John answered and said to them all, "As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.Luke 3:16(NASB)
Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying. (Revelation 3:22 NLT)
A striking feature of our time is that so few of the voices have a distinctive message. There is a painful lack of a clear word of authority for the times.... Why is it so? May it not be that so many who might have this ministry have become so much a part of the system? A system which puts preachers so much upon a professional basis, the effect of which is to make preaching a matter of demand and supply; of providing for the established religious order and program? Not only in the matter of preaching, but in the whole organization and activity of "Christianity" as we have it in the systematized form today. This is not the freedom and detachment for speaking ONLY when "the burden of the word of the Lord" is upon the prophet, or when he could say, "The hand of the Lord was upon me." The present order requires a man to speak every so often; hence he must get something, and this necessity means either that God must be offered our program and asked to meet it (which He will not do) or the preacher must make something for the constantly recurring occasion. This is a pernicious system and it opens the door to any number of dangerous and baneful intrusions of what is of man and not of God. The most serious aspect of this way of things is that it results in voices, voices, voices, a confusion of voices, but not the specific voice with the specific utterance of God for the time....
Here we have the necessity for an awakening to what God has to say. In the book of Revelation it is "He that hath an ear, let him hear," and in the case of Laodicea – which represents the end – it is "I counsel thee to buy of Me eyesalve that thou mayest see." And John said: "And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me," said John. God is speaking, He has something to say, but there must be "a Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your heart being enlightened."
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. § God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. § The Word was God … In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. § 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.
Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. § You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. § You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
The just shall live by faith. § Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. § The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
By the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference.
We … rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. § Whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified.
He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna" (Deut. 8:3).
The wilderness wanderers were maintained by manna, but those in Canaan flourished on "the old corn of the land." The carnal Christian exists on the milk of the Word, while the hungry-hearted believer feeds and matures on the meat of the Word.
"The old corn of Canaan typifies what the risen and ascended Lord ministers directly to us now by the Holy Spirit. Those who appropriate their position in Christ feed no longer merely on the manna, which represents Christ as supporting our life while we yet know Him not' as regards any intimate fellowship.
"If positional truth, rather than the duties of attainment, were taught first to the saints, much more satisfactory results would follow the ministry of many Christian workers. We should note most carefully that Israel was brought into Canaan, all uncircumcised and unworthy as they were, before they were asked to take the circumcised, separated position as the people of God, or enter upon their warfare.
"So we, as believers, have been already brought by Jesus Christ our Head, in His death and resurrection, into the heavenly places,' and to us have been given all things that pertain unto life and godliness' (2 Pet. 1:3). And it is always on the ground of where we already are, and what we already are, and what we already have, that the Holy Spirit shows us our blessed privileges and responsibilities of the calling wherewith we are called.'" -W.R.N.
"And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land" (Joshua 5:12).
“Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?” Genesis 18:17
1) Its Delights. This chapter brings out the delights of real friendship with God as compared with occasional feelings of His presence in prayer. To be so much in contact with God that you never need to ask Him to show you His will, is to be nearing the final stage of your discipline in the life of faith. When you are rightly related to God, it is a life of freedom and liberty and delight, you are God's will, and all your common-sense decisions are His will for you unless He checks. You decide things in perfect delightful friendship with God, knowing that if your decisions are wrong He will always check; and when He checks, stop at once.
2) Its Difficulties. Why did Abraham stop praying when he did? He was not intimate enough yet to go boldly on until God granted his desire, there was something yet to be desired in his relationship to God. Whenever we stop short in prayer and say - "Well, I don't know; perhaps it is not God's will," there is still another stage to go. We are not so intimately acquainted with God as Jesus was, and He wants us to be - "That they may be one even as we are one." Think of the last thing you prayed about - were you devoted to your desire or to God? Determined to get some gift of the Spirit or to get at God? "Your Heavenly Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask Him." The point of asking is that you may get to know God better. "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Keep praying in order to get a perfect understanding of God Himself.
Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus.
There are no shortcuts to sanctification, which is a lifetime growth in trusting God. Seeking a shortcut thru spiritual experience will lead to a spiritual cul-de-sac. Striving to please God in the strength of the old sin nature will meet an impasse. Searching for blessings in the wrong cisterns will lead to spiritual dryness.. There are no shortcuts to maturity, which is a lifetime growth in trusting God.
Jacob was ninety-seven years old when he finally recognised this truth.. but only after the Angel of the Lord had dislocated his hip joint! Only after a lifetime of trying to do it himself did Jacob cease from his struggling. And until Jacob ‘slept with his fathers’, his precious limp was a ever-present reminder in his flesh. Jacob found that there are no shortcuts to maturity.. no shortcuts to sanctification – which is a lifetime process of learning to trust God.
What scripture clearly tell us is that spiritual maturity is not an instant state. What the experience of countless saints indicates, is that they thought it was.. until like Jacob they too were brought to an end of themselves.. until they too reassessed their walk with God, and became as little children. Many saints of the past have found there are no shortcuts to sanctification, which is a lifetime process of learning to trust God.
Sadly some young Christians are pushed into leadership before learning this truth. Others seek growth by a myriad of other routes, all of which anticlimax into nothing. Some think the first flush of Christian joy is the climax rather than a commencement.. for there are no shortcuts to sanctification, as it is a lifetime growth in trusting God. Former mountain-tops or experiences of spiritual blessing may be joyfully recall – and euphoric works of the past may be recognised as performed in the flesh,read more
The unfolding of your Word into your heart gives perfect illumination. Your precious Word imparts understanding to the simple.
God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.
I have hidden your word deep within my heart, that I might not sin against you.
As a little girl my mother taught me the scriptures. As a little boy Timothy learned the scriptures from Lois and Eunice – bring up a child the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Pro.21:38.
As a little girl we would hold our ‘Sword” under our arm – until the order.. draw sword. We drew out our Bibles and raised them high above our heads.. like swords. We waited in anticipation for the next command.. Psalm one hundred and nineteen verse eleven – Psalm 119 verse 11, we would all chant in unison, until the next command …….C H A R G E……. We immediately obeyed command and searched through the scriptures. Standing up, as an erect soldier we would proudly read the wondrous verse…. Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee, Psalm 119 verse 11.… And so we waited for the next command – the next charge – the next verse.
And so from my mother’s knee I learned the scriptures daily. And the Scriptures became a lamp unto my feet – and the Word of God became a light unto my path. As believers we are all instructed to walk as children of light for God is light.. and in Him is no darkness at all. God is the fount of truth and love. He is the reservoir of knowledge and understanding, and in Him is no lack of knowledge – and in Him no jot of truth is absent from His understanding.
We all have the same access to the same source of truth. His perfection is not dimmed and His truth is not lacking..read more