Saturday, June 23, 2007
Pastor (Capt.) A M Samuel
As we have seen in our previous study, God fashioned man out of the dust of the ground, covered him with His own glory, placed him in a garden where a tree of knowledge was there, but forbade him from eating the fruit of the tree.
In Gen. 3: 1, we read, “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” God allowed the serpent to enter in and to tempt Eve.
If these three things – “Dust, tree of knowledge, serpent” had not been there then we would not have been, what we are today. The reasons for all the problems surrounding us are these three things. Therefore it is very easy to point the finger at God and to blame Him, saying we have nothing to do, its His mistake, but there is a deep mystery behind all this. Let us go deep and look at the reason after all why God allowed all this?
Dust, tree and the Serpent!
Come let us go to the beautiful garden, planted by God Himself. Here He took the dust and fashioned a shape of the first man, and into his nostrils breathed His own life, and covered him with His own glory. Could not God make man out of something else? Secondly He kept both the man and the woman, who were made out of dust in a garden, which had everything. But God planted a tree of knowledge right in the middle of the beautiful garden. But commanded both Adam and Eve not to eat of it. Why? Thirdly man was kept in the garden to keep it, but the serpent entered in. Could not God prevent the serpent from entering? Why did he not keep the angels outside the garden with flaming swords, even after knowing beforehand that one day the serpent will enter in? Why all this? God made man of dust and kept two tests before him – The tree and the serpent.
What is the mystery behind all this? God is Almighty, He is, “I am that I am”, He is self-existent from the beginning. He is the eternal One. He has no beginning or ending. He is the Creator. Therefore God desires that man too be like Him. If God perfects man, without man doing anything then this man can never be like God, but will always be inferior. As God is God in his own right, so does God desire that man also be like Him on his own. Therefore God fashioned man out of the dust and kept the tree and allowed the serpent to enter and to test. Man on his own has to get rid of the nature of the dust and be like God.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” (1Jn. 3: 2,3).
From these scripture it is clear that if we allow the Lord to complete the work in us, which He has started when we came to the foot of the cross. We will be like Him, as He is, nothing short of Him that is what God desires of us. In Phil. 2: 12, we read, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. “Man on his own has to throw away the nature of dust (nature of the flesh) which means he has to work out his own salvation.”
“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thundering saying, alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him, for the marriage of the lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”
The scripture is very clear. “His wife (the bride – Church) hath made herself ready.” To make us become like God, dust (flesh), tree and the serpent are there to be faced and to be overcome, they are there to tempt us, to fire our imaginations, to rouse our deepest desires. God did not make man of the dust so that man may sin. Lucifer was not made of “dust”, but yet he sinned. It is not necessary to fall into sin if one is made of the dust. There are two kinds of sins -Physical sin and spiritual sin. Lucifer had to overcome only spiritual sin (Pride) while he was dwelling in the glory of God. But Man has to overcome both physical and spiritual sin. The mystery of God’s plan is that He made man out of the dust to show that man on his own will throw away the nature of dust (desires of the flesh) and will overcome both physical and spiritual sin. Therefore his level is higher than that of Lucifer.
The Uniqueness of Christ
In Mat. 4: 1-10 we read about the temptation of Christ. Christ was led by the spirit to be tempted by the devil for spiritual sin. There was no chance for physical sin in Christ. The reason, the seed in Him was no ordinary human seed. He had a physical body that differed from our physical body in many ways. It is true, that in many ways His body was like ours but it differed. Our body has been formed from the seed of fallen Adam, sin factor is there. Sin can enter our body easily. But that was not the case with Christ. Sin could not enter His body. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit. The scriptures says, that Joseph “knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son;” (Mat. 1:25).
Though Christ was conceived in the womb of Mary, He had his umbilical cord connected to the body of Mary, He drank her milk, born like others, He grew up like other children, He had physical characters as we have, but He had no human parents. Today we find many teaching the erroneous doctrine, that – “Christ could have committed sin”, but it was the Holy Spirit that protected him. That is blasphemy, be careful while reading books and check the messages of the preachers for the doctrines. In these last days many devouring wolves are preaching from our pulpits. Bringing good messages that satisfy our desires. Beware of these preachers who do not believe in the virgin birth of Christ, who doubt the sinless of Christ.
The Temptation of Christ
A question does arise, if Christ was sinless and the sin factor could not enter in, then why the temptation in the wilderness of Mathew 4. Look at the scriptures it is very clear. Lucifer the archangel fell, because of spiritual sin, he was full of pride he wanted to overthrow God, and this is not a simple desire. This is spiritual sin. To overcome Satan, one has to overcome spiritual sin. There were three tests before Christ. Firstly he was tempted by Satan to become like God. He asked Christ when he was hungry to make bread out of the stones, a thing that Christ could have done. Meet your urgent needs. Lucifer had fallen into the desire but Christ stood His ground, He overcame the first test.
Satan brought the second test – get a big name. “Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on the pinnacle of the temple. And saith unto him, if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is written, he shall give his angels charge concerning thee; and in their hands they shall bear thee up. Lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. “Look at the words of Lucifer, he is tempting Christ to jump down, so that the people may see the miracle and may accept him as their Messiah and that he may get a big name, Already a fresh wave of revival was spreading in the land of Israel because of the preaching’s of John the Baptist, that the Messiah is coming, and the multitudes from far and near were coming, repenting of their sins, and being baptized of him in the river Jordan. But Christ overcame that temptation also.
Finally he comes with the last temptation, “Again the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. And saith unto him, “All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. “He tempts Christ to overcome all the troubles of life and to enjoy a comfortable life, but Christ overcame that too and proved that He is worthy to overcome Satan and to crush his head.
Lucifer fell in spiritual sin (pride) and Christ- the last Adam, overcame spiritual sin and crushed his head. The first Adam fell in sin while enjoying all the comforts of a garden, but the last Adam overcame the temptation on a hungry stomach in the wilderness. We have to overcome both physical and spiritual sin and become like God. Our battle is hard therefore the Holy Spirit the third person in the holy Trinity is there to help us. Therefore in Rev. 2 and Rev. 3 we read, it is written seven times that, “to him that over cometh’
“To him that over cometh will I give to eat of the tree of life. ” (Rev. 2:7) “He that over cometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” (Rev. 2:11) “To him that over cometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna and will give him a white Stone. ” (Rev. 2:17) “And he that over cometh and keepth my works, unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.” (Rev. 2:26) “He that over cometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment.” (Rev. 3:5) “Him that over cometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God. ” (Rev. 3:12) “To him that over cometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.” (Rev. 3:21).
Let us just look at the innermost desire of God. He wants us to be like Him. For that He has made us of dust so that we on our own may overcome the nature of the dust (desires of the flesh) The tree of knowledge is there, to fire up our imaginations so that we may overcome them, and the serpent – Satan is allowed to tempt us so that we may know who we really are and be over comers and be like God our creator. Just imagine if these three things were not there what would we have been. God has crushed the head of Satan and kept him alive for us.
Temptation comes for our good. It is all to make us like Him. If God wanted us to sin He would not have put a conscience in us. No one can blame God. In whomsoever the conscience is not working (Those who are mentally ill from birth) will not go to hell. Almighty creator God has installed His own video camera in us (Our brains) it is recording every passing moment of our life. It records our every action and the desires or motives behind every action. Therefore no one can escape before the throne of God everything will be revealed. We cannot delete anything. It’s all there stored up for the great judgment day. Where are we? Have we fallen into the trap of Satan? Or are we truly over comers. Are we blaming Eve (the circumstances), or the serpent (Satan) or the dust (the desires of our flesh), which is there in us and around us? Or are we being over comers. Remember the Holy Spirit is there with us to help us become over comers. But still we fall short. Only over comers will be on the throne with Him.
The Real Sheep
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2Cor. 4:16).
In a person there are two personalities – the outer man and the inner man. The outer man has a date of birth, it has color, has sex difference etc. It is not difficult to understand how the outer man was formed. Through the sexual union of a man and woman the “Outer man” is formed in the womb of a woman. For that a seed of man is necessary a woman cannot give birth to a child on her own.
In the same way the “Inner man” of a person also needs “a seed” to be formed. The scripture says, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1Pet. 1:23) The “Outer man” is formed by the “corruptible seed”, but the “inner man” is formed of “incorruptible seed”. Suppose a woman says that she is pregnant, initially we may believe her but we will only believe her once we see physical signs of her pregnancy. But even after 6 months if there are no physical signs, but still she says that she is pregnant we will say that, it is just a feeling and not reality. The fact is that no seed has come in her womb. If it were so, then there would have been physical signs for everyone to see. After nine months are over, the world would see the product of the seed.
There are many who say that they are “born again”, but even after 5 or 10 years there are no physical signs of growth in them. They are in an illusion; they feel that they are born again. To get healed of their sickness or to get married they accepted Christ. The real seed “the incorruptible word” has not come inside them. Today there are many like them inside the church. Claiming to be “born again”. Such people will not see heaven. They do not have the true seed within them. That is the reason that there is no spiritual growth in them. No wonder, when the true saints are packing up to go to their eternal home. These are going after the world. They have no sense of holiness.
How do we know that the true seed, “the word” has come in their life or not? The Word of God says, “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” (1Jn 3:9).
The Power of the Seed
Man has a three-fold body – Body (flesh), soul and spirit. To understand the work of the “seed” let us take an illustration, imagine that there are two close friends, Tom and Harry. They grew up together, and were in bad company together, both were under the control of Satan. But one day Harry, was convicted of his sins by the Holy Spirit, and he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior. The reason for this change is that, “the seed” of God has come inside him. But we should keep in mind, that his friend Tom, who is still under the control of Satan has the seed of Satan inside him, therefore he still continues to enjoy sin, unmindful of where his life is heading. He is bringing forth the fruit of the flesh.
One fine day, Tom took Harry to a movie show. Harry was initially not willing to go, but because he was not able to withstand the temptation of the movies he accompanied Tom to the movie theatre. Just imagine, when both of them are inside the theatre watching the movie with many others, what is the spiritual reaction of both of them inside the theatre.
Tom is enjoying every moment of the movie because he is unsaved, having the “seed of Satan” inside him, his body, soul and spirit will enjoy every moment of the film show. But on the other hand, Harry who has the “Seed of God”, is not able to enjoy the film like his friend, he will be the most miserable person inside the whole theatre. The reason for this spiritual condition is the seed inside him is from God. He will be depressed. He cannot enjoy sin. That is what John writes. “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin”.
This does not mean that short comings will not come in a man, as long as one is on this earth, if he is not careful in his Christian walk, there are chances for him to be ensnared in the trap of Satan. But the point is, even if he falls down, he will never be able to enjoy sin, as he once used to do so, provided the “Seed of God” is there inside him. Though he is inside the theatre, the Holy Spirit will be convicting him. He will be shaking all over. He will not have the boldness to approach the presence of God. He will be restless till he repents of his sins, and gets right with God.
From this we know, whether there is “the seed of God” in a man or not. If this is the way the Spirit of God works, then it is no big surprise to believe that not all the so called believers who turn up at the Church for Sunday worship have a true born again experience. If there is no remorse or repentance in a believer for the sin committed, and he enjoys the pleasures of this world as the heathens do, then there is nothing to doubt, it is very clear that either the seed of God has never come inside him, or the Holy Spirit has left him taking away the “seed of God”. Such people will not go to heaven, no matter who he is or how long he has been attending the Church or has been claiming to be a believer. His forefathers may be real Disciples of Christ, but he isn’t. His walk proves it.
Careful O’ Shepherds
The servants of God have to be careful, not to fill the churches with people who just want healing or material benefits. Remember the words of Christ. “The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man who sowed good seed in his field” (Mat. 13:24-30).
“But while men slept his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him. Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in they field? From whence then hath it tares? Then said he unto them an enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, gather up together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat unto my barn”.
While the Church is on this earth, there will be “tares” also growing with the “good seeds”. It is the responsibility of the Pastors, whom God has appointed as the shepherds to be very careful; and be vigilant. He is not supposed to look at the amount of offering a person is bringing. The tares are a very clever lot. They will bring good offerings. A tare will grow in the midst of the good seeds. He will grow in reputation and gradually he will prevent the good seed from growing. This is the ploy of the enemy – Satan. Do not think that God is bringing everyone inside the Church, not all are convicted of their sins. There are many “tares” – agents of Satan, who do not have the incorruptible seed of God within them. They have not been “born again”.
In the first century Peter the apostle was vigilant he spotted Ananaias coming with money. In those days gold and silver were kept as the feet of the servants of God. Peter and other were not running after money. Remember Satan is coming behind money. So many ministers have been destroyed by this mammon (money) huge ministries are bloated with money, but Satan the enemy is laughing, he is not worried looking at the size of the ministries, because he knows that they are not strong enough to withstand him.
In my personal ministry I have left so many churches that were having fellowship with me. I bought them land; with the money the Lord gave me. The reason, I am just concerned about one thing, the glory of God should be there in the Church. Dear friends! There was a time when you used to cry when you committed sin. You spent sleepless nights, till you were right with God. You were guarding your spiritual life with great zeal. But what is your condition today? Can you still say that you are the same old person? Has not your heart hardened, and do you not have any conviction. Is the spirit of the Lord still leading you? Is not the Holy Spirit grieved? “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30).
Christ says, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. ” (Jn. 14:16) The third person in the Holy Trinity – The Holy Spirit has come to ‘abide’ with us always. He wants to be with me always, He wants to go with me wherever I go. What do we do? We walk on our own, the whole week, and then seek him on Sundays. Is this not the real fact? The Holy Spirit is grieved. He has come to “teach you all things, and to bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you. ” (Jn. 14: 26) He wants to teach us all things. But if we do not ask him, and walk as we wish, then how much He is grieved.
In Jn. 16:7,8 Christ says, “When he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment of sin.” In Jn. 16:13 he says, “when he, the spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak and he will show you things to come. ” Holy Spirit is my closest friend I ask him counsel for everything in my life when I go to buy anything, or if I do anything I seek His counsel. Therefore I have no problem in seeking the will of God.
I have been threatened on so many occasions, they have put a price for my head but I am least bothered, I do not need the help of the human bodyguards. I walk with Him and I ask Him, whether I have grieved Him in any way. If I scold my wife for any wrong she has done, still I ask sorry from her. I do not know to do anything without the Holy Spirit. I need Him every time; I cannot live for a moment without the Holy Spirit. I am least bothered, let the whole world turn against me.
Dear friend! Do you enjoy the company of the Holy Spirit? If you have grieved him till now. Set your record straight. The coming of the Lord is very near. Be careful, if we continue to grieve Him, He will leave you once and for all. Our God is a God of principles, He will not interfere in your freedom that He has given you. He will convict you through His spirit, warn you through circumstances and incidents, through His word through His anointed servants of God, but still if we wish to walk on our own. Then He will forsake us. Where are you dear friend? Are you heeding the voice of God? If not then why? And for how long? Today is the right time; tomorrow it may be too late.
The Sheep’s heart
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2Cor. 4:16).
Apostle Paul is exhorting the Corinthian believers that, “Though our outward man (the flesh) will perish, but our inner man (the spiritual man), is renewed day by day”. For our inward man to grow, a new heart is required. From the old stony heart a new heart cannot come forth. Ezek 36:26 says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. ” For the spiritual inward wan to grow, the first condition is that the old stony cold heart has to be broken and thrown out. Till that has taken place, spiritual growth is not possible.
Just look at the beautiful preaching coming from our beautiful pulpits, or through the radio program or through other mediums. What are we offering the world? Though many are flocking to the church, but why is that no cries of a convicted heart is being heard? Why don’t we hear the groaning sounds of a repentant sinner? What we hear these days is a lot of music, laughing and dancing. Can we say that these are the saved sinners, who do not have the slightest respect for the presence of holy God? Neither do they have a pinch of remorse for their evil ways. Whom are we trying to fool?
In the first century when Peter the Apostle preached under the powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit, the scripture says, “They were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts. 2:37) That was the effect of the preaching in those days. Sermons were not being preached, some book knowledge was not being dished out from the altar, but they were convicting messages, soaked in the Holy Spirit, and one could sense the anointing dripping from it. Before such messages, no heart was strong enough to resist the impact of the power of the word of God.
Today, we hear a lot of preaching’s, through radio programs, books, meetings, the sinners hear the same name of Jesus, but the effect is not there why? Has the Gospel become powerless with the passage of time? No never, the scriptures have not lost any authority or effect, but the fault is with the preachers. Peter was not preaching about healing or showing some psychological tricks on how to get more blessings from God. He was calling a spade a spade. He was not mincing words. Hear him preach in Acts. 2 and Acts. 3. That was a powerful message. He was hammering at sin and hypocrisy. He was least bothered about his own safety or about the other 120 who were there in the upper room. Jerusalem was not going to be the same anymore. The hearers of the message were pricked in their heart.
Why can’t the preachers today do the same preaching? Why is the Holy Spirit not giving us the same boldness? We have the whole collection of 66 books in one volume, and in our own language in our hands, but still look at the tragedy. Just look at the efforts we are putting in to attract the sinners inside the church. Some are offering gymnasiums, some offer tea and so many facilities in the Church. Millions are bypassing the church and going after the so-called gurus and holy men, who are fooling these people with their rubbish. Teaching things that make no sense. People are spiritually hungry, but the church has nothing to offer just few stale crumbs of healing and prosperity. We can show the old ovens, where there used to be hot bread in the yester years. All that we have to share is that once upon a time there used to be a great move of the Holy Spirit, our forefathers used to do this and that, but brother, what is happening with us. The world is puzzled looking at a child of God. But of today we have nothing. We glory in our past. The present world wants to see something now.
Dear friends, just see for yourself, are the people being pricked in their hearts as you share the Gospel with them. You may be a servant of God or a layman. That is not important, but the effect should be there. We need the boldness to tell the sinners about their sins and the coming wrath of God. What we do is we just tell people what they want to hear, we do not want to hurt their feelings. We try to massage them, by telling them that if the doctors are not able to cure you, our Jesus can, but we do not have the boldness to tell a sick world, that the main cause of their sickness is their sins. Christ did not come to heal the sick, but to save the sinners from eternal hell fire. That is our primary concern. Whether a person is healed or not, he should be saved. Otherwise a person will be healed and if not saved he will go to hell.
First of all when a sick person comes he should be told about the seriousness of his spiritual sickness. Then only will he be pricked in his heart. Today we can see many crying inside the church. Do not believe every crying. Check to see why the person is crying. Today many are fooling the church and the servants of God with their tears. When we see some one crying we think that the person has been convicted of his sins. No its not necessary, he may be crying out of self pity, looking at his problems, misery, he may be crying to get blessings, this crying is emotional. The Holy Spirit has not convicted him. He is not looking at the seriousness of his sins. He is not crying for mercy but like a thankless stubborn child crying for more blessings. Today many of these kinds are inside the church. It is very easy to remind one of his sufferings, to touch the emotions, for that the anointing is not required, boldness is not needed.
2Cor. 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” Through the work of the Holy Spirit a person becomes a “new creature”, “old things are passed away. ” He is not a modified version of the old man, not a recycled new man, but is absolutely new. The scripture says that, “All things are passed away”. Nothing has been left behind, that is how the spirit of God works in a person. Paul writes, “And that ye put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Eph. 4:24) “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Col. 3:10).
As we have seen earlier the first man Adam was created to have dominion over everything (Gen. 1:26-28) but when he sinned, all his dominion and authority was lost. In the life of a child of God, there is an inner man, and an outer man. The inner man has been formed of the eternal heavenly seed. He has been formed in the image of God to have dominion over everything on this earth. This includes dominion over the satanic powers, sickness, problems over everything. So when we have got back the dominion by the grace of God, then we have to live accordingly.
Today many saints, start crying the moment they see any shadow of a problem. That is not Christianity. Let the whole world see the real nature of our inward man then Satan will run. And the apostle says, we are strong enough to pull down the strongholds of the enemy. Just think why has God formed a new man inside us in His divine image, where are we? What more do we expect from the Lord. What kind of a life are we leading? It is high time, we get our priorities right. Today is the right time. Tomorrow it may be too late.
May God bless you.
MGM Ministries-Article Source: captainsamuel.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=56:the-unique-sheep&catid=35:teachings&Itemid=27