June 13, 2014
We were doing a bit of reminiscing in the past few days about some of the rather humorous events of our childhoods and I was sharing with folks an event that took place in the winter of 1947 in Nome, Alaska. We'd had a rather spectacular snowfall resulting in snowdrifts anywhere from 7 to 20 feet deep. Being both the son of a preacher and a missionary, and having a call myself -- even at age five -- imbedded in my spirit by the Lord to the ministry, it was perfectly natural for me to be a preacher so I did what came natural in that environment.
I dug out a room in a big snow bank, cut a window, put a candle in the window for light, made a bench from compacted snow and had myself a "church!" Preaching to my friends and playmates was the logical thing to do, and of course, I led some of them to the Lord. They knelt down at that snow bench and accepted Jesus Christ.
Well, what do you do when you first accept Jesus Christ? You have to be baptized in water. In case you hadn't noticed, that's a problem when the outside temperature is minus 20 degrees. So we waited until Spring. When the temperatures began to warm and the snow began to melt mud puddles were the natural result. As soon as the snow had sufficiently melted that we had some fairly deep mud puddles, I started baptizing my friends. We thought nothing of it! My friends' parents might have wondered at their coming home all soaking wet and covered in muddy water, but we never heard anything from it. And -- after all -- when I was baptized in water, it was in the Nome River in the early summer when ice cakes were still floating in the river.
You see, none of it makes any difference when you are obeying the Word of the Lord and acting in faith! (OK, now you can smile!)
During the past couple of weeks, Della and I have been discussing a trap we've seen among believers in which they get focused on the "facts" of their situations and completely miss the promises God has made for us. People get caught up with the pain, the suffering, the needs that they have and fail to appropriate for themselves the truth of what Jesus has said concerning their needs, and what He has done.
Receiving our healing, our deliverance from oppression and our provision for every need comes as we differentiate between the "facts on the ground" and the Truth.
"The facts on the ground" is a technical term often used by the military or by police and security people. It refers to a state of acknowledgement of situations as they presently exist, or are unfolding in front of you. The societies of this earth have been bred and immersed with the philosophy that you first acquire, then assess the facts; and then you make a decision based on those facts.
In certain situations -- in fact, in many of life's situations -- that philosophy works. The problem is that this is not how we are or were designed by the Lord when we were first created, and for those who become "new creations" in Christ Jesus. Where it falls down and fails us is when we try to apply those processes to the things of the Spirit. Over the past twenty-plus years it has become more and more clear that, for us as believers who are being re-created and transformed into sons of God, heirs and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, the "assess the facts and make a decision" philosophy comes straight out of eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Let me explain.
"Truth" does not come by eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The knowledge of "good" does not necessarily produce truth. In fact it often creates an arrogant and insensitive attitude. The knowledge of evil, on the other hand, produces the Fear of Evil -- and that's a topic we won't try to explore today because it would take us in a totally different direction.
"Truth," my friends, is not a collection of facts. And yet it can be.
"Truth" is neither the reciting of history, nor a compilation of events which have occurred. And yet it can be.
"Truth" is not the quoting of scriptures. And yet it can be.
Facts. History. Scriptures. They can all be a portion of truth, but in and of themselves, they are not -- by any stretch of the imagination -- The Truth.
Facts can be twisted by The Spirit of Error and become a lie. History can be distorted -- and often is -- so that historical facts are taken out of context to present a false picture. Personal experience, left to stand on its own, can bring wrong conclusions. Scriptures can be taken out of context and quoted to support virtually any stance one desires to take.
Truth, therefore, is not just facts, history, personal experience, or scriptures.
Truth -- the genuine article -- can only come by the Spirit of Truth, which is one of the seven Spirits of God. The Spirit of Truth takes facts, takes history, takes events which have occurred -- either in our lives, or in the lives of others -- or, takes verses of scripture and applies them in a manner which brings life. The Spirit of Truth takes that life and transmits it into the core of our beings. Truth comes by revelation -- NOT by the studious acquisition of "knowledge."
Truth -- the very essence of Jesus' onoma -- is that which He was clothed in. It was the life which went forth when He spoke the worlds into existence. It was the spirit which went forth when He breathed into man the breath of life.
Because everything He spoke was founded in Truth, there was an absoluteness to everything which occurred. The very foundations of the Universe rested upon that Truth. Consider how Paul describes it as he opens up his general letter to the Hebrews:
"[But] in the last of these days He has spoken to us in [the person of His] Son, Whom He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of all things, also by and through Whom He created the worlds and the reaches of space and the ages of time [He made, produced, built, operated, and arranged them in order].
"He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high." (Hebrews 11:1-3, Amplified Version)
Truth, therefore, is a part of the invincible foundation of the Throne.
Consider these aspects.
Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and thus were separated (evicted, actually) from the Garden, and from their place of intimate relationship with the Lord. That removal condemned their seed to being perpetually infected with the "Knowledge Virus," and with it, the death incorporated into its very essence.
Until Jesus' birth, no human being on the face of the earth had ever been born who was not infected. Jesus, by virtue of His spiritual genetics, although He was born of a woman, did not carry in His flesh the proclivity for "knowledge."
Being born of a woman qualified Him as a genuine member of the human race. Having the genesis of the Holy Spirit in His DNA, He also had -- in His human form -- all of the qualities of His Throne in the Heavenlies, and the rulership and authority which went with that place of dominion. It was imperative -- for the sake of His Bride-to-be -- that this dominion be worked in His being as a human. It was critical and necessary that He put down the knowledge of good, and the knowledge of evil, and that He rule over the tendency of the flesh to be lured by the lust for knowledge.
He must of necessity squash "under His feet" human reasoning -- facts -- and rationale by responding only to the dictates of His Father. And He did! Jesus could therefore freely state, "I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please Him." (see John 8:28-29)
This word, "please," is of great significance in the Greek text. The word used here is: arestos. We define arestos (which comes from the root word, aresko) as much more than just to please. It means: to be in agreement with; to accommodate one's self to the opinions, desires, and interests of (the intended individual).
Hence, "to please" is not to merely acquiesce to someone's wishes and desires -- even if you don't necessarily completely agree. Arestos is to be in a place of complete unity and agreement, and to therefore "please," or "bring pleasure," through the active fulfillment of those opinions, desires and interests.
Being in that place of complete unity and agreement with the Father meant that He was in complete agreement with the Throne of the Universe, and was therefore acting on its behalf. As a result, He could walk and talk -- in human form -- and at the same time function from the Throne, ruling, and overruling the flesh, the emotions, the lust for the knowledge of good and evil, that old serpent Satan, and every evil spirit pitted against Him.
Jesus walked as the personification of perfect agreement, perfect sumphoneo -- perfect accord -- with the Father, and with the Holy Spirit, Who would shortly come to fulfill His bidding in the preparation of His long awaited Bride. How did He do this? It was simple! Though He walked in human flesh, He lived in the realm of the Spirit.
That union, that accord, that agreement -- that place of demonstrated authority -- all existed because He lived in the realm of the Spirit.
This, folks, is the conundrum of so many Christians. We've been born again by the Spirit of God. In Christ Jesus, the "old us" hung on the Cross with Him. In Christ Jesus, the "old us" died, along with our sins and the curse imprinted in our old DNA. When Jesus rose from the dead, we rose with Him. We were made alive with Father's DNA. We've talked about this repeatedly, but let me share from the Greek text of Paul's statement from his letter to the Roman Ekklesia: (See Romans 8:1-2)
"Let me conclude what I've been saying by putting it this way; there are no adverse sentences or verdicts hanging over those who are IN the anointing of the Anointed One, Jesus. For the Law (and principles) of the Spirit [the breath that God breathed into us when He raised us from the dead] of God's life in the anointing of the Anointed One, Jesus has liberated and exempted me (us) from the Law which decrees judgment and execution for the sins and offenses (willful and unpurposed) resulting in death." (RAC Amplification)
You see it now, don't you?
Then let me illustrate what I'm saying with a humorous illustration from and event that happened many years ago when Bob Mumford was invited to perform a wedding for a young couple.
The wedding went off without a hitch. The ceremony was perfect, the bride was elegant, the groom swept her off her feet with a kiss when Bob said, "I now pronounce you husband and wife." The resulting clamor from the guests in attendance slowed the couple from exiting the church.
Amidst a hail of rice and shouts from the guests, they finally made it out the front door to the front steps of the church. The waiting limousine driver saw them and opened the door of the vehicle for them. Making their way down the long staircase to the sidewalk, the bride paused to gather the long train of her wedding dress. The groom stood there for a minute taking everything in, trying to absorb the transformation that had just taken place and then said to his new bride, "Honey, I don't feel married yet."
You can imagine the look on her face. She responded quickly and said, "Then, Sweetheart, you'd better adjust your feelings to fit the facts -- and the truth! We're married!"
So it is with many Christians. The past life with its sins, its mistakes, its having been subject to sickness, infirmity, disease, poverty and death has been eradicated. The past life has been put to death. We've been raised from the dead. The "new us" has Father's DNA, and that DNA is not subject to the Law of Sin and Death.
The fact that we've been redeemed from sin and now have access to eternal life in Christ Jesus registers somewhat for most believers. The fact that we are no longer subject to sickness, disease, infirmity, poverty and dying still has a long way to go to register in our consciousness. We've become so "fact" oriented that we fail to see and hear and receive the truth! We've tried to adjust the truth to fit our feelings and our circumstances instead of realizing that we are continuing to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Just because a person is fighting with cancer doesn't mean they have to accept the prognosis of the medical profession. Just because someone has Alzheimer's, or arthritis or heart problems doesn't mean that those issues have finality in their lives. These things are all a product of the environment in which we live, the corrupted diets and foods we eat and a host of other things over which we have been given spiritual authority. It's time for us as Christians to begin to speak the truth about ourselves and stop speaking the facts about our situations as though those facts were the truth.
Isaiah, seeing into the future, prophesied of Jesus: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5)
Isaiah saw the healing as something taking place in the present -- and that was some 700 years before Jesus actually went to the Cross.
Here's how Peter puts it, however: "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." (I Peter 2:24)
Peter puts it in a finished context. Our healing has already been finished. That's the truth! It's time for us to change our confession to agree with the Word!
See you next week.
Again, if you are in need of healing -- especially if you have some terminal disease or prognosis of a very short time to live from the doctors -- please join our prayer conference calls on either Monday or Wednesday of each week at 7:00 PM Eastern. Once again, the number to call is (805) 399-1000. Then enter the access code: 124763#. To get into the queue for prayer, when Randy opens the call up for everyone, hit *6-1 on your keypad. Let us minister to your need for healing!
Blessings on you!
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