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Divine Providence

[Printable version]

By Mavis M. duCille

Scripture reading: Philippians 4:19

“But my God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory…”

On receiving this scripture, the first thought that came to my mind was in the natural. “Oh yes,” I thought, “God is going to supply physical and financial needs.” Soon, however, the Lord opened my understanding to realize that the greatest need today is that we may KNOW HIM, in His acts and ways. Yes, we stumble and falter and are discouraged, because we are not acquainted with His ways and His dealings with His creatures.

Surely, He provides for our physical needs, but sometimes He uses methods that cause us to be built up in faith and virtue. When these dealings are set in motion, the flesh or carnal nature (because of lack of knowledge) rises up and rebels and then breaks. Divine Providence is that which slays the MAN, so that the CHRIST might live and be exalted in our lives. He knows the ingredients and proportions necessary to do the job, but also, how we scream and squirm when the knife of circumstances begins to cut away the flesh. Sometimes we are unaware of the fact that “…it works the peaceable fruit of righteousness.”

God’s Providence proclaims His wisdom – beyond man’s knowledge and experience. No other could form the correct plan for man to gain the desired results.

HIS POWER: God alone has the ability to exercise authority impartially – He sustains the world.

On many occasions, Divine Intervention shows His power in miraculous deeds of deliverance. His mighty hand and outstretched arm, by which He brought His people out of Egypt, is still mighty and outstretched in our time. He showed His power over the power of Pharaoh, and now He has given us POWER OVER THE POWER OF THE ENEMY. No matter what your battle might be at this time, God has given you power through Divine Providence over that strong thing which oppresses you. REACH OUT AND LAY HOLD OF THAT POWER RIGHT NOW, AND THE GOD OF PROVIDENCE SHALL SET YOU FREE.

HIS GLORY: His wealth, splendor and honor – we are His product in righteousness through grace – we are His Glory, being His workmanship.

HIS PRESENTATION: Divine Providence presents God’s nature to mankind, that His Glory may fill THE TEMPLE. The temple must be emptied of all ugliness, that it might be filled with His Glory, which sometimes is like taking the bitter herbs, which the Israelites had to eat with the roasted lamb.

HIS GOODNESS: He is honorable, admirable and worthy. Oh, the beneficence of God extending far beyond what we ask or think. One writer says, “God is morally perfect and gloriously generous.” This is a very apt description of His goodness. Maintaining the thought that GOD IS GOOD is a sustaining factor throughout our walk and experience with God. What God does, creates, commands, gives and allows is done through His goodness, always mindful of Creation and His creatures. Thus, all things can work together for good – seeing, He through Divine Providence can cause what was intended for evil to work good, though sometimes after much cutting of the flesh. Total trust and total obedience is absolutely necessary as God deals with us, seeing His ways are past finding out, BUT one thing is sure, it works for our good to them that love Him. “If you love me, keep my commandments.” LOVE therefore is fulfilled in trust and obedience.

Should God withdraw outward prosperity from His people, and hardships are experienced, there is still a sense in which He is doing good.

Divine Providence is always working THAT WHICH IS GOOD. Being afflicted yields correction for subsequent benefit, and is an exercise in strength, faith, patience, obedience and endurance. Anything that drives man closer to God is for good, therefore, temporary distresses work for the Christian an eternal weight of glory. The ungratifying circumstances can be numbered among God’s good gifts, and the expression of His beneficence if rightly used to lasting profit.

Jacob’s divisive thinking was changed from vanity to profit, through Divine Providence. He is a God of present help, present power, present refuge. Jacob or no other could have thought out that plan for present help – Divine Providence took care of it all, and Jacob must have rejoiced in such a deliverance from a plotting, scheming mind, into the mind of one who could rightly be called Prince of God (Israel). This brought him into the place of a more personal experience with God, thus the expression – THE GOD OF JACOB (the God that Jacob experienced – the God of power and might).

Jesus Christ, our Providence, does not only see ahead, but watches over His people. He has a concentrated attention that extends to every place and circumstance, seeing into the minutest as also the largest situations, caring for the smallest as well as the greatest, watching over the affairs of men (their success and failure, even the most insignificant things), protecting and caring in every way.

Divine Providence has a restricting and preventing hand. Though man may be allowed to cherish and manifest his evil desires, it causes him to either hate and despise the evil, or through God’s providence, submit his will to be united with God’s will in the operation of righteousness, or love and embrace evil to his own destruction.

God is in perfect control of good and evil, yet every man is free, but justice must be meted out to the rebellious and mercy for all who seek mercy.

Divine Providence secures moral order in the world, a power to discourage vice and encourage virtue. The circumstances that govern man from birth (environmental, etc.) are not humanly controlled, and man, being a creature of choice, is able through Divine Providence (God’s intervention) to escape destruction or whatever is determined against him. God is directly involved with His creation, and will always allow particular events to work His perfect will – whether it be in working virtue in, or evil out of us.

Rejoice therefore, and let the circumstances work in us that which nothing else could do. Circumstances change things for good or evil, but God’s intervention will always cause that change to be FOR GOOD.

(Excerpt from Nuggets for the Needy, pages 65-68)

Thought for today: Divine Providence presents God’s nature to mankind, that His Glory may fill THE TEMPLE.

Prophet, Priest, and King

[Printable version]

By Mavis M. duCille

Scripture reading: Hebrews 7:24-26

PROPHET – Reveals or declares God’s will

PRIEST – To take away the guilt of sin

KING – Having authority and dominion

Union with Christ and participation in His Spirit exalts us to the state with Christ as Prophet, Priest, and King.

“But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” Hebrews 7:24-26.

Down through the ages, God used a nation, a family or an individual to establish the type of the Great High Priest – Jesus Christ, after the order of Melchizedec, greater than the Levitical Priesthood or even Abraham himself. He holds His priesthood unchangeably – HE LIVES FOREVERMORE; therefore, He saves to the uttermost: COMPLETELY, PERFECTLY, FINALLY AND FOR ALL TIME AND ETERNITY.

Through the power of the Life of Christ, there is overcoming of sin, oppression, depression and every attack of the enemy. Daily drawing from the source of spiritual life will emancipate the believer from the depravity of fallen man, and establish a disposition of holiness within the soul.

The many and varied conflicts are to bring us nearer to Christ, that the soul may be generated by the Spirit – immersed into His love, fellowship and His LIFE to become that NEW CREATURE. The Creator must be allowed to do the creative work on the soul to make it eternal as the spirit, so that His LIFE dominates and manifests itself within all of our being.

Christ therefore is the source of PURITY and POWER, through which the believer finds healing and purification for the inner man.

(Excerpt from Nuggets for the Needy, pages 63-64)

Thought for today: Union with Christ and participation in His Spirit exalts us to the state with Christ as Prophet, Priest, and King.

[Printable version]

By Mavis M. duCille

Scripture reading: Hebrews 7:14-16

Some weeks ago, the Lord brought to my attention the fact of the absolute necessity of overcoming.

The way out of the bondage of sin and self and humanness into the Divine nature is through the “flaming sword.” Since this sword turned every direction, there is no way of escaping the fire of purification.

It certainly is not enough to say, “I have accepted Jesus as my Saviour,” or to relax and feel okay, waiting for Him to come and take us away to heaven. The forgiveness of sins brings one into the experience of knowing Jesus as Saviour, but after this experience, one should willingly and deliberately desire to know Him as Lord, which means giving Him perfect control over one’s life. There would be no place therefore for cheating, lying, drinking, swearing, malice, strife, bitterness, wrath, cunning craftiness and all unrighteousness. This can only be done by the regenerating, sanctifying work of Christ, which is the purpose for the indwelling Holy Spirit. God wants to destroy sin, and the Holy Ghost brings to us the Life of Christ Jesus, which does just that.

Adam and Eve were tested and tempted in the garden: if Eve would have resisted, they would have overcome the enemy then and there. Temptation does not necessitate a fall, but resisting builds strength and virtue.

The tree of life is made available to man through Jesus Christ. He is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. Unless we eat Him day and night, we have no life in us – thus no overcoming.

Love, mercy and truth are conditioned by holiness; therefore, when God establishes His law in man’s heart, it constitutes a revelation of holiness – thus through GRACE, man finds a true revelation of LOVE.

Blessed are the people who have been brought into a relationship with Jesus Christ through His blood, and have been established in His grace to embrace that LIFE IN JESUS CHRIST – when man ceases to be an outsider of the Kingdom, and realizes the liberty of the SONS OF GOD.

Overcoming daily establishes holiness as a permanent state of the soul. One writer said, “Our conscience and power of self-control act as a sort of watchdog over our worst selves during the day, but when the watchdog is off duty, the primitive or natural man is at liberty to act as he pleases, and our soul has left us at the mercy of our own evil nature.”

God’s divine power, however, greatly counteracts the forces of evil. This power and anointing is Christ, which can only be experienced as the believer gives way to the Holy Spirit. In this way, man is brought to the place where total redemption overcomes total depravity, and God’s redemptive power shines forth in spite of ourselves. It is the Spirit that brings redemption; human nature can take no credit; the flesh is weak, but the indwelling Christ has power over all THINGS.

When the believer comprehends Christ’s relationship to man as a whole, and to the Christian in particular, then he is enabled to declare as never before the saving, keeping, resurrection POWER OF JESUS CHRIST – LORD, MASTER, KING. Giving way to the persuading influence of the Holy Spirit empowers believers to bring under subjection the dreadful and evil soul nature, which hampers and resists the power of the LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS. Yes, the Holy Spirit is always revealing US to US, but He does so that man, by this power of “an endless life,” might be lifted out of this carnal, natural state to the spiritual, heavenly realm. We have been raised together with Him, Jesus Christ, and the vital union causes us to sit in heavenly places with Him. As we have borne the image of the earthly in Adam, so through Christ Jesus, we will bear the image of the heavenly – a place not only over sin and human weaknesses, but a place of authority and glory.

(Excerpt from Nuggets for the Needy, pages 61-63)

Thought for today: The tree of life is made available to man through Jesus Christ. He is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. Unless we eat Him day and night, we have no life in us – thus no overcoming.

Grace and Stature

[Printable version]

By Mavis M. duCille

Scripture reading: Luke 2:52

Not very long ago, a situation arose in which a child of God behaved very unseemly. On seeking the Lord about the matter, and with much grief of heart, the words came strongly to me, “Grace and Stature.” This was followed by greater clarification of the word, “GRACE.” Though GRACE in one sense means unmerited favor, which is from God to man, yet it involves a work in man’s soul in its more extreme application.

AMAZING GRACE: “‘Twas grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me on.”

This song speaks of grace as a beginning work, a work of continuation and a work to the end. Through grace comes Salvation, but it also takes grace to love, to forgive, to be patient, to be kind and gentle, to endure all things, to be loyal, etc. It is, therefore, the continuing in the grace of God that leads one into that final bliss, which is the heart’s cry of every true believer. There is a standard of inexhaustible fullness set by God for man. For this reason, the true and noble child of God will not rest or be satisfied with his or her own soul attainment until this fullness is achieved, which is divine perfection. The presence and power in the human soul enables man to be delivered from the human nature (earth bound) to the divine (heavenly).

Christ must reign through grace in the hearts of believers until all enemies (all the contrary and unsubdued nature) are put under foot. Believers who resist this operation in their daily lives frustrate God’s plan for their soul’s salvation, and fall terribly short of the glory of God. For this glory, the whole creation is waiting.

It is therefore possible to receive forgiveness of sins initially, and not grow IN GRACE; then the ugly attitude of the human soul will manifest very unseemly.

Through God’s grace, the believer can say the right words and not offend, but rather love, respect and regard one to another, have proper control over the members of the body, thereby bringing the mind in harmony with the Spirit; then there will be no place for the Devil.

STATURE – Webster’s Dictionary: time of life, age or one’s height to stand, growth, maturity, development.

There is natural or physical, political, and Spiritual stature.

Luke 2:52, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

Ephesians 4:13, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the STATURE OF THE FULNESS OF CHRIST.”

Stature depicts a standing and a height in Christ that would put one in a position, not above his brother, but risen above the flesh or carnal nature; standing firmly in the Divine nature; refusing, through His grace, virtues and excellence to return to the weak and beggarly elements. There is a place of integrity in Christ to be attained, maintained and sustained above the rudiments of this world, where the believer will no longer be a tool or an instrument of the enemy in any way. We have been raised up with HIM FAR ABOVE PRINCIPALITY AND POWER, and made to sit in HEAVENLY PLACES. Believers are His workmanship created unto GOOD WORKS. Although stature means time of life, age and maturity – one can be many years a believer or Christian, and experience very little spiritual growth or maturity. Year after year finds him or her going around the same mountain, having the same weaknesses and behaving the same old way; not experiencing much change in character. On the other hand, some show such growth and maturity in a few months that the difference is apparent. Growth and experience should be most important in one’s spiritual life. Anything that hinders one’s growth and progress should be dealt with before it is too late, when it would become so much a part of that person’s nature that separation becomes absolutely difficult or almost impossible.

Spiritual growth is not flourishing in the gifts, or being an outstanding ministry. Paul said he had to be careful, lest after placing many into the Kingdom, he would himself be a castaway. The gifts and ministries and every blessing of the Spirit is to bring the believer into union and harmony with God. The tendency is to glory in the gift and not the Giver.

It takes GRACE to deny the man and let the CHRIST come forth. It takes abiding, not in and out, hot and cold, here and there, back and forth, sometimes up and sometimes down. “Who shall abide?” He that hath clean hands and a pure heart. God will give grace to the humble and succor the weak, that he/she may be able to stand under all circumstances and conditions and glorify his/her Heavenly Father.

One might not be aware of one’s own spiritual growth, (which is good, no space for being puffed up), but others with whom you come in contact will surely witness that you have been with the Lord. This is one’s testimony.

Each day should bring us closer to that mark of the high calling. The Divine Nature must be engraved deep in our souls, that as the months and years go by, we mellow, not in churchianity or in church politics, but in CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD.

(Excerpt from Nuggets for the Needy, 1997, pages 80-82)

Thought for today: Christ must reign through grace in the hearts of believers until all enemies (all the contrary and unsubdued nature) are put under foot.

[Printable version]

By Mavis M. duCille

Scripture reading: Zachariah 4:6

Taking a look at the Old Testament, there appears much evidence of the weakness of the flesh, like…

DAVID – chosen of God, courageous, a champion, a good soldier, but was led by passion to violate the law; (to) yield to gross sin. When the Spirit of the Lord anointed him, he did mightily; outside of that, he was an ordinary man subject to the weaknesses of the flesh.

MOSES – leader and law-giver of Israel; was as God to the people; spoke with God’s personality; moved mightily under the anointing, but manifested as an ordinary man when provoked.

SAMSON – Showed such supernatural power and might, yet there was the expression of the carnal appetites; weak in resisting temptations.

The plotting, planning, cunning, scheming JACOB (could have been a familiar spirit; mother deceived Isaac, Laban her brother deceived Jacob) had a bout with the angel all night, but thank God he had the tenacity to hang on for the blessing or measure of deliverance which he received towards morning. The Jacob nature must be dealt with by the Spirit before any possession of the Land. No one is going to conquer those giants in the land, but the one who owns the land. The Land is OURSELVES. Each individual is well acquainted with the giants that rise up in his or her own soul to challenge the Spirit. Some have been there so long, that they appear to be part of the person. The individual may even be afraid to lose that spirit which might well be a controlling spirit. Anything that cannot be identified with the gift of the Holy Spirit and righteousness (Christ’s nature) is of the carnal, evil spirit, and must be driven out of the land.

There are so many examples in the Old Testament proving the weakness of man, that it is virtually impossible to deny the fact that “in man dwells no good thing.” Without the Spirit there is bound to be failure.

Take Peter as an example. In the New Testament, Peter had been with Jesus for three and a half years, and seen and shared in all that Jesus manifested; yet, in his humanness, he denied Him before the people, and returned to fishing after Jesus left. No wonder Jesus said to him, “Peter, lovest thou me?” – asking the same question three times and receiving the same answer from Peter, even with a little disgust at the last. Then Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” At one time, Jesus told Peter, “Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for thee.”

Peter, as well as all of us, have to be fortified by the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, or there is no overcoming of the flesh (the world, the flesh, and the devil). Peter’s impulsiveness and all other weaknesses of the flesh, as well as all of us, have to come under the effectual working of the Spirit if we are to be transformed to HIS IMAGE.

It is not because these characters mentioned in the Bible were bad or evil that they fell short of the expressed image of God, but because in the Old Testament, (or in other words under the old covenant), the Spirit of God was not yet come to indwell the believer (John 7:39), and in (the) three and a half years that Jesus was on the earth with His disciples, the Holy Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified. Therefore, Peter was without strength. Jesus said, “when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” When the Spirit fell at Pentecost, Peter rose up in the midst and proclaimed the wonders of salvation.

The willingness to the Spirit anointing was not enough for the Old Testament believers. Some did mightily in spite of their limitations, yet they were judged.

God expects greater overcoming from those to whom He has given not an overshadowing of the Spirit only, but an indwelling portion to all who will receive.

To this FORTY-SECOND GENERATION, therefore, He says, “Thou art inexcusable, O man,” (Romans 2:1), in that God has, through Jesus, laid the way wide open to redeem man from the bondage of corruption (bondage of human nature), and raised us through the Spirit to overcome the weaknesses of the flesh.

“…Not by might, nor by power (in the natural), but by my SPIRIT, saith the Lord of hosts,” Zechariah 4:6.

There is no sin or weakness that the blood of Jesus, the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit cannot overcome.

Walking in the Spirit destroys or retards the weaknesses of the flesh, (and) builds spiritual character, thus the true nature of Christ is formed in the believer.

The Holy Ghost is given and is always willing and ready to purge the dross, that the gold (which is the nature of God) may come forth; that the world may see Christ Jesus living in His temple. As the temple of God, we should allow the Spirit to deal with the weaknesses of the flesh, so that the Divine Nature might destroy the evil nature, and take full control of the man for Christ’s sake. Amen.

(Excerpt from Nuggets for the Needy, 1997, pages 71-74)

Thought for today: There is no sin or weakness that the blood of Jesus, the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit cannot overcome.

God’s Covenant

This message entitled “God’s Covenant” was given by Brother Cecil duCille in March 1983.

For more audio messages please visit Audio Messages – Foundational Teachings.

[Printable version]

By Mavis M. duCille

Scripture reading: Matthew 26:41

Some weeks ago, during prayer for some dear brethren, the word came, “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” – with this came also a much deeper understanding of these words.

Flesh is not only man’s body, but man’s whole being, including sense and reason when it is destitute of God, because the seat of sin is in the soul.

“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of HIS OWN lust, and enticed,” James 1:13-14.

God does not tempt man. Romans 8 speaks in absolutely plain language of the MIND OF THE FLESH; how it works contrary to the will of God. Man’s only hope of overcoming the flesh is through the Spirit, by which security is provided by God’s love. The Spirit gives life in place of death. The Old Testament brethren could not have the magnitude of OVERCOMING grace which we have received, because a set of laws or legal codes could not bring righteousness; only a life controlled by the Spirit, on the basis of THAT NEW LAW WRITTEN NOT ON TABLES OF STONE, but ON THE HEART, could produce such qualities in us as peace, joy, hope and love.

The flesh is constantly at war with the Spirit. The desires of the flesh are ever present, but the provision for overcoming is through the Spirit, therefore, the following seven steps are absolutely necessary to the overcomer.

  1. The believer should, at some time after accepting Jesus as Saviour, receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
  2. The believer should be aware of the Holy Spirit as being a part of the Godhead.
  3. The believer should want to be no longer in charge of his own life, but desire the Life of Christ to be lived out in him.
  4. Be sensitive to the voice of the Spirit. (He is always speaking, but we are not always listening.)
  5. Be exercised in the operations of the Spirit through obedience.
  6. Most important – be willing and ready to submit to the chastening and cleansing of the Spirit as He makes known deep-hidden or simple-surface weaknesses – because “He will not always chide.”
  7. Bear in mind, that when we come together in worship, the move of the Spirit in the midst is different than in any other place – prophecies and all the gifts of the Spirit can be practiced, and the believer has the type of growth that is necessary to his overall spiritual advancement.

THE CARNAL MIND: The carnal mind is that which is not under the control of the Holy Spirit. Because of this, it can conceive and bring forth evil, since Satan is the prince of evil.

There are some innocent desires (might not be evil) which can eventually become the occasion of sin. The CARNAL MIND cannot please God.

Scripture states:

“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry,” Colossians 3:5.

We should see to it that these members of ours do not resist the restraint of Divine Law. Human life, therefore, would be brought under subjection to the purpose for which it was ordained.

God made man to live in beauty and strength according to His Divine laws. Sin made an inroad and left a roadway. Man was defiled. God in His plan of restoration has to redeem man spirit, soul and body, but this cannot be achieved without the willingness and total submission to God’s Divine plan. As the Spirit is allowed to work in the inward parts, He is able to turn bitterness to sweetness, rage to peace, hate and animosity to love, rough to smooth, sorrow to joy and heaviness to praise, delivering the soul from envy, jealousy, malice (and) pride, causing a true spirit to pervade which can stand the LIGHT OF HIS COUNTENANCE.

So many times, it seems easier to give way to the flesh in anger, malice, strife, hatred, (and) mistrust of the brethren, or on the other hand deceiving the brethren, giving false witness, using a false balance and others too many to mention (whatsoever does not edify the individual or the Body of Christ, or glorify Jesus is not of God). Some things are seen out in the open – others are not very obvious; then some left only to the honesty of one’s conscience before God; “To thine own self be true.” (Shakespeare). Trust and be trusted.

(Excerpt from Nuggets for the Needy, 1997, pages 69-71)

Thought for today: The desires of the flesh are ever present, but the provision for overcoming is through the Spirit.