This book and its distribution is given to the hands of the Spirit of God. No funds or donations shall ever be solicited from anyone. What shall alone be acceptable to Our Father and to us are freewill cheerful offerings out of a pure heart. Such shall be acceptable and an official receipt for income tax purposes shall be issued in Canada or the United States, if desired.
Copyright © 2006 – author.
This book is published by:
Montreal Remnant Ministries
379 Wickham, St.Lambert, QC, Canada J4R 2B5
Fax: 450-466-4151 or 450-465-3529 or 450-465-1601
E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.cm-mrm.ca
Correspondence may be mailed to the above shown address including requests for our literature, questions, testimonies or comments. We will gladly minister to the hearts, which truly desire to seek the Lord, obey Him, trust Him, love Him and be prepared for His Coming as Our Saviour, Lord and Bridegroom.
NOTE: Scripture references are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible. No other version is used. (Some archaic expressions have been translated into today’s language.)
Payette & Simms
300 Arran Street, St. Lambert , Québec, Canada, J4R 1K5
This is a gift from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, the Head of His Body, the true Church, and of every Christian in all things.
If you have friends, brothers or sisters who believe in the Lord Jesus, are born-again by His Spirit or are seeking Him with their heart, share this gift with them. The Lord knows in whose hands His gift belongs, and He shall guide you.
We thank you on His behalf for your attention to His gift according to His desire and pleasure. In the Blessed Name of our Saviour, Lord and coming Bridegroom and King of kings, we remain
Yours in Christ Jesus
brother H a n o l a
with all the brethren in this Body of Christ in Montreal
This is not an evangelistic Ministry. We do not supply Bibles, theology books, concordances, evangelistic tracts, dictionaries or any other literature, which the Lord has not granted to us! We do not offer correspondence courses, degrees, financial support or sponsorship of any kind. Letters requesting such materials or services may not be answered. We are presently only four families and all our expenses are covered from our own salaries and pensions! Only loving brethren have sent gifts. Yet, we currently minister the Word in 68 countries of the world. Praise the Lord!
Our calling is primarily toward the Overcomers in the Church, the Remnant, the current Bride of Christ and Her preparation for the Bridegroom. Therefore, all our writings, which we distribute are granted to us by the Lord for that chief purpose. Our literature is thus limited in quantity and is not for every “interested reader”. We pray that it would be distributed according to the Will of God thus fulfilling His purposes. Amen.
I N S C R I P T I O N
I am inscribing this work to Thee,
Our Almighty God Jehovah,
Our Father, Our Lord Jesus Christ
and the Most Holy Spirit.
May this brief work bring fruit,
which would be pleasant and acceptable to Thee
and which would also fulfil Thine purposes.
* * *
I personally have
a very deep and true love and thankfulness
to Thee, My Heavenly Father,
My Lord Jesus Christ and
the Most Holy Spirit
for Thine unfathomable Love, Grace, Goodness,
Power, Wisdom, Patience, Mercy,
Compassion and Faithfulness
in all that Thou hast been doing in me,
in all that Thou hast called me to do
and what Thou hast called me to be.
* * *
May Thine work in all of us who love Thee
from a pure heart
be completed until the Day of
Jesus Christ Our Excellent Lord
and according to His Word. (Phil. 1:6)
A M E N
C O N T E N T S
CHAPTER 1 – OPENING OF HEART 1
heart and our salvation 2
natural heart and mind 5
new heart and mind 11
reality and experiences 23
a. ministry in slovakia and czech republic 23
b. trinity broadcasting network (tbn) 39
c. ministry of the Word of God 54
d. ministry of the gifts of the Spirit 62
CHAPTER 2 – WAR FOR OUR LIFE 72
our old and new will 89
the way to victory 101
the true meaning of the cross 108
the true depth of deception 134
a. internal divisions in the church 140
b. are you serving God or satan? 149
c. war in the church 160
d. dealings within the church 167
CHAPTER 3 – SOME FACTS OF LIFE (a-to-z) 182
CHAPTER 4 – NEW CREATION 265
CHAPTER 5 – CONCLUSION 287
Epilogue (T. Austin-Sparks) 321
List of literature[x] 323
The very first fact that I desire to establish is the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ has not called me to be a judge of His Church or of any man! The Lord has called me and anointed me to judge “all things” (1Cor. 2:15) and speak on His behalf at this time (Job 36:1-14) having sufficiently destroyed my old nature and enabled me to deny myself, carry my cross and follow Him. (Mt. 16:24) This alone changes a believer from a soulish one into a spiritual one, and after so walking for many years, it qualifies him for such a calling and anointing in God’s eyes.
A spiritual man sees what the Lord sees, judges as the Lord judges, yet, he himself is not judged by any man. The spiritual man weighs-judges-assesses the spirits, which influence or rule believers, their lives, actions, words, deeds. The Spirit discerns and judges the thoughts and intentions of their hearts and He reveals them to him. (Pr. 16:2// Heb. 4:12) He is called to unveil God’s Whole Truth before His Church and all His children with no respect of persons.
The spiritual man does not have his own agenda, plan or desire other than to establish the Truth and Will of God in every thing, every word and every deed in the life of the children of God. He is not gathering any followers, is not trying to establish any new religious organization or sect or house group. He is not adding to the Bible any “new” doctrines or truths nor is he propagating any private interpretation of the Truth. He is called to declare the Truth AS IS whether believers receive It or ignore It, love It or hate It, because he is not seeking approval from any man but from Him, Who called him for this spiritual work. Believers will judge themselves in that they will either believe and choose His Truth or disbelieve and reject It.
The Lord’s calling for this spiritual work is very timely for His Church, hence, He Himself will make sure that the fruit of this work will follow according to the Power and Authority of His Spirit. The final judgment rests in His own hands and I thank the Lord very much for this great privilege to do this work for Him and for His Church.
The following Word to the Church of Jesus Christ is like unto the Sword of the Lord (Mt. 10:34// Eph. 6:17// Heb. 4:12// Rev. 2:12), which is coming in His timing to do of His good pleasure. The Lord says: “For the time is come that judgment must be completed at the House of God (the Church)… and what shall the end be of them (also in the Church) that obey not the Gospel of God?” (see 1Pet. 4:17)
This Sword is the same that the Lord used against His people and princes of Israel. He described it to Ezekiel and commanded him to prophesy against their Holy places and against the land of Israel. (Ez. 21:1-7) He was commanded by the Word of the Lord: “Say: A sword, a sword is sharpened and also furbished.” (Ez. 21:9) Ezekiel was to “cry and howl” as the sword was coming upon the princes of Israel and its terrors upon the Lord’s people! (Ez. 21:12)
The Lord set the point of His Sword against all their gates (intentions, decisions, plans, plots) that the heart of the nobles, leaders, authorities (in Israel and now also in the Church!) may faint and their ruins be multiplied. (Ez. 21:15) The Lord will “overturn, overturn, overturn… until He come (Jesus Christ) whose right it is…“ (to wear the crown)… and those that are low shall be exalted and those that are high, the proud shall be abased. (Ez. 21:24-27)
This Sword is also the Word signifying the shaking and removing of all that is false, man-made and offending in the House of God. It also warns us not to refuse him that speaks. For we shall not escape (the Sword) if we turn away from Him, Who speaks from Heaven at this hour. One more time He is going to shake the earth, and not the earth only, but He is going to shake Heaven also, which includes His House, (Heb. 12:25-29) and the shaking has started.
This book is a living testimony to the Word of God, His Mind and Heart, also of my living faith and life experiences with the Lord Jesus Christ, with His Church and with many individual Christians for the past 36 years. I have been a Christian for 64 years but walking with the Lord, His Word and Judgments and ministering only for the past 36 years.
In the Name of the Lord, I say this unto you: “Buy the truth and sell it not, also wisdom and instruction and understanding.” (Pr. 23:23) They will preserve your life and guide you to your destiny – Life eternal in Heaven.
This word shall penetrate you at the dividing asunder of your spirit and soul, of your conscience and your heart and draw out the intentions of your heart even for you to see and judge your own selves. (Heb. 4:12// 1Cor. 11:31,32) It will challenge your life, your religious knowledge, your knowledge of the Lord, your beliefs, plans, visions, goals, desires, actions, inactions and your ultimate destiny.
It will show and declare the seen and unseen depths of deception and evil in the Church of Jesus Christ as well as in many individual Christians and ministers. It will bring us all into new depths of the deceptive tactics of Satan and his powers of evil and darkness. The Lord will also bring us to new heights of the true meaning and accomplishments of His Cross and of our crosses. Also, it will touch the true process of our Salvation from our evil old man – the enemy of Christ – to our holy and righteous New Man – the Bride of Christ (see also). And finally, it will point to Our Lord and the Way designed by Him to our final and conclusive victory, which we have in Himself.
We must prepare ourselves for the Coming of the Lord, first as Our Bridegroom, and be ready to go in with Him (to the Marriage Supper) before the door is shut and the Tribulation time comes upon the world and upon the rest of the Church. (Mt. 25:6-13)
This book is written primarily for the believers who desire to follow the Lord and His Word in the face of the mounting hellish opposition and be thus prepared for His Coming before it is too late. It is also written for those that learn to walk and act by the faith of Our Lord Jesus Christ and not by what they see, hear, feel or understand in their heads. It is also written for those who presently rebel and disobey His Word and feel “fine”.
Faith is the spiritual reality, spiritual comprehension and vision and is richly and sovereignly authored by the Lord to all those with open hearts that have the desire to have it and live by it. (see also Heb. 11:1; 12:1,2)
This book is furthermore written for those who obey or are willing to learn to obey and believe the Word of God as the Final Judge of their earthly life and ultimate destiny. For those that do not have in their hearts to neglect, misuse or abuse God’s Word, His Ways and Judgments as well as His principles of Creation and of Salvation. For all those, this brief work will also be a source of encouragement, way out of deception, clear direction of the Word in their earthly pilgrimage ending in a victorious entry into the glorious Kingdom of Our Lord and to His Presence.
The precious promises of Our Almighty Father, which is in Heaven, are only accessible to those that obey His Word. We cannot achieve any of His promises no matter what we do by our own efforts. It takes far greater power, patience, forgiveness, mercy, grace, wisdom, compassion, etc., which are not found in any natural human soul but are found in Our Lord Jesus Christ. And He is willing. Therefore, ANY human soul, which is also willing, may through the Lord achieve God’s precious promises to us as well as many of his own godly desires, hopes or goals.
May the Lord Jesus Christ bring this Word and living testimony by His Spirit to such hearts and souls, which are unable in themselves BUT willing. For I myself was unable but willing. Our Heavenly Father knows all things from the beginning to the end. He knew us all before we were born, our willingness, our hunger, our thirst (Mt. 5:6) or lack of it. He thus chose and predestinated us all based on His foreknowledge of us and of our decisions. (Rom. 8:29)
Seven times have I reviewed, refined every word of this book before the Living Christ that He might burn out all dross (flesh) (Lev. 14:7; 16:19// 2Ki. 5:10,14// Ps. 12:6// Pr. 24:16// Lk. 17:4), that there should not be anything contrary to His Holiness and Righteousness and Truth. That it might be as pure and acceptable to Him as is possible under the circumstances and my spiritual state before Him. That it may serve His purposes alone for I do not seek my own will or goal or purpose in any part of this book but His Will. (Jn. 5:30) May it, therefore, please the Lord to use this written testimony for His pleasure and purposes.
May the Lord enable the willing believers to ask, seek, knock and believe that they will receive, find and the door shall be opened unto them. (Mt. 7:7,8) May He also enable them to open their heart, mind and will to Him, believe His whole Word and trust in Him. Because God never lies, His Word stands and we are free to use and trust His Word or ignore It. The Lord of Heaven and Earth will always honour His Word and will grant such believers all that they would need both now and in their entire future. Amen.
On behalf of the King of kings:
brother H a n o l a
[It is very important that readers read and verify the Biblical references quoted in the text, read them carefully and ponder them in heart. This will richly multiply the benefits in reading and acquiring the Light and Truth from the Word declared and discussed in this brief work.]
Nowhere in the Word of God, the Bible, do we find that our Salvation begins or depends on our mind. The Lord is not discarding our mind but brings our heart to the forefront as the most important organ of our soul concerning our life and Salvation. The Lord speaks continuously about human heart and describes it in every necessary angle – what is its natural condition, what it does and what are the consequences of its actions or inactions.
A truly thick book could be written just about this one topic. Should you begin to read the Word of God from the very beginning, you would need much time just to find all the references to the heart of man and then ponder all their significance and practical meaning. It is almost impossible to absorb all that Our God tells us about our heart in His Word.
I will bring only few but outstanding examples concerning our heart, how the Lord sees it, explains it and deals with it. We will see that the heart and will have a clear predominance in the Word of God and that mind follows them in the Salvation process with a certain delay.
It is absolutely vital for us to see and understand the important role of our heart in our Salvation, in dealing with the Lord and with each other within His Church. We do not, of course, talk about our physical heart pumping our blood but about the deepest organ of our soul located in the navel area of our body and not among ribs. (Jn. 7:38) Where our physical life began, there also our soulish and spiritual life began.
When man ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he disobeyed God through reasoning and lust. His soul became corrupted with that sin and new knowledge, which was not intended for man to have. Though the knowledge itself is not sin, disobedience is. Mind, which is the seat of intellect, is the organ containing knowledge in its memory, understanding and reasoning power. Furthermore, man died as foretold by God (Gen. 2:17), which means, he was separated from the Life, Holiness and conscious Presence of God in his soul. Death always represents separation and never cessation of existence.
Therefore, God rejected man’s mind, man’s intellect, psychology, intellectual knowledge, thoughts, reasoning, imaginations and intellectual understanding as the way to man’s future Salvation!
Firstly, God chose His faith giving the measure of it to every man (Rom. 12:3) so that every man, pagan, could believe in the Saviour and become a believer. No man is born to this world as a believer. This “initial measure of faith” is not to be confused with the “gift of faith” (1Cor. 12:9), which is given to them that are already believers (1Cor. 12:2) and need it to go through their young spiritual age. This is the same with the “initial measure of the Spirit” by which the pagan who believed and confessed Christ Jesus (Rom. 10:9) was sealed (Eph. 1:13). Then, an additional “gift of the Spirit” and His Power is given to him, who is already redeemed and baptized being willing to die to his old life, to continue in his Salvation (Acts 2:38// Heb. 6:1), which, without the Power of the Spirit, is an absolute impossibility.
Secondly, God chose our heart to be the recipient of His faith, also the interpreter and performer of that faith. God could then speak to us, communicate with us and have fellowship with us in our heart. And just as God gave the “initial measure of faith” to our spirit (Rom. 12:3) to enable us to believe, be redeemed and born-again in our spirit, so also, after our Redemption, He gave us an “initial measure of the Spirit” into our heart (2Cor. 1:22) to enable us to be born-again also in our heart and thus in our whole soul! The Lord’s faith then becomes “our faith” and has to be believed and interpreted to our soul by our heart. No man can obtain his Salvation through his mind bypassing the heart. (see)
An intellectual believer is NOT a born-again believer because neither faith, nor new birth come from or through the mind!
When the Gospel is preached, it points to that faith-reality in man’s conscience and the word of that faith gets into man’s heart and mouth. Then, when he speaks out that faith with his mouth believing in his heart that God raised Christ from the dead, that man shall be saved. (Rom. 10:8,9) Man is not required to use his mind, intellectual reasoning, understanding or other thinking about Salvation. Man’s reasoning would, in fact, stand in the way of his Salvation… as it does in every unsaved pagan. True?
“For with the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Rom. 10:10) No mind, no thinking, no reasoning, no psychology, no speculation, no intellect.
Mind cannot have faith! Mind has logic and logical beliefs-convictions. It has no access to faith and can never understand the faith, which the Lord builds, deposits and finishes in man’s conscience and then in his heart. (Heb. 12:2) Hence, God does not deal with or speak to our mind directly until it is renewed by His Spirit and thus enabled to receive and comprehend God’s thoughts. (Is. 55:8,9) This comes in a much more matured state of the believer.
Shall we then say that our mind has no importance? Of course not. Our mind is as important as our heart and will, which form the (inward) trinity of our soul. God is a Trinity – Three in One (1Jn. 5:7) and man was created in God’s Image (Gen. 1:26), so he is also a trinity. In fact, man is a triple trinity: outwardly – body, soul and spirit (1Thess. 5:23), which are one man; inwardly – heart, mind and will, which are one soul, and – conscience, intuition and communion, which are one spirit. (see also)
But our Salvation does not start or continue with our mind. Even the renewal of our old mind into a new one, spiritual one, is done through our heart. Our heart must first see, believe and interpret the faith, which the Lord builds within it showing the state of our mind. It must also see where do our thoughts, imaginations, reasoning and understanding come from and what spirits are influencing or even ruling our mind. Only then can our will decide to get rid of any offensive or evil spirit and darkness from our mind. This is how (the spirit of) our mind is renewed. (Eph. 4:23). This will be discussed later on.
When Apostle Paul tells Timothy to “study to show thyself approved… rightly dividing the Word of truth” (2Tim. 2:15), he knows that Timothy must study and understand the Word first with his heart and its faith, pondering and meditating on the Word. His mind is not set aside but is set as dependent on his heart and faith.
On the other hand, our heart may be renewed, recreated without the assistance of our mind. God can create a new, clean heart even in a person who may be intellectually inferior or disabled. However, if the heart remains wicked and refuses God, then even the most brilliant and knowledgeable mind can do nothing for that man.
What is then the practical outcome of the above facts? I believe, the Lord will graciously show us more of His Light on the next pages. We will start with our natural heart, mind and will and how the Lord sees their spiritual conditions according to His Word and not according to man’s beliefs, assumptions, thoughts or speculations. We will then proceed with the new heart, mind and will and how the Lord conducts their respective renewal, recreation, revival. We will discuss three main verses in the Letter to Ephesians pertinent to this process of renewal of the three organs of our soul.
This renewal of our soul completes our Full Salvation since our spirit is already governed by the Spirit of the Lord and our mortal body will be renewed, or recreated at our resurrection. This process is described more fully and in more detail in our booklet “Truth about Salvation”.
“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jer. 17:9,10)
It is not a pleasant Word and we are never inclined to preach it, ponder it or explain it unless we talk about others. We would never admit that this Word applies to our own heart! That our own heart may still be desperately wicked and deeply deceitful even after our redemption while doing a lot of good works, joining or helping other ministries who spread teachings according to our own beliefs.
It took a great pressure of sins to bring David to begin to cry to the Lord: “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness; according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.” (Ps. 51:1)
And then he begged the Lord: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.” (Ps. 51:10,11// Pr. 20:9)
David cried unto the Lord like this being in the midst of his wars for the Lord, doing unto Him a lot of good deeds, being himself after the Heart of God and chosen by God to do His Will! (Acts 13:22// Ps. 89:20) Are you with me? This Word also means, that we need to cry like that unto the Lord even after many years of our ministry and “wars” for the Lord. None of us is better than was David. True? Do you really believe this?
Believers that never cry, never shed tears to the Lord still possess the same old desperately wicked and deceitful heart whether they are aware of it or not! Thus the Holy Spirit may not be allowed into our soul though He dwells in our spirit. No believer is an exception because we all started with a deeply deceitful and desperately wicked heart whether we have already seen this fact, or not yet!
If, therefore, the Lord had not started to create in us a clean heart, it is still in a wicked state and we only “talk” about the Lord. Our lips preach, speak or sing about Him, but our heart is far from Him… as He is also far from our heart. (Is. 29:13// Mt. 15:7-9)
The Lord declares clearly that: “…those things, which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the (wicked) heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies…” (Mt. 15:18,19)
An important fact should be realized at this point. The heart of many believers, especially those who work for the Lord, who do something for Him, may not be “desperately wicked” any more, BUT it may still be deeply deceived! Therefore, what we do for the Lord may not be fruitful and fully acceptable to Him. It is better for us all to admit the above possibility rather than remain deceived and continue producing wood, hay and stubble. (1Cor. 3:12,13)
You see, the real problem is not what we speak or do but what are the true intentions of our heart! Our heart is especially tested by the Lord in circumstances involving our family or brethren that are close to us. Our heart will reveal itself sooner or later, and usually, when we do not even realize it. Our actions or reactions, including speaking about others behind their back, will clearly show whether our heart is right or wrong, cleansed or wicked or corrupt. Also, I always believed that it is only our mind, which is able to think, ponder, reason, plan, understand. But no! The Word clearly declares that it is primarily and most importantly our heart, which thinks, ponders, reasons, plans, decides. It must understand the Word of God, hear His Voice, see His Ways and do His Faith and Judgments placed in our conscience. Faith is never placed in our mind and our mind can never interpret it or understand it. The Lord spoke to Israel, His chosen people, in parables and the reason for it, He declared as follows:
“For this people’s heart is waxed gross (grew fat, satisfied, unresponsive), and (therefore) their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted (changed, restored), and I should heal them.” (Mt. 13:15// Is. 6:9,10)
Thoughts, imaginations, intentions, wisdom, foolishness, willingness, seeking, searching and similar actions of man’s heart, as well as man speaking, pondering and deciding within his own heart, these all are mentioned on every other page of the Bible. Start at the very beginning of the Bible (ex. Gen. 6:5) and try to find for yourselves how many times this fact is brought to the light by the Lord.
Some examples: Gen. 8:21; 17:17; 24:45; 27:41// Ex. 35:5, 35; 36:2// Num. 32:7// Deut. 4:9,39; 7:17; 8:2,5,17; 9:4; 10:16; 15:7,9; 18:21; 29:4,19; 30:14// Judg. 5:15// 1Sam. 16:7; 21:12; 27:1// 1Ki. 3:12; 8:61; 12:26// 1Chr. 22: 19; 29:18// Ezra 7:10// Esth. 6:6; 7:5// Job 8:10; 9:4; 17:4,11; 22:22; 38:36// Ps. 10:6,11,13; 14:1; 15:2; 19:14; 33:11; 36:1; 49:3; 53:1; 77:6; 95:10; 119:11,161; 140:2// Pr. 2:2,10; 6:18; 8:5; 10:8; 11:29; 14:33; 15:14; 16:1,9,21; 19:21; 22:15; 23:7,12,15; 24:2; 28:26// Ecc. 1:13,16,17; 2:1,3,15; 3:17,18; 7:22,25; 8:5,11; 9:1// Is. 10:7; 14:13; 32:4,6; 33:18; 44:19; 47:8,10; 49:21; 59:13, etc., etc…
I have only reached the Book of Jeremiah and already it is quite sufficient to see the above examples. Now, the word heart is mentioned 582 times while mind is only mentioned 21 times in the above quoted Bible passages! You should take time and read those verses quoted above and especially those underlined to see what our heart can do and what place of prominence and responsibility it has before the Lord. It may completely change the way of your current “religious life and understanding”.
Believers may ask how can they tell whether a thought comes from their mind or their heart. Actions of our mind can be recognized since they come from our head and we know when we are thinking, searching or pondering with our brain. Actions of our heart come from “deep within” our belly area without our mind being exercised in any noticeable way. These thoughts and intentions of our heart may come without our prior focusing on them in our mind. They often come out of our heart spontaneously. The difference between the actions of our mind and of our heart is of a great importance. The thoughts of our old mind are not valuable before the Lord, Who declares:
“The Lord knows the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.” (Ps. 94:11)
Whenever then believers say: “I think that…” what follows has no spiritual value when it comes from his brain. Please note, that the Spirit of God never led Jesus to say: “I think…I assume…I hope…I guess…perhaps… maybe”! Whenever the Lord spoke, He said: “Verily, I say unto you… I tell you in truth…” – no “thinking”, no assuming, no guessing and no reasoning. That also means that the Spirit will never lead you to express yourself in spiritual things as the above examples show, but rather as the Lord Jesus spoke. These examples come from the natural soul and not from the Spirit of God. Do you believe this fact?
* * *
I am constrained by the Spirit of the Lord to remind ourselves at this point, that in committing errors due to our wrong thinking, we may not thereby sin against God. But by assuming and presuming without verifying the facts, we do sin against God! These sins then have dominion over us, they rule us and we cannot be upright and innocent from the great transgression. (Deut. 13:14// Ps. 19:12,13)
* * *
So what is important is what the believer “believes and knows in his heart”. When the heart is not yet renewed in any noticeable degree, the mind is unrenewed, as well. It is yet in darkness, it may even be numbed or paralysed and thus impotent to think or consider rightly the things of the Lord and His Word.
On the other hand, such an unrenewed mind is always ready to engage in endless religious discussions, doubts, arguments, questions, explanations and other forms of running around in intellectual circles and getting nowhere spiritually. It is a typical “intellectual” religion or religious psychology, which produces no spiritual values, no spiritual progress or growth, no spiritual maturing of any kind.
This is a perfect place to quote another Word of God, which touches this subject in its very core. It says:
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he:…” (Pr. 23:7)
* * *
The Spirit of the Lord constrains me to declare what I see with the Lord when I repeat this spiritual fact: “We are what we think in our heart!”
This extremely important Word declares not only the spiritual reality of our person before God but It also “hides” within Itself the following consequential facts:
a) We cannot become a different person without starting to think differently in our heart.
b) We cannot start thinking differently in our heart without starting to see something different in our heart.
c) We cannot start seeing something different in our heart without departing from the existing darkness, which prevents us from seeing something different in our heart.
d) We cannot depart from the existing darkness in our heart until we allow the Light of the Lord to come in.
e) We cannot allow the Light of the Lord to come in because we cannot believe that there could be darkness in our heart and that what we read or hear about ourselves or what others tell us could be actually true!
Let us now reverse the order of these facts and begin to see and understand what the Lord wants us to see here:
a) When we begin to pause and even admit that our thoughts, intentions, plans or deeds pointed out to us by others may indicate darkness, foolishness or evil in our person – we are becoming Overcomers.
b) When we begin to believe this truth, the Light of the Lord comes into our heart (Hab. 2:4// Rom. 1:17// Heb. 10:38).
c) That Light will enable us to start seeing different (new) things in our heart, which we never saw before.
d) Seeing different things in our heart will enable us to start thinking different (new) thoughts in our heart.
e) When we start thinking different (new) thoughts in our heart, we will start becoming a different person!
This is the way of Salvation and the transformation of our person before God into the Image of Christ Jesus. From my own experience I may state that the only painful stage in this process is in point a), where we have to “overcome ourselves”, our image, pride and fears, and then in point b), step out of our boat on the water (begin to walk by faith) and walk on the water to Jesus. (Mt. 14:28-29)
* * *
It is quite amazing that our personality is not expressed by what we think in our mind, but what we think in our heart. That is why the Word of God focuses on our heart and testifies about Itself as follows:
“For the Word of God is quick (living, life bringing) and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing (it pains human souls) even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit (outer and inner man) and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12// Rev. 2:12, see also page B2)
Why is the Word of God discerning the thoughts and intentions of our heart and not of our mind? Why is the Lord knocking on the door of our heart and not on the door of our mind? (Rev. 3:20) These questions have one simple answer and it is found in another Word of God, which says: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Pr. 4:23)
The issues of life do not reside in man’s mind, but in his heart! Hence, the thoughts and intentions of our mind have no power to decide about our life, to be realized in our life, to change our life, our character and our mind itself. They cannot renew or bring life to our soul in any way. They can be compared to our “New Year’s resolutions”. It takes our heart and the Word of God in it to do that salvation work. Seeing, believing and using this fact in our future life would revolutionize the whole Church. [Whenever we now mention the “Church”, we will always mean the “Church-Israel” made One; see more later.] It would lift us above all the deathly and earthly things and give us the glimpse of the lively and heavenly realm, which we might openly or secretly yearn for in our hearts but are unable to attain it. (Jn. 3:12,31-34// Phil. 3:18-20// Jam. 3:14-18// Col. 3:2, etc.)
I, therefore, believe that it is not only desirable but also vital for us all to learn to distinguish and discern our heart from our mind both in their thoughts, reasoning, ponderings, and other actions, reactions or inactions. So, let us…
This chapter should not be concluded without the Word of God, which I desire not only to quote, but also to pray joining the great Apostle Paul in his prayer:
“That the God of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him; the eyes of your (spiritual, not natural) understanding being enlightened, that ye may know…(in heart)” (Eph. 1:17,18)
I propose that we would beseech Our Lord to graciously answer the above prayer for us all and draw us deeper into His Truth, that is, into Himself, and higher above all the earthly and temporal things, which are about to perish anyway and which may otherwise stay in our way as mighty obstacles.
(1) “That ye put off concerning the former conversation (old way of expressing yourself) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts…
(2) And be renewed in the spirit of your mind…
(3) And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
These should be well known passages of the Scripture which we will now consider in the light of the above facts concerning heart, will and mind. These three above verses will be kept and considered separately as it is important to see the “process” of our Salvation as to our heart, will and mind. (see also Col. 3:9,10)
Our old man, old nature, old creation consists of old heart, old will and old mind. All three have to be renewed, transformed, revived. In their old natural state, they live emotionally and intellectually, but spiritually they are dead. (1Tim. 5:6// Rev. 3:1) If we are born again (Jn. 3:3-8), the Life of God only revives and begins to rule our spirit, but does not rule our soul! This old, dead man ruling our soul has to be “put off” being corrupt according to his deceitful lusts and thus totally unusable and unacceptable to the Lord and for His desires, goals and intentions.
1. Verse 22 points to the renewal, recreation of our old heart and will.
2. Verse 23 points to the renewal, recreation of our old mind.
3. Verse 24 points to the “putting on” of the new heart, new will and new mind, which form our New Man.
Instead of submerging ourselves into a lot of theology, I prefer to give my living experiences and faith of how the Lord goes about this “process” with every believer.
1. Ephesians 4:22
The very first fact we have to notice in verse 22 and 24 is that WE have to “put off our old man” and “put on our new man”, God will not do it for us! God will only provide the power and guidance enabling us to make that decision in our heart and do it! If we just “wait on the Lord that He might do in us what He wants”, we are terribly deceived and are missing our Salvation. (see also 2Cor. 7:1// Phil. 2:12) God’s basic steps and guidance for us are as follows.
Firstly, the Lord starts knocking on the “door” of our heart (Rev. 3:20) after we are “weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts”. (Is. 28:9) This is to say, that after we have finished our spiritual childhood (Heb. 5:13) and are ready to learn spiritual knowledge and understand it in our heart (Mt. 13:15), the Lord knocks and waits whether we open our heart to Him, or not. The “door knob” is only on the inside and no one can open our heart, only us. He keeps knocking (maybe even through this book or through similar means) until we open our heart to Our Saviour, Who only lives in and rules our spirit. When we open our heart to Him, He may get in and slowly and progressively establish His rule in our heart and then in the whole soul.
Before He is allowed into our heart and rule there, we have no right to call Him “Our Lord”! He is Our Saviour, but WE keep ruling our soul and life and not Him! (Lk. 6:46) Ponder this truth in your heart.
Being in our heart, the Lord may then start to fellowship with us. Through that fellowship, He may begin to “know us” and we may begin to “know Him” (Mt. 7:23; 25: 11,12), and that, not just as Our Saviour, but also as Our Lord with Power and Authority over our life!
Concerning fellowship, it is the same in our physical life where only close friends who fellowship personally can get to know each other well. No matter how much we read or hear about a person, we never know that person until we begin to meet personally and talk and share our hearts and minds. True? This is also the reason for dating before marriage. We are also supposed to “date” Our Saviour and Lord before our “marriage to Him”. He will not marry us unless we become wise virgins. And if we do not “date” Him, we will not know one another, not have His Life and we will remain foolish virgins. (Mt. 25:8-12// Jn. 5:40)
After entering our heart, the Lord brings His Light, Truth and Life into it and slowly begins to show us, here a little and there a little (Is. 28:10), the pride, self-righteousness, unbelief, deceptions, bitterness, wickedness, stubbornness, unwillingness or other evil, filth, and undesirable features in our old heart. It is like opening the gate to our property, garden, vineyard, which we did not keep (S.Sol. 1:6) to a master-gardener. He would begin to change our “jungle” full of strange, dangerous, poisonous, creepy creatures and plants into a lovely garden full of beautiful flowers, shrubs, grass fields, ponds, waterfalls and spices. (S.Sol. 4:12-16) We alone could not do that but Our Master-Gardener will require our time and cooperation at every step.
Secondly, the Lord works also in our will so that we would be willing to do HIS good pleasure also and not always our own. (Phil. 2:13) What is His good pleasure? To create in us a new, clean, pure heart (Ps. 51:10), as it were, a new garden, vineyard (S.Sol. 4:12-16) with a new spirit, and make us spiritually living… for why should we remain (spiritually) dead? The Lord has no pleasure in our death (separation from Him). (Ez. 18:30-32; 36:26,27// Ps. 24:3,4)
When we then ask, desire and allow His Spirit to take away that evil part from our heart, which He showed us, we are working out our own salvation! (Phil. 2:12) In other words, we are cooperating with God in fear and trembling to create our new heart … little by little… through His Word, which causes us to fall back and be broken and taken and snared in our old heart. (Is. 28:13)
This is done in us as we are growing up into Christ, and this process continues until our heart is new, clean and pure. (Mt. 5:8// Eph. 4:15) This usually lasts our lifetime and, maybe, a few hundred more years into the Millennial Kingdom of Heaven on earth. (see page B4)
Our heart and will must first be sufficiently renewed in order that our mind could also follow its renewal process. The order of these verses is thus Divinely set and shows that the Lord does not start with our mind.
2. Ephesians 4:23
Whenever a filthy, evil, dead part was removed from our heart (through discipline and repentance) and a new, clean, pure and living part created, the issue of our life in that part of our heart (Pr. 4:23) was also revived and it is now able to “see, hear and understand” God! This new and living part of our heart and the new part of our will are now united and totally subjected to God and His Will. This is an important fact and, I also believe, it is absolutely necessary for any subsequent renewal work in our mind. The full impact of this fact will be seen later on as we discuss this issue and penetrate more into the mysteries of Salvation and the progressive re-creation of our old soul in Christ Jesus.
God then reaches into our mind and brings into it the same light from our renewed heart showing the areas of unrighteous thoughts, judgments, foolishness, darkness, stubbornness, and other evil. The mind is then enabled to depart from its darkness and evil, be cleansed and begin to think righteously, wisely and truthfully in that same area where our heart and will have already been renewed. Thus our heart and will are united supporting that same light in our mind. There is no opposition, no disagreement, no discord within our own soul – in that area.
The renewal of our mind is thus dependent on the renewal of our heart and will – in any particular area of our life, in any issue of our life. It is a slow process as the Lord already indicated in His Word – here a little, there a little. He could not show us our whole old heart or mind and expect us to be able to give up all of our old life at once, which is impossible, but rather progressively. It is sufficiently hard and painful to give up a little here and a little there. You must have experienced on at least some occasions that your heart and mind “did not agree” on some important life issues, and your will had a hard time to make a decision. You were simply undecided. This also means that there was no unity in your soul. True?
We may not be aware that our heart may not go along with our mind. Hence, in some crucial moments, we are not able to follow and live the truth, which our mind “accepted and agreed with” because our heart is not in it! This then results in a mental religion where we may agree with one another while we remain impotent to do or live what we agreed on.
Haven’t you ever noticed it in your own life? Haven’t you noticed that no matter how much religious knowledge you may have accumulated in your mind and agreed with, it did not help you in the time of need? No matter how many important notes you put into your notebook, in real daily life, were you ever able to execute your notes or did you fail every time? Why? Because your knowledge and notes were not “transferred” into your blood, which is your life (Deut. 12:23), they only remained in your memory, if at all.
Hence, the corresponding life issues in your heart remained untouched, thus, unchanged!
Why are such things possible? Because the heart has not been touched by the Spirit and no spiritual work, no spiritual change has occurred in it. Why? The Lord was not allowed access into your heart even though you might never admit or believe that. But your fruit always shows the reality as opposed to your wishes, dreams or persuasions.
Whenever our fruit is not good, we try to defend ourselves and find the causes for our mistakes or shortcomings outside of us, in what we do or do not do, thus derailing the attention from the main problem. The main problem is usually inside of us. It is not what we do or do not do, but what we are inside. Our efforts may be commendable, our ways always clean in our own eyes, but our spirits (of our mind, heart and will) are continually “judged-assessed” by the Lord! The Lord keeps weighing, judging our spirits in which we walk and do our deeds. He judges the source of our deeds and not the deeds themselves! (Pr. 16:2) Hence, conflicts within us cause conflicts outside of us.
Yet another fact to remember and believe is as follows. We may be singing beautiful hymns, hands raised toward Heaven, tears streaming down our cheeks, emotions filling our soul. There is nothing wrong with that – yet – that does not mean or prove that any spiritual change has been done in our heart, will or mind! It may just be an emotional religion. How do I know? I went through these things for years myself, together with many brethren who were in the same congregations. Yet, our pride, arrogance, stubbornness, foolishness, fears, envy, darkness and other undesirable things in our hearts remained unaffected and unchanged!
Again, I experienced it myself. Right after our blessed service, the Lord tested some of the souls that sang and praised Him loudly – and they failed. They could not even shake my hand, look into my eyes, greet me or speak freely with me, their spirit could not meet me face to face. (see also page 13) Why? What spirits had their grip on them?
True Salvation involves a true overcoming of our own selves and it is always accompanied by at least some degree of suffering and pain and death!
Christians always seek love, happiness, peace, prosperity, health, fame and approval from others, and that, under all circumstances… just as pagans do. I know that there is the Word of God in 3John 2. But there may be very, very few believers, who understand this Word in their heart as the Spirit means it, and not just logically.
Firstly, the health and prosperity is meant in – spirit, soul and body – in that order! (1Thess. 5:23) Many believers and ministers (even famous ones) love to take the order backwards. But if my body prospers, it is because my soul prospers first, and my soul prospers when my spirit prospers first. Any carnal Christian may feel that his soul or body prospers, but the Lord knows that it is but a “sweet deception” because true prosperity starts in the spirit.
Secondly, prosperity with God is something very different than prosperity with men. Outside of the Spirit, believers are extremists, they either believe that a “good” Christian must be “always poor and always suffering”, or he must be “always healthy and lacking nothing good”. But both beliefs are from the flesh. The Lord’s truth is that no righteous person was ever forsaken, poor and begging bread (Ps. 37:25). On the other hand, believers must not be covetous, but content with such things as they have, as the Lord granted to them. (Heb. 13:5) They also have to learn in whatever state they are, therewith to be content. (Phil. 4:11) These Words of Our Lord should be the true frame for the picture of our prosperity.
Thirdly, true prosperity from God is conditional on our obedience and service to Him. It is true that…“He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous,” (Job 36:7) But He also shows them that in their work and their transgressions they have exceeded. And then…
“He opens their ear to discipline and commands that they return from iniquity. IF they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity…” (Job 36:8-14, see also Jer. 22: 21, 22 and judge yourselves).
This way of the Spirit may thus be a far cry from the fleshly attempts of many ministers to define the prosperity of their flocks and possibly deceive them thereby.
The Lord often allows us to get into situations where we are tested, sometimes severely tested, and where we either remain standing or we fall. Our fall, our defeat is not a tragedy if we learn from it and allow the Lord to build our faith, spiritual strength and wisdom in that area. Then we stand up and continue. The tragedy is when we refuse to stand up and allow the Lord to strengthen us, teach us, build our patience, perseverance, wisdom, faith. It is also tragic when we harden our heart and do not care any more for what the Lord is doing with us, in us or through us, when we do not realize that we have to stand up not just for our sake, but also for the sake of all those to whom we are called to minister and become a blessing. We do not live just for ourselves, for our personal blessings! (Rom. 14:7)
Let me bring to your attention one more Word of God, which also shows that our mind is renewed as the last part of our soul following our heart and will. We are beseeched by Apostle Paul: “…be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may (be able to) prove (by your life) what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” (Rom. 12:2) Only with our whole soul renewed we can prove the perfect Will of God in our life and never before.
At this point, I would wholeheartedly refer every reader to the excellent book of Watchman Nee “The Release of the Spirit”, which is devoted to this most important topic in our Christian lives – the breaking of our “outer man”. Brother Watchman calls our spirit the “inner man”, our soul the “outer man” and our body the “outermost man”. Unless our outer man, our soul, which is corrupt, evil and sinful is broken, our New Man, (spiritual inner Man) cannot take over “the helm” and we cannot start living and acting through him. Let me quote just a few important lines from his excellent book, which, no doubt, came to brother Watchman by the revelation from God. He writes on page 14:
“The Lord employs two different ways to break our outer man: one is gradual, the other is sudden…The timing is in His hand. We cannot shorten the time, though we certainly can prolong it. In some lives the Lord is able to accomplish this work after a few years of dealing; in others it is evident that after ten or twenty years the work is still unfinished. This is most serious! Nothing is more grievous than wasting God’s time. How often the church is hindered! We can preach using our mind, we stir others by using our emotions; yet if we do not know how to use our spirit, the Spirit of God cannot touch people through us. The loss is great…”
He continues on pages 57-59:
“For the outer man to be broken, our full consecration is imperative…It takes consecration plus the discipline of the Holy Spirit to make us vessels fit for the Master’s use… Notice how far the discipline of the Holy Spirit transcends our consecration. How often we are caught unprepared and we conclude that such a drastic thing is not our need. Many times His discipline descends upon us suddenly without our having prior notice!…
External things can strike the outer man most painfully. So it is that God uses external things in dealing with our outer man … Do you not realize that all the events of your life for the past five or ten years were ordered by God for your education? If you murmured and complained, you grievously failed to recognize His hand. If you thought you were just unfortunate, you were in ignorance of the discipline of the Holy Spirit. Remember that whatever happens to us is measured by the Hand of God for our supreme good..”
Finally, on page 60, he may give multitudes of believers a shock of their life in saying the following:
“We receive grace through meetings, through messages, through prayers, and so forth. But surely the greatest means of grace, which we cannot afford to neglect is the discipline of the Holy Spirit. Nothing can be compared with this means of grace – not prayer, Bible reading, meetings, messages, meditation, or praise. Among all the God-given means of grace, it would seem this is the most important!… None of the other means of grace can replace it.”
The important fact to declare at this point is that God almost always does this work of breaking our outer man, our soul, through others, chiefly those that we may despise or be angry with or hate or look down upon or judge unrighteously or even love! So, our emotions as well as our thinking and reasoning powers are “attacked” and we show the “true colours” of our outer man, which also means, his true needs.
Before we conclude the subject of this verse, it is not to be forgotten that any renewal of our heart, will and mind is not liked by the powers of evil and darkness. They will never leave our character voluntarily or watch our salvation process passively! It is normal to experience either their resistance or an outright assault on every part of our soul. Our enemy may attack our heart and its emotions, our mind and its thoughts and also our will and its ability to make right decisions. There may be days when we feel depressed or disgusted, distracted or quite impotent to move or make any decisions. Have you noticed such occurrences in your life? And even if you have, you may not have discovered or understood their true spiritual roots and reasons.
It is desirable to mention that our enemy attacks also our bodies. He often hides behind our legitimate weaknesses or illnesses and magnifies them so that his actions are difficult to detect. He may also induce into our body such hellish sicknesses as, for example, cancer. Physical cancer indicates a pre-existence of a “spiritual cancer”, which then affects our soul and then body. Cancer is always associated with an “uncontrolled growth” in spirit or in body! At this place we will not enlarge upon this subject more than just stating the above as it would derail us from the main topic. We will, however, return to it later on since there are important spiritual experiences and facts connected with the healing of our bodies.
3. Ephesians 4:24
This verse summarizes what the Spirit worked out in the previous two verses. It also tells us that the work of the Holy Spirit is now to be practiced in our daily life that it may become our habit, our “new life”. That is how our New Man is “put on”.
In fact, the Lord leads us to experience His work in our heart, will and mind and subjects us to testing so that we could see ourselves that we are not the same persons in those new areas. We are different wherever He has performed and has finished His work, first in our heart and will and then also in our mind. Start discerning your own selves and you will see the truth of this Word.
We will be even surprised that the things we could not do before are now easy to do. We will be able to do them spontaneously without forcing ourselves, without painful faces, without “steaming our head or biting our nails”. We will experience this new abundant Life (Jn. 10:10) and also find out that its glory, joy and perfection is worth far more than the “suffering we had to suffer for a while”. (1Pet. 5:10) God is thus making us perfect according to His Will.
Some believers-Overcomers confided in me that others tell them frequently: “You can’t be perfect here, God will make you perfect in Heaven. So, just be satisfied with things as they are, they could be much worse, you know. And do not elevate yourself over your brethren, it is better to be humble.” And so on… and so on. Well then, what shall we say about such words?
Little do such brethren know that by their foolish words they make their Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ a liar! Yes, a liar! Also, they bring condemnation to their souls unless they repent to Him and speak that way no more. (Mt. 12:37) It seems to be an unwritten law or pattern that whoever is overcoming himself and pressing to do the whole Truth and Will of God reaching for his perfection is always considered proud, self-elevating, an elitist or non-conformist by his carnal brethren. These carnal believers have no intention to follow the Word of God, yet they accuse, point fingers and speak foolish and arrogant words at those that love the Lord and are following His Word.
Consider the Word where the Lord Himself commanded us directly and clearly saying:
“Be ye therefore perfect…” (Mt. 5:48).
The word “therefore” means “here and now” and not in Heaven. Why? If your heart is set to do His Word in the previous nine verses (Mt. 5:39-47) then the Lord considers you (your heart) perfect! Why?
First, your heart cannot do any better than that. And second, in Heaven, nobody will smite your cheek, nobody will sue you in court or take away your coat. You will have no enemies to try to love over there, nobody will curse you or persecute you in Heaven. So how do you want to be made perfect in Heaven? Can you tell me? And if you do not do these verses (Mt. 5:39-47), you are not even considered to be the children of Our Father, which is in Heaven! (Mt. 5:45// Rom. 9:7,8) You can’t even enter Heaven unless you are perfect! Should I say to you: Hello?
Heaven is not the place for perfecting ourselves, the place is here and the time is now while we live here. Are not the words of such “brethren” quoted above truly foolish? Those words are also evil because they come from hell.
Also, Apostle Paul being led by the Spirit of God says: “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us, therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded…” (Phil. 3:14,15// also 2Chr. 16:9).
Wow! Where did Paul get “perfect believers”? He was still on the earth himself and “pressing” to lay hold on the high calling of God in Christ Jesus! True? Well? Is it not clear even from this Word of God that the heart, which is pressing, focusing, set to do His Word is considered perfect in His sight? No heart can do any more or any better than that. Even Israel was required to be perfect with the Lord their God! (Deut. 18:13) Were they really? Their long and miserable history is the fruit of their disobedience.
REALITY AND EXPERIENCES
I do ask the Lord to grant us a brief but clear, precise and necessary truth, which would have His power to penetrate and pierce the hearts and do the work therein, which He would be pleased with. The last thing I desire is that the above facts would be just another theory or doctrine or information for curious Christian minds.
I want to bring several important and very practical examples showing the spiritual facts and reality described in the above sections. They show the state of the Church including some individual believers and leaders as the Lord sees and judges them and their state. He desires to grant that same view and understanding to the hearts where He dwells and works out His pleasure.
A. Ministry in Slovakia and Czech Republic
During my missions in Slovakia and the Czech Republic in Central Europe, I had opportunities to minister to many believers and also to preach in several congregations. The one spiritual fact, which I experienced in almost all my missions was that I could clearly see a definite spiritual difference between the church leadership and all the other believers whom I met.
All of the elders, pastors, preachers or other leaders I met displayed either a reluctance or even tremendous fear to allow me to contact, preach or otherwise minister to their “sheep”. In some churches I was allowed to preach, in others I was not. I understand their fears and I do not blame any of them for their attitudes and fears. Also, the younger leadership displayed a greater hostility and arrogance toward me than those more aged and experienced. This just proves that aging does diminish our cockiness and mellows us even without being disciplined by the Holy Spirit.
What the leaders fear the most is that their form of religion, doctrines, ways, habits, desires and future plans could be affected and derailed to new ways. They do not believe that the Lord would like to “stir their church”, expose any shortcomings, perhaps, even death in their midst or to correct anything! Their church and they themselves are all perfect in their own eyes, and there seems to be “absolutely nothing for the Lord to correct”. An old form of religion, as an old habit, is a very comfortable one and no one desires to depart from it voluntarily especially when the Lord’s ways are known to be quite uncomfortable to our fleshly ways, life and ministry. So, do we truly need the Lord’s corrections?
What was even funny, was my experience in a small congregation (Brotherly church) in Batizovce, a small town just near the High Tatra Mountains in Slovakia. I was not allowed to say anything to their congregation, but I was invited to a “talk” with their elders after the service. The talk proved to be a true inquisition where I was interrogated with all kinds of questions concerning my book (which they possessed) and also my personal beliefs and opinions.
When they asked me whether I “speak in tongues” (1Cor. 12:10), I said “yes”. I was then told that the Holy Spirit gave tongues only at the beginning of the Church and that He is not doing these things any more! So my gift was, in effect, labelled false. When I asked them where in the Scripture had they found this fact, they replied that it is not in the Scripture, but that their Annual Conference established it so! It looked like God “forgot” to inform us in His Word about this important deadline for giving us the gifts of His Spirit. Decent and aged elders were able to present this farce to me and remain serious and not blink their eyes.
Then I asked them whether they give gifts to their newborn children. They said “yes”. Then I asked them again: “Why do you think that the Holy Spirit should stop giving gifts to His newborn children when you keep giving gifts to your newborn children?” They were stunned and did not answer one word!
Then I asked them whether they read my book “Thy Kingdom come”. They said “yes” but the chief elder declared that a part of my book was written in one kind of spirit and part in a different spirit. I asked him whether such a thing is possible. He replied “yes”. Then I gave him the Scripture that it is impossible that out of one fountain comes forth both salt water and fresh water. (Jam. 3:11,12) Again, they were speechless and nobody said a word.
Then they kept asking me a lot of other questions. I tried to stop their questioning, but it was not easy to quiet them down. I said: “Why should I answer your questions when you do not answer mine?” So then they quieted down and waited for my question.
Finally, I asked them whether a believer may lose his Salvation. They responded that there was no way. I told them that they do err not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. (Mk. 12:24) I gave them only one of the important verses where the Lord will blot the name of a born-again believer, who does not overcome, out of the Book of Life, which is the loss of Salvation. (Rev. 3:5) Again, there was no response! Truth makes people speechless!
The meeting was closed without any profit to anyone. All the elders were adults, but they behaved like children who were never even dreaming of seeking the truth, seeking the Kingdom, seeking the Lord with an open heart. All their religion was in their heads. It was all brains, all reasoning, all stubborn debating and obstinate attitudes defending their traditions and persuasions. They all lived a dark and dead form of Christian Judaism without any willingness to receive or even search for any new light from the Lord. The depth of their spiritual death was astounding.
I was then preaching in the Baptist Church in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. The Word given was about the Lord’s coming as the Bridegroom and the pertinent passages were from Mt. 25:1-13; 7:21-23, Rev. 3:16-22 and also other Scriptures on this subject. After the sermon, there was a true excitement and many of us embraced and kissed and promised to be in touch (including their chief preacher). I asked them to write especially if some parts of my book needed further explanations.
Then we parted and for many months, there was no response. So I wrote a letter to the elders. There was no response. After another number of months, I wrote again. No response! Clearly, their excitement and “love” vanished shortly after my departure. Their hearts remained the same as they were before my preaching. According to their hearts, it was not convenient or desirable to answer me, never mind what the Word of God commands. (Heb. 13:16) The powers of darkness and evil in them started to fear. The Lord knows their hearts and that there is no love in them because “there is no fear in love… he that fears is not made perfect in love.” (1Jn. 4:18)
* * *
I am constrained by the Spirit of the Living Lord to state the following truth.
* * *
Another example worth mentioning touches my book “Truth about Salvation”, which the Lord granted me and allowed me to write it in the year 2003. By chance, I came across an article “Eternal Safety” by Dave Hunt, published on the website of the Slovak Fellowship NKZ in the town of Prešov, Slovakia. It was published in the Slovak language (as “Večná Bezpečnosť“) and I read it with interest.
I found out, that the article contained dangerous and untrue statements that could easily mislead believers into a deception that “no matter what they do or do not do”, none of them could lose their Salvation! The works of flesh, which may be equated with the works of law (Rom. 3:28), were clearly confused by the author with the works of faith. (Jam. 2:24) Some important verses of the Scripture were completely ignored as if they did not exist. Furthermore, the principles of Salvation were clearly confused and misunderstood. This is dangerous to the very life of any believer who may read such articles!
* * *
The Spirit of the Lord again constrains me to declare at this point the following important truth.
Very few believers seem to understand or be able to reconcile Eph. 2:8,9 or Rom. 4:5 with Jam. 2:24; or Rom. 4:2,3 with Jam. 2:21-23! In 1972, in one of his sermons, one of my former Pentecostal pastors declared that “Paul would have some lessons to teach James!”! Wow!
So, the Book of James is not really inspired because it contradicts our human understanding of God and His Ways and Judgments! The Holy Spirit apparently inspired James to write contradictions. Even today, many prominent preachers, pastors and other ministers publicly declare that our Salvation has nothing to do with our works! How short-sighted and truly deceivable statements are these that oppose the very Word of God and all His basic Principles of Salvation!
I must in the Name of Christ the Lord show a few simple but absolutely basic proofs that without our works we cannot be saved! This is not a “word game”. Let us consider diligently the Word in Eph. 2:8,9 and Jam. 2:20-26 and the following facts:
1) Rom. 10:9,10 – is the confession of our mouth our work, without which we could not be saved, or not?
2) Rom. 10:13 – is our calling upon the Name of the Lord our work, without which we could not be saved, or not?
3) Acts 2:38 – is our repentance and water baptism our work, without which we could not be saved, or not? Yes, or no? The Lord is asking you these above questions, not me, and He expects your honest answers, not me.
4) Phil. 2:12 – is “working out our own salvation” our work or not? Do we know what that “work” really involves and how to work it out? Have any of you preachers ever preached THIS Word of God and explained it to your congregations? Really? In truth? And how will you reconcile Eph. 2:8,9 with Heb. 11:4-40? What works are those?
5) Mt. 16:24,25 – is “taking up our cross, denying ourselves and following Him” our work, or not? If we do not work out this work, shall we save our life or lose it? Hello? What do you preachers believe and why don’t you preach and explain THIS Word of God also? How can we neglect to preach, teach and explain such important facts from the Word of God to believers and feel fine? The Lord waits for your honest answer from your own heart.
Can you tell faith from the works of faith and from the works of flesh? Why are then many preachers in churches or on TV or radio networks preaching that “our Salvation has nothing to do with our works” and that “it is an unconditional gift from God”? This is an outright lie!… whereby the decisions of our heart and will, and the works of our faith are totally taken out of the context of all God’s Principles of our Salvation!
Nothing from God is unconditional toward men except His Word and men’s obedience to His Word (or willingness in men’s hearts to obey It)! That also applies to His love and mercy, which are also conditional and are not applied “across the board”. God loves unconditionally only those that He foreknew, called and predestinated (Rom. 8:28-30) because they also love Him unconditionally, struggle toward Him and do His commandments! (Jn. 14:21) But God hates those “chosen ones” who disregard His commandments and His Salvation! Shall we say then that God is unrighteous? (Rom. 9:13-18, etc.)
Is the above from the Spirit of the Lord or is it just my personal opinion? How do you discern it in your spirit, heart and conscience? Will you, please, preach this truth the next time?
* * *
Let us continue…
I wrote a letter to that Fellowship in Prešov and also attached my booklet “Truth about Salvation” requesting them to read it and respond to me. I considered the subject very important and I did indeed hope that they would see it that way as well; that they would consider the Word of God pertaining to that subject and would take the article out of their website. My booklet is short, so I hoped for their early answer.
After several months, I received a brief note where their elder questioned whether I was “under the power of the Lord’s Spirit” when I wrote my letter to him. I was told that I was “too authoritative”, and coming to them “from above” and not “from below”; plainly speaking, “I was elevating myself above them.” No mention of my booklet or of the serious matter of losing one’s Salvation!
I wrote them back again telling them that coming with authority and “from above” does not mean a self-elevation. Every true servant given by the Lord to the Church was given “from above” and never “from below” and was always given the necessary authority by the Lord. This is clear throughout the Scripture and requires from the Church the discipline to discern and assess the given Word. A true servant of the Lord without authority doesn’t exist. Furthermore, we should all know what kind of servants come “from below”.
Then their elder wrote back a brief letter where he admitted that he did not read “The Truth about Salvation” at all, he would not be expressing himself about it and that “as far as he understands the Lord”, he will not communicate with me in any foreseeable future! Wow… what an astonishing answer! Any common sense stops right here! The Lord, Whom that elder tries to understand says: “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and of a sound mind.” (2Tim. 1:7)
I am asking myself a simple question: Where is the love and the sound mind of that elder when I am receiving from him such a spiritually sick and arrogant answer? Is it possible that we both were given to the Church by the same Lord and are responsible to Him? Or is he responsible to some other lord?
It seems that the Church is guided by a modified Word of God, namely: “A new commandment I give unto you, That you understand one another; as I have understood you, that you also understand one another… by this shall all men know that you are my disciples if you have understanding...” (Jn. 13:34,35?) But mutual and right understanding comes only through love… and suffering.
After another three months without response, I finally decided to write my third letter to that elder stating my belief that he did not like any discipline or authority “neither from above, nor from below” and that his decision not to communicate with me is not of the Lord! (Heb. 13:16) Hence, it had to come from somewhere else. That was in May 2004 and I do not expect any more replies from that offended elder. But he will have a hard time before the Judgment Seat of Christ explaining his decisions on the basis of the Word of God. (Rom. 14:10)
In the conviction of this elder, God cannot speak to them or correct them through anyone that He Himself sovereignly chooses! They are “perfect”, thus they need no counsel, no help, no instructions, no corrections, no advice of any kind. They can neglect the Word of God, His warnings or any needful and appropriate action and “feel fine”. Is this possible in the living Church of Jesus Christ? Well, of course, it is! Today, it is the norm in the Church.
The Lord granted me the knowledge that this particular elder himself hated it when a woman was leading a fellowship in the City of Košice in Slovakia because the Word of God is against it! (1Cor. 14:34,35) So he left the fellowship. I say: Good, he did it with the right motive. But when I, in a similar way and with the same right motive, hate it when somebody acts, speaks or writes against the Word of God and tell him about it, he considers me proud and not under the power of God’s Spirit!
So, 1Cor. 14:34,35 is the Word of God worth considering, but Rev. 3:5; 20:15; 22:19// Heb. 6:4-6// 2Pet. 2:20-22// Jn. 15:6// Mt. 3:10; 12:31,32// Lk. 13:6-9// 1Jn. 5:16 and many other verses (see) are not the Word of God worth considering! Is he living under a double standard? The only other explanation may be that the case with 1Cor. 14:34,35 hurt his pride while Rev. 3:5; 22:19 and the other verses shown above did not, because pride is not really concerned with the perishing of people.
A proud heart is never set to reply to truth, receive any counsel, advice, correction, discipline or any authority, not even from the Word of God! A proud heart hates instructions, despises reproofs, hates learning new things from the Lord, learning obedience and never needs help from anybody! (Pr. 5:12-14)
Here the Lord declares to all the proud elders and leaders in His Church this simple truth:
A proud heart can be hurt by any little thing. I know. My heart also received wounds, which it never expected, and which were not healed in 24 hours. But they all worked for my good simply because I love the Lord and am called according to His purposes! (Rom. 8:28) Thanks to the wounds by which the Lord afflicted me, I am today able to pause without discarding what I do not like or what hurts me. I am now able to turn to the Lord and enquire of Him whether I am breaking or neglecting His Word, whether I stand for the truth or against the truth or just for myself. I am able to keep His Word and not go stray. (Ps. 119:67)
What do you believe? Is it normal that anyone calling himself an “elder” in the Church of Jesus Christ would totally disregard the vital question of losing one’s Salvation? Should he not even respond? Also, should he keep publishing on a world-wide website anti-scriptural writings dangerous to believers? Should he refuse to read facts about it and reply at least in his own human honesty?
Too many Christians have lost even their common sense! Unfortunately, many will not return to their senses and they will not move until God’s fire touches their own skin! And it will… soon! They will then remember that God CAN choose any man He wants and send him “from above” and give him His Authority! And if Christians with their leaders cannot discern this simple fact or even admit it, they will then reap very unexpected consequences as is clear throughout the Word of the Almighty God.
The truth may also be shown from the following angle. The Word of God says: “Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth…” (Jn. 16:13)
Is this a reality or a dream for believers? When they see something, hear something, read something or stand before a problem, many of them never turn to the Spirit, Who lives in them, to guide them! They either consult and trust their own heart and mind (in which case they are fools – Pr. 28:26) or come to other men and say: “Well, what do you think?” (in which case they are not any better – Ps. 94:11// Jer. 17:5). And if the respected men say it is wrong, then they will not touch it, whatever the Spirit may say. Because most of the respected men also consult their own hearts and minds and do not turn to the Spirit and do not verify it in the Word of God. Don’t you see this?
It is ever so easy for any believer to keep saying: “the Spirit has shown me this… He showed me that… He told me this… He led me there…”. Really? In truth? What more obedience to the Word of God has He produced in you or through you to others since He started to “show you things” or “speak to you”? Has He ever guided you to your cross, seeing that your cross is the most important truth to you? (Mt. 16:24,25) If not, then it is a very strange spirit that is guiding you and speaking to you. This kind of deception may be fatal for your destiny and for the destiny of those that you are leading or giving advice to.
The blindness (the darkness of body) of carnal believers is not natural – it is supernatural caused by the devil, the god of this world. He and his forces of evil and darkness have blinded the minds of them that do not believe (pagans and “believers that do not believe”) so that the Gospel of Christ, the Word of God, is not shining upon them (2Cor. 4:4).
The eyesight (the light of body – Mt.6:22,23// Lk. 11:34-36// Acts 26:17,18), which the Lord gives is also supernatural. You may have 20/20 perfect natural vision and be totally blind in spiritual matters. But this spiritual eyesight does not come to us easily, but rather slowly, as we mature and battle the forces of darkness. Whatever the Lord desires to show us, Satan will always oppose, thus, there will always be a conflict and a battle between light and darkness. Do you see and believe these above facts?
Another spiritual reality is that God will not judge the blind because they do not see. He will judge those blind that refuse to see! He will judge the blind that refuse to admit they are blind and insist that they see!
The Lord says: “For judgment I am come to this world, that they which see not (and admit it and ask for eyesight) might see; and that they which (claim that they) see might be made blind”! (Jn. 9:39)
The Lord had not come just to heal the blind, but also to make blind; to shut the eyes of the proud and worldly prudent that they might not see. He also came to close their ears and make their heart fat – unresponsive – for they have never had intentions to perceive and understand! (Is. 6:9,10) If you have no desire to see, you will gradually lose the ability of seeing again! The same for hearing, perceiving and understanding. If you keep not wanting, you will lose the ability of ever wanting again.
And then there is a man, whom I brought to the saving Grace of the Lord, baptized him in water, fed him with the Word and gave him my love and substance. Whenever I came to Slovakia, he travelled with me and I paid all his vacation, food, lodging, travel and whatever else was needed. After several years of being a struggling, but good and willing brother, he wrote me one day a letter claiming that he was “also right” in some thing, which “thing” he never specified. Therefore, he decided to stop helping us but “his door remained open to us”. Really? In truth? We wrote him back seven letters within three years. He never answered even one! Well then, what door does he keep open to us?
He is also living in the City of Banská Bystrica where he attends the same Baptist Church where I preached and whose elders never answered my letters. He has become an unfaithful, disloyal and treacherous man. Why? Down deep in his own conscience he knows! But Satan keeps him from speaking. Yet, nobody asks how the Lord sees and judges, how He looks on this man, on his family and their future, if there is any future for his pagan family. (2Pet. 2:21) Yet, I am never losing hope that His Great Mercy will prevail and that they may not perish if the Lord just detects a tiny whisper of desire to repent to Him in their hearts.
But I thank the Lord even for this man though he is presently fulfilling the Word of God in 2Pet. 2:22. Through him and others like him, the Lord had brought me into the “fellowship of His sufferings”. And through them I gained more of Him and of the power of His resurrection, and I am being made more conformable unto His death. (Phil. 3:10).
The Lord gave the man four years to repent and start bearing at least some fruit. And if not, He would cut him off from His “vineyard where he was planted” after he was baptized. (Lk. 13:6-9// Mt. 3:10) It is a heartbreaking thing and this truth is more bitter to me personally than others. Deep sufferings only come when deep love is hurt.
One part of “His sufferings” is when the Lord desires to help us – but we refuse! When He is ready to forgive us if we would just admit our fault, our sin, our unrighteousness – but we refuse! The Lord must watch evil in our soul resisting Him, even laughing at Him – with our approval! These are His sufferings, and He brought me into the same.
I also had opportunities to preach and hold seminars in Brno, the Capital of Moravia, in the Czech Republic. The beginnings were very promising. After my first sermon, I received a spontaneous applause, which I did not expect in the least. It took me by surprise and I did not even know how to receive it. Even later on at another seminar, people were very friendly and the question-and-answer period was quite lively. I was in Brno three times ministering and each time we had profitable and promising fellowships. One organizer kissed my cheek and expressed his love for me.
But then, as it is in many cases, the communications came to a grinding halt. The powers of darkness did not like one bit of what they had witnessed. So, I was accused of stupid things by the two chief organizers and never invited again. Those that had applauded me disappeared behind the horizon and a typical quietness descended on their spiritual wilderness. Their hearts were a “way side” and could not receive and profit from the Word sown to their hearts. (Lk. 8:11,12)
Then, I preached once in Pezinok, near Bratislava, the Capital of Slovakia. A small congregation of mostly middle aged and good-hearted women, and a few men gathered together. Then, unexpectedly, one of the chief elders from the church Headquarters in Bratislava also came. He sat in the first row with recording equipment on his lap making (probably unconsciously) noise during my preaching.
He showed his true colours after the sermon when a question period was announced. There were no questions and no answers because he started to bombard me with his criticism of my book. He was demonstratively leafing through it holding it above his head and looking for anything he could “hang” me on or accuse me of. Clearly, there was not even one sentence in the book, which would have been profitable or a blessing to the poor “spy”. How transparent the devil, “the accuser of brethren”, (Rev. 12: 9,10) can become in men. The Spirit, Who was there during the preaching had become silent as the elder kept saying: “I think that on this page… and I think this… and I think that…”. Finally, I told him that what he thinks has no value for the Lord, and for anyone of us, and it is vanity. He looked at me totally astonished. So I asked him to read Ps. 94:11. He did and stopped talking… the Lord shut his mouth.
There was no sense in him for the Spirit of the Lord, no spiritual intelligence, no seeking of truth, he just came in like “an elephant into a china shop”. What is more, some of those women, as I was giving them personal goodbye, told me privately that this particular elder was so vain and proud that it pains them whenever he comes to their assembly. So much for that fact and experience that further confirms the despicable state of the leadership of that particular church organization.
And then there was a man who was supposed to help our Mission in Slovakia and we put our trust in him. Little did we know what was in his heart even though he was a believer for many years. His dwelling place was found to be a true mirror of his heart: dirty, poorly maintained, in disrepair in many ways. He himself had no job and was not seriously looking for one. He was slothful and preferred to live on government welfare with his wife (who was rather diligent) and their six children (1Tim. 5:8). He had no taste for any diligent work except to “preach” in churches. Later on we found out that he turned our Mission into his personal “milking cow” charging us everything he possibly could including his private car trips. It did not occur to him that he was wasting the Lord’s money.
Such believers are simply absorbed in themselves, fully occupied with their own interests, and the Spirit of the Lord is nowhere. Yet, the Spirit knows us completely and sees exactly what obstacles there are in our heart and soul, which effectively prevent Him from guiding us and taking us further than just to our bare redemption.
One example of this man’s soul is this. In one of his letters (Sept. 7, 1999), he wrote to me: “My dear brother, I do not know who you are, but I believe that you are the Servant of the Most High God and that you are the Voice of God for my life, that it might be built for His Praise and Glory.”
In another letter, he wrote that having been a believer for about 25 years, he experienced the “whip” of the Lord and His chastisement for the first time. (Heb. 12:5-8) Everything seemed to be going the right way for that man. But later on, his “old man”, old nature with his plans, desires, intentions, beliefs and habits proved too strong for him to continue on this “narrow way”. The true reason for his inability was the fact that all his religion was in his head, his beliefs were all intellectual and not in his heart. He also suffered from a great selfishness. This fact generally applies to every carnal believer.
Our old self (old character) stands in the way of God, and God will not force it away. God often brings our self into a deep despair, great problems, storms, sufferings and conflicts and pains in order to complete in our soul a necessary further work. And if God does not do that work, our old self prevents us very effectively from receiving from God any further light and truth and blessings.
Let us never forget that our “old man”, old nature, our self is quite able to become religious and quite successful in religious circles, to pray nice, even elaborate attractive prayers, to “praise the Lord” when it feels good, or when it is expected of him, to preach or teach his intellectual knowledge of the Bible to others, to behave as a “good Christian” and thus become an “example” to others. How is it possible? Because he is blind to himself and thus self-deceived! Because his source, his life, is not of God! This applies to multitudes of believers and many ministers. Furthermore, our “self” is not different from the “self” of pagans, except that our “self” went to the baptismal water with us… if we were baptized at all!
Now, we understand our former brother and those like him. It was not uncommon for believers to consider us as a “rich American Mission”. Hence, we were supposed to pay for all that they did, planned or dreamed about. Nobody ever enquired about the reality concerning us and this ministry. Nobody knows that we are now only four families receiving no subsidy from anyone! We never undertook any fundraising and never will. Yet, we write, edit and print our books and send them free & post-paid to 68 countries of the world! And for all our ministry to the Church in these countries, we pay from our own salaries and pensions! You might as well consider it a true miracle from the Lord what you are holding in your hand and reading right now. It is truly His gift to you (see also page ii, and 1Cor. 1:26-29). Back to our man…
When he was finally deposed from his position in our Mission, his pride was deeply hurt and he became furious. He mailed personal letters to the addresses he had from our Mission accusing us how we owed him money and refused to pay him. He spewed his poison of bitterness all around and managed to take some of our former “brethren” away from us. We are sure before the Lord that to this day he has no clue what he has done and that he has done it to his own Saviour (if he is truly saved) and to His vineyard. I would not like to be in his shoes when he stands before the Judge of all the dead and living. Nevertheless, I pray to Our Lord to graciously look down on this victim of the devil, to forgive him and prevent anyone from his family to perish. Amen.
The tragedy is that none of such men seem to be willing to pause, ponder, see, admit, repent, be forgiven, cleansed and delivered from the powers of evil that had caused them to do all that evil, and go on unto perfection. (Heb. 6:1)
I want you to see and understand in your heart and not just in your mind that the experiences described above are very serious. They show how believers, no matter how sincere, decent or in what church leadership position they are, may be deeply deceived when their heart is not renewed and cleansed by the Spirit of the Lord; when it is only their mind that tries to understand, direct and govern their religious life. I am also sure that many of such believers do not believe in the powers of darkness and their influence on their own hearts and minds.
For that reason, I must quote from the excellent book “The Battle for Life” by T. Austin-Sparks (page 99):
“You can never undo divisions among the saints by bringing saints together to discuss their differences, and to ask them to make them up. The only way in which such things can be dealt with amongst the Lord’s people is to get down on your knees and deal with the forces behind. The power of the enemy behind that thing has to be broken. You can never ever patch up a situation like that, because it is devilish.”
The Lord is showing the state of the Church and of its leadership whether it is a large denomination, small fellowship, house group or other gatherings of believers. Most of their leaders, not all, are sufficiently self-righteous not to recognize the voice of the Lord, His desire or judgment for HIS Church, which HE is building and not them! (Mt. 16:18) They would not respond to anyone who shows the slightest sign of endangering their image or their position or their traditions or their way of doing things!
* * *
I am constrained by the Spirit of the Lord to destroy, at this junction, the deception that Satan has been propagating by many preachers in the Church of Jesus Christ concerning “flesh”. Flesh is not a way of thinking, it is not our mind-set! The way of thinking and our mind-set is the result of flesh, and not flesh itself.
The Lord commands us all that this truth must be preached and taught and not our own humanistic ideas deceiving His people.
Furthermore, the Lord desires us to see and understand the following vital truth about flesh. Whenever we believe a lie and cherish it in our mind or heart, that lie becomes the ground within our soul occupied by the powers of darkness and evil, which ground they can then use as a basis for their operations. Such a basis constitutes flesh within us in addition to all the above stated and framed facts about flesh. Whenever we believe a foolish thought, judge unrighteously based on untruth, wrong or insufficient information, past experiences, appearances, etc., (Jn. 7:24), we build within us a new flesh. It can then be rooted into us and persist in our soul for years to come.
Therefore, unless our wrong beliefs and lies dwelling within us are destroyed, the devil will keep his territory in our soul and will effectively stand in the way of our Salvation, spiritual growth and spiritual maturing.
* * *
B. Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN)
This TV station operates from Santa Clara, California, USA and it brings all kinds of religious programming on the air. Their programs are aired to many nations of the world and influence millions of people around the globe. I watched their programs for over four years together with some of my brethren from our Body of Christ. On one hand, we thank the Lord that such a station exists and broadcasts also programs, which are highly desirable not only for pagans to be brought to the saving Grace of the Lord, but also for believers and their continued Salvation.
On the other hand, the Lord showed us that some programs are clearly not of His Spirit at all, they are offensive to Him, defying His Word and are undesirable for people to see, absorb and be guided by. We will point out those the Lord considers offending later on. This Lord’s light and His corrections are absolutely necessary to guide His Church during these last days before His Coming.
Many readers of this book might be familiar with this station and might have watched many programs themselves, so they could also ponder what the Lord granted us as His light and judgment of some of the programs and ministers appearing on TBN channels. There are many, many things that could be written showing both beneficial as well as detrimental effects on TBN channels.
It has been my faith, experience and a firm conviction that every ministry should be continually exposed to the Light of Truth and necessary corrections from the Lord if it is to be justified to continue in His Presence. (Rev. 1:14-16; 2:5) Its function and fruit must continue to be acceptable and desirable to the Lord of all lords. The Lord’s message to the seven churches (Rev. chpts. 2,3) must not be taken lightly by any believer and by any minister unless we are ready to suffer the consequences thereof.
I will divide His Light granted to us about TBN into three sections. Those spiritually negative and detrimental examples shown below indicate the state of their churches (Rev. 3:17-19) as well as the corrections needed. They should remember from whence they have fallen (Rev. 2:5) and why these below ministries are not acceptable to the Lord and why His Spirit is truly grieved and suffering.
1. Indecent ministries
The Lord says: “Let ALL things be done decently and in order” (1Cor. 14:40)
a) In January 2003, the Lord showed us bishop Earl Paulk’s church auditorium (we only saw the end part of the “service”) where a white guest speaker with a black man were without their jackets as they ran and then slid on their bellies and shirts across the podium! The guest speaker then came to the pulpit and the black man jumped on his neck and shoulders from behind. He then wobbled away from the pulpit carrying the black man on his shoulders, both men wildly laughing. These so-called “ministers” acted as “crazy people possessed by evil spirits”.
This is what the Lord says to them: “It is written, My House shall be called the House of prayer; but you have made it a house of clowns and a circus”. (see Mt. 21:13)
This Word applies to all such “clowns” in the Church of Jesus Christ who seem to run religious fun clubs calling them “churches”. The Lord requires a public repentance from those “ministers” (we do not know their names) and from bishop Earl Paulk for spreading this religious dung on worldwide television. Many pagans are more decent and intelligent than many so-called Christians. The true joy in the Spirit is always decent and never crazy.
b) Some ministers use His Holy Name in a derogatory sense as if the Almighty Lord, the Creator of this Universe were their “buddy”! [The Lord points to J. Duplantis, ex.: “Jesus, take off your shirt and show your back.” The Spirit never speaks and never guides any one to speak in such an arrogant way about the King of all kings! The Lord says that the “ministry” of Jesse Duplantis is blasphemous and a religious comedy where he shows no fear and no knowledge of the Lord whatsoever!]
Other ministers indulge in sexual preaching even putting their words into God’s mouth! [The Lord points to John Hagee, ex.: “And God said: Let there be sex.” God never said that, His Spirit never guided Jesus or anybody else to speak like that about what God created to be intimate. It is dangerous for any man to put his words into God’s mouth and feel ‘fine’.] And there are others like that.
Have such ministers ever had a true reverence and fear of the Lord? Have they ever feared the Word of God in Mt. 12:37? Their gospel is often mixed in with fun, laughing, screaming and improper joking at improper times! This may be very attractive and highly entertaining, but it is spiritually primitive, at times even indecent and offensive to the Lord, without spiritual understanding, intelligence or knowledge of the Lord. It produces no spiritual values, never changes the character of believers and is purely an intellectual and emotional religion. Their ministry may be very impressive, done with human boldness and persuasiveness, but it is abhorrent to the Lord. (Jam. 1:26// Eph. 5: 3,4) The Lord says that such ministers serve Him in their own human cleverness, and in “standing firm for God”, they only express their own strong soulish personalities!
The Lord asks where is their spiritual discernment? All such ministers are called to repent to the Lord, change the ways of their ministry, stop grieving the Holy Spirit – or else, the Lord will remove their candlestick, which may thus be giving more spiritual darkness than light! (Rev. 2:5)
The Lord says that such have not known Him in spirit, never honoured and worshipped Him in spirit and in truth but only in their flesh! (Jn. 4:24) The chief reason is twofold: their strong proud soul is not broken and is not divided–separated from their spirit. (Heb. 4:12) This indicates that such were not subjected to the discipline of the Holy Spirit. Also, they regard their good intellectual knowledge of the Word as the revelation from the Spirit, which it is not! This type of “religious entertainment” has started in the USA and has been exported to all the world bringing shame to the Lord and to His Church and greatly grieving His Holy Spirit!
Let me add this in my own words: Yes, the Lord has an excellent sense of humour. Yes, I myself love good jokes and also jovial believers rather than the “undertakers”. Yes, we have the right to laugh and be happy – at the right time, right place and right manner. (Ecc. 3:1,4) But many ministers have no spiritual discernment, they only talk about the Spirit of the Lord! They may hate me for this statement, they may not be able to believe me, but that is not my problem, it is theirs. I declared the Truth and Judgment from the Lord and I do hope that they will at least consider it in their hearts.
Now, I also must say this: I do appreciate them in the Lord and appreciate their enduring commitment to the work for the Lord. The Lord is using them in other ways, but they tolerate “flies in their ointment”… maybe much more than just flies! (Ecc. 10:1,2) And if they have any doubts about the above judgment of the Lord, then they should go to Him on their knees and ask Him… and He will confirm it to them.
Let me continue my own words saying also this: It does not belong into this chapter of “Indecent Ministries” at all!… yet, I chose to say it right here for comparison. There are good and excellent ministers and preachers on TBN. I have it in my heart to mention at least one such preacher – Charles Stanley from “In Touch Ministries”. He never puts his hands in the pockets of his pants showing pride, giving an impression that he “knows it all”. He never strives, sweats, screams his head off, runs across the stage like a zealot, says improper jokes or begs for money. He is composed, decent, humble, unpretentious and gives to his congregation very practical Words of God for their daily life …and the Lord is pleased with him! And I do not flatter him one bit… I love him very much.
It was also delightful to see sister Dollar teaching the Bible to children on one TBN channel. The Lord is pleased with women who minister within the limits of the Word of God and are able to discern their role in serving Almighty God. The Lord loves such lady-ministers, and so do I.
[So, here you have a balanced truth.]
Let me conclude my own words by this statement. The churches in North America and Europe would, in my belief, need preachers, teachers, pastors and evangelists from some poorer countries of the world (Africa, Asia, South America) to bring them the right kind of Christianity, a more humble, pure and living, less bombastic, less showy and a less self-conscious one. Too many North American and European church leaders have abandoned spiritual ways and the Full Gospel of God and they now walk the ways of this corrupted world and their soul is far from the Spirit of God. Thank God, there are yet pastors and preachers in the “uncivilized countries” who have open, simple and humble hearts. It is a true pleasure to minister to them the simple and meek Christ (2Cor. 1:12; 11:3// Mt. 11:29) and His Majestic Salvation. And they believe and receive the Word without any spirit of pride, arrogance, self-righteousness or fears.
* * *
I am constrained at this point by the Spirit of the Lord to testify also about the following sad fact. No sooner had the poor nations of the former communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe emerged from under the satanic oppression, deception and terror of communism, when they were submerged into another danger and deception – this “Las Vegas” kind of Christianity from the USA and other religious garbage published in books, magazines or through mass media. The Cross has been taken out, personal holiness and righteousness disregarded, preaching of prosperity, fun and “prophecies” on how the world will end, and also other similar messages saturated Central and Eastern Europe and reached catastrophic proportions.
True evangelistic efforts are certainly needed and most welcomed. To bring pagans to Christ is necessary, wise and blessed, but then to submerge them into this kind of “religious dung” is not only silly and counterproductive but outright dangerous for those souls. When the converts of Pharisees were turned into “sons of hell” (Mt. 23:15), then what are these converts being turned into?
Satan has evil wisdom, he knows what he is doing and too many believers are foolish enough to serve him wholeheartedly in the Name of Jesus Christ! Lord, have mercy on us! I also tell you in the Name of Christ Jesus that North America and Europe, being the largest bastions of Christianity in the world, have become the richest and also largest spiritual cemeteries in this world. Most of the churches in these “civilized countries of the world” have become spiritually and morally corrupt! They may evangelize and preach the basic Word to millions around the world, but with it, they also minister their corrupt spirit! The Bride of Christ shall rise mostly from the poor countries of this world and only few men among them will be theologically educated. (1Cor. 1:19,26-29)
* * *
Back to TBN…
c) The Lord admonishes those that publicly dishonour Him and bring shame to Him by their indecent appearance defying His Word in 1Cor. 14:40. They may not be conscious of it at all since their conscience may be dead or seared with a hot iron (1Tim. 4:2):
• Men who have long hair or earrings or even other piercing. They additionally defy His Word in 1Cor. 11:14 and should be ashamed before the Lord while they sing, or “worship” or even preach. They are repugnant to the Lord and to His Spirit and the Lord does not accept their “ministry”, which is not of His Spirit and cannot bring forth any good fruit.
Should His Spirit speak to such men, He would first guide them to the truth in 1Cor. 11:14 and would not give them any other “revelations“. Based on this Word, the Lord Himself never had long hair as He has been portrayed by artists for centuries! He would never go against His Own Word!
• Women who have short hair (boy’s hair cut) or with their heads “uncovered” while praying, prophesying or otherwise ministering in the Church are repugnant to the Lord and they are also dishonouring their heads as if they were shorn bald. (1Cor. 11:5,10,13,15)
• Women ministering in pants and other men’s apparel are repugnant to the Lord and to His Spirit; it is the devil who created “unisex” and not God. The devil causes men to be effeminate and women to be like men, but God hates this mixture, any mixture. [ex. Deut. 22:5,10,11// Neh. 13:3// Is. 1:22 // Dan. 2:41-43// Hos. 7:8-10; since Jesus Christ is the Word (Jn. 1:1,14), then He is also the Old Testament Word!]
• Women who wear indecent wigs, big earrings, heavy make-up or long polished nails and look like witches rather than daughters of God are dishonouring the Lord directly. They may be less decent than many pagans and unaware of what kind of foul spirits they are projecting onto the TV screens affecting millions of people while they try to “minister” and use the Name of Jesus Christ – the Creator of this Universe!
At this place, the Lord points also to Jan Crouch (the wife of Paul Crouch, tbn Founder) and considers her appearance abhorrent to Him. She should be an example to other women, yet, she is like unto Tammy Bakker from the former PTL Club, who, God says, has been a cursed woman. [PTL Club was destroyed, it served the devil, brought shame to the Lord and we interceded before the Lord to destroy it; see also pages 160-162]
The Lord also questions Benny Hinn and his spiritual discernment when he one day said to Jan Crouch on a national TBN telecast: “Oh, you are a doll”!? The Lord will not tolerate such spiritual darkness with any of His servants and that with no respect of persons. (Lev. 19:15// Deut. 1:17// 1Pet. 1:17) This Lord’s warning applies specially to all the ministers that are exposed on the national or even worldwide television and carry a much greater responsibility and accountability before Him than many obscure ones do.
• Young ministers, especially singers, who seem to minister or “worship” looking, and many times even sounding, like heavy metal bands. They seem to believe that “the more noise, the higher the screaming, the better the worship”. It may be sufficient just to use the Name of Jesus in order to get to perform on TBN channels. For spiritually dead believers, it might be a “lively music”, but there is no spiritual discernment as to what is from the Lord’s Spirit and what is from hell, what is acceptable, even pleasant, to the Lord and what is abhorrent to Him.
2. Carnal ministries
The Lord says: “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; ...in meekness instructing...”. (2Tim. 2:24,25)
The Lord asks why many TBN ministers continually strive sweating, screaming, jumping, or running across stages? [The Lord points to R.Parsley, T.D.Jakes, Juanita Bynum and many others.] The Lord says that in the sweat of our face we will eat our bread (Gen. 3:19), but we cannot minister in the Inner Court of the Lord’s House! (Ez. 44:17-19,23)
The Lord is also asking such ministers why do they appear “normal” while speaking from their offices or from elsewhere, but behind the pulpit they change into different creatures striving, screaming, sweating? The Lord also asks where is their meekness and spiritual discernment?
I believe that throughout the years, we all developed certain styles of ministry and this “mode” has then become our “mould”. It is difficult to get out of it. If the Lord does not mind our habit(s), all is well. But if He speaks against it, we must pay attention for there is something wrong with us. Striving comes from flesh, from its anxiety and restlessness, never from the Spirit! These ministers are restless and anxious and, hence, the Spirit can not bless such a ministry or make it spiritually beneficial or fruitful because it is conducted in fleshly spirits.
Such ministers have become masters of their “religious performances” and are themselves clearly enjoying them together with their usually large audiences! The congregations usually come with the expectations to be entertained… but not to take another step to “die to themselves”! (1Cor. 15:31) Hello? Are you with me? The Lord says that pride and self-glorification is involved in the hearts of such ministers. Why?
Well, the Lord says: “He that glories let him glory in the Lord.” (1Cor. 1:31) In the light of the above paragraph and in my many personal experiences, I must say that there are countless ministers who just “glory in their performances”, in their own efforts, their own religious successes, in constructing large and magnificent buildings and filling them with large congregations. Their zeal for the Lord is stirred by their flesh and blood and not by the Spirit. They have pride in their own achievements while they claim that it was the Lord who built it. Really? The Lord allows men to build what their hearts plan and desire. He then only directs their steps so that it might become as beneficial for His purposes as possible under the circumstances. (Pr. 16:2,9)
The Spirit of the Lord is not limited to our buildings, radio or TV networks or other man-made means as we may believe or imagine that He is. The first Apostles and the early Church that turned the world upside down by their voices had used nothing of that sort. (Rom. 10:18) Very few people can imagine that the Spirit can create anything He wants out of nothing! That He showed the light of Salvation to all men centuries before men dreamed about TV or radio or missionaries. (Tit. 2:11// Ps. 98:3) My heart knew the Lord before it knew anything about religion.
The Lord builds His Living Body and not magnificent buildings with large congregations! We now live in the New Testament, not the Old Testament. Today, His Temple is spiritual, not physical! We must thus see and understand also the following fact.
a congregation is not the Body of Christ! It is just a big or small group of individuals, born-again or not, with the most divergent minds, hearts, faith, intentions, desires and will, having only superficial relationships with one another, sitting in some building with a cross on the roof. And that is unfortunately the only place where the cross may be found, on the roof, and not in their souls! But that is as far from a local expression of the living Body of Christ, as is East from the West! Had you been born with such a dysfunctional “body” yourself, you would have been in a wheelchair from your birthday!
So, if you build a large congregation without providing for smaller home units (sometimes called cells), where the Lord’s Spirit can truly work, then you are just building a large audience that may bring in a lot of money and some glory to you – but to the Lord’s Spirit it may bring only more suffering and pain. (Eph. 4:30) However, large audiences during evangelistic rallies (ex. B. Graham or others) for the purposes of Salvation are a different matter.
The Lord will never provide to the ministries, which minister pride – He resists them! He resists the proud because they are not submitted unto Him, they do not resist the devil and do not draw nigh to God. They all are double minded and have filthy hands and hearts. They should be afflicted, mourn and weep and humble themselves in the sight of the Lord! (Jam. 4:6-10// Mt. 11:29) [Here, the Lord points to K. Hagin, jr., who keeps his hands in the pockets of his pants even while reading the Word of God, preaching, praying or worshipping God, showing a horrible pride and darkness! And there are many others who are proud though they may not all keep their hands in the pockets of their pants, they may have gowns or skirts.]
What then can such ministers give to their “sheep” except their own pride and darkness? This is all they have. They cannot give them what they do not have. Many times they themselves may preach about flesh, identify evil and sins of flesh, even the necessity to condemn it and get rid of it all. Yet they are not delivered from it themselves. Why? Because it is foolish to assume that our mind can expose our own sinfulness! It takes the Light from the Lord and not the effort of our poor, selfish and proud soul. Yet, even the proud may preach and people may be saved, but they cannot grow and mature beyond the spiritual state of their own preachers or shepherds!
The Presence of the Lord is usually not found in magnificent buildings or auditoria where the proud are often preaching, only His Grace is present there. He is usually found in the hearts of simple people in the rooms of ordinary houses… and mostly out of the reach of mass media.
* * *
The Spirit of the Lord constrains me at this point to declare to all ministers and servants of the Lord Jesus Christ the following important spiritual truth:
The above applies not only to great, famous or otherwise well-known (radio or TV) ministries, but also to their individual leaders who may have started well and with the Lord but were found in the mire of their own ideas, plans and zeal… and without the Lord! And they may not be aware of it! So they continue as those priests in the Tabernacle in Shiloh or Gibeon where they were doing “according to all that is written in the law of the Lord, which He commanded Israel” (1Chr. 16:40// Josh. 18:1) though the Ark (Christ) was not there!
The Ark (Christ) was foolishly taken out of His House by their leaders to defend Israel and was taken by their enemy, the Phillistines! (1Sam. 4:3,10,11) Amazing!
The priests of Israel forsook the Lord and so the Lord forsook them! (2Chr. 15:2; 24:20// 1Sam. 4:3// Jer. 7:12-16// Ps. 78:59,60)
Was “that” Lord different from the Lord “we have today”? (Heb. 13:8) Hello? Are you with me? Many believers and ministers alike may also be “forsaken” by the Lord and they may not even be aware of it, and they continue “ministering according to all that their religious convictions require”. Of course, “forsaken” may not mean eternally, but for their ministry to the Lord and to His Church.
My question is: Has the Lord changed His Ways, His Mind, His Judgments in the New Testament? Not one bit! Are we, the ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ, willing to verify with Him where we stand in His Judgment? It is not that difficult to honour Him with our lips while our own heart may be far from Him! (Mt. 15:8-9, Mk. 7:6,7)
* * *
3. Unacceptable ministries
The Lord says: “Let your women keep silence in the churches, for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under silence, as also says the law... for it is a shame for women to speak in the church... the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” (1Cor. 14:34,35,37)
May I ask who in TBN cares for the Commandments of the Lord? Can anybody reply to the Lord?
The Lord further says: “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” (1Tim. 2:11-14)
Ladies on TBN channels “preach, teach and usurp authority over the man” in an open rebellion against this Word of God! The Lord says that it is disgusting to Him and to His Spirit! That there is no love for Him or His Word in their hearts, they love themselves and their “ministry” (Jn. 14:21,23,24// Ps. 119:158). Any person trying to serve God or His Church who was not called by God to do so offers unto Him a strange fire, he/she is engaged in an extremely dangerous activity and will suffer horrible consequences. (Lev. 10:1,2) Behold, the Lord is warning you women publicly, therefore, you shall have no excuses!
They preach and “minister” the Word of God in defiance of the Word Itself!
The Lord says that they have put themselves into the place of authority where He never put them! [The Lord points to Marilyn Hickey, Joyce Meyer, Paula White, Juanita Bynum (also Jer. 23:21), and many others]. The Lord asks whether their reasoning, beliefs or devotion to serve Him is superior to His Word? The Lord also asks: Is My Word written in vain? Can any believer do what he/she “feels like doing” without any consequences? Will any responsible person at TBN or the preachers on TBN channels answer these simple questions to the Lord?
Those ladies who may believe that Apostle Paul was a “male chauvinist” are referred to Phil. 4:3. Here, the same Paul desired help for “those women, which laboured with me (Paul) in the Gospel”! So, women may also labour in the Gospel in the right way and spirit. And this verse of the Scripture was also inspired by the same Spirit of God!
The Lord says that some of these women are also striving, jumping, twisting their bodies, talking like a machine-gun or screaming their heads off as if being crazy, bringing their listeners to an emotional frenzy. [The Lord points predominantly to Juanita Bynum, Paula White and others.]
The Lord says that it is hellish and NOT of Him! They may appear as “ministers of righteousness” quoting the Bible, mentioning the Name of the Lord, showing their zeal, knowledge and self-confidence, allowing others to publicly call them “pastor, prophet, preacher”, etc. But their end shall be according to their works. (Pr. 24:12// Mt. 16:27// Rev. 2:23; 22:12, for more details, see also pages 167-178) If any of these women have true respect for the Word of God, and if they believe that the Lord had given them the ability to teach or preach, then they should direct their ability toward ladies or children, but not toward men. And they must have the right spirit within them for thus far, the Lord says, they have not known Him in His Spirit.
If they, therefore, repent, which is to say, change their ways and ministries and stop blatantly breaking the Word of the Living God, then the Lord will abundantly pardon. And if they do not repent and do not change their ways and their current “ministries”, the Lord says this to them:
“I am not mocked, what you are sowing, you shall surely reap... and you shall be thrown to outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Gal. 6:7// Mt. 7:22,23; 8:11,12; 13:41,42)
The Lord also warns those pastors, evangelists and other ministers who allow their wives to become their “partners in ministry” that they may be committing the same grave error as is described above. Anyone who tries to “minister” to God and the Church without being called by God, is risking his/her own life! Your unbelief of this truth will only make it much worse for you in the Day of your Judgment, which is coming. Satan pushes women into the ministry of the Word, not the Spirit of God.
The men of God associated with TBN are called to oversee and discern all that is broadcast whether it is of the Spirit of God, or not! If they keep losing their spiritual discernment, their respect for every Word of God and are becoming “modernists”, then the Lord will abandon and remove each such “candlestick” out of its place very quickly so it would not produce more darkness than light… unless they repent and change their ways. (Rev. 2:5)
Again, it may not be realized by those responsible for the programming on TBN channels that while one ministry may spiritually build up, the next “ministry” may pull it down! If a decent and highly profitable ministry of, say, Billy Graham, Charles Stanley, Jentezen Franklin, James Merritt, David Jeremiah, Adrian Rogers and many others is followed by something that looks like “Michael Jackson’s Anniversary Special”, then I do wonder what “devil” got into the programming and what spirit is “guiding” those responsible and into what? (Jn. 16:13)
All those responsible for the programming should start asking themselves this question. They all may believe that the Spirit is guiding every believer to all the truth. Not so! He is only guiding those believers that truly desire to see, understand and live that truth. And He is only guiding the meek to His Judgments and to teach His Ways! (Ps. 25:9) The problem may be a lack of meekness and of the fear of the Lord in those that make programs for TBN channels, otherwise, such things would not be broadcast to all the world. And while some Christian “creatures” might get entertainment, such programs bring shame to the Lord and not glory.
And when your men of God are heavily propagating and praising the film of Mel Gibson “The Passion of the Christ”, I am asking them this: Do you really believe that the Spirit of the Lord ever asked, led or inspired Mel Gibson to do this kind of film? Do you really? Since when has the Lord commissioned Hollywood to help Him on the evangelistic field? Would the Spirit of God desire us to hear of blood and see bloody scenes, massacres and similar evil when He expressly says:
“He that… stops his ears from hearing of blood, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil (including blood); he shall dwell on high…”? (Is. 33:15,16)
The Word of the Lord also says that “…whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely… think (imagine, meditate) on these things.” (Phil. 4:8, also Col. 3:2) Is the “bloody mess” of Gibson’s film pure or lovely? Does it fit this Word of God? Yes, or no? How will you answer? … not to me, but to the Lord?
And another Word of God says: “Turn my eyes from beholding a vanity.” (Ps. 119:37) This film is a vanity and serves no purpose for the Almighty Lord. His Spirit can even today add such to His Church as He may choose (Acts 2:41,47) and that without any gladiator scenes. Satan has been butchering people since Cain and none of it ever helped any man to turn from evil and be saved! Just as the daily murders, bloody scenes and other trash on TV screen will not bring even one soul to the Lord!
Finally, the Word says: “I would have you wise (well informed) unto that which is good, and simple (uninformed) concerning evil.” (Rom. 16:19b)
Today, our enemy is seeking to occupy the believers with evil in various ways and forms. What Israel and the world had done to Christ was the greatest evil ever imagined. The devil keeps showing his “masterpiece” to the believers and naïve leaders are praising Satan’s work by propagating it. Should then ordinary believers believe and follow such leaders and their opinions or the Word of God? What will you answer? And do not start defending your logical opinions, start defending the Word of God… for a change. The Spirit will never lead you to see or seek physical images of how Christ suffered because of your flesh and sins. But He will always lead you to see how you keep refusing to suffer and keep defending and cherishing your flesh.
The following conclusion seems to be perfectly fitting for every believer in general and for TBN in particular. It is quoted from “The Battle for Life”, (page 48) and every true believer should ponder it in his/her heart:
“… there are multitudes of things done for the Lord, which are not done in the Holy Spirit. There is a whole mountain of activity proceeding from the purest motives for the Lord’s interests, but they are not the Holy Spirit’s activities. I believe the Lord is generous and gracious, and that because it is a matter of ignorance, He is patient with us, and seeks to lead us into better ways. The mistaken course may be due to want of light, and while fuller light is not available, or until it breaks in, the Lord continues alongside and gives as much blessing as He can.
But that does not mean that in the long run all that past activity is going to meet with acceptance, and prove to have been for the accomplishment of Divine ends. At some point it will break down, and those who are in it will break down, and they will have to come to a recognition of the fact that, after all, a great percentage of all that work for the Lord has not counted: and the earlier we come to that recognition the better.” …(!)
This is what the Lord says to the believers and ministers described or named above, also to those that are like unto them and are either appearing or ministering on TBN channels or through any other mass media or are in any other church:
Be zealous and repent and change your ways, your ministries, your appearance, your worldly approach. do less but in My Spirit rather than expand and grow big and compromise My Word and minister flesh and that, which is evil in my sight – or else, your judgment is sealed and you shall not escape. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto you at this hour.
“I pray to You, Lord Jesus Christ, to uphold, maintain and strengthen the preaching of the Gospel and every decent and needful program on TBN, which fulfils at least some of Your purposes. But I pray strongly to You, oh, My Lord, and in Your Name I condemn all the leaven, which is of the flesh even of the powers of evil and darkness, all that defies, abuses or neglects Your Holy Word on TBN channels and in any other mass media and I am asking You to destroy it! Amen.”
C. Ministry of the Word of God
In this paragraph we should consider some important and practical facts concerning the ministry of the Word as it is widely practiced in the churches, even at home groups or fellowships. This is the part where the mind and intellectual knowledge is predominant and where the heart is barely present. It is thus a situation opposite to the one described in the Scripture and required for our Salvation.
Brother Watchman Nee was my first spiritual teacher appointed for me by the Lord. He was a true servant of God greatly blessed with many revelations, experiences and truths of God concerning the true nature of man and of his Salvation. Large parts of his teachings were about our cross and the absolute need for believers to die in their old nature and acquire the new Nature of Christ. This fact he stressed particularly to all the ministers of the Word. The book “The Messenger of the Cross” contains many important truths about this topic. One quote about the teaching of the Word is particularly fitting to this place where brother Watchman says (page 86):
“In seeking truth, many come with a wrong motive. If they are not seeking to satisfy their own lust for knowing, they are preparing messages to teach others. Their basic motive is to solve mental difficulties and not to cultivate their own spiritual life. Since such is their intention, they feel quite comforted if they are able, in the end, to understand. For they can now teach others. Clearly, they are not seeking for spiritual reality.”
Then he continues with what may be shocking to many preachers of the Word and evangelists (page 135):
“Please, beware that we may even sin while saving souls. If we do not depend on God but trust in our own understanding and experience of the Gospel, we will be sinning and not saving souls in the sight of God even if we have spent time and energy in persuading people to believe in the Lord! If instead of sensing our utter weakness and leaning entirely on the power of the Lord, we try to edify saints on the strength of our knowledge of the Bible and our excellent speech, in God’s eyes we will be sinning while preaching!…
The Lord does not ask if we have done well; He only examines if we have trusted in Him. Whatever is done out of one’s self will be burned up on that day at the judgment seat of Christ, and what is done out of God shall remain. The meaning of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is none other than being active outside of God, seeking what is good according to one’s thought…”
My personal experiences from my past life have all been very profitable to me. They all were prearranged by the Lord, hence, they all worked for my good whether they were good or bad, sweet or painful! (Rom. 8:28) The Lord was recreating my heart to have His understanding and with it grace, patience and wisdom. When our heart understands others, it can also dispense grace, patience and wisdom, otherwise it cannot. There is a great lack of grace, wisdom and of the fruit of the Lord’s Spirit in the Church.
Whether I was present in a congregation listening to a sermon or watching TV programs (like TBN), one important fact always emerged from the ministry of the Word that was conducted. From its beginning to its end, it was usually an intellectual or emotional exercise, or both. The congregation was expected to always understand and appreciate the preaching and be willing to do what was given to them because it was beneficial and they would be blessed. There is nothing wrong with such expectations … except that they are highly unrealistic… most of the time totally impossible!
The fruit of such a preaching is that believers gather more and more information about truth, but their hearts remain unchanged.
The heart’s content is untouched, the powers ruling therein are untouched, the heart’s thoughts and intentions are unchanged. If the hearer receives the Word in the power of his intellect and without the power of the Spirit, then “the truth remains the same truth and the believer remains the same believer”! Nothing has really changed. But God’s Word is living (Heb. 4:12), hence, the believer who listens and does not show life has not heard the Word of God! Are we able to see this spiritual fact?
Their minds may be all for it, their feelings may be welling up in them so that they may be writing many notes in their notebooks or, perhaps, lifting hands and praising the Lord – but the core of their heart is not changed! Therefore, whenever the Lord would test them in a real life situation, real problem, real danger, real difficulty, real devilish temptation – they would fail. I know! I was failing too… and nobody told me why. At least, I am now able to tell you why… without elevating myself. Will you listen? But even this testimony will not help you if you do not open your heart, receive it and believe it there.
[I do not say, that people should stop writing notes, rather, that they should ask the Lord to bring the notes into their blood, which is to say, into their life (Deut. 12:23) through the discipline and training of the Holy Spirit.]
What is the result? A lot of truth may be preached, taught and heard. There may be a lot of agreement, people nodding their heads sometimes even applauding or standing up to signify the excellency of the truth preached. The people are told what they should do and what they should not do! Where they should be careful and what they should watch for and why. The topics may be neatly divided into logical points and sub-points, each point may be clearly explained by the Scripture. The problems may be seen and understood, the Scripture given may be quite fitting, the intentions to follow it may all be there, even true sincerity may not be missing.
YET, after hundreds of sermons and hundreds of the most sincere counsels, no valuable changes seem to have happened in the lives of those believers. Many of them remain the same… if they do not become worse! They are surely more educated, they may be much more enthusiastic, but with the same spiritual inabilities. They somehow keep doing what they should not do… and they are somehow never able to start doing what they should do, and they are still not careful and still not watching.
In other words, theory is brilliant, practice is miserable. I am sure that many of you that are not in a “deep religious sleep” but walk with the Lord have experienced this fact very often. I also believe that we all experienced it many times without being necessarily aware of it. Why is it so? I believe that this is so because people are never told the basic truth that they should hear and which I personally have never heard preached to me either, namely, that…
Show me the preachers who preach this truth and explain it and I will show you the true and fruitful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. And when the above truth is never preached and explained by the Scripture, how can the Lord build it in our hearts? It is simply never believed and the faith of believers has a big hole right in its middle! This faith is simply and completely missing in the Church!
Another reason why this faith is missing in the hearts of millions of believers is that the preaching of the Word is generally done along a very specific line, namely, that…
Another truth and faith, which is completely missing in the Church is that believers are taught or encouraged to “stay out of temptations”. This is a false doctrine. I am not saying that believers should be looking for temptations and purposely crawling into them. Not at all. Yet, the Lord in His perfect timing allows temptations to get into our way in order that He may change us into His Image! Temptation is not a sin! Temptation is a way to try our faith and heart. Yielding to it brings us into sin. The Lord was tempted Himself, yet, He never failed. (Mt. 4:3-10; 16:21-25// Heb. 4:15)
Our Lord tells us that we should “count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations; knowing this that the trying of your faith brings (works into us) patience.” (Jam. 1:2,3)
Wow! How many Christians do you know that truly rejoice in their temptations? Have you ever counted them? And have you yourselves ever rejoiced being tempted? Judge yourselves. But if you do rejoice, it is a proof that your old nature is not ruling you completely because you are already doing this Word of God… to whatever degree.
The Lord says, “Blessed is the man that endures temptation; for when he is tried (and endures), he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love Him.” (Jam. 1:12// Rev. 2:10)
Yet another truth and faith, which may be missing in the Church or is distorted concerns our tribulations. Apostle Paul writes: “…but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works (into us) patience, and patience experience, and experience hope.” (Rom. 5:3,4)
Do we truly glory in our tribulations? Since when do we glory in them? As I remember from my young Christian life, any tribulation was a perfect cause to be miserable, long-faced, sad, even questioning God where He was and how come He allowed such a thing, and how are we going to survive it and what will our brethren think about us and about our Christianity, etc. Tribulation is a pure suffering of our flesh, so, how can we enjoy it or glory in it when our flesh is not dead in any detectable way? It is thus totally impossible to “rejoice or glory in our sufferings”, which idea in itself is illogical and squarely against our nature.
But if these basic truths and faith are missing in the hearts of believers, other truths cannot be as profitable as they should be. The reason is that all the other truths of the Word of God are vitally tied to the above basic truths in some way.
The Lord declares it saying: “…the Word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” (Heb. 4:2)
Either their heart and conscience were closed or else the necessary faith was not there. If this basic faith about ourselves is missing, how can the other truths of the Word of God truly profit us? Their benefit is limited whether we are aware of it, or not.
When a “new truth” with a promised earthly prosperity or other blessing is preached, many believers may be very excited and it is usually written all over their faces and countenances. But tell them just a tiny truth about their true spiritual state, for example, unwillingness to suffer any pain for the sake of the Lord or of their brethren, unwillingness to admit their pride or arrogance or impatience or fears or spiritual impotence, stubbornness, unrighteousness, laziness, prejudices or any other facts, which the Lord can easily and clearly show through their life deeds… and you would see their real heart, the real face of their old nature.
Such believers are always deeply offended, their peace and joy taken away in a split second. You will lose their esteem, friendship and most certainly their “deep love for you” in no time. They will become your enemies because you spoke the truth to them (Gal. 4:16) and that, not according to your personal feelings or bias against them but based on their own fruit shown by the Lord to all those present.
There are many practical examples, which I could give regarding the above facts. Many of them have the same main feature. When the other party does not respond, you may be sure that you do not walk along their “religious road”. Their heart is closed! They either do not know what to say or they may be offended or “very busy” for the Lord or may have many other excuses. But the Lord has been recording their “deeds” or lack of them, in His books. (Dan. 7:10// Rev. 20:12) And they may have no clue about this reality either or they may not care about it at all.
It does not seem to register with many Christians that we all belong to the One Body of Jesus Christ and that Christ, being our Head, feels all our evil deeds. If your left hand hurts, your whole body hurts and not just your left hand. Even if your little toe is wounded, your whole body takes care of it as soon as possible. This is a living body. A dead body does not hurt, has no conscience about its various parts and members and does not take any care of any of them in any way. True?
Also, believers may have never read and understood in their heart what God says in Heb. 13:16. Communicating is indeed a sacrifice, which is to say, it does require an effort, overcoming and suffering of our flesh and that not always for our own good, but often for the good of others. So then, why should Christians communicate and thus suffer? They prefer to avoid communicating and remain “at peace”. But none of such believers can truly serve the Lord if they communicate only with those that they like or prefer or agree with. They may not salute even their own brethren… then, where do they truly stand in the Lord’s Judgment? (Mt. 5:47)
If you failed to communicate with another servant of the Lord, Satan has a victory because he succeeded in cutting the line of possible future life and blessings not just for the two in question, but possibly for many other souls!
Our faith is authored by Our Lord Jesus into our conscience (Heb. 12:2) and from there it gets into our heart and no further. Our heart is the only recipient and interpreter of faith, which is a spiritual substance and evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1) and no soul can ever produce it. Our mind can neither receive nor interpret faith.
But when believers keep the door of their heart closed to the Lord and to His true servants tried in fire (1Pet. 1:7// Rev. 3:18), they deprive themselves of the blessings, which would have followed. That includes faith and with it the hope for progress, for maturing, for spiritual growing up into Christ in all things. (Eph. 4:15)
Is this not a typical example of the failure of so many believers? Has it not been a dominant feature of the Church for a long time? It is like sitting at a mass going through all the prescribed ceremony and liturgy and hope that you will come home with a changed character! Not in two thousand years. My question is: Is this the true Church of Jesus Christ, where the “old man” never dies and the “New Man” never grows? Let your own heart answer this.
Is not this fact clearly observable even in our physical world? Has God not created our physical world, plant and animal world to reflect also the spiritual world so that we would have a good guidance?
D. Ministry of the Gifts of the Spirit
Firstly, there are legitimate gifts of the Spirit given to every believer to profit withal (1Cor. 12:7-11// Rom. 12:6-8) and then there are fakes… because Satan and his ministers can imitate every such gift! In fact, they can also imitate God’s gifts to His Church – the offices of His servants. (Eph. 4:11// 2Cor. 11:13-15)
So, the first problem we face is to discern what gift (person) ministers or what gift is being ministered. The fact that gifts are ministered “in the Name of Jesus Christ” does not guarantee that they are from Him! Much damage has been done and is still being done in the Church “in His Name”!
Secondly, His gifts are given to us when we are born by His Spirit, that is, in our spiritual childhood. They are to help us (and others through us) in our spiritual younger age. Then, as we mature, if we mature, the gifts take a “second place” in our spiritual life and what should come into the forefront is the Life of Christ with the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22,23). You see, the fruit of the Spirit can not be imitated! If you do not have it, you cannot pretend that you do, and vice versa. The true ministry for the maturing of believers must be done through the fruit of the Spirit and not just using His gifts. Love is not a gift, it is a fruit. (Eph. 4:15, etc.)
A Gift is something, anything, that can be given and received and used in a moment. It can also be neglected and unused or misused, imitated or covered.
A Fruit is something that grows slowly and it takes a living thing to produce it. It cannot be misused or neglected. If the fruit of the Spirit grows in me, I cannot pretend that I do not have it, and I cannot “misuse it”, neglect it or cover it! It is part of my life and it is acting spontaneously. That is why the Lord said: “Ye shall know them by their fruit.” (Mt. 7:16-20). The Lord never declared that we should know them, the true ministers or brethren, by their gifts of the Spirit! Nor should we know them by other things such as theological knowledge, oratory skills, smiles, pleasantness, human humbleness, a lot of good deeds, etc.
Thirdly, even the right ministry of the true gifts of the Spirit, chiefly healing, may not be viewed and understood as the Lord views and understands it. I do not believe that the Lord is just making for us a “miracle show” without any further considerations or aims (we will return to this topic later). The miracles and joy may seem to be sufficient for that moment and people may all be satisfied.
I do praise the Lord for His healings and actions of His Grace and Power. I do not desire to take away from His work anything or belittle it or judge it unrighteously in any way. The Lord knows my heart and can witness such statements by His Spirit. Therefore, I am not afraid to “go below the surface” and see and testify what is there and how the Lord views and judges this kind of ministry.
If the above statements were not true, how would the Lord justify His Own Word saying:
“Not every one that says unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that is doing the Will of My Father, which is in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day: Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy Name? And in Thy Name have cast out devils? And in Thy Name done many wonderful works (including miracles of healing and other gifts of the Spirit)?” (Mt. 7:21,22)
In other words, the Lord says that His servants will ask Him whether He knows that they ministered His gifts in His Name (such as prophesy, working of miracles, healing, raising dead, etc.). They will not ask Him this today or tomorrow but “in that day”, which is the day of His Judgment Seat and of His Coming to establish His Kingdom. (Rev. 19:11-16) It will be too late to do anything about it “in that day” because the Lord will declare to some particular servants ministering His gifts:
“And then will I profess unto them: I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” (Mt. 7:23).
What we should clearly see and realize is that this truth is not apparent today, it will be abundantly apparent “in that day”. In that day, we will all be there and the Lord will announce the truth publicly! It will be a totally different story from what we witness today, for nothing shall remain hidden and what is covered today shall be revealed in that day. (Mt. 10:26) Many believers will be utterly shocked.
At the end of the point on Eph. 4:23 (page 13), we mentioned that there were some important spiritual facts and experiences related to the healing of our bodies. The simplest fact is that Satan can imitate any gift of the Spirit, as we said at the beginning of this section. He can give false wisdom (it looks like wisdom but it is not), false knowledge, false faith (false sense of reality), false healing (imitated or temporary healing), false prophecies, false discernment, false tongues with false interpretation and, finally, working of miracles, which miracles may not be “false” as such, but are done by devils for deceptive and evil purposes. (Rev. 13:11-14; 16:14) The sphere of ministering the gifts of the Spirit is thus the prime target of Satan to penetrate, hide behind, confuse, deceive and ultimately use it for his evil purposes. His chief purpose is to keep all true believers from their ultimate goal, which is their full Salvation, not just their Redemption.
Believers must thus understand that Satan MUST keep them from their cross! (Mt. 16:24, etc.) Hence, he will try to entice them by false gifts or even false demonstrations of the Spirit. He will “heal” their bodies, give them a time of uncontrolled laughing, dancing, false joy, false prophecies, false “word of God”, false word of encouragement, false sense of peace and well-being, false anything as long as it keeps them satisfied and from the destruction of their old nature, “old man” and from putting on their “New Man” created by God in righteousness and true holiness! (Eph. 4:24)
We may at times be confused as to what is happening to us and whether it is from the Spirit of God, or not. Well, the best way to learn the difference, gain wisdom and avoid any future ‘gifts from Satan’ is to see the consequences of the demonstrations of such gifts. Is the experience of a gift leading us to a greater obedience to the Word of God? Are we drawn more to the Lord, to read His Word, to meditate? Is there any change in our personality indicating the work of the Spirit in our soul with the first signs of the fruit of the Spirit appearing? Simply said, is there any personal profit for us from such gifts? True gifts are for us to “profit withal”. (1Cor. 12:7) If these are the consequences of the gifts we experience, then the gifts are genuine.
If there is no positive change in the person, in his behaviour, intentions, desires or obedience, then we should question such gifts and their origin. If the person changes for worse, if he grows more stubborn, more disobedient, more proud and arrogant, less willing to read, meditate and obey the Word of God, then the origin of the “gifts” is clear.
These are very dangerous affairs because Satan can lead us away from the Lord rather easily through false gifts. It may be easier to recognize false interpretations, false prophecies, false faith, false knowledge, false wisdom, but it may be very difficult to see and recognize, for example, a false healing of our bodies.
Let us be quite clear also on the point of healing of our bodies. We all desire to be healed whether we are believers or pagans. We cannot say that in believers, it is always the New Man who desires that our body would be healed. It is more so our old man, our old nature that has that same desire. The Lord is gracious and understands our desires concerning our healing especially when doctors can do nothing more. He may heal us sovereignly without us being aware why He did it, or whether our faith was “sufficient”, or not. (Mk. 9:24)
I do not believe that any of us can decipher the Lord’s mysterious ways or intentions with every healed person under all circumstances. The fruit of the healing itself or the Lord Himself may show us later on. There is, however, one specific fact, which we should never forget or misunderstand and it is the following. The Lord’s ultimate purpose is to bring believers into their Full Salvation according to His Will, which is to change us into His Image-character! I do not believe that it is His desire or intention to heal our bodies while He foreknows that it will not help us achieve any of His purposes. There is no grace in logic, but there may be logic in grace.
The Lord knows (and we know) that our present body will one day perish whether we believe in Him or not, whether we walk on the narrow way or the broad way. The Lord may heal a pagan foreknowing that he will become a believer and fulfil the Lord’s Desire and Purpose and Will.
The Lord says: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world (including his physical health) and lose his own soul?” (Mt. 16:26a)
His emphasis is on the soul (and spirit) and not on the body. Also, the Lord allows believers to become sick or wounded so that through their illnesses and weaknesses and pains, He might enable them to reach His ultimate purpose. This includes the cases where the Lord wounds us purposely to achieve His intentions and then He heals us! (Deut. 32:39) I know that “with His stripes we are healed“ (Is. 53:5), but we are healed IN Him, not outside of Him. And in order to grow up and get into Him and be healed by His stripes, He must wound us, use sicknesses and pains, otherwise, we would not “voluntarily“ grow up into Him! (Eph. 4:15)
We must see or begin to see and understand that many believers will not “move” toward Him or grow up into Him unless they are forced by circumstances and pain. Any believer in great danger or in great pain “suddenly knows” how to turn to the Lord and how to pray. He does not need anybody to teach him how to pray or prod him to it. True? Doesn’t this show a total depravity and an utmost selfishness of our old human nature as well as the need for this kind of “spiritual whip and reins”?
When we speak about the Lord purposely wounding and then healing us, the question should be asked: How is He healing us? Is He touching us by His gracious hand and healing us? In my faith, the answer is: NO! God does not heal us in ourselves just as He does not make us better or more righteous or more sanctified in ourselves. God has done and finished all His works IN Christ – not outside of Him! Outside of Christ is destruction, death and hell.
We are healed in Him, we have our righteousness and sanctification in Him. We were crucified and are being crucified in Him, we are dead and are dying in Him! We are putting on our New Man by “growing up into Christ in all things”. (Eph. 4:15,24) Nothing is done outside of Christ, meaning, only in ourselves! God will not give us even our New Eternal Life, we find It in Christ. (Col. 3:3) In Him we are complete (Col. 2:10) and outside of Him we are nothing. So, even Is. 53:5 and 1Pet. 2:24 apply to us IN Christ Jesus. This is the principle of Salvation IN Christ Jesus established by Our Father, which is in Heaven. (Eph. 1:9,10) Yet, God may sovereignly and for His good reasons (ex. based on His foreknowledge) heal any one who may yet be pagan without faith (2Ki. 5:9-14// Mt. 8:13) or give gifts of His Spirit to any one who is yet a Gentile. (Acts 11:12-17)
It seems wise to conclude this point by saying that we also must focus on the ultimate purpose of the Lord and not just on secondary issues. Just to desire a physical healing and pay no attention to the Will of God, to His Word, to our spiritual development and change in our soul, would be very selfish and inappropriate. I do not know of any parent who would gladly give cookies or other sweet gifts to stubborn, arrogant or disobedient children who would not care one bit about their parents’ love, rules, interests or desires.
I also know that after we leave our spiritual childhood, the Lord takes extra care of us and of our affairs IF “we take care” of His affairs (please, understand this in the right spirit). Since I believed in Him, the Lord healed me of a number of chronic ailments, kept me from all hospitals and all medications, and kept me in very good health… and that, without me “begging Him” for it. It almost happened unnoticed throughout few years. He also granted me immunity against many hellish sicknesses and illnesses that ravage humanity including believers. I know I cannot contract them and I do not even age in the same way that many others do. Praise the Lord. That is not to say that my body is perfect and I never have any pain.
This is not mysterious to me because I am devoted to do His Will according to His Word, and I desire the same what He desires. How well I perform is another matter, but my heart has been focused on Him and His Word since day one of His “apprehending of me” by His Spirit. And I know that any believer, who will do likewise, will acquire from the Lord the same that I have acquired. That is His Justice, Grace and Wisdom. Also, His dealings with us are based on His foreknowledge, which we do not have, therefore, we are prone to misjudge easily His ways, judgments and dealings with us.
With the above facts in our conscience, we should be able to discern also the healing experiences and should not be deceived by false healing. False healing is usually temporary and the original symptoms return and may cause even more damage. But nobody will know because the “healed” person usually disappears from our horizon. When a wicked spirit or spirit of infirmity is able to return to man, he may take with him seven other spirits more wicked than he himself and the state of that man is always worse than before. (Mt. 12:43-45// Lk. 11:24-26)
All true ministers given to the Church by the Lord and responsible for shepherding believers should pray to the Lord to grant them the gift of spiritual discernment. Without that gift functioning properly, Satan then has an open “playground” in their churches or fellowships deceiving people through manifold false gifts, utterances, spiritual manifestations, “revelations” and other phenomena. They must not remain ignorant of his devices for through them he may cause a lot of irreparable damage to many congregations as well as to their ministers. (2Cor. 2:11)
In addition to Satan’s devices, there are countless believers and ministers who practice a “humanistic religion”. This is just as dangerous as any other deception from Satan. Humanism is the “earthly nature of man”, which already has this satanic character and cannot be accepted in the true Church of Jesus Christ in any form, shape or function! (see later the passage about the fruit of the Spirit) It is exactly this “earthly nature of man”, which desires to guide the Church and govern all the Church affaires! And it is exactly this nature that has to be destroyed and replaced with the Divine Nature-Character! (2Pet. 1:4)
Without the gift of discernment, “humanistic religion” can play havoc in any congregation or fellowship and can destroy any part of the Church of Jesus Christ rendering it totally ineffective. Humanism is based on the foundation of an “inherent goodness in the human nature“, which is in total and absolute contradiction to the Word of God and of our Salvation! Hence, the Church is generally “governed and built“ by that “old man“, which brought Christ to His Cross and was crucified with Him by the Will of Our Father. (Rom. 6:6)
Humanism may also be defined as the “self living and directing his own earthly life and deeds”. We will devote more time and space to this subject in Chapter 3. At this point, I would only add the following notes from my own faith and experiences.
The earthly life, which we live in our self is created life. It belongs to the old creation. It is a natural life and is polluted with sin and sinful spirits and is not eternal. We live it in our natural body and in our “old man”. There is no difference between the natural life of the “old man” in pagans and in believers. Sometimes, this natural life in pagans may be more pleasant, humble, kind, understanding or loving than the one in believers! Do you have your own experiences? I do.
Just as there is a natural body and a spiritual body, so there is a natural life and a spiritual life. (1Cor. 15:44) Unfortunately, most believers cannot tell the difference!
The Life of Christ, which we can live only in Christ and not in our self, is uncreated Life, which God Himself lives! It is the spiritual Life and is Pure and Holy and Eternal. We live It only in our “New Man” and will live It in the New Creation of God. (Rev. 21:1)
The energy in which we do things in our natural life is also natural and not spiritual. It does not come from the Spirit of God, but from other spirits, which are not of God. Our nature–flesh is energized by other sources than the Spirit of God. Therefore, anything done in or through this natural energy, including “serving the Lord”, is undesirable and unacceptable to God because it is done, we may also say, in or through death. Because...
There is only one way, one means, to destroy the natural with its root and sources and bring in the spiritual. The Cross of Christ and our cross destroy the sinful and natural, and bring in the living, holy and spiritual.
* * *
We may conclude this chapter by making a statement, which we will probably use and repeat in different forms and in different parts of this book. It may be a shocking statement to many believers and it is the following:
Of course, when we are in the right spirit, when we live spiritually, we also conduct the right and necessary Christian activities, we live the right earthly life, satisfying life, successful life, otherwise we cannot. We also enjoy peace and contentment and prosperity, because we must first prosper in our spirit, then we may prosper also in our soul and then in our body, never vice versa.
The above fact will prepare us for the next chapter where the Lord will convince us that we are in a War for our spiritual Life, which War He declared and we cannot avoid it. Any notion that we do not have to do anything, to fight any battles just because we are under the Blood of Jesus and under the Grace of God is false and squarely against about one half of the Bible!
It would be absolutely superfluous to write extensively about this subject knowing that there are other more excellent and experienced authors who wrote extensively on this very important subject in our lives. I myself was highly blessed by their writings and will whole-heartedly give the necessary references to those of you who would desire to know about the war for our life in more details.
I have an impression within me to write my personal experiences and understanding of this war thus giving a more practical view on it. This should add to the existing excellent books and writings rather than repeat the facts already written. My impression also tells me that in certain nations and areas of the world, there is a desperate lack of this particular knowledge and understanding despite its vital importance.
It was many years ago when for the first time in our meetings, I was prompted by the Spirit to clearly declare: “We are in a war.” The Lord then progressively introduced us into this fact showing us the realities of this Cosmic conflict and our important role in it. We tried to absorb all the interesting information about the war and began to recognize it in our minds. So we embarked on the war in our minds trying to “bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”. (2Cor. 10:5) It did not work!
We had to wait on the Lord patiently to begin to see, realize and accept the following simple fact:
If you have ever tried to control or renew your mind without first opening and renewing your heart, you must have experienced a total failure! Your mind cannot renew itself without your heart being renewed first. Equally, your mind cannot open your heart or force it to act no matter how logical such a step might appear. The heart may still be closed and ruled by the powers of darkness though not necessarily as a whole (as it is before our Redemption), but in some of its areas, in some of its “issues of life”! (page B3)
Let us not forget that our soul – heart, will and mind – has been the territory occupied by Satan all our life – and it may still be so even after our Redemption! It remains his territory until the Lord, as Our Captain with His Sword (Word) drawn, gets into our heart and starts to lead us into a war against our enemy! (Ex. 15:3// Josh. 5:13-15// Mt. 10:34// Heb. 4:12) Not because the Lord needs to fight, not at all. On His Cross, Christ had defeated the enemy completely and totally. IN Him this war is over and victory full and final both for Himself and also for us. But he leads us to our war because in us this war is not finished until we defeat our enemy on our own cross and in our own experience using His Sword (Word). (Mt. 10:38,39; 16:24,25) Why is that so?
The victorious and indestructible Life of Christ has so far been just a theory for multitudes of believers. But every believer is expected to live that Life and prove It in his own earthly walk by faith and by following Its ways and deeds. The moment you start searching for that Life within yourself and putting It into practice, you will start experiencing opposition, problems and conflicts you never thought were possible or necessary in Christianity. But this is exactly the way, the only way, where you will prove that “Christ lives today”! Because He lives not only “somewhere in you”, but should live “through you”. He should be visible in your countenance, walk, talk, decisions and all your deeds.
No amount of doctrinal statements or proclamations of your most true and accurate faith will prove the Life of Christ! Even in quoting the Bible, you are proving nothing. The letter kills, the Spirit gives Life to live by. (2Cor. 3:6) But you just cannot detect that Life in multitudes of born-again believers. Too many Christians are preoccupied with many earthly problems; health problems, economic problems, family problems or many other kinds of problems in their lives. Though they may not live in earthly pleasures, many “live while they are dead”… they only exist. (1Tim. 5:6// Rev. 3:1)
If this “death” reigns in our life, we also become consenting, lethargic, lazy or passive, accepting things as they are and not forging ahead with the Spirit of Life. Can you discern yourselves in this area? You should be able to discern death from the Life of Christ. As we keep maturing – growing up into Christ (Eph. 4:15) and coming to Him (Jn. 5:40) – we keep receiving and living the Life, which is in Him and is available to us. What is amazing is that in physical life, if we live, we can recognize a dead man from a living one easily. Why can’t we do the same in the spiritual life? Do you know?
If I could express the truth in the above paragraphs in few simple words, I could say this:
It is not sufficient to read, study, remember, reason, preach, teach and believe the Word of God – we must live It. That means, we must become the Word! Then you are transformed into Christ’s Image because He Is the Word. (Jn. 1:1+14) You are what you speak, teach and preach. And if you are not what you speak, teach and preach, then you are hypocrites and walking libraries with a lot of maybe interesting, but dead information.
The same applies to our faith. We may have a lot of it but it may all be dead… if we do not live it in our daily life and deeds. I could compare our faith to an electric bulb. If our faith is living, our “bulb” shines because there is power flowing through it. If our “bulb” is dark, our faith is dead, there is no power. Again, in physical life, we can easily recognize a shining bulb from a dark one. Why can’t we do the same in the spiritual life? Do you know? For physical bulbs we need physical eyes, for faith we need spiritual eyes.
Let us return to “our war” and let us realize that the Promised Land of Israel in the Old Testament represents the Kingdom of Heaven of the Church in the New Testament. Spiritually, this Promised Land, this Kingdom of Heaven, is within us! (Lk. 17:21) It is first in our spirit and from there it must be enforced into our soul!
Israel did not inherit a Paradise of peace, love and prosperity but a territory full of their enemies being at war with them! They had to fight for every inch of their land! So, outwardly, they were in a war, but if they fought according to God’s judgments, righteousness and guidance, I believe, He granted them peace of mind and joy in their hearts. When they refused to carry out God’s judgments, fear and discontent returned to their souls.
The same goes for the Church and every Christian. The Kingdom of Heaven is not any Paradise of peace, love and prosperity but a territory in our soul full of our enemies being at war with us! Even the physical Kingdom of Heaven on Earth will not be a place of peace, love and heavenly bliss as some might imagine, but a place of enforced discipline and righteousness where the nations will be ruled with a rod of iron and the disobedient will be broken to shivers. (Rev. 2:27; 12:5; 19:15) This is not exactly a picture of love, joy and peace. The Kingdom OF Heaven means a kingdom on Earth ruled BY Heaven, it is not a Kingdom IN Heaven. But this is an outward picture. Inwardly, if we carry out the Lord’s Will, Judgments and Righteousness, we shall enjoy peace and joy of the Holy Spirit.
Are you getting some picture? Are you truly shocked? Apostle Paul talked about warfare very vividly. (Eph. 6:10-18) This is not a popular subject to talk about. It somehow does not fit into our picture of Christianity – full of love and peace. The truth is that we are in a war and we are called to battle the spiritual forces of evil, darkness, wickedness and death. They are in the high places in the world, in the air and in our souls just as the forces of God are, and we can not neglect either of them. We will have plenty of rest, love and peace in the New Jerusalem, but not here.
We are in this war whether we like it or not, whether we agree with it or not, whether we are aware of it or not! And it is not straightforward to persuade believers about this war, show its character, necessity and reality. Satan has not only deceived the world that he does not even exist, he also deceived most of the Church that he is “finished, has no power and no influence on us – because we are saved!” This is, perhaps, the greatest deception that he managed to concoct and it works for him just fine.
I know that some of you might argue that “greater is He who is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1Jn. 4:4) True. But He who is greater in you (Christ) has permitted him that is in the world (devil) to tempt you, pressure you, make you sick, deceive you, keep you from your cross, from the Lord and thus from your Full Salvation! He has not permitted him to overcome you while you trust the Lord and remain in Him. (Mt. 16:18// Jn. 15:6) Is this fact also true?
Let us repeat again that the Word of God has been for many of us a theory, a pure theory where we only had the experience of being born-again and (maybe) baptized and we became a “member of a church”. We lived only those two parts of the Word of God, or only one. We may have experienced some healing, prophecies, tongues, miracles whether ministering them or receiving them. Now, how about the rest of the Bible that touches us personally? We only talk about it – if we talk about it! Do you need some examples? You may find many of them, I will give you only this one: “But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Mt. 5:39)
For very many believers, this Word is also a theory that they never lived, never experienced. And if the Lord had brought them into this Word – they always failed. Do you remember your own Christian life? Have you ever lived the above Word of God? Your cheek could have been smitten many times (and not necessarily physically) but have you ever offered your other one? Or do you believe that this Word is not for you? Then for whom is It? I believe It is for every believer especially for all those that “go on unto perfection.” (Heb. 6:1) I live this Word in my earthly life, my cheek was slapped by words, unrighteous decisions and judgments several times. There is a world of difference between Its theory and practice! Believe me.
And how many believers resist evil with all their might and “faith”? It might be all of us! We either “propagate evil” without being aware of it or resist evil without being aware that we are breaking the Word of God! We ought to hinder evil (by our presence) but not actively resist it or fight it. (2Thess. 2:7) There is a great difference. But every time the Lord brings us to live some part of His Word, we always end up in pain, troubles, failures and battles with the enemy who is opposing our every step in that direction.
* * *
I am constrained by the Spirit of the Living Christ at this point to say to His Church this important Word from the Lord concerning evil.
If you, therefore, resist and fight these types of evil, you resist and fight GOD!
Did the Lord Jesus ever fight any of His enemies? Did He resist them? Show me one such instance in the Scripture and I will burn this book. Is it not then our religious flesh, which fights our enemies?
Is it not a lack of wisdom and of His Spirit when we resist a block of dead stone to be removed from a building (in Alabama, USA) just because the Ten Commandments were written on it? Don’t you know that the Lord had written His Commandments into your hearts… if you gave Him access to it? And that no man can remove those? But too many hearts have been closed and God couldn’t write anything into them! (Jer. 31:33// Rom. 2:15) One fruit of such a foolish act is that the people of Alabama lost a great living judge… never mind a dead block of stone.
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In addition to Eph. 6:10-18, there are some other passages in the Scripture that I want to bring forth at this point and show their deeper meaning as applicable to our war.
This world is not a holy place but an evil place. It is sometimes called the “vestibule of hell”. We were left in this vestibule of hell by the Will of Our Father and of Our Lord, Who prayed quite clearly saying to the Father:
“I pray not that Thou should take them out of the (evil) world, but that Thou should (leave them in this evil world and) keep them from the evil (thereof).” (Jn.17:15)
We are thus left in the midst of evil in this world. Why? We must taste the evil for ourselves! Yet we are kept from it in terms of not being overrun and destroyed by it, but we are not kept from its presence, deception, pressure, bruises, influence and myriad of temptations! When Peter testified about Jesus that He was indeed the Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Lord declared:
“…upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Mt. 16:18)
The “gates” mean the government, counsels, plans, plots, decisions of hell. “Prevail” means that these gates are allowed by God to press against us, affect us, influence us, tempt us, fight us – but they shall not prevail against us, overwhelm us who are His true Church (except during the Tribulation – Rev. 13:7). And if the forces of hell are in these days prevailing against some believers including ministers, then these believers should start questioning their Salvation and membership in His true Church.
Most Christians believe that as long as they attend their church once or twice a week, listen to an interesting sermon, sing, pray, give offerings, engage in some church activities, etc., they are doing fine. Let us be clear about this matter – there is nothing wrong with any of these activities… but they are to be our means, our steps to reach the final goal and Will of Our Father. If His Will is not reached then such Christians are being perpetually deceived through these very same activities and these activities then become substitutes for God’s Will!
Why and how are they deceived? They would testify that they are ‘fine’, they do not see any war in their life or any need for it. They do not have to fight any battles with the devil, they already enjoy “peace and joy that the Lord granted them”. And their prosperity is growing day by day … all they have to do is “praise the Lord” or just “wait for the Lord”. Right? There is a definite reason why multitudes of believers do not wrestle with the powers of darkness, and why the Word in Eph. 6:10-19 is just an interesting information for them. The reason is: the Lord is not in their heart and they have no true fear of the Lord. Because “the fear of the Lord is the fountain of life.” (Pr. 14:27) This proves that they are spiritually dead! They do not live the Word, have no knowledge of It, and no intentions to have any! And when we do not live the Word of God, we are no witnesses to Our Lord and to Our Father… and there is no war in us! Listen…
Satan does not mind our church organizations, denominations, fellowships, how many believers are gathering in rooms or in auditoria, a dozen, thousand or a million. He does not mind how many are baptized, how many healed or speaking in tongues. He does not mind our sermons even if they bring sound doctrines and are from the Bible. He does not mind how much religious worship is going on in our churches, how many activities are conducted by their members, how many books are written and read, how much money is collected and what is done with it. He does not war against these things! In fact…
Satan supports many such activities, programs and expansion projects, which do not endanger but rather preserve or even expand his kingdom of darkness and death in the Church and also in the souls of believers! Must I truly say: Hello? Are you truly registering this truth? I praise the Lord if you are truly and genuinely shocked over such facts… you should be… as I was!
But Satan definitely and furiously wars against one thing – the Life and Rule of Christ wherever it is poised to replace satan’s false life (death) and his rule, including the soul of believers! The moment the Lord starts destroying darkness and death in our soul, reviving our heart, will and mind – Satan is there with his army! He will immediately start to attack – but he will not prevail! It is the Resurrection Life of Christ and His Lordship, which Satan is against. Why?
Because the Life of Christ destroyed Satan’s kingdom of darkness and Death! The devil had the power of death. (Heb. 2:14) Our religion with all its activities, forms and paraphernalia does not do that! Our best wishes, plans, intentions, sermons, excitements, desires or dreams do not do it! Apostle Paul was not stoned because he was educated and agreed with the Word of God, but because he became a living witness of the Word!
Our knowledge of the Bible has the same value as our knowledge of any other history book. Satan is very satisfied as long as we keep showing that though we know, preach and teach the Word of God, yet, it does not show in our lives, has no effect on us or any practical value in our lives. And if we do not live It, we do not really understand Its true meaning and purpose for which God gave It to us. Even scientists could tell us that theories may be very nice, even brilliant, but they have no real value if they are never put into practice and realized in our life.
I want to share with you at this point the Light of the Lord concerning Satan’s false “life”, which is “death” and which became our “life”, and the Eternal Life of Christ, which came out of His death by His resurrection. How do we know the difference between the two and how can we interchangeably talk about death and life? How can life be equated with death, or vice versa, and how can life come out of death?
Let us see these facts in their physical interpretation, which should be easier to comprehend than their spiritual reality. The key is the definition of death as being a separation and not a cessation of existence. (see also page 2)
Satan exists forever, but his “life” is death because he is separated from the true Life, which is with God and in God! When Our Lord died on the Cross, He was separated from God, from His living Presence. (Mt. 27:46) In His death, He went to hell where He spent three days and three nights preaching to those disobedient spirits. (1Pet. 3:18-20) And then?…
So, how do we know the difference between this false life of Satan and the true Life of Christ? One very good and clear example is that of Cain and Abel. Let us open our heart and consider the following.
Cain was a very religious man. He believed, respected and worshipped God just as Abel did. Now, Cain offered to God the best products that he produced himself through his own life, efforts, resources and intellectual potential, and Cain sincerely believed that God would appreciate and accept them. But God refused them! Why? Because in doing so,…
If our heart is open then we should come out of our spiritual comma and start seeing, understanding and also believing what we may have never seen, understood or believed before. What is it that we should start seeing, understanding and believing?…
That a wicked person, who is doing evil works... CAN build an altar to God, CAN sacrifice to God, CAN sincerely worship God and CAN effectively deceive millions of believers who are also in the same spiritual comma! We may need more exclamation marks here!
Let me just say very honestly and from my experience that our best product, which we also might desire to offer to God may be “our ministry to God”! But God will not accept the ministry, which does not offer blood = the old life of believers! (see more later) In other words, God will not accept the ministry conducted by uncrucified, unbroken ministers ministering in their natural life… which is spiritual death.
All the history of Israel from Exodus, chapter 12, until the death of the Messiah is based on the shedding of blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission! (Heb. 9:18-22) Let us understand that the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) belong to the Old Testament! It is only their portions after the Resurrection of Christ, which start the New Testament. What was done in the Old Testament physically is now done in the New Testament in spirit. But the Principles of God did not change in any way!
Let us conclude that the Lord may use an uncrucified believer or pagan or animal or thing or devil himself as a tool for His purposes, but His true servant must be crucified and (sufficiently) dead to his old natural life, to his self! This also means, that His true servant has (sufficiently) died to his former relationships, plans, hopes, expectations, “important” things, personal judgments, opinions, to his own logical, academic, philosophical or psychological understanding of spiritual facts and truths and to all such things of his old, natural life. He is then, and only then, fully open to the Lord’s supernatural revelations and Light, which do not come from his own soul but from the Spirit of God Alone. There is a world of difference between the two. Do you see and believe this spiritual fact? Really?
Abel offered God a lamb, which represented his own life and thus it was a sacrifice of blood. So he, in effect, laid down his own life before God! That pleased God and He accepted Abel’s “blood” sacrifice with a true pleasure. (Gen. 4:4) When Christ said that He could do “nothing of Himself” but laid down His Own life before the Father, it pleased God and He fully accepted Christ’s sacrifice. I hope the Word in Jn. 5:19; 10:17; 13:37,38; 15:5, 13// 1Jn. 3:16// Gal. 6:3 will take a deeper meaning for us now.
Furthermore, by His Word in Jn. 5:19, the Lord gave us an example how to follow Him. So, why can we do nothing of ourselves? Why should we do nothing of ourselves?
* * *
I am constrained by the Spirit of the Lord to present His Light enabling us to see the very core of this fact!
Any born-again believer who remains intellectual, or emotional remains exactly the same soul, which he was before he believed, before he was redeemed. He only changed the field of his studies, interests and activities, which now became religious, but he did not change their source! All that he needs he keeps drawing from his re-oriented but unregenerated, unrenewed soul (mind & heart) and NOT from the Holy Spirit of God! The Spirit dwells in his spirit and rules his spirit but NOT his soul. Hence, the Spirit of God does not direct his soul, his knowledge, deeds and activities!
When such a believer then studies the Bible, teaches or preaches the Word or otherwise ministers to others, it does not really matter what activities he is engaged in and how he is performing. What matters to God is what source his faith, deeds, activities and knowledge come from, who directs and governs those activities, beliefs and deeds, God or man.
One absolutely basic and deciding consequence of the above mentioned fact is that whatever we do drawing from our own religious but unrenewed soul comes to nothing. Its final fruit will be zero because we simply did it without the Lord … though we may have done it FOR the Lord!
* * *
Therefore, the Lord is not seeking believers who know the Bible and can talk, teach or preach from It about Him. There may be many like that. He seeks such that will “pour out their old life unto death” and will live His Word, manifest His Life and thus His Victory over death and over him who had the power of death, that is the devil.
The Lord achieved His Victory through His Own death, laying down His Own life. (Jn.10:15// 1Jn. 3:16) How shall we achieve it? Just by believing in this fact? Or by getting baptized? Our baptism is necessary and it should show our willingness to die to our old nature. But it does not take away our old life, old character, old nature, it does not make us instant conquerors (Rom. 8:37) or new creatures or priests and kings unto Our Father. (Rev. 1:6) True? It takes many years, many prayers, much faith and suffering and the power of the Holy Spirit to change us and make us more than conquerors according to His Word.
How shall we then conclude or recapitulate this most important factor of our Christianity and the very essence of our Salvation prepared for us by Our Heavenly Father and executed by Our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ? I believe, we can express it as follows.
Everything else, which is not the object of this war, is unimportant. We must overcome ourselves and achieve the same victory of Life over Death and Good over Evil in our own experience as Our Lord achieved it for us. (1Tim. 6:12// Rom. 8:13; 12:21// Rev. 21:7, etc.) If we are willing to “lay down our old natural life”, then we will also be resurrected by the same Spirit and obtain the same Life, which we have in Christ and which is Eternal. This is the cornerstone, “raison d’être”, the whole basic purpose of Salvation and of the high calling of God upon our lives. (Phil. 3:14// Heb. 3:1-6, etc.)
We were not saved just to be forgiven our sins, to be healed from our physical sicknesses, to live a prosperous life here on Earth and then somehow avoid hell and get to Heaven. The true purpose of Salvation has depth, height, width and breadth, which transcends any imagination or understanding of our poor minds (Eph. 3:17,18, we will discuss this topic later on). All our own efforts to build different religious forms to suit our own beliefs, desires, plans and understanding are of no value whatsoever before Our Lord.
We may be preaching or appealing to one another with the most sincere and intelligent efforts, also with all our understanding and wisdom, supported by a vast research of any biblical topic that we might choose. We may attend Sunday or Sabbath Schools, theological seminaries and study the Bible with all human sincerity. We may sing in the church choir or play in the church orchestra. We may also scream and sweat trying to show what we know and are persuaded about its truth and importance. We may pace across the stage banging our Bible or fist on the pulpit, emphasize our “profound statements” with organ or drums or perform any other athletic feats [R.Parsley and others]. In themselves, these and similar religious or non-religious acts will never produce any spiritual fruit or any spiritual progress. Why?
Because these and many other similar religious acts, though some of them may be desirable or even absolutely necessary, do not crucify our old nature. Of themselves, they do not create within us a new and clean heart, do not change the spirit within us! Of themselves, they may increase our intellectual knowledge, they may (even deeply) affect our feelings. True preaching may bring faith to us (Rom. 10:17), but if that faith is not performed in our life, it remains dead. (Jam. 2:20) Hence, no fruit and no change in spirit is produced within our soul.
This is the battle with the powers of evil and darkness in our soul, which we all genuinely hate, do not want to believe it and desperately try to avoid it. Most believers prefer to ignore those powers and serve them, be at peace with them rather than battle with them and destroy them. Do you see it? Or not?
Every true Christian is in this spiritual war whether he decides to battle, surrender or whether he never decides to start his war. Those who do not fight it now will fight it later and under much harder conditions.
Let me give you a “military” example from physical wars, which should well reflect how our spiritual battles are conducted in our souls and why most of the above religious activities may not bring any fruit or any victory.
First, you must believe that you have an enemy and that he has the power to destroy both your body and soul in hell! The Word of God is clear. (Mt. 10:28) Here, the Lord was not warning pagans! There are already too many believers who fear neither God, nor Satan. They are doomed unless they wake up from their spiritual coma and start fearing for their own life. Is it possible that the Lord only wanted to frighten us with His Word foreknowing that, in reality, we were quite safe? What do you really believe about His Word quoted above?
Second, once you believe and admit that your enemy is living within you (just as the Lord lives within you), you will be able to decide in your heart to face your enemy with the Power of the Lord’s Spirit.
Third, in any battle with any enemy, physical or spiritual, there are two stages to destroy the enemy. Every good general will tell you that unless you know where your enemy is, what his movements, intentions, strengths, fortifications and deceptions are, you can do nothing except sit and wait or, perhaps, “chase windmills”. That general must first search out and find the enemy, get all the necessary information about him in order to have any hope for a successful operation and victory. Is that true?
Fourth, when you invite the Lord into your heart and when you open your heart to Him (Rev. 3:20), He starts to shine His Light into your heart and soul and shows you your enemy, his strength, hiding tactics, his origins and intentions. You may be very happy at this stage and praise the Lord and also believe that you are delivered from your spiritual problem that was bringing very bad fruit in your life.
But this is NOT your deliverance, as yet. This is like when the general sends out his reconnaissance planes to take aerial photographs of the enemy positions. But the enemy is not destroyed just because you start to see him and recognize his field of operations, strength and his deceptive tactics and thus the source of the evil fruit. (Mt. 7:16-20)
Fifth, the general then sends out his bombers to bomb the enemy to dust! You yourselves must first see those powers in you, hate them, desire to be delivered from them and then ask the Lord to destroy them! Only then the Lord can “bomb” those parts of your heart to destroy the powers, which He showed you through your previous fruit and thus to deliver you. This is the time when you feel the pain and suffering the most since it is your own soul, which is the battlefield. THIS is your deliverance, the Will of the Father for your earthly life and the reality of your true Salvation.
Is this “military” example useful? Are you beginning to see and believe that many of our religious activities and forms of our religious life may actually work against us? How? They may easily distract us from our deliverances and true Salvation and thus from the Will of Our Heavenly Father! As long as we keep building, living, performing and continuing our form of emotional or intellectual religion within the area of our mind, its reasoning, understanding, imagination and its “power” of New Year’s resolutions, we will keep failing and wasting our time. Until we begin to see this fact clearly, we will remain in our deep deception and spiritual misery. The Lord knows. Let us never forget another fact, namely, that…
If any man desires to achieve anything valuable – he must be crucified in his flesh, in his natural character! I am not the only “extremist” who dares to declare this truth to the Church of Jesus Christ, Our Lord! This is the perfect place to quote a profound and for many of you, I am sure, shocking statement of brother Austin-Sparks who in his booklet “The Christ, the Antichrist, and the Church” (page 23) boldly declares the following:
“One of the greatest tragedies is that the Church has served Satan’s purpose so well, because it is not a crucified Church.” …(!)
It is also my experience that many believers, mostly those in the leadership of the Church, like to get into many arguments, discussions, debates, questioning and doubting those things they do not like or understand. We know that what logic or an argument can construct or build up, the same logic and argument can destroy and pull down. This is like a big circle, which never ends and leads nowhere. Our Lord never engaged in such meaningless exercises.
I cannot but reach again for an excellent quote from “The Battle for Life” (p. 82), where brother Austin-Sparks declares the following spiritual fact:
“If the enemy finds that he can hold the situation by keeping us in that circle, that awful going round of debate, argument, discussion, of analysing, of questioning, of doubting, he will keep us going round; he will whip us up like a circus horse to keep us running round all the time, while we never get beyond the point where we started. If you keep going back there all the time, not making one fragment, or fraction of real spiritual progress toward victory, you can go on so for fifty years.” …(!)
One important quote is, again, found in the book “The Messenger of the Cross” (pages 38,39) where brother Watchman states the following:
“…if we are not willing to deliver our soul life and its power to death, we will never receive afresh the Word of God in our spirit. If we as His servants wish to be used by God to save sinners and to revive saints – that is, to proclaim the word of the cross – we must let the cross first work in us:”
“Satan hates the preaching of the word of the Cross. If we faithfully proclaim the Lord’s Cross, we will suffer opposition from him. He often assaults the messenger of the cross in the following ways. He may attack by weakening the latter’s health – causing him to lose his voice or to encounter many physical dangers – or by oppressing his spirit to near suffocation. He may work in the environment to create misunderstanding, opposition, and even persecution. He may disturb the weather, hindering people from attending meetings. He may cause disorder or confusion in the meeting. He may incite the dogs to bark or the babies to cry. Sometimes he may work in the atmosphere, making the meeting heavy, suffocating, oppressive or gloomy. All these are the works of the enemy which a messenger of the cross must recognize.”
During my ministry, I have myself experienced a good number of the enemy’s actions described above by brother Watchman Nee. This is thus my personal testimony to the truths quoted above.
OUR OLD AND NEW WILL
The very first and basic fact that we must declare and understand in every circumstance of our entire life is this:
The consequences of this fact will follow us throughout our earthly life and throughout our Salvation. This fact also determines and explains every event in our earthly life. Furthermore, this fact also tells us clearly that…
The multitudes of pagans that are going to perish in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:12-15) are the proof of this fact. God provided Salvation for every man on this planet. But every man decides either to receive it, or reject it. Our faith is essential, but it must be followed by our decision to do our faith. Also, man must receive his Salvation as prescribed in the Word of God.
Also, God never “forces” His Salvation on anyone, nor does He “force” any man after he is redeemed (born-again believer) to follow Christ. Christ said quite clearly: “IF any man will come after Me…” (Mt. 16:24) thereby leaving that decision to men. Yet, God is leading us to our Full Salvation, to all truth and to all the right decisions by His Spirit.
The best example of this fact touches Our Lord Himself. The execution of our Salvation was NOT in the hands of the Father but in the hands of Jesus – The Son of Man! Furthermore…
The same applies for entering the Kingdom of Heaven or the Marriage Supper of the Son of God, which begins in Heaven before the Tribulation begins and before the Kingdom is established on the Earth. God set a clear condition for believers to enter the Kingdom and it is this: Believers must do the Will of the Heavenly Father. (Mt. 7:21) It is up to each believer whether he decides to do the Will of His Father or his own will, which is different.
It is thus not up to God to decide who will enter into the Kingdom and who will not but up to each individual believer. God has invited all believers to the Marriage Supper, but many believers decide to refuse His invitation through many stupid excuses. God then considers such believers as unworthy to enter the Marriage Supper or the Kingdom of Heaven. (Mt. 22:2-8) God does not decide for them, they decide themselves!
It also applies for the opening of our heart to the Lord Who says: “IF any man… open the door, I will come in”. (Rev. 3:20)
The Lord will never force His way into our heart. It is our personal and conscious decision to invite the Lord into our heart. If we do not know how to open our heart or are unable, that is another matter. Once we decide and tell the Lord that He is welcomed in our heart, He will lead us how to do it and will enable us to do it. That then becomes “His problem” to solve. But He cannot and will not make that decision for us and will never invite Himself into our heart!
It is absolutely imperative for every believer to understand this important matter of our free will and also of the absolute necessity to make our decisions before God in our heart before God can act upon them. This is an absolutely unchangeable principle established by God.
Two typical examples are in Deut. 30:19 and in 1Cor. 14:32. Here, prophesying can only be done in the Spirit of the Lord through the spirits of the prophets. Their spirits are subject to them, to their own free will. Without their own free decision to speak, they would not prophesy though they might have received Words directly from God.
Let us now examine some important issues concerning our will and the above principal facts.
1. Our old will always tries to satisfy our own self in all situations, conditions and circumstances. Even if we try to satisfy someone else, it is because of our own satisfaction in doing so. This is the natural state and character of our old will and we have no intentions to change it in any way.
2. If we are facing situations where we have to decide against our satisfaction, then we have to be “talked into it” or “forced” to do it depending on the seriousness of such a situation and on the degree of deviation from our “original” satisfaction, original planning. But we are willing to deviate only to the “degree of the force used in the argument”. The decision of our will is thus made under the pressure of possible consequences.
We decide to “move the line of our satisfaction” to a new position where we could say – well, it is still all right, it could have been much worse. But we would not go any further. We are thus “satisfied” with our new decision since we had no better choice. This is our nature, the way of least resistance. If we realize that these things are happening quite often in our earthly life, then it should be easy to translate these facts into our “religious life” as well.
3. Having considered the above two points, it should now be much easier for us to understand what the Lord is doing with us when He says:
“God has been working in us that we would be willing to do His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13, paraphrased)
Clearly, the Lord has been working in our will and we may have never been aware of it or noticed it in any way! But the Lord has been employing the same principle, which is given to us in the above point. To achieve in us any willingness to do His pleasure, His satisfaction, which is often quite different than ours, the Lord had to create pressures and problems for us. These would “move the line of our satisfaction” to a new position where the pressures would cease, the problems would be solved and the consequences would be acceptable for us. (Jon. 2:1,2 + many Psalms)
We usually only see, feel and understand the problems, pressures and the associated pain, suffering or displeasure. We do not see the Lord’s hand behind these events. It thus appears absolutely necessary for the Lord to cause us some pain, suffering, pressure, or displeasure so that we would be…
Let me insert here a brief but very practical paragraph concerning the above point 3. and some of the ministers on TBN channels previously mentioned.
Is it possible that T.D.Jakes, R.Parsley or others on TBN channels would stop screaming and sweating or running on stages and change their ministry? Is it possible that J. Duplantis would stop mixing the Gospel with fun, jokes and mundane talk? Is it possible that the ladies would stop their preaching? Or that J. Bynum would hear the Lord’s admonition and stop screaming her head off and stop her religious hysteria, which brings nothing but shame to Him? Is it possible that other ministers would also change their ministry after reading the above assessment and judgment of the Lord in this book? Is it really? Under the current circumstances, I say: NO! Why?
First, they are unable to believe that their ministry is not acceptable to the Lord and that His Spirit has nothing to do with it and cannot bless it or make it fruitful! They are unable to believe it because they do not see it. They only see the outward picture, people (at times multitudes) listening and enjoying their sermons. They neither see the spiritual picture, nor themselves. The Lord has to show them first their own selves!
Therefore, the Lord leads me to pray the following:
i ask You, Lord Jesus Christ, to show to all those mentioned above the true picture of themselves and Your Judgments, that they may see themselves and also what they do! And whosoever shall receive Your Truth and your Judgment, bless that soul and prepare him for Your coming. I pray for your sake and for the sake of Your Church. Amen.
Second, even if the Lord shows them the true picture and His Judgments, it will take their decision to change, to ask the Lord to help them change because they can’t do it of their own power. Will they be willing to open their heart and receive these Truths and Judgments and start (slowly) changing? It depends on whether they belong to Is. 6:9,10 or not! And they all should also read Ez. 3:20,21 and understand why these passages of the Bible are written.
But this is only a small example of the practical Christianity, of our Salvation and how the Spirit of the Lord has been executing it in our earthly lives from the start of our Redemption.
4. The result or fruit of the above is something to be considered and cherished. Every time our will decides to do His pleasure, His satisfaction, the Lord accomplishes some change, some renewal in our heart (here a little, there a little). But this “little” work is eternal, which is to say, permanent! This means, that we will not have to “be forced or pressured” again to do the same thing in the future. Our heart and will are now able to act and decide spontaneously in this area – without pressure or pain.
Thus our problems and pressures are not an everlasting merry-go-round, as it is for pagans. The problems, pressures, pain, suffering, at times even dangerous or hopeless situations and other numberless things arranged for us by the Lord work together for our good! (Rom. 8:28) We keep moving and our will and heart keep deciding for the Lord and for His Will, which is His pleasure. That is the “secret” of our spiritual progress, growth, maturing. It is also the “secret” of our temporary suffering, pain, problems, displeasure, discontent.
5. There may be many Christians who question God, where He is or where He was when this or that happened. How could He allow this or that. How can a loving God allow some terrible sickness to fall on our loved one, how can He look at such and such injustice, evil or other thing?
Let me say this very emphatically: God allows men to do their free will, which may cause horrible consequences! God never sends sicknesses on men, men bring it all on themselves. Men decide by their free will to begin destroying their bodies and souls right from their young age. They smoke, drink, eat anything that lands on their plate, exhaust themselves or bring themselves to horrible situations. In their own foolishness and stubbornness, they crawl into dangerous situations where they even risk their lives or serious injuries.
Is it not written that “whatsoever a man sows, that he shall also reap.”? (Gal. 6:7) Then, why do many Christians accuse God or even question Him when they are harvesting exactly what they sowed? It is dangerous to accuse God of such things, which He would never do. If they would allow the Lord to enter their heart and would start fellowshipping with Him and knowing Him, they would discover the truth how good God is, what He does and what He never does.
6. Let us consider an “obscure” Word of God which says: “Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin.” (Jam. 4:17)
Somehow I believe that none of us has ever imagined the true depth and meaning of this little verse. I will give my faith and understanding of this Word of God to the depth that, so far, I have been able to see myself hoping that it may be beneficial to the readers.
The very first application of this Word is in “doing good and communicating". (Heb. 13:16) If I am supposed to communicate with someone, return a call, reply to a letter, etc., and I do not do it though I could, I am not doing the good, which is expected and required from me by the Word of God, and which I could do, if I wanted. In the eyes of God, I hereby sin… against Him and the other person!
If the Lord gives me truth about some situation or person, which is needed at His appropriate time and I keep it “secret” within myself and do not declare it, I hereby sin! I may decide in my heart to keep it secret for different reasons, for example, to preserve my image, to keep my friend or family member from embarrassment, to gain a kind of advantage for myself, etc. If I know the truth about myself, my actions, deeds, failures, damages done, etc., and I am asked about it in the Body of Christ and do not speak the truth, I am an hypocrite, I do not do good to the Body, which I could do, then I hereby sin! Whenever I go against the voice of my conscience, I refuse to do what I know is “good or needful and truthful” at that time, then I hereby sin!
Have you ever thought about such applications of this “little” Word of God? How many times we have thus sinned against God and against our brethren, friends or against one another?
7. Finally, I would like to conclude this paragraph with another unusual but important fact. Many believers might find themselves in a situation where they “know” in their conscience and would like to open their heart to the Lord but are somehow unable to decide to do so! It may be that their will is bound or oppressed or even paralysed by the powers of darkness. Let us never forget that whenever we desire to do something for the Lord or for His pleasure, these bastardly powers of evil are always there and would do anything to prevent us from doing it – especially allow the Lord into our heart to destroy their kingdom there. Do you have such experiences?
The solution is that we may have to ask the Lord to strengthen our will so that it may decide for Him and also to enable us to open our heart to Him. The Lord answers even the most feeble whisper of our heart toward Him.
It should be abundantly clear from the above that…
Because of its enormous importance, I want to bring to your attention one fact, which should belong to the chapter “The true depth of deception”, but I kept it purposely for this place to show how our will and heart interact in this decision and how they can “fool” us all. From my own experience, I can tell you that our heart is quite able to show that it is indeed “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” (Jer. 17:9)
Man may repent in tears and promise that he desires to follow the Lord with all his heart. That man may start performing much better and we may all be satisfied. The truth is that it may be his mind that decided to do better and not his heart! Few weeks or months later, he displays the same spirits that were in his heart before his repentance. He then repeats his repentance with the same promises and decisions. He again improves his work, diligence, care, etc. Few weeks or months later, he is found back in his spiritual pit. No wonder the Lord told us clearly that we shall know them by their fruits. (Mt. 7:16-20) His fruit is bad!
The heart first deceives its owner and through him also everybody else.
Therefore, the Word also clearly declares that “he that trusts in his own heart is a fool”. (Pr. 28:26)
It may take quite a long time and repeated repentances and efforts to “come to the Lord” before the Lord shows us the actual and true problem with our heart and will. The first attempts to repent and change are usually plagued with self-pity and all the “foxy moves” of the old man trying to “make a deal” with the Lord or with the brethren. But everyone who persists will see the final and very good fruit from the Lord’s Spirit.
The Lord thus cannot help them to abandon their old life and ways (the broad way), their old nature, which can never inherit the Kingdom of Heaven and can never enter the New Jerusalem. Multitudes of believers are unwilling even to ponder these spiritual facts and admit that they are not sure how the Lord views their walk, their religion and how He judges their works and fruit. I know from my own experience that to open our heart is not easy, but it is essential for our continued Salvation. The Lord knows this and understands, and is ready to help us and enable us!
If you are not on the narrow way, then you are on the broad way, there are no other ways. And the broad way, where many believers are walking, leads to destruction. It is not my personal opinion, it is the Word of God. (Mt. 7:13, 14) When the Lord says “...many there be which go…”, He is not addressing pagans! The notion that all believers walk on the narrow way and all pagans on the broad way is a lie from hell! If this were true, the Lord would have never urged His believers to strive to enter in at the straight gate! (Lk. 13:24) Is this true?
Hence, when we believe and are redeemed, baptized and thus sanctified in Christ Jesus, we are not saints yet! we are righteous and called to be saints. (Rom. 1:7// 1Cor. 1:2) We are not set on the narrow way, we must seek and find it! (Mt. 7:7,8,14) If we do not seek it, we will never find it and will continue walking on the broad way! Hence, the “many” means born-again believers who, though they have the Heavenly Father, they are still evil (Mt. 7:11) or are not yet His sons and daughters. (2Cor. 6:17,18) I desire to say to the “many believers” on the broad way this word:
a) If you would consciously and definitely know that you walk on the road leading to your destruction, would you continue walking on it? I believe you would stop. It is entirely possible that you may be walking on the broad way and not be aware of it at all! Please, be not surprised that you may be deceived in this very important fact of your life and destiny. Deception is a very potent weapon in the arsenal of our enemy, the devil. Satan will tell those walking to destruction: “You are just fine, do not listen to anyone telling you otherwise or criticizing you or judging you… you are doing your best”. And to those walking on the narrow way, pressing, suffering, wrestling, he will say: “You are not doing well, you will never make it; the Lord is not satisfied with you otherwise He would not punish you and let you suffer like this. Abandon your way and do what all the others do.”
I repeat, the Lord says clearly: “Strive to enter in at the straight gate; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” (see Lk. 13:24-27)
When the Lord says STRIVE, is He talking to pagans? What do you believe in your heart? So, Satan would again “conveniently forget” the Word of God in order to deceive you and you would have no clue that he is deceiving you, just as Eve had no clue in the Garden of Eden.
Those that do walk on the narrow way understand the above very well. Those walking on the broad way cannot understand or see this truth. They must turn to the Lord and ask Him to show them where they walk. They must then decide to leave that broad way and begin to find the narrow way with the Lord’s help. But how will they do this important step in their Christian life when nobody tells them anything about it? My question is: Who preaches and explains this truth in the light of the Scripture? Who cares and is responsible before the Lord for those souls, if not their shepherds?
b) How do you know on which way you are walking? You must have a testimony in your conscience and in your heart that you walk on the narrow way with the signs and fruit following! If you do not have it, then you are walking on the broad way. It is that simple.
Nobody walks on the narrow way without being conscious of it! Nobody walks on the narrow way breaking or ignoring the Word of God and not being made conscious of it by the Holy Spirit! Nobody walks on the narrow way without growing up and being changed in his life, faith and deeds. Nobody starts walking on the narrow way by accident, without deciding for the Lord – to do His Will and not his/her own. (Mt. 26:39) It never happens to you “somehow”. You never drift to the narrow way, you must find it.
Nobody is saved by “accident”, without being conscious of it. Nobody is pleasing the Lord without being conscious of it, without having a testimony in his heart, which is the Lord’s “stamp” of approval. Our own pleasant feelings, assumptions or hopes are insufficient. Nobody walks on the narrow way without producing any fruit of the Spirit! Do you have at least some fruit of His Spirit? How do you recognize your fruit? Does it correspond to the description in the Word of God? (Gal. 5:22,23)
* * *
I am at this point constrained by the Spirit of the Lord to declare the following important truth.
We have our own human love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, beliefs, meekness, temperance. We may have any or all nine of them. But they are NOT the fruit of the Spirit! They are part of our natural creation, part of our carnal soul, hence, they are soulish and not spiritual. The fruit of the Spirit is spiritual.
There are pagans who might display human gentleness, goodness, humbleness, generosity or other human virtues, yet, the Lord’s Spirit has never produced any of His fruit in any pagan. Also, there may be many pagans who display a far greater human virtues or talents than many Christians! True? How can we tell the difference?
Well, our own soulish qualities and “virtues” are very shallow, short-lived and greatly limited. Our own love, joy or peace are able to disappear very fast whenever the conditions for their existence disappear. The same goes for our goodness or gentleness or temperance or any other soulish virtue.
The very first problem that may “hit you” after leaving your blessed church service could, in seconds, rob you of all your peace and joy that you enjoyed at the service! Your good friend whom you respected and loved deeply may one day tell you that you are self-righteous or proud or envious or that you live in some sin. Your “deep love and respect” for him might disappear in no time. Or someone may do an injustice to you, to your loved one or your friend and your temperance could leave you in a flash.
Just ponder these few examples from your everyday life and imagine: If the Lord would love us with this kind of love, if His patience would have such a “short fuse”, we would not even be saved today! The reality is that the Lord always acted toward us kindly and through His Spirit. Even His work in us after our Redemption is being done through the same fruit of His Spirit and that is why it is bearable though it may be painful at times. But I believe that it is always far more painful for Him than for us.
Do we not know, do we not have our own experience that the best medicine is the most bitter one? So, they sugar coat the pills so that we might be able to swallow them. The bitter spiritual truth is also sugar coated with His Love and Grace so we can “swallow” that truth by believing it in our heart. And that truth, once it gets inside of our heart, shall make us free from the darkness, wickedness and other evil in our heart. (Jn. 8:32) It will definitely and permanently cure us and uproot in our heart all the bitter and evil plants that kept spoiling our life and the life of all those around us.
The above spiritual realities also point to another fact. If our ministry is to be successful and fruitful before the Lord (not necessarily before men), it must primarily be done through the fruit of His Spirit and not just through our soulish virtues and biblically educated intellect. It must not be done through endless persuasions, reasoning, debates, questioning, doubting, feelings or the like while even a basic kindness, openness, wisdom, faith and grace may be missing. That is why an uncrucified minister of God will achieve very little in terms of spiritual values, in spiritual progress, growth and maturing of believers.
Toward man, we have to be meek, graceful, patient, kind and understanding. Toward hell in man, we must be authoritative, uncompromising, unyielding even forceful and violent (in words) whenever necessary. It all depends who is addressing you, man or the hell in him. For that we need the true discernment from the Lord. Do you see this spiritual reality? If you do not, the Lord can enable you to see even this reality.
The Lord Himself was dealing differently with different people. With ordinary people who might have been misled, deceived or otherwise ignorant of the truth, He spoke graciously (ex. Jn. 8:10,11). With the hell in Pharisees and Scribes, He spoke harshly, forcefully, impolitely, undiplomatically and did not mingle His Words. (ex.: Mt. chpt. 23)
* * *
THE WAY TO VICTORY
The first fact is that the victory does not come to us the way we expect or prefer. The darkness and death in our old soul cannot possibly predict what the new Life will do, how It will enable our soul to “live It”, how the Spirit of Life will express Himself through our soul.
The second fact is that we will have to learn – slowly and painfully – to start doing things we never did before and to stop doing some things we always did! Does this sound reasonable? Of course, it does. This is the way to abandon, deny, lose our old soul life and start gaining the new Life of Christ. (Mt. 16:24,25) This is a lifelong process and it never goes according to our expectations, prayers, wishes or logical explanations. Even our reasoning may be set aside and many of our former strong beliefs and persuasions may also need drastic revisions or modifications.
One big problem is that we cannot just “walk away” from our old life, old character, old creation, old habits, old ways! Often, we must be “torn away” from it step-by-step by the power of the Holy Spirit, which may be painful and a totally unpleasant, impolite, “unchristian” action!
Another big problem is that whenever the Spirit leads us to practice Mt. 16:24,25, we do not start denying ourselves, we start defending ourselves! Have you ever observed this powerful feature of your character? Just try to “walk away from it” and you will experience its power. So, even after some years, we must never think or believe that “now we are perfected and can minister flawlessly”.
We all know how difficult it is to change any of our old habits and learn a new one. That includes the habit of how we conduct our ministry! While we were children, such a change was rather easy (especially seeing a belt in our father’s hand), but after being fifty, or so, it is a “pain in the neck”. Fortunately, this effort is not to be all ours and we are not the only ones trying such impossible feats. Let us remember that without the Lord we can do nothing! (Jn. 15:5) Also, we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. (2Cor. 13:8) And the Lord without us will also do nothing! It is both ways or no way. If we ask and seek, we shall receive and find. (Mt. 7:7,8)
The third fact is that in the process of this renewal and revival of our soul – during the walk on this narrow way – we will be progressively discovering two most important pillars of our future spiritual knowledge:
a) We will begin to know the Lord Himself, His mind, heart, thoughts, intentions, goodness, judgments; also His true love, patience, power, wisdom, grace and other beauty and virtues. It will not be just the knowledge about Him but of Himself!
b) We will also begin to discover and know ourself as we never knew ourself before and all the things we never thought were in our heart. I guarantee you that you do not (and cannot) know yourself before you start knowing the Lord. It is in the Light of His Personality that you can start seeing yourself. We need His Light to see ourself, even our sinfulness. We cannot see our true character and personality just because somebody tells us about it or we read a book (such as this one) or a letter written to us. We have to see, be aware and also hate our sin if we are to truly repent and be delivered and cleansed from it. We have to start seeing our heart before we could start opening it to the Lord.
After this discovery, we will also begin to see better why it must be “here a little and there a little” (Is. 28:10) and why the Lord cannot renew us and give us His Life in one “big bang” but that this process must be progressive and protracted.
The fourth fact is that whatever the Lord renews, recreates, revives in us, is an eternal, permanent work and can never disappear or be destroyed by any power. The Eternal Life, which the Spirit of the Lord brings into our spirit and soul can never die or be destroyed, hence, His work in us can never be destroyed either. However, it may happen from time to time that we will feel as if we had lost what the Lord had given us and we might even end up in despair. There are three possibilities here, which we should ponder and understand:
a) The Lord may choose to keep you unaware of His work in your heart in order that He may build a higher, stronger or purer faith in you. To teach you not to depend on your own heart (its feelings, emotions) or on your own mind (its thoughts, reasoning, understanding) but that you would stand on your existing faith (spiritual knowledge, understanding, vision in your conscience)! Also, you may be led to remember your previous experiences and work that the Lord had already done in you and which cannot just disappear “into thin air”, as we say.
b) The Lord may choose to keep you unaware of His work in you and prevent you from using (or misusing) it when you are found in a sinful situation, unrepented sins or rebellion, which means, unwillingness to stay His Course, His Plan, His Judgment. Let me underline at this point that here we are not talking about misusing the gifts of His Spirit, which is possible to do whereas misusing His Life is not possible to do.
c) There is a danger in the Scripture for born-again believers to lose their Salvation under certain conditions. Such believers may have been anointed by His Spirit for a ministry in His Church but they kept going their own way, did not carry out His commandments, did not keep His Word and feared people more than God. They never decided in their hearts to deny their will and do the Will of the Father. (Mt. 26:39// Lk. 22:42) The time may come when the Lord removes His Spirit from such believers (1Sam. 15:1-3,9-11,21,23; 16:14; 18:12) and they will not even have to be aware of it! Instead of a victory, they will end up in tragedy.
* * *
I am constrained by the Spirit of the One Lord of both Testaments to declare the following truth.
Every biblically educated believer knows that the men and events in the Old Testament also have a spiritual meaning and significance. And every man and woman of God in the Old Testament typifies someone or some spiritual principle in the New Testament.
Saul was the king of Israel anointed by the Lord and that through Samuel the prophet. (1Sam. 15:1) He typifies the rulers in Israel who feared people more than they feared the Lord or they did evil in His sight or did not carry out His Commandments (His Word) or did not enquire of Him, but enquired of flesh. Therefore, the Lord killed Saul and his three sons! (1Sam. 31:6// 1Chron. 10:13,14)
Saul typifies all those New Testament rulers and leaders of the Church who also fear people more than God, who do not enquire of God and do not obey His commandments, His Word! Saul and his people spared Agag, the king of Amalekites, and the best of their possessions and did not destroy them utterly as clearly commanded by God. (1Sam. 15:9)
A very brief picture summarizing this passage of the Old Testament is as follows. Amalek was the grandson of Esau, the father of Edomites (Gen. 36:9,12) whom the Lord hated. (Mal. 1:2,3// Rom. 9:13) Esau hated Jacob his brother and planned to slay him. (Gen. 27:41) Amalek was thus the enemy of Israel and fought Israel in Rephidim. (Ex. 17:8) He who defeated the Amalekites was Joshua and he brought Israel into the Promised Land. (Ex. 17:10-14) The Amalekites “laid wait for Israel in the way when they came up from Egypt” and were headed for their Promised Land. (1Sam. 15:2).
Today, the Amalekites represent the spiritual enemies of the chosen people of God – the Church – and they “lay wait” for them as they come up from their “Egypt through the Red Sea”, which is their Salvation and head toward their Promised Land, which is the Kingdom of Heaven! These “spiritual Amalekites” are the powers of evil and darkness who take a stand against them and against their “going on unto perfection” (Heb. 6:1) and entering the Kingdom of Heaven. These spiritual powers of evil were in Pharisees and are also today in the believers and ministers with pharisaic hearts. (Mt. 23:13)
Therefore, the Lord commands the rulers and leaders of His Church whom He anointed to also fight and utterly destroy these powers which oppose all those believers who decided to keep walking to their perfection and to the Kingdom of Heaven! The Lord had also sworn that He will have “war with Amalek” (his forces) from generation to generation, which means, to the end of the age until they are utterly destroyed. (Ex. 17:16)
Hence, all those rulers and leaders in the Church who refuse to fight these powers and to lead their people to also fight them and keep destroying them, will be in grave danger. The Lord may one day “kill” them and their sons (killing means separating them from His Presence).
And as Saul did not know what was waiting for him and for his three sons, so also these leaders of the Church do not know what is waiting for them, and for their families – unless they pause and seek the truth from the Lord – and repent and change their ways… if it is not too late!
Saul admitted he sinned and asked for pardon, but it was too late, for the Lord rejected him to be king over Israel! (1Sam. 15:24-26) If you have a heart to see and understand this both in the spiritual world and in today’s Church, then see and understand.
* * *
The fifth fact is that the Lord may never choose for us a man, vessel, instrument, which we would choose and prefer. And if we do like that man from the beginning, later on he might “disappoint us” in speaking truth to us which might be ever more bitter than any time before. Whoever is “cutting” our heart, our feelings, whoever opposes our good reasons and many excellent excuses – that man is not welcomed in our life any more! Is that true? You may have your very own experiences even in this area. We never look at ourselves whether that bitter truth might be correct and applicable to us. No! We first look at our “tormentor” and try to find out everything unacceptable about him. This is our old human and filthy nature.
But this is exactly that devilish thing in us, which the Lord is cutting out of us that He may replace it with His Divine Nature. This takes a heart, which is unconditionally and truly after the Lord and is willing to suffer that little pain, pay that little price and continue unto his perfection.
The sixth fact is that only few believers find the narrow way, which leads to Life (Mt. 7:14), which means, to the Victory. Why? Because only few believers seek it! Those that seek, find (Mt. 7:8) and those that seek not, find not! But why do only few seek it? What is the true reason?
One reason is that this truth is never preached so believers are ignorant of this truth. The second reason why the majority of believers do not seek it even after being told is that they do not want to seek it… they do not want to change! But the Lord cannot help the unwilling. Their hearts refuse to seek the narrow way, the Kingdom (Mt. 6:33) as well as to seek the Lord. (Deut. 4:29// 2Chr. 15:2,12-15// Ps. 9:10; 22:26; 27:4// Acts. 15:14-17; 17:26,27, etc.)
I would like to quote at this place from the letter of brother Arthur Pink (page 16) written on September 5, 1933 to a man named Lowell Green :
“Now in Matthew 7:14 the Lord Jesus declares there are ‘few’ who find the narrow way which leads to life, and were I to tell you that these ‘few’ are much fewer than nearly all the Bible teachers, preachers and evangelists of this day believe, you might think I was too pessimistic. Again, in Luke 12:32, Christ declares that God’s ‘flock’ is a little one; and were I to tell you that it is probably much smaller than you now suppose, that there is a vast difference between the actual size of His flock and the totality of Christian workers and church-members, you might be far from agreeing with me.
But as your experience widens and you come into closer contact with, or have business dealings with church-members, you will find that all is not gold that glitters and that there are multitudes who call themselves Christians who have never passed from death to life spiritually – Proverbs 30:12. It is only as one comes to learn this personally, that one gradually discovers and discerns how empty and worthless is much of the zeal, toil and activity which is going on in the religious realm; that, after all, it is but the energy of the flesh with a coat of religious paint over it.”
(underlining and bold lettering is mine)
However unbelievable or illogical it may seem to be, but the truth is that the majority of believers has decided in their heart not to seek their own Life, Truth and Victory! According to my faith already expressed above, only two reasons may exist for such a tragic decision:
(a) they are deceived and nobody tells them anything,
(b) they love their old life and do not want to lose it.
If they are deceived, they have a chance here and now to receive the truth from the Scripture quoted and discussed also in this book. The Light of the Word will effectively and permanently destroy all their deception in this area.
If they love their old life, I have for them only one Word of God, namely, Mt. 16:25. Let them choose.
The seventh fact is that there are three types of success, three types or degrees of victory that may be distinguishable in the life of believers:
a) The first victory is in the fact, that believers may study the Word of God diligently and sometimes acquire very extensive and excellent intellectual knowledge of the Word of God. They are then able to teach it, preach it, discuss it or argue about it intelligently and persuasively, yet, remain on the intellectual level and have no spiritual discernment. They cannot distinguish spirit from soul, spiritual life from spiritual death. They have no sensitivity for the Spirit of God, for His voice or guidance. They have none of His spiritual senses working in their lives, chiefly an eye to see, ear to hear and heart to understand. This is an “intellectual victory” and though it is a desirable stepping stone for the next 2 victories, it is still useless in itself, inadequate and cannot produce spiritual fruit of any kind.
Unfortunately, most believers do not achieve even this first success or degree of victory. Most ministers of the Word of God, who have achieved this first victory, do not have it in their heart to go on to achieve the second and third victory!
b) The second victory which the Spirit leads us to is to acquire the spiritual knowledge where we see and understand the breadth and length and depth and height of the Word, which we never saw or understood with all our intellectual knowledge. We also begin to acquire the knowledge of the Lord Himself since He and His Word are One. This comes when we learn obedience by the things we have to suffer (Heb. 5:8), when we are subjected to Him and His Word with the necessary seriousness and have a true fear of the Lord; when our basic pride, arrogance and selfishness is at least reduced sufficiently to permit this kind of spiritual understanding.
Then we begin to see our selves in the Light of the Lord! We begin to see and understand in our own heart that all our intellectual knowledge is insufficient and does not constitute our salvation! That our ways and deeds are not all clean, wise and marvellous… as we believed before we saw ourselves. That the Lord weighs, judges our spirits and not our knowledge. (Pr. 16:2)
c) The third and final victory, which is the most precious in the sight of the Lord is the victory in overcoming our old man, old character, old self and in putting on the Character of Christ, in acquiring His love, meekness, lowliness of heart, grace, mercy, forgiveness, patience, wisdom and longsuffering. This far surpasses all the knowledge and understanding that we may have ever acquired in our life and all the good deeds and activities that we may have ever done or undertaken in our entire earthly life.
The eighth fact is that nothing in this world is perfect and nothing goes as we expect it! Our best, most desired, most noble or perfect wishes, plans, intentions or expectations do not come true, and if some do, it may be a pure miracle. Equally, neither in the Church, nor in our Christian life anything is or ever will be perfect except for the Spirit of Our Lord and His work within us.
Hence, the conclusion to this section “The Way to Victory” is rather simple. What we have done or gained in this physical world is not truly important and it is not our true victory. (2Pet. 3:10-12)
What we have done and gained in the spiritual world, that is judged as our true Victory in the eyes of Our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rev. 12:11)
THE TRUE MEANING OF THE CROSS
I will take the risk of repeating some statements or quotes concerning this extremely important subject of our Christian lives. I will try, again, to present a practical side of this subject as well as my experiences rather than just quote verses of the Scripture, which may be quite well known though in a rather narrow and shallow way.
Every believer believes and knows quite well that the Saviour died on the Cross so that our sins may be forgiven us and we may thus be reconciled to Our Father, Who is in Heaven. (Eph. 1:7// Col. 1:14// Rom. 5:10// 2Cor. 5:18, etc.) So then, the only thing such believers need is to join some church, some congregation and sit there, hear sermons, pray, play music, sing, give offerings, read the Bible or join in some other church activities. As I already declared, there is nothing wrong with any of these activities… but there is everything wrong with making them the aim of our life!
This is a true tragedy because believers miss the true meaning of the Cross and Salvation and with it the true aim, desire and Will of God, Our Father, Who planned the Cross of Our Lord and also our cross in our Salvation.
The tragedy is that this limited faith and knowledge stops right there! It stops right at the very beginning of our Salvation. Why does it not go any further, deeper, higher? Why does it not encompass the Full Vision of God as revealed in the New Testament?
It seems that after we are redeemed, we are led by our leaders to the broad way where we are free to live our new religious life and enjoy our Salvation “as we like” and “as it suits us”. And we are quite content with that way because it is pleasant to our old soul and we see nothing wrong with it. As long as we “come to a church or work for the Lord”, all is well, we praise the Lord and feel good.
I see two kinds of born-again believers on the broad way (Mt. 7:13): (a) those that clearly enjoy it and have no intention to abandon it, and (b) those that may not enjoy it that much, or they are not satisfied at all. It takes time for both these groups to start experiencing the fruit of their walking along the wrong way. To those that do not seek truth and have no intention to seek it, the Lord will not grant truth. The Lord will cause you to find when you seek… because the Word of God is not a theory, you see, It applies to your life. (Mt. 7:7)
Those that are content with their “misery” and do not ask or seek the truth concerning their misery and the way out, the Lord will let them “enjoy” their misery for as long as their heart may wish… until they are “fed-up” with themselves! And if their heart would never desire to get out of their misery, they will never get out! Yet, the Lord has provided the way out of all misery, deception, destruction, evil and death for every one of us – but we have to seek it! And the way out is through our own cross! Every other way leads to our destruction. Are you truly registering this truth in your hearts?
I am not asking you how do you feel (you may feel terrible). I am asking you whether you believe what God says in His Holy and Eternal Word, or not? And if you do not believe, is it because you did not know it before? In that case, keep reading, the Lord will show you the necessary truth what you need at this time of your life.
For those that will not believe this Word of God, feel free to stop reading and throw this book to the garbage. One day you might find it there again as you will walk through it. But then, you should also cut out of your Bible Mt. 3:10; 16:24,25; Mk. 8:34,35; Lk. 9:23,24; 13:6-9; 2Cor. 7:1; Gal. 5:24; Heb. 6:1-6; Rev. 3:5; 22:19// 1Jn. 5:16 and many more passages and also throw them to the same garbage! Furthermore,…
Let us come back to our main topic and try to answer why many of our leaders have not led us to the narrow way.
I believe the reason are the powers of evil, death and darkness, which are “bodyguards of lies” trying to guard the secret of the whole truth of the Cross – its true meaning and true victory! By keeping the whole truth from the believers, the evil powers thus prevent them from being “fully saved” and matured into sons and daughters of their Father. Believers thus remain spiritual children and keep their carnal souls for the rest of their earthly lives. But children never go to war because they love their own lives and thus have no word of their testimony! Therefore…
* * *
I am constrained by the Spirit of the Lord to destroy at this place a very deep deception of the devil and the consequential false doctrines or beliefs propagated in the churches of Jesus Christ world-wide by many leaders. Ponder the following:
a) Every believer is under the precious Blood of the Lamb and is covered and protected from being destroyed by the powers of hell. Hell cannot prevail over any believer (Mt. 16:18) provided that that believer will remain under that blood! It is possible for any believer not to abide under the blood just as it is possible for him not to abide in Christ! The Lord says very clearly: “IF you abide in Me and My Words abide in you…” (Jn. 15:7) That is to say, the Word of God must dwell and live in that believer.
b) The fact that hell cannot prevail over a believer does not mean that the believer can prevail over hell! While he is a spiritual child, he is “holding his mother’s skirt”, is protected but cannot overcome the Devil. To do that, in addition to the Blood of the Lamb, he needs a strong spirit, the word of his own testimony and he must not love his (old) life even unto death! (Rev. 12:11// 1Jn. 2:14)
The word of our testimony is not about being covered by the Blood of the Lamb! Satan knows this fact. It is the word of our New Soul about the defeat of Satan in our old soul on our own cross! Our Old Soul has no word of any testimony, which would overcome Satan! Please note, that the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony are two separate facts in Rev. 12:11.
I am sorry to say that many evangelists, preachers or other ministers are plainly deceived in this vital question! Furthermore, with this deception, the powers of death still retain the chance to get some of the believers back. It is but deception and closed hearts, which bring pagans to their final destruction. True? It is nothing but deception and closed hearts, which may take such believers out of the Book of Life and into the same destruction! (Rev. 3:5; 20:15; 22:19!)
There are probably many books written on this subject and I have read some of them. What leads me to write on this subject again are my experiences, which speak loud and clear that the Cross, Desire and the True Will of Our God and Father have not been preached, understood and experienced by multitudes of believers. There lurks a very great danger especially for the believers with stony and closed hearts who are “eternally unwilling” to change, grow up, get rid of their old, sinful nature, which is absolutely abhorrent to Our God and will be definitely destroyed by Him in His perfect timing.
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So, what about the Cross of Jesus Christ?
Is there something more than what we have always known and believed? Let us ponder this question in greater depth, breadth, width and height. I believe the Lord can enable us to grasp a much greater picture of His Cross and Glory.
1. Yes, all our sins, past, present and future, are under the Blood of Christ. Yes, we obtained the forgiveness of our past sins and were reconciled to Our Father. No, our present sins, which we commit now and are aware of are not forgiven us automatically – just because we were redeemed or baptized in water or in the Holy Spirit! I repeat, all our sins are atoned for by the Blood of Christ, but not all are forgiven until a confession and repentance is made by the believer when the Spirit shows the sins to his conscience, either directly or through others.
“IF we (born-again believers) confess our sins (which the Spirit shows us in our conscience), He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1Jn. 1:9)
These may include sins, which we have committed after our Redemption and never confessed or repented of. If we do not confess such sins, they shall not be forgiven us. Has this been clearly preached? Not in my experience. And there is more to be said about our past sins, which we had committed against men and not “directly” against God (see two excellent books by brother John Adejoro-Oluwa).
Furthermore, if we do not forgive men their sin or trespass against us, neither will Our Father forgive our sins or trespasses against others. (Mt. 6:15; 18:35)
Furthermore, it is also clearly written:
“if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1Jn. 1:8) Wow.
This Word also means: “If we say we have no hell in our soul, we deceive ourselves”, because sin is born or originates in hell, sinful nature is hellish nature. Why are we scared to talk about this fact? Does it hurt our image? It does! Does it shock us? It does! Does it contradict our firm persuasions and beliefs that we are already holy, righteous and fully sanctified? It does! (Rev. 22:11)
* * *
I am again constrained by the Spirit of the Lord to share with you at least briefly a very important spiritual fact, which affects all of us because we all have sinned and keep sinning wherever our old man is not dead… wherever he rules.
When we repent of our sins, the Lord forgives. Also, the Lord forgets, but we do not! I do envy the Lord’s ability to forget and never remember whatever He chooses to forget. I would love to do likewise. Wouldn’t you? The result is that the memory of our sins may be “bothering us” for a long time. The same applies to the sins, trespasses or offences by others against us though we may have forgiven them! The hell keeps dragging us back to our past by all available means especially using our memory! True?
So, how do we overcome this problem? We know that the Lord will not erase our memory because we repent to Him. It does not work with us as with our computers where we erase anything and never see it again. Here the Lord gives us a different weapon than forgetfulness. After our true repentance, He grants us faith and keeps building it up in us, which faith shows us how we are before Him, how He looks at us. In this light, any sinful memories lose their power and influence over us even if they keep appearing for a while. Then they fade away as an old picture, which you stored in the attic of your house. It starts gathering dust and you will not remember it any more… unless you purposely keep going to your attic.
Another effective weapon in our hands or rather heart is the fact that you can look straight into the devil’s face and tell him that he is ultimately responsible for all your sins and trespasses and weaknesses and sicknesses and all that! He brought sin and destruction to all this beautiful Creation of God, for he is the destroyer. (1Cor. 10:10) You are free to accuse him even before the Throne of God… because he cannot bear this truth. This should be a part of your faith, which will permanently shield you from his accusations.
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Now, what does the truth in 1Jn. 1:9 also indicate? I believe that it proves the fact that though there is forgiveness of sins flowing from the Cross of Jesus Christ, yet…
It may seem that the Cross of Jesus Christ has not truly given us the final victory over sin. Right? Well, let us explore with an open heart this extremely important truth of God on which depends our very life. Let us declare the most important truth about the Cross of Jesus Christ.
2. The most important truth about the Cross, which I have never heard preached to me or to any of my brethren during my “church years” is the following:
There is absolutely nothing from the Old Creation that can get behind or beyond the Cross and exist! Nothing! None of us can get beyond the Cross or try to bypass It while living, without dying to ourselves! That is absolutely impossible. (2Tim. 2:11,12) It is equally impossible for anyone of us to go beyond the Cross and keep sinning! (We will touch this subject later on.)
There is absolutely no man who can receive Christ’s Life unless he dies on his own cross! Not one. Even Enoch and Elijah died to their old life on “their crosses” before they could “walk with God” and be anointed and taken to Heaven. (Gen. 5:24// 2Ki. 2:11)
No “old man” ever walked with God or was anointed and taken up! Do you believe this simple fact? So, each of us has his own cross (Mt. 16:24) and the Holy Spirit in us is leading us to take up our cross – just as He led Jesus to take up His Cross. (Mt. 26:39-46) The Lord has prepared for us a real shock. Please, read this very carefully…
I beg you to re-read the above Word of God ten times and begin to see the depth of deception in which we all have been submerged. Our life depends on this clear Truth! Of course, there is a big difference between the Cross of Our Lord and our small crosses. The difference is in the type of death we are to die and also in the process of dying, which is totally different from that of Our Lord.
3. God’s answer to our continued sinning (frame on p. 114) and to our Full Salvation is – our cross! If we should in truth consider the Word of God (ex. Mt. 16:24,25// Mk. 8:34,35; 10:17,21// Lk. 9:23,24// Jn. 12:25,26) then we would have to make the following conclusion as truth:
In the above verses, Our Lord tells us plainly this fact: IF anyone of us desires to follow Him and inherit the Life Eternal, he must choose with his free will and faith to deny himself and take up his cross and follow Him. (Mt. 16:24,25) These are direct Words of Our Lord, which I have never heard preached or explained to me in any true and living way! So, if we do not take our cross and deny ourselves, we cannot and will not follow the Lord! True?
How can we then end up at the same place where He is going? Can you tell me? (1Pet. 2:21) And if we do not go where the Lord is going, then where on earth are we going? Did the Lord give us another destination? In fact, He did: outer darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth… somewhat different from the Kingdom of Heaven. (Mt. 8:12; 13:41,42,50; 22:11-14; 24:50,51, etc.) If we desire by our free will and conscience to be resurrected and receive the Life Eternal – then we must by the same free will and conscience decide to die first! True? No living man was ever resurrected. Listen, please, without any prejudice…
We cannot possess and live two lives simultaneously – one Divine and Holy and one sinful and filthy. True? Our old sinful and filthy life will not be taken from us by force or without our conscious consent. Even our physical death will not take the old sinful and filthy life of our soul away from us! If you can’t believe this fact, please, continue reading.
At the Rapture of the Church, Apostle Paul talks about our body, flesh and blood, and not about our soul! He talks about how “…this mortal must put on immortality.” (1Cor. 15:50,53) This is our body. Our soul (sinful soul is called a worm by the Lord) cannot die, cannot put on immortality because our soul is immortal! (Mk. 9:41-44,46,48) So, at your resurrection, at your rapture you might have your immortal body – and a filthy soul! Is it possible? Well, have you never read or heard the words of Our Lord saying: “…for the hour is coming, in the which ALL that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good (the Will of their Father), unto the resurrection of Life; and they that have done evil (their own will, iniquities), unto the resurrection of damnation.”? (Jn. 5:28,29)
Is it not clear from this Word of God that man may be damned with his resurrected and immortal body? Pagans will also be resurrected with an immortal body, otherwise, they could not suffer eternally in the lake of fire! (Rev. 20:10,15) Do you believe this?
Let me share with you another truth. Redeemed people have the Tree of Life in their spirit and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in their soul! Most of them keep eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thereby increasing their spiritual death – separation from the Tree of Life. They never eat from the Tree of Life, which is the Lord Himself. (Jn. 14:6; 5:39-40) And at least some of them try to eat from both these trees at the same time! They probably never read or understood Gen. 3:22-24. The simple conclusion is: choose one tree and with it you will choose your future life or future death.
Before I conclude this point, I must declare to all the believers in Christ Jesus that “he that does not take his (own) cross and follows after Me (Christ) is not worthy of Me.” (Mt. 10:38)
If we refuse to take our own cross and follow Him, His Spirit, His Word, then we do not deserve Christ and to be with Him in the Kingdom of Heaven or in the New Jerusalem. This is not brother Hanola speaking, it is Christ the Lord speaking to us all with His own mouth!
Can you truly meditate on the above facts at least for your own sake? The Lord is able to confirm His Word in your own heart, conscience and spirit… if you are willing to hear and follow that truth.
4. There is absolutely no one who will enter the New Jerusalem who never died on his cross, which also means, never followed the Lord! Because “there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defiles, neither whatsoever works abomination, or makes a lie; but they which (have overcome and) are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Rev. 21: 27)
Everything in our old creation, old nature is defiled and is an abomination and is false and a lie and there is no holiness or truth in it. Everyone who dies on his cross is also called “Overcomer”. It is a clear principle of God that every one must overcome. The Lord has given promises only to those that overcome. (Rev. 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12, 21, the only promise to non-Overcomers is in Rev. 2:11 and 3:5)
Those that will keep refusing to overcome shall be blotted out of the Book of Life and shall not enter into the New Jerusalem – because by their own will they refused to do the Will of their Father! (Rev. 21:7) It is a terribly bitter truth to us and to our old nature and all hell has been vehemently opposing it and covering it! However, every believer has his specific overcoming to do and his specific narrow way to take. Even the hearts, which are “good ground” bring different harvests. (Mt. 13:8) And with some believers, the Lord shortens their overcoming by not putting on them other burdens and tells them:
“But that which ye have already (overcome) hold fast till I come.” (Rev. 2:24b,25)
“Holding fast” is also a kind of overcoming, which is overcoming the forces that desire to take it from us. Is it not true? (Rev. 3:11) But every believer must carry his burden, overcome his self and walk the road set before him. This is the minimum condition set by the Father and all hell will vehemently try to keep the believer from fulfilling it.
The truth about losing one’s Salvation is a very real one and I believe that there are already believers today who have lost their Salvation or are “close to the edge”. They may not be easily recognized and they might not be aware of their own situation and destiny. It might be so because nobody tells them and nobody warns them. Shame on us!
This is a greater tragedy than the perishing of pagans because the latter end of such believers is worse than the beginning. They may be bringing more shame to the Lord and to His whole Church than pagans and because of such, “the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” (2Pet. 2:1,2)
“But it has happened unto them according to the true proverb, the dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” (2Pet. 2:22) The Lord compares such believers to dogs and swines! May the Lord have mercy on us all.
5. We must see, believe and realize that taking our cross and denying ourselves is not an optional way for us to survive! There is no other way to survive!
You will either decide and ask God to destroy in you what God hates and condemned, or you decide to keep it and perish with it because it will be surely destroyed. No dead man has ever come back from the dead and told us where he ended up and whether he is in torment, or not. I now talk about believers. And even if someone would come up from the dead and tell us, we would still not believe him! (Lk. 16:22-31)
The reality is that people, in general, including multitudes of believers have no assurance where they are going even at their very last breath! They may have hope, human belief or a wish, but they may have no assurance from the Lord. And when they appear on the “other side”, it is too late to return to the earth or change their new “habitation” even though it is a temporary one and it will, again, change after the Last Judgment.
It seems that the people who keep refusing to believe what God is telling them plainly in His Word and through His true servants and who keep closing their ears to hear and their heart to understand, are those that are “happily committing suicide”. God will not do anything more for the people who by their free will have decided not to listen, not to see, not to ponder, not to meditate, not to understand and not to believe.
His saving Grace is for those that believe, are open to His Word and willing to listen, ponder, meditate, admit and seek. They may be struggling, suffering, battling, under great pressures, even bleeding… but the Lord will make sure that they all will make it to the Kingdom – and will give them His Assurance abundantly. (2Pet. 1:10,11)
I thank the Lord for His Assurance. I know where I am going and that is not because of any qualities that may be in me. Not at all. But for the past 36 years, my heart has been continually open to Him, to His Word, to His Judgments, to His Ways and focused on Him. I not only study and preach His Word, not only believe His Word, I am being enabled to live His Word. No man can live His Word in his old nature though he may know the Bible from cover to cover.
Apostle Paul said: “I die daily (to my old nature)” (1Cor. 15:31)
For him this was not a doctrine but his living experience. Similarly, I lay hold on the Divine Life of Christ as I fight the fight of faith and die to my old life – here a little and there a little. (1Tim. 6:12,18,19// Pr. 3:13,18// Is. 28:10) This is the principle that applied to brother Paul and it applies to all of us also who walk on the same narrow way. If it was not so, I could in no way write a book such as this one. It would be absolutely impossible. So I have a living testimony with the Lord and also fruit with many brethren. And that is also a part of my true Assurance.
What assurance do you have? Has it any value? Have you ever pondered this question? When you travel abroad, you should have your passport and visa but for this most important travel of your life, you may not have a valid visa that you assumed you had. What if you end-up in a wrong place with no chance to return and try again because this “travel” will only be one way? And the “wrong place” may not be the lake of fire and brimstone as the eternal damnation, yet, it could be a place of darkness and torment and weeping.
If you do have the Assurance (the visa) from the Lord, Praise the Lord. If not, do you desire one? If so, keep reading, pondering, meditating and realizing that this book is not a theological study guide. It is a living part of my heart, it contains living experiences with my Lord and with many brethren. It is practical and through it the Lord might help you on your way.
6. It does indeed take a superhuman effort to achieve the Full Salvation of our soul, which is the end of our faith. (1Pet. 1:9) Our effort alone will not do it. The Lord in His Love, Grace and Wisdom always prepares the right conditions for our success and contributes His Power. With His Power our own effort will always become superhuman.
First, it takes your willingness to make such an important decision, not in your thoughts but definitely in your heart. The thoughts in your mind have little power, but a decision in your heart will bring your willingness into movement and fruition.
Second, it takes your heart to believe that the Lord will do in you what you cannot possibly do. You ask and He gives. You seek and He brings you to it. You knock and He will open the door for you – because He knocked and you opened the door to Him.
Third, read His Word and ask Him to open your inner, spiritual eye, ear and understanding (Lk. 24:45). Let us remember that without Him we will do nothing and without us and our cooperation, He will do nothing. (2Cor. 6:1)
We must start going, moving. To start moving generates the greatest resistance. Once you move, the resistance will greatly diminish, every engineer will tell you that, including myself. And though it will always be our heart, which will devise our way, the Lord will always direct our steps! (Pr. 16:9// Ps. 32:8,9) Otherwise, we would continue on the way to our self-destruction, to our suicide – and not be aware of it! This Word assures us that we will always reach the right destination. But the Lord cannot direct anyone who is not moving, just as you cannot steer any car, which is not moving. So let us start moving, believers, who do not move – in the Name and the Power of Our Lord!
Once the Word of God gets into our heart, we are able to believe It. And once we believe It, It shall begin to release the Life of Christ into our heart, because His Word is living and powerful. (Heb. 4:12) That, which lives has the power to overcome and take out that, which is dead. True? What is also true and we must discover it on our own skin is the fact that to believe in something, which may seem impossible, is rather hard and at times protracted spiritual work.
When the Holy Spirit comes to live in your spirit and heart, He will guide you into all truth (Jn. 16:13), lead you to your overcoming, enable you to overcome, comfort you whenever the need comes and, finally, give you the true Assurance. Do you believe this? That is all you need at this time – to believe and never doubt God, His Word, His Faithfulness and His Power.
7. The Cross is a spiritual Principle, it is a Law, which was established by the Counsels of God before the foundation of this world. In these Counsels of God, Our Lord was crucified (and we in Him) already before the foundations of this world. (Rev. 13:8) This Principle and Law was applicable not only to Our Lord but to all of us who were placed into Him by God Our Father.
Just as there is the Law of the Spirit of Life, so there is the Law of Sin and Death. (Rom. 8:2)
These Laws are not unlike the laws of nature. Every man knows that he cannot defy or neglect the law of gravity. It exists and affects him whether he believes it, or not, whether he likes it, or not. Man has no choice. Have you ever tried to neglect the law of gravity? If not, then do not neglect the Law of Sin and Death, either.
If believers would view and believe these Laws of Sin and Cross, Death and Life as something not only existing but immutable, unchangeable, affecting their lives and also determining their destiny, it might finally move their hearts to search and find out under which Law they are currently living their earthly lives. If you do not know whether you spiritually live or are dead, then the Lord can send someone who knows and could tell you.
Before we conclude this highly important point, vital for us in every way, let us see how the Lord presented to us this Principle, this Law of the Cross at the very beginning of mankind. God presents to us two people, two believers, one accepted the Cross, the other one rejected It. Every believer knows the story, but not every one might see what God is truly showing us. Let us, therefore, look once more at the very core of this story of Cain and Abel and repeat the following facts from the viewpoint of the Cross.
Abel made an altar, which typified the Cross, and he offered to God a lamb, which represented his own life and also the future Lamb of God! Abel thereby satisfied the Law of Sin and the Cross. Therefore, Abel was accepted and blessed.
Cain also made an altar, which also typified the Cross, but he did not put on the Cross his own life. He offered the best that his own life produced thus preserving the Sin in himself! God rejected his offering since the Law of Sin and of the Cross was not satisfied and the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ was nullified! Hence, Cain was rejected and he was cursed! Then Cain killed Abel his brother. (Gen. 4:3-11) So, the curse in him showed itself immediately in this great sin.
What kind of deep and terrible truth is the Lord showing us from the very beginning of mankind? He is showing us that all the believers will be divided into two kinds of “brothers”. One kind will accept their cross and offer their own selves, own lives to God. He will accept their offering with pleasure and will bless them and (slowly, progressively) replace their old, natural, sinful life with His Divine Life. The other kind will refuse their cross and instead of their own selves, they will try to offer to God the best that their old sinful nature has produced! God will reject their offering and instead of being blessed, they shall be cursed.
I have a strong intuition in my spirit to declare at this place the following truth and spiritual fact concerning the curse:
Born-again believers may be cursed! (Jer. 17:5; 48:10 // 1Cor. 16:22, etc.) Please note that the Old Testament references also apply to the New Testament believers in the spiritual sense.
This is another bitter truth, which we must not neglect. Let us first pause at this very important truth and consider the following light from the Word of God. The Lord says through Jeremiah:
“Thus says the Lord: Cursed be the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm (strength), and whose heart departs from the Lord.” (Jer. 17:5)
Please, do not think or believe for one second that God here speaks to pagans and somehow excludes His chosen people of Israel and the future Church. The simple proof of this is that the heart of pagans cannot depart from the Lord since it was never with the Lord!
A born-again believer is righteous in his spirit because he believed, but he may have a wicked and deceitful heart and unrighteous thoughts. True? This born-again believer is asked by the Spirit to return unto the Lord! (Is. 55:7) So, at some point, his heart departed from the Lord and he started to trust men and became cursed!
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I am constrained at this place by the Spirit of the Lord to draw an important fact from the Old Testament applicable to us today in our spiritual life concerning the curse.
Sincere and honest believers may also become cursed by believing and accepting from other deceived believers or leaders fleshly ways to “handle” the truth or to support their religious projects, which may be contrary to the Word of God.
Many believers may be quite familiar with the story of Uzzah and his sudden death while trying to steady the Ark of the Covenant transported on a man-made cart, when the oxen shook it. Uzzah, a sincere and honest Israelite with a noble intention was smitten dead by God for his error…and David, the King of Israel was displeased! (2Sam. 6:3-8) Does this old story have any significance for us today? It does.
As we already said before, every personality and every event in the Old Testament has a spiritual meaning and significance in the New Testament. Uzzah represents the sincere and honest and well meaning believers in the Church who are touching the Glorified, Exalted Lord, King of kings, seated on the Throne of His Father in Heaven with their hands of flesh! David (in this story) represents the Church leaders who are ready to “transport the Lord” by their man-made means and not according to the Word of God.
The Ark was supposed to be carried by Levites for they were chosen by God for this task, and in a manner prescribed by God, and not by men. (Ex. 25:10-15) This was declared by the same David who was before displeased. (1Chr. 15:2) In the New Testament, the Lord–Truth is also to be “carried” by those chosen by God and given to the Church for that purpose and not just by anybody! He should also be carried in the manner prescribed by God and not as men may imagine. The Spirit decides who shall “carry” the Lord–Truth and how, and who needs first to be perfected and edified by those that were given to the Church for that purpose. (Eph. 4:11)
The Lord indeed said “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations…” (Mt. 28:19), but it does not apply to every born-again believer!… as many preachers falsely preach and teach. The Word applied to the eleven disciples to whom the Lord spoke (Mt. 28:16,18) and who were chosen for this task. These eleven, in fact, represent all the future disciples (Jn. 8:31), but not any or every believer! Can’t we see this simple fact?
Is Our God the God of order or of chaos? Since when can we “serve God and His Church” however we want, whenever or wherever we want, in whatever way we want or whoever so wants? If Moses and Aaron were not given the liberty to do for God what they wanted or imagined, then why do we think that we have such a liberty? Are we greater than Moses who spoke with God face to face? (Ex. 33:11) Are Moses and Aaron “grafted into us”, or are we “grafted into them”? (Rom. 11:24)
Then why many ministers teach, preach, direct or allow others to “serve” in these “whatever, however, whenever or whosoever” fashion without enquiring of the Lord? They may cause many believers to commit the same error that Uzzah did, and be “stricken dead” by God. They become cursed because death is always associated with curse, as life is with blessing. But their blood shall be required from the hands of those that led them into it, failed to warn them and teach them the truth. This applies to both sincere and honest (but ignorant) carnal believers, to all the immature ones as well as to all the wicked ones trying to “serve”. (Ez. 3:17-21)
We would do well to register one more fact. It must have been disgusting for the Lord to see His Ark of the Covenant, which represented Himself, being pulled by oxen on a cart and not carried by Levites on their shoulders. It must equally be disgusting to the Lord whenever we try to “carry” His Holy Name and Truth on our fleshly vehicles pulled by our religious ideas… oxen. You judge whether this is so, or not, if you have a heart to understand.
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The same fact of being cursed applies to the ministers who work in the Lord’s vineyard as sluggards, hypocrites, foxes, snakes or deceivers or try to serve the Church in their own “wisdom” and not according to the Full Gospel, Full Truth. For such servants, it is written:
“Cursed be he that is doing the work of the Lord deceitfully (or negligently), and cursed be he, that keeps back his sword from (drawing) blood.” (Jer. 48:10)
Now, what does this Word mean to us in the times of the New Testament? The first part of the Word is, I believe, clear and self-explanatory. The second part means that he, who is to minister to the Lord and to His Church must use his Sword (Word of God, Eph. 6:17// Mt. 10:34) to draw blood = the old life from believers! The Sword (the Word) was given to us for that purpose and not to soothe our flesh, that is, our old, natural, sinful life… but to destroy it!
The old, natural, sinful life is in the blood. (Lev. 17:14// Deut. 12: 23) The new Life is in Spirit. (Jn. 6:54,63) The Resurrected Lord had flesh and bones but no blood! (Lk. 24:39) Therefore, any minister who uses the Word of God to “soothe the flesh and thereby satisfy the old life, and does not touch blood in believers in any way” is cursed!
How can you soothe the flesh and satisfy the old life? By preaching partial truths, quoting the sweet promises of God while neglecting the bitter truths of God; preaching those passages of the Word, which never touch the old life (old nature) of believers, which is the enemy of Christ. Do you believe this fact?
Finally, 1Cor. 16:22 indicates very clearly that all those believers who loved themselves, never denied themselves, never took up their cross, never followed the Lord and thus never truly loved Him, are to be cursed at His Coming! This is what “Anathema Maranatha” means. This is what the Spirit of the Lord inspired apostle Paul to openly write to the church at Corinth!… and thus to all of us. Are you truly with me? Has this truth ever been preached in the Church? Not even in our dreams!
Are you willing to verify your own conscience in this respect? Does it make any difference to you whether you are blessed or cursed? Are you aware of your own spiritual state, or not? What you believe about yourself may not be true in the flaming eyes of the Lord. (Rev. 1:14) We may not be aware of many important things in our Christian life. Let us then see and realize what the Lord is truly showing us in the above and also the following important paragraphs.
Let us come back to Cain and Abel. Those refusing their cross, being cursed will always be nigh “killing their brothers” who accepted their cross and are blessed! Again, “killing” means “Cains” separating “Abels” from their presence, rejecting them, their message, their word of life, their fellowship, rebelling against them, denouncing them, accusing them, opposing them and their efforts, cajoling other brethren away from them, forbidding others to even read their writings, attend their meetings, etc. Is this not enough for “killing”? Do you see now why they are cursed people? And Cain was not cursed by Abel, but from the earth, which received Abel’s blood! True? (Gen. 4:11)
What is dangerous is that all these Cains of today are otherwise undistinguishable from other believers. They live right among us and have no fear of God. They are typical “workers of iniquity” that shall be thrown into outer darkness. Their conscience is dead and it cannot be revived without faith. They accuse Abels showing them verses from the Word of God, which suit their purpose, which Word those Cains do not live themselves, are unable to live and have no intention to live. Either they are totally blind that they themselves do not see this or they are hypocrites of the first degree since their fruit testifies against them!
Can a cursed believer become blessed again? Can his dead conscience be revived again? Well, we know that with God all things are possible, even to him that believes, all things are possible. (Mt. 19:26// Mk. 9:23) The Lord is able to detect the smallest movement in man’s heart toward Him and begin to “do something about it”. That “something” we might not know or even sense in ourselves, but we should at least believe it knowing the Character of Our Kind and Merciful Lord.
There are different Cains as there are also different Abels. I believe that ultimately, many Cains may be changed into Abels in the course of their life by the incessant and endless Grace and efforts of Our Lord Who is “…not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance”! (2Pet. 3:9)
We may thus say that…
The above means that the cursed believers must turn away from their wicked and cursed ways. (Is. 55:7) Well, the same happened to all of us. As pagans, we were all cursed, and when we repented to the Lord and were converted, turned around, we became blessed. True?
Let me at this point share with you what I believe may be the ultimate tragedy within the Church of Jesus Christ.
The worst Cains are those, who are condemned to hell already today! God foreknows. And some may be pastoring, preaching, teaching, leading congregations or otherwise “ministering” to the Church of Jesus Christ! Some others may be professors at theological seminaries. These all are, as it were, the New Testament Pharisees who are already condemned to hell today just as the Old Testament ones were. (Mt. 23:33-35) The Lord was very angry with them, and so am I, and so should you be also.
Put yourselves into their shoes and see through their eyes and understand through their dark, self-righteous and hypocritical mind, and comprehend their pride and hatred of anything and anyone that does not agree with them. You might then be able to see that whenever they saw Jesus coming, they said within themselves something like this:
Here comes this “guy”, this carpenter from Nazareth, again… with his band of vagabonds, fishermen and other riffraff. He is upsetting all our religion, all our traditions, all our beliefs… desecrating Sabbath, eating and drinking with harlots … even without washing his hands. And not only that, but he is destroying our reputation… publicly, before the people of Israel … challenging our authority, arrogantly questioning our knowledge… he has no respect before us who are the leaders of Israel! Is he not dangerous to us? And to all Israel? And to our religion and all of our traditions?…
“If we let Him thus alone, all will believe in Him, and the Romans shall come and take away both our place (of leadership) and nation (of Israel). And one of them named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them: Ye know nothing at all. Nor consider that it is expedient for us that one man (Jesus) should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” (Jn. 11:48-50)
Out of their religious zeal and to preserve their dead religion and traditions and their own places of leadership, they finally decided to kill the Man who was “endangering” it all! Never mind that He was their Messiah, the Lord of Glory, …this did not matter! They wanted to preserve their dead religion and their positions at all costs.
They understood absolutely nothing about the Man, about His Message, His Gospel, His Words or His Mission. He did not come to destroy the Law or the Prophets but to fulfil it all by His Life (Mt. 5:17), to bring His Life into their dead religion. But they would not have it. The Lord wept over Jerusalem, which means, over His own people (Mt. 23: 37,38) and not over pagans.
The New Testament Pharisees are exactly the same in their nature and intentions. They want to preserve their dead religion and their places of leadership at all costs! They are ready to crucify any man who dares to challenge it. And they have the power to incite their people to cry: “Away with him, away with him.” Not only that, but the Pharisees, the leaders of God’s people, publicly acknowledged that their king was Caesar (Jn. 19:15), which means Satan, and not God! They betrayed themselves very clearly and without even knowing it.
Open your eyes, believers, if you desire to survive. Such condemned people may be leading you away from the Kingdom of heaven today, shutting it for you, because they themselves are not going in. (Mt. 23:13) They are proud, arrogant, foxy, hypocritical and are even casting you out of “their religious organizations”! My advice to you in the Name of Christ is this: Do not fear them and do not fear to depart from them and their organizations in due time which is foreknown by the Lord! Do not decide on the basis of your anger or wounded emotions. You will recognize the timing of the Lord in your own hearts.
To conclude this section, I must add a very important and also practical fact, which touches very many believers, who are also pharisaic in their nature. Let us understand the Word of God and see Its implications in at least two very important points:
(1) Leaders of the Church, God’s chosen people of the New Testament, which have these pharisaic hearts, have the ability, zeal and means to travel or broadcast around the world to make new converts to their form of religion and to bring them into the Church. The tragedy is, that these new converts are then by the same leaders made twofold more the “children of hell” than such leaders are themselves! (Mt. 23:15) These converts may thus become like unto the tares sown in the field by the enemy (the devil). And the Lord said that they should be left in the field until the harvest and then they shall be separated and burnt. (Mt. 13:24-30) So we must live together with them (also in the Church) until the end of the world.
(2) Whenever the Lord spoke to the Pharisees and scribes, He said “Woe…”. The significance of His Word is tremendous and has tremendous implications for very many Christians. The Lord is using the very same Word to them that “call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! WOE unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Is. 5:20,21)
[Some leaders have applied the same verse to me hoping that the “woe” will come upon me!]
You do not have to be a Pharisee to fall under the same condemnation, which “woe” really means. If believers do not respond to the Lord’s calls, pleas or invitations, if they ignore His servants and think or believe that they are right and do good while the Lord’s servants are wrong and do evil – then they are under the same WOE!
If new-born believers who are barely “dry from their water baptism” start to correct, oppose or otherwise judge those that can be their spiritual fathers, or even grandfathers, then the same WOE applies to them… until such believers repent and start growing out of that condemnation and start changing. This is not a religious theory, it touches our very life and destiny.
There may be thousands of practical examples where the WOE is applicable to the believer who is fulfilling this Word of the Lord in Is. 5:20,21. It is ever so easy to put light for darkness, or sweet for bitter, or good for evil. All such believers are also called the “workers of iniquity”. I have plenty of experiences with such believers in the above-mentioned areas. The flesh in many believers is so proud, arrogant and hellish that only a “woe” may cure it or dispose of it. No amount of preaching, teaching, counselling, admonishing, rebuking or discussion will do the job.
So, what about this WOE? It is just a three-letter word, which otherwise has no physical effect on any believer. Is that right? Wrong! It will be a horrible living experience for believers to go through. The real woes are coming as the “reward” to them who turned the Word of God upside down and lived that way without fearing God one bit. If you desire to know more, please, read the Book of Revelation (ex. Rev. 8:13; 9:12; 11:14; 12:12) where the three last trumpets are called “woes” by the angels of God. And the Church in general will be raptured at the very “last trump”, which means, at the “last woe”! (1Cor. 15:52// Rev. 11:15; 14:12-16, see more in Chapters 4 and 5 of this book)
Every true believer who is under the Blood of Christ will be saved from the wrath of God, which are the seven vials, (Rom. 5:9// Rev. 16:1-17) but not necessarily from the seven trumpets and the woes of the last three! Only the Overcomers are not subjected to the “woes”, they are all raptured before the trumpets and woes and are seated on the Throne in Heaven. (Rev. 12:5, see more in Chapter 5)
Now, the “workers of iniquity” are those who do the abominable things of turning the truth upside-down (Is. 5:20,21). They are also many of the ministers who minister to the Church various gifts of the Spirit (prophesy, knowledge, healing, working of miracles, etc.) without knowing the Lord in any living way. (Mt. 7:22,23) And there are many more facts written about these workers of iniquity. Let us consider some truly revealing examples from the Word of God concerning these workers.
They all are recipients of a strange punishment (Job 31:3; 34:22-27), they are hated people (Ps. 5:5), they have no knowledge of the Lord and do not call on the Lord (Ps. 14:4). They are hypocrites, compared to the wicked people and have mischief in their hearts (Ps. 28:3).
They are proud, their fall is confirmed, they shall be cut down and wither as a green herb. (Ps. 36:11,12; 37:1,2) They are also insurgents shooting secretly at the innocent (Ps. 64:2-8) and those of them that will never repent of their iniquity shall be destroyed forever for they are enemies of the Lord! (Ps. 92:7,9). They are also boastful people (Ps. 94:4), their ways are crooked (Ps. 125:5), they lay snares and traps for the righteous, (Ps. 141:9) etc., etc., etc.
Shall we continue… or is the above sufficient? And these “workers of iniquity” are among us and many “minister” to the Church! The way of the Lord is strength to the upright – but destruction to the workers of iniquity. (Pr. 10:29; 21:15) So, what is their WOE? The Lord tells us this:
First, their house (also means their family, fellowship) shall fall down and great will be the fall of it. (Mt. 7:23,26,27)
Second, they shall be thrown out of the Kingdom and cast into the outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mt. 8:12; 22:2-14; 25:11,12,26,30// Lk. 13:24-28)
Third, they will be beaten with many stripes or few stripes, depending on each case. (Lk. 12:47,48)
Fourth, consider another terribly bitter truth spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ (Mk. 9:42-50) and see to whom it truly applies and why. Consider also how the Lord understood and meant His Words and whether we can afford to forget them since we might not understand them properly.
I believe the bitter truth is far more bitter in reality than we ever realized, imagined or were ready to believe. Now, brother Hanola did not write even one word of it. But brother Hanola is hated simply for bringing the Word of this bitter truth to the attention of believers and of the Church and for quoting it! Brother Hanola does it because (with the exception of very, very few) nobody else quotes it, preaches it, explains it plainly, so nobody “draws blood with his Sword” (Jer. 48:10). Satan hates this truth and tries to cover it with everything he has at his disposal and through every one of his servants that he has in the Church of Jesus Christ.
So, why is Satan hating this truth so bitterly? Satan hates this truth, opposes it and fights it because this truth alone destroys his great deceptive works into smithereens. And when it does, Satan and his evil powers will become naked. Once they are naked, they are finished having no other weapons to fight with as they cannot operate in the open. They only operate in secrecy, behind curtains, in darkness, being unnoticed, hypocritically. The Lord will grant us much more in the next chapter. The day should come for every true believer when these powers of evil should start fearing him and not the reverse.
Will you ponder these above things and facts in your heart and mind? Are these things a revelation to you? If they are, praise Our Great and Magnificent Lord Jesus Christ. And if you have seen and experienced these facts in your life, then I also praise the Lord for you. You are blessed and called and chosen to serve the King of all kings in the most fruitful way. Your love for the Lord is genuine and your reward shall be beyond imagination. (1Cor. 2:9)
THE TRUE DEPTH OF DECEPTION
The first thing I want to bring to the light is a spiritual fact, which may not be realized by many believers. I have experienced many times that whenever the powers of evil and darkness are mentioned, or whenever Satan is mentioned by his name, many believers take it as a “cold shower” and they clearly feel highly uncomfortable. They have no freedom to speak about these powers of evil and their actions.
Many may even be offended or perplexed when Satan is given derogatory names and is not treated “with dignity”! Their apparent stumbling block is the Word in Jude 8,9 because they do not understand that Jude was never inspired to call devils “dignities”. Also, Satan was not yet defeated at the Cross of Calvary when archangel Michael disputed with him the body of Moses. At that time, Satan was still the “prince of this world” (Jn. 12:31; 14:30). Furthermore, Satan as Lucifer was the former “governor” of archangel Michael. From this viewpoint, the Word in Jude 9 is quite understandable and true. But after the Cross, Satan lost all his power and also “dignity” and so did all his evil princes and powers.
Satan had his archangels, who were made princes over various parts of this world (ex. Dan. 10:13). These devils, the princes of this world, crucified Our Lord of Glory because they had no wisdom, they were stupid. (1Cor. 2:7,8) So, when I call Satan a “stupid fool”, I am expressing the truth from the Scripture. And when men of Sodom and Gomorrha are called “filthy dreamers defiling the flesh” (Jude 7,8), then how much more filthy is Satan, who defiled them? When I, therefore, call Satan “filthy”, I only express the truth from the Scripture. Satan is a “filthy dreamer defiling the flesh, despising dominion and speaking evil of dignities” (Jude 8) and that much more than any people whom he thus destroyed. But Satan remained a “dignity” in our old nature where he still governs. Our old nature may thus be easily perplexed or offended when Satan’s dignity is not regarded or when it is even attacked.
The majority of believers do not want to hear about these powers or make mention of them. They never use the name of Satan, many only say “that evil one” as if they were unable to mention his name. Their desire is to stay far away from these things and teachings. Multitudes of believers would naturally be appalled to learn that some of these powers may still dwell in their old souls, old nature and may influence or direct their lives! This spiritual fact is something unthinkable, unacceptable, horrible to even ponder by any “good” Christian. Yet, it is true for all of us!
Let us begin to realize that a large part of the deception by which these powers operate and deceive believers may not appear as evil, ugly, disgusting or horrible at all! In fact, the opposite is true! They may deceive us, deeply affect our lives, derail us and keep us away from the Lord by either natural or supernatural deeds, words, testimonies, apparitions or other phenomena, which all seem to be true, heavenly, biblical and thus desirable! They may deceive us through human goodness or exaggerated prosperity without our cross and without denying ourselves! (Mt. 16:24) That is, perhaps, the greatest deception by which they cover their operations.
You would never suspect a nice looking preacher, elder, bishop or evangelist (man or a woman!) holding the Bible and talking to you from the pulpit of a church to be “serving” Satan and his powers of darkness and evil! Would you? Really? Truthfully?
Well then, let us stop avoiding these important issues and consider the truth from God’s Word in our hearts and minds. These facts may be completely new and surprising to many believers and may truly revolutionize your Christian outlook, faith, walk and progress. They may also save you from a lot of future deep troubles, shocks and even from death.
I pray that the Lord would strengthen you to consider His Truth in your heart and mind concerning these evil powers, see their true deception and be delivered from it.
Whenever someone mentions the name of Satan, many believers automatically imagine that the person talks about an ugly, horrible or repulsive creature. Not at all! Satan is described in the Book of Ezekiel as “the king of Tyrus” and you should read the whole portion where God talks to him (Ez. 28:11-19).
I want to bring to your attention the fact, which might be quite shocking to a majority of believers. That fact is that Satan, formerly Lucifer (Is. 14:12) was created “…full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” (Ez. 28:12) What does this fact mean to us today? A lot! And unless you are willing to believe these things and get out of this horrible deception, it may cost you your life! Listen…
The Lord never took away from Satan the wisdom and beauty with which he was created as Lucifer! I know that it might be absolutely unbelievable, perhaps, even shocking for many readers, but continue reading and see for yourselves. The Lord never takes back what He gives. The Lord only told him the following:
“Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness;” (Ez. 28:17)
This Word of God informs us that Satan’s wisdom was corrupted. What does that mean? I believe that his wisdom, his intelligence, his cleverness, his brightness had not disappeared but became sinful, which means, set against God, against His Truth, against His Plans, Purposes and Desires, set for a war for God’s Throne, set entirely for evil purposes. Evil intelligence may be a very high intelligence, indeed, but directed and used exclusively for evil purposes. His beauty was also corrupted in the same sense, that it became sinful. What does that mean? Again, I believe that it did not vanish as such, but is used almost as bait for evil purposes. Many women may be naturally beautiful, but many use their beauty to entice or destroy men. Then their beauty is corrupt and evil for it is used for evil purposes.
“For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life. To keep thee from the evil woman… Lust not after her beauty in thine heart;…” (Pr. 6:23-25a)
It cannot be said more clearly that beauty does not have to disappear in order to become corrupted or evil. The New Testament proves the same point by declaring clearly through Apostle Paul that: “... Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore,, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2Cor. 11:14b,15)
These verses (2Cor. 11:14,15// 1Cor. 14:34,35) have also not been preached with the intention to uncover and bring truth to the people of God. There are certain passages in the Word of God, which Satan has made “taboo” to preach, teach, discuss and bring to the light in the Church of Jesus Christ! Why? Because their truth is the last thing, which Satan wants us to learn. Their truth is so dangerous to him and his kingdom of darkness that it may destroy him in no time. But if this truth is unknown and unused by the Church, then it is the Church which is destroyed, meaning, disabled in its battle, put on a stretcher, helpless, beaten, inoperative – as it truly is! And the chief reason for this lamentable situation is deception and closed hearts!
Therefore, the only way out for believers is to open their hearts to the Lord, His Word, His Spirit, His Truth! That’s all! He sees our heart anyway as He sees all hell and destruction! (Pr. 15:11) Will any believer that reads this consider this spiritual reality in his heart? Here comes the issue of our willingness again. Open heart and willingness – that is all that the Lord asks from us!
Will the Church finally respond to the Lord? The Lord knows. My human optimism is near level zero because it is based on the facts of the history of both Israel and the Church and on my own experiences. Yet, the Lord has not stopped asking, speaking, knocking…asking, speaking, knocking… asking, speaking, knocking.
One clear sign of the times, which I will now mention and which does not require an open heart, just open eyes, is the following. The sect of Satanists has been in existence for many years in California, USA. They are now found in other countries of the world and spreading fast.
They pose as a “religion” and publish articles that should be in comic books. One such article that came to my attention while ministering in Slovakia was found in the Czech newspaper “Právo” (September 18, 2004, page 16), where the Satanists boldly declare their so-called “Nine commandments”:
Ø Satan means satisfying lusts, not denying them!
Ø Satan means living existence, not invented spiritual fairy-tales!
Ø Satan means immaculate wisdom, not hypocritical self-illusion!
Ø Satan means kindness toward those who deserve it, not love wasted on the ungrateful!
Ø Satan means revenge, not turning the other cheek!
Ø Satan means responsibility toward the responsible ones, not care for psychological blood-suckers!
Ø Satan means a man as a mere animal, sometimes a better one, most of the time a worse one than those that walk on all four; a man that, thanks to the “divine spiritual and intellectual evolution”, has become the most corrupted animal!
Ø Satan means all the so-called sins, which lead to physical, mental and emotional satisfaction!
Ø Satan is the best friend that the Church ever had, because for all those years, he kept her on the go!
This is how far Satan is going today and has plenty of followers! Do you need more dung for your souls? Satan, of course, will never tell you what will happen to you after you die, who he really is (Jn. 8:44) or what will happen to him, and that, very soon! He will first be thrown into the bottomless pit (prison) for 1,000 years. (Rev. 20:1-3) Then he will be loosed from his prison for a short while and then, thrown to the lake of fire and brimstone, where he will be tormented day and night forever! (Rev. 20:7-10)
So – ►Satan means death, prison and a torment for ever and ever! He also means an immaculate stupidity and the greatest hypocrisy and deceitfulness in this Creation!
This quoted published material is the proof that Satan has also become desperate enough not to hide himself any more but show himself even taking the risk to be perceived as the greatest fool of the Universe – which he is! (see also pp.180,191)
Let us now consider the true, and for many believers a new depth of deception, how can we perceive it and how to stay out of its highly destructive consequences.
Deception is the greatest weapon of our enemy. We have no way of knowing or being aware that we are deceived except when the Lord shows us either directly or indirectly through others, and that, by our fruit, deeds, intentions, words, etc. Once we see or learn that we are deceived, we are not deceived any more. True?
This deception may be so subtle that man would never believe or even imagine that he could be so deceived and led into an error or trap or deed or wrong conclusion, which might have serious consequences. For example, a believer may have a thought which may seem to lead to an innocent fun not indicating any ensuing danger, loss or destruction. At the same time, his awareness of his surroundings or circumstances may be dulled. He may not be able to foresee any consequences of his actions or inactions and even his natural instincts (never mind the spiritual ones) “disappear”. He may even be warned by his friends or others, but he “happily disregards them all”. Those serious consequences may not always be physical, but they are always spiritual!
If we never question our thoughts, their source, aims, basis and possible consequences, then any thought may easily lead us astray… slowly, one step at a time, one thought at a time, one shallow and subtle deception after another… until we are sufficiently derailed and ready for a much deeper and much more effective deception. This applies to our biblical knowledge and convictions, as well.
I do not say that it applies to our faith because faith is only one, it is authored by Our Lord (Heb. 12:2), it cannot be deceived, it has nothing to do with our thoughts and, hence, there can be no differences from one believer to another in true faith. But the above fact of getting deceived applies to our knowledge and convictions since they are shaped by our thoughts and reasoning; every believer has his very own convictions and reasoning.
For example, if you are taught or you hear or read that a born-again believer cannot possibly lose his Salvation, then you can become an easy victim to this thought. Why? Because it is logical, it fits well with the Love and Grace of God and with some verses of the Scripture. Yet, it contains such a subtle deception, that should you never diligently search the truth in other passages of the Scripture, you would remain in that deception until you die… and nobody could persuade you otherwise. This principle of deception through thoughts and reasoning leads to all the different convictions of all the different believers of all the different denominations without exception.
I could give many practical examples of the above spiritual facts, but it should be sufficient to see, understand and be aware of the principle described above.
I will not bring a lot of theology and mental exercise into this vital subject of deception. The Word in 2Cor. 11:13-15 is quite sufficient and can be observed quite frequently at many places and in various forms. The devastation, which issues from the fact of this Word of God can be clearly observed in anything that bears the name Christianity. Some of the outstanding points and experiences, which should be very helpful and beneficial at least for the willing and open hearts are briefly described in the following points.
A. Internal divisions in the Church
Never in history was the Church of Jesus Christ so divided, so deceived and so unwilling to follow the Lord, His Word, His Light, His Truth, His Ways, His Judgments, His Will, as now. The result is a pure tragedy and hopelessness since the Church cannot stand being so divided. (Mk. 3:25) It must be painful for the believers who truly love the Lord to watch this situation, which in fact, is getting worse almost by the day. One could write a thick book just about this topic. But even that thick book would not help any believer with a closed heart and unwilling soul.
I will bring before you only two examples, which may be typical and generally known among many believers so that many could relate to them and ponder them.
1. The leadership of the “Anglican church” is discussing the issue of ordaining gay ministers. They are serious about it and they appear to try to resolve it righteously and to a mutual satisfaction. We should ask a simple question: What issue do they have? Is this a true “issue”? Who has brought this issue to them? The Lord? NO! Satan has! How do we know? The Word of God is crystal clear.
Was not Satan in the Garden of Eden and was he not asking the woman: “Yea, has God said… Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”? (Gen. 3:1-3)
Is he not doing exactly the same thing today with another woman (Anglican church) saying: “Yea, has God said… that they, which commit such things (homosexuality), are worthy of death…”? (Rom. 1:27-32// Lev. 18:22; 20:13!)
The matter is simple and clear in the Word of God and there are no issues to be resolved by men because they were already resolved long time ago by God Himself. God does not ask us for our help in judging – He asks us for our obedience to carry out His Judgments. True or not?
So those that “discuss this issue” and are even willing to ordain gays are servants of Satan! Why? Because they do not hesitate to neglect or question God’s Word, or to make God either a liar or incompetent in deciding this important issue! God’s Judgment is clearly not acceptable and righteous to these wicked, evil and deceived souls! Who dares to propagate such an idiotic idea except Satan?
It is Satan who “creates” these gay men and lesbians in the first place. Now he tells them that their “different lifestyle” is perfectly acceptable to God and that God loves them and welcomes their service! What a truly idiotic idea! But many believers including many ministers in the leadership are so deeply deceived today that they are well able to accept idiotic ideas and even propagate them. This is a tremendous victory for Satan! Their leaders base their decisions on a “democratic vote” of sinful souls rather than on the Word of the Holy and Righteous God! It is absolutely disgusting and vomiting stuff.
And I am not even mentioning the question of “same-sex marriages”, if such a thing exists. This is truly satanic stuff. Soon men might marry their dogs, horses or cats; there is also “love” between the two, is there not? Even animals are morally higher than these men as you will never find a “same-sex couple” in any nest or den. I am vomiting! So should every believer in Christ.
2. A problem may arise in a congregation, fellowship, or any group of believers. This is becoming quite a frequent occurrence in these days. One elder may voice a different idea or solution than others. There is nothing unusual or wrong with that. What is wrong is how such a problem gets resolved. In many cases, the Lord has no “chance” to present His solution or give His counsel. The church leaders use their own ideas, understanding, cleverness or authority, which may be in a direct opposition to the Word of God. The Lord has no “clerical collar”, no title such as “Doctor”, “PhD” or “ThD”. He is never called “Reverend”, “The Most Reverend” or “Right Reverend”, so, the “poor” Lord of all lords is out!
Am I sarcastic? Yes, I definitely am. If a sinful, filthy and mortal man assumes the title “Reverend” that only belongs to the Lord of all Creation, then it is clear that the title came from Satan to build up man’s pride. We may “reverence” a person (Eph. 5:33// Heb. 12:9), but not give him those titles, which breed pride. Also, any minister who loves to show his academic degrees or religious titles is proud of his very own achievements! He is far from being crucified and useful as a minister of the Lord. The “Gospel of Dr. Luke” does not exist! Therefore, it seemed good to Our Father to hide these things, mysteries of Truth, from the (worldly) wise and prudent and reveal them unto babes. (Mt. 11:25,26)
So, problems are “resolved” by the rule of majority or the solution is achieved by men with titles irrespective of what the Word of God may say in such cases! Man usurps God’s authority and tries to rule His Church while it is the Lord Alone Who builds and rules His Church. (Mt. 16:18) Then how come that man does not turn to the Lord for His directives whenever needed? Or what is it that man “tries to build” or govern? Is it his own human institution and to his own liking? Man does not own anything. Yet, it is not man but Satan through man that may thus direct the Church affairs without being detected!
Problems are also resolved (if at all) by employing humanistic approaches. Many leaders try to resolve problems through their own goodness, understanding, compassion, psychology, etc. But where is it written in the Bible that God needs men to help Him resolve problems? God needs men to carry out HIS solutions and judgments, and not the reverse. And where is it written that one elder from among four or five cannot receive any light or revelation from God to resolve any particular problem in the fellowship? So, according to many leaders, God cannot choose an open heart and give it His Light! Right?
I was asked the same question by the pastor of one Apostolic Church where I was fellowshipping for some time and had given three prophetic messages (which were ignored). He asked me why God gives me the light about his church and not to himself? I told him that God gives His light to every open heart and that irrespective of the person. So, were there four or five open hearts in his assembly, they would have all received the same light and answer to their problems as I had received it. No “rule of majority” was ever valid with the Lord, but the rule of an open heart and meek spirit. The Lord never gives His Light to resolve our problems to our old man since he himself is the problem.
Here is another noteworthy example from Slovakia. One elder quit his eldership, left “his flock” and his faithful co-elder and disappeared from his church for about one year without any explanation. In his absence, the faithful co-elder cared for the flock. Then one day the unfaithful one returned and wanted somehow to “resume his ministry”, with the condition that the faithful co-elder should lose his eldership and have no authority over him to even chastise him for his misbehaviour in any way.
The unfaithful elder succeeded because the faithful co-elder was demoted from his eldership without any valid reason and against the Word of God, by a regional preacher and was made a member of the “Team of Collabourers of the Preacher”. The preacher [D.Uhrín] said: “Though it [demotion] is not biblical, but in my view it is right”! The Lord says that the preacher is thus wiser than the Almighty God, since the Bible is His Word and His Wisdom! Wow! It shows the preacher’s pride, arrogance, darkness and the danger he is in! (Num. 15:30,31)
The faithful co-elder was deposed to the same level as his wife and three other women of that church including the unfaithful elder! How is the Lord of Heaven and Earth looking at this masquerade? Have you ever experienced such a thing? This is not all, read on and see the miserable state of the leadership of this (Baptist) church.
The behaviour, reasons, intentions and accusing spirit of the unfaithful elder were never judged by the Word, but humanly. The perception and faith of the faithful co-elder, who remained with the flock, were disregarded, ignored and unappreciated. His preaching was frequently disrupted, criticized and otherwise attacked or devalued in front of the congregation by the unfaithful elder. No one from the leadership has questioned why he was doing it and what kind of spirit was causing him to interrupt the ministry of the faithful co-elder. The Holy Spirit would never lead anyone to do such a devilish thing because He says: “Let all things be done decently and in order.” (1Cor. 14:40) Even ministering a gift of the Spirit, such as tongues, must not be interrupted by men. (1Cor. 14:27-33)
Only a diabolical spirit would publicly interrupt the preacher during his ministry and break the Word of God! Do any of the leaders of the Baptist Church in Slovakia care for it or judge it according to the Word of God? Not at all! Would they allow their sermons to be publicly interrupted? If a sermon of any of the church leaders were publicly interrupted even once, would it be left unnoticed, unreprimanded? Hello? The true fruit is visible through deeds and they show the truth. (Mt. 7:16-20)
Do you have experiences in these areas or you might not even believe such things? Then you may not know how the devil deceives and spiritually kills believers and how his many servants (also from among the leadership) are operating directly in the sheep-folds. They may not even be born-again by the Spirit of God!
Another “pearl” is also from the Baptist church of Slovakia, which shows their leadership and touches the same faithful co-elder described above. He faithfully served his Baptist congregation for over 13 years and his faith and ministry was never questioned. He preached, sang, taught and composed his own songs and he was serving all those years without any pay. He has his own house and a young family. Since the year 2003, he has been without work and thus he believed that he would be offered a paid position of a preacher in his own or in some other Baptist congregation near his town where he was also desired and needed.
First, the church leadership sent him a questionnaire, which was more intricate and cunning than had he applied for a membership to the communist party of North Korea and which no other preacher was required to submit. He refused to fill it in.
He was then invited to the Council of leading elders where he was interrogated as if he were a pagan or a spy for a counterintelligence. He was questioned about his faith, religious attitudes and opinions. This happened in spite of his truly impeccable past and faithful service, and also despite the fact that he successfully completed his studies at the Theological Baptist College in Banská Bystrica and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Theology from his own church! Finally, the former Chairman of the Baptist Church in Slovakia (Tomáš Valchář) told him: “Go to the forest and chop wood”! There were about seven churches without a pastor at the same time. Hello? Are you able to believe this? If not, read on… and consider also the Word of God in Rom. 12:10-13 and 1Jn. 3:15-18.
This is what Jesus Christ tells T. Valchář and to all the elders that agreed with him: “for with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged, and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again!… Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them. For this is the Law and the prophets.” (Mt. 7:2,12)
And this Lord Jesus Christ, whom they do not know, asks every one of those elders: “But why do you judge your brother, or why do you set at nought your brother (consider him as nothing)? For you all shall stand before My judgment seat… so then every one of you shall give account of himself to God.” (Rom. 14:10,12)
The Lord Jesus Christ continues: “And have I not ordained that they, which preach the gospel should live of the gospel? (see 1Cor. 9:13,14) Or have I at any time sent My preachers to chop wood? If, therefore, you will not repent to Me and to your brother and turn away from your wicked ways, your iniquities will not be forgiven you, and you will be thrown into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (see also Mt. 8:12; 13:41,42)
Where is this organization going when it has leaders who are sending their own Bachelors of theology to chop wood? And they demote them from eldership without any reason and thus totally irresponsibly? And do not care whether their brethren have anything to live on? Even Pharisees of the Old Testament, who were condemned to the eternal damnation, may not have done such things! (Mt. 23:33)
It is written: “Cursed be he that does the work of the Lord deceitfully (hypocritically, unrighteously, negligently, slothfully)” (Jer. 48:10) Are these leaders willing to consider whether the above Word of God just might apply to at least some of them?
And now, I will disclose to the readers, what is the true reason for the above religious “masquerade”. The simple and clear truth is this. The Baptist leaders in Slovakia unofficially told the faithful co-elder to either renounce Hanola or forget their church! However, officially, they sent him a very polite but cunningly formulated letter where they advise him to continue in his congregation as an unpaid worker! (Jam. 2:14-17,19) Little do they know that their “letter” together with the intentions in their hearts are also recorded in the Books of the Lord, which will be opened at the Day of Judgment. (Dan. 7:9,10// Rev. 20:11-15)
Their Jesus must be a different person than the One described in the Scriptures because “love” may be in their dictionaries, but not in their hearts. The Lord knows and I know, as well. I have experienced the “love” of some of their elders in Banská Bystrica. (see again page 25)
What testifies against them the most is the fact that to this very day, not one of them has presented even one single specific evidence of any heresy or wrong teaching in my writings based on the Word of God! Not one! I would be happy to repent and correct any errors in my books! The Lord Jesus Christ is my Living Witness.
But they hate me and denounce me without any cause. Little do they know what the Lord says about this spiritual fact, namely, that “Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer… no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1Jn. 3:15) This is what Israel was doing to their own Messiah, Jesus Christ Himself. (Lk. 6:22,23// Jn. 15:25) Wow!
This is a typical feature of the “accusers of the brethren”, they never present anything specific! They may show their fury through a lot of religious general gibberish, subjective opinions, thoughts or own beliefs – but never the Word of God! When they are forced to finally show their disapproval in a specific way, they present those verses of the Scripture against you, which may fit their mental arguments but which they themselves do not live or practice. Their fruit is clearly and squarely against those same verses! Of course, they do not see it… because they are blind to their own fruit… which stinks! But showing someone a Word, which you do not live yourself is like showing a direction to where you have never been, and where you may have no intention of ever going.
Why are such believers able to attack their brethren with verses of the Bible, which seem to be suitable for their purpose? And why are they equally able to rudely break or totally disregard other verses of the Bible? Because what believers can get out of the Bible is determined by the state of their mind and heart, that is, by what they are. It is quite clearly expressed by Watchman Nee in his excellent book “The Release of the Spirit”, page 51:
“It is beyond question that what we ARE determines what we get out of the Bible. How often man in his conceit relies on his unrenewed and confused mind to read the Bible. The fruit is nothing but his own thought. He does not touch the Spirit of the Holy Scriptures. If we expect to meet the Lord in His Word, our thoughts must first be broken by God. We may think highly of our cleverness, but to God it is a great obstacle. It can never lead us into God’s thought.”
This seems to be a good place to quote from a booklet of Horst Schaffranek “The Judgment starts in the House of God”, page 1, where he starts with a question: “Shall I address you as beloved of God (Rom. 1:7) or shall I speak to you as spiritual sluggards? Sluggards are people, who read the Bible but do not follow what they have read. A beloved of God is somebody who does what he reads.”
The Lord tells those Baptist leaders this: “Execute true judgment and show mercy and compassions every man to his brother… and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.” (Zech. 7:9,10b)
But they still imagine evil in their hearts. And if they refuse to hearken and stop their ears and refuse to do justice as the Lord commands, then a great wrath will come from the Lord. And just as He cries and they do not hear, so the day is approaching quickly when they will cry and He will not hear. (Zech. 7:11-13)
Would at least one wise Gamaliel be found among them to counsel them to stop fighting and opposing this work, to stop persuading people not to read or even to burn my books! For if my work is from myself, it shall come to nothing by itself. But if it be truly from God, then you, Baptist leaders are fighting against God! Would you have enough humbleness to receive this biblical advice? (Acts 5:34-39) For if not, the blood of all those that you persuaded and deceived shall be required from your hands by the same Almighty God against Whom you are today vehemently fighting! Be it, as you decide.
But that Hanola, whom they hate, prays this:
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on them. Give eyesight to those that desire to see and grace to those that have open hearts because they are in danger of perishing. I see them as victims of evil and there is nothing in my heart against them though they have a great bitterness against me and it defiles them and leads them to perdition. I forgive them for they truly do not know what they are doing to others and where they are leading them. Amen.
Satan is clearly furious with me and I thank you Lord because this fact is a true compliment to me personally. The Baptist Church of Slovakia probably suffered the most during the terrors of the communist era and was always considered as the most fundamentalist, conservative and biblical. If this church has deteriorated into this spiritual state and is “neither brotherly, nor united, nor yet biblical”, then what is the state of the other churches in Slovakia? Have they all become candlesticks that give more darkness than light? They all should carefully read Rev. 2:5.
B. Are you serving God or satan?
Every man on this earth serves either God or Satan. There are no exceptions, no “neutral people”. Every pagan serves Satan and every believer serves either God or Satan. If believers do not serve God in harmony with His revealed Word and do not live and walk in His Spirit, then they serve Satan in some way – whether they are conscious of it or not! Is this not a horrible statement? Of course, it is. The main point is that it is true. God is not surprised but we are. We were all serving Satan all those years before our Redemption – and we were not aware of it! Is that true? There is a strong root and tendency in our natural soul to keep serving Satan after our Redemption and, again, not be aware of it! Because nobody tells us the full truth.
Try to tell any decent, educated, polite, compassionate pagan that he is linked with Satan and serves him! Try to tell the same thing to an educated but spiritually dead theologian or to any other carnal, soulish believer. If you dare to do it, you might not escape in good health. Yet, you spoke truth. But for those people to believe such truth is totally and absolutely impossible!
Do we dare to explore this issue? Do we dare to admit that this horrible fact just might be true? The full truth may be more shocking than we dare to imagine. But so is the full truth about our Salvation shocking. And it should be! We all need to be shocked from time to time.
Before I give some practical examples from my own experience, I would like to make certain fundamental statements and lay a solid foundation from the Word of God for this extremely important and vital subject. For this purpose, we will go all the way to the beginning of mankind and see and understand in our heart what was happening.
1. Let us first see and comprehend the true depth and result of Satan’s deception upon Eve and Adam. Satan was following a very cunningly devised scheme whereby he would turn man’s attention and desire from God to man’s own personal interest. Man was offered an opening of his eyes, the status of a god and the knowledge of good and evil. When Eve looked at the tree of knowledge of good and evil, its fruit looked promising indeed, so she took it and ate and gave also to Adam, her husband, and he ate also. (Gen. 3:4-6)
The woman was deceived and not Adam (1Tim. 2:14) in that she would gain a personal benefit by eating the forbidden fruit. That was the basic bait used by Satan and it produced selfishness in man, which is Satan’s character! It is the exact opposite of selflessness or meekness, which is Christ’s Character. (Mt. 11:29) Is this true? Do you truly believe this?
Before Adam fell to sin, he was entirely linked with God in his spirit and soul since God was in Adam’s spirit and soul and he thus had God’s Character and a living fellowship in the Presence of God. After his failure, Adam “died” – was separated from God’s Life – though he continued living his own natural, fleshly life on earth. The most important word is:
Adam disobeyed God and prefered to follow his own will and personal interest!
Adam thus became separated from God by being thrown out of the Garden and losing his vital link, his living union with God, God’s Presence and thus God’s Character! This separation means his “spiritual death”, which was much later followed by his physical death.
2. When Adam disobeyed God, he obeyed satan and became vitally linked with Satan in his human spirit and soul! Through that link, Adam obtained Satan’s “life” and presence in his spirit and soul and thus his character. If this were not so, we would have never, in all mankind’s existence, experienced and known pride, envy, arrogance, fears, jealousy, stubbornness, wickedness, falsehood, stealing, lying, bitterness, murders, and other Satanic “virtues”, all growing from selfishness and pride! Before his fall, Adam never knew such things since none of them were ever in God’s Character and Spirit! True?
With this evil character in Adam, God had no desire to keep him in His Presence, to fellowship with him or let him eat of the Tree of Life and live forever. (Gen. 3:22-24)
3. When the Last Adam – Jesus Christ – came, He never followed His personal interests, never did anything for Himself and of Himself (Jn. 5:19), was meek and lowly in heart (Mt. 11:29) and always did the things that pleased the Father. (Jn. 8:29) He humbled Himself and, most importantly, obeyed God in all points including His death on the Cross. (Phil. 2:8)
“Though He were a Son (of God), yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered. And being made perfect, He became the Author of eternal Salvation unto all them that OBEY Him.” (Heb. 5:8,9)
The Lord has not become the Author of eternal Salvation unto those that believe that He is the Saviour and have knowledge about Him, yet disobey Him! This is to say, that they disobey His Word because the Lord is the Word = Logos. (Jn. 1:1+14) None of us is saved by our desire or wish but solely by our obedience to the Lord and to His Word.
What do these above facts show? The most important word associated with both the Fall of man and of his Salvation is the word, which is neither propagated, nor taught, nor preached, nor yet practiced in the Church in any acceptable way. That missing word is – obedience.
Any man may begin his Salvation if he obeys the way that God established for him. It basically contains three steps from the Word, which every man must do:
a) believe in his heart (not head) that God raised Jesus from the dead and confess it with his mouth (Rom. 10:9,10). Based on this act of faith, the man is redeemed and sealed by the Spirit of God as a “new possession” of God. (Eph. 1:13,14// 2Cor. 1:22)
b) repent from his heart for the remission of his sins (Acts 2:38). Based on this act of faith, he becomes born-again by the Holy Spirit. (Jn. 3:3-8) After his being born-again, he must…
c) be baptized in water (by immersion, Rom. 6:4,5). Based on this act of faith, he receives the gift of the Holy Spirit, His Power (Acts 2:38// Jn. 1:12) without which he cannot even start, let alone continue, his Salvation process of going on unto perfection. (Heb. 6:1)
If you have never done the above steps a) and b), you are not even redeemed, you are still pagans! If you have not done step c), you have not received the gift of the Holy Spirit and cannot start working out your own Salvation with fear and trembling. (Phil. 2:12) You may be attending any church or any fellowship you like, sing, pray, give offerings and do all as the others do, but you will never be able to:
d) take up your cross daily and deny yourself, deny your old, natural, sinful character and follow the Lord, follow the Word of God (Lk. 9:23),
e) add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge (of the Lord, Phil. 3:8// 2Pet. 1:2; 3:18), and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love (2Pet.1:5-9),
f) give diligence to make your calling and election sure (2Pet. 1:10 ),
g) fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on Eternal Life to which you are called. (1Tim. 6:12) If Timothy had already had the Eternal Life just by believing in Christ, Apostle Paul would have never told him to “lay hold on It” after his redemption! True?
To do the above and thus continue unto perfection (Heb. 6:1,2) without the Holy Spirit is absolutely impossible. If the believer obeys all the above steps, he (gradually) becomes a partaker of the Divine Character, Divine Nature according to the precious promises of God (2Pet. 1:4). His living link with God is being slowly established, his calling and election made sure and his entrance into the everlasting Kingdom of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will be ministered unto him abundantly. (2Pet. 1:10,11)
This is our Full Salvation!
To be sure, the above points d) to g) are just the basic examples taken out of the Scripture, which are showing to us that IF we are to obtain the Eternal Life and the entry into the everlasting Kingdom of Our Lord , then…
Otherwise, we will not obtain the precious promises of God. God will not give access to the Tree of Life (Christ Jesus) to those that disobey Him. He made it clear right from the Garden of Eden. (Gen. 3:22-24)
If you read the above Words of God, you can see that they are not my words or ideas but it is, indeed, the Word of God. If you re-read Mt. 6:24, the word “mammon” does not only mean money but anything, which is an idol or goal of our earthly life and can thus be our “master”. Our master may be any lust, which is powerful enough to lead us to sin. And all lusts are born in our selfishness.
Whenever we, therefore, serve our selfishness, own ideas, opinions, plans, desires, lusts or personal interests in the affaires of God, then we serve Satan. Brother Watchman Nee says:
“It requires a great power to be obedient! If God does not fill your heart first, you will not succeed, no matter how you try externally… I speak to you today in this manner because I have a deep sense within me that the return of the Lord is imminent and that the Kingdom is at hand. Henceforth, temptations will be greater, dangers will be multiplied, and deceptions will be deepened. Previously it was the matter of getting rid of sin; now it is the matter of getting rid of pleasure.”
Let me present to you at this point the very root and nature of selfishness as God sees it and as many, very many believers may be totally blind to it.
The Lord compares our selfishness along with its pride, disobedience, arrogance, defiance and other ‘virtues’ to leprosy, which turns our skin white as snow. God first demonstrated this on Miriam, the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, the chief Priest. When she together with Aaron spoke against Moses and in the lust of their selfishness made accusations against Moses, the Lord allowed Miriam to become leprous, white as snow. She had to be separated from the people of Israel for seven days until she was healed. (Num. 12:1,2,10-15)
The white skin indicates the deeply devilish, deceitful nature of leprosy and thus of selfishness. It shows people as white (saintly, blessed, elevated and accepted by the Lord) while inside they are rotting, rejected, cursed! The Lord indicated the same fact to the Pharisees. (Mt. 23:27)
This devilish and deeply deceitful nature of selfishness can also be perceived in its lust to readily mix itself into the holy affairs of the Lord trying to “serve Him” in its own power, intelligence, understanding and desire. And then it is also ready to “personally receive” any blessings, favours or grace from the Lord and misuse them as proofs of its own sincerity, rightfulness and spirituality. We become “somebodies” in the Church and are puffed up more than when we “served the Lord” the first time. We thus become so self-deceived and blind that it is impossible for us to recover ourselves from it until the Lord gives us a glimpse of Himself. Only then we can see our own leprosy.
The Lord showed this deep truth and fact to His great prophet Isaiah. After being His prophet for some time, one day he exclaimed:
“Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean (leprous) lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” (Is. 6:5)
Isaiah saw and proclaimed that he spoke the Word of God through leprous lips and dwelt among the people of leprous lips. He needed a “live coal from off the altar” to take away his iniquity and sin! (Is. 6:6,7) And do not tell me that he became God’s prophet only after this cleansing of his lips. The first five chapters of his Book clearly show what significant Word of God came through him already before his lips were cleansed. This also shows that our heart may be open to the Lord, yet, our lips may at the same time still be leprous. This should also humble us!
What does this fact further signify to us? It shows us that the Word of God may flow from our lips while our lips are leprous! We need these “live coals from off the altar” (our crosses) to cleanse us from our iniquity and sin. So, man may preach, teach or testify about the Truths of the Bible and in the sight of God he may be a leper living in sin and iniquity! In truth, I do not know how else or from where would God get the “workers of iniquity” that serve the Church and do wonderful works! (Mt. 7:22,23) Do you know?
Now, such a man may not be conscious of his state until he sees the King – the Lord of hosts! But the Lord shows Himself only to those that seek Him (Deut. 4:29// Jer. 29:13,14a) and that keep His Word, (Jn. 14:21// 1Jn. 2:3,4) and not to the workers of iniquity. But no one, absolutely no one could persuade such ministers that their lips may be leprous, proud, selfish! That they can preach or teach the Word with the spirit of pride and selfishness all over them. So they speak the Word with pride, self-assertiveness, self-success, disobedience to the very Word they preach (all lady preachers), with self-glorification, self-importance, and so on. They have to see the Lord to believe this!
May I add that this leprosy can also be equated with the “leaven”, which was also ascribed to the Pharisees for the same reason. (Mk. 8:15) Both leaven and leprosy start at a given point and grow… and grow… and keep growing, as it were, a spiritual cancer. But man who is a leper needs a “seven-fold” obedience, seven-fold death for this leprosy to depart from him (2Ki. 5:1-10,14)… or a “live coal from off the altar”, which is his cross, which is his “narrow road” where he is losing his leprosy step by step.
Now, speaking about pride, self-assertiveness, self-success, disobedience to the Word and leprosy, I desire to bring to the forefront the Word in Mk. 14:3. Here the Lord is in the house of Simon the leper and a woman came to Him with an alabaster box full of precious ointment. She broke the box and poured it on His head. Is there any meaning in this act for us today? The Lord said that what that woman had done shall be together with the Gospel spoken of for a memorial unto her. (Mk. 14:9) So, I do speak of it now.
The true and deeper meaning of this fact, which the Lord desires us to understand especially today, has come to my spirit as follows. I see the house of the leper representing the current House of God in the New Testament. All of us believers have sin – leprosy in the sight of God. (1Jn. 1:8) The woman represents the Bride of Christ who loved Him so much that she did not hesitate to brake the alabaster box with the precious ointment. The box represents our flesh, hard shell, outer man, “old man”, earthen vessel (2Cor. 4:7), which must be broken in order for the precious treasure of His Spirit to be released. This braking is done on our cross, on the narrow road, not instantaneously as the woman did it but slowly. It is only the Bride of Christ who is willing to do this in the House of God while the others murmur and criticize. (Mk. 14:4,5)
Hence, the most important comment that I would make to the above facts is that no believer can obey the Word of God in his self-power or self-ability! All he needs to do is to believe, be willing and ask the Lord. This is the only part for the believer to do. The rest is the “work of God” and also the Lord’s part. The believer who asks Him will then be empowered by the Lord to both obey His Word and to break his “alabaster box”. If, therefore, any believer would desire to do this “work” for God, the Lord would answer him the following:
“This is the work of God that you believe on Him, Whom He (the Father) has sent.” (Jn. 6:29)
That you believe in your heart Who the Lord truly is, what is His power and what He can do, namely, that He “…is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power (His power) that works in us.” (Eph. 3:20)
Believing is our work! It takes spiritual energy and strength to believe in the face of adversity. And when there is no adversity, no problems, no troubles, no danger… there is no need for faith! True? When we ask Our Lord to enable us to obey His Word, it will be a true pleasure for Him to enable us to do it in our soul and that exceeding abundantly above all that we might think or imagine! His true pleasure, I say, because for His pleasure all things are and were created. (Rev. 4:11)
The way to Heaven and Eternal Life has been opened to every man on earth, and it is a simple way: We ask (according to His Will) and God will do it. (1Jn. 5:14,15) At that point, our will and His Will merge into one. But the door to this way was closed by the deceptive and evil work of the powers of darkness and evil. Satan stands at the straight gate (Mt. 7:14) and gives you the most idiotic ideas, beliefs, persuasions why you should not enter the narrow way. Then he leads you to a more appealing broad way and tells you that it leads to the same place, but is more comfortable. It is true that the broad way is far more comfortable, but it does not lead to the same place! When believers reach its end, there will be darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth! (Mt. 8:12; 22:11-14; 24:44-51; 25:11,12,30) The Kingdom of Heaven with the Lord of Glory Personally Present will be the end of a different way, the narrow way.
Is this not a grand deception? It is like those credit card commercials: Buy now – pay later; live it up now – drop dead later; have a pleasant time now – suffer horribly later. And how many millions of believers are caught in it? How many born-again believers serve Satan without even being conscious of it? Only the Lord knows.
Satan will never lead you even close to the narrow gate and narrow way. And if you do find it by the help of the Spirit of God (Mt. 7:14 – we must find it) and keep walking on it, Satan will start pestering you all the way! This is another typical feature of hell – pestering. Have you ever noticed that? Every fly will keep pestering you until you kill it. So will Satan, with stupid thoughts, lies, temptations of all kinds, colours and shapes… until you “kill him” by your faith, which means, “separate yourself from him” or resist him by your faith until he flees from you. (Jam. 4:7) Do you believe this?
* * *
I am, again, constrained by the Spirit of the Lord to present practical facts of “seeking” and finding.
From the beginning, none of us knew how to “seek” the Kingdom, seek the narrow way, seek the Lord. Yet, these are God’s commandments for us. God had not given them to us just to read, but to DO them as well. (Jam. 1:22) Hence, the Spirit is ever ready to teach us and guide us into doing these vitally important steps in our spiritual and physical life. I believe that a few basic pointers should be sufficient to show the reality of seeking in our own practical life.
You will agree that “walking by faith” is an absolutely “crazy thing” for our natural man. So is seeking something that you cannot see or even imagine. True? So how do I know that I am “finding the narrow way”? From my beginnings, I have no way of knowing it since I cannot detect it with any of my senses. I must either trust those who are walking on it and have sufficient experience to advise me about it, or else I must start questioning the Lord Himself and discern my own walk. The truth is that…
This is an important pointer and it will continue to be your sign as you keep doing such things or will be brought into doing them by others who are used by God.
One typical example that I will never forget happened to me when I was a very young believer sitting in the very last pew of our auditorium behind a tall man. When we stood up at the beginning of our service, the pastor usually called on someone to “lead us all to the Throne of God”. So I was hiding behind the tall man and the pastor could not possibly see me. Yet, he clearly called my name and I was stunned and fear gripped my heart. This was the first time I was called to pray publicly and “lead the congregation of about 600 people to the Throne of God”! I had no choice though the exit door was five feet from me and opened. But I remained brave and stammered out something that resembled a prayer. Where I was leading the congregation, I had no clue, but we never found the Throne that day.
That experience was for me a “spiritual milestone”. Later on as I meditated on it, it became clear to me that it was not just the pastor’s idea, but that he must have been guided by the Spirit. The Lord saw me even behind that tall man, of course. Such examples are clear signs that the Spirit is guiding you to a narrow way, which you never sought, never walked before and had no intention to start walking on it by your own desire. That is precisely why it is called the “way of overcoming” yourself.
I had many more such experiences both inside of our church and outside. Finally, in May 1974, I started to teach our home Bible class, which was the beginning of our Body of Christ in Montreal and of our current ministry. I was teaching from the book “The Spiritual Man” by Watchman Nee. Had somebody told me in 1970 that in four years I would teach a Bible class in my house, I would have laughed in his face. Do you see something?
I could see the start of my “narrow way” very clearly and then I could also see how I continued to “walk on it” by doing things I was not prepared to do in my nature. In fact, it is not much different even today. Had somebody told me four years ago that I will write a book like this, that is, “Word to the Church of Jesus Christ”, I would have laughed at him maybe even more. Only the Lord knows what I will be doing four years from now… and I may not be ready for it, either.
The same applies to “seeking the Kingdom”. (Mt. 6:33) Whenever you see, hear or witness certain things, people or their actions, you automatically judge those things, people or their actions. We all continually judge everything we see, hear or witness whether we are aware of it or not, whether we like it or not. But the Spirit never guides you to judge unrighteously, to judge-condemn (Rom. chpt. 14), rather to judge-assess everything in everyone in the Light of the Word of God. (1Cor. 2:15)
If you seek such righteous judgments, you seek the Kingdom because the Kingdom will be the place of righteousness and righteous judgments. If you shun such judgments or dismiss those judgments made by other servants of God, you are not seeking the Kingdom.
If you seek truth, how the Word of God applies to various situations or people, you are seeking the Lord because He is the Truth and the Word. To know how the Word applies to anything or anyone in this world means to know and understand how the Lord views, thinks, understands and judges anything or anyone.
The above examples should be sufficiently practical to shed light on some mysteries of the Word of God so that they would cease to be mysteries and we might start to live them in our everyday life.
* * *
Satan will never lead you to read, preach or consider in any way any Word of the Lord that is outright dangerous to him, to his kingdom and to his rule over you (ex. Mk. 9:43-49). Have you ever heard preachers explaining the above quoted Word of God during your Christian lifetime? Has anybody encouraged you to become “violent” toward your true enemies that stand in the way of your personal Salvation? We will say more on this topic later on.
C. War in the Church
Since Adam’s fall in the Garden, we are all in a war whether we like it or not, whether we are aware of it or not. All believers who were never aware of this fact are already deceived. So was I! The Lord Himself declared this war right at the beginning of mankind and before He commanded Adam and Eve to be thrown out of the Garden. The Lord clearly declared to Satan the following:
“And I will put enmity (war) between thee (serpent-Satan) and the woman (future Israel and Church), and between thy seed (children and servants of Satan) and her seed (Jesus Christ and His children and servants); it shall bruise thy head (shall destroy you) and thou shalt bruise his heel (shall wound Jesus and His children).” (Gen. 3:15)
Was not “the heel” of Our Lord bruised on the Cross? Are we not bruised, wounded and in pain and suffering ourselves on our crosses? If this is true, then it is also true that Satan is destroyed, defeated, rendered powerless by the Cross of Our Lord because his head is bruised! For Our Lord the war is over, but for us it is not. He had overcome, but we have not yet. We may feel we are doing pretty well in this world, prospering and acting victoriously. But this may not be a spiritual victory at all. Listen…
If any believer tries to avoid this war and keep his flesh during his earthly life, he will have to fight this war under much worse conditions after his death! Since he refused to fight the war and crucify his flesh under the Grace and Power of the Lord now (Gal. 5:24), he will have to do it under the power and hatred of Satan (1Cor. 5:5) in darkness and weeping and gnashing his teeth (Mt. 8:12; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30// Lk. 13:24-28, see more later). I have never heard this fact being preached either, and if some preachers preach it, I bless them in the Name of the Lord and kiss their cheek.
If we should only consider our physical body, the same war for survival is also going on there. There are billions of bacteria, viruses and toxins incessantly attacking the living cells and tissues of our bodies day and night. Death wars against life, and we feel it. And the defensive war in our bodies never stops! We may not be aware of this war until we fall sick or end up in a hospital. True? Can we neglect this war in our bodies and go about our life as if it did not exist? Wouldn’t we shorten our earthly life even considerably if we would neglect this war or be totally ignorant of it? Our spiritual war is no different and no less important. Why do we then neglect it or prefer to be ignorant of it?
Another spiritual fact, which is “hidden” and rendered by Satan as unimportant about this war is when Apostle Paul wrote a letter to Timothy. He counselled him to be a “…good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2Tim. 2:3,4,7) and he committed unto him this charge that he “might war a good warfare” (1Tim. 1:18). Paul did not just write to some young Greek somewhere, and it is not just an interesting verse in the Scripture. When the Holy Spirit talks to Timothy, He also talks to all the former Greeks = Gentiles whom he, Timothy, represents! And the Lord speaks to them through a converted Jew who before was a blasphemer, persecutor, injurious and a chief sinner. (1Tim. 1:12-15) But now he was entrusted with this “ministry of warfare” to the Gentiles. (Acts 26:15-18) It is a true warfare between the “old man” and the “New Man” and Paul was also made to suffer and endure all things for our sake! (2Tim. 2:10)
Let me now tell you something very unusual, perhaps, very unexpected. One of the valuable and useful books outside of the Bible itself that I have ever read is called “Bodyguard of Lies” by Anthony Cave Brown. The most shocking news that this book brings is that World War II was not actually won by weapons alone, but primarily by deception!
If one sentence should sum up this truth then it would be the famous statement uttered by Winston Churchill (the former Prime Minister of Great Britain) to Joseph Stalin (the former leader of the Soviet Union) at the Conference in Teheran, in December 1943, which I quote:
“In war-time, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”
And it certainly was – at all costs. The greatest secret of World War II was the computer called “Ultra”, which gave the War Cabinet of Great Britain all the necessary information about the war operations, tricks and tactics of Nazi Germany. Churchill himself sacrificed much damage caused to his country by the Nazi warplanes just to keep the very existence of “Ultra” secret. For 30 years after the war, people still had no clue that such a thing ever existed.
Churchill and his War Cabinet were able to engage in a very successful war of espionage, counterintelligence and deception deceiving the enemy about the true intentions and operations of the Allied forces. Thanks to this war of deception, the famous D-Day, the Invasion of Normandy in France, on June 6, 1944, was such a great success as it surprised the enemy in every possible way and to such an unbelievable degree; also, the famous victory of the British General, Sir Bernard Montgomery at El Alamein in Egypt against the German General, Erwin Rommel. This battle is also known as the “turn of the tide” and it was largely due to the deceptive steps taken by the British rather than the measure of their firepower alone.
In these physical wars, we at least could tell who is on whose side in the battles. What is the greatest tragedy in the spiritual war between the two kingdoms, one of Christ and one of Satan, is that the majority of believers battle on the wrong side of the war! Hello? Can you believe it?
Christians do not fight satanic forces, they fight their own brethren in Christ! Why? Because they might hold different doctrines and beliefs, they might wear different banners with different names and colours, or they might be upsetting them by touching their flesh… by speaking truth to them! (Gal. 4:16) If this were not a true tragedy, it would most certainly be the greatest comedy in the history of all mankind.
Some Slovak religious leaders are engaged in a fierce battle against me, as if I were their enemy. They call me “brother axe” and they have forbidden my books to be read! They wrestle with flesh and blood and not with the spiritual forces of evil, which are destroying them. So they live and act against the Word of God, which Word they are supposed to know and preach. (Eph. 6:12) They should be glad and rejoicing that the Lord is sending them someone with an axe (2Cor. 13:10) – not to cut off their heads but to cut out the roots of their “old man”, their pride, arrogance, fears, hypocrisy, self-righteousness, selfishness, darkness and other evil (“go and chop wood!”, p.145) and to open their way to the Kingdom of Heaven. I am sure that they are not aware of these spiritual facts. And if they believe that such horrible things cannot possibly be in believers, then they are already deeply deceived. So was I… before I was delivered. Will they ever be delivered? Only God knows their hearts and their future decisions.
Two thousand years ago, John the Baptist said:
“And now also, the AXE is laid unto the root of the trees (people); therefore, every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” (Mt. 3:10; 7:19// Lk. 13:6-9// Jn. 15:6)
So it is now! The process of the Salvation of Mankind is coming to its end, and an AXE (Judgment of God’s Word through His true servants) is involved again. Praise the Lord.
Should you ask them how they wrestle with the spiritual forces and evil principalities, they would look at you with an open mouth. And should you tell them that those forces may be in their own souls, they might stone you. But this only shows the true depth of deception to which such believers have become victims.
One more important word I want to direct toward the leadership in the Church of Jesus Christ. I know that I am not liked or welcomed or even considered in your circles. The reason is not that I do not like you or would pick a fight with any one of you in particular. Not at all! I desire and I am also called to judge righteously before the Living Christ. But it is not possible to judge righteously and have respect of persons whether they be “poor sheep” in the pews or “mighty ones” behind pulpits and TV cameras. (Lev. 19:15// Pr. 28:21// Rom. 2:11// Col. 3:25, etc.) Yet, there is a reason why I, more often than not, turn toward the leaders, elders, pastors, preachers, teachers or evangelists and have more harsh words toward you. The reason is simple. If you understood in your heart the true depth of deception described in this chapter, you should understand that – YOU are the prime target of it!
Satan is not without wisdom, he knows what he is doing and why. In order to deceive a large congregation of believers, all he has to do is to deceive their leader! One man can serve his goal very well, thank you. Is this not the most efficient way to win a war? In deceiving 1,000 leaders, Satan may deceive and thus control many millions of “ordinary” believers! Are you aware of this?
One such example is the document called “Meeting with the angels”, which the Lord had directed to my hands. It is beyond belief. Roland Buck, a man from Idaho, USA, pastored a church from 1950 to 1979, when he died. His testimony says that angels from Heaven descended to him at various times, “socialized” with him and brought him precious messages from God. They appeared in his dark bedroom (at night) and he could only see their dark contours. (Angels of God always appear in the light, never in darkness and they never come to “socialize” with anybody.)
They were “sent by the Holy Spirit” to fight for Mr. Buck against his enemy and to explain to him the basic truths of the Bible! (the Holy Spirit was sent to guide us into all truth and never the angels – Jn. 16:13)
Then God gave him 2,000 verses from the Bible so that he knew them by heart, could preach them and did not have to learn them! (Why would God do such a strange thing with R. Buck but not with His apostles? God never breaks any principle, which He established in His Word, ex., 2Tim. 2:15. The very idea that God would give me 2,000 verses from His Word and I would not have to study them diligently is in itself foolish.)
The “golden nail” of his testimony is that God brought him up to His Throne Room and showed him also His great archive with the files of His prominent people. R. Buck was then given an opportunity by God to look into and read from the personal files of Apostle Paul, Abraham and Sara and also certain things from his own file! He was also allowed by God to ask Him any questions. (This looks like a guided tour of the Library of Congress in Washington. Apostle John, whom Christ called “beloved” and who wrote the Book of Revelation never had chances as R. Buck had to look into God’s private archive and ask Him questions!)
Finally, R. Buck testified that God told him that He loves people and wants them to have the same power as that of His angels! (Wow! How about 1Cor. 6:3?!)
Such deceiving documents are being disseminated around the world so that “people would believe and come to the Lord Jesus!” Really? Do people realize that Satan can transform himself into an angel of light? (2Cor. 11:14) That he knows the Scripture? (Mt. 4:6) That he has the ability to take a man of flesh and blood and transfer him to a high place in a moment? (Mt. 4:5,8) Satan could have taken Mr. Buck and “raptured him to his throne room and archive”, presented himself to him as God and done with him what he wanted. Unless, of course, it was all Mr. Buck’s dream, or bad illusion. Have we ever read and considered the clear warnings of Jesus Christ about deceptions? (Mt. 24:24-26)
Did Mr. Buck ever ponder why God would do such a “tour of His Throne Room and archive” for him alone? What was the true purpose for such an experience? Did he compare the words of his “god and angels” to the Bible? Did he ever discern in his spirit and conscience that God never appears, speaks or behaves as he described Him, or that His angels never appear, speak or behave as Mr. Buck described them?
The fact that Mr. Buck could have been a sincere man and preacher does not mean anything. There are thousands like that around the world. God never gives a tour of His Throne Room to a mortal man just to tell him that He loves people and desires that all should be saved. This fact is plainly written in the Bible and does not need a tour of His Throne Room. Furthermore, a mortal man does not speak to God Almighty, the Creator of this Universe as if He were a “local librarian”. Man cannot approach God and live!
I do not know more about this case, but people may easily confuse spiritual experiences from God with those from Satan. It includes a large number of various “apparitions” and other supernatural spiritual phenomena. Finally, the Lord has not only given us the gift of discerning of spirits (1Cor. 12:10), but also the spirit of a sound mind (2Tim. 1:7) to judge whether something has any sense, or not. This particular testimony is without any sense whatsoever.
Do we not know that the Lord is choosing His servants after his own heart, desire and purpose? (Acts 13:22) Is it so difficult to admit that Satan is choosing his servants in a similar way? And is it not the best advantage for him to choose a person with the greatest power and authority right in the middle of the Church? Have you never read or heard the unbelievable stories about spies (so-called moles) operating right next to the office of, say, the President, Chancellor, Prime Minister or Minister of National Defence of the enemy? These are real facts in real life.
The most incredible fact that I am about to tell you is that those spies knew what they were doing and whom they were serving. But Satan is going further than that! He is able to choose his man without the man knowing about it! without the man being even conscious of it! Should I, again, say: Hello? Can you believe this?
So, behind some pulpits, there may stand a true enemy of Jesus Christ and His Cross without realizing that he is one! (Rom. 16:17,18// Phil. 3:18,19// 1Cor. 11:29; 16:22, etc.) And if he is not conscious of it, how can the congregation be, which depends on him? Can you believe this? But your unbelief will not change the truth. The Lord knows.
Imagine a spiritually dead man who may be brilliant in his intellectual knowledge of the Bible. What he gives to his congregation are two things: brilliant intellectual knowledge of the Bible and spiritual death – because that is all that he has. So those believers in his congregation who are not lazy have a chance to acquire brilliant intellectual knowledge of the Bible… and remain spiritually dead. The leader, the man behind the pulpit, is a seed, which is able to multiply himself and bring forth others just like him! Every man (plant) has seed within himself (itself) and brings seed after his (its) own kind. (Gen. 1:11,12) This is applicable not only physically, but also spiritually.
The above is a spiritual fact and I have many experiences from my ministry in the United States, Canada, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, which prove this fact. That is why I also testified and expressed this fact in the first paragraphs of section A (page 23). I thus hope that the leaders who have the right heart would see and understand the above and cease resisting Christ in me and start resisting and battling their true enemy and the true enemy of their own families and of their own brethren in their congregations.
However, those whose hearts are wicked and evil will never understand this judgment from the Lord. They will keep sowing iniquity and reap vanity. (Pr. 22:8) It is those that seek the Lord with their whole heart, they understand all things. (Pr. 28:5)
D. Dealings within the Church
First, we should understand that the situations in large congregations compared to smaller fellowships, such as, house gatherings are completely different. The conditions for the work of the Holy Spirit in believers, their chances to undergo His “treatment”, are completely different. That is why in some churches they have a system of, so called, “home cells”.
Two believers (gathered in His Name) are the smallest church. Wherever there are two believers, there are already disagreements, tensions, unrighteous judgments, problems of all kinds. You may ask any husband and wife. You may also consult the Word and see what the Lord means when He says that “... if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything…” (Mt. 18:19) Doesn’t this Word alone speak volumes?
With each additional believer these problems multiply exponentially. This might also be one reason why Our Lord chose only twelve to make out of them future apostles. And even to them He said at one occasion: “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you…?” (Mt. 17:17)
I have yet to meet a pastor who would speak like that to his congregation (even though, afterwards, he might “enjoy some loneliness and quietness in his life”… should he survive such a “sermon”). Now, we should talk more seriously about this very important subject.
What I will expose below may be totally unbelievable facts, which, had I not witnessed them myself and had my brethren never testified about them in the Spirit of the Lord, I myself would have never believed them as possible and as existing in the lives of believers.
First, I must say that the things described below are not detectable or discernible in humanly accessible ways. Their detection and exposition is impossible without the Holy Spirit and without brethren with open hearts willing to search the truth in the very depths of their hearts.
Second, things of this nature may be happening in our everyday life and not necessarily in a church environment. However, since they are deeply engraved into our souls, they are automatically transferred into our church life and spiritual work. Most of the time, the situation leads into trying to resolve some sort of confusion, misunderstanding or other problem. Also, it often involves a repentance of a brother or sister during which, or after which, such things may be discovered.
Third, the things described below are usually common to the believers who are found in early stages of walking on the narrow way, during the first transition from the soulish to the spiritual. While the soulish is always “dependable” or “tangible”, the spiritual, like walking by faith, seems like “flying in fog without instruments”… ask any bush-pilot. You seem to lose all bearings in your life. You must, as it were, “switch off your brain”, stop thinking, neglect your emotions, become still in your soul… and allow the Lord to show you Who He is and what He wants to give you or what He desires from you! (Ps. 46:10)
Is this natural? No! It is exactly the opposite to all our natural ways and instincts. And it does take time for the Spirit to develop our spiritual senses and teach us to use them. This is the prime stage where the things given below may surface for many believers. They are usually engaged in a serious working out of their Salvation (Phil. 2:12), hence, the powers of darkness are also working in and around them full time.
Here are some important points observed also in our own Body of Christ in Montreal, which the Lord founded in May 1974. Since that time, we have been meeting from house-to-house every week without fail and the Lord has been working in His mysterious ways also without fail.
1. During a church service or preaching or teaching or important sharing in a fellowship, believers may hear and believe things that were never said!
This phenomenon happened in our own fellowship and it takes a real opening of the heart and asking the Lord what is true. One side vehemently claimed that things were said and it was not true or right or it had offended somebody. The other side likewise vehemently claimed that such things were never said by anybody! It took some time of diligent searching and enquiring before the Lord and speaking the truth from the heart by witnesses to finally come to the conclusion that those things were, indeed, never said by anybody!
The Lord then showed that the powers of darkness could deceive people even in this way that they hear and believe what was never said! That brings offences, misunderstanding, bitterness and other effects into believers’ hearts. The goal of it is obvious – division in the Body of Christ – and that is the goal of those powers of evil.
2. What also happens quite often is the opposite of the experience described above. Believers may not hear things that were clearly said! they do not register facts! Or they do not understand but are afraid to ask… perhaps, to preserve their (proud) image!
I am not alluding here to the situations where you may be “daydreaming” or napping during sermons or thinking about your lunch. These situations are obvious though even these may be caused by the same powers of darkness. Here, we are primarily talking about people who are listening and paying attention to what is said. They are not distracted in any way. Yet, they may miss the most important words that were said very clearly and apply to them or to their personal problem or situation. It could be a Word of the Lord to resolve their own particular problem.
But when they do not register facts or misunderstand simple and clearly expressed facts then it is quite clear that their mind does not work properly! It is usually affected by the spirits of darkness or foolishness or inattention. I have living experiences with men who manifested a far better and more brisk thinking before they were saved than after. After their salvation, it was a “hell of a job” for them just to follow the most basic and clear instructions! They were never able to do that, in fact, in many cases they did the exact opposite! It showed a complete loss of common sense and the only explanation is an interference from the powers of darkness. These powers may then be discovered and proved by a diligent enquiring of the believers in their own hearts through the Spirit of the Lord. We never failed to discover a curtain of darkness imposed by hell. This is one such clear step in renewing someone’s mind.
3. It may also happen that believers may speak words they do not mean at all as to their true comprehension, meaning and consequences in the spiritual realm; or they are unable to speak clearly!
We are talking about intelligent and elloquent people that can express themselves and describe things very well, until they get into spiritual matters. In this area, they are, as it were, led to speak any particular word or words without realizing their true meaning, their true consequences or impact on others. This is done without them being aware of what meaning such words may have conveyed to the other person(s) and the given picture is then unclear, unprecise.
This may equally bring a serious misunderstanding, misconception, bad spirit or confusion into the situation. It cannot be traced and corrected without the Holy Spirit and diligent enquiring. The person, who is unaware of this must go sufficiently deep into his own heart and begin to search and see for himself that this indeed has happened! And it is not always easy.
4. This point is more obvious than the above ones in that in many occasions, believers may understand or imagine things that were said in a totally different light and meaning than they were actually meant!
In this case, it may be either the “fault” of the speaker or of the listener. This phenomenon also causes a mutual misunderstanding and thus a division between the persons involved. Here, we are not dealing with psychological problems and things pertaining to our physical life, rather we are purely dealing with spiritual things, problems and topics. The cause can usually be traced to the darkness in the believer’s mind concerning the things of God or of this world. This darkness is the natural state of a believer’s mind, especially concerning spiritual realities, before the mind is sufficiently renewed in its spirit. (Eph. 4:23)
5. If our mind is not sufficiently renewed by the Holy Spirit, we have no choice but to speak and express the thoughts or imaginations which are produced purely by our natural mind. Since our natural minds differ in various ways and there is no unity, and since our natural minds can not receive and understand the things of the Spirit of God (1Cor. 2:14), our words may very easily bring confusion, misunderstanding, misconception and chaos. This is then used by the powers of darkness to divide us, keep us separated, bring bad spirit into our midst and keep the Lord’s Spirit away from us.
Since (the spirit of) our mind is the last to be renewed after our heart and will have sufficiently been cleansed, recreated and strengthened in any particular area, then it does indeed take a comparatively long time before any group of believers can trully “be of the same mind” or of “one mind”. (Rom. 12:16// 2Cor. 13:11// Phil. 1:27; 2:2// 1Pet. 3:8)
It is especially this area of our renewal where the rule “here a little, there a little” (Is. 28:10) applies without any shortcuts. It thus takes a long time, patience and perseverance to cross this mire of darkness and deception and to change this “workshop of Satan” into the “workshop of Christ”. (1Cor. 2:16// Phil. 2:5// 1Pet. 4:1)
Whenever the believer says: “It did not occur to me…” when we deal with simple or logical matters, it always shows some darkness in his mind and heart. This should be brought before the Lord as soon as possible in order that He might show the root of the problem and deliver the individual from it.
6. One chief cause of these horrible divisions among believers and thus in the Church is our hypocrisy!
Hypocrisy is the natural branch of the pride in our old natural heart. It acts as a “gate guard” which is supposed to prevent any disclosures of our pride and its secrets in our Christian life. It thus sifts any information that can leave the heart and prevents you from speaking out your beliefs or intentions. Hypocrisy is the opposite of holiness!
Hypocrisy means that we speak, write or otherwise express things as “facts” that are not true within us, within our heart or mind! We lie! Why? To preserve the pride in our heart, to preserve “our image” or to gain something unrighteously. What is on the outside of us does not correspond to what is inside of us! We simply cannot afford to speak the truth because it would convict us, it would show who we truly are and we would thus lose our self-made Christian “mask”, our Christian image.
Sometimes we are truly not aware of the things, which may be in our hearts and how deeply they may deceive us. At other times, we prefer to keep deceiving ourselves that we are “not that bad” as others may be telling us. We consciously suppress speaking truth and thereby uncovering the powers of darkness hiding within our soul. Why? Because pain and shame are involved in exposing them. But this is exactly the price of our deliverance and overcoming ourselves.
Holiness is our transparency where what is inside of us is clearly shown on the outside and vice versa. This is a part of “Christ’s Image” to which we are supposed to be transformed through the Power, Grace, Wisdom and other virtues of Our Lord and our cooperation with Him. (Phil. 2:12; 4:13// Eph. 4:24, etc.)
Unless we follow (or acquire) holiness, we shall not see the Lord! (Heb. 12:14)
Can you clearly see that hypocrisy and holiness are exact opposites? Can you see why the Holy Lord hated hypocrites? Why they were already condemned to hell? Well, read again Mt. 23:13-33 carefuly. Imagine the loving and merciful Lord Jesus speaking like that. Imagine His Heart and Soul, His anger, His pain. Do you not see from His Words and from the above spiritual facts how devilish, evil and damning hypocrisy really is? It has the power to bring us to hell and it helps to bring there also those that we may affect and deceive. That includes our family, our loved ones, our spouses and those cute children of ours. In reality, we may be preparing their final destiny, which we would, in fact, never wish for them in our wildest dreams.
To “open our heart” then means to overcome the power of our hypocrisy, to disarm and subdue this “gate guard” and enter our heart. It is never without certain painful experiences, certain conscious effort on our part. But this is exactly the proof that WE are working out our own salvation (Phil. 2:12), that WE are putting on our New Man (Eph. 4:24), that WE are cleansing ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God! (