Why should we only “speak…as the Spirit gives [us] utterance?” Or What is the expression of the Spirit?

When we are in the current of the Spirit, we do not speak from ourselves, but only as the Spirit gives us utterance. We no longer express who we are but who Christ is. “And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:3-4) When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, realize we speak, not from ourselves…but now the Spirit is speaking as it gives us His utterance.

The Spirit giving us expression is the most crucial and central aspect of why we are Christians. It touches the very core of why we are Christians. “For in Him we live and move and exist…” (Acts 17:28) It is in the Spirit, in Christ Himself, that we must live and move and exist. It is the basic reason of why we are called Christians. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6) When we speak and the Spirit is not giving us utterance, we are speaking from our flesh, we are living and moving and existing only in our flesh and not the Spirit. Only when we are filled with the Spirit, we live and move and exist in the Spirit. “For in Him we live and move and exist…” (Acts 17:28)

For Christians who love God, realize deep within your spirit, His Spirit will show you that Christ has returned to us. ”So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” (1 Pet. 1:19) The morning star has arisen within our hearts. Realize Christ has come back to us as the Spirit now living within our hearts. Let the one flow of His Spirit open your spiritual eyes to see the presence of His reality living now amount us growing into His spiritual house. We have not only “heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You.” (Job 42:5) “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) By dying for us, He has prepared this place for us in our spirits, so His life-giving Spirit can now come into us, his many dwelling places to form the Father’s house. That is why “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:3) He has received us into Himself in the Spirit by placing His Spirit into our spirits to be one with us. That is why He is “…the way, the truth (reality) and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) We are being built up into a spiritual house for God through Christ. “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 2:5) No one can come to the Father by any other way except through Him. “For in Him we live and move and exist…” (Acts 17:28)

This is why “no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) Christ has brought us into His kingdom, a realm that is holy, set apart for God, existing in His Spirit. He separates us from our fleshly nature so we are sanctified and can enter His kingdom where His divine nature is in the Spirit. Realize to be in His Spirit, means we are separated to holiness, to His distinct nature so we could be His counterpart. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:5-6) The defining element of being a Christian is to be born, not only of blood, but of water, to be born of His Spirit. The Spirit dwelling in our spirits, making a home in our hearts, defines us as Christians, distinctly separated unto God to be a people for His possession. Realize our righteousness can no longer come from the flesh, but must come from the Spirit for it is the Spirit that gives us utterance. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Hisself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” (Gal. 2:20-21) That is why God’s expectation of us is holiness, an attribute that is only of God Himself. That is why we are to “present [ourselves] as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.” (Rom. 12:1)

Many Christians today have believed and have been baptized with water, “born of water” (John 3:5) but have poorly realized what it is to be “born of the Spirit.” (John 3:5) When we first believed, realize Christ has breathed Himself into us as the essential Spirit, making us alive in our spirits with His Spirit. “And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit,’” (John 20:22) making them alive and born of God having received the divine life in their spirits. Christians receive Christ Himself as He makes a mutual abode within them. But the disciples at that time were told to wait as they were not baptized with the Holy Spirit yet. They had received Christ as the divine life essentially so they were born again, but this divine life has not been realized and so is not matured in the Christians’ life. They have not realized what was living within them. They were not matured. They needed to be filled with the Spirit. That is why they were told to wait. “Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, ‘Which,’ He said, ‘you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’” (Acts 24-5) The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a most critical item in our lives. It is altogether not an external act, but an internal reality. It is not of the flesh, but of the Spirit. It confers Christians with the divine power to realize the kingdom of God and built His house. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Realize when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we will be witnesses, providing a testimony of God even to the remotest part of the earth.

Unfortunately, there are many Christians that have only been baptized by water according to John’s teaching. They have not realized and depended on the Spirit. They do not know what the current of the Spirit is and where it is flowing. They are not one with the Spirit yet and live within their minds. That is why Apollos could be fervent in his own spirit, accurately teaching and instructing people in the ways of the Lord, yet his disciples were only acquainted with the baptism of John, with the baptism of water. “This man (Apollos) had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and being fervent in spirit (note the small ‘s’), he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John.” (Acts 18:25) He could even powerfully refute the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ. In rhetoric, Apollos was a powerful man so he created many followers who had believed through grace (Acts 18:27), yet realize they were without power. They were born of the Spirit, but depended on their own strength to try to be divine. They depended on the instructions and disciplining of the flesh to be divine. They depended on the flesh to reach and enter the kingdom of God.

When we do things, no matter how righteous and proper they are, when we set rules and regulations and simply follow them, when we take things that are spiritual and make rules out of them, we no longer depend on the Spirit, but we depend on the flesh. We are no longer crucified in our flesh, so we live, and not the Christ dwelling within us lives. We are telling God “I don’t need your Spirit, I can be righteous and holy myself.” This behaviour is a consequence of us taking the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Realize when we took of this tree, we were given only the knowledge of good and evil , but not the ability to do it. “For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” (Rom. 7:18) We were given the knowledge of good and evil , but not the reality of what good is. We lack holiness, which is an attribute only of God. So God sent us His Son, to die for us, shedding His blood to deal with all the evil that we have and will commit, and releasing His life-giving Spirit to us to bring the reality of goodness, of holiness, into us. “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth (reality), whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you [in the person of Jesus] and will be in you [as the Holy Spirit}.” (John 14:16:17) These two aspects, solving the problem of our sins by dying for us, and solving the problem of our inability to do the good by living in us as the reality of holiness, is why Christ came.

When we say to God, “I don’t need your Spirit, I can be righteous and holy myself” then Christ has died for nothing. “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died needlessly.” (Gal. 2:21) Following the law gives us that false sense that we could be holy in ourselves. The law sets up rules for man to follow so they think they could be holy by simply following a set of rules, even rules given by God in the Old Testament. “For if the first covenant had been faultless, there would be no occasion to look for a second.” (Heb. 8:2) That is why following the law, as in the Old Testament, is in the flesh and never pleased God. “Nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.” (Gal. 2:16) Anything that we do, in our flesh without the Spirit, that we think justifies us, is an expression of ourselves and not of God. Even “going to church on Sundays” can become a rule to us in the flesh. When we attend, out of duty and without the reality of the Spirit within giving us the expression (utterance), realize we are no longer faithful to Christ and what He has done for us. Instead of relying on the Spirit, we rely on the Law. When we do something based on tradition or habit because it has always been done that way, when we live and move and exist in ourselves apart from the Spirit, realize we have found another husband other than Christ. We have been foolish. “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:4) “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of Christ.” (2 Cor. 11:2-3) When we follow the law and use our flesh, we have lost the simplicity and purity of Christ…of following the Spirit. “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25) The reason why Christ died for us and resurrected to indwell us so we could receive His life-giving Spirit to transform us, making us holy, becomes void, if we think we could be holy by the works of our flesh to reach God and be holy. “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:4) By believing in Christ, He comes to make a home in our hearts (John 14:23), bringing God’s divine nature into us so we are one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17), to be his bride. That is why when we follow the law, relying on the flesh, we have ‘another husband’…we have committed spiritual fornication (Lev. 20:5-6; Hosea 4:12). We have been unfaithful to the Spirit as our one husband. We have one husband who is Christ, and we are presented to Him as a pure virgin. That is why Numbers 5, a passage on infidelity, follows immediately after chapters on our priestly service.

“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Command the people of Israel that they put out of the camp everyone who is leprous or has a discharge and everyone who is unclean through contact with the dead. You shall put out both male and female, putting them outside the camp, that they may not defile their camp, in the midst of which I dwell.’” (Num. 5:1-3) Any expression of the flesh makes us unclean (See previous blogs) in the presence of God. When we love, something or someone, in our flesh other than Christ, our one husband, we have join ourselves to a prostitute (Num. 5:11-31). “Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, ‘The two will become one flesh.’ But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.” (1 Cor. 6:16-17)

When we teach others to live righteously according to the efforts in their flesh, we are joining them to a prostitute (Rev. 17-18) and not our one husband Christ. The Spirit of Jesus living and operative in us as the Word (Heb. 4:12), willing and working in us for His good pleasure (Php. 2:13), is our one husband (and not the flesh). We must be faithful to Him. We have to trust in the Spirit to make us holy and not in our efforts in our flesh. “So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman, but of the free woman.” (Gal. 4:31)

That is why when Paul passed through Ephesus, he realized this most critical deficiency in the disciples that Apollos was leading. “It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. He said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ And they said to him, ‘No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.’ Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.’ When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 19:5) Realize Christians can receive a gospel with the baptism of repentance, yet be devoid of the reality of the Spirit. When we are baptized by the Spirit, notice that this is not a physical baptism, but a spiritual baptism as “they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus”. When we have the realization of a baptism into the name of the Lord Jesus, the Spirit has descended upon us as tongues of fire, and we begin to speak not with our own tongues but with other tongues, as the Spirit now gives us the utterance. (Act2 2:3-4) “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.” (Acts 19:6) Only when the Spirit of reality (truth) descends upon us as tongues of fire, do we speak as the Spirit gives us utterance…and live and move and exist in Him.

When we speak as the Spirit gives us utterance, realize Christ is wielding His sword through us. It is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God,” (Eph. 6:17) that comes out of our mouths. It is no longer our flesh, our own ideas, our own thoughts, but that of Christ. We have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). We have been joined to Him in one Spirit so we are His oracles. “Whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 4:11) “For in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’” (Acts 17:28) Realize every expression from us must be in Him. We live and move and exist only in Him.

When the Spirit takes over our being, we are living sacrifices, dead in our soul-lives but alive in our spirits by His Spirit, now truly holy and acceptable to God (Rom. 12:2) to be His counterpart, his bride. We have become joined to Him in one spirit with Him. We have made ourselves ready, dress in fine linen, white and clean. “…His bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” (Rev. 19:7-8) “…These are the true words of God.” (Rev. 19:18) These Christians now “…hold the testimony of Jesus…” (Rev. 19:10)

When we ride with Him in victory over the flesh, over sin and over Satan, He is the reality of the testimony within us. He is the “…Faithful and True…called The Word of God…” (Rev. 19:11-13) We as His body, form the army. “And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations…” (Rev. 19:14-15) His army is dressed the same as the bride. His bride is His army because it has defeated the flesh, sin, and Satan, and been clothed with Christ. The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17), giving us His testimony so we speak as He gives us utterance (Acts 2:4), has finally defeated all flesh. So “’Come assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat of the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.” (Rev. 19:17-18) When the flesh is defeated, meaning not only the sins we commit in our flesh, but our reliance on our knowledge of good and evil in the flesh, we will only rely on the Spirit and Christ will be all and in all. The war will be over. We will be relying only on the tree of life, the Spirit to give us expression. Christ, and only Christ our one husband, will have His expression through us. He will be the Head and we will be the body. So the Father, the Son and the Spirit will reign in God’s eternal kingdom, established and built by Christ, and made real in this physical world by His Spirit of reality dwelling in our spirits, forming His bride the New Jerusalem.

 

“And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev. 21:2)

 

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:5)

 

Be filled with the Spirit, and speak, not with your own tongue, but only as the Spirit gives you utterance. Then Christ will be the Head and we will be His body expressing only Him. “Making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite [to head up] all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Eph. 1:9-10)

What is the current of the Holy Spirit?

To experience God today, we need to realize the Holy Spirit is leading us forward today. The Holy Spirit is establishing the Kingdom of God on this earth. It is a flowing river coming out from the throne. The current of the Holy Spirit is the one leading us onward today. God was placed in front of the children of Israel in the Ark of the Covenant leading His people to cross the Jordan and to defeat Jericho. “At the end of three days the officers went through the camp and commanded the people, ‘As soon as you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place and follow it. Yet there shall be a distance between you and it, about 2000 cubits in length. Do not come near it, in order that you may know the way you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.’” (Jos. 3:2-4). The Lord as the Holy Spirit leads us today. In defeating Jericho, the ark led the way in circling the city once for 6 days, then 7 times on the 7th day. No longer were the children of Israel complaining as they did when they came out of Egypt. In fact, not a word came out of their mouth. “But Joshua commanded the people, ‘You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout.’” (Jos. 6:10) The children of Israel, transformed now by eating only manna, were to remain silent, with no expression of their flesh, no complains of why they were doing what they were doing, until they were to shout in unison, and the walls of the stronghold of Jericho fell down. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:4) The 120 in the upper room in Acts no longer spoke from themselves, but with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. This is the Holy Spirit today, leading the church onward so we are one in the current of the Holy Spirit.

When the body follows the Spirit, there is only one flow for it is only the one mind of Christ that is expressed in the body. “…But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:16) “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Php. 2:5) That is how God accomplishes His purpose so all things become headed up in Christ. “Making known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself. Unto the economy of the fullness of the times, to head up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, in Him.” (Eph. 2:20-22)

When Christ heads up all things in us, realize it is the Holy Spirit that is transmitting all the elements of Christ into us. The term “Holy Spirit” is used only in reference to the Spirit after Jesus resurrected. Before the Spirit of God was simply referred to as the Spirit. It was because the Spirit was not yet. Before Jesus died for us, with reference to time, the Spirit did not contain the elements of Jesus’s humanity, nor His death, resurrection and ascension. That is why the Spirit was “not yet”. “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’ But this He said concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed into Him were about to receive; for the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.” (John 7: 37-39 – Recovery Version) Before Jesus died for us, redemption had not been accomplished yet so the Spirit was not released for the disciples to receive. When Jesus’s Spirit was released to us after His death, resurrection, and ascension, He became the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45) that could enter into man. He was one with the Holy Spirit now. That is why in Acts, the saints, forming his body, were led by the Holy Spirit. “And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.” (Acts 16:6-7) Realize the “Holy Spirit” and the “Spirit of Jesus” are now interchangeably used in leading the saints. It is now the Ark of the Covenant before his people, the Christians forming His body, the church, today.

This Spirit of Jesus contains all the elements of Jesus’s humanity, with His forgiveness and forbearance, and is now the Holy Spirit within us, becoming a flowing river within the believers. “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever, but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water gushing up into eternal life.” (John 4:14) The Spirit of Jesus not only satisfies us so we would never thirst again, but it will satisfy those around us, supplying them with life through the expressed humanity and divinity of Christ emanating from us. The expression of Jesus in His humanity emanating from us will flow out of us to others supplying them with life. That is the Spirit of Jesus becoming our constitution. “He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38) This living water that flows out of us is for others to drink. That is why when Stephen was stoned, he behaved just like Christ when He was crucified. “But being full of the Holy Spirit, he looked intently into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, Behold. I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God. But they cried out with a loud voice and covered their ears and rushed upon him with one accord. And they threw him outside of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man called Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he called upon the Lord and said, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit! And kneeling down, he cried out with a loud voice, Lord, do not hold this sin against them. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” (Acts 7:55-60) As he was dying, with his last breath, Stephen was concerned about those stoning him to death. Realize he was one with the Spirit of Jesus. He uttered what Jesus said at His crucifixion, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) He was worried about the very men that were involved in His death. “And crying out with a loud voice, Jesus said, Father into Your hands I commit My spirit. And saying this, He expired.” (Luke 23:46) When our spirits are one with the Spirit of Jesus, we will forgive, forebear and genuinely love our enemies as ourselves. This is how the body supplies each other so we grow together as one. The expression of Jesus’s humanity through us knits us together into one, where Christ becomes the Head, and we become His body. “But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ, out from whom all the body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the body unto the building up of itself in love.” (Eph. 4:15-16) “Being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus being the cornerstone. In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord. In whom you are also being built together into a dwelling place of God in Spirit.” (Eph. 2:20-22)

 

This is what the Spirit of Jesus is doing today.

That is the current of the Holy Spirit flowing today leading us onward to establish the Kingdom of God.

That is why we must be “diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” (Eph. 4:3-5) When we let the Holy Spirit lead us, forsaking all else and denying ourselves, then Christ, as the Holy Spirit, could be over all and through all and in all.

What is “For to me to live is Christ…”?

When Paul says these seven simple words, “For to me to live is Christ…” (Php. 1:21), what does he mean? What did he see in his Spirit? What was he seeing with his inner eyes? What was his vision of Christ.

We know that man cannot be holy. Holiness is a distinctiveness of God. It makes God distinct from man. Yet Paul says, “For to me to live is Christ…” (Php. 1:21) This living of his human life on this earth is somehow so intimately one with the Spirit that he could say “For to me to live is Christ…” Realize Paul has joined himself with the Lord and become one Spirit with Him. “But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” (1 Cor. 6:17) Through the expression of the Spirit of reality that lives inside of Paul, Christ has made him a son of God in life and nature. Paul becomes the expression of Christ Himself on this earth. He has become a member of Christ’s body, fully saturated by Christ Himself. That is why when he was sailing to Rome as a prisoner to stand before Caesar, and they encountered this violent wind called Euraquilo (Acts 27:14) and they were being violently storm-tossed, he stood among the men in the boat and said, “Yet now I urge you to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only the ship. For this very night an angel of God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.’ Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told.” (Acts 27:22-25) Realize this is a man who has become one with Christ. His living on this earth was an expression of Christ.

“When they had been brought safely through, then we found out that the island was called Malta. The natives showed us extraordinary kindness; for because of the rain that had set in and because of the cold, they kindled a fire and received us all. But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand. When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they began saying to one another, ‘Undoubtedly this man is a murderer, and though he has been saved from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live.’ However he shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm. But they were expecting that he was about to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had waited a long time and had seen nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and began to say that he was a god.” (Acts 28:1-6) Realize that Christ had worked Himself into Paul to such an extent that human problems that were contrary to God’s plans no longer affect him. He simply shook off the attacks of Satan as Christ was living in him.

How did Paul become this way? Realize he never met Jesus before His resurrection. In fact, he was persecuting the Christians when he met the resurrected Christ. He was the instigator that persecuted Stephen. He was there when Stephen was stoned.

“But being full of the Holy Spirit, he [Stephen] gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse. When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!’ Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them!’ Having said this, he fell sleep.” (Acts 7:55-60)

The people placed their robes at the feet of Saul as they stoned Stephen. However, Stephen eyes were on the Lord. His inner eyes were open by the Spirit dwelling in him so he saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God. As opposed to the picture of Christ sitting (Mat. 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 22:69; Eph. 1:20; 2:8; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:13; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2), here Jesus is standing, active and concerned in carrying out God’s economy, in caring for Stephen. As they stoned Stephen, he said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” reflecting what Jesus said at his crucifixion, “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit.” (Luke 23:46) Then as a last line, realize, Stephen or Christ living in Stephen (for they are one Spirit), was worried about those stoning him, and said, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” with his last breathe. As he was dying, he was more worried about the people stoning him. Realize in Stephen, Christ has transformed him into the same image as himself (2 Cor. 3:18). Jesus had pleaded for His accusers also. “But Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’” (Luke 23:34) This is Christ, propagated in His body, of which Stephen was a member. This is Christ expressed in His body the church. This is Christ magnified in Stephen’s body. “According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I will be put to shame, but with all boldness, as always, even now Christ will be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Php. 1:20-21 – Recovery Version) Stephen was a testimony of Christ living within him. Saul (Paul) witnessed this.

That is why when Saul was on the way to Damascus, when Jesus appeared to him saying, “’Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘Who are You, Lord’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus who you are persecuting.’” (Acts 9:4-5), Saul saw what he was doing in persecuting Stephen was to Christ Himself. He saw Christ living within the expression of Stephen, whom he persecuted. He saw Christ within all the members of Christ’s body whom he had persecuted. Realize Saul was spiritually blinded and could not see the reality of the Spirit expressing Christ. Only when Christ appeared to his spirit, when the Spirit Himself witnesses with his spirit (Rom. 8:16), could Paul see. “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eyes see You.” (Job 42:5)

That is why, “The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to you fathers, saying, ‘Go to the people and say, “You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; and you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; for the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I would heal them.’” (Acts 28:25-27) On bended knees, I urge us all to ask God to open our eyes so we could see Him so He could express through us as His body. That Christ would be magnified in your body. That for you to live is Christ…

 

When Paul shook off the viper that fastened of him, even the unbelievers saw that somehow God was one with him and “…began to say that he was a god.” (Acts 28:6) Realize this is the propagation of the sons of God. Christ was the firstborn of many brothers. As the last Adam, by releasing the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45) into the believers, He propagated Himself into man. He placed the divine life into us, being born into us so God is propagated and the reality of Christ is growing in us, maturing in His many sons. That is why we are His body. He is the Head, expressing His will, His person, and His life through the body. We serve as channels of the very expression of who He is.

That is how God makes us holy. “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Pet. 1:16)

 

God is love…And we are the expressed part of who He is…

 

“For to me, to live is Christ…” (Php. 1:21)

How can we be holy as He is holy?

Holiness is a distinctiveness of God. It is what makes Him distinct from anything else. That is the very definition of God. He is holy. So how are we to be holy?

Jesus said to us, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mat. 5:48) What did He mean by this? In fact, all the people of God was supposed to be holy, “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” (Lev. 19:2) Holiness is a distinctiveness only of God. Yet we are reminded by Peter, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Pet. 1:16) What does this mean? How are we to be holy?

Realize human beings can never be holy by themselves. No matter how hard we try, no matter how righteous we are, no matter how perfect we think we are, as human beings, we can never be holy, as it is a distinctiveness of God. The only way to be holy then is to let God express Himself through us. That is why God says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Pet. 1:16) To be holy is a passive term. We do not make ourselves holy; we become holy for He is holy. The holiness of Christ having taken residence in us, dwelling within man, living within His believers, makes us holy.

This holiness dwelling in us needs to be expressed so God lives out of us. The only way to do this is to die to ourselves so Christ could live out of us. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) When we no longer live to ourselves, when we no longer cherish our soul-lives (Rev. 12:11), Christ can live out of us so we express His holiness. That is why those who find their lives will lose it, those who lose their lives will find it (Mat. 10:39; 16:25; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24; 17:33). This concept is repeated five times in the Bible for emphasis. When we lose our soul life, we will gain the divine life of Christ. Realize Christ will become our person and be expressed through our humanity. The love that is of God will be expressed in us to our brothers. That is how we love our neighbours as ourselves.

That is why Christ was incarnated to be a man, so He could experience what we experience in our humanity, and bring that back to God during His resurrection and ascension. Realize He brought humanity back to divinity. When Jesus resurrected, a new creation was formed. When He was born of Mary, He was the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16); when He resurrected, He became the firstborn Son of God (Col. 1:15; Rom. 8:29). As the firstborn Son of God, He had a humanity that has already been tested. So when He released the life-giving Spirit to us (1 Cor. 15:45), the Spirit has all the aspects of human living in Him. It had experienced all our temptations, all our needs and limitations of the flesh, all our desires to do things according to ourselves, and was victorious over all things, subjecting all things under His feet (Eph. 1:17). Realize this is the Christ that we have now received. It is victorious in all aspects of our humanity. In fact, the love we have for each other, the joy we share, the peace between men, the patience we show each other, the kindness we express, the goodness towards each other, the faithfulness we keep, the gentleness of our hearts, and the self-control we express, becomes a display of the fruit of the Spirit, of Christ Himself, lived out of us (Gal. 5:22-23). The two natures, Christ’s divinity and Christ’s humanity, has become one now expressed through His body, us. That is why whatever we bind on this earth will be bound in heaven and whatever we loose on this earth will be loosed in heaven (Mat. 16:19; 18:18). That is why “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” (Mat. 6:10; Luke 11:2)

Where do we get the power to do this? Realize it is only in the power of the Holy Spirit. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:9) After the disciples received Christ and received the Holy Spirit as life to them, they were born again with an eternal life. “And when He had said this, He breathed of them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” (John 20:22) They were born of the Holy Spirit, but not filled with the fullness of the Spirit. They had the divine life, but had not recognized the divine power of this life that was in them. They still needed to be filled with the fullness of the Holy Spirit. That is why, in His resurrection, Christ appeared to His disciples for forty days (Acts 1:3). This forty days was to remind us of the forty years the children of Israel spent in the wilderness. Having crossed the Red Sea, the children of Israel were all baptized and received the Holy Spirit as life to them. Yet all those that came out of Egypt had to die in the wilderness so the world (Egypt) could be left behind. They had to lose their life to gain it. Those that were born in the wilderness depended only on manna as their source of energy. They depended on the heavenly things, the manna, as their bread of life. “Jesus then said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My /father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.’” (John 6:32-33) “I am the bread of life…” (John 6:35) When humans derive their energy purely on Christ as their bread of life and live this way, they don’t need to cut off their flesh. That is why the children of Israel that was born in the wilderness were not circumcised until they reached the good land and the manna stopped. “For all the people who came out were circumcised, but all the people who were born in the wilderness along the way as they came out of Egypt had not been circumcised.” (Jos. 5:5) As we cross the Jordan to live with the inhabitants of this world again, we need to be circumcised. When we gain our strength from this world, we need to cut off our flesh. “Now when they had finished circumcising all the nation…” (Jos. 5:9) “On the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. The manna ceased on the day after they had eaten some of the produce of the land so that the sons of Israel no longer had manna…” (Jos. 5:11-12) Realize the source of our power to live this divine life, must be of the Holy Spirit, the bread of life. That is why in crossing the Jordan, God’s people had a second baptism. To cross into the good land and function in this world to win over its inhabitants, as God’s people, His ambassadors in chains (Eph. 6:20) must be immersed in the Holy Spirit. We must be inwardly baptized in the Holy Spirit. “For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:5) In this baptism of the Holy Spirit, we will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us. Today it is simply realizing the power of the Spirit that is living within us, to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Php. 1:21) We have died to our soul-life so we live Christ.

When we realize the power of the Spirit living within, we become witnesses of the Spirit that is living within us. We become witnesses of the Spirit today that is operating within us as Christians. When Jesus met Saul on the road to Damascus, He said to Saul, “But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you;” (Acts 26:16) Realize the Spirit living in us not only gives us utterance so we speak the words of God as a minister who teaches, but we are appointed a witness of the Spirit living within us. A witness is one who provides testimony—testimony of the reality of the Spirit that is living within. The Spirit not only makes real to Paul the things which he had seen, it makes real to him things in the future that are about to come, when the Spirit will appear to Paul in “the things in which I will appear to you.” (Acts 26:16) Today as we live this life, the Spirit is appearing to us moment by moment in all things, bringing us into a heavenly way of living and behaving that is of the Spirit, of the Christ that is living within us. We live and walk by the Spirit. “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25) As Christians, we become witnesses of this reality. That is why, “And they overcame him (Satan) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their [soul]-life even when faced with death.” (Rev. 12:11) As witnesses of the Spirit, the word of our testimony is Christ’s reality lived out of us. That overcomes Satan. As Christ lives out of us, the reality of the fruit of the Spirit is expressed in us. “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control,” (Gal. 5:22-23) all the reality of the fruit of the Spirit, Christ Himself, is expressed from us. We “belong to Christ Jesus [and] have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Gal. 5:24) We did not love our soul-life even when faced with death (Rev. 12:11) and have presented ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God (Rom. 12:1). “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) “If we live by the Spirit, let us walk by the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:23)

This is how the body of Christ is built in one accord. We no longer separate ourselves according to what we hold as somehow “more righteous” in the church. There is no longer groups of Christians, but just one body of Christ. When we let the Spirit lead us, we are all one body. “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling.” (Eph. 4:4) We no longer hold up ideas that separate, but we simply let the Spirit lead, just as the ark of the covenant led the children of Israel as they crossed the Jordon and as they defeated Jericho where the walls were shaken and came tumbling down. “And when they has prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. For there was not a needy person among them…” (Acts 4:31-34) Realize the apostles in Acts defeated Jericho, shaking it to its foundations. When they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they were led by Christ living within them. They did not speak from their soul-life, but spoke only the word of God with boldness. They were witnesses of the Spirit, giving a testimony of what they saw of the resurrected Christ. They were now in one accord as a people, doing whatever the Spirit wanted and going wherever the Spirit led them. “They answered Joshua, saying, ‘All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.’” (Jos. 1:16) The congregation of believers formed the one body of Christ—they were of one heart and soul. They did not claim that anything belonged to themselves personally, but all things were common. Realize this implies that they had given up their soul-lives in this world. They had entered into the land flowing with milk and honey so “abundant grace was upon them all. For there was not a needy person among them…” (Acts 4:33-34) This is the reality of the one Spirit and one body of Christ.

 

May the Lord open our inner spiritual eyes to see this reality today so we would be overcomers in His church.

 

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling.” (Eph. 4:4)

Why is praising in one accord realizing Christ’s victory?

Praising God is not asking God in prayer for something; it is declaring that Christ has won the victory. Our praising of God is a declaration of His victory. Our fervent praise of Him in unceasing prayers (1 The. 5:7) not only keeps us in the temple, bringing us into oneness with Him (1 Cor. 6:17), so we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16) and move and function as His body (Eph. 4:12); but it declares God’s victory over heaven and earth. To gain this victory over the earth today, realize we don’t fight, we simply need to claim the victory in Christ.

Realize that the church is like Joshua today, entering into the good land to win its inhabitants over to Christ. When Christ is sown into unbelievers (Mark 4:1-20) and grows out of them so they have put on Christ (Gal. 3:27), we begin to enjoy the expression of Christ in His body. We enjoy the richness of the expressed Christ in each other. The reality of the Triune God expressed through the Spirit of reality (John 14:17) living inside each one of us is the milk and honey we enjoy flowing from this good land. This is the enjoyment of the all inclusive Christ expressed in His body today.

When Christ flows from us in our humanity, realize our flesh of sin is no more, we now express Christ in His holiness through the body. That is why when we are fed with manna, we don’t need to be circumcised in our flesh, just as the children of Israel, when they only fed on manna, remained uncircumcised. “For all the people who came out were circumcised; but all the people who were born in the wilderness along the way as they came out of Egypt had not been circumcised.” (Jos. 5:5) When the source of our strength in our life is based solely on manna, on Christ alone, we don’t need to be circumcised as our expression is only of Him and not of our flesh. So the expression of our flesh does not need to be cut, just like the hair on the high priests. “They shall not make any baldness on their heads; nor shave off the edges on their beards, nor make cuts in their flesh.” (Lev. 21:5) Realize when Christ is our all in all, and we only express Him, there is no expression of our flesh, so we do not cut it. When Christ is all that we express, we have “clothed ourselves in fine linen, bright and clean” (Rev 19:8). We have made ourselves ready as the bride for Christ (Rev. 19:7).

Unfortunately we are not there today. That is why we need to submit ourselves to Him. When we first believed, coming out of Egypt and being baptized in the Red Sea, we had lots of complaints about what will happen to us in the wilderness. But as we ate the manna daily, eating Christ as our daily bread (John 6:35), we were “being transformed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3:17) so we could be built into His church. On stepping into the Jordon, when the ark of the covenant was leading the way, the waters dried up as the priests’ feet touched the water. “And when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of the harvest), the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off.” (Jos. 3:15-16) On entering the waters of death in this world, when Christ works through His body, all we need to do is touch our feet to the waters and it will dry up. Then in the midst of the waters, we stand firm. “And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm of dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.” (Jos. 3:17) It is in the midst of the waters of death that Joshua builds the church. “Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan at the place where the feet of the priests who carried the ark of the covenant were standing, and they are there to this day.” (Jos. 4:9) God begins His church in the midst of the Jordan, but then His body, represented by the twelve tribes of Israel who are God’s people, are to select twelve stones from the midst of the Jordan and bring it out to Gilgal. “Take for yourselves twelve man from the people, one man from each tribe, and command them, saying, ‘Take up for yourselves twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet are standing firm, and carry them over with you and lay them down in the lodging place where you will lodge tonight.’” (Jos. 4:2-3) “Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern edge of Jericho. Those twelve stones which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal.” (Jos. 4:19-20) Realize the church as the body of Christ, which was built at first in the waters of death, has now come out of this world. Christ has sanctified it and placed it on the good land in victory. This good land Christ has already given to us. “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given to you, just as I spoke to Moses.” (Jos. 1:3) On this good land, we are to do nothing but follow Him. The ark of the covenant led the way to victory for Israel. The Spirit now leads us in victory over this world. That is how we possess this good land. That is how we win over the inhabitants of this earth to Christ .

On this good land, we are in one accord, following the Spirit. We don’t express ourselves, not to even let a word proceed out of our mouths (Jos. 6:19) until the Spirit within us gives us utterance, telling us to “Shout!,” because we are filled with the Spirit (Acts 2:4). “Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to who belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Pet. 4:11) When we speak, we must be filled with the Spirit and it must be the Spirit giving us the utterance. “And pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Eph. 6:19-20) When we talk to unbelievers, the Spirit speaking out of us will touches their spirit, so they will understand. Realize as a member of His body, we are only an ambassador of Christ in chains. We don’t speak from ourselves but from the Christ that is dwelling in us. That is how His body is maintained in one accord, speaking boldly as we ought to speak. There is no head but Christ. When we speak, it must represent Christ as we are ambassadors is chains. When we open our mouth, realize it must be Christ. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit so He speaks out of us. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:4) When the Spirit speaks out of us, we declare His victory.

When we use our mouths to declare His victory, we have shouted in unison. When the body speaks this way, the strongholds of the enemy will fall down. On the seventh day, the day of our Sabbath rest, the walls of Jericho fell. The strongholds of this world, no matter what it is, cannot withstand our shout of victory. No matter what circumstances in this world we find ourselves in, when we shout His praise in unison as His body, we have won the victory. That is why we simply need to claim the victory in Christ who has now sat down on the right hand of God and we are seated with Him. “These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” (Eph. 1:19-23) “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:4-7) Christ has already won the victory. We, as His body, simply need to claim it. Realize when all things are in subjection under His feet and we form His body, all thing are in subjection under His church. That is how we win over the inhabitants of this land to Christ.

Realize as Paul was praying, even in a prison cell by himself, he was one with the body. That is why he said, “And pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel” (Eph. 6:19) Paul never saw himself as being eloquent in speech or someone leading the way. “Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent.” (2 Cor. 10:1) In front of people, Paul is small. “For they say, ‘His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is unimpressive and his speech contemptible.’ Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when absent, such persons we are in deed when present.” (2 Cor. 10:10-11) Paul is very small in his flesh before the saints. That is why, “To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ.” (Eph. 3:8) Only when we are small, can God freely speak through our bodies. So to the smallest members of the body, be encouraged to “Shout” when the Spirit gives you utterance, to build up the body of Christ.

Through the Spirit, He is working in us, expressing Himself out of us for the enjoyment of all the members of Christ. Our testimonies of what God is doing in our lives is how we conquer the enemy. “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their [soul]-life even when faced with death.” (Rev. 12:11) What we say is not only our testimony, but our declaration of Christ’s victory in our lives and over the inhabitants of this land. When we claim His victory by our testimonies, we have unfurled our banners (S.S. 4:12), blowing our trumpets declaring our victory, and praising Him.

 

As the body of Christ, let us shout together in praise, for Christ has led us to victory.

 

In His victory, Christ has not only brought divinity into humanity, freeing us from sin, but the fineness of our linen that is bright and clean, is because He has brought humanity into divinity.

 

 

Why does Christ and us, His body, win the war and we enjoy His riches?

To mature in Christ means the Spirit has won the spiritual war between our flesh and the Spirit by our love for God, submitting our will to His will so He can do everything in us and Christ becomes our all in all. By taking God as our Sabbath rest, we have won the war. This is how Christ builds His church on this earth today. He does it actively in us when we are submissive to Him. This is typified by how Christ led the nation of Israel to conquer Jericho and take the good land.

When the nation of Israel was brought out of Egypt, they walked into the wilderness for forty years so they could be entirely transformed, by feeding on food from heaven, into a new creation that was ready to take the good land. All that was from Egypt, their former way of life in their flesh, had to die in the wilderness so the people who are transformed by the eating of the manna, now forming their very bodies, could cross the river Jordon and enter the good land. Just as Moses, the deliverer, who was a type of Christ, left the children of Israel to conquer the good land, realize Christ has also left us in His human form so we, the ones that are transformed inwardly, are to conquer this world and build His church. Because of Satan’s usurpation, this earth in entirely inhabited by the enemy at Moses’s time. No one else had received the manna but God’s people. The children of Israel were facing what seemed like an impossible task.

That was what the apostles were facing. After the day of Pentecost, the 120 transformed people of God that were filled with the Spirit and spoke as the Spirit gave them utterance, now faced a world usurped by Satan, that they needed to conquer, so the nations can receive the divine life of Christ by believing and form His body. The earth, occupied by the nations, had to be conquered and transformed into the good land, where Christ is produced. Christ has to become the reality of the good land in us so we express Him a milk and honey. That is why we are God’s field. “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” (1 Cor. 3:9) The seed, Christ Himself, is sown into us transforming us, so we become God’s field, and He grows out of us as the expression of the good land, flowing with milk and honey. Realize Christ Himself becomes everything.

When Christ is everything to us, and we solely rely on Him, we don’t need to cut off our flesh. The people who had been born in the wilderness, who were made of manna, were not circumcised. “Though all the people who came out had been circumcised, yet all the people who were born on the way in the wilderness after they had come out of Egypt had not been circumcised.” (Jos. 5:6) Their expression of the flesh was clean as long as the source of their strength is from heaven. But as they entered into the war over Jordon and were no longer exclusively fed by manna but fed by the produce of this earth, they needed again to be circumcised. Christ had been their food so long as they ate the bread from heaven. “And on the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. And manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.” (Jos. 5:11) When we base the source of our strength on the produce of this earth, realize our flesh needs to be circumcised so we have no confidence in the flesh. Only when Christ is the source of our strength, when He is expressed through us, do we not need to cut off our expression.

When Christ leads the way, our victory in this world is complete. “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses.” (Jos. 1:3) Realize though it seems like an impossible task, to build the church and win on this earth, Christ has already given us this land. This is why Jesus said, “…In Me you will have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) He has already overcome the world. When He leads us, we will say, “Truly the Lord has given all the land into our hands. And also, all the inhabitants of the land melt away because of us.” (Jos. 2:24) Even Rahab, a prostitute inhabiting the land, realized this. “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that the inhabitants of the land melt away before you…And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.” (Jos. 2:8-11) “As soon as all the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan to the west, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan for the people of Israel until they had crossed over, their hearts melted and there was no longer any spirit in them because of the people of Israel.” (Jos. 5:1) Realize this is how God builds his church today. We just need to let Christ lead us. When we speak to the inhabitants of this earth, the Spirit must need the way. When Christ leads the way, realize the people we speak to will hear the Spirit speak to their spirit. Their hearts will melt and there will be no spirit left in them. That is how God won the war through Joshua and the nation of Israel.

Realize the Ark of the Covenant went before the children of Israel. The Ark led the way to victory. When the Ark walks before us, the waters of the Jordon will part. “Now then, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man for each tribe. It shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordon, the waters of the Jordon will be cut off, and the waters which are flowing from above will stand in one heap.” (Jos. 3:12-13) The world that is under the waters of death will part so we could cross. In taking down the stronghold that is Jericho the Lord has to take the lead. Realize not only in the commander of the Lord’s army with us, but the Ark of the Covenant leads the way. “And he said, ‘No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, ‘What does my lord say to his servant?’ And the commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, ‘Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.” (Jos. 5:14-15) Realize Joshua is not longer the Christ figure as Moses was, the commander of the army of the Lord is. Joshua represents one of us, the body of Christ, and not the head, the commander. He is part of the body, a corporate Joshua who follows the Lord. The whole nation of Israel was with Joshua. “And they answered Joshua, ‘All that you commanded us we will do, and where ever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we sill obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you, as he was with Moses! Whoever rebels against your commandment and disobeys your words, whatever you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.'” (Jos. 1:16-18) Realize the children of Israel is no longer rebelled against Moses, the type of Christ, as they did when they came out of Egypt. They had been transformed as a nation in one accord by the eating of the manna. They expressed the will of God in one accord. They have formed a corporate Joshua that follows the Lord. That is why they just followed when Joshua told them to simply walk around Jericho, blowing their trumpets and not saying a word, in doubt or in complaint. They simply let the Lord lead them to victory.

“Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in. And the Lord said to Joshua, ‘See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valour.” (Jos. 6:1-2) In winning men to Christ, realize the Lord has given them into our hands. Their hearts have melted, they no longer have the spirit to fight us. “You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seven day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.” (Jos. 6:3-5) Satan has built strongholds in this world. “For our wrestling is not against blood and flesh but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies.” (Eph. 6:12 – Recovery Version) To defeat this stronghold, realize we have to do nothing but walk with God. In obeying God to walk around the city, the children of Israel had to do nothing to defeat Jericho. “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” (2 Cor. 10:4) They just had let God lead them to victory. That is why they blew their trumpets continually (Jos. 6:8-9) to proclaim their victory in the Lord. That is why it was on the seventh day, the day of the Sabbath rest when they were to do no labour that the walls of Jericho fell. To defeat the enemy, we are to make no noise, no expression from our flesh, nothing unclean that proceeds out of our mouth. “But Joshua commanded the people, ‘You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout.’” (Jos. 6:10) The expression from our mouths has to be in co-ordination with the body of Christ so oneness is kept within the body. God has a group of people on this earth for His possession. He has used various individuals through the centuries that are like the Joshua’s of our day to recover various truths (realities) within His Word. Presently, on this earth, He has a group of people for His possession, a corporate Joshua. If you see this matter of the one body of Christ, realize you need to join these overcomers and gather yourselves in a real way to be in the army of God. Only under the corporate Joshua of our time can the body be fully build into His bride as the New Jerusalem. The strategy of the enemy had been to divide us, having us head up so many ideas in church theology, separating the body of Christ into so many groups of believers. Of the seven different churches in Revelation, realize all the differences are negative. Realize Christ is calling us all to be the overcomers so we could be formed into the one body of Christ on this earth for Him to return to claim His one bride. Only when Christ takes the lead, when all things are headed up in Christ, can the body be unified into one (Eph. 1:9-10). In this world, only when we stand firm in oneness, with Christ leading us on, can His church be built. As the Ark of the Covenant led the children of Israel through the Jordon, the Lord said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe of man, and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’” (Jos. 4:2-3) In building His church out of living stones taken out of the midst of this world, we have to stand firmly as priests to God with each other to form his body the church. Nothing of our flesh should get in the way as it is unclean. In co-ordination and co-operation with the corporate Joshua of our time, Christ will build His church. The church needs to be formed by people who overcome the pettiness of our different theological arguments, which hold no weight in reality before God. Realize only the Spirit is the common element that has been deposited in each one of us. The Spirit of reality has been given to each one of us in its fullness. There is only one Spirit. “For in one Spirit we were baptized into one body…and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” (1 Cor. 12:13) We are “…standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” (Phi. 1:27) This one mind is the mind of Christ. “‘For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:16)

The mind of Christ forgives each other unlike in the times of Joshua when those who did not follow were put to death (Jos. 1:18). [Realize it can be as serious as that with what happened to Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11).] So we need to forebear each other (Phi. 4:5) so we become not only a chosen race containing Christ forming a royal priesthood to the world, but we become a holy nation to fight the war in one accord to claim the good land where all the inhabitants’ hearts melt and they no longer have any spirit in them to fight, so they receive Christ into their hearts and more people are made like us, a people for God’s own possession. (1 Pet. 2:9) That is why “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Pet. 2:9) This is the unity of the one mind of Christ, so the expression of the body proclaims the excellencies of Christ who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. Christ is the head who wills and works in us so the expression of the body is of Him.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Mat. 28:18-20) To win the war today, we do not destroy the inhabitants of the land, we rescue them out of their death situation on this earth into the life of Christ in His heavenly kingdom. In His ascension the inhabitants of this land will melt before us. Realize Christ is timeless. In His ascension, everything has been accomplished already and Christ has sat down on the right hand of God. The land has been given to us. He has brought us into the heavenlies to sit with Him. However, we are temporal and just don’t realize it yet. We still think that we know better and need to do these various things to please God. As a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people for His possession, we just need to praise God for His accomplishments through Christ, taking our Sabbath rest. Our fervent praise of Him in unceasing prayer keeps us in the temple, bringing us into oneness with Him, so we have the mind of Christ and move and function as His body. Then Christ, living out of us, makes disciples of all the nations for Christ is within us always, even to the end of the age.

 

By allowing Christ to head up all things in us, the invisible God, made visible in Christ and His body, defeats Satan and wins the war, recovering man into Him. By enjoying Christ as the produce of the good land, man becomes holy in Him. Realize all this is because He loved us.

The Spirit’s victory over the flesh.

[Please read this very, very slowly in your spirit with His Spirit helping you understand. If you have been following this website, this will lead you into the inner sanctum of God to see His victory.]

For the Spirit to have victory over the flesh means we have to submit ourselves to God. Why do we need to submit to Him? Realize this is the original problem. When we took from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we took something in the realm of God. “Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil, and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.’” (Gen. 3:22) We, who were made of the flesh, knew something that was of the divine. The problem is we only had the knowledge of good and evil but not the ability to carry it out. That is why Paul says, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” (Rom. 7:18) We gained a conscience but did not know how to handle it because we were not divine. This conscience became ours when it was suppose to be of God. So we add to it sometimes or subtract from it sometimes. We think we are the masters of it and sometimes ignore it all together. And other times we think we can be holy and enforce it on others. That is the state of mankind. That is why this world is full of afflictions. To maintain a good conscience, we need to submit to the living God dwelling inside our temples and not rely on our flesh to be able to do what we know is right. We need to rely on the Spirit dwelling within each one of us to live this life. To be able to carry out the good that we know requires God’s holiness. That is why we need the Spirit, returned back to us as our possession so we could be freed from the bondage of sin. As Christians who have the life of the Lord, we often think we can do things for God based on what we know in the flesh. But to do the right thing is a distinctiveness of God. Satan thought he could do it also and have the glory to himself. We are like Satan because after knowing good and evil, we think we can head up all things in ourselves. Only Christ living out of us can meet the righteous requirements of the law and make us holy in expression. That is why the Ten Commandments are all what we should not do. (Even honouring our father and mother is because we are not honouring them at present.) “Thou shall not…” the Lord tells us, because we are heading up all things in ourselves without God. Lev. 19 is full of things “Thou shall not…” do. That is why we need to submit our will to His will. We cannot do it ourselves. We cannot hold up the book indefinitely against gravity (sin) because we are finite. Only God is eternal and holy. We need to have a Sabbath rest in Him. We need to have no labour and have a complete rest in Him. The first day of our week is His Sabbath rest. When we submit our wills to His will and let God do everything for us, we no longer love our soul-lives (Rev. 12:11). Christ becomes the Head, and we become His body, fulfilling God’s eternal purpose. “Making known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself, unto the economy of the fullness of the times, to head up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, to Him.” (Eph. 1:9-10 – Recovery Version) That is why He is the Godhead and we are the body that is the same as God in life, nature, expression and function but not in the Godhead. We become God’s people, a people for His own possession who are one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17). We become holy as He is holy in all our manners of life (1 Pet. 1:15-16). We become His bride and counterpart. That is why in Christian growth, the weaker we are, the more He has grown in us and can use us. This is true Christian maturity. It is not how good we are, but how much God is realized in us. Realize we are the feeble ones, the weaker ones, the women and children in Jacob’s camp. We have wrestled with the Spirit, and He has made us limp in our flesh so we could be transformed in the spirit, giving us a new name so we now depend on Him (Gen. 32:24-32) and His sovereignty to deal with our problems, so our anxieties go away.  Only to these weak ones can the Spirit truly express Himself. Paul saw himself as the weakest of all the saints. “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” (Eph. 3:8) Paul saw himself as the smallest one of all the saints; that is why God can use him to write most of the New Testament. He has lost his soul-life; he puts no confidence in his flesh (Phi. 3:3). The more we realize that we are nothing, the more Christ can live out of us. “…For apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) as God in holy. When we are submissive to Him in this way, with plaited hair (S.S. 1:11), having shaved off all our own hair (the expression of our flesh) we will be declared clean from leprosy (sin).

When we no longer express our flesh, we would be like the priests in the temple who are holy, expressing Christ alone. “They shall not make any baldness of their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts in their flesh.” (Lev. 21:5) The expressions in our flesh become Christ’s expressions as we no longer live to ourselves but Christ lives in us (Gal. 2:20). That is why as priests to Him today, we don’t shave off the edges of our beards nor cut our flesh as Christ is expressed through us. To qualify us to be priests to him, we cannot have any deformities in our flesh. That is why, the Lord spoke to Moses saying, “Speak to Aaron, saying, ‘No man of your offspring throughout their generations who has a defect shall approach to offer the food of his God.’” (Lev. 21:17) because the expressions of the flesh in the priests are spotless and without blemish as we express God Himself.

Just before Christ ascended, He gave us one last teaching. In John 21, He said as a young man, we dress ourselves and walk wherever we want, but when we grow old in Christ, we just stretch out our hands and someone else dresses us and takes us where we don’t want to go (John 21:18). As we mature in our spiritual lives, Christ dresses us in fine linen, bright and clean and takes us to places where we don’t want to go in our flesh because we have submitted to Him and walk only by the Spirit. To grow in Christ to maturity, realize it is to become smaller and smaller so God can become bigger and bigger in our lives. “The priest who is the highest among the brothers, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured and who has been consecrated to wear the garments, shall not uncover his head nor tear his clothes, nor shall he approach any dead person, nor defile himself even for his father or his mother, nor shall he go out of the sanctuary nor profane the sanctuary of his God, for consecration of the anointing oil of his God is on him, I am the Lord.” (Lev. 21:10-12) For us to be the most mature among our brothers, we must have the Spirit as the anointing oil poured out on us, saturating our garments so our expression, what people see as our garments, is God Himself. Our head has to be covered because the headship is of Christ. We are submissive to His headship so He takes us to where we do not want to go. We do not tear our clothes as our expression in of God and we are not judged by anyone. We don’t defile ourselves by approaching anything that is dead in the old life that we have died to, even for our natural father and mother. We have become pillars in the temple of God and do not go out anymore because the Spirit has fully consecrated us as the Spirit has full control of our lives so we bear the name of God Himself on our being. “He who overcomes, I well make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore, and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.” (Rev. 3: 12) Realize this is why we are like God in life, nature, expression and function so He can put His name on us and we become the New Jerusalem. Realize it is only in our weakness that He shows His strengthen. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9) When enough members of the Body of Christ, His church, realizes this in reality, Christ will come back to claim His bride. When He comes, it will be a manifestation of His coming (I The. 2:8) because He has already returned to us within the saints who have matured in Him and hold Him as their possession. The Christ within these matured ones will simply be manifested at His coming. Dear saints, we simply need to submit to Him so Christ will live out of us as the expression of the invisible God (Col. 1:15). That is the purpose of man. Then what we do physically in this life will be an outward manifestation of His inward coming. That is why when He comes back this time, unlike the brightest star that shone over the city of Bethlehem at Jesus’s birth, it will be the morning star that arises in our hearts (2 Pet. 1:19). This is the secret that the whole church must see within their hearts to make ready the bride for the Bridegroom. When the morning star arises in our hearts, the day is dawning and Christ is coming as the light to shine in the darkness of our night.

Our submission to Christ is this secret the whole church must see because the perfection of the bride is how God wins in this war with Satan. When the bride has made herself ready is when the warrior have won the war. That is why in Ephesians 5, as the bride, we are to be submissive to our husband, and in Ephesians 6, we are told how to prepare ourselves to dress as the corporate warrior of God. When the bride has made herself ready, she is dressed in fine linen, bright and clean (Rev. 19:8). Realize this is our warrior outfit, dressed in fine linen, white and clean (Rev. 19:14). When we have put on this outfit, which is Christ Himself, we have won the war. That is why the bride and warrior are linked together. As the bride of Christ, to be His counterpart, we must submit to Him (Eph. 5:22-24) because this wins the war. Realize we are the battleground. The way to make us submissive is to love Him. Realize when we love, we will do everything for our counterpart. The love that Jesus asks of us is a self-sacrificial, unwavering, absolute love, an “agape” love, that is of God. In His resurrection, Jesus asked Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” (John 21:15) Notice Jesus refers back to Simon’s birth name in the flesh as the son of a man, John, and not as Peter, his new name as a rock on which Christ builds His church in the Spirit. The term He uses for “love” in the first two instances He asks this question is, however, an “agape” love. The “agape” form of love is the self-sacrificial unwavering absolute love that God has towards us in dying for us on the cross to save us. God is this love. It is this love for us that motivated Jesus to die on the cross for us. He asked Simon, who was a man in the flesh, does he have a self-sacrificial love for God. Simon, son of John, do you love me in a self-sacrificial unwavering absolute way. All Peter could say was, “You know that I love you.” This was not a straightforward statement of love because Peter knew he denied the Lord three times already. So the word Peter uses all three times for love was “philos,” a type of brotherly love in friendship. So when Jesus asked a third time, He used the word “philos” for “love” and settled for a human kind of love that is of man. When we are young, that is the only kind of love we could offer to God as we are still doing everything in ourselves. As we grow into maturity in Christ, more and more of Christ has been experientially realized by us and lived out of us, as we submit to Him so He dresses us in fine linen, bright and clean, expressing out of us and taking us to where we don’t want to go in our flesh. We love Him today because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). When we love him through Christ in a self-sacrificial unwavering absolute way, God’s kingdom will be manifested on this earth. As we realize we have been brought into the heavenlies to sit together with Christ (Eph. 2:6), the realities of the heavenlies will be expressed on this earth. So whatever we bind on this earth will be bound in heaven (Mat. 16:19; 18:18). Realize that is how Satan, who has been cast to this earth (Rev. 12:9), will be bound by Christ living through us. And whatever we loose of this earth will be loosed in heaven. That is how the Spirit will bring freedom to all of creation and be victorious over Satan through us. “That the creation itself also will be set free from slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Rom. 8:21) Christ has won the victory by living through us. The body of Christ has reached full maturity. That is the consummation of this age. Then we will spend an eternity in one Spirit with our Lord.

“Draw me after you and let us run together. The king has brought me into his chambers.” (S. S. 1:4) “…I found him whom my soul loves; I held him and would not let go…” (S. S. 3:4), as the bride clings to her beloved. “You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my darling. As lovely as Jerusalem, as awesome as an army with banners.” (S. S. 6:4) Realize the bride and the warrior are again linked together. As the bride, we are the transformed stones that are the building blocks of the New Jerusalem, formed as the bride for Christ. “And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev. 21:2) When the bride has made herself ready, Satan is defeated, so the army unfurls its banner in victory. “Who is this that grows like the dawn, as beautiful as the full moon, as pure as the sun, as awesome as an army with banners.” (S. S. 6:10) Christ, who is light, shines forth from us as reflected light shines forth from the moon in the night of this age of darkness. He is hidden in us as the hope of glory but is growing like the dawn until He shines forth fully from His bride as the sun, having burnt away all our dross (Isa. 1:25), so we are bright and clean. The problem God had in the beginning when “darkness was over the surface of the deep” (Gen. 1:2) is over as He becomes our light shining out of darkness (John 1:4), “because the darkness is passing away and the light is already shining” (1 John 2:8), until the bride makes herself ready, dressed in fine linen, bright and clean. We are as awesome as an army with banners as we have been transformed fully to the same image of Christ winning the war victoriously. That is why we will see Him, and He will put His name on our foreheads because we and Him are one. “They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night, and they will not have need of the light nor a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them, and they will reign forever and ever.” (Rev. 22:4-5)

 

“And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.” (Rev. 22:7)

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendent of David, the bright morning star.” (Rev. 22:16) See His Spirit shining within your spirits.

“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the on who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come, let the one who wishes take of the water of life without cost.” (Rev. 22:17)