“But now, if You will, forgive their sin—and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!” The LORD said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! (Psa 139:16-17)
Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.”
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy”
We are told in the Parable of the Sower that “the seed is the word of God”. Those who sow such precious seed must do so in the same Spirit in which that Word was given. Many may speak the scriptures, but few sow the “Word of God”. When the word is sown by the Spirit of God it teems with His life and power. There is an impartation into the lives of those who hear with ears of faith; the fire of Life burns, the heart of man is quickened, and Jesus is glorified.
“And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes”
In order for the ministers of God to speak with authority, their lives must be subject to the authority of the Word. Authority comes from submission. Otherwise, if men share His Word but their life is not subject to His Word, that authority of Jesus will be lacking. Even the Roman Centurion knew and understood this.
“For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it”
The true authority in the Spirit comes to those who are under His authority. His Word has precedence in their lives. It takes very little discernment to know those who serve God and those who do not. There is a fire and the fragrance of Christ’s lordship in the hearts of those who are subject to His will. This touching of His life in one another is called fellowship. The fellowship of the Spirit is not the result of adherence to a teaching, but of Light; His Light resident within His own.
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another”
1 John 1:7
The fellowship of the Spirit is not a function of teaching but of Light, His Light resident in His own.
Submission to the Word
is revealed in our obedience to it
“Preach* the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort…”
2 Timothy 4:2
There are many who preach today, but not The Word. There are many who quote scriptures but fail to preach The Word. They preach their own words and their own gospel; they preach to gain the approval, affection and finances of those listening. Paul’s instruction to Timothy is to preach the Word that brings reproof, rebuke and exhortation! How few are willing to risk their popularity, their income, their positions or “career” in the organizations of today for the sake of truth. Many ascribe to the “relevant” things of today, but they will not touch The Word; a “sharp two-edged sword” which divides the soul and spirit of the religious man (Hebrews 4:12). Many are reticent to utter the Word of Life which will cut and reveal the thoughts and intentions of the religious man. They seek the favour of men while turning their back on the God who IS a “consuming fire”. Those who bear His Word must know, in some measure, the temperament and fervor of a God who hates mixture and compromise.
Preach the word!
This was the cry of the Apostolic heart in a Day when the Fire of God was burning, and the faith of God’s people was penetrating the darkness of the world in their time. “Preach the Word” is the call of God to His people in this hour who desire His Sword within their own hearts; who know that in order to walk with Him in holy places they must themselves be holy. Preach the Word has ever been the purpose and the directive of the Holy Spirit for He has come to lead and guide us into the truth and power of holy living. Without holiness we shall not see God! Let the truth of this Word revolutionize our hearts. Our pursuit of holiness is the revelation of our desire to see God!
The depth of an individual’s pursuit for holiness is the revelation of their desire to see God!
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord”
Hebrews 12:14 (ESV)
Preach the Word whereby men and women are filled with a fire to pursue holy living. Preach the Word which transforms the tepid, the comfortable and the passive into flaming hearts of purpose, captured by the Eternal Call of God.
“Is not my word like as a fire?”
Fireless preaching comes from cold hearts, compromised living and empty altars. If His Word is like fire, should not those who Preach His Word be of the same disposition and temperature?
God is speaking today, let those who have ears to hear, hear.
*Preach the Word - In a large segment of the Christian Church preaching the Word is relegated as ministry to the unsaved. This was a foreign concept to the early Church (who turned the world upside down). Timothy was sent out to travel through out the Church of God to observe their order, their love for one another and to contend with false teachings and error in their midst. We need those who will "Preach the Word" to the Church in power, unity and truth that HE may be glorified in our midst.
“For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”
The power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ lies not in the words and the doctrine of it; its true power lies in the Love of it. The Love of God IS the Gospel; more than a message, a doctrine or a teaching, the Gospel is in itself the expression of God’s love to His fallen creation. It is the WHY which caused God to send “His only begotten Son”. Until those who declare it comprehend its true power, it will remain an impoverished message. It must be expressed from the lives of those who bear in their hearts the passion of God’s WHY!
“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power…”
1 Corinthians 4:20
What is this power? What is the flame which enabled men and women of old to turn the world upside down? What is the glory of God which fills the heavens with awe, worship and exaltation? It is the God of Holiness and His undimmed fiery Love. A Love so incomprehensible that Paul had to pray for the Church at Ephesus to be “strengthened with might” in order for them to be able to comprehend the “breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of the Love of God.
A loveless gospel is a powerless Gospel. The Church is not perishing for lack of knowledge; she is languishing from the loss of the dynamic of His love (Revelation 2:4-5). Love is the furnace, the fire and the very essence of God Himself. In the midst of all of our correct doctrine God’s decree stands as the Divine witness against our true state:
“He that loveth not knoweth not… for God is Love”
1 John 4:8
Those who hold within their hearts even the faintest quintessence of this Love cannot remain untouched in heart. They cannot sit in faithless inactivity or take comfort in a knowledge bereft of the Divine heartbeat. Many would rather discuss the correctness of the words rather than feel the burning power of the God of the message. The world will remain untouched by those who share from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge rather than the power of the Law of Life in Christ Jesus. The Gospel is not a WHAT, it is a WHO.
The cry of God is summed up simply:
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus…”
It is impossible to hold the love of God within your heart and not feel the anguish, the urge and the pulse of the Almighty to express His Light and Life into this world.
“In him was life; and the life was the light of men”
“There is too much theology in the Church now, and too little of the Gospel”
“For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil…”
1 Peter 3:10
The sacred scriptures speak much to us of the relationship between the words we speak and the quality of life we are afforded by the Grace of God. This exhortation from Peter is often overlooked. In the midst of the strife, contention and competition in religious circles, these words offer us a warning and a promise from God. Wisdom is the result of the fear of the Lord. In its sway we begin to weigh our words before we speak. We are saved from rash words filled with evil intent and the tendency to inflict upon others the poison of our own hearts. How often we need to be reminded of His omnipresence. He is present at every conversation weighing the words of our anger, foolishness and unsanctified thoughts.
“But I say to you, that every idle* word, whatever men may speak, they shall give an account of it in Judgment Day”
There are no words spoken which will not be accounted for in the Judgment Day. All our words will be required of us in that Day. Jesus continues on in His discourse;
“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned”
The fruit of one’s lips are the revelation of their heart. We see here God’s perspective on the words we speak and the deeds we do. How we need to touch the Holiness of God to see and understand the implications of foolish words and an unbridled tongue! The gossip, slander and the seemingly innocent words spoken to dishonour another brother, or to further inflame situations in the Body of Christ, carry heavy repercussions in this life and judgment in the next.
“Do any of you think you are religious? If you do not control your tongue, your religion is worthless and you deceive yourself”
The value of a person’s walk and their relationship with God is readily seen in the words spoken. Regardless of our profession of faith, the religion of one who speaks with an undisciplined tongue is vain and worthless.
“One who brings gossip betrays a confidence, but one who is of a trustworthy spirit is one who keeps a secret”
In our daily lives we either justify our walk with God or we reveal the vanity of our religious ways.
“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom”
*Note: The Greek Word translated “idle” ἀργός is a compound word comprised of “ergon” (ἔργον) translated as works and deeds and is used 176 times in the New Testament; “ἀ” (the letter alpha which is often used in the Greek as a negative). A simple transliteration would be“words without the corresponding works”. (Words without power, fire or purpose. Words which do not inspire change in the hearers).
Humility is the precious fruit of the Spirit which becomes ours by the seeing of Him. It is in touching the Presence of God where we are delivered from our boastful words and the discrepancy of saying one thing while walking in another.
Our works are to give the words we speak the weight and verity of Christ living within us.
“So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty”
(Please read the context of this scripture James 2:12-26)
“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, DO: and the God of peace shall be with you”
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”
I Corinthians 12:12
Truth by its very nature is simple, but the implications of its simplicity are profound and costly. Truth demands change in order for us to enjoy and walk in the power it brings. Truth is the root from which all the fruit of the Spirit is formed. Without truth all things are a counterfeit and a sham. In the presentation of the Gospel of John we see in the introduction the simple statement, “In the beginning was the Word…” This Word is not a truth written in ink on paper. This is the LIVING SON who alone IS TRUTH. It is therefore vital that in the forming of HIS life in the individual believer there be a ministration of TRUTH to make us TRUE in the core of our lives. Truth only has one purpose, one end; to make the recipient TRUE in character and expression. Truth is not knowledge, it is not opinions, and it is not a supposition. Truth is power, truth is substance and it is nothing less than Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus did not say I give you a truth. He said I AM THE TRUTH! Truth is the WORD becoming flesh. To the extent that we reveal HIM in our daily lives is the revelation of the TRUTH that is in us. In the actual development of TRUTH in our hearts, we must begin to see that there is ONE BODY because “so also is Christ”! (Many members, ONE BODY.)
We look today over the landscape of what men call “Christianity” and wonder how such a unity could ever be. IF HOWEVER, we look into the POWER and LOVE of God through the eyes of faith, we must say, “How can these things NOT BE?” In 1 Corinthians 1:13 Paul asks the most profound question…
“IS CHRIST DIVIDED?”
I Corinthians 1:13
IS HE? The issue is not what we see, but what we know to be truth. FAITH is the doing of that which is the TRUTH in Christ. It is not concerned with what is, for FAITH can only reveal that which is REAL in the Spirit. By faith Peter walked on water; at that moment of time he walked in truth by faith. He saw JESUS walking on the water and his FAITH translated what he saw in JESUS into what he walked on earth. That is the true nature of FAITH. Faith is not statements, teachings or ideas. Faith is substance, revealed by our walk. If I believe there is ONE BODY even as there is ONE CHRIST then my life will reveal it. IF the question Paul presents here “Is Christ divided?” is answered by a resounding NO within our hearts then it is of necessity that our lives reveal this truth! Our speech, our behaviour and our prayer life must certainly be indicative of our individual abiding in HIM. To have and walk in the LOVE OF CHRIST can only mean that we love what HE loves.
This ONE BODY can only be the product of TRUTH. For the corporate expression of the RISEN CHRIST will require HIS LIFE to arise within the life of each individual believer who would know of this oneness. The difficulty of this is measured only by the condition of our hearts. Peter asked Jesus about John, and Jesus replied “What is that to thee? Follow thou me”. Man always tries to quickly excuse our response by looking at someone else, but the truth lays within our own heart not someone else’s. This reality can only be known as truth is truth in the individual. For this unity WILL SURELY COME to pass, but only through the medium of faith will it be so with us.
Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, but the efficacy of the blood can only be appropriated by faith within the heart of each life. Faith is the conduit through which the life of Christ is received and appropriated into our own being. It is in my own heart becoming united in its love and pursuit of Christ whereby I will touch the wonder of that unity in my brother and sister. Unity is the natural state of being where God reigns.
Jesus set forth in a clear and definitive way those who are His brothers and sisters…
“For whosoever shall DO the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother”
It is not by some religious profession which constitutes the family of God; The true children of God are they who DO His Will and walk in His Ways. The Lordship of Christ is the basis of this unity and all they who are of the truth hear His Voice and grow into the unifying reality of the Power of His Love.
“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently”
1 Peter 1:22
This unity and its unspeakable glory can only be approached by the obedient heart individually; for the purity of our hearts can only be realized by a life which obeys the truth through the power of the Holy Spirit.
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”
Doing is the path to Becoming.
HE IS ABLE! HE IS COME FOR THIS PURPOSE!
“I have never yet known the Spirit of God to work where the Lord’s people were divided”
(Updated writing from “He is Able” Series Part Two)
It is impossible to fully measure the depth and the power of Christ’s Salvation without an accurate appraisal of sin. The power of the Life of Christ in an individual’s heart is readily seen in the change and ongoing growth in His righteousness. While many content themselves with a judicial decree, Christ came to “make us free” in deed and in truth. It is the drowning person who knows the value of a life preserver. It is the condemned prisoner who understands the wonder of pardon! So too, those who have tasted of the heavenly gift of Christ, fear sin. They dread its contamination in their soul and the grieving it brings to the Spirit of God!
“A man who fears not God, will break all his laws with an easy conscience, but one who is the favorite of heaven, who has been indulged to sit at royal banquets, who knows the eternal love of God to him, cannot bear that there should be any evil way in him that might grieve the Spirit and bring to the name of Christ. A very little sin, as the world calls it, is a very great sin to a truly awakened Christian.”
“All unrighteousness is sin”
Let the Holy Spirit impart to us the weight of His Word and the estimation of the Holy Spirit concerning our lives. Righteousness is doing what is right in God. Treating others as Christ would; whether in speech, actions and even in the hidden intentions of the heart. Righteousness is walking and living through the power and wonder of the Holy Spirit. It is a walk free from unrighteousness, compromise or partiality.
“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother”
1 John 3:10
“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…”
Those who would know the Love of God, must know grief and sorrow. Love makes a life vulnerable and keeps it vulnerable. Love, even in its wounding, grows stronger. Adversity, betrayal, rejection and even hatred cannot dissuade the pure Love of God from giving of itself. It is undefeatable. The more men hate, the purer Love’s motives become. It shines in the darkness because God is the source of its power and its glory. It speaks the language of tears and washes itself from the mire of bitterness in the incomprehensible streams of His grace. It can never be sullied for long.
“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned”
Song of songs 8:11
Love is helpless, yet needs no defence. Love suffers rejection, yet ever reaches out. Love walks in sorrow, yet lives in joy. Love speaks truth, though seldom recognized. Love is a fire ever burning, yet is always at rest. Love is unconquerable, yet conquers all.
“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love”
1 John 4:8
“I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12
In the life of a true disciple everything is to be unto Him. It is our faithfulness to this One alone, that frees us from selfish pursuits in the name of God. Religion is simply taking the Name of the Lord our God in vain; we seek to promote ourselves under the pretense of serving God.
“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain*”
*NOTE: shaw' (H7723), "deceit; deception; malice; falsity; vanity; emptiness." The 53 occurrences of shaw' are primarily in poetry. The basic meaning of this word is "deceit" or "deception," "malice," and "falsehood." This meaning emerges when shaw' is used in a legal context: "Put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness" (Exo 23:1). Used in cultic contexts, the word bears these same overtones but may be rendered variously. For example, in Psa 31:6 the word may be rendered "vain" (KJV, "lying"), in the sense of "deceitful" (cf. Eze 12:24). Eliphaz described the ungodly as those who trust in "emptiness" or "deception," though they gain nothing but emptiness as a reward for that trust (Job 15:31). Vines Dictionary of Old Testament Words.
“A masculine noun meaning emptiness, vanity, evil, ruin, uselessness, deception, worthless, without result, fraud, deceit. The primary meaning of the word is deceit, lie, or falsehood. God used the word to indicate that He punished Judah in vain. The word is used by the psalmist to state that all activities such as laboring, guarding, rising early, staying up late, and toiling for food were useless without God's assistance (Psa 127:1-2) …”
The Complete Word Study Old Testament (Word Study Series) Hardcover – June 1, 1994 by Baker D.R.E., Dr. Warren Patrick (Author), Dr. Spiros Zodhiates (Editor)
The unsaved cannot take His Name in falsehood or deception; they cannot take a name which has not been given to them! This commandment was written to His people. Sadly, throughout history, we read of many who have taken His glorious name unto themselves for their own gain and purpose. False teachings, prophesies, wrong and immoral deeds, and the perversion of His Word to draw people unto themselves, were and are committed in the name of God. Those guilty of such things will not escape His judgements or wrath.
“Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them”
The only hope of freedom from the contagion of this horror is by the workings of the Cross in our lives. It is only by the “spirit of burning” and the crucifying of that “carnal man” that we will know purity of heart in our service unto Him. There is no valid expression of the risen Christ who has not known of His judgments, His fire and His Mercy. Authenticity is the fruit of a life who has walked with Him in truth.
“Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel”
1 Corinthians 9:9
“Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience”
1 Timothy 3:9
The conscience is a great gift of God to us. It is the vital link between the human soul and God’s Spirit. The deeper an individual goes in their relationship with God the greater will be the diligence required to keep one’s conscience pure and clean before God. Foolish is the one who thinks they can ignore the voice of God within and still grow in their understanding of the mystery and wonder of God in their own life. If we have wronged a brother or sister and do not seek to rectify the situation, let us not be deceived into thinking our life in God will prosper! The conscience is the sounding board in our walk with God. Those who truly seek to know Him must ever be sensitive to this inward light of God. An obedient heart keeps the conscience clean. When there is a disturbance in the conscience, true men and women of faith will do all in their power to keep this mirror of God clean.
“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned”
1 Timothy 1:5
They who defile their conscience and yet seek to portray faith and godliness walk in the hypocrisy of religion. Their faith is not genuine, and the defilement of the conscience contaminates their relationship with God. A pure heart is one which is ever cognizant of the status of the conscience.
“If therefore you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift”
Supposing we can worship God in truth while allowing offences to remain unattended is the horror of religion. Such worship is carnal, hypocritical and unacceptable before God. The true heart will respond to the inner voice of the conscience. It requires an intensity of heart to walk in the truth of these things. It requires humility to seek out our brother and sister in order to obey God within the sanctum of our own hearts.
“First be reconciled to your brother” *
How little we comprehend the fact that our relationship with our brother is paramount to our relationship with God. We are the Body of Christ and if I set my brother at aught, in God’s eyes I am doing it unto Him. The growth of any individual in God will be measured by the sensitivity of our responses to this Holy gift of God in us. People may sear and desensitize their conscience by misusing the doctrines of grace. Make no mistake; those who do not obey the conscience will end up in an unfruitful and shipwrecked life, and a darkness from which there is no escape.
A few years ago, I came to understand a simple truth:
“Those who refuse to deal with their past, will have no future growth in God”
Spiritual Stagnancy is the fruit of disobedience.
We cannot ignore the voice of God in our conscience and expect His mercies to lead us on into a greater knowing of Him. The life of a true disciple in Christ is one of continual transactions with Him who is true. My sensitivity today is the door through which I enter into the New Things He has for me.
“forgive us our debts AS we also forgive our debtors”
May God make known to us the simplicity of this truth. We may hold on to the doctrines of our forgiveness in God; in reality we are forgiven to the same extent that we forgive others! Forgiveness, like all the precious gifts of God, requires our participation. As with forgiveness, so is mercy… “Blessed are the merciful for they shall OBTAIN mercy”. The religion of men requires no real cost; we can defile our conscience with the very truths of God and somehow think we are in right standing with Him! (Please read the full context of Matthew 5:23-24).
There is a cost but also a great blessing associated with the keeping of a clear conscience. True disciples know the benefits of walking in the Way of Truth. Such things are not optional for those who desire to know Him in Spirit and in Truth.
“And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence
toward God,and toward men” Acts 24:16
* Note: There will be instances where there will be unresolved issues, but the true disciple will do all they can to facilitate reconciliation. The conscience will be clear when God is at rest in the heart. Christ died for the reconciliation of the world, but men and women must respond to His gracious offer. Others must respond to that same offer from us. A clear conscience gives us the ability of “having done all to stand” (Eph. 6:13) in matters relating to spiritual warfare. A clean Conscience is vital for victory. Christ did all and gave all; it is incumbent upon His disciples to do the same.