Showing posts with label Born Again. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Born Again. Show all posts

Monday, August 10, 2020

Complete Do Over

The Holy Spirit through the apostle Peter tells us, "having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever." (1 Peter 1:23) The Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul tells us, "What harmony can there be between Christ and the Devil?" (2 Corinthians 6:15) Both of these verse reveal a wonderful truth, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 
 (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Many Christians believe that when a person confesses the Lordship of Christ and receive Him as Savior that they receive eternal life but the old nature is not removed and that the new and old nature war with each other. The reason for this comes from a teaching from Romans chapter 7. However, if we take a closer look at the entire chapter we will notice the the words, grace, believer, beloved, etc. are not seen in any part of these verses. What we do see is the word law mentioned twenty three time in the KJV of the Bible. Many church leaders have extracted and taken out of context verses fifteen through twenty three. They miss the entire point that the apostle Paul is conveying to the Jewish believers, Paul is not explaining the experience of a believer, but of himself before his conversion, that is, as a Jew under the law. He reveals that the law awakens the conscience to sin which opens the door for his flesh which desires sin. The conflict that he experienced as a Jew under the law was between his mind recognizing the law is good and his flesh that wants to operate contrary to the law, that is, its desire is sin. Paul conclusion to the matter is, "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:24-25)

Paul honors and attributes the Lord as the only way that one can be deliver from this war between the flesh and mind. To make it simple, faith in Jesus Christ stops the war. For the believer, there is no dual nature at work. The believer is not under the law but under grace. Let's look again at the above verses that the Holy Spirit has spoken through Peter and Paul, (1 Peter 1:23)  "having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever." To say that the believer still has the old nature in him is to say that the believer is not completely born again because he still maintains a measure of the satanic fallen nature, that is, corruptible seed and that corruptible seed shares the believer with God's incorruptible seed. But look again at what Paul says, (2 Corinthians 6:15)  "What harmony can there be between Christ and the Devil?" 

When a person is born again, they are born of the Holy Spirit and their spirit is recreated, but the flesh and the mind have not been recreated. However, in God's eyes, the believer is in fact "a new creation; old things (satanic nature) have passed away; behold, all things have become new." This is a fact but it takes faith to realize, accept and walk out in our lives. There is certainly nothing wrong with the physical body. God formed the body as a means to operate in the natural realm and to be a servant to the human spirit. Mans spirit was to rule over the flesh and mind. However, the fall of man caused spiritual death "And the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh...Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Genesis 6:3, 6) Through the spiritual death of mankind, his flesh the servant, has become the ruler leading him into confusion and anarchy (look around). Now you can see the dilemma that believers face. It is not a dual nature, but letting the flesh continue to have rule over the recreated spirit.

There is a solution that eliminates this dilemma. Paul continues into Romans chapter 8, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." (Romans 8:1-11)

Honestly, does this sound like a man who has experienced new birth and still is a sinner? Absolutely not! The Holy Spirit reveals through Paul the solution of being freed from sin, that is, the believer is no longer a sinner if he/she lives a life in fellowship with the Holy Spirit and does not let their flesh have control of their life. For church leaders to tell the saints that they are sinners, because after the great apostle Paul was also a sinner even after his conversion, reveals their lack of understanding the Pauline Epistles. It also is apparent that they are apparently not having fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Instead, they are excusing sinful behavior by accepting doctrines of the church over the Word of God. The greatest problem with this erroneous teaching is that the believer has no hope of living the victorious life that the Father has provided through Jesus Christ. After all "I'm just a sinner saved by grace and still have the old sinful nature."

I share these things because I sit with pastors from various denominations who I believe love the Lord but believe that they are just sinners or beggars. However, look what Paul tells us in his first letter to Timothy, "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life." (1 Timothy 1:15-16) Paul was not saying that he was still a sinner, but that Jesus came to save sinners and due to him persecuting the church (his past) he, Saul of Tarsus, considered himself to be a great sinner, but we see that he obtained mercy, that is, he Paul the believer, was forgiven.

Paul tells us to, "...Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16) He also tells us to, "Put off the old man (old fallen nature) and put on the new man (new created nature)" (Ephesians 4:22, 24) But how does one do this? "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind." (Ephesians 4:23) and "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." (Romans 12:2) The way that a believer can walk by the Spirit and not fall prey to the lust of the flesh is to renew their mind through reading, studying and most important, meditating on the Word of God. God's Word feeds and strengthens the spirit, renews the mind and grows faith. This takes a process of time (it depends on the individual) but as your spirit grows your mind and body (flesh) will once again become the servant to your spirit. Again, this has nothing to do with having a dual nature, but everything to do with faith in Christ, His redemptive work and in God's Word which says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)

A final thought concerning new birth it that the new man (the new nature) that one receives from God, is given immediately upon confessing the Lord Jesus Christ and receiving Him as Savior. Paul tells us concerning the new man, that it "was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness." (Ephesians 4:24) So logically thinking and looking at all that is shown hereon, how can a believer have God's nature (the new man) and the devil's nature (the old man) ruling their life at the same time? They absolutely cannot! Jesus said, "And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand." (Mark 3:25) So let us stop living our Christian life as who we were, sinners, but who we are in Christ, the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Monday, July 20, 2020

Life Abundant

There are six Greek words that describe various aspects of life. The two found most in the New Testament are psuehe which is natural life and the other is zoe which is life as God has it. The apostle Paul tells us, "And you God made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience." (Ephesians 2:1-2) In other words, before we were born again we were spiritually dead and partakers of Satan’s nature. It is this nature that has produced sin, wickedness, evil, misery, sickness, disease, poverty and the like.

It has produced the works of the flesh, which are, "adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like." (Galatians 5:19-21) It has also produced condemnation, guilt, inferiority, shame and a sense of unworthiness. Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:12 "that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world." In Romans 8:7-8 Paul tells us, "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God."

Much of Christianity today is a product of the Dark Ages and has not moved very much beyond the old wine skin of the reformation in respect to who the born again person has become in Christ. When you think about it, if it were possible for God to forgive a sinners their sin only, it would actually not do the sinner any good, because he/she would continue sinning due to the fallen nature within them. The fact is, the fallen, sinful, satanic nature in un-regenerated man must be taken out and replaced with a new nature. Man must be recreated. According to 2 Peter 1:3-4 we read, "As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises,that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."

The corruption that is in the world is the satanic nature. However, the born again person is delivered from the old nature and becomes a partaker of God's divine nature which is zoe, life as God has it, or eternal life. Jesus said, "Whoever believes in the Son of God should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting (eternal) life." (John 3:15-16) and "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." (John 5:24) All who are born again, have been delivered out of death, the satanic realm, into the realm of life as God has it, where there is no judgment.

To be born again is actually and literally being birthed out of Satan’s family and being placed into the family of God. Look at the following scriptures, "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1:13-14) "For sin (Satan) shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace." (Romans 6:14) "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)

When one confesses Jesus as Lord and accepts Him as Savior, God immediately gives him/her His very nature. They no longer have Satan’s nature, no longer a sinner, beggar, or even a servant, but a child of God. "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name." (John 1:12) and "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. (Romans 8:15) also "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God." (1 John 3:1) The new believer is a child of God with God's divine nature. He is no longer a child of the devil with his fallen, sinful nature. PTL

Believers must understand that they have been given the nature of God and that eternal life in them now. It is not a destination nor some reward that is received when a believer passes from this life. Eternal life, the nature of God, makes us righteous, we love as God loves, we have the God kind of faith, we are His children, we are heirs and have rights and privileges in Christ as sons and daughters that unfortunately, we have barely appropriated. So, let us make this faith declaration together, “I have confessed Jesus as Lord; I have taken Him as my Savior; God has completely removed the satanic nature from me; God has given me life as He has it which is His divine nature. Healing, provision, long life, strength, success and victory are mine because they are all a part of my New Creation Life in Christ." Amen.

We all need to meditate on these truths until they burn in our very being. So, if sickness, disease, sin, or Satan himself tries to come upon us, we can declare with all certainty that God dwells in this new creation; He is my Father and I am His child and I refuse to let these thing in my life, in Jesus' name!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Born From Above

The fall of man through Adam left humanity devastated. However, at the fall of man God the Father began His work of man's redemption (Genesis 3:14-21). The extreme measures that He took to redeem man are recorded in the Bible and evidenced throughout man's history. His brilliant plan of redemption would be worked out in and through Jesus Christ. Deity would become humanity for man’s redemption. (John 1:1, 14) But, what does God’s plan of redemption mean to us today? What has the resurrection of Christ given to us today?

We see recorded in Scripture that Jesus would be beaten, suffer and die on the cross, (Matthew 27:26-50), be made sin ( Isaiah 53:6), be separated from the Father (Matthew 27:46), His body placed in a grave (Matthew 27:57-60), and His spirit descend to hell (Psalm 16:10; Psalm 88; Acts 2:2:31), as man's Substitute. Only God knows what He truly suffered. In hell, He satisfied the claims of justice, had been made Righteous, made a New Creation ((Romans 4:25; Colossians 1:18;1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 3:18) had conquered Satan as well as all demons and evil spirits striping them of their authority (Matthew 28:18; Luke 10:18-19; Colossians 2:15; Revelation 1:18), resurrected, reunited with His body bursting forth from the grave shouting, "All hail," (that is rejoice exceedingly) (Matthew 28:9), Why? Redemption had come, the Abrahamic Covenant, the Law and all the prophecies concerning Christ  were fulfilled. 

This progressive revelation of God’s brilliant plan of redemption is seen throughout the O1d Testament.  We see a portion of this in Ezekiel. "For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them." (Ezekiel 36:24-27)

Though this is the Word of the Lord to Israel’s renewal, it is a prophetic Word concerning the New Covenant and New Birth. Becoming born again is at the heart of Christianity. From the fall of man to Pentecost every plan and purpose of man’s redemption is centered on this. This is the reason for the incarnation, death, burial, resurrection and glorification of Christ. Now, this wonderful plan of redemption is eternal, comprehensive (meeting every need of man) and available to anyone and everyone who confesses Jesus as Lord and receives Him as Savior. Knowing these things, believers need to come into the revelation knowledge of the Scriptures and apply faith to who we are in Christ, what Christ is in us and how the Father sees us or Christianity is nothing more than one of the religions of the world.

Becoming born again, becoming a new creation in Christ, is not simply a conversion to new concepts or a theory. It is not rules and regulation to live by, but a reality. It’s the transformation of one’s life into the image of Christ from glory to glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18) Though Jeremiah and Ezekiel spoke prophetically concern this, Jesus is the first one who speaks in specifics of being born again. This is revealed in His conversation with Nicodemus where Jesus explains what being born from above is and the need of it.

"There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him. Jesus answered and said to him, most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born? Jesus answered; most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, you must be born again. The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:1-8)

Some things to notice, "No one can see or understand the Kingdom of God except he is born from above…No one can enter the Kingdom of God except he is born of water and the spirit." Interestingly enough, Nicodemus, a teacher of Israel, cannot understand it. Unfortunately, the same is true for many believers today. They have not found on their own or have been discipled into the depths of the tremendous reality of being born again. Jesus shows us the difference between the natural and the spiritual man. He tells us, one is born of natural means and the other is born of the Spirit. Looking into this passage, it is evident that Jesus fully understood the state of man. Jesus, in speaking to the Jewish leaders as recorded in John 8:44, tells them they are of their father, the devil. In other words, they are partakers of satanic nature.

Jesus also tells us, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” (John 5:24) It is apparent that Jesus believed man to be spiritually dead, a child of the devil, and that the born again experience is to be a change of nature, which also will mean a change of relationship. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul tells us, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” (Ephesians 2:1-3)

Here we see that man is by nature a child of wrath. He is spiritually dead. The Apostle Paul also tells us, "...that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world." (Ephesians 2:12) The Apostle John tells us, "In this the children of God are manifest and the children of the Devil." (1 John 3:10 ) There are only two families and all of mankind is either a part of one or the other. They are either children of God or children of the devil which means they have either the nature of God or the nature of the devil. They are either made alive, born again, a new creation or spiritually dead, having the satanic nature. Although there is teaching in the church, Scripture does not reveal man having a dual nature, the sin nature and the divine nature, when one becomes born again. Prior to being born again, man’s spirit was dead, but now, being born again his spirit is made alive. It does not say one half alive or partially alive or that he is dead and alive, but that he is made alive. We see this revealed through Jesus, as well as the Apostles' Paul, John and Peter.

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." (John 5:24)
He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." (1 John 5:12)
This is not a future possession but a present tense possession. "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) I labor this point because to many believers live under guilt, condemnation, unworthiness and or inferiority and not the life that Jesus’ substitution has so abundantly provided through faith in Him. "Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever." (1 Peter 1:23) "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins." (Ephesians 2:1 ). Believers are not illegitimate children, nor hybrids or half breeds, but are legitimately and legally born of God.

These things are crucial for every believer to know and completely understand. Believers do not have to live a life here on planet earth with the struggles that the unsaved face day to day. We do not have to live under the burden of religious laws that are unscriptural and create unworthiness, condemnation, guilt and inferiority, for we are saved by grace through faith. This is the very key to live the abundant life that Jesus has provided as we wait in hope for our glorious arrival in heaven. I pray for you as the Apostle Peter stated, "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen." (2 Peter 3:18)

Monday, December 3, 2018

Born Free

The greatest desire within man has been the quest to rid himself of sin consciousness and live free of guilt, unworthiness, shame, condemnation and inferiority. To be free of these thing is the driving force behind all the major religions of the world. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Peter tells us, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) The facts is, God has dealt with the sin problem in His Son Jesus Christ. He has put sin away by the sacrifice of His Son and has made it possible on legal grounds for man who is spiritually dead and in union with Satan, (John 8:44), to become a new creation by confessing, believing and receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In doing so, he immediately receives the very nature and life of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17, 21; 2 Peter 1:4) He may not know it, he may not take advantage of it, but it is true.

The downside of this great news is, sin consciousness has been permitted to rule over many believers and has been fostered, developed, and made a reality by ministers who have and continue to preach sin instead of preaching Christ and the new creation. Looking back to the Garden of Eden, we see that sin consciousness came with the fall, "...Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden." (Genesis 3:8) Sin consciousness creates the guilt, unworthiness, shame, condemnation and inferiority which causes people hide from God, because spiritually dead man cannot stand in God's presence. We see how God illustrated this fact in the Old Testament where the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies once every year, and then only when he was blood covered. The High Priest did not go into the Holy of Holies to worship, but to make a yearly atonement for spiritually dead Israel. (Leviticus 16)

However, the time came when God would deal with man's sin once for all. How? He made Jesus sin. Sin was not only reckoned to Him, His spirit actually became sin. Looking at the Prophet Isaiah we find that Jesus died twice on the cross, "And they made His grave with the wicked, but with the rich at His death..." (Isaiah 53:9) The word death in the Hebrew is plural, "deaths." On the cross when Jesus became sin He died spiritually. His spiritual death led the way for His physical death. The same happened to the first Adam. Adam's sin separated him spiritually from God and 930 years later his physical body wore out. The good news is, Jesus was, "made alive in spirit." (1 Timothy 3;16), "He was justified in spirit." (1 Peter 3:18), He was not left in hell or in the grave, "For You will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption." (Acts 2:27) and He was the first person ever born again, "God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: You are My Son, today I have begotten You." (Acts 13:33) "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation." (Colossians 1:15) 

God dealt with the sin problem and made man a new creation, gave him a new nature through Christ, because no man can stand right with God simply by having his sins pardoned. It would leave the old nature that produced those sins still in control of his life. But when a person becomes a child of God, "he is a new creation, old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17) and at the same time everything man has ever done in his past life is remitted, wiped out as though it was never committed. (Acts 2:38) The Apostle Paul tells us, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9) 

Notice, by grace through faith one is saved. God takes the sinner as he is. No matter how deep in sin he has gone, new birth will straighten him out. Many have been taught that a sinner could pray through, that he could repent until God would forgive him. All that is not scriptural. The truth is, God takes him as he is, full of sin, rebellion, and having the satanic nature. He imparts to him His nature and it is God's nature that drives out the old satanic nature and makes him a new creation. All the sins of that old nature are remitted instantaneously. The person stands before the Father as though sin had never been. The whole crux of redemption has one main end, that man might become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21) What does righteousness mean? It is the ability to stand in the Father's presence as though sin had never been, as free as Adam was before he sinned and as free as Jesus was in the resurrection.

Jesus tells us, "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." (John 8:36) When one becomes born again, they are made free by Jesus Christ the Righteous. The Apostle Paul tells us, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus..." (Romans 8:1) We are new creations in Christ. We are the righteousness of God in Christ. We are children of God. When God's Word says, "the just (my righteous ones) shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17) He is describing the person who has become a new creation and has been made righteous with God's own nature. This is not simply a legal righteousness, nor a reckoned righteousness, but the actual impartation of God's own righteous nature.

So, let us no longer permit guilt, unworthiness, shame, condemnation and inferiority have place. Let us no longer look at what we were, but what we are, "the righteousness of God in Christ." PTL...

Monday, February 5, 2018

Reconciled

The notion of "New Creation" was spoken by the prophet Ezekiel centuries before it became a reality. "For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them." (Ezekiel 36:24-27)

Though this is the Word of the Lord to Israel’s renewal, it is a prophetic Word concerning the New Covenant and New Birth. Becoming born again is the heart of Christianity. From the fall of man to Pentecost every plan and purpose of man’s redemption is centered on this. This is the reason for the incarnation, death, burial, resurrection and glorification of Christ. We need to come into the revelation knowledge of the scriptures and apply faith to who we are in Christ, what Christ is in us and how the Father sees us or Christianity is nothing more than one of the religions of the world.

Becoming born again, becoming a new creation in Christ, is not simply a conversion to new concepts or a theory. It is not rules and regulation to live by, but a reality. It’s the transformation of one’s life into the image of Christ from glory to glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18) Though Ezekiel spoke prophetically concerning this, Jesus is the first one who speaks in specifics of being born again. With His conversation Nicodemus, Jesus reveals what being born from above is and the need for it. 

"There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him. Jesus answered and said to him, most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born? Jesus answered; most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, you must be born again. The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:1-8)

Some things to notice here. No one can see or understand the Kingdom of God except he is born from above. No one can enter the Kingdom of God except he is born of water and the Spirit. Nicodemus, a teacher of Israel, cannot understand it. Jesus shows us the difference between the natural and the spiritual man. One is born of natural means and the other is born of the Spirit. It is evident that Jesus fully understood the state of man. Jesus in speaking to the Jewish leaders as recorded in John 8:44, tells them they are of their father, the devil, meaning, they are partakers of satanic nature. Jesus also tells us in John 5:24, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

It is apparent that Jesus believed man to be spiritually dead, a child of the devil, and that the born again experience is to be a change of nature which also will mean a change of relationship. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul tells us, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” (Ephesians 2:1-3)

Here we see that man is by nature a child of wrath, he is spiritually dead. Paul also tells us, Ephesians 2:12 explaining what the situation was with man prior to becoming born again, "that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world." The Holy Spirit through the Apostle John tells us, "In this the children of God are manifest and the children of the Devil." (1 John 3:10) This clearly reveals that there are only two families on the earth and all of mankind is either a part of one or the other. They are either children of God or children of the devil; they have either the nature of God or the nature of the devil; either made alive, born again, a new creation or spiritually dead, having the satanic nature.

You may have heard the teaching that says that although a person can be saved they still retain their old sinful nature. However, scripture does not reveal man having a dual nature especially once he is born again as we saw above, "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins." (Ephesians 2:1) Prior to being born again, man’s spirit was dead, but now, being born again his spirit is made alive. It does not say one half alive or partially alive or that he is dead and alive, but that he is made alive. We see this spoken of in the following scriptures, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." (John 5:24) "He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." (1 John 5:12) This is not a future possession but a present tense possession. 

"...I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."(John 10:10) I labor this point because many believers live under guilt, condemnation, unworthiness, shame and or inferiority and not the life that Jesus’ substitution has so abundantly provided through faith in Him.
The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Peter tells us, "having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever." (1 Peter 1:23) Believers are not illegitimate children, nor hybrids or half breeds, but are legitimately and legally born of God with His nature. (2 Peter 1:4) The fallen satanic nature is gone. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ..." (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)

So, as the writer of Hebrews tells us, "...Let us go on to perfection..." (Hebrews 6:1) in Christ, let us do just that. Let us take our legal rights that God has provided for us in His most wonderful plan of redemption in and through Christ and know without question, the Father has taken it upon Himself to reconciled us, that is, He has received us with favor. We are His sons and daughters. PTL

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Greater One In Me

One evening, a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, came to speak with Jesus. Though he was a religious leader, what Jesus tells him seemed to shock him. Jesus said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born? Jesus answered, Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, you must be born again. The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:1-8) 

This has become known as being "born again" or becoming a "new creation in Christ." (2 Corinthians 5:17) This deals with the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit which happens immediately when one confesses the Lord Jesus Christ and receives Him as Savior. Concerning the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, Jesus says this, "I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you." (John 14:16-17) I want to focus our attention on the phrase, "for He (the Holy Spirit) dwells with you and will be in you."

Being born again is not just an experience, but rather, it is being completely transformed, given a recreated spirit and receiving the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, who comes to make His home in every one who confesses Christ as Lord and receives Him as Savior. There is no need for any believer ever to feel helpless or hopeless. Christ's purpose in sending the Holy Spirit was to come and live in us, taking the place of Jesus, who is at the right hand of the Father. The New Testament gives us three relationship levels that God sustains toward believers; God is for us; God is with us; God is in us. God being for us, guarantees our success; With God on our side, we are sure to win in life. If God is for us, and we know that He is for us, we become utterly fearless in life, no matter how difficult the situation may be and no matter how dark the clouds that hang upon the horizon of life may be, we are calmly assured that we win in every circumstance, no matter what, simply because God is for us.

The Bible tells us that we have a better covenant (the New Covenant) established on better promises (Hebrews 8:6), than the people of Israel under the Old Covenant. Under the Old Testament, God was for Israel and with Israel, but He was not in Israel, that is, in their physical bodies. However, in the New Covenant, God is for us, He is with us, but even far greater, He is in us. God is actually making His home in our bodies as His Temple. Of all the great truths in connection with our redemption, this truth is most likely the apex of the reality of our redemption. The Apostle Paul tells us, "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16)
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19) No longer does God dwell in the earth-made Holy of Holies made with mans hands, but in fact He dwells in the believers body which has become His Temple. PTL

Under the Old Covenant, God's Presence was kept enclosed in the Holy of Holies or occasional given to a select number of people, such as judges, kings, priests and prophets, for a particular purpose and time. However, on the Cross just before Jesus died, He said, "It is finished" (John 19:30). He was not referring to the New Covenant, but the Old Covenant being finished or completed in Him. The New Covenant wasn't instituted and ratified until Jesus was raised from the dead, ascended on High and entered into the heavenly Holy of Holies with His own blood. (Hebrews 1:3, 10:12) Once Jesus obtained eternal redemption for us, as the writer of Hebrews records, then and only then were the terms of the New Covenant consummated and ratified.

Also note, that when Jesus died on the cross, Matthew records that the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, (Matthew 27:21), also signifying that the Old Covenant was finished and that God's Presence would no longer be kept shut up in the man-made Holy of Holies. Notice that the curtain was not torn from the bottom to the top, as what might have happen if the curtain were torn by a person or persons. This indicates that the curtain was not torn with human effort, but through divine intervention. When that happened, God's Presence which had been kept in the Holy of Holies, moved from there to take up residence in His New Temple, the born again believer.

The Apostle John tells us, "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4) The Greater One, God Himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit, is in you if you are born again. All that God could possibly be to His children and do for His Children, the Holy Spirit through His indwelling Presence is to you, for you and in you. As believers become more conscious of the Greater One in us, every bit of fear, of the devil, sickness, disease, poverty or any such thing will flee. We will walk in the assured confidence that God is with us, for us and in us, that the Holy Spirit in us is everything that the Scriptures says He is and that He will do everything in and through us the Word says He will do. So, let us make a daily confession of our faith by stating with confidence, "He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world."  

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Heart of Things

For centuries man has put much effort trying to understand the human mind and behavior. Birthed out of the combination of philosophy and biology this has come to be known as psychology. Although it is somewhat difficult to capture everything that psychology encompasses, the simplest definition of psychology is that it is the study of the human mind and human behavior. Research in psychology seeks to understand and explain thought, emotion, and behavior. However, it is limited due to one simple fact. The human soul, that is, the mind, will and emotions, became corrupted by sin at the fall of Adam in the Garden, effecting the human mind and behavior in a negative, destructive, depraved manner. However, the destructive nature of sin did not stop with the soul, it completely corrupted the entire human himself, spirit, soul and body, "Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Genesis 6:5)

Even after the fall of Adam we see the gross destruction that one human brought upon another. "Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell." (Genesis 4:1-5)

Notice, Cain became very angry. Anger is considered a secondary emotion because people tend to resort to anger in order to protect themselves from or cover up other vulnerable feelings. A primary feeling is what is felt immediately before one feels anger. Anger is defines as a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. Next, we see the results of what the mind can produce if anger is not immediately dealt with, "So the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it." Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him." (Genesis 4:6-8) 

We see in the above scripture that not even the Almighty, All Wise God of Heaven in His intervention was able to convince Cain to change his thinking, his mind, his behavior. It is apparent that Cain's mind was already fixed by anger that eventually produced a horrific action. The murder of his own flesh and blood brother. As we can see in this example, the mind has been so corrupted with sin, how can one even think that a science that deals with the corrupted mind is able to produce any true positive and lasting results, especially when we see that Cain would not change his mind even when God Himself intervened. Cain's mind was so corrupt, I believe if a psychologist showed up on the scene to try and reason with Cain, there most likely would have been two murders. So, what is the solution to truly fix the human mind and behavior?

It is not giving to the poor, it is not mind over matter, it is not doing good works, it is not even delving into religion although these things in and of themselves may be considered good things. However, it is not any of these things. It is "New Birth" through faith in Jesus Christ, period! Why? Because new birth is not mental, but spiritual. Psychology has to do with the mind, and the new birth has to do with the "hidden person of the heart," (1 Peter 3:4) or the spirit of man. Understand, man is in God's class of being, "Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness." (Genesis 1:26) "What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than yourself, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet." (Psalm 8:4-6)

When man was created in the Garden he was made in the image and likeness of God, that is he was created as a spirit being with a soul in a body, because God is a Spirit. (John 4:24) Man was created so that, by partaking of God's nature, he might become a child of God. If man was simple a physical being, then he would not have receive God's nature, thereby, making him nothing more than a mental being. He had to be a spirit being, an eternal being, who would live as long as God lives. So man was created so that he could be the companion and associate of God Himself. As we saw in Psalm 8, God gave man authority over creation, that is, the laws of nature as well as over every living thing. If we were to study the gospels, the ministry of Jesus, we would find that the same authority that Adam had was also given to Jesus. We would see in the gospels such things as Jesus walking on water, changing water into wine, restoring broken, maimed bodies, calming the sea and raising the dead.

Before Adam fell in the Garden, during his fellowship with God, his spirit ruled him. His soul and body were subject to his spirit. But, when he sinned, his spirit was enveloped by his flesh (Genesis 6:4), that is, the combination of his soul and body. He became spiritually dead and took on the satanic nature and his spirit became subordinate to his flesh, that is, his five senses. Adam was then driven from the presence of God and became a partaker of a Satan corrupted world. In this new world system he had to see clearly and hear keenly, or an animal could take advantage of him and he could lose his life. His taste must tell him what was good to eat. His touch must tell him whether or not an object was hot or cold, sharp, rough or smooth. His wisdom and knowledge would no longer be tied to God, but his education would be gained through his five senses. Man's spirit lost contact with God. His body became mortal, that is, subject to death.

This is the condition in which Jesus found the human race when He left eternity and broke into time and space to introduce the Father to fallen man for the purpose of restoring man back to God. So as we can clearly see, psychology has no ability to truly fix the human mind or behavior, because the mind can only be transform when the "hidden person of the heart" receives new birth. Jeremiah said it this way, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9) Without the renewing of the heart, new birth, the mind remains corrupted and under the sway of a satanically influenced world. So do not be surprised when people who have not experienced new birth say and act the way they do. Where they are quick to seek out psychologists and or psychiatrists hoping to find relief. It is simply fallen man trying to be fixed by fallen man. Jesus said, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Say Goodby to the Old Man

In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam a command, "Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:15-17) In saying "you shall surely die" literally means "dying you shall surely die." In other words, in eating from the tree "of the knowledge of good and evil" Adam would experience death in two realm, first the spiritual realm then the physical. In the spiritual realm, his sin cut off his ability to communion with God and he became dominated by his body and soul, that is, the flesh. (Genesis 6:3) We also see this in the physical realm, after he ate of the tree, his physical body lived another 930 years (Genesis 5:5).

When Jesus met with Nicodemus, He made a very interesting statement, "Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:5-6) The key here is found in verse six. There is a distinction between the flesh (body and soul) and the spirit. Notice, "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." In other words, the human spirit is born (born again) of God's Spirit. After Adam fell, all people were now spiritually dead and were in need to be born of God's Spirit. In order for this to happen, God would have to reverse what Adam did. As believers, we know this was accomplished through Jesus Christ. But how?

Isaiah 53:9 tells us, "And they made His grave with the wicked, but with the rich at His death..."  However, in the Hebrew the word "death" is plural, deaths. This indicates that Jesus died both spiritually and physically. Isaiah also tells us, "...And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:6) The Apostle Paul tells us, "For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us..." (2 Corinthians 5:21) God made Jesus sin with our sin. Paul tells us, "For the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23) We know that Jesus was sinless, (Hebrews 4:15) so it was not His physical death that gives humanity the right and privileged to be born again of the Spirit, but His spiritual death that paid the price and now provides "...the gift of God, eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23) Keep in  mind that Jesus was fully human. It was not the Holy Spirit in Him that became sin, but Jesus' human spirit.  

The Apostle Paul tells us, "knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin." (Romans 6:6) The old man (the old spiritually dead, satanic nature) is dead, so let it be dead and live in the newness of life. Paul tells us, "For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection." (Romans 6:5) "even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)." (Ephesians 2:5) "And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses." (Colossians 2:13) Here we witness the miracle of the eternities which took place in the depths of hell where Jesus was "Justified in the Spirit," (1 Timothy 3:16) where Jesus was, "...put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit." (1 Peter 3:18) 

How it must have shaken the foundation of hell when they saw Him made alive breaking the bonds
of spiritual death, "
I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death." (Revelation 1:18) The Father said of Jesus after He was made alive, "You are My Son, today I have begotten You." (Psalm 2:7; Acts 13:33) Paul reveals, "And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence." (Colossians 1:18) Jesus Himself was the fist to be born again and has now opened the door of redemption to all to become as He is. PTL

Paul tell us, "Jesus was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification." (Romans 4:25) In hell God declared Jesus righteous and alive and at the same time counted us righteous and alive also. We are now new creations, (2 Corinthians 5:17) His sons and daughters. (1 John 3:1) The moment we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, new birth became a reality in us and "our old man was crucified with Him," it died. Jesus tells us, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) So let us say goodby to the old man, and live in the fullness of the new abundant life in Christ Jesus.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Do You Really Know Him - Part 2

 In our journey to know "Truth", that is, to intimately and personally to know Jesus, we have discussed that it will never be accomplished through intellectual knowledge, the natural realm. Although God has revealed Himself throughout creation, our ability to truly know Him can only come by-way-of the spiritual realm. Jesus tells us, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3) Jesus is expressing and defining the parameters by which one must experience, that is, being born from above, or he is not fit for, nor a partake of God's Kingdom, either in this world or in that which is to come. The kingdom which Jesus was about to set up was so pure and holy that if one was not born again, he could not partake of its blessings. Again, to be born again is something that takes place in the spiritual realm, but its manifestation is in the natural or physical realm, that is, in the life of a human being. This cannot be understood through intellectual means, but through a spiritual awaking, an encounter with God.

Although there is a place for intellectual knowledge and I consider myself to be and intelligent person who enjoys learning, I know that there is knowledge to be gained that far surpasses the natural realm. Thankfully, we do not have to be slaves to intellectual knowledge. God has made available something that enables us to move beyond the natural realm and tap into His supernatural realm through revelation knowledge. It is called faith. (Romans 12:3) If God had intended for humanity to remain only in the natural realm, He never would have provided a way through His Son Jesus for man to be restored to a relationship with Him and give him access to everything He is and has. By exercising our faith in God, through which we enter into the spiritual realm, we receive revelation of and from Him through the Holy Spirit. "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come." (John 16:13)  

By applying our faith to the revelation knowledge of the truth the Holy Spirit guides us in and responding to it, we not only come to know God, but He also activates His supernatural power on our behalf, or on behalf of others through us. It is in the supernatural realm of God where miracles occur.  We can move beyond the natural realm into the supernatural realm by exercising our faith in God, and responding to the revelation knowledge that we receive. James challenges us to come to a place where we exercise the revelation of God's Word revealed through the Holy Spirit, "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was." (James 1:22-24) He goes on to tells us, " What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?...Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works." (James 2:14, 17-18)

Intellectual knowledge or common sense cannot produce miracles, which are manifestations of God's supernatural power in the natural realm. The Apostle Paul tells us, "But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God." (1 Corinthians 2:9-12) The human mind is not able to know everything that is in man, let alone everything about God. Only God knows all things and as mentioned previously, the only one who can reveal Him to humanity is the Spirit of God. (John 16:13-16)

It is mind boggling that so many Christians turn to philosophy, psychology, and psychiatry, that is, the natural realm, to try to resolve their problems. Although these academic disciplines genuinely try to help people, their failure rate far exceeds their success because they do not utilize the power of God to change and transform humanity. Even most "Christian" counselors try to apply biblical terms while pursuing man-made methods,  but their efforts are ultimately ineffective also. The Apostle Paul tells us, "For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power." (1 Corinthians 4:20) These three areas, philosophy, psychology, and psychiatry are the result of following the intellectual knowledge of man, while rejecting revelation knowledge from God.

If man continues to reject the concept of divine revelation,we will never fully understand the truth and we will continue to live in confusion and deception, the very place that Satan wants people, especially believers to live. He knows that if believers receive divine revelation, apply faith, that is, act upon the revelation received, the supernatural power of God will heal and deliver myriads of people which in turn will turn them to Christ.  Doesn't that sound like a strategy that the enemy of humanity would devise? Actually, it has been since the fall of man. It began in the Garden of Eden and has not changed. The very thing that Adam had that could have banished Satan from the earth forever, the ability to function in the spiritual realm, is the very thing that he forfeited to Satan in exchange for intellectual knowledge. Not a very good exchange for man at all. It has kept man from a relationship with God, "And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh..." (Genesis 6:3)     

Being led by intellectual knowledge and living outside the supernatural realm is not limited to only those who deny God. The fact is, many believers and Christian leaders who have received Christ as Lord and Savior, still lack revelation beyond a basic knowledge of the gospel. As a result, they have no idea what God is saying or trying to do in their personal lives. Let us consider the following as we seek to receive revelation from God. God gives revelation according to His own timing. He will not reveal something to an individual believer or to a 1ocal church if the person or congregation is not ready for it.  We see this revealed in the Parable of the Talents, “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability..." (Matthew 25:14-15) This is also revealed toward the end of Jesus' earthly ministry. He told His disciples, "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." (John 16:12) The main reasons why God may not give us revelation is, we are not yet spiritually mature enough to receive it and or God knows we would not obey it, which is actually evidence of not being spiritually mature. Only God knows the right time to unveil a specific revelation to us. Our part is to make sure we are willing to obey it by acting upon it.

Habakkuk tells us, "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." (Habakkuk 2:14) I believe that we are living in the days where this prophetic word is coming to pass, that is, the days in which the manifestation of God's glory will be evident all over the earth. God will fulfill His purposes by giving us incredible revelation of His Kingdom, Power and Glory, but are you ready to receive it? Jesus said, "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." (Mark 11:24). So, let us exercise our faith in the one and only unfailing, faithful One, Jesus Christ, who is the Word who became flesh (John 1:14) Let us believe, receive and walk in the revelation knowledge that He desires to give to us. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit...

Monday, March 10, 2014

What's on Your Mind?

God has created man as a triune being.  The Apostle Paul reveals this to us, "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thessalonians 5:23) The spirit is the faculty that relates to the spiritual realm. It is who we really are. The body is the vehicle that allows us to relate with the world around us. The soul is the part of man where we find the mind, will and emotions. To put this together in perspective, man is a spirit, he has a soul and they both dwell in a physical body. The soul is composed of the reasoning faculties. The physical body possesses the five senses which are the educators and teacher of the brain. The brain cannot function without the senses which means the mind cannot function without the senses. If a child is born without any of the five senses functioning the mind will not function.

It makes no difference whether one is "Born Again' or not, oft times people have many thoughts cruising back and forth through their mind. The mind can become so powerful in a sense that it will control a persons world whether in a good way or bad. Basically, what a person thinks is what they will believe. What they believer will manifest in their words, which in turn will be seen in their actions. So, whatever is on your mind, will basically govern your life. The Apostle Paul tells us, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:2)

One of the things that we see here is how much the world system influences the mind. It tries to conform people especially believers, into its standard. However, we must always keep in mind that the world has been completely corrupted by Satan. The Bible tells us that he is the god of this world, "...whose minds the god of this age has blinded..." (2 Corinthians 4:4) and that he is the prince of the power of the air "in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience." (Ephesians 2:2). The Apostle Paul also tells us, "and be renewed in the spirit of your mind." (Ephesians 4:23) In other words, the entire old way of living was to be abandoned; a new one to takes its place. The mind is to be renovated, renewed not only in a general sense, but the very spirit of it. All of its faculties and powers must be thoroughly and completely renewed.

When one is Born Again, their spirit is recreated. For many believers their Christian experience seems to rise and fall as time goes by. Let's be honest, your mind has been fashioned after the things of this world. The world's ideals probably have been yours. It stands to reason then, when believers do not spend daily time in God's Word the recreated spirit in a sense is starved. Unless ones spirit is cared for by feeding on God's Word it becomes difficult at best for the mind to be renewed. We need to understand that all the knowledge the mind had prior to being Born Again, came from :he senses and the senses can never be renewed because they are a part of the physical body. The next thing to be mindful of is the soul also was not recreated, only the spirit. However, both can be brought into subjection and they can be controlled so to speak, by the recreated spirit through the Word of God. The mind slowly but surely as it feeds on the Word, meditates in the Word, practices and lives the Word, comes into the fellowship of the recreated spirit. This is the place where all believers should have as a top priority in their life. When the mind comes under subjection of the recreated spirit, then the body will also follow.

The renewing of the mind with the Word of God has a direct correlation with the believers faith, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17) Therefore, a believer with small faith is almost invariably a person whose mind has not yet been renewed. But we also must keep in mind, that the mind can't be renewed by simply believing the Bible. The Word of God must be acted upon. Many of our Bible teachers have never seen this because their senses govern their mind, meaning, their senses govern what they teach. Their recreated spirit has a very small place in their lives.

God spoke to Joshua and gave him the same principle that Paul reveals to the believer, "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." (Joshua 1:8) God tells Joshua to meditate on His Word day and night for a purpose, "For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." In other words as Joshua meditated on Gods Word his ways (acting upon the Word) would prosper and he would have success.

Paul also exhorts us with these words, "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." (Colossians 3:1-2) So, what is on your mind? The things of God that bring peace and joy or the things of the world which steal away these very things. As Paul says, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things." (Philippians 4:8) So let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly...