All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
July 15, 2006/October 2, 2014
HANDS FOR JESUS
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HANDS FOR JESUS
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2005 by Merle E. Koepke
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Sons of God
In Romans 8:14 it says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." What does it mean by "led by the Spirit of God"? When someone is lead by someone else, the one who does the leading makes all the decisions. That's about as simple as we can make it. If the one who is being led makes the decisions, they are no longer being led, they are in control of what happens and when and where it will happen. That's not what the Scripture is saying when it talks about being "led by the Spirit of God."
One thing that will help us to understand the difference between being led by the Spirit of God or not is that, our spirit is in our belly, and our mind is in our head. If we are led by the Spirit of God, we will not be led by our mind. We must learn to tell the difference between our mind and our spirit.
Our mind is involved, that's true, but where is the information coming from, our head or our spirit? If it comes from our head, then it's not the Holy Spirit. If it's the Holy Spirit, it will come from our spirit which is in our belly. Secondly, whose idea is it, in where we are being led? Was it our idea, or God's idea?
Let's look at a case where God was doing the leading, and we can see it was God and not man. In 1 Samuel 9, it tells of the time when God led Saul to Samuel to be anointed as captain over the children of Israel. When Saul left his father's house, he thought he was out looking for some lost animals (1 Sam. 9:3).
Saul and a servant of his father had traveled a long distance. They were gone for at lest two or more days, looking for some animals. They felt they should return without finding the animals, thinking Saul's father would think they were lost (1 Sam. 9:5).
The servant suggested to Saul that before they returned without the animals, they should go and enquire of Samuel, who was called a Seer. At that time, prophets were called a Seer, for they were shown things by God. So, they made their way toward the city. On their way they met some young maidens and enquired of them where the Seer was? They were told to hurry, for Samuel was in the City, and would be going up to the high place to sacrifice. As they came into the city, they saw Samuel, not knowing who he was they asked where the Seer's house was. "And Samuel answered Saul, and said, I am the seer: go up before me unto the high place; for ye shall eat with me to day, and to morrow I will let thee go, and will tell thee all that is in thine heart" (1 Sam. 9:19).
Up until that time Saul and his father's servant had no idea what God was doing. They thought they were out looking for some animals that were lost. But Samuel continued by saying, "And as for thine asses that were lost three days ago, set not thy mind on them; for they are found..." (1 Sam. 9:20).
What Saul and his father's servant didn't know was,
the LORD had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying,
To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me (1 Sam. 9:15,16).
When the Holy Spirit is leading someone, He doesn't always tell them all the details. It's not their business to know all the details, it's only for them to follow the leading of the Spirit and let the details up to Him. Verse 17 tells us, "And when Samuel saw Saul, the LORD said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over my people." At the time the LORD spoke this to Samuel, Saul and his father's servant had no idea what God was doing.
Therefore, the sons of God are to be led by the Spirit of God, and there is no need for them to know ahead of time what God is going to do or how God is going to do something. It's all up to God, not the person who is being led by the Spirit of God. God leads from our spirit, not our mind. Many times when our mind is involved it's not God; it's another spirit. We need to be careful when we are being led by our mind.
That doesn't mean we do not use our mind. Saul and his father's servant were using their mind in everything they did. But, they were not trying to work out God's plan in their mind. That's the big difference. If we make plans in our mind how God is going to do something, almost always, it's not God. It's the flesh!
I recall when I was first born again into the family of God, I was told that a certain denomination was having bingo games in their church on Friday's to raise money for the church. In my spirit, I knew that was not God. I just knew it, no one had to tell me, or explain it. I knew that was not God, that was man. God works from our spirit, not our head. What comes from God comes from our spirit in our belly, not our mind in our head.
When God leads us, sometimes we will get a certain amount of information ahead of time. But, if we are to be led by the Spirit of God, we must let the details up to God, not try to work them out ourselves. Our ability is the flesh, God's ability is the Spirit. There is a difference between the flesh and the Spirit.
In Mark 8:34, it says, "And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." What does it mean by "let him deny himself"? Self denial is to set aside all our own plans and ambitions, and let the LORD lead us by His Spirit. Our plans and our ideas will always get in the way for what God wants to do.
Our plans and our ideas are our thoughts. In Isaiah 55:8,9 it says,
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
The Holy Spirit has much better ways and much better plans than we could ever come up with. If we will set aside all our plans and our ways, then the Holy Spirit can lead us.
In order to be led by the Spirit of God, we must be 100% positive that God is well able to do whatsoever He desires, and He knows how to do what He wants to do. He doesn't need our ideas, our thoughts, or our ways. His thoughts and His ways are much higher and much better than ours.
In Acts 8, Philip was a man who knew how to be led by the Holy Spirit. It tells us,
And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? (Acts 8:26-30).
If you will notice, the angel of the LORD spoke to Philip first, then, Philip didn't ask questions, he didn't go looking for some means of getting others to help him. He just got up and went, doing exactly what the angel of the LORD told him.
When Philip came near to the man of Ethiopia, the Holy Spirit spoke to Philip, saying, "Go near, and join thyself to this chariot." Philip obeyed the Holy Spirit and joined himself to the man in his chariot. After Philip explained to the Eunuch the Scriptures, he baptized him. Then it says,
And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea. (Acts 8:39,40).
It's interesting to notice that Philip didn't have to first raise a lot of money to pay for airfare from Gaza to Azotus, like many today. When a person is led by the Spirit, the Holy Spirit takes care of all the details and arrangements. When Christians start doing the work of the ministry from their minds, the flesh, they think the only way God can do something is if He does it their way... God's arm is not short, there's nothing too hard for the LORD!
I am reminded of an individual who entered Bible School to prepare for the ministry. One of the main requirements was that they live a life of faith. The training was not free. Students had to pay a considerable amount each term for their education. They were not allowed to go out and earn money for their education. Nor were they allowed to solicit support from churches, relatives or friends. They had to look only to the LORD to supply all their needs: spiritual, physical and material.
One day, as this student along with other students were in morning prayer he placed his Bible on his chair and knelt down, leaning his chest against his Bible. His arms were under the chair while his chest was against his Bible. He prayed for a long time, along with the other students. He was praying specifically for money to pay tuition. When he arose from prayer, he picked up his Bible and the money he needed fell from under his Bible. He learned how to believe God for his needs.
There were many instances in this brother's life, starting from the time he entered that Bible School, that the LORD supplied all his needs without asking anyone else for help. One time he was to go with another student to a church in another city to preach. He did not have the money to pay the fare. When it came time to go, the other student came and told him, it's time to go. He told the other student he did not have the money for the bus fare. He wanted this student to take some time to pray with him for the bus fare. But, this student insisted they did not have time to pray, they had to leave or they would miss the bus.
When they arrived at the bus stop, the other student did not have any money either. First they asked the other student for his fare, and he didn't have it. Then they asked him for his fare, with great embarrassment, he started to reach in each of his pockets, pretending to look for what he knew was not there. When he reached into one of his pockets, he felt a crisp piece of paper. As he pulled it out it was enough money to pay for two tickets one way, and enough for one ticket back. God was faithful to supply what they needed at the time.
Over the years, this brother in the LORD learned of God's faithfulness to supply all his needs. Yes, there were many times like the Apostle Paul, he was in lack, but God always brought him through. He learned to trust in the LORD and lean not unto his own understanding.
Another person comes to mind with a similar experience. He also, while at Bible School was under the same type of teaching, where he had to pay his own bills, but could not in any way ask anyone else to help him when in time of need. This was a major requirement at the Bible School, they had to learn to believe God for all their needs.
One day this brother in the LORD went with a group of other students to another city. They did not have the money to pay the bus fare to return. There they met a person whom they had known. He was a wealthy man, and could have easily given them the money they needed. This wealthy man invited them into his home for the afternoon, and they spent a long time with him.
None of these students had the money they needed for bus fare to return back to Bible School. Yet, they knew they could not in any way even suggest to this wealthy man that they needed any money, or that he would help them to pay the bus fare back to Bible School.
When the afternoon was drawing to a close, they left the wealthy man's house without any money to pay their bus fare. They walked away, and as they were walking a lady came running from her house and came to this brother, saying, "I have something for you that you need." She placed into his hand some money, enough to pay the bus fare for himself and all the other students with him. God was faithful to supply what they needed when they needed it without them asking anyone. He only believing that God would supply according to His Word.
There are many of these testimonies from those who have learned to believe God for all their needs. They have learned to be truthful in everything they do in life. Never lie, cheat, steal, beg, or do anything that is not pleasing to God. It's a life of living according to God's Word that produces the results of God supplying all their needs.
Another person comes to mind by the name of Rees Howells in the early 1900's. Rees Howells learned to believe God for all his needs, including the purchasing of property for a Bible Collage. Many times, Rees Howells believed God for finances, and it was down to the last minute, you might say, but God always came through with the money when it was needed. God's Word is true, if Christians would do what it says, and believe what it says.
Let's go back into Genesis 3: and see what happened to man when sin first entered the human race. Adam and Eve had already known the will of God and the Word of God concerning the eating of the trees in the garden. They knew they could eat of every tree in the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In other words, they knew they could freely eat of the Tree of Life, also in the midst of the garden.
The serpent came first to Eve, "And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" (Gen. 3:1). The devil first worked on Eve's mind, to do whatever he could to get her to doubt the Word of God.
Here is wisdom for anyone who is a child of God, never doubt the Word of God, God cannot lie... He is well able to do whatsoever He said in His Word.
Somehow Eve thought about what the serpent said to her (not rejecting even the thought of disobeying the Word of God).
And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. (Gen. 3:2,3).
This was the beginning of Eve's transgression. She listened to the voice of another that did not agree with the Word of God. She started talking to another who was not obeying the Word of God. (The serpent at that time was not in the form of a snake (Gen. 3:14)). Satan does not come showing his identity. He comes as one who is a servant of the Most High God (2 Cor. 11:13,14, 2 Thess. 2:4).
Once the serpent had Eve's attention, it says,
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil (Gen. 3:4,5).
Once doubt was cast into Eve's mind, the devil had her right where he wanted her. He was then able to put other thoughts into her mind, to bring her to total disobedience of the Word of God. Verse 6 then tells us the end result, saying, "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."
How many Christians today understand what happens when we eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil rather than live of the Tree of Life? How many Christians today understand what happened to Eve, and then to Adam in the garden of Eden that day?
What the serpent was saying to Eve was, "there is another way to do what God wants us to do." "There is another way to become like God." Oh! How sad it is when Christians look for another way to do what God has told us to do...
The sons of God are to be like the Son of God, Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus never did anything that was not pleasing to God. Jesus never trusted in anyone other than His Father. Jesus lived on earth for thirty-three and one-half years, and there was no sin in Him. Then, He said to those who love Him, "Come, follow Me."
Christians must learn the voice of the Holy Spirit from within them. Never follow another voice, be led by the Holy Spirit, and not another spirit. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Rom. 8:14).
Many Christians know about John G. Lake. In 1907, he was a married man with seven children. He had given up all his financial wealth and resolved to serve the LORD wholly. Late in 1907 the Holy Spirit spoke to him to go to Indianapolis Indiana for the winter, and minister there. Then in the spring leave for South Africa.
He took his family and moved to Indianapolis. He joined with a former friend and they ministered together for about six months. Near the end of the six months they were praying for finances for South Africa. During their prayer his friend told him the LORD said He is sending $2.000, and it will be there in four days.
In four days the money came from an unknown donor and they made their way to board a ship to South Africa. John G. Lake had only $1.50 when they landed in South Africa. There he was informed that immigration laws for South Africa required they have at lest $125.00 or they wouldn't be permitted to get off the ship.
Lake's wife asked him what he was going to do? He said, "I'm going to line up with the rest. We have obeyed God this far. It is now up to the LORD." As he stood in line, a fellow passenger tapped him on the shoulder and called him out of the line. He then gave Lake $200. And said, "I feel led to give you this to help your work." The man was a stranger to Lake.
When they arrived in Johannesburg, they saw a little woman running the dock area looking for someone. First she asked John G. Lake's friend, "are you an American missionary?" When he replied "Yes," she asked "how many in your party?" He said, "four." She shook her head and said, "no, you aren't the family, is there another?" He pointed her to John G. Lake. When she asked "how many are in your family?" Lake replied, "My wife, myself, and seven children." All excited, the lady said "You're the family!"
She then told them how God directed her to meet them at the dock and give them a home all furnished to live in, in Johannesburg, South Africa. There is no end to testimonies like these. It's happening today, just like it has always happened since Jesus arose again from the dead. The LORD knows how to work out all the details when Christians will believe Him.
While in South Africa, it is said that Lake set up 125 white congregations and 500 black congregations. The healing ministry spread throughout South Africa.
Lake then returned to the United States and set up healing rooms in Spokane Washington. It is said that over a period of five or six years there were more than one-hundred thousand healings reported. Even medical doctors were healed and left the medical field to join in praying for the sick in the healing rooms. In 1919 it is said that there were as many as two-hundred people per day prayed for in the healing rooms.
Christians must learn how to be led by the Holy Spirit. He Leads, Guides, Comforts, Teaches, and Helps in every need they have. No matter what the circumstances, God is well able to provide.
Christians must be very careful in these last days that Satan does not come to them like he came to Eve, and deceive them into thinking there is another way to do the work of the ministry. When God calls, God equips. When God equips, God sends. When God sends, God supplies.
Jesus said, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves" (Matt. 7:15). Satan does not come showing his identity, saying, he is the devil. But, Jesus also said, "strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matt. 7:14). The strait and narrow way is "the Word of God and the Holy Spirit." These two agree...
Had Eve stayed with the WORD of GOD, and not let the serpent tell her there is another way, she would have had all the powers of heaven on her side. But... Praise God! Christians have the same choice that Eve had. They can say NO to the serpent and stay with the TRUTH of the WORD of GOD and the Holy Spirit, and have all the powers of Heaven working with then at all times. What more could God do for those who Love Him as much as He Loves them?
There are multitudes of testimonies of God supplying the needs of those who believe His WORD: even in these last days. Those who know the Truth and walk in it will experience the power of God in their lives. It is the TRUTH that sets us free of all the works of the devil.
Many Christians never come to the fulness of their calling. There are many hindrances that prevent us from flowing with the Holy Spirit the way God desires. The greatest hindrance is a lack of knowledge of the TRUE WORD of GOD. We must come to a knowledge of the Word of God, from the beginning to know the truth that will help us to fulfill our calling.
TO HELP US MATURE IN CHRIST
The greatest hindrance that Christians will ever experience is caused by trying to understand spiritual things with their natural minds. We must learn to believe God's Word, without natural understanding (Prov. 3:5). But, God is wonderful, and He has given us His Holy Spirit to help us understand spiritual things.
Christians need to understand the Word of God "from the beginning." Even when the Bible says, "the beginning," it is not always talking about from "the very beginning." As an example, Jesus said to some of the Jews in John 8:44, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." By this, Jesus said that the devil was a murderer from the beginning. Yet, the Bible tells us that the devil was an "anointed cherub." "In the beginning, he was perfect in the day that he was created" (Ezek. 28:14,15). The words "in the beginning" only apply to the subject that it is speaking of (the beginning concerning that subject).
Let me inject something here: It's interesting that Satan was perfect in the day that he was created, but now is condemned to eternity in hell. Whereas, Christians, were not perfect when we were born into this world (1 Cor. 15:42-44). But because of Jesus "being in Christ," God is perfecting us for all eternity (Heb. 13:21). That alone should be our greatest joy, that our names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).
In Genesis 1:1 it says, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." In John 1:1 it says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." These two times are not speaking of the same time in creation. John 1:1 is speaking of a time before Genesis 1:1. First, was the Word of God, then came the creation of the heavens and earth. "The Word" came first, then came that which was created by "the Word."
We must be very careful when we study the Word of God, that we are not mislead by the teachings of men. We must be very careful that we go all the way back to the beginning, when the Spirit of God inspired men to write the Scriptures. That means, we must go back to the Hebrew and Chaldees in the Old Testament and to the Greek in the New Testament. If we only read and study the English translations of the Bible we will easily be deceived by the teachings of men.
Many have been deceived by the teachings of men. Many have taught from translations, which some of them are not even "word for word" translations, but rather the ideas of men using "thought for thought" or "paraphrased" translations. Thought for thought and paraphrased translations are man's ideas, they do not always agree with the Holy Spirit, Who inspired the writing of the Scriptures in the beginning (2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21).
Then there are those who have found other writings in the Hebrew, and Greek that do not agree with the ones used by the Early Church, when the Scriptures were first assembled together in book form and called "The Bible." These other manuscripts are the result of "re-writings" of the original, many of them by Levites called scribes, whose job it was to make copies of the original manuscripts. These Scribes (called scribes, because that was their job to write and rewrite the originals) operated by their natural mind, and were not always led by the Holy Spirit Who inspired the original writings.
We must be careful, what we believe, that it agrees with the complete writings of the Scriptures from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21. If it does not agree completely from one end to the other than there is something wrong, and the Holy Spirit is never wrong. "No man, teaching by the anointing of the Holy Spirit can teach anything contrary to the Scriptures originally inspired by the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:3b).
Therefore, men operating from their natural mind, without the anointing of the Holy Spirit make many mistakes, and great error occurs. This error multiplies and multiplies, until there is very little truth left. And multitudes of Christians believe the error more than the truth. It's like Jesus said in Matthew 15:14, "And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." Therefore, I would encourage every Christian to study the Scriptures, using the original Hebrew, Chaldees, and Greek to be sure they are not being led astray by the teachings of men.
God is a God of order, and precision. Everything God does is done in complete order and precision. God is not the author of confusion. The Bible is inspired by God for man to understand, and it agrees from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21.
The writing of the Scriptures was done by men as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit, usually adding to that which was already written. Therefore, on any subject in the Bible it is wisdom to go back to the first time a subject is mentioned and continue from there until the complete subject is covered. Many have made mistakes by taking Scripture from one part of the Bible and not considering what had been written before. By this they have misunderstood what the Holy Spirit was trying to teach us.
When the Bible speaks of the beginning, there are many things to check out from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21, before we can be sure we are getting the truth, and not someone's opinion. There are many subjects that need to be studied from the beginning before we can understand and know the truth. One thing of importance is that "the Scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit," they cannot always be understood by the natural mind. In 1 Corinthians 2:14 it tells us, "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
As we search the Scriptures, we must not do it with our natural understanding, but rather listen to our spirit for revelation from the Holy Spirit. No matter what Bible we use, it could contain the truth, but what we read is written "information." It must become "revelation" by a work of the Holy Spirit within us in order for us to understand and know the truth. Without the "revelation" of the Word of God, by the Spirit of God within us, it is only "information" and can lead us astray.
Many religious people use the Bible to teach their beliefs, but only the Holy Spirit can reveal the truth. Only the Truth can help us. Anything that is not Truth, will only lead us astray.
FROM THE BEGINNING
One thing of importance to understand from the Scriptures is "man." What do the original manuscripts say about man? First, we find in Genesis 1:26, it says, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." This verse contains an enormous amount of information in the Hebrew, that many have not noticed. But for now, let us go to Genesis 2:7, where it explains the creation of man. It says, "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
When we study this verse from the Hebrew, we will find that the word "man" is speaking of mankind in general, not one man by the name of Adam. Those who believe it was speaking of one man by the name of Adam have already been deceived and believe the teaching of men instead of the "revelation of the Holy Spirit."
The word "man" comes from the Hebrew word "adam" (Strong's number 120 meaning "mankind in general, male and female." Strong's number for a person by the name of Adam is number 121). If you go back to Genesis 1:26 you will notice that God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion..." God did not say, "let us make one man by the name of Adam, and let him have dominion." That is what many teach, but it is not truth! God said, "Let us make mankind, male and female, and let them have dominion."
If Christians would study their Bibles, using the original Hebrew text, they would see the truth, and it could help them tremendously in their lives here on earth. When the LORD God created man in Genesis 2:7, Eve was already in Adam. If you study your Bible from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21, you will find that the LORD took a rib out of Adam and formed Eve (Gen. 2:21,22). The LORD did not breathe into the nostrils of Eve, so she could become a living soul (Eve was already a living soul before the LORD took a rib from Adam and formed Eve). According to Acts 17:26, The blood of every individual came from the blood of the first body "formed of the dust of the ground." It says, "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth..." According to 1 Corinthians 15:22, we were all in Adam in the day that man was created. It says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
We were all in Adam the day that the LORD God created man (Strong's #120; Gen. 2:7). Just as Levi was in Abraham when Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedec. We know that neither Isaac or Jacob (the father of Levi), were born yet when Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedec (Gen. 14:20). Yet, Hebrews 7:9,10 says, "Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham....For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him"
What is written here in Hebrews 7:9,10 was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Learn to listen to the Holy Spirit within you when you study the Word of God, and you will know the Truth, and the Truth will help keep you from believing the teachings of men. The Holy Spirit was sent to be your Teacher. It tells us that in 1 John 2:27, saying, "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."
Without the help of the Holy Spirit, we cannot know the Truth. The Holy Spirit will always bear a witness with the written Word of God, for He is the One who inspired it to be written for our benefit. He is only One Spirit, and He will never lie, or deceive anyone. When He speaks, it will be Truth, and no lie. He will bear a witness with the Truth of the Word of God from within your spirit, not your head.
There is a lot more contained in the Scriptures concerning "we were all in Adam in the day that the LORD God created man." But, for those who do not believe it, they have already been deceived by the teachings of men. Unless they open their hearts and minds to receive from the Holy Spirit and reject the teachings of men, which means "repent" (turn from believing that which is not true), God cannot help them. God can only help those who will believe God by a witness in their spirit, by the Holy Spirit bearing witness with the written Word of God. As it says in 1 Corinthians 2:14, "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
Back to Genesis 2:7, it says, "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." The LORD God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." There are no other creatures on earth that the LORD God breathed into them "the breath of life." There are many other creatures that were created on the sixth day. They all have living souls. But it was simply a living soul, not breathed into them by the LORD God Himself. They were simply created as living souls.
Looking over in Job, we will find the same evidence of the difference between man and other creatures. Job 33:4, says, "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life." Man's living soul came by the breath of the LORD God. Job 12:10 says "In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind." The breath of all mankind is listed separately from every living thing (which indicates other living creatures). The word "soul" in the Hebrew is "nephesh." It is used to identify both the souls of other living creatures as well as the souls of mankind. The words "living thing (cahy)," speaking of other living creatures is from the Hebrew word "cahy," the same Hebrew word used for "living soul" in Genesis 2:7, where it says, "and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living (cahy) soul (nephesh)."
Human beings are eternal "living souls." That means, as a living soul, man will always exist somewhere, in heaven or in hell, depending upon, if they believe the Word of God, or reject the free gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus. Whereas, all other creatures have "a living soul." Animals have a living soul, but they are not "living souls." Angels have a living soul, but they are "spirits," they do not have a physical body. Even God has a living soul, but God is not a man.
To know the Truth concerning the creation of man, and receive revelation from the Holy Spirit, we must also understand what the New Testament says about the creation of man. The Greek word used for soul is "psuche." Jesus, Himself had "a living soul." In John 10:11, Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life (psuche) for the sheep." When Jesus gave His life for us, He gave His "living soul," His "psuche," in the Greek. Why was it necessary for Jesus to give His "psuche" (living soul)? Because man was created "a living soul," in the beginning. Jesus, Who was God in the Spirit, had a living soul. He came into this world, and received a physical body from His mother, Mary, and became Man. Jesus always had a living soul. He always had a Spirit. But, until He was born of a woman, He did not have a body of flesh and bones.
In 1 Corinthians 15:45 it explains the same thing it says in Genesis 2:7, by saying, "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit." The first man was "a living soul" (psuche), not "a living spirit" (pneuma in the Greek). Specifically, it says, "The first man Adam was made a living soul," making it very clear that Adam was not a living "spirit," and he was natural and not spiritual. It confirms this in verse 46, saying, "Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual..." Using the New King James Version it says, "However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual." Those who teach that Adam was spiritual, and was "a spirit" and had a body and a soul are teaching contrary to what the Scripture teaches. That is a teaching of men, not of the Holy Spirit.
Man has three parts, a body, a soul, and a spirit; all three make up the totality of man. Man, being a living soul can and will exist forever, even if he does not have a physical body.
Because "man," living on earth, has a body of flesh, sometimes the Bible calls man "flesh." In John 3:6, Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." The word "born" is not the same as the word "created." They do not mean the same thing. When Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh," He was saying, that which is born of "man" is flesh. That does not mean that man is a body and has a soul and a spirit. It means that if a person is born into this world by an operation of one male and one female producing another person after their likeness; that which they produce can also be called "flesh." The reproduction of man "by man" produces "flesh" each after his own kind. See Genesis 5:3, Adam's son was in his own likeness after his image.
The soul of man was already in man before the woman became pregnant. The souls of mankind come down all the way from the first body "formed from the dust of the ground" (Gen. 2:7). If you will notice in Matthew 1:1-16 it lists the generations from Abraham to Jesus, who is called Christ. In Luke 3:23-38 it lists the generations from Mary's father to Adam. In each of these two generational lists it goes from male to male (even though in Matthew there are three women listed among them). The reason for listing from male to male is "the seed of man" travels from generation to generation through the male, not the female.
If you are looking for wisdom, you will notice that Jesus Christ was not born of "the seed of Adam (man)," but of the Holy Spirit and Mary (woman). Therefore, Jesus was not born with sin in Him. His blood was pure, without the sin and death that passed "upon all mankind" from Adam, see Romans 5:12.
Therefore, when a person is born into this world, they are said to be "born of the flesh." That which is born of man, "is man," "is flesh." This same terminology is used, when it talks about "walking after the flesh" (Rom. 8:1). This is speaking of living like the natural man lives, rather than walking after the Holy Spirit. These two are contrary to each other. Galatians 5:16,17 says,
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
If we continue to search the Scriptures, we will find that man "has a spirit." That spirit is "in man." Such as it says in Job 32:8. "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." The purpose for man having a spirit "in man," is so that God could communicate with man from "his spirit." All inspiration of the Holy Spirit comes from man's spirit, which is "in man." The whole Bible was written by men, who were inspired by the Holy Spirit, from their spirit (2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21).
When the Scriptures tell us that "there is a spirit in man," that means that man "is not a spirit," but in man there is a spirit. The Scripture is so plain and clear in this area that only those whose minds have been blinded by the god of this world would believe any differently (2 Cor. 4:4).
Here is wisdom: Beware, that you do not follow the voice of a man, but rather follow the leading of the Holy Spirit from your spirit (1 John 2:27). Men, teaching what they have heard others teach, have caused great error to enter into the body of Christ. Many years ago there was a word from the LORD which said, "Those who have taught what they have heard other men teach, and have not received if from My Spirit, if they will repent, My grace will cover them."
Some have taught that because John 4:24 in the King James Version of the Bible says, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth," that would mean that man, being created in the likeness and image of God would be "a spirit." Therefore, they say, "man is a spirit, and has a soul and a body." These errors happen when men teach from their natural mind, not receiving their information from the Holy Spirit. There is an error in the King James Version in John 4:24. The Greek reads, "God Spirit..." Not "God is a Spirit..." In the New King James Version they corrected this error by saying "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24, NKJV). "God is Spirit" would be the correct translation of the Greek to English.
One day, while working on a machine, it came from my spirit, "God is Spirit." I knew what the Holy Spirit was showing me, but I still stopped doing what I was and went to my Bible. When we understand that "God is Spirit," we can understand why God is omnipresent and omnipotent. God who "is Spirit" created "spirits" (angels, etc.) Angels are not "Spirit" but they are "spirits." They are not physical beings, they exist in the spirit realm, not in the natural realm. They can appear in the natural realm, as some have according to the Bible (Gen. 18:2,22, 19:1, Judges 13:3, 9-20, etc.) Hebrews 13:2 tells us, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." I, myself, had two angels stand by my feet in my living room in August of 2003. They looked human, had physical bodies, dressed in army uniforms. But, after looking at them a few minutes and staring in their faces, in a split-second they disappeared, vanished out of sight.
Men, not understanding that the likeness and image of God is not that "God is Spirit." But that, the likeness of God is, "God, speaks His Word and things come into being." The image of God is, "God is holy, love, righteous, truthful, long suffering, merciful, etc" Man was created in this likeness and image. Jesus was the express image of God (Heb. 1:3), and He said to Philip, "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father..." (John 14:9). Everything Jesus said and did, was the "likeness and image of the Father."
Another error is made by believing that because Genesis 2:7 says, "the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath (n@shamah) of life..." They have said, "the LORD God breathed the spirit into man, and therefore, man is a spirit." The Hebrew word "n@shamah" is at times translated "spirit" in the King James Version (Job 26:4, Psa. 20:27). Yet, this is not the normal. The primary Hebrew word for spirit is "ruwach."
Another error is made in saying "man is a spirit," when we see what the Holy Spirit inspired in Ecclesiastes 12:7. Speaking of when man dies on earth, it says, "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." All Scripture must agree from Genesis through Revelation. In the case of the spirit of man, it tells us that when man dies on earth, his body returns to dust (Gen. 3:19), and his spirit returns to God who gave us a spirit. If "man is a spirit" and lives in a body and has a soul, then everyone, no matter who they are, when they die on earth "they all" go to God and that would mean none would be lost or go to hell. That does not agree what the Scriptures at all. That would be contrary to the Word of God from Genesis through Revelation. Hebrews 6:2 tells us there is a doctrine "of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment." Revelation 20:15 says, "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
Again, another error is made by those who read their English translations and not the Hebrew and Greek. Because in Luke 3:38, the King James Version says, "Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God," they teach that Adam and Jesus were the same... They were both sons of God. They say Adam failed, but Jesus did not fail.
This is all a result of not knowing what the original manuscript, which was inspired by the Holy Spirit says. In the Greek, Luke 3:38 says, "Which (tou) of Enos, which (tou) of Seth, which (tou) of Adam, which (tou) of God." The words "was the son" are not in the Greek. These words were all added by the translators. Thereby, totally changing the inspired Word of God and adding great error. The Darby Version translates Luke 3:38, "of Enos, of Seth, of Adam, of God." Darby omitted the Greek word "tou" and did not add any other words, thereby staying much closer to what was inspired in the original manuscript.
Adam was "a created" human being. He was not "a son of God" in the beginning. Jesus was "the only Son of God" in the beginning. Jesus "was God" with the Father and the Holy Spirit right from the beginning (John 1:1,2, 1 John 5:7). Jesus, "as the Son of God" was "the Creator," not the created... All things were created by Him and for Him (John 1:3,10, Col. 3:16). The Creator is greater than the created...
Adam was of this earth, he was earthly. Jesus was not of this earth, He was heavenly. This is all explained in 1 Corinthians 15:45-49.
The Holy Spirit inspired the writing of the Scriptures in the beginning. The Holy Spirit is only One Spirit, and He never makes a mistake. He doesn't say one thing in one place and then something else in another place. He is consistent, precise, and accurate in everything He does. All of Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20,21), and we must not change any of it through man's ideas during translation. It's important that we listen to the Holy Spirit within us when we study the Scriptures.
It is important that we do not search out "one" passage of Scripture and claim that by that one passage we can say, "man is a spirit, has a soul and lives in a body." We must be certain that all of Scripture agrees from Genesis through Revelation. The Holy Spirit will not bear a witness with man's ideas... He will only bear a witness to that which He inspired in the beginning. He never changes His mind on anything He has already inspired, and had it written.
In this life we have a choice. We can choose to eat of "The Tree of Life," or "the tree of knowledge of good and evil" (Gen. 2:9,16,17). Because of a lack of knowledge of spiritual things, most people have no understanding of what life is. Secondly, because of lack of understanding, most people believe what they have heard others teach, never coming to the truth of life itself.
Understanding life itself is one of the most important things anyone can accomplish. But to accomplish it, it takes a desire to know the truth and search for "revelation" of the truth. If we do not search for it, we will not find it.
Truth comes only from one source, not from books, not from teachings of men, "but from God," who created all things. The Bible contains the Truth in the Word of God. But, not everyone who reads their Bibles will get to know the Truth. For the Bibles only contain the "written Word of God," which is "information." Information is helpful, but information without "revelation," will not benefit us. Many people have Bibles, full of information, which they use for their "information." But, we must receive "revelation," from God, from the "information" in the written Word of God.
Information comes to us through our natural mind. Revelation comes to us from our spirit. Information comes by the ability of man to receive from a number of sources, such as the five senses, and the intellectual ability of the mind. The intellectual ability of the mind can receive information from the natural realm or the spiritual realm. God can give us information from the spiritual realm, by putting thoughts in our minds. In Hebrews 8:10 it says, "...I will put my laws into their mind..." But the devil also can put thoughts in our minds. In 2 Corinthians 4:4 it says, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not..." Our minds are subject to spiritual operations of both, God and the devil.
It's up to each person, individually, that they decide which thoughts they will receive and which thoughts they will reject. The decisions they make will determine what will happen in their life throughout eternity.
MAN IN THE BEGINNING
A living soul
A body of flesh
The LORD God first formed man's body of the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7). Once the body was formed of the dust of the ground, then the LORD God breathed the breath of life into the body of flesh. Once the breath of life was breathed into the body of flesh, man became a living soul. Notice what it says in Romans 8:9 concerning those who are born again of the Spirit. "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you..." Before a person is born again "of the Spirit," they are in the flesh (the body of flesh and bones). Man is a living soul, in a body of flesh and bones.
As long as we live here on this earth as a man, we will have a physical body of flesh and bones, and a spirit that God can use to communicate with us. God is Spirit, and He needs our spirit to communicate with us to give us understanding by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit inspires us in our spirit and by it we receive spiritual understanding (Job 32:8).
The spirit of man is "in man." The natural man, born of the flesh is not in the spirit of man; the spirit of man is in the natural man. The spirit of man is in man's belly, not his head.
Jesus said in John 7:38, "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." What is Jesus talking about? John explained in the next verse that Jesus was talking about the work of the Holy Spirit in man. The Holy Spirit works from our spirit, not from our mind, which is in our head. He works from our spirit which is in our belly.
The natural man, born of the flesh, has a spirit within him. He is not the spirit. He is a living soul. Thereby, we can see all throughout the Bible from Genesis through Revelation, God is talking about "saving souls." Why does God speak so much about "saving souls"? God is very much interested in saving "man." Man is "a living soul."
Man has three parts in total, therefore, God is also interested in saving the whole man, "spirit, soul, and body" (1 Thess. 5:23). But, God has to start by working with the"spirit," before He can save the complete man in all three parts, "spirit, soul, and body." After the spirit, God works with man in "saving the soul" of man. Salvation is a continuous process. In Acts 2:47 it says, "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
Anyone who has read their Bibles should have no doubt, God is working with the souls of men. God must first overcome the work of the devil in the souls of men, before He can convert them, that they become born again of the Spirit (John 3:6,7). Jesus said, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him..." (John 6:44).
Yet, God's plan for total salvation is not naturally understood. Simply, because God will always confound the wise and give grace to the humble (1 Cor. 1:19-21). The mystery that was hidden from the ages, was not revealed until after Jesus died and arose again from the dead. Once Jesus had arisen, God revealed His plan to all who would come to Him and believe the Gospel.
The revelation of God's plan was not made known to man, or demons, until after Jesus was already arisen from the dead. In 1 Corinthians 2:7,8, it says,
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Yet, God's plan was in operation from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:8 says, "...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Enoch, the seventh from Adam, before the flood, walked with God three hundred years and God took him to heaven (Gen. 5:22-24). How could that be? "The Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world," and Enoch received the truth from God as he walked with God. Enoch never died here on earth (Heb. 11:5). Enoch is still alive in heaven (an example of the perfect plan for God for man from the foundation of the world).
Look at the good news in 1 Corinthians 15:42-44. It tells us,
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body...
It's wonderful to understand the plan of God from the foundation of the world. His plans for us are beyond our natural understanding. Satan was perfect in the day that he was created. He started in perfection and will end up in dishonor. But man started in dishonor and can end up in glory! Praise the LORD for what He has done for us!
A LIVING SOUL
What is a living soul? All created beings have a soul. Angels have a soul. Demons have a soul. Animals, fish, fowl, insects, etc. all have a soul. A dictionary definition of a soul could be, "a part of man regarded as being a spiritual part of the person and having no physical or material reality. It is credited with the functions of thinking, understanding, reasoning, and determining all behavior and the will of man." In combining the English definition with the Greek definition for "psuche" translated soul many times in the New Testament it would include the English word "psychic," meaning "having to do with the mind beyond natural or known physical processes; apparently sensitive to forces in the spirit realm." The living soul is not the spirit of man, even though it is not a physical part of man.
In defining "a human living soul," which came "by the breath of the LORD God," it is important to understand, our living souls are eternal, existing forever without end. The important thing that most people do not understand is that they are eternal beings, and will exist forever. There is no end to their existence, there is only a change of where they will exist, "with God" or "without God."
In Romans 11:29 it says, "the gifts and calling of God are without repentance." Our living soul is a gift from God. When God gives someone a gift, He never takes it back. God never changes His mind about the gifts He gives to people. When man became "a living soul," he became an eternal being, he will live forever and ever. Every human being "is a living soul," and they will never cease to exist. After this life on earth ends, they (the living soul), will continue to live somewhere, in heaven or in hell. The gift of "a living soul" has been given to every human being born into this world, and God will not take it back, neither will He cause it to not exist. It will exist forever and ever.
Once a person becomes "a living soul," they will always be a living soul. Our living soul is a gift from the LORD God, and it is irrevocable, it cannot go back to nothing, neither can it cease to exist. God is eternal, and by the breath of the LORD God, every human living soul became an eternal being.
In this life here on earth we normally only focus upon this short time while we are in a body of flesh and bones. But, that is not the beginning or the end of soul life. We will continue to live without this same body of flesh and bones throughout eternity. This physical body will die and return to dust "for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Gen. 3:19). But, where we will be during the rest of eternity is dependant upon what we do in this life.
A living soul can communicate with things in the natural world as well as with things in the spiritual realm. A witch can contact spirits in the demonic realm, and receive information from the devil and evil spirits, using her mind to do it. At the same time she can use her mind to think the way normal people think. The mind is sensitive to both realms, the natural realm and the spiritual realm.
The soul of man is not a physical part of man, although the world thinks of it as a part of the physical brain of man. The physical brain of man cannot function properly without the soul of man. When the soul of man "stops functioning properly with the brain of man," the person is said to be "unconscious, or in a coma."
When the soul of man leaves his physical body it has no more communication with the body, neither can it communicate with physical bodies here on earth. It could become cast into outer darkness, as Jesus mentioned in Matthew 8:12, saying, "But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Also see Matthew 22:13, 24:51, and 25:30). It could be cast into hell as Jesus mentioned in Matthew 10:28. Or, if the person is born again of the Spirit, it could ascend into heaven along with the new Spirit they received at the time of their new birth "in Christ" (Ezek. 36:26, John 3:6, 2 Cor. 5:17).
As long as we live here on earth in a physical body, we will have our living soul with us "in our physical body," whereby, our brain can function. Even though a person can become born again of the Spirit, and become a new creature in Christ, they are still the same "living soul" they were from the beginning.
In Romans 12:2 it tells us, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Our soul is being transformed on the inside of us to "prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" while our mind is renewed on the Word of God. In 2 Corinthians 10:5 it says, "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." The imaginations and thoughts are an operation within the soul of man. We are "in the process" of changing this corruption to incorruption. Yet the complete change will not take place until we go to be with Jesus (1 Cor. 15:53,54).
Therefore, sin, which entered into mankind in the beginning has corrupted "the soul of man." This corruption is still working in man, and will not be completely overcome until,
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 (1 Cor. 15:52-54).
Until that time, we must "live by the Word of God" "witnessed by the Holy Spirit." We already have the victory "in Jesus Christ," but we must still overcome the enemy working in our minds. The Bible says, "the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (2 Cor. 4:4). The words "them which believe not," include all Christians, who do not believe the truth revealed in the Scriptures. There are many Christians today, being used greatly by God, yet do not believe the Gospel in certain areas. Therefore, they have their minds blinded by the god of this world in that particular area.
The mind is a part of our soul. The mind is subject to thoughts that come from various sources. One source is the demonic realm, where Satan, the god of this world operates. Another source is from God Himself. In Hebrews 8:10 it says. "I will put my laws into their mind..." Another source is our body. Thoughts are produced by our senses. Also, there are thoughts that are stored up in our memory.
The one area we should be most concerned about is the area where "the god of this world" puts his thoughts in our minds, called "blinding our minds" in 1 Corinthians 4:4 which says, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds (noema) of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." This is also mentioned in 2 Corinthians 2:11 saying "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices (noema)." Then in 2 Corinthians 10:5 it says, ""Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought (noema) to the obedience of Christ." Then also it says in 2 Corinthians 11:3, "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds (noema) should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." You should notice that the same Greek word, "noema" is used in all four of these verses. Each one speaking of the work of Satan in the minds of Christians.
The mind receives thoughts from the Satanic realm. Those thoughts are there to blind our minds, that we do not receive the truth of the gospel of Christ.
These thoughts come from the Satanic realm, and Satan uses them to try to control our lives here on earth. By working in the minds of people all over the world, from the time of Adam and Eve, Satan has been getting people to follow his thoughts, thinking they are their thoughts. They are not their thoughts, and they are not the LORD'S thoughts. In Isaiah, the LORD spoke to the children of Israel saying,
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isa. 55:8,9).
In Isaiah the LORD didn't tell them where "their thoughts" came from. But in the New Testament He does tell us where they come from. Besides in the four verses mentioned previously, it also tells us in Ephesians 2:2, "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." By Satan putting thoughts in our minds in times past, he controlled most of what we did in the natural. He still controls much of what Christians do, when they do not bring their thoughts into subjection to Christ within them.
In Ephesians 6:12 it says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." These rulers of the darkness of this world operate their spiritual wickedness by thoughts that they put in the minds of people. As Christians, we are told to put on the whole armor of God to stand against these thoughts put in our minds by Satanic forces.
Thoughts come from many sources, yet thoughts are not physical or natural in substance. Thoughts are "spiritual," and they operate throughout the spiritual realm. They are not limited to space or distance. Thoughts can come down to man, here on earth all the way from the third heavens where God the Father sits upon His throne. They can come from angels or demon spirits all the way from the heavens or from the other side of the earth.
Thoughts are not spirits, as angels or demons are spirits, but they are a spiritual operation of spirits and souls, used to communicate with one another. Remember what Paul said about angels in Galatians 1:8, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." Angels from heaven could preach another gospel... When God puts an angel in charge over a person, they help that person by putting thoughts in their mind.
The same applies to demon spirits. They put thoughts in the minds of people to get them to do what they want them to do. Our battle against spiritual wickedness in high places takes place in our mind. Those thoughts, called "fiery darts of the wicked," in Ephesians 6:16 are thoughts from the demonic realm.
Thoughts are not spirits, but they come from spirits in the spiritual realm. Good angels can put thoughts in our minds. The Holy Spirit can put thoughts in our minds. Many thoughts come to our minds, put there by spiritual forces operating under the direction of Satan.
When people put thoughts in our minds, it usually comes from words spoken to us. People do not put thoughts in the minds of other people without the other person knowing or at lest having some type of previous knowledge. They may generate in our minds by what we hear, see, feel, taste, or touch. But they are not injected directly from one person to another person without the help of angels or demonic spirits.
Satan does have an operation called "mind control," whereby a person receives his power to control another persons mind by thoughts put into that persons mind. But, this does not happen between two people without the help of demonic spirits.
One of the main ways Satan uses people to get thoughts in other people's minds, is to get someone to speak words that another person hears with their ears. When one person tells another person something that is not true, "it is a lie." All lies have their source in the demonic spiritual realm (John 8:44b). Some demon put the thought in a person's mind, and they went out and told others.
Many times, it's not necessary to be a spoken word, but instead a written word. When people change what the Word of God said, that is a work of Satan using someone's mind to write whatever they wrote.
A little side note here: Who do you think had someone take 1 John 5:7 out of many of the newer translations? 1 John 5:7 says "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." Who do you think had someone take half of verse 3 and all of verse 4 out of John 5? Verses 3 & 4 say,
In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
Who do you think had someone take out verse 11 from Matthew Chapter 18? Verse 11 says, "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost." Who do you think had someone take verse 37 out of Acts 8? Verse 37 says, "And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."
There are many other verses taken out of the newer translations, and many words changed to change the meaning of the original "inspired manuscripts." How many Christians today, who truly love the LORD, want Bibles that someone has taken out these very important verses? My Bible says in Revelation 22:18,19,
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
It could be that what is written here in Revelation could apply to the complete Bible, not just the book of Revelation. I wouldn't want to wait until I stand before the LORD on that last day, and find out that it did apply to the whole Bible. Here is wisdom, stay with the whole complete Bible from Genesis through Revelation, making sure what you believe agrees with that which the Holy Spirit inspired in the beginning.
Let me inject this example: A brother in the LORD, who has now gone to be with Jesus, said: The LORD appeared to him one evening after a meeting he had attended. In the meeting others decided that a certain Pastor, which he knew, was wrong in what he did. In short, when the LORD appeared to this brother that evening, He said, "in so much as you did not disagree with them, you are as guilty as they are."
It's a serious thing "to Not believe the Truth" from the Scriptures that were at one time inspired by the Holy Spirit. It's just as serious a thing to believe what others say, and find out it is not what the Holy Spirit inspired in the beginning.
Yes, the person is to blame for "not getting" their information from the Holy Spirit, but rather from another spirit. This happened to Peter in Matthew 16:21,22. When Jesus spoke to His disciples about His upcoming death and resurrection, it says, "Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee." That thought came from Satan, and therefore, Jesus "turned and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men" (Matt. 16:23). A similar situation happened with James and John in Luke 9:54. It says, "And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?" Then it tells us, "But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of." The thought came from the demonic spirit realm, and Jesus rebuked His disciples for speaking the thought out of their mouth. The words they spoke came from the thoughts that the spirits put in their minds.
Here's wisdom: The thoughts that come to your mind do not condemn you. It's the words that come out of your mouth from your heart that condemns you (Prov. 4:23, Matt. 15:19,20, Mark 7:21). Therefore, reject all thoughts that do not agree with the written Word of God, no matter where they come from (2 Cor. 10:5).
A PHYSICAL BODY
In Genesis 2:7 it says, "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground..." Man's body was formed of the dust of the ground. That was the beginning of mankind on this earth.
Let's go back to see where this dust of the ground came from. In Genesis 1:2 it says, "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." The dust of the ground came from the earth, which was "without form, and void" before man was formed. In other words, if we study Genesis 1:2 we would understand, it was at that time in a condition of worthlessness. It contained many elements, minerals, etc. but in form it was worthless.
The physical body of man was formed, of worthless material (which, sometime in the future will be burned up with fire (2 Peter 3:10)). The body of man was not perfect in the day that it was formed by the LORD God. Even though, God looking at what He had created said, "it was very good" (Gen. 1:30). It was very good in the way that the LORD God had formed it, for the purpose He formed it. But, understand, the LORD already knew it was temporal, and we would have a new body for all eternity (Gen. 3:19, 1 Cor. 15:44).
In 1 Corinthians 15:34 it says, "It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power." God had a plan for man right from the beginning, and it included that man would become like "Jesus," the Son of God; who became Man, so that we could become like Him. God's plan was not that man should live forever "on this earth." God has foreknowledge of all things, and reveals His foreknowledge in His written Word.
Notice in Genesis 2:9, it says, "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." Notice, "The Tree of Life" was already in the garden when the LORD God placed man in the garden. What is the purpose of "The Tree of Life"? It is so that man could have (future tense) "eternal life with God in Christ Jesus." For Adam and Eve to obtain "eternal life with God in Christ Jesus" they would need to eat of "The Tree of Life."
You will notice, after man ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, it says in Genesis 3:24, "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." God preserved "the way of the tree of life" until after the price was paid for the sins of mankind. Even though, "the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8).
God knew the physical body of man, which the LORD God formed from the dust of the ground would become mortal after man sinned in the garden of Eden. God knew man would sin in the garden of Eden before He created man. Therefore, by the wisdom of God, "the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8).
God had a plan for man from the foundation of the world and Satan could not change God's plan, no matter what the devil did. Before the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, the names of all who would receive Jesus Christ and inherit eternal life, were already written in the book of life (Rev. 17:8).
God is eternal, from eternity to eternity, and His knowledge is beyond all comprehension. No mind can totally understand the vastness and completeness of the knowledge of God. By the knowledge of God, He prepared the heavens and the earth for His glory! In preparing the future, before the foundation of this world, God included eternal life for all who will receive and obey the LORD Jesus Christ.
Satan, who was in the beginning perfect in the day that he was created sinned and lost his position as the anointed cherub. In Ezekiel 28:14,15 it tells us,
Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
Satan was perfect in the day that he was created, until iniquity was found in him. He started in perfection, and ended up in corruption.
Man was "without sin" in the day that he was created, but man was not perfect in the day that the LORD God formed him from the dust of the ground. God had a better plan for man, to become perfect "in Christ Jesus."
This perfection of man included that man would receive a glorified body which would become a part of "the body of Christ," "in Christ." Therefore it included that man would also have a spiritual body, which comes after the natural body. In 1 Corinthians 15:43,44 it says,
It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
The devil started in perfection and ended up in corruption, and dishonor. Man started in corruption and those who receive the LORD and are born again of the Spirit, will end up in perfection, "in Christ Jesus."
Satan was given the opportunity to live forever in the presence of God. By His own choosing, he went from glory to dishonor. Man was given an opportunity to go from dishonor to glory in Christ Jesus, by eating of "The Tree of Life," and live forever. The choice was there in the garden of Eden before Adam and Eve sinned and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
God had a wonderful plan, even from the foundation of the world, for every person who will receive His Son, "Jesus Christ," as LORD and Savior. For everyone who will believe on the LORD Jesus Christ and obey Him. It is a perfect plan, and it leads to perfection of "body, soul, and spirit." In 1 Thessalonians 5:23 it says, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Look Who is going to do this? It says, "the very God of peace sanctify you wholly..."
No one can make better plans than God Himself. No matter what Satan does or did, it cannot prevent any individual from obtaining the perfect plan of God in their life. God is not a respecter of persons, and no matter what Satan did, or Adam did, or anyone else did, "You and I have the same opportunity that Adam had in the beginning." We all can choose to eat of "The Tree of Life" and live forever.... This physical body is only temporal, but our life in Christ Jesus is eternal.
While we are still on earth in this temporal body of flesh and bones, it is our responsibility to "present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service" (Rom. 12:1). God has provided, through the Cross, the body and blood of Jesus Christ, to preserve this physical body until we go to be with Jesus... It is our responsibility to live by the Word of God and receive all the benefits of our redemption and inheritance in Christ Jesus. Our physical bodies were included in "redemption."
The Spirit of Man
A general overview of The Spirit of Man
Very few Christians understand the operation of the spirit of man, therefore, they are easily deceived into operating from their mind and not their spirit. The spirit of man has three main operations or functions. The conscience, the intuition, and communion with God.
The conscience discerns between right and wrong. It operates separately from the soul, and is not controlled by the soul (although we can sever our conscience to the degree that we override its function in our lives). As an example, some people who have engaged in stealing over and over, have severed their conscience to the degree that it does not warn them of the wrong they are doing. The same with murder and other crimes. The conscience is independent of the soul. Therefore, it reacts to what the soul does regardless of what we think in our mind. Our mind can say one thing and our conscience can alert us totally in a different direction. Everyone has a conscience when they are born into this world. It is a part of the human spirit.
Another part of the human spirit is intuition, a knowing without any previous thought or idea. It comes in an instant of time, and it is always positive insomuch that there is no doubt that what is known is truth. This knowing (intuition) operates from the spirit of man and not from the soul, or mind. It is instant knowledge that cannot be explained as to how we knew what we knew. It is automatic and precise and always accurate. We understand what we know, but we cannot explain how we knew. This is a part of the way prophecy comes to us. Job 32:8 says, "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding."
The third part of the human spirit is communication with God. Our spirit does communicate with God. Everything God does in our lives, He does it through our spirit. Every revelation we receive from God comes through our spirit. We may think we received it in our mind, but it came by way of our spirit. Our spirit can pray to God for us (1 Cor. 14:14). This is very evident in Spirit filled Christians, the tongues (glossa) comes from our spirit, not our soul or mind. In 1 Corinthians 14:14, Paul said, "For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful." It's not his soul that is praying, but his spirit does the praying. His spirit is communicating with God. It says in 1 Corinthians 14:2, "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." This is totally an operation of the spirit of man, and not of the mind or soul.
In the Beginning
If you will notice in Genesis 2:7, the spirit of man is not mentioned. Only the physical body and the living soul. Yet, in Job 32:8 it tells us specifically, "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." For those who have not gone to school, they may not understand this, but for anyone who has gone beyond third-grade, when it says "in man," that means that the spirit and the man are two different things. The spirit is not man, and the man is not the spirit. The spirit of man is "in man"... In Zechariah 12:1 it 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." Again, it says the LORD "formeth the spirit of man within him."
In Isaiah 42:5 it says, "Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein." Notice the words "people" and "spirit" are used in the same statement, indicating that the people and the spirit are not the same thing.
Now look at something about the person and the spirit in the following verses:
Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:
Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
In both of these verses, the LORD is going to put "a new spirit in man." If He's going to put a new spirit within man, then man is not the spirit, but the spirit is "in man."
The purpose for God putting a spirit in man is so that God has a part in man, where He can communicate and direct man totally and completely without depending upon man. God is not dependant upon man, man is dependant upon God. God operates in each individual from their spirit, which He placed in man.
Proverbs 20:27 says, "The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly." God uses the spirit of man to guide and direct man's life. He uses man's spirit to give man understanding by the inspiration of His Spirit within man (Job 32:8). Prophecy comes from man's spirit, not his soul and not his head, but from the spirit of man within him. Job 32:18-22 says,
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.
This is true prophecy. It comes from the spirit of man, not from the mind or the soul. It comes by the will of the Holy Spirit, as the Spirit wills, not by the will of man (1 Cor. 12:11). It comes by inspiration, not by intellectual knowledge, reasoning, learning, or imagination. Prophecy is of God not of man. See also 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. The Holy Spirit caused the Old Testament Scriptures to be written by "inspiration" from the spirit of man (2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20,21).
Here is wisdom: Man's spirit was not dead to God in the Old Testament times. It was alive unto God from before sin entered into man and continued to be alive unto God ever since. Man's spirit did not become dead to God when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden.
Notice also in Ezekiel 36:26 it says, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you..." God is not ignorant when it comes to grammar. He used the word "spirit" and the word "heart" in the same statement. That means the spirit of man and the heart of man are not the same thing. The spirit of man is one thing and the heart of man is another thing. We need wisdom from God when we study the Scriptures, the wisdom of men will only confuse us, but with God there is no confusion. When God speaks, He speaks wisdom and truth and there is no lie.
Look at the wonderful wisdom and knowledge of God 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." Now we know that there is a spirit in man, there always was from the beginning. But, God did not dwell "in" the spirit of man in the Old Testament times. God could not dwell "in man," because man "was flesh." So God gave man a spirit in the beginning so He could give man understanding by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit from man's spirit (Job 32:8, 2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20,21).
Until Jesus became Man, and paid the price for our redemption, and cleansed us from all sin, God could not dwell "in man." In John 7:38,39 it says,
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
God could not put His Holy Spirit in man until after Jesus was glorified. Jesus said in John 16:7, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you."
After Jesus arose again from the dead, He sent the Holy Spirit to reside "in man." But, first, you will notice the disciples had to be born again (receive a new spirit) before God could put His Holy Spirit in them (John 3:6,7, 14:17, 20:22, Acts 1:4,5,8).
God had a wonderful plan from the foundation of the world, which included His Son becoming as Man so man could become true children of God "in Christ." First, God's Son had to become man, through the virgin birth (Luke 1:35). Then, once Jesus became "the first born from the dead" all those who would receive Him could become "born again" of the Spirit, and become "in Him." Once again; Jesus had to first become Man, before we could become "children of God," "in Him." God was "with man," but not "in man" before Jesus arose again from the dead.
Through this plan, "from the foundation of the world," Satan was defeated and can never again stand before the throne of God in Heaven. But, "as children of God," we can spend eternity with God, and praise and worship God before His throne forever and ever (Rev. 5:11-14). What Satan lost, we gained... Praise the LORD!
There was nothing wrong with the spirit that God gave man in the beginning. It served God's purpose for the time from Adam until each individual becomes born again of the Spirit (John 3:6). Yet, God needed "a new spirit" in man, for Him to dwell in. Similar to what Jesus said in Matthew 9:17, "Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved."
The spirit that was in man from the beginning was not the Spirit that God had planned for those who are "new creatures in Christ." Our new spirit is joined "One Spirit with the LORD!" To be joined "One Spirit with the LORD, we had to "come out of Adam and into Christ." We had to be translated from the powers of darkness into the kingdom of God's Son (Col. 1:13).
Christ was not yet glorified when Adam was created, therefore a spirit was in man, but then had to be replaced with a new spirit to dwell "in Christ." It's simple, too simple for most people to understand.
Remember what Jesus said in John 7:38, "out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." The spirit of man is in his belly, not his head, not his mind, and not his heart. Christians will always have problems knowing "what is of God" and "what is of man" until they know the difference between their mind (which is in their head), and their spirit (which is in their belly).
The firstborn from the dead
"Jesus" was the "firstborn" from the dead. The Scripture 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" (Rom. 8:29). Therefore, Jesus was "the firstborn from the dead" when the Spirit of God raised Him from the dead. Romans 6:9 says, "Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him." Revelation 1:5 says, "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead..." Revelation 1:18 says, "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." Colossians 1:15 says, "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature."
Jesus Christ is "the Second man," He is "the firstborn from the dead." Romans 8:11 says, "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead (nekos) dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead (nekos) shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." The Holy Spirit "raised up Christ from the dead (nekos)." The name Jesus and the name Christ pertain to the same Person in this verse. It was Jesus Christ that God raised from the dead.
What does it mean by "raised up Jesus from the dead (nekos)?" This English word "dead" in our Bibles comes from the Greek word "nekos," meaning "a corpse." In 1 Peter 3:18, Peter is talking about the same thing as Paul is talking about in Romans 8:11, saying "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death (thanatoo) in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:" In the Greek the word used in this verse for death is "thanatoo," meaning "to kill."
Therefore, the death of Jesus is that "He was killed," and His body became "a corpse." They took His dead body and laid it in a tomb. But what happened to Jesus, Himself?
Jesus Himself was a man, "a living soul." Man is "a living soul." Man was created a living soul in the beginning (Gen. 2:7, 1 Cor. 15:45). A living soul never ceases to "exist." Jesus continued to exist as "a living soul." Jesus' soul went down to hell. In Psalm 16:10 it says, "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." Jesus' "living soul" went down into hell "with our sins and iniquities laid upon Him." In 2 Corinthians 5:21 it says, "For he (God) hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." But God did not permit Him to stay in hell. The Spirit of God raised Jesus "a living soul" from death and hell.
Unless we understand that man is "a living soul," in a body of flesh, and having a spirit within him, we will not understand the Scriptures concerning Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. We also will not understand our new birth "in Christ."
When Jesus' physical body was put to death (was killed, became a corpse, and they laid it in a tomb), His "living soul" (which could not cease to exist) went down into hell. God had given His Word in Psalm 16:10 and "God cannot not lie:" Therefore, the Spirit of God raised Jesus again from the dead. He is now "the firstborn from the dead." He was dead and now He is alive. His body became a corpse, with no physical life in it. Yet, His "living soul" continued to exist, "it cannot and will not cease to exist." "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance" (Rom. 11:29).
Jesus was a Man, born of a woman. As a Man, He is "a living soul" that would never cease to exist. Jesus died on the Cross. Before He died, it says, "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost." (Luke 23:46). Jesus' Spirit (ghost) went back to God, its maker. Ecclesiastes 12:7 says, "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."
Did Jesus' Spirit die? No. His Spirit went back to His Father in Heaven. When Jesus' "living soul" left His body He was declared "dead." Hebrews 2:9 says, "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." Jesus took our "eternal death" that had passed upon us in the garden of Eden upon Himself, that we could have eternal life "in Him." Our eternal death was swallowed up in victory, when Jesus Christ arose again from the dead. See. 1 Corinthians 15:55-57.
Living souls never cease to exist. The soul of man is a gift from God, it will always exist somewhere. Jesus' soul left His body and went down into the lower parts (hell). But, Jesus' soul was not left in hell, for the Spirit God raised Him (His living soul and body) from hell and death.
If Christians would believe the Word of God, instead of the words of men, they would know the Truth and the Truth will set them free! Jesus said in John 10:11, "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life (psuche; living soul) for the sheep." When Jesus died on the Cross, He gave his living soul for you and I. In John 10:17,18, Jesus said,
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life (psuche; living soul), that I might take it again.
No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Man was created "a living soul" and when Jesus came into this world, born of a woman, He became Man, "a living soul" with a physical body, and a Spirit from God. There was a Spirit in Jesus, it was the same Spirit He always had as the Son of God. When He died on the Cross, Jesus sent that same Spirit back to God, and His "living soul" went down into hell.
Jesus went into the lower parts to redeem us from sin and death, and overcome all the works of the devil for us. He was our substitute. He did it for us! Hebrews 2:9 tells us, "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."
Hebrews 2:14 says, "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." As a Man, the Son of Man, "Jesus (a living soul)," defeated Satan. He made an open show of Satan before all the demons in hell. Colossians 2:15 says, "And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." Jesus took the keys of death and hell from Satan. In Revelation 1:18, 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." Then, the Spirit of God arose Him again from the dead, and Jesus became "the firstborn from the dead."
Because of what Jesus did for us (as a living soul), it says,
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:8-11).
It is not the name "Christ" that is exalted above every name. It is the name "Jesus" (a Man; a living soul) that is exalted above every name. It was Jesus, (a Man, a living soul) that defeated Satan for us. Therefore, because that He died and now lives forevermore; in the new birth, we are born again of the Spirit into the body of "the firstborn from the dead," which is Christ.
He is the Captain of our salvation, He is the Head of the body, and we are members of His body in particular. We are "in Him" and He is "in us." We are One Spirit with the LORD!
We are still a "living soul," in the body of Christ, a new creature in Him. A living soul is not "flesh and blood." A living soul is of a spiritual substance, not physical. Therefore, "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit"...it is not flesh. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh" (John 3:6).
Those who cannot understand what is written above, cannot understand spiritual things. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." Verse 10 says, "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."
For those who are born again, God has finished the first part of our new Creature in Christ, He has translated us from "the flesh of Adam" into "the Spirit of Christ." Now, there is still more to be done, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Cor. 15:53). Hebrews. 2:8,9 tells us, "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."
God is not through with us yet, but He has declared the end from the beginning of the foundation of the world. Our names were "written in the book of life from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 17:8). We have eternal life in Christ Jesus, and this eternal life will never end.
Adam did not have eternal life in Christ Jesus. He didn't eat of the Tree of Life. When we were born again of the Spirit, we received eternal life in Christ Jesus. We have what Adam did not have. It's ours to keep, if we "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses" (1 Tim 6:12). As it says in 1 Corinthians 15:49, "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." Did you notice it says "we shall also bear the image of the heavenly"? "We shall," is future tense. It may not look like we all bear the image of the heavenly now, but in the times to come we will bear the image of the heavenly. The image of the flesh is "mortality, corruption, sin, etc." The image of the heavenly is "righteousness, holy, etc."
1) When we were born again of the Spirit, we were translated from the flesh to the Spirit (Rom. 8:9, Col. 1:13).
2) We went from being under the authority of the god of this world to the authority of the God of all creation (2 Cor. 5:17).
3) We moved up from being an earthly creature to a heavenly creature in Christ (John 17:16).
4) We were adopted by God the Father from this world into His heavenly family (Eph. 1:4).
5) We've gone from slavery in Adam to Priests and kings in Christ Jesus (Rev. 1:6).
6) We went from living according to the flesh, to living by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4).
There should be a total change in the way we live. Just as the Bible talks about a change in the Priesthood in Hebrews 7:11-28). Our eternal life is an assurance of a change in the way we live. We should no longer live by the natural means, like those of this world. We should live by a witness in our spirit, the Holy Spirit bearing witness with our spirit. We should also live by every Word that proceeded out of the mouth of God.
We can start living our new life in Christ Jesus by living by the Words spoken by Jesus Himself. We should never stop living by the Words spoken by Jesus Himself.
Jesus is the Word of God manifested in the flesh (John 1:1,2,14). Jesus said, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth" (Mark 9:23). We should live by believing every Word that was spoken by Jesus, "the Living Word of God."
In John 4:46 it tells us, there came to Jesus "a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum." In John 4:50 "Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way." This is how we live in the kingdom of God. Simply, without doubt in our heart, believe the Word of God! It does not have to agree with our mind, our thinking, our reasoning, or our imagination. The Word of God is above everything that is created. Everything that is created was created by "the Word of God." Everything that exists is subject to the Word of God. It tells us, "In the beginning was the Word...All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:1,3).
Back to John 4:51 speaking of the nobleman, it says, "And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth." The nobleman "believed the Word that Jesus had spoken," and his son lived. Verses 52,53 sum it all up by saying,
Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.
So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house.
The nobleman "believed the Words Jesus had spoken," and a miracle happened, his son lived!
Life in the Spirit of Christ should be a life of supernatural miracles. Believe the Words that God spoke and it shall come to pass. We should live, "not by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeded out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4).
Christians must learn to believe the Word of God and not the circumstances, not what they hear with their ears or see with their eyes. In the spiritual realm, the Word of God is the Highest Authority over all creation. Nothing can stand against the Word of God. Jesus is the Word of God, and His name is above every name (Phil. 2:9,10).
Jesus and the Word of God are One. John 1:1 speaking of Jesus says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." All who are in Christ are One (John 17:21). As the Word of God worked for Jesus, so will it work for any Christian who believes. Believe the Word of God above and beyond all circumstances. Every circumstance must bow to the Word of God. Every creature must bow to the name of Jesus.
Live by a witness in your spirit by the Spirit of God bearing a witness with your spirit. In Romans 8:16 it says, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." This is only the beginning of our "new life in Christ." God works from our spirit, not our head. "Out of our belly (our spirit) flows rivers of living water" (John 7:38).
Our walk in the Spirit is "a knowing," coming from our spirit not our mind. In our spirit we know (not by something we learned by study or experience). It's an "instant knowing," that comes from our spirit, inspired by the Holy Spirit within us. It's something we know, without any previous knowledge. It's instant, without any previous thought. From our spirit, God imparts knowledge beyond any previous knowledge. As Jesus said, "out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38).
When we are led by the Holy Spirit that is how He leads us, from our spirit which is in our belly. The more sensitive we become to the witness of the Spirit from our spirit, the more God can use us. It's not a voice, it's a witness in our spirit, a knowing that had no previous knowledge. It's similar to a word of knowledge, or word of wisdom (1 Cor. 12:7-11). It's an operation of God, not of man. God, the Holy Spirit gives us a witness in our spirit and we know, without any previous knowledge, whatsoever God desires for us to know.
We must learn the leading of the Holy Spirit from within us, from our spirit. For the Scripture says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Rom. 8:14).
A NEW CREATURE
We must not let ourselves be misled in not knowing the difference between "Created" and "Born Again." The word "create" usually means "to cause to come into existence; to bring into being; to make; or originate." When God created things that do appear they were usually created of things that did not previously exist in the natural (Heb. 11:3). When God created mankind, man became a living soul. But, at that time no one was born in the flesh. Everyone existed, but the only ones who appeared in natural form were Adam, and then Eve the same day. After that, when children were born into this world, their soul joined with a physical body and they became "born of the flesh." Their soul always existed in man, but they were not born in the flesh until they were joined with a body of their own. So, therefore, there is a difference between being created and born.
Our "first birth" was when we were first born of the flesh. Our second birth, is when we are born of the Spirit. Neither of these are our beginning, they are only the changes that take place in our lives as we receive that which God had planned for us from the foundation of the world.
When a person is "born again of the Spirit," we are "a new creature" in Christ Jesus, but we are not "a new creation" as some teach. We have not been "recreated," only born again "redeemed," adopted by God into His heavenly family. We are still the same living soul, but we changed positions, we went from the flesh of man to the Spirit of Christ.
Yet, this is the exciting part, for 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Isn't this wonderful, "a new creature...all things are become new." Before we take one verse of Scripture and go with it, we should consider all Scripture, from Genesis through Revelation. Notice in the above verse it says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ..." Look closely, it says "man be in Christ..." That says that man and Christ are two different things. The "man" is "in Christ." Who is "the man" and who is "Christ"?
Now look at Romans 8:9, which says, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" Then it says, "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." This eliminates anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ, or we could say, anyone who is not "in Christ" (2 Cor. 5:17). Therefore, according the first part of Romans 8:9, those who are in Christ, "are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit..." If we are not in the flesh, "but in the Spirit..." who are we? We are not Christ, but we are "in Christ." Also, we are not in Adam, "the flesh," but we are in Christ, "the Spirit."
Look at Colossians 1:13, which says, "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." We have been "delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son." That still doesn't say, who are we? We are not the Son of God, but we are sons of God "in Christ" Jesus. Are we Christ? No. Then who are we?
We are still who we were from the beginning, "a living soul" that has changed positions. We were in the flesh of Adam and now we are in the Spirit of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:22 it says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." We were dead in trespasses and sins in Adam, but now we are alive and free of all sins and iniquities in Christ Jesus. God has translated us "a living soul" from the powers of darkness into the kingdom of His Dear Son.
Now let's go back to John 3:6, which says, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." What was born of the flesh? It was the natural man of the flesh, when we were born into this world. This was not our beginning as "a living soul." We were in Adam from the beginning. We were created by the LORD God in Genesis 2:7, when the first body of man was formed from the dust of the ground. We were breathed into that body by the breath of the LORD God. We existed at that time, and have continued to exist ever since that time.
The first time we appeared in a human body of our own is when we were born of the flesh. When we were born of the flesh we took on the nature of man. In our case, individually, we were born with sin and death resident within us. 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." Notice, "death passed upon all men." Sin and death became resident within us. We were born in sin... In Psalm 51:5 King David says, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." There was sin resident in our flesh. Study Romans 7:19-23, it says,
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.
The law of sin is in our flesh...sin brings death. Sin and death were resident in us when we were born into this world "born of the flesh." Our physical bodies were mortal (death residing in them, in the process of dying) right from our birth "in the flesh." Our minds were corrupted by sin right from the time we were "born of the flesh." Mortality and corruption were resident within us from our birth "in the flesh." In 1 Corinthians 15:53 it says, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
What was born of the flesh? It was, "our natural body, with the law of sin and death resident in it." We came into this world with a body that had sin and death resident in it. We were not the body, we were the "living soul" that came all the way from Adam until we became man "spirit, soul, and body" ourselves, individually.
Notice; our birth in the flesh is not the beginning of our lives. We already had a living soul from the creation of man in Genesis 2:7. Our birth in the flesh was only the beginning of our life as an individual human being on this earth in a body of flesh and bones. At the same time, our new birth, "born of the Spirit" is not the beginning of our life. It is only the beginning of our new creature in Christ "born of the Spirit." We already existed and had a living soul from the time of Genesis 2:7. One birth, "born of the flesh," gave us a body of flesh and bones. The New birth took us out of Adam and "into Christ."
At the time of our birth "in the flesh" we became man, "born of the flesh."
1) Born in corruption (but planned by God to be raised in incorruption).
2) Born in sin (but planned by God to be raised in righteousness).
3) Born in mortality (but planned by God to be raised immortal).
"For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all" (Rom. 11:32). That we might be saved by grace through faith, that none can boast (Eph. 2:8,9). "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" (Rom. 11:33).
What was born of the Spirit? In 1 Corinthians 15:44 it says, "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." We were born of the Spirit, into "the spiritual body of Christ." Our first birth was of the flesh, "in the flesh." Our new birth is of the Spirit "in the Spirit of Christ." The flesh is from the first Adam. The Spirit is from the Second Adam. It is vitally important to understand what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:45-49. The Holy Spirit inspired these writings for our understanding. It says,
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
Most of the error taught among Christians can be eliminated by understanding the fifteenth Chapter of 1 Corinthians. This is "the gospel" that Paul preached. It is not another Gospel, it is the same Gospel that Jesus preached. If Christians don't understand this Gospel, how can they understand the Gospel Jesus preached?
Our "life is hid with Christ in God" (Col 3:3). We are no longer in Adam but in Christ (1 Cor. 15:22). We are born again "in Christ," by the Spirit of God. Born of the Holy Spirit into the Spirit of Christ. Yet, we are still a "living soul," we have been "delivered...from the power of darkness, and...translated ...into the kingdom of his dear Son" (Col. 1:13). We are still "we," we haven't changed, but we are "a New Creature in Christ." We are born again from above, heaven is our home, earth is only our temporal dwelling place until we go to be with Jesus forever and ever.
LIVING IN THE SPIRIT
Being that the spirit of a Christian is a new spirit, which came down from heaven when we were born again of the Spirit, we need to pay attention to what the Word has to say about our spirit and spiritual things.
Being born again of the Spirit, we are translated from the flesh into the Spirit "in Christ." It is important to understand the operation of God "from our Spirit."
Before we were born again our whole life was an operation of the soul, receiving thoughts in our minds from different sources (the flesh, the demonic realm and our spirit). But, being born again, a new creature in Christ, we must learn to hear from God in our new Spirit. God want's to be in control of what we do. He has a will for our lives. He is working in us to do His will. Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." God has a perfect will for each individual that comes to Jesus and receives Him as LORD and Savior. It is the desire of God that we receive all our directions from the Holy Spirit within us.
The first thing a Christian should do is learn to listen to the leading of the Spirit within them. In my life, once I was born again at the age of 45, within months I knew "within me" that I needed to be baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. I didn't know anyone personally that spoke in tongues at the time. So I started searching for someone to help me, that I might receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
It took me two years before I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Now, knowing what I know, there is no reason for anyone who is born again to have to wait to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. God will give the gift of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues to anyone who is born again at anytime they so desire to receive.
It's so simple, if you truly know within yourself that you are born again, just ask the Father to baptize you in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues? If you believe in your heart that He will, He will. It's that simple. God's desire for you to be baptized in the Holy Spirit is greater than your desire to receive. His will for you to receive is greater than your desire to receive.
Once you are born again, your spirit is a new spirit that came down from heaven, "to do the will of God." It was God's will that you become born again of the Word and the Spirit (John 6:44). It was God that made you a new creature in Christ (John 1:13). It was the LORD that called you and ordained you that you should do the same things He did (John 15:16; 17:18; 14:12).
Your new spirit is joined One Spirit with the LORD (1 Cor. 6:17). The fulness of the Godhead dwells in you (Col. 2:9,10). God is working in you to will and to do His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). "Your life is hid with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3). "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,...hath blessed (you) with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 1:3). Your spirit, where God dwells is perfect, for God cannot have fellowship with the works of darkness (2 Cor. 6:14-16). "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). Jesus said, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world" (John 17:16).
Therefore, Colossians 3:1,2 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.
There is nothing in this world more important than those things which are above, where Christ sits upon His throne. God "hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6).
Considering all that God has done for us in Christ Jesus, we should desire to do His Will, not our will. As we renew our mind on the Word of God, by His Spirit working within us, He will guide, comfort, lead, teach, and help us in every area of our lives. There is nothing too hard for the LORD (Gen. 18:14).
We are still in the world, but not of the world... Therefore, Satan is still working to prevent us from doing the will of God while we are still here in our earthly bodies. We must understand why the LORD is keeping us here on earth, then purpose in our heart to do His will, not our will.
In 1 John 2:15-17 we are told,
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.
Satan will do everything he can to keep our eyes upon the world and the things of this world. He will do everything he can, to keep us from "walking after the Spirit." Satan will do everything he can to get us to "walk after the flesh."
We are still a living soul, and our mind is in our soul. Jesus said in John 12:24, "He that loveth his life (psuche) shall lose it; and he that hateth his life (psuche) in this world shall keep it unto life (Zoe) eternal." The Greek word "psuche" means our soul life. Jesus is not talking about dying physically. Jesus is talking about "denying ourselves," that is, not listening to our natural mind, but listening to "the Spirit of God within us."
We must learn to deny the natural thinking and get our information from our spirit, where God dwells in us. Some have said it this way, "learn to shut down your natural mind so you can hear from your spirit."
Our natural mind still wants to operate the way the world operates. Thoughts are constantly coming to our natural mind, "things to do, things we want, things in the future, things in the past, things in the present." Our natural mind is like a horse on a race track, running, and running, and running; getting no where fast. Every time we want to get alone and pray or study the Word, our mind has many other things it wants to do. It is constantly trying to get us to stop praying and stop studying the Word. Thoughts keep coming and coming, trying to get us to think on other things, other than praying and studying, and spending time alone with God.
We must bring our minds under subjection to the Spirit of Christ in us (2 Cor. 10:5). We must take control of our natural mind and receive from our spirit that which God has for us. To be led by the Spirit we must receive from the Spirit of God within us. It's up to us, to listen to the Spirit of God within us. God is not going to force us to listen.
God is for us, and not against us (Rom. 8:31). God is working in us to will and to do His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). It's up to us "each one individually," to listen to our spirit and hear from God. In Revelation 2:7, the LORD said, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches..." Everyone who is born again of the Spirit "has an ear to hear what the Spirit says." That does not mean "listen for an audible voice." God may speak to some with an audible voice at times, but that is not normal for Christians. That is only in extreme cases, that God speaks to someone with an audible voice. Be aware, Satan also speaks with an audible voice at times. You must know the difference between the voice of God and the voice of Satan.
Jesus said in John 7:38, "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." Whatsoever the Holy Spirit speaks to us, it will come from our spirit, which is in our belly. If we are truly listening to the voice of God from our spirit, it will be a daily, constant flowing of the Word of God coming from our spirit. Jesus said, "rivers of living water," not just a little trickle here, and a little trickle there, at times. It should be a constant "leading of the Holy Spirit" from our spirit.
In Jesus' life, He said He never did anything unless He first heard from His Father. In John 5:30 Jesus said, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge..." In John 8:26 Jesus said, "I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him."
According to all that Jesus taught about Himself, He made it clear that He "walked after the Spirit." To walk after the Spirit we must not let our mind control what we do; we must be controlled by the Spirit of God in us. To do that, we must not let what we see with our eyes and hear with our ears control what we do. The circumstance around us must not move us. We must put our faith in God and in His Word and not be moved by what happens around us. One example of this in the life of Jesus is when He came to His disciples, "walking on the sea" (Matt. 14:25). Man can walk on water. But to do it, we must first "shut down our natural mind and walk after our spirit." Matthew 14:26 says, "when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear." Fear is a spirit, and it is not from God (2 Tim. 1:7). When we let our natural mind have control, the spirits of this world will try to control what we think and what we do. Jesus did not permit the spirits of this world to control what He was doing. He got the idea of walking on the water from His Spirit (from His Father, Who was in Him).
Look what happened to Peter at that time. "Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water" (Matt. 14:28). Jesus said to Peter, Come, "And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus." Jesus would not have told Peter to come if He hadn't first heard from His Father. Peter, in obedience to Jesus, "walked on the water," until "when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid" (Matt. 14:29a). The spirit of fear operating in the mind of Peter stopped him from walking on the water. Jesus continued to walk after the Spirit, not letting His natural mind have any control over Him as He walked on the water; therefore, Jesus was able to take Peter by the hand and help him into the ship.
Here's another example of how Jesus did nothing until He first heard from His Father. In John 8:3-11, "the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery..." Jesus did not answer them according to His natural mind. Jesus waited until He had heard from His Father. After hearing from His Father, He said to them, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (John 8:7). After they all left, "Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more" (John 8:11). In verses 14,15 Jesus explained how He judged, by saying,
Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
Whenever Jesus heard from His Father, what He heard always agreed with the will of God from Genesis through Revelation.
Jesus said of those who would follow Him, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27). This voice Jesus is speaking of is not an audible voice. It's a knowing, which comes from your spirit. Thoughts come to your mind from your spirit, empowered by the Holy Spirit within you. It's a knowing, a positive Word from God. He gives direction, by a positive knowing from your spirit. Everything you receive from the Holy Spirit is "positive," and "a knowing," not a question. The Holy Spirit speaks according to the Word of God, never contrary to the Word of God.
We must learn to deny ourselves and get our directions from the Holy Spirit within us. He dwells in us to Lead, Guide, Comfort, Teach, and Help us. Those who are born again of the Spirit have "ears to hear" what the Spirit has to say... It's up to each individual, if they will hear what the Spirit has to say?
We must understand the operation of God in our spirit. There are three parts to man, "spirit, soul, and body" (1 Thess. 5:23). God is in the process of perfecting all three parts of man. When we were born again "of the Spirit" the process of perfection began. We received a new spirit, which came down from heaven.
In Ezekiel 11:19 and 36:26, God said, "a new (chadash) spirit will I put within you..." In the Hebrew, the word "chadash" means "a new, fresh; a new thing." It's not a regenerated spirit as some teach. It's brand new, came down from Heaven, where everything is perfect. This new spirit is "already perfected" by God. In this new spirit within us, the fullness of the Godhead dwells (Col. 2:9,10). The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all dwell in our new spirit. In our new spirit we are seated "together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6). In our new spirit, "God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ...hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 1:3).
We are warned in Colossians 2:8-10,
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
The teachings of men can easily lead us astray if we do not understand spiritual things. God has given us "a perfect spirit." It was in Christ Jesus before He was crucified and raised again from the dead (Col. 2:11-12). In this new spirit, we are born again of the Spirit and the Word. In 1 Peter 1:23 it says, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." This is the beginning of the fulfillment of Genesis 1:26. This new spirit is in the likeness and image of God. God Himself dwells in our new spirit in His fulness.
There are those who teach, "you must train your spirit." God never told anyone to "train their spirit." You cannot train God. God is in our new created spirit, and He is perfecting us from within our spirit. We cannot perfect ourselves. We can only obey the Holy Spirit as He works in us and through us to perfect us. Hebrews 13:20,21 says,
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.
It is God that is going to make us "perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight..." In 1 Peter 5:10 it says, "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." God will "make you perfect..." What we could not do, God will do for us... working in us to will and do His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).
What God told those who are in Christ to do is two things, "present our bodies a living sacrifice unto God" and "renew our mind," that we are no longer conformed to this world, but rather transformed by the renewing of our mind. It says in Romans 12:1,2,
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
God did not say one word about what we should do about our spirit. God has already perfected our spirit... We are to renew our mind (which is a part of our soul) to be led by the Spirit from our new created spirit within us.
In Romans 1:9, the apostle Paul said, "He serves God with his spirit," not his mind. We cannot serve God with our natural mind, but we must bring our natural mind under subjection to the spirit. We cannot walk after the Spirit by our natural mind. We must bring our mind into subjection to the Word of God which is in our spirit. In 2 Corinthians 10:5 we are told how to bring our thoughts into subjection to Christ, who dwells in our new created spirit. If we are to serve God, we must do it with our spirit.
In John 6:45, Jesus said, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." If we are to be taught by God, we should find out how God teaches us? Isaiah 28:9-13 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.
When we stop trying to serve God with our natural mind, and start praying in unknown tongues (stammering lips), the Holy Spirit will teach us knowledge. He will continue to teach us until we are broken of our own desires, and willing to submit to His leading.
We need the "revelation" of who we are in Christ, that we no longer walk after the flesh but instead after the Spirit. We can get that "revelation" by spending time in the Word and praying in unknown tongues. We cannot come to the truth of the Word of God without the help of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14).
In 1 John 2:27 we are told, "The anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." When we understand this, and then apply 1 Corinthians 14:2 to it, we will receive "revelation" of all things which are needful for our lives here on earth. It tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:2, "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." The mysteries of God, and of who we are in Christ are only revealed by the Holy Spirit as we communicate with God by speaking in unknown tongues.
Here is wisdom: Some Christians have said, "I don't know what God wants me to do"! "I don't know the will of God for my life"! If anyone truly wants to know the will of God for their life, they will find out by praying in unknown tongues. The Holy Spirit will help, guide, comfort, lead, and teach them while they pray in unknown tongues. The key to knowing the will of God is praying in unknown tongues.
When you pray in unknown tongues, it is not you that does the praying, it's your new created spirit within you that does the praying. In 1 Corinthians 14:14 it says, "For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful." It's not your soul that prays, it's your spirit that does the praying. Your spirit is joined One Spirit with the LORD. Your spirit is already "perfected by God." When your spirit prays, it prays the perfect will of God for you. In Romans 8:26,27 it says,
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.
The Holy Spirit "in our spirit," helps us to pray the perfect will of God for us individually. We are not doing the praying, it is our spirit that does the praying, and the Holy Spirit within us helps us to pray. Can anyone come up with a better way? No, God is perfect in everything He does, and He is for us not against us (Rom. 8:31).
Here is wisdom: Just before Jesus went to the cross, he said in John 14:12, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." What is Jesus talking about by "greater works"? There are no "greater works" than those that God does Himself, by the power of His Holy Spirit. When Christians pray in unknown tongues, they are yielding their tongues over to the Holy Spirit to give them the utterance. When they pray in unknown tongues, the Holy Spirit has free course to use their tongues to do His will. When God's will is done, there are no "greater works" that can be done.
When Jesus made that statement in John 14:12, He was continuing what He had already said in John 14:10, "the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." It was the Father in Jesus that did the works. From that point on Jesus mentioned what is written in verse 12. Yet, He didn't stop there, He continued on through verse 16, where He spoke of them receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Verse 12 was only "a part" of what Jesus said, it included verse 16, where He said, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever"
The Holy Spirit is in all those who are baptized with the Holy Spirit. He is in us to do the will of God in our lives. He is the One who will do the works..."the greater works." We, of ourselves can do nothing (John 15:5). It's not what we do. It's what the Holy Spirit does through us...
Praying in the Spirit is one way to serve God. We serve God with our spirit as we deny ourselves and pray in an unknown tongue, as the Spirit gives us the utterance. This is God's perfect will for us as His children.
God's desire is that we "be led by the Spirit" (Rom. 8:14). Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." There can be no condemnation when we are led by the Spirit of God... It is not possible.... Condemnation comes when we walk after the flesh... Therefore, when we walk after the Spirit, Romans 8:2 explains why there is no condemnation, saying, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Our life in the Spirit sets us free of the law of sin and death. Christ bore our sins and death for us, in His own body when He died on the Cross. We were crucified with Christ, "That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Rom. 8:4).
Our new created spirit is perfect, it's the flesh that needs to be brought under subjection to the Spirit within us. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Our new life in Christ is in our spirit. We are perfect in our spirit, and we are in the process of perfecting the flesh and the soul. This process will be complete "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" (1 Cor. 15:54). For it is written, "this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Cor. 15:53).
The Scripture never tells us to do anything about "training our spirit." God has already perfected our spirit. We are to renew our minds, and become transformed that we can be led by the Spirit from within our spirit..
Notice in John 1:1 it says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." This is truly the very beginning of all creation. The Word was God right from the beginning. God never changes, therefore, the Word is still God today.
This is where Christians become deceived just as Eve was deceived in the beginning. Therefore, it is important to understand the Word of God. Lest we should also be deceived as the serpent deceived Eve.
If we look at John 1:1 along with John 1:2,3, and 14, it will help us to understand what is being said in these verses. John 1:2,3,14 says,
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
If you study these verses carefully, you will notice that they are speaking of "the Word of God." "The Word was with God and the Word was God." Not only was the Word God, but the Word also created all things. Therefore, all things were created by the Word of God. This alone should tell us the importance of "the Word of God."
Going to John 1:14 it tells us that "Jesus is the Word of God." And as we study the Scriptures we see in John 1:10, talking about Jesus it says, "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not." So, who made the world, Jesus or the Word of God? Now look at Colossians 1:16, talking about Jesus, it says, "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him." That's the same thing it says in John 1:10. These two agree, with each other.
Now look over 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." This says, "the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost," are One. When we understand that Jesus is the Word of God, then this agrees with what it said in John 1:1,2,14. Jesus and the Word of God are one, they are with God and they agree.
Once Christians are determined to believe the Word of God, then they are on the right track, to receiving all that God has planned for them, here in this world and in the ages to come. It's all based upon "believing the Word of God."
For starters, let's go back to Genesis and see what happened with Adam and Eve? In Genesis 2:16,17 it says,
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Now for those who don't read the Hebrew in these verses they could easily get into error. In the Hebrew, verse 16 does not say, "the LORD God commanded the man." It says, "the LORD God commanded man." The word "the" is not there, the translators added that word. Unfortunately it changed the meaning of the whole statement, and many have been deceived by it. The LORD was not speaking to just one man by the name of Adam. But He was speaking to all of mankind, male and female, you and I also. We were all in Adam at that time, and we were all included in that statement.
Genesis 2:16 tells us, we have a free will, we can choose what we will do, all choices are up to us. God will not force us to do anything, neither will He stop us if we do not obey Him. God has always given man a choice, to choose what He will do about His Word. Or we could say, what will man do about JESUS?
Then in Genesis 2:17 the LORD God gave His Word, along with His advice, "don't eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil"! What is God talking about when He used the term "the tree of knowledge of good and evil"? In one respect, God is simply saying, "don't listen to anyone or believe anyone who does not agree with the Word of God." Don't go by your reasoning and imaginations. Go by the Word of God. God's Word is TRUTH, and don't believe anyone or anything that does not agree with the TRUTH. We could also say, "don't believe anyone who doesn't agree with JESUS," for He is the TRUTH.
So, what happened to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3? First Eve knew the Truth, the Word of the LORD that was spoken in Genesis 2:16,17. She knew not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3:2,3). What did Eve do, knowing the Truth, when the serpent spoke to her? She listened to the voice of the serpent rather then listen to "the Word of God" which she knew to be the truth.
When we listen to another voice, another word that does not agree with "the WORD of God," it opens the door for "doubt and unbelief." Doubt and unbelief will rob us from the "best God has to offer." God is good and, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17). We should never accept anything that doesn't come from God. No matter what it is, if it didn't come from God, don't accept it...
If we make a mistake and do listen to someone who says something that does not agree with the Word of God, what should we do? The Word of God says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). Adam and Eve did not do that, instead they tried to put the blame on someone else.
Never blame anyone else for what you did. Confess your sins and be cleansed from all unrighteousness. Then "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).
You may have not noticed, but in Revelation 13:8 it says, "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Do you understand what this means? Adam and Eve's sins were paid for already before they were created, before they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. So were your sins paid for before you were born into this world. Jesus already paid the price for all your sins, iniquities, sickness and diseases before you were born into this world.
That is "the Word of God," will you believe it, or will you believe the voice of another? It's your choice, it's not what someone else said or did, it's all up to You, what will you do about "the Word of God?"
If you believe what others have said, doubt and unbelief will enter in and will rob you of your faith to believe the truth of the Word of God. Cast down all doubt and unbelief and believe the Word of God, believe JESUS!
How could Enoch walk with God for three-hundred years and then go to heaven without even dying on earth first? Do you believe "the Word of God?" It says,
And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him (Gen. 5:22-24).
Then it says in Hebrews 11:5, "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." Do you believe what it says about Enoch?
Amos 3:3 says, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Can anyone walk with God and not agree with God? If you think you can, you missed it. Enoch found the answer to life in every respect, life on earth and life in heaven. The answer is "agree with God," agree with "the Word of God," agree with JESUS!
Look what it said in Genesis 2:17, "...for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Did the LORD God tell the truth? Certainly, He did. His Word is Truth. In the Hebrew, verse 17 does not say, "die dead" the same day Adam ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It says, "thou shalt surely (muwth) die (muwth)." If you study the meaning of this word, and the exact tense of each Hebrew word (muwth), the first time (surely) it is in the "Infinitive" mood. The second time (die) is in the "Imperfect" mood. That means, neither one would mean "die dead that same day." What it means is that two deaths would "pass upon" them that day, the first death which is physical death of the natural body (called mortality), and the second death called (eternal death). Mortality is also spoken of in Romans 8:11, saying, "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..." Your "mortal bodies," are the physical bodies that mortal death came upon in the garden of Eden. Your mortal body has death residing in it, and unless the LORD intervenes, it will die and return to dust. Genesis 3:19 says, "for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." But, praise the LORD! He will intervene, for 1 Corinthians 15:52,53 says,
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.
It will happen, if not before that last trump, it will happen then. That's God's Word for those who are born again of the Word and the Spirit (1 Peter 1:23, John 3:6).
What about the second death, "eternal death"? In Revelation 20:6,14 it is called "the second death," which results in "cast into the lake of fire." These two deaths "passed upon all mankind" in the day that Adam ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They became resident in mankind from that day forth. They did not overtake mankind. 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." It says, "passed upon all men," it doesn't say "died dead." Sin and death "passed upon," meaning "became resident in all mankind."
What about the second death concerning Christians? 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 (thanatos) unto life (zoe)." When a person receives Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior, they pass from the second death unto life in Christ Jesus. Revelation 20:14 says, "And death (thanatos) and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death (thanatos)." The same Greek word used by Jesus in John 5:24 is used for the second death in Revelation 20:14, by this we know that Jesus is talking about the same death as Revelation calls the second death.
How did Enoch overcome these two deaths which were resident in him? By "the Word of God." Jesus is "the Word of God" (John 1:1,2). Already, "before the foundation of the world, the Lamb was slain" "the price was paid by the body and the blood of the Lamb." Enoch believed "the Word of God," and he continued to believe the Word of God. God was so pleased with Enoch's faith as he believed the Word of God, that God took Him to heaven,
1) even before the flood,
2) even before Jesus came in the flesh,
3) even before Jesus was crucified dead and buried,
4) even before Jesus arose again from the dead.
Long before the blood was shed on the Cross of Calvary, Enoch believed God, and God took him to heaven.
God's Word was settled in heaven from the foundation of the world. It never changed, and never will change. God and His Word are One. They cannot, and will not change. Enoch believed God, and he is with God for all eternity.
What about you and I, will we believe God? Or will we listen to the voice of the devil, speaking through the mouths of others? Psalm 119:89 says, "For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven." In Isaiah 46:9,10 it says,
Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
All that God has done and all that God will ever do on the earth was already settled in heaven from the foundation of the world. Whosoever will believe the Word of God will receive all that God has promised from the foundation of the world. God is good and His mercy endures forever. Psalm 100:5 says, "For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations." Psalm 103:11 says "For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him." Psalm 106:1 says, "Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever." Psalm 107:1 and Psalm 118:29 say, "O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever." The more we read in the Psalms, over and over we see, the Word of God says, "the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."
Enoch believed the Word of God, and now he is in heaven with the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit and all who believed God's Word since then. You too, can do what Enoch did, believe "the Word of God," not what others say, not the circumstances, not what others believe, but only what the Word of God says. Believe and inherit all things according to "the Word of God."