Posts Tagged ‘knowledge of God’

Sin’s Progress

“Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.” (Psalm 19:12-13)

Remind yourself that sin has a progress! It takes you further than you want to go, costs you more than you can pay… and it keeps you longer than you intended to stay. So give it no ground! (Jms. 1:13-16)
· It goes from passing temptation to chosen thought (errors).
· It goes from chosen thought to object of meditation.
· It goes from object of meditation to wished-for fulfillment.
· It goes from wished-for fulfillment to planned action (secret faults).
· It goes from planned action to opportunity sought.
· It goes from opportunity sought to performed act.
· It goes from action to repeated action.
· It goes from repeated action to delight (presumptuous sins).
· It goes from delight to new and various ways.
· It goes from new and various ways to habit. (idolatry)
· It goes from habit to idolatry, demanding to be served.
· It goes from idolatry to sacrifice.
· It goes from sacrifice to slavery. (bondage & dominion over me)

We can fight the good fight of faith: (2 Cor. 10:3-6)(Eph. 6:10-18)
1st) Pull down strongholds of the mind
2nd) Cast down everything that argues with the knowledge of God
3rd) Bring every thought into obedience to Christ
4th) Punish all disobedience, when obedience is achieved

Recognize that you do not have to open the door, when thoughts come knocking at your heart… don’t think about, meditate upon or even entertain evil thoughts, because they aim to rob you of your peace and joy in Christ! Hide the Word of God in your heart! (Psa. 119:11)(Heb. 4:12)

Value Your Anointing!

“Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us – Eternal Life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” (1 Jn. 2:24-27)

Allowing the knowledge of God to abide in you, is more than just theology or Church Doctrine being understood. Our minds are incredible in so many ways. God has given us the capacity to process facts, but spiritual truth requires spiritual discernment… an anointing of the Holy Spirit. The anointing is an abiding Presence of the Holy Spirit that offers influence (Exousia or authority) and power (dunamis or dynamic impact). Those benefits go beyond the natural realities of our five senses. We have by way of the anointing, a supernatural ability to see, hear and move in the spiritual realm. The Apostle John is trying to help us understand the value of this anointing, as we process Eternal Life.

1st) We need to Experience Eternal Life…

The Anointing within us is designed to turn spiritual knowledge into fellowship with the Father and the Son. This is fellowship in the Glory of God at its best! When we are saved, we are transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light; whereby our lives are no longer held by the power of sin, but the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It is a process, recognizing the influence of our new abiding “Helper” (Holy Spirit); but it is also, an awesome and powerful freedom that allows Eternal Life to be released into all of our decisions. Its by the anointing that we know spiritual truth and have power to overcome the enemies of our soul (Isa. 10:27)(1 Jn. 2:20 & 27). If you desire to see deliverance and breakthrough in your life, then you must value the anointing! Even Jesus was aware of the impact the anointing carried upon His life and ministry. He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has anointed Me…” (Lk. 4:18).

2nd) We must Hold On to Eternal Life…

The Apostle John warns us that many are trying to deceive and lie about the truth of God. They are jealous or intimidated by the life they see in the Believer and aim to discredit the Child of God, because they walk in rebellion to a Biblical world view. There are so many hostile environments in our world, that it requires us to value the anointing above any other influence in life. We must have a fresh anointing abiding within us to build ourselves up and carry a bold testimony of God’s goodness and power in our lives. Without question, trouble is always knocking at our door and we cannot give in or make room for the enemy’s lies or perversions. We give no place to the Devil… by standing firm against his schemes (Eph. 6:11-13), his approaches (Jms. 4:7) and his accusations (Rev. 12:10-11). It is the anointing that destroys the demonic strongholds and offers freedom in the midst of spiritual battles (2 Cor 10:3-6)(Acts 10:38). We must value the anointing if we want to continue to receive the blessings of Eternal Life… in ourselves and for those within our reach.

3rd) We are called to Advance Eternal Life…

Believer’s are called to become Ambassadors for the Message of Eternal Life. We are like the mouthpiece of God, flesh and bone, but anointed with the Word of Hope. Our declaration is that God has set His love upon the world and lifted up His own Son in the place of the sinful. We cry out with trembling voices, “Be reconciled to God!” Because He made Him, who knew no sin; to become sin for us, so that we might become His righteousness, by the pure blood shed at the cross (2 Cor 5:19-21). We must value the anointing of the Holy Spirit, because it is not about the eloquence of our preaching or the depth of our experience. It’s all about the One who abides in us, speaks through us and empowers the message… so that it is “good news”. As Kingdom Agents we advance Eternal Life with the anointing, through the anointing and by the anointing. Jesus said, “All authority, and all power has been given unto Me, therefore go… preach, teach and disciple the nations of the Earth… and I will be with you!” (Mt. 28:18-20 -my paraphrase).

That is the anointing defined… “I will be with you – I will be upon you – I will abide in you and live through you!” Why would you have no need of a teacher? “For He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world.” (1 Jn. 4:4)

Rags or Riches

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Pe. 1:2-4)

God’s Promises are power-packed truths that enable and empower us to reach beyond ourselves and pull upon the wealth of heavenly resources! Perhaps the most important realization in life is the knowledge of what Christ has done for us! We are a people chosen and embraced by God to receive abundant life… peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The Apostles Peter and John saw the potential of the human soul rising from the dusty ashes of a lost glory. Both make statements that clarify the Christian identity as that of royalty and priestly significance (1 Pe. 2:9)(Rev. 1:6). To know God and trust His Promises will lead us to the most empowered life offered to man… everything we need for life and godliness is found in Christ Jesus.

Mark Twain tells of the day the King and the Queen of a far off country were bringing their new little “Prince” home from the royal hospital. On the way home their carriage collided with a poor pauper’s cart. In the humble vehicle the poor man was bringing his wife and new baby home from the midwife’s house. In the confusion of the moment, the two couples picked up the wrong babies by mistake and the little Prince went home to be raised by the pauper and his wife.

As the baby grew into childhood, he was forced to go into the streets and beg for food. However, unknown to him the very streets he begged on belonged to him because they were the property of his true father. Day in and day out he would go to the palace and looking through the iron fence at the little boy playing there and he would say to himself, “Man, if only I were a Prince.” Of course, he was the Prince! But he was not aware of that fact.

He lived his whole life in poverty because he didn’t know who he really was since he didn’t know “who” his father was.

Knowing Whose We Are – Offers a Platform for Who We Become:

How true this is of many Christians. It is easy to go through life doing the same thing. Many have never taken time to find out to whom they belong. They have never realized who their real Father is… or what Christ has done for them. Since the day we were born again spiritually, we have become sons and daughters of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! We are heirs, according to the Promise; of a royal throne. How sad to think we often go through life with self imposed spiritual poverty and cheat ourselves out of the riches of God’s marvelous grace. The riches are there whether we enjoy them or not (Phil. 4:19)! God the Father has made provision for every need in your daily walk with Christ.

Many “believers” are “unbelieving” when it comes to taking God at His Word when He tells us who we are in Christ.

Those Who Deceive

“Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us – Eternal Life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” (1 Jn. 2:24-27)

Our friend gave us two free tickets to a Cubs game several years back, so my wife and I went. A professional photographer asked if we would like to have our picture taken for free. When we agreed, he gave us a card telling us how to access our picture online. But the site required us to pay $20 to get any useable picture. He “took the picture” for free, but he knew we would think we would get a picture for free. By making us believe something by way of suggestion, he deceived us. Although this kind of deception is relatively painless, I have watched serious damage released across the Body of Christ by spiritual lies that are perpetrated for the same reason… personal gain.

1 John 2:21 – “No lie is of the truth.”

By its very nature, a lie is untrue. It is a falsehood. The Bible speaks of seven things that are an abomination to God, and two of them involve lying: “a lying tongue,” and “a false witness that tells lies.” (Prov. 6:16-19) God hates a lying tongue! It undercuts the most valued reality in heaven and that is truth. When we are deceived, our natural tendency is to feel distrust and twinge at spoken promises made from that time on. Deception is a killer of trust, and therefore; it does more damage to our understanding of love and perception of truth, than anything else we can experience.

Definitions of lying and deceit:

  • “Lie” – “a false statement made with deliberate intent to misguide.”
  • “Deceit” – “an act or practice … intended to mislead by a false appearance or statement”

The difference between a lie and a deception, is that a lie is generally spoken; but deceit includes anything, whether words or deeds, that are intended to lead people to believe what is not true. Note – not everything that is untrue is necessarily a lie or deceit, but everything that is aimed to deceive ultimately damages our clarity of perception. Deception generally involves a deliberate falsehood, spoken or promoted through activity; with the intent of misleading or causing someone to believe error.

In transgressing and lying against the Lord , and departing from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.” (Isa. 59:13)

Conceiving and Uttering from the Heart – Words of Falsehood or Deceptive Activities.

The key to understanding deception is in knowing where it comes from… the heart. One of the most powerful examples from the New Testament, is when Ananias and Sapphira sold property and gave part of the money to the Church. Although it was theirs to sell and their income to divide as they so desired, yet they conceived a plan and they told others that they gave the whole amount (Acts 5:1-9). The Apostle Peter asked, “How is it you have conceived this thing in your heart“. They had lied to God… conceived a plan to make themselves appear noble and generous and gave no thought of how it would effect others in their immediate fellowship.

Truth is Reality from God’s Perspective:

“God is not a man, that He should lie … Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Num. 23:19)

The implication is that, if God did not keep His promises, He would be guilty of lying. Remember what the Apostle John tells us, “no lie is of the truth”. Deception is serious, because it is a sin that leads us away from truth. God walks in truth, its His platform for reality! All who worship God must do so in Spirit and in Truth (Jn. 4:24). He expects the Church to rely upon His truth as a platform for their freedom in worship, Christian love and trusting relationships (Jn. 8:31-36). We are called to love the truth, obey the truth and abide in truth!

Watch Out – There are Those Who Deceive:

  1. Those who tell “bold-faced lies” – the one who tells them is well aware that he has told an outright falsehood. He may consider it a “big secret” (one with serious consequences) or a “little white lie” (one he thinks will not have serious consequences), but he knows that he has told a lie. (Exod. 20:16)(Eph. 4:25)(1 Tim. 1:10) Liars are listed among other sins that are contrary to sound doctrine. There are direct commands against lying all through Scripture. Most people know that lying is morally wrong. Interestingly, people who often tell lies to others (like politicians) will often become very upset when other people lie to them and are often the quickest to accuse others of lying!
  2. Those who make “false promises” – Some people make promises they have no intention of keeping or know they cannot keep. This is a form of deliberately misleading people. Many stories about Jacob involve deceit. He bargained with his uncle Laban to serve seven years for Rachel. Laban agreed, but at the wedding he gave Jacob Leah instead. Jacob said Laban beguiled or deceived him. (Gen. 29:18 & 25) Pharaoh deceived Moses by promising to let Israel go if the plagues were removed. When that was done, he did not keep his promise. (Exod. 8:28 & 29) As humans, there may be circumstances beyond our control when we simply cannot keep a promise we really intended to keep. But when we knowingly make a promise we never intend to keep, or when we could keep it but we deliberately choose not to, that is deceit. How many of us are guilty?
  3. Those who use “flattery” – Often people want to make a favorable impression on others, so they say nice things that they don’t really mean or don’t really believe to be true. This may seem kind, but it is a form of deliberately deceiving others. When we don’t mean the nice things we say, we are lying. “They delight in lies; they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly.” (Psa. 62:4) “Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouth, and they lied to Him with their tongue.” (Psa. 78:36-37) Here the people flattered God by professing that they would serve Him, but did not really mean it in their hearts. “False teachers often walk according to their lusts, speaking smooth words, flattering people to gain advantage.” (Jude 16) This is deception because they say nice things about others, professing to care about them, but really they just seek their own advantage.
  4. Those who teach “false doctrine” – When religious teaching is presented as truth even though it cannot be proved by the Bible, deceit is always involved. Satan told the woman, she would not die if she ate of the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:4). Yet God had said she would die (Gen. 2:17). After Eve sinned, she said the serpent had beguiled (deceived) her (Gen. 3:13). [1 Timothy 2:14; 2 Corinthians 11:3] We see that Prophets prophesied lies in God’s name. (Jer. 14:14) He had not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them, but they prophesied a false vision and the deceit of their heart. “False apostles” are called “deceitful workers,” because they pretend to be servants of Christ, angels of light, and ministers of righteousness (2 Cor. 11:13-15). Many teachers present themselves as men of God teaching His Word, yet they teach things they cannot support from the Bible. Elymas, the sorcerer tried to prevent Sergius Paulus from accepting the gospel and the Apostle Paul accused him of being full of deceit and fraud (Acts 13:6-10). Note that false teaching is sinful for a number of reasons. But one reason is that it always involves deceit. Many religious leaders are deceitful, because they claim a teaching is from God when they know they don’t have the proof. Sometimes a teacher is sincerely in error and he really believes he is teaching truth; in that case, he has been deceived by someone else. All false teaching is ultimately a lie in that it all originates with Satan, who knows it is a lie. Satan’s goal is to deceive and destroy our passion for God’s truth, (Jn. 10:9-10) because he is the father of lies (Jn. 8:44).
  5. Those who “walk in hypocrisy” – A hypocrite is a deceiver because he pretends to be something he knows he is not. He tries to give other people the impression he is more righteous than he really is. “Those who depart from the truth speak lies in hypocrisy” (1 Tim. 4:2). Note, their hypocrisy is associated with lying. “Lay aside guile (deceit), hypocrisy, and evil speaking” (1 Peter 2:1). Again, hypocrisy is associated with deceit. Hypocrisy is deceit, because the hypocrite puts on a false front. He pretends to be better than he is. When one pretends to offer a sacrifice to God but refuses to give what He knows God wants, he is a deceiver who has come under a curse or a delusion (Mal. 1:14).
  6. Those who “speak half truths” – Some think they are innocent as long as they say what is technically true, even though they intend to mislead others to believe what is not true. It is possible to tell things that are technically true, yet we leave out pertinent facts or otherwise so speak that we lead others to believe untruths. Joseph’s brothers sold him to the Midianites, dipped his coat in blood, brought it to Jacob and said, “We found this coat. Does it look like your son’s or not?” This was technically true, but they omitted pertinent facts so they could lead Jacob to believe a wild animal had killed Joseph (Gen. 37:28-33). When confronted by Moses regarding the golden calf, Aaron said he threw in the gold and out came the calf. But he neglected to say that he had fashioned the calf with an engraving tool! (Exod. 32:4-24) Many people, even in the church, profess to serve God faithfully. But are we really doing what we know we should, or are we just deceiving others and maybe ourselves? Are we giving what we know God wants, or is it just a pretense?
  7. Those who “walk in self-deception” – One of the saddest forms of deceit is self-deception. People who don’t want to face reality can sometimes convince themselves to believe things that they really know are not true. Many passages warn about self-deception. “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise” (1 Cor. 3:18). People often think they are so smart that they fool themselves into believing error. “If anyone thinks himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself ” (Gal. 6:3). Sometimes people do not want to admit what they are really like, so they deceive themselves into thinking they are better than they are. This is why the Apostle James gives us this warning, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless” (Jms. 1:22 & 26). People deceive themselves, because they are in many ways religious. So they think they are acceptable, but God is still not pleased because of sins in other areas of their lives. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 Jn. 1:8). “Some will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim. 4:3-4). Notice these people end up believing error, because they do not like the truth. They prefer teachers who “tickle their ears”… tell them what they want to hear. So they may end up believing they are acceptable to God, but they deceived themselves.

Truth and Purity Walk Hand in Hand:

Its impossible to walk in purity and righteousness without the platform of truth. If we are to keep truth in our hearts and avoid falsehood, we must be very careful whose voice we listen to. You and I have an anointing from the Holy Spirit and we can know the truth and walk in the knowledge of God… especially if we abide in the Word of God daily. Yes, we should help liars repent and be forgiven. But if they refuse to repent and continue to speak lies, we must limit our association in order to keep our own hearts pure.

“Who will stand in God’s Holy Place? Those who have clean hands and a pure heart. Those who have not lifted up their souls to falsehood and have not sworn deceitfully. This is the one who will be blessed by the Lord.” (Psa. 24:3-5)

Harps and Bowls

Singing and praying have always gone hand in hand, but usually not at the exact same time. I remember the first time I heard a person sing in the spirit. It was not in a different language, it was in my own language, but it almost took my breath away. I will never forget as the whole congregation soaked in the song about the power and majesty of the Lord, sung by a person who had never sung a special or played an instrument.

It was a New Song:

We were not even listening to the voice, but rather the spirit and the sense of spiritual depth in their words. I have since learned that singing in the spirit, is simply about allowing our spirit to sing, regardless of our prayer life, prayer language or prayer history. The sound of the New Song is not about wrapping your mind around a language at all, but releasing a flow of sound and thoughts from the Heavenly Realms. Its a mingling of our knowledge of God, our sense of His timing at the moment and a desperate leaning that is allowed to come from inside of our hearts through song. It takes little or no thought of the others in the room, because it has its focus on God’s intent.

 ”Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood. Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,  and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev 5:8-10)

It Carries a Unique Sound:

Notice these 4 living creatures and the 24 Elders. Each have two things, a harp and a bowl. The harp is a symbol of praise and the bowl is a symbol of prayer. Then a very unusual phrase enters the text. It says, “They sang a new song…” a unique sound came forth, individual and yet in harmony with one another and with the moment.

Harps and bowls are unique emblems that are designed to merge into a unique sound. In this passage, they are not just about praise and worship and praying, they are about a unity of sound and focused expression. It was about singing their prayer to the Lord from their heart of hearts, their spirit.

This “New Song”; God describes in Scripture (Ps 33:2-3), is more than just a series of musical notes or a skillful use of instruments. The songs that others have written, perfected and arranged are wonderful, but God seems to lean into the sound from our heart. He is interested in something fresh, new, spontaneous and winsome. Our spirit has a love language that only we can release to God. It can be motivated and anointed by the Holy Spirit, yet it will always be our own unique sound.

To A Unique Person:

In the passage above there is a scroll in the right hand of God the Father. No one is worthy to take it and open it. John; the Beloved Apostle, begins to weep. Immediately one of the Elders gets up off his throne and says to John, “Do not weep, there is One who is worthy.”

Jesus steps up and takes the scroll and there you have it. The essential focus of the moment was the Lamb who was worthy, because He had redeemed all who were there by His own blood. Jesus is the unique person, worthy to open the scroll. Its all about Him!

An Appropriate Sound: 

How is this possible? How can this many different people sing a new song spontaneously? This is where we begin to understand the harps and bowls ministry to the Lord. God loves music, but He is looking for music that is appropriate in its context. In the above moment, where the Worthy Lamb of God is stepping forward to receive the scroll and open it for all the world to see… the sound needs to be appropriate. It needs to fit the season and occasion.

The Ministry of the Heart:

Its a unique and appropriate sound, because it is the ministry of the heart not the intellectual perception of the mind. God wants it sung loud and clear so that all might know that He has captured our hearts. Doctrines are fine and theology is helpful, but the Christian Faith is all about the romance of the heart… “God so loved the world, that He gave us His Son…” (Jn 3:16). And now as we come to recognize this incredible gift, we give Him our hearts. What we must never forget is that God responds when our heart begins to sing the New Song in the Congregation of the Redeemed.