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Archive for the ‘Growing in God’ Category

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Scripture reading: John 12:20-26

When we accepted Jesus Christ, we received life. The Blood of Jesus Christ is the life of God. This is what we received in our souls which were dead in trespasses and sins. This life had to help us die to the alien life of sin which had occupied the soul. Then, we had the self-life, which also had to die. So we see that when we accepted Christ as our Savior, it was a matter of submitting to death in order to receive life. When that process is completed, then we begin to enter into Christ. Paul, speaking to the Corinthian Christians in I Corinthians 12:13, declares, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.”

We are not baptized into the body of Christ until the body of sin and self is given a death-blow. If sin is still reigning in our members, then it was not fully dealt with. The grain of corn cannot bring forth a new life until it has given up its own life. We must die to live and that life does not begin until the death is complete. This is all done by faith.

The divine order of the entering into Christ is shown in the tabernacle of Moses by the three veils. The first veil is called the Gate, the second is called the Door, and the third is called the Veil. The door is Christ, and the entering in is preceded by the washing at the Laver, which is death to self and a complete surrender to Christ. Self cannot be on the throne and, at the same time, Christ be crowned as King. One King must depose the other. Even more than being deposed, ONE KING MUST SLAY THE OTHER so that there is no further possibility of a coup to regain the throne.

THE ENTERING IN OF CHRIST INTO THE SOUL of man is a conscious act of man’s will, which is preceded by the three BAPTISMS of death.

There must be a death before there can be a resurrection. The three baptisms are:

  1. Baptism in water, the baptizer being human
  2. Baptism in the Holy Ghost, the baptizer being Jesus Christ
  3. Baptism into Christ, the baptizer being the Holy Ghost

Christ enters into us, then we begin to enter into Christ. Just as the Holy Ghost enters into us, then we begin to live in the Spirit.

When Christ enters the soul as King, He begins His rule on earth within the individual. HE MUST REIGN TILL ALL ENEMIES ARE PUT UNDER HIS FEET, even death. We see, therefore, that He brings life and immortality to light by the gospel (II Timothy 1:10). The beast nature of man is being changed to the nature of the Christ.

We can see then that we can have Holy Spirit occupying our spirits, but not our souls as the five foolish virgins had in Matthew 25. This stands to reason why, although we receive the Holy Spirit, we still have the power to reject His counsel and have our own way. It also is the reason why we still fall into sin though having the Holy Spirit of God within us. The process of the Kingdom of God gently seeps into every area of our lives with our own free will consent, just as the leaven that leavens the whole three lumps of the woman’s meal in Matthew 13:33.

(Excerpt from The Pattern, pg. 148-149)

Thought for today: Let us give way in our souls to the Holy Spirit so that He may fill our vessel and conquer every sin in our lives.

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Scripture reading: Revelation 2:1-7

We have totally lost sight of Jesus Christ and what He stands for, where He has put us from the very beginning, from the foundation of the world, and the gospel. We need to get back to our first love. Our first love might not necessarily be anything pertaining to the church. When we accepted Jesus as our Saviour, there was a freshness in our first love. If you never had this experience, if never a change came over you, if never the sky looked bluer, if never the earth looked more glorious, if never the peace of God came over you, if never the glory of God came over you – YOU HAVE NOT YET RECEIVED THAT WHICH JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR. Jesus died in order that we might be SAVED. The word saved means reconditioned, reborn, delivered from the thing we were when we were first born of our mothers. We must have a renewing of the mind, a renewing of the spirit, a deliverance from what we were before.

This salvation needs to grow. Many have said that they have received Jesus as their Saviour, are all right, are going to heaven, and can freely do anything they please. This is not salvation. Salvation is a continuous experience, having a beginning and an end. If you turn to Ephesians 1:11-14, you will see that the Word speaks about the end of your salvation. Notice the progression:

11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In whom ye also trusted, AFTER that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also AFTER that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Many people do not believe in this progression in God. God is a God of progress and growth. If you are born again, you must grow. You MUST begin to move from that born again position into things higher and into things deeper. Nobody has to preach to you and say that you must do this, and you must talk in tongues, and you must prophesy. Those things do not have to be preached to the true child of God who is following Jesus Christ. The Scripture tells you certain things happen to you as you grow in Christ, but if you do not grow, then you will not have the signs of growth. Some people say that when you receive Jesus as your Saviour, you receive everything. Without going into too much detail, I will say that when you receive Jesus, you receive HIS LIFE to counteract the death that was in you.

God could not do business with a dead man. Therefore, He had to save you, resurrect you, and bring you to the same place where He made Adam. Adam was made a living soul, and you were a dead soul. Dead means you could not respond to God. You could slap or pinch a dead man, you could shout in his ear, but he is dead. That is how God felt towards you for God shouted at you many times. God would touch your body, shake you, wake you up many times but you could not respond to God because you were dead. Now God took some of His life and put it into you through the Blood of Jesus Christ and you became a LIVING SOUL. The Blood of Jesus hovers over the whole world. You can call upon His name and receive His Blood and the Blood quickens you. That is how you know you are saved. No one needs to tell you to say a few words and if you say them right you are saved. This is not a password business that if you say the right password, then you get saved. Nothing of the kind! Sometimes you can get saved by not speaking a word, but just submitting your soul before God and the Spirit of God will come and give you what you ask for. Salvation, therefore, is a quickening of the spirit and a bringing to life of the individual.

When that individual comes alive, he wants living food. Adam was alive but he died because he did not have the Christ. He had neither the Holy Ghost nor the Blood. The Blood first, then the Holy Ghost and then the Christ. This is the right order. After you have been saved, you get the Blood in your soul. When you receive the Holy Ghost, you do not receive the Holy Ghost in your soul. You receive the Holy Ghost in your spirit. The scripture says in Romans 8:16, The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.

Those people who have the Spirit of God have within themselves a witness of God that they are the sons of God – little sons of God. Not little gods, but sons of God. Praise be to God.

(Excerpt from The Book of Revelation, Volume 1, pg. 29-31)

Thought for today: Are you growing higher and deeper in God? Remember, God is a God of progress and growth and those that are His must grow in Him.

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Scripture reading: 1 Kings 19:9-18

Every believer has a little voice inside him, the still small voice of God. The more you pay attention to it, the more you believe it, the more you move according to it, the bigger and the stronger it grows. When you disobey, when you do not pay attention to it, it grows weaker and weaker. I notice that where there is a pastor and counselors, the voice of God is stifled in the believer. I am here to encourage the voice of God in the believer. When you hear the voice of God within you and you are not sure what it is, you say, “Well, Lord God, because I hear this voice within me and I believe with all my heart it is You, therefore I will go forward.” John 7:17 says, “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” This verse tells you that if you sincerely from your heart desire to know God’s will, He is not going to leave you in the dark. He will not allow the enemy to lie to you and for you to act, believing you are acting in God, when you are really acting in another spirit. It is the people who do not really believe God, who do not really want God, who deceive themselves that they want God who go forward and do wrong in the name of God. No one can do wrong in the name of God and God not correct you, if you are genuine in your heart and believe what you are doing.

Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” When you hunger and thirst for God and for righteousness, you throw the ball back into God’s court. The responsibility and the onus is upon God to give YOU TRUTH. Listening to the voice within is a very important part of every believer’s life. Unless it is encouraged, it will grow weaker and weaker until you do not hear Him at all. You just go running around asking everybody to tell you what God says. The more we keep our hearts and minds clean before God, the easier it will be for us to hear God.

Let us look at the case of Elijah is in 1 Kings 19:11-13. “And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?”

Elijah knew God. The earthquake was frightening. The wind was frightening. The fire was mysterious and filled with everything that was spiritual and wonderful, but he knew God. His heart was not satisfied until he heard the still small voice of God. There is a voice within. We must pay attention because the voice is speaking in the temple. If the temple is not clean and ready, it will not hear the voice of God.

(Excerpt from The Book of Revelation, Volume 1, pages 121-122)

Thought for today: Let us cleanse our temples so that we can hear the still small voice of God each and every day.

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Scripture reading: Romans 3:24-25

Praise the Lord. One of the greatest things about getting old is that there is a change in what you used to believe was the reality of your environment. The things that were absolutely real to you in your youth fade, and a new reality comes in that is absolutely real. I am trying to explain something here. The young people have a reality that is different from the reality that we who are older have. It is God that becomes more real to me than the things that I used to look at as precious and real. Those things fade away. They don’t have that value any more. The basis for your value changes, but it changes so gradually that you do not notice that it is changing. One day you wake up to find out that you have an altogether different perspective. It is like when you talk about the Blood of Jesus Christ. As young people you believe it, but somehow the reality of God and the Blood is not as tangible as it is now.

The Blood of Jesus Christ has become the basis of my life. I remember when I was young, one day Jesus took me and showed me the Blood and it laid a foundation in my life, that as long as I live, I will never forget it. You have seen the show that is called “The Passion of Christ.” It is a very gruesome thing, but then, what happened to me with Jesus when I was your age is that He took me through this with Him, and I was there. Do you understand? It did something to me and after that, my whole concept of when you say, “The Blood,” was changed.

So, the reality of God becomes more real. In other words, God is no longer a shadowy person out there that will come when you call Him, but He is someone that fills up the whole place. Amen. It is like you are walking into God; you are sleeping into God; you are talking into God, and then God is into you. It is difficult to explain. But what I want to say to you is: If you think of God, Who is He? Who is this God? You call Him God. Sometimes you must say Elohim; sometimes you must say Jehovah; sometimes you must remember that He is not any one person who you can call by one name that means all of Him because sometimes He is El Shaddai. Oh yes. When your soul is hungry, when your life is hungry, when you need God more than anything else, He is El Shaddai, the great Father/Mother God. He is both Father and Mother together, giving you milk to drink, giving you suck, satisfying the soul. Unless you have been in real trouble, you really won’t know God. I don’t want to tell you to pray to God to put you in trouble, but I am telling you that when you are in a really tight spot and you call out to God from the depths of your heart and your soul, that is the time you prove God to be more real than the very breath that you breathe. Praise God.

(Excerpt from Keeping in Touch, December 2007, pg. 3)

Thought for today: When you are in a really tight spot and you call out to God from the depths of your heart and your soul, that is the time you prove God to be more real than the very breath that you breathe.

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Scripture reading: Hebrews 10:1

God wrote things in the Bible for the Jews. He talked to them and He showed them life. He made certain promises to them, everlasting promises. Now, let me ask you: can you make an everlasting promise to a person or a thing that is not everlasting? How would you like that? My mother used to say, “It is like a side pocket to a dog.” Give dog two beautiful side pockets – he has no hands. God would not make an everlasting promise to a people who were not everlasting!

For a long time, we could not differentiate between what the Old Testament and the New Testament were saying. But God did something. He sent a man named Paul, and that man studied. He was a doctor of Old Testament law. He knew all about the law. Then all of a sudden, God knocked him down on the road to Damascus while he was going to persecute Christians, and took him unto Himself. He went fourteen years out into the desert to understand what God was doing. He didn’t just jump up and start preaching. Fourteen years; and after the fourteen years, he came to teach the Church what God had been saying in the Old Testament as against the New.

Now, the Old Testament is what we call the “shadow.” You cannot have a shadow unless you have a substance. You must have light, you must have substance and then it casts a shadow. So therefore, the shadow is there, the substance is here, and the light is here. If you come towards the substance, when you meet the substance, then you don’t have to look at the shadow again. But if you cannot understand the substance, you will look at the shadow and you will see an arm sticking out. You will say, “He has an arm,” and you will know exactly where the arm is because that is where the shadow is.

(Excerpt from Keeping in Touch, February 2007, pg. 36)

Thought for today: If you don’t understand the substance of life in Christ, look at the shadows in the Old Testament and you will be able to see it.

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Scripture reading: Revelation 7:15-17

Let us look at the verses above. If we put the things they mention in the converse, we will see exactly what was happening to these people. They were hungering, not just for natural food, but for spiritual food. They were thirsting. They were in darkness and He said that the sun would not light on them any more. They were under great pressure from sun and heat and the sufferings of this life. He said He “shall lead them unto living fountains of waters” and He “shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”

Many, many people are Christians who are not receiving the Word of God as they ought to. They are not receiving the deliverance that is in the Word, in the truth of the Word. They are hungering and they are thirsting and they are dying in this state without having had the privilege of hearing the unadulterated Word of God. But there is something here that is beautiful and peculiar. He said that He would feed them. Does that mean that people get fed after they leave this life and go into the heavenlies? Is it possible that the heavenlies have food? Is it possible that Christians do feed on the energy from God? Yes, they do. The angels feed on God’s energy while praising the Lord and so do the people.

However, the truth is that we can begin to feed on God now. You can feed on Him not only by praising Him but also by associating everything you see and hear with the Word of God. Years ago I worked in an office with many men. Some of them would tell dirty jokes in my hearing and watch my reaction. One time one of them told a joke about a man who streaked (ran naked) across a stage. I immediately seized the opportunity to interject Isaiah 20:2 where God told the prophet Isaiah to go naked in the streets of Israel in order to get their attention and reveal to them their spiritual nakedness. The man who told the joke was hit so hard by my opportunistic preaching that he said, “You probably know every scripture in the Bible!” From that time on they kept all their jokes out of my hearing, which was a great blessing to me.

Thought for today: Begin to associate everything you see and hear with scriptural references for most of what is happening now has already happened in your Bible. And as you do, you will receive the Word of God and you will hunger no more.

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Scripture reading: Revelation 6:9-11

“The fifth seal” in Revelation 6:9 was the fifth stage or the fifth station in the Tabernacle, where the offering was made for the soul. At the fifth seal, Paul would be there. At the fifth seal, the souls of the apostles and the different brethren who have gone on before would be saying, “How long?”

In verse 10 they were asking the question, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” Then it says in verse 11a that “white robes were given unto every one of them.” That means that they had received THEIR BODIES. They had received their spiritual bodies. “WHITE ROBES,” a covering, means righteousness, holiness, TOTAL COVERING OF GOD. They had received their “white robes.”

Verse 11b, “…and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a LITTLE SEASON, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”

This is a very, very deep saying. Thank God for the understanding which He has given to us pertaining to this particular Word. There are some brethren who are designated by God to be slain. Revelation 11:7 tells us about it. “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.” A group of people will be killed as the martyrs under the altar were. These are the greatest batch of God’s people. They are called “The Elect.” They shall have gained the fullness of Christ and immortality, just as Jesus Christ did. They are the firstfruits.

Jesus said, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I LAY DOWN MY LIFE, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again…” John 10:17-18. A set of people will come to that same place. They are called the two witnesses. These two witnesses will be dead for three and a half days, and then they will RESURRECT. Jesus Christ resurrected on the third day. These people will resurrect on the fourth day. They shall be resurrected, stand on their feet, and the judgment will begin.

Verse 11c, “their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” It is ORDAINED OF GOD that these people “should be killed.” This Word must be fulfilled to finish up the whole cycle of God’s operation. The Revelation is the end or the fulfillment of the things which God has been doing. Therefore, a lot of things that are happening in The Revelation are things that you have seen happening on a smaller scale, coming to their fullness.

Now we will speak about the killing of the saints and the RESURRECTION OF THE SAINTS. The killing of the saints will specifically be ordained of God because He wants them to be resurrected. When Jesus Christ resurrected, He did not show Himself to anybody but the brethren. These people, when they are resurrected, will show themselves to the world.

Jesus learned that Lazarus was sick and He deliberately waited until Lazarus died. Jesus raised him on the fourth day. It was a fourth day resurrection. John 11:4 records, “When Jesus heard that (Lazarus was sick), He said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” Jesus had to manifest the very thing that we are looking at now, the resurrection of the sons of God after three days. This is why Lazarus was not raised until the fourth day. We find this fact in John 11:39. “Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto Him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead FOUR days.”  Therefore there will be a fourth day resurrection of the sons of God.

(Excerpt from The Book of Revelation, Volume 1, pages 123-125)

Thought for today: Let us press for the mark of attaining acceptance at the Golden Altar of Incense (the fifth station in the Tabernacle) in order to become part of the First Fruits Company.

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