God's will is that we die to our old self and be born again in the Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Now He wants us to test ourselves with His Word to determine whether we have gone with Christ to His death and whether we continue to take up our cross each day. The effect of this death will be the outpouring of our lives for His Kingdom and our being used as effective instruments for His special purposes, "made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work" (2 Tim 2:21). True faith is a belief and entrusting of our lives to the unseen heavenly purpose of God in Jesus Christ such that our physical and spiritual being are continuously subjected to the Spirit that He has jealously caused to live inside of us.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. Rom 6
Have You Died?
God asks you, dear saint, "Have you died with My Son?". We know that we have been born into this world as enemies of God. All of the inclinations of our hearts were only evil all of the time. We were taught by the world to wear masks of self-righteousness. The devil had taught us many intricacies of the masquerading techniques and we have learned them well. We have learned to feign love which would quickly fall away from within us when the objects of our feigned affection rose against us or condemned us. We have learned to show concern when we could not acknowledge God in the midst of our own actions. We have learned to act, to smile, to speak, and to present. We have learned to put forth our outsides as clean and white, engraved with credentials, attires, and personas. We had become like the whitewashed tombs that were "beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of bones and everything unclean" or the "clean cups and dishes" which were "full of greed and self-indulgence in the inside" (Matt 23). This conviction is not only for those who outwardly deny the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but also for those of us who have a form of godliness: for those of us who have been born and raised in the church. For though on the outside we appeared as righteous, God knew that on the inside we were filled with "hypocrisy and wickedness" (Matt 23). Yes, even us who have believed and who are growing towards maturity. We have deceived one another but we know that one Day we will stand before the Judge and He will test our work in the fire. And to our Master each of us will stand or fall.
For all of the charitable things which we had done out of a heart that was mindless of God and negligent in the Gospel of Christ and all of those things which we had done out of the fear of man, to appease and to please men, will be burned up in the flames. The greatest loss would be if our profession of faith was made on the outside, but in the depths of our hearts there was no knowledge of Him. There was a life lived outwardly in the presence of the people of God, but lived inwardly as darkened and independent from the Spirit's circumcision which is always present in the hearts of true believers. There is a powerful aura of righteousness which mankind may have, but it cannot save. We cannot be saved unless we have known Him in the secret place of our souls.
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matt 6
Our hypocrisy and attempts to appear as worthy, righteous, or presentable before men is as if we painted our own kernels. We painted our kernels beautifully and elaborately such that they stood before the eyes of the world as prized and worshiped. We were adored kernels. These visually perfect kernels are numerous and widespread in the earth. We find them in the media and in our social circles, yes, even in our church. Perfect families, perfect decency, perfect charitableness, perfect attire, perfect talents, perfect honor and respect by the people of the world, perfect wealth and possessions. But these perfect kernels had never died. They had never been put to death. And thus no seed nor fruit could be born from them. These perfect kernels could not bring the Word of salvation to the corrupted world. They could not pour their lives out as drink offerings and living sacrifices for the good of the people of God. They could not stand up when their perfection was stripped from them by the trials of the world. They could not restrain secret sensual indulgence. They were of no Spiritual benefit to anyone around them. Like "clouds without rain" these beautiful kernels were altogether useless to the Master and fit only to be trampled or destroyed in the fires (Jude 1:12). We are in the last days and there are many who have a form of godliness while denying its power.
1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 2 Tim 3
But to us who are called, chosen, and beloved before the world began, Jesus calls us to come to Him in His death. Jesus in His death became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. In order to die with Him, we must see all of our wickedness, our inward and outward hideous sin as well as the sin of our "beautiful" hypocrisy (the act of faithless self-dependent righteousness that was apart from the humble acknowledge of the Savior) as placed on the Savior.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Col 3
We must behold the wrath of the Father due to us for our offences poured out on Christ. In the very process of beholding our sin placed on Him, we go to Him in His death. As He bore our sins and was crushed by His Father, we too die to the old self. In this way we are "crucified with Christ and no longer live" (Gal 2:20). In going to Jesus in His death we must die to sin. Death to sin results in a distaste and inner displeasure towards sin. That is, we no longer delight or thrive in our wicked acts and self-righteousness, but we find the sin that we committed beforehand as utterly distasteful and detestable. We can no longer find pleasure in the sins of the flesh for we have seen the end result of them. We have seen the shame and guilt for these sins placed on our perfect Lamb and the due just and good wrath of the righteous Judge and Father for these same sins poured out on our Savior and Friend, Jesus Christ. We are released from the deceitful promise and the sting of sin, death, as we die with Christ and behold our sin placed on the Lamb nailed to the tree.
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Rom 6
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him. 10 The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. Rom 6
The risen life in Christ is no longer contaminated by the fears and worries of the world with regard to material things: the food and clothing that the nations seek to acquire. We know the Father and we know that He has given us His Son and everything else in Him. That is, if the Father loved us enough to give us the greatest gift of His Son, there is nothing He would allow to come our way that could not be given in the same perfect display of love. Christ is never taken from us. Christ is never taken from us. In Him, we have escaped judgment. We have escaped the wrath of the Father. Our gloom has turned to joy. Our blindness has turned to sight. He has enlarged our joy in Him! He will present us covered in Christ and there will be none to accuse us. For the accuser of the brethren is condemned. In view of this mercy, our lives become living sacrifices.
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.Rom 12
God desires for us to know that until we experience this death with Christ, we are unable to bear the true fruit that last for eternity. Until we have died to self by acknowledging and believing the Holy Spirit's conviction of our wickedness and of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we cannot be used for any eternal good. We would be of absolutely no use for the Kingdom as long as we hold onto our beautiful kernels and refuse to die with Christ. Even each day, we must not seek to cover ourselves with the same self-righteous cover we had before we died with Christ. But we must come before God with utmost sincerity and reverence. Our fear of God must be exalted far above our fears of any man. Is it not saddening that we often do fear men more than God...that after some event, we find ourselves pondering the possible thoughts of other men rather than the thoughts of our Savior and whether we have pleased the King of the Universe and the Lord of the Harvest. Have we died? Do our heart live anew with Christ?
As long as we had feared men, we could never please God. For God alone is to be feared and His pleasure alone is to be sought and that of His people in Him. But when the Spirit moves us and the gift of faith and repentance is granted to us, we are given power to die with Christ. As our lives are given over to death, we bear much fruit for the Kingdom. We become like the jars of clay that display the Light of Christ to the world. For the Light of Christ is hidden from us all of the time we put our forsaken beautiful kernel coverings around us. Yes, it is our fear of men rather than God that causes us to pick up the formerly discarded covering which would hide rather than reveal the Light of Christ. Yes, even our self-righteousness hides the Light of Christ from being shone from us. We must be true to God and sincere before God with men. Only then are we able to love in Spirit and in Truth and not in hypocrisy. Do you want to love in sincerity, dear saint? Is this not our deepest longing?: to love in the truest sense as Christ loved? We must first die and then continue to deny self, take up our cross, and follow Him each day. We will no longer have these beautiful kernel coverings but the Light of Christ that renews us daily will shine so bright that our beautiful coverings (or lack thereof) are no longer of any importance. He is so glorious! He is perfect in glory and holiness and no one can compare to His majesty and splendor!
2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. I Cor 2
May we love well, dear saints, but He asks us, "Have you died with My Son?"
Events in the Heavenly Realms (testable by the Counsel of the Word of God, The Spirit of God in you, and the community of believers):
May God forgive me for not sharing these things earlier (the past several months), but I trust in His will as they are now shared. I feel that the Spirit has already revealed these things to many of you.
As we move closer to the time of the end, the Spirit is working heavily among His worldwide church:
1. The Spirit and Word are working to grant the true sheep a complete understanding of the Gospel:
In our past lives there were few believers who understood the true meaning of the Gospel. But God in His grace has been pouring out His Spirit on believers to grant them a knowledge of this great and precious salvation. His Spirit is working to convict the world of guilt with regard to sin, righteousness, and judgment. The result is that the people of God are being purified and seen as increasingly distinct and separate from the world.
24 Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding;
those who complain will accept instruction.”Is 29
15 till the Spirit is poured on us from on high,
and the desert becomes a fertile field,
and the fertile field seems like a forest.
16 The LORD’s justice will dwell in the desert,
his righteousness live in the fertile field.
17 The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;
its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.Is 32
2. The Spirit is unifying the believers through the Bond of Peace:
As long as we had gloried in earthly things and in our culture and the familiar things and people, we could not sense the immediate union which we have with other believers. But the Spirit is working to give believers a true unity through the Bond of Peace: a common experience in knowing Jesus Christ. He will bring to us an instantaneous love and familiarity in the Spirit with believers, even the believers that we do not know. He is increasing our awareness of the global body of believers and increasing the fervency of our prayers for them. Make it your aim to be used by God to unite the believers in the Name of Christ wherever you go: if you have to move, as you travel, in your workplace, in your community, etc.
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. 22 I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as we are One— 23 I in them and You in Me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me. John 17
3. The Spirit is filling believers with the boldness and clarity of purpose and need to share the Gospel to the world:
As believers understand the meaning of the Gospel (see number 1), the need to share the Gospel is understood as the love of Christ fills the hearts of believers for their neighbors and the people of the world. The great need is due to the "famine of the Word of God" (Amos 8:11) present in many places in the present world. Believers are becoming aware of the "other sheep who have yet to join the fold" (John 10:16). We have a great hope and prospect for the salvation of souls because the Spirit has been working in the soils of human hearts such that when we cast our seeds (the Word of God), God will make them grow in the chosen ones. We may face much rejection, but God will grant us that delightful fruit and the sight of the miraculous change of human hearts that will result in our praise and thanksgiving to Him.
4. God has filled every believer who is placed in an arena of communication to other believers with the same Spirit of the Revelation of Jesus Christ: (e.g. pastors in pulpits, Christian radio broadcasters, Christian speakers, Christian writers and music artists, Christian parents and teachers, etc.)
This filling is not granted only to the mature or knowledgeable in the faith, but to all Christians who have the Spirit living inside of them. Thus, we can expect to hear the Voice of God from all sorts of sources in our Christians circles. We will hear the same message everywhere: the message of God concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His call for His church to put on their armor and to awake and be alert. Because God is giving this same Spirit of Revelation of Christ to ALL believers, the Christians will start to focus less on the presenters and to make less judgments about the earthly glories of their Christian leaders, but will acknowledge of the King of Glory who has given His same Word and Command to all His people that He has appointed in various places.
20 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them.21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Is 30
1 See, a King will reign in righteousness
and rulers will rule with justice.
2 Each one will be like a shelter from the wind
and a refuge from the storm,
like streams of water in the desert
and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.
3 Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed,
and the ears of those who hear will listen.
4 The fearful heart will know and understand,
and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear.
5 No longer will the fool be called noble
nor the scoundrel be highly respected. Is 32
However, the deceivers among the believers do not have the Spirit of God and continue to speak lies.
5. The Spirit is breaking our attachment to material things and preparing our hearts to share:
Our strong attachment to material wealth and goods is being melted in the fires of heavenly refinement sent to us from the Father above. He warns us against greed of all kinds. He teaches us to refuse to acknowledge security in any earthly sense. He is preparing us to share with the body of believers because a time is coming when many of us will be in need and the love of our hearts will be tested. He tells us to hold onto nothing except for Him. He will never fail us. He alone can rescue and save.
15 The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. Rev 13