OVERCOMING TEMPTATION

 “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”  (James 1:14-15)

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”  (Gal. 5:16)

If we walk in the Spirit, we overcome temptation and do not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Since the beginning of the early Christian Church there have been many different doctrines and beliefs as to what it means to “walk in the Spirit”.

The same holds true today.

Satan does not want you to discover how to walk in the Spirit.

At the very most he would like to see you fall in your Christian walk, give up, and turn from the faith.

At the very least he would like to see you continuously stumble and falter so that your faith would be weak and ineffectual.

Before we establish our belief as to what it is to “walk in the Spirit”, let us see what it is not.

First, “walking in the Spirit” is not how you dress or how you look. Although how you dress and look might reflect the way you think, it will in no way empower you or create in you the ability to “walk in the Spirit”.

“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (1Sam. 16:7)

Walking in the Spirit is not being so “heavenly minded that we are of no earthly good.”

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” (Matt. 5:13)

It is not belonging to a certain Church, or denomination, or group. It is not how many times a day you pray, or fast, or read your Bible, or attend service.

What is “walking in the Spirit?”

First and foremost, walking in the Spirit is a choice.

It is the determination to reject the world and the flesh and choose what we know to be God’s will according to His Word.

It is then allowing and trusting in the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower us to walk in that righteous choice.

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Gal. 5:16)

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Gal. 5:17)

“But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” (Gal. 5:18)

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,” (Gal. 5:19)

“Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,” (Gal. 5:20)

“Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:21)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” (Gal. 5:22)

“Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Gal. 5:23)

“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” (Gal. 5:24)

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25)

The Bible tells us:

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

After Jesus was baptized, He was led of the Spirit into the wilderness. It was there that He was tempted of Satan. Each time He was tempted, He resisted temptation and the Devil by saying, “It is written” and then quoting the Scripture pertaining to that temptation.

It is our belief that the Scriptures you read will create in you the spiritual hearing for the Holy Spirit to bring to your remembrance the Word of God so that you can say “It is written”, overcome temptation, have faith to repent of all sin, receive forgiveness, crucify the flesh, reject worldliness, resist the devil, pick yourself up, turn around, and walk in the Spirit to do the will of God.

“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” (Prov. 24:16)

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

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THE INTERPRETATION OF PROVERBS AND DARK SAYINGS (Part 3)

 “To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.”  (Proverbs 1:6)

The first accomplice of the devil working to prevent us from walking in the Spirit is the world; however, the second is the flesh.

Although we have been born again and our spirit has been born from above, the sin nature still exists in our flesh to draw us away from the things of God.

Jesus said:

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6)

The carnal man or flesh nature is of the world but the new man or spiritual nature is from God.

“As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.” (1Cor. 15:48)

Until Jesus returns, and as long as we are in this body, we will always have the flesh nature to contend with.

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” (1Cor. 15:50)

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,” (1Cor. 15:51)

“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.” (1Cor. 15:52)

Although we cannot escape the flesh while we are upon this earth, the Bible teaches us that we can weaken the flesh until he is not able to prevail in our lives.

THIS IS THE KEY TO WALKING IN THE SPIRIT.

The devil uses the world to entice the carnal man, and the carnal man then tries to draw us toward the world and away from God. The carnal man feeds on the things of the world.

If we can recognize the deceitful debate that the carnal mind offers before we allow him to feed on the world, then we can starve him from the world and weaken him to the point that we treat him as dead.

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:” (Col. 3:5)

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” (Rom. 8:13)

The word “mortify” literally means to “count as dead” or “cause to die by starvation or abstinence”.

As the carnal man weakens, the new man gets stronger.

By studying what the Bible has to say about the fool (the carnal man) and the wise (the spiritual man), we can learn to recognize the reasonings of the carnal man that is in our flesh and resist him before he has an opportunity to feed on the ways of the world.

“To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” (Psalm 14:1)

This is the basic nature and foundational belief of the flesh: that there is no God. From this stems all other subtle persuasions.

“Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.” (Prov. 27:22)

The carnal man will never change. If you could take the sin nature and grind it in a mortar with a pestle, you could not grind this belief out of him.

Your faith in God and Christ resides in your new nature born of God. Your sinful nature in your flesh has not changed. He still says there is no God.

“Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” (Jer. 13:23)

That is why psychiatrists, psychologists, behaviorists, and others can never change an individual by themselves.

It takes God to change a person by giving them a new nature to join with the Holy Spirit and war against the old nature to subdue it. You cannot change the sinful nature of man.

The carnal man says that there is no God. There is no God to help you. There is no God to love you. There is no God to hear you. There is no God to care. And so on, and so on, and so on.

He will try to get you to choose any other solution for your problems instead of trusting God.

You cannot rationalize with the old nature, you cannot persuade the old nature, and you cannot change the old nature.

As soon as you recognize the old nature is arguing against what you know to be right in your heart, the only answer is to resist and starve the old nature, fight him through the power of the Holy Spirit with the Word of God, turn and walk away.

The Bible tells in the Gospels that after the Holy Ghost descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness and was tempted of the devil.

Each time He was tempted, He said “It is written.” Jesus didn’t argue, He didn’t debate, He didn’t justify, He simply said, “It is written” and then quoted the Word of God that was contrary to the temptation of the devil.

This was done for our example. This is how we defeat the flesh, the world, and the devil. “It is written.”

The flesh will try to persuade us that we have waited on God long enough. That it would be easier to just borrow the money, take out the loan, change jobs, move to another church, etc.

However, it is written:

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa. 40:31)

The fool says that we are justified to be angry and hide hatred and unforgiveness in our hearts. The fool says that if we believe it to be true then it is alright to speak to the detriment of others.

“He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.” (Prov. 10:18)

However, it is written:

“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matt. 6:15)

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:” (Prov. 6:16)

“…A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” (Prov. 6:19)

The fool says to just try it this way and see if it works. Let’s just try living together before we get married. Let’s just try not declaring the cash on our taxes, no one will know. Let’s just try a drink. Let’s just try sex. Let’s just try drugs. Just one time.

“It is as sport (laughter) to a fool to do mischief (a bad plan): but a man of understanding hath wisdom.” (Prov. 10:23)

However, it is written:

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:” (Prov. 6:16)

“…An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,” (Prov. 6:18)

The fool says that it should be done your way. Your way is the best. Your way will work. You are smarter, stronger, better. Demand your rights. Stand your ground.

“A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.” (Prov. 14:16)

However, it is written:

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)

The fool says that the Bible was written almost two thousand years ago. There is no way that it can apply to your life today.

A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.” (Prov. 15:5)

However, it is written:

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4)

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2Tim. 3:16)

The world and the fool (the sinful nature) work together to cause you to depart from the plan, work, or answer that the Lord has directed you to seek for. He wants you to give up on God or at least question what you have heard from God just before God’s promised blessing comes.

The carnal man’s advice always leads to the answer that the world has and away from God’s answer.

“Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.” (Prov. 17:24)

But God says:

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5)

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” (James 1:6)

“For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” (James 1:7)

“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17)

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

THE INTERPRETATION OF PROVERBS AND DARK SAYINGS (Part 2)

 “To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.”  (Proverbs 1:6)

“Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.” (Prov. 7:4-5)

The world as the “adulteress” tries to establish a long time affair with the born again believer in order to cripple their spiritual walk. Sometimes this can be done by causing the Christian to lose hope because of being overtaken in a fault and continuously stumbling concerning a particular sin or weakness.

This affair can also be established by causing the believer to choose to continue in a worldly path or practice expecting that God will overlook it, not care about it, or even bless it even though it might not be “exactly the right thing to do”.

The world as the “strange woman” (or harlot, or whorish woman) on the other hand, tries to convince Christians through various deceitful and erroneous means that they must be misunderstanding what God actually has said or wants them to do because everything else seems to point to the opposite.

One Biblical example of this would be the serpent in the Garden of Eden when he told Eve that if she ate the forbidden fruit she would not “surely die”, when in reality her and Adam were separated from God and died spiritually.

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Gen. 3:6)

As Jesus said concerning Satan:

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)

In the same way that Satan used the serpent, he uses the world.

Thus as the proverb says, the “strange woman…flattereth with her words.”

“For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil, But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.” (Prov. 5:3-5)

Here the Bible is clear. If the deceit of the world is taken and followed without repentance, it will lead to destruction.

One example of this worldly deceit is in our modern day cultural acceptance of the gay and lesbian lifestyle.

The Bible is very clear in both the Old and the New Testament that for a man to have a carnal relationship with a man and for a woman to have a carnal relationship with a woman is an abomination in the eyes of God.

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination…” (Lev. 20:13)

“And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” (Rom. 1:27)

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,” (1Cor. 6:9)

The Bible tells us in the Book of 1 Timothy that there is such a thing as an “opposition of science”:

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

This simply means that when science is in opposition to the Word of God then it is a false science. Such is the case with many so called “scientific discoveries” in the world today.

When science makes the statement they have discovered that people are born with homosexual tendencies and that they cannot change, this is in direct opposition to God’s Word which states that homosexuality is a sin which is a choice to transgress the Word of God.

The gay and lesbian lifestyle is a sin; it is a choice to live in direct violation of the will of God. It is no different than fornication, or adultery, or telling a lie, or harboring unforgiveness. It is a choice and a sin that needs to be repented of.

However, because of the “flattering words” of the world and the “opposition of science”, many people have declared that “I was born like this” or that “God made me this way” and so ignoring the Word of God continue in a lifestyle that will lead to destruction.

Thus encouraged by those who say you cannot choose your sexual preference because you were born one way or the other, young people are told today to “discover your own sexuality’’ and feel free to live an “alternate lifestyle” for this is your destiny.

Because of the deceptive lies of the “strange woman” (the world), what once was a youthful temptation to be resisted and overcome now becomes a walk after the flesh that leads to condemnation if unrepentant.

The escape from condemnation for believers has a contingency:

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Rom. 8:1)

There are those who say “God is love. He will love me no matter what I do.” (1 John 4:8) This is true. God is love, and He will love you no matter what. However, it does matter what you do.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 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.” (Gal. 6:7-8)

This worldly deception that “the flesh doesn’t matter” was a doctrine held by a cult of the early church called the Nicolaitanes. They believed that as long as you had accepted Christ then your spirit was right with God and it did not matter what you did with your flesh. God speaks in The Revelation concerning this doctrine:

“But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” (Rev. 2:6)

Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

By studying the scriptures in Proverbs concerning the harlot, we can further understand this deception of the world:

“And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtle of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)” (Pro 7:10-12)

“So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.” (Pro 7:13-15)

“I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.” (Pro 7:16-18)

“For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.” (Pro 7:19-21)

Again we see, she “lieth in wait at every corner.” Satan uses the world to stalk the Christian. He will make sure that the world’s temptation will confront you face to face.

God told Cain: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door…” (Gen. 4:7)

God wants us to know that as long as we are in the world we will always be confronted with temptation. We will always be faced with choosing the way of the Spirit or the way of the flesh.

The harlot says, “This day have I payed my vows.” In other words she is saying that she has already given God the sacrifice in advance for her sin, so everything is alright.

In the same way, the world says, “As long as you believe in God everything will be alright.”

While God says:

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19)

We know the devils will not spend eternity with God in heaven. It takes more than just believing in God.

The world says, “Go to Church, pay your tithe, give God his day and the rest of the week is yours.”

While God says:

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1Cor. 6:19-20)

It takes more than just one day a week.

God does not want a service. God desires a relationship. God wants you to “walk in the Spirit and fulfill not the lust of the flesh.”

And finally, the harlot says “the good man is not at home…he will come home at the time appointed.” In other words, “We have plenty of time. We don’t have to worry about being caught.”

The world today says, “I’ve heard about Jesus coming my whole life and he hasn’t come yet.” “No need to worry about that until it happens.”

The Bible says:

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14)

“But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” (Rom. 14:10)

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Heb. 9:27)

Whether it be today, tomorrow, or years from now, when we die then that will be our time for the coming of Christ, because that is when we will see Him face to face.

And whether it is the day of the return of Christ to this earth or whether it is the day of our time to face death, “…of that day and hour knoweth no man.” (Matt. 24:36)

The world says, “God has more important things to worry about besides me.”

But Jesus says:

“Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?” (Luke 12:6)

“But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7)

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matt. 24:44)

The strange woman says, “…he is gone a long journey.”

This is symbolic of the Church Age. The time we are in now. The time before the second coming of Christ.

Jesus said, “…Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)

Jesus is coming for a people, a church “…not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:27)

The Apostle Paul compares the Christian life to running a race (Heb. 12:1). Are we running toward the world or toward the Lord?

If we are walking away from the world, then we are walking after the Spirit.

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

THE INTERPRETATION OF PROVERBS AND DARK SAYINGS (Part 1)

 “To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.”  (Proverbs 1:6)

Many people believe that the Book of Proverbs is just a book of lessons on the practical principles of daily living.

But here we read at the beginning of the book that it says of itself there is an interpretation to these dark sayings.

The Hebrew word for dark sayings literally means puzzle or riddle. So we see that just as it is with the parables that Jesus told, so it is with the Book of Proverbs.

On the surface they seem like practical stories or instructions concerning the natural world around us, but underneath the surface there are deeper spiritual meanings.

Although there are many subjects touched upon in the Book of Proverbs, there are two main and prevalent themes written about and woven throughout the book.

These are the comparison of the wise and the foolish, and the warnings concerning the strange or adulteress woman.

By understanding the spiritual truths underlying these two themes, we can better comprehend how the flesh and the world operate to deceive us into yielding to temptation and hindering our walk in the Spirit.

Although the Bible teaches that fornication and adultery are sins to abstain from and repent of, it places no greater emphasis on these than on any other.

However, in the Book of Proverbs the subject is dealt with so extensively that it becomes apparent that the adulteress, harlot, or strange woman represents more than it first appears.

“Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.” (Prov. 7:27)

In the Book of James in the New Testament we find that someone who is a friend of the world is called an adulterer or adulteress:

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

Thus we find out that the adulteress or strange woman represents the world. What the Book of Proverbs has to say about the immoral woman teaches us how the devil will use the world to draw us away from the path of righteousness and from walking in the Spirit.

“For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.” (Prov. 6:26)

As with the parables of Jesus, the proverbs have a practical application and a spiritual meaning.

The practical application of this particular proverb is that sexual immorality will cause an individual to lose their family, lose their honor, lose their reputation, and even lose their business and prosperity; thus reducing him or her to “a piece of bread”.

The spiritual truth lies in the statement that “…the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.”

You need to understand that you are precious in the eyes of God. Jesus said:

“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (John 15:16)

You are special to God. Jesus has said that no man would come to Him unless the Father draw him. (John 6:44)

The Bible says that you were chosen in Him (Jesus Christ) before the foundation of the world. (Eph. 1:4) When you were conceived in your mother’s womb, God knew you and loved you and even called together the parts of your body in the way that He wanted them to be fashioned. (Psalm 139)

He chose you and called you, and you answered His call, and now you are precious in His sight:

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (1Peter 2:9)

However, in the same way that the Lord wanted you, chose you, and called you, the world that at one time had you does not want to give you up. It will try to draw you and entice you with all that it has if you will only choose to follow its way.

Jesus understands:

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15)

The devil used the world to tempt Jesus and he will use it in the same way to tempt you:

“And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.” (Luke 4:5-6)

Jesus said you cannot serve “two masters”. (Matt. 6:24)

You cannot walk towards the world and towards the Lord at the same time. You cannot concurrently walk in worldliness and walk in the Spirit.

Many a man and woman of God has lost the anointing because they chose profit margins, attendance records, social recognition, and building a ministry over walking in the Spirit.

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1Tim. 6:10)

The message to learn from this proverb is that the world is stalking the Christian.

“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19)

We cannot ignore the world. We cannot separate ourselves and have nothing to do with the world.

But we can resist the world. We can be aware that the world and all of its ways are not designed by the devil for the sinner, but they are designed to draw away and entrap the believer from following the ways of the Lord.

And the world has targeted you to make sure that its ways are always presented as an option for you to choose.

We must always ask ourselves, “Is this the way the world would have me do it or is this the way the Lord would have me do it? Is this what the world does or is this what the Lord would do?”

If we choose the still small voice of our new nature, if we choose the voice of our born again spiritual man who is being guided by the indwelling Holy Spirit, even if that voice goes against the rationality of our mind, then we are walking in the Spirit.

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

WHAT IS BEING FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT?

 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”  (Eph. 5:18)

The Bible teaches us that when we come to Christ and are born again, we become “…a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17)

God creates within us a new spirit, a new man, a new nature, born in His image, in the likeness of the Spirit of God.

He gives us new desires. He gives us a hunger for righteousness and holiness and a longing to please our Heavenly Father.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit who comes to dwell within us, the Comforter sent by God helps alongside and empowers our new man to walk after and seek after those things which are right.

The Greek word that is translated “filled” in Ephesians 5:18 literally means to “cram” or to be “filled to the overflowing”.

This can best be understood by imagining a glass so filled with water that the water actually rises up above the rim of the glass in a rounded outward or “convex” shape.

Any movement whatsoever would cause the water to spill over the rim and splash upon any surrounding objects getting them wet.

This is what it means to be filled with the Spirit.

“Walking in the Spirit” is to take this overflowing condition with you on a daily basis and let it “spill” out upon the others in your life.

The Bible calls the Holy Spirit that indwells us the “Comforter”.

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;” (John 14:16)

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26)

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” (John 15:26)

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7)

The word “Comforter” comes from the Greek word “parakletos” meaning “intercessor, consoler” or “advocate”, but it can also mean “a “helper called to one’s side”.

The “helper called to one’s side” refers to someone who would keep pace and run alongside the participant in a race until they were refreshed with the cooling water that their paraclete had brought.

He is our “intercessor” when we do not know how to pray,

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Rom 8:26)

He is our “consoler” when He brings to our remembrance the Word of God and “opens to us” the Scriptures.

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26)

“And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32)

He is our “advocate” when we do not know what to say but He gives us the anointing and speaks through us with authority.

“But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.” (Mark 13:11)

He is the “Helper called to our side” when He refreshes us, anoints us, and strengthens us to continue to run the race that is set before us.

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.” (Isa. 10:27)

“For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.” (Isa. 28:11-12)

The Holy Spirit is our strength, He is our comfort, He is our confidence, He is our Wisdom, He is our best Friend, He is the lover and keeper of our soul, He is the earnest (the proof) of our inheritance, and He is the One who will never leave us nor forsake us.

He is also the One who will quicken, make alive, and change our mortal body so that we can arise and meet the Lord in the air.

And He will fill us to the overflowing and walk in us every day if we will only ask Him to.

However, we still dwell in the same old fleshly body with the same old sin nature. And therein lies the war.

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Rom. 7:18-19)

“Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.” (Rom. 7:20-21)

“For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” (Rom. 7:22-23)

“O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Rom. 7:24-25)

The Apostle Paul says that it is God through Jesus Christ our Lord who shall deliver us in this war between the flesh and the spirit; however we seem to find ourselves many times taking two steps forward, yielding to temptation, and taking one step back.

The key to being an overcomer and winning the victory over the flesh is to walk in the Spirit.

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Gal 5:16)

If walking in the Spirit is the key to victory, ignorance of knowing how to walk in the Spirit is the pathway to destruction.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…” (Hos. 4:6)

God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9), but has promised that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness shall be filled (Matt. 5:6).

The Lord has provided the answers in His Word to those who are willing to search, but like the parables that Jesus told, they are hidden to those who are without.

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

Since the Bible says that we shall reign as kings and priests with Christ, it is our honor to search out the hidden truths.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1Peter 5:8)

It has been said that a good general knows his enemy.

Our enemy is that old deceiver and liar, the devil. But he works with two associates to tempt us and keep us from the victory. These companions of the devil in his endeavors are the world and the flesh.

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

“Because the carnal mind (carnal: pertaining to the flesh or the body) is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Rom. 8:7)

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1John 2:16)

When we become a Christian, the Bible teaches us that God has “…delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” (Col. 1:13)

Satan no longer has any direct power over you. He can no longer force you in any way to do his will. As a matter of fact, the Bible says that as far as the born again child of God is concerned, the devil has been paralyzed.

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;” (Heb. 2:14)

The word in the Greek that is translated destroy in the King James Version literally means paralyzed.

That is why the Bible tells us in 1 Peter that the devil goes about as a “roaring lion” seeking “whom he may devour”.

Naturalists and the Bible tell us that it is the young lion that is quiet and stealthy as he sneaks up on his prey (Psalm 17:12). It is the old lion that is slow and weak and roars to frighten off the other predators so that he can eat the wounded prey that they have attacked.

Since the devil cannot physically attack you or stop you from serving the Lord, he works through the things and people of the world and through the flesh to tempt you to sin and wound yourself so that then he “may devour”.

“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:14-15)

The Bible says to “…resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7), but it also says to “…neither give place to the devil.” (Eph. 4:27)

The word translated “place” here in the King James Version literally means scabbard in the Greek. A scabbard is a covering or a place for a sword. The sword is ineffective when in the scabbard. The Bible says the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. (Eph. 6:17)

In order to be effectual in resisting the devil with the sword of the Spirit, we must first remove any “place” in our life that Satan may have gained through the world or the flesh, so that we may then be unencumbered to walk freely in the Spirit.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” (Heb. 12:1)

This is done by understanding the way that the devil uses the world and flesh together to deceive us and draw us into sin and iniquity.

The enemy’s goal is to wound us to the point of losing hope and faith, so that we give up and our sins become presumptuous to the point that we are unable to be used of God.

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” (Psalm 66:18)

“Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” (Psalm 19:13)

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

At the very most he would like to see you fall in your Christian walk, give up, and turn from the faith.

At the very least he would like to see you continuously stumble and falter so that your faith would be weak and ineffectual.

What is being “filled with the Spirit?”

First and foremost, being filled with the Spirit is a choice.

It is the determination to reject the world and the flesh and choose what we know to be God’s will according to His Word.

It is then asking, allowing, and trusting in the indwelling Holy Spirit to fill us daily and empower us to walk in that righteous choice.

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

THE EMPOWERMENT OF GRACE

 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  (2Cor. 12:9)

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”.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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 in order 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?

“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.” (2Cor. 5:21)

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.

“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.” (Gal. 3:10)

“But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.” (Gal. 3:11-12)

“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:” (Gal. 3:13)

This is the atonement, the “exchange”.

This is where faith for grace lies.

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

I cannot expect to be healed because I have been faithful to work for God and now He owes it to me. I can expect to be healed because Jesus 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. 

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

Why does God love me in spite of my failures?

Why would God continue to hear me?

Why does God never fail to answer my prayers?

How could God ever use me again?

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

As the Apostle Paul said,

“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.” (Gal. 2:20)

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Php. 4:13)

We see by the Word of God that Jesus rejected the blessings. How can we be sure that God accepted this offer to transfer His obedience for our disobedience? How can we be sure of the place with God wherein we stand?

Because the new covenant has already been established.

“For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:” (Heb. 8:8)

“And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” (Heb. 12:24)

Since the new covenant has been established, then the old covenant has passed away. And if the old covenant has passed away, then it had to have been fulfilled.

Part of that fulfillment was the issuing of the blessings. If the blessings that Jesus obtained have been issued, where are they now?

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” (Eph. 1:3)

They have been issued and placed into our account to be drawn upon by faith.

“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mark 11:24)

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” (1John 5:14)

“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” (James 1:6)

When we become a believer in Jesus Christ, receive Him into our heart, commit our life unto Him, and are born again, God bestows His grace (unmerited favor, acceptance) upon us and places us in the position of grace.

He then gives the power of His grace within us to begin to empower change in our life. As we yield to the power of this grace and allow our lives to be transformed by His power, we begin to become the vessels through which God can touch the lives of others.

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2Tim. 2:19)

“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.” (2Tim. 2:20)

“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.” (2Tim. 2:21)

God has already placed you in the position of His grace. He has already placed within you the power of His grace. Now by believing that this has all been done because of what Jesus Christ purchased for you at Calvary, you can walk in the grace of God, sufficient in all things, dependent on His power, unto every good work.

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

THE GRACE OF GOD

 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  (2Cor. 12:9)

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, the Israelites went through on dry ground, and 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.” (Num. 23:21)

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.

THE ANSWER IS GOD’S GRACE.

In the Old Testament Hebrew it 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:

“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.” (Eze. 36:26)

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

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

It causes our desires to change and become God’s desires, so that He can then enable us to perform His desire for our life.

“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

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

“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:” (2Cor. 9:8)

In writing to the church, the Apostle Paul says that “God is able”, making us to know that this particular degree of grace 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.

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

We read here in John that “his fullness” of grace is related to us 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.

This is “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.

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

At the beginning of this post, we mentioned the story of the Israelites’ forty year trek through the wilderness. The Bible says in First Corinthians that these things were examples to us:

“But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.” (1Cor. 10:5-6)

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.

Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.” (Heb. 8:5)

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

“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:” (Exo. 13:21)

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:

“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.” (Num. 23:21)

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:

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 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.” (Gal. 6:7-8)

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:

“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.” (Isa. 1:18)

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.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:1)

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices