This month's teaching : Repentance

What is Oil?

Previously, I wrote of the time when Mary anointed Jesus with oil. Now I want to bring out just what that oil really is. The good Samaritan had oil for healing. The five wise virgins had oil for light. Elijah had oil to anoint those chosen for the position of priest. Samuel used oil to anoint a young lad, destined to be king. Oil was poured upon the head of Aaron as he became the high priest. Anointing with oil was the transitional act in sanctifying the tabernacle, as well as people with specific callings. Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron, were not allowed to grieve over their brother’s death because they were anointed with oil. Leviticus 10:7 And ye shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: for the anointing oil of the Lord is upon you… The oil of God is the fear of the Lord. What is this oil?

In my studies concerning the subject and meaning of oil, it has become apparent that oil relates to an active aspiration of strength from the sweet currents of heaven within the once twisted, unbelieving heart. Oil and strength are like our two feet. Both functioning together will carry out the achievement of purposes in our natural life. The oil of joy is the instrument that serves the wholesomeness of God’s blessings to one’s self and others. Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness… The joy of the Lord is my strength. The oil of joy is healing, light, reserve, fullness, restoration. The oil which flows through joy drives away heaviness, darkness, and despair. This oil must openly flow from the well in our lives to generate joyful endurance, strength, valor, and courage. Joy is most fully experienced when it is released by expression through thanksgiving and demonstration of inspiration toward God and man.

When we seal up this potential flow of oil and joy because of fear and disappointment, we can become a curse to others and even curse ourselves. God spoke to Israel and declared what would happen if they continued complaining and focusing on their problems. ‘You will work the work with your hands and many things you will do to prosper, but prospering will be hidden from you. Fruit trees, olive trees, vineyards, sons, daughters—you will have all of these, but you will not enjoy them. You will plant much seed and see little harvest. You will not prosper in the garden of God because you have no oil of gladness.’ Deuteronomy 28:47 because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things.

We must understand that oil is not circumstantial, but reserve. There was a widow whose husband had been a God-fearing prophet. Now she was left with an unpayable debt. She was threatened with losing her two sons as payment for the debt. At her request, Elisha came to her house and asked her what she had. She confessed that she had nothing except one thing which you cannot eat. It was only her last little bit of something; one pot of oil! At the prophet’s command, they borrowed all the available pots and many vessels from the neighborhood and set them behind closed doors. The woman started pouring her oil into another pot, and it would not stop! All the vessels were now filled, and it still would not stop. They didn’t have enough vessels to contain the heavenly oil. She was now debt-free and overflowing.

It all started with the hidden little pot of oil being poured forth. There is so much power in that last little pot of oil—it is where it all starts again. It is only the oil on the head of Jehu that can recklessly drive out and destroy Jezebel from her position.

What are we doing with our God-given oil? Let us pour it forth to anoint other lives. Let the joy of our heart burst forth into thanksgiving and praise to our God and to His people. At times our hearts are too heavy in despair to expel its hopelessness. But whilst amid these infirmities we must at once yield our self-pity to find joy, and they will be driven away like a cloud in the morning. These difficulties are not easy to counter in the midst of the struggle, but they can be turned into powerful victories. This brings the sweetest fragrance of hope when all seems diminished. The act of pouring out the sweetness of heavenly oil upon another is contained in the power of salvation within all saints! Your last pot of oil poured forth is your first pot of oil, even if it is borrowed. Hallelujah!

The Ministry of Mary

Scores of people always surrounded Jesus wherever He went. No matter the location, they would be there waiting for Him for numerous reasons. Many needed healing—they were healed. Many needed teaching—they were teachable. Many looked for fault—they found none. Many were lying in wait to latch onto a wrong word for which they could criticize Him—they did. Even in faultlessness, the Son of God was constantly criticized in all that He did, and all that He said. Out of all these people around Jesus, there was only one of whom He declared this: that throughout the world, wherever the gospel was preached, she would be remembered. Something happened in the little town of Bethany while Jesus was there. Jesus gave a command that everywhere the gospel would be preached, there must also be told this account, as a memorial. The anointing poured out by a woman upon Jesus that day was for all the death Jesus would experience at the conclusion of His life.

What happened that solemn evening on the hillside in Bethany? A spiritual woman saw a king through the eyes of pain and rejection. She saw a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, and poured her gift upon Him. This king suffered a different pain than many complain about today. It was a spiritual pain, because of the power of the Holy Spirit that rested within Him. It is far beyond me to imagine how man could be so evil and so against the Son of God! They imagined evil in Him, He was lied against, ridiculed, despised, forsaken, rejected, and we esteemed Him not. Nothing has changed to this day. The pure and holy, and those filled with the Holy Spirit, suffer in the same manner in our day. Is there anyone in our day that might have the same ministry hidden within themselves that Mary had in the days of Jesus?

Mary aimed her life at accepting Christ in His entire ministry. Today’s Mary still ministers to Jesus in this way through the people of God. There are many true servants of Christ who are rejected and despised because of the power of Jesus within them. Mary found one of the greatest ministries to Jesus that one can have. She ministered to Him with anointing. It was precious and aromatic. The smell filled the room in the presence of Jesus. She blessed the feet that carried Him and His ministry to so many places with anointing oil of spikenard, which was very costly. She not only accepted His feet but also blessed them and anointed them. She caused His head, where all His senses functioned, to smell precious and clean. Mary approved Jesus in all that He did. She anointed His walk by anointing his feet with precious oil. Contrastively, the enemy always tries to blemish the head of Jesus, and make His feet smell bad.

How can this precious ministry function in our day? The Lord revealed this truth to me several years ago and placed upon my heart the desire to be a Mary. There are organizations by the thousands that minister to the poor and even to those who reject Christ. Millions and millions of dollars are channeled into these types of ministries every year. But where are those that minister to the ones that are hated, despised, and rejected because they are carriers of the power of Jesus? Many organizations are rich because of the poor.

Mary found a ministry that will never be taken away from her. She poured out her life upon Christ in blessing and acceptance. We meet unusual people in whom we can sense the power of Jesus. Their effectiveness is obvious. They endure much conflict, and they are despised, rejected, and constantly ridiculed. The anointing of Mary will bless these people in their walk and their talk. Luke 10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Notice how Judas was inflamed with indignation over Mary’s anointing and called it a waste. He said that this precious anointing should have been sold and given to the poor. Jesus rebuffed him, saying that the poor are always present, but truly those that have Jesus are not always with us.

We need the ministry of Mary! The contrast between Judas and Mary is very troubling and evident. Yes, Judas was a leader, but he obviously never received discipleship. Mary was the one with precious oil, which Judas criticized only after it was poured out upon Jesus. Mary gave all she had to anoint Jesus. My spiritual friend, may you discover that precious oil in your life which blesses Jesus. May you honor Christ with acceptance, encouragement, blessing, joy, and love! May you be the one who is bold to bless, anoint, and accept the Christ you can see in a brother or sister despised and forsaken because of the Jesus within them. Hallelujah!

Read the account: Mark 14:3-9.

Children of Light

God is light, and in Him is found no variation. Jesus said He was the light; now he says ye are the light of the world. The substance found within a spiritual person is that of a heavenly realm and must be maintained in order to remain a valuable asset within the kingdom of God. Children of Light do not mingle with darkness because light drives out darkness even by its physical nature. As we face the future before us, we will see the ever-present surmounting elements, designed to buckle the knees of the Children of Light. Most often these things appear as real enemies set out to engage us. But wait, enemies of darkness must not cause us to stumble; we overcome them through the light within! God’s children are relentless in faith and are called by the name—Children of Light. The Children of Light are a great danger to the kingdom of darkness. Darkness can never overcome us because we walk in the light. Darkness is completely powerless when light is present. This week I was greatly reminded of this truth, as I witnessed a great deliverance in the life of a troubled youth who was encumbered with horrible darkness. There is a mystery that I observe among professing Christians—Why are so many not walking in the light? Is the light perhaps misunderstood?

Mathew 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. The enemy always seeks to entrap us with suggestions that contradict that which is truth. This tends to capture the focus of one eye thus causing confusion, and where there is confusion, there is every evil work. Single-eyed perception means two eyes focused on one object. If the enemy can cause us to turn one eye in distraction upon his diversion, then he succeeds in shadowing and confusing what God is speaking to our spirit.

True light is not imagination, (by which some become ensnared in confusion). Light is bright, clear, uses no imagination, and it is pure, without agendas of preconception. It presents clear answers and truth. True light casts away doubt. John 12:36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. There are areas and situations on which God has given us light; it is clear and pure, and we are to believe this light that is of truth and unquestionable. Let us not confuse light with traditions or agendas. The light we have received of Him is pure and brilliant, and we are to believe that light. True Children of Light believe in the light and are therefore so-named. This truth sets us free.

There are many murky things that we’re inclined to latch onto, but they are not light. This subtle work of the enemy does not shed light upon our path, and it also does not drive away darkness. Anything that does not drive away darkness is not true light. When we do not have a single eye of focus with both of our eyes on one object, our path becomes darkened, and the natural man’s imagination reigns as king. When our imagination is in control, we are prey to deception, believing anything that makes remote sense. This is exactly what happened to Adam and Eve. Their eyes were no longer single after hearing the serpent’s suggestion. It made perfect sense in their reasoning. They fell from unity with God simply by reasoning. It darkened their minds and they became victims of focus-confusion through the subtilty of Satan.

This same strategy, used by the enemy in the Garden of Eden, is duplicated now against the Children of Light. Ephesians 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: When our minds are darkened, we become separated from the life of God. This is one reason there are so many powerless people in the church of our day. Lifeless Christianity is a prevailing problem among today’s congregations. People with darkened minds have heavy blindness upon their heart like a veil that cannot be penetrated. It is called, ‘the strength of the flesh’. This condition produces an environment of strong delusion and darkness where people believe almost anything that is not true light. It influences chaotic imaginations and is profusely used by the enemy against God’s true children.

There are distractions that the enemy dispenses to gain the attention of God’s children, and once one eye is locked on them, we fall under this category of great confusion. It opens the flood gates of worry and imagination working to depress the mind and overtake anything of peace that we once knew. The mind then latches onto this entrapment as the heart becomes dark with abundance of feelings that are destructive in every category. Our victory is turning our focus to that which we know in peace, joy, love, and power in the Holy Ghost. We must refrain from hearing and seeing with double vision. Both our eyes again turn to what God calls light, and we retain the stature of Christ’s redemption which we know so well. Hallelujah!!!

Discipled

Discipleship—what do I know about it? Is it something I attain to? We are living at the close of the age, a time when the church will face a great dilemma. People are turning away from understanding concerning the importance of having the mind of Christ. This dilemma is a mystery of iniquity, working through the avenue of rebellion when one deems his own preferences more important than true discipleship and spiritual reconciliation within one’s spiritual character. This is the partiality of self-willed vagabonds and drifters; they drink from their own table the lightness of mere milk, or even less than that. The hard things they have not learned. Things such as giving up, admitting wrong, surrendering offenses and many childish immaturities they have never resolved. I have come to a place in my position of leadership, where I will not allow anyone to speak in the congregation that is not under the consistent ministry of a shepherd. What I typically find in these wanderers is an untamed character that lives on its own premises of self-trust, despising the ones who possess qualities they admire. This yields results of individuality that are extremely harmful in the kingdom of God. In the book of Jude, we are given the complete description of these wandering stars. These often live off diets of easily digested milk, because it suits their own agenda.

Milk comes from the same source as the meat. Am I a Christian that has gone through life barely tasting meat? Have I become offended by those who dive into deeper depths of revelation and truth? There is a deeper well that most are not willing to pursue by conformity to God’s way. As true people of deeper faith, we can never take the thief’s route and steal into the fold without entering through the door. Many people will glean their sustenance almost entirely from others that have been led into deeper depths by their love for God, and obedience through the Holy Spirit. John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. V.2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. V.3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. V.4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
The true sheep will never fear unless the shepherd is the one that says, ‘wolf!’. There are other voices that cry wolf, but you can only trust the true shepherd. One of the clear signs of a true shepherd is that he calls his sheep by name. What does this mean? He knows them from walking with them for years through the many incidents they face.

There is a desperate need within the heart of every true saint to be transformed by the power of God on a continual basis in ways that are severe and extreme to the natural state of man. This seems easy until there arises the detested word—submission. The word submission suggests the humbling of one’s self in ways beyond what is easy. It is the surrender taking one from pride to humility, that Jesus requires for His children. This transformation of one’s character is what points to the true spiritual person, or the remains of a carnal man. A man will never be used by God if he cannot walk in submission to the one God places over him. It might appear differently at first, but true results are lasting. Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls.

Many professors of Christ have no understanding of this truth. My experience in being a shepherd is quite extensive. I have rarely heard the request to be discipled in over 30 years of ministry. We live in a time when discipleship has become a gigantic problem because the age of rebellion has spilled over into Christianity. There are many who could become useful in the kingdom, but instead they become offended in small matters, and the result is simple—God will choose to not use them. How many times have I stood before a situation in someone’s life, but could not touch it because their carnal mind would turn to offense. If God is not using us, the reason is quite simple, and we must question: am I teachable? Am I a carrier of offences and what have I proven in this? Have I experienced true, holy submission to man and God? Do I honor and respect in all situations?

May this become a central part of your life, else God will continue to look for other people to use, and you will continue in uselessness. 1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Being Led by The Spirit

Being led by the Holy Spirit is often viewed as being some kind of mystical experience of spiritual ecstasy. This is far from the truth in every way. Being led by the Spirit is an act of obedience to that which the Holy Spirit has inscribed within our heart. I have found that some of the greatest miracles performed by God’s hand in my life, were simply brought by obedience to something burdened in my heart by the Holy Spirit. I have often said that He leads our feet where He wants our face. Many are led by their face and what they see and hear, walking away from the place where God wants them to function. Lot is an example of this, having been led by what he saw by his face, he walked into Sodom.

The problem with most Spirit-filled believers is that they do not trust what is in their heart to do. When the baptism of the Holy Spirit comes upon a man, he is called to walk in the presence of God by the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. The sign of divine sonship is the basic truth of a walk of simple obedience to the voice of the Holy Spirit within, not without. We must recognize unquestionably that the Holy Spirit lives within the true children of God. Many clearly do not carry that authentication, having no confirming results of fruit of the Holy Spirit.

The affirmation of the Holy Spirit is the fruit of the Spirit. This fruit is not our own fruit, but solely the fruit of the Holy Spirit. This spiritual fruit cannot be cooked up or produced by ability outside of the power of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Some have forms of this fruit, but they are circumstantial and not spiritual fruit. Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance… These fruits abide under all circumstances when the presence of the Holy Spirit is within the temple of God. A lack of the fruit of the Spirit, speaks of a lack of the presence of the Holy Spirit. A lack of the presence of the Holy Spirit, speaks of the misunderstanding of the importance of being led by the Holy Spirit. When we are not being led by the Spirit, we are led by ourselves. When we are led by ourselves, we are not sons of God. When we are not sons of God, who are we? Many stand in this unsure position, not knowing who they are. Our confidence is in the conclusion of who we think we are.

Most professing Christians have almost no sense of the Holy Spirit within them, they are missing the link we must have between us and heaven. While many would argue this position, it is because they lack regard for the importance of being led by the Spirit—this being the only way to true sonship. Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit and came forth out of the wilderness by the power of the Spirit. When we are obedient in being led by the Spirit, we become empowered by the Spirit. This truth is the difference between powerlessness and living by the supernatural power of the Spirit. It was never God’s intention for His children to live out a form of holiness, without being filled by the power of the Spirit. Once one experiences the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, He becomes a reality within. This person is aware of His indwelling, and overflowing presence always. This brings a constant desire to be led by the Spirit. He becomes a guiding reliance that you are lost without.

When we are led by the Spirit, we are led into all truth; we love embracing the truth regardless of the cost. He comforts us, and we are receptive to being taught by Him. Many will desire to teach us preferences, but we cannot receive it when it is the opinion of man and not from the Holy Spirit. There will always be those who desire to derail the Spirit-filled man by foreign opinion, and mixed concoctions of self and pretense. But when a spiritual man knows the voice of the Spirit within, he is not persuaded by opinions or things contrary to the truth written in the Word and in his heart. Being led by the Spirit is being faithful to that which is written. Being led by the Spirit is being faithful to that true voice. True followers, who are full of the Holy Spirit, are as sheep to their master. John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. Jesus said in John 18:37, “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice”. If we are of truth, we hear His voice and it can be difficult to follow at times, but we hear it distinctly. Hallelujah!

The Jesus Effect

There was a clearly visible work that was present everywhere Jesus went. The devils fled, the lame walked, the blind saw, the deaf heard, and the Pharisees opposed Him tirelessly. Jesus cast out devils and was accused of doing so with satanic powers from Beelzebub. Around these self-righteous people, Jesus could do nothing right. The Pharisees had fewer problems with those that were bound by Satan than with those that were freed from Satan. Jesus healed a withered hand on the Sabbath and they took counsel on how to destroy Him because of it.

Jesus was a tender and careful man toward those of true faith. Matthew 12:19 He shall not wrangle, nor yell; neither shall any man hear him protest in the streets. V.20 a bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench. The meaning of verse 20 is vastly different than what is depicted by most translations. The original writings indicate that a reed was a pen. He therefore would not break the pen even if it was bruised—indicating that the pen of a writer who wrote things about or against Him, He would not crush or deal with. The smoking flax He would not quench. The original words here portray a different meaning than is commonly understood. The word flax means linen and smoking means gloating. We have heard the term, “someone blowing off smoke”. It would simply mean that He would not destroy someone’s pride unless He could help them, whether a writer or a smoke blower. In other words, there are times the natural man desires to correct someone merely to deflate and demean them. Jesus would not do so for those reasons, but rather, only if He could help them and by judgment bring victory. This was the Jesus effect. People with big egos are always troubled if they see someone else’s ego. Jesus had no ego and it was seemingly not bothersome to Him if others did. If he saw that in someone, He would leave them alone unless His judging them would bring them victory. This appears to be what is portrayed here.

The old religious nature is so toxic that it passes judgment without assuming any responsibility for redemptive gentleness toward someone. When Jesus truly is within our heart, there are certain effects that become visible wherever we go. Jesus was not critical of people who had spiritual issues. This was His divine purpose in appearing to mankind. Jesus did, however, have a big issue with those who had forms of godliness, yet without God’s resident power. He knew that the power of God is manifested within the character and nature of a man who has the presence of God within. Those who professed God through religious formality, yet had great absence of his genuine power, were problematic to Christ. This hypocrisy was far from the authentic experience that Jesus knew. Conflict perpetually followed Jesus because of the introduction of overflowing virtues of grace, love, and truth. It was completely genuine and heavenly. This power prefaced a kingdom where man could be transformed from the lowest corrupted conditions of depravity, to spiritual equality previously unknown to man. This caused disturbing conflict with the pretenders and still does so today.

Caring kindness is never absent around Jesus. Love with understanding is always present. Restoration and receptiveness are like musical harmonies drowning out petty criticisms when Jesus is present. The Jesus effect is not nosiness in other people’s matters. The Jesus effect hopes all things and is kind and wishes well to all.

Many have desired to be more like Jesus without looking to Jesus. No practice or strict discipline will replace the effect that Jesus has. Many have pursued this alteration, but with frustration, collapse back into the old religious habits of judging with the eye and with the ear. Wherever Jesus went and whatever He did, the pious and self-righteous were always stirred up so that they were continually angry with Him. They could not stay away from Him, yet all they spoke of was the problems they had with Him.

Many seem to have some form of godliness and we might never know who they truly are. However, there are some general characteristics that define the actions of man concerning Jesus. We are either with Him or we are against Him. Jesus defines this further in Matthew 12:30“He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters abroad”. From within the heart of everyone, shines a beacon that represents a source. These effects may be subtle, or very evident. It will tend to either gather or scatter the saints. We must ask ourselves the question, do my effects tend to gather or scatter?

Moments of Importance

We can suppose Adam and Eve may have met their temptation with thinking along these lines—we’re the only ones here, nobody else will ever be affected if we taste of this fruit or if we don’t. Surely it would take more than one little thing between God and us to ruin such a perfect relationship. God’s kindness and understanding would never allow us to be separated; He is very indebted to us, He created us! If only they had known the condition of the world and the effects shown in everyone’s personal life, 6,000 years later. How can that one moment in the Garden be so enormous? Was it that much more significant than the decisions we face today?

I have observed that it seems the smallest and most insignificant events, produce the greatest life-altering circumstances. The fruit of the tree of knowledge was not to be tasted or touched. How small is that? A fruit! How can a small fruit change the entire future of billions of souls, plunging them into corrupt adulteration? How powerful and vast are the small things! How can touch and taste be so powerful? How can that one moment of suggestive logic be so devastating? Was it the serpent or was it disobedience?

Israel was in the midst of a huge spiritual defeat, defined by a final threat from a Philistine giant. There was no one powerful enough to take down this adversary of God’s people. A young, inexperienced shepherd boy from the hills of Hebron, near Bethlehem, was delivering cheese, corn, and bread to his brothers at the warfront on the ridge of Elah, when he heard about Goliath. He was scorned by his brothers because of his inexperience and stature. David should have never approached this confrontation; it was not in his category of duty. The moment seemed all wrong.

Lodged deep in the experience of time there was a moment when a prophet poured oil upon the life of a young lad in the hills of Judea. His life was never same from there forward. 1 Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. Then he became an armor-bearer for the king. Among his grand duties, he still fed the sheep of his father, and amongst the carrying out of tasks insignificant, here was this moment when he saw the giant man with a 5-gallon-sized head, being almost ten feet tall.

I’ve stood on this hill in the valley of Elah several times to envision the conflict. There was a moment when David remembered the oil of anointing upon him—it was in the valley of Elah, when things came alive by the mighty hand of God upon a lad of no recognizable significance. There was oil upon him from the hand of God; It was the equipment he needed in that moment to trust the Lord with power and faith in His purpose. He was transitioning from shepherd to heavenly warrior. A lad transitioning to a king of highest cause, directed by Almighty God himself! It was the earliest preforming of a rising emperor. It was a moment of importance and purpose, much deeper than the grasps of highest human wisdom could comprehend. David’s mighty work started with a stone. It was a defining moment in world history and still is to this day. God’s moment with you and a stone could break the tallest and strongest of human strength.

Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tested. Forty days later, He came out of the wilderness, empowered by the Holy Spirit. We read that Jesus had four specific encounters with Satan. Three times in the desert while being Spirit-led; once while walking with His most useful disciple, Peter. It was after Peter suggested to Jesus that He would not have to die on the cross that Jesus said to Peter, “Satan, get thou behind me”. Satan always tries to get in front of us and influence us wrongly. The place for Satan is never in front of us, he must be ordered to get behind us, in the name of Jesus. If Jesus would have yielded to any one of these suggestions, it would have obliterated the plan of salvation for humanity.

Moments of great importance nearly always appear as instances of no great significance. We tend to allow our minds to deviate from the consequential reality of our decision-making moments. All moments are assigned to accomplish the will of God, and all opportunity is a gift released alone by His grace! Hallelujah!

God Answers A Hurting Man

The despair of the righteous in difficult times is often so profound that hope appears as a foolish notion one dares not discuss, not even with God. There are professing Christians who are shallow, having very little depth in their walk with the Lord, and with sloppy reverence they try to be Christians. There are those with a sincere and yearning heart to follow after God with what they know. Then there are those who are truly followers of Christ, who walk in greater depth of faithfulness and have been sealed by the Holy Spirit through faith deeply established by years of loyalty. In all the different categories of our spiritual experience as Christians, we at times become bewildered and deeply grieved by disappointments that occur amidst our time of peaceful serenity in Christ. This can happen when something, or even someone, creates an unanticipated situation designed to displace our loyal service to Christ. I am not referencing light afflictions, but the extremely difficult situations with effects that linger to disrupt our purity and holiness—established in the presence of God.

These disappointments can bring us into grave situations of utter despair and anguish for a season. At times, even trust seems to fail; we may even question our faith in God. Sometimes there are tragic circumstances that encounter us and are designed to destroy the tender love and faith we have in our relationship with Christ. When we get into these situations, we’re often encumbered with utter despair. In these places of anguish, we tend to look at everything in a way that takes us even deeper into misery. We find ourselves in a place where we become distraught and troubled on every side. There seems to be nowhere to look for refuge; any ray of hope is only a façade leading to further dismay. At times, every move we make thrusts us into deeper cycles of dejection and inconceivable feelings of isolation. These advanced stages of testing can even bring a vibrant prayer-life to a sudden halt. We begin to process thoughts of questioning, sifting through ideas of what could cause this torrent of despair. Is it something I did wrong? Are we in the crosshairs of Satan’s conflict against our very soul? What went wrong?

Often, I refrain from speaking much about this, because there are many who will associate their troubles with spiritual trials, when in truth, it is only that their sinful life is being exposed. I am writing about the many afflictions of the righteous, not the unrighteous. We must never misunderstand this in any sort of way. The issues that encumbered Job did not result from sin he had fallen into. It was simply that he was a righteous man, with loyalty even observed from heaven when his name was brought up at a meeting amidst the sons of God.

Job was a man that was perfect and upright, he feared God and hated sin. Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. He had 7 sons and 3 daughters. He had 7000 sheep 3000 camels 500 yoke oxen 500 asses.

He was the greatest amongst the men of the East. Job sanctified his family continually unto the Lord, in case they fell into hidden sin. His integrity and loyalty before the Lord was so solid, that Satan remarked on God’s blessing and protection over him. Satan said, ‘If you take that away from him, he will curse you to your face’. God told him he could take all from Job, except for his life. Satan did it all in one day. This calamity was to an extreme degree that few people in all of history have ever experienced. It is estimated that Job’s assets were around 20 million approximately 3,600 years ago, far richer than anyone in our day. It appears that all was lost in a day and nothing was left for him. His health was taken, and his friends became ill-advisers, turning out to be enemies.

So, in a short conclusion, Job was extremely troubled—he lost everything, and had every reason to be the most down-cast man on all the earth. God gave him to Satan to be nearly destroyed in order to prove to him that Job would not sin with his lips, but would only fear God. He lost all his wealth and his children, and his friends greatly misunderstood him, basically accusing him of sin. We would think if ever a man needed tender care and understanding, and the love of God in a way that brings hope, it was Job in this moment!

This is what he got from God: Job 40:6 Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said V.7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. Job 40:10 Deck you now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty. V.12 Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place. V.13 Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret. V.14 Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.

‘Get up and stop crying, clothe yourself with excellence and beauty and cast away the rage of your wrath: look at the one that is proud, and humiliate him.’ And Job was fully restored and given more than he ever had before, including sons and daughters. What was his victory?

The Spirit of Man

If there is any one thing on earth that God desires to compare Himself with, it is mankind; it is in us that He is expressed. We are created in His likeness and image. The source of God’s expression of similitude in likeness and image, was His own eminent righteousness and holiness. We tend to recognize this only in the physical sense, but the greater aspect is spiritual. This is exemplified in that God created us as spiritual beings, designed to live forever. These details of image and likeness have multi-dimensional depth that most do not recognize for lack of the pursuit of understanding. The fall of mankind in Eden was a massive shift away from God’s pattern of righteousness and holiness. There were no slight shifts of mere error in Eden that day. It was a gigantic and extremely destructive phenomenon which massacred the relationship between God and man. To begin to understand this collapse of horror, we must understand the Creator’s mighty spiritual impregnation of our eternal spirit within.

Within man there is an incredible edifice, designed to be strong enough to contain the presence of God and to disperse the resemblance of the majesty of His presence. This is a holy place and a temple of God, garnished as His office where the sacred meeting of His presence with man occurs. The directive given to Adam had connotations of maintaining order and beauty of the garden and everything within the garden. The outworking of this union was through spiritual strength with primary elements of dominion. This spiritual union between God and man was to subdue everything that was above and beneath the earth.

The destroyer was already present in the garden, lodged in a tree called knowledge. Somehow it was the tree of knowledge that he found to be the instrument of enticement. The contamination of that tree was to be subdued in one way—by leaving it alone. ‘Do not touch or eat of it’, was the simple solution of obedience. Herein we must understand that Adam’s dominance was to be propagated by these two directives—firstly, do not touch, and secondly, do not eat of that which hangs on its branches.

The pure and complete defense mechanism with which God equipped man, was righteousness. The opposite of that righteousness was to touch and eat from the branches of the tree of knowledge, where good and evil lodged together. When we look at God’s righteousness as being the defense against Satan’s artillery, we begin to understand our position in Christ. Paul instructs us in Ephesians 6:14 to cover the heart with a breastplate. He calls this breastplate, righteousness. We think of guarding the heart and tend immediately to forget that our heart is protected from the inside out. The righteousness of Christ is what protects the heart; it protects the heart against engagement from within. With this shield in place, the heart is protected from engagement through the mouth as well. The defense of Christ in the wilderness was alone what was written. We also must remember the silence of Christ throughout His trial, prior to His death. Satan goes about to steal, kill, and destroy. Satan wants to steal what is in the heart, which is what he did in Eden. This he can do if we give in to him with the mouth, for out of the mouth, the heart speaks. This is when the breastplate stands in full defense and we shall never flinch here with reasoning. Oh, that I would have understood this earlier!

God’s expression of likeness and image is exemplified in man. Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the heart. 1 Corinthians 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him, even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Our spirit is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Our spirit knows all about us and God’s Spirit knows everything about God and us. This lies within us and is called a temple. This temple headquarters between God and man is lodged within us and is called our spirit. Never do we find the Bible teaching that the spirit can be annihilated or become extinct. This one function was designed to house the voice of God, or the Spirit of God. At the fall of man, the voice fled and was later found walking in the cool of the day seeking Adam. The spirit of man chased out the presence of God from within him, becoming void, dormant, and hollow—vulnerable to death and all its forms.

When Christ transforms fallen man and the Holy Spirit enters him, all that was stolen from Adam in Eden is restored. Christ’s righteousness is restored immediately and man becomes a new creature. The forgiveness of sin and acknowledgement of iniquity starts a radical and progressive move of restoration in man’s spirit. The Holy Spirit immediately finds the place originally designed for Him and flies with wings of a dove to His place of rest, and the glory of the Lord restores the temple of praise and power and majesty to reign till the return of Christ!

The Will of God

Is the will of God something we have naturally obtained? When I look at the will of God concerning humans, my thoughts turn to duties that God assigns as a specific task for us to fulfill. One thing that is always in the picture of the will of God, is that He receives the glory and honor in everything we do. Is it not true that when our ability is admired, we receive the glory? Where the Bible speaks about the will of God, it never mentions anything that can be accomplished with much practice or great mental ability on our part. Certainly, we all must work to be able to feed ourselves, as the Bible indicates. So, is the will of God in what we do for a living or our common practices in fulfilling obligations? What is the will of God? If the will of God is not included in our work, then the vast majority of Christians would be outside of the will of God.

In the prior writing, I spoke of the three specific forms of God’s will. His good, acceptable, and perfect will. I wrote about the requirements for finding God’s will for our life. Once our own way is surrendered to Christ, His way becomes a visible picture to follow. There are so many people who try to surrender things, but fail to surrender their own way. This writing is a preface to a deeper teaching in the following writings concerning our body, soul, and spirit.

I understand that man is made of three specific functions. The body, soul, and spirit are the triune manifest of the human being. The body is the earthen vessel which was made from the dust of the ground. The soul was the result of the breath of God when He created Adam. The spirit is the divine central heart of the being, and is the very place indwelled by the Holy Spirit.

First, I want to look at the function of the body. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Our body contains all three relative functions designed by God, enabling us to do His will. Within this body, we are entirely capable of doing the will of God. When a man becomes born-again, he is brand-new and needs to function in a completely new way. Here is where the word, obedience enters the picture. Obedience is always to one thing; it is continually to the will of God. Knowing the will of God is of utmost importance so that we can fulfill that which we have been created for. We have been created in His image and His likeness. I believe the ‘good will’ includes what the body or human being does. The body does works primarily with hands and feet, and accomplishes things great and small. The body carries the soul and spirit, and transports these functions to where they need to be. The body is needed to function in the good will of God and it is within our body that the soul and spirit can function.

The soul is where our mind, will, and emotion are contained. This is the means of decision for the function of our being. I want to use a simple form of explanation—if our mind says go, and our will says go, and our emotions say go, guess what happens? We go! Our mind decided the direction of our feet. Our will decided to follow through and step forward. The emotions told us how fast to step. This is a simple way of understanding our functions. Our soul must be in subjection to a higher power or else it will fail in every way. Our soul needs to understand the acceptable will of God in the way it adapts its behavior to the purpose it serves.

Our spirit is the antenna that receives hearing by way of inspiration, enlightenment, and revelation. If our spirit is tainted with our self-life, we can easily hear wrong through our imagination and be deceived like Eve. Our spirit is the deeper compartment of our being. This part of our life needs a deeper transformation, otherwise the Holy Spirit will not function there. It must remain in a constant state of transformation by way of daily death, and resurrection. It is in this compartment that the perfect will of God is revealed.

The spirit of man yields upwards in spiritual quest to know God and His ways. Ecclesiastes 3:21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? The transformed spirit of man is spiritually-minded, and the carnal man is earthly-minded. It is within the spirit of man that the Holy Spirit dwells and empowers the whole being to do the perfect will of God.

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. V.10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.