The Rod of Righteousness (Part 4)

Mark 4:1-3 – And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. 2) And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, 3) Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: This is a critical parable to all Christians, because in it we see the pitfalls of the slothful and the reward of the diligent regarding the importance of the word of God working and advancing our daily life in the  Lord and in the world around them. Two vital verse regarding the word of God in us are Rom 10:8 – But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; Deut 30:14 – But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. The sower in Mark:4-3 sows the word of God, of which He puts in our hearts and God places in all mankind’s hearts from before time.  Giving each a choice to abide in it or reject it. Gen 2:7 – And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.  “The breath of” means a puff, vital breath, but more important, divine inspiration and intellect. Mankind knows good from evil!

Mark 4:4 – And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. Mark 4:15 – 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.
Satan comes to sow unbelief, doubt, condemnation, fear (of alienation from family and friends, etc.

Mark 4:5-6 – And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: 6) But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Mark 4:16-17 – And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17) And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. There is no root in themselves, because the word, without reading, studying and meditation upon it can’t bring forth the root of the word in their life. Also it is the responsibility of every Christian to remove stones of the old heart through grace and the inward working of the Holy Spirit to establish ground that can receive the root of the word in us. Heb 4:12-13 – For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13) Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. It is paramount that the word be active within us establishing good ground to sow in and receiving the reward there of. Ezek 36:26 – A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. We will wither and die without the word being firmly rooted in a new heart of flesh received when we are born again of the Spirit.

Matt 12:35-36 – A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 36) But I say unto you, That every idle (unfruitful) word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. These idle words are those that come out of the heart of stone and speak words of unbelief, doubt and fear. These say they are Christians and love God, but the words from their mouth speak the language of world not of heaven. How can they be saved? Heb 11:6 – But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. And without faith the word cannot be firmly planted in the heart. Satan either takes away the word or it withers and dies!

Mark 4:7 – And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. Mark 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. Are we more concerned about this life or the next life? If we trust in God and prevail in the word and faith, abounding in the love of God, things in this world are of little concern when we trust fully in Him, trials, tribulation, persecution and every other form of harassment of the devil can’t keep us from our heavenly home, it only makes us stronger. Matt 6:25-26 – Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26) Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Christians must be fruitful, because the word, faith and love of God planted in our hearts should naturally bring forth much fruit and if it doesn’t each will be judged for the lack of it.  The lack is a witness against them.  John 15:1-2 – I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2) Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Taketh away means to take out of the way or destroy. What is very exciting is that the branch that beareth fruit He purgeth!  Purgeth means to cleanse, from filth, impurity!) Gal 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. When the word, faith and love, is establish in our inner man of the heart it should become our natural inclination to daily seek, “living as witnesses of such and manifesting the fruit of the Spirit.”  From this labor of the Spirit, God purgeth us, cleansing us from filth and impurity from the old nature making us to walk more in the new creation established in Jesus Christ through oneness with God.

Mark 4:8-9  – And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. 9) And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Only when we become fully rooted in the word of God, faith and love can this good ground come forth. Eph 3:16-20 (Being rooted and ground in love is the key to the word and faith working in us,  bringing God’s promises and provision in all circumstances and causing the vital life of Christ to abound in us more and more. A fearful reminder! James 4:4-6 – Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5) Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain,”The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? 6) But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

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The Rod of Righteosness (Part 3)

The Rod of Righteousness (Part 3)

One of the greatest issues with Christians in these days as it was throughout scriptures was the unequal yoking of the people of God being unequally yoked with those in the world and the world itself.  We could actually say that much like the fallen angels of Genesis taking the daughter of man contaminated the seed of the ones that were once righteous. 2 Cor 6:14 -  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? Unequally yoked together implies to be yoked together with another who’s moral and ethical belief’s and character are contrary to one another. One has been born again of the Spirit and values serving God and His kingdom on the earth and the other believes that this kind faith and obedience to God is all in vain. This unequal yoking is not just with people, but with the ways of the world as well. The devil uses and manipulates the lost and Christians alike through the common fallen nature within each to snare and take them captive to his will. Amos 3:2-3 – You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. 3) Can two walk together, except they be agreed?  This disagreement with God and His people had to do with the evil in their heart’s contracted by the wicked among them, just as it had been in previous generations before of which God also brought His judgment because, their ways were evil.  The seed became contaminated from the wicked through previous generations and because God is love He had to remove the contaminated seed.

2 Tim 2:25-26 – in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26) and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. Through sin within and temptations from without, many Christians lose their sense of direction and purpose and turn aside from God,  with much of this being due to their word and the way they think. “There is a language connected to heaven and a language connect to earth.”  If our thinking and words do not agree with that of heaven and remains connected to the old nature and the world around us our Christian walk will stay contaminated and our faith will flounder causing many will fall away.  Matt 12:36-37 – But I say to you that for every idle word (unfruitful) men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.  37) For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” This should make us separate ourselves from the old nature and world it clings to.  Choosing rather to cling to the new creation in Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit within us.  All of our labor in the kingdom of God is established by the word of God and faith in that word, being activated out of our life.  1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 2 Tim 2:25-26 – In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26) And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Prov 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. What we must realize though is that “life” (vital life), which proceeds from the tongue, proceeds only from the heart of them whose heart is the temple of the living God, empowered by grace and instructed and chastened by the Spirit. Real “life” can only be found in God! 1 John 2:16-17 – For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.  Christians go astray because they linger around the influences in and of the world, neglecting convictions of the heart and yielding to the lusts of the flesh.  Unless they awaken from trap set by the devil and come to their senses and repent of their sin they will fall away from God. 2 Cor 6:15-16 – And what concord hath Christ with Belial (Satan)? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Infidel means without faith or trust, unfaithful, incredulous (refusing or reluctant to believe.) Idols are things or people that can become more important than our life and labor in Christ. 2 Cor 6:17 – Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Separate means to mark off from others by boundaries, to limit, to separate from.  Realizing also, that from this we will suffer persecution for it by those we separate from.

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Securing the Rod of Righteousness (Part2)

Luke 17:26-27 – “And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it shall be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27) they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.  Why did God destroy them all?  Gen 6:1-2 – And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them  2) That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.  Most that have researched this, believe that the inner marriage of the son’s of God and the daughters of man, brought forth the giants called the Nephilim whom we find mentioned through much of the old testament scripture. These inner marriages brought forth great wickedness in the land.  Gen 6:4-5 – There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. 5) And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  The seed of mankind, at that time, became totally contaminated and because “God is love”, He had to make sure this contaminated seed didn’t find its way into the next generation. Luke 17:28-30 – Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29) But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30) Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

The New Testament points out prophetic words by Jesus, Paul, and others, that this evil of which they  prophesied and spoke about is happening today as it was then, with many Christians falling away from God, because of the darkness that is covering this nation.  We find the reason for this darkness in Ps 123:3 -  For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity. From the beginnings of this nation it was founded upon the rod of the righteousness in our Lord guiding and directing our fore fathers in it’s formation.  When this foundation is ignored and trodden by the wicked, bringing darkness, the rod of the wicked will prevail in governing and the righteous will put forth their hands unto iniquity, bringing the falling away of many Christians. Matt 24:12-13 – And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13) But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Many means largely, mostly, abundant, altogether, great, or plenteous). In other words Jesus prophesied that a “large number” of Christians would fall away!  2 Thess 2:2-3 – That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (Falling away is the Greek world “apostasia” or the English word “apostasy” meaning defection from truth or to forsake God.) This is happening today in large numbers, actually by the millions! Paul says in 2 Tim 1:15-16 – This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.  Asia was were the church of Ephesus was capital of Asia, of which Paul under great duress said in Acts 20:29-31 – For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30) Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31) Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. Nothing ever changes, mankind always seems to return to it’s vomit to repeat the same evils over and over again and this even so in His own people, because the rod of the righteous is relinquished to the wicked without even the knowledge of it, because they are dull of hearing. Matt 7:13-14 – “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  14) Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

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Securing the Rod of Righteousness (Part 1)

Ps 125:3 – For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity. There is a clear understanding of the word wicked in the Hebrew the word “rasha” used to know that these wicked people on the earth are nonredeemable to God.  “Rasha” denotes the category of people who have done wrong, are still living in sin, and are intent on continuing with wrongdoing; The “wicked” does not seek God; he challenges God in his way of life; he loves violence; oppresses the righteous; does not repay his debts; lays a snare to trap the righteous; the way of the ungodly/wicked shall perish.” The expectation of the righteous includes God’s judgment on the “wicked” in this life that they might be ashamed and overcome by sorrows. They fall by their own devices, and die a premature death, and is expected that at the time of their death there will be great shouting: “When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: when the wicked perish, there is shouting”.  Psalms 58:3-4 – The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. 4) Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear. Ps 10:4 – The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

In Psalms 125:3 the word “rod” is speaking about a tribe or a clan of people having the scepter (a mark of authority). This nation was established through the faith of our Forefathers as a Christian nation.  Their guidance for the establishment of this nation came from the Bible and a sovereign God who directed them by His Spirit to bring forth the Constitution of the United States as well as the Bill of Rights.  It was the intent of God that Christians would maintain the rod of His righteousness over this nation, but wicked people began to creep in little by little to mingle and contaminate the seed that birthed this nation, this seed originated from God.  Jude 3-4 – Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4) For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.  Out of this came the separation of Church and State, a perverse illusion originating from ungodly people and conspired by the pit of hell. Even now this has become so perverse that its intent is to trodden under foot the biblical foundations of our nation, this same contaminated seed is thriving in our nation to rewrite the history of this nation.  These whose minds been darkened by satan himself, attempt to exclude Christians from free speech and public prayer, as well as moral conscious causing them to hauled into courts, in a perverted justice system that levis huge fines on  upstanding Christians in the community that will not go against moral conscious, because of their faith in God and their conscious, which come by His Holy Spirit.  In these days there is an onslaught of the ungodly in this nation against Christians who will not bend to disintegrating moral conscious of the masses around us to achieve their goals making Christians a non-factor in this nation! We must know that this evil is conceived by satan.

There is an ongoing silent migration away from the church of an estimated 3,500 individuals each and every day. A 2014 study indicated that over 1.2 million people will leave the church in the next year.  This came from a study from 2014 by Barna Research and the Fuller Institute,  however, as darkness increases due to the darkness in the heart of mankind this “falling away” increases.  Remember Ps 125:3, if the wicked usurp authority over the land and turn the heart of the nation to greater darkness the righteous will put forth their hand to do iniquity!  This is what the word tells us, so the greater reason for Christians leaving the Church is that they have allowed this spiritual darkness around them to effect their faith and love for God.  Also we can’t leave out the prophetic evidence of Paul’s writings and others. (Read Part 2)

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The Benifits of the New Creation

Rom 8:29-30 – For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.  The Greek word for conformed means having the same form as another, the “conformity” of children of God “to the image of His Son,  and of their future physical “conformity” to His body of glory.  Being conformed to the “image of Christ”, actually is speaking of being made in the exact likeness of a prototype.  As in a prototype of a certain kind of vehicle, it  becomes duplicated in the exact likeness of the prototype in was conformed to.

Gal 6:14-16 – But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 15) For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but “a new creature”. 16) And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. The Greek word for rule means a rule (“canon”), a standard of faith and practice; a boundary, a sphere (of activity).  When Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus about being born again, Jesus told him in John 3:8 – The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit; Jesus was speaking of the new creature which is conformed by the Spirit of God into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ.  This image and likeness is in the new creation not the natural man of flesh and bones.  The natural man is perishing, because sin and death that abides in its nature.  No matter how healthy we are one day we will all die, but to live again in the new creation eternally with God, because we heard the call of salvation through redemption by His blood and we were born again of the Spirit.

1 Cor 15:53-55 – For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  All mankind will choose the direction they will go in life, but to forsake the free gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ is to believe a lie from the devil who is the “father of lies” and cut ourselves off from a loving Father who grieves over the death of all that reject Him. Nothing that is worth having is without cost. Christians will go through much suffering to enter into eternal life and this only as we are fervent in faith and in love, determining in the heart the putting off the old nature and putting on the new through the grace and power working in us through the Holy Spirit.  Eph 4:22-24 – That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23) And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24) And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Rev 19:6-9 – “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. 7) “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” 8) And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 And he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’”

 

 

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Aligning Ourselves with God in Christ

Without proper direction and teaching we tend to miss out on the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives. (Jesus speaking) John 3:6-8 -  ” That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  7) “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  8) ” The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  Unless there is a supernatural conversion manifest by the Holy Spirit through our surrender to Jesus Christ there can be no escape from sin, corruption, death and slavery to the devil who easily manipulates sin in the flesh to be his slave. 2 Cor 4:3-4 - But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4) whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

John 14:25-26 - ”These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you.  26) “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.  Sadly even when we are born of Spirit we can go astray in our own good works and labor thinking that God approves of such works.  Well, He doesn’t, however, he will allow us to continue on this path in the flesh to teach us His ways.  For me this went on for a several years until I became dissatisfied with my Christian life to such a point that I was ready to return to my old life in the world.  I thank God for He is merciful, kind and gracious.  Just at this point of my life other circumstances where arising in that was breaking my heart. One morning I got up to “practice my daily routine” of bible reading, praying in the Spirit and seeking Him for direction.  Suddenly, I heard what seemed to be an audible voice, which said to me, “That’s how my heart feels about you.” Immediately the Spirit of God said to me, “You have left your first love.” He then took me to the scripture Rev 2:2-5 - ”I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;  3) and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.  4) Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.  5) Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place unless you repent. Needless to say I was repentant and the Holy Spirit began teach me how this was able to take place, to such a point that I was even ready  to turn my back on God and return to the world.

The Holy Spirit began to teach me what had happen that would cause such a radical turn in my life.  Within all mankind, there is an deep need within us to be approved by others.  Our tendency is to do things to gain the approval of others.  This is really just the working of the self referential nature within us.  When I was growing up I sought the approval of my Dad and my friends.  I have always been one that would serve and help others for the need of approval.  I was in the military for 4 years, Fire Department for 26 years and now my wife, Pat and I have been pasturing an inner city mission in North Charleston, SC for 22 years.  It is really serving that brings fulfillment in our lives as long as long as we are seeking no gain out of it.  However, the devil hates it and will bring every form of adversity against us you can think of.  However, this too is for our benefit, causing us to grow up in Christ.  I have recognized over the past years that there is only one we need approval from and that is our Father in heaven.  What is awesome about our Father in heaven is that He approves all mankind through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. In this we surrender and become slaves of righteousness just like Jesus Christ who didn’t come to be served but to be a servant of all.  Christians must learn to serve without putting expectations upon those we serve. Rom 13:8-11 - Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9) For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”   10) Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.  We die to self in serving one another, because we are naturally self referential and full of pride. John 15:13 - Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  This is how the Holy Spirit mortifies the deeds of the flesh. (Rom 8:13) Like Christ we take up our cross daily no matter what the cost, for in every test there is there is upgrade of the new man in Christ, becoming more and more like Him in character and nature while putting off the old man.  Like Christ, a Christian will go through intense trials and suffering,  putting on Christ, while putting off self. Matt 11:28-30 - Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

When Jesus confronted Paul on the road to Damascus and was thrown to the ground. Jesus told Paul that He would go through great suffering for Jesus’ name sake.  Paul went through suffering above and beyond others, but most important was that in the suffering He would be established and built up in the new man, within him made in the likeness of Jesus Christ. 2 Cor 4:7-12 - But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8) We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9) persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed 10) always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11) For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12) So then death is working in us, but life in you.  The greatest point to be made here is that in all of Paul’s trials, tribulations, and testing he was putting off self and putting on Christ, while the love of Christ within him, through his own death, was bringing life to others.  This is the true vocation and purpose of every servants life who is in Jesus Christ.  We live to die but in dying to self, we gain the abundant life that Jesus promised in John 10:10.

 

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The Heart of Man

When I say, “the heart of man”: I mean the heart of the natural man.  Jer 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?  Even in this there is hope for all mankind. Jer 17:10 – I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. God’s desire is that all mankind choose life over death, but many choose death over life and these will perish. The natural man, of which we are all created, is an incipient state of mankind birthed out of the seed of Adam in disobedience, resulting in sin, corruption and death. 1 Cor 2:14 – But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  The Greek word for natural actually means “beastly”, sensual or the lower nature.  The natural man is from beneath the new man of the Spirit is from above.  John 8:23 – And He (Jesus) said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.  Don’t argue with a person in their natural state about Christianity, because they have no spiritual discernment of such things for those born again of the Spirit think, speak and act as if they are foreigners from another world, and they are just as Jesus said, “Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.”  When I was born again of the Spirit, it was late one evening in the fire station where I was employed. Everybody else was asleep. I was reading a book by Hal Lindsey called, “Satan is alive and well  on planet earth”.  At the end of each chapter, He had an invitation to receive Jesus as Lord and savior.  I had already been contemplating doing this, but this was the night that the Lord had chosen for me.   I read a short invitation receiving Jesus as Lord and savior and all of the sudden the Spirit of God fell on me and I knew I was connected to another dimension or world not of this earth.   That morning when I got up my whole life was different and the guy’s in the fire station thought I had lost my mind, and it truly had, I receive the mind and the life of Jesus dwelling in me. I didn’t realize at the time, but I had been translated to another kingdom not of this world. Col 1:12-15 - Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14) In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.

1 John 3:9-10 – Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10) In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.  “Doth not commit sin” actually means to not continue in sin, for if we continue in sin without repentance and turning away from sin we prove we are not the sons of God. We must realize, however, that this is a process that takes a life time, of which we ourselves can’t change.  It takes the power of God through the Holy Spirit to mortify the deeds of the flesh. (Rom 8:13) It is impossible for mankind to redeem themselves from sin.  Rom 3:9-12 – What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11) There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12) They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. The dilemma that dwells within all mankind is self will and pride, thinking that they can, in their own efforts, rise above the sin and corruption within them. Our natural condition from Adams seed is dead in sins and trespasses and It can’t be raised from the dead unto righteousness from any work or labor of mankind.  Isa 64:6 - For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Bondage or Freedom of Words

Matt 12:34-37 – O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35) A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 36) But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37) For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. The word viper is speaking of poisonous snakes of which there are many different kinds in the lands of which the bible was written.  Some of the vipers are very poisonous while others not as much.

Jer 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? The venom from mankinds mouth, come from the heart of man, being blinded and manipulated by the devil to utter poisonous words that are meant to do great harm to those who become the pray of the devil caught in a snare, to do the devils will. Eph 6:12 – For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  The devils desire is to cause these words from family, friends, and other relationships to hinder God from using these harmed by words to labor for Him in this world bringing glory to Father through the Son. John 10:10 – The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy through the poison of words, affecting both the one brings them and those that receive them. Note in Matt 12:36-37 – But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37) For by thy  words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. Idle word means inactive, unemployed; (by implication) lazy, useless, or barren. God seeks to employ our words, “what we say”, to manifest,  build and grow His kingdom on the earth, and only the gainful employment of our words, with faith and love can bring forth justification and righteousness, bringing eternal life. James 3:2-8 – For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Ask yourself; our my words gainfully employed to glorify the Father through the Son.

Matt 5:22 – But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Angry means to provoke or enrage, or become exasperated and from this comes the poison of this anger and they strike out at the one who angers them. With both sinning against God. Judgment means to separate for a decision (by church elders), but also divine judgment. Raca means senseless, empty-headed man; raca was a word of utter contempt, signifying “empty,” intellectually rather than morally, “empty-headed,” it was worse than being angry. Danger of council means any assembly, whether convened to deliberate or to pass judgment. Thou fool means dull, sluggish, stupid; here the word means morally worthless, a scoundrel, a more serious reproach than “Raca”; the latter scorns a man’s mind and calls him stupid; thou fool scorns the heart and character; hence the Lord’s more severe condemnation.

Gal 5:13-16 – For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14) For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 15) But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. 16) I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. To bite means, to wound the soul, cut, lacerate, rend/tear apart with reproaches. How many wounded souls are in this world being birthed from the words of family, friends and strangers even church members?  How many times has this happened to us and we as God’s people, don’t forgive those who wounded us.  Rather we should pray for them, forgiving them that we continue in the Lords grace working in us. The venom of the weak should not be able to harm those strong in the Lords grace and Spirit. The venom of words starts at an early age and follows the wounded, most if not all of their lives, but shouldn’t hinder born again Christians who are filled with the Spirit of God and love for Peter says in 1 Peter 4:8 – And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

Isa 58:9 – Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity. Yoke means yoke-bar; used of oppression, also trouble, wickedness, affliction, evil, mischief,  unjustness, unrighteousness. Vanity characterizes the way of life of those who are without God: For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practice hypocrisy, and to utter error against the Lord, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail”  And how does all this evil happen? By the words of the wicked and even Christians who have no knowledge on how much God hates these idle poisonous words, unfazed by the oppression and affliction it brings millions of people.  THESE TRULY ARE IN DANGER OF HELL FIRE!  Isa 59:3-5 – For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. 4) None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. 5) They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper. Cockatrice means a viper (as thrusting out the tongue, hissing); a poisonous serpent. Don’t get caught up in strife and angry or vindictive words for if we partake of these eggs we will perish!

Prov 18:20-21 – A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. 21) Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Righteousness is a progressive work that is a labor of words manifesting by our faith bringing the fruit of  from our lips. They will either justify us of condemn us. Our words can condemn us and cut us off  from our earthly and eternal rewards being used by the devil to steal, kill and destroy, but for those laboring in righteousness by faith that will be revealed are blessed forever, both here in this life and eternally. Prov 13:2-3 – A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence. 3) He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction. We eat the good fruit of our mouth, is speaking about growing spiritually and receiving the benefits  of this spiritual growth both earthly and heavenly.

Prov 12:13-14 – The wicked is snared by the transgression/rebellion of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble. 14) A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man’s hands shall be rendered unto him. Many Christians are rebellious in their words and without repentance for they have no knowledge of what the word of God says about our words, nor the effect, both positive and negative they can have upon our lives earthly and eternal. Prov 10:20-21 – The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth. 21) The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.  Our words our precious unto God, actively employed for the building up of His church and kingdom on the earth.

Prov 18:6-7 – A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes. 7) A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul. This shows us that words will either be to our edification or our destruction. Prov 10:19 – In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise. The more we open our mouth to speak, the greater the probability that idle words will flow out, unrestrained, bringing  greater condemnation, causing faith and righteousness to be cut off from them. Eccl 10:12-14 – The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. 13)) The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness. 14) A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him? Did we know that our words can swallow us up?  This is what the devil desires, to keep our words from being a threat unto him, keeping Christians in the snare of their own words, condemned, not even knowing it.  Take note, what will swallow us up, words of life or words of death?

Isa 57:19 – I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him.  Paul’s request in Eph 6:19 – And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospelPs 141:3 – Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.

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Meekness

1 Cor 1:27-29 – But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28)  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29)  That no flesh should glory in his presence. Num 12:3 – Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth. Meekness is the extreme opposite of pride and self will.  Meek means depressed, in mind or circumstances, needy, especially saintly, humble, lowly, poor, also to deprive of self-esteem or self-worth or of little distinction. English meek means long-suffering and uncomplaining; forbearing, yet strong enough to resist aggression; enduring, forbearing, persevering, and patient. Ps 22:26 – The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.

God strongly prefers to use the meek for His work on the earth, yet He still uses those that have little of this, but pride will always cause them to fall short and miss the mark.  It is the pride of mankind the nurturers offenses and manifest in frustration, anger, forgiveness, and bitterness.  Ps 147:6 – The Lord lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground. Lifteth up means testify, to encompass, restores, call to record, relieve, stand upright, or witness. God love the meek of the earth, for He can cause His power and strength to flow through them. Isa 11:4  But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity/fairness for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. Meekness does not identify the weak, but more precisely the strong who have been placed in a position of weakness where they persevere without giving up.  Why? The putting off of the old to put on the new. (Eph 4:22, Col 3:9)

God’s greatest desire is to use His people to cause His life, strength and power to flow through, but without meekness pride will connect to the message and the power of God and make the person miss the mark.  1 Cor 12:9 – And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (Infirmity means feebleness of mind or body, malady; frailty,  sickness, or weakness.)  Paul was praying that this harassing thorn be removed from his flesh, which was a messenger of satan to buffet him lest he be exalted above measure as Paul pleaded with God three times.

Late twentieth-century Western culture does not hold meekness to be a virtue.  Virtue means moral excellence, grace, purity, decency, or moral goodness. Ps 149:4 – For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify/glorify the meek with salvation. The pride of man became a slayer of meekness and virtue.  In the ancient Near East and the Greco-Roman world, they placed a high premium on meekness. Ancient Near Eastern kings were not reluctant to describe themselves as meek in the same context in which they described themselves as mighty kings.  We can see the huge difference between King Saul and David, it testifies of God’s utter contempt for Saul in contrast to God’s great love for King David, because of this inward beauty of David from meekness and Jesus came in the likeness of David seed.

Ps 2:9-12 – Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. 10) Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 11) Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12) Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. We can see a whole new meaning to Ps 2:12 here as it speaks to the meek of the earth, these are those whom God desires to use powerfully.  Kiss here implies submission and being under, trusting, submitted and yielding to His desires for our lives.  In earlier teachings we have learned that kiss means to be armed with weapons, but we find that the greatest weapon is meekness, because Jesus was meek and lowly when He walk the earth, dying for our sins and transgression against God. Matt 11:29-30 – Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Yoke means to join, especially by a yoke; a coupling, servitude (a law or obligation);  Rom 13:8 – Owe (out of obligation) no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. Here is the conflict with the flesh and God, bringing our chastening!  The love of God working within in us, being demonstrated, by our love for one another, works in us death through meekness for the putting off of the old man and putting on of the new creation in Jesus Christ.

Heb 12:5-8 – And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6) For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges(flogs) every son whom He receives.” 7) If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8) But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Chastens means to train up a child, educate, or to discipline by punishment. Why does God discipline by punishment? To rid us of the old nature with its pride and self will, keeping us from God using us to do his work upon the earth.

Most modern versions of the bible replace “meekness” by “gentleness” or “humility, ” largely as a result of the belittling overtones of weakness and effeminacy now associated with meekness. Ps 45:3-4 – Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. 4)  And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. The scripture speaks of Christ the Lord bring judgment upon the wicked in truth, meekness and righteousness.

What prompted this discrepancy between the biblical and contemporary attitudes toward virtue?  A conflict in which individuals is unable to control or influence circumstances. Typical human responses in such circumstances include frustration, bitterness, or anger.  Deut 12:8 – Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes. Those of the world do what is right in their own ways and many Christians are estranged from God because of this. Rom 10:3 – For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.  Submitted means to subordinate, be under obedience, put under, subdue, make subject to, be put in subjection or submit self unto.  1 John 2:16 – For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

These attributes mark them that are meek: Meekness is an active and deliberate acceptance of undesirable circumstances that are wisely seen by the individual as only part of a larger picture. Meekness is patient and hopeful endurance of undesirable circumstances and identifies the person as externally vulnerable and weak, but inwardly resilient and strong. The use of the Greek word when applied to domestic animals means “tame”.  In other words, such animals have not lost their strength but have learned to control the destructive instincts that prevent them from living in harmony with others.(Remember natural man means beastly, sensual and terrestrial.) The single most frequently attested context in which the meek are mentioned in the Bible is one in which they are vindicated and rewarded for their patient endurance. Ps 25:9 – The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.  If you aren’t hearing from God and His word is not being revealed to you by His Spirit, most likely this spirit of pride is keeping you from the truth and you have not submitted yourself to the chastening of the Lord, thus becoming a son.

1 Peter 3:4 – But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. Zeph 2:3 – Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.  Seek means to find, to secure, to desire, to demand, to require to ask or request.  Meekness is a grace gift given by God, but if there is no striving after it, it won’t come.  Jesus told us to ask, seek and knock to receive from the Father, far be it from the Father to keep meekness from us to walk in it that He be glorified.

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Power of the Blood (Part 2)

Lev 17:11 – For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. The altar of Christ’s death was upon the Cross and the blood that issued out His of body and flesh was for everlasting atonement of our souls and life to our flesh.  The Cross of Christ brought forth a way of exchanging sin, death and corruption from the poisoned bloodline of Adam for the sinless blood of Jesus Christ and the new life that would proceed from it for every believer that is born of the Spirit.(Rom 8:13) The word of God, received by faith, has within it the flesh and the blood of Jesus which is brought about and manifest in us by the Holy Spirit. Do we believe in the power of the blood.  Rom 3:24-25 – Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.  Propitiation means the holding back of judgment until the Spirit of God finishes the Fathers work in us and the whole body Christ, making us one with Him.  This work is accomplished through the sinless blood of Jesus.

Prov 4:20-22 – My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21) Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 22) For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.  Why does the word of God give life to those that find them, and health to all their flesh?  Because the word manifested is Jesus Christ and the life of His flesh is in the sinless blood received from the Fathers seed.  The word of God infuses us with the blood of Jesus through the Holy Spirit if we believe it.  Eph 5:30- For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.  If we are His body flesh and bones, then His sinless blood must also flow through us by the Spirit exchanging the genealogy of Adam with sin, death and corruption for the sinless blood of Jesus, putting off the old man and putting on the new man in Christ. (Eph 4:22-24). We must also be aware that although something physical is taking place in us in the putting off of the old man in that corrupted Adamic nature it is the Holy Spirit that is mortifying the deeds of the flesh as well as changing us into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ.  However, without embracing our own death and finding a place of rest in Him this process will not take place.(Col 3:3, Heb 4:9-11) 1 Cor 15:53-55 – For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

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