8-Knowing Or Possessing
If you intend to escape hell and become part of that raptured bride, this lesson must take hold of your life, this is what we are dealing with, The Pathway To An Overcoming Life. To be what God wants us to be, that self has to be dealt with. We must become to God an empty possibility. You have nothing to offer Him. Don't come to this altar telling Him if You'll save me, I'll give You my talents. He doesn't want your talents, He wants you. When He owns you, He owns everything. The highest, deepest consecration we can make is to know we have nothing to offer Him but ourselves, for Him to live in and through. There has to be a death of all we are for Him to be the life of all we are.
Mat 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
He rejoiced over finding it, but that didn't make it his. And he sold everything to have that field. The Holy Spirit is the only One who can make the 13th chapter of Corinthians a reality. Love suffers long, it's kind, doesn't vaunt or boast of itself. It forebears, puts up, loves at all times. That's what the Holy Spirit is. To be baptized truly in the Holy Ghost and let Him possess us is to be baptized with that Spirit of love. The fruit of that Spirit is love. Joy and peace, everything else comes out of that. When you are baptized in that Spirit that is what Christ is, that is the whole of it. That must take hold of us.
We must know the difference between knowing, or wanting, and possessing. The true Spirit can only come into us as a divine birth. It has to be born in us. You can't just decide to love like God loves. That love has to be shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Spirit. As He comes to possess us, that becomes us. The true Spirit of love, the fruit of the Spirit can only come into us by the birth of the Spirit, by which He becomes our life, making love a very natural thing to us. That person truly born of God, full of the Holy Spirit loves because that's all he can do. He can love and pray for those who despitefully use him. He's not willing that any should perish, but it takes a great love--a love beyond you and me. That has to be birthed in a human being. God loved you in spite of what you were. I pray that the Spirit that willed in Jesus would will in me, will in me in prayer, that I get up a long time before day to pray, that I can spend all night in prayer. That love that made Him, was kind, long suffering, gentle, will to do God's will in me, but it has to be birthed in us. We can't learn it.
One great hindrance to those who earnestly seek to walk in this great love is they get deceived and rejoice over that which they do not actually possess. They hear truth, get excited, jump and shout, but come the next morning their life is still the same. Even the preacher himself-he may be excited about something he doesn't really own. Every minister of Christ has at some time or other asked himself why his message does not produce more humble, holy, heavenly living in those to whom he preaches. This message answers that question. Congregations can become very excited with the preaching of truth, and lead themselves to believe they are in actual possession of that truth.
When you see a proud man, I met a man said "I'm an apostle." I said I always wanted to meet one. He's not an apostle-if he was he wouldn't tell me. Man said to me one time, you a prophet or apostle? I said I'm a Christian man. I don't need no titles, you can't call me anything higher on this earth than to call me a Christian. Man tell me "I'm a reverend, I'm a this, I'm a that, " oh, you ain't nothing yet. You're still yourself, trying to impress somebody else. If God isn't impressed with you why should others be? We're talking about thinking you have just because you know something. There's millions of people think they know at least what Paul knew and that makes them believe they're in the same category as him.
Congregations get excited but don't possess this truth. We must beware of thinking that because we understand and enjoy a teaching that does not necessarily mean we actually possess it. All this lies in the region of human thought and feeling. We live there. We're more governed by our thoughts and feelings than we are about what God has to say. We must make a difference between the doctrine that only sets forth the nature of the truth and the Spirit of Truth itself. You may be full of the former but be as empty as can be of the latter. You may be full of the doctrine and knowledge, but your whole life be empty and vain as far as a testimony of Christ is concerned. It isn't what you say that impresses people it's what you are. What you are will speak louder than what you say. The preaching of the Word of God must proclaim the truth. The believer must be well established in the belief of doctrine. You must believe right because you will become a product of what you most assuredly believe. It's just as important that the preaching encourage the believer to buy the truth at the truth's own price. There is no cheap market on this. You can be full of God, can be possessed of God, but you have to buy this truth at its own price. It is not cheap. If you think you have it because you're highly pleased with what you've heard of it, you only embrace the shadow and not the substance. If you examine yourself, you are still living a mixed life. It hasn't had its intended effect.
What is the price? All you are, everything you have from that first Adam. That is the cost of this truth. All you have from him is of flesh and blood and this Book says that cannot enter the kingdom of God. There is no place for the natural man in this. When you allow the lukewarm, the indifferent to sing, to take up the offering, or take any part of the service, you have given the devil rights in that church and he collects it as worship. When you willfully allow anything not right with God up here in the choir, or to play on this music, usher in these aisles, teach in that Sunday School, you have given the devil rights. If they are not right you give that devil rights in that church and he's to have no rights. The whole thing with God is a place and worship unrivaled in this universe, He found it in Jesus Christ and now He wants to reproduce that in His church. The devil found nothing in that Christ.
The church as a whole has never learned you may be full of the doctrine and empty of the Spirit. You can know all the knowledge but it's a cold, hard form that will change nobody. The church must learn all teaching of spiritual truth is only to point the way to something that has to be purchased at a great price. Salvation, justification came by His death, but now I'm redeemed by that life. That life must possess me. He will not share His life with your life. He won't come in you and share. If He comes in, He will occupy your temple. David and Saul can't be on the throne at the same time. That spiritual man can't get there until you vacate the throne. Ishmael and Isaac can't live in that tent together. No way the Holy Ghost will live in you if you willfully allow yourself to be there. He will not share His life with your natural life.
All the pleasure the teaching gives is to lure you to pay the price to secure the treasure. The parable of the treasure in the field is a great example. The man found it, rejoiced over it before it was his. Had he not sold all and bought it, he'd of had nothing. He could talk about it, but not have it. It cost him everything to own it. It will cost all you are to own this treasure. He won't share His glory with flesh. The joy of discovering the treasure is the happiness which an insight to the beauty divine truth brings. It's easy to get excited about the truth and not possess it. That's where most of it is. Our joy can be renewed, we listen to the proclamation of the truth every Sunday and get excited about it, take pleasure in it, but never possess it. You don't possess it because the proof shows up in your life whether you possess this or not. We listen, we study, we get excited about it yet we are as poor as we ever were and don't even know it. We never imagine the pleasure we have in the Word is no guarantee we possess what we read. We must make it our own. Only as we pay the price daily will the truth in its power, the Spirit of this love, really be birthed in our lives. The Spirit of love is a new life, become our life. God is love, you can't say love is God, but when that life is in us, it's the same life that is in God. It loves because that's all it knows to do. It's only goodness. As we learn to live that way, we can pray for our enemies and love those who despitefully use us and there won't be a desire to revenge ourselves. It isn't a set of rules that we take on.
Dying to self is the one condition on which God will give the enjoyment of His life. You cannot bring yourself in here. You let Me live My life totally absolutely, then you can have this. Christ said our life must be hated, must be lost. You save your life you will lose this life. If you are willing to lose your life, you can have His. Israel retreated back into he wilderness to save their own miserable life, and they lost everything worthwhile and died in that desert. All of this was written aforetime so we may learn about this spiritual world. Before a man consents to this, he needs divine teaching to make him see that our natural life is incurably ill. It's lost. We can't deal with self. We try to make it better, today a better self image. We've resurrected what Christ said died at Calvary. Even in the very church itself. All of that has its appeal to the flesh. This user friendly foolishness we have trying to make that sinner feel comfortable in the presence of God. If you come in this church and you aren't a saint and you say you had a good time, there is something wrong with what we did here. Something bad wrong. This isn't to be the place where the devil has a good time. When that flesh can sit down and feel everything is well, that is wrong. We must know this life is incurably ill. The Bible says in Jer 17:9 the heart is desperately wicked and who can know it? That means it is incurable and the only answer is death. No patching or improving, it has no place to it. When man consents to this, when the church consents to this, then divine teaching from the pulpit will show him if he pays the price the hidden treasure of love in that field can be his as a way of life. I won't pay a big price for dove's dung. I know that is some kind of root that grows in drought in the desert. I know that. But I also know that's all that is left when this Holy Ghost is gone and all you have left is religion. If you don't believe that dove's dung costs money, you listen to the television preachers, it costs money.
When a man sees this, you gotta teach him. If you give all that up, this is what you will have. This life of God becoming your life. If you are willing to give up what you are, you will strike gold here. There is no way you could ever understand this side of eternity what God has for them who love Him and let Him live in them. Living in the will of God where this love and life can flow to and through you, is the highest form of living there is. A man says oh I'm going to die, I'm going to have to give up too much. I said you're on the wrong side of the gate, you walk through there and all that will give you up. You'll see what foolishness it was in the first place. When you are inside, you see what this treasure is and what you can possess if you are willing to pay all. If we want this we must beware of taking our delight in discovery of the treasure is not possessing the treasure. I've seen it, I'm excited about it, I know what can be, but I do not possess it. There are two ways of seeking this goodness and greatness of God Number one, they may be taught outwardly by men, the pulpit teaches us line upon line, precept on precept. But the second, they may be inwardly born in us as the genuine birth into our renewed spirit, that new creature coming into His own in the baptism of the Holy Ghost. But you can't even come into it then, unless you know what that baptism is all about.
In the former way, as we learn them only from men, the best they can do is change our outward behavior but leave our heart in its natural state. That's what you have in the church. They give up things, and they are so proud of what they have done, that they hate everybody else that hasn't done that. That is all that can do. It only puts our passions under a forced restraint. They aren't delivered just restrained. When I got saved, I didn't want to go back there. I wasn't saved out of Sunday School, my life was one you wouldn't have wanted to know me. I knew nothing of religion. I come into this, I didn't want to go back to that. I'd almost walk down the street with trying not to look at anything, but God said to me, that isn't how this works. You come into possession of this, you be filled with Me and learn to walk with Me, and He took me back where the Bible tells us about that millennium. When that lion eats straw, laying down next to that lamb, and that little kid plays with that cockatrice, and isn't going to be bitten. He showed me every man is going to sit under his own vine, nobody going to make him afraid. But He said to me everybody's not saved. That lion isn't tamed. It wonders why it's eating that straw, instead of that lamb. That snake wonders why it's letting that kid pass him around like this. It can't bite him. He said you see, the Holy Ghost in that glorified body is going to hold this universe for a thousand years in absolute control of God. But when He turns them loose, most of them will turn back to the devil. But He said, My Holy Ghost in you son, will keep you, you won't ever commit adultery or get drunk again. You let this be your life, you won't be saying I can't do that, because of a rule, no, you'll be like Joseph, how can such a man as I do this, so sin against this great God?
This has to become something we live by. Learning by rules and teaching, though imperfect, is absolutely necessary in the nature of things. You have to know it before you can become it. There has to be the preaching of the Gospel. Precepts and teaching has to be a part of learning, it has to come to you in that way before it can ever come into maturity. It is only for a time, as the law was only a school master to take us to Christ. But the teaching as Christians is going to take us on to the fullness is only the schoolmaster. We must be babes in doctrine before that doctrine can become a living thing in you. All this outward instruction makes nothing perfect but is highly necessary. You first have to know. Don't mistake the fact you learned something that it's is yours. Now it will cost you everything to possess it, but the reward is going to be everything He is. You have to know that so you don't despair.
In all education, there is two ways of leading men in the path of truth: outward teaching, first, where the teacher or preacher is able to breathe into that pupil the disposition that inspiration that inspires him and inward teaching. First came the law, to prepare the way. Then grace and truth, the power and reality of divine life in Christ. First there had to be that law to lead us there. In the individual believer, the process is the same. The new birth brings him as a child into a state of grace in which he is shown what the stature of the perfect man in Christ is. He couldn't see that before until he was brought in as+ new creature. Now, he can see what God wants him to be. He's taught to desire and strive after what he's seen and led on to expect to receive the spirit of love and life that becomes the animating force of his life.
You have to know what it is you are after and then you must be able to see. You behold Him, you can be like Him. Nothing greater than that. The deadly mistake in the life of a Christian is they rest in the preparatory state, they get in and rest and either do not believe in the prospect of perfection or they are not willing to pay the price so the thing breaks down and they die. Whatever has life must grow or die. The church is full of people that are dead and don't know it. They never grew so they died. You know a new baby, God gives it six months immunity, but during that time there must be strength put into that baby, nourishment. They can't stand the ravages of time without gaining that strength. God gives that new creature an immunity to things but there comes a time when he has to face up to reality. If that shepherd isn't watching, he will fall out that door. He'll hit that desert and everything he thought he'd overcome is going to rise up in him, he just had it in restraint, and God is saying now it's time to move on till this becomes your life, not just something you are not doing. Some refuse to believe or are unwilling to pay the price.
God dealt with me on this line, He said "Don't you despair. You are going to discover you aren't near like me as you thought." He showed me and I was glad. Lot of things you think you possess you don't. This preparatory stage is imperfect, not to be rested in but is indispensable to perfection. You have to see the kingdom before you can seek it. The great value of this view while they teach, discipline and strengthen and influence us, they always point away from themselves to a salvation they can't give. Jesus said you search the Scriptures, you think they have life, but they just point to me, I'm the life. If you don't find me there, you're dead. They point us to a salvation, the Word of God does, points us to a life that can only be had from God. The highest honor a disciple of John could pay him is leave him and go to Jesus. He's converted the man, but he couldn't have received a greater compliment. So with the Scripture. They have their full effect only when they daily point you to Christ. You don't worship the Bible, though the evangelical for the most part worships this Bible. But it's the Man in there you have to find to worship. I take nothing away from the Word, it is the inspired Word of the living God but it must take me to Christ. The Scripture can awaken in you a desire to an obedient and diligent faith, but it's Christ Himself who faith receives. Not just a teaching, faith receives a Person. If I can touch HIM, not if I can quote the Bible, I'll be healed.
The Scripture ever points us away from itself to the living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ who waits to be formed within us and to the Holy Ghost who alone can do that. That is why we preach so dogmatically you must be filled. You cannot be conformed to that image without Him. He has to live that life through you. He has to give you the revelation, and show you the things of Christ. You can go no further than your revelation of Christ. The Holy Spirit, by Whose inspiration the Word was written, and by Whose inspiration alone the Word can become life within us, who is the Spirit of Truth, the power and the life dwells in us, now we are on the road. If we learn to walk in Him and live by Him then every day there will be a change.
You don't notice what is happening, but more and more things are changing and Christ is becoming that life. From this two-fold life there arises a two-fold virtue and goodness as a result. For such as the Teacher or teaching is the state and manner of your life. In other words, if you just say what you learned, and not what you are, then you are going to produce what you are. These kind of people can argue about the Bible. But if you're preaching what you are, then you are that. You are going to produce-not a hundred percent, some people have ears and can't hear nothing, but those that hear they will become like that Christ that pastor has become like. That's the reason you have to be very careful who is in this pulpit.
I saw a man once who bragged 'we Pentecostals never use notes.' I said I know and I got sick of hearing you holler amen, and hallelujah. You know, that's so foolish. It's flesh. If God teaches you something, you should write it down, so you don't forget it. For such as the teacher is so is the student. Every effect must be according to the cause that produced it. That's why I deal with preachers. If you learn virtue and goodness only from the outward means, outwardly you will be that. You may have the outward look, the hair, the dress, the sleeves, everything. It's a put on show only this Word can discover. The Spirit of prayer, humility, love and virtue can be only be obtained by the operation of the Holy Ghost in you. Until we move beyond the outward teaching, our good works are only done in obediences to rules and precepts we give assent to. They are not fruits of a newborn life. We are just restrained. Until we are renewed in the spirit of our mind, our virtues are taught practices grafted on a corrupt bottom. It will show up, be sure of that. There will come a time when that which isn't real, will show itself. Everything we do will be a mixture of good and bad.
Your humility will help your pride. They can be so proud they are so humble. They can cry at the drop of a hat. Your charity to others will give nourishment to your own self love. As your prayers increase so will your opinion of your own holiness. Somebody claims to have prayed 6 hours yesterday, no, if they really had they wouldn't boast in that. Humility supports pride in that kind of stuff. Until the heart is purified to the bottom, and its felt the ax at the root of its evil everything that proceeds from it partakes of the impurity and corruption. You have to cut the root of that tree, and it can't be done with outward instruction. When in the renewed spirit there is accomplished that inward birth for which it's longed and struggled for, by the Spirit of God becomes the Spirit of life, love, humility and prayer that lives and now works in us with no effort. You just know. Course there will be a faltering, or stumbling, there. But there will be a breakdown unless it becomes our life, what we are. It's not what we do that we might be saved, it's what I am.
We are commanded by the Word to add to our faith virtue and knowledge, and other things. We cannot just get up and conjure these things up out of the void, there must be a birth of these in your heart. You don't just put that on. If you do it's a facade. When it's birthed in you in an altar as you plead with God and He exposes you to His holiness, then you see how corrupt you are. For this Pentecost was given. The things we are to add is the very nature of the Holy Ghost. All real advance toward the life of the spiritual man depends upon two things, first, an honest admission of your own imperfection. Unless a man of God stays broken in that altar, you must realize it doesn't take anything but a sermon to make a preacher, but it takes being in that altar, broken before God to make a man of God. If he don't stay there, how can you take anybody you pastor where you are not? That preacher has to live in a place not by projection or what he makes them perceive, but by what he is. It is for this, Pentecost was given. We must first make an honest admission of imperfection, not only of our present attainments, of what we've done, but of our spiritual state. There has to be a true repentance, and acknowledgment before God. I'm not what I thought I was, I don't love You like I thought I did. I thought I was all out for You. Second, there must be a clear apprehension of that true Spirit of love that God desires and has made provision for you to live in it.
The object of every human is to be a full grown person. All possibilities of becoming this is in him when he is born. The same with the new creature. The object of every Christian is to grow up into the stature and fullness of Christ. It's all there in the beginning. It has to be trained to reach manhood. True in the physical and spiritual world. It has to be trained. Look at the church full of people born with all the possibility of being like Christ but they're not. It's a bickering and arguing thing. Only as we enter into manhood as the object of why we are born is attained. You don't grow, you die. Regeneration makes a child of God who is, through much struggling, training and grow up into the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ. He has to be taught, trained and have bounds put on his life. You won't be like Christ just because you were born again 30 years ago. Little analytical Bible studies don't change anything. There has to be a life giving element. They have to be born again and taught what they are, what they got to put down and what they can be if they are willing to pay the price.
You ask why the Spirit of God cannot be displeased or disappointed, can't complain, accuse, resent murmur, it's because love desires nothing but itself. Its own good, nothing is good but itself. Love is God, he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God. The more we come to that the more Christ will be expressed in this life. If men see Him, one of two two things will happen, they will either want to kill Him, or they will want Him. An ungodly man cannot live in that presence without coming to Him or wanting to get rid of Him because He exposes him for what he is. Regeneration is the divine birth in which that Christian becomes a babe in Christ. The full out birth of that beginning is when he's been taught to know what God means him to be, and has intelligently and with his whole heart given himself to be possessed by God's Spirit, to be filled with this love. Birth then, is the commencement of life, not the end. There is in that creation the innate power to become conformed to the image of Him that birthed Him. It doesn't just happen. It goes through training, preaching, teaching, trials. The power of an endless life is the divine operation of the Holy Spirit as we come to live by this. The end result of this is Christ. Everything produces after its own life. The nature of the life determines what kind of life it is.
No rules of religion can make this, it makes it worse because you become proud of your accomplishments. This loving nature is what it is and when it meets opposition, the more opportunity for providing and showing what this nature really is. This love loves everybody. God so loved, and that's God's love and that's what makes the church. God said if you really love one another, people will want to come here. You can feel that. It is therefore evident that through the Holy Spirit dwelling in you He has not gained the mastery of you until you can love the unlovable and He is able to love freely through you. God loved you and you were not lovable. Jesus said we are to love as He loved, in connection with the promise of Pentecost. Without this Holy Spirit we can't love as He loves.
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