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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Why American Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors With Ukrainian Firmware (vice.com)

Tractor owners across the country are reportedly hacking their John Deere tractors using firmware that's cracked in Easter Europe and traded on invite-only, paid online forums.

The reason is because John Deere and other manufacturers have "made it impossible to perform 'unauthorized' repair on farm equipment," which has obviously upset many farmers who see it "as an attack on their sovereignty and quite possibly an existential threat to their livelihood if their tractor breaks at an inopportune time," reports Jason Koebler via Motherboard.

 As is the case with most modern-day engineering vehicles, the mechanical problems experienced with the newer farming tractors are often remedied via software.

From the report: The nightmare scenario, and a fear I heard expressed over and over again in talking with farmers, is that John Deere could remotely shut down a tractor and there wouldn't be anything a farmer could do about it.

 A license agreement John Deere required farmers to sign in October forbids nearly all repair and modification to farming equipment, and prevents farmers from suing for "crop loss, lost profits, loss of goodwill, loss of use of equipment [...] arising from the performance or non-performance of any aspect of the software." 

The agreement applies to anyone who turns the key or otherwise uses a John Deere tractor with embedded software. 

It means that only John Deere dealerships and "authorized" repair shops can work on newer tractors.

 "If a farmer bought the tractor, he should be able to do whatever he wants with it," Kevin Kenney, a farmer and right-to-repair advocate in Nebraska, told me.

 "You want to replace a transmission and you take it to an independent mechanic -- he can put in the new transmission but the tractor can't drive out of the shop. 

Deere charges $230, plus $130 an hour for a technician to drive out and plug a connector into their USB port to authorize the part." 

"What you've got is technicians running around here with cracked Ukrainian John Deere software that they bought off the black market," he added. 

***

Kind of like itunes music.

You think your buying music but you don't actually own your copy of the music.

When agreeing to download songs on the iTunes Store, users are paying for the license to listen to the song on an Apple device; they are not purchasing the song itself.

 Apple is not the only digital distributor that restricts users from limitless sharing or transferring of legal downloads. Amazon and Google Play have similar jargon in their terms and conditions.

Clinging to the industry of distribution, record labels devised these terms in the digital era to ensure that future generations would pay for new formats.

***

Patents Are A Big Part Of Why We Can't Own Nice Things (eff.or


Today, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could allow companies to keep a dead hand of control over their products, even after you buy them. The case, Impression Products v. Lexmark International, is on appeal from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, who last year affirmed its own precedent allowing patent holders to restrict how consumers can use the products they buy. 


That decision, and the precedent it relied on, departs from long established legal rules that safeguard consumers and enable innovation. When you buy something physical -- a toaster, a book, or a printer, for example -- you expect to be free to use it as you see fit: to adapt it to suit your needs, fix it when it breaks, re-use it, lend it, sell it, or give it away when you're done with it. Your freedom to do those things is a necessary aspect of your ownership of those objects. If you can't do them, because the seller or manufacturer has imposed restrictions or limitations on your use of the product, then you don't really own them. Traditionally, the law safeguards these freedoms by discouraging sellers from imposing certain conditions or restrictions on the sale of goods and property, and limiting the circumstances in which those restrictions may be imposed by contract. But some companies are relentless in their quest to circumvent and undermine these protections. They want to control what end users of their products can do with the stuff they ostensibly own, by attaching restrictions and conditions on purchasers, locking down their products, and locking you (along with competitors and researchers) out. If they can do that through patent law, rather than ordinary contract, it would mean they could evade legal limits on contracts, and that any one using a product in violation of those restrictions (whether a consumer or competitor) could face harsh penalties for patent infringement.


Freedom In Christ Not Legalism Or Religious Bondage Or "A Message For Dan."

Freedom

Our guest (JRS) in this post gave this Word to a group of young Southern California prophets originally back in the seventies. 


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 comprehensible.

 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 legalistic 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 "yoke-fellows" (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 yoke-fellows 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 slogan, "WWJD", (What would Jesus Do) since they are at the controls of their own 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 iniquity 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 sepulcher, 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 condemn 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 (Genesis 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 condemn 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 chaperon 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 bondage's 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.
 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 same apostle who wrote this epistle to the Galatians also wrote to the Corinthians.

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."

(Repost) The Upper Room gathering from Acts Chapter two in todays accepted way of doing it...


Hey Believer!

  We're hosting the Upper Room Holy Spirit conference on Jesusworking.TV!

Peter, John & Andrew will equip and empower you to release God’s hope into the nations. Plus you'll get to join worship with James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.!

The Upper Room Holy Spirit conference can be purchased for $40, or you can get some great discounts with your Jesusworking.TV subscription. With your Essentials oil Subscription, you will get 30% off at check-out. And Season Pass subscribers will automatically have access to this conference!

We invite you to join us for this gathering of Apostles of the Lamb His-story makers as we rise to inspire a faith-filled revolution!

Many Blessings,
The Jesusworking.TV Team

***

 I received an email from a Christian organization today.


What you read above is the outline of the email with a few things changed by me to make a point,

I inserted the day of Pentecost instead of their Prophetic conference and I changed the names of their important star people who will be there.
  1. Wonder if there ever would have been a Pentecost if it was trapped behind a paywall
  2. Would the wind have blown?
  3. Would there have been tongues of fire?
  4. Would everyone have heard their own language being spoken?
  5. Would Peter's friends and family been able to pay up to gain access to the event?

2 Timothy 3New International Version (NIV)

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

A Final Charge to Timothy

10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. 
Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 
2 Timothy 4:3

Is Praying Just An Optional Christian Formality Or Is It Something Productive And Essential?

 This teaching will help you to understand how you can start getting more results in your prayer life and how to become more tuned into the Lord as well.

How many of us just pray every now and then and really have no prayer life per say?

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could become more focused and start to see things that we thought were impossible take place as a result of our intentional prayers?

 

Here is a little guidance in starting us out on a good path towards obtaining a healthy prayer life before Jesus Christ.


***

Have you noticed that the biggest factor in your walk with God is that you fail to wait on the Lord, you fail to read the Word and you fail to pray?

And how about fasting?

It is those tfour things that really bother you, and if you could have something that could start you on track- if somebody in the morning could give you a little push so that at least you got started, you know that the day would be all right.

But as it is, you get to hurrying around and the first thing you know, it's the middle of the afternoon and you think, "I haven't prayed."

Evening comes, and before you go to bed, you read the Word and pray, feeling a guilty conscience, "I
should have been praying; I should have waited on the Lord.

All day long I didn't do what I should have done."

This is very common.

But I can give you a key so that each day can be lived in the Spirit, and that day will see you walking along in at least a measure, if not all, of what God has for you.


  Take five minutes- five minutes as soon as you're wide awake.

Five minutes won't hurt you: you can brush your teeth in that time, but in five minutes you could do something that would help you all through that day.

Suppose you start out with a verse of Scripture, maybe something predetermined the night before, or planned for a whole week, so you don't go leafing through the Bible.

The verse that you are going to use is priming the pump, so that you get the water started in the morning.

One verse of Scripture, then you pray and open your heart to the Lord very simple.

Just a couple of minutes of prayer, and then you pause, and open your heart, "Lord, I open my heart to You to lead me today."

This is the way you start.

Now you may know that in the next ten minutes you're going to come back and read the Word for half an hour.

You may be prepared to spend two hours in prayer; but on the other hand, the unexpected may come to wipe you out.

Or, you may find that there's a schedule to keep.

If you have an appointment in the morning, you've got to move.

But you've started something: now you won't be going to the appointment or to school with self-condemnation, thinking, "I didn't start right: I didn't get to pray this morning. I didn't wait on the Lord," approaching the day with something less than faith.

You've taken five minutes and stirred your self into the realm of the spirit.


You have opened your spirit to God.

You will do your exercises to get yourself in shape, eat your morning oats or rice, swallow your wheat germ oil or something- you feel like you've got to get yourself going- but you fail to remember that your spirit has to wake up too, and your spirit has to be activated for the day.

Some people wake up physically, right away.

Other people are slow to do it.

But whether you wake up quick or late physically and mentally, you still can awaken your spirit to God and you've given your spirit something of the Word of God to reach into.

Then it's very easy the rest of the day to develop a hunger.


  You can take your Bible, a little sermon- something that you are going to read- with you to work, or wherever you are.

Put it in your lunch, if you take a lunch.

Remember now, it is just as necessary to sustain your spirit as your body, so you take something to feed your spirit.

Make always that opportunity when you get the coffee break, a little rest period, the rest room, or when you get any time during the day where you can stop.

It is surprising how you can meditate at a stop light.

Nothing in the world can interrupt you until they start honking behind you!

  It's almost like a thing of spiritual isometrics, because already you have started; you are beginning to look for places to make that contact with God, times in which you can almost dial out the conscious level and reach through to that sweet fellowship with the Lord.


Isometrics is motionless exercise- you strain against an immovable object and it is beneficial for the muscle tone of your whole body.

Suppose you do the same thing spiritually?

Would you like to know how to let your faith grow?

Would you like to know how to begin to exercise yourself spiritually and really grow?

Spirit's don't have muscles; they move entirely through authority, not through your muscles.

The physical man moves through muscles, but the spiritual man moves through the authority and as he submits to the Lord, he moves into greater authority.


Everybody should have their little isometric spiritual list.

Would you like to know how to make a list of spiritual isometrics, so that through the day you can begin to test yourself or exercise on them and find that spiritually you begin to grow?

It's very simple: only one little principle to follow.

Make a list ahead of time, carry it in a notebook, write it on a little three by five inch card: or, if you have a good memory, remember it.

(With all of the aerial sprayed aluminum powders being released in the sky through chemtrails today, most people find that their  memories are being greatly impaired.)

But on this list, if you list the impossible things, things that you have not been able to believe for- for the church, for the pastor, for yourself- some circumstances or problem that to you seems impossible.

You could list something that you want for yourself, in this walk with God, that you've never been able to have.

All of these are possibilities.

It would even be better to stay away from yourself and stop and think, "Now who is the most impossible character in the church?

Who is the most difficult one to help?"

Then you write down what they need, as far as you can understand it.

You may have five or six things, maybe more.

But don't get too many; just tackle the hard ones.

And every time you have a break, worship the Lord and then get some Scripture, some promise ( do it originally each time), and say, "Lord, I'm going to believe for this."


You set your heart to believe it and exercise it, and you're claiming it.

You're straining at the immovable object according to your spirit, and it's surprising how your spirit keeps drawing from the Lord, appropriating it, and the impossible is done.


  I'm giving you keys on how to walk with the Lord, how to be a spiritual individual.

Write down the Scripture that you started out with in the morning on a three by five inch filing card, with the reference on the other side.

You're going to memorize both of them during the course of the day.

You have started out to open your spirit up to God through that verse.

All day long stand on that promise and pray over it and meditate on it.

  Paul wrote to Timothy and told him to remember the prophecies over him that by them he might war a good warfare.

( Does your church or fellowship exercise prophecy?)

If you'd like to war a really good warfare, make a little capsule summary of what God has said about
you.

Sometimes just a few words will remind you: "I'm going to be a handmaiden of the Lord."

"I'm going to be a prophet ( or a prophetess) of the Lord."

"I'm going to have a discerning of spirits," "I'm going to prophesy", or just write "prophecy," or whatever it is you are to do or be.

Jot down also the prophecies.

Then whenever you have a free minute, do what Paul told Timothy, "Meditate on these things; give yourself wholly to them and your profiting will appear to all."

Make a business of being spiritual, and every time you get the chance, turn your eye away from the passing parade, the consensus orthodoxy of the world around you.


Look back to that which is important, the prophecy over you, the Scripture, the verse of Scripture, and reach into the Lord.

Don't say, "Forget that! I pray when ever I feel like it."

When you don't have a plan or have a simple course, you say it, but you don't do it.

  Anybody, for a few bucks, can buy a set of dumb-bells or a bar-bell set and a few exercises to do.

Thousands upon thousands of people buy those sets, and they sit in the garages or attics or wherever they've been stored, and they're not growing muscles on anybody.

But if a man pays for a years membership in a gym and he's going to get specialized training, he is taking on an extra load.

He has to come home, get whatever he's going to work out in, make a trip to the gym through the traffic.

He has to change, he has to work out, then take a shower, redress and drive back home.

It's a lot more complicated than coming home and going out into the garage and running through a few exercises.

But he'll do that, rather than work out with something simple.

Why?

Because he'll think, "well, I'll work out tomorrow."

But something is demanded: "This is my gym day; this is my day to work out."

It's the same way with school; anybody can get a good book and sit down and read it and probably get more out of it than they'll get out of a college course, using the same book as a text.

But because it's required to be there at a certain hour and certain days and they have to pass the examination, they bone up on it.

An average high school graduate in a year's time could have a college education, if they were a good reader and had nothing to impede their progress.

Four years of college could be cut to less than twenty-five percent of the time , with lasting benefits and knowledge that could be applied, because much of that is just wasted time when they're in college.

But they won't, because they don't discipline themselves.

Now the same thing is true in the spirit.

If you say, "Well, I'll do it when the mood hits me," you'll never do it.

But set yourself to do certain little things systematically.

You have your promises, you've started yourself off for the day, you have a prophecy, you have
a little resume', you have some spiritual isometrics, impossible things that you're testing your faith on.

Let yourself come into a full focus.

A good way is to get mad about something.

Write down something that your really angry about.

Tackle something that stirs you up- something that you can get your teeth into.

Is there something in the church that is irritating you?

Would you say, "There's something in my home that aggravates me?

There's something in my family that aggravates me.

There are some things in me personally that aggravate."

Those are the things that you write down for your isometrics.

Lose your temper over losing your temper.

Do something like that.

These are the things that you are putting your faith to.

Find the thing that has wiped you out the most often, where you've been defeated so often.

That's where your going to put your isometrics.

Every day you're going to believe on that thing.

This is the wisdom of Solomon.

It is practical teaching.


  Now this will help you to develop one deep underlying feeling in your spirit that will get you away from the deadliness of saying, "Well, I'm going to start walking with the Lord tomorrow.

Next week, things are going to change, I'm going to work some things around and I'm going to start walking  with God."

Isn't that what people feel?

Instead of that, think, "Oh, I contacted the Lord! I'm started."

It took only five minutes, you've started and your working at it all day.

All day long, you've got the good little feeling "I am walking with God!

I am a part of this church, a part of the thing that's functioning and moving."

And in that little prayer in the morning, you could say one thing, "This day, today, Lord, I open my spirit up that I'll be a participating member.

Whatever is happening in the whole place- if there's anybody under a burden, Lord, just lay it on me and let me pray with them, too."

Suddenly, you will sense the Body.

You'll come to church, to the house of God and look around thinking, "Isn't it wonderful?

This is what I'm part of.

I'm living in it, I'm walking in it, every single day.

Oh, how delightful!"


  You can be out in the business world so much, that before you realize it, you've adjusted yourself to it's thinking.

If you're in a world of red, after a while you are not aware of red.

If you're in a world of blue, after a while  you're not aware of blue.

But if you keep coming back to the spiritual world you will always see the contrast.

Your discernment will be ten times sharper; you'll quickly sense what is wrong.


If you don't, you get swallowed up with the thing that it has overwhelmed you and you miss seeing; you don't have the sense of contrast between the spiritual things and the things that are not of God.

It will keep a business woman or man really sharp, if they keep going to the Spirit.

This will help anyone who might be snowed under in their desire to conform to the business world.

They get trapped.

They get taken in, they become oppressed.

Constantly going back and forth through the realm of  spirit keeps you from becoming a business man during the day and a man of God and a family man at night.

It keeps the whole thing in balance.


 Image result for prayer As you are praying and remembering promises that have come over people, write them down and your faith becomes definite.

 God didn't say, "Keep on praying and lots of things are just bound to happen."

He said, "whatsoever you ask."

Writing out, "this is what I believe for that person; this is what God said, " makes it definite.

"Whosoever" boils down to a specific individual.

"Whatsoever you shall ask" boils it down to a specific promises.

Sometimes it's good not to be praying about everything.

You can be bogged down in tedious detail.

Did you ever notice that a service becomes nonspiritual where you throw it open to a lot of prayer requests?

Why?

The people have lost their focus.


They're not tackling the things that count, but are just praying about little things that count, but are just praying about little things here and there.

It's just like buck shot, scattered all over everywhere and it isn't doing anything.

But when you get right down in your prayers, aim at something that is really important.

Ask yourself, "What's the most important prayer that I could make in this church?

What's the impossible thing to believe for?

And stay with it.

It's like the old kingpin, you hit that and everything else falls.


  Write this down: "First thing in the morning, take a little step."


Not a big one, take a little step.

That makes you a self-starter, just a little Scripture that starts you, just a little prayer, "Well, I have to
get things going, get the kids off to school, then I'll settle down and I'm going to pray an hour."

How many times has that backfired?

So take a little step and start yourself in the spirit and you can ward off everything else, the inertia, becoming self-centered.

Take one little step.


  Have you ever heard someone say, "Boy, have I had a big Thanksgiving dinner!

I'm not going to eat anything for a week."

Probably before sundown you were back at the table for more, because you started something in motion.

These notes that you have taken down about what you are going to do the first thing in the morning will do that- start everything in motion.


  This is very important: start out with a thought in the conscious mind that opens the spirit.

By repetition of this promise and prophecy through the day, the thought becomes an attitude.

Attitudes are in the subconscious as well as the conscious.

By repetition the thought becomes an attitude.

You want to get to the place where you don't have to stop and think when you are under pressure, "Well, how do I react?"

You react according to the attitude of heart which is one of faith.

You have the Scripture, you have the prophecy.

By constant repetition, that thought becomes an attitude.

You don't work at that very many times until your spirit, in every situation, will respond right.

The Gift Of Discernment

I frequently visit an ordained pastors blog.


There is one thing he is fond of saying every now and then, "There is no gift of discerning of spirits!"


His tone behind the statement is as if anyone who believes there is a gift of discernment is in error.

So let's take a look and see if the man is correct in his statement or is it he who is in error?

Spiritual Gifts Series: The Gift Of Discernment 

The spiritual gift of discernment is also known as the gift of "discernment of spirits" or "distinguishing between spirits."

 The Greek word for the gift of discernment is Diakrisis.

The word describes being able to distinguish, discern, judge or appraise a person, statement, situation, or environment.

 In the New Testament it describes the ability to distinguish between spirits as in 1 Corinthians 12:10, and to discern good and evil as in Hebrews 5:14.


The Holy Spirit gives the gift of discernment to enable certain Christians to clearly recognize and distinguish between the influence of God, Satan, the world, and the flesh in a given situation.

The church needs those with this gift to warn believers in times of danger or keep them from being led astray by false teaching.  See also I Corinthians 12:10, Acts 5:3-6; 16:16-18; 1 John 4:1.

A very good question.

The Bible teaches that all Christians should grow in spiritual discernment.

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.- Hebrews 5:12-14

Paul told the Thessalonians:Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.- 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22

While he encouraged the Thessalonians not to discount or dismiss the Holy Spirit - by despising that which was being taught as coming from God (prophecy) - Paul instructed them to test everything.

In other words, if someone preaches or teaches something that he or she claims was inspired by God, we are not to despise it - which would result in quenching the Holy Spirit.

However, we are to carefully examine that which is being taught.

Earlier, Luke called the people of Berea - where Paul and Silas had been sent to preach - "more noble-minded that those in Thessalonica," because they received the word with great eagerness, examining [anakrino] the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.- Acts 17:11-12

Thus the Bereans did not quench the Spirit, but rather tested what was being taught, using Scripture as their guide.

The only way to grow in spiritual discernment is by relying on the guidance of the Holy Spirit who indwells every true Christian, and by studying God’s Word, the Bible.

These two go hand-in-hand.

The Bible provides the standard against which all teachings must be tested: 

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.- 2 Timothy 3:16-17

This reliance both on the guidance of the Holy Spirit and on God’s Written Word should keep Christians focused on God.

If Christians were to rely only on their ability to listen to the Holy Spirit, they would leave themselves open to all manner of private teachings and interpretations - without any rules by which to rest such revelations.

At the same time, it they were to rely only on their own ability to interpret and apply the Scriptures, they would leave no room for God’s guidance in revealing to them the riches of his Word.

As Christians our focus should always be on the living God, with whom we have an interactive relationship.

No Christian is an island. There is much to be learned from one another, as we share the wisdom and insights God has revealed to us from His Word, by His Holy Spirit.

Sadly, though, many Christians leave the responsibility for discernment almost completely up to others. Their guidance comes primarily from televangelists, authors (and, more often than not, their ghost writers), their pastors, or their favorite websites.

That’s like being spoon-fed by someone else - marking one as an infant, rather than as a mature Christian:

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.- Hebrews 5:12-14

By all means, let’s learn from one another - eagerly receiving the word, while also examining everything carefully.

Christians who believe that the Spiritual Gifts are still available today, see the gift of "distinguishing between spirits" (discerning whether they are human, from God, or demonic), to be a special form of discernment (revealed, instead of learned): 

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.- 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

In Moses day there was the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day.

They followed the pillar of fire at night. The desert can get real cold at night, if you refused to follow the fire you got cold. The desert can get very hot during the day, if you refused to follow the cloud you had no shade and fried in the hot sun overhead. Therefore it made very good sense to follow the pillar of fire and the cloud where ever they would go.

Spiritual discernment : calling on the Holy Spirit to lead or give direction on a matter.

It is how the Spirit shows the church or its people what God wants them to do and be.

There is discernment of :

  • gifts,

  • spirits,

  • actions,

  • intents,

  • the spirit of the times we live in.

Discernment is more than just a skill. Discernment is a gift from God before it is anything else. Yet there are clearly skills you put to use in using your gift, and you can become better at it through training and experience.

Discernment is more than just a process.
 Even for the most 'material' or 'nitty-gritty' matters, there is a Spirit at work nudging us, leading us, even pulling us by the nose ring. Even for the most 'spiritual' matters, there are disciplines, methods, processes, means, and tools which the Spirit can work through to help us discern rightly. Discernment isn't usually a sudden zap from beyond, but something which emerges from hard work.

Learn to discern. Yearn to discern.

We have to discriminate between what is true and what is false, ... between what is primary and what is secondary, between what is central and what is peripheral.

When the Spirit is on the move, it's characterized by:

Christ-centered spirituality in every aspect of life;

Rejection of all prejudice, class/ethnic/educational barriers, exclusiveness, and denominational warfare. When it follows the Spirit, the Body of Believers knowingly chooses to counter-model prejudices by living without regard to them.

(The Christians on the net who have delved into politics have demonstrated that they are not the least concerned with "Christ centered spirituality.

I got an email yesterday from a good brother that was full of venom and bitter root judgment that was totally carnal and very politically biased. )

Bringing attention and worship to Jesus Christ, and awareness of God's/Jesus'/Spirit's work.

An unusual level of passion, energy, or impact.

These are the main things to look for in discerning about something:

*it is governed by love, for if it is not, it's worthless ( 1 Corinthians 13:1-3);

*it centers us onto Jesus the Christ and Lord ( 1 Cor 12:3), and His good news;

*it directs us to Scripture, not away from it ( Isaiah 8:19, 20);

*it builds up the church and its members ( Ephesians 4:11-12), giving it power, wisdom, character, boldness, and unity.

*it helps create in us a love of righteousness, a heightened sense of sin, and a turning away from known evil.

'Discernment' is sometimes used as a catch-word for speaking against others (as with some
'discernment ministries' that pollute the internet), or to defeat them in a struggle for power or influence, or just to pick at them until they quit or retreat.

Discerning eyes look for whether something that's labeled 'discernment' is done from love, or whether it just is a clanging gong or a noisy cymbal.

Jesus didn't call us to love ideas, he called us to love people. John put it as bluntly as he could :

"One who does not love does not know God, for God is love."
(I John 4:8)

When discerning, the Christian must keep in mind why he/she is doing it.

 Ask yourself, "If I raise this issue, how am I pointing people to Christ? How am I helping them grow in the Spirit? In what way am I loving them?"

 If there's no answer to those questions, or if you have to stretch far and wide to come up with a complicated or weak answer, then it's best not to speak. Indeed, it's time to focus on listening, because it may be your time to learn.

The New Testament passes along the testimony of those who knew Jesus and His mission in person. For the early church after the apostles, for the Reformers, and for us today, believers turn to Scripture because they know the Spirit speaks there.

It is Scripture which shows us the Spirit's priorities, and Scripture which shares with us the vision of the coming Kingdom. The Spirit works through Scripture, not against it.

Through the Bible, you can discover wisdom and direction. Without it, you'll fail to distinguish God's Purposes and Word from your purposes and words.

This is true of what you think and do today, and it's also true of the past, including the most treasured of traditions. If the new or the old stands against Scripture or is used to thwart its central thrusts, we must stand with Scripture, or we will fall for anything.

This 'Scripture principle' is not there to hold the Spirit in chains. It's to be used in the light of freedom in Christ, knowing that Scripture does not directly address most matters. Instead of demanding direct 'Scriptural warrant' for a practice or course of action, it's better to seek these signals :

  • that Scripture does not speak against it;

  • that the practice or teaching conveys the Gospel, and is fully in keeping with the root and heart of Christian belief found in Scripture;

  • that it turns the focus onto Christ, not persons, ideas, ideologies, organizations, wondrous signs, or activities;

  • that it is truthful, not rooted in a lie or distortion.

If these are all true, then no direct warrant is needed from Scripture, tradition, or for that matter, sometimes even from common sense. The Spirit has every right to lead us into new things that look like folly. The Holy Spirit is sovereign. Discernment is about finding out if it's the Holy Spirit and not someone else's folly.

There are some people who could stuff themselves with Scripture until it came out their noses, and they'd still refuse to let the Spirit teach them anything. They're not discerning at all; they're seeking support, not truth.

 For the rest of us, the patient, prayerful, steady study of Scripture brings many rewards. The Spirit rewards such diligent listening by developing within us an understanding of why God acted in the past. Since the same God is acting today toward the same purposes, this gives you a sense of what God is doing now and what role you may have in it.

The Scripture principle is not a substitute for the Spirit. It works only because the Spirit works through Scripture. We rely on this truth when we read the Scriptures in earnest prayer. Without the Spirit's action, the Bible's pages would lay still, moving your life no more than a dictionary or encyclopedia. If the Spirit is working in us, the Bible is aflame with truth and vision for every corner of our lives and for the whole world.

The Spirit wants us to study, to trust, and to shape our lives according to what is in Scripture; to steep it into our souls, to live by the contours and the world vision of the Scriptures. No one can prove that the Bible is the authentic story of God's dealings with humanity. That has to be shown to each of us by the Holy Spirit.

Anyone who denies the authority of the written Word in/for the church comes real close to bypassing the Christ who is the living Word of God, and who is what the written Word is about. We cannot just nakedly 'go by the fruit' of the Spirit, because it is Scripture which tells us what fruit we are to look for, and in what contexts they are the work of the Spirit.

Without the Bible, we can't accurately recognize what is from God, or tell it from what's fake.

There is another warning to be given here. You can have God-gifted leaders, go through prayerful discernment, decision-making, and accountability processes, and even have things start to go well. But the surest way for them to turn wrong is to start telling others that your decisions are "God's will". That's something known in the distant future, if at all.

It's a pretty big boast, if you think about it : you know what the Almighty knows. Most believers and non-believers alike rightly dismiss such talk. And pride does come before a fall. Decision-making isn't always a matter of the thunderous "Will Of God", and even when it is, you may not have it right. This is a reason the Spirit builds humility into people.

Scripture shapes an authentic Spirit-led experience, and sets the bounds for it. When looking for the course and purposes of what God is doing, Scripture ranks first.

Discernment is more than the work of an individual person. The Spirit acts within the gathered believers (the Church) so they can discern what to do and be. Within that context, specific persons may be given the gift for leading the church as it discerns. Such gifted people are given a 'spiritual eye' for cutting through facades and confusion, for getting to the heart of the matter.

They listen closely, notice what's happening in the world around them, and instinctively know what place it has in God's plans. Someone who's gifted in discernment of spirits can find where evil lurks in good things, and where the Spirit is working when things are going wrong.

When the church was starting out, there was only one way she could learn the faith: on her feet. The church had to learn while she was doing. The Spirit had to teach the Christians how to love at the same time as moving them to act on that love, and teaching them mercy at the same time as empowering them to live merciful lives.

Christians sometimes forget that what we teach and discuss is inevitably our own understanding of Scripture. Other understandings, if drawn from Scripture and open to be judged by Scripture, are possible and even faithful. We discern to learn.

That's why it's so valuable to have the input from 2000 years of churchgoing Christians (tradition) and the billion Christians of today (fellowship). Meaning springs out of life; the Spirit's way is lived and experienced. Even more: it is lived and experienced as a part of those who believe in Jesus and his good news, a Body of Followers whose members are formed and shaped in this way, as found in Scripture.

This community teaches each other, recalls history, shares their experiences, and affirms each others value. It (sometimes) has the strength to say no and to get each of us to amend our understandings and change our ways when we're going astray, and to show a more excellent way in all things.

When you're being checked by the church, you're being checked by others who have also done patient, prayerful, steady study of Scripture. The Spirit didn't give a sense of God's purposes only to you but also to others, in a slightly different way for each of them.

If they didn't study God's ways, they won't have that sense, and thus are a less trustworthy part of the discernment process. (You'll never find out one way or the other unless you listen carefully, and have the guts to put away any defensive reactions you might have.)

Church actions should be set up to discern the right direction before it acts, to keep effective tabs on it while it acts, and to debrief after it acts, taking whatever disciplinary actions or clarifying lessons are needed. Do this, expecting that the Spirit will lead, if really asked and really given a chance to lead.

One drawback of the church's role in discernment is that it is made up of people. (It's a benefit in more ways, but here's one way it's also a drawback.) People are strange, and sometimes do wrong. They are not all-knowing, and have badly-damaged understandings.

They can be fooled. People love to be sweet talked, to be showered with puffery and to get their egos
stroked. They push aside what's bad news for the camp they're in. It's easy to become a yes-man or get stuck in the 'no' position. These facts must be kept in mind when discerning with the church. But remember too that these things are also true of you. Your role in discernment requires checking and re-checking and cross-checking, and so does the church's.

Neither you nor the communicated Word nor the Church local or universal are the bridge between the biblical events and our putting the Word into living effect. It is the Holy Spirit's doing.

Like everything else in this world, our discernments are bound by our imperfections and thus can be false or shallow or merely mistaken. But it helps greatly to have the right attitude toward it :

Make sure you can be held accountable by specific trusted people, on small things as well as large ones;

Allow those others to actually do it. Don't fight back nor blindly accept, but pay attention and be a servant about it;

Be ready to hold others accountable, if need be - even if that makes you uncomfortable.

This way, you become less bound by attitudes and actions which block your discernment.

One of the keys to discernment is surrender. If you treat "I" as the emperor of all things, you won't be in the right place to find out what God wants of you. In fact, this selfish imperial view of existence lies at the heart of all sin : we act as if we're God, even though we certainly know better. The emperor 'I' has no clothes.

So we need to set aside what we want and what we've been taught, and join with Jesus in His prayer in the face of His most ultimate decision : "Yet not as I will, but as You will." (Matt 26:39).

Another key to discernment is a 'sense of peace' about something. That peace must take place not by itself, but within the rest of the framework of discernment, or it's not divine.

Yet the absence of such peace is, by itself, bad news. Such peace and security comes and grows with prayer. Peace is a gift God is more than happy to give. God wants us to have some sense of security about what we do. Since God is not a God of confusion, it will not do in God's purposes for God's followers to be confused, or be confusing.

Some hints which confirm: --- a chance encounter with just the right person; --- a thought or conviction that keeps growing; --- something from the Bible which comes to mind; --- something said in conversation which keeps coming to mind; --- an opportunity which suddenly opens up. --- it 'bites back', becoming harder to stop the more you or anyone else tries to hold back.

These hints mean nothing by themselves, but can mean a lot when taken together.

A decision empowers you to act. When you don't decide, you give power to someone or something else to make the decision. So if there is not a clear sense of direction from the Spirit, it could be a hint that God didn't want you or your church to decide anything.

 If so, then let things happen as they will, leaving it in the hands of others whom God is calling forward. It is just as likely, though, that you're just ducking the question. The best way to discern the difference is :

If the search for leadings from the Spirit finds nothing or almost nothing (as against having an unclear or conflicted sense of leading);

if there is a specific someone who is clearly stepping forward;

if that specific someone is doing this out of concern or love and not a drive for power.

It may take a lot of humility to admit that you are not God's chosen one and you don't hold the reins of power. But in fact, you don't; God does, and God will work through people other than yourself or your group.

There is a harbor in Greece with a very narrow opening that has shallow rocks on both sides of the opening just under the water that can't be seen. If one doesn't know exactly where to enter this protected harbor there could be hull damage. There are three lights set up on poles about 50 feet from one another in a straight line. The helmsman knows that if he sees three lights he is off course, the same if he sees two lights. When he sees only one light he knows that it is safe to proceed into the harbor because he is lined up with the narrow entrance perfectly. All the lights line up and appear as one.

Discernment is like that. One light is our sense of inner peace by the Holy Spirit. Another light is the Word of God. And the other light is confirmation through others or through the 'highlighting' language of the Holy Spirit. when they all line up as one it is safe to proceed forward.

Remember: "When in doubt, DON'T.

"God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede." ------ Oswald Chambers

"I never learned anything while I was talking."------ Larry King

"Conflating modern-day intuition, etc. with the real Spirit is like confusing a gentle breeze with a tornado. If the real Spirit were really working in the post-apostolic church, it would be just as ambiguous as a cyclone." ------ online comment.

"Discerning and acting on God's will does not mean you'll never have difficult days or feel lousy sometimes. But choosing to live in alignment with God makes you more joyful, compassionate, and peaceful, even on bad days."
------ Debra K. Farrington, *Hearing with the Heart*

"The majority of historic heresy is based on an interpretation of the written not the living word. The 'living word' -- which is the Word in action through the gifts of the Spirit -- is all application and totally subjected in interpretation to the body of Christian truth, not an elevation of subjective over objective truth." ------ Ron Zess (online).

More of Jesus let me learn More of His holy will discern; Spirit of God, my teacher be Showing the things of Christ to me.------ ('More About Jesus', EE Hewitt, 1915)

(1) Have you had the experience of thinking you were being led by God to do something, and it turned out not to be so? What were the consequences? Looking back on it, what could/should have alerted you to this?

(2) What kind of matters have you sought God's guidance about? How has the result surprised you, if it did?

(3) Have you ever used "God's will" as a cover for your own plans or ideas? Are you doing so now? What led you to do it? (Please, don't talk or think about when others have done so; that just breaks down into the blame game. Talk about yourself.)

(4) Take a look at 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21. It says 'Don't quench the Spirit' and 'test all things'.

How do they fit together?

How might these be seen as working against each other?

Have you ever been involved in an activity or a church where one was used to render the other as void? How? Why? Did you take any action?

(5) List the people you would most likely turn to when you're making a tough personal decision? What is it about them that would cause you to turn to them?

(6) For church-goers and cell members : how do the members of your church use each other as a way of discernment?