How could he see with what he called x-ray vision? Not by his natural eyes, but by the eyes of his inward man, that man that is born of the Spirit. I know of another person, who for some reason has no natural eyeball, but he has a glass eye ball that he puts in for looks. Yet, his vision is 20-20. He can see without the glass eye or with it, it makes no difference. How can he see? With his new inward man, not he old outward man.
I know of another person in whose retina in his eyeball is completely black. The eye doctors say it is impossible for that eye to see. Yet, the person can see just as good with that eye as he can see with the other eye, which does not have a black retina. Why is it? He can see with his spiritual eyes, and his natural eyes are not needed. This is God and not man, God gives him the ability to see with his spiritual eyes, things in the natural, just as you and I see with our natural eyes.
God is God, and nothing is impossible for God (Matt. 19:26, Luke 1:37). God wants to use His children in supernatural manifestations of His Spirit. But we must always be aware, do not try to have spiritual experiences according to your will. Let God perform His supernatural experiences through you, as He wills. Those who seek supernatural experiences usually end up with demonic activities in their lives. By this, they hinder God from working according to His will.
IT MUST BE GOD
Psalm 127:1 says, "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." In Ecclesiastes 3:14,15 it says,
I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.
It's not what man does of his ability that counts, but what God is able to do through man. Even with Jesus, it was not what Jesus did of His own will of the flesh while here on earth, it was what God did through Jesus that counts. Jesus did not do His own will of the flesh, He did only the will of God the Father (John 5:30).
It is our willingness to let God do what He wants to do in our lives that makes the difference. It is not what we can do for God it is what God can do through us. He is the potter we are the clay. Isaiah 64:8 says, "But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand." Romans 9:21 says "Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?" How can we become a vessel of honor, and not a vessel of dishonor? We must surrender our will to God, then He can work a work in our lives that is pleasing to Him. Not our will, but His will must be done.
Let's look at a few in the Bible that surrendered to the will of God in their lives. I love the story of Enoch in Genesis 5:21-24. Enoch walked with God three-hundred years and God took him. How could Enoch walk with God? There is only one way to walk with God, that is to agree with God, in His Word. Amos 3:3 says, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?"
Whatsoever we do in this life is not dependent upon what we do in the natural. It is dependent upon what happens in the spiritual. Will we accept the Word of God as it is written or will we try to change the Word of God to suit our own desires? God's Word stands forever, it cannot change and will not change. It's up to us individually to accept it or reject it. We must learn to agree with God, even concerning those things God says about us. For God sees things from the beginning to the end, and calls those things that be not as though they were (Rom. 4:17).
Look what the LORD said about Job. Job 1:8 says, "And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?" If you read the book of Job with your religious eyes, you will say, the LORD was wrong in what He said about Job. Yet, the LORD sees things that be not as though they were. The LORD sees the end from the beginning. When God looks at His children He also sees the cross of Calvary. He sees the blood of Jesus, He sees the body of Jesus, He sees the obedience of Jesus, who paid the price for our sins and iniquities. He sees us with Christ in God (Col. 3:3).
When the LORD looked at Enoch, He also saw the cross. When the LORD looked at Job, He also saw the cross. The Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). It was finished from the foundation of the world, and it is still finished. If you are in Christ, then you have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. If you have been you still are, God has not changed, and He will not change (Mal. 3:6, Heb. 13:8).
Yet, there are those who are vessels of honor and those who are vessels of dishonor. Which one we will be depends upon our walk with the LORD. In 2 Timothy 2:19-21 it says,
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
How can we do this, by our works of righteousness or by His work of righteousness? Only by His righteousness, our righteousness is as filthy rags. Always seek His righteousness (Matt. 6:33). The key to seeking His righteousness is deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow after Jesus. Self denial must come before God can do a work in our lives. Unless God does the work all our labor is in vain.
Learn to recognize how God is working in your life to do His good pleasure. When words come out of your mouth that you had not thought of, or had no intention of saying, check them out with the Word of God and see if it agrees with the written Word. God speaks from your spirit, out of your mouth, if your heart is right before Him. It makes no difference if you are born again at the time or not, God can still speak from your spirit. In Job 32:8 it says, "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." Elihu was not born again of the Spirit, yet God spoke from his spirit. Elihu was obedient to the Spirit of God speaking from his spirit. The amazing thing is this, it is not man, but the Holy Spirit. God can even speak out of the mouth of a donkey (Num. 22:30). God puts words in our mouths and we speak, even without knowing until we hear ourselves speaking. It's not us, it's God!
God works in our lives by a "knowing." It is not something we learned by the natural means, it is "an instant knowing" that cannot be explained. We know something, we are positive what we know, yet we have no understanding how we knew. We can know things in the future and they come to pass. Yet, we have no idea how we knew, we just knew.
This knowing is a work of God in our lives, it is similar to the gifts of the spirit (word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits). We receive the information, it is accurate, and it comes to pass, not by something we knew, but by a supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
The more humble we stay, the more we refuse to take the glory for what God does, the more we will notice these things happening in our lives. Satan tries to take advantage of what God does in our lives and move us over to taking the glory for ourselves. Isaiah 42:8 says, "I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images." Those who receive glory for what God does in their lives will find themselves getting less and less manifestations of God in their lives.
Also, those who take pride in themselves, and justify their actions will find God doing less and less in their lives. God works through servants, not pride. Not those who think themselves somewhat whatever they think they are.
God may start using a person quite often, but as they try to take the glory, or receive recognition from others, Satan will enter in and try to manifest in false manifestations. I know a few Christians who have gone over to the other side, and took the glory for themselves. Over a period of years, the true anointing left them and a false anointing took over. You can recognize this when a person tries to justify their actions. They say, "I didn't do anything wrong." "It's not anything I did." There will be a lot of "I's" in their conversations. A lot of "I this" and "I that," when you speak to them. Another thing you will notice is that they always want attention. They cannot stay quiet before the LORD when they are around other people. They always want attention, and to be recognized. May times you will notice they have "pity parties" and they want you to join them. These are all symptoms that you can notice among those who have left the faith, and given head to seducing spirits.
There is still hope for them if they will repent, and return to the LORD as their source of every need. Always looking to the LORD, and not to others for their need. If they are always looking to others, then they have gone back to the spirits of this world, not the Holy Spirit. They think naturally, and speak as the world speaks. Their faith is not in God and His Word, but in their ability to convince others to help them accomplish that which they desire.
GOD IS FOR YOU
NOT AGAINST YOU
You did not choose Him, but He chose you (John 15:16). No man comes to God except by Jesus (John 14:6). No man comes to Jesus except the Father draw him (John 6:44). No man can become born again without the help of the Holy Spirit, it is not the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but by the Holy Spirit (John 1:13).
God is for you, and wants you to spend eternity with Him forever in heaven (John 6:40). God knows you have sinned, and were not able of yourself to make yourself perfect (Eph. 2:8,9). God knows that there were none righteous, except Jesus (Rom. 3:10). God knows that we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).
God knows that of yourself, you can do nothing (John 15:5). Therefore, God wants to do His perfect will in your life (Phil. 2:13). God started a good work in your life, now He wants to complete it (Phil. 1:6). It is not your works God desires, it is your availability to let Him do His will in your life.
All works of the flesh are contrary to the work of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:17). God wants to purge your conscience of dead works, by the blood of Jesus Christ (Heb. 9:14), that you might live unto Him in true holiness. That the works that are done in your life are the works of God and not of man, that God is in control of every area of your life, body, soul, and spirit (1 Thes. 5:23). God wants to be your God, and you should be His son or daughter (2 Cor. 6:16, Heb. 8:10).
God wants you in heaven with Him for all eternity, giving praise and honor and glory unto the LORD (Rev. 5:12). Therefore, God made it all possible through His Son, Jesus Christ, that you could fulfill the call of God in your life, and inherit eternal life with Him.
Jesus came in the flesh, and destroyed the works of the devil for you, He put him to open shame and stripped him of all power and authority. Jesus said,
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death (Rev. 1:18).
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matt. 28:18-20).
The Bible says,
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it (Col. 2:13-15).
For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted (Heb. 2:18).
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen (Heb. 13:20,21).
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you (1 Pet. 5:10).
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2).
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
HOW TO KNOW THE TRUTH
It is important that we use the Scriptures to find the truth in every area of our lives. We can know the truth, and walk in it if it is done according to the Word of God, not the words of men. Jesus said in John 5:39, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." There are many today who have not searched the Scriptures for the truth, but have listened to others and followed their teachings. This is not good, for the Scriptures explain themselves and the truth is revealed by the Holy Spirit from the Scriptures. Spiritual experiences should not take the place of the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:15-21).
To know the truth, it is necessary that we follow the plan of God laid out in the Scriptures, Old and New Testament. In John 6:45, Jesus made this statement, " It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God..." Jesus said it is written in the prophets. Then we should go back to the prophets and see what it says. Isaiah 54:13 says, "And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children." Jeremiah 31:34 says, "And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." Micah 4:2 says, "And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem."
We know that the Old Testament was written in literal form for the Old Testament people, and prophetic form for us of the New Testament. Knowing that Jesus said, "we shall all be taught of God," let us go back to the Old Testament and see what it says about "how we will be taught of God." In Isaiah 28:9-13 it says,
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
This tells us that the Holy Spirit is going to teach us "with stammering lips and another tongue." What does that mean? Jesus said in Mark 16:17, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues." Then we see in Acts 2:4 it says, "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Then, speaking of tongues, 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." What kind of mysteries could this be? There are no mysteries that God does not know, therefore, it must be mysteries we do not know. Then in 1 John 2:27 it tells us, "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." Also, Jesus said in John 14:26, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." And in John 16:13, Jesus said, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."
All of these Scripture verses tell us that it is the Holy Spirit that will teach us, not man. We need to get our information directly from the source of information, "the Holy Spirit." He is to be our teacher according to the written Word of God. There is no other source of information greater than that of God Himself. God wants to teach His children the truth, the right way, and not another.
There are many other Scripture verses throughout the Bible that can help us to understand "how the Holy Spirit will teach us." But, mainly, we need to understand, "it will not be people teaching people," but the Holy Spirit teaching the people of God. We are His children, adopted by the Father in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:4,5). That means it's God's responsibility to teach His Children, and He will if they will follow His instructions in the Bible.
It is now well known throughout the mainline body of Christ, that by speaking in tongues (praying in the Spirit), we receive revelation knowledge of the Word of God that others will not received. The apostle Paul, who wrote a large part of the New Testament said in 1 Corinthians 14:18, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all." If Paul spoke in tongues more than any other in the church at Corinth, then that alone should be a clue as to how we can receive wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of the Word of God. Therefore, the more we speak in tongues, the greater the revelation knowledge we will receive.
But, there is a major requirement that Jesus spoke of concerning our fellowship with Him, that is, in Matthew 16:24, and Luke 9:23 it says, "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." We cannot follow Jesus without self-denial. Those who do not deny themselves can easily be deceived by another spirit. Jesus also made statements like this, "For whosoever will save his life (psuche) shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life (psuche) for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it" (Mark 8:35). Notice the life Jesus is talking about is soul life, not eternal life (Zoe). When we loose our soul life here on earth, we operate from our new creature in Christ and we live by eternal life instead of by natural life. Therefore, we must be willing to die, even physically for the Word of God rather than gain worldly things or pleasures in this life. That is where most Christians miss it. They are willing to go a long way with the LORD, but not unto death of the natural life.
But, praise the LORD, the rewards are great for those who will follow the instructions of Jesus and be taught by the Holy Spirit in all things. The more we speak in tongues, the more the Holy Spirit will reveal to us from the Word of God.
Not only that He will teach us, but the Scripture says, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6). Then in Philippians 2:13, it says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." God the Holy Spirit will work from within us to do His good pleasure. That tells us that it is God that is going to do His will in our lives, not us. God will perfect that which concerns Him, if we will be obedient to follow the instructions of Jesus and the written Word of God, especially the New Testament.
Therefore, I would encourage everyone to deny themselves, and pray in the Spirit as many hours a day as they possibly can, not neglecting the studying of the Word of God on a daily basis. I know from experience that we can pray in the Spirit and read the Word of God at the same time. The more we do that, the more revelation of the Word of God we will receive (1 Cor. 14:2) Jude 1:20 says, "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost."
If you are born again and do not speak with new tongues as Jesus said you should, you can. Jesus said to His disciples in Acts 1:5, "John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."
These disciples had already received the Holy Spirit when Jesus breathed upon them, the same day that He rose again from the dead (John 20:22). Now, forty days later, Jesus said they should also be baptized with (submerged in) the Holy Spirit. Then in Acts 1:8, Jesus said, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Notice, Jesus did not say "in them," He said "upon you." Upon you means, "baptized, submerged in" the Holy Spirit. There are two positions the Holy Spirit takes in our lives. He comes within us (filled), and upon us (baptized).
This happened ten days later. In Acts 2:1-4 it tells us,
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Notice, "they were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke with tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance." Yet, that was not all that happened, for the Holy Spirit was also "upon them."
In Acts 10, while Peter was speaking at Cornelius' house, it says,
While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word
And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? (Acts 10:44-47).
Notice, the Holy Spirit "fell on all them," that's baptism. Peter explained later in Acts 11:15-17,
And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.
Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
Again, Peter said "the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning." Fell on them, is baptism. They were baptized in the Holy Spirit. You too, can be baptized with the Holy Spirit and speak in other tongues as the Spirit gives you utterance.
Say a prayer like this, believing in your heart what God has promised you in His Word.
"Jesus, You said in Mark 16:17, that in Your name I can cast out devils.
Satan, in the name of Jesus, I cast you out of my mind. You have no authority over my mind. My mind is clear of all demonic oppression in Jesus' name.
Father, according to Your Word in Luke 11:13, You promised me the Holy Spirit if I ask. Father, I am now asking You to give me the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. I receive the Holy Spirit from You now, in Jesus' name."
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT
OF PRAYING IN TONGUES
The most important benefit is that it is not you that is doing the praying all by yourself, it is the Holy Spirit making intercession for you from your spirit, through your new created "inward man." Whether it is a ministry gift, or a personal tongue, the Holy Spirit is still involved.
There are two manor types of tongues mentioned in the New Testament. There are the ministry gifts of tongues (divers kinds of tongues - diversities of tongues) including the interpretation of tongues (1 Cor. 12:10, 28,30), and there is the personal tongue (unknown tongue) (1 Cor. 14:2,4).
In Acts 2:4, it says, "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." From within their new creature in Christ, the inward man, they began to speak as the Spirit gave them utterance. This was a ministry gift in operation. The first time that the gifts of "tongues and interpretation of tongues" came forth from the 120 disciples gathered together in the upper room. They spoke in tongues (glossa) as the Spirit gave them utterance. At the same time the Holy Spirit gave others the interpretation of tongues in their own language (Acts 2:6-12). Yet, the Holy Spirit did not give the interpretation to everyone present, therefore, those who did not receive the interpretation, "mocking said, These men are full of new wine" (Acts 2:13).
The gifts of tongues and interpretation of tongues (diverse kinds of tongues) are as the Holy Spirit wills (1 Cor. 12:11). The Holy Spirit searches the hearts of men, and gives to each according to their heart, according to His will. If someone does not receive the interpretation, that does not mean their heart is not right before God, it only means the Holy Spirit is still in control of who will receive the interpretation and who will not. But those who mock the gifts of the Spirit could be in great danger.
I was in a church one time when there were about 200 people in attendance. Following the worship service the pastor gave a tongue, then he also gave the interpretation. Following the service two different women came to the pastor and told him, "the tongue and the interpretation were exact, for they heard the interpretation in English while he was giving the tongue." Yet, there were about 200 people there that spoke English, and these two were the only one's who said they heard the interpretation while he was giving the tongue. That shows that the Holy Spirit controls the tongue and the interpretation according to His will.
The ministry gifts of the Spirit are as the Holy Spirit wills, not as man wills. Some of the ministry gifts of tongues and interpretation of tongues include intercession, and also, speaking directly in another language of which the one speaking never learned that language in the natural, yet speaks fluently in that language. Many times, they have no knowledge of their own that they are actually speaking in another language, for it is the Holy Spirit that is giving them the ability to speak. Actually, it is the Holy Spirit using their "inward man" to do the speaking. It is the new creature in Christ that is doing the speaking, as the Holy Spirit gives them utterance. There are other times when it is necessary for the Holy Spirit to give an interpretation of the utterance (diverse kind of tongues), that others may know what is being spoken from the "inward man."
The ministry gifts of diverse kinds of tongues never comes from the outward man, it always comes from the spirit of man, by way of the new creature in Christ, the inward man, the hidden man of the heart. Whereas, the gift of interpretation of tongues can be received by the natural man, the outward man. A person does not have to be born again to receive the interpretation of tongues, it is as the Holy Spirit wills. But, there is no evidence in the Scriptures where any person who is not born again ever spoke in the true tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Note; there have been false tongues uttered by persons not born again, these false tongues are Satanic).
Therefore, the ministry gifts of tongues can be spoken in such as there is a need for interpretation, or they can speak in a known language of another person.
The personal tongue (unknown tongue) spoken by any Spirit filled Christian is for personal edification, and revealing of the mysteries of God to the one doing the speaking, and not for others. 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." There are no mysteries that God does not know. Therefore, the mysteries are revelation of things that God knows and reveals to those who are speaking in unknown tongues. The personal tongues are usually known as "praying is the Spirit." It is a prayer language, whereby we speak to God and not to man, for no man understands what is being said.
While we are praying in the unknown tongue, 1 Corinthians 14:4 says, "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church." By this we know that the unknown tongue is a personal tongue, for our personal benefit. For edification, Jude 1:20 says, "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost." Again, this is for our personal benefit, whereas the ministry gifts of diverse tongues is for the body of Christ.
There are many references to the use of both, the ministry gifts of tongues and the personal tongues in the Scriptures. The apostle Paul said of himself in 1 Corinthians 14:18, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all." As far as we can tell, the apostle Paul received a much greater revelation of the Scriptures than any other of the apostles. Peter said of the apostle Paul, "His epistles speak of things in which some things are hard to be understood by those who are unlearned and unstable, as they also do with other scriptures, unto their own destruction" (2 Peter 3:15,16).
It is important that we not be as those who do not understand the epistles of Paul, and the others. But that we be enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and receive revelation of the mysteries of God (1 Cor. 14:2), on a personal basis. Each person, individually, should be taught of God (John 6:45, 1 John 2:27). In Isaiah 28:9-13 it gives us a revelation the plan of God for us today. It tells us that "with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people" (Isa. 28:11).
It is God working in us, to do His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). He works in us by His Spirit, revealing His hidden mysteries to us, teaching us knowledge and giving us understanding as we pray in unknown tongues.
Let us take a quick look at Romans 7 and 8, and see what God will do for us if we well be obedient and pray in tongues. Starting in Romans 7:1-5, it tells us that certain things were required under the law (the law of Moses). Then in verse 6, it tells us we are delivered from the law (that is, we are not under that law. That law was fulfilled in Jesus Christ for us). Then verses 7-13 it explains what the law does to people, not that it was not good, but it had a different purpose. Then from verses 14-23 Paul explains his struggle with sin in the flesh, how that when He would do good, He did which was not good instead. Paul said, it was sin in his members (sin in the flesh). Then in verses 24,25, Paul confessed what a wretched man he was, but gave the solution at the same time. In verse 25, Paul said, "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."
Beginning in Romans 8:1-8, Paul said that there is no condemnation for those who walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. For Christ has made us free of the law of sin and death, if we walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. What the law could not do, God did for us through Christ Jesus. Then in verses 8,9, Paul changes the subject somewhat by saying,
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
From verse 10 on, Paul talks about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Holy Spirit makes alive our mortal bodies, and works in us to bring to death sin in the flesh. (We cannot do it of ourselves, but the Holy Spirit works with us and in us to accomplish what we could not do). Then Paul goes on explaining the work of the Holy Spirit. Verse 14 says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Then in verse 16, He says, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." By this we know we are born again, and are children of God. Then from verse 17-25 he gives a slight overview of God's plans for those who walk after the Spirt and not after the flesh. Beginning in verse 26 Paul reveals the work of the Holy Spirit in those who are born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God (Rom. 8:26,27).
The things we cannot do (infirmities), the Holy Spirit does for us as we pray in the Spirit. He makes intercession for us according to the perfect will of God. Therefore, because the Holy Spirit is doing for us what we cannot do, "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28). It is God the Holy Spirit that is doing the work, on our behalf, therefore, we know all things are working together for our good. For the very purpose that we might be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, His Son. That Jesus might be the firstborn of every creature. Then verse 31 says, "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" From verse 32 to the end of the chapter, Paul explains that because of what God is doing in our lives, He is persuaded that nothing can separate him from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus.
Are you persuaded just as Paul was? You can be, if you will walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. How do you walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh?
In 1 John 5:7 it says, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." Being that the Word and the Holy Spirit are one, they cannot at anytime be separated. Therefore, if we walk in the light of the Word of God and pray in the Spirit we will be walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh. The Holy Spirit and the Word of God always agree. Whatsoever the Word of God says, the Holy Spirit agrees with the Word. The more we pray in the Spirit, and study the Word of God to do that which it says in the Word, the greater will be our walk after the Spirit.
God's desire is that every child of God learn to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh (Rom. 8:1). That we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).
Keep in mind, spiritual experiences should never come before the written Word of God. Peter explained that in 2 Peter 1:16-21. Peter mentioned the spiritual experience he had on the mount of transfiguration, where he saw Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus. He saw Jesus transfigured before his eyes. But, he reminds us that the written Word of God is a more sure Word from the LORD than any spiritual experience. For the written Word of God came by inspiration of the Holy Spirit through holy men over many years. It is perfectly established as a sure revelation of the Truth, and other spiritual experiences should never take the place of the written Word.
Most interesting about the New Covenant is that it is based upon "faith" over spiritual experiences. At least three times in the New Testament we are told to live by faith, and not by sight. Spiritual experiences are sight, and we do not live by sight. Therefore, contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3). Walk by faith, and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). Hebrews 10:38 says, "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Put all your faith in God, according to His Word, and He will bring it to pass in your life. Not only in this life on earth, but also in eternity forever with Jesus.