All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
August 30, 2011
HANDS FOR JESUS
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In Hosea 4:6 it says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." This was not speaking only of the Children of Israel at the time of Hosea. This is also speaking of Christians today. Christians are God's people. God has adopted us in Christ Jesus from the foundation of the world.
Speaking of Christians, Ephesians 1:4,5, says, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love...Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will." Christians are God's people. God had chosen those who are Christians as His children before the foundation of this world. Yet, many of God's chosen Christians are being destroyed for a lack of knowledge.
There are many teachings in the churches today that do not agree with the written Word of God. These teachings did not come from God, they came from man. Some are teaching that there are two kinds of faith.
If that was true, then there is something wrong within the Godhead. Is God divided? Does God make mistakes? Is God confused in what He does, and how He does things?
Men, without understanding of spiritual things are teaching from their minds things they ought not to be teaching. A careful study of the written Word of God will reveal the difference between what God is teaching and what man is teaching? Many times what God says, and what man says does not agree.
In Proverbs 3:5,6, it says, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding...In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." God looks at the hearts of people and then gives faith to those whose heart is turned toward God.
In Galatians 5:6 it says, "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love (agape)." In 1 John 4:8 it says, "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love (agape)."
Being that God is in us, God's love (agape), is in us. The first and most important element in eternal life is love (agape). Without the new birth, people do not have God's love abiding in them. According to 1 Corinthians 13:8, love never fails, whereas prophecies, tongues, and knowledge will pass away. In eternity, the love of God will never fail. God is love, and God cannot fail.
Having faith includes obeying the two commandments that were given us by the LORD. In Mark 12:30,31, Jesus said, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment...And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."
Is there anyone, or anything more important in our lives than to obey the first and second commandments given to us by the LORD? If there is, it could be that we are not living by faith. Yet, the New Covenant tells us that "the just shall live by faith." This is not an option. Therefore, we need to understand what it means to live by faith?
The New Covenant that we have with God is based upon "faith in God." Man did not make the New Covenant with God. God made the New Covenant with man. Therefore, when we understand faith and the New Covenant, we will be able to operate in this life by the ability that God gives us, rather than by our own ability.
The New Covenant is simple, if Christians would understand it. Faith includes coming into agreement with God. God tells us what His plans and purposes for our lives are in His Word. When we agree with God's plans and purposes for our lives, we will be living by faith.
Faith involves controlling our thoughts according to God's thoughts for our lives. 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." Then in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 it says, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh...(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)...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."
When we line our thoughts up with God's thoughts (which are according to the written Word), we will be operating by God's thoughts for us individually. That is how faith works. When we are in total agreement with God according to His Word, we are keeping the covenant that we have with God. When we are keeping the covenant according to God's Word, we will be walking by faith in the Word of God.
Before Jesus explained what happened when He spoke to the fig tree, He said to His disciples, "Have faith in God" (Mark 11:22). Having faith in God involves coming into agreement with the Word of God in everything. When we agree with God in everything, we will be walking by faith in God.
Faith operates from our spirit where God dwells. When we operate from our spirit (rather than the thoughts of our minds), we will be in agreement with God. When we are in agreement with God, we will be walking by faith.
When we cast down all imaginations in our minds and come into agreement with the Word of God, we put God in control of what we do. When God is in control, all things work together for our good. Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love (agapao) God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Living by Faith
In Romans 1:16,17, it says, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek...For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." In this it mentions that "...the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith..." This is important to understand, for righteousness comes by faith. Without faith, no one in the New Covenant is declared righteousness. Romans 4:3 says, "...Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." That was before Jesus paid the price for our sins. That was before Jesus became the firstborn from the dead.
In Galatians 3:11 it says, "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith." No one could be justified by the Law of Moses (Acts 13:39). Again it explains in Galatians 3:24,25, "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith...But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." For Christians it says, "The just shall live by faith."
Then when we look at Hebrews 10:38 it says, "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." This tells us how important it is to live by faith. If God is not pleased in anyone who draws back, what will happen to us if we do not live by faith?
How can we live by faith if we do not understand what Faith is? If we do not understand what Faith truly is, we can easily be deceived by the teachings of men.
The first thing about faith is "believing the Word of God." We cannot "have faith in God" if we do not believe the Word of God.
We cannot see God, therefore, we must believe in that which we cannot see. How do we know what to believe? It all begins by knowing "the Word of God."
If we read our Bibles, we will get some information and understanding of the Word of God. Once we get some understanding of the Word of God, we will be able to build up our faith in the Word of God.
One thing that helps, is knowing that Jesus is "the Word of God," manifest in the flesh. In John 1:1-3 it tells us, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...The same was in the beginning with God...All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." As we study what it says in John 1:1-3, we should notice that Jesus was "the Word of God" in the beginning. He was not "Jesus," until He was born into this world as "the Son of Man," born of a virgin woman by the name of Mary.
When Mary agreed to become the mother of Jesus, she was told by the Angel to call His name "JESUS" (Luke 1:31). Jesus did not become "the Son of God," until He was born into this world as "the Son of Man."
In Luke 1:32, the angel said to Mary, "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest..." Before Jesus was born into this world, He was not called the Son of God and He was not called Jesus. He was "the Word of God" from the beginning (John 1:1-3). Therefore, in John 1:14 it says, "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."
When the Word of God became flesh, He never stopped being the Word of God. The Word of God continued to be the Word of God even after He became the Son of God, and the Son of Man.
In the same manner, when a person becomes born again, they become a new creature in Christ Jesus. That same person who became born again, never stopped being the same person they were before they were born again. If you are truly born again, you know that without question. You have not forgotten the past, and you have not started all over without any knowledge of your past life.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." The teachings of men have caused many Christians to fail in their faith, not knowing what it means by "a new creature in Christ Jesus."
Jesus Himself, was "the Word of God" in the beginning. When "the Word of God" was born in the flesh by the Holy Spirit and Mary, He became "a new creature." Never before in all of God's creation was there a man, joined one spirit with God. Jesus was the first man, to come into this world "united with God in one body." Jesus was the Son of God and the Son of Man in one body. Jesus was the beginning of a new creation of beings that never existed before He was conceived in the womb of Mary.
Jesus became "the only begotten of the Father," when He was born into this world by the Holy Spirit and Mary. The "only begotten," means, "the only Son of God, born of God." When Jesus came into this world, the Word of God became flesh by taking upon Himself the flesh of man. Jesus did not stop being "the Word of God."
When Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary, the Holy Spirit took "the Word of God" and placed "the Word of God" in the womb of Mary. Therefore, Jesus became the Son of God and the Son of Man, when He was born into this world. In this new birth of the Son of God, God was Jesus's true Father. God caused Mary to become pregnant. Therefore, God became "the Father of Jesus," and Mary became the Mother of Jesus.
God placed the "seed," which was "the Word of God," into a virgin woman, which caused the conception of the birth of the Son of God. The "Seed," was "the Word of God" in the beginning (1 Peter 1:23).
This is a spiritual operation, and can only be understood by a revelation of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14). The natural man cannot understand this spiritual information. Therefore, many Christians are being destroyed for a lack of spiritual knowledge of the Word of God.
Just as the Word of God became flesh in the body of Jesus, Christians become "one Spirit in the body of Christ." 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." The Seed of our new birth is the same seed that caused Mary to become the mother of JESUS. It is the same "Seed," which is "the Word of God." But, we could not become born again without the Holy Spirit, causing the new birth. Therefore, Jesus said in John 3:6, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
In the new birth, we are still the same "living soul" that we were in the beginning. But, by a work of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God is placed within us, and we become born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. We did not cease to exist, and start all over again. We existed in Adam, as an individual "living soul"and the Holy Spirit took our living soul out of the physical body of man and placed it in the spiritual body of Christ.
It says in Romans 8:9, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." We were in Adam. When we became born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, we were taken out of the flesh of Adam and placed into the Spirit of Christ, That is what makes us a New Creature in Christ Jesus.
The teachings of men have caused many to fail to "live by faith," by not understanding spiritual things. The reasoning minds of men have made the Word of God of none affect in the lives of many Christians. When we became born again, we did not see God cause us to become a new creature in Christ Jesus. We did not see anything happen in the natural. It was all a spiritual operation of God in the realm of the Spirit.
Faith operates in the realm of the Spirit, not in the realm of the flesh. When faith completes its action, it will manifest in the flesh. But, it must first be done and completed in the Spirit before it can manifest in the flesh. Faith is a spiritual operation, which begins in the spirit, and then manifest in the flesh. If faith does not begin in the spirit, it will not manifest in the flesh. If the Holy Spirit and the Word of God are not in agreement, nothing will happen. It must be the Word of God and the Holy Spirit working together for faith to manifest.
In 1 John 5:8 it says, "And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water (Word), and the blood: and these three agree in one." There must be at least two of these three in agreement for faith to manifest. When the Holy Spirit and the Word of God agree, our faith will manifest in the flesh.
Therefore, Hebrews 11:1 tells us, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." We must believe according to the Word of God, before the Holy Spirit can cause it to come to pass. This believing must be in our heart, not just in our mind. We must believe with our heart, that it is already done, before the Holy Spirit can cause it to come to pass (Mark 11:23; Rom. 10:9,10).
If we let the teachings of men tell us we can do it another way, it will not work. Multitudes of Christians have not received what God has promised them, because of the teachings of men. We must be taught by God if we are to know the Truth (John 6:45, 16:13). When we know the Truth and act upon our faith, it will manifest in our lives.
The Word of God is "the Seed." In many of Jesus' teachings He told us over and over, "the Word of God is the seed." In Luke 8:11, Jesus said, "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God." In Mark 4:14,15 Jesus said, "The sower soweth the word...And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts."
The seed, "which is the Word of God" must be sown in our heart. But, once it is sown in our heart, Satan comes immediately to steal the Word out of our heart.
Many have listened to others that teach such things as "money is the seed." Jesus never told anyone that money was the seed. Jesus told us that "the Seed is the Word."
If we plant the Seed, which is "the Word of God" in our hearts, and speak it out of our mouth, it will come to pass. It is what is in our heart and comes out of our mouth that will enable us to live by faith. In Luke 6:45, Jesus said, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh." In Psalm 119:11, it says, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
Living by Faith
In the New Covenant it tells us, "...the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38). Who are "the just?" The just are those who are "in Christ." According to Romans 3:24-28, we are justified freely by His grace through faith in Christ Jesus. It is faith in God and in what Jesus did for us that makes it possible for us to live by faith.
Faith operates from our spirit and believing operates from our mind. By believing, we can do great things. In Mark 9:23, there was a man whose son had a deaf and dumb spirit, and Jesus' disciples could not cast that spirit out. Mark 9:23 says, "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." This tells us that by believing many great things can be done.
Faith is even greater than believing. By faith we operate in the spiritual realm by the power and anointing of God. When we learn to operate by faith, God operates through us to accomplish that which we cannot do in the natural.
God wants to be the source of everything we have need of (Matt. 6:25-33; Heb. 4:1-16). When we operate by faith, nothing will be impossible for us. God gives us faith when we are first born again into the body of Christ. We must learn to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).
If we want God to supply all our needs, we must operate by faith according to His Word. There was a time when I had printing equipment and was in need of work. No matter what I did in the natural, the money was not coming in to pay the bills.
By faith, I quoted John 14:13,14, and asked the LORD to bring in some work for me. That day, I went into the corner of a room and prayed, "LORD, I am asking You to bring in some work, that I have the money to pay the rent." "Thank You Jesus."
For three days my mind was constantly receiving thoughts that what I did would not work. Day and night, it was a battle. But, I never gave up on believing that the LORD would answer my prayer.
Three days after I prayed, I received a check in the mail for $600. It was a deposit toward printing 1,000 books for a ministry in Las Vegas, NV. I had printed books for this ministry years before, but had not heard from them for years.
When I received the check in the mail I noticed it was written the same day I prayed. It was mailed that same day. It took three days to get to me by mail. When we operate by faith, and not simply believing, God works things out for us supernaturally.
Faith works much better than believing. But, Satan does all he can to get us into doubt and unbelief. We cannot let doubt and unbelief rob us of our faith. No matter how much Satan comes against our mind, we must continue in faith. God rewards those who do not draw back from faith.
In Hebrews 10:35-38 it says, "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward...For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise...For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry...Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him."
What is the will of God? The will of God for His children is that we "walk by faith." Walking by faith is believing God will answer our prayers, provided we are living according to His instructions.
It is knowing what God's instructions are concerning how we should live? One thing God has instructed us to do is in 1 Peter 1:14-16. It says, "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance...But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation...Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."
We must not continue to live the way we lived before we were born again. We must put away all sin and iniquity, and anything that is not pleasing to God. In James 4:7 it says, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." We must resist the Devil in every area of our lives.
We must resist all sin and iniquity, as well as all doubt and unbelief. God only honors faith, not doubt and unbelief. God is not looking for us to do everything ourselves. God's desire is that we enter into a rest from all our own works, and believe His Word.
In Hebrews, Chapter Four, God makes His will known for His Children. It is God's will that we cease from our own works and believe the Word of God. God has a plan for our lives as His Children. His plan includes that He will supply all our needs if we will go around destroying the works of the Devil.
We see God's plan for us in the life of Jesus in the Gospels. Jesus did not continue to work as the son of a carpenter once He received the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is "the anointing" to do the will of God. Following Jesus' water baptism, and receiving the Holy Spirit, Jesus went about doing the will of the Father. In Luke 4:18,19, Jesus quoted the Scriptures from Isaiah 61:1,2, concerning the will of God for Him. Then in John 17:18, Jesus said, "As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world." The will of God for Christians is that they do the same things Jesus did, the same way Jesus did them. God supplied all of Jesus' needs as He went about destroying the works of the Devil.
Therefore, in Hebrews, Chapter Four, it tells us that we should cease from our own works, and enter into a rest which God had planned for us. God had planned a rest for the Children of Israel, that they would enter into the promised land. They did not mix faith with the Word. Therefore, those over twenty years old did not enter into the promised land. Even those who did enter into the promised land, did not enter into that rest that was promised them. They did not destroy the works of the Devil in the promised land.
There still is a rest promised for Christians who will enter in. In Hebrews 4:8-10 it says, "For if Jesus (Joshua) had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day...There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God...For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his." Thereby, there remains a rest for Christians who will follow the example set by Jesus.
Whatsoever we have need of, God will supply it as we go about destroying the works of the Devil. We must mix faith with the Word, if we are to enter into our rest. Therefore, it tells us, "...the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38). Many Christians today do not know or understand what Romans 10:17 it telling us. In Romans 10:17 it says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word (rhema) of God." The Greek word "rhema," means "an utterance." This utterance comes from God, not from man.
Faith comes from God, and it comes in the form of an utterance, or living Word speaking to us. It could be an audible voice or an inward voice. When we are led by the Holy Spirit, He speaks to us. Sometimes the Holy Spirit speaks audibly, giving us specific directions, such as with Saul in Acts 9:4-6. Sometimes the Holy Spirit speaks to us in visions and dreams such as in Acts 9:10,11. Usually, the Holy Spirit speaks to us by an inward voice, which is a positive knowing beyond all doubt.
Being that we are born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, we must live by the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Therefore the Holy Spirit usually speaks to us by the inward knowing, using a part of a Scripture verse, or a complete Scripture verse to help, guide, comfort, lead and teach us something, by revealing a truth to us from the written Word of God. This is the way the Holy Spirit does most of His helping, guiding, leading, and teaching,
Jesus said in John 6:45, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God..." In John 16:13, Jesus said, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."
Many Christians read the written Word of God, and come up with what they think God said. In this, many doctrines and theologies are established among many Churches. Many of these doctrines and theologies are contrary to the Word "rhema" of God. Therefore, Jesus said we are to be "taught by God," not by man. It is by the Word "rhema" (utterance) of God that faith comes to us.
It is this "Faith" that we are to live by. As it says, "the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:17). We are to be "taught and led by the Holy Spirit" in everything we do. Therefore, it says in Romans 8:14, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." The true sons of God are those who are led by the Holy Spirit and live by faith. When we are living by faith we are no longer doing our will of the flesh. Instead, we will be walking after the Spirit.
The rest that is spoken of in Hebrews 4:7-10, is speaking of Christians today, who will cease from doing their own will of the flesh and live by faith, by hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit guiding them in everything they do.
Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit in everything He did from the time He received the Holy Spirit until His death and resurrection from the dead. This is God's plan for everyone who is born again into the Body of Christ. Therefore, let us press on into that high calling in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14).
Jesus made a statement in Luke 18:8, saying, "...when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" Many today have departed from the faith, and have gone about seeking money, and riches. This is not good to say the least.
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