“The law revealed God’s wrath from heaven against all unrighteousness and ungodliness because mankind foolishly suppressed and concealed the truth in their unrighteousness, even though God is not a stranger to them, for what can be known of God is already manifest in them.
God is on display in creation; the very fabric of visible cosmos appeals to reason. It clearly bears witness to the ever present sustaining power and intelligence of the invisible God, leaving man without any valid excuse to ignore Him.
Yet man only knew Him in a philosophical religious way from a distance, and failed to give Him credit as God. Their taking Him for granted and lack of gratitude veiled Him from them; they became absorbed in useless debates and discussions which further darkened their understanding about themselves.
Their wise conclusions only proved folly.
Their losing sight of God, made them lose sight of who they really were. In their calculation the image and likeness of God became reduced to a corrupted and distorted pattern of themselves. Suddenly man has more in common with the creepy crawlies than with his original blue-print.
It seemed like God abandoned mankind to be swept along by the lusts of their own hearts to abuse and defile themselves. Their most personal possession, their own bodies, became worthless public property.
Instead of embracing their Maker as their true identity they preferred the deception of a warped identity, religiously giving it their affection and devotion.
By being confused about their Maker they became confused about themselves; women became snared in a passion for one another.
Likewise the men became inflamed with an unnatural attraction to men; even their personalities changed in consequence to their sexual perversity.
And since they no longer honored or acknowledged God in their thoughts, they failed to see anything wrong with what they were doing.
Sin snowballs! It spreads like cancer, exhibiting its ugly symptoms in every possible form, from perverse sexual obsession, to every kind of atrocity.
The problem with sin is that it never satisfies, leaving the victim miserably unfulfilled and constantly craving for more of the same deception: vileness, jealous anger, obsessed only with self.
Life is cheap, murder doesn’t matter; they are steeped in constant quarreling and wickedness, their conversation has become reduced to slanderous gossip.
No one is safe in their company; they think that by insulting people they can voice their hatred for God; proudly bragging about their latest inventions of filth.
Sadly this all began at home where parents lost faith.
Parents abandoned their own conscience (oneness of mind) and divorce became an easy cop-out of their covenant agreement. Instead of cherishing one another with affection, they made their children the victims of the merciless dilemma of divorce.
It just doesn’t make any sense, they started off knowing the righteousness of God, yet by their deeds they clearly prefer death; it is almost as if sin has become a fashionable contest.”
(The Mirror Translation)
“Sure, I’m a Christian”
But a man named Ananias—his wife, Sapphira, conniving in this with him—sold a piece of land, secretly kept part of the price for himself, and then brought the rest to the apostles and made an offering of it.
Peter said, “Ananias, how did Satan get you to lie to the Holy Spirit and secretly keep back part of the price of the field? Before you sold it, it was all yours, and after you sold it, the money was yours to do with as you wished. So what got into you to pull a trick like this? You didn’t lie to men but to God.”
Ananias, when he heard those words, fell down dead. That put the fear of God into everyone who heard of it. The younger men went right to work and wrapped him up, then carried him out and buried him.
Not more than three hours later, his wife, knowing nothing of what had happened, came in. Peter said, “Tell me, were you given this price for your field?”
“Yes,” she said, “that price.”
Peter responded, “What’s going on here that you connived to conspire against the Spirit of the Master? The men who buried your husband are at the door, and you’re next.” No sooner were the words out of his mouth than she also fell down, dead. When the young men returned they found her body. They carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
By this time the whole church and, in fact, everyone who heard of these things had a healthy respect for God. They knew God was not to be trifled with.
Much of the western church’s ministry model is broken – relying heavily on the arm of the flesh, human reasoning, psychology, and perhaps more easily understood – self confidence.
I was trained in the ministry, that any bad thoughts I had or torment I was experiencing, were the result of my sinful nature and residual demonic power operating from some hidden part of my old nature. The truth as I first received it from the Holy Spirit, a truth which was then argued away by men who were my leaders and GREAT leaders in the Christian world let me add, is still the truth today, and this is it…
Any dark thought, tormenting thing, enticement to sin…EVERY wickedness which presents itself as an option to the Blood bought believer, is the work of a demon masquerading as one’s thoughts. They are but attacks which when met with abandoned praise and worship of Jesus…dissolve without harm. The more persistent one is in availing themselves of true grace, the less of a target these demons find, until fairly quickly, the Blood bought believer’s chief battle is not with sin and the temptation to sin, but with the effective expression and advancement of the Kingdom of Heaven.
When one is taught that THEY have been given TOTAL power over ALL the work of the enemy…that THEY are responsible for taking up the weapons of the warfare and fighting…not from a place of defensiveness, but from the place of overwhelming VICTORY won for us by Jesus at Calvary, they are given at least the proper tools for obtaining salvation by continuing on in the faith.
The Father has been showing me that He is preparing His bride for the return of the Bridegroom, but before Jesus comes back…He will send His glory. Before He sends His glory upon the earth in unprecedented manifestations of power, He is raising up messengers to prepare His people for His coming glory.
I’ve seen how in the early church the people who observed the followers of the Way, were awestruck and afraid to join them. In fact, in one verse, the book of Acts says many were afraid and did not join them, while in the next verse it says great numbers of those WHO BELIEVED, joined them and were added to them every day.
THOSE WHO DID NOT BELIEVE, DARED NOT JOIN THEM! THOSE WHO BELIEVED, JOINED THEM IN GREAT NUMBERS!
Consider Jesus when approached by the rich young ruler. Today, most ministers would fall all over themselves to get that guy “saved” and plugged in…ASAP. Jesus recognized that the young man held idols in his heart and gave him the option of renouncing those idols or forgetting about joining Him!
God says the same thing today. True conversion results from true repentance. True repentance results in total freedom from every power of hell; past, present and future. True repentance ensures that the past is under the Blood, the present is under the Blood, and the future is under the Blood – because the fruit of true repentance leaves no more room for demonic rule in the life of the believer.
I say by the Holy Spirit that many conversions today are nothing more than emotional (and most not even that) decisions to “try out a new life with Jesus.” As the Lord restores right understanding to His people of what a true conversion looks like, many will realize they have never even known God…they have merely known about Him, maybe encountered Him once or twice, and at best spent a lot of time in the company of others who also claim to know Him with little or no evidence to support their claim.
Becoming a true believer requires that one trust in Him and ONLY in Him…not money, not other people, not your own strength, understanding, or resources. BELIEVE in Jesus of Nazareth, that He is who He says He is, that He has actually done what He says he’s done! Trust God and you shall be saved.
“Through the work of the apostles, many God-signs were set up among the people, many wonderful things done. They all met regularly and in remarkable harmony on the Temple porch named after Solomon.
*But even though people admired them a lot, outsiders were wary about joining them. On the other hand, those who put their trust in the Master were added right and left, men and women both.*
They even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on stretchers and bedrolls, hoping they would be touched by Peter’s shadow when he walked by. They came from the villages surrounding Jerusalem, throngs of them, bringing the sick and bedeviled. And they all were healed.”
“It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom. ~Galatians 5:19-21~
When I was first saved, I had such a radical encounter with God that my whole world was instantly turned upside down. Those who began to teach me…what they were taught by those before them…who were taught by others before them…etc…etc….unwittingly undermined the supernatural power of the finished work of the Cross!
I was taught that I would be struggling and fighting with sin and the old nature for the rest of my life! Victory over the flesh was won by spending long hours in prayer, fasting, and reading the Word…..and even then, one could fall at any moment, if they weren’t careful. Daily sin was a normal and healthy part of being a good and humble Christian.
I can actually remember the first time I sinned again, after several weeks had passed! I had to “force” myself to sin! My mind and heart had been so wonderfully transformed that it was nearly impossible to enter into sin. Once I gave my mind “permission”, however, and began to push past the conviction of the Holy Spirit, sin took over with a voracious force that eventually almost killed me!
The teachings which made this possible, came from the leaders of one of the biggest ministries in the world, men who were my friends, mentors, and for whom I still have tremendous respect. I spent time with many of the most famous names, any one of which I could state here and most of you reading this would recognize immediately. They taught then, and are teaching now, many of the weakness theologies which have been accepted as doctrinal truths in mainstream Christianity.
Again, I respect and love them, but I no longer subscribe to their teachings…primarily because they only led me into deeper BONDAGE. Many of these men have experienced repeated battles with sin and compromise, leading to much heartbreak and disillusionment within the ministry.
While there is truth in the life giving power of the spiritual disciplines, the religious spirit has infiltrated the simple message of the gospel, which is at it’s core…the MOST AMAZING LOVE STORY EVER TOLD!!! AND WE PLAY A STARRING ROLE! When we live from our true identity as sons, lovers, and friends of God, we are explosively, contagiously, irrepressibly free from every power of darkness.
The very foundation of the new believer’s identity in Christ has been under vicious attack for centuries; the religious spirit knows that if it can undermine one’s true identity in God, that person will struggle for years….most will adopt an un-biblical illusion of Christianity as a desperate means of holding on to some semblance of peace, others will form a god of their own understanding.
These false gods, or idols, makes it possible for multitudes to continue in the weak, helpless, hopeless churchianity which is the laughingstock of devils. God is now performing a deep restorative work of true godly identity in the Body of Christ, and central to this work is the overturning of the dusty frameworks of religion and the false teachings commonly accepted as biblical truth.
The enemy is aware of this work and has launched many counterfeit messages of “reformation.” The difference between the real thing and the false is the fruit; one leads to incomparable freedom and fiery boldness, while the other leads to ever increasing bondage and fear.
We must begin to teach new believers the true grace message of the finished work of the Cross…not as a way to get them free, but rather as a way to keep them running in the freedom which is the inheritance of EVERY Blood bought believer.
I submit that a true conversion always results in radical and instantaneous deliverance. The new believer’s deliverance is not something to be gained, but to be held onto and joyously imparted.
“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.” ~Galatians 5:1~
Saint or Sinner?
So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!
That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.
Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.
That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God. ~Romans 6:1-14~
The Spirit of God is doing a massive work of restoration in the body of Christ right now. True godly identity is the cornerstone to walking in victory over sin. For generations the enemy has rendered the church virtually powerless by propagating lies about the weakness and sinfulness of the believer. The Word of God clearly states, over and over again, that the old nature, which is the sin nature, is no longer in power. Those who believe God’s Word by faith, are made utterly free from ALL sin.
The moment sin ceased to be the dominant force in my life…I ceased to be a sinner. Since the dominant force operating in my life is now the Spirit of God, I am now identified by Him and in Him…His nature is now my nature, His thoughts my thoughts, His desires my desires, His righteousness my righteousness, His holiness my holiness etc…
This is not something that takes fifty years to get; a person will have just as much of God as they want. It is because people love their sin and are full of unbelief that they do not walk in the joy, peace and freedom Jesus won for them with His own Blood. The bible says I am no longer a sinner but a saint. I choose to believe God when He tells me I am His son and free from all sin. The result of believing God when He says that I am no longer a sinner, but now a saint?
SIN LOSES ALL POWER OVER ME AND I NO LONGER THINK ABOUT SIN, STRUGGLE WITH SIN, OR HAVE ANY LINGERING DESIRE FOR SIN. THOSE THINGS WHICH ONCE RULED OVER ME HAVE NOW LOST THEIR GRIP AND BY HIS GRACE I AM LEADING OTHERS OUT OF BONDAGE AS WELL. THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO STAY BOUND TO THE FLESH AND SUBJECT TO THE CAPTIVITY OF DEMONS, ARE SUBMITTING THEMSELVES TO A DEFEATED FOE WHOSE ONLY REMAINING POWER OVER THE BELIEVER, IS THE ABILITY TO LIE TO THE ONES WHO REFUSE THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST IN FAVOR OF THEIR OWN SELFISH RULE.
Because Jesus lives in me, all the fullness of God also lives in me. I am now the righteousness of God through the Lamb’s shed Blood. The evidence of having true relationship with God is first of all the fruit of the Spirit which is clearly evident to those closest to us, followed by the fullness of joy, peace and power which belongs to those who live in friendship with God. Freedom from every oppression of the enemy and the privilege of imparting that freedom to others, also accompany those who walk in right relationship with God.
The authority which rests upon the child of God cannot be faked, counterfeited or produced by force of human reasoning or self will. The gifts, anointing etc., are irrevocable, so many who live in utter rebellion against God and suffer the daily torment of these choices, still exhibit some of the favor, blessings and benefits of the Kingdom, though their hearts are far from God. Some are even in ministry, deceived by the religious spirit into thinking that God’s anointing is evidence of His approval. It is not.
Those who continue to live for themselves instead of Jesus, are numbered among those who are commanded by Jesus to “depart, I never knew you, who practice lawlessness.” That word ‘lawlessness’ can most accurately be understood when read as,”whatever your selfish desires demand.” So those who practice whatever their selfish desires demand, while claiming to know Jesus, are headed for a horrific surprise, and tormented by the enemy all the way there.
But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master. ~Romans 6:22-23~