True worship is worship which God accepts and takes delight in. In John, Chapter 4 and in the 24th Verse, God give us His guidelines for worshiping Him.
John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.
The dictionary has defined spirit as the thinking, feeling part of man; mind; intelligence. Also the life, will, thought, etc., regarded as separate from the matter like a ghost, angel, demon, fairy, etc. Therefore, its definition of a person who is spiritual is; of the spirit or soul as distinguished from the body or material matters.
It would appear that we who are living cannot worship God in spirit if we are to use the world’s definition of “in the spirit”. How can we who operate from a body of flesh worship in spirit without first dying?
Romans 8:12-13 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh – for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
So to be operating “in the spirit” we must die to the desires of the body.
1 Cor 15:31 I protest, brethren, by the boasting in you, which I have in Jesus Christ our Lord, I die daily.
Paul was human and humans have bodies. Bodies have flesh that want to be gratified each and every day. Therefore, a death to the flesh must happen every day so that a life worthy of glory may live on.
Paul gives us the spiritual requirements of worshiping God.
Romans 12:1 I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Paul also goes on to tell us the details of how to present our bodies as holy and acceptable.
2 Cor 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
1 Peter 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lust which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”
Who will supply the truth so we will have the knowledge and come out of our ignorance? The dictionary has defined truth as: the quality or state of being true; specifically, a) originally, loyalty b) sincerity; honesty c) the quality of being in agreement with reality or facts d) reality; actual existence e) agreement with a standard, rules etc.; correctness. An established or verified fact, etc.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.
Jesus came to show us the right way. He has hidden the knowledge of the facts, which makes following Him a matter of faith and trust. Jesus placed all things in existence and in agreement with His standard, rules etc. which makes the One with this power Truth. Truth has supplied a way of living which will give us the knowledge and the strength to overcome. There is only one way to heaven and that is through true worship.
Jesus came to provide a better way to worship that the conscience may be cleansed and the worship unrestricted.
Mark 11:12-14 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, He found nothing but leaves, because it was not in season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.”
Jesus starts this analogy, this picture of a tree, immediately before the cleaning of the temple and then concludes it after, by giving us the results. He encompasses this cleaning of the Temple by this analogy to help us understand the deeper truths and the hidden treasures of true worship. The man Jesus, was drawn to this tree, by his human need for food. He knew the Father would be supplying all his needs. When he reached it and discovered the Father was not going to use this tree’s fruit to meet his needs, He cursed it. Christ the Son saw the Father working through this tree, and the tree heard and obeyed His words that were spoken. Every miracle the Father does through his Son, or you, needs to be processed or we will miss understanding what the Father is doing. On the surface we see Jesus was hungry for food but it was not the season for figs. Christ then saw what the Father was hungry for holy fruit from true worshipers.
In this analogy, we have two discoveries. One is that the tree is full of leaves and looks like it should have fruit, and second, there was no fruit. Jesus the man was deceived by this tree, until he came near. After seeing this tree, that could not satisfy his desire, Christ the God removed this tree. If this tree was to be no more, then he must provide a different tree, whereby we can be nourished. Jesus the man was representing people hungry to worship God, and Christ the God is focused on providing the environment conducive for meeting this deep desire to be spiritually fed. In short, Jesus came to solve the problems by giving us a new tree and a better way.
I believe Jesus is using this tree to show us a picture of the transformation that is about to take place with his temple. He changed it from a building to his own body, so when we are hungry for worship we will not be limited to a temple that looks good, but only offers a season for enjoying the sweet fruit of communion.
Heb 9:6-14 Now when these things have been thus prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacles, performing the divine worship, but into the second only once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed, while the outer tabernacle is still standing, which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot perfect in conscience, since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation. But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from the dead works serve the living God?
In the Old Testament, we understand that it was the integrity of the blood from an unblemished goat or calf that sanctified the flesh. These people were symbolically taking on this integrity of the sacrifice by becoming sprinkled with the ashes of these animals. Today, not only can we have our flesh cleansed, but also our conscience cleared, if we will literally and physically change our blood to the exact standard of Christ’s blood. They had the blood symbolically cleanse them, but we have the literal blood which cleanses us.
We are now Christ’s body, the temple of the living God with the freedom to worship anytime, anywhere. Nothing can separate us from the ability to worship God from an unadulterated conscience. The problem of our conscience is now solved through Christ’s spotless sacrifice. Now, since the out tabernacle is no longer standing, the way into the holy place will be disclosed through the discovery of these sins we are committing in ignorance.
Rev 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
Jesus does not have a list of requirements or a set of standards before he will come in and share His food with you and take over your surrendered body as His Holy Temple. Jesus will accept you in any condition just for the asking and a sincere desire to repent.
Be under no allusions about the cost of opening this door. Jesus will provide what you eat and drink, and when you eat it and drink it, the stomach will be of no consideration. But once inside, He will immediately call you out to the desert to start the process of reconciling you to God’s standard of righteousness and holiness which will accomplish drastic house cleaning. It is in the desert that the Spirit will reveal to you these acts of sin you are committing in ignorance. Remember, He scourges every son whom He receives and without discipline, we are illegitimate children.
Heb 12:8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
We have all become participants of illegitimate children and not sons, through of all things, our stomachs!
It is combating this second problem that you are going to have trouble with, but like the first, Jesus gives us an analogy, a picture, something we can understand and see so we can relate it to something we cannot see. Just like the tree was an analogy of the physical Temple building, the physical Temple building is an analogy of the new Temple, Christ’s body. We are Christ’s body. Christ cursed the fig tree because it had no fruit that would satisfy the requirements of God. Now, Christ must do a cleansing work in the new temple by his Holy Spirit so holiness can be perfected and the requirements of God met. Upon completion, this temple of Christ’s Saints will only produce fruit that will satisfy the demands of God. All that this Saintly servant of God does will be classified as holy fruit or true worship. However, like in the fig tree, the person who cannot supply what they were designed to produce will, by the words of His mouth, shrivel, dry up and die.
What the scriptures revealed next is a wonderful picture of what Christ is literally going to do in each of our bodies, his Holy Temple, should we choose to believe and follow.
John 2:13-17 When it was all most time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my father’s house into a market! His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for his house will consume me.”
Mark 11:16-17 and he would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: “ ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’ ”
These people had to travel up to Jerusalem to offer their sacrifice for the Passover and the ones who were travelling a long distance planned on purchasing their living sacrifice close to the temple.
When Jesus arrived, he found the outer courtyard, the place dedicated for Gentile worship, filled with animals and money changers. These people that were selling the sacrifices had a captive market and their greed seized the opportunity that the law of supply and demand afforded it. Not only did they deprive the Gentiles of a place to worship, but charged them absorptive prices.
Let’s summarize what a Gentile needed to endure after traveling for six or seven days to worship the God of Glory. He arrives at the Temple expecting to offer his usual cow and finds out all he can afford is a pigeon. After arguing for many minutes over the injustice, he takes his small sacrifice to the place it would be offered and finds out it is in amongst the pens of animals. He kneels down to worship, but he is so worked up with being robbed and the smell and noise of the animals all around, it leaves him exhausted, depressed, and never really worshiping at all.
We likewise, find ourselves wanting a time of meaningful worship but we have been robbed of most of our energy. We then take what is left of our small offering to our altar, where all the noisy, smelly interaction between our pollutants and our parasites distracts our desire. The whole situation has not only robbed us of our holiness, but our ability to produce the quantity and quality of worship we were designed and expected to return.
Jesus cleaned up the temple back then, by way of a whip, and His grace stands ready to clean it up now through this same scourging procedure. For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines. And (Heb 12:6) He scourges every son whom He receives. The question is, “Are you going to recognize and receive His love?”
Pro 5:11-14 At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors. I have come to the brink of utter ruin in the midst of the whole assembly.”
At the end of our life, if you have hated discipline, you will groan because without correction you will have spent your flesh and therefore, your body will be in pain. This is no time to spurn correction or despise discipline. Look around you and evaluate the older people who are groaning. God is telling us that this was not the way he designed it to be. It is time we took responsibility for the order inside our temples and stop catering to the lawlessness the world is only to happy to give us.
Also we must stop taking short cuts through our temples because it is convenient. Things like working all night, fast foods, microwave ovens, cell phones and many others all because it is going to save us time or make us money at the direct expense of our temple’s integrity. In short, we need to stop sacrificing our bodies by bowing down to Baal, all because we think we can somehow sneak through without bearing the consequences. Baal - A common Semitic word meaning: owner, lord, husband.
We are commanded to purify ourselves, to perfect holiness, which takes discipline. When we do, all sickness and disease will cease. Our minds, along with our bodies, will be renewed and our ability to believe without doubting will flood in. Jesus came and brought us the light, and we choose to move in the darkness. We have fallen into a pit, a deep dark hole.
Eze 8:12 He said to me, (God) “Son of Man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his own idol? They say, ‘The Lord does not see us; The Lord has forsaken the land.’ ” Again, he said, “You will see them doing things that are even more detestable.”
A shrine is a place of worship, in which we take part in some ritual to satisfy our gods or idols, that pollutes or cuts through our Holy Temple, robbing God of worship, and robs us of God’s close fellowship.
We have many different idols, like money and materialism, pleasure and convenience, or fame and notoriety, and if we tried to overcome these gods with the world’s mind set we would confront them one at a time. But thanks be to God, for he has provided superior wisdom in his word through the apostle Paul that cut through all the visible symptoms and exposes the root cause.
Phi 3:18 For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthy things.
The lusts of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life all have their origin in the flesh. The flesh has robbed our minds of the ability to discern the truths in the word of God. The stomach is the organ of the flesh that we have set up as our idol. Each time we bow down to its desires, the delusion becomes stronger. But the Lord’s love is always trying to reconcile us as He speaks through Hosea in Hosea 3:1 The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin-cakes.”
Which foods have you combined to make up your “sacred raisin-cakes”? The combinations are endless and they taste so good, but the chemical reality becomes so devastating. God is not interested in going after your stomach or your foods; no he is going straight to the problem, your flesh. But the same tools the flesh used to get you off track, God is going to use to place you back on track, and as you surrender to the Lord’s process, this strong delusion you are under will dissipate, and you will come to your senses.
The apostle James speaks with a group who are deciding what are the most important guide lines to emphasize at this time for the Gentile believers who are turning to Christ in Acts 15:19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”
Let me give you a picture illustrating what I believe he is talking about. You go out to your organic garden and pick a wonderful salad for the first course at supper, but then you add the second and third courses. These courses are comprised of indigestible combinations which are turned into poisons. The body works feverously trying to digest the part that is possible to digest but in the end you could have a net energy loss and make accommodations for a toxic acidic deposit. Your idol is dictating to you what is going to go in God’s Holy Temple.
John 2:23-25 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, beholding His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them for He new all men, and because He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man for he Himself knew what was in man.
Anything that pollutes, and / or hurts the body, is evil. Evil goes to control the mind. That is why we need God’s strength to stop the evil and then to remove it, before we become wicked. In this example, you choose to do the polluting to satisfy your idol, but in this next illustration you will see that it is not only your idol you need to be concerned with.
You buy your salad from the store, bring it home, wash it and dress it with oil and vinegar. What you may not have realized is that this head of lettuce was grown on soil that has lost its integrity. No integrity in the soil, no honesty in the plant, no nutrients to the body. The farmer has decided to use the soil as a medium to hold water and feed his plant with acid base chemical fertilizer because he can harvest twice as many heads of lettuce per acre. Originally, this plant was sacrificed to the farmer’s idol of greed, but now the farmer finds it working as a whip, for his economic survival, which is someone else’s greed.
Abstaining from food polluted by idols was the number one directive that James highlighted for the Gentiles, for Moses’ instructions are well known and taught weekly. These four recommendations that James points out here are just to bring attention to some key areas as these Gentiles start their pilgrimage and are only to highlight and compliment the doctrines of Moses and the Prophets.
Jesus, the Lord himself gives us his parable in Luke 15:16 with the lost son who squandered his inheritance, to illustrate how the stomach is to play into the returning of the senses and the subsequent actions of repenting. “He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.”
Do you see the parallel between what Jesus told the rich young rule when he asked how he can inherit eternal life? Jesus told him to go and sell all that he possesses. This boy that squandered all his inheritance did the best thing which could have happened to him because he stopped poisoning his body and was forced to rest his stomach. He thought he was starving to death just like the grumblings that came from the children of Israel in the desert. The next sentence after, Jesus points out that no one gave him anything to eat, the boy’s senses came back to him. Senses means; sound thinking; normal intelligence and judgment or the ability to think or reason soundly.
Can God make it any plainer than this? The stomach was empty, and the senses returned. Something changed in his mind, so he had the ability to reason soundly. He does a 180-degree turn, confesses his sin and heads to the Father, where there is food to spare. All of us have lost our ability to reason soundly. Maybe it is time we were to go without food for a long period of time so our ability to reason soundly can return to us. Jesus said, “If you want to be my disciple you must deny your self”.
Do you think that maybe some of this boy’s bones were showing because his body was denied food before he made it back to the father? John 4:32 Jesus said, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” Jesus is being satisfied from an ongoing love feast with the Father.
Is there anything that Jesus had in common with this wayward boy at the time this boy’s senses returned to him?
Psalms 22:17 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; they divide my garments among them and my clothes they cast lots.
They stared at Jesus on the cross, because without His clothes they were appalled and disgusted at the sight of His body. At the time Jesus needed to be at the pinnacle of His spiritual strength, He knew it would also require Him to be at the height of His physical weakness. If you want to function like Christ in the Spirit, your body must look like His in the flesh.
Is it any wonder that Christ said to Paul through the Spirit in (NASB) 2 Cor 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
The prodigal son, also, by his own foolishness became weak for such an extended period of time, whereby the Spirit brought clarity to his mind as it filled him with good things and as a result he too returned to the Father.
Romans 14:2 …but he who is weak eats vegetables only.
Someone who is weak is someone who is acidic. Vegetables are an alkaline food which neutralize acids and returns a weak body to its balanced state. Vegetables digest easily and relatively quickly without an excessive amount of energy consumed. Since we are in control of our bodies we need to understand that, like it or not, we are in the management of energy business.
Daniel stayed in weakness until power was perfected and so should you.
Luke 1:53 “He has filled the hunger with good things; and sent away the rich empty handed.”
The rich crave and can materially afford the pastries and fats, the meats and high acidic foods, and enjoy the alcoholic drinks all to turn their body to an acid state. Christ did not send them away empty handed, their choices equated to robbing them of the good things which could have come from returning to a balanced state.
Hunger – a) feeling or showing hunger; specifically a wanting or needing food. b) craving
Rich – a) having much money or property; wealthy b) containing much butter (or other fat), cream, sugar, flavoring, etc.
Daniel stayed in weakness until power was perfected and so should you.
God is using Mary, the mother of Jesus, to provide a significant clue to the mystery surrounding the secrets of the knowledge of truth, in regards to people who are at opposite ends.
Since most of you will conceive in your mind that she is talking about spiritual hunger, let us consider that as the context. If it is the proper context, then it must also be rational and coherent when we apply it to the other word “rich”. However, someone who is rich that is having an abundance of spiritual things cannot be perceived as being turned away from God empty handed. When Mary uses the word hungry she is talking about a physical hunger in contrast with the rich who are always well fed. If a man will not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God, then there is something else which is desirable and necessary that food cannot provide. This “something” that comes from the mouth of God must alter the environment required to materialize that which is vitally needed. Mary describes these things that will come from hunger as good things that are beneficial godly things, which move us closer to God, as apposed to bad things or no things which leaves us stagnant or without blessing.
Zep 1:12 “And it will come about at that time that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, And I will punish the men who are stagnant in spirit, who say in their hearts, ‘The Lord will not do good or evil!”
The people who have been in a state of having little resources with which to satisfy their cravings for food, produced the only thing suitable for the purpose of transforming the human condition to a state of moral soundness; rest.
This prodigal son, before he squandered his inheritance, had much money and was less likely to set aside the feeling of hunger or any other feeling from the flesh. That is why Jesus told the rich young ruler to give away his money to the poor and come follow him. You just cannot see that which you will be filled with, you must come by faith. The rich, as a result, are not filled with beneficial things to bring about virtue but are sent away with an ever increasing delusion. And what is this allusion that keeps the rich from knowing the truth? They believe that the physical body is separate from their spiritually.
Rev 2:9 ‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan.
The leaders of the house of Israel are blaming God because the land is responding to their disobedience. They have convinced themselves, by way of absences of Light, or loss of senses, that there is no connection between the rest they were commanded to give the land or their bodies, and the disasters that are over taking them.
Heb 3:18-19 And to whom did He swear that they should not enter his rest, (2663 to cause to cease, restrained) but those who were disobedient? And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.
We see that disobedience, in the physical, translates to unbelief in the spiritual, because the two are the same.
Heb 4:1 Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering his rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it.
Let us use fear from the understanding that this window of opportunity to enter will not always remain, and that time is needed in this state to secure our resolve.
Heb 4:2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.
This good news will tell you that time in His rest will transform you, but you will not understand how. You cannot conceive that such a simple act of denial over time could bridge such a wide gulf.
Knowledge must be “united by faith” in the one who engineered every part of us, in order to reap the profit that He tells us will be ours. In other words, act on what the “I Am” is telling you by faith, and let this faith in you be ever grounded in who the “I Am” is.
Heb 4:9 There remains, therefore, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his work, as God did from His.
People, this is New Testament and there remains a Sabbath-rest. Do not think that some how Christ’s coming did away with this! The Sabbath comes around every seventh day and is made clear that this is not just an Old Testament requirement, but remains for all times. God rested from ALL His work and we must rest from ALL our work.
Satan working through your flesh would have you believe that taking on nourishment without physical movement is replenishing our energy. But of course, when you understand how energy is produced in the cells and by whom, you will see that this is completely opposite to the truth of the matter. This rest is for the ones who need the time to replenish themselves, so they can continue to supply you with the same level of energy you had the week before.
Therefore, without this type of rest, you slowly over the years, deplete the numbers of the ones whose job it is to supply you with energy. Your body runs on only one commodity, and that is energy. Without energy, you start to break down.
Gideon tore down his father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah poles. Gideon demolished their shrine, which is a place of worship, usually one whose center is a sacred object.
Upon arriving at the shrine, by oneself or in a group, the ritual begins by the observance of some set rites. A rite is a formal, customary observance, practice, or procedure. The acid test to determine if we are worshiping at a shrine or the altar of the Lord, will be whether it takes us closer to God or draws us farther away. Whether it is purifying or contaminating our bodies or spirits. Whether it serves to perfect holiness or defiles us.
As we survey the landscape, we see these shrines are all around us today. Not only do we worship their gods, but we take these rites home with us to faithfully observe them. Most of us have brought many of these rituals into our Holy Temples and bow down to them daily, if not hourly.
After church, we love to socialize at the corner whore house to gratify our flesh with their dainties they offer and then we can take some home for later. Our houses are filled with merchandise that compromises our Temple’s integrity and deprives us of our holiness. These rites are slowly but systematically eroding our faith, our ability to believe or position ourselves to receive God’s best.
the will of God, and respond in confidence to any situation,
through Christ’s intangible reality,
as you perpetually glorify God.
We, like the children of Israel are not achieving what God demanded of them in these areas of rest, because like them, we are not exercising faith in a large enough quantity to cause us to see and be empowered by his grace.
Isaiah 48:17 This is what the Lord says your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Your descendants would have been like the sand, your children like its numberless grains; their name would never be cut off before me.”
Christ’s grace taught and empowered his disciples over a three year period of time, to live by actions that positioned them to receive the power of the Holy Spirit. It was no coincidence that Pentecost came at the end of this time.
Today, if we choose to be a disciple of Christ, we must walk ever so close to him so that his grace can teach us and empower us to achieve God’s best. We must subject ourselves to His three year cleansing program, so that we may be worthy to receive and operate under the power of the Spirit.
Luke 20:35 "...but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage.
If we refuse, not only are we lost, but perhaps our children’s children. Also in this verse, the Spirit is revealing the movement of peace in relationship to the movement of righteousness. Peace, like a river, can be pictured quite easily, a steady even flowing existence. However, righteousness, although it is consistent it fluctuates in a certain acceptable parameters, unlike a river.
To bring this analogy across and realize that it describes the actions of the human body in a right relationship to God is to uncover the very intimacies of His love feast. Our wave is timed on a seven day cycle. For six days it builds, but on the seventh day it falls on the Rock, and gravity takes it back out to start its cycle all over again. Seven is a number that means complete. Eight is a number representing a new beginning. There should be no work for our wave on the seventh day, it must just relax and let go. God’s sciences take over to position our water where it may begin to receive His grace again.
If this theory or analogy of the wave is correct, that it represents the flowing actions of righteousness in the Old Testament, it must mesh perfectly with the actions of following Jesus and the teaching of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. We know that the Apostle Peter followed Jesus and in Matt 19:27-28 Peter asks Him this question, “Behold, we have left everything and followed you; what then will there be for us? And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration (3824) …
Jesus went through this regeneration, and all who follow through with this process will go on to receive what Jesus is offering. Let us look deep into this word “regeneration” which Jesus used to describe the qualifying actions needed so that we might receive. The first question is, what was Jesus communicating to us with this statement: “You who have followed Me, in the regeneration.”?
First, the definition of the word “followed” 1.) to take as a model; imitate, 2.) to listen to, or observe closely 3.) to understand the continuity or logic. 4.) to come after in time.
Secondly, the definition of the word “regeneration” as laid out in the Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (NASB) under the 3824 - it states: from 3825 (spiritual) rebirth (the state or the act).
From 3825 - it states: probably from the same as 3823 (through the idea of oscillatory repetition); (adv.) anew, ie. (of place) back, (of time) once more, or (conj.) furthermore or on the other hand; - again.
From 3823 - it states: (to vibrate: another form of 906); wrestling: - + wrestle
What is the English dictionary definition of the word oscillatory?
Oscillate: 1.) to swing back and forth 2.) to be indecisive; vacillate 3.) Physics to vary between maximum and minimum values, as current oscillatory is a word that means action; adjective.
What is the English dictionary definition of this word vibrate?
Vibrate: 1.) to give off light or sound by vibration. 2.) to set in a to-and-fro motion; oscillate to swing back and forth, as a pendulum. 3.) to move rapidly back and forth; quiver, as a plucked string.
Let us answer the question based on these definitions given to the number assigned to regeneration and the definition of follow in the English dictionary.
Jesus was saying to these people, “Those of you who will take me as a model, that will listen and observe closely, will understand the logic to come after me in time, by comprehending and experiencing the science dealing with the changes of matter and energy through the act of oscillatory repetition, that is to have your physics or your natural physical matter to vary between maximum and minimum values whereby you will give off light by elevating vibrations.”
Isaiah, in the Old Testament, recorded the actions of righteousness as he was carried along by the Spirit of God. Peter was taught by Jesus, directly, but what about Paul who was taught by no man?
The “One” Paul had is the “One” who we have, that is the Holy Spirit who reveals all things. Paul records his actions in 1 Cor 9:26-27 for us to understand and for verification. “Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave, …”
What is the meaning of this word buffet?
Buffet: 1.) any blow or shock, 2.) to thrust about 3.) to struggle against, 4.) to strike repeatedly: batter (the waves batted the shore)
Paul was struggling against his body, repeatedly shocking it like the waves battering the shore. He was not beating the air like some spiritual thing in his mind but rather taking physical action to maintain the reality of righteousness. This warrior for God was a sensible steward, who understood that freedom comes by staying inside God’s parameters and knowing the limitations of what you have to work with.
Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, “Who is the faithful and sensible steward, who his master will put in charge of his servants to give them their rations at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master find doing when he comes.”
This time of rationing for God’s servants, directed by Paul for the Corinthians, was a transition period which Paul had already completed. Paul was the steward and as such his righteousness gave him the freedom to eat and drink what he wanted and when. However, his love scarified this right as not to hamper the gospel message being produced in the people in the church at Corinth (1 Cor 9:4-12). Paul lead by example as Jesus did when He transformed the apostles.
1 Cor 8:8-12 But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. But take care lest this liberty of yours somehow becomes a stumbling box to the weak. For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if it is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. And thus, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.
These new believers at Corinth were just starting to implement the changes to their life styles which would place them on God’s journey to regeneration. For most of them these changes would be completely opposite to what they had grown up with. These people are not only weak because Paul had them on a ration of bread, but to a greater degree, due to the fact that their bodies were going through symptoms of withdrawal. You can see why God holds all of us responsible after regeneration when we exercise our rights at an inappropriate time or place.
All three of these accounts are relating one thing, REPENTANCE!
Can anyone of us have difficulty relating this concept to our life? Is this not crystal clear?
Romans 6:21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If you never take actions that make, and show, that you have no choice over God’s will, that is, operate like a slave to God, how can you expect to reap the benefits that leads to holiness, through which you can take hold of eternal life? Wrong actions, no eternal life.
It was only after King Solomon followed the exact instructions with all the details in every area in the building of God’s temple, was His house worthy to receive Him. But when this time of preparation was completed, we read in 1 Kings 8:10 When the priest withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. And the priest could not perform their services because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple.
God acknowledges Solomon’s prays of dedication and acclamation of his goodness and faithfulness this way in 1 Kings 9:1-9 The Lord said to him: “I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
“As for you, if you walk before me in integrity of heart and righteousness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’
“But if you or your sons turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. And though this temple is now imposing, all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to his temple?’ People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord their God, who brought their fathers out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them - that is why the Lord brought all this disaster on them.’ ”
We see that if you walk with integrity of heart and uprightness, observing God's decrees and laws, he will establish your royal throne. But if we turn away and not observe the commands and decrees He has given us, then we are going to lose the land and He will reject this temple, even though He has already consecrated it for His name.
These two disasters that ultimately came upon Israel correspond directly from the results of disobeying the two Sabbath commands, in which the soil produced fruit without integrity, and the temple produced a heart without integrity.
1 Chr 29:17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. Or NASB “Since I know, O my God, that Thou triest the heart and delightest in uprightness, I, in integrity of my heart, have willingly offered all these things;
Integrity – 4334 – states; a level, straightness; justice, equity, uprightness, and from the English dictionary it states; a being complete; wholeness – unimpaired condition; soundness – uprightness, honesty, and sincerity. “Integrity of heart” is a metaphor of how one conducts his physical movement in life. Just as a bad tree cannot produce good fruit so a body without soundness cannot possess a life which represents integrity. Satan will make it appear that you can but God’s word clearly states you can not. A body without integrity cannot maintain or defend it’s self and is open to an invasion. Our bodies are just earth that has not been reclaimed; no reclamation equals no holy fruit.
Jer 18:22 Let a cry be heard from their houses when you suddenly bring invaders against them.
When you get sick or become diseased you have moved out of the faith, your house is being over run by microscopic invaders, and Oh what a cry can be heard coming from our houses. We like to move and operate as if we own our houses, somehow never really connecting the deep truth that it has ceased to be our house and has become a Holy Temple.
We do not conduct ourselves in a fashion that acknowledges that our physical bodies are an extension of the Lord’s physical body. Our actions are sending a crystal clear sound to the one who gave His body and blood for us, that overrides any verbal vibrations / communications or flowery prayers that would suggest we love Him. We are not recognizing the body of the Lord. That is why many among us are weak and sick, and a number of us have died premature.
Job 5:26 You will come to the grave in full vigor, like sheaves gathered in season.
We are expected to come to the end of our lives with vigorousness, like seeds which have fallen into the ground and have produced that for which they were seeded, in their deeded time.
1 Cor 11:27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we judge ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.
The first question that Jesus is posing to us is, “Are you eating the bread or drinking this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner?” We will not know if the answer is yes until we know what the Lord means by “unworthy manner”. Now he goes on to tell us we ought to examine ourselves to find out. Our answer to this question does not come from how spiritual we feel or what our flesh would have us believe, but it will be pronounced directly from the evidence within our examination. Jesus goes on to tell us that the examination is to see if we are in fact recognizing the body of the Lord. Jesus points out that the consequences for the act of not “recognizing the body of the Lord” will be to eat and drink judgment on oneself.
Jesus gives us the clear consequences of this judgment which he provides, so there are no allusions on where we stand. Jesus said: “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me”. This is a reminder each time I partake that this is not my flesh, and I needed to examine my physical responses to determine if I am correctly governing His body, on a daily basis.
We are commanded to “put on Christ” or mimic the character of Christ’s life, and Christ’s word tells us that the life is in the blood (Lev 17:11) therefore, to assess the character of ones life is to assess the character of ones blood.
1 Cor 11:24-25 “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” (Verse 25) “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
You cannot have the covenant until you have the blood because the covenant is in the blood. It is impossible to display the life that was in Christ if you cannot display the blood that was also in Him. Since this new covenant that I am depending on is literally in the blood of Christ, then I had better have this same literal blood flowing in me. For, I cannot claim this new covenant unless I transform into His blood and His body.
John 6:53 Jesus therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.”
The Holy Word is the flesh and blood of Christ, there is no difference. You must understand what is being asked of you before you can assess obedience. For it is only through the obedience to the correct understanding of the word of God that your blood and flesh is regenerated to the exact standards of Christ’s blood and flesh.
This transformation is a physical thing that is happening to you, which is only your spiritual act of worship. Romans 12:1-2. The reality is, as long as I keep His blood of integrity pumping through His flesh of integrity, in my body, I have materialized His new covenant with the body that I possess.
Let me try and sum it up for you through something we all can understand. A man who is trying to secure life insurance, must answer truthfully, many questions regarding his habits and also provide a blood and urine sample for analysis. He has given three testimonies that will bear out the truth of his life.
In the same way, the Holy Spirit in you, your blood and your water will all come together to testify to your degree of holiness (2 Cor 7:1, 1 John 3:3). The new covenant is “in His blood” and if the integrity of His blood is found in you, then His covenant is also found in you (John 6:54-56) 1 John 5:8 For there are three that bare witness, the spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. Is it any wonder that Jesus’ disciples asked him “Then who can be saved?” (Matt 19:23-26).
This is why He warns us in 1 Cor 11:29. This is not just a once a month responsibility, but a life long, day to day imperative.
John 6:56 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in Him.
And what is this new way of governing and resting our bodies proclaiming to our friends, our family and the world?
1 Cor 11:26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
All who are looking on you are examining you and noting the differences in your life. If these actions are producing a life which draws others to Christ, you have become the witness of the Lord’s death. If you have no appeal, you have no witness!
Jesus identifies, unequivocally for us, how the consequences will manifest themselves in our daily lives, so we will know if we are in fact not recognizing the body and blood of the Lord.
The answer to our question on what Jesus means by “unworthy manner” is; If our bodies and our blood, which is not our bodies or our blood, but Christ’s, are weak and sickly, and that some of us have fallen asleep before our time, then we are guilty.
He is commanding us to judge ourselves, so his love will not have to discipline us to keep us from being condemned with the world. Many of us, if not all of us are weak, and who among us is not sick sometimes? How many of our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters have died from sickness and disease? We need to wake up and realize we are being disciplined, and harness this pain to drive us to our manual. How long will we buy into the lie that this pain is some how a natural part of the body of Christ and not recognize it as his discipline? Who wants to wake up on the other side of eternity to experience what Jesus meant by being “condemned with the world”?
Ezekiel was caught up in the Spirit, between earth and heaven, where God showed him in visions what was happening in the Temple. God told him to look, so he looked, and saw this idol of jealousy. God describes what they are doing here as utterly detestable, “things that will drive me far from my sanctuary”.
Eze 8:16 He then brought me into the inner court of the house of the Lord, and there at the entrance to the temple, between the portico and the altar, were about twenty-five men. With their backs towards the temple of the Lord and their faces towards the east, they were bowing down to the sun in the east.
He said to me, “Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a trivial matter for the house of Judah to do the detestable things they are doing here? Must they fill the land with violence and continually provoke me to anger? Look at them putting branch to their nose! Therefore, I will deal with them in anger; I will not look on them with pity or spare them. Although they shout in my ears, I will not listen to them.”
We have turned our backs on our own temples, bowing down to worldly things to fix our problems. We show no regard for our temples, as we light up and suck in the smoke of another cigarette or cigar.
The world will always provide the counterfeit, the imposter, to mask the symptoms and as we, the people of God, support their initiatives, we are indorsing and promoting evil. This evil fills our body which eventually controls our thoughts, leading us into actions of violence in the land. To mask the symptoms is only to expand and drive the problem deeper. We are prophets, but if we follow heresy, we teach heresy. If we teach heresy, we are false prophets of Baal.
Eze 16:47 Yet you have not merely walked in their ways or done according to their abominations; but as if they were too little, you acted more corruptly in all your conduct than they.
Zech 5:3 And he said to me, (the Angel) “This is the curse that is going out over the whole land; for according to what it says on one side, every thief will be banished, and according to what it says on the other, everyone who swears falsely will be banished. The Lord Almighty declares, ‘I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of him who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in his house and destroy it, both its timbers and its stones.’ ”
This scripture is not talking about the curse that God placed on the land because of Adam’s disobedience. This is a personal curse sent out over the whole land that affects people individually through their disobedience to their covenant. This house is our body, and it will be our flesh and bones that will be destroyed, because the way we are conducting ourselves is robbing God of his glory and testifying to what is false.
Eze 14:14 ...even if these three men - Noah, Daniel and Job - were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign Lord. ... they could not save their own sons or daughters.
Likewise, if our sons and daughters will not heed instructions and exercise discipline, no level of holiness on our part will save them.
Deu 11:26 See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse - the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.
Nobody is exempt or will sidestep the Word of God. This curse comes from not obeying and following after other gods. Disease will enter the body which houses the Spirit because of actions of disobedience, which is robbing God of praise and worship and testifying to what is false. You cannot testify to what is false and expect God to stand by and allow your life to be long or prosperous. No, all its timber and stones will be destroyed.
Eze 15:6 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: As I have given the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest as fuel for the fire, so will I treat the people living in Jerusalem. I will set my face against them. Although they have come out of the fire, the fire will yet consume them.
Jesus is the vine and we are the branches, but branches can only be burned after they are broken off and are dried up. We Christians by applying the grace of the Sovereign Lord are in the position to come through the purifying fires untouched, if we continue to store up oil for our lamps. The Lord is telling us that to sit still after what we have entered into His covenant and not go forward, is to have all the tools to do the job but never get the job done. God is not interested in what could have been executed, but what is accomplished.
(NASB) Romans 11:19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you. Behold the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise, you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again.
Don’t be arrogant in your thinking that just because you sincerely prayed to invite Jesus into your heart and except him as your savior, that you are grafted in, never to be removed. If someone has given you a false definition of belief, or a wrong understanding of grace, and you are blindly following, you will be broken off. There are well meaning sincere pastors with zeal caught up in this conspiracy, driven by ignorance and their own appetites.
(NASB) Romans 16:18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
Romans 11:5-8 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened, as it is written: “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day.”
And David said in Psalms 69:22 “May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. May their backs be bent forever.”
And what was on their table but food that is bread in Obadiah’s way of saying it.
Obadiah 1:7 …they who eat your bread will set an ambush for you. (There is no understanding in him.)
Remember, only the remnant returned to rebuild the walls and the temple. The elect will put grace to work for them, removing the snare, the trap and the stumbling block, so that their table has no opportunity to retaliate by hardening the heart. The level at which you put grace to work will establish the level you believe. It is only in the doing, that belief is established and elevated.
The Lord brings all these components together for us as he reveals to Jeremiah the problem.
Jer 11:9 Then the Lord said to me, “There is a conspiracy among the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem. They have returned to the sins of their forefathers who refused to listen to my words. They have followed other gods to serve them. Both the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken the covenant I made with their forefathers.
Therefore this is what the Lord says: I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me I will not listen to them... (Verse 15) “What is my beloved doing in my temple as she works out her evil schemes with many? Can consecrated meat avert your punishment? When you engage in your wickedness, then you rejoice. The Lord called you a thriving olive tree with fruit beautiful in form. But with the roar of a mighty storm he will set you on fire, and its branches will be broken. The Lord Almighty, who planted you, has decreed disaster for you, because the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done evil and provoked me to anger by burning incense to Baal.
You were a beautiful olive tree that was caught up in a conspiracy. This evil in you broke the covenant and brought on a disaster that caused the Lord to break off your branch. The question is, “Are you going to allow your branch to dry up and be burned or to put grace to work, that you may be grafted back in?”
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
It is I that must take the initiative to do what I believe, and as I do, I must draw on Christ who will strengthen me.
Now is the time for fear and trembling, when time is still our friend, where fear and trembling can be harnessed to deliver me to the place were I can be consumed with what Jesus was consumed with.
If Jesus was monopolized with intense enthusiasm for my body, (John 2:17 “Zeal for his house will consume me”), then the whole scripture must not only be pointing to this fact, but it must also be the key to giving the Father exactly what he is looking for, true worshipers.
Should I have any less zeal for what Jesus is consumed with? It must be the key to believing. If I am not consumed with my body, His Holy Temple, then I am not demonstrating belief in the truth, because the Truth will always consume the person who genuinely knows. Jesus must do something to the so called “Christian” people in the world to separate out the ones who are deceiving themselves by only paying lip service.
(NASB) Psalms 78:36 But they received Him with their mouth, and lied to Him with their tongue.
Your tongue may fool many people, even yourself, but your actions of being consumed are the only proof of this reality in your life.
(NASB) Luke 12:51-52 “Do not suppose that I came to grant peace on the earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two, and two against three.
What a message of controversy, one that will not be clearly accepted.
The first example that clearly illustrates this truth for me comes as we see the children of Israel coming out of Egypt. God had brought them out into the desert to worship him and to prepare them to go into the Promised Land.
But the whole community grumbled against Moses and would have preferred to die in Egypt because “there we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into the desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” The Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you...” The Lord gave the day of rest, a holy Sabbath, “so all the people rested on the seventh day”.
God sent consuming fires and a severe plague to the people that complained about their hardships and who had craved other food.
Psalms 78:18 They willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved. They spoke against God, saying “Can God spread a table in the desert? When he struck the rock, water gushed out, and streams flowed abundantly. But can he supply meat for his people?”
I believe God was providing the opportunity for the nation (body) to be purified over a three year period so when they arrived the first time at the border, they could believe and go directly into the Promised Land.
Numbers 14:11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?
The nation rebelled and God gave into their demands which took them off His course to purification. No amount of miraculous signs motivated these people to believe and the same can be said for us.
We, like them, are willfully putting God to the test by giving into our cravings of food, and are unwilling to forgo our meat and wine. After the forty years of living in the desert all the people who would not believe were purged from the body. Now the entire assembly becomes pure, acting like living sacrifices, they became holy and pleasing to God, for this was their spiritual act of worship. They no longer conformed to the pattern of the world and as a result they experienced a regeneration of the mind. They were made pure through the promise, just as it was credited to Abraham as righteousness.
Acts 4:32 All the believers were one in heart and mind.
Acts 4:33 (Because) ...and much grace was upon them all.
This was said in the New Testament, but you can be sure it was reality back in that day also. We now have a body united, pure in heart and who completely believe. Everyone could approve what “God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will”.
They moved into the Promised Land with no hesitation and received victory after victory. God instructed them to completely destroy these nations because of his jealousy for the purity of his people. So, can we draw any comparisons to what happened to these special peoples of God, before and during their entry into the Promised Land? If your answer is no, this book has not come alive for you as yet. What these people went through is exactly what must take place in our lives so we can be given our mission, and accomplish our mission.
Joshua 3:1 Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. After three days the officers went throughout the camp, giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priest, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your position and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep your distance of about a thousand yards between you and the ark; do not go near it.” Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”
These peoples are the people that God wants us to be, and because we are still alive we have the opportunity to be. Yes, these people have been purified and made holy over the forty years they endured in the desert, only because of what their parents chose, but this was never God’s plan for them or for us. Nothing has changed today, if we follow our parents and adopt their ways we will reap the same, as we parish in the desert.
Jer 9:14 “but have walked after the stubbornness of their heart and after the Baals, as their fathers taught them.”
It took God Himself to break this cycle of destruction! It was bread from heaven which returned those who were twenty years and younger, and God will do this again. But here, God is talking to the spiritually alive person reading this, to understand and seek direction, by coming out into our desert as soon as possible. God is directing us to come early in the morning of our lives to the river of living waters and camp there for three years. (Remember, Naaman was instructed to travel to the river Jordan to be cleansed, and returned with the ability to believe, humbly like a small child.)
After three years of drinking and bathing in the living waters, God will have transformed you, like that of a small child with a renewed mind to see where God is moving. When God starts to move, you follow, because then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. God is going to show himself to you and direct you in your personal mission for him.
If we will consecrate ourselves as we wait on the Lord in this period of time that he has ordained, then we will see him do amazing things among us.
Joshua 5:1 Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coast heard how the Lord had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites until we had crossed over, their hearts melted and they had no longer had the courage to face the Israelites.
Joshua 5:2 At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites again.”
Joshua 5:8 And after the whole nation had been circumcised, they remained where they were in camp until they were healed.
What is the relevance to us today that God should place this in his word for us to meditate on?
We know that the Jordan River was at flood stage and would have been muddy since the waters would have overflowed the banks. The waters would have been teaming with life from the soil it was washing away, and would give this abundant life to all that would come to be washed. Jesus himself was baptized by John in this same river. But this river was a barrier that blocked the way to the Promised Land. You cannot get around it or over it, you must go through the waters. This river is relevant to us today, because it represents the Lord Jesus Christ, and he wants us to know what it is going to take to enter the Promised Land.
This nation of Israel has been called out of the world, and by faith, had put their trust in God to save them, but that did not give them a ticket to the Promised Land. No, there is this period of time needed to prepare before you are worthy to receive the freedom to be moving under the power of the Spirit. There is only one baptism, but until you submit with actions that take you out into the desert to die to yourself, or be circumcised of heart, you will never have the power to move into the Promised Land.
Eph 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism.
Speaking of John the Baptist in Luke 1:15 ...He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah...
And in Jesus’ case, written in Luke 4:1 and 4:14 we see the same two engagements. Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, and Verse 14, Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit,...
Upon confession and a turning, the process of grafting in, will have started. Nourishing sap starts to flow ever so slowly from the root, working to soften the heart until a surrendering of the will has transpired. Jesus surrendered to the will of the Spirit and was immediately led into the desert where circumcision of the heart was to be performed, where suffering led to obedience.
Romans 11:17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.
The power comes from the results of the circumcision. You have now shared in his suffering and nothing will keep you from sharing in his glory, right here, right now.
Why was circumcision practical to them at this time and what is God trying to tell us in recording this action?
The whole Nation just finished witnessing a river in flood stage being stopped up, just for them to cross over to the Promised Land. After they passed over, God instructed them to pile up stones, gathered from the middle of the river, to make a marker for this great miraculous event. Right after this crossing, God had them circumcised and remain camped there until they were healed, which would have given them time, through pain, to associate this loss of flesh as a sign that God was with them. In this shared time of pain, as they were being marked for God, it served to fortify their comradely, and each time the men urinated they would have been reminded that God is going before them and God was with them.
How can an army who is one in heart and purpose, holy before the Lord and is free from fear of death, be stopped or defeated? But what is a blessing to them, returns a curse to their foes. This miracle brought fear to the minds of their enemies and this time of healing worked to destroy their enemy’s courage to fight. What was a blessing to one became a curse to the other.
I believe there to be no problem for us to see how circumcision was just a practical application of the goodness of God in the circumstances of their mission, but this Word of God is ageless and this event in time was to address us today, to produce in us the same results. This event of their circumcision is God’s picture, something tangible that can be seen to show us what we cannot see, that has happened inside of them, that is, consecration, the circumcision of the heart.
Romans 2:29 No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.
Only a man who is circumcised of the heart by the Spirit can discern another man’s circumcision, for insight will not come to the uncircumcised.
John 7:24 Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.
God wants us to draw the parallels from the physical to the spiritual, so we can know the physical steps to arrive at the spiritual reality needed to complete consecration. This communication transience time, which means it can be applied to any generation throughout history, to achieve what is demanded from all of us, to be set apart for God in the only way he designed us to be set apart.
The spiritual cutting away of the flesh is in an area that is just as sensitive and painful as the physical area in the flesh. Both procedures take a skilled surgeon and cannot be achieved by your own hands, in your own strength or through any power you might have.
Col 2:11 …and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; …
There is only one way to lighten the body of flesh without hands, and that is to fast. Also, there is only one Doctor that can sustain you through this time period of denial, and we all know who that is. But you must come willingly to the operation and deny that part of your flesh that will be removed.
Jesus showed us the way as he willingly went out to the desert to suffer through the pain of this “circumcision of the heart” and just like him, we who have the courage to follow and see it through will also return in power. Through the pain of righteous suffering comes the power, and added to that is all the benefits that wisdom will provide, long life, riches and honor and all her ways are peaceful and pleasant.
God gives us a stern warning through Jer 9:25 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh - Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the desert in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.”
If you want to be Jesus’ disciple, you must learn to follow. To follow somebody when you are able to read their life backwards as well as forwards, opens up a dimension that our flesh has used to rob us of the power.
Most Christians expect to have the same results that Jesus had, even though they want to bypass the clear steps Jesus took. They focus on the glory of service until Satan has them so beat up that they quit, never thinking to go back to the drawing board and look to see what steps they missed. Glory, without the pain of circumcision is a counterfeit glory, one that will not only be consumed by the flames, but will ignite your very soul.
Luke 4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.
When Jesus was in the desert he was showing us how to bar the only door through which the devil can enter and use to tempt us, and the correct response to send him fleeing. Only by continually recognizing the power that is ours in the uplifted hands of Jesus, can we ever have success in keeping this door barred.
Luke 4:14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through out the whole countryside.
All Christians have the choice in becoming full of the Holy Spirit but because of ignorance and / or laziness they will suffer and die in the desert, but the ones who will purify themselves will move in the power of the Spirit into the Promised Land.
I can’t speak for you but I’m tired of living in the desert.
Matt 11:25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father for this was your good pleasure.
Can God make this any clearer?
He has hidden the message that makes the difference! We have the audacity, after making a sincere prayer to except Christ as our savior, to project ourselves immediately to a completed status of priest. This position took the disciples the better part of three years to arrive at.
Give your head a shake. You are not going to achieve this through words! To pursue knowledge and understanding which is not directly related to positioning yourself to becoming like a little child, is to gain that which will deceive you and Isaiah 29:13-14 makes it quite clear. “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonders upon wonders; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”
Matt 18:3 And Jesus said “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
The first step to becoming a little child is to humble yourself by accepting Jesus as your savior and believing he has the power to save you. But believing demonstrates itself by following. In other words, don’t tell me you believe, show me you believe. For it is in the doing you fulfill your side of the contract.
Little children have no trouble humbling or believing not because they are little children but because their purity allows them to trust and believe. Their actions show how and what they believe, there are no doubts, but they move with complete trust. Don’t be hasty in your conclusions on the scope of God’s grace, for this is a powerful revelation Jesus makes about his requirements for heaven.
1 Cor 1:27 But God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the base things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
Base: (beis) the bottom or supporting part of anything, the fundamental or underlying principle or part as of an organization or system. Base: (beis) devoid of honor or morality; ignoble; contemptible.
The world thinks microorganisms are foolish and held in contempt, not needed in soils nor note worthy in the body, but the wise become diseased and die in shame. These little creatures are weak, but without them even the strength of the strong is gone. These creatures form the bases of what sustains life in all things. These creatures are so small you cannot even see them and by not keeping the Sabbaths, you despise them and as a result you nullify the things you can see.
When you come to the understanding of what they are and their numbers in your body, you will start to see the reality that you are missing all substance you might otherwise use to boast in.
Under the heading “Photosynthesis” in “An acres U.S.A.” page 13; “human system is not alone as an operating mechanism, we are shared, rented, occupied. The very interior of our cells are homesteaded by the mitochondria, small separate creatures... These little fellows are self-sufficient sooners. ....their own DNA and RNA and replicate in their own way. Like the rhizobial bacteria on the roots of beans, they are symbionts. Except for them we couldn’t even drum a finger, much less think a thought. Except for powerful microscopes, we would never lay an eye on one, and yet plant and human life depend on them, suffer disease because of them, live and die according to how life and death are balanced among them.”
(This information in “An acres U.S.A. comes from the book “The lives of a cell” by Lewis Thomas)
On page 3 of Lewis’s book I give you this quote; the biologic science of recent years has been making this a more urgent fact of life. The new, hard problem will be to cope with the dawning, intensifying realization of just how interlocked we are. The old, clung-to notions most of us have held about our special lordship are being deeply undermined.
Item. A good case can be made for our nonexistence as entities. We are not made up, as we had always supposed, of successively enriched packets of our own parts. We are shared, rented, occupied. At the interior of our cells, driving them, providing the oxidative energy that sends us out for the improvement of each shining day, are the mitochondria, and in a strict sense they are not ours. They turn out to be little separate creatures, the colonial posterity of migrant prokaryocytes, probably primitive bacteria that swam into ancestral precursors of our eukaryotic cells and stay there. Ever since, they have maintained themselves and their ways, replicating in their own fashion, privately, with their own DNA and RNA quite different from ours. They are as much symbionts as the rhizobial bacteria in the roots of beans. Without them, we would not move a muscle, drum a finger, think a thought.
Mitochondria are stable and responsible lodgers, and I choose to trust them. But what about the other little animals, similarly established in my cells, sorting and balancing me, clustering me together? My centrioles, basal bodies, and probably a good many other more obscure tiny beings at work inside my cells, each with its own special genome, are as foreign, and as essential, as aphids in anthills. My cells are ecosystems more complex than Jamaica Bay.
I like to think that they work in my interest, that each breath they draw for me, but perhaps it is they who walk through the local park in the early morning, sensing my senses, listening to my music, thinking my thoughts.
Page 71: The usual way of looking at them is as enslaved creatures, captured to supple ATP for cells unable to respire on their own, or to provide carbohydrate and oxygen for cells unequipped for photosynthesis. This master-slave arrangement is the common view of full-grown biologists, eukaryotes all.
Page 72: It is a good thing for the entire enterprise that mitochondria and chloroplasts have remained small, conservative, and stable, since these two organelles are, in a fundamental sense, the most important living things on earth. Between them they produce the oxygen and arrange for its use. In effect, they run the place.
My mitochondria comprise a very large proportion of me. I cannot do the calculation, but I suppose there is almost as much of them in sheer dry bulk as there is the rest of me. Looked at in this way, I could be taken for a very large, motile colony of respiring bacteria, operating a complex system of nuclei, microtubules, and neurons for the pleasure and sustenance of their families, and running, at the moment, a typewriter.
I am intimately involved, and obliged to do a great deal of essential work for my mitochondria.
Page 83: Meanwhile, we are paying too little attention, and respect, to the build-in durability and sheer power of the human organism. Its surest tendency is toward stability and balance. It is a distortion, with something profoundly disloyal about it, to picture the human being as a teetering, fallible contraption, always needing watching and patching, always on the verge of flapping to pieces; this is the doctrine that people hear most, and most eloquently, on all our information media.
Pro 14:11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish.
The problem is that this book by Lewis Thomas does not tell us what to do to allow them to flourish.
Can there be any doubt in what God was communicating in Exodus 23:12 when he commanded us to rest the slaves and aliens in our household, so they may be refreshed?
These little fellows have their own DNA, RNA and replicate in their own way, that sure sounds like a slave or alien that is working inside me for my benefit. Is it any wonder, if these little fellows get out of balance that I am going to be defiled? I am not asking you to believe something that is going to take great faith, for this information is right before our eyes. Just take in the knowledge and understand that this is what you look like, and when you go away don’t forget your reflection.
Matt 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
When you are not eating or drinking you are giving these little creatures the time and the environment to flourish or to refresh them for your righteousness.
Matt 5:20 “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Without keeping the Sabbath day holy (one day per week) and His four feasts per year (7days of four periods) we deny them the time to reassert themselves which culminates to move us from a state of righteousness to a state of wickedness.
Rev 3:2 Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.
Your deeds will never be complete in the sight of God until these little creatures are maintained in a superfluous state, because then you will be moving in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Your body must return to the state that these little creatures were when you were a little child, or you will never enter the kingdom of God.
Matt 11:25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
Unless you are in this balanced state you cannot see these hidden things.
Matt 18:3 And Jesus said “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
You are only going to accomplish this regeneration by keeping your eyes on the uplifted hands of your Savior.
The entire Holy Scriptures are centered around Christ and His zeal for His house, which focuses attention on building or reclaiming the prosperity of your smallest common denominator. These microscopic creatures will either give you the ability to believe, or rob you of that same ability, to the degree their integrity is lacking. If you cannot believe, you will not position yourself to receive Christ’s Holiness, and without being holy you cannot see the Lord face to face.
Exodus 33:11 The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.
Numbers 12:6 The Lord said, “Listen to my words: “When a prophet is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord.
If the Lord is speaking to us in dark sayings how can we see His form?
(NASB) Pro 1:6 To understand a proverb and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles.
God said that He speaks in riddles to all who have not gone through the circumcision of the heart.
Psalms 49:4 I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will express my riddles on the harp.
The question becomes, how can I be certain that I know the secrets which unlocks the riddles? To unlock the riddle I must seek for a formula which can hold all pieces of the riddle that when computed is practical and relevant, centered in reason, for every human being alive at any given moment and it must compliment and support every other riddle.
Matt 13:10-12 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to people in parable?” He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and he will have in abundance.
We must accept the fact that the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given to us in riddles and dark sayings. Just because you have prayed the prayer of salvation, does not mean you will possess the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. You must continue to ask, seek and knock, if you want to have His form revealed, if you want to know what is demanded of you.
Matt 13:12-17 Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
Though hearing they do not hear or understand.
In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
You will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
For this people’s heart has become calloused: they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them. But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.
For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it. And to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
Remember that there are only two witnesses in Revelation, Chapter 11, that are sent to measure the temple or your body, in six billion people. They are measuring inside the temple where the people are worshipping and are counting on the name of Christ for salvation. Yes, we have many evangelist and missionaries introducing people to Christ but no one is remembering to compare our bodies to Christ’s body and make known the standard of His high calling.
Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.
These many prophets and righteous men are people that are young in life, and because of their lack of knowledge, their way of living is actually mining their body away from godliness, as their fathers taught them. There is no greater example than that of the young King Saul. This man was in a right relationship to God, called by God and went on to prophecy.
(NASB) Pro 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
Why can’t the young stay in this right relationship to God? We know that it has been appointed once to die, but this “death” would speak only to the ones who are being robbed by their incorrect assessment on where they are heading.
We must not and we can not blindly accept the way it has always been done if we see those who have gone before us reaping the consequences which are clearly laid out in the word of God for those who are naive.
Ecc 12:1 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no delight in them; before the sun, the light, the moon, and the stars are darkened, and the clouds return after the rain; in the day that the watchman of the house tremble and the mighty men stoop, the grinding ones stand idle because they are few, and those who look through windows grow dim; and the doors on the streets are shut as the sound of grinding mill is low, and one will arise at the sound of the bird, and all the daughters of song will sing softly.
God is giving us a picture of what form these evil days will take and the road of effects which will take us there.
We have been programmed to believe that the aging process is one of physical deterioration. If God is practical and we know that He is, what is the practical answer?
There must be a hidden way of living laid out in the word of God which regenerates, on a regular basis, that which sustains the cells of the body. What we have grown to equate is that food directly gives our cells energy, even though the elderly can only receive a small amount of the potential energy in foods that they would consume. This reality is why the world will tell you to eat five or six small meals per day. The mechanism engineered to extract the energy from the food must be reducing in size.
The gospel is the secret to unlocking the knowledge so we can do a one hundred and eighty degree turn, in other words, instead of living in such a way as to consume that which was internally designed to sustain our health, we repent and build back from our hardened hearts.
The problem is people’s hearts have become calloused to the point they hardly hear with their ears and they have closed eyes. If their hearts were not hardened, they could see and hear, giving them understanding within their hearts, so that they would turn to position themselves to receive God’s healing.
What could be so hidden, that so many prophets and righteous men who realize they are missing a crucial component in their theology, cannot discover the answer? How can we have the complete truth in the Bible, God’s living word, ever before us and fail to comprehend the very directives that will set us free?
How did our hearts become calloused and what is it going to take to soften them again?
In Mark 6:37 Jesus feeds the five thousand, and then Jesus immediately sent his disciples by boat on ahead of him to Bethsaida. He stayed behind to make his way up onto a mountainside to pray. Jesus was asking the Father what the deeper meaning of this miracle was. What did it signify? Jesus was processing this miraculous happening or this encounter with the Father. We know Jesus was concerned for the people’s strength and wanted the disciples to feed them something before he dismissed them. We witnessed the physical needs of the people being met, which was the miracle, but there is always a message. Jesus’ actions were showing us what to do after we have had an encounter with God.
And where do we find the Disciples?
Mark 6:47 When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them.
The disciples were not thinking on what just happened before their very eyes with the feeding of the five thousand, they were caught up in the storms of life. And is that not just like us? We know that God has just blessed us through some miracle and we are happy to consume it, but we never ask him what he is trying to communicate to us.
Mark 6:48-50 About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they saw him and were terrified.
Why was Jesus about to pass them by?
If you do not process your encounters with God, it will be harder to see the next encounter and it may pass you by. When you meditate on the wonders of the goodness of God, you are allowing and directing your unconscious part of your mind to physically change the state of your body.
Mark 6:50-52 Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed in the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.
If the disciple’s hearts can become hardened as God physically worked amongst them, how much more are we susceptible when the Spirit works amongst us?
We must perceive what is happening through our spirit and not our physical sight. This involves having no obstructions in the lines of communication, or positioning yourself to be pure so the fruit of your worship is Holy and can be enjoyed. As Christ is enjoying your holy sweet fruit of worship, He is communicating back to you other aspects of His grace to draw you closer to the very center of His will.
If you do not go before the Lord and ask Him to show you the meaning of the encounter, your heart will become calloused or hardened and you will miss what Jesus is trying to communicate to you. The disciples summed up their witnessing of the feeding of the thousands by seeing only God’s goodness that was on the surface. That is, the people had not eaten in three days and Jesus was concerned that some might faint on their return journey, if they did not feed them. If the disciples had processed this encounter, God would have revealed to them that they were the two small fishes and the loaves of bread that were going to feed the whole world. And what about the people that were fed, did they not have the same obligation to process their encounter of this miracle?
We know that God’s actions were relevant to the disciples, that is, he was trying to show them something. We know his actions became his word, which is relevant to all generations. So, what is he trying to show me, right now, today?
I believe these people could have been with Jesus two days or four days, but the fact that it was three days tells me that we who will persist and wait patiently on him will not be turned away hungry. If we will feast on him over a three year period, he will show himself to us.
John 6:55-56 “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
Each time we read God’s Word, it is in an encounter with God, and therefore, we need to process the story or the parable by going before the Lord in prayer, meditation with a pure mind that is focused. If our relationship is rushed, and one of shallowness or being content with what is seen on the surface, you will never get into the deepest intimate love relationship which is rich beyond understanding or comprehension.
Only by implementing the pieces of truth you have been given today, will insure that you will be lead into the deeper truths of tomorrow. If your faith is stagnant, so is your implementation of the truth. If you have no truth, you are not reading his Word or retaining the things God has brought into your life.
John 14:21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be, loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him.”
Pro 10:14 Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.
Eph 5:13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
The truths in God’s Word are inexhaustible. The level we have obtained is irrelevant and Christ is always ready to shine more light on us if we will position ourselves to receive. Christ is only going to entrust Himself to you to the degree you have crucified your flesh. This is a sliding scale of knowledge coming to you until you see Christ face to face. But make no mistake; it is not until purity is perfected and moving within the parameters of righteousness that you have reclaimed your soil. If your tree is not growing in holy soil, it cannot produce fruit that is holy. Works that have been accomplished by the flesh are really acts of arrogance, and will not stand up to the scrutiny of the refiner’s fire.