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murjahel

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This is December.  The year of 2013 is almost over.  We have looked at the word W.O.R.S.H.I.P. AND C.L.I.M.A.X.  for the year of 2013.  We shall look at  how those word fit for the year in the next week or so.   Also, the Lord has given me a 'word' for 2014, and I will examine it, in discussion, before the end of the year, and continue showing how it fits into what God is wanting to do, and to show us in this time.  Please stay tuned....   God is currently wakening me almost nightly and showing me a bit more on both the years of 2013, and 2014.. I will share with you shortly, and you can test it through the year. 
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The word for 2014 that the Lord has been talking to me concerning, is purify.   It also has an acrostic meaning, and we will look at teach step of the process of purification, that the Lord is calling us to continue in, as never before.

The Lord has had us 'worship', and reach a climax of worship, an entering into His presence with the praises and true worship that He has desired.  Now, He wants to grasp our hands, draw us close unto His manifest presence, and enjoy blessings beyond measure.   To do such, we need to PURIFY our carnal nature, and thereby allow God to draw closer to us.

Much more to come in explanation of this word,  stay tuned...


P--progress
 
 
U--uncover
 
 
R--restore
 
 
I--intensify
 
 
F--follow
 
 
Y--yearn

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THE PROCESS OF PURIFICATION
WILL SOON COMPLETE
AT THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH

 



We would all like to be ‘pure’, ‘holy’, and totally righteous. Yet, in all humility, we need to realize that we are still bound in this ‘carnal’ body, and until the rapture, we are subject to failures and shortcomings. The call to ‘purity’, to take it on ourselves to ‘purify’ this carnal person, and be holy, is normally ignored, shied away from, or given an apathetic nod. We know our own weaknesses and failures are far more common than we like to admit.


Holy living in Greek society was abnormal. There was a laxity of morals, and the idea of ‘sanctification’, of being holy for a God, of having to change from wicked living, to be pleasing to deity... was totally foreign to these people.



Today in our country, we find the same type of thing. In the sitcoms of television, immorality, unethical, illegal behavior is seen in the ‘heroes’ or stars of the program. Pornography, incest, abortion, homosexuality, vengeance, and foul language are the norm of television and movie plots. The heroes the television and movie stories are not the kind of people you would trust your child to ride with to the mall. Yet, we have ‘praised’ their performance, awarded prizes to the shows, and let our children sit and watch them. The morals we are developing in our society, are nearing what they were in Thessalonica in Paul’s day.



Paul takes a firm stand, he says sanctification is not an option, but mandatory. He claims it to be the ‘will of God’. The people are to completely separate themselves, and their behavior to that which would please a holy God. Wrong passions bring punishment, for the "Lord is the avenger’.

Paul goes so far as to tell them, that to ‘despise’ another brother or sister in the Lord, is to despise God. How fearful to be treated by God, as though you had told Him that you hated Him. The hope of His coming, should purify us, make us totally unlike this sinful, immoral, hateful world.



I John 3:3

"And every man that hath this hope in him,

purifieth himself, even as He is pure."



I Thessalonians 4:

9. But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

10. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but; we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more

 



God has shown the world, what true and real love is. If we follow His example, and teaching, we will know the difference between love and lust. Lust is selfish, destructive. Love is selfless and constructive. When we do not love a Christian brother, God takes it personally.



I John 4:7-8

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God and every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love."



Love either grows or lessons; so, although the Thessalonians loved, there was more, and they could increase in the love they had. Do you love the Lord more than ever before? Do you love your wife and children more than ever? If we are in the perfect will of God, as Paul is instructing here, we are to be growing in love, and ‘increasing more and more’ in love.



I Thessalonians 4:

11. And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

12. That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

 



Paul then advises that they are to have a quiet, industrious life. Practical righteousness is needed, and this practical righteousness is not a list of do’s and ‘don’t’s, with ‘clothes line’ mentality of the ‘holiness nit-pickers’, but it is a fervent love for God and others that Paul wants to see exercised. Fervent love is shown in actions, but the actions are a natural by-product of this love.

Christians are a living epistle, ‘known and read of all men’ (II Corinthians 3:2). Our conduct as Christians can others to bless or curse the Lord. We can inspire others to want to know the One we serve, or we can ‘blaspheme’ God via our behavior.



Romans 2:24

"For the name of God is blasphemed among the gentiles through you."



I Timothy 6:1

"Let as many as be servants that be under the yoke count their masters worthy of all honor that the name of God and His doctrine be not blasphemed."



Titus 2:4-5

"teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed."



Paul saw a need here, for these people to get busy, settle down, do their work, and love one another, in other words to ‘get busy’ in the process of purification.



God demands obedience, and requires confession of the sins of failure in this obedience. We were created to share His nature. ‘Be ye holy, for I am holy" but are not able to be perfect while in this carnal flesh. So, we enter the process of purification, and allow the Lord to work in our hearts, making us more and more to be perfect, and we repent of all failures.



God’s laws are not insensitive nor illogical. They are decrees designed to bring us into His love, and to help us share His nature. We are to be a ‘holy temple.’ This temple, while still here on earth, needs frequent cleansings, and the defiled needs purified.



I Corinthians 3:16-17

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? For the temple of God is holy, which temple are ye."



How much sin can we get away with? How sad to hear Christians voice such thoughts, and complain because we cannot do something sinful. We are ‘bought with a price’ (I Cor. 6:19-20). We are to have a nature like unto God’s own, and we are to be seeking that ‘impossible’ goal, not seeking to see how ‘sinful’ can we be.



God wants us blameless at His coming.

I Thessalonians 5:22-23

"Abstain from all appearance of evil, and the God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."


The word ‘unto’ in that passage is the Greek word ‘en’ meaning ‘in’. In the time of His presence appearing to us in the rapture, we are to be then, and not until then, totally purified, with the carnal flesh left behind in the rapture.


The word ‘coming’ in the above verse, is parousia, referring to the ‘appearing’ time of Jesus in the rapture. It is then, our carnal body is left behind, our new, eternal, and holy body is taken on, and we are ‘blameless’ and purified in His sight.




Since we know He will soon appear in the clouds, we are to be in the process of purification. We want to ‘purify’ ourselves, in a process of repenting of failures, seeking to live more as did Jesus, and so when He appears in the clouds, when He calls us to rise up to Him, we will have repented, acknowledged in confession for all of which we are ashamed. Therefore, the expectation of His coming, gives us reason to purify ourselves.

I John 3:3

"And every man that hath this hope in him,

purifieth himself, even as He is pure."

 

 

 



THIS PROCESS CONTINUES THOUGH OUR LIVES,

AND IS NOT COMPLETED

TILL WE MEET JESUS IN THE CLOUDS

 

Ephesians 5:26-27 (KJV)

26 That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Jesus, often using the Word of God, is in a process of purifying us, cleansing us, with the ‘washing of the water by the Word’. This process is going on, so that when we stand in the clouds, being presented to Him, we will then be pure, cleansed. Since it is not till then that the ‘carnal’ person in each of us cannot any longer battle the desire we have to be pure in Him.


When Jesus presents us to Himself in the clouds, we will be totally purified, free from the carnality of our person. Till then, we let Him continue us in the process of purification.

more to come


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PURIFY

 

P = progress




1 John 2:6 (KJV)

He that saith he abideth in Him

ought himself also so to walk,

even as He walked.

 



Purification of our person is a process we enter upon salvation. Until then, all the goodness, kind deeds, smiles, etc mean nothing. Our righteousness is as filthy rags, we are destitute of goodness. After salvation, we are forgiven, and justified, but still have the carnal nature that wants to do and to think contrary to God and His ways.



Before purification of the carnal person can truly begin, the ‘forgiveness’ of the sinner must occur. Then the continued forgiveness given by the one forgiven, continues, in this purification process. We are to ‘PROGRESS’ in forgiveness, as we are purified.



Paul emphasized forgiveness and love, as being a major part of this purification process. Can Christians forgive? Can we call it love, if forgiveness is not part of it? Too many Christians try to claim ‘love’ without the element of ‘forgiveness’ being present.



"Forgiveness" is from the Hebrew word ‘shalach’, meaning ‘to have a weight lifted.’ Forgiveness lifts the burdens of hurts from the past. You are not burdening yourself, when you forgive, but you are giving up a burden. The burden of unforgiveness torments many, causes sickness, and grief beyond measure.


Remember, how freely Jesus forgave us. If Jesus forgave us so much, how can we deny forgiveness to those who did to us, so much less?


Matthew 18:32-35 tells us a servant forgiven a great, enormous debt. Then he finds someone who owed him a pittance, and has him thrown in jail for it. The one owed the first debt, then cancelled the forgiveness, and demanded payment or jail. The story concludes with: "So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also to you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother, his trespasses."


Joseph is an example, for he could have sought revenge against Potiphar’s wife, or against the butler, or against his own brothers. Yet, according to the history book called ‘Jasher’, Joseph married the daughter of Potiphar. The butler was forgiven, and the brothers were forgiven.


The Lord’s prayer says ‘forgive us as we forgive’ (Matthew 6:12). This is prayer that is meant to be a model for all our prayers. God desires greatly for us to be forgiving. We cannot claim to be pure before God, if we are not forgiving.



Mark 11:25

"And when ye stand praying, forgive if ye have ought against any, that your Father also Who is in heaven may forgive you, your trespasses."



Anger, wrath, grudges, resentment and unforgiveness are destroyers of one’s soul. If we do not purify ourselves from such, they will damn our souls.



I John 1:7

"If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."



Colossians 3:8-12

"Put off all these, anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another... put on the new man that is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created Him."


Romans 12:21

"...overcome evil with good..."


Romans 12:19

"...vengeance is Mine..."


Knowing that we are to be called to the judgment seat of Christ, very soon, we should seek to purify ourselves to the purity expected of Jesus. Since we expect Him to arrive for us soon, this purification is urgent.


So, we come to God in repentance, He forgives, and we then enter a time of ‘purification’ that will not end until we are presented to Him in the clouds on the day of the rapture. We PROGRESS daily, I hope, in this purification process.




WE START OUT VERY EVIL IN NATURE,

POLLUTED IN MIND, WEAK IN WILL,

AND THE PURIFICATION PROCESS OF GOD UPON US,

HELPS US PROGRESS.

 



The devil tried and succeeded in polluting the pure mind of Eve. Disguised as a serpent, he convinced her that God may have been keeping a secret of knowledge that she may want to know. He convinced her that the forbidden fruit was a key to finding truth. Yet, she was believing a liar, and allowing her mind to become polluted by sin. Adam allowed the suggestion of Eve to bring his mind into the pollution of sin.


We are now nearing the end of this rebellion time against God, this pollution of the minds that God had created pure and perfect. Christ will soon return, and this end the devils work against the minds of mankind. The Lord has had those whom He has forgiven, in a PROGRESSIVE program of purification. He will come, and bring with Him the saints, who have been purified. We will rule and reign with Him for a 1000 years on this earth.


Some, that we the purified rule over, will then have a final test, to determine who, will allow their minds to be polluted again. Those who allow this pollution of the mind, will be destroyed, along with the earth. The redeemed, mercifully forgiven, justified, and righteous-in-Christ, saints will then rule and reign with the Lord on the new heaven and the new earth for eternity!!!


We are already in this PROGRESSIVE work of God, purifying, testing, and more purifying of our hearts and minds. Our minds will be free from pollution at the rapture, and the minds of the humans of the millennium will also then be free from sin’s pollution.


When Adam and Eve allowed their minds to be polluted, it brought to end the first dispensation of mankind, the dispensation of innocence. In it, mankind was on probation. Could he resist the pollution of sin, or not. It had a very favorable beginning. Everything was perfect, sinless, and under man's dominion. He had only one command to obey, and everything else came natural to him.


Genesis 2:17

"But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, for in the day that thou eatest, thou shalt surely die."


This was their only test to pass. Could they resist the foul ideas of temptation, to make them believe that evil was good? Could they be made to think that God would have tried to rob them of something they deserved? Could their minds be twisted to think that they could rise to the level of God? Mankind failed, due to polluted minds, that twisted the pure and true thinking they once had. It now takes a PROGRESS of PURIFICATION, as we walk with the Lord. God wants to bless and empower, but it takes a PROGRESSIVE PURIFICATION to allow us to be so blessed.


Genesis 3:6

"And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and the tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."


Adam and Eve had the power of choice. If God had not given the power to mankind to choose sin or righteousness, mankind would have simply been robots. God's purpose was to test see if mankind could remain innocent, and be true to God's trust, and thereby remain perfect under all conditions.

 


Mere untried virtue does not deserve the name. Goodness is not a passive quality, but a deliberate choice between right and wrong. The innocence of a baby, is one of simplicity. The child is too unaware of its world to make temptation to sin possible. But a child must grow and mature, the mind must come to a choice of purity, or of pollution. When temptation comes, a choice determines if we keep purity of mind, peace of God, or pollution of sin. Though we all love the innocence of a baby, we do not want the child to remain for decades in that state, but we desire to see the normal human development, and awareness growth.


God wanted mankind to be wise, knowing, and still be faithful to Him as their Father and Creator. He knew they would sin, but He wanted to test mankind before the birth of offspring, so He could deal with such sin on a universal nature. The whole human race can now be dealt with alike, for we are all descendants of Adam and Eve who first allowed pollution of sin into the mind.


Satan is called the "accuser of the brethren", and he is known as a tempter of God's children. Temptation was subtle, but the devil could not force pollution into mankind



People are now corrupt, have a bias toward evil, and are totally unable in themselves to restore their former purity of mind. God cannot be pleased with even the good works of a sinner, for the mind is polluted, tends toward evil. The polluted mind is universal, and all people must be born again into a new mind that is mercifully given. Total depravity in our minds make mankind unable, outside the merciful grace of God, to please God. Though mankind may possess goodness, civility, good deeds, charity, and seem religious, without the repentance of sins, and the acceptance of God's divine gift of the Lamb of God, i.e. Jesus Christ, and His atonement on the cross for us, there is no salvation from the polluted mind of sin!



MANKIND IS ‘TOTALLY DEPRAVED’,

AND THEREFORE NEEDS

TO PROGRESS IN PURIFICATION.

 



"TOTAL DEPRAVITY" does not mean that everyone has no qualities pleasing to others. But it does mean, that people are prone to sin, and the mind tends to be opposed to God's ways. Even though many sinners do some things that in themselves would be pleasing to God, without the acceptance of Jesus as the atonement for our sins, those things will not please God.



The only thing sinners can do, that will avail, is to give heed to God's way of salvation. The grace of God, and the transforming power of the Spirit of God, can change the totally depraved mind of sin. Depravity of mind has infected all people. Inborn pollution of our minds will damn everyone who does not find the atoning work of Christ, and accept that atonement as their own.



Some feel guilt, and others claim to not feel any guilt. That feeling is not the measure of our condition. Whether we feel guilt or not, we are still totally depraved of any ability to please God, outside of His merciful plan. People are devoid of even the desire to serve God and repent for sins. Unless God convicts sinners, they will have no desire to ask God for mercy.



John 6:44

"No man can come to Me, except the Father Which has sent Me, draw him..."



If the totally depraved of mind sinners, who feel this drawing toward God and His mercy, accept Jesus, they are forgiven, and accepted into the family of God.



I Cor. 15:22

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."



By Adam's sin came physical death upon a mankind. Also spiritual death ensued, the mind once alive and pure has died due to sin. This death passed upon all of mankind since.


Romans 5:12-21

"Wherefore by one man, sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many... judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification .... Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of One, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience, man were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."



The tragedy of this pollution of mind, is that many stay trapped in the sins brought about by the pollution. Many do not get into the PURIFICATION progressive work of the Lord. This year of 2014, the Lord Jesus, I believe, is calling us to PURIFICATION. We need to be in this progressive work, that will not be completed until we stand in the clouds with Him. That time is coming near, and we have still great need of PURIFICATION.


Jesus made a way of escape from sin’s defilement. Yet, many do not choose that "narrow" way to salvation. After death comes judgment, without any chance of being saved, if one has died in sin.



Hebrews 9:27

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment..."



This life is our probation, this is our time of progressing toward purification. There is no Scripture to give us hope of a purgatory, or a chance after death. If one is righteous, heaven awaits after death [II Cor. 5:8, Phil. 1:21-24]. If one is unrighteous, then hell fire awaits them moments after death [Lk. 16:19-31, Rev. 20:11-15]. There is no purgatory, no re-incarnation, no second chance. Our chance is here and now, and Jesus made the way for us. Jesus has saved us, and allowed us a time here on the earth to let Him progress us through this purification time.

 



Ephesians 4:22-24

"That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt ...be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."

God has placed within the mind of mankind - both a soul and a spirit. The soul has the evil tendencies and lusts. It is the part that is polluted due to original sin. The spirit is the part of man, that before the fall was "hand in hand" with God. When sin came that grasp to God was broken. Since then, the spirit of mankind reaches out for God. It is never satisfied until it finds God. The soul is reaching out for self, and in self-seeking battles the spirit for control. The soul of man wars against the idea of turning control over to the spirit to seek, find, and worship God.



The purification process helps us learn to walk more and more grasping the hand of our Lord. We allow the progressive cleansing of this depraved person continue. We are already saved, but we are saved ‘unto good works’, and the progressive purification is our way of learning to do that.


God had a plan to destroy the pollution of mankind. God provided a plan of salvation, and He has had great pleasure in the working of it.


Ephesians 1:9-10

"Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself. That in the dispensation of the fullness of times, He might gather together in one all things in Christ."



The flesh and the soul battle the spirit. The fleshly desires can overcome one's spirit, if allowed, and lead one to a wicked life. The battle is on this side of the grave. Our lusts and sinful desires hate our spirit that wants to serve God. If we feed the mind, the lusts of the soul, it will thrive and grow strong. The things of sin and lasciviousness make our polluted mind to be strong in that pollution.



If we feed our spirit - the things of God, the Word of God, Christian fellowship, prayer, worship, etc. - then the spirit will grow strong, the part of us that would want to yield to sin will be weak. The purification of the carnal person within us is progressing, and we are becoming more and more like unto Jesus.



The part of you who will win is the strongest side -- which side are you feeding??? Are you purifying, allowing the Lord to purify you? This year, the Lord is calling for us to PURIFY.


Romans 7:15-20, 24-25

"For that which I do, I allow not; for what I would that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin dwelleth in me. for I know that in me (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good, I find not. For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is nor more that I do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.... O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."


Romans 8:1-13

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit ....that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled un us who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh, but they that are after the spirit, do mind the things of the spirit... they that are in the flesh cannot please God ...If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die, but if ye through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."



Man is a free moral agent. Mankind serves the devil or God -- as he freely chooses. Choosing wrongly allows more pollution into the mind. Choosing to please the carnal desires of oneself after salvation, allows the carnality to rule. It is displeasing to our Savior. We must ‘progress’ in purification.

 



Revelation 22:17

"And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely."


All Christians need grace and mercy. We live by faith in the mercy of God. We all struggle against the pollution of the mind. Yet, we know that if we sin, we have an "Advocate." We have One Who is wanting to work upon our saved soul, so that it conforms more and more to the PURE ONE, i.e. JESUS.



I John 2:1

"If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous."


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Reply with quote  #5 
PURIFY



U
NCOVER




We are forgiven of our sins at salvation, but any honest saint will acknowledge that we are not yet perfect in ethics, in morals, in deeds, in words, etc. We are still ‘wretched’, even though forgiven. Because of the mediation of Jesus, we know our sins have been forgiven.


1 John 1:7-9 (KJV)

7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.



"If we confess our sins" is written to Christians, in I John. It is a process of ‘uncovering’ our sins, confessing in repentance, and allowing the Lord to ‘cleanse’ the impurities from us. Even when perfect, Adam and Eve were easily tempted, fooled, and led astray. Even after our salvation, we far too easily succumb to sin and its deceptiveness.

Adam and Eve allowed the devil’s ideas to enter their minds, and they accepted that pollution.



First, Eve allowed the devil to insert, into her mind, DOUBT OF GOD'S WORD.

Genesis 3:1

"hath God said"

Lucifer questioned God's veracity, and injected doubt into Eve. She had not heard the original message of God to Adam, and had heard it second hand from Adam. So the devil used that fact, to inject the seed of doubt, of either Adam, or of God, or of both. There are many today who allow doubt of God’s Word into their minds. This is a horrible pollution, and leads to great sin.




Secondly, the devil ADDED TO, and MISQUOTED GOD'S WORD.

Genesis 3:2-3

"...lest ye die..."

Lucifer implied doubt as to the certainty of death. Many today have added to, or misquoted, or ignored certain parts of Scripture- to satisfy their own desires. Satan wants us to reject certain portions of the Word. If we do, the ‘adding to, the misquoting of the Word of God will pollute one’s mind.



Thirdly, the devil put into the mind of Eve, a CONTRADICTION of GOD'S WORD.

Genesis 3:4

"...ye shall not surely die..."

Lucifer sought to give his denial a rational basis, by casting an aspersion on God. This serpent, making a blanket denial of the truth of God, gave Eve the "authority" she desired to excuse her rebellion. Many look for someone to make a claim against the truth of God, so they can blame their own rebellion on the word spoken by another. The pollution of one’s mind soon brings this contradiction of God’s Word. We see it in the world, we see it even in the carnal church.



Then, the devil inserts into the mind of Eve, a MISINTERPRETATION OF GOD'S WORD.

Genesis 3:5

"For God doth know... your eyes shall be opened.. ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil..."

II Corinthians 4:4

"...the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not."

Lucifer offers a reason for God to have been untruthful with Adam and Eve. Eve is anxious to believe such an aspersion against God, for it fits in with her desire to partake of that which was forbidden. She begins to believe the devil's implication.



Then, the already polluted mind, takes non more pollution, and the devil inserts TEMPTATION TO TRANSGRESS GOD'S WORD.

Genesis 3:6

"... the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise..."

I Timothy 2:14

"Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression..."

The devil has tried to get all of us to this point of trusting another source, other than God, and disobeying the Word of God. Deception is still possible, and that is why there are "false prophets" galore in our day. The Bible is filled with warnings against them. Beware, for disobedience against God's Word is still a temptation that we must avoid, rebuke, and shun.



Finally, after all those polluted thoughts, it is easy for the devil to get Eve, and her descendants today, to TRANSGRESS GOD'S WORD.

Genesis 3:6

"...she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat..."

I John 2:16

"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father, but of the world."



How easily we sin. The devil inserts the pollution of thinking, and that leads us down a staircase of such steps as shown here. All of us have so often ignorantly fallen for the same kind of deception as Adam and Eve. Beware of the polluted sin of the devil, it kills, corrupts, and ultimately dooms!

Because of the pollution of the mind, man’s thinking is darkened.

I Corinthians 2:14

"the natural man receives not the things of God for they are foolishness to him, neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned."


Those who have pollution of the mind are debased in thinking, deceived by their own minds into thinking they are still pure in thought.

Jeremiah 17:9

"the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?"


Pollution of the mind makes the will to be weak, unable to choose right, unless the pollution is eradicated by the grace of God.

Romans 7:15

"For that which I do, I allow not, for what I would that do I not, but what I hate, that I do."

The conscience of a person, polluted in mind, will not work properly. The deceived souls of ‘saints’ sometimes fool even themselves, into thinking they are perfect, or that it does not matter that they are not. The Lord calls for us to be purified, to confess sins that occur after salvation, to repent and thereby change our mind toward impurities, imperfections, sins.



Too many have a ‘seared conscience’ and do not ‘uncover’ sins, but actually ‘cover’ their sins, wearing a spiritual mask of holiness, pretending to be perfect, when in actuality, there are sins galore, imperfections aplenty in their lives.

I Timothy 4:2

"having their conscience seared with a hot iron..."

The polluted mind needs redeemed, reborn, made totally new. The Lord is calling in 2014 for a purification and it is a progressive process, and it requires the uncovering of sin to our Lord, repenting and letting Him transform us into being more and more like unto Him.

Ephesians 2:1

"You hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins..."

 



Evil thoughts, carnal thinking

still abound in the church of today

 

 

The early church, as founded by the apostles, was not perfect. They struggled too with the mind pollution. They remembered the teachings of Jesus, and fought the pollution of sinful thought. Our churches of today are very different though. In the interim time between our church, and the early church, much has happened. The false doctrines in the early church led to a departure from certain primary factors that had given the early church revival and power.

 

The early church degenerated into such sins as selling indulgences, forgetting the importance of the prophetic message, abuse of others, dogmatic judgmentalism. The protestant reformation changed some of these, but it soon degenerated into a competition for people with the Catholicism that it had broken from, and soon used infant baptism to try to outnumber the other churches. The abuse and false doctrines have so permeated congregations today, that it bears little resemblance to the original foundation of the church. The church, both the protestant, and the catholic, are greatly polluted by evil thinking inserted by the devil through the ages.

 

We need to step away from the dogmas of denominationalism, and look to the New Testament, and study the doctrines and truths presented by the early church. To hold onto the present adulterated traditions and dogma, does not result in the power and love the church is to have. Many do not want to admit it, but the powerless, impotent, confused, apathetic, ignorant churches of today cannot, will not, and have not made the impact that the Lord intends. To have revival, we must un-pollute the minds of those in the church. We must get back to the purity of truth, to the Word of God, so that the mission, truths, and sincerity that can be received by the mind of Christ will rule our hearts and minds.

 

The main thing that caused all the degeneration of the minds in the church is the carnal thinking that has overtaken the spiritual understanding that we are to have. The word for "carnal" is the Greek word "sarkikos" which literally translated means: "meathead."

We have a "meathead" mentality in far too many Christians, and this has engendered a "meathead" church. They fought this tendency even in the early church. In our age, we find many churches, many in those churches to have pollution of mind. The meathead mentality is that polluted mind.

Romans 8:6, 10-13

"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be ... And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you. ...For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."

In Christianity, there are many who have allowed a "meathead" mentality to re-emerge. They call ‘meathead’ thinking to be normal, acceptable, and never uncover it to allow the Lord to cleanse the impurity of carnality.

Impure thinking, carnality, has led many to false doctrines, wrong emphasis, and mistaken ideas. Many in Christianity have wrongly emphasized the carnal life. Many teach how to have carnal riches, how to have physical prosperity, but neglect the many Scriptures about spiritual blessings, riches in heaven, and eternal rewards. When the early church was in revival, they emphasized the spiritual, and mostly, they ignored the fleshly.

Most in the early church (Ananias and Sapphira being notable exceptions) did not seek earthly riches, but forsook all and served the Lord. Many of the early church could be put into prison, sacrifice their earthly wealth to give to the poorer saints in Jerusalem. They saw the world as dead souls needing life from the Lord.

Today, many are seeking to be carnally rich, and spend more time counting their monetary wealth than enjoying their spiritual wealth. There are gifts of the Spirit that many are satisfied to not have. There is the fruit of the Spirit that can be totally absent, and yet, un-missed.

Why are we so interested in the natural life, the carnal mammon which purchases only things of this world, and the acclaim of men? It is the pollution of the mind, inserted by the devil, that we need earthly riches, earthly possessions to be happy. We need to put aside this "meathead" mentality, and begin valuing the spiritual blessings of salvation, gifts of the Spirit, and heavenly reward. We need to realize that this earthly life is just temporary, and our real emphasis should be the spiritual life. The polluted ideas of the devils, bring despair, depression, and loss of real joy and peace.

As the revival of the early church subsided, many allowed the pollution of thinking to be more and more on the physical and carnal plane. This led to many problems, some of which we still suffer. We need to UNCOVER it, cleanse it out, with repentance.

Many saints today have not asked of the Lord for spiritual things. They get too taken up with their physical and monetary needs to see the spiritual victories that God wants us to have. To pray in the "name of Jesus" means more than to tack that to the end of prayers. It means to pray according to what He desires for us, and we must therefore get the "meathead mentality" out of control and the spiritual mind into control, so that we can think as Jesus thinks, desire what He desires for us.


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PURIFY

 

 

RESTORE

 




1 John 5:18 (KJV)

18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

 


This verse tells us that one who is born of God is to not make a practice of sinning (harmartia) by missing the ‘targets’ given by God to them. They are to ‘keep’ themselves, and this is the Greek word ‘tereo’ meaning to ‘fulfill the command’ of God, and not allow that wicked one to ‘touch’, i.e. to attach (Greek = haptomai) to them. This requires a constant process or ‘restoring’ the great blessing and salvation given by the Lord at salvation. This is a constant purification process, to maintain the purity put upon us at salvation, not allowing the new filth of our carnal nature to blemish, wrinkle, stain, our righteousness from the Lord.



The devil does want to attach to our lives, influence our decisions, and control our thinking. When this happens, it is an easy, but greatly needed, restoration, that we need.


We must keep the polluted "meathead" mentality out of our thoughts, as did Paul, and keep the spiritual mind in control.. The "meathead mentality", the pollution of mind, has devastated the most of the church today.


We are to ask largely, and not to simply ask God for the minimum. We have a God Who can do "exceeding abundantly above..." all our requests.



Ephesians 3:20

"Now unto Him Who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think..."


We can ask God "whatsoever" (John 16:23) we desire. Too often our minds are too "meatheaded" with carnal, physical, and temporal things. God wants us to raise our prayers to a higher level. While some make fanciful requests for money, power, and possessions, it is far wiser to be in a process or restoration from the carnal, the impurities of life.


Too many saints try to make their prayers easy for God. They try to ask God for only what they can foresee Him being able to do, and they have so little faith, that they cannot see the possibility of God doing great things. They are "meat-headed", and shallow in faith. They are allowing the devil to slip in doubt of God’s promises, doubt of God’s power, to pollute their minds.


They feel these thoughts of impurity are normal, and expected. They think heaven will make them suddenly pure and wonderful. God wants to work on those things now.


The prodigal son, when traveling home from his rebellious stay away from the father. He only had faith to ask the father for the position of a slave, but the father gave him a robe, ring, shoes, fatted calf, feast, and sonship. The elder brother complained that the younger brother received so much, and the father told him that he only had to ask, and he could have always had it.



Many of us are like the prodigal and elder brother, and we ask little, we ask for the wrong things, or are too busy to ask at all. The Lord wants to make us into the image of Christ, and make the word ‘Christian’ (i.e. Christ-like) to be true even now, while we are on earth.


Jonah prayed from sheol (Jonah 2:1-9). He had been dead, and God had to resurrect him to go do his job. Stephen prayed for the salvation and mercy on his enemies, and as a result Paul became a great apostle. (Acts 7:59-60)



As we begin to pray for spiritual things, allow our agape and phileo love flow our of us, in purity, we find that the answers to prayers becomes so easy to have.

 



God loves to do the hard

and the impossible,

in our souls...



God used a little cruse of oil and made it to fill many large jars. The little we have is still more than enough for God. The Lord took five loaves and two fish and fed 1000's. The Lord can do great things with the little we have. The Lord had Samson take the jawbone of an ass and slay 1000's. God can use little worthless things to give great victories. Samson, while blind and bound, asked for one more victory. In his death, he killed more Philistines at that time than he had in all his life prior to that. The final victory came when Samson felt most worthless and useless to God. Elijah was discouraged, asked to die, and yet God has made him live for over two thousand years more, waiting to return and finish his ministry. God planned a great, and long career for Elijah. Jesus called an unsaved fisherman, and promised to make him a fisher of men. John was a "son of thunder" who was transformed by Jesus into the "apostle of love". Paul was a murderer, persecutor of Christians, and yet became the "apostle of the Gentiles". Matthew was a collaborator with the Romans, hated by his fellow Jews, and yet he became the great notetaker of Jesus' sermons.


Why do we ask so small? Why do we only ask for the carnal, the mammon of this world, and forget to ask for the spiritual blessings, the restoration of the nature given at salvation, the fruit of the Holy Spirit flowing from our souls to this sick and dying world? We want things and the blessings God wants to restore to us, and Christ-like traits, love, joy, peace, etc.



Why do we think so carnally? Why do we not ask largely for spiritual things? The devil has polluted minds to make many think God is unable. Others, have the polluted mind thinking that their requests should be greedy, selfish requests.



Matthew 17:20

"If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you..."


Why do we ask a stone, when the Lord wants us to have bread? Why do we ask for Him to help us struggle over the mountain, when He wants to remove it altogether? Why do we ask for a sprinkle, when He wants us to have a flood? Why do you only hope for a tingle of blessing in the worship service, when God wants you to be filled to overflowing. Can God only do the easy? Must we settle for only the little? If you were in the wilderness when the ten spies returned would you have thought God able to give you a land with giants, walled fortified cities, or would you have wept in despair all night as they did?



God poured out His anger on the Israelites for their lack of faith, for their meatheaded carnality, and for their refusal to believe God could do the hard things.



God is tired of hearing us ask for crumbs, when He has said: "Come and dine..." Would He have said, "Come and dine" and then only want to give us crumbs? No, He wants to give us great feasts, not leftovers and scraps. God is tired of us asking for a sprinkle of revival, when He has told us to ask for floods of blessing. He has promised that in the last days, the "knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the seas...." -- so why would He want to give us only sprinkles of blessings?



The devil does want to ‘attach’ himself to our lives. Some are okay with that, as long as there is a new car in the drive, a beautiful home, a large bank account, to go with their ‘fruitless’ life of un-Christ-like deeds and thoughts.



The devil often is polluting mankind’s mind. He is attaching his attitude, his corrupt ideas, into the hearts and minds of the saints. Look at congregations, listen to talk in the vestibule of the church, and hear the carnal words, the impure speaking, the critical attitudes, the harsh words. They have a need to restore, what they had at salvation. They have pollution of the mind by the devil. We need to learn how to be healed from their evil nature. The pollution of the cares of life reinforce worries. The fears can build and build, if we do not ‘restore’ our hearts, back to the purity given by the Lord at salvation.


Fear is the main tool of the devil. He brings pollution of fear into the minds of the saints, if he can.


Isaiah 43:5

"FEAR NOT, FOR I AM WITH THEE...


Fear is a most common enemy. We all fight fear. Everyday life tries to instill fear into our beings. There was a cabdriver who had to change jobs because he feared red lights. A housewife didn't go to church because she feared she would shout obscenities during the service. An insurance agent quit his job because he feared germs, and had to wash his hands three dozen times a day. There is a lot of fear going around.


The Lord wants to RESTORE faith, to eliminate fears. Even Christians battle the pollution of the mind with fear. Many battle the fear of past sins. Some fear that God didn't really forgive them. Some fear that they've sinned the unpardonable sin. Some fear that God may give a minister a word of knowledge about them. Others fear sickness. Some fear dying. Some even fear getting wet on the way to church so much that they stay home with even the threat of rain. The devil takes advantage of our insecurities and tries to get us to allow these fears. He wants to paralyze the Christian soldiers with fear.


Has the enemy polluted your mind with fears? Do you spend time worrying? Do you fret? Are you scared? Are you fearful? Are you so ashamed of your fear that you don't want to tell people of it? Are you like many Christians, and hiding your great fear? Is your fear just an inconvenience, as you have tried to tell yourself? Or -does it prevent you from having the spiritual joy and victory that you should have? The devil is trying to rob you, and many Christians, of their joy, victory, and peace - by inspiring fear. The pollution of the mind, called fear, needs to be healed.



The Lord wants us to RESTORE FAITH to our hearts. "Fear not" is in the Bible 80 times. God seems to want to make sure that we know that it is a command. He expects us to be full of faith, not full of fear.



Too many are full of fear, because they have gotten their eyes off of the Savior. They are distracted by the devil, hindered by unconfessed sins, blinded by apathy, and are forgetting to ‘keep’ the blessings of salvation.


Luke 12:22-23

"FEAR NOT, LITTLE FLOCK, FOR IT IS YOUR FATHER'S GOOD PLEASURE TO GIVE YOU THE KINGDOM..."



We are still the flock of God. Jesus is still our Shepherd. Our Shepherd still wants to give us, the kingdom. Our Shepherd still wants to take care of us. As a good Shepherd, He still provides for us.



II Timothy 1:7

"GOD HATH NOT GIVEN US A SPIRIT OF FEAR, BUT OF POWER, AND OF LOVE, AND OF A SOUND MIND."


Isaiah 43:5

"FEAR NOT...I AM WITH THEE."



The Lord is still with each of us. He is with us whenever we go through the times of deep "waters". When we go through the times that are like "fire", He is with us. He is with us, during our times of battles.



Deuteronomy 20:3-4

"YE APPROACH THIS DAY UNTO BATTLE AGAINST YOUR ENEMIES, LET NOT YOUR HEART FAINT, FEAR NOT, AND DO NOT TREMBLE, NEITHER BE YE TERRIFIED BECAUSE OF THEM. FOR THE LORD YOU GOD IS HE THAT GOETH WITH YOU TO FIGHT."


Psalms 118:6-7

"THE LORD IS ON MY SIDE: I WILL NOT FEAR WHAT MAN CAN DO TO ME. THE LORD TAKETH MY PART."



The Lord is with us to strengthen us. He does not want us to be weak soldiers , fearful to go to battle. We can RESTORE faith, power, fruit, and victory into our lives.


Isaiah 41:10

"FEAR NOT, FOR I AM WITH THEE, BE NOT DISMAYED FOR I AM THY GOD, I WILL STRENGTHEN..."

 



GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS ON

HOW TO RESTORE FROM THE POLLUTION



1. THINK ON GOOD THINGS

Philippians 4:4-9 (KJV)

4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.



When we get hungry, we seek to eat. If our minds have been fed pollution, we need to find how to feed ourselves good, pure, mind food. Praise and worship of the Lord, taking our needs to God, not to worry, are key ingredients that should be in our mind’s diet.


We should think about ‘true things’, ‘honest things’, ‘just things’.

2 Timothy 2:15-18 (KJV)

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.



We should think on ‘pure things’.

Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.



We should think on ‘lovely things’.

2 Corinthians 13:3-8 (KJV)

3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.

4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.

5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.

8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.



We should think on ‘things of good report.’

2 Peter 1:4-10 (KJV)

4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:



We should also cast our cares upon the Lord, so as to not be distracted by the needs and wants of this life.

1 Peter 5:5-11 (KJV)

5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.


Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV)

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.


The ‘peace of God that passes all understanding’ is what we want in our minds, not the polluted thinking of devils. We need to begin this insertion of the good thoughts, the unpolluted thoughts.

Yet, what of all those evil thoughts already deep in our minds?




2. WASH THE MIND WITH THE WORD OF GOD


THE POLLUTION ALREADY THERE, CAUSED BY THE THOUGHTS THAT ARE CONTRARY TO THE WORD OF GOD, ARE WASHED AWAY BY THE WORD OF GOD.


The devil comes to us, via thoughts, dreams, suggestion from others, worldly television, radio, movies, internet, etc., and tries to implant in our minds things that are contrary to the Word of God. Those thoughts pollute,

hinder, aggravate, distress, depress, and warp our minds.

What we need to do is wash them from our minds. There is an agent the Lord has chosen for us, that will do it. It is the Word of God.



Ephesians 5:26-27

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish...

John 15:3

"Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."



Our cleansing from the pollution of false thinking, is accomplished by the Word of God. The Word reveals sin, it allows the Spirit of God to shine light on what is darkness of mind. The Word awakens our conscience. The Word shows us the nature of Jesus for us to admire and allow Him to change us into that same image.


There is no power like the Word of God. It detaches from us the pollution of the mind, it gives us spiritual ideals, truths that are certain and sure, and a peace of mind of knowing we are in harmony with the truth.


Allow Jesus to speak to your inner being via the Word of God, via your prayers. Test all voices that speak to you, by the Word of God. If Eve had verified what God had truly said, if she had not blindly accepted the pollution of the serpent’s voice, she would not have fallen. If we study the Word, accept the Word and its truths, we will find the pollution, instigated by the devils, will be washed from our minds. We will be able to PURIFY, and we need to RESTORE the truths of the Word of God back into our hearts to access this purity.


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PURIFY

INTENSIFY

 

 

1 John 5:1-4 (KJV)

1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God:

and every one that loveth Him that begat

loveth Him also that is begotten of Him.

2 By this we know that we love the children of God,

when we love God, and keep His commandments.

3 For this is the love of God,

that we keep His commandments:

and His commandments are not grievous.

4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world:

and this is the victory that overcometh the world,

even our faith.

We are in the midst of this plan of salvation. The Lord has given us the mercy and atonement, and we are in the plan of God to now be made more and more into the image of Jesus. It is a process to PURIFY our carnal man, and to be Christ-like (the meaning of ‘Christian’).

We are still working on overcoming the temptations of evil, the curse upon our bodies. We have a human, curse-effected body now. We get temporary respites from the curse’s effects, yet, we are still under the effects of parts of the curse, and sickness, disease, weariness, pain, and death, and too often the fallings into temptation and sin.

The inner work of Jesus, in our lives, is a continuing journey. Just at those following a 12 step program, to overcome addictions, face the fact,

that it is a continuing battle, even though one may be long victorious. We too, have a continuing battle, and as long as the ‘old man’, the carnal flesh, has any life, we find that temptation can bring failure, even after long periods of serving the Lord. We are on a journey, toward victory, but still on a journey, and we are now called to INTENSIFY that struggle against sin and temptation.

The inner work of the Lord, in cleansing us of the pains, sorrows, shameful feelings, sins, guilt, false guilt, etc. is a work that is hard on this journey. If we think we can sit on an easy chair till the rapture, the Lord will seek to awaken us to more diligence. The ten virgins were all sleeping. Five though had taken extra oil, and were able to make the calling in time. The five who had not intensified their efforts to be ready, missed the calling.

SAUL OF TARSUS... intensified...

Saul of Tarsus was a wicked man. He helped in the stoning of Stephen, he persecuted Christians, and his inner guilt was real and punishing to himself.

The turmoil, after he became a Christian, was considerable. What did he do? He spent two silent years in Petra. I am sure the weight of the grief, the shame for the sins, the building a relationship with Jesus took most of his time. He intensified his efforts to know God.

There are steps to this journey, his location for this journey started in Petra, but what did he do, to aid efforts? We can surmise, but we do know Paul was a very Biblical person, so we can safely assume that he followed Scriptures advice. Paul was starting a new journey. He needed to make some decisions, and to take some actions, in order to be purified from his former ways, his sinful thoughts and actions.

Then, Paul did something more. He said he ‘pressed on toward the mark

of the high calling of Jesus.’ That ‘pressing toward the mark’ indicates an intensity of effort.

The words ‘high calling’ refers to a call that is from above. We are called by Jesus to live for Him, to be ready to be presented to Him. We press toward this heavenly calling, we are to realize that the prize of this heavenly calling is the ‘crown of righteousness’.

II Timothy 4:8 (KJV)

6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only,

but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Paul intensified his efforts. The former ways of Temple attendance, holy day observance, Scripture study, needed and change. He did all those still, but his new intensity took him into greater places with the Lord.

 

JUDGMENT DAY NEED NOT BE FEARFUL...

Some Christians fear the judgment day, and even the rapture of the church is dreaded by many saints. Why? Well, John tells us that if they want to escape such fear, they should INTENSIFY their agape love for all others. If they are harboring some grudge, or hold onto some bigotry, that lack of agape love will show itself by fear of judgment. The Holy Spirit cannot give them the assurance that all is well between them and God, for the love of God is absent in some areas.

Those who fear judgment day, or fear the rapture, should examine themselves, and their agape love. The Lord wants us in 2014 to intensify our efforts, increase our attention to the ‘agape’ love we exercise. When that is perfected, the Holy Spirit's witness to their spirits will remove all fear. The tormented saints who dread so much about prophecy are simply not ready for judgment, and need to get the abiding presence of God which only comes when we love others as He does, with agape love.

When we see the love of God for us, even while we were yet sinners, or even while we stray as Christians and fail Him, then with that vision of that great love that He still has for us, we can see how we are to love others. Our normal efforts are not sufficient, it takes an intensity of effort.

I John 4:19-20

"We love Him, because He first loved us. If a man say that he loves God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he who loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God Whom he hath not seen?"

Too often we have questioned why a "Christian" does not love his brother or sister in the Lord. John corrects that concept, by telling us not to question that, but to question the reality of that person's love for God, for that is the true problem. We do not need to constantly seek or try to love our brothers and sisters in the Lord, all we need to do is to intensify in our love of God more and more. The love for our brothers and sisters, no matter what they may have done, will naturally result. Love for God will spontaneously ensue in love for others.

God sometimes allows our brothers and sisters to mistreat and abuse us or our loved ones, to test our love for Him. These tests afford us the opportunity to prove that we genuinely know God, and have experienced His agape love. Knowing such a loving God, and thereby wanting to do whatever He would want us to do, will make us love others.

I John 4:21

"And this commandment we have from Him; That he that loveth God, love his brother also."

It is easy to love a loving God. It takes more intensity to love the wayward and carnal brother. That makes love a matter of obedience. If we really love God, why would we disobey Him? It is His family that He is commanding us to love. If we love God, we will live His children.

I John 5:1-3

" Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone that loveth Him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments."

Loving God is proven by our obedience to Him. God showed His love by sending Jesus to die for us, and we show our love in return by obeying Him. John shows us that this test works both ways, and that we know we love the brethren by our love for God, and we know we love God by our agape love for the brethren.

IT TAKES ‘FAITH’ TO SHARE AGAPE LOVE WITH THE UNLOVEABLE

Faith is very prominent in the writings of John. More that one half of the 100 occurrences of the verb "believe" in the New Testament occur in the writings of John. Oddly enough, the noun "faith" is found only once in John's writings.

I John 5:4

"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."

Up until this passage, "belief" has been mentioned four times in I John.

I John 3:23

"And this is His commandment, That we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus..."

I John 4:1

"Beloved, believe not every spirit..."

I John 4:16

"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us..."

I John 5:1

Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God..."

Now John wants to teach us, that this believing on the name of Jesus, and the believing in the love of the Lord has great effect on our lives. In fact, it results in a faith that has conquering power, a faith that is resident in a Person, and a faith that authenticates a Christian's witness. As we intensify our ‘belief’ in the Lord, our love for our brothers and sisters in far easier.

 

FAITH GUARANTEES US VICTORY

 

I John 5:3-5

"...His commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God."

The "whatsoever" is not "whosoever" for it is not referring to us doing the conquering, overcoming, and winning, it is the victory of the Spirit of God working through us. The divine life residing within us, is what conquers.

 

"He Who is in you, is greater than he that is in the world..."

The first use of the word "overcometh" in I John 5:4, is in the present tense. It refers to the intensifying of our efforts.

This suggests two things:

1. The Christian conflict with this sinful world, is still in progress...

2. Continuous victory is possible when we intensify our efforts...

 

Victory does not need to be a past experience or a future hope. We need victory now, and it is possible.

When John speaks of "the world", he is referring to all the forces and powers of evil that are against God and His children.

The second use of the word "overcometh" in I John 5:4, is in the past tense. It is our faith, and the acceptance of it within us that at the moment of reception of such, guaranteed us victory in battle. A past experience and decision that we made - is what makes us now victorious. Victory has been assured by a past event upon calvary... and our past decision to accept this victory.

Victory and "faith" are linked. Those who have this "faith" are guaranteed victory. There is no way a person with faith can lose. If we die, we go to be with Jesus. If we live, we have more time to hinder sin, and give the light of the gospel to the world. If we are in prison, we can see the walls shake with the presence of God. All that is necessary for such victories, is our faith.

I John 5:5

"Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?"

It is the faith in a Jesus Christ Who came as a human being, but still remained the eternal Son of God, that is the overcoming faith. The gnostics did not teach such a doctrine, but John surely does. He re-iterates this truth over and over.

 

When Jesus seemed to be defeated on the cross, but that event became the source of all conquering power. Whenever we seem to be on the verge of being defeated by the devil, we are still guaranteed victory through our faith in Jesus.

Because of His death, resurrection... we have life within us. And we know that this life within us is the abiding life given us by Jesus the Son of God. He conquered sin, conquered death, and proved himself to be the eternal Son of God. . Our faith in Him, definitely makes us to be conquerors too. We intensify our efforts to be purified, and that is the way we ‘overcome’ in this battle.


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PURIFY



F
OLLOW

 




Amos 3:3 (KJV)

Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

 



When we follow the Lord, walking actually with Him, but letting Him decide the direction we are going, choosing the destination toward which we are walking, we find that we must be in agreement with Him.

Agreement with our Lord, following His lead and direction, means obedient to His commands. Walking with Him, listening to His directions, going to the same destination, i.e. the eternal home of heaven, means we will be purifying and cleansing our lives, as we walk and follow Jesus.

 



1 John 3:5-10 (KJV)

5 And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin.

6 Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.

7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.

8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.



The following close therefore makes us purify, live sinless lives. If we stray from that following, we can easily repent, and get back to following Him in the work of purification.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (KJV)

11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

 



We lack nothing in righteousness, if our walk is following Him in righteousness.

1 John 1:7 (KJV)

7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.



There is a constant cleansing process in the following of Jesus. We have spiritual light to see right from wrong. We are not fooled by the devil, for the Lord is with us in this walk, and can alert us to the deceptions of the devils.


Commandments of the Bible are no longer supposed to be legislation, but they are indicative of the change of nature, and of the relationship of the One with Whom we are walking.. Our nature becomes one of wanting to please the One we follow, and want to allow Him to guide our conduct.



They are to be like blueprints, which give instruction on how to build our lives. They are like road maps showing us how to reach our desired destination.



These proper standards are to help us to please the One we follow. The standards we live are also designed so we do not offend our fellow Christians for whom we have a new love.


There is always a danger in rules, regulations, and standards that we begin to depend on certain ones to be our source of salvation. This we call "legalism" or "Galatianism", because the people of Galatia, to which Paul wrote, had gone back to old customs, law, and rules that were unnecessary in Christianity. Paul had to reprimand them for their entanglement in rules.

 



Two commandments that Paul gave the Galatians are these:

1. First, he told them to stand fast in the liberty that Christ had given them, from all bondage in legalism.

(Gal. 5:1, 3:10-12) (Compare Col. 2:14-17)

2. He told them not to become entangled again with the yoke of bondage to the Law.

Galatians 5:1

"...be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage..."

 



The word "entangled" is from the Greek word, "enecho" and means "to be held or caught." We are free from Jewish rites, commandments, days, sabbaths, times, years, and any traditions or rules of religion.



Susannah Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley (two great evangelists of the 19th century), gave her definition of sin as:

"Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish for spiritual things, that - to you- is sin."

 



The Christians of the early church had much controversy over standards, rules, and regulations. They debated:

What to eat

(Rom. 14:2-6, 14-23; Col. 2:14-17; I Tim. 4:1-6),

 

With whom to eat

(Acts 11:3, I Cor. 5:9-12, II Th. 3:7-13, Jude 12),

 

Where to eat

(I Cor. 8:4-13, 10:15-23, 11:17-22),

 

Where to buy meat

(I Cor. 10:25),

 

What day to keep as a worship day

(Rom. 14:5-6, Gal. 4:9-11, Col. 2:14-17),

 

Whether to be circumcised

(Acts 15:1-24, Rom.4:11, I Cor.7:19),

 

Whether to keep the law of Moses

(Acts 15:1),

 

What to wear, and what customs to observe

(I Cor. 11:4-16, I Tim. 2:9-11, I Pet. 3:3-4).

 

 



In the settling of these kinds of controversies, the early church was told of a great liberty that is given in Christianity. Just as in the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were told that "of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat..." And they were given only one restriction to not eat of one certain tree.

 

In the same way, there is a long list of things we can do, and only as short a list as God can keep it, of what we are not to do. God wants us to not be like prisoners in bondage. He wants us to enjoy a great freedom of loving service to Him. We follow Him, and as we do, we naturally want to please Him. If and when we fail, through carnality and human weakness, our natural desire is to be restored in our walk, and following Jesus.

 

God gave to the church, and the church was supposed to pass on to the rest of the world, a society that shows that all of society, all races, both genders (male and female), rich and poor, laity and clergy, are all seen as equal by God. The world had never known such an equality. The church has often failed to point out these truths to the world.

 

Often the church has backslidden to the prejudices and bigotry of the world. This is not taught in Scripture. It is time for the church to straighten out misconceptions and heresies that have hindered its gospel proclamation. The tendency to add more rules, regulations, standards, and misconceptions to the Bible message is still flourishing in this day. God wants to correct this. He will correct this, for He is soon coming for a church that will be "without spot or wrinkle." We begin again to follow Him, our flesh grows too weak to hinder our desire to please our Lord.

 



Sometimes Christians, who find this true liberty given by the Lord Whom we follow, swing too far into this liberty to anarchy. The church should not add any rules to God's standards for us, but we are not to use this liberty for "occasion of the flesh" either. We are still bond-servants to the Lord, and are to follow His direction in every area of our lives.


I Corinthians 8:1

"knowledge puffs up, but love edifies..."



This verse refers to the knowledge that some have of their liberty of not having a list of commands which are forced upon an unwilling spirit. Love for the One we follow, makes that same list to be what we want to do, not a list of unwanted but necessary restrictions.

Some Christians have added unnecessary rules to their lives and want to add them to our lives also. They think these unnecessary rules are mandatory, but in reality, in the following of Jesus, all necessary rules are easy as long as we walk and follow Jesus in love. Often, they are the ones who unmercifully attack we who live in the loving walk with Jesus since we have not added unnecessary restrictions that are not naturally easy to do. We must remember to lovingly address their judgmentalism, legalism, and weakness.

 



There is great liberty for Christians.

I Corinthians 6:12

"All things (Paul was speaking of foods here) are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient..."

The word "expedient" is from the Greek - "sumphero". This means "profitable." Paul was stating that if he wanted to eat meats, or vegetables, whatever - he could. He could eat meat that was offered to idols if he chose and still not be sinning. Even in our day, much of Christianity is trying to tell others what to eat. In these days, the debate concerns cholesterol, fats, salt, sugar, meats, etc. God has not made any of those things to be sinful. Yet, as Paul said, not all of these are profitable.



In following the Lord, we have liberty on many things. We are taught by our Lord to be moderate in all these things. One of the signs of the last days is to be a "forbidding to eat meats" which Paul describes as a departure from the faith (I Tim. 4:3). Therefore, we should be careful how strong we get into the dietary restrictions of some Christian segments today.



The principle that Paul taught with -"not all things are expedient" - is this... we do need to self-limit our liberties. Paul continues in the next verse to add:

I Corinthians 6:13

"I will not be brought under the power of any."



We must not be brought under control of things. We are to use things and love people... not vice versa. Too many become controlled by habits and things they love. The devil tries to use Christian liberty to snare Christians to slavery to things which in themselves are not sinful. Some become slaves to possessions, careers, clubs, bowling, sports, t.v., soap operas, romance novels, etc. These things are not sinful in themselves, but if they begin to come between the Christian and their Lord, they become sinful to that person.

 

Some base their Christian conduct on a - "if it isn't wrong, then it is right" theory. But some things are "lawful", but not "expedient." Christian liberty involves responsibility. We need to make self-imposed (not church-imposed, or denomination-imposed) limits to our conduct. We do this by determining what is not "expedient" for us.



Some helpful questions that aid these decisions are these:

 

Is it a hindrance to our Christian life,

even though neutral in itself?

Will it lead us closer to sin?

Is it a "weight" that pulls us down,

and makes it harder to keep our relationship with Jesus?

(Heb. 12:1-2)

 

Does it enslave or is it habit forming?

Will it bring you under its control?

(I Cor. 6:12)

Is it harmful to the body which is the temple of God?

(I Cor. 10:19-20)

 

Does it glorify our Lord?

Will it weaken your testimony?

(I Cor. 10:31)

 

Will it detract from your love of Christ?

(I Jn. 2:15-1)

 

Is there a great question about it in your mind?

Until this question is answered,

it is best to avoid the doubtful thing.

(Romans 14:5, 22)

 

Is it a stumbling block to others?

If it will cause another to backslide or not get saved,

perhaps, for the time while near this person,

the thing should be avoided.

(Romans 5:1-2, I Cor. 10:22-23)

 

Can you enjoy the presence of the Lord as you do it?

How does it affect you?

(II Cor. 5:15)



We are not to use our liberty for an occasion to do wrong, but for the ability to love others and serve them. We are to walk in the Spirit. (Gal. 5:13-18) "...only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh..."

With how much liberty and freedom can God trust you? When a dog is allowed outside, and he immediately runs off, the owner will keep that dog on a leash. When another dog is set free, but he quickly wants back inside, and never wanders from the owner's yard, that dog is allowed more freedom. There is no need for a leash. Does God have to keep a "leash" on you?

 



In our following of Jesus, we will have different standards, and behaviors.

So, our walks will not be identical as we follow Jesus. His demands are simple and easy. Some of us will add harder things, and it is fine for us to have varying rules on those non-essential standards. We are to make sure we are following Jesus, walking in step with Him.

God hates sin. We must also hate sin. We cannot hate the sinner, but God cannot fellowship with a sinner. Therefore, we must beware of sin. Too many Christians are calloused or ignorant of the damage of sin in their lives. Since we have great liberty in Christianity, we should not allow ourselves to be ignorant of the importance of wisely determining our standards and conduct.



Romans 14:1-5

"Him that is weak in the faith, receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things, and another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not, and let not him which eateth not, judge him that eateth, for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. One man esteemeth one day above another, another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."

 


The "which-day-to-worship" controversy was great even in the early church. Some Christians thought they should worship on the Sabbath (Saturday). Others established Sunday as the "Lord's Day" and wanted to worship on that day. Others said we should worship every day, and that all days were special. Paul said to allow every man to be "fully persuaded in his own mind".

This is the way many disputes need settled. For it is not a sin to worship on Saturday, nor is sinful to worship on Sunday. We must choose our own preference, and to try to not condemn anyone who chooses another day, or all days. To do so is unloving judgmentalism. This controversy continues today, and many Christians have fallen into the trap of condemnation.

 

The disagreements on standards and conduct sometimes change with the era and culture. When Christians cannot agree, some think that if all others do not agree with them, the others are not "spiritual", or are "sinful." Paul's advice is "Don't judge another man's servant!" We answer to God alone. We are not to answer to denominations, or church dogmas. We are servants of the Lord, and to Him alone do we answer. We must not judge, condemn, or fault find other Christians with differences.

 

Paul didn't try to help the early Christians in Rome by giving them a long list of "do's" and "don't's". Instead, he gave them basic principles to help guide their conduct and standards. It is time for Christianity to throw out some of its added list of rules. At least the ones we try to apply to others, and not just to ourselves. Adding rules for others has hindered Christianity for centuries. It has cost us souls for the kingdom. It has put unnecessary burdens and condemnation on new converts. It has developed a group of Christians who are worse than the Pharisees of the early church days. It has created a hypocritical, and unloving church to which few sinners feel drawn.

Note in Romans 14:1-2 (see above), it is the one who has added extra restrictions to those given of God that Paul calls "weak." Today, it is reversed and many will call a brother "weak" if he doesn't keep the added rules or taboos. The Bible points out in Romans 14, that it is the legalist (i.e. the one who adds rules), that is the "weak" one.

 

It is so easy to fall into the trap of majoring in minors. It is easy to be critical and judgmental. In many congregations of the church today, the majoring in minor debates of rules and conduct is condoned. It leads to legalistic, miserable, critical, and judgmental "Christians." It is easy to judge another who dresses, acts, looks, or thinks a bit different. In reality, the condemner is the "weak" one. To not have enough love to accept some differences, to allow Christian liberty, and to share the freedom given to us by God, is far too common in the congregations of today.

 

Jesus doesn't really care if you worship Sunday, Saturday, Tuesday, etc. It does help to choose the same day as the congregation which you attend has chosen, so that you are not alone when you go to worship and hear the Word of God taught. Yet, since God is the Master, we really don't have a right to judge His servants. We are not their masters. The moment you criticize another for choice of worship day, or for dietary practices, etc. - you are trying to assume God's job.

 

We know Jesus is our Lord and Master, and we know His love and forgiveness for us. We also know that He commanded us to "love one another, as I have loved you." (John 15:12). How then can we judge and condemn a brother? If we do condemn, we are showing that our relationship with Jesus is not as it should be.

 

Romans 14:13

"Let us not judge one another any more, but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way."

 

Don't allow your liberty to stumble others. This is sometimes difficult. Some stumble so easily. Jesus allowed His disciples to gather grain as they traveled on the Sabbath. Some Pharisees jumped on this as a criticism of the Lord. He had not stumbled these Pharisees. They were already stumbled by their own hypocritical judgmentalism. What Romans 14:13 refers to is to not allow our freedom to lead another to a place that to them would hinder growth or encourage lasciviousness.

 

Romans 14:17

"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."

 

This verse shows that the making of lists of rules is not what the church is to be doing. The church is to seek right standing with God, to seek the peace of a harmonious relationship with Him, and to seek the enjoyment of the Holy Spirit. We are in this year, to be purified from sins, and walk, following our Lord and Savior.

Any judgmental, rule-adding congregation that refuses to forsake their straying from these primary truths should be avoided by the converts. The doctrines that teach rule adding are not from the Lord. They are the "leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees..." of which Jesus warned His disciples:

 

Matt. 16:6,11-12

"Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees... How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that He bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."

 

Any rigid rule that Christians accept must be defended by the Bible in strong and clear terms. Many have gone beyond the Bible, and many have misapplied certain verses in the Bible to teach rules that are not valid. Some want all to accept their conscience as the only right one. They want to imprison others with man-made rules and standards. They teach things as "no slacks for women", "no jewelry", "no Christian rock and roll music", etc. Some converts get so imprisoned with the lists that they finally rebel. People judge us by our outward actions, and when we have the wrong standards, we invite criticism.

 

We need guidance to be sure we have proper standards of conduct. We need to look for a ruling in the Bible for any rule we consider.

 

The conscience itself is not sufficient. Conscience can fail. It works:

according to knowledge

it may or may not have;

 

according to enlightenment

it or may not have received;

 

according to maturity,

it may or may not have reached;

 

and according to sensitivity,

it may or may not have cultured.

 

Therefore the consciences of people are fallible. The Bible is needed to mold any conscience. The Bible is infallible and relevant. When the Bible is properly interpreted, and its message is securely implanted into the conscience, the conscience becomes an important part of guidance.

We are to be purified this year, in a way beyond what we have already found possible. This purification comes in ‘following’ Jesus, maintaining a relationship with Him, and learning the love that He has. FOLLOWING Him will bring us into this new purification He is desiring from us.


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PURIFY

YEARN

 

 

1 John 3:3 (KJV)

3 And every man that hath this hope in him

purifieth himself, even as He is pure.

 

If we are truly anxious for Jesus to come, we will be purifying ourselves, looking to be more and more ready, actually yearning for His appearing. To let sins multiply, to let failures go unrepented, shows a lack of hope, a lack of expectation of His return. If we are truly committed to Him, we will be purifying ourselves, not to earn salvation, for we already have that, but to be pleasing to Him when He appears.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-10 (KJV)

1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.

3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:

6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.

7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;

 

 

Holy living in Greek society was abnormal. There was a laxity of morals, and the idea of ‘sanctification’, of being holy for a God, of having to change from wicked living, to be pleasing to God, was totally foreign to these people.

Today in our country, we find the same type of thing. In the sitcoms of television, immorality, unethical, illegal behavior is seen in the ‘heroes’ or stars of the program. Pornography, incest, abortion, homosexuality, vengeance, and foul language are the norm of television and movie plots. The heroes the television and movie stories are not the kind of people you would trust your child to ride with to the mall. Yet, we have ‘praised’ their performance, awarded prizes to the shows, and let our children sit and watch them. The morals we are developing in our society, are nearing what they were in Thessalonica in Paul’s day.

 

Paul takes a firm stand, he says sanctification is not an option, but mandatory. He claims it to be the ‘will of God’. The people are to completely separate themselves, and their behavior to that which would please a holy God. Wrong passions bring punishment, for the "Lord is the avenger’.

 

Paul goes so far as to tell them, that to ‘despise’ another brother or sister in the Lord, is to despise God. How fearful to be treated by God, as though you had told Him that you hated Him.

 

The hope of His coming, should purify us, make us totally unlike this sinful, immoral, hateful world. There needs to be a yearning for the Lord, for heaven, a yearning to be presented purified to our Lord.

I John 3:3

"And every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as He is pure."

I Thesssalonians 4:

9. But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

10. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;

God has shown the world, what true and real love is. If we follow His example, and teaching, we will know the difference between love and lust. Lust is selfish, destructive. Love is selfless and constructive. When we do not love a Christian brother, God takes it personally.

I John 4:7-8

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God and every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love."

Love either grows or lessons. So, although the Thessalonians loved, there was more, and they could increase in the love they had. Do you love the Lord more than ever before? Do you love your wife and children more than ever? If we are in the perfect will of God, as Paul is instructing here, we are to be growing in love, and ‘increasing more and more’ in love.

I Thessalonians 4:

11. And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

12. That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

Paul then advises that they are to have a quiet, industrious life. Practical righteousness is needed. This practical righteousness is not a list of do’s and ‘don’t’s, with ‘clothes line’ mentality of the ‘holiness nit-pickers’, but it is a fervent love for God and others that Paul wants to see exercised. Fervent love is shown in actions, but the actions are a natural by-product of this love.

Christians are a living epistle, ‘known and read of all men’ (II Corinthians 3:2).

Our conduct as Christians can others to bless or curse the Lord. We can inspire others to want to know the One we serve, or we can ‘blaspheme’ God via our behavior.

Romans 2:24

"For the name of God is blasphemed among the gentiles through you."

I Timothy 6:1

"Let as many as be servants that be under the yoke count their masters worthy of all honor that the name of God and His doctrine be not blasphemed."

Titus 2:4-5

"teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed."

Paul saw a need here, for these people to get busy, settle down, do their work, and love one another. In other words, ‘get busy’.

God demands obedience, and we were created to share His nature. ‘Be ye holy, for I am holy." God’s laws are not insensitive nor illogical. They are decrees designed to bring us into His love, and to help us share His nature. We are to be a ‘holy temple.’

I Corinthians 3:16-17

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? For the temple of God is holy, which temple are ye."

How much sin can we get away with???

How sad to hear Christians voice such thoughts, and complain because we cannot do something sinful. We are ‘bought with a price’ (I Cor. 6:19-20). We are to have a nature like unto God’s own, and we are to be seeking that ‘impossible’ goal, not seeking to see how ‘sinful’ can we be.

God wants us blameless at His coming.

I Thessalonians 5:22-23

"Abstain from all appearance of evil, and the God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

With all our thoughts, our motives, our intents, our attitudes, etc. exposed to Jesus, will we be ashamed? When He appears in the clouds, calls us to rise up to Him, will we have things that are unrepented, un-acknowledged, for which we shall be ashamed. Therefore, the expectation of His coming, gives us reason to purify ourselves.

I John 3:3

"And every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as He is pure."

One part of purification, that is often neglected by Christians, is forgiveness.

Paul emphasized forgiveness and love, as being a major part of this purification process. Can Christians forgive? Can we call it love, if forgiveness is not part of it? Too many Christians try to claim ‘love’ without the element of ‘forgiveness’ being present.

"Forgiveness" is from the Hebrew word ‘shalach’, meaning ‘to have a weight lifted.’ Forgiveness lifts the burdens of hurts from the past. You are not burdening yourself, when you forgive, but you are giving up a burden. The burden of unforgiveness torments many, causes sickness, and grief beyond measure.

Remember, how freely Jesus forgave us.

If Jesus forgave us so much, how can we deny forgiveness to those who did to us, so much less?

Matthew 18:32-35 tells us a servant forgiven a great, enormous debt. Then he finds someone who owed him a pittance, and has him thrown in jail for it. The one owed the first debt, then cancelled the forgiveness, and demanded payment or jail. The story concludes with: "So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also to you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother, his trespasses."

Joseph is an example, for he could have sought revenge against Potiphar’s wife, or against the butler, or against his own brothers. Yet, according to the history book called ‘Jasher’, Joseph married the daughter of Potiphar. The butler was forgiven, and the brothers were forgiven.

The Lord’s prayer says ‘forgive us as we forgive’ (Matthew 6:12).

This is prayer that is meant to be a model for all our prayers. God desires greatly for us to be forgiving. We cannot claim to be pure before God, if we are not forgiving.

Mark 11:25

"And when ye stand praying, forgive if ye have ought against any, that your Father also Who is in heaven may forgive you, your trespasses."

Anger, wrath, grudges, resentment and unforgiveness are destroyers of one’s soul. If we do not purify ourselves from such, they will damn our souls.

I John 1:7

"If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Colossians 3:8-12

"Put off all these, anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another... put on the new man that is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created Him."

Romans 12:21

"...overcome evil with good..."

Romans 12:19

"...vengeance is Mine..."

Knowing that we are to be called to the judgment seat of Christ, very soon, we should seek to purify ourselves to the purity expected of Jesus. Since we expect Him to arrive for us soon, this purification is urgent. Yearning for heaven, yearning to be present with our Lord, yearning to stand purified before Him, makes us be ready for heaven. We purify, if we yearn.


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murjahel
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Reply with quote  #10 
We are now in 2014... and God has indicated to me that this year should be a year we 'PURIFY'. The purification of the Lord upon us is vital for this year.  

It is time to 'purify'... there are events upon the horizon, that if we are pure with the Lord, cleansed by Him, we can more easily handle the scenarios in which we will find ourselves.  

Hopefully, you made 2013 a year of worship, and in that year, we saw the 'climax' of many things.  Politically, medically, financially, etc.. etc..   We needed to be honoring God, worshipping Him in spirit and in truth.   We made it.   Now, we need to concentrate on letting the Holy Spirit lead us in this work to PURIFY.

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If you notice, in other threads of this forum, there are frequent teachings on 'purification'...   Check the sermon posted for each Sunday, for a sermon/teaching on purification.   In other threads, as the 'can you imagine', and the 'unteaching lies' thread, there are more teachings on what I feel God is wanting us to remember as He works to purify us.

So, not in this thread only, will there be teachings on what the Lord is doing in 2014 to PURIFY His church.

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