Tuesday 29 March 2011

Coming Out of Darkness Part 9 by Gary Sigler

Transformation Not Condemnation Part 3

There are a number of physical weaknesses in the human race which can be inherited, yet if somebody develops a disease; we don't condemn them, do we? Of course we don't. And I tell you, sin is a disease, and you can't help it. Can I help it if an illness develops in my body? (I'm speaking here in natural terms.) Can I help it, and am I condemned for it? When I go to pray, am I reminded of this disease and do I say, "Oh my God, I shouldn't have this!" and then fall under condemnation? But that is what we do with sin, not realizing that it is just the natural man. "I delight in the law of God, but I find another law at work in my members bringing me into captivity to the law of sin and death." And you say, "But Brother, do we always have to live there?" No. Transformation is the only thing that will cure the sin disease in your body. It is the only thing.

You can pray all day, you can read the Bible all day, you can do anything you want to do, and if it is simply done in the natural, if there is no contact with the living, energizing Spirit of God, there will be no transformation.

Do you remember that years ago, before Jesus came there were priests in the temple praying 24 hours a day for the Messiah to come? Yet when He walked among them, they didn't recognize Him. Prayer doesn't always help you. There is only one hope for you, and that is that you have a heart for God. That is the only thing that is going to help you. And if you don't have a heart for God, it is very easy to obtain. If you get around people who love God, you will just find yourself having a heart for God. (We need to learn the power of transference. Many of us who have been in the deliverance ministry have been taught in the past about the "transference of spirits". Well, let me tell you something: we need to learn about the transference of the Holy Spirit!) When we begin to grow up into God, and transformation begins to take place as the Spirit of God begins to flow into all areas of our lives and bring transformation, it becomes very easy to live godly. It becomes very easy to believe God. Why? Well, Paul tells you, "Be renewed in the spirit of your mind that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." The good, the acceptable and the perfect will of God. We take a verse like that, and we can break it down and preach doctrines forever on it. But the key is to have a renewed mind to see that at the cross, you were made a holy person. God would never look upon sin, and He need not, because He took the sins of humanity to the cross and into death, and they are no longer there. Many people say, "That sounds like Christian Science. Are you saying there is no sin?" I am saying that God took it away, but merely seeing that there is no sin won't really help you. What will help you is simply to realize that you need God And if you realize that your sin does not keep you and separate you from getting to God for the help that you need, that is "Christian sense", not Christian Science. In God's eyes there is no sin, and there is coming a day when we are going to realize that and begin to walk in it -- and then there won't be sin for us either. It was dealt with. "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (the Greek word is metamorphoo, which means an actual transformation; it's the same word that we would use for a caterpillar that is transformed into a butterfly). Right now we might look pretty ugly, but there is a work going on. I can look back now, and I can actually thank God for those things in my life that caused me to seek Him. I don't care how bad the sin was; I don't care how deep the lust, or whatever it was that was in my life; those things were used by God to drive me to Him. There are multitudes of Christians on the scrap heap because they have never understood that they don't have to be any certain kind of person or live up to a certain standard to get to God. Let's look at 2 Corinthians 3, beginning at verse 2: "Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." Now let's go on to verse 6: "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."

I have heard many, many messages on that verse, yet some of the very pastors who spoke that verse could not help me when I went to them for help for my condition.

"Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter." Listen. He said, "Able ministers of the new testament." Most of God’s servants today would say, "Oh, I don't minister by the letter." If we would just stop and think sometimes what is meant by these words, we would see that whenever you are ministering by the letter of the word you are ministering by the law and the law brings death. I heard a message on "giving" a couple of weeks ago, and it was one of the best messages that I have ever heard. It was given by Dave Davis. He was ministering not the letter, but the spirit. He said that when it comes to giving in the New Testament, it's not a matter of trying to figure out whether I should tithe or whether I shouldn't tithe, it's a matter of hearing God! What is God saying to you? For years, my wife and I have not followed a set rule or principle of tithing. God told me many years ago, "Don't try to walk in the spirit by the letter of the law, because the minute you try to put laws upon the people, the very thing that you're trying to get them to do, they will not do." They won't do it, and that is natural, because with the knowledge of the Law comes the bondage to keep you from performing the Law (Romans 7). But religion has made it sound so nice: "Our tithing is a part of our worship," and oh, I know that! It's a shame that pastors even have to talk and teach about tithing; it's a shame! Why can't we teach people, "I hear God and you can hear God also." And what is He saying to you? Is He saying to you to tithe? Then by all means tithe. My wife and I, if I may use us for an example again, have given away our rent money. We have given away our cars. At times, we have given way beyond the tithe. But if you put people under the law, some of them are going to fulfill the law. They are going to pay their tithe and then think that everything else they have is theirs to do with as they want. Not so! You need to do what He says. "For God has made us able ministers of the New Covenant -- not of the letter." Pastor, you should not be teaching people how to tithe; you should be teaching people how to enter into the presence of the Living God. You should be telling people, "Don't come to me and ask what you should do. Don't come to me and ask if you should tithe; come to me and let us worship together. Come to me and let me help you enter into the presence where He is, and then do what He says." I used walk into churches and hear forty-five minutes of teaching on giving, sometimes in every service. Then, when I ask the pastor, "Why are you doing that?" he will say, "Well, the people just aren't giving; they need to be taught how to give." Let me tell you something, pastors: If you are pastoring a church and your people aren't giving, the problem is not your people. Hear me! We pastored at Fall Creek, Oregon, for three-and-a-half years, and I never asked people for money. I was still in the church system at that time, and I still went by some of the rules of the system, because I was still a lot more ignorant than I am today. But you know, I've always had that heart to give. And God sat me down for about four years recently, and I didn't minister anywhere to anyone, except on an individual basis, and He said when He released me to minister, "Always remember: I gave My very best. Therefore when you go into a church, when you go into a home, wherever you go, go to give. Try to give even more than you can receive." God does have many in leadership today who will give. People tell me all the time, "Brother, it costs you money to make those books, tapes and CD’s, and besides, if you would sell them, it would enable you to have the finances to fulfill God's will in your life." And I say, "Read Revelation, chapters 17 & 18, please," because the principles of Babylon, the principles of the world, the principles of our so-called Christianity are those of buying and selling, and the principles of the Kingdom are giving and receiving. I never tell anyone, "I won't receive from you." If you want to write me a check for a million dollars, I'll say, "Thank you, brother!" and I'll cry, and I'll thank God. But if you try to buy something from me, I won't sell it to you. It's not according to the principles of the Kingdom. Our churches have to be brought into Kingdom awareness and Kingdom living. If our churches were giving churches, rather than taking churches, we would fill them! We couldn't hold all the people! God gave His very best. So, Pastor, if your people aren't giving, don't blame the people. If God wants to shut me down, all He has to do is to pull my finances away from me, and I can't minister, because I don't have anything to sell, I don't have any way to support my ministry outside of working physically. (We do that, but it's not enough to support a ministry. The most my wife and I can do together is to put about $200 a month into our ministry account to go toward producing the books and the tapes, but that is almost nothing.) So if I get crossways with God and He wants to shut me down, He can just pull the finances, and I can't minister. I would challenge every pastor and every minister: Let God do that in your life! One of the key things that God needs to reveal to us is that the benefits of Calvary are ours regardless of our condition. I cannot emphasize this enough! If you are a prostitute, or, if you are full of lust, envy, pride, jealousy -- whatever it is, all you need is to learn how to touch God. But yet, because of our Christian teaching, we have thought that to be impossible. We can't be a sinner and touch God! We can't be full of lust; we can't commit adultery and touch God! But the truth is, if you are an adulterer or you are caught up in lust or any other thing, and you never touch God, you will never change! It sometimes takes years for transformation to take place in our lives. The Apostle Paul says, "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day" (2 Corinthians 4:6). The word "renewed" is anakainoo (Strong's 341: to cause to grow up, new, to make new). Thayer's says this means that: A new strength and vigor is given to one B) to be changed into a new kind of life as opposed to the former corrupt state.

To be continued

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