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life (2)

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” – John 6:63 (KJV)

 

Jesus speaking to some of His disciples tells of two kinds of life: the spiritual and the natural.

We often times take being alive for granted. Yes, we have this life and we forget that someday it would leave us no matter how tightly we clutch to it. Many live carelessly and before long this carelessness begins to manifest through ill health.

Another kind of life is available; bigger and better than what is obtainable in the world. It is the real life. It does not come and go neither does it bring health challenges; rather it battles and fixes every natural challenge. However, it does not commit itself easily, and can only be possessed through knowledge; not just any knowledge but a specific kind of knowledge.

 

Knowledge is only a vehicle in which life travels. Knowledge is not life, but the tube or channel through which life travels. And as said earlier, not all knowledge carries life. We may have scientific knowledge of the workings of the human, but that knowledge does not offer life.

We may have knowledge about the working of the heart, the dynamics of it, yet that does not guarantee life.

We do not apply knowledge to breathe or to keep the organs of the body working. Neither do we exert energy to keep them working and to stay alive.

We live by just believing! Life is a function of faith.

Faith itself is a function of the Word!

 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17 (KJV)

Life is a precious thing hidden in the Word of God.

 “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” – Proverbs 4:20-22 (KJV)

“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” – Proverbs 25:2 (KJV) 

life2 (2)

Every kind of wealth is hidden, buried in the earth. To get them man digs. Life is available, but only to them, that search it out. Life in the word is to be dug out. If you do not dig or search deep into the Word, you cannot get it.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” –  2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV

 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” – John 5:39 (KJV)

 

You search or dig through:

(1) Corporate Bible study or fellowship with the brethren.

(2) Private or individual Bible study.

 

….to be continued.

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fellowship

The child of God, having gone through His fire, becomes a new creature; his attitude and character changes even his thought and manner of speaking reflect Christ. Moses, an orator (Acts7:22) emerging from God’s refinery, became a stammerer. No one will remain the same after passing through the Refiners Fire. It’s in the fire that the heart is circumcised and the person comes out “another man.”

That is why Paul could say “I live, yet not I …”

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20 (KJV)

What I was before, I am not anymore; a change has taken place. I no longer hate, I love. I am not aggressive anymore, I’m gentle. Rather than the proud and haughty person I was, I am “meek and lowly of heart.”

The outer man, the flesh, “dross”, having been peeled off, the inner man, renewed after the spirit, is manifest. Like John the Baptist said, that “he may decrease and He increase.” This is the whole essence of “denying self”, which is indeed a very hard thing to do, but nevertheless a major requirement to having fellowship with God.

Paul was so proud of his new person; the person he had become that he counted his former person as nothing and his previous achievement as “dung”.

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” – Philippians 3:7-9 (KJV)

 He willingly lost “all things”, not some, but “ALL” things: his family, because of his new faith, disowned him and excluded him from the family wealth; his educational and Pharisaic attainments he also set aside for the excellency of knowing of Christ. His was a radical change.

Some of the things we should discard from ourselves if we are to have fellowship with the Father are in Galatians 5:19-21

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“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” – Galatians 5:19-21 (KJV)

A careful observation of the above scripture will reveal that these acts originate from the heart!

heart 1

“And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.  For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” – Matthew 15:16-20 (KJV)

Sin and uncleanness go beyond the act. They are products of the heart and start from thoughts and imaginations!

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” – Luke 6:45 (KJV)

 

The heart of man, being open to two sources of information, should be guarded with all diligence! And yes, we may not completely block out negative thoughts and imaginations, because the heart of man is wicked, yet we owe God the responsibility of pulling down every thought that does not conform to the word of God!

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)

Without the cleansing of the heart, one would not be admitted into the place of fellowship, and consequently cannot have fellowship with God!

 

….to be continued.


fellowship

There is no good in man; this “treasure” is not of us, it is spirit and cannot mix with our nature just as iron cannot mix with clay. Man is like the “piggy-bank” made of clay but holds metal coins. Christ is the treasure we are the clay. Note that the treasure and the clay are not of the same property. The “treasure” has the nature of God and can fellowship with Him, but not the clay. How can they be separated?

Through the refining furnace.

This process has been so well described by Linda Kruschke in: anotherfearlessyear.net/2010/02/24/refining-and-gold.

burning campfire

Photo by Berend on Pexels.com

“Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” – Isaiah 48:10 (KJV)

God chose us from the fire (heat, pain, distressing, discomforting and life-threatening) of affliction (situations and circumstances of our everyday life – our cross.) Our enduring of these situations is His reason for choosing us; meaning, we displease Him and are rejected if we do not endure!

“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” – Hebrews 10:38 (KJV)

It is in His plan for us to go through the furnace, which could be in our marriages, jobs, businesses, finances, health, etc and for He can use anybody, even our husbands, wives, children, relations and friends. So, stick to that marriage, that job or business, “for all things worketh together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

While in God’s fire, the “dross”, the flesh, is broken and separated from the “gold”, Jesus, Who comes to the fore, making the person a new and different person.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

The child of God, having gone through His fire, becomes a new creature; his attitude and character changes even his thought and manner of speaking reflect Christ. Moses, an orator (Acts7:22) emerging from God’s refinery, became a stammerer. No one will remain the same after passing through the Refiners Fire. It’s in the fire that the heart is circumcised and the person comes out “another man.”

…to be continued.

 


fellowship

John made this statement because like Paul, he had turned his back on the world and all it could offer. He had “tasted” God, “seen and handled” and come to a level where he could truly share God’s nature and so could fellowship with the Father.

Man in his naturalness cannot fellowship with God. Before the fall of Adam man could, because he still had the nature of God, but after the fall, he lost the nature and consequently the honour of having fellowship with Him.

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” – Romans 3:10-12 (KJV)

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23 (KJV)

“I, said in mine alarm, All men, are false!” – Psalm 116:11(Rotherham)

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” – Romans 5:12 (KJV)

 

This, fellowship, was the main reason God created man! Now that seemed to have been thwarted; hijacked! But God sees the end from the beginning! His plan can never be thwarted! He included the remedy in His plan! Amen.

God can only fellowship with His kind, for which only One person meets the requirement – the Last Adam, Who in reality was prepared and set apart before ever creation began: “…. he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.” –  Hebrews 10:5 (KJV)

“For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” – Isaiah 66:2 (KJV)

God would execute His plan; He would have fellowship with Man! But it has to be through a process:

Firstly, this seed of God – Christ – would have to be sown in the hearts of men.

 

 “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” – Ezekiel 36:26-27 (KJV)

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” – John 1:12-13 (KJV)

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” – Colossians 1:27 (KJV)

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7 (KJV)  

 

 

Secondly, they have to be tried!

The firing pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.”  – Proverbs 17:3 (KJV)

piggy bank

There is no good in man; this “treasure” is not of us, it is spirit and cannot mix with our nature just as iron cannot mix with clay. Man is like the “piggy-bank” made of clay but holds metal coins. Christ is the treasure we are the clay. Note that the treasure and the clay are not of the same property. The “treasure” has the nature of God and can fellowship with Him, but not the clay. How can they be separated?

Through the refining furnace.

…to be continued

 


…..continued from “how much are you worth?” 2

 

grace package

They realized the foolishness of man’s ways and the deceitfulness of worldly riches. They came to know that only the will of God, revealed in His word is the enduring treasure. Jesus surrendered Himself, making Himself of no reputation.

“But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.” – Phil 2:7-10 (KJV)

He made himself of no reputation, holding onto and exalting the word of god, and so he was himself exalted to the position of honour. When we treasure and exalt the word, we increase in spiritual worth. Our submission to the word of God like Jesus did makes us precious and exalted spiritually.

After David killed Goliath, the giant’s sword was kept in the Temple. It was not different from other swords in the kingdom. However, when David was running from Saul, the then king of Israel, he took the sword from the Temple. From that day the sword became the sword of David; and though it was still not different from others, it was feared above other swords of David’s time; not because it was made of a different metal but by virtue of its user.

God would use you if you submit to His word.

“Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms.” – Jer 51:20 (KJV)

In the hand of the Master, your value in the spirit realm would greatly increase.

double edge

The sword is valuable to its owner that even when presented with another sword, the warrior would not dispose of his own but would keep it and prefer it above any other because of its value to him. If presented with a choice to redeem only one sword, he would redeem or save his own sword which because of its worth has got his approval.

Many Christians claim to have been approved or chosen by God, which is just a slogan because they have not surrendered to the word of God! Submitting to the word of God is the foundation to being approved or chosen; this is how you become a sharp threshing instrument in the hand of God

amazon.com/author/jonathanike

 

 


……continued from “how much are you worth?” 1

 

grace package

He is committed to and moved, only by His word retained by the individual in Christ Jesus.  It is His word that makes you precious! His word is His treasure!

“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” – Psalms 138:2 (KJV)

 

The word “magnify” means to make important, to raise in rank and power: to give worth.   God exalted or magnified His word! He gave more worth to his word more than al his names.

“But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.  And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.” – Ezek 36:21-23 (KJV)

But He treasures His word more than all His names. He desires His name to be hallowed yet would not permit His word to be trifled. Importance and value are so placed on His word that it is the only thing that binds Him!   If you were to go to the market and there see something without value, would you buy it? Certainly not? Surely, you will leave it alone. When God goes to the spiritual market and finds you there, empty of this value, His word, He would most certainly leave you!

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” – Romans 1:28 (KJV)

violin

I remember reading the story of an old worn out violin that was put up to be auctioned. No real value was placed on it until a master violinist touched it; he tuned the strings and with it played a well known classical song. Instantly value was placed on it and the worth appreciated. What happened? A master touched it. It was the touch of the master that supplied the violin its worth.    It was the touch of the master that supplied the violin its worth.

Many lives are out of tune today, battered because they have refused to treasure what God treasures, His Word. God expects us to “keep in memory” the word that His servants preach.

“By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” – 1 Cor 15:2 (KJV)

Paul encouraged Timothy to “keep” that which was committed to his trust.

“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.” – 1 Tim 6:20 (KJV)

 

These are not just words for us to read and know but to “retain”, “keep”, “treasure”, etc.     The problem is twofold.

Firstly, most of our preachers give us the letter, which kills!

“Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” – 2 Cor 3:6 (KJV)

They explain psychology to us in place of the word of God. Things that we can ordinarily learn at business schools, they pass to us as the word of God. Worldly issues are explained to us in Church with the Word as a reference! Just like home-videos designated “gospel films” just because they have “to God be the glory” at the end of it; whereas the actors, writers and producers are not born-again! The absence of the Truth; the mind or will of God in messages is responsible for the compromise and falling away of Christians and the seeming powerlessness of the Church.

The Children of God do not experience the peace of God because of this ignorance.

 

They may look the same, but are not!

 

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” – Hosea 4:6 (KJV)

Christians are easily intimidated and in bondage because they lack the Truth that should make them free.

Secondly, the effect of those messages on Christians is the increase in selfishness. We have become too full of ourselves, we worship ourselves, even when we are supposed to be in Church, we hold on to and think more of ourselves: our situations financially, our clothing, our trials, testimonies and achievement; refusing to deny self.

We really need to learn from the violin, a lifeless instrument, dead to itself. We should humble ourselves, put our education, achievement, and earthly wisdom, social and political status aside and in seeming foolishness, receive the simplicity of the Word of God.

David became a nobody, casting his crown and robe aside, to dance to God. Solomon called his acquisitions “vanities”, Paul called his achievement “dung”. Why?

They realized the foolishness of man’s ways and the deceitfulness of worldly riches. They came to know that only the will of God, revealed in His word is the enduring treasure. Jesus surrendered Himself, making Himself of no reputation.

….to be continued.


THEthe core 1

 

There is no time in the history of the Church as now when we need to fumigate our spiritual lives, killing of the spiritual pests that trouble us; and make straight the way of the Lord.

“And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. 3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. 6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. 7 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt………And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:) 26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. 27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. 28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.” -Ex. 32:1-8; 25-28

Theologians have said for centuries that Aaron lied about throwing gold in the fire and out jumped the calf. But, Moses never said he lied! Yes, to the natural man, this could be the greatest lie in the history of mankind. What if he did not lie!

There are things that we cannot see with the naked eyes, yet we cannot deny their existence. Aaron could have seen one of those. But how would he explain to people what they couldn’t see? Sometimes it is very difficult, almost impossible explain to others what they have not seen, how much more a spiritual thing!

In Psalm 22, David narrated what Jesus saw behind the actions of men.

 “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?…………He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him…………..Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. 13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. 19 But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me. 20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.” – Psalms 22:1,8,12-20 (KJV)

These are not the words of David but of the Lord Jesus! You see David was a prophet and one so dear to the heart of God; he was permitted a peek into what the Messiah would go through on the Cross.  There is no place in Scripture where David’s garment was parted (vs. 18) or cast on lot. Neither is it recorded that his hands and feet were pierced (vs.16).

Jesus on the Cross saw “bulls of Bashan” (vs.12) and “dogs” (vs. 16), the forces of darkness that influenced man against God, prompting His prayer, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”

There were unseen forces at play around the Cross which were also at play in the wilderness in the days of Aaron; even today those forces are still at work, which is why “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Eph 6:12 (KJV) Humans are not our enemies, there are forces influencing them that cannot be seen!

Aaron saw something others did not see.

“And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.” – Ex 32:5 (KJV)

Look at the scenario. Aaron asked for the earrings, they brought them to him and he fashioned a calf out of it. What was so special about what he saw that the Holy Spirit would note “it” for us? “And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it.”  Certainly “it” is not the people bringing their gold which at this time they had stopped. Neither would “it” be the “art” work which was always in his sight. So, what did he see?

Something else at this time had “jumped out” onto the calf to take over the image. God would not be jealous if nothing was there!

There is a law of double-identity. God spoke to the prince of Tyrus (Ezekiel 28:2) and the king of Tyrus (Ezekiel 28:12), but He referred to the entity or intelligence behind them: Lucifer – the covering cherub. People could only see the humans, not the power motivating their actions. Jesus turned to Peter but spoke to satan (Matthew 16:23), Paul spoke to a girl but addressed an unseen entity (Acts 16:18).

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I remember searching through the store one day, while still living with my parents. I saw a wooden masquerade face my father bought for us as kids in one of his many tours. As I looked at it, I thought how beautiful it would be as a decorative art piece. Since it had openings where the eyes would be, I got two pieces of white paper and with a black pen drew two eyes which I pasted inside the mask where the eyes should be. I hung this mask on the wall of the living room facing the door. The eyes were so real; everyone including visitors noticed the mask and passed comments that the eyes seemed to be looking at them. Two days later my mother asked me to remove it because it was frightening and seemed to follow her every move that day. I just laughed telling her it was a harmless piece of decoration. That night with everyone sleeping, I was alone in the living room writing; gradually I began to feel uneasy and uncomfortable: I was not alone! Something was with me there! But, what or who? I raised my face and looked around. There was no one, yet I continued to feel the stare of something! The second time I raised my face, my eyes went to the mask; a pair of eyes was staring at me! A sudden fear gripped me as shivers ran down my spine! I mustered courage, and with shaky legs walked to the wooden face, took it off the wall and removed the papers I posted on it.

What happened? An entity had “jumped upon” it to reside! It would have been dangerous if I had delayed.

How did the entity get there? Collective thought energy! Everyone that came into the living room thought the mask face was real and alive!

“……..and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” – Gen 11:6 (KJV)

We invited the entity through our thought! The fiends of hell; the powers of darkness can be drawn through thought! That is why need to think pure thoughts.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” – Phil 4:8 (KJV)

 

What were the children of Israel doing when Aaron was working on the image? Excitedly preparing to receive “their god”! They gave life to the image through their collective thought energy.

 

 

…….to be continued.