This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.
Please scroll to the bottom of page to read the notice if you are coming from the European Union...

Friday, May 30, 2008

This is so kewl

As you read this ad for the Lisa 'micro~computer' on your own computer, think about how skilled you have become in using your computer, in comparison to how you were in 1983. If you were like most of us in 83' you felt like computers were way to confusing. Look at you now!

Radical Islam taking advantage of Christianity's decline, says bishop

This anointed man of God (who is not the 'bishop' of the story) needs our prayers, that he would fulfill his destiny. That he would completely yield to the Spirit's call . That he would grow spiritually to the point of action. Brian has been used very powerfully in ministry to England in the past.

"The Bishop of Rochester, the Right Rev Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, claims that the Church dissolved its influence over the country’s morals during the social and sexual revolution of the 1960s. He said that the waning influence of Christianity had created a lack of principles that was allowing radical Islam to push its “comprehensive” claims.

Radical Islam is threatening to fill a “moral vacuum” in Britain as a result of a decline of Christian values, a senior Church of England bishop has said."

A Prophet Is Chosen

A Prophet Is Chosen
Jonah 1:1-3

1Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
2Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
3But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

Jonah is chosen by God to take His Word to Nineveh. Certainly not for human reasons was Jonah chosen. All we know is there was 'wickedness' so great that it came up before the personal presence of God Almighty. We are shown in the story of Jonah that he was not specifically qualified for the work by character, piety, or virtues. God never calls qualified men, He makes men qualified whom He chooses. Everything begins the moment God decides to choose. Thusly the story begins when the Word of God Almighty is revealed to Jonah.

Recall when the Word of the Lord first came to you? Recall the power and might displayed to you personally when God's living (Rema) Word first came to you? Everything was frozen in time as you realized that God Almighty was addressing you from eternity.

We usually see the translation "The Word of the Lord came to...," but in fact the Hebrew simply says "is." The Word of God is. It is for Jonah and to him. It is for you and I and to us. This shows clearly that the Word is not just words.

1 Corinthians 2:3-5

3And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

It is a power which exists and manifests itself. This is why, when the Word is thus revealed to a man, he is not at all in the situation we always imagine: a subordinate receiving orders from a superior; a subordinate who ought to fulfill the order, though this is just a collection of words, which certainly aims at action, and is backed by social sanctions, but which is not itself an action so that in large measure the subordinate is free: he may obey or disobey.

The Word of God, however, is not at all like this. It is power and not just discourse. It transforms what it touches. It cannot be anything but creative and salvic. It never fails to take effect.

A human order, when not obeyed, is without effect, but God's Word always attains its end. In fact this is one of the main lessons of the Book of Jonah. The Word effects God's decision after all kinds of detours and complications which arise because God takes into account and respect's man's decisions too.

When the Word intervenes in a situation, it changes that situation. When it comes on a man, it changes that man even if he refuses to listen. This goes beyond mere obedience. The Word enlists man in an adventure into which he carries all those around him and which may be a controversy with God.

This Word is addressed to an individual man. This Word was addressed to you individually. In effect it is always specific. It is not general truth which any man might grasp and understand with no particular action on God's part. God is first the God of an individual man. Election and vocation relate to an individual and not a crowd, not mankind, not man in general.

We know nothing about the one thus chosen and designated. The Bible does not think it necessary to give us this information. We know almost nothing about Jonah, his family, village, or person. He is a stranger to us. He begins to be important only when the Word of the Lord is on him. We are like that too.

He becomes personal at this moment. Before he no doubt had the worth of any man. He was an individual. Perhaps he was very important. But his destiny was fixed. He was subject to destiny. Now he is taken from the ranks. He achieves singularity. He masters destiny. He is called to change history for himself and others.

Are we who have been called by the Word of Almighty God not unlike this man?

This does not imply individualism. Jonah is a member of the chosen people. The Word he is given is part of the covenant. Jonah belongs to the people of God and this Word intergrates him the more closely into the people of God. Throughout his adventure he is alone: alone in face of God and in face of death and in face of Nineveh.

But in his solitude, whether aware of it or not, he belongs to the cloud of witnesses, to the 7,000 men who have not bowed the knee to Baal, to the remnant of Israel. In fact Jonah represents the whole people of Israel, and if he is quite alone he still represents the whole people, both Israel and the Church. This is why God cannot rest content with his individual and arbitrary decision. when Jonah turns his back and flees, it is not just Jonah who is at stake but the whole Church and the world. God cannot let him go. If this man is not independent of God it is because of the world to which he is sent.

The Word had only to come to Jonah for his situation to be genuinely and totally changed even though he himself was not yet changed. What was it that changed, according to the text?

We note first that this Word which manifests God's choice or election is not just an intimation of this election. It is not a kind of announcement which makes known God's decision and which contributes to our personal satisfaction, our personal joy, our edification, and our peace. This Word makes known to Jonah that he has been chosen for a purpose.

God's election is never a choice which stops with the choice. When God Almighty picks out a man and speaks to him, it is to engage him in a work, an action. Nowhere in Scripture do we find indeterminate or purely ambiguous vocation. Nowhere do we find general election to fulfill the will of God at large. No.

When God addresses a man He does not merely give singularity to the man; He also particularizes His will to him. There is of course a general will of God which in some sort applies to all of us. But election does not consist in knowledge of this general will. It is enlistment in a precise action, a specific work.

If God chooses a man, it is in order that he may serve in the work God has undertaken. It is in the measure that he does serve thus that his true election is made known and that it becomes more clear and certain for him. You know your election and your calling.

We cannot be content, then, with Christian virtues; vocation presupposes taking a part in the work. There is no election apart from taking part in this way.

Moreover, when God has chosen a man who has a function to discharge, He never goes back on this. The man who is thus enlisted willy~nilly in God's action remains a chosen man even though he refuses and flees. The fact that Jonah flees is by no means unique.

On the contrary, one might say that all men, when they become aware of this call, begin by refusing and fleeing. But God's choice persists. He has chosen for a precise action, and so long as this is not performed God Almighty pursues man. This is true of all the men of the Bible, including Jonah and you and I.

Ok, so in spiritual reality it is much too simple to think that god offers His grace to man and man accepts or refuses. When God has graciously chosen a man His grace continues even though the man does not do what God has decided. On the other hand, this persistence of election, of which Jonah is an extraordinary example (Which is connected with the fact that God Almighty chooses for a specific action), does not entail a negation of man's will.

God pursues this man, conducts him through his whole life, in order to bring about the consent of this man's will to what God has decided. We see this in the details of God's dealings with Jonah.

In the word's of Lonnie Frisbee, "Don't run, give up fasssst. God always wins..."

On each occasion man can refuse and on each occasion God begins again until man has finally chosen to accept. It may thus be said that by this word man is both more free and also less free than in the presence of a human order. He is more free because he is detached by this word even from social contingencies; he must break with the world. That is what we find with Jonah.

No matter whether he decides to obey or flee, there is a rupture with his daily life, his background, his country. Hencefourth he is separated from others. The matter is so important that everything which previously shaped the life of this man humanly and sociologically fades from the scene. He is in a situation such as no human order could present to him.

Anything that might impel him to obey according to the world has lost it's value and weight for him. But he is also enlisted in an action which he has not chosen and cannot avoid. He is pursued by a devouring love which wants him totally, in the ardor of his own converted heart. He is pursued by an unweary patience which will use every means to bring it about finally that this man yields to God's reason. And the adventure in which man is obliged to stake everything in a freedom which is given, but given only for this adventure, seems to be extraordinarily important for God. In some sense God engages Himself in the work in which He engages man.

Another aspect of all of this situation in which the Word of God sets man is that everything around the called man circles him because he has been chosen. A tempest is unleashed. The people around the called man are inadvertently involved in the work being done in this man's life. God uses everything at His command to nudge this man into compliance to the action for which the man has been called. There will be no rest for anyone around this called man until he does what he has been called to do.

This does not mean that we have to inquire into the spiritual meaning of every event. But we have to realize that these events, in spite of their rational appearance, are in effect part of the formidable accomplishment of the work of Almighty God.

It all begun while Jonah was asleep in the hold of a ship. Jonah had refused the Word of the Lord and ran...a storm erupted.

God is asking the impossible from Jonah, from the human standpoint he has good reason for running. The people he is being sent to are cruel, they decorated their walls and pyramids with scorched enemy skins. Jonah was being sent to mighty conquerors! A fierce people. Anything is better than certain death at Nineveh. Jonah will not accept the impossible from God. He judges as the world judges. But he does not take into account the fact that he is engaged in an adventure in which it is no longer possible to judge this way or that. Decisions made according to the reasoning of the world will lead nowhere and solve nothing.

We see God taking nature into play to see that Jonah fulfills his vocation. The others, the sailors, on the ship are impacted. Jonah has set off in a direction which is precisely the opposite of that indicated by God. He finds that he can no longer live his life where he is. He must leave, and does so as a fugitive. He flees, the text says. He has a bad conscience and flees like Adam and Cain. He flees "away from the presence of the Lord."

It seems to me that the real sense here is spiritual. In departing. Jonah breaks with the people which God has chosen. He no longer wants to belong to the chosen people. So impossible is the order.

The story of Jonah is indeed the story of all of us. What sacrifices are we not ready to make to be far from the face of God, unable as we are to accept that it is from God Himself who fulfills His impossible will!

One more thing, Jonah flees from the presence of God and during the stormy tempest he sleeps. The point is that he refuses even to contemplate this storm. He refuses to see it except as a natural phenomenon about which he can do nothing. He will not see in it God's act, God's appeal, God's pointer. He prefers to know nothing about it. He continues to flee by plunging into unconsciousness of sleep in order not to know that it comes from God.

And we all know what comes next...

In the word's of Lonnie Frisbee, "Don't run, give up fasssst. God always wins..."

Ministry of a Prophet

In spite of the fact that prophets were vital to God’s purposes in the Old Testament, the need for them today has been called into question because of the presence of the gift of holy spirit in every believer.
There is a distinct difference between the manifestation of prophecy and the gift ministry of a prophet.
Many people are familiar with the ministries of apostles, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. However, if we are to have everything that the Lord wants us to have as his Body, we must understand the ministry of the prophet and have prophets functioning in the Church.
In spite of the fact that prophets were vital to God’s purposes in the Old Testament, the need for them today has been called into question because of the presence of the gift of holy spirit in every believer. On the Day of Pentecost, God began to unveil something He had hidden from mankind (and the Devil)—the Administration of God’s Grace (Eph. 3:2). Today, in the Administration of Grace, the Lord Jesus Christ seals with holy spirit every person who gets born again (Eph. 1:13). That means every Christian has the ability to hear from God and prophesy (Acts 2:17 and 18,. 1 Cor. 14:5 and 24).

For many people, the immediate reaction to hearing that every Christian can prophesy is to think that prophets are no longer necessary. However, a more detailed study of Scripture (and indeed, the evidence of correct practice in the Church) reveals that is not the case. For example, Ephesians 4:11 says that the Lord has placed prophets in the Church along with the other ministries of apostles, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Furthermore, there are other verses in the Church Epistles that mention prophets, such as 1 Corinthians 12:28 and Titus 1:12. Acts confirms what the Church Epistles teach, and shows that prophets were active and important in the Church (Acts 11:27, 13:1, 15:32, 21:10). Surely the Lord would not have specifically placed men and women in the Church with the gift ministry of a prophet if they did not perform a distinctly different role than other Christians who were operating the manifestation of prophecy.
In contrast to the manifestation of prophecy every Christian can operate, the gift ministry of a prophet is a specific calling of the Lord on a person’s life. Thus the call to be a prophet is a job assignment, given to someone whether he wants it or not. The Old Testament scriptures make this very clear. Isaiah knew he was called from birth: “…Before I was born the LORD [Yahweh] called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name” (Isa. 49:1b). Amos describes the call of God upon his life: “…I was neither a prophet nor a prophet’s son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the LORD [Yahweh] took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel’” (Amos 7:14 and 15).
In regard to prophets in the Church, the book of Acts confirms what Ephesians and Corinthians state doctrinally, that the Lord selects and specifically calls some men and women to be prophets. Prophets were important in the establishment of the church at Antioch, the first church recorded that was composed of both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 11:27). It was the prophet Agabus who foretold that there would be a severe famine in the Roman world during the reign of Claudius Caesar (Acts 11:28; this famine is documented in secular Roman history). Prophets were vital in getting the revelation from the Lord to set apart Paul and Barnabas and send them on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:1-4). The prophets Judas and Silas are specifically mentioned as exhorting and confirming the disciples in Antioch (Acts 15:32-KJV). It was Agabus the prophet who so graphically portrayed what would happen to Paul in Jerusalem (Acts 21:10 and 11). In fact, the only foretelling in Acts is given either by prophets or by the apostles Peter and Paul.
The book of Acts and the Church Epistles show clearly that the Lord still works through called prophets. They are not “just another believer because every Christian can prophesy,” as some have stated. Evangelists still exist in the Church even though every Christian can share his faith, there are still pastors even though every Christian can help people who are hurting, and there are still prophets in the Church even though every Christian can manifest prophecy. Prophets are charged with being spokesmen for God just as they were in the Old Testament, and today they speak also for the Lord Jesus Christ. Once we understand that the ministry of a prophet is the Lord’s doing, and that they are very important to the health and wellbeing of the Church, we should be very interested in recognizing who they are and what we can do to help them in their job of being spokesmen so we can have the word of the Lord among us in a more powerful way.
Now that we know the difference between the manifestation of prophecy and the ministry of a prophet, we need to understand how that difference plays out in the Church. All prophecy, whether from a Christian operating the manifestation of prophecy, or from a called prophet, will be as the Spirit gives utterance (Acts 2:4-KJV). All true words of prophecy come from God or the Lord Jesus Christ, never from the speaker’s mind. In the case of the manifestation of prophecy, the Lord limits himself to giving words of “…strengthening, encouragement, and comfort” (1 Cor. 14:3). However, that is not the case with the ministry of a prophet. Called prophets speak the message the Lord gives them, whatever it may be. Both the manifestation of prophecy and the ministry of a prophet are used by the Lord in the Church today (Eph. 4:11).
A quality the prophet must have is the courage to deliver God’s message no matter what the content. Because the fallen nature of man is constantly bringing him downward, a good portion of a prophet’s work comes in the form of reproof and correction. This can easily be seen by reading the prophetic books and noting what the prophets said. Things are no different now in the administration of Grace than they were in the Old Testament. The sin nature of man exerts a strong influence, which is why there is so much reproof and correction even in the Church Epistles.

Speaking words of reproof and correction is rarely a blessing. The heavy nature of many prophetic utterances is why revelation from God was often called a “burden.”

The prophet must also develop the wisdom to deliver his message the way the Lord would have it delivered. This means that he must endeavor to have the heart of the Lord for people. Because prophetic utterances can have a huge impact on the one receiving the message, it is very important that the prophet deliver the message with the same heart as the Lord would if he were here personally. That does not mean that the message will always be gentle (“…Get behind me, Satan!…” was hardly gentle), but it does mean that it will be delivered the way the Lord would have it delivered.

It is a very difficult task to distill to doctrine the communication that a prophet receives by revelation and how it should (or perhaps should not) be communicated to others. The mature prophet knows that sometimes the Lord communicates to him in a manner that is meaningful only to him, and a literal recitation of it would only be misunderstood by a listener. In such cases, the prophet gives the Lord’s message, and not the literal vision or revelation he received, so that the listener gets the message that the Lord meant for him.
Just as prophets get lauded and praised when their prophecies are a blessing, they are derided and persecuted when their prophecies are unexpected or unwanted. Prophets must accept this in order to forestall temptations of disobedience, self pity, envy, bitterness, and hardheartedness, and to be able to see and hear clearly the revelation that the Lord wants communicated.
Each prophet must develop his own relationship with the Lord Jesus so that the Lord can communicate to him in a way that he understands, even if others do not. There will be times when it would be detrimental for the prophet to repeat exactly what the Lord gives to him because the images would be misunderstood. Each prophet must learn from experience how to correctly understand the messages and images he receives from the Lord, and then prophesy to others in a way that is helpful and appropriate.

There has always been spiritual advice available, both good and bad. That is why the Bible mentions and forbids the practice of divination, consulting mediums, astrology, etc. (cp. Deut. 18:9-13). Kings have always surrounded themselves with men who claimed to have supernatural knowledge. Pharaoh of Egypt is one example (Gen. 41:8) and Nebuchadnezzar is another (Dan. 2:1-3). Even though the majority of the sources of spiritual advice most people today know about are demonic, there is also spiritual advice available from the true God.

Where are the prophets who call out the ministries in our churches? Where are the prophets who advise our army and our government, and indeed, give personal advice and direction so people will see that there is a God in heaven? In Amos 3:7, God said, “Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.” Yet, today, much happens without any prophetic input at all. Every Christian can hear from the Lord, and should push himself to do so. But we also need to pray and ask the Lord to continue to add prophets to the Church so that we can have more of his words and wisdom as it applies to specific situations.

“Lord Jesus, if it was God’s heart in the Old Testament not to act without telling His prophets, that must be your heart today. Yet there are so many areas in which we are blind and deaf. Has our sin driven you away from us? Have our efforts to know you been half-hearted and self-serving? Help us to be deserving of your active participation in our lives. Help us to want to hear clearly from you. Lord Jesus, raise up and energize a company of prophets, men and women who will boldly and clearly bring your words to your Church.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

uncontacted tribes

Hard to believe, there are people groups who are totally disconnected from the modern world of men. Tribes that have not heard the gospel message. You can believe that there are those with missionary hearts who will find a way to reach out to them.

'We did the overflight to show their houses, to show they are there, to show they exist,' said Brazilian uncontacted tribes expert José Carlos dos Reis Meirelles Junior. 'This is very important because there are some who doubt their existence.'

Monday, May 26, 2008

Johan Lorbeer

This is how it is done, the fake arm is the supporting bar, and his real arm is hidden inside his clothing. But you already knew that...

Really Kewl Old Film

Three Men Of God You Should Hear

There are three preachers I think everyone should take the time to hear, and all have messages available for listening on their church or ministry website. These men represent a cross-section of evangelical thought and perform various roles; one is an evangelist, one is a pastor/evangelist, and one is a visionary in the area of world missions.

Floating Man

This guy just loves hanging around the city...

Johan Lorbeer is a German street performer. He became famous in the past few years because of his 'Still-Life' performances, which took place in the public area. His installations includes 'Proletarian Mural' and 'Tarzan', which are famous in Germany . Several of these performances feature Lorbeer in an apparently impossible position.

With his still-life performances, this German artist seems to unhinge the laws of gravity. For hours on time, he remains, as a living work of art, in physically impossible positions. Elevated or reduced to the state of a sculpture, he interacts with the bewildered and irritated audience, whose appetite for communication rises as time goes by, often culminating in the wish to touch the artist in his superhuman, angelic appearance in order to participate in his abilities.

People are just blown away by this floating man.

Part of Satan's unwitting minions through whom he rules this world

'They Rule' aims to provide a glimpse of some of the relationships of the US ruling class. It takes as its focus the boards of some of the most powerful U.S. companies, which share many of the same directors. Some individuals sit on 5, 6 or 7 of the top 500 companies. It allows users to browse through these interlocking directories and run searches on the boards and companies. A user can save a map of connections complete with their annotations and email links to these maps to others. They Rule is a starting point for research about these powerful individuals and corporations.

A few companies control much of the economy and oligopolies exert control in nearly every sector of the economy. The people who head up these companies swap on and off the boards from one company to another, and in and out of government committees and positions. These people run the most powerful institutions on the planet, and we have almost no say in who they are. This is not a conspiracy. They are proud to rule. And yet these connections of power are not always visible to the public eye.

Created by the presumably pseudonymous Josh On, "They Rule" can be dismissed as classic conspiracy theory. Or it can be viewed, along with David Rothkopf's Superclass, as a map of how the world really works.
In Superclass, Rothkopf, a former managing director of Kissinger Associates and an international trade official in the Clinton Administration, has identified roughly 6,000 individuals who have "the ability to regularly influence the lives of millions of people in multiple countries worldwide." They are the "superclass" of the 21st century, spreading across borders in an ever thickening web, with a growing allegiance, Rothkopf argues, to each other rather than to any particular nation.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

We live in strange times...

There is a general and accepted belief in America today that government is good, as well as necessary. Further, that the bigger government, and the more distant from its people, the better it will perform for the people who need it so much. America, however, began with people, in their own families and communities, who were self-governing and self-reliant than is deemed proper today.
All sides in the campaigns of 2008 promise greater government "goodness" at the highest and largest levels, increasing the benefits it will provide. Thomas Jefferson, on the other hand, tried to warn Americans, that, "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have."

Traditional conservatives still identify with Jefferson, and continue to harp on the notion that the least government is best. They are reflecting back on the reasons why America has been the most prosperous nation in the world, because of individual freedom without a labor-union mentality. Look at how well big government performed in New Orleans following Katrina. They displayed the expected bumbling of a bloated bureaucracy filled with those who could decide nothing beyond the shuffling of their paperwork, rules, and regulations.

Compare their results with those of citizens in such disasters as the Chicago, San Francisco and Virginia City fires over a century ago. Citizens banded together and rebuilt their cities quickly. The winter fire of 1875, which destroyed half of Virginia City, Nevada, gave us an example of how people stood on their own and reacted responsibly, with no help from government at any level. In two months, in snowstorms and high winds over a mile above sea level, the city was rebuilt better than it existed before the fire.

The problem with those who lived there, was they did not know they could have waited for a few years, freezing, starving, with little more than the hope some large bureaucracy would finally come to their aid and rebuild their city for them, like New Orleans.
They did not realize government was so good, so they did it on their own.

Jet Stuff

Israel Orthodox Jews Burn Hundreds of New Testaments Distributed by Christian Missionaries

Israeli Orthodox Jews destroyed hundreds of copies of the New Testament in the latest act of violence against Christian missionaries.

The deputy mayor in a central Israel town reportedly urged people to turn over New Testaments and other materials distributed by missionaries.

Hundreds of religious students set fire to the books in a vacant lot near a synagogue.

Soldier seeks conscientious objector status based on Christian faith

Join in the discussion.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Flying Fish

Man Walks On Water

The Most Annoying Software

Top of my list has always been Real Player. The next in line has been symantic hands down...

"The internet has brought us many joys. It's rewritten the rules of business and pleasure.
And pain. For it allows what may have seemed like bright ideas at the time ('let's use it to make sure our customers have the latest software', for example) to turn into a stinking pit of misery — usually, but by no means always, after marketing gets its fangs in.
Here are just ten of the guilty parties who try to do the impossible: to make us hate the internet and wish it had never been invented — and who very nearly succeed."

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Meet Molly

'It's obvious to me that Molly had a bigger role to play in life', Moore said, 'She survived the hurricane,
she survived a horrible injury, and now she is giving hope to others.'

Hang Drum

Pastor Tilson's Current Mission

"God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them." (Hebrews 6:10)

Our Senior pastor is leaving today for Africa. He will be serving the Lord there for around ten days. We want to ask all of our Shekinah Fellowship family to remember pastor Tilson in your prayers. Spiritually invest in this missionary journey, attributed to your heavenly account, with your prayers and intercession during this time. While we can not go to Africa to minister ourselves, we can vicariously minister there through our prayer support here at home. Proverbs 11:30 "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." We are expecting a good report to come from this current journey of one of our family members and ministry team. The Lord moved mountains and orchestrated events beyond our own comprehension to enable this to come into reality. Pastor Tilson has had prophecy and dreams and visions, all leading up to this incredible day in his life. We have had indications that the Holy Spirit is going to move mightily through our pastor in Salvation evangelism and healing power to the people of Africa. Praise the Lord for He is faithful to fulfill His word. Will we be faithful also?
Hebrews 10:23 "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)"

Psalm 10:6 "Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me."

Matthew 25:21 "His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."

Luke 16:10 "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much."

1 Corinthians 4:17 "For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church."

Galatians 3:9 "So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham."

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Our guest (JRS) in this post gave this Word to a group of prophets originally. This is apostolic level teaching. What is spirituality and what is religion? How do we keep from becoming legalistic and mechanical in our lives?

This teaching makes it quite clear and comprehendable. Most current day Christians are caught up in religious bondage of one sort or another.

I would read this over and over until it got into my spirit. This is the kind of teaching one would expect of an apostle.

I present to you:

Freedom in the Spirit

A great deal of discipline and austerity will be found in the life~style of true prophets in the days to come. Unless they are exceedingly careful, they could fall into the trap that destroys prophets: the trap of a leagalistic approach to God, thinking that this is the only way to get a Word from God. Therefore, we must define circumcision and grace respectively, in order to measure up to what God wants and not fall back under bondage.

The fifth chapter of Paul's epistle to the Galatians is like a great charter of all liberty and grace. Read in its entirety, verse by verse, it will be more than just a review of doctrines; it will penetrate your very being until you begin to think and feel and to react according to its phrases. If you are not careful, these terms and phrases will only become mechanical to you; but if you absorb the meaning of them, they will become tremendously liberating.

We must be free in Christ. For freedom did Christ set us free (the purpose of freedom is freedom): stand fast therefore, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1. Notice that bondage is defined here as a yoke. However, the word "yoke" does not always have a negative connotation. Paul wrote to his true "yokefellows" (Philippians 4:3). Jesus said, "Take My yoke upon you..." (Matthew 11:29).

The yoke is pictured in the New Testament as the symbol of harnessing us for service and for the battle before us. It ties us irrevocably to another, to Christ, or to a fellow~worker. To be true yokefellows may look like bondage, but it is not. There is a difference between a yoke of bondage, a yoke of service, and a yoke of love.

Galatians 5 deals with the origin and nature of bondage. Whether that bondage comes through the flesh at one extreme, or through religion, it is still the yoke of bondage. God does not desire to see us under a yoke of bondage.

In Galatians 5, "circumcision" is applied as a term of religious bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that, if ye receive circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing. No statement could be more blunt. What is circumcision? Circumcision is an outward religious sign or expression or ritual or austerity of the flesh that is given as evidence of God's acceptance. It may also be a rule by which one is accepted.

At the beginning, Abraham received the sign of circumcision, because he had been accepted and had received a covenant with God (Genesis 17:9-14). When God gave him this sign, Abraham was uncircumcised; but he received the covenant by faith. The minute you divorce the faith of Abraham from the circumcision ritual, you have destroyed it. Nothing profits from it; nothing of any benefit results.

Do you see why we must be careful not to set certain standards and rules and regulations whereby prophets are accepted? God forbid that we would ever create an order of prophets who all wear sackcloth or burlap, and hold their austerity to the flesh as a sign that they are accepted by God. The Word says that if we were to pursue such a course, Christ would profit us nothing. That is why Jesus condemned the Pharisees. There was no evidence of any spiritual walk among them, but they had all kinds of outward evidences, religious rituals and observances- pool it all together and call it circumcision.

Circumcision signifies that something has been cut off. Circumcision was a ritual by which the foreskin of the male was cut off. This was supposed to be a sign of God's acceptance of Abraham and all of his descendants. There is still disagreement about circumcision from a medical viewpoint. For quite a season doctors circumcised boy infants almost immediately after birth, because it could be done easily when the child was very small. Now there is a growing tendency to believe that the foreskin should remain and that circumcision makes no difference in promoting better health.

Circumcision came into the picture because it was originally a sign of God's favor upon Abraham and the covenant of faith that God had made with him. But if it becomes just an austerity of the flesh to prove that a man is accepted by God, and if it is like the word "shibboleth" that at a certain time some had to pronounce to prove that they were people of God (judges 12:6), then true freedom will not work for us.

Yea, I testify again to every man the receiveth circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. As soon as a man attempts to please God by religious ritual, then he has to please Him in every respect. He then loses the benefit of substitutionary righteousness, transference of righteousness, and identification with Christ's righteousness. He loses it all the minute he undertakes to be righteous in his own self. A spiritual walk with God cannot be a program of discipline. It has to be an appropriation from God.

Ye are severed from Christ, ye who would be justified by the law; ye are fallen away from grace. Righteousness has to come from an outside source by a miracle transference of nature until you are no longer unrighteous, but righteous by virtue of a nature from an outside source. Otherwise, you will try to generate righteousness within yourself. Religious people without faith set about to build up their own respectable righteousness through discipline, asserting that every day in every way they are becoming better and better. They would be the type that loves the recent slogan, "WWJD", (What would Jesus Do) since they are at the controls of their righteousness.

In their eyes and by the standards which they have established, they claim to be accepted by God. That typifies the oldest religious effort there is. It was manifested at the tower of Babel, when men tried to build their own way up to heaven (Genesis 11:1-9).

You do not work up to God; God reaches down to you. In no way can you come with any works of righteousness that have a merit before God. You do not work up to the cross to receive salvation, but you surely work diligently from the cross. As soon as God takes hold of you, you go to work. Because your life is redeemed, you are qualified. But you do not work up to God. When God touches you, you work outward from what God has done in your life.

God lifts you to Himself, and you reach into Him. If you try to take the stairs, you will never get there. Take the elevator. Take His provision. Be lifted into His very presence. Paul said, "You are fallen away from grace if you believe that righteousness is generated from within you." No real righteousness can come forth that way. That is why the Law was imposed in the Old Testament; every man making an effort to keep it would be proven a sinner before God. The Law came to give the knowledge of sin. If there were no Law, we would not know what sinners we really are. The Law came that we might see sin to be exceedingly sinful and realize that we cannot with our human nature produce in any way the righteousness that God will accept.

The Law had to come in order to reveal the fact that grace was the only route, yet invariably believers are deceived into trying to keep a few rules and regulations to be righteous (WWJD). You absolutely will not be righteous because you keep certain laws, even if you write your own laws (which is what many people do).

Galatians 5:5 presents the way to righteousness so simply. For we through the Spirit by faith wait for the hope of righteousness. Righteousness has to come from an outside source to our inward nature. We do not produce it, but we actually receive righteousness from another. Whose righteousness? Christ's righteousness. What can we do for that righteousness? Believe. Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness (James 2:23).

God, foreseeing what He would do through Abraham, reached ahead to the work of the cross by which salvation was to come; and because Abraham was faithful to believe, God accounted the righteousness of Christ to him and laid it all before him. Abraham was righteous in God's sight, even though he still made many mistakes.

As we walk on with the Lord in these times, there is no reason we cannot have a far greater understanding of righteousness than Abraham had. This is a time that the Lord is going to rain righteousness upon us. Hosea 10:12 says that it is time to seek the Lord until He comes and rains righteousness upon us. The work that Christ does in the earth will be finished quickly in righteousness (Romans 9:28). The King James version says that He will cut it short in righteousness.

We may need to increase austerity and discipline in our approach to God, but this does not mean that we can attain righteousness through that. We must discipline ourselves to the course of faith and to the course of grace, not to the course of law. Let us give ourselves over to the grace of God and believe for Him to rain righteousness upon us.

The Body of Christ today will not be focused on cleaning itself from the little problems of people who walk into the spiritual sanctuary of God with "muddy feet." Those who come from a background of sin where they have become tolerant of sin and abounding inquity and the changing moral standards often do not even have a conscience about sin. When they finally come to God, they trample into the holiest of holies with very "muddy feet." But God says to them, "I will make you clean and righteous. What counts now is not what you were, but what I am going to rain upon you. I will give you My righteousness."

We shall never be able to come into true righteousness by all sorts of discipline. Although we are not under the Law but under the grace of God, and God does not look upon us to enforce little rules and regulations, yet God;s sense of righteousness and holiness remains the same whether we are under the Law or under grace. What God wants out of us does not fluctuate. God looks at a the man who is under the Law and He says, "You will never make it because your righteousness is like filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6).

He looks at the man who sees grace as only an excuse to cover up his sin nature, and He says, "That is not grace either." Grace brings a hope of righteousness and a faith.

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision (the austerity of the flesh that tries to please God) availeth anything, nor uncircumcision. The Christian world is filled with people who through the years have taken truths from the Word of God, and instead of finding the spirit of them, they let them deteriorate into a legalistic observance. For instance, some people cling to religious modes of dress. Such customs have become to them like circumcision, a sign of goodness that they hold; but in truth they are filthy rags. Christ said that the outward appearance of the pharisee is like a whited sepulchre, beautifully polished but rotten inside, filled with dead men's bones (Matthew 23:27).

Inside is the filth and the evil just the same. We certainly do not want that form of deceit. Dead men's bones are dead men's bones. Whether you polish the outside of the tomb of circumcision, or rip it open and let the bones lie there in plain sight, they are still filthy bones. The basic nature of sin is still there.

If circumcision does not avail anything, and uncircumcision does not avail anything, then what does? But faith working through love. Believe God. Take hold of God, and let Him transform you. You can change, but because of willpower and a regimentation of your thinking and of your life. You will change because you are going to be a believer. When you believe, God's nature will be given to you and imparted to you.

All change comes from outside of you. It is not generated within you. It comes to you, and it is put within you; then it grows and develops. God gives you a transplant of righteousness. He takes out of you a heart of stone, and he puts in you a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). He takes out the heart of wickedness, and he puts in another heart. Medical science has begun to make heart transplants, but God was doing this first. He promises to take out of you what is wrong and put in you of Himself what is right. God imparts and imputes His righteousness to you.

God sees you functioning with His heart, His faith, and walking in His righteousness, and He exclaims, "That is better!" You look up and say, "I love you, Jesus." And He responds, "You love Me because I first loved you. If I had not beamed My love to you, it would not have transformed you.
You are only loving me back with my own love. You are believing with My faith. You are walking in My righteousness and in My holiness. You are moving in My power and in My grace."

This is what is acceptable in the sight of God. This is righteousness that you want. God wants to bring it forth in you. See it! Embrace it to your heart! Let the Lord minister to you and make it alive to you.

We seem to sense our total dependency on God's grace in elementary salvation, but then we forget it. We start a new life in the grace of God, but later we tend to think that it is all up to us. There is an austerity and a diligence that we must exercise, and the Word constantly exhorts us to that. The only caution is not to go back to deadly legalism, thinking that we can produce righteousness of God.

The Galatians fell into a great deal of difficulty when they forgot that the only thing that works is faith working by love. Paul wrote to them, "Ye were running well; who hindered you that ye should not obey the truth?" He looked at all of the Galatians who had fallen, and he said, "You were doing well running the race. Who tripped you? God did not trip you. These hindrances must have come from some other source." Hindrances come from the devil and from our own flesh. If we are not open to them, we will not be subject to them.

Above everything else, remember that Satan is a religious spirit who comes as an angel of light, and his ministers are transformed as ministers of righteousness (II Corinthians 11:14). There will be those who will rise up full of the devil, using their egotistical religious judgment to condem those who are really walking with their God. Satan will be walking around in men who appear as ministers of righteousness. That is the way the devil comes.

More people will go to hell over religion than will ever go to hell over sin. Would you like to have that explained? First of all, sin is sin, and every human born is shaped in iniquity; thus all are assumed to be condemned already (Psalm 51:5). But how many will go to hell as sinners with a focus on religious observances which make them think they are going in the right direction?

That is where the great multitudes are being deceived. Everyone has some kind of religion, even atheists. The Russians who do not believe in God are building seminaries that train people not to worship God. Representatives of the Greek Orthodox Church of Russia are predominant in the World Council of Churches. Men raised and steeped in atheism are controlling many Christian churches.

Years ago, a preacher came to a sawmill to preach. The lumberjacks were rough, accustomed to going into town to carouse and drink, and they did not want to hear any preacher tell them that they were sinners. But they agreed to listen the next Sunday if they could give him the subject. The deal was settled. The next Sunday the lumberjacks all sat down and said, Reverend, we decided that you are to preach on the subject, "To hell with Religion." That was like baiting a bear, and so the preacher then preached on how people were going to hell with religion.

It is not how orthodox you are that counts; it is how transformed you are. A man may be very orthodox in his style of religion and adhere to it very closely; yet all his he is doing is going through an outward religious sign or ritual or austerity of the flesh as his evidence to the world that he is accepted by God. But God does not accept that, and such a man will go to hell with religion.

Paul wrote to the Galatians, "You were running well, Who tripped you?" When you slip back into that legalistic pattern, you will fall on your face every time. He asked, "Where is the joy? Where is the blessedness that you spoke of?" (Galatians 4:15). They were once bubbling over with joy. Whenever God is performing a work in your life, there is joy and a rejoicing in everything. When that goes, it is just a heavy burden, and you are carrying your heaven on your shoulders.

This persuasion came not of him that calleth you. (It did not come from God.) A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Every time we see that little leaven of legalism, it should strike a godly fear in our hearts. How we must keep it out before it permeates everything! It reaches through to a person's spirit. You can see it in a person, but you do not know how to stamp it out. Even after almost all of it has come out, the little that remains will start festering again and corrupt the whole nature of that person.

Legalism is deadly, because it is the lie of Satan, which says that the flesh can religiously produce righteousness. The lie of the devil says that if you try real hard, you can
produce righteousness. It is true that we must bear hard on the way that we live and the way that we walk, but it cannot be with a legalism to produce righteousness. Instead, we must refuse to give expression to the flesh, in order that we might seek God according to the Spirit and receive. There must be a great deal of worship and appropriation.

The idea must always be in your mind that by the grace of God His prophets will come forth. An end~time apostolic company will be a ministry of grace in the earth. If you produce everything that legalism can produce, you have conformed to a certain straitjacket of conduct, and you do not violate it. You have the old nature harnessed up. You are able to name a long list of sins, though it be a vast catalog, and say, "I am not guilty of doing any of these things. I am in my religious straitjacket which I have worked hard to produce."

That is like trying to manufacture a living person. Suppose all the necessary tissue and the flesh were somehow put together; there is still the problem that no one has breathed into him the breath of life. There is no generation of divine nature in him. If he can go through the motions he is still an imitation. We may be able to produce something and say, "see, God, we have measured right up. We have everything here."

Will He accept that? No! The artificially good man is a foreign and a strange thing to be banished from His sight, because it is not His creation. If we are anything at all, we are a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17). If we are not that, we are nothing.

We are to be a new creation of God, created in Christ Jesus unto good works (Ephesians 2:10). It is true that the growth and development of our natural bodies depend upon the way we eat and the way we exercise. To grow spiritually, we must learn the rhythm of drawing from God and ministering out; then drawing from God and ministering out. Soon we will find ourselves growing. Exercise is a factor in our growth in the grace of God, but it remains exactly that- a growth in the grace of God. It is not a legalistic conformity we adhere to, until we produce something that looks like God. A new creation will not just look like God; it will be God!

It is very difficult even for an Evangelical Fundamentalist to grasp this truth. Many are still trying to imitate Christ in every way. That is where their doctrine breaks down. Paul said, "For me to live is Christ" (Notice: is Christ). Philippians 1:21. In other words. "I am appropriating Him in everything I do.
When I am running, I am running in Jesus; I am not running for Jesus. When I preach, it is Christ within me coming forth. I am not working for the Lord."

Many young converts want to go out and work for the Lord. They want to go out in the harvest field and work for Jesus. He does not need anyone to work for Him; He just needs someone to be a channel through whom He can work. Jesus wants to work through you! There is a difference! Although it looks like the same, there is as much difference as between night and day.

Take a close look at the man who is out working for Jesus. He may have the right expression on his face; he may look more religious and more spiritual than those through whom Christ is working because they are relaxed. They do not wear a certain pained expression. They are not bound in a disciplined straitjacket. They are free. Every time they breath, they are breathing Jesus. Every time they speak, they speak Jesus. They do not pray for God to do something; they stand with Christ who proclaims it through them. They are moving in God, and God is moving in them.

By the time Paul had reached the ninth verse, all the prophets had been convinced to go the route of grace, and so he continued: "I have confidence to you~ward in the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? then hath the stumbling~block of the cross been done away." Galatians 5:10,11. That stumbling block of the cross comes when you believe for the imparted righteousness.

Who are the legalists? Anyone who is persecuting the living Word of grace. The reproach, the stumbling block of the cross, is on those who walk by grace. What is the real message of the cross? To believe that you morbidly go through the sufferings for the work of the cross is a distortion of truth. The work of the cross and what Christ did in the cross are rarely understood by people. The stumbling block of the cross should be defined.

The Lord laid upon Jesus the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). Christ suffered vicariously on our behalf. The cross was an instrument by which one man suffered for all of us. One man was suffering for the sins of another, in order that He could see those sins forgiven and put the man in the place where, without condemnation, He could minister life from God to him; and that man could become a new creature.

As the work of the cross is being done in you and you suffer, you are not dying, but you are appropriating Christ's death. What you suffer in the work of the cross is just God putting pressures on you to push you to the place where you will appropriate the merits of His death and submit to an experience of His death. It is the work of His cross in you. Never get the idea that it is your cross, or you will go back to a legalistic effort which believes, "Well, Christ died; now I have to go and die too." No, you have to appropriate His death. Do you understand the difference?

The work of the cross takes place under pressures that God puts on you so that you will not stop short of going right on to the perfection and the resurrection life that He has provided for you. You are not really dying, though you may feel as if you are dying. The symptoms are all the same because the pressure is on you. You are put under such pressure that nothing of the carnal life is worth living for. You are forced to appropriate more of Him.

Necessity places you where you need something from Him so desperately that you reach out and grab it from Him. Afterwards, you strut around, saying, "You know, I had a real meeting with God. You would just be amazed to see what the Lord made so real to me. It was wonderful!" The Lord looks down and chuckles, "If I had not put him in a vice and squeezed him, he would not have hollered and cried to Me, and his heart would not have been met like that."

The work of the cross is found in the pressures of the Spirit of God upon you to get you to appropriate the full measure of the sufferings of Christ on your behalf.

Paul said, "If I am preaching circumcision, then why am I being persecuted?" Pharisees are never persecuted. No one ever persecuted the legalist's circumcision. They experience a little trouble now and then over minor things, but there is no real persecution against them. Persecution comes upon the people who are on the trail of true righteousness, because they come forth with real righteousness. The other people look at their own substitutions; and knowing that they do not have true righteousness, they get angry at those who have it.

Why did Cain persecute his brother? Because his own deeds were unrighteous and his brother's were righteous. Do not think that Cain was not religious. He brought the fruit of the earth to the altar, and he must have had quite a display. He went through the motions, probably calling on God, "O God, be pleased and look at what I am doing!"

Meanwhile Abel was being exceedingly blessed because he approached God in the right way. So Cain, because his own deeds were unrighteous and his brother's were righteous, persecuted him (Gensis 4:1-11).

The pattern is always the same. Persecution comes from people who are religious against people who are spiritual. The people who are religious condemn the people who are spiritual, but they do not condem the people out in the world, no matter how wicked they are. The wicked are not a challenge to the ones who esteem themselves to be religiously superior. A man never persecutes those who in his opinion are inferior. He tends to be condescending and tolerant of the man who he thinks is on a lesser scale then he himself. He always persecutes the one who he knows has the truth. II Timothy 3:12 gives the reason behind the persecution: ...all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Galatians 5:12 defines what the circumcision party was in the mind of Paul. "I would that they that unsettle you would even go beyond circumcision (an entire cutting off of the unit). The New American Standard Bible says, would even mutilate themselves. In other words, if they want to be religious, let them be extremely religious.

"For ye, brethren, were called for freedom. Freedom from what? Freedom from the religious program, freedom from the circumcision bondage, freedom from the yoke of bondage, as it is identified at the beginning of the chapter and described thereafter in every verse. "Only use not your freedom for an occasion of the flesh." You were called to be free. Even though you are not bound by some legalistic discipline in a religious sense, be careful that your freedom is not diverted to an occasion to the flesh.

Years ago, young people who were raised under legalism dressed austerely and always had a chaperone when they went on dates. They could hardly even hold hands. Where that no longer exists, what will happen to those who go out and cuddle for a while, thinking they are free? In their so~called freedom, they will awaken the flesh. Where circumcision does not avail anything, uncircumcision surely does not either. Only a new creature, only a new creation, avails anything.

You can tempt the flesh and give an occasion to the flesh and fall right back into sin. Just because you are not on a religious course of legalism does not mean that you cannot fall into a pitfall on the other side. There is only one way that you can go~ by the grace of God and becoming a whole new creature. Faith which works by love brings freedom. Only do not use your freedom for an occasion to the flesh.

Why is that so many single girls lose their virtue in the bedroom? A girl can blame the man who tempted and seduced her, but she had no right to be there with him. Stay away from the occasion to the flesh. That is not legalism; that is just good sense.

"But through love be servants one to another." That is the whole purpose of our freedom. One of the best safeguards we have is that we can take our liberty and determine how to use it. We are free to become servants of one another. That is the approach that should exist even in courtship. If people are drawn together by a mutual attraction, it indicates an inferior relationship.

It is better if they are drawn together by the manifestations of God's love, rather than a fleshly capacity of love. Christian girls who seem to be attractive are the handmaidens to the Body of Christ. Likewise, Christian men who seem to be desirable are not those with the image of a seducer, but men who serve the people of God. The divine love that emanates from them draws every relationship that exists in their lives into a rightness before God, because they have used their liberty to choose to be servants of one another.

There are new standards of acceptance among the members of Christ's Body. We shall look to see the emanating love of a new nature in a brother. We shall look to see the evidence of grace, the faith that is working by love. We will see the liberty that has deliberately chosen the bond~servant role to fulfill. These will be the qualities to look for in one another.

"For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, even this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another." Love edifies and constantly makes an addition of Christ to your brother. It constantly appropriates more of Christ in yourself. But criticism and viciousness that exist in your spirit and your attitude becomes destructive. The Body of Christ is self~destroyed if we bite and devour one another and are consumed one of another.

"But I say, Walk by the Spirit, and ye will not fulfill the lust of the flesh." As we come up into the realm of grace and learn how to walk in the Spirit of the Lord, what takes place for us then? The mechanism for the fulfillment of the flesh disconnects within us. The Bible tells us how this mechanism works. When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; sin, when it has had it's perfect work, bringeth forth death (James 1:15). So all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, starts a certain process going (I John 2:16). A man is just as good as dead if he gets on the first rung of the ladder - that particular process by which his old flesh leads him to sin - because he will surely climb right to the top and jump off.

It is not legalism for a man who has been an alcoholic to know that he should not even smell a cork, let alone go to a party where drinks will be given to him; he knows better. He knows that he must not take that first step, or else the lust will start to conceive, and it will bring forth one sin after another. The next thing he knows, he will be hopelessly lost in it. So he does not give an occasion to Instead, he spends his time worshiping the Lord. He walks in the Spirit, and he does not fulfill the lust of the flesh. He does not walk into the area where that first trigger will be pulled, that first domino will be toppled.

A man who knows that he is weak morally does not allow himself to be in a situation where the sparks start flying, where he knows that he is already set to commit fornication before he is through with that route. He does not want to sin against God and make a bond that will be destructive to his walk with God, and then have a difficult recovery. If he knows better, he wears blinders against such a situation. That is not legalism; it is just good sense. He knows that he cannot start out on a toboggan and decide to slide for only ten feet. He knows that if he goes ten feel, he will go all the way to the finish before he stops. So it is not legalistic for him to declare, " I am going to walk in the Spirit, and I will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh." It is just that certain. "I will walk with God, and I will be interceding and praying."

Intercession for today's apostolic company to come forth has resulted in more people being liberated from the bondages of flesh then every before. When they spend all night praying, they are too tired afterwards to think about the things of the flesh. They are rejoicing in the will of God. They are sowing to Spirit, and they are reaping life everlasting (Galatians 6:8). If they had been sowing to the flesh, that is what they would reap.

One reason that laziness is closely aligned with sin is that laziness invariably throws a person into the place where the first trigger is pulled. Lazy people have little resistance to sin, because they are constantly exposed to the things in the flesh that trigger off the actions and reactions in the fleshly world. A man who is busy serving God is able to subordinate every instinct of the flesh, every process of his body, and bring them into subjection. In his dedication to walk with God and to walk in the Spirit, everything else is completely dominated. Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. This is grace; it is not legalism.. Ask the Lord to make this real to you and to teach you to walk in the Spirit.

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary to the one to the other; that ye may not do the things that y would. But if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law (Galatians 5:17,18). You are not under the law if you are led by the Spirit of the Lord. Galatians 5 contrasts a man who is spiritual with a man who is religious.

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry. These sins have a religious origin. Do not think that the flesh cannot be religious. Your religious instinct comes from the flesh; it does not come from the spirit. Sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions (denominational ism and everything that divides the Body of Christ is included here), parties (a kind of divisive spirit), envyings, drunkenness, revelings and such like; of which I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you, that they who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Verses 19-21. The flesh leads a person into these things.

But what does walking in the Spirit and walking in the grace of God lead us to? But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control. Self-control is not another legalistic measure. It is one things to be legalistic, and it is another thing to be in complete control of every faculty, every desire, every interest, every function and every instinct of one's self. By the Holy Spirit you become completely able to walk as a new creature coming forth in Christ.

Against such there is not law. You are not under the law, because you are actually motivated by godly incentives that are not controlled by man. The flesh is motivated by motivations that have to be controlled. Lust leads to fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry. All these things are the instincts of the flesh, and they must by regulated. Consequently, in ancient times every such work of the flesh was under control. In this sophisticated day, sorcery or witchcraft in America is not put under the category of the works of the flesh to be regulated by laws. Nevertheless, when it is operating, the individuals involved often break certain other laws for which they can be prosecuted. The law is set to keep down everything that the flesh produces. Almost all works of the flesh are put under some kind of law or control.

Every government has had to enact laws to control the weaknesses of the flesh. However, no government that exists at the present time should control the way that people worship God. Someone who moves in the Spirit with pure love finds the will of the Lord and conforms to all the divine principles which are not under the law. The civil law cannot make any rule about them. There is no law about joy. You can be just as joyful as you want to be. You can draw in the Holy Spirit and be completely filled with joy, for there is no law against it. What about peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness? No one has invented a law to regulate any of these yet. That is why Paul said that against such there is no law.

And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof. If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk. Let us not become vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another.

This is the way to pursue a life in the Spirit. We are not to be just a free, happy-go-lucky people, but we must seek to walk in God and have this faith which will become very real to us.

The same apostle who wrote this epistle to the Galatians also wrote to the Corinthians at approximately the same time, telling them that he brought his body into subjection in order to fight a good fight and not be as one who beat the air (I Corinthians 9:26,27). The Apostle Paul was determined. He placed a discipline upon his body, but only so that he could do the will of God. It was not to merit favor with God. It was not a religious form of circumcision or a religious, fleshly austerity. He disciplined his body to make it serve him.

All of us would be wise to follow Paul's example. We want God to direct us in finding ways to promote our health and strength. But the objective is not just to be healthy, but to be able to handle the whole flow of ministry that God would require of us. For instance, we do not want to be subject to headaches when we want to move in revelation. We want our bodies to be able to serve the Lord, to be temples of the Hold Spirit (I Corinthians 6:19). We may not end up health food faddists, but we certainly do not want to be junk food addicts either. Let us look to the Lord to teach us how to take care of our bodies. By revelation, born of the Spirit of the Lord, we can set ourselves to become today's prophets of God in the earth. That is grace. It may look like the same kind of discipline that the legalist has, but the legalist goes nowhere with his discipline because it is sterile and abortive.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh. A boar and a sow will never produce anything else but PIGS, PIGS, PIGS! Likewise, that which is born of the flesh is FLESH, FLESH, FLESH! It may be legalistic and disciplined, but it cannot rise to the new level of life, because you cannot generate and produce that. Your flesh can produce nothing but religious flesh, It just gets a little m ore religious and little fleshy the harder you try, but it is still PIGS, PIGS, PIGS! But that which is born of the Spirit is SPIRIT! Reach out for the grace of God, because what has to come forth is GOD! Not PIGS, but GOD! We have to born of the Spirit. This sets our goal.

As we walk with God, having come out of that which has religious contamination in it, we must beware that we do not become smug, because we still may have some of it in ourselves. Just because we climb up twenty feet, and look back over where we have bee, does not mean that we do not have a long climb to go before we really understand how to appropriate grace perfectly. We must be careful not to compare ourselves among ourselves, but to see how God is speaking to us specifically (II Corinthians 10:12). There may still be too much legalism left in our walk with the Lord for us really to break through to the miracle that God is to do through us. Let us very diligently and personally seek the face of the Lord on this, for just a little leaven will leaven the whole lump. It does not take much. Seek God to take it all out.

Lord, we thank You for purchasing this wonderful priceless freedom that we have in Christ. Thank You for Your righteousness. We believe. We know that Your grace is sufficient.

2 Corinthians 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."