How to Walk in the Grace of God: Part 3

The Atonement

To those of us who have accepted Christ and been born again, God has bestowed upon us His unmerited favor and put us in the position of grace because of the blood of Jesus Christ.

And because we are in this position of grace, God wants to manifest the power of grace so that we can abound to every good work.

He wants to give “grace for grace”.

This is helped by our understanding and having faith in the “atonement”.

Romans 5:11-  “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

In the Greek, the word translated “atonement” in the King James Version actually means “the exchange”. This “atonement” or “exchange” happened at Calvary.

The Bible teaches us that before a new covenant can be established, the old covenant has to be fulfilled. Jesus said that He came to fulfill the old covenant which was the Law of Moses.

Matthew 5:17-  “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”

The Bible says that sin is “the transgression of the law”, but that Jesus committed no sin (2 Cor. 5:21). Therefore, Jesus fulfilled the law in all points.

The Law of Moses promised that there would be certain blessings bestowed upon anyone who kept or fulfilled the law and did not transgress it.

Deuteronomy 28:2-   “And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.”

Among the blessings that would be given to those who fulfilled the law were long life, prosperity, health, and righteousness.

The law could not be fulfilled and blotted out of the way so that a new covenant could take its place until these promises were bestowed. God says, “If you do this, then I will do this.” This is what constitutes a “covenant” or “contract”. And yet we see Jesus, who rightfully earned these blessings by fulfilling the law, but not receiving them.

The law promised long life, yet Jesus gave His life at the young age of 33. The law promised prosperity, but Jesus said that “the son of man hath nowhere to lay his head.” The law promised health and sickness removed from their midst, yet Jesus “took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses”.

Jesus earned these blessings but did not receive them. Why?

2Corianthians 5:21- “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Because all of mankind had transgressed the law, man deserved the curses of disobedience. By being the only man to fulfill the law, Jesus deserved the blessings.

Jesus willingly rejected the blessings contained in the law and accepted the curses, so that He could transfer the blessings of His fulfillment to those of us who have believed on Him through the cross.

Galatians 3:10-13

(10)  “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

(11)  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

(12)  And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

(13) Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:”

This is the atonement, the “exchange”.

This is where faith for grace lies.

I should not expect to be blessed because I was faithful to pay my tithe or give an offering. I should expect to be blessed because Jesus fulfilled the law for blessing but rejected the reward for that fulfillment in order to pass it to those who believe.

Even when I fail to be faithful in giving, God still blesses me because of His love and the atonement.

I should not expect to be healed because I have been faithful to work for God and now He owes it to me. I should expect to be healed because Jesus loves me so much that He earned it by fulfilling the law and rejected it so that I can receive it.

I am not righteous because of my holy lifestyle, but I am righteous in the sight of God because Jesus became cursed so that I could have His righteousness.

No righteous works that I could ever do could earn any righteousness before God at all, but Jesus (as the son of man) earned that righteousness through His righteous works and then transferred it to me through the atonement.

What freedom from all self- dependency! This answers all of my questions:

Why does God still love me even when I am unlovable?

Why would God hear me even though I have sinned?

Why would God answer my prayers even though my faith is small?

How could God use me now when I have failed Him so often in the past?

The answer is because of the atonement, because of the exchange done through Calvary.

Because of the atonement, when I come before God in prayer, He does not see me and all of my shortcomings, but He sees Christ and all of His success!

What gratefulness, what thankfulness, what love this creates in me to want to follow His example and be like Him!

As the Apostle Paul said,

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

Philippians 4:13-  “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

(To be continued…)

Tomorrow: A Vessel Fit for His Use

Especially for Christmas by Raymond G. Candy: "Jake and the Holiest Night of All"-"The Christmas Story as seen through the eyes of Jake, the little dog who grunts like a pig." Suitable for all ages. $2.99 at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore on iTunes for the iPad, and Lulu.com for other e-reading devices.

Especially for Christmas by Raymond G. Candy: “Jake and the Holiest Night of All”-“The Christmas Story as seen through the eyes of Jake, the little dog who grunts like a pig.” Suitable for all ages. $2.99 at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore on iTunes for the iPad, and Lulu.com for other e-reading devices.

 

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How to Walk in the Grace of God: Part 2

Through the Cloud

The faith to believe in God’s grace lies in understanding and believing in how God sees you.

In Part 1, we mentioned the story of the Israelites’ forty year trek through the wilderness. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians that these things were examples to us:

1 Corinthians 10:5-6

5 “But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.”

The Bible teaches us that these things we read of in the Old Testament were not only examples for us to learn by, but they are also shadows of better things to come.

Hebrews 8:5- “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things…”

The Bible tells us that as the Israelites traveled in the wilderness; they were led by a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud that covered them by day.

Ezekiel 13:21-  “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:”

Often we read that when the Israelites would sin, God would see their transgressions and the punishment of the Lord would issue forth from the pillar of fire (Num 11:1). And yet, when Balaam prophesied concerning Israel he stated:

Numbers 23:21-  “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.”

The pre-incarnate Christ was the “king” that was among them. He was in the cloud and in the fire, beholding the sin of Israel and dealing with it on the earth. Yet God in heaven was looking down upon Israel, and looking through the cloud (through Christ), He beheld no iniquity.

This was the type and shadow of our relationship with God today. The Bible teaches us that in this world, there is a result of sin:

Galatians 6:7-8

(7)  “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

(8) For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

If a Christian commits a crime, he could go to prison. If a Christian smokes, he might get cancer. If a Christian makes foolish financial judgments, he might go bankrupt.

In this life, there are results for the decisions we make, both good and bad. However, when we repent of our sins and are cleansed by the blood of Christ, God looking from heaven looks through the blood and:

Isaiah 1:18-  “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

I had often thought that if sin had a color, that it should be black. I could not understand why God referred to sin as red. Then one day, as I was preparing to preach as a visiting evangelist, I had gone early into the Church Sanctuary to study before service. This particular Church had red stained glass windows.

As I sat next to the window and opened my Bible to the New Testament, I noticed that the words of Christ in red had disappeared and there was a white blank where they should be. The sunlight shining through the red glass had cancelled out the red words printed in my Bible. Red cancels out red.

In the Old Testament, God looking through the cloud beheld no iniquity in Israel. In the New Testament, God looking down through the red blood of Jesus that covers your red sin beholds no sin or iniquity in you.

This is the position of grace. It is the unmerited favor of God, earned by Christ through the shedding of His blood. It has nothing to do with how many times you have succeeded or how many times you have failed. This is the same grace for all who have accepted Christ and are walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh.

Romans 8:1- “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who

walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

But God will give “grace for grace.”

What does the Bible mean by “grace for grace”?

(To be continued…)

Tomorrow: The Atonement (grace for grace)

Especially for Christmas by Raymond G. Candy: “Jake and the Holiest Night of All”-“The Christmas Story as seen through the eyes of Jake, the little dog who grunts like a pig.” Suitable for all ages. $2.99 at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore on iTunes for the iPad, and Lulu.com for other e-reading devices.

 

How to Walk in the Grace of God: Part 1

The Grace of God

This blog provides Biblical answers to many questions that begin with the words “Why” or “How”.

Why does God love me? Why would God love me, considering the things that I have done? Why should I believe that God hears and answers my prayers? Why would God want to bless me, as many times as I have failed Him? How could God ever use me?

The Bible tells us of the time when the children of Israel, after being under bondage for 400 years, were delivered out of Egypt by the mighty outstretched hand of God. He divided the Red Sea and allowed them to go through on dry ground. Then God caused the waters to return and drown the armies of Egypt.

When they hungered, God gave them manna from heaven to eat, and when they thirsted, He gave them water out of the rock to drink. He led them through the wilderness to a land flowing with milk and honey, but they would not go in and take it because of their unbelief.

Due to their sin and disobedience, God ordained that the nation of Israel would wander in the wilderness for forty years until those who had refused to go into the Promised Land had died. 

For forty years the people of Israel continued to sin and rebel against God in the wilderness to the point that God wanted to destroy them all, but Moses intervened.

Yet when the forty years had expired and the Lord was ready to let them enter the land of promise, Balaam prophesied of Israel and said, “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.”

How could God say this of Israel after all of their disobedience? The answer has everything to do with you, how God looks at you, and why God will bless you and use you in spite of your failings.

It has everything to do with “grace”.

In the Old Testament Hebrew grace means kindness, favor, or acceptance. In the New Testament Greek it means the divine influence upon the heart and it’s reflection in the life. Many have also translated it to mean unmerited favor.

The grace of God is what causes God to look upon us and not see our failures and shortcomings, but instead causes Him to smile and His “face to shine upon us.” It is what makes us “the apple of His eye.”

But it is more than just God’s attitude towards us, more than just unmerited or undeserved favor.

It is that divine flow from God that washes over our heart and changes our nature.

The prophet Ezekiel prophesied:

Ezekiel 36:26- “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”

Grace is that divine unction which comes into our heart and mind, changing our will to conform to God’s will, and then empowers us to enact God’s will.

Philippians 2:13- “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

It causes our desires to change and become His desires, so that He can then empower us to perform his desire for our life.

Psalms 37:4- “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”

The degree of the provision and supply of our needs is in direct proportion to the degree of God’s grace.

2 Corinthians 9:8- “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:”

In writing to the church, the Apostle Paul says that “God is able,” making us to know this particular degree of grace that he is talking about is not already established. Also, the Apostle Paul talks about “all grace,” whereby we see that we can have a portion of grace or we can have all grace. Lastly, we see that “all sufficiency” and “abounding” is dependent upon our having “all grace”, not just a portion of grace.

John 1:16- “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.”

We read here in John that “his fullness” of grace is related to having “grace for grace”. What does the Bible mean by “grace for grace?”

We see then that there are actually two types of grace. God gives the grace of unmerited favor. This is His attitude towards us. Unmerited, because we did not earn His favor, but we obtain it because someone else has earned it for us.

This unmerited favor then puts us in a position of grace.

Because of this position of grace, God then empowers us with His divine influence upon our heart and its reflection in our life. It is a divine power that transforms our will to become His will and then empowers us to perform that will.

“Grace for grace.”

If the degree of our provision and ability is contingent upon the degree of grace, how can we cause this grace to grow to be that abundant grace, so that we can have “all sufficiency in all things” in order “to abound unto every good work?”

The answer is in understanding what God’s grace is, thereby believing in it and causing it to grow according to faith.

(To be continued…)

Tomorrow: Through the Cloud

Especially for Christmas by Raymond G. Candy: “Jake and the Holiest Night of All”-“The Christmas Story as seen through the eyes of Jake, the little dog who grunts like a pig.” Suitable for all ages. $2.99 at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore on iTunes for the iPad, and Lulu.com for other e-reading devices.

 

How to Walk in the Power of God: Part 7

This Same Jesus

Ephesians 1:18-23

18 “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that Ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

23 Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”

God wants us to know that the greatness of His power to us is proportionate to the same power He manifested when He raised Christ from the dead. That He wants to fill us with that same resurrection power. Not a different power, or any less power, but the SAME power.

We must understand that this resurrection power is manifested in our spirit, not in our flesh; nevertheless it is the same Spirit, the same power.

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

1 Corinthians 15:50-52

50 “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

Philippians 3:21- “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

Job said, “All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.” there is coming a day when Jesus Christ will return, and we will “see Him as He is.”

Acts 1:11- “Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

Our body shall be changed “like unto His glorious body.” When that happens, then even our physical body will no longer be dependent upon natural things to exist, but will be like His body by which He is able to subdue all things unto Himself.

Until then, it is “Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord.” (Zechariah 4:6)

There is no need to look for a superman any longer, for the only real superman lives in you by His Spirit. His name is Jesus Christ. You only need to believe and to enter into the river of His Holy Spirit, further and further until all of your dependency for living is in Him. He will change you from the spirit, to the soul, to the flesh and you will be a vessel fit for the Master’s use. Then all of His power will not only be in you, but through you, and miracles, signs, and wonders will be manifested as they are needed.

Colossians 1:26-27

26 “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”

Tomorrow: How to Walk in the Grace of God

Especially for Christmas by Raymond G. Candy: “Jake and the Holiest Night of All”-“The Christmas Story as seen through the eyes of Jake, the little dog who grunts like a pig.” Suitable for all ages. $2.99 at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore on iTunes for the iPad, and Lulu.com for other e-reading devices.

 

How to Walk in the Power of God: Part 6

The Power of the Resurrection

Philippians 3:10- “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”

What is the power of the resurrection? Before we can answer that question, we must first understand who God is.

Exodus 3:14-15

14 “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”

The LORD is the Hebrew word Yhovah (Jehovah) which means the “self-existent one.”

The Lord said that He is “I AM THAT I AM”. In other words “I exist because I cause myself to exist.”

Every person, every place, everything is dependent on someone or something else in order to exist. If you did not have air to breathe, water to drink, or food to eat you could not continue to live. If gravity did not hold you to the earth you would fly off into space and die.

Animals are dependent upon the same things we are. Plants are dependent upon water, soil, and sun. Sea creatures are dependent upon the oceans and seas. Even the earth itself is dependent upon the gravitational pull of the sun to keep it in orbit.

Everything is dependent upon something else in order to survive, EXCEPT FOR GOD. God is only dependent upon himself to survive. He is “the self-existent one.”

That is why the Bible says, “Power belongeth unto God.”  (Psalm 62:11) God is the source of all power, even the power which He needs to exist.

Now let’s look to Jesus.

John 8:58- “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”

The Jewish religious leaders were questioning Jesus, and Jesus made the statement that Abraham had rejoiced to see His day. When they contended with Him about the statement, Jesus said that before Abraham had even existed, I AM. He used the term for the self-existent one, and they wanted to stone Him.

We see the proof of Jesus statement in what happened at His crucifixion and resurrection.

After the crucifixion of Jesus, He knowing that all things were accomplished according to the Scriptures said, “It is finished” and gave up the ghost.

Wanting the executions to be finished because of the Sabbath, the officials gave the commandment to break their legs so they would be unable to push themselves up to take a breath, and thus would suffocate. The soldiers broke the legs of the two thieves that were crucified on either side of Jesus, but when they came to Jesus they saw that he was already dead.

They thrust a spear up and into His side just to make sure that He was dead and unknowingly fulfilled two prophecies about Christ.

John 19:36- “For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.”

John 19:37- “And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.”

Then something happened that became one of the foundation stones of the early Church, not only establishing their faith in who Jesus is but also in the power of His resurrection.

John 19:34-35

34 “But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.”

The Apostle John emphasized twice that there came out blood and water. He wanted to make sure the reader realized that this occurred because this understanding is a basis for believing.

What did the blood and water mean? There was something special about the believer understanding that there was water and blood.

There is a membrane filled with clear fluid that surrounds the heart called the pericardium.

The blood and water that flowed from the wound made by the huge Roman spear is proof that the spear pierced the pericardium and the heart of Jesus.

With His arms outstretched on the cross and the nail holes in His wrists and feet, the piercing of His heart assured that all of the blood that was in His body flowed out upon the ground. There was no blood left in His body.

This was the miracle of the resurrection!

There had been other people in Scripture that God had brought back from the dead. Jesus had raised the son of the widow of Nain and He had raised the daughter of Jairus. He had even raised Lazarus from the grave and Lazarus had begun to decompose.

There had even been other prophets that had raised the dead back to life.

But there had never been anyone raised from the dead who had been drained completely of all their blood.

Leviticus 17:11

11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

When Jesus rose from the dead there was no blood flowing through His veins. This is why it was so hard for Thomas to believe that Jesus had risen from the grave.

Thomas had seen the blood pour out of the body of Jesus.

It had all been left at Calvary.

As a matter of fact, there was a huge gaping hole in the heart of Jesus. Even if God did bring Jesus back to life, how could Jesus live if there was no blood to flow through His veins?

“The life of the flesh is in the blood.”

John 20:25-28

25 “The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.”

The hole was still in His side. There was no blood flowing through His veins. Yet, He was alive. There could only be one explanation.

Thomas said, “My Lord and My God.”

He is the “I AM THAT I AM.”

He is The self-existent One.”

Thomas knelt and worshiped Him. Jesus said, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

This is the power of the resurrection: a life totally dependent upon the Holy Spirit to live.

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

This is when we enter into the midst of the river, waters to swim in; waters that cannot be crossed over, but waters that catch us up and sweep us along in His direction according to His will.

This is when we awake each day realizing that my life today is totally dependent upon the Holy Spirit. That every step I take, every decision I make is as dependent upon the Holy Spirit flowing in me as my body is dependent upon food to eat and air to breathe.

This is when our communion with the Holy Ghost is so close and constant that His faith and power for miracles is as natural as taking our next breath.

Is such an existence with God really possible?

(To be continued…)

Tomorrow: This same Jesus

Especially for Christmas by Raymond G. Candy: “Jake and the Holiest Night of All”-“The Christmas Story as seen through the eyes of Jake, the little dog who grunts like a pig.” Suitable for all ages. $2.99 at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore on iTunes for the iPad, and Lulu.com for other e-reading devices.

 

How to Walk in the Power of God: Part 5

 A Vessel Fit For the Master’s Use

Galatians 5:25- “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:16- “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

Acts 1:8- “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

As said at the beginning, man has always sought after that superhuman power. Often the desire for such power comes forth from pride or some other carnal desire.

There was a time when the disciples wanted to call fire down from heaven to destroy a town that would not receive them on their journey. Jesus said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.” (Luke 9:54)

The purpose of the power is so that we may be witnesses. Sometimes this may involve miracles, signs, and wonders.

But more often than not it involves the demonstration of the power of a changed and holy life.

Jesus told Peter, “When thou art converted (changed), strengthen thy Brethren.” (Luke 22:32)

Peter, so fearful for his own life that he denied the Lord three times, was changed by the power of the Holy Ghost to the extent that when he was arrested and sentenced to die, he slept so soundly the night before his execution that the angel had to slap him on the side to wake him up before he could be delivered. (Acts 12:7)

The Apostle Peter wrote to the gentile women that had become Christians after already being married to unbelievers, that with their Godly lifestyle they could win their husbands to Christ without preaching to them. (1 Peter 3:2)

The purpose of the power is to change. The purpose for going out into the deepest part of the river of God is so that you will surrender your control completely to the Holy Spirit. Your feet no longer touch the bottom. You are swept along whithersoever the current of the Spirit of God desires to take you.

“Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.”  (Eze. 47:5)

John the Baptist said of Jesus, “He must increase but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

When we cast ourselves out into the deep, we are completely surrendering every part of ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit. We are holding nothing back. No sin, no habit, no personal desire, no preconceived notion or idea, nothing. Only when we empty ourselves of ourselves do we become an empty vessel that He can fill for His glory.

2 Timothy 2:21- “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”

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

When we surrender every recess of our being to the power of the Holy Spirit for change, then every act we do in His name will come from a pure heart with pure intentions. Miracles, signs, and wonders will occur when needed and God, not ourselves, will receive the glory; and others, not ourselves will be helped.

How can I receive this total surrender? The same way that the first disciples did, by faith in “the power of the resurrection.”

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”  (Philippians 3:10)

(To be continued…)

Tomorrow: The Power of the Resurrection

Especially for Christmas by Raymond G. Candy: “Jake and the Holiest Night of All”-“The Christmas Story as seen through the eyes of Jake, the little dog who grunts like a pig.” Suitable for all ages. $2.99 at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore on iTunes for the iPad, and Lulu.com for other e-reading devices.

 

How to Walk in the Power of God: Part 4

Waters to the waist

“Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins.”  (Eze. 47:4)

Acts 2:1-4

1 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

There are those theologians who will say that at the point of salvation we receive all of the Holy Spirit that there is. That may be true. But if we rightly divide the Word of God, we can see that there are two distinct encounters with the Holy Ghost. There is the point that we receive Him, and there is the point when we are filled with Him.

Those same theologians will say that no second experience with the Holy Spirit is necessary. However, Jesus knew that it was so necessary that he commanded His disciples not to begin their Great Commission until they had received it.

The early Church knew that this power from on high was so important that whenever they encountered believers who had not received it, they made sure that they were filled with the Holy Ghost also.

Acts 8:14-17

14 “Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.”

Acts 19:2, 5-6

2 “He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.”

5 “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”

These theologians might also say that this experience of being filled with the Holy Ghost was only for the early Church in order that it might be established. They believe that we do not need such signs and wonders today. They base their belief on 1 Corinthians 13:8-10

1 Corinthians 13:8-10

8 “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.”

They say that once the Bible was completed, then “that which is perfect” had come and the miraculous signs of the Holy Ghost were no longer needed or given by God.

By not rightly dividing the Word of truth, they deny the power thereof.

One look at verse 12 and we realize that the perfection spoken of by the Apostle Paul is referring to the return of Christ when our bodies shall be changed like unto His glorious body, and as the Scripture says, “we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2)

1 Corinthians 13:12- “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I knowin part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

As we look at the prophecy of Ezekiel concerning the river, we see that each depth must be reached first before we can go further. We cannot just jump out into the middle and receive the fullness of the river, the fullness of the anointing and power of God.

We must first be drawn by the Spirit, the waters to the ankles. (John 6:44- “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”)

We must be born again, the waters to the knees. (Romans 10: 9-10- “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”)

We must be filled with the Holy Ghost, the waters to the loins or the waist. (Luke 11:13- “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”)

If you have not yet asked Him, simply ask the Heavenly Father to fill you with the Holy Ghost and He will do it.

Now we are out in the water to our waist. The current of the river has control of our legs and is pulling us in the right direction.

We are being led by the Spirit of God, but we are still standing on our feet. Before we can have the faith to take the next step and launch out into the waters to swim in, to leap out into the full force of the current and the depth of the power of God, we need to realize the purpose of the river.

Why do we need to go out into the deep?

(To be continued…)

Tomorrow: A Vessel fit for the Master’s Use

Especially for Christmas by Raymond G. Candy: “Jake and the Holiest Night of All”-“The Christmas Story as seen through the eyes of Jake, the little dog who grunts like a pig.” Suitable for all ages. $2.99 at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore on iTunes for the iPad, and Lulu.com for other e-reading devices.