Tuesday 12 April 2011

Coming Out of Darkness Part 22 by Gary Sigler

Three Stages of Spiritual Growth Part 2 Young Men

"I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one" (1 Jn. 2:13-14). The Word of God abiding in you is much more than just memorizing the words of the Bible. Years ago, I had entire chapters of the Bible committed to memory without much experience of the Word operating in my life. When the Word of God abides in you, it becomes a part of your being. It becomes the Word again made flesh. It is the living and abiding Word working in you that enables you to live godly and overcome the wicked one. As the Word begins to operate in you, you begin, in small ways at first, to think and speak according to the principles of the Word and begin to see change take place in your life. Whenever we speak from our spirit the words of God that abide in us, those words have just as much value as the words spoken from the lips of Jesus . This is not the name it and claim it doctrine. Many people try to use positive confession and thinking, trying to manipulate God to do what they want. Most of them do not realize what they are doing, but this is the case. Whenever you take the written Word of God that He spoke to someone else long ago and use that as positive confession you are not abiding in the Word. However, if you are reading the Bible and God speaks it again to you and it becomes a living thing to you, then you can speak it in true faith and assurance that what you speak will come to pass. The key to speaking the Word is to only speak what God has spoken to you. An Example of Acting on the Spoken Word I will never forget a few years ago a former pastor of ours rose one Sunday morning and in his prayer time God spoke to Him and said, "Joe is going to walk today." Joe had been in a wheelchair for quite sometime unable to walk. In church that morning, the pastor went up to Joe and said, "God spoke to me today and said you were going to walk, so get up." Joe just looked at him and said "I can’t do it" but the pastor said, "God said you were going to walk, so get up." Still Joe just shook his head no and said he could not get up. Then the pastor spoke to two ushers and said, "Get Joe out of his chair." They pulled Joe out of his chair and the pastor said, "Make him walk." The ushers dragged him back and forth across the front of the church with the pastor saying, "In the name of Jesus you will walk," over and over for about ten minutes. By this time everyone in the church was thinking the pastor had missed God, but he just kept on saying "Walk." All at once, as the ushers were dragging this man across the church, strength came into his legs and he began to stand on his feet and walk alone. Well, you can imagine the praises that ascended to God that morning. This is the only way true miracles happen in ministry. You cannot just read in the Bible that God heals people and then start speaking the Word to everyone you see that is sick. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying you shouldn’t pray for the sick, you should. If God doesn’t give you a Word for a miracle, pray for them but don’t make a fool of yourself and do disgrace to the Spirit of God by speaking a word of healing to someone and it not happening. You won’t have to make excuses why the person did not get healed like, "You just didn’t have enough faith. I spoke the Word but you did not believe." There is so much of that kind of trash in the church which just brings condemnation on people because you were not acting out of faith. Joe did not have faith to be healed, but God had spoken to the pastor, and what God speaks to you, HE will do.

An Example of Speaking a Word You Haven’t Heard

A few years ago, I saw one of the leading "Word of Faith" teachers line up about 15 wheelchair patients and begin to speak the "Word of Faith" to them to rise up and walk. When nothing happened, he began to exhort them to try to move their legs and he began to pull them from their chairs. They began to fall on the floor, still being exhorted to put their faith to work and begin to walk. They were squirming around on the floor desperately trying to believe and be healed. I will never forget that pitiful sight as long as I live. Not a one of them received the ability to walk. This took place on nationwide television. What a disgrace to the miracle-working power of God. People of God are doing the same thing across the world today, speaking a word that was given to someone else two thousand years ago, and nothing is happening. They are speaking for healing, cars, lands and prosperity, thinking they are rich in the Word and faith, not knowing they are miserable, blind, wretched, poor and naked. Jesus said, "I do only those things I see my Father do, not those things I read in the Old Testament. Jesus told his disciples to heal the sick and cast out devils and they had a marvelous ministry. If He says to you to do the same, then when you speak a Word of healing, healing is what will take place. I know I can be misunderstood here, but you must hear the spirit in these words. If we will take the time to sit in God’s presence, He will begin to speak to us, and then when we do speak the Word it will come to pass. I am not against the "Word of Faith" teaching. It is just that you must hear God yourself and then live, act, speak, and do that which He speaks. When I become full of the Word of God as a living reality, as I begin to hear God speak to me in my daily life, then I take that which He has spoken to me and I speak, and I live, and I center everything around that which God has spoken to me. I become that which I speak. Again, this is the experience of the Word becoming flesh. "As a man thinks in his heart so is he " (Prov. 23:7). Jesus said, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45). Whatever you think in your heart, you will speak out of your mouth, and the creative words that you speak bring to you your experience of tomorrow. The words that you speak can be very powerful. They can work for you either positively or negatively. We must, by the grace of God, have revealed to us the heart that we were given at the new birth. Young Men Have Overcome the Wicked One When we hear a word like this, we can immediately interpret it with the natural mind and think of the devil out there somewhere. The devil outside of you is not the problem. Jesus took care of him at the cross. The Word says, "And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross" (Col. 2:15, NIV). One who has realized the power of the cross and has had their mind renewed to see that the devil is not the problem is on the way to a great spiritual awakening. The devil on the outside of us has been defeated. We have been taught so much the power of the devil that we believe in it and that is what gives it the power. The devil we need to overcome is that carnal mind that was received by the Fall. The wicked one is that rebellion, that consciousness we received at the Fall. It is that consciousness we have of being separate and alienated from God. The flesh, the carnal man, is the wicked one we need to overcome. If the Word abides in you, and you become the Word, then you have overcome the wicked one. This, of course, is a matter of transformation. Your growth from a little child to a young man is a long process. I believe God is speeding up the process in these days, because we are very close to God bringing "many sons into glory" (Heb 2:10). We are very close to God removing the veil cast over all nations (Isa 25:7). The covering cast over America is most deceiving. We are in the darkness and covering of religion disguising itself as Christianity. The system of Christianity is included in that "wicked one" that we must overcome. How many people realize that this beautiful, full of good works, system is a part of BABYLON the mother of HARLOTS spoken of in The Revelation chapter 17? Larry & Betty Hodges, in their publication, The Shofar Letters, issue 2, 1997, say: Some are loathe to leave the stain-glassed cathedrals, the pews and pulpits, the hirelings and hierarchies, the Sunday morning meeting at 10:00 A.M., three songs, an offering and 30 minutes of freeze-dried prepackaged pabulum, and have therefore, in many cases, chosen these very things over the Lord Himself. They do so because they have been made drunk with the wine of the fornication of harlotries. Although espoused to the Lord, their hearts have gone after other lovers. Men who would never be caught dead in a real brothel think nothing of frequenting spiritual houses of ill-repute for the same reasons, though spiritual. Before I continue further, let me make it clear that I am not referring here to those who are still in need of keeping the feast of Pentecost; who still very much need to gather together with others of like precious faith, or of those who come together in the Spirit. I am referring to those who remain in Babylon and refuse to leave its ways, customs, rituals, or ceremonies. Lest you misunderstand who Babylon is, it is all the religious systems, groups, denominations and non-denominational denominations, including Charismatic, Pentecostal, and some home-meetings.

Men who would never
be caught dead in a real brothel
think nothing of frequenting
spiritual houses of ill-repute
for the same reasons,
though spiritual.

It is that which bears the stamp and spirit of the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth! It is Things, men, movements, institutions, organizations, etc. which draw the multitudes after themselves and attach the crowds to themselves. It is the principle of Anti-christ; that which definitely supplants, or intends to supplant Christ. It is an alternative to the whole Christ in man-made Christianity; an imitation life borne and carried on by it’s own momentum. (The Shofar Letters, Larry and Betty Hodges, P.O. Box 728, Linwood, NC 27299) We Must Overcome Bigotry Someone asked me a short time ago, "Why is it that most of God’s people get angry when they are told about the possibility of God saving everyone?" In the Old Testament, the Jews thought that they were the only people of God on the earth. The Jews were very bigoted. When Jesus came they were so sure that the gospel He brought was only for them. They would never have gone to the Gentiles with the gospel. Peter had to have a vision from God to convince him to take the gospel to the Gentiles. Acts tells us, "On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour. And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common" (Acts 10:9-15). We can see by these verses that God no longer calls any man unclean. In this vision, He was telling Peter that God has cleansed everyone and He is not a bigot. His love and His redemption are for the world, not just a select group of people. Christians are the most bigoted group of people on the earth today. Christians get upset with me when they hear me talk about God being the Father of all and redeeming all and being able to save someone who does not know about Jesus. Even those who claim to know Jesus fight among themselves. Even within their own denominations they argue over doctrinal differences. The Baptists are divided over baptism. The Lutherans are divided amongst themselves. The Pentecostals are divided. These religions are all divided because of man’s carnal interpretation of the Bible. Anyone who sees the oneness of Christ and the Church could never be a part of that HARLOT system. Revelation 17:3 says that she is "full of names of blasphemy". We should not call ourselves anything. Not Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal or anything else. Paul told the Corinthians, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?" (1 Cor. 3:1-4). How could the Word be more plain? Jesus Himself said in Matthew 12:25, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." The Institutional Church could never be a testimony to God because of the division among her. We must drop all bigotry and division. God is our Father and we are one family. You may be a Catholic or Pentecostal, but regardless of your affiliation, you are my brother and I love you and will minister to you. Our Oneness Is in His Life Our oneness is in His life, not in our doctrines or carnal knowledge. A doctrine, no matter how good or correct it is, should never be used to divide the people of God. The Apostle Paul said, "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Eph. 4:13-14). A doctrine held in esteem above fellowship with another person is a wind that will carry you away from Christ. There is a people on the earth today who are coming into the unity of the faith, and they see the futility of the organized church with its forms, programs and rituals. They are not, as some suppose, "Forsaking the assembling of themselves together". They are coming out of Babylon and becoming a chaste virgin unto Christ. These are not sectarian or exclusive. They realize there are precious saints of God in all denominations and groups, but they themselves cannot any longer partake of the HARLOT system that keeps people in bondage. God’s people are beginning to realize that they have one life and one nature. The young men are those who feed on spiritual food and speak the word as it is given by the Spirit. They then overcome the negative things in their life and grow in grace and knowledge until they walk experientially in the kingdom.

Next "The Fathers"

No comments: